Blackhawks On The Brink After OT Loss

In the first two games of the series, Nashville came out and scored in the opening period. The script was working, so the Preds didn’t deviate on home ice.

Nashville out-shot the Hawks 18-9 in the first period and owned the second half of the period. But there was one massive difference between this game and its two predecessors.

The Preds didn’t score.

Chicago almost got on the board in the least conventional way possible. While killing a Marcus Kruger penalty in the middle of the first, a Johnny Oduya clear bounced off a stanchion and directed right at the net which had been vacated by Pekka Rinne. Rinne dove back in front of the net and got just enough of a piece to keep Chicago off the board.

Corey Crawford did terrific work in the first to keep the game tied at zero, and as the game got more physical in the second period the skaters in front of him were able to take advantage.

Dennis Rasmussen – of course – scored the first Blackhawks goal of the series 65 seconds into the second period.

The great setup came from Kruger after a strong play by Richard Panik in the corner; a line combination that coach Joel Quenneville put together was working well in the second period.

Ten minutes later, Ryan Ellis went to the box for delay of game and Chicago took advantage of a power play – finally.

The goal is the 50th career postseason goal for Kane and gave the Hawks a much-needed two-goal lead.

Chicago’s shot-blocking was much better in the second period and Crawford remained strong between the pipes, and the Hawks held onto their two-goal lead through 40 minutes. The Hawks out-shot the Preds 12-9 in the second period as Nashville continued to play a physical game.

The lively glass that almost caught Rinne in the first period got the Hawks early in the third. A shot was tipped high by Crawford and bounced hard off the glass, coming all the way back in front of the net. The puck found Filip Forsberg on the doorstep and he easily tapped home the Preds’ first goal of the game, cutting Chicago’s lead in half 4:24 into the third.

As the third period progressed, the Preds took turns taking shots at Jonathan Toews. PK Subban horse-collared him 50 feet away from the puck right in front of an official – no call. Later, on a puck frozen by Rinne, Roman Josi cross-checked him to the ice – no call.

With six minutes left in regulation, another loose rebound found the stick of Forsberg in front of the net and he tied the game. Crawford had crept away from this crease and was run into by Viktor Arvidsson as the shot was released by Forsberg. There was obvious contact with Crawford’s head on the play, but he was outside the blue paint. Quenneville challenged that there was interference on the play, but the review quickly confirmed the game was tied.

The league’s official release clarifying the ruling didn’t say anything.

At the time of Forsberg’s goal, shots were 11-6 favoring Nashville in the third period.

The two teams each had chances – and Nashville continued to get away with murder – but neither team scored over the final 5:52 and the game headed to overtime.

Earlier in the night, both Eastern Conference playoff games went to overtime; Chicago and Nashville were simply following suit. The late game between Calgary and Anaheim also went to overtime. Hashtag tv ratings.

Through 60 minutes, Nashville was out-shooting Chicago 40-31 and both of Forsberg’s goals came off incredibly fortunate bounces. Kane had eight of Chicago’s 31 shots; Toews had won 12 of 24 at the dot. Kruger won only one of his first 11 faceoffs, but won a number of key defensive zone draws in the third period. He won five of 17 faceoffs during regulation. Tanner Kero won six of ten.

Only 44 seconds into overtime, Subban and Hossa went off for matching minors, giving us 4-on-4 action. Neither team capitalized on the 4-on-4 and overtime continued at even strength.

With ten minutes left in overtime, Kevin Fiala whiffed on an open cage. Four minutes later, Fiala had another golden opportunity that was denied by Crawford. Both results left him staring at the ceiling in disbelief. The kick save by Crawford with six minutes left in overtime was a magnificent effort by Chicago’s netminder.

Fiala got another look with 3:16 left in overtime and wouldn’t be denied a third time. He deposited the game-winner and sent the Hawks to their dressing room looking at a 3-0 series deficit.

Crawford made 46 saves.

Kane skated 28:25 and put nine shots on goal.

Toews skated 26:18 and won 15 of 27 at the dot and had three hits.

129 thoughts on “Blackhawks On The Brink After OT Loss

  1. What a disappointing finish to the year. Crawford played hard tonight and deserved a win, the allowed goal was a complete screw job. The whole team really played hard, the refs were bad.

    Sadly I believe this is the window closing, the guys are struggling to keep up with younger teams after all the mileage. It’s been a great ride and the heart will always be with this team. However, Bowman has some work to do this summer, the main core can’t do it on its own anymore.

  2. Blackhawks played regular season hockey while the preds played balls out playoff hockey. One could sense the inevitability of a preds win by the middle of the second. Preds were playing under the influence of playoff HGH while hawks were taking nugenix. Toews expended more energy complaining to the refs vs playing hockey. Horrible turnover at blueline by Hossa lead to overtime goal.
    Thanks for the memories core, but time, along with the preds, have past u by

  3. Well we will watch game 4 but unfortunately the Preds seem faster and certainly seem to want it more than our guys. Not expecting a repeat of the Vancouver series from a few years back. The current roster is just not good enough. Lots of work for Stan but it appears he will have plenty of time between the end of our season and July 1st.

  4. The first two games were ugly but today has actually been quite a good effort by the team. The good thing is the hawks have proven they’re only out when they’re out. Nashville better be up to the task or they will become the 2013 Red Wings

  5. Why does Q even bother to put tootoo in the lineup. He had to run 10 guys in OT and the whole team looked GASSED. Get tootoo in the rafters for next game. He is absolutely useless. Meanwhile, you have competent players in Jurco and Hayden who aren’t even getting a shot. You can’t win shit in the playoffs without 4 lines. Hawks, Q, and Stan are learning that the hard way.

  6. We are now the old Detroit R Wings…sorry Q time to move on great memories and wonderful players! Love the effort just not there!

  7. Can’t win games if you can’t win board battles, or faceoffs. Like many above have stated, regardless of calls on the ice, Preds are just bringing it and the hawks aren’t. Relying too much on the boards, which the predators own. This may be the first time that a physical team is just outpowering their skill. As soon as nashville scored that 1st goal, i had a feeling they were gonna win. (and I feel like Crawford could have been slightly more aware/cautious…I know it was a weird bounce, but he was just standing up wandering away from the net) Hopefully we will get to see some desperation hawks hockey for a game or two, which at the very least is entertaining and enjoyable to watch, but I’m not overly optimistic at this point.

  8. This team misses a player like Shaw more than they realize. A series like this is when he is a real asset going to the net, generating energy and playing with heart. They looked completely out classed in that overtime. Can’t rely on Corey to bail them out over and over. Have to generate scoring chances and they failed to do that consistently after the second period. This team can win 4 in a row but really hard to believe they will unless someone steps up and takes charge. Unfortunately our captain hasn’t done that yet and outside of Kane I don’t know who will. And where the hell is Panarin in the playoffs? Been great all season and fun to watch the last two years but seems to completely disappear come mid April.

    Hope these 2 days off prove beneficial. Not ready for this season to end.

  9. Does anyone else think Q owes it to the fans to play the best 12 forwards? Tootoo is useless out there. My god put in Hayden and/or Jurco and roll 4 lines. At least they offer some size, speed and skill for the bottom 6. Campbell is also done. Put in Kempney. The coaches job is to put the best players out there that give the team the best chance to win. Q isn’t doing that. Nobody is saying these guys in the press box are superstars and of course I don’t know if playing the best players would make a difference. But he owes it to the fans to put the best players out there and at least try! He pulled the same nonsense last year and they lost to St Louis because of it even though they had better team. By the time he figured out who to play they are in elimination games. And before that remember how he kept throwing Bollig out there and then end up playing two and half lines. Bowman needs to do an intervention, Panik played great and Kane’s goal was awesome, I don’t blame Crawford. The way he played they should have won.

  10. The season is over. Its time to face the facts. This team is no longer a playoff threat. All of the glaring holes in their game were exemplified in these three playoff games. They’re just not deep or solid enough to win games.

    Yeah we can complain about the second goal all we want the we were outmatched, our hustled and straight up outclassed. There was seldom a time in this game where the Hawks could maintain any pressure and the Preds turned our defensive zone into a shooting gallery.

    Hey the 3 cups were nice! They really were. At least we got to see them raise the mug in our lives. More than a lot of Original Six fan clubs can say.

