At 35,000 feet on the road back from Phoenix to Chicago, the Sam Cooke classic, A Change is Gonna Come was playing on the old iPod shuffle.
Its appropriate, really. Because as the Chicago Blackhawks muddle through their eight-game winless streak, a change has gotta come. And at this point, it may have to be a drastic change.
The Blackhawks are past the struggling point. This may be more of a reeling point. And when a team that many including its bosses pegged for a long playoff run is suddenly in danger of falling out of the top eight, somethings got to give.
So what will the Blackhawks do? Will there be a coaching change? Do they need a major acquisition? Do they make an eye-popping, multi-player deal?
Only time will tell, but you have to think something has to happen soon.
Firing a head coach during a big slump is nothing new. Its already been done, what, six times this season? Sometimes it works, as with St. Louis bringing in Ken Hitchcock. But it may not be the right move for the Blackhawks right now. Yes, coach Joel Quenneville changes lines at a furious rate, probably too often. But at this point his dismissal would be a temporary salve, a band aid on a gaping gash.
And if the Blackhawks make one big move before the trade deadline, would a top-four defenseman solve all the team-defense ills? Likely not. No, it may take making a big move, and it may have to be for a goaltender.
General manager Stan Bowman said he was confident in his goaltenders, but that was on Feb. 3, before the Blackhawks lost four more in a row. Between Corey Crawford and Ray Emery, neither of whom have proven to be a true No. 1 this season, they gave up 14 goals in those four games.
The trading markets probably going to be a tough one. Its going to take giving up something to get something. It may singe a little, but it cant hurt any more than an eight-game winless streak.
The Blackhawks didnt expect this kind of skid. Theyre doing everything they can to hold onto a playoff spot, but they need a jolt and they need it fast. This is going to be a true test for them, be it players, coaches or team brass.
A Change is Gonna Come. It has to.