Bishop Gm 3

Ben Bishop, Bolts Beat Blackhawks In Game 3

Ben Bishop returned to the net – and stayed there for the entire game – in spite of an apparent issue, but the Blackhawks weren’t able to capitalize. A 3-2 loss in Game Three gives home ice advantage back to the Lightning, and makes Game Four on Wednesday night a must win for Chicago.

The Hawks got off to a first period start they wanted, but failed to capitalize on a number of great chances. Chicago out-shot Tampa 19-7 in the opening 20 minutes, but Bishop was able to make 18 saves while clearly laboring. Ryan Callahan gave the Lightning a lead 5:09 into the game, but after the goal the Blackhawks dominated the rest of the period.

Braydon Coburn took two penalties in the first period, the first of which was offset by a cross-checking call on Brandon Saad. Coburn tripped Marian Hossa as he drove to the net, and the Hawks veteran forward managed to get a great shot on net that barely missed – an unfortunate theme for the Hawks on Monday night.

The second Coburn penalty, however, opened the door for the Blackhawks to take advantage of Bishop and Brad Richards scored his third of the postseason to tie the game. Bishop got a glove on Richards’ shot, but wasn’t able to stop it.

The momentum shifted in the second, as Tampa out-shot the Hawks 17-7 in the middle stanza. Corey Crawford made a number of huge saves in the second, including against a Nikita Kucherov breakaway as he left the penalty box.

Kucherov went to the box for tripping Johnny Oduya, and he was clearly not right after the play. He appeared injured and frustrated on the bench after the play, and didn’t appear again until the third period.

Chicago had to kill off an extended 5-on-3 during the second as well. Bryan Bickell, who returned to the lineup after two games off because of vertigo, went to the box for roughing at 15:18 and Saad joined him 34 seconds later. Without Oduya, the Hawks were able to do a magnificent job of killing the penalty, and there was a sense in the United Center that Chicago would carry some momentum from their special teams to the third.

Four minutes into the third period, the Hawks top line of Saad, Hossa and Jonathan Toews took control. Slick passing from Duncan Keith to Hossa to Saad ended with the puck in the back of the net and Chicago took a 2-1 lead.

A lead that last 13 seconds.

Immediately after the faceoff, Tampa attacked and Ondrej Palat pushed a loose puck past Crawford to tie the game.

After the Palat goal, both teams pushed but the goaltenders were big on both ends. With less than four minutes left, Victor Hedman carried the puck into the Hawks zone and threw a pass to the front of the net. Kyle Cumiskey failed to put a body on Cedric Paquette, who put an easy shot between Cumiskey’s legs and into an open net.

Crawford was pulled late, but the Hawks weren’t able to take advantage of Bishop and score an equalizing goal.

15 Cup Final.Gm 3 shots

Hossa was the best played on the ice for Chicago, skating 23:56 with two assists, three hits and two takeaways. Toews won 18 of 25 faceoffs in 21:08 and Saad finished with a team-high six shots on net and three hits with his seventh goal of the playoffs.

Bickell and Antoine Vermette finished tied for the team lead with four hits, but Bickell still didn’t look right on the ice. He was limited to 9:53 in the game; coach Joel Quenneville relied heavily on his snipers late, shifting Teuvo Teravainen and Saad with Patrick Kane at times as he tried to find a combination that could produce a goal.

Trevor van Riemsdyk made his postseason debut and performed admirably in the second and third periods while Oduya was dealing with his issues. He skated only 9:01 in the game, but may play a more critical role moving forward. After the game, Quenneville said they would need to see how Oduya looked on Tuesday before committing to him moving forward in the series; Oduya played just 16:47 in the loss.

Crawford finished the night with 29 saves against 32 shots, while Bishop made 36 saves against 38 shots while clearly favoring his left leg/side. Bishop’s physical issues make the Hawks’ inability to finish – at home – harder to stomach.

Home ice advantage is gone as Chicago dropped a crucial home game. Wednesday night is now the biggest game of the year for the Blackhawks, who will look to tie up the series at home.

136 thoughts on “Ben Bishop, Bolts Beat Blackhawks In Game 3

  1. We couldn’t bury our chances and they did. A shame to waste a monster effort from Hoss. I guess we are going to do this the hard way. Pray that Oduya isn’t going to miss any time – what a cheap shot from Kucherov.

  2. I admire you, Tab, for being able to post an even keeled report. Since I haven’t been able to sleep, I will say again: GOALIE WIN FOR TB. INEXCUSABLE, UNACCEPTABLE, HANG YOUR HEADS HAWKS. Unbelievable. Good night, hope there’s an ambien somewhere in the medicine cabinet.

  3. Nice job on the post game analysis Tab, TT looked the the freshest Hawk in the third. Maybe 23 is back Wedneday? I was surprised to see Cumiskey on the ice after we took the lead! Was the puck bouncing tonight or was it me seeing things? Go Hawks

  4. CC made some good saves but he continues to be short of the quality required to win a SCF. That first Tampa goal was absolutely dreadful. His effort and focus on the second were weak. The third goal would have been a great save. You can’t win a Cup against a hot goalie when you own goalie is performing so badly.

    No reason to give up just yet. We have some guys who are sure to get it going but if that was CC’s last start as a Hawk there will be no tears shed at my home. We have had back to back games now where weak goaltending at our end has been the difference. Q called him out in the game 2 media session – calling his effort “ok”. CC’s response was not good enough. Not sure yet what Q said tonight but I am hoping he sends a message to the entire team by starting SD on Wednesday.

  5. Very similar to the ones against NAS, they got all the bounces and breaks in the first few games. In the first four game games score first three times and we had to play from behind that many times. As well as the first few against ANA, they got more bounces as well and both of those teams scored on stuff you do not normally that often. Then that nonsense stopped and we scored first and got our fair share of the time, got more bounces (not all) then they did and they didn’t get those crazy/odd ball types of scores/locations. Even NAS got those goals within a min after we scored that they didn’t deserve. Seems like the same is brewing.

    We havnt played our best yet. Now we have to, just like against ANA we had to take it to another level. We have to win game 4 and game 6. Although I feel game 5 will be easier then game 4 to win. For whatever reason they like to get beat at home. that’s why I think game 5 is for 3-2 lead. We have to win game 4 for a chance to win at home in game 6.

    We are going to take it to another level.

  6. its fully evident that this TB team is not going to fold or be intimidated. They are confident and believe they can beat the Hawks. Blackhawks need to elevate their game and take it because TB will not give it to them. Kane, Toews need to lead this group in game 4.

  7. You nailed it demo. Hawks need to elevate their game, the franchise meaning Toews and Kane must start scoring.

    Cumiskey is turning into Jordan Hendry from 2010. He’s a huge liability, that’s 2 games in a row he was out there for a critical goal against.

    Konroyd speculated that he would sit in game 3 but it was Rundblad instead.

    It would be a shame that season/series comes down to a poor play by 26.

  8. Again, there is such an apology parade for goaltender Corey Crawford that it is embarrassing. There is no doubting that CC is a good NHL goalie, but he’s not a great one, and continues to struggle with his rebound control and crease positioning. He has been outplayed by Bishop, badly, in this series and he and Kane are the main reasons why the Hawks are now down 2-1. Crawford is a funny goaltender, he will stand tall and make stops on breakaways while, giving up fat rebounds on the softest of shots, while completely forgetting about his basic positioning. As I have stated before, CC is his own worst enemy when it comes to his detractors. He has to start playing better if the Hawks are going to win and so does Patrick Kane. Unless there is a serious injury that we are not aware of, Kane’s effort and performance is a major disappointment. He is an elite player that Tampa has been able to make look pedestrian far too easily!

    So far the best Hawks in this series have been their top 4 DMen and their 4th line. The stars must start finding ways to produce or this thing could end sooner than later as the Bolts did not receive the memo that they are the weaker team and should just quit and lose.

  9. Craig – I hear you with frustration over 26 but no way you can only point to one guy on one play. We missed two open nets in the first, had a horrible shift right after the second goal and then no one slowed Hedman down on his rush into the zone. We all know the weakness we have in the bottom two d-men but I think there were several key plays that were missed tonight.

  10. TB plays a very aggressive forecheck game, but I didn’t see the Hawks countering with big stretch passes. If they ever got caught with 2-3 guys so deep in the Hawks zone with one such pass, it would be very ugly for them indeed… Also, Hedman and the TB D corps consistently cheat to the boards because they know the Hawks exit is coming there. They’ve generated a bevy of chances from that same-old cut. I rarely see the Hawks mimic TB’s simple turn around exit to mid-ice which actually led to their 3rd goal. I strongly suspect Q has a work-around, but I think he’s been hiding it until things get real (i.e. next game).