    This team is done. And this series was sad to watch. Adios boys.

  11. This doesn’t look like a team thats wants it bad enough. Seem to be going through the motions but not really into it. Still believe there is enough talent but the leaders don’t have that hungry look that rubs off on the rest if the team right now. Crawford only star player who seems to have his game at the level needed to win this series. I’m sure they have enough pride to keep trying to fight through to the end and try to get there though.

  12. Hawks need a big Canadian stud ! Or an Amercan stud like Saad! I was upset when they let him go! Kane is a wizzard, but he and Panarin are not overly large . They dont have Big Bic , anymore . Yes Toews dosent look himself ( burnout ? ) he has done alot in a short amount of time. They say Kieth is tireless , im not so sure. Dam salary cap is tough to negotiate . Hawks are a modern dynasty though , and have given their fans some very memorable moments over the years !

  13. “Sorry about the Chiefs, Reg. I’m doing a tribute to the team on Sunday. “Chiefs Fold: A Sad Commentary.” – Something along those lines. – Dickie.”

    “We are now the old Detroit R Wings…” (Eric) — Unfortunately, yes, it appears so.

    “This team misses a player like Shaw…” (Fourfeathers) — Absolutely NOT! (Sorry. It is not on ONE player…”Preds are just playing on a different level right now…” (Mrfenn92) — Absolutely YES!) I hate to admit…that is, witness it, but this is (OR, certainly seems to be) the END of it. I cannot offer any explanation (but I’m fairly certain the Hawks will come up several excuses…).

    “Complacent”? “Content”? “Comfortable”? “Tired”? “Lazy”? “Jaded”? “Old”? “Worn-out”? Bullshit”???

    I have considered the comments of Rufus.T and Wall >>> I don’t necessarily agree, but I also do not dismiss – and this series (so far…ESPECIALLY game two) should alert us all. I certainly hope Stan B., McDonough, et al, RE-EVALUATE. It’s comfortable to try to lean-on “the core”, “the window of opportunity”, etc., but, there is also the reality (Game Two!) kicking us in the balls – wake up! Maybe a MAJOR move HAS to be made? …Seabrook? Crawford? Another “core player” – a combination…? I don’t know. But, I do know that the effort, the RESULT this season is BULLSHIT!!! Fix it!!!! (Oh, “…and thanks for the memories” – Move now.)

  14. The best thing about The Caps, Blackhawks and NYR going out in the first round will be watching Bettman’s head explode. That and not having to listen to f*****g Chelsea Dagger ONCE this year. Or looking at that goof Vince Vaughn. Toews and Kane in top 100 of all time? Gimme a break. Dynasties make it to more than one cup final in a row. So maybe we can put that fallacy to rest. I guess Crawford isn’t an elite goalie. I’m sorry for all the salt for your wounds. (Actually, I’m not sorry, I hope it hurts.)

  15. Ron must be a Canucks fan ?? Lol Watch the useless Sedins for 10 years , and you appreciate the Hawks…. Bettman ?? He wants parity , thats why he created the cap !

  16. Also, it’s clear I am a complete moron and a fan of some garbage team…anyway, I came here to brag about something, and once the power comes back to my trailer and I don’t have to use my data, you will all know what that is.

  17. You need 4 wins to go to the second round…….so now Hawks have lost their last 7 th games…
    If they kick out in 4 them we will see big move from Stan next summer ….

  18. Tootoo sucks! Kruger needs to seriously work on his shooting. Toews and Seabrook did not deserve their big contracts, even then I knew that Toews didn’t deserve the same contract as Kane. Even Keith looked like a pylon on both Nashville goals.

    Hate to say it but just like last season, poor defensive coverage and nonexistent puck control will lead this team into an early off season. :(

  19. Sad to see the tying goal but truth be told, even with a couple of breaks, the Preds are better at this point.
    Too much style and not enough want and grit for the Hawks.
    Could some fast forecheckers to compete in this playoff like an Eller or Komorov-these type of players are making a difference. Edge plus skill.
    Love the Hawks but not a serious playoff team this year.

  20. This team and it’s “Core” are finished. They flat out blew the game last night, and the Core players had a lot more to do with the loss than the Refs did. The season is over, and Stan and Mcdoughnut must know that this era, with this team, is over too. Stan has to get out from under Seabrook’s contract, and figure out which of the young guys that are here can actually help the Club. These last ten seasons have been the greatest stretch in Blackhawk history, but it is now clearly over. I don’t envy Bowman, he has a lot of decisions to make.
    .

  21. No excuses. I’ve been a fan for decades and will cheer them on until the bitter end. It’s not over. The Kings came back from 0-3 deficit twice a few years ago…it can be done, but only if these guys start playing playoff hockey. They know how. They’ve obviously done it before, but they need to show the will to win – that’s not there in the play I’ve seen. Predators clearly want it more. Wake up and play hockey Blackhawks!

  22. The run is over. Stan needs to redo this team. We need some young D and forwards. Trade Crow. He played well but he like others he is way overpaid. That means we have 2-3 lines and that’s not enough. Trade Seabrook if anyone will take him.
    I love the Hawks but it’s time to make some major changes. The end of an era. RIP

  23. The window on a great era of Chicago hockey has closed. The Hawks had a marvelous 9 year stretch that produced 3 Cups, something nobody else has been able to do in the salary cap era so far.

    It will be very interesting to see what Bowman can and will do this offseason. The “core” is no longer good enough and in decline. Toews, Kane, Keith and Hossa are headed to the Hall of Fame. Amd we will always have those 3 banners in the rafters to deeply appreciate.

  24. Agree fully with Rufus T and Goldenrug.

    Bowman needs to rebuild . Let’s move on . Thanks for the great memories , but IT IS OVER.

  25. The hawks have one chance and one chance only to beat the preds in 4 straight and to go on and win the cup this year. We have to dig deep into the history of this website to do it for those of us who remember. That chance is to fire Q immediately and replace him with Sr Brads parrot. Roll 4 lines Roll 4 lines Braackkk Braaaccck. Roll 4 lines Braaaacccck.

  26. I cannot fault the effort last night by the Hawks. Had they brought that intensity to game 2 we would not be looking at game 4 as an elimination contest. Once that goofy Forsberg goal went in to make it 2-1 the Preds rose to the task and brought the assault through the rest of the 3rd period and the OT stanza. Were it not for heroic goaltending from Crow the Preds might have had 3-4 more goals and the game another blowout. Pity Schmaltz didn’t finish that breakaway to make it 3-0. Shoulda woulda coulda.

    It seemed as though Q shortened his bench in the 3rd period and also in OT. As a result the Hawks appeared to be skating in sand as the clock wore down. The Hawks looked gassed. I don’t like to second guess coaches, but Preds rolled 4 lines and clearly looked fresher than the Hawks in OT. No bueno.

    Hawks did a lot things right much of the game. The Preds trap was not so much in evidence and the Hawks for the first time in this series had some crips passing on zone breakouts with speed into neutral zone. Hartman had a couple of giveaways on zone exits that converted to Preds scoring chances. In the OT I am not sure what Hossa was thinking when he simply gave the puck away at the top of the O zone that resulted in the rush where Preds scored the OT winner. Having said that Hoss played his ass off last night. So did Kruger just to mention before I forget.

    In all the first round games the refs are letting infraction go uncalled. This benefits some teams more than others. Knowing that this is the way games are going to be called, the Hawks would not push the limits with physical play while Nashville clearly has embraced the green light from the refs. I have been railing throughout this series for the Hawks to deal out punishment to Arvidsson, yet somehow he has been given a pass to chop away. There have been numerous opportunities to pop that guy and put him down on the ice with some shots. Other Preds have also been given a pass by the Hawks to give and not receive. And so it goes. I will say one thing for the Preds, they are adept at crosschecking and interfering knowing they won’t be called for it.

    Of course Arvidsson interfered with Crow on the Preds second goal. How that was not called in Toronto given replays available was ridiculous. It was intentional by Arvidsson. If the Hawks did that to Rinne those fans would have screamed bloody murder.

