Blackhawks Can’t Catch Predators

The Blackhawks were closer to finding a cure for insomnia than solving Pekka Rinne and the Preds on Sunday night, falling 2-0 at the United Center.

Brookbank

The Hawks controlled the action for much of the first period, but were on the wrong side of a 1-0 score when the opening 20 minutes came to a close. A long shot by Ryan Ellis was redirected past Corey Crawford by Mike Fisher with 82 seconds left in the opening frame.

In the second period, the script remained similar to the first. Chicago had more shots than the Preds, but a Gabriel Bourque goal extended the Nashville lead to 2-0. Through 40 minutes, the Hawks out-shot the Preds 20-11, but five failed power plays hurt.

It was physical early and often, as both teams came out hitting. Andrew Shaw hammered phenom Seth Jones in the first period and the Preds’ rookie did not return to the game. In the second, Jeremy Morin lowered the boom on Roman Josi and was subsequently jumped by Eric Nystrom. Nystrom received only two minor penalties for the action that followed the clean hit by Morin, and the Hawks weren’t able to capitalize on the four-minute advantage.

Pekka Rinne was good, but the Hawks’ sense of urgency was stunningly absent from the contest. When Corey Crawford went to the bench with 2:08 remaining in the third period, Chicago had been credited with only five shots on net in the previous 17:52 while chasing two goals.

Kris Versteeg was frustrating all night, but he was far from being alone in that regard. Sheldon Brookbank lost contact with Fisher before Nashville’s first goal, and Brent Seabrook whiffed trying to keep a puck in the offensive zone before the Preds’ second tally. Andrew Shaw took a holding penalty with 37 seconds remaining in the four-minute advantage in the second period, and Brandon Bollig was sent off for boarding in the third period.

Morin showed some jump and played with an edge, but was limited to only 10 shifts.

In the two games that Patrick Kane has been out, Jonathan Toews has skated 23:46 (against Carolina) and 23:54 (against Nashville). He won 11 of 20 faceoffs in the loss.

With Colorado at home watching, the Blackhawks remain only three points in front of the Avs for second place in the Central Division. The next game on the calendar for the Avs is against these Predators in Nashville on Tuesday night; Chicago hosts Dallas the same night.

Bryan Bickell is “questionable” for Tuesday night, according to coach Joel Quenneville after the game.

This entry was posted in 2013-14 Blackhawks and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Blackhawks Can’t Catch Predators

  1. John Bertoletti says:

    The team overall sucked tonight, but the second goal was all on Crawford. Middle school hockey players can score on him as long as they go high glove side. Morin looked good. He had energy, a nice rush to the net, and a booming hit. Keep playing him.

  2. Mining Man says:

    Well that sucked…Toews was fine, Morin was fine, thats it. Les Prey-Da-Tour sure have our number. 2 in a row to these clowns. Credit Renne, but c’mon the third period had nothing. Many have mentioned the easy schedule and all the wins/points we are going to rack up…don’t count on it. It was a lacklustre showing at best. Please don’t everyone start talking about Pirri and how TT is going to be the second coming of Bobby Hull. We will get there but the hunger is lacking and a great effort every 3rd game is not going to cut it. Best hope for us is our formidable playoff experience and Kane’s rest up. It can be done…I just hope they believe it…because I do.

  3. ebonyraptor says:

    It’s hard to put a finger on any singular reason the Hawks have diffuculty playing (and winning) against clearly inferior teams. Yes, a goalie can get on a roll and stone ya from time to time. But I don’t think that was the case tonight because I don’t recall many, if any, grade A saves by Rinne tonight. And it’s not like he didn’t leave some rebounds available either because there were a bunch of times where a better net front presence or s little better hand/eye coordination could have knocked it in. I’m taking nothing away from Rinne who played well and was always in position to make the save but I don’t think this rose to the level of “goalie win” for him.

