Life WIthout Car Bomb, Kruger
While no official word has been handed down and won't be until tomorrow, I think most of us have come to the conclusion that Dan Carcillo being seen in an Indian Head this year, or probably ever again, is not something to be expected. That sure looked nasty, and I think the best possible scenario is still a couple months -- once you add sprain and suspension (makes a fine martini, that).
So a couple things are on my mind. I have no idea how big of a loss this is. One the one had, it's a top six forward that just went down. On the other, Carcillo wasn't really a top six forward. He just happened to be playing there, occasionally well and occasionally not, and mostly in the middle. Car Bomb wasn't here to be a scorer, but to provide that beloved sandpaper. I don't actually know how much of that he was providing. There were a few games where he was noticeable physically, but there were also a few where he wasn't.
Where I land is that Carcillo still kind of seems like the 12th forward on this team, and the way things kicked he ended up shoehorned on the top six. But what worries is me is who is going to provide what Carcillo was brought here for and the Hawks still don't have enough of, and that's jam and forechecking? Nothing we've seen from the Rockford Conga Line has been that. Morin tries to be physical, but he won't be useful until he finds his scoring touch. Brandon Pirri? Certainly not. Jimmy Hayes has probably warranted a game or two more, but I'm not sitting on a hot stove waiting for that to work out. The idea of Ben Smith would fill this role, but the idea of reality of Ben Smith this year are at such a distance it requires a fuckload of postage to between the two. Andrew Shaw is awfully small. The Hawks think so much of Brett McLean they let him go to the Spengler Cup, and Brandon Segal isn't even a question, much less the answer to a question anyone's asking.
Do we have to add something else to the shopping list now?
-More worrying to me is the news that Q delivered today, which is "Marcus Kruger isn't doing well." Well no fucking shit? You mean a guy who never missed a shift after getting hit in the head repeatedly after he was rushed back from a concussion isn't doing well? The world makes no sense!
The Fifth Feather touched on it last night, and to me it's far more serious of an issue than anyone else is making it. I heard the same Barry Rozner story on The Score on Friday that they did. Whatever I may think of Rozner (and actually I think he's been pretty spot on recently now that he doesn't have Tallon or Campbell to bitch about), he's been around long enough to have sources within the organization. So when he says that some within that organization think Dave Bolland jaked it a bit with his head injury, it can't be outright dismissed.
Combine that with both Marcus Kruger and Brent Seabrook barely missing any time after taking blows to the head -- Seabrook doing so on a couple occasions -- and I'm getting close to horrified at how the Hawks are handling the main issue of the game today.
I would not be surprised if we've seen the last of Marcus Kruger this year. Would it have been different if he had been checked out right after Rick Nash punched him in the head? Would it have been different if he'd been held out for more games? These are questions that have to be asked, because something stinks.
On the ground, the Hawks are now without a second line center again, and I think we know that Patrick Kane isn't the answer. In my fantasy world, someone would tell Patrick Sharp to shut the fuck up, take his rediscovered two-way game and superb faceoff percentage back to the middle. Because it's going to be a hell of a lot easier to find another winger than another center. But that's not going to happen either.
And the Hawks very well may have created that gap for themselves.