    Like game 1, this was winnable for the Hawks and they were not able to get it done. This Hawks team is likely to be eliminated in the front round. The tide could have been turned last night and sadly it wasn’t. The Preds have been the harder working team and with that effort teams tend to get the bounces their way. This has surely been the case through the first 3 games of this series.

    I am tired and sad this morning. Our team that gave us so many pleasant surprises during the regular season by winning the division and reg season is on the brink of elimination. It looks like it will be a long summer for us fans, but you have to win four to move on. Lets hope they can at least bring this thing back to the UC.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  27. Paid attention to Johnny T and his body language-
    I don’t look at athletes as heros’ (not like a good teacher, a caring nurse, a firefighter or people like my dad who served three years in the war, inside a tank) but I look up to 19, as a man and a player–and that won’t change–but he was different this series, you could see it in his eyes–he was trying but he didn’t want it enough and I think others feed off him, certainly many of the younger players would. It’s not over, but I think it’s over.

    This game at least old Hoss was invisible. Kero works his butt off and Panarin does a lot of work along the boards and tried–some did but not enough.
    Do they try to fix this somewhat or start to think big change-it will be interesting .

  28. A few years ago… I posted/pondered the question… would it be smarter to trade Toews (at his peak) – for the Auston Mathews or Laine pick??? People here thought I was nuts… it would have been so much easier to Pay and keep Toews VS. make a bold/calculated trade for the “unkown Mathews”- who was breaking a lot of Kane records for the US development program… and I probably would have paid 19 too… Easier choice … (don’t fix it if it ain’t broke/option)… PROBLEM is- Cap/Hockey = team sport… Not NBA- TOP 5 player- pretty much gets you deep run… And now this Team- might not be “fixable”… might be beyond repair- Cuz too Many expensive parts…

    It’s like having 1992 Cadillac with 300k on it and putting a $1,000 stainless steel muffler on it… never gonna get value back from that decision= Seabrook deal, Toews deal… etc,

    That said… Toews- ain’t the same guy anymore (apparently)… but unlike Seabrook- Toews can still help a team win/compete for a cup… so If I were SB… I would definitely consider dangling Toews out there… CUZ- I don’t think Seabs is tradeable at this point- unless you throw in a “TT- type prospect”…

    Bottom line- these guys are no longer HUNGRY… they have done it all… and have gotten FAT contracts… and are of course – past their primes…. while the rest of the league/teams- are still motivated for Cup/Fat contracts…. and have younger “cores”.

  29. Played good. Deserved to win 2-1 and be 2 games to 1. We can improve off of these levels. Rare/lucky bounce over top of net and goaltender interference contact was there regardless of rule, those things donot happen often and they will not get those kinds of things again.

    Just keep playing good and play our game in order to win 4 games.

  30. Seegs & Four Feathers solid points. Pete as well. There is nothing wrong w/ Crawford or the core group; the difference is the balance of the team (for the most part) isn’t picking up the slack whatsoever. Schmaltz is playing like a fifth grader among high schoolers; Hartman looks like a lost doggy. Tootoo should have never been signed, we have discussed him throughout the season. This is how you end up rolling three lines, wearing out the top end forwards, and running out of steam. The faceoffs have been/are abysmal, to say the least. Particularly in the offensive zone. Q had it in for Vermette, so be it. Boyle wasn’t deemed necessary at the trade deadline, so be it. Live and learn, maybe next year the thought process will change.

    As for the actual game winning goal against, where is the criticism against Hossa? He was floating in the Nashville zone, and made a blind, lazy drop pass at the top of the offensive blue line that led to the winning goal shortly thereafter. It was a terrible play from a Hall of Fame player. There must be strong directives by the hierarchy for Foley, Olczyk, Konroyd & Mayers not to mention it in any form or fashion, directly or indirectly.

    We’ll see how Thursday night goes, I ain’t no quitter, I don’t expect the Hawks to quit either all the above being said.

  31. Well, terrible luck, too many old guys, and too many young guys, and there you go. Overachieving regular season, but not enough horses to keep up with Nashville. I know it’s always been the way, to second guess Q’s lineups, and it’s often somewhat valid, but if we’re grasping at Hayden and Jurco to save this team, we’re not in a good place.

    I love that the Hawks got here in a transitional year, it doesn’t make it easier to watch. Kero, Hartman and Schmaltz are hockey players and an influx of youth on D could still make things more interesting next year, declining core and all. Sure Shaw and Saad would be great to have, but in the realm of reality, imagine if Danault were in the mix in his second playoff season… that one just killlllllls me.

  32. Yes, it was a sloppy play by the oldest vet on the team that ultimately lost the game, but there’s no denying the Hawks were being dominated, it seemed like just a matter of time… and it was.

  33. If you would have told me that the Hawks would have won the West & get swept or gone out meekly in the 1st round I would have not believed either. Kudos to the regular season success. However, I think Stan needs to take a break and then work on a plan on climbing back up the playoff mountain. There just isn’t enough good hockey left in this core. Nashville wants it more period! Once this series ends this window is closed.

  34. You do not win playoff games unless your best plays are your best players. That may have been the Captains worse playoff game. He was being thrown around like a rag doll. Part of the problem on the PP is that Toews has taken to floating around the net, not scoring goals, no screen, no net presence, no board battles, just looking to avoid contact. He did the same thing last year, and the Blues took to checking him with and without the puck every chance they could. Additionally I am not sure what’s going on at the dot. The box score said Toews won 15 faceoffs but they all must have been in the neutral zone because it seemed as if we lost all the key puck drops in the O and D zones. I am very appreciative of all Toews has done for Blackhawk nation however I will contend that he is either not health or not strong enough. He was abused last year by the Blues and the same is playing out this year. He had a couple of strong months in Jan/Feb but that was it. Kruger may have been our best center last night. What does that tell you?

    Second on the list for not showing up is Keith, he was more concerned with avoiding contact last night. I think he had an opportunity to clear the puck on the first goal but totally bailed on the play. You do not win with your best defensive pair being -4 in 3 games. I also do not understand why Keith circles back every time he gets the puck and the Preds take a run at him. It’s as if he want to give the Preds time to set up their defense. Circle back, play with puck, skate forward, drop pass to forward, turn over at opponents blue line, just the way that Q scripted it.

    I save my most blistering comments for the NHL. The refs have been horrendous in this series. Where did they find these clowns. When did they forget what a cross check or interference look like. How many Hawks were driven into the boards from behind. Even when Toews was trying to get into a play, he was being tackled and held. Strong willed teams fight thought that type of adversity. 2017 Hawks are not that team.
    Lastly the no-call on goaltender interference was priceless. WTF was that, the overhead shot clearly showed Crow’s stick being hooked, him getting partially spun and the puck travel through the spot he was pushed out of. Totally a gutless BS call by the league but in retrospect the game should never have gotten to that point. Crow deserved better.

  35. Noonan96 I agree with your comments regarding Toews body language and eyes communicating frustration last night. The guy hates to lose. He took an awful beating last night. Stick boy Subban was merciless, and with the whistles in the refs pockets the Preds goal was to hit him till it hurts.

    Wall reading your comments are like taking a cheap shot crosscheck in the back this morning. We are all in pain. This team is doing the best they can, and it hasn’t been good enough so far.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  36. Uggh. Didn’t see this blowout coming. And while the youngsters are serviceable, they are not even close to the crop from 10 years ago. Looks like rebuilding is in order. And, to the others who posted, while it would be great to still have Saad, I think Panarin and Anisimov are contributing just fine. Also the Leaves aren’t going to part with Matthews. IMO 7 and 81 from the core will be moved, along with depth/veteran players 16, 11, 22, 27, 51.

    As a final thought, a big part of the dynasty was Q being able to roll 12 forwards right on through (remember the last goal in 2013? 4th line on the ice with a minute to go, they clinch the Cup). The high-grade depth is missing and needs to be recovered.

  37. Wall ,hockey like so many other professional sports is Performance based .,.you win a championship and are paid for it . YOU WIN 3 CHAMPIONSHIPS and get paid with better , more lucrative deals . IT is really that simple ,.,.you give the team you blood ,sweat , teeth ,tears , body ,soul ,LIFE and in return you get money . Wall , you seem to be stuck in the past ,.,.pulling quotes out of the air like a child in a Shakespearean play . It is not a mystery that the Hawks have to much money tied up in to few players . I know its frustrating but,.,.,.,we can not win the cup every second or third year . I can no longer touch my toes like i could 7 years ago ,i am aging ,.,.its call life . The Hawks will sort things out ,we have a good crop of rookies , This has been the best ride i have ever been on . This is the beauty of sports ,it gets in your blood and its unpredictable . Win Game 4 boys ,do not give up .

