Blackhawks Blanked By Bolts

Before the game started on Monday there were a few reasons for optimism at the United Center. Artem Anisimov was back off IR and Corey Crawford made an appearance for the first time in a while.

Tomas Jurco finally dressed; Tommy Wingels and Lance Bouma watched from the cheap seats. And Erik Gustafsson got the call again ahead of Jan Rutta.

Where do we begin with the latest Blackhawks debacle?

Late in the first period Alex Killorn went to the box, giving the Hawks a power play. Tyler Johnson joined him there 1:15 later, giving the Blackhawks a 5-on-3 for 45 seconds.

Chicago did nothing.

Late in the second period, Mikhail Sergachev caught Ryan Hartman with a high stick. He compounded the mistake by earning a second minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Hawks a power play for the final 3:54 of the second period.

The result? A Chris Kunitz short-handed goal to give Tampa a 1-0 lead.

A the end of 40 minutes the Blackhawks had a 30-17 shot advantage. They had failed on five power plays and had not shown much life.

Chicago got a sixth power play 7:29 into the third with Steven Stamkos in the box. That alleged advantage was also wasted.

At 18:26 into the third, Jordan Oesterle dropped a pass to a wide open… Yanni Gourde who slammed home the one-timer to give Tampa a 2-0 lead.

The final 90 seconds ticked off the clock mercifully.

And Chicago was handed yet another underwhelming loss.

Jeff Glass stopped 29 of 31 and frankly deserved better than a 2-0 loss. The first goal was ugly, but the skaters in front of him could have been AP photographers with the effort they made to play the puck. Oesterle put the second on a tee for Gourde.

Patrick Sharp put a team-leading five shots on net but didn’t have a good night.

Jonathan Toews won 11 of 19 faceoffs. Ryan Hartman was credited with two hits and two takeaways in a team-low 8:07 on the ice.

There is no jump to these Blackhawks.

There is no life.

If they want to make the playoffs, waiting until after the All-Star Break might be too late in this year’s Central Division. Colorado won their tenth straight on Monday night and nobody is waiting for the Blackhawks to remove their heads from their collective asses and start playing “Blackhawks hockey.”

75 thoughts on “Blackhawks Blanked By Bolts

  1. Thats the Blackhawks we know. Playing even or outplaying another top 10 team (think their 1 of 2 best team-this yr).

    Whatever it is we donot get the breaks-this yr. I havnt ever seen a yr-82 games in 35yrs where the other team got all the bounces and breaks this many games and its only 45-50 games in. Going to love getting that better prospect because of it.

    The 2 games with TAM both games were even (thought we outplayed them a little in this one) they get 4 pts we get 1. Make believe call in 3on3 gives them 2 pts. They score on our 4min PP cause that happens all the time.

    This 82 games-this yr. Cant buy a bounce or break 50% of the time. I’ll take them all in the 5 coming yrs for this yr.

    This is the team we have the team that played against WIN NAS MIN NYR PIT and TB not those no shows.

  2. Just read their shit goal on the 4min PP was a hand pass transition pass out of zone. Blow whistle instant replay no goal time game.

    Didnt like them getting away with that many interference (some hold hook) throughout 3rd period just the first game against them in the 3rd.

    Seems like they already called that many penatlys they were going to let them get away with anything in 3rd. We should try that since we have a really PK do 20 a game their only going to call about 5. be hard to play against.

    See ya game 57.

  3. 6 pwr plays. Nothing That’s the diff in not having Panarin Kane duo. Lifeless team great job by Glass. Can’t wait for trade deadline to say farewell because no way will SB continue with this team. And Q will probably call it quits at end of season when the hammer drops to clean house ! It been 2 years of bandages and the bleeding won’t stop! There’s nothing wrong with it either. Father Time catches everyone. The contracts given out was SB getting caught up in the dynasty ora But the cap had to be realized and wasn’t! People aren’t running to tv’s to watch anymore and there not talking on how great the game was but how bad they are to what they were ! All in on watching kids play there hearts out then worn out stars of the past.

  4. Fire Q… I really Think players are not willing To play for him
    Wake up Stan… this team need a good another center, 2 top 4 defs and a good goalie… So see ya next year if you are not doing that!

    Etcheurer en ciboire de voir cette marde sur la glace soir après soir!

  5. Why is Sharp on the 1st PP unit/

    seems like Dcat- would be better option or Hino.