    The bottom line is that TB was the better team tonight. They passed well, were quick to force turnovers, and got the better of our stars even with a possibly injured goalie. This sucks to say, because they represent such a low quality fanbase and have such vapid inner lives (like Tampa Digger).

    Bring on Game 4 and maybe Artemy Panarin on Left Wing just to take it up a notch on roster changes and f#@%ing with Cooper’s s*#^???

  11. I say again, that Kucherov is a cheapshot artist / prick (and I would accept somebody busting his windpipe on principle…(might even warm my cockles?)).

    Maybe the Hawks were caught (still) admiring Saad’s goal on the Palat game tying goal?

    It’s not over, but the defensemen’s play against the TB forecheck looks like a real problem – not awe-inspiring…and, Toews (except for very good at the dot) and Kane are still MIA. Will the real Corey Carwford please show-up?

    It’s time to display that “WILL to win”.

  12. Don’t like the way this is playing out for us, the magic has gone again. A bunch of kids and a non player coach and a team with zip experience and they make monkeys out of us. We can be the team that came back from a 3-0 first period shellacking and the one that beat the much vaunted Ducks or we can be the team that loses to Washington in the Classic that started those dark stretches in mid winter and made many doubtful. Seems the mojo has just vanished at a very bad time. We could easily be down 3 games to none. If we lost Oduya we are in a whole heap of trouble on top of it all. Just not liking what I see and the feeling that we are off our game. Cripes I hope I’m wrong.

  13. I agree with most of what I’ve read above, particularly Alberta’s noticing how tired we look. The D overall today looked very listless, and I wonder if this might be the end of the line for them – if perhaps, munching all those minutes in the first three series is catching up to them. No way that Kane is disengaged. The guy likes to win more than anyone. He might be, like the others, just plain out of gas.

    Essentially it comes down to hoping A) Oduya is OK and doesn’t miss significant minutes and B) wining Game 4 in a convincing fashion to really open the floodgates of scoring. This series is shaping up eerily like the Boston one, only with a far more depleted defensive group. Scary situation for sure.

    As a sidenote, Oduya was taken down with a dirty slew foot by Kucherov, the kind of thing that the league should absolutely look at and suspend him for. But OMG TRIPLETS!!!!1111111!!!!! They couldn’t possibly split them up now.

    If I had to bet, I’d bet the Hawks tie this series up on Wednesday. After that…. who knows?

  14. Crawford was horrible in third period. Sharp is worn out. Bickle needs time to rest and Cominsky needs to remove his jersey. Need to dress Versteeg and Runblatt for game four and open up the offense. Hoping that Crawford could catch something other than a cold.

  15. I’m guilty. Guilty of way underestimating the young talent, depth and speed of the Bolts. To watch them directly at the UC last night was sobering. And on the way home I heard Pierre Lebrun say something that was deadly precise and encapsulates completely. What he said was that the 2015 Blackhawks are going up against the 2010 Blackbawks in the Lightning. And that we are seeing the systematic arrival of a team in Tampa Bay who is going to be elite for the quite awhile. Think about this comment for a moment. It’s true. Did the Hawks have great opportunities and times of dominance in their own zone? Yes, yes they did. But the Bolts fly to that damned puck like a pack of Marines on a rescue mission. I was blown away from my seat, and a supposedly unhealthy Bishop is so enormous in that net that the combination of things is no where to put the puck on those occasions where the swarming Lightning don’t take the puck away or build a damned mountain in front of Bishop. Assessments of Chicago? Sharp is bewildered on the ice and struggled offensively and defensively. He is incapable of playing the style forced upon the Blackhawks right now. I also now openly wonder if he is hurt. But at any rate his minutes need to be cut back. Bickell was terrible other than 2 shifts I saw and I expect we have seen his last game player in the Indianhead. I would go with the skating, backchecking and willingness to crunch ability of Nordstrom the rest of this series. TVR was overwhelmed must of the night and the Hawks clearly worked hard to support him and cover his ass where possible. Cumiesky worked hard but was exploited horribly on 3 shifts I saw. It’s pick your poison when you also add Runblad to things. Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarssoj and Oduya were collectively outstanding. Crawford stood on his head, yet the first goal was weak and he again fought the puck too many times. He is a nervous goalie right now and Cooper has seized upon that in getting guys in front of his line of site. Especially to Crawfords far left side. Hossa and Saad were terrific. Teuvo was rock solid and has been an asset. Richards has done surprisingly well. The Tampa Bay vortex of collapse has put everything toward stopping Toews and Kane to good effect. Shaw once again was a man on the ice and so damned hard working. Arguably the Chicago MVP thru 3 games which is also a problem. Kriuger was ok but is getting pounded into dust out there. DesJardins was workmanlike and invaluable. Vermette very good.

  16. The Hawks had such a great play on Saad’s goal that it absolutely sickened me that Crawford let in that cheapy nothing goal 13 seconds later. That goal can’t happen and it on Crawford. The game winning goal wasn’t much either and its on Cumisky and Crawford. Crawford out of position and Cumisky can’t be out there in the last ten minutes of a close game. The first goal was a great shot, but even there Crow could have played it better. On the power play TT has to be out there more. He is very good at the zone entry’s and the Hawks had trouble with that when he wasn’t on the ice during the power play at least in one stretch I recall. I hate to say it but Sharp looks like he’s done. We need Bickel to hit more and I thought Tampa got away with some high and late hits on our defenseman. The hit on Oduya was dirty and I think the league should review that one. Terrible loss. Tampa is getting the cheap dirty low skill goals and beating the better skilled team. Kane has to get going.

  17. I will add this on Crawford. If TB would have gone up 2-0’in the score on another questionable goal then Q was bringing Darling in. But Crawford did get his act together. But like I said above he is struggling and not confident or seeing the puck like he needs to. And Cooper, the coach everybody rips has gone to school on Crawford. Bottom line we lose this series in 6 games unless Crawford improves. He’s not going to get any more help. In fact a tiring Hawks team with crap at the 5 and 6 spot on defense and now maybe a hobbling Oduya may force Crawford to need to do even more on his own.

  18. Also Tampa got away with a lot of late high hits especially on Hawks defenseman and the hit on Oduya was straight up dirty. League action definitely needed to stop them from continuing to benefit from that. Hawks need Bickel to earn his salary and crush the triplets early and often. Crawford should get the luxury of only one more bad game. if that. The leash on him must shorten.

  19. This is typical hawks. They never make things easy for themselves. As I’m sure has been written in earlier posts, its time for Kane, toews, hossa, and sharp to earn their contracts. They are paid to be difference makers in the most important situatuons. So far nothing. If the hawks lose this series I have to think Crawford has to be on the trade block. Particularly since the play of sharp and bickell have probably made it harder to trade them.

  20. Cumiesky is on the ice in the situation by default. Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson are already logging insane nonsustainable ice time and Oduya was limping. Cumiesky, Runblad and TVR have to provide some minutes.

  21. TVR yes. Cumisky no. The game winning goal proved he can’t be out there with the game on the line in the last half of the third. Runblad and Cumisky are about the same, with Cumisky being a little faster. I would rather roll the dice with TVR.

  22. Sharp is tradeable for the reason that the Hawks can add a prospect or two to w deal to entice one of the league’s teams way under the cap to take on his salary. He’s absolutely gone. Same applies to Bickell. Bowman will tear into prospects and picks to make each of them go away.

  23. Again I expect league action on Kucherov for the dirty hit on Oduya or its open season on Tampa with no calls next game.

  24. TVR was exploited all night long from my seat. The Hawks worked to bail his ass out and support him. It’s pick your poison and the reason why the Hawks may not win a Cup. Or one of the primary reasons.

  25. Hawks wasted a great chance to put some pressure on the Bolts last night, and let it slip away. Bolts deserved to win because they outworked a Hawks team that refused to play the body and give the extra effort to win puck battles. Another game lost by one goal that could easily have been won. The Hossa miss in the 1st you knew would come back to haunt them, and never mind the other chances to light up Bishop in the 1st which would have clearly sent that guy to the showers early. Bishop is hurt, and whether or not it is a knee or a groin issue this guy can not move well at all.

    What is so vexing about this playoff run is the Hawks giving up goals so quickly following a score of their own. This is just unacceptable. The crowd last night at the UC was historically cranked up to start and following the 2 man PK, Also when they took the lead for a breath or two in the 3rd. What a crappy shift that followed especially after winning a faceoff. Just lazy play from everyone out there, and the Bolts get a bounce out of a scrum in front to beat CC. Talk about sucking the life out of the building. Insult to injury was to see Paquette(POS) walk in for a freebee to get the go ahead late in the 3rd.

    Hawks have still not played a full 60 min game in this series. It better be tomorrow. It must be tomorrow. Right now the Bolts appear to want this thing more than the guys in the Indian head sweaters. Could be the Ducks series sapped the Hawks, but I think they have some more left in the tank. Would have liked to have some it last night for 3 periods.

