Patrick Sharp #10 of the Chicago Blackhawks tries to pass the puck surrounded by Brad Richards #91, James Neal #18 and Stephane Robidas #3 of the Dallas Stars at the United Center on January 5, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Stars defeated the Blackhawks 4-2.
Across the three sources for my madness, it's a challenge to not repeat myself. It gets harder when the same problems keep being problems for the Hawks.
At least if they could be mediocre in new and creative ways, it would make my life easier. Then again, if they were new and creative, they probably wouldn't be mediocre.
But there's only so many times I can sit here and wonder why the Hawks don't play 60 minutes, why their penalty kill is a short-bus, and why they're so easy to play against, and why their best players can't be arsed to be their best players every night. The constant line changing, the baffling scratches, the continued use of the blunt object that's too slow to wield in John Scott... I can only rail against this for so long before I'll be George Costanza with Les Misérables stuck in his head.
So let's focus on last night's numbers:
It speaks to how even a modicum of effort from the Hawks and they can pretty much pin teams in their own zone and snuff them out in theirs. But this wasn't some heroic effort from Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen.
If you check the boxscore, you'll see the Stars blocked 20 shots. Now, usually that would sound pretty Herculian. But from being there, it was largely a case of the Hawks lazily firing when there was no lane, or a Star no more than five feet in front of them.
Duncan Keith had seven shots blocked, which has been an infuriating problem all year. I can't remember once Keith either faking a shot and attempting to walk around the first forward out to him to open up a lane, or a simple, quick wrister that would at least get through. And every time a shot gets blocked from him, it tends to end the possession.
Ok, now I'm going blind, that's enough.