    It seems unrealistic to think the Hawks, with all their star power, have so little room for error, but that seems to be the case more times than not against teams like Nashville. It happened again tonight when Brookbank lost his man which allowed Fisher to be alone in front for the pass/tip goal. A little fundamental mistake and boom it’s 1-0. Then on their second goal Seabrook makes a mistake pinching in with no help behind him and Crawford compounds the mistake by misplaying the shot and boom it’s 2-0. Two mistakes result in two goals against. Did Nashville make any mistakes like that? If they did the individual who made a mistake was covered by a teammate. And that’s the difference – Nashville plays boring mistake free hockey and waits for the other team to make a mistake. The Hawks obliged them twice tonight.

    One more thing – I know Q does a good job of giving the team days off so they’re fresh for the playoffs, but the media day practice on Friday followed by no practice on Saturday and no morning skate today showed because the passing and shooting were not crisp by any stretch tonight and the Hawks as much as any team needs crisp passing or their puck possession game strugles and that’s happened tonight.

  4. michael petan says:

    Just Flat Tonight . . . Morin looked good and played with a little more speed going into the corners where in the past he may have let up and drifted tonight he was a consistent force. Hawks need quicker shots from the point, again tonight a little too much hesitation by our d-men looking for the perfect shot quick release. We seemed to have traffic but shots did not get thru. where was the Sweeeeed?

  5. ebonyraptor says:

    What Swede? Hjalmarsson, Oduya and Kruger all played. Rundblad did not.

  6. wall says:

    Now I know why Q doesn’t play Morin too much… he hits too hard!!!

    Just another game where the other team “rope-a-dopes” the Hawks… waits for a mistake… and capitalizes…

    Hawks will need to utilize a patient, defensive game if they want to beat a team like Preds, or a team w/ Fast forwards that will counter-attack, and Finish (like Avs)…

    I thought the PP was bad for long stretches this year… but without Kane they look clueless…

    To ER’s point… at least practice the PP w/o Kane… TT should coach the PP if he isn’t going to play!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. ebonyraptor says:

    Speaking of Kruger. Taking Smith off the 4th line has worked well with the exception of the 4th line. The Bollig-Kruger-Smith line for much of the season has been the most consistent line and been so valuable checking pretty much any of the opponent’s lines. But now that that line has been broken up I don’t recall seeing much from Kruger at even strength over these past few games. If nothing else, having TT in the lineup to play center should allow Smith to be put back on the 4th line which will be a good thing.

  8. CJ says:

    How would consider Kris Versteeg as frustrating? The whole team was flat but I don’t recall Verbeauty doing anything too bad? Overall though, bad team effort. Q is relying on his top guns too much and they clearly showed fatigue in the final few minutes when they couldn’t retrieve any dump-ins.

  9. Sr. Brad says:

    Nice…no points in a game we should have had 2…and our core players played huge minutes again…since the new year, in games where we don’t roll 4 lines we are now 4-10-6…in games where we do we are 9-0-2…

    At home against a feeble Nashville team coming back east on their road trip, and we shorten up our bench??? If ever there was a need for a patient 4 line game, this was it…BTW, nice positioning by CC on the 2nd goal…

    The good news is that TT arrives Tuesday and that should mean Zus out of the lineup…but honestly, who really knows.

    As for the 4th line drop off, it kind of tells you how good of a player Ben Smith is…

  10. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Coach Q has 2 rings and lots of NHL wins under his belt, I do not. With that being said I’m not surprised the Hawks lost w the roster that was played tonight. I’m starting to think this team lack of line consistency is directly effecting wins and loses. Anyone who has watched the Hawks since Q replaced Savy knows that Q is always switching up lines but this year he has been all over. Outside of the defense, and 19 & 52 everyone is all over the lineup. Zus opened the game w Sharp and Regin? C’mon really??? Does this game matter in the big picture,…no really but Outside of a few players not a lot of these guys know their place. Kudos to Ben Smith and Morin for playing a good game!

  11. morrison says:

    If the whole team is playing our C game (which we do a lot against these mid-tier & bottom ten teams) then why not spread the min. I am not sure if it matters, when we play our C game, we still outplay the other team by a lot and the scores are always close but… like Wall said, we don’t get anything on PP when they cheat and they get stuff on crap/mistakes.

    Love how much Weber gets away with. Nice cross check to Steegers waist. I wonder if Weber cross checked the ref in the forehead if he would… reminds me of grabbing Zetterbergs head and slamming it into the glass.

