Chicago Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville speaks with reporters after the team's 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers on March 23, 2011.
The Blackhawks like to tell you a lot of stories, and the people who cover them love to amplify them. It's a good thing I'm here to sort this out for you, or you'd be totally lost. And we wouldn't want that.
First things first: the importation of Marcus Kruger.
GM Stan Bowman told the assembled masses that this was the plan all along, to bring Kruger in for the end of the season. First of all, this is in direct antithesis of what he said a little more than a month ago in the Daily Herald:
"We expect him to come over next year and be on our team." - Feb. 14th.
So let's just let that sit there for a moment. It could be they changed their minds in the past few weeks. We can't rule that out. But there are other factors here.
Kruger's team in the Swedish Elite League lost their playoff series just last Sunday. Perhaps the Hawks brass has ESP and knew that they were going to lose it the first round in Game 7, and Kruger would be available for the last 10 games.
Judging by the way they keep trying to demonstrate the genius of Stan Bowman, we can't completely rule it out. But when we put our feet back on the ground, we wonder what they would have done had his team moved on.
What if they'd won the next round? What was the plan then? Oh, it would have been ruined. If it was in place to begin with, which is highly debatable at best.
Secondly, if this truly was the plan -- even if Bolland had been healthy which is what they've told us -- that doesn't make any sense either.
Was he going to come here and take the third line-checking role to keep Bolland in the second line? Isn't that a lot to ask for someone who's never played a real game in North America? Or would they flip, sending Bolland to the checking role where he's flourished? So now Kruger is good enough to be in your Top 6?
The important question is why that's better than putting Patrick Sharp at center, where he was last spring when you accomplished something of minor note. But we'll never know.
What you can expect now is the Hawks to go out of their way to make sure those who cover the team, writers and broadcasters, praise Kruger for everything up to and including sneezing.
We saw it with Nick Leddy, who received so many plaudits for ho hum performances that contained obvious mistakes never mentioned. But don't necessarily believe them. You'll only know with your own eyes.