    Almost- looking like Hawks are trying to tank/Plan for better Draft pick and next year’s trades/contract moves… if possible

  6. Mental game not there, they show there is still skill but they are not mentally playing good hoc?ey. That first goal regardless of the no call was still a terrible hockey effort. Glass could have been in better position but Gustafsson and Sharp totally quit on the play and hung him out to dry. Keith making a drop pass on pp to Tampa player, he is not in it mentally, Gustafsson bad mental mistake on a pass too. Oesterle bad decision on the boards for a goal, Kempny standing behind the net and letting the Tampa player skate in take the puck on what was almost a goal but Glass cane up big. Saad letting scoring chances get away, numerous fanned or missed shots, just not anywhere mentally at level they need to be as a team. Powerplay no confidence and the Blackhawks swagger no where to be found.

  7. We need to be done with the drop back passes there not effective when they are too far from the guy or when there on the side near far boards.

    Yea too many mentals and still even/outplayed them a little. Need this 2 and half wks over already. Wake me up when its FEB.

  8. Tab not sure what game you were watching. Or maybe you just missed the second period during which they had multiple long stretches where they dominated possession. I actually thought they played with a lot of energy and effort. Play dipped a bit after that short handed goal of course and they needed to score on at least one of those power plays, but against most other opponents that effort would have at least resulted in some goals and probably a win. Vasilevsky was playing out of his mind. I like the lineup changes too. It’s close, but I don’t think the playoff window is shut quite yet.

  9. Morrison with all due respect you need to take the homer glasses off. This team is exactly as good as their record states.

    They’re not unlucky, they’re not the victim of bad officiating. They’re just not good enough in today’s NHL.

    Now to the game. I thought they played with a lot of energy and passion. They hung around and in fact did dominate stretches of this game but they simply couldn’t solve 88.

    Tampa is a top team that were riding a 3 game skid so they wanted this one. They came out firing in the 1st period.

    Glass played really well but that short handed miscue killed the boys. Again, the power play failed to get the job done. For whatever reason in seasons past we could get away with our dominant even strength play, that is no longer the case and the lack of special team offence is killing us.

  10. “Fire Q… I really Think players are not willing…” (Steven D.) — can they (instead) fire all of the “core” players not named Patrick Kane?

    “…missed the second period during which they had multiple long stretches where they dominated possession” (Ganderhawk) – perhaps, but what was the result of all that possession? The team forgot how to finish!! (Or, they pass their way into disadvantageous scoring areas.) Corsi doesn’t reflect actual quality scoring chances, or shitty shots.

    I chose to be “Half-FULL” – the way things are going the Hawks might actually lottery into a really good draft pick…

  11. Playoffs? Did you say playoffs? While the effort seemed to be sharper and more direct against an inspired TB team, the reality is that this team is last in the division with the next to last place team clear by 7 points. The record says that this is the fourth worst team in the conference. Die hard fan but reality is what it is. This team is lacking some critical pieces to get over the hump. While they can play against anyone on any night, they lack that consistency to forge their will for long stretches of games and I sense that they know it. Stan owes Q and the vets some answers with more role players and guys willing to do the dirty work. The roster as it is comprised is 100% in line with the record. Question is can another coach do better with this roster? I doubt it. The roster is the problem.

  12. Team backchecking was unequivocally nonexistent last night, #91 withstanding…have not seen anything to suggest that this NHL-level player has any hockey sense, which is frankly insulting; THAT (1st line) experiment is over because he hampered 19 & 20. Again, the heat map tells the story, said so begrudgingly to my wife early in the 2nd. Dropped 40 on Vasilevsky, maybe 2 were actually difficult saves. Keith’s cute goal crease breakout passes are getting contagious, not a good thing. Dunno where we go from here, but gearing up for years of non-attendance.

  13. I’d like to add that I personally have the ultimate respect for what Rocky’s done. May he see the way through this.

  14. This has nothing to do with coaching. This has to do with the GM’s inability to make the right decisions for the good of the team.
    #1. We have NO goaltending depth in the organization.
    #2. We have players with no trade clauses that are over paid and cannot be moved.
    #3. We continually bring back players thinking that we can reclaim the glory days.
    #4. We have players who have hit a “wall” in their development.
    #5. We have players who have LOST their ability to play this game at the NHL level.

    If this team makes the playoffs it will be a MIRACLE!!

    Even through all of the CRAP that we are watching, this is STILL my favorite pro team to watch in Chicago. Let’s stop blaming the referee’s, the bad bounces, the lack of “puck luck” and the schedule. Great teams ALWAYS fall from grace. These players and coaches are as frustrated as we are.

    Let’s get ready and win a game on Wednesday!!