  12. Travis says:

    we dominated the first two periods. the ice was severely slanted for 40 solid minutes. good cycle, good rebounding 5 on 5. good clean hits. a few good PP looks, but rinne stopped the second chances. our first ten tips didn’t go in, we missed the net on some glorious chances, and they happened to convert on their first chance. it happens.

    if that game is played 10 times, we win 8 of them. tonight was one of the remaining 2.

    it reminded me of game 5 of the quarterfinals in 2010, except far more boring. we were outshooting nashville like 30-10, but nashville had a 4-3 lead with seconds to go. i take solace in the fact that nashville and their boring style won’t make the playoffs, but we will.

  13. Phil says:

    I blew off yesterdays game because it was Nashville, and gave the tickets to my son law. Second time this year I have done this with with the Preds. No, I am not trying to get my son in law to cease being a hockey fan. For years now our games with these guys are more often than not bogged down affairs. Preds play D and then look to counter. They did it well last night. No wonder they have trouble filling their arena. Rinne was good enough, although effort from the Hawks was not what it should have been. Games against teams like the Preds require a different approach. It becomes a dump and chase, get people to net, and look for rebounds. Too many perimeter shots last night, and even with some net presence, no results. Just a suck game to watch.

    Morin was a bright spot. He gave what he had, threw a monster check that should get on NHL Network hits of the week. It got the Hawks a 4 minute PP which they squandered. Morin had some real jump in his skates last night. A positive in what was otherwise a lackluster game that had few positives.

    Second game in a row where the Hawks had a good first period and nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. Certainly deflating. Morrison made a great call out on Webber. After he delivered that cheap shot cross check to Versteeg I thought when Steeger went to the ice his ribs were broken. How could that one not get called? Yes, he gets away with a lot. That is the kind of crap that Backes pulls for the Blues, who eked one out against the Pens. Blues gave a good 60 minute effort Sunday. Hawks didn’t.

    Got my ticket invoice for next season from the Hawks Saturday. Looks like another 13% bump. Wish they would would wait until playoffs are over to send the bills. Despite grumbling, I am a proud Blackhawks season ticket holder and love watching NHL hockey even if it costsaplenty.

    Games with Dallas usually have better pace. I think the Hawks bounce back tomorrow night, and then its off on the road for a few. Pens, Sens can be had. B’s will be tough, but at least Boston brings it.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  14. Goldenbladz says:

    I agree with you Travis the Hawks dominated play and had possession of the puck circling around in the Preds zone but NOBODY could finish last night. There was lots of great pressure and like ERIC said Rinne didn’t play fantastic the Hawks made him look good. Rinne has been blown out by many teams since coming back..

    I also agree with the statement that the 4th had not looked as good since Smith has moved from it. Moron had a very good game for the limited minutes nice big hit and was skating hard.

    Btw I did see Handzus go down to block a shot. He missed but at least he tried

  15. Goldenbladz says:

    That was supposed to be ER not Eric dam phone

  16. Goldenbladz says:

    And Morin not Moron sheeesh

  17. wall says:

    Morrison- agreed on Shea…at least interference call if not cross-check…
    Rinne- was not close to be tested… Surprisingly, Zus actually played OK… got to the net 3-4 times for tip plays- that never connected… but that is why Hawks have played poorly vs. Preds… gotta get to net… and it’s not Hawks game/strong point.

  18. Mike says:

    Brad, last nite’s game is an example of what I call “mailing one in”. Lack of 100% effort from a team who went into the game thinking it would be an easy 2 points. Are the Hawks so shallow that a Nashville team missing 3 of its best players (Legwand gone, Jones hurt and Hornquist out) held the Hawks to no goals? No. This was solely a lack of effort. This loss is on our top 10 players.

    I will NOT include Crawford as cause of this loss and I disagree that a middle school kid could have stopped the second goal. Yes, I am sure Crawford would want that back, but it was a perfectly placed shot. But what does it matter? Even if he stops that shot, we still lose. I don’t want to hear that the second goal changed the complexion of the game. Our team is the defending SC Champs. A 2 goal deficit should have brought out the best in our players. But last night it just wasn’t there.