    Sorry to say, but the refs and linesman were bad last night. Yes, Kumerov should be suspended for a blatant slew foot to Oduya. Everyone pray he is ok, beause without him Hawks are in trouble. The Bishop dive following the minor contact with Saad was a joke. Bolts should have been whistled for at least 2 trips and 2 high sticks. Never mind the slashes and the 2 hander that CC took in the pads I could hear all the way to my seats. No matter, my complaints will change nothing, but I feel better saying it.

    Hawks better start taking names and numbers tomorrow, and quit letting this Tampa team dictate the pace. Bickell remains a ghost instead of concentrating on pasting Bolts who have been a free ride this entire series from any physical punishment. Sit his ass and play Nordy. At least Shaw gives back what he gets. Saad last night along with Hoss deserved a better fate for their efforts.

    Slept bad last night.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  26. Quick notes before I start work (I’ll admit I havent read all the comments yet, so sorry for duplicate thoughts…).
    1) Wow, how good is Marian Hossa? My wife (a casual fan only because I watch hockey) even recognized his defensive and stick play last night. That should say something
    2) On that note, How spoiled are we? We have3 players who will go on to define their generation at their position (2, 19, 88), another sure fire HOFer (81), 3 All world Olympians who would be bigger stars on other teams (4, 7, 10), and 2 “next” generation guys (20,86) all on the same team. And that doesn’t include consummate NHL professionals, like 91, 80, 27, 32 16, and 11. This team should be a cup winner (even down 1-2 as it stands) and even if it isn’t, they will probably be the most loaded team we ever see in this era.
    3) I though TVR was ok. Not great. Had some down moments, but had some very solid plays. Good to see the kid back.
    4) Kind of a kick in the groin that 26 was the guy floating with Paquette, playing 0 defense on him on the GWG… but i guess that what happens when you are on the 8th dman
    5) I thought Crawford kept that game a lot closer than it probably should have been. Yes, the 2nd and 3rd goals were softer goals, but they could have easily had 3 or 4 by the time Palat scored.
    6) Hats off to this TB team. They have grit, speed, strength, skill, and just enough swagger (especially now up 2-1) to go with it. As a fan in florida, I see there games quite a bit, and Stamkos, Johnson, Palat… these are their Toews, Kane, and Saad. They can bring it every bit that we saw. This isnt a fluke. Filpulla, Callahan, Boyle… thats Sharp, Hossa, Richards… these teams arent so far off when you really look that the teams. Our big advantage is our top 3 on D, but Oduya, Kimmo, Rosy, Cumiskey, and Rudblad have been bad enough to make up for it.
    7) The 2nd line NEEDS to come into to this series. Period.

  27. First a mini rant-I always wonder why some on this blog keep minimizing the other side at the start of a series–comments like this will be easy, the Hawks too good, it might be done in 4. At the very least it’s tempting fate with the hockey gods, but also very disrespectful to the other side, who has had to battle all year to be here. A very good team.

    As Tab said Game 4 is the game-they need to win and it would be nice to win by a couple. Hope Oduya is OK-and yes the slew foot is the most gutless play in hockey!

  28. Hawks win faceoff battle, shot battle, special teams battle, but lose coaching battle. After falling behind 2 -1 Cooper puts out his top line. Q, with last change, counters with his fourth line. Bolts lick their chops and go down and score 13 seconds later. Momentum lost, Q lost, game lost.

  29. Forget about us being tired, that’s horse shit. It looks that way because we are being outworked.

    We aren’t putting in the max effort needed to win. It’s that simple. We can analyze every whistle to whistle sequence to death talking Xs and Os and it doesn’t mean jack.
    We have allowed TB to gain an incredible amount of confidence. We need to reassess our commitment levels. It’s a very tight series to date, very typical in that regard. No one has done anything super human to be on top. Bishop/Crawford are a wash, winning periods in alternating fashion basically.

    Oduya wasn’t shifting at the end so we got 26 instead. That’s not a good swap. 27 has got to be serviceable for the remainder of the series or it may be too much to overcome but….

    By no means am I conceding a series after 3 games. Been here before. TB could be on the eve of their initial 3 game losing streak this season. It happens.

  30. Sharp and Bickell are losers amongst Champions. They aren’t just anemic and worthless they literally cost the Hawks entire GAMES at a time with their ill timed penalties and zero effort to offset them.

    “I said the real favor, follow my advice and fire your fucking ass because a loser is a loser.” – Blake, Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

  31. The Bigger and cheaper goalie/team will win the series…

    B & B is right- Crawford- makes some really easy plays- look hard,,, bad at playing puck… has not figured out how to control/protect net from weird /soft goal-line angles…

    Cooper is as good as Q
    Yzerman- Is better than SB…

    SB- has made some good decisions (Panarin, 20,65, TvR,TT)… but Letting 67 go 1 yr. earlier than he had to (I truly think Hawks would have won cup last year w 67)…
    Brunette, Kimmo, and NOT having/getting another back-up D man (under 40 years old) when TvR went down early- is/was the biggest mistake… NOT bringing up some kids (Johns, Pokka) for an extended “look” (roll your eyes Hoff- I know Johns was hurt a lot)… another big mistake… NOT trading for a “better” 5th/6th D man – at TDL… BIG mistake!!!

    Signing “Handcuffs” to $4M/yr… 29 got paid… it was only time in his career- he has played consistent Hockey- coincidentally – 29’s contract year… that is why I really don’t like 29- loafer/underachiever … shame on SB…

    CC contract– In SB’s defense- Hawk’s system was very challenged at the time in the Goalie Dept….. But SB has the Stats/”Moneyball” numbers… it is SB’s job- to realize- It is Rare to Win SC’s w High paid goalies in Cap world… also- SB should have confidence in self- to find the next Dubnyk, Darling, or other flavor of the day… Frickin Emery- Put up “Crow” numbers in 2013… and Emery SUCKS!!!!!

    wts- Hawks win Cup in 2015 w/ SD in net and Kesler type C… or pick any top 3 TB dan on Hawks roster @ $5M a year!!!!

    The GIANT Goalie is the trend- SB KNows it!!! Look at recent Goalie Pickups… Giants….BUT- he “flinched” a little early in signing Crow… and NOT believing in himself/and finding the next flavor of the day… OR- he was to emotionally tied (because the Hawk’s family and Fanbase- is SO emotionally tied to the “SC” goalie/ guys/29)…
    Either way- Bad Business- for GM

    Now-going forward- SB- will need to “Purge” these parts-
    29,10,23… SB- will be a Magician- if he can move 50!!!

    I really think Panarin- is going to be Very good… if he can PU Reilly… another Huge win for next year…. BUT- if he SB- can move ALL 50,10,29… Hawks are instant favorites to make it back to SCF’s… of course while- picking up an asset or two in exchange…

  32. Well I hate to Over React but
    1- Hawks are lucky the Bolts are in the East and Bolts are really one team that is BUILT on TEAM SPEED as a unit, all the up and all the way down. No real aging
    veterans or role players with average speed. Hockey is real simple if you can skate, fast, it covers up every mistake you make, it makes the game real easy. so NO you don’t care where or who Toews is because your transitional defense is ao quick back as a unit, not that hossa skating kind of hard and poke check from behind BUT hardcore speed catching up getting into your own d-zone, set up, run you off the puck and protect the net or simple get in front of your man and get your stick out in the lane. Hockey is simple when you play with SPEED not to be confused with PACE!
    2 -IF the Hawks needed to face the BOLTS in our division iI can tell ya right now, Every player would be up for grabs, Kane has not skated around anyone nor has Toews or for that matter even Saad who has some speed. Hawks a team of skill and role and a team with no “holes” except to over all no speed and not physical. But our palyers can play both of those games or just survive or as usual even in the Stanley Cup win by a late goal. They are not built to BEAT anyone sort of smart built to play vs many! But if Bolts are the future YOU BETTER BEGIN TO BUILD IN SPEED which means Hossa, Richards and maybe even Hammer are gone.
    3- Shaw was the player of the game. Crow and metal pipe is the only reason it was close.
    4- TVR looked comfortable made a few mistake but even our core four does now! His only real advantage is he is really “Quick to look up ice” he has a crisp and fast release out of our zone, he see the ice well and of course he has a little height but as i said the day they GOT HIM he has t o put on some weight and muscle or he just another good defensemen not great.
    4 -Tevo TNT is really playing great, he made 3 passed last night to areas where a player should have been, but Hawks play the lame “go wide” wait and over pass
    game, not go to the net mentality! . I am so happy he is getting these minutes and experience. TNT is here to stay and he shows some “quickness” finding open ice which makes him look fast! For his size he plays Great in the middle of the ice! While all and i mean ALL Hawks drift to the wall and float way outside.
    5- I think Toews is the guy who needs to “inserted” on all lines at times NOT KANE! i think we can get more out of him and he can get a much better match up. Kane is playing hard but is burnt out from over use to “cover up weak offense” to beat Ducks!
    That is what happens when you have to drain everything out of your players every game. Plus if CROW has a bad game this team can not “respond” so that is why i hate the CROW bashing, CROW has too much pressure placed on him every night.
    6- funny Hawks havingtrouble getting the puck out even with no one in the zone now, For the fans this is why LEDDY was to be kept he was able to exit the zone with SPEED that word again, Hayes had some speed too, But Leddy in a way is the future an average defender, great passer, awesome shot with lots of speed, and quick on his skates all that means FEW MISTAKE, our core four turns the puck over with the best of them.

    anyway if hawks lose this they are in trouble and lots of changes will be made if Bowman is looking at the Bolts not the Pred’s as the team to beat! I think speed is here to stay, if Bolts had a few more real sharp shooters this would not even be close and they are young. Bowman gave Toews and Kane big contracts to ensure Hawks are competitive but winning Cup is more than that, a few early exits in the playoffs and the stadium is silent again. Yes SPEED does this to you!

