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7 Deadly Sins – Scum 4, Hawks 1

The Red Wings are one of the best shot suppression teams in the NHL and they definitely showed that in their Friday night meeting with the Blackhawks. Chicago struggled with virtually every part of their game in every part of the ice.  The 4-1 loss to Detroit was completely deserved.

  • Sloth  Sloppy passing and generally poor play were the theme of the night for Chicago. There were too many turnovers to keep track of without a spreadsheet.
  • Lust  There were some very attractive breakaways that I’m sure had Red Wings fans pretty excited during the game. Detroit’s speed in transition, also normally a quality the Blackhawks share, makes the team exciting to watch despite the fact that they are one of the lowest event rate teams in the league.
  • Greed  Until the Score Effects kicked in the third period, Detroit was absolutely dominating Chicago in puck possession. War-on-ice  Event Summary
  • Envy  Mike Babcock is a notorious character and often looks like he is going to eat the faces off of his players on the bench, but he always seems to be in control. He never seems to completely panic and grasp at straws. This season, as much as it pains me to say it, Joel Quenneville has seemed at a loss to figure out how to get his team playing well. He’s changed the forward lines so many times that no one even tries to guess what they will be anymore. None of it seems to be working. The disappointing thing about it is that the Blackhawks shooting percentage woes are virtually guaranteed to correct themselves, but the panicked response to some bad luck seems to have compounded the problem.
  • Gluttony  Pizzas. That’s what the Versteeg and Kane turnovers that led to goals were called in the post-game interviews. That’s a pretty appropriate way to describe those turnovers. They were right in front of the net and there is just no way an NHL team is going to let you get away with mistakes like that. Your opponents will gobble those pucks up and shove them down your goalie’s throat.
  • Pride  We are still at a point in the season where we do not need to completely panic about whether this amazingly talented team is going to disappoint us this season; however, if the Blackhawks continue along this path for too much longer, it will be time to face some facts about whether a deep playoff run this season is all that realistic.
  • Wrath  Quenneville has used the line blender a lot during his tenure with the Blackhawks, but this is getting ridiculous. This is a team sport. Every hockey analyst on Earth talks about developing chemistry, but that seems impossible to do when a player constantly has different linemates. I know that players are expected to contribute whenever and however they are used during a game but Quenneville’s perfectionism has become so hyper-focused on turnovers that he can’t see the forest from the trees right now. This doesn’t mean he’s a bad coach. To the contrary, he’s a very good coach. He is human though and humans are not perfect. We all get stuck in a rut sometimes and the rut he is in right now is hurting the way he coaches this team. Every single mistake made by anyone except for a very small handful of players results in the player getting benched. The players actually seem afraid to make mistakes and as a result, they make even more mistakes.  Quenneville’s utter lack of trust in the young players outside of Trevor van Riemsdyk has so many players sitting for long stretches that in mid-November Chicago is only really using three lines during games. That is unacceptable. Something needs to give before it’s too late. It really seems like Quenneville is unhappy with his roster of players. He either needs to get over it and deal with the fact that these are the players he has or Stan Bowman needs to move some pieces to make him happy. The latter seems like a bad move and one that isn’t all that realistic so it really needs to be the former. Quenneville needs to give these players a few games to play with one line the whole game as much as possible even if they lose. Time to hit the reset button and break out of this funk. This team is too talented and has too good of a coach to let this stretch of bad luck and sloppy play fester much longer.

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