By now we've all read or heard the quotes from the Hawks players about how ridiculous they think the notion of them missing the playoffs is. We've seen them brush off the suggestions, assuring us they're going to get it together soon enough. What a stupid thought, they keep telling us. Well, it's that arrogance and aloofness that has this team sliding right out of the picture, and I can't see where it's going to change. If it were going to, it would have by now.
It is not usually my policy to write these things right after a game when the heat and emotion is still flowing. But tonight is different. After a good performance but a tough loss, the Hawks once again just rolled themselves out there and waited to be presented with two points. Now, let's be fair here, there is a reason the Flames are the hottest team in the league. They worked hard, kept things tight, didn't leave any space in the neutral zone, and kept the Hawks to the outside when defending, easily swatting down the lame hints at shots the Hawks were too content to fire. But luckily for the Flames, they found an opponent tonight that once again showed no fight or desire and is still content to have the gleam of last spring be enough for them.
I'm declaring it officially panic time. Maybe if we can help send Hawks fans into total hysteria the players might wake up to what faces them. 11th in the Conference doesn't lie, and by the time they take the ice again they could be four points out of eighth, with game running out. A road trip they told us would define the season could easily spill out of control, as Dallas and Phoenix are no pushovers and Edmonton just cockpunched Nashville in Tennessee.
If the Hawks want to continue to skate around as if the positive results are entitled to them, they will be done April 10th. It's that simple. If they continue to make enough mistakes to lose, they will be done April 10th. At some point, I would have thought by now this would have been clear to them. But they have continued to laugh it off and just wait for the force they used to be to arise out of nothing. And now everyone is desperate every night, and it isn't because they're playing the champs. It's because they're fighting for a playoff spot. The Hawks are waiting for theirs to be served to them. They only work when they feel like it. Now they have to feel like it every night, but we're 53 games in here and they haven't yet. Why are they going to now?
But they'll laugh it off, assure us they're going to go on a run and make the playoffs easy. They laugh and we wait. They laugh while last year's accomplishments are under threat from serious tarnish, as missing the playoffs the next year would render it. What do you think of Carolina's Cup? Do you even remember it? They laugh and move on to the next one, sure it will come because that's what happens, right?
One of these days, you're gonna die laughing.