  38. couple thoughts:

    1) what we’ve watched over the last 3 games is why many media folks – including me – picked Nashville to win the Central before the season began. They’re good, young, fast and have depth for days. And they’re well coached.

    2) Lots of folks in Chicago will only stare at the glaring issues w/ the Blackhawks performance and never give credit where it’s due: to the Preds. They’re playing incredibly well (albeit w/ a few lucky breaks).

  39. It wasn’t the Refs and it wasn’t Tootoo’s five minutes of ice time that finished the Hawks last night. They had a two goal lead going into the third period. To lose that lead took a team effort. Changes must come.

  40. The toughest part of being a die hard sports fan is when you realize deep down your team is not good enough to win. Last nights loss was not about lack of effort. The Hawk’s aged defensemen were overwhelmed by Nashville’s team speed and relentless forechecking. If not for Crawford the game would have been over in the first period. The Hawks have too many 4th liners on the team. 70, 16, 40, 13, 67, 48 are all 4rth liners at best. 11&22 are not NHL quality players. Schmaltz, the most talented player of the rookies is playing scared. Very tentative, afraid to shoot and afraid to make a mistake. Rookies need encouragement and positive reinforcement. They can’t be worried about being benched after every mistake. Hartman also looks like a guy afraid to make a mistake and as a result his edgy game has suffered. I won’t give up until they are eliminated but I think Nashville is just the better team.

  41. Tab your letting Q off the hook too easily. Hawks are the 1 seed preds the 8. Not the other way around. Yes the preds are well coached but what about the hawks ? Lots of hall of fame coaches lose the edge. Shula, Landry etc. Q is not giving this team the best chance to win. would it make a difference if he did? not sure. someone above said the hawks no longer have high grade depth. And some of us have been complaining about the teravainen trade all year!

  42. Letting Q off the hook? is he skating in the games? Last I checked, he can only skate the best lineup from the roster he’s been given and then expect his 3-time Cup champion leaders to perform. It isn’t Quenneville’s fault that Campbell & Oduya are old and out of gas. Would you prefer Forsling playing 20 minutes? It isn’t Quenneville’s fault that Hartman – who had been good almost all year – decided to take the Andrew Shaw Crazy Pills in this series and start whacking everything in sight.

    What, specifically, would you like Joel Quenneville to personally do better over the last 3 games? If your answer is “dress John Hayden” don’t even waste the time typing it because a rookie w/ 2 weeks of NHL experience isn’t changing this series. Love Hayden and think he’s got a bright future but he isn’t winning those 3 games.

    If you’re still bitching about Teuvo I’ve got nothing for you. It’s sad that his name still comes up, frankly, and if you don’t understand the how & why of him being dealt please read something.

  43. 1961 & Tab good points. Although I would love to see Q out there for a few shifts on the back end….

  44. 61 hit the nail on the head. The core is no longer good enough, and the rest of the roster fall into the category of “just a guy” or nomadic NHL journeyman. It’s not about the coaching or lack of effort. This is the point where you sober up, embrace memories of a great 9 year run and look to the future. Does Bowman just ride the horse until the last mile, or does he start making the real hard decisions to feed a rebuilding. I think he has to think real hard about moving Crawford, Seabrook and Panarin this summer to start fueling a rebuild. We need draft picks, young talent and speed. Desperately need to identify a stud defenseman and left wing over the next couple of years.

    Schmaltz isn’t the answer to anything. He’s just a guy. Fine on a bottom 6 pairing, but we already are overwhelmed with bottom line forwards. Motte, Hartman, Hayden fall into the same boat. Kero is a limited skill overachiever. Hinostraoza is a novelty act. Kempny nothing to write home about.

  45. Tab just answer this: Is Q dressing the 12 forwards that give the team the best CHANCE to win? Is he shortening the bench ? Are players runjing out of gas as the game goes on?

  46. Absolutely, and post-game, Q can critique his own play — “I was fine, I didn’t mind myself, especially after a twenty five year layoff.”

    On a serious note, I will say Seabrook has been the Hawks’ best D-man hands down.

  47. Pete just answer this: Who are you dressing in place of someone in the lineup – even if it is Hayden for Tootoo – who is, in 5-8 minutes of ice time, changing the last 3 games by himself? Of the forwards Quenneville has dressed, the only spot I would take issue with is the 12th forward. and if you think the last guy on the bench is the reason the Hawks are down 3-0, you’re new to watching playoff hockey.

    Is Q shortening the bench? HELL YES HE IS – AND HE SHOULD. When your back is against the wall you need your superstars to carry the load. Q is running 19 & 88 out there every other f***ing shift because they’re the guys who have, historically, gotten it done. And they haven’t. For 3 games.

    Are players running out of gas as game goes on? Yes. Brian Campbell and Johnny Oduya are old and can’t keep up w/ Nashville’s forwards. Period (exclamation point). TvR hasn’t been awful in this series, but I’m just not ready for the comments section to lose its collective shit over a TvR-Kempny pair.

    I agree w/ iceman – Seabrook has been the Hawks’ most consistent dman in this series.

  48. Seriously, I don’t understand any of the “it wasn’t lack of effort” comments. Really?
    Game two! And, at least half of the first game. Blowing the games at home to go down 0-2 is inexcusable.

    Also, why does the NHL allow penalties/enforce a different set of rules for post season games? It certainly favors some teams more than others.

  49. I dont know Tab, i liked what i saw with the 4th line last night, held their own and had a few decent scoring chances as well. I wish Q wouldve rolled them out more, couldve ate some minutes for the ‘stars’ to be fresher later.

    just my opinion…

  50. Hungrier team is winning plain and simple. The Hawks have been unable to match the Preds intensity shift to shift. At no point in the overtime did I get the feeling the Hawks were going to win the game.

    I’m not ready to do an autopsy on this team yet. If they can win on Thursday, then suddenly they are dangerous. That’s a big if.

    I do agree with a lot of the posters this “back to the future business” has not worked.

    Ladd(last years acquisition) plus Campbell and Oduya this year
    , have their Stanley Cup rings and memories but they are from the past. No more of these type of moves.

  51. I love this when the coach gets credit when they win but when they are the 1 seed getting swept by the 8 seed hes doing nothing wrong? Hayden for Tootoo is a an easy call even for the 8 minutes to offer some size speed and energy against a bigger faster team . At $265 a ticket he can do that cant he? There is no excuse for not making a change and putting the best people out there? There are a few other changes that could be discussed that i dont feel as strongly about. And how much are they paying campbell in this salary cap era we all talk about? whose fault is that? Season ticket holders like me? if nashville is just better as you suggest then why are they the 8 seed and the hawks the 1 seed? regular season means nothing? These are legitimate questions for fans to ask regardless of being grateful for 3 cups

  52. Quenneville is doing what he has to do to give his team a chance. Dressing the forward and defenceman combinations that the coaching staff feel does that best, which is what it is. Nobody not playing is going to turn this around those players are out there that can do it. Everybody said in 2015 they couldn’t go deep with 4 d but they did. Agree the special team approach by the coaches nèeds to be addressed but this team still has lots of talent.

  53. Also, why does the NHL allow penalties/enforce a different set of rules for post season games? It certainly favors some teams more than others.

    and i ask this every year. why are they even on the ice in the playoffs? to break up the fights they cause by not calling anything?

    I was incensed when Hoss got mugged in that game, pred tried 1st to jump crosscheck him, missed, then grabbed, held, hugged him.. wtf is that??

    wwf bullshit IMO. this isnt 1960 anymore Bettdouche

  54. Blame whomever you want but I happen to think this year was one of Q’s best coaching efforts. When our best line is Kruger/Moose/Panik it certainly doesn’t bode well for success. Do you think Q doesn’t want to roll 4 lines? Deal with the reality, our depth is not good enough. The young guys who were so good in the regular season are struggling big time right now. Momentum is the 800 pound gorilla in the playoffs and Nashville has taken it and ran. Compound that with a few bad bounces and calls and here we are. With the organizations clear message of “One Goal” it will be very interesting to what moves will be made. We have been incredible at re-tooling on the fly but that was with a much younger core.