  15. Signs of brilliance! Stretches of chemistry! But many, many mental mistakes- yes PP abysmal and defensive zone coverage patchy but some improved passing and skating! This team can compete with, or without Crawford in nets- but they have NOT gelled as a team, there seems to be little on-ice leadership and the compete level isn’t instilled in each and every one of them. I still think they should have Hayden up- he, not Jurco, Wingels or Bouma- is the future- and I think some line consistency would be a good thing- 20,19,91 I like a lot! 12,15,88 might reincarnate last years magic- then 40,8, 38…..Osterle is a keeper, another solid “D” at the trade deadline ( like they did getting Oduya so many years ago!) I dunno- win or lose isn’t as critical now as “ being hungry, and being competitive”!!

  16. Bolts cruised through this one despite Hawks throwing lots of pucks on net. As just stated above the Hawks quality chances were not that many considering shot totals. Power play drought is now on ridiculous. Slow puck movement, poor player rotation, not enough shots taken, lack of good screens all adds up to what 0-16 recently I think…?Five on three and a 4 minute advantage last night while giving up a goofy shorty that was the only mistake Glass made all night. O for 6 on the PP almost locks in a loss right there. Just painful to watch.

    I also concur with LBS8844 regarding Duclair. This guy was a passenger last night. Won’t put the body on anyone, lackadaisical attitude. He made one nice pass and botched a breakaway with a poor effort. Get that guy off so called #1 line. SB moved Panik for inconsistent effort and salary for this guy who seems to think since the other guys aren’t busting their butts why should I? Needless to say apart from the Jets game Duclair ain’t lighting it up, but then again apart from Kane trying to generate offense, no one else is either. Right now this team just can’t finish around the net especially Saad. In trying to figure out what happened to the Brandon Saad we used to know, my observation is this guy has lost some weight and some strength. Yes, he is still a very good skater and can pull away from opposition, but his quality chances either miss the net or he simply hits the goalie. It is baffling for me to watch this.

    Are players like Toews and Saad on some sort of elite special diet and workout regimen that is supposed to make players leaner and faster at the expense of losing strength? Looking at career numbers Toews is pretty much where he has been and to lesser degree Saad too. Watching games though there is something physical that has changed. Given quality chances that are coming Saad’s way one would think goals have to come in bunches, but when?

    How many one timers flat out missed last night. Was it 5-6?

    I don;’t have stats in front of me to back it up, but I think we have to go back years to find a season where Hawks dropped 3 straight at the UC. Fans at these past 3 have had little if anything to cheer about.

    If there is light at the end of tunnel I’m not seeing it. Rough stuff lately guys. Sorry for not being more upbeat…

    Lets Go Hawks!

  17. Tab mentioned that Sharp didn’t have a good night. Maybe he didn’t, but he catches a lot of negative criticism on the board and yet I see him around the puck way more than I see Saad. I think Sharp’s best days are obviously long past him but I see him putting forth an effort on the ice and on the bench. He seems to have some rapport with Kane (who I think is doing what he can, in light of the mental check out status of several of his teammates).

    Phil hit it on the head in a post above about the back checking being non-existent. That’s a Hossa trait that’s sorely missed.

    Last night’s game had it’s good moments, but it was also full of the Keystone Cops type play where you almost can hear the Benny Hill theme song playing as they try to corral the puck.

    I absolutely LOVE Jonathan Toews. I’ve defended him this year all along. But alas I must concede that he, and Saad, seem to lack physical strength. There are these stretches of light switch on/light switch off that are pretty baffling.

    I have no answers. I’m just hoping for better days to come.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  18. Why is Patrick Sharp skating on the 2nd line and eating up huge mins of PP time? This is exactly why I didn’t want him back! What’s the point of that?

    Overall I thought the Hawks played pretty good. Tampa is a better team. This team has somwe here between 9-11 games to lose before a playoff miss is all but certain. The Hawks could have drafted the big Russia goalie if they wanted him.

  19. I’m with Ganderhawk-saw a game were they put forth the effort–and with a transition team (and by that I mean not the team they used to be or will be) that’s all you can ask.
    You can be critical of the macro parts of this team but not the effort last night. Any team, and that includes the Bolts, make mistakes which the Hawks did but they tried and were engaged.

    That being said-they don’t have a #1 goalie-they struggle with consistency game to game, they turn the puck over too much and they aren’t good enough to win this year.

    With the loss 13.3% chance to make the playoffs.

