This has been such a hard day, and there's more to come. And for what I'm about to say, I will be delighted if there comes a point later in the year when everyone can take it and shove it up my ass. Believe me, I would rather be wrong on his. But it's where I'm at now.
The Blackhawks are finished.
Read it again if you want. But that's where I'm at. And I never thought I would be here. But firstly, if these Hawks can't play a full 60 minutes for a game they absolutely had to have, then I don't know where hope is supposed to come from. Secondly, whatever the math might say and how positive you can spin it, it would still require a streak of hockey we have waited almost five months for and simply hasn't come. Why would I ever think it's going to be in the next six weeks? What convinces you of that?
Tied for 11th.
Think about that. The Hawks have three teams beaten in the West. Three. And they are Edmonton, who barely has half an NHL roster. A completely collapsing Colorado squad, and a St. Louis team that hasn't cared in two years and just shipped off a former #1 pick for reasons I can't possibly discern. That's who the Hawks have beaten. They are tied with a Columbus team that can barely throw out a top line and a defense that is in the same neighborhood as laughable. And yet, that Columbus team is willing to fight for 60 minutes. When have you ever said that about the Hawks this season?
Again, I'll love it if everyone can laugh at me about this, god knows I'm used to it. But you tell me where you see it. And scraping and clawing to get bounced in the first round by Vancouver or Detroit doesn't sound all that appetizing.
-The most hilarious thing about Columbus's opener was that Duncan Keith actually walked the blue line to find someone's shin pads. It's like he's fucking addicted. He can't help it.
-The penalty that resulted in the winner was Exhibit A of why Nick Leddy doesn't belong at this level, and the fact that he's here now and skating important minutes tells you a lot about Stan Bowman. People seem to get confused about what I think about Leddy. I do not blame this season or any loss on him. I am very excited to see what he will be one day. But I think that his growth is being irreparably stunted by being at the NHL level, and he's not helping the team. He got manhandled in the corner, turned the puck over, and committed a penalty because of it, which the Jackets converted. The Hawks simply do not have time for this.
-Speaking of which, that's a terrible power play the Hawk figured out how to let two goals against to.
-Corey Crawford fought the puck all night, and though he battled his way to keep his team in it, some of those he's got to have back. Vermette's goal was an awful juicy rebound.
-If someone would care to explain to me why Daydream Nation and Sharp were leaping into each other's arms as if they'd just scored a winning goal in the Final instead of cutting a Jackets' lead in half, I'm right here.
-The second line took a step back tonight. And yet there's Michael Frolik with 13 minutes of ice and the other two with over 20, and for the life of me I can't tell you what Frolik did so wrong.
-Tomas Kopecky went 7-for-9 on draws. Did you know that?
-Finally, if anyone thinks this Patrick Kane story is going away, then they are wrong for the simple reason that I won't let it, and neither will others. I have to say I was utterly shocked that someone even asked it after the game, though I won't be so arrogant as to think it was our tweet that forced anyone. However, if Kane's response is simply, "People make stuff up", he'd better think of something improved. While Deadspin may report what others think of trash, they do so in a very responsible way. They wouldn't put it up there if they couldn't prove it. So if they're so wrong, Kaner, let's see a fucking lawsuit. And for those beat writers who were so quick to shout us down simply because of the scoresheet tonight, you are missing the point by a country mile. This isn't over.
But the Hawks season is.