  55. Pete – lots to unpack in your latest… post…

    a) I don’t see many people handing a ton of credit to Quenneville when the Hawks win. We certainly don’t here.
    b) wtf does $265 per ticket have to do w/ Hayden playing over Tootoo? Are you still drunk from last night?
    c) Again, you bitch & moan about putting the best people out there but tell me, other than Hayden for Tootoo, what BETTER PEOPLE you would have out there?
    d) your season ticket holder status doesn’t mean a damn thing to Joel Quenneville or me.
    e) Brian Campbell signed for basically the league minimum w/ some easily attainable bonuses. If you’re going to start complaining about the cap, you (AGAIN) picked the wrong guy to spotlight as an example.
    f) how is Nashville the 8 seed? I invite you to actually pay attention to the NHL starting in October – and outside of Chicago. Had you done that, you would know that they had serious injury issues (specifically Subban missing an extended period).

    Your comment was more a rant than legitimate questions, Pete. With all due respect.

  56. So Q and coaching has nothing to do with the fact that the #1 seed Hawks are getting swept by the#8 seed Preds? But he gets great credit for the regular season when they were winning? I guess Nashville is just that much better despite the seedings and once you get to the playoff coaching is now irrelevant.

  57. Ok Tab maybe I am ranting. I laughed out loud at your last post about me. Put me down as hung over and not drunk. I would like to see Q give Jurco and Hayden chance and maybe a young defenseman. Crawford played good enough to win. I’m not complaining about the refs in this series.

  58. I would take Kempny or Forsling over the current version of Oduya. At least they can skate. An orange cone placed a couple feet in front of Crawford would have provided better defense against Fialas gwg. Poor Johnny O was knocked over by the rush air when Fiala blew by him as he stood in front of the net.

  59. Nashville is the better team in this series and will probably win it, but hockey will NEVER be a major sport with Bettman running the show. The referees are calling games exactly how he wants and it helps some teams and hurts others. Rules are rules and they cannot be changed for the playoffs. The non calls against Toews were disgusting. And the countless non calls for cross checking and interference take away from the enjoyment of the game. If they make the calls in the first period, the cross checking and interference stops in the second and third periods. Bettman sucks.

  60. Bottom line is that the Hawks have scored 2 goals in 3 games. Bitch about how bad TVR, Oduya and Campbell have been all you want, you still aren’t going to win a series if you can’t score more than 2 goals every third game. As bad as the defense may have looked for stretches this series, that has not been the biggest problem. Honestly the defense played well enough that the Hawks could easily be up 2-1. If the Hawks offense wasn’t so inconsistent and one dimensional this would be a much more competitive series.

    The bottom line is that the Hawks best (paid) players have not been impactful. Again, give the Preds credit, they have been able to shut down what the Hawks do best and the Hawks have not been able to adjust. Is anyone really surprised that the Hawks have looked this bad? Two things have been consistent about the Hawks since they last won the Cup. 1) If you give them space, they make you look silly. But if you take away space and play physical, the Hawks get frustrated, sloppy and essentially pout. 2) The Hawks don’t always know when the puck drop is. The Hawks don’t always come out of the gate with a sense of urgency and the Preds took advantage of that to steal game 1. Once the Hawks realized they were in a dog fight they couldn’t take it up to the next level.

  61. The series is being lost because this current crop of Hawks is no longer good enough. Quenneville did a masterful job of coaching this season. I could care less that this team is a number one seed losing to a number 8 seed. Fact is Nashville is the more talented overall team on the ice and they want this win very badly. They have taken full advantage of an aging and declining Chicago core. A core that isn’t supported with a good enough complement of other players.

    The era is done. Time to turn the page and build for a new era. Living in denial and insisting that any team with Kane, Toews, Keith, Panarin and Crawford can still win Cups is a fool’s exercise. Separate the memories of a great run that included 3 Stanley Cups from the reality of today and the future. The meatballs among the fans won’t be able to do that and will point to “coaching” as the excuse. Screw em. You can’t fix stupid, or those who choose to live in denial. What becomes the storyline over the next two years is how Bowman starts transforming this roster and making the tough decisions. I hope to God he doesn’t milk this and start a reminiscing 0f better days tour. That would piss me off. Rip the bandage off and get to work.

  62. I’m not in a habit of blaming the officiating for the outcome of games and lest I be misunderstood let me clearly state (1) NHL officiating is inconsistent, at best, and sometimes it’s down right terrible, but it is that way during all games for all teams, and (2) the officiating was not the reason the Preds won games 1&2 – they won because they played better than the Hawks and earned the victories.

    Now, let’s talk about Game#3. We’ve all heard the excuse that NHL refs don’t want to influence the outcome of games so they won’t call penalties late in games unless they’re flagrant or so obvious they can’t not call them, especially playoff games. I think that is utter nonsense, it is idiotic logic. They can influence the outcome of a game by not calling penalties as much as by calling penalties, if not more. The 3rd period of the game last night is a case in point. The refs tucked their whistles away and allowed the Preds to hold and interfere dozens of times which effectively reduced the Hawks chances to generate any pressure in the offensive zone down to about nil. Subban’s continual assault on Toews, including wrestling him to the ice then purposely laying on him to prevent him from rejoining the play was allowed to happen as well as countless other times the Preds held sticks and interfered with Hawks ability to get to the puck.

    It’s impossible to say the Hawks would have won if the refs called the game the right way, but they did influence the way the game was played by allowing the Preds to get away with things that should have been called penalties – a lot. It’s a shame, but there’s nothing we can do about except whine about it on internet blogs … so that’s what I’m doing.

    Go Hawks!!!!

  63. No nothing idiots like Pete are going to become the new norm of the hockey blogosphere in Chicago. Hence Tab why I think must of your fellow intelligent and rational fans are going to check out this summer. Good luck to you Tab.

  64. 1. Nashville is out-hustling us.
    2. They have had some lucky bounces, non-calls.
    3. They have made us play their game, instead of us imposing our style on them.
    4. We can not use a puck control mentality when we lose a large majority of the face-offs.
    5 If we change about 3 seconds of games #1 and #3 we are winning the series.
    5. We do not need to scrap the team, just need the rookies to get another year under their belts and not take the first round for granted…

  65. All of the comments about the core being “done” seem to take the position that a 3-game sample is more meaningful than an 82-game sample. The Blackhawks finished the season with 109 points — 3rd most in the NHL.

    A team with a core that is “done” simply won’t do that over 82 games. A 3-game losing streak can happen. Stop overreacting.

    Nashville was underseeded due to early season injuries; we were very unfortunate to draw them as a 1st round opponent.

    Some tinkering around the edges and this group will be back next year. (Exception: Hossa does look old & slow.)

  66. The Kane Panarin Anisimov line is struggling against the way the Preds are playing us. I say spread some of the skill around and have some heavy on each line for more balance. Lines I’d like to see

    Hartman – Toews – Kane
    Panarin – Anisimov – Hossa
    Rasmussen – Kruger – Panik
    Schmaltz – Kero – Jurco/ Hayden

    I kept Ras Krugs and Panik together because they played well game 3. You could flip Hossa and Panik and also Ras and Schmaltz but in general I think that would allow us to roll 4 lines and have better balance throughout. I think you have to switch up the ingredients in the recipe a little at this point.

    Thoughts

  67. All I want from my team is a balls out effort on Thursday. Bring the series back to Chicago if only for one game. I do not believe that the Preds are a better team than the Hawks. However, their hunger, passion, desire and tenacity is undeniable. Hopefully, the Hawks show some true passion on Thursday. That is all I can ask.

    What I do not want is spoiled players or fans. The players owe Rocky W and the fans the best they can possible be. If they lose, they lose. I agree with Tab, the Preds are a quality team that would have been seeded higher without all the injuries. They deserve a ton of credit.

  68. imo- Hawks were WC points leaders.. cuz- Top level skill finishers + excellent Core/Player IQ… they can play versus different systems and win…. Playoffs- intensity and speed and WILL– will factor in more (with Coaching/Player IQ of course)… less time and space in PO hockey= less time to think your way out from the pressure.