  20. – Men wearing letters on their sweaters not performing or leading this team. Complete apathy. Their needs to be a demotion
    – Keith has become a turn over machine and has no interest in skating hard on the rush. Skates in circles.
    – Sharp on the 1st PP…really
    – PP is piss poor, Dennen must be held accountable and dismissed. You can not fire all the players
    – Q has had a great run and we will forever be grateful for 3 cups but his time here is over
    – Saad needs some time in the press box

    Go Hawks and lets start on the fly rebuild to make another cup run before Kaner gets to old. SB is on the clock

  21. Bird, I didnt mean to sound like blaming refs thats not what I meant. I thought they called the penatlys against them in 1 and 2 and didnot in 3rd like the first game against them that had that Schmatlz penalty that didnt even happen. For example when 8 passes the puck to 88 and he redirected on net then went around the net-behind and the guy put into baorads and tackled him agasint the boards. Thats interference (and they did the same thing in the first game in the 3rd against us).

    I think we didnt win because of the things Ian said. Anyways not blaming refs for loss just those things piss me off when were trying to score and we get tackled out of the play.

    I do think now we have a midtier tem not a top 10 team with alot of rookies and first yr league guys. That are going to get better each yr so think were going to be good fro the coming yrs. We need to keep getting younger and faster to find the right mix.

    I thought we would have Crow and without him and two ahl goalies we prob are a .500 to 5 games better then a .500 team. With Crow and the upside of a lot of good young players and certain core players we can do it again. Not unitl we get better though.

  22. First of all this team is NOT going to make the playoffs. Even if they were to get hot there are too many teams for them to jump. Start playing all the kids you can if there are players in Rockford you want to see bring them up you might as well see if they can play. Example if Duclair is a bust don’t resign him what did you loose anyway Panik. At the deadline be sellers don’t kid yourself about this group. If we had a decent power play things could be different possibly as many as 7 more wins would make a big difference in the standings. I have nothing but respect for Q but if he’s lost the team then you need to make a change. Dineen should have gone with Kitchen. We need to start rebuilding so a higher draft pick won’t hurt and if you can get additional picks from trades all the better. Stop playing Keith 25 minutes and younger Dmen 13. Time to get real about this team, Tab said they need to start playing “Blackhawk Hockey” well unfortunately with this team that’s what your seeing.

  23. Agree with many here… Toews/Saad- where has the Physical strength dominance gone???

    Especially Toews- at his rate of decline- TT will be beating 19 up on the boards soon.
    At least TT can still shoot the puck… Toews has whiffed on more one-timers this year than all of his previous years combined… 19 versus Ducks 2015 PO’s- to this Toews – in just over 2 years… really puzzling!!!

  24. With the obvious need as Tab noted of a shutdown pair and Keith’s season long offensive woes why not try him and Murphy in that role. Smart experience and young physical, Oesterle getting trusted with big minutes still plays his special team minutes and gets lots of ice time and pair him with Rutta for the O zone starts. Seabrook actually with Murphy the best blueliners last night stays in with Kempny who didn’t seize the chance to build a case to stay in but Gustafsson’s disinterested play should put him in the press box.

  25. TB coaches were quite upset on the 4 minute minor call. Perhaps what they were looking for was a double minor plus the unsportsmanlike (i.e. 6 minutes), but no matter, it worked out for them.

    I was actually at a game once where we got double bench minor that Billy Reay didn’t like, so he sent the backup goalie to serve it. Refs added another for that.

  26. Kempny can skate-period. And did you see the lateral cross over steps at the blueline-ala. a younger Keith.

    Kampf, he can play the 3rd center spot on any team. He appears out of the blue. With Gustafsson looking better after being in Rockford there are a few good pieces on the blue line for the future.
    8 looks legit so there are some building pieces.

    There are some definite needs– A goalie, to replace 50 at some point, a tough (mean) d-men with some size that can skate and another center to replace AA . I think Debrincat will be a good 25 goal scorer in a year or two. Not sure about Saad and hope Hartman finds his game. Some talent to replace Panarin and TT. Kane will be wasted , but will continue to entertain us for another couple of years or more.
    Trading 19 means you need another really good center and they’re hard to find. His game isn’t the same, no doubt.

    The team needs a new identity.

  27. wow only saw a little of this game but the question I have is when is this team going to bottom out? They keep getting worse. The compete level across the board was much higher last night that it has been recently, because they know Tampa is good and they would get really embarrassed by them if they played like they did against the Red Wings.

    Stop ragging on the Saad Panarin deal. It hasn’t worked out but he is still young, and Panarin had two years of doing nothing in the playoffs while we got bounced in the first round. Worth the risk, but yes in hindsight, it has not worked.

