In the minds of many on the roster for the Chicago Blackhawks, the team is at the wrong place at the wrong time.
After losing nine in a row, winning four, the team is back in the slumps, losing three straight. And it's just hours from the trade deadline.
Many folks say GM Stan Bowman should make a deal. Perphaps it's a shakeup in the crease or the blueline.
But, where do you give? What do you deal? How do you compensate?
Roughly 80 percent of the season is over. Still plenty of time to heal the injured, and make a run at it.
You’re injured Blackhawks:
Niklas Hjalmarsson, Steve Montador, Daniel Carcillo, Jonathan Toews.
Here’s why this matters:
Montador: Acquired over the off-season to bulk up on loss players such as Brian Campbell. Montador led the Buffalo Sabres last season with 136 blocked shots.
Hjalmarsson: Led the Chicago Blackhawks last season with 166 blocked shots. He was among the top shot blockers this season before landing on the injured reserve.
Carcillo: Acquired during the off-season, Carcillo was brought on to join the depth lines to add grit and toughness. Guys like John Scott have been helping, but Carcillo had other desirable traits in addition to fighting.
Toews: Well, let’s not go too much into depth here. The Blackhawks are on a three-game skid, after winning four and losing nine. The Blackhawks barely won that game against Detroit, with the 2-1 result, and have lost all three games without their captain.
Blackhawks faithful seem to think this is a team worth blowing up or, at least, tinkering with, and dealing valuable forwards for a rental goalie or to clutter the blue line with an average defenseman.
Those on the outside looking in have a similar view.
The Blackhawks are a competitive team. When healthy, they were a team to be reckoned with. Corey Crawford has been left out to dry many times because the blue line support hasn’t been there. Montador and Hjalmarsson are irreplaceable.
It’s just one of those seasons where you have to dust your hands off and admit to being a victim of the injury bug. Chicago has the odds behind them to still make the playoffs. And when they get there, they’ll have a mostly healthy lineup. They’ll be fine. Being hurt one day does not hinder your chances in the playoffs weeks from now. Not your seeding or home ice advantage. It’s who you have out there, and how you manage each minute.
But at least we know what the product on paper looks like on the ice when healthy. Maybe Bowman can target a blue liner and short-term veteran goalie during free agency.