    In other words- a team like preds/can’t play with that speed intensity/checking level for 82 games- when they don’t – a team like the Hawks can win…

    One of the NHL network guys- predicted Preds as the toughest WC matchup for the Hawks… because of Preds team speed.

  69. Just win on Thursday and plant a seed of doubt in their minds. Win again in Chicago and that doubt will turn to sweat. Seems like a tall order right now, but it is possible. And if, as a Hawks fan, you do not believe this team is capable of that, then you should turn in your Indian Head sweater and go post on Rufus’s blog. I’m sure he’d welcome you and thrill you with his hockey acumen about end of eras and no-nothing fans.

    This team ain’t done!

  70. I dont understand this nonsense about the regular damn season. Does anyone watch NHL hockey outside of the Blackhawks? Has anyone watched NHL Hockey for more than a few seasons? The regular season pts don’t mean much. They are SO many factors to consider during the regular season wins & losses; injuries, back to back games, fatigue, divisional opponents. Just because a team has X amount of pts doesn’t mean a damn thing during playoff hockey. Of the last 10 president trophy winners, 2 won the cup! 20% one of which were the Hawks who played a shorten season. Bottom line regular season pts don’t equal ANYTHING. The Hawks used to be the team that stepped on other teams throats. These guys can’t flip the switch they used to flip during the playoffs.
    Age, and long playoff runs have taken their toll. Seabrook will be 32 tomorrow do you think next year after another 82 game season he is going to fresh in the 1st round? Keith is turning 34 right around the time the Cup is handed out to this yrs winner. Hammer turns 30 in June, my godness has that guy taken a beating game in and game out. Oduya is already 35 and Campbell 37. To sit here and think next year with a few tweaks its going to be better is just silly!

  71. This is hilarious. The Preds get all the calls. The refs blew it. Ahahahaha. it’s simple. The Preds are stronger, faster and more determined. The Preds are the better team.

  72. Southside – 82 game schedule next season? Don’t forget the Olympics, which many may attend. I definitely think the WHC took its toll on some of the seniors on the Hawks – Hoss being Exhibit A. And yes, this core has now been together for 8 years. That is a very long time.

  73. Fourth line looked fine periods 2 and 2 . So Q. Shortens his bench in the third with a lead, a big mistake.

    Why not trap in neutral zone with the lead , while rolling 4 lines. This was the undoing of the Hawks in the third. Preds we’re going thru the neutral zone with ease. Makes me wonder if Q’s shelf life is sooner than later!

  74. If Only Bowman has followed all of Wall’s suggestions …

    Chicago would have 5 Stanley Cup Championships in a row, with undoubtedly more to come …

    If only Bowman had followed Wall’s exclamation point pleadings to sign every mediocre college free agent, surely the Blackhawks would coast through the playoffs … remember Wall’s “Caggiula!! Caggiula!! Caggiula!!” chants?

    If only Bowman had followed Wall’s sage advice about the salary cap. Although Bowman IS aware of those pesky little details like, oh, dealing with the Player’s Association (UNION), agents, and creating a culture …

    If only Bowman had followed Wall’s exclamation point suggestions about drafting Fabbri instead of Schmaltz. The Blackhawks would have another dreamboat for the faggot Wall to drool over …

    If only Bowman had brought up C. Dahlstrom from Rockford to play defense. After all, Dahlstrom is a “defenseman with size” and could easily replace Seabrook.

    If only Wall weren’t such a CLUELESS BLATHERING BUFFOON …

  75. I would love to blame the refs, the age of our team, our HOF coach, our GM and our owner……………but in truth, we have a captain who is clearly injured, Duncam Keith is on one leg and we have a group of young players who have NEVER experienced this kind of playoff hockey. If you look at Hartman and compare him to Fiala in 2015, Fiala could hardly get a shift during a playoff game. Hartman, Schmaltz and Kero are just kids learning their craft, way too young to take over a game.

    The Hawks are not losing due to a lack of trying. We are not as “deep” as we thought and not as mobile as we used to be, but I will be watching the game on Thursday because I am a true Blackhawk fan, win or lose.

    The Preds are a step quicker, but they will not win the Cup because this series is their “Stanley Cup”.

    Go HAWKS!!

  76. Cmon guys really? can’t we keep this Hockey related? If I wanted to hear name calling I can flip on FoxNews, CNN, or MSNBC.

    ***Just ignore the Trolls***

  77. Ryan and Nettle Creek, can’t you tell from the postings here that the predators are just better and that is why they are up 3 games to zero and coaching has absolutely nothing to do with it. Q has absolutely maximized the Hawks chances with perfect lineups and player rotations and there isn’t one more little thing he could do to give the Hawks even a slightly better chance to win. In fact, Q is clearly outcoaching Laviolette.

    Rufus did I get it right this time? Will you please agree with me?

  78. They’re getting out-worked and out-played. Plain and simple. Nashville wants it more at this point. You can’t argue that. My only issue with Q is that he isn’t at least trying to roll 4 lines. He has guys at his disposal that played significant minutes in the regular season that are scratched. Where this team is hurting the most is in the faceoff circle. It’s flat out embarrassing how bad they are at draws. Anisimov doesn’t appear to even try. He won 12% last night. That’s a joke. They should have addressed that at the deadline over anything else. Because that’s a big factor in puck possession, which we rely on.
    Fact is, Nashville has played as best as the possibly could, and we have played pretty damn poorly, due in large part to Nash being skilled and playing well. I still don’t see the boys being done just yet.

  79. Btw, Wall suggesting we should trade Toews lol. Can we trade you, wall? You’ve suggested we trade 19, 88, and 50 all at one point or another. You’re a fuckking moron bro. Go away.

  80. Guys Wall is basically the Boy that Cried Wolf or The Blind Squirrel finding a nut, if anything he has said resonates with you. Remember Wall wanted Sharp and Kane traded as well as Q fired in 2012. Wall thought the Bruins were better then we were in 2013. He thought the Kings were better in 15. He has also has wanted 19, 88, 7, 50 and others moved the last two seasons.

    With all that said, he does have a point that this is a business. However, it us very frustrating for a guy like me to talk about moving players that have won us a cup during the season. The offseason and all the hot stove talk has its place in the offseason. Until this season is over playing the I told you so or Gotcha card does nothing for me.

    We are all Hawks fans. We may not agree on everything but can we at least agree to pull the rope in the same direction until this season is over

  81. Hawks have zero swagger–no tough guy out there to feed off of when things get physical. Hartman is giving it his all but he’s not the answer. Tutu at 4’8″ was the closest they have to a tough guy out there last night. Look at any other bench and there are bad asses looking to mix it up every shift. They at least should play a natural hard ass in Desjardin; desire to go to the net, high energy, and semi-brawler credentials. You know Hawks have problems when Krueger is the only one going to the front of the net–talk about zero swagger… and until they get rid of Campbell (who has no swagger or consistent defensive skills), they’re going nowhere fast.

  82. Billy your forgetting about Panik. He was fighting hard in front of the net. He’s a keeper. By the way anyone know the cap hit on Campbell I recall it being around 2M.

  83. Billy I am pretty sure Desjardins is injured. Desi takes a lot of heat and can be frustrating at times, but he is missed in this series. Not only could we use his grit but he would help at the faceoff dot

  84. Aging core yes. Does it fully explain playoff performance? Bullshit.

    See penguins Crosby 29 Malkin 30 letang 30 kessel 30 Kunitz 37
    See bruins Bergeron 31 Marchand 29 chara 40 backes 31
    See ducks getzlaf 31 perry 31 Kessler 32 vermette 34

    Depth is the bigger problem

  85. Mox- very clever stuff there… well it looks like I get to continue posting here… cuz Hawks r going down… You lost… and My wish is you continue to post here with your Original and thought provoking Hockey comments, which add so much to this site.

