Everything Else

Sometimes I think there’s this assumption about how you build a championship NHL team, or in any sport really. That you bottom out, collect your draft picks, hit on most of them, bring them through together, add the veterans at the right time and then you win. But that doesn’t really factor in for so many things that are out of your control. Because you can do all those things, and there just might be someone better or farther along their curve when you’re ready. And then when they’re done, one who is behind you on the curve is ready to come to the fore.

The Capitals have gone through this cycle twice. They had one of the NHL’s best teams in 2009 and 2010. They had blended Ovechkin with Backstrom, Semin, Green, Laich, Fehr, Fleischmann, and a few others. They amassed what now looks to be a silly 121 points. But one year, they ran into Crosby and the Penguins in 2009 when they were a post-Therrien firing buzzsaw. They lost in seven games. Not all that far away. The next year they got goalie’d by Jaro Halak. Really, these are two things out of their control. And they lost both series on something of a knife edge.

Everything Else

Well now that it’s done, it’s probably time to figure out where the Hawks go from here.

But before I head any further, this seems like a good time for a disclaimer or at least a warning. Every judgement we make on the Hawks on this site is viewed through the prism that they demand you view them through, which is anything short of a parade in June is failure. This is the standard they’ve set and the one they’ve asked to be held to. So while issues on the third pairing being the biggest problem is a biggest problem a lot of teams would like to have, that’s not how most teams are judged. I realize the Hawks are very good, will finish north of 100 points and very well might finish north of 110. Believe me, we get it. That’s not really the point. Keep that in mind all season before you threaten to shit in my mouth, which I have to say is a first.