    Go hawks but last night for the first time in any game I said out loud ” damn these bolts deserve it as a team, they’re out playing us and want it” so give it to them?

    Sadly for Bolts Bishop blows and will play hurt and is rebound king. So that alone will keep Hawks in it.

  33. The Hawks are in trouble in this series. This feels different. It just does. Honestly I didn’t think we could ever make it this far this year. But we did. Problem is Tampa Bay is a young team on the cusp of great things and they don’t know any better that they are playing the formidable Hawks. Lebrun is right. They look like the 2010 Blackhawks. Can the 2015 Blackhawks beat the 2010 Blackhawks in 3 out of the next 4? I don’t know.

  34. How can anyone be talking about next year right now. Hawks will win this. Suspend kucherov or green light to payback

  35. MORRISON exactly right on “bounces” with all our lame thought and strategic insight the Hawks have not go tone bounce. It shows as I said when we can not even get the puck up and out on a line change with no one near us for 20 feet. The puck bounce is important and Bolts are playing at top speed as a player that makes it easy, Hawks do this skate, slow down, look, fade, drift to the wall and come in at different speeds. Watch the power play as this is when you really see.

    so my point is when you play with speed passing and knowing where a guy is on the ice is easy and the speed let you get the puck ahead! SO hawks as everyone here knows have to have these TAPE TO TAPE passes because they don’t have over SPEED.

    Players have speed and Games are played Fast!

  36. I am a hockey fans first then Hawks fan, as i watch and observe i do look at next year , neat game and see who a GM is building his team, Who are they trying to be and beat, if anyone on this board is not looking at these games and wondering “wow, hawks look slow, they just don’t seem to keep up, wow, the hawks sure are getting out hit, and wow what type of players do you need to get speed to get a little more physical an damn is Crow that good or not? ” then we are brain dead.

    Unless the Bolts don’t get the bounces which is a by product of speed the Hawks look Dreadful! 23 is just another Average players we are w
    ay beyond the need for average!

  37. The first goal against was due to ANOTHER poor line change. It must be something systemic because I can’t imagine there is another team that gets caught with their pants down as often as the Hawks do. Yeah, CC should have come out more aggresively and made the save, but the point here is that the Hawks give up too many quality chances due to poor line changes, not to mention the equally troubling propensity of the too many men penalties they take. This would seem to be something that can be corrected, and yet it continues. Is it made more probable due to the line matchup game Q like to play? I don’t know but it has bit the Hawks more than a few times over the season and again in the first period last night.

    I give credit to Hedman – heckuva player having a heckuva series. But on the GWG, he was allowed to skate into the zone unchecked and was able to free wheel as he pleased. That was the first problem. The next problem was the Bolts outnumbered the Hawks at the point of attack (not sure if it was another line change problem – see above) so wee Kyle Cumiskey didn’t quite know who to cover so he decided to cover the space between two players and left Paquette unencumbered right in front of Crawford. CC could have made the save but didn’t. That’s all she wrote.

    But that said, the Bolts still need to win 2 more games and although they are very capable to do so, the Hawks are very capable of winning 3 of the next 4 as well.

    As a hockey fan who enjoys good clean fast hockey, these last two games have been a joy and could have gone either way. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Let’s hope the Hawks win the next one.

    Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  38. Thanks Wall for the finger pointing rant. We really need that this morning. Why do this during the fricking Cup Finals?

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  39. Nordstrom and his skating ability and backchecking ability need to be on the ice the rest of this series. In assuming Q agrees and we will see Bickell benched.

  40. Wall > I have said Kessler and Ryan O’Reilly is outstanding. The trend my be big goalies but that trend is not really tested. Bishop to me is the easiest goal tender the Hawks have faced. Look at Crow stopping those Break aways in the last two games, look in general on shoot outs and how so many guys “flat out miss the net” so yes big might be better but the talent “sharp shooters” are few and far between.

    SOOOOO big is better is it is just a grind it out, crowd the crease, slash away tip in kind o f close in game, my coach called it claustrophobic!

    I have said even the big contracts to Toews and Kane are too late in the game, nice gesture but still a lot of money to lock up.

    Losing Mike Frolik and Leddy to me was everything. . . plus i they are the type of guys I would build around.

    Vermette is a good player playing better, BUT Hawks need guys who can generate offense themselves! Bigger stronger more relentless! If Vermette has Marcus heart Kane would look like Jimmy Pappin.

    YZEEEEERMAN is a god, smart dude . . .

  41. MtM… you are right… Bishop- can keep hawks in it.. he is not that good… BUT- He is that BIG… takes away bottom of net (Unlike Crow game 2)… But- The Yzerman/Cooper Fast Bolts will win!!!!

  42. …7/43 (16%) by Mr. Rufus… and now that he brought it up, please vote for 12th forward to dress on WED. 1) Bickell 2) Versteeg 3) Carcillo 4) Nordstrom 5) Hartman 6) Dress 7 D men. Vote early and often in the spirit of Chicago voting. I cast my vote for 2) Versteeg.

  43. No panic . . . Lucky the BOLTS playing as well as a team have won games with one goal, the games are very close so any sort of BREAK and the Hawks steal one or win one. Before the series I knew they would not BEAT (dominate) the Hawks and that the Hawks would have the advantage in close games, so far I’m only half right.

    Nordstrom Versteeg are more average role players, Hawks need to have the top line step up and score. We just don’t have those players Richards can only give you so much, even Bick too.

    The real problem is, we need a 2nd or 3rd line that is built in style like our 4th line, more speed and physical forecheck, right now we got 3 lines all the same! redundant carbon copies, passers, skilled yes, but slower, and no real hard core forechecker, Think Kessler in proto-type, or a Marcus with some height and weight!

  44. Wall as I watched it hit me . . .yes the Bolts will win but Bishop is so “clumsy” and gives up big rebounds if the Hawks can focus on rebounds they can win with LUCK and stay close? Bolts are fast and this to me is the future of hockey, Hawks too are the future, meaning not a lot of cheap penalties, no real cheap hits, physical with intent and lots of speed, and skill. Hawks just not enough speed that is why it might be good for them to lose, a wake up call. Bowman is average at best . . . Kane. Keith and Towes have carried this team.

    Also finding Big Goalies who can PLAY is not easy like finding a Victor Hedman on Defense Big and fast not many out there. I love Seabrook but see Hedman an then think wow if Sebrook had that speed we could trade keith? ha

  45. The triplets are formidable group. Stamkos is elite. And Hedman has arrived as one of the top 3 or 4 defenseman in hockey. The Bolts are not fluky in the least bit. Loads of young talent. Stevie Y. has done an outstanding job.

  46. Also, agree with the “Go to the net” TB rush game… Hawks need to get that in to system a little more… The Hawks have tried to do “the get to the net” a little more this year… Cuz in middle of season… they realized- they aren’t the “cycle” team they used to be… Too small… Only 19,20,88,81 , 29 are built for it… so they tried to Morph to “deflect/traffic” team… and still use the “hold the puck” and back door Dman well.

    TB- does prefer- quick, attacks, shots/rebounds… over the “cycle” it appears…

    Cooper- has done great job of Walling off Kane… if Kane gets puck with idea of skate in… watch- 2-3 guys build a wall on the inside… forcing Kane to the wall- and releasing puck… cuz-88- Knows he is dead!!!

    So I agree with 19- needs to be shifted more… But at end of day…
    Hawks- have terrible depth on D end… ( and that is why- I wanted SB to sell at TDL… Cuz of Gaping Hole in D… AND lack of scoring punch- TOO much to overcome… got lucky with Kane injury -affording SB more money… But still NOT enough- or “Right D man!!!… frickin 40 year old!!!!)

