Hawk Talk: Gut Check
As the Hawks approach the midway point of the season, they most certainly are facing a crisis. Any team, no matter the depth, can sustain only a certain number of injuries before it's just too much. The Hawks are now at that point.
He may only be 19, but it's pretty obvious what Jonathan Toews means to this team. It may be too soon to call him the heart and soul, but his presence means more than just goals and assists. I may be wrong, but I don't think it's a coincedence the Hawks fell apart against the Kings when Toews left the game. He just has that special 'whatever' that the great ones have.
My guess is the Hawks will not change their style dramatically no matter who's in the lineup. They are trying to become a puck posession team throughout the organization and to change that on the fly would mean a step back. It also comes down to expectations.
The best way to move forward is to keep doing what the Hawks are doing. I know that's tough to hear, but there are silver linings that can be exploited without worrying about "blowing" a chance at the Cup. Experience, weeding out the mentally weak, and understanding who's ready for prime time are just some of those silver linings. Injuries give you a chance to learn about your team, but only if you're not panicking about your win/loss record.
I want the Hawks to make the playoffs, heck, anything can happen if they do. But I would not do one single thing to hurt longer term prospects for winning it all.
Like I said, Savard and Tallon have tough decisions to make in this respect. Not panicking should be at the top of the list.
Biting the bullet may be near there as well.
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