Similar Identity, Different Results
The Blackhawks haven’t changed what they’re trying to do on the ice. They’re still a puck possession team that wants to push the puck in transition. Blackhawks fans can see glimpses of the dominant style of last year, but its not quite the same.
“The identity certainly is similar and it’s familiar to Blackhawks fans. But, there’s not the depth. There’s not the consistency to be able to play with the puck,” Blackhawks announcer Eddie Olczyk said on The Score.
LISTEN: Eddie Olczyk On The Score With Steve Rosenbloom And Barry Rozner
Despite the depth issues, injuries and a schedule that has had them play the most games in the NHL (two more than any other team and five more than most), Olczyk doesn’t make any excuses for the team.
“You’ve got to be able to overcome, you’ve got to be able to do that. And I think for the Blackhawks [there is a lot to overcome]: with all the changes, the scheduling and the understanding that you’re not going to have the puck as much because you lost a lot of that consistent skill and that experience to be able to play and be able to help out when you’ve had guys struggle,” Olczyk said.
While Olczyk does admit that there is such a thing as a “Cup hangover,” he doesn’t seem concerned that the Blackhawks will be stuck in a slump for the rest of the season.
“I only can speak to the experience of having lived it as a player, having had that great opportunity to be able to try and defend a Stanley Cup. There is [a hangover], you play a long time, you get all of the accolades thrown your way. You enjoy every minute of it, which you should. You share the Stanley Cup with everybody, and then you get back into it and it does take some time.”
These should be calming words for every Blackhawks fan who feels the need to hit the panic button.