    Brunette, Montador (RIP- and who was 1st guy here to say that guy was playing concussed- cuz he was falling down with no one around him???) and Kimmo…
    Bad SB calls!!!

  47. i didnt want to over react to one loss, but this is what i want to see wednesday…


  48. Dress Bick Wednesday! The others should be wearing a dress, role players at this stage of a series where your down in a series is a joke. Versteeg, Carcillo, Nordstrom, Hartman all gone. Maybe I would bring up Rhunblad as a more offensive threat on offense over Chum-in-ski.

    Hawks need to adjust on the defensive zone exit, step away from the boards 4 feet and also get puck to the middle of the ice, they also need time to FAKE a pass adn throw off timing, Bolts OVER COMMIT more than anyone in the NHL they do what ya call CHEAT / GUESS and so far we have let them, and Hawks too smart for that or so I thought! Crow is trying to throw off that timing but Hawks not adjusting at all! In fact it’s getting worse?

  49. MtM… funny- my thought too… 4th line is the only real get to the net line (Saad too)

    problem- is their size and skill- is inferior… but they have the Will!!!

    and TT- is built on that type of play… if TT played with a true crasher… TT might lead the league in assists!!!

  50. I agree Rufus, time to try Nordy. Sit Bickell permanently and move Shaw up to his slot. I hope we never see Bickell again as a Hawk. Weak effort by 7 on the last goal. Hedman skates in easily and instead of taking his body 7 waves his stick at him. Not good enough. Cumiskey is going to get blamed for that goal but it is also on Seabrook. Continued inconsistent play by Crawford. As many have said he is really fighting it. The second goal should never have happened. Very poor positioning and net presence. Kane and Toews need to step up now. Hats off to Hossa for a big game.

  51. So last night was sort of what I was alluding to in a previous game post to which Tab took much umbrage. Maybe “loafing” isn’t the right term but the Bolts seem to have figured out that if you jump on the Hawks immediately at the start of the game/period/immediately after a goal, you can catch them flat footed. And boy did they in spades last night. The Ducks also did it 3 times in, what, 90 seconds and the Hawks still haven’t learned the lesson. That goal immediately following Saad’s goal was an absolute crusher. Most of the stadium hadn’t even sat down yet. Sucked all the wind right out of the place.

    TVR looked like he was catching a hand grenade with a pulled pin on every pass. He shouldn’t have been out there but we are pretty much out of options. While he didn’t make any killer plays (cough Cumiskey cough) he had several “oh $#!t” moments that came pretty close.

    Tampa is damn good. They are fast and man do they shut down the lanes when they need to. Remember the Boston series – down 2-1 and looking adrift, came back to win 3 straight… All is not lost but some guys (10, 29 in particular) need to get it together now.

  52. Very good point MTM. How many times are we going to get our exit passes pinched on the boards you TB before we utilize the space in the middle.

  53. So the bitching about Crawford is maybe somewhat justified. Wow TB has a decent surprise ermahgerd. However, the Hawks had their chances. 3 open cages where they missed the net. 2 clear jail breaks they ought to have capitalized on. A few other others that they shot directly into Bishops crest. Some days you eat the bear. Zero points from Kane, zero points from Toews, zero anything from Sharp… Toews and Kane I thought played well but at the end of the night those are the guys that should be administering the finishing moves.

    Bottom line is they had their chances to put the game away and failed to capitalize. A massive portion of blame rests on the guys who cant seal the deal at the other end of the ice. Especially against a team like TB that you know is going to score at least 2 goals a game unless something special happens in the hawks net and it is preposterous to expect a goalie win every night.

    To anyone who has given me crap about wanting to trade Sharp while his value was high 5 years ago and just about every moment between then and now, I was right and you were wrong.

    Very impressed with TVR. One really poor play along the boards but otherwise he did an admirable job all things considered.

    And it is getting old saying this but the referees. Wow.

  54. Back off the ledge my friends. This is not an unfamiliar spot for the Hawks, and just like 2013, this series could be 3-0 either way.

    People faulting Crawford for the first goal are just funny. If a Hawk rips that Callahan shot, it’s an incredible shot that the goalie didn’t have a chance on. That was a laser that hit the V. Had Oduya not fallen on his ass in the neutral zone, that play doesn’t happen. Second goal he should have smothered, but Oduya whiffed on the clearing attempt.

    Hedman is insanely good. He’s been insanely good for years, now he’s just doing it on the biggest stage.

    Hate to ever blame officiating, but I thought it was god awful last night. It isn’t the reason that the Hawks lost, but both 26 and 57 caught a stick in the face without a call. While it was a penalty on Saad, they probably should have booked Bishop for embellishment as well. The call on Bickell was soft. Richards was tripped trying to get a puck in the corner which prevented a scoring chance. Some questionable offsides. I didn’t get the benefit of replay, but boy were the fans in the UC letting the officials have it.

    What I saw last night were the Hawks forwards and D men constantly in a game of “you got it no you got it” and it led to extended D zone possessions. 11 was guilty of this numerous times.

    Hossa has to bury that chance in the first. You don’t get chances like that and when you do, it has to go in. TT put one through the crease too which was a harder chance, but still one you want to see them capitalize on.

    I’m not worried yet. I never worry about this Hawks team until the series is over.

  55. It’s not surprising that so many are running around like their hair is on fire – change this and change that and OMG what are we going to do!!!!! After a loss, especially in the SCF, the negative Nellie syndrome bursts forth on message boards – it’s all part of the deal.

    But … BUT, the Hawks lost by one goal in a very even game that could have easily gone their way. Let’s keep the faith until things are decided one way or the other.

  56. Just for the hell of it, let’s take a walk back in time, shall we?

    “The Bruins have been clearly superior thru 3 games. Hawks got destroyed tonight. They must win game 4 somehow or this series is essentially over. Bergeron, Lucic and Krejci have dominated are core players Toews, Kane and Sharp. The face off stats are off the charts embarrassing too. The PP cant even get a shot off. Meanwhile Shaw, Kruger and Frolik are our only complementary forwards doing anything. Handzus was embarrassed tonight. Stalberg did nothing like usual. Saad is a non factor. Bolland just continues with what has been a trainwreck. Meanwhile Keith struggled for the second game in a row while Leddy and Rosival were horrendous.

    Hard to be optimistic. Boston is playing like champions.”

    That nugget from Rufus T. Firefly.

    “Toews, Kane, Keith and Seabrook were completely outperformed, outhustled, outcared, outskilled and outcompeted by the Bruins top line. I said this after last game, and it stands…unless Toews and Kane contribute as 1 and 1A in the Hawks attack we won’t win this series…we simply can’t have our 3rd and 4th lines carry us through all 4 rounds of the playoffs. Toews must be injured very badly to be this bad. Patrice Bergeron lit Toews up tonight and embarrassed Tazer, which essentially never happens…but it did tonight. Kane has gone back to hiding under a rock.”

    Courtesy Sr. Brad.

    “Things are looking bleak. Boston has momentum and they are too well disciplined to shoot themselves in the foot. The Hawks, if they are going to win the Cup, will have to outfight and out compete Boston and that will not happen with the usual effort.”

    Thanks, EbonyRaptor.

    More Rufus magic? Why not!

    “Frankly, I don’t know what the Hawks can do to turn around this series. I’m not expecting Toews or Kane to regain any of their previous superiority against a wickedly good Boston team.”

    To paraphrase Hawk Harrelson – don’t stop now, Rufus.

    “The Hawks were outclassed in game 3. And the Hawks were outplayed for major portions of games 1 and 2. The Bruins could have won game 1 but they didn’t… we did. I’m just at a point where I don’t have much hope left.”

    My personal favorite from Rufus:

    “My 40 years plus years of intently following hockey either shape or jade my perspective on this Stanley Cup Finals. I continue to think the Bruins win this thing in 5.”

    The point of this? All of these gems – and more golden nuggets – live in the comments from the Game 3 recap on June 17, 2013… after the Blackhawks were shutout by Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins took a 2-1 series lead over these Chicago Blackhawks. Go back and read those comments. Kane sucks… Toews is nowhere to be found… Bolland takes stupid penalties [hear that, Sharp?]… it’s deja vu all over again.

    Is there cause for concern? Absolutely. Have we seen this movie before? Less than 2 years ago.

  57. I feel like we need some of my positivity… although I’m pretty sure I was at Bonnaroo for that game and didn’t comment.

  58. The Hawks win when they create chances with a strong forecheck, that was not there last night. Nordy might help with that, the point that TB has very strong push after we score is apparent and cycling Cumiskey after we score is a mistake. How does the oldest 81 have a monster game and 24 minutes?