    Ryan gets it,,, it is a business… and a what have you done for me lately game…

    SB’s job is to stay ahead of the Cap/propsects/league… and NOT fall in love with the Guys that won for you 2 years ago- and overpay them… but Hawks Brass- does not want to offend Fans- and move guys who brought all the glory… so SB is in a very difficult position for sure…

  86. Pete – I like a lot of what u have to say but what does Campbells cap hit have to do with anything. Roster size and Cap mean nothing after trade deadline. That is an offseason topic. If you want to discuss whether he should play or not great. I guess I understand some of these things go hand in hand and arent mutually exclusive. But when the team is on the brink Campbells cap hit is the furthest thing from my mind.

  87. Ryan good point. It was a tangential issue that came up when I was debating Tab and then Billyscars brought it up. I agree its off topic right now.

  88. Hard to believe so many blackhawks fans so glad to see them losing. Guess thats what you call aging washed up fans not willing to go the distance with their team to win anymore.

  89. Look at me! I am a front runner loser fan of a nobody betmann driven mistake of a team who wants to talk tough!!! I am sooo cool.

  90. @ Demo

    Bullshit on you! You just listed a bunch of forwards, & Letang (whose hurt and not even playing) and Chara. Defensive age matters. NHL defensemen don’t age well. The Hawks look old and slow against this Nashbill team.

  91. Hey Predsworkethic. We are looking at you and are concerned for you and your jaundice looking fans dressed in yellow. Keep booing Kane, it is a great look (smh). Maybe I expect to much, it has to be hard to understand what is going on with that extra y chromosome.

  92. “Aging core yes. Does it fully explain playoff performance? Bullshit. Depth is the bigger problem” (Demo) — I disagree / not really. The “core” (BEST Players) are not performing, and that is not on the depth. The lack of effort, desire, WILL-to-win (as demonstrated in 2010, 2013, 2014(* this really could have gone to Chicago), and 2015) just isn’t present, and that’s not on the depth either. The depth should be following the “core” leadership and supporting.

    As far as “aging”, it’s impossible to deny that Hossa, Seabrook, and (maybe to a lesser extent) Keith have “lost a step”. Campbell and Oduya, while not “core” players, are getting ice time during which they’ve looked like they have nothing left. With Toews, it shouldn’t be actual age, but he seems to be hindered by injury or too much mileage.

    Obviously, depth is a major problem in regard to faceoffs – on a good night they at least have Toews…lately, he hasn’t been very good.

  93. ER, couldnt agree with ya more. How about when Hoss got cross checked, held, mugged, everything but shot, no call. i was livid.. why even have refs out there in the playoffs? just put 2 or 3 bouncers out there to break up the fights. rididulous

    and how is that not goalie interference??

    officitating has def. affected the outcome of game 3 for sure… dammit..

  94. Dickie, the core is no longer good enough. And the supporting cast has become too watered down with, truthfully speaking, bottom line and NHL filler types.

    Toews hasn’t been the same player for a season and a half. That falls into the category of a trend and my conclusion is that he has been in decline and is doubtful to reclaim his past superiority. There is an awful lot of mileage on his skates and his mind, and some players do indeed decline in their late 20’s in a sport that exacts an extreme toll physically and mentally.

    Seabrook isn’t close to being the same player he was, and now his contract shapes up to be an albatross. No more charitable way to describe it.

    Keith is an all time great player and still immensely good. But he isn’t the game altering force that he was and has lost a stride on the ice.

    Hossa doesn’t have more than 12-15 minutes of hockey per game in him anymore. Leaning on him as the Hawks so fabulously were able to do in the past is no more an option really.

    For two straight years we’ve seen that teams can focus on and neutralize near completely Panarin in the playoffs. He is an electric offensive player but he can be shutdown when teams concentrate as such. Same actually can be said for superstar still in his prime Kane. To win, Panarin and Kane can’t be the only strategy to offensive generation in the playoffs.

    All of the youngsters at forward are 3rd and 4th line material. There isn’t a high upside player among that group. The hype that some attach to Schmaltz doesn’t align with the reality of his skating ability and raw skill. Nice player, but on a great team he is a 4th liner. Ditto Hartman and the overachieving Kero. Hinostraza does nothing for me. He’s a shuttle player between the AHL and NHL. Hayden is an unknown but limitations with him are clear also.

    On defense we are old and slow. Keith and Hjalmarason are the only two still solid and essential players. TVR is just a guy that Q has fallen in love with out of sheer necessity. Kempny is a 6/7 defenseman.

    Conclusion? I want Bowman to bite the bullet and do what he things is necessary to transition to a new era. It won’t be easy, and it certainly won’t be popular with many casual fans. But the heavy lifting has to start this summer. It would be nice to have this thing back to a solid competitive position in 3-4 years to take advantage of Kane still heing around.

  95. Rufus – When you’re done throwing dirt on the 2017 postseason, please tell us what things are “necessary to transition to a new era.”

    Also, thank you for disappearing for a few months and not commenting during Toews’ second half of the season. When you buried him as a 35 point player I never expected a mea culpa when he had a strong half of the season because you’re never wrong.

  96. I don’t think the core is done, but there needs to be offseason changes. I believe there are some playing with injuries (although a lot of players play with injuries this time of year). I think it’s more that the Preds are much better than an 8th seed and were predicted to win the Central and never really got going til late in the season (bad news for the Hawks). I was hoping the Hawks would draw Edmonton or Calgary. Nashville and St. Louis have really got it going now as they had to qualify for he playoffs and you can see how bad they want it.

  97. SShawkman

    We have 2 goals in 3 games. Is that on the defensemen? I guess you’re going to tell me that it’s because the D is not getting involved offensively

    Wake up and smell the coffee

  98. With regards to 19…he’s skated with a rookie and a guy that came over for Jeremy Morin for the majority of this season. Let’s not forget that. Acting like he’s on a decline is laughable when you consider who his line mates have been since Saad was traded. Panik has been great, and was an absolute steal. But he’s not a top 6 wing, much less a top line wing.

  99. Some great points taken by many. I think most Hawks fans were in heavy pain yesterday and so some venting was to be expected. Preds have raised their game and the Hawks have not yet been able to equal or surpass. Quite simply the Preds best players are playing better than the Hawks core guys, and this is where these games get decided. While the Hawks core players have some heavy career mileage on those legs, they are doing the best they can and it has fallen short of what they would expect from themselves. Again, the Preds have committed to shutting Hawks best guys down, and they have succeeded so far. My hope is Hawks can win one tomorrow and at least bring it back to the UC. It was very close in game 1 and game 3. Hawks play for pride tomorrow. While it going to be tough, just win that game, and see where it goes.

    Front round match-ups often determine the chase for the Cup more than any other rounds. That draw is the most important imo in the playoffs. Some teams match up better. Hawks had a rough draw last year to a highly motivated group of Blues and barely lost. The same is true this year with the Preds. Both Preds and Blues have played a relentless physical game against a smaller Hawks team. It woulkd be nice to see some pushback tomorrow. PP needs to be ready.

    Carpe diem.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  100. Mox- Re: Toews… my eye test says– he is losing more board battles and foot races then he used to… getting rag-dolled too… Of course- I have no stats to “prove” this… played well/dominated like “Old days” for about 1 month this year…
    Just observations from watching games.

    but that is what I am seeing… Ya can’t blame that on 14 and 8… or maybe you can- cuz- 81/20 provided more support for Toews, and didn’t put Toews in battles/races to lose… But if that is the case- 19’s $10M contract is even worse than originally thought.

  101. Wall. ..would I rather Toews got paid 8.5 mill instead of 10.5 absolutely but that was the going rate at the time those contracts were signed (other teams would have offered similar) Stamkos signed a large deal and has significant injury issues with NO cups. What do you think Tavares will get? his numbers are declining and once again no playoff success.

    Also I agree with Mox. If Toews still had Saad instead of flavour of the week things would be different. I mentioned before Bergeron has Marchand and Pastrnk, Backstrom(you want to talk about weak board play and terrible at the dot) has Ovie and Oshie. Pavelski has Thornton, Seguin has Benn and Spezza, Even Malkin has Kessel. Crosby and McDavid are the only two superstars hat don’ need help and can make anyone look good.

  102. Still complaining about paying the best captain in the game what he’s worth… smh

    Move on, Wall. Your eye test only comes up when it suits your argument. You said nothing between mid-Jan and the end of the regular season because your eye test failed miserably.