  19. Mike says:

    At this point in the season it is hard not to compare the Hawks and the Bruins. These 2 teams seem to be “mentally” headed in different directions. One team is biding time til the playoffs while the other is bringing it every single night. I would hate to see the results if the SC championship series were to start today. I am not sure the Hawks would know what hit them.

    Luckily the SC Championships are not starting today. But IMO the Hawks need a wakeup call.

  20. Tim G says:

    I didnt get a chance to tune-in, but its hard to hear that we had a 4min PP and didnt get a goal. Even without 88, if you got 4 minutes you should be able to find something between 19/10/81/2/7/8/65…

    Mike said it right that the hawks seem to being going in the wrong direction mentally. You can play a “bad game” but keep your head high. Not sure I’ve see that have the last few loses/bad games. There are still another 10 games to work with, so let’s see how we finish. TT will be here through the end of the regular season and we get to see what we can expect. At a minimum, it should help balence the lines. I dont know exactly what the lines were last night… but extra bodies can never hurt, especially when its one as gifted as TT.
    Im hoping for something like this…
    20/19/11
    10/TT/81
    29 (hopefully)/65/23
    52/16/28.

    That will give us the best balance with what we got to work with, but i guess we have another 24+ hours to debate that. If Morin was as good as he sounded, give him a chance to play hard for 20/19…

  21. ebonyraptor says:

    By the way Tab, I like the picture of Brookbank and Clune fighting – specifically the faces of Bollig and Raanta in the background. They look to be thoroughly entertained by the spectacle … the savages – LOL

  22. JS says:

    I swear Brookbank played really well in the first 3/4 of the season. These dumb fights and blown defensive coverages have to stop.

    CC was definitely out of position on the second goal. Hell of a shot and he Pred did a nice job of cutting in to the circle.

    Let us not forget that the 4 minute PP was cut short by another dumb Andrew Shaw penalty. That’s like 4 of the last 5 games.

    Not really sure why people think there is a 4th line drop off. They played really damn well, outside of Bollig’s stupid penalty. 70%+ Corsi for is pretty much their best game on the season.

    Patrick Kane is sorely missed on the power play. It’s complete clown shoes without him. Why do Keith and Sharp not switch sides once they establish possession? One timers from point men have a much better chance of not getting blocked. Seems like hockey 101.

  23. AJ says:

    Hockey 101 becomes irrelevant after two Cups. I grow weary of Andrew Shaw. Maybe he needs some new shin pads.

    Whelp when Toews was out a few years ago Kane did a really good job stepping up and getting the Hawks into a position to back into the playoffs. Maybe that’ll reverse roles the next few games and everything will be right again in Hawk nation and they can hold onto home ice the first round and maybe gain some ground on SJ or ANA.

    Or they can make everyone SURLY and FURIOUS!

  24. Jacque Blacque Schlaque says:

    I’m hereby putting a bounty on the head of Sr. Brad’s fucking parrot.

  25. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Say, guess what !!! Pekka Rinne is an elite goalie !!! Probably the best goalie in all of hockey when healthy !!! He stoned the Hawks, again. It happens. That said, the Hawks are limping to the playoffs. And it has nothing to do with not “rolling 4 fucking lines” and everything to do with this team simply not being as good or as deep as it needs to be for a back to back Cup run.

    The Hawks are smart enough to know that accumulating points right now, while obviously a desirable thing, is not the mandate. Rather the mandate is to salvage any semlance of physical and mental balance / stamina to have any chance at all once the playoffs hit. Simple.as.that. End o’ subject

  26. ebonyraptor says:

    I think history shows that being on a roll or call it having momentum is important heading into the playoffs. It’s probably not a make or break thing as a team can limp in and still turn it around and do well, but the ideal is to hit the playoffs on a roll. And that’s the concern with the Hawks this season – they havn’t been able to build on success because for every inspiring win against a team like St. Louis, it is followed by a clunker against a team like Nashville. Rather than being able to build momentum, the Hawks just stumble along teetering on the edge between being the best team in hockey and a team that could get bounced in the first round. I think that is what is so maddening about this schizophrenic team.

  27. wall says:

    ER- great catch on that photo… classic… I wish we had a mic for what 52 was probably yelling!!!