  59. Well JS, I think you summed up things pretty well. It was as though we were both watching the same game from a similar perspective…

    Thanks Tab for the history lesson. That Game 4 in Boston was an insane contest and the Hawks found a way through a potential choke hold from the big bad Bruins. Oh yes, and Rask was unbeatable….I still have that game on my DVR.

    Hawks IMO can and will play better moving forward to make this a scintillating series before all is said and done. It should happen.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  60. Tab, thanks. Det ’13 is another hoot to read, also StL ’14 after down 0-2. Funny

  61. Tab, in my defense of the post from 2013, I didn’t imply the Hawks were doomed, only that they needed a better effort. Is that on the same level of the doom and gloom posts you were citing to make your point?

  62. Tab, thanks for the memories. I was there last night and could not believe the chances the Hawks blew but they had so many chances it gave me a lot of hope. The Bruins scared the shit out of me in 2013 and I was really worried after the series after those 3 games, too. But the Hawks are the Hawks for a reason, and if we are fans then it’s also part of our job to BELIEVE! These circumstances are different because of the D-issues but it comes down to skill, heart, luck and many other variables. I still like our chances and I will believe in this team throughout the last game. Don’t give up the ship because they had two bad results (not bad games). Sharp, Bickell, TVR, Cumiskey all had good moments and bad ones, too. But I also saw a lot of glimmers of hope last night and a lot of it doesn’t show up on TV because it’s out of the frame. I’m still feeling good about this team.

  63. Bravo Tab, bravo.

    To build on Jack’s point, if the Hawks hit those two open nets (Hossa, TT) it is a completely different game. The Bolts made good on their chances, the Hawks didn’t. The result makes us look at all the negative aspects of the game but a couple bounces and it’s a totally different discussion.

    Back to Boston after game 3, I turned to my wife after that game and said “The Hawks are done.” I felt the same way as the comments on the board that day. They looked dead and buried and Boston looked like world-beaters. And yet, this Hawks team just… will… not… die. Maybe this time is different with the defense down to 3 good and 3 bad, Vertigo Bickell and Zombie Sharp. But I wouldn’t bet against the Hawks making this into a 7 game war. Not 2 weeks ago the Ducks were up 2 games to 1 with the big bodies looking unbeatable. Game 4 – 5-4 Hawks. Boston series, same story – game 4 – 6-5 Hawks. Game 4 tomorrow – history says buckle up…

  64. Sit bickell, sit cumiskey, slap Sharp across the face with a cold opened hand.
    Kane- show up please…
    Crow- solid overall, shaky at times
    TT- looking better every game
    Saadfather- Played with some fire last night, hitting, scoring, great effort
    Hoss- huge game, shoulda buried that empty netter even while gettting tripped
    Vermette- DID YOU NOT SEE HOSS TRAILING?? coulda dished it and put it away.
    Shaw- this kid has got heart, 110% every game, only one disturbing things in front, love it.

    Plenty of chances boys… why is it we love to give away freebies right after we score? that has to stop right F*%king now. Step up Hawks, lets go.

  65. Hawks are 30-30 in games 1 through 3 in the playoffs under Q. In games 4 through 7 they are 40-14. We always get better as the series goes on. We’ve been here many times and won the series.

    It takes 4 FOUR games to win a series!!

  66. Tab- nicely done… I too was completely wrong on BIG, Physical Bruins… but alas- they are/were slower than Hawks…

    Like MtM- said- the NHL- is about Speed… less body… more speed… size don’t hurt… but speed… if you have both (N. McKinnon), Toews, types… you are really good

    TB- is faster
    TB is younger
    TB is hungrier (never won – B’s and Hawks have)
    Teams that have given Hawks a lot of trouble recently… speed teams- even Bad Oilers / Avs teams have given hawks fits — cuz of speed

    I really don’t like Hawk’s chances here– compounded w/ Kimmo- ZERO, 27 hurt? and nothing on back end of D

  67. I have seen enough thru these 3 games to say our chances of winning this series are poor. Tampa Bay is really good and they have a crap ton of talent, ungodly speed, and a youthful enthusiasm and energy that believes it can win against anybody. Their official coming out party in the NHL was the series win versus the Rangers. Game 4 is critical. Even then I have very hard time seeing a path to 3 out of 4 wins versus this Lightning team. They have very successfully shut down Kane/Toews and we have don’t have the defensive depth in front of a shaken Crawford. And we are dealing with the undeniable awkwardness of a useless Sharp, Bickell and Versteeg in a way that we never faced with players in 2010 and 2013. Or even the 2014 season when we succumbed to the Kings.

  68. Remember the last series when the Hawks lost to the Ducks. Man that sucked. I was super sad.

  69. I was less confident that the Hawks would win the WCF after game 3. The Ducks were far more dominant than the Bolts are now. All one goal games so far and it’s likely to continue. Still anyone’s series. I think it’ll come down to a bounce here or there unless someone can really step it up.

  70. If you had read most of the comments on this site without knowing the score you’d think the Hawks got blown out every game. Hawks are in the finals, celebrate and enjoy. 28 other teams are miserable right now.

  71. Well now that I’ve had a nights sleep and a fresh perspective on things it is with confidence that this can be stated…Its the Committed Indians that are melting down and not the Blackhawks.

    Put downs on Seabrook, trade Keith?..the Hayes. Kesler, Leddy crap, Crawford yet again I told you so’s…people supporting lunatic type ranks.

    Thats what the SCF does to a person, so I will withhold comments on individuals and be tolerant and understanding.

    We win this thing…don’t know if in 6 or 7..good fantasy would be game 7 in OT.

  72. We are not out of this series. We win on Wednesday and get our mojo back for Game 5 in Tampa. BUT – if Oduya is out, then so are we. We can’t cycle only 3 dependable defensemen and beat this team. There’s a part of me that would like to see someone face plant Kucherov into boards and force him to eat through a straw for a month, but it doesn’t help the cause. I hope Oduya is OK, but I haven’t seen any updates as yet.

  73. Yes Hedman walked into the zone, but give him some credit…he has been playing well. Hell of a play by him.

    Hossa brought it last night.

    I’m looking forward to see how the Hawks respond. Tampa’s a good team and it will take a strong Hawks effort to win the series.

  74. +1 Mining Man, +1. Of course who else would be on a team blog other than a collective group of die-hards with a little too much invested in the team and the site acting as a collective catharsis/sounding board? Of course the most ironic part of the board is that many commenters need the team to fail so they can say “see, I was right, I told you so” when the axe drops. It’s like we have communal hedging where you win if the team wins and you win if they lose because then you can say you were right all along.

  75. Hawks are not quitters. They will find a way to win game 4. Sharp and Bickel have to sit the rest of the series for Versteeg and Nordy. Sharp is overmatched and Bickel is not ready to play.

  76. Chev, love your observation above:

    “Of course the most ironic part of the board is that many commenters need the team to fail so they can say “see, I was right, I told you so” when the axe drops. It’s like we have communal hedging where you win if the team wins and you win if they lose because then you can say you were right all along.”

    It’s one big reason why I’m posting way less during this series and last. Wall’s rants and post mortem analysis 3 games into the Stanley Cup Final are a little too much imo. Better for me to just sit this one out.

  77. I’m quite sure we will see Nordstrom the rest of this series because he can skate and back check. And he proved he is capable of scraping paint and taking the body. The Hawks will never sit Sharp unfortunately despite his complete collapse and liability status. But they will sit Bickell.

  78. Lets save all the panic for if they lose on wednesday. This team has proven their resolve is remarkable.

    That being said Toews and Kane need to show up. Crow can not let that goal in after scoring 13 seconds later. I almost turned the game after that goal, that can flat out not happen.

    Not to say told you so, but 10 has been useless, they should have moved him after last season when he lead the team in scoring. He was god awful last year minus game 7 and has been pretty useless lately too. Too bad SB hung into him for too long.

  79. The refs did try to screw us in game 2 (weak hook was wrong/high stick was right) and 3 (first one right/touching goalie mask with gloves too weak)(among other things). We need a evenly refed game.

    They got the bounces and breaks in those games. Were going to get the bounces and score first in these games.

  80. Mr. Rufus is spot on — Nordstrom played so well Game 3 v. Ducks (WCFinals). On ice for both goals (penalty killing & even strength). Give me a break. Tab: Can you post other archived Mr. Rufus posts (i.e., the ones proclaiming Pekka Rinne second coming of Dryden please? those were funny). Thanks.

