Just when you thought the Chicago Blackhawks couldn’t go lower, they lost to the Nashville Predators. The Hawks let the Predators control the tempo of the game, and they spent much of the night chasing the Predators after giving up two successive goals. Opposing fans can talk about how Hawks fans should not “panic,” but there is definite concern and frustration among this fanbase. Their position has slipped to an uncomfortable third place in the Central Division.
Head coach Joel Quenneville must be getting as frustrated as the fanbase is.
“Tough to watch the last part of the first period,” Quenneville told the media after the game with the Predators. “That was as bad as we’ve probably played for a stretch all year … I’m not happy with our game at all.”
His observations echo the frustration of many a fan. What was an unstoppable juggernaut last year has not played like a very good team.
What’s interesting is that the Hawks have been talking about “urgency.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they have any urgency at all. You can talk all about “urgency,” but unless you’re actually playing with urgency, then there’s definitely something wrong. What that is, is unknown. However, as one article here mentioned, a big factor might just be fatigue. That’s particularly dangerous, especially in a long season. Perhaps that’s why Hawks fans are hoping for the arrival of a certain Finnish phenom so much they want his team to lose.
Jonathan Toews said the team needs to play with urgency. There’s no doubt he means it. But with 15 games left, they need to put up or shut up. They don’t have to win every game, but they can’t go 6-7-3 like these last 16 games. The urgency needs to be visible. No more sluggish games, no more phoning it in. Nashville needs to be a wake-up call. They have to win, starting now.