  28. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    BlackCrow…in this era of the NHL it is inordinately difficult for any team to win back-to-back Cups. The physical and mental inventory is simply too damned great. As we are seeing very visibly with this year’s Hawks.

    Hence why I simply see this team getting out of the 2nd round. Certaintly NOT wishing that, but rather expecting that. To be followed by an offseason of rest, recuperation and roster tinkering.

  29. Mike says:

    Rufus, yes it is very difficult to win the Cup back to back, especially in this Cap era. So I am just trying to put my finger on why the Bruins are not facing the same problems of lackluster play. Are the Bruins hungrier than the Hawks or just so much more talented?

    The difference between the two teams is that one team has the Cup and the other wants to take it away. One team has mojo, one team doesn’t. One team is peaking while the other is treading water. These are very disturbing trends. The question is not whether the Hawks have the talent, they do. But do they have the “will” to win? I hope and prey that they shake this funk. 13-9-7 since the half way mark. Not the record of a confident champion closing out the season. 10 games left, to protect the team’s confidence, 6 or 7 regulation wins would be VERY helpful.

  30. JS says:

    Boston plays in the eastern conference, makes it a lot easier to look good.

    The Hawks still get up to play the big games, they just don’t seem to have the same focus when they play the grinders. It happens.

  31. michael petan says:

    The playoffs will be a grid, Hawks really do not dominate anyone, but just seem to out skate to opponents to the puck and have great overall team speed and skilled with the sticks. Pure scorers are few, but the NLH is pretty “even” across the board, lots of good teams no bad ones and 2 or 3 great ones. Hawks balancing between good and great. When they play from behind it is tuff, vs Preds or Avs or Wings even, big defense men big checks will make it difficult to score and control the front of the net. Last night game was perfect exhibit A, we had the puck in the Pred’s zone for like 3 minute, but it was never under control, always under pressure with big checks from Webber who plays like Seabrook needs to every night, sort of scramble mode, no size to control the puck except for Bolig who is turning into a beast
    . The Power Play MUST GET ON TRACK for the playoffs.

  32. Mike says:

    JS, not gonna disagree but the EC has make a huge dent in their W-L vs the west. Boston is 17-4-4 vs the West and is 6-1-4 vs the Central. All I am saying is the Hawks and Bruins both ended their seasons on the same day. I just wonder why our Cup “hangover” is seeming so much worse than theirs as of the past month or so.

  33. JS says:

    Mike- Just look at the anomoly of the Hawks overtime losses if you wonder where they are missing points from. They are 6 points behind the B’s who play in an inferior conference. The Hawks are still the second best possession team in the league. Even though we feel they are playing like crap, they are out chancing the other teams every game. Not sure if this has anything to do with a “hangover” or them just not wanting to go full tilt every game.

    Petan- Weber is arguably the best defender in the NHL. Seabrook is arguably the 4th best defender on the Hawks. Wishing for Seabrook to play like Weber is like wishing to shit a diamond.

  34. JS says:

    Just to attempt to calm everyone down.

    Most important thing to have clicking going into the playoffs is the penalty kill. Hawks have been great at that. As far as the power play, I can only assume they are going to change their strategy come playoff time and aren’t prepared to show their hand yet? Maybe? Wishful thinking? Probably.

    For 5 on 5 play with a close score, the Hawks have the 4th best goal differential, and the second best Corsi differential. Oddly, the Ducks have the best goal differential, and the 14th best Corsi differential. This is why it was predicted that the Ducks would crash back to earth (they did). The Avs are 5th in goal differential and 25th in Corsi differential. What that means is that Varlamov should be a ridiculous favorite for the Vezina because he has carried that damn team.

    Also, for those bitching about Toews TOI as of late. Check the amount of minutes he is logging on the PK.

  35. AJ says:

    They did go 6-9 in March in 2009-2010 and only won one game in regulation in February that year as well. I think I mentioned that before.

    Good teams have bad luck and/or don’t fire on all cylinders every single game believe it or not. Not every team goes wire to wire like the Hawks last year (abbreviated schedule helps) or like the Habs or Bruins in the days of yore. At a certain point expectations need to be tempered slightly.