    This team is going to have to get really bad before it gets good again. As someone pointed out, the declining play of the vets and the NMCs conspire to make this a very difficult situation to fix. Any improvement we have is at the mercy of how fast our young guys improve. And at this point it is too early to even say what Hartman, Schmaltz, Dcat, Hino, Forsling, Rutta, Kempny, Osterle, are at the NHL level. Are any of them stars? Maybe, maybe not. If we can’t grow any stars to replace the vets who are declining, then the rebound we are all looking for is not coming any time soon.

  28. Just watched hockey central at noon and Eddie Olczyk was on the line and him and Kypreos talked about the 93-94 season they were teammates with nyr playing for Keenan. If you get a chance to watch or stream it do so. Talking about players the camaraderie they had and staying out late and how Iron Mike was to play for, hilarious and entertaining. Makes you wonder just how much the Blackhawks has been able to come together as team this year off ice and how much it is affecting what we are seeing.

  29. Bottom Line: the Hawks were a borderline playoff team with Crawford playing at a Vezina level … now, turn out the lights, the party’s over.

  30. As of now we would pick 10th. We could use a seriously high end prospect which we haven’t had for a long time. Pens not doing much better than us. It comes with the being at the top. The only thing that would bother me would be staying a mid-pack team forever like the Wings were.

  31. As of now we would pick 10th. We could use a seriously high end prospect which we haven’t had for a long time. Pens not doing much better than us. It comes with the being at the top. The only thing that would bother me would be staying a mid-pack team forever like the Wings were.

  32. Mike the no show redwings and disinterested islanders play was the bottom. Only up from here no joking around now. With anything.

  33. Checked the twitter feeds of the beat writers and found out Jonathan “C” Toews and Duncan “A” Keith are not at practice today – taking a maintenance day was the way it was said. Well okay then … apparently the captain and alternate captain think this is a good way to lead the team after a tough loss. But hey, Tazer is really good at high-fiving his teammates as they leave the ice after a game, so I guess that’s what really matters to be a good leader.

  34. ER- Re: Toews leading team.

    Ouch!!!

    Can we all hope that the Hawks are tanking on purpose… cuz they absolutely Love a top ten pick… and are locked on Him…

    seems like the “fight and the skill” has left so many guys- very quickly… 2,7, 19, 20

  35. @ EBONYRAPTOR

    Good call, very valid point. A month ago I’d say there is no chance that Q gets fired, now I’m not so sure. Things have gone from bad to worse quickly.

  36. I am with Noonan get a new identity. Said that awhile ago. Now time deadline/draft/summer. Be creative.

  37. interesting article from Mark Lazerus. He seems to think the rebuild is happing now. I’m not sure I buy this take; If it is I have a problem with Sharp playing the PP, DeBrincat playing on the 3rd line, and Forsling in RFD. Also, where are the trades for picks? The Hawks are still missing 2nd and 4th rounders due to a pair of silly trades last year and the following year have only added an additional pick in the 7th round which is slightly better than signing a UFA

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/blackhawks-season-might-be-a-lost-cause-but-the-future-doesnt-have-to-be/

  38. New identity: younger and faster. The roster is moving in the right direction as fast as it can given the NMCs.

    Possession is very good but our play without the puck is not. Only 88 and 8 create space and time for each other. 19 and 20 consistently dominate possession but do not generate chances from it. Some subtle picks and better choices without the puck would help.

    So would beating a freaking check every now and then. Beat check = scoring chance. When Foley says the phrase “fights through a check” I swear he is talking about Kane half the time. That’s why I miss Hossa so much, and Toews just isn’t doing it anymore. We used to have 3 or 4 forwards who could make something from nothing once or twice per game. Now it’s just Kane.

    If anybody knows the combo for beast mode, now would be a good time.

  39. I agree with Lazerus. We’re changing on the fly, so to speak. A younger, faster team is what we need, and I don’t think anyone here disagrees with that. The only problem with change is it’s usually slow and often painful. In our case right now, it’s both. There are many good things happening for us, though they’re not showing on the scoreboard yet and probably won’t until next year. My hope is that Stan won’t trade away any of our youth or draft picks (we have precious few of those as it is), because there is no quick fix for this year.

  40. Tony agree, stay the course heading in the right direction. Looking at the draft picks and there is 6 or 7 defensemen scouts are very high on that project to go between 5th and 15th pick range with 4 or 5 decent size, mobilty and high upside.

  41. While I know everyone is now starting to get their Chicago Bears “think Draft from mid-season on” brains back in gear, I will remind everyone that the Blackhawks have a nice pipeline of defensemen already coming. What they need is high-end forwards to compliment what’s already here. No more Wingels-Bouma-Jurco and more guys like Hinostroza, Hayden, Schmaltz and DeBrincat. We will get a taste of what Dikura brings to the table in March/April. But the Hawks need to restock up front.

