Kukla's Korner

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Fixing The Chicago Blackhawks

from Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times,

...if the Hawks are going to get out of this middling, maddening mess, if they’re going to pull themselves out of these doldrums, it’s going to have to come from within. Patrick Kane needs to hit superstar mode and put the team on his back. Duncan Keith needs to start carrying the defense. Brandon Saad needs to keep banging on the door. Jonathan Toews needs to get back to his early-October levels. Ryan Hartman needs to shake off his sophomore slump. Anton Forsberg needs to find his inner Scott Darling.

There’s still talent, and there’s still hope. But here are three steps the Hawks can — and should — take to get themselves back on track....

Keep it simple.

Other than the DeBrincat-Schmaltz-Kane line, the Hawks need to dumb it down a bit at both ends of the rink. Even Saad and Toews can take a page from Bouma and Tommy Wingels and play a quick, straight-forward game. No dangling, no risky passes. Just quick exits, direct entries and relentless forechecking. The Hawks can’t keep up with faster teams in transition, so playing a safer, more defensive and, yes, more boring style is the answer. Right now they’re firing and giving up 34 shots per game. That wide-open style won’t work.

In an underwhelming division and an unintimidating conference, all is not lost. The offense finally came around this past weekend, just as the Hawks insisted it would. Now it’s time to figure out everything else, before it’s too late.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com