    As long as they are relatively healthy in the playoffs they will make waves. If they are still nursing injuries it is going to be more difficult. In the immortal words of the big toe himself “lighten up Francis”

  36. Mike says:

    Hey JS, no issues with your thoughts. The Hawks record is great and yes, turn 5 or 6 of those OT losses around and the Hawks are in contention for the Pres. Cup. My concern stems from a motivational standpoint. How do the Bruins keep that hunger that we have not had lately? Morin seemed like the most energized player we had last night. Why?, because he is hungry. So what concerns me most is that the Hawks have fallen into a funk that they won’t recover from in time to get out of the first or second round.

  37. AJ says:

    Playing Washington, Florida twice, Carolina and Jersey is helpful.

    See this guy AJ’s comment about the 2010 team. Seriously. They sucked ass in February and March. Like really bad, like lit up for many goals against crappy teams bad. And then they won the Cup. Seriously. History. Read a book or in this case a stat sheet on the internet.

  38. Travis says:

    cripes. we’re fine.

    anybody questioning motivation or cup hangovers… look at the Corsi, last night and over the full season. we are excellent, and barring our OT record, we’re one of the top teams in the standings. last year spoiled you.

    anybody questioning our effort last night, i think your eye test needs to be recallibrated. for two periods, we won most 50/50 pucks, most board battles, hit hard (by our standards), and skated well. just because we didn’t bring finish, it does not follow that we didn’t try.

    this board has me scratching my head today…

  39. hawkey says:

    Maybe there’s a code I don’t understand. But would it kill Toews, Dunc, Oduya, couple others to throw a check every once in a while…just to keep the other guy guessing? Even Kaner will attempt to throw 1-2 hits per game. He generally bounces off the other guy, but at least he’s putting the thought in their head. I watch the games and see opportunities for Toews, Keith, Hoss, Steeger, etc with the guy lined up to lay some wood.

    I can’t tell you the last time I saw Toews throw the body at someone. Love Toews, love his game. I looked up his stats. averages 1 hit every 3 games. Can he get that up to 2/3 or even 1 per game?

  40. hawkey says:

    I’m not advocating dirty play. But tell me the last time you saw a Hawk player throw a vicious cross check with intent to injure like Weber on Steeg last night. I’m not talking the cross-check to the “padded” back in front of the net. Last night was either to the wrist or ribs. Just pisses me off to watch the other teams idiots bring intent cause harm. Bollig hits hard, but never that I see hitting w intent to reduce their will to play. Maybe I’m watching w the Rose-colored glasses and only see our hits as clean.

    Last night, both shaws and Morins hits looked 100% clean to me.

    Saw Thornton just crush either Toews or Krugs last year (playoffs, if i recall correctly) w a cross check at a center ice faceoff. It was not a check, it was after the faceoff completed and refs turned away to the puck, and was a “you really don’t want to try to win a faceoff against me for the rest of the game” message.

  41. goldenbladz says:

    I agree Travis i thought the team actually played alright (not their best) and did dominate play and just couldn’t finish and made Rinne look good. Do the Hawks sometimes take teams too lighty at times YES. Will the Hawks be one of the best teams in the playoffs YES. Look at the Miami Heat they have lost 7 out of their last 11, are they done? Boston is playing great right now but they will tire like they did last year (especially if they can be taken to a few 7 game series). I know Iginla is playing great but what team trades away a kid like Tyler Seguin…..huge mistake.

  42. morrison says:

    Mike, in terms of wake up call. I think that’s exactly what we gave to Boston in JAN after we took it to ANA & them (in 1st period) and won both games (when we had been playing not good for us, that mth).

    Since then Boston went 7-2-2 & 12-0-0 (now they only played 5 top10 teams in all of those games…). If Boston played a cambell conference sch. they would be screwing themselves for the playoffs by wearing themselves out now, but since they play ‘not as hard’ east conference teams in first couple rounds they probably get away with it.