  42. Lots of good comments, but Tony’s and Ian’s are the best. Many here need to face reality. The Hawks are getting younger and faster in a hurry with many playing in their first or second season. Several are high-quality players who will have long careers. Stop fretting over making the playoffs. The time horizon should be the next two-three years (sorry). They are making moves in the right direction.

    Stan traded away high picks in recent years and others in past years did not work out. You can’t keep winning in this situation. This season and last (and next) are moderate rebuilding years. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are the Blackhawks.

    For those who think the problem can be solved by firing Q, you will be sorry if they do. He is open to experimenting and mixing lines to come up with the right formula. To say he doesn’t care anymore is ridiculous. Absolutely one of the greatest coaches.

    The Hawks do not create much traffic in front of the net. They out-shoot their opponents but are unable to take advantage of second chances because they do not have the muscle. Byfuglien was best at this, followed by Shaw. AA and Saad are decent but they need some stronger players here.

    Hopefully the Hawks will be smart sellers at the trade deadline and this summer. There is an opportunity to sell some veterans for good prospects and high picks. And clear some cap space.

  43. Not disagreeing Tab but just looking at rankings the best plaýers available when they pick could be bigger skilled defensemen with top 4 potential which is lacking in the system.

  44. Tab I agree about the Hawks needs more at forward than defense. I would liked to get a look at Snuggerud and Dahlstrom before the season is over. We also have some nice looking defense prospects in college and junior’s. I do think however what we need most are goalie prospects. At the deadline we should move Any of the following that we can Wingels, Bouma, Franson, Sharp, Anisimov or any other vets that might give up their NMC. Love this site Tab keep up the good work!

  45. @ ER

    Are you kidding me a maintenance day. After one week off and playing uninterested hockey, really? What message is Q sending to the remiander of the team.

    I guess Keith did not need to work on his shot with all the goals that he has gotten this year, and Toews did not need to work on staying on his skates. This is a big surprise. Q’s days are numbered

  46. @O6

    Its not that Q does not care. It looks as if the team is not responding to his directives. I think we all agree that the team is not playing Hawks style hockey. Q has been very consistent in his style and demands of the team over the years. Q has not deviated his defensive structure. After many years and big money vets, Q message has become background noise and no one is responding.

    Hossa lived the D and hard work every game and was the example that the younger teammates emulated. Toews not so much. Change is good some times

  47. I would like to Sveberg in front of the net on the powerplay….that is all.

  48. I know a player having confidence can be the difference between success and struggle. We’ve seen very good players play poorly for long stretches because they’re not playing with confidence and letting their play “flow”. We call it “gripping the stick too hard” or “trying to do too much” but it is really the player pressing because their poor play is snowballing and it’s weighing on them. We’ve seen it spread throughout a team when top players are pressing and the lesser players follow suit. Is that what is happening to Toews and Keith and Saad (and others)?

    Take Saad for example – what the heck has happened to him? He still has the speed that he’s displayed several times over the past couple game where he blew past defenders and headed to the net … but he gets no results. He was never a sniper so I don’t expect that from him now but my goodness he is all of a sudden inept with the puck on his stick. Even on board battles it seems like he doesn’t win the puck very often and when he does he doesn’t control it and do much with it. Is it a case of lost confidence, and if yes, how does he get it back?

    I would either put Saad with Schmaltz and Kane or Kane with Saad and Toews. The point being to give Kane a chance to set up Saad and maybe give him some confidence if he can pot a few of Kane’s setups. We need to find the guy we traded Panarin for because the guy wearing the #20 jersey ain’t him.

  49. Just a thought open for discussion-re HHNL
    While I agree that the effort towards the structure is sometimes lacking, and I believe Q still cares– is it that the Hawks aren’t playing HAWKS style of hockey like in the past or they can’t (as in don’t have the same horses, less desire to do so, the game in general has changed?)

    I see the same types of things tried as in the past just not done well or just not working. My frustration is that they try and try to do the same things over and over -it’s just not getting the desired results-(again 50’s worth is being magnified)

    Who’s to blame?, perhaps a lot of things and Q’s message probably has become background noise–but that is normal after 10 years–in my opinion it will be the younger guys , that haven’t tasted the champagne that will change the course. (and probably not Q)

  50. Changing a coach can pick up team sometimes with a new message, although it is unfair blaming him, he is not the reason the players are not engaged. Issue then is your going to have play against Q where ever he lands and that is not a good prospect either.