  103. Toews is getting paid what the market was at that time, done the end. The real question is what personal development and surrounding players does he need to be a game changer again. First of all I do not think he is playing at full strength. He is being thrown around and weak at the dot when it counts. His off season work outs have to be more than just photo ops in the gym and if his back is FU, fix it. Second point is that you do not want $10.5M battling night in and night out on the boards or taking a daily ass beating in front of the net. Like any investment it needs to be protected and utilized in such a way to maximize its output and capable of going to the difficult places when the chips are down. He needs to be flanked by speedy physical wingers. Goldenbladz is spot on. It takes quality line mates to score and perform consistently. I do not think Toews needs Benn, or Kessel type players but a Al Secord clone would be nice. Panik is not too bad when he remembers his roll. This off season will be huge for Bowman, he is going to need to clear some cap space and then get free agents with skills that complement our “mature” skilled core.

  104. Tab- 19 suddenly started playing well then… so why would I bitch about him… he was injured ( which I hoped was the main reason- he wasn’t playing well before Jan.) Now he is being pushed around again… so injured??? lack of will??? decline in skill??? Lack of linemates??? you better hope it’s an injury that will heal with time… cuz the other causes/reasons will be a lot harder to fix w/ cap and contracts involved…My fundamental belief… is NO ONE is worth that kind of money…

    Gbladz- you make some good points… but to my Eyes (sorry Tab) 19 was good with the “2 lesser players/ lesser than Saad/81” for several weeks… and suddenly 19 is getting tossed around again… Injury??? will??? or 8/14 were good for 8 weeks- and aren’t good enough for PO hockey- now???

    I am in the camp – take $1M less 19/88 and maybe the future is brighter for the team!

  105. Negotiated contracts are what they are and cannot be renogiated for a lesser cap hit. They are averaged over number years of contract to determine amount of cap hit each year until contracts expire so get over it you can’t change it.

  106. @ DEMO

    You are 100% correct the forwards are not generating nearly enough offense. There is absolutely no denying that. Let’s give Nashville credit though. They have as solid 4 DMen as any team in the league.
    Lets take a brutal assessment of the top 6 forwards on this team. It starts with Toews. If Toews is not an impact player(he hasn’t been) they have no chance(PERIOD). I am hoping he is hurt. He had a strong 2nd half but has been nonexistent again in the playoffs. He had 1 shot in the last game. Tab and other were literally laughing when Toews had a game without a shot in a random game and I was concerned. Your starting center needs to generate offense. He hasn’t scored in his last 12 playoff games urgh.
    Hossa is aging, Anisimov is returning from an injury(he gets a pass), Panarin has been ok but not scoring, Kane’s been good, Panik is a guy and LW1 is still a ? whoever is the flavor of the game/period. Kruger has been out there alot and still has no offense talent what-so-ever. Done with him personally.
    However, I am still more concerned about the defense just getting out skated and losing 50/50 pucks and board battles. The Hawks are a puck possession team and with out winning those battles and pucks they CAN NOT possess the puck. Add to the fact they can’t win a damn faceoff and now you have the whole “aging core”. “Window closed” narrative.

  107. Lets all hope q makes some lineup changes for game 4 so we can argue over whether he should be praised for the changes or criticized for taking so long after a Hawks win. I say Hayden definitely in for Tootoo, possibly jurco in for Hartman or moose and swap out one of the old slow defenseman for a younger guy that can skate and then roll 4 lines like sr brad’s parrot said to do years ago. I hate the idea of taking hartman out but he isnt getting it done and q doesnt trust him to play in crunch time anyway. What they have tried so far hasnt worked. make some changes. Maybe it wont matter but they have to try something at this point. go hawks

  108. Rufus said the following:

    The era is done. Time to turn the page and build for a new era. Living in denial and insisting that any team with Kane, Toews, Keith, Panarin and Crawford can still win Cups is a fool’s exercise.

    Rufus, with all due respect, when it comes to that statement you are an idiot.

    Think about that statement, please. Each one of those players is a premier player in the NHL. They have not had a good series, but these core players need a supporting cast that is capable of helping them as a TEAM, and I’ll say it again, TEAM, to win a cup. Each of those players you mentioned would be coveted by any team in the NHL. They are playing with a bunch that achieved winning the West, but they include some older players who are being outplayed and some younger players who may not be ready for the “big stage” just yet. Hartman, Kero, Schmaltz, Hayden, Hinostroza, Rasmussen are either true rookies or essentially rookies. Geez.

    The players you mentioned are not “done”. They’ve lost series before when they had supporting casts that were not giving the team a championship roster (i.e. like when they lost to Arizona in the first round in just a few games).

    This team is playing poorly, very poorly. They do seem to lack what the Predators have right now. They had some serious consistency problems during the regular season. Maybe some of the players you mentioned are older, but they are not done.

    I will cheer for the Blackhawks until the final buzzer and then I will look forward to what Stan et al do in the offseason. IF …. they decide they have to get rid of one of the people you mention it will be for business and/or building for the future. But they will get great value for any one of them. And they will be called insane by a lot of people for getting rid of any one of them.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  109. re: pete praying for lineup changes – the only one in practice on Wednesday was Kempny in for Oduya. So go ahead and make up a praise/criticism narrative in advance

  110. I spoke with a very knowledgeable hockey fan and he said it looks like the Hawks have lost their legs. Well I hope they find their legs tomorrow.I want to be able to cheer again this year for our Hawks. I truly believe we have enough veteran leadership to win the game tomorrow. Go Hawks bring game 5 back to Chicago.

  111. Amazingly, Anaheim has Manson, Montour, Holzer and Theodore in the their top six on defense tonight.

    They are going to advance with these relative no names/journeyman/prospects.

    You would think that was their top 4 from the AHL San Diego Gulls.

  112. Here is some perspective heading into tonight’s game,…

    Last time Toews scored a playoff goal Patrick Sharp had the assist(2015 finals)

    Vegas has the Hawks installed as a 4-1 the favorite to hoist the Cup

    9 of 17 Yahoo’s NHL writers predicted the Hawks to win the Cup. Puck Daddy himself was the only writer that predicted the Preds would beat the Hawks

    The last number 1 seed to be swept in the 1st round was the Nuckleheads in 2012 by the number 8 Kings

    Uurgh

  113. RTF-I agree that the core hasn’t played as well as needed-and I think it’s a combination of three things-
    -the Preds are tough to play against. I’ve been impressed
    -the ‘core’ is no longer clearly better than the other teams core and then factor in three
    -mental fatigue and age

    And then lines three and four aren’t as good as some of the other playoff teams. and 21 million (they earned it) given to two players makes it hard to get those ‘playoff’ grinders that help you win key games. Like a Boyle or a Kesler.
    It’s been a combination of the perfect storm this playoff year

  114. Before we send this group of players out to the “men’s league” at Johnny’s Ice House, let’s look at a few facts:
    1. Yep…….the core is getting older.
    2. Yep……..Seabrook has played 87 more games than ANY other player in the NHL over the last 12 years.
    3. Yep……..Duncan Keith is skating on one leg.
    4. Yep……….The Preds are playing with confidence.
    5. Yep…….Toews has played hurt all year.
    6. Yep……..The kids need some playoff experience.

    But it doesn’t matter, this team makes no excuses. These players have given me 10 years of great and enjoyable hockey…….AND 3 Stanley Cups. The last time I looked, the LA Kings did NOT make the playoffs and 2 years ago they were claimed as the “next dynasty”. So when teams are successful, they tend to fall off the mountain “quickly”.

    I still like our core players. Yep……we need to move a couple of “aging” guys out of the mix, but for the most part there are teams in the NHL who would love any one of our core players for their experience and skill. If a team needed an experienced player to teach their young players the right way to play the game, any of the Hawks core players would fit the bill.

    A lot of people “bash” Brent Seabrook, but he is a true hockey warrior. He very rarely misses a game, scores HUGE goals, plays the body well, doesn’t take stupid penalties and plays the game the right way. He may have lost a step, but he is a stable defensive player, even at 31 years old.

    Contracts aside, I still like the players on this team and how this team plays the game of hockey. I am a fan of this Hawk team, win or lose!!

    Now let’s win tonight, come home and win another, then watch the spinkter muscles on the Preds team shrink up a bit!!

    Go HAWKS!!!

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