    They must want the 1 seed real bad. They should now though that it didn’t matter against PIT. (they also had a lot of injurys since they got their people back, they’ve been on this tear)

  43. wall says:

    To those that thought Rinne was great last nite??? He didn’t see many/any Grade A chances in my book… Just like Games vs. Avs… Avs potted the Grade A chances (and Hawks while taking many more SOG’s – had few/fewer Grade A shots…)

  44. morrison says:

    JS, that’s right. Since the holidays, we have played several off games. Though during that same time were 5-0-2 (counting SO win against BOS & the one against SJ as ties) against the top6/elite teams. When we play, we play.

    Were not going to win every game against the top6/elite teams but we have one of the best records against the top teams… others top teams do not.

    It does suck that we cant/haven’t won 12 in a row, but we do not play an east conference sch. Cambell conference teams play 5 of 10 games against a top10 team, East conference teams play 2 of every 10 games against top10 teams. PIT won 12 or 14 in a row last yr, same thing.

    Nothing is guaranteed but in 2010 we played bad until about 8or9 games left in season then went like 7-1-1 right before the playoffs. This year, as Ruff has reminded, we are not wasting our energy for every game… because we cant after a long season. Boston played just as long, but they play a east conference sch.

    We have the skill & experience to win every year. Were just not as interested in regular season games against these mid-tier & bottom10 teams anymore. Our teams just wants the playoffs to start. We bring it basically every time we play top6/elite teams.

  45. Jax says:

    I have to pretty much agree with Travis and Goldenbladz’s assessment of last night’s game. I thought Morin, Smith and Regin played very hard. I know I will be in the minority on this thought but I think Regin has actually played pretty well so far as his type of play fits with this team. One aspect that I have not read on this site is what I would call the “champ factor”. Don’t want to make this like an excuse but it is something I have seen and dealt with personally, here goes. When a team wins a championship, the next season (especially early in the season) every other team, (especially coaching staff) treats every game with you as the seventh game of the finals. You are going to get that team’s best effort. Nobody will “mail it in” against you all year I assure you. This tends to be true all year and especially with lesser teams. Coaching staffs try to validate their programs more on beating the champs than overall record. This greatly increases the effort you have to use for each game as opposed to other team’s effort required each game. Over a long regular season, this is quite a difference, as well as having the shortest off season.(besides Boston) This is not meant to be an excuse, just something I have experienced from both sides of the coin in sports and in the business world.

  46. morrison says:

    Mike, not disagreeing with you but check these records for the top/elite teams.

    Records against the top/elite teams against each other.
    Boston 5-3-4 +2
    Pittsburgh 5-5-1 0
    St. Louis 8-8-1 0
    San Jose 10-7-1 +3
    Chicago 8-1-6 +7
    Los Angeles 7-9-1 -2
    Anaheim 9-5-4 +4

    Like JS said, the east conference makes its easier to look good.

  47. wall says:

    Trevor van Riemsdyke

  48. morrison says:

    I had just cut and paste his name to post. The I saw your post.

  49. morrison says:

    Top college ufa defenseman this year?

  50. ebonyraptor says:

    I think the top ufa d-man is considered to be Christian Folin who plays for U-Mass Lowell. But I think TvR is considered to be one of the top uda d-men. He got injured in January (I believe) and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t played since then. He was first team all star last season though. The reports I’ve read about him is say he skates very well – so that’s a plus. Don’t know anything else about him.

  51. ebonyraptor says:

    By the way – Bobby Mac tweeted he thinks TT will be between Saad and Smith in the Dallas game tomorrow and that he may get some time on the PP. I like that line. I think it’s a good move to put him with Saad and Smith – two defensively responsible guys with less star (struck) power that having him center Hossa. It should take a little pressure off from trying to do too much when you look over and see a future HOF’er on your wing. Helps him ease in a bit.

  52. Travis says:

    ^ agreed. that would be an excellent second line… so long as Q doesn’t stack the top line and spreads them out instead.

    sharp or hossa on the third line, engaged in bumslayer mode.

  53. wall says:

    who is Brookbank centering?

    saw a couple of hilite minutes of TvR… really seemed to have great stick,IQ, of course I didn’t see the Low-lites!!! really liked what I saw + He is another Righty. Looks to be better skater than Cdening (who I think is average skater) + bigger frame to fill out!!!

    Like watching Fournier for about 10 minutes in camp…could see that Fournier was the best D skater/prospect by far… TvR has some upside…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>