  51. I believe we are seeing just how important Hossa was to this team. He was always relentless when playing the puck which provided a lot to Saad and Toews when they played together. Even last year when he played on lower pairings he was great. If the Hawks are looking for a bigger Dman they have one that’s 6’3″ and 234 pounds and plays defense in Rockford (Dahlstrom). It’s time to play the kids all of them to find out what we have and who can play at the NHL level. Stop the Keith 25 minutes balance it out. Wether we want to acknowledge it or not we are in a rebuilding faze and we need to be. Be sellers at the deadline and talk to some of the NMC group in the off season. Love the Hawks but all sports are cyclical and we are currently in the downward side so we need change!

  52. Tab- I agree – Hawks seem to have “lot’s” of potential… with up and coming D guys in system… keyword “Potential”… they need 2 to three of these guys to “Hit” and become top 4 guys… at this point- I would say about 50/50 chance.

    To add- are any of these guys the next Keith/prime??? I don’t know… I loved Mitchell from camp- super quick feet, reads play super fast… but tiny.
    Joker- did not impress me at camp… putting up big CHL Jr. numbers… but seems average skater (like Pokka)
    Hillman and Gilbert- seem very smart/positional types ( can one be next Hammer?)
    Carlsson- haven’t seen much- but + skater, putting up decent Numbers in SHL
    Snuggy- really liked- but lot’s of injuries this year
    Tuulola- I really like… TvR type- just smart- not gonna blow you away
    Dahlstrom – I like- easy 4-6 type guy

    WTS- I think Hawks need more in the Forward department- size and grit combined with Talent/skill to finish… not to many of those types around… Toews/Hossa – used to be those guys… One can say- both are no longer there for the Hawks.

    My Hope- Is Hawks draft one this summer … and SB trades for the other (and or uses cap space from Hoss + trade)…

    Having 2 more James Neal/Evander Kane types (not those 2… but younger -cheaper up and coming guys…) could be the ticket to making Hawks “relevant” again

  53. Manson-

    agree on last post-HOF Hossa was a bigger factor (making both Saad and 19- greater than they were)

    Also- time to move some NMC guys and really Re-tool quickly and perhaps find those 2 Power-type forwards via draft/trade (gonna take some luck… cuz those guys are in short supply)… power guy doesn’t have to be giant… but play like Shaw… where did Shaw score all of his goals???

    Tim Soderlund- draft kid- plays like Shaw, quick, feisty, aggressive, with some finish.

    More picks/trades for guys like Shaw/Soderlund… Hawks will need a little luck “finding” them… but it would go a long way to making this Team Decent again…

    Of Course dumping one or two of those NMC/Big contracts would help too

  54. I hope everyone will not be too disappointed if they call up Dahlstrom to play D and you find out the big guy sucks. I’ve seen him at prospect camp, in games here in North America, and written a reporter who speaks with the Hawks player development staff, who were very disappointed in him leading into this season. He is not physical at all, despite his size. He has been OK this year in Rockford but he will have to overcome a long history of suck to become an actual NHL player. I would not hold my breath on that guy, in fact I would bet against him.

    Snuggerud is probably the closest thing we have to an NHL player on D in Rockford. And he probably needs another year there. The problem with all the young D we have is no one is jumping out as a number one pair guy, or number two pair guy, consistently. They play really well, then for stretches, really poorly.

    I would not for a second avoid taking a dman in the draft, because for all the prospects we have, I’m not sure we have any sure things. Although I think we are organizationally desperate for skilled top line centers especially. Toews has no one to pass the bar to as he ages. And when you consider we are likely to move Anisimov eventually, the dropoff in skill from Schmaltz to whoever the 3rd center is in the organization is more of a Grand Canyon.

    I cast my vote for best player available regardless of position. Just not a goalie in the first round. No one picks them that high, too low of a hit ratio on goalies, unless there is an out of this world guy, which I do not think is the case this year.

  55. Good discussion here. I’d be open to any and all changes at this stage. Including moving 88 or 50 although I’d prefer they kept both. I would also be open to them moving Keith. His contact and skill makes his extremely valuable. I’ve come to the realization the Seabs and Toews will retire Hawks eating up almost 18 million while providing leadership and limited results. A case can be make for drafting any position at this stage.

  56. Tickets for an original six game tonight are available on Ticketmaster, some at low prices ($150 for a pair together in the lower bowl).