  81. Rufus, I haven’t been happy with Sharp’s play either. I would like 42 in for him and 23 in for Bickell. You talk about 10’s drop-off a lot, but it has been incredible to see his play fall off since the 1st half of 13-14 to the second half of last year to this year. Pretty nuts. You would think someone with the A would still provide you some value or bust it. While not a perfect comparison because no one is 81, but when Hossa isn’t potting goals I never think sit him because he does everything else (PK, forecheck, back check, PP, control the puck). When Sharp doesn’t pot goals I think sit him. God he used to do everything like PK, be effective at draws, hit, snipe, give and go. His game hasn’t fallen off, he has changed the way he plays…and in my opinion, not for the better.

  82. Patrick Sharp sucks and has largely sucked for the better part of 1 year. Anyone expecting big things out of Sharp needs to re-watch the 12-13 regular season high lights because that’s the last time he was a difference maker.

    to take a deeper dive
    13/14 plays Sharp played 19 games 5G 5A 10Pts (-2) 2 of the 5 goals were in game 7

    14/15 Reg season,…68 games 16G 27A 43pts (-8) he was tied for worst (+/-) on the team with Shaw and became the central part of a mid season distraction.

    Playsoffs 20 games 4G 9A 13 pts (+/- 0)

    I know playoff pts are worth alot more then reg season but in his last 107 games NHL games Sharp has 25 Goals, His previous 105 NHL games reg + playoffs he has 44. For a guy that plays big mins on the PP, is over 30 yrs old and gets paid premium NHL money 25 goals is just not good enough! Sharp should be dominating against 3rd line players but he isn’t.

    Keeping Sharp around will continue to be one of Stan worst moves as GM, right up there with the Kimmo trade, Trading Nick Leddy, resigning “the one who shall not be named” , and failing to sign Hayes. These and many more are all things to be discussed after the cup has been handed out.

  83. 3 observations-
    Wall your giving up too early-let’s see what the 2015 edition is made of
    RTF-really enjoy the comments minus the edge
    M the M-really glad you’ve gone to paragraphs

    News Alert-Sharp scores in Game 4
    RD, I get the over-analysis point

  84. Leddy’s not here but if he was, he’d be skating 8+ minutes. Stop with that narrative. It’s about winning now, and Oduya is doing his part well. NOW!

    Hayes was never going to sign. Maybe the Hawks sign Reilly and it balances itself out. We can’t act like Bowman drafted him and decided to pass on signing him.

    Bickell still looked off. Insert Versteeg for him. I like the idea of putting Shaw with Kane to open up space and energize the line.

    We’re three wins away from the Cup. 28 would love to be in our spots, regardless of how dire Rufus, wall, et al. make it seem.


  85. I understand why Sr. Brad stopped commenting, hopefully he still reads from time to time, & Hof. I get your point too…….

    I get it that as a Hawks fans we are emotionally invested in the team, but the giant mood swings are getting old…… Especially the “doom & gloom” when the boys lose….

    Sometimes the the other team makes better plays than our guys…. Thats life! Tip your cap to them & move on!

    These are only games after all, the world will not end because the Hawks didn’t win the Cup……

    I compare the drama on this site with the drama I encountered in raising 4 daughters……

    This is Great Hockey we are witnessing, & if a couple of bounces had gone our way we could be up 3-0, of course the same can be said for TB…..

    What good is winning the Cup if you don’t enjoy the ride getting there…..???

  86. Sharp angers me. Ever since his selfish campaign to make the Canadian Olympic team in 2014 where the sweet talker convinced his teammates to help him prop up his offensive stats. Ever since Sharp came back from the Olympics he has dropped off the face of the cliff. Add to that his age, the off the ice rumors and his $5.8 M cap hit? Well, good luck to Bowman moving him in the offseason. To be sure Bowman will have to add a major prospect and/or a draft pick to get anybody to take Sharp off our hands. And Bickell? Well, crikey. How do you move THAT salary for two years of utter crap on ice.

  87. Joey, thanks…I concur

    I’m disappointed Sharp has not been as productive and prone to mistakes, I’m just not in favor of benching him in favor of (anyone) in the middle of a SCF.

    With all the negativity towards him, I’m doubling down on my hopes of him making a significant contribution in the remaining games. Not to spite the criticism, just to balance the yin with the yang or at least try to.

    Regardless , I want 10 to go out a winner if he’s leaving Chicago. He’s been one of the franchises best. He’s still getting my support.

    Noonan96, have you been vaccinated against babs fever there? :)

  88. Joey, I agree, no more doom and gloom. Here’s why the Hawks will win…

    I was in my local Los Angeles market a month or so ago and I was wearing my Blackhawks hoody, which always seems to spark a comment or a conversation around here. Lots of Hawks fans, to say the least. I’m walking down one of the aisles and I hear a woman’s voice behind me.

    “You’re a Blackhawks fan?” she asks.
    I turn around to face her. “Yeah, I am. Are you?”
    “Oh, you bet,” she says. “My uncle used to play for the Hawks.”
    “Really? What’s your uncle’s name?”
    “Eric Nesterenko.”
    “Wow. I used to watch your uncle play when I was a kid. He was one of my dad’s favorite players.”

    So we start talking all things hockey, and she really knows the game and the team, which is no surprise given her lineage. Turns out her uncle is alive and well in his 80’s, living in Colorado somewhere, I think she said. She talks about her uncle being on the ’61 Cup Champion Blackhawks, and I start telling her how much I’m looking forward to the playoffs. And then she says, “The Hawks are going to win the Cup this year.” And I think I said something like, “Well, I’m holding you to it,” or probably something hockey-fanish and goofy, I can’t really remember. We shook hands and I wished her well and told her to give my regards to Eric.

    So there you have it. Eric Nesterenko’s niece said we’re winning the Cup, and that’s good enough for me! And if we don’t, I hope I see her again so we can plan for next year!

  89. If the Hawks play to their capability they will win the Cup. I still believe they are the most talented team in the NHL and how can anybody knock their resolve. I do believe game four is a must win. It is too much to expect 3 wins in a row against TB if they go down 3-1. Crawford must not let in any softies and 19/88 must get it in gear. I would also NOT bench 10. He has not played well lately, we get that, but he is a sniper and snipers run hot and cold. He is due so I would take my chances with him.

  90. Raw Speed over Physical play every time! Physical play makes the Hawks look average Speed make the Hawks look Pathetic! Period! Hawks vs Bruins or Flyers where battle of nutrition, survival, not dominance! Both cups like this series could go either way. NHL wants a more EURO RUSSKEEEE wide open speed ball type game. A Speed game is fun to watch, Physical paly is par tof hockey dna so it wont go away and that is also good, BOLTS hit hard like the Hawk and clean!

    It is hard to sustain physical play, if anyone wants to learn something listen to BOYLE from the BOLTS a big guy, a very big guy, like Milan Lucic, Boyle will tell ya why the Bruins lost and why Ducks lost, he knows when to let up, when to poke, when to actually take a cheap shot and lay you out on your ass, it is an art ( i have said this 1000 times ) and he says it’s often 50 – 50 chance when you take a run at a good player that you will miss and they tun their shoulder 25 degrees and you miss him and your down and out and they lead a break . . .again speed!

    I preached 1000 times just because Bick is Big doesn’t make him a physical player!
    Does NOT MEAN HE CAN SKATE AT FULL SPEED cover 20 feet of ice and LAY OUT STAMKOS! Bick is forced to play that role since Hawks so few guys who love to play the body, Hawks again play the puck. Same in a way for for Shaw who is actually improving on his close out checks. RYAN O’REILLY of AVS is smaller than Bick but if you watch him well, ummmm that’s physical. Hawks don’t even finish checks and when they did last might Bolts had problems,

  91. Bolts have one thing “team speed” so yes they can be beat even if we lose game 4. NY an average bunch of knuckle heads almost did. Bolts Defense in their zone when pressured is average and when under attack they are below average. So defensively they are just okay. Bishop in my opinion is the weakest goal tender Hawks have faced in these playoffs and the reason I felt hawks would and could win it all. Bolts Offense is good on paper but still missing a few sharp shooter to bury those break aways, their overall speed like Hawks 4th line get the puck, work hard but winds up on the wrong guys stick. Speed kills, literally, Bolts did a smart job building a team on speed, meaning you can draft speed, and thats what they did, not stick handle, hockey iq, but raw skating speed, simple. The NFL combine is built on ummmm speed! Derick Rose ( not a fan of his) but all he got is speed, average jump shot, belwo average 3 you get the idea? Sorry for rambling!

    So, How do you beat speed? With our more speed which Hawks do not have? So Sadly you’re left with beating speed with physical play, close harder and forecheck, but sadly we are not built to punish or push but we’re built to pass. And that means 4 lines playing hard, I HATE THE LAME CONCEPT OF A CHECKING LINE or a PHYSICAL LINE, lame nhl 1970’s, all lines need one guy to forecheck and lines need 2 guys to check and play the body.


    go hawks it ain’t over till it’s over Bishop will give us game 4!

