Blackhawks Fight Back, Still Fall in OT

The realities of the Blackhawks’ present and the issues with their future were on full display during 67 entertaining minutes of hockey on Thursday evening.

Chicago’s present and its future have started to mix this season, as Kirby Dach and Adam Boqvist broke into the NHL lineup as regulars. But whenever the next generation begins to establish itself there are bumps in the road.

These playoffs have been a solid coming out party for Dach. He’s shown better physical strength than he did beginning the regular season, something that should be expected from a teenager. But he’s looked like a player who’s ready for prime time. On Thursday, he checked a significant box in his NHL career: Dach scored his first postseason goal.

However, the other half of the Hawks’ recently drafted rookie combination was absent from the lineup. For as much as Dach has appeared to have improved since the layoff began, these playoffs have been a struggle for Boqvist. On Thursday the team opted to dress another youngster, Lucas Carlsson, on the blue line.

Carlsson, still only 23 in his own right, showed some really nice things this season when given the opportunity. But the eyes of the organization and its fans have been on Boqvist and, beginning next season, Ian Mitchell.

Carlsson skated 10:33 with one hit in the game.

Chicago’s Calder Trophy finalist, Dominik Kubalik, continued his strong postseason. He tied the game at two in the second period.

The Blackhawks have a couple “older” players who contributed on Thursday as well. Alex DeBrincat (22) had an assist on the Blackhawks’ third goal, scored by Dylan Strome (23).

With DeBrincat, Strome, Dach, Kubalik and Boqvist rolling in these playoffs, there’s a reason for hope.

Chicago’s old men aren’t going anywhere, either. Not yet. Patrick Kane picked up an assist on each of the Blackhawks three goals, moving him up another list in the history of the Blackhawks’ franchise.

Jonathan Toews continued his good series as well, winning 15 of 25 faceoffs and picking up an assist of his own.

Chicago was trailing 2-0 and 3-2 and was able to come back and tie the game. And they forced overtime. All nice to know and building blocks for the future.

However…

The reality is simple: the Hawks do not have the depth of skill to compete with a team like the Vegas Golden Knights. Chicago was out-shot 39-25 in a critical Game Two and felt like they were chasing the entire night.

Corey Crawford has been good at times, but not sharp enough in these playoffs. Chicago got away with it against Edmonton because they haven’t played defense since Messier left, but Vegas is too good top to bottom for Chicago to get away with their mistakes.

The Blackhawks have work to do to get back into this series. And they have work to do before next season starts (whenever that is) if they want to chase down teams like Vegas and Colorado in the Western Conference.

88 thoughts on “Blackhawks Fight Back, Still Fall in OT

  1. Vegas very good at capitalizing on opposing teams mistakes, DeBoer an underrated coach, which Vegas obviously saw that in last years playoffs and scooped him up when he became available. Haven’t said much about Colliton lately but pretty obvious his flawed system is coming to light again in this series and causing all sorts of problems for his players in their own end. Wishing Carlsson for Boqvist did not impact positively, on the ice for 2 goals against and lost the possibility that Boqvist might bring a little offense, be surprised if he isn’t back in. Much better effort, let momentum get away in 3rd, but got some players out of a slump, see what Staurday brings.

  2. Edmonton because they haven’t played defense since Messier left

    That is one of the most hilarious things I have heard in awhile.

  3. well, the Hawks were probably going to have zero chance of winning this series unless the Crawford of 2015 vs TB in the Stanley Cup Finals showed up and unfortunately, he hasn’t been at a shut down level over these first two games..part of that is obviously due to the fact that the defense in front of him isn’t great..do the Hawks move on this offseason from Crow and really set the rebuild into overdrive by going w/ Delia and Subban or another cheaper vet in net next year? I’d honestly be fine with that..it’s not like if they extend Crow for two years that really helps the Hawks..they won’t be ready to contend next year and even if they are ready to make a run in 21-22, will a 37 year old Crow really be their best option in net? I’d rather save the cap room and have some cap flexibility over the next season or two..might be able to siphon some talent from a team like Tampa or Toronto that is brutally against the cap right now and for the forseeable future..

  4. Everyone looked tired by the third period. Wonder if conditioning is starting to become an issue.

  5. A much better effort tonight.Strome was a 100% better as the puck found him most of the game,really wanted his crossbar shot in overtime to go in.He was active and aggressive,which I haven’t seen from him in a long time.For somebody who has not played in 5 months,I think Carllson was alright.He definitely can protect himself and does not mind clearing the net front.I would leave him in the lineup.Caggiula was also much better tonight as he found the puck and took the body consistently.Kane was much more involved and dangerous at times.I was not as enamored with Toews,s game as others.He did his job in the faceoff circle but passed up a couple of prime shots and did not generate enough offensively.He lost his check on the overtime goal and is getting outplayed by Riley Smith and Marchaseault.He has to be outstanding or the Hawks can’t compete with Vegas.Crawford let in 2 bad goals and that can’t happen especially with the small margin of error that the Hawks have.Both DeBrincat and Nylander have to step up and dent the net if we hope to get even 1 game in this series.Has anyone seen Brandon SAAD????

  6. Slayer wouldn’t mind them pursuing Columbus for Merzlikins, him and Korposalo gave them a solid 1-2 combo all year and Korposalo heroics in playoffs may make him available. 4m caphit next 2 years, which is what Crwaford would get and gives a chance to make him the future there for Blackhawks.