    Got a phone call from someone with the Blackhawks who left a message saying that they know I’m on the season ticket waiting list, and would I be interested in knowing when tickets become available for single games. That’s the first time that’s happened in 8 years. You typically only see guys on the phones or email beating the bushes for the Chicago Wolves or the AHL affiliates.

    Tickets for tonights Leafs game are on the NHL Exchange for pretty darn cheap, and plenty of them. People still want to get their money back for the lower bowl seats, but the first few rows of 300 level are going for less than face by far.

    It could certainly turn on a dime if the team gets hot, but this is an indication that supply and demand economics are going in a different direction.

  57. Southside, I hope this is looked at with some optimism-these changes we’re going to happen and look forward to seeing what unfolds. Making the playoffs and bowing out early, to me, is more of a downer. I actually feel some excitement for what might unfold.
    Seeing some of the youth and possibility is good-lets hope smart moves are made.

    I’d like to see one of the blueliners have an edge and talent, kind of like Keith can have but at 215/220 pounds. The goalies will be happier.

  58. Southside you are right youth sort of makes fans ok with losing because it brings the promise of a better future. The worst thing is losing with a bunch of 35 year old guys because they will never get better. You can see this going on with the White Sox right now, and the Cubs did it before wining the Series.

    Keith is a hall of fame defenseman. Lock. EVERY defenseman that has won a Norris and a Conn Smythe trophy as Keith has, is in the hall of fame. That is where he is headed. I think that’s probably too high of a standard to apply to any of these young defensemen the Hawks currently have.

    One reason they keep trotting him out on the power play is how he and Kane can play pitch and catch with the puck near the blue line as they wait for things to open up (which seldom happens because everyone just stands around). But if you watch closely you can see Keith’s eye-hand coordination is elite level. Kane looks for him a lot even 5 on 5 when he has to unload the puck in the offensive zone because he knows Keith can handle it and move it somewhere without losing it. I would be happy if one of the young guys can develop their skill level enough that that can develop a similar repertoire with Kane and we don’t have to rely on Keith so much to play with the top line and on the power play all the time. Right now we just don’t have other options that are as good, funny as that may sound about a guy with zero goals on the year.

    He is a hall of fame talent who is getting older but still better than most guys. I don’t think you can trade him because of what message that would send to guys like Kane. You’d lose him. It would say we aren’t going to be trying to compete for a Cup next year. No way they move Keith.

  59. Lke the idea of a good Dman then we have 2 top pair D prospects. Ok to have more D then we need then trade one for a good FW like NAS did. 91 could sign here for free in summer.

    This is the best thread this yr. Feels good. Making the right trades/adjustments to make roster team better to be good again for these coming yrs. That is exciting.

  60. If the Hawks are looking for a bigger, physical defensive defenseman, a lot of people I’ve talked to really like Dennis Gilbert’s upside (more than Johns fwiw).

    The Hawks have a handful of really good puck moving defensemen coming, and I’m especially high on Ian Mitchell at DU. So there’s talent in the pipeline.

    Now… about between today and when those kids are in the NHL lineup…….

  61. I am not advocating it has to be a big Dman but what i see as the core ages, there is no one in the system who brings what we saw in Seabrook, Toews, Crawford or Hossa to replace them but alot of Kane clones with less upside and maybe some possible Keith replacements. If the best player available to draft is a blue chip center buy all means go for him.

  62. put Vinnie back on Toews line, they were really goin. Q just cant leave anything alone. try Duclair with Kaner

  63. Forsling gets 8 shots on net and a goal in the last game with Rockford. That he can do, hopefully he works on some of the positioning he needs to get better. And then this summer get stronger.

  64. Have to move AA this year and Hossa’s contract by at least end of next season and might be able to keep your young guys. Then probably need Seabrook or another by 2 years time or be trading younger guys for cap room to do it Mo but with a gameplan maybe do it.

  65. 1-4-1 on 6 game home stand in crucial stretch. Enough said.
    “You are what your record says you are” – Bill Parcells.

    The Hawks have roughly 5 “bad” contracts going forward :

    Toews = not a #1 Center. $ 10.5 Million.
    Saad = not a 1st line power forward. $ 6 Million.
    Seabrook = not a top-3 defenseman. $7 Million.
    Murphy = not a $ 4 Million defenseman YET. But he might be worth it with the right Coach, a longer leash for error and the constant Hjalmarsson nostalgia.
    Anisimov = big Center. I actually like the player. But not for $ 5 Million.

    Toews, Seabrook and Murphy are likely not going anywhere.
    I would love to see Stan move Anisimov to a contender for a ridiculous price at the deadline.

    Should Stan trade Saad and his $6 Million contract if offered ? Hmmm

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