  92. I love Eric Nesterenko old elbows . . . we could use him Wednesday night! I grew up on him, he’d glide and have this long reach, all arms and elbows, what a sweet player! Ahhh good old days!

    thanks for sharing!

  93. JOEY ZAMBONI Great Point it is the ride! Buckle up on that Zamboni two hands on the wheel!

  94. Bicks is big enough, fast enough and hockey smart enough to hit those Tampa brats.(unless he is hurt) I hope he crunches those Triplet brats especially cheap shot Kucherov with his dirty hit on Oduya. I’ll be right there tomorrow in row 3 and I can’t wait to watch those Triplet punks get CRUNCHED. GO HAWKS!!!!! TOMORROW IS A MUST WIN AND I CAN”T WAIT. The better team will win and its the HAWKS.

  95. I used “cheap shot” as an adjective to describe Kucherov. I was not urging a cheap shot on Kucherov. When I read my post again I thought somebody could misinterpret that so I am clarifying.

  96. while I have been WRONG on many series/calls
    I don’t need the Hawks to lose…

    to say I was right on a lot of individual shit … like Prospect/talent…. picks and pans…

    Goalie position ( studies prove that in recent history… it doesn’t pay to Overpay)…
    just my observations… not a Crow hater… just a Hater of “overpaying” that position.. a somewhat Random position (studies say random)

  97. No, the Hawks aren’t out of the this because they aren’t as fast. TB skates fast but they don’t *necessarily* skate smart. A smart game is better than a fast game any day of the week. If the Hawks figure out how to use the middle of the ice for exits, reignite the stretch passes and use the D-D pass on PP, TB’s current strategy will leave them with a lot of hard skating, not many pucks picked and a lot of odd-man rushes going the wrong way for them. As I said before and MtM echoed – TB cheats for the board play. Make their fast guys skate stupidly and ineffectually and either a) they will slow down and challenge less b) they will not make it 3 periods.

  98. @Wall
    “Doesn’t pay to overpay” = tautology

    It is extremely difficult to define overpayment unless you have an expected value. Generally, it’s also hard to divine expected value over uncertain time-frames. Commonly used definitions of overpayment, however, are ‘Rick DiPietro’ or ‘Roberto Luongo’.

  99. Ebony…nutrition! …its all about Kale! Richards states in interview that “in his day” they would go for a couple of beers but nowadays Toews takes him out to a juice bar and they drink Kale…mmmmm. Nutrition! Think I’m too old to switch from beer to kale though.

  100. Also, I reckon the only straight-up ‘overpayments’ where he probably should have known better which we can pin on SB are: Bickell and Timonen. Not nothing, but also not nearly as big a deal if TVR doesn’t get banged up repeatedly, Johns doesn’t get banged up repeatedly and Sharp doesn’t drop off the face of the earth.

  101. We just didn’t get any breaks last night. I’m looking for our stars to shine very brightly tomorrow. Toews and company will respond. We have the heart of a champion we know what it takes. We will win 3 games before they win 2. Go Hawks the mighty Blackhawks.

  102. Hey MM – Someday soon I’m sure we’ll have Kale flavored beer. Kaleweiser. It’ll change the NHL forever.

  103. Rufus T

    Ever since Sharp came back from the Olympics he has dropped off the face of the cliff. Add to that his age, the off the ice rumors and his $5.8 M cap hit? Well, good luck to Bowman moving him in the offseason. To be sure Bowman will have to add a major prospect and/or a draft pick to get anybody to take Sharp off our hands. And Bickell? Well, crikey. How do you move THAT salary for two years of utter crap on ice.

    The only way you can get rid of those overpays is to eat portions of their salaries. Not a chance someone takes Sharps or Bickell’s contract unless theres cash withheld or they desperately need to get to the cap floor which is highly unlikely.

    Bickell and Sharp departing isn’t enough of a cut anyways. It’s going a lot deeper than that.

    It’s sad but thats what happens when Bowman has his little salary orgasms, and he’s had a few. Dude does not seem to have the words NO or Negotiate in his vocabulary.

  104. Cominsky Runblatt Cumiesky Cumisky Runblad Kriuger Bickel Rudblad

    Dang. I’m surprised the Spelling Police haven’t piped up over today’s action.

    Oh wait…no I’m not.

    As for the Hawks not being tired? Uh huh. Right dude.

  105. Alberta…Montreal really interested in Sharp, don’t think he is a problem…Bickell different story, have not heard any buzz.

    Tony…If they come out with a Kaleweiser I hope you get rich!

  106. Alberta… I dont expect to move all of sharp’s cap. I hope we can… but i find it much more likely we see a deal like Sharp+ for Lars Eller+ where we end up saving 2.5 million vs unloading the whole 5.9M.

    Bickell might be more of a “unload”. Where its Bickell and a pair of low prospects (something like Fournier and Broadhurst) just to get back a lower prospect and a 6th or 7th round pick.

    I guess only time will tell though…

  107. Let’s worry about 15-16 after the series. All of the target trades players have no movement clauses. We will have to see what happens. The Hawks will look different next season, but they will be contenders.

    The Hawks are the best team in the NHL, all attributes considered. As I have asked before. Is there a 25 man roster in the NHL that you would swap our 25 man roster for? TB? I don’t think so. If TB does win this series it will be for other factors such as fatigue, injuries or just plain old desire.

    What I hate is national media broadcasts (in any sport). Doc, Pierre and even Edzo just get on my nerves. The blather of the team in front or the team who is winning is just hard to take. Of course I would love to have Foley broadcast the game…….And I was bashed before but I will say again. I’d rather listen to TB’s broadcast team rather than these guys.

  108. Are we watching the same series? TB is getting way too much credit! They might not even make playoffs if they were in the West. They beat 3 shitty teams to get here. They have 5 players that could even make our squad. Yes, they are fast, but as FTR pointed out, they they are not smart. The skill level is not even close. EVERY TIME we cycle the puck they are in trouble. Instead, we keep dumping to the corners instead of playing it to the point and beginning to cycle (which is open constantly). We are beating ourselves. 14 Giveaways in game 3? Additionally, they are the dirtiest team we have ever faced. Wiesels! The little Russian mobster Kutcherov should be banned for the rest of the series. If the officials would watch the replays like I have, they might notice that we should be on a PP for half the game. 46 hits and not 1 penalty from them. 1/2 of them were crosschecks or boarding. NHL will put a stop to that.

    TB has played spirited games on emotion, but that won’t last. Talent will win begin to float to the surface, guaranteed. We will win in 6 and the games will be over before the 3rd period. Every game TB has fallen behind by more than 1 goal, they have folded their tent.

    Everyone can relax. Sleep easy because this is over.

  109. Thanks RD & MTM…….

    MTM – I’m scared of zambonis, I use it as my moniker because it describes my top skating speed! (& my eye-talion ancestry)

  110. TB is weathering the storm, shutting down Patrick Kane and scoring more goals at evens… That is much more than a spirited yay were in the Cup Finals effort…

  111. Sharp will probably still catch a late first for any GM with a brain. He shot 7% this year, more than 4% under his career average. Had he shot his career average, he would have had 26+ goals in 68 games.

    Sharp averaged 3.4 shots per game, which is well down from the 3.8 last year, but still on par for his career average. He simply had an unlucky season. But sure, Hawks will be “lucky” to find someone to take him without eating money.

  112. re: the only way you move Sharp & Bickell being witholding cash – I laughed. Bowman got a 3rd for Brandon Bollig. Not a chance someone takes their contracts? Not even naivete – that’s stupidity.

  113. re: “TB is getting way too much credit! They might not even make playoffs if they were in the West. They beat 3 shitty teams to get here.”

    What the hell are you talking about?

  114. TB is a very solid team but we are giving them way too much credit and like stated above the Hawks are killing themselves and not playing smarter. Speed kills but only if used smartly. Its like watching a junior or university team playing an exhibition game against retired NHL vets and the NHL vets makes them look silly even though they can’t skate with the young guns by passing the puck around and knowing where each other are going to be. A pass will always beat a skater no matter how fast they can skate.

  115. The Bolts are good and a full 60 minute 2 way effort is required to best these guys. My hope as the Hawks come out hitting hard and going to the net to mess with Bishop. There were rebounds galore in the last game. I believe Bishop will get lit up good as this series progresses. Let’s hope for Hawks to get good d zone clears and some speed in neutral zone with puck possession. Bolts 2nd and 3rd d pairings can be exploited.

    I want that smarmy smirk wiped off Coopers face to be replaced with blinking WTF happened eyes.

    My Hawks glass remains half full, and I can’t wait for this one to begin tonight at the UC where I will be enthusiastically urging our boys on. Carpe diem.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  116. I’m not comparing TB to Junior or College players but the Hawks aren’t retired Vets either but you get the point. The Hawks can overcome and still win the series

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