Rocky, it's time for you to step in here.
While you aren't solely responsible for the resurgence of this proud franchise, you were there for the start of it. You are the face of it. Every good organization takes its cue from the top. You are the compass that keeps this ship on course.
And right now, your team is veering off course.
Your team had a meltdown of epic proportions during the final 12 minutes of regulation yesterday.
They fought all the way back from two down to take the lead, only to give it all away with three dumb penalties: Keith's high stick on Lapierre, Bickell with a knee-to-knee hit on Sobotka and the Seabrook hit on Backes that has been dissected ad nauseam since yesterday.
Fatigue is going to be a factor when your players have to kill nine penalties after playing 100+ minutes the previous game. The nature of these uncharacteristic penalties is the cause for concern.
This had to be the worst period of Blackhawks hockey in years. If for no other reason, after taking the lead, they were in complete control of this game. Hossa was leading the charge dominating the puck control game. Bickell was blowing up everything in sight. They were shutting down every Blues power play.
But, once again, they were unable to put their foot on the Blues neck, keep their emotions in check and close out the game.
Under normal circumstances you would expect your coach to take the reigns. Pull this team together like he has done numerous times.
Unfortunately, he led this meltdown starting with OT of Game 1.
Kudos to Coach Q for copping to his bad behavior. At least I think. I guess, maybe? Admittedly, I would stick to an "adjustment" story, but that's just me.
When's the last time you saw Q make, in his own words, such a "bush league move"? Yes, he has history of calling out officials in a post-game press conference. Use the occasional hyperbole to make his point. A coach sticking up for his players, whether they were right or wrong, is part of the job and a far cry from showing up the officials during a crucial moment (of a playoff game, no less) with a nut grab.
At this moment, your coach can't even keep his cool.
Everyone seems distracted from the task at hand.
The expectations for this team have been set unbelievably high the past six to seven years. That is a good. There is no better problem than the expectations of a championship parade every summer.
But I would rather feel good about my team after a first round loss, knowing they played their best and didn't stoop to the low standard of play their opponent set. I don't wan to feel like my team raised another Cup through cheap play and retribution.
I appreciate the fact you are not a meddlesome owner. You put people in their places and allow them to do the job they were hired for. That's what a leader does.
Leaders who speak only to hear themselves have their words fall on deaf ears. A leader, like yourself, who is compassionate, thoughtful and well-spoken makes a HUGE impact with the rare, but meaningful, come-to-Jesus speech.
That time is now, Rocky. You have the opportunity to turn these playoffs around and I implore you to do so.