  7. If there is any doubt about which goalie the Hawks should have kept, it has been removed.
    Bowman is beyond incompetent.

  8. @ian, great idea..especially at $4 mil for the next two years..and he’s at the age where as a goaltender, you may still see some more upside..Columbus doesn’t have a 2nd or a 3rd in the upcoming draft..hopefully Bowman is thinking along the same lines..

  9. Well it has been entertaining.

    I am seeing a team that has talent, but is coached poorly. Proof of which is in their own end, which always looks like a Benny Hill episode, minus the music.

    After two years, Colliton still has not grasped the idea of team defense winning playoff hockey games.

    He will not be there next year, not will the guy that hired him after firing a HOF coach……..

    Only a miracle of winning 4 out of 5 vs Vegas saves them
    .

  10. I swear I saw Chris Pronger in an Edmonton uniform in the mid 2000’s.
    I swear I saw that Edmonton team in a SCF with Pronger.

    I swear I saw some good Edmonton teams in the playoffs during the late 1990’s.

    How does that happen if they don’t play defense while Messier is in a NYR jersey?

  11. Crawford hasn’t been good enough – no doubt. But I don’t think Lehner has been very good either – he just has the luxury of playing behind a much better team defense than Crawford does. That’s what makes the loss tonight more difficult to take – Lehner looked very beatable tonight. If Crawford doesn’t give up a softie the Hawks probably win this game.

  12. Am I supposed to believe that Colliton teaches Toews to watch the puck in the corner and NOT cover his man in front of the net? If yes, then it is Colliton’s defense that is at fault. If not, then it’s ridiculous to blame Colliton’s system because a veteran player didn’t execute hockey defense 101. But, if you hate Colliton, then you see every thing through the “colliton sux” filter.

  13. Didn’t mention winning goal did i, said this series, where we’ve seen alot if scrambly play in defensive zone. Said many times don’t think he is coach to get this team over in playoffs but hope he proves me wrong. Prove to me he has if your so sure.

  14. Vegas is the clearly superior team. They have a great roster that in its prime and play beautiful team hockey. The Hawks are outmatched, which is no surprise. There is work to be done in the rebuild.

  15. But EB since you brought up final goal, yes Toews looked bad but so did a system that leaves forwards to do the defensemans job in front of the net, while the defenseman are out along the boards near the blueline chasing the puck. If you see it working well, let me know.

  16. Situational – totally agree that Vegas is clearly superior

    I actually think JC’s stock has risen in these playoffs – he made adjustments to the lines before game 2 and they worked

    Overall the Hawks D is much better – they just don’t have 6 really good D men yet or enough forwards who know what to do in the D zone

    Strome much better and loved seeing Dach score his first NHL playoff goal

    If Crow was playing better they probably do win that game tonight and agree with ER Lehner looks beatable

    They’re playing hard for JC – I think a win or two in this series is in the cards but not a series win – Vegas is too good

  17. Liked the way they fought back after being down 2-0 after on period.

    Crawford not great, and successful playoff goalies have to be pretty much on their game, each and every game. At least one, maybe two bad goals given up.
    I also am not liking how Crow plays the puck.

    I hope I am wrong, but I think Colliton will be back for the 20/21 season. While it is true that the older guys are making mistakes like the younger guys at times, the Blackhawks just seem kind of rudderless. Now, we are all not there day in and day out, but I think there are those who would agree that it seems like there are about 3 or 4 player/coaches on the ice.

    Despite Danny Wirtz’s comments that Colliton’s system has taken effect and that the team is in good hands, I’m not buying it.

  18. The Hawks roster can be summed up by the maintenance’s guy quote from the movie “Rudy”:

    “You’re 5 foot nothin’, 100 and nothin’…”

  19. Big Indian against teams like Vegas who can roll 4 lines, forcheck hard and clog up center ice the Blackhawks struggle. They only have Toews, Saad and now Dach starting to as forwards who are heavy with the puck for any kind of power game. The coach wants them making quick breakout passes out of the zone and good teams with big pressure in this league create too many turnovers and scoring chances off that to be successful against them, ut apoears. Nice job as you said tonight using the quick strike to get back in it. Hopefully in the next couple of years they can find the combinations and transition into one of those pressure type teams themselves. Lots of compete and work ethic in alot of them that the right tweaking might not be as far away as some are thinking.

  20. Nice buffet of posts. Short and sweet. Interesting perusing.

    Question: With the roster constituted as such (by Bowman of course), would the Hawks have a better chance in this series if Gerard Gallant was the coach?

    Good evening.

  21. Look. We all know the Hawks are not going to win this series and there is no shame in that. But today it was a game of inches. Strome put a laser off the crossbar in overtime, that was our chance and ultimately the game.

    If Strome played this way consistently, the Hawks would have a heck of player on the hands. Great game from him.

    I like Carlsson a lot. Unfortunately on the first goal, he needed to block the pass from the side of the goal and he did not. The overtime goal, he had a man, but Toews did not pick up the Reilly Smith and bam the game was over.

    Love to see the way the Hawks battled back and kept playing. Great to see Dach get rewarded with a goal. He can take that into next season.

    Should be a fun weekend to watch the Hawks. Nothing to lose, have fun just like Duncan Keith has said.

  22. Ian, I don’t think Colliton’s defense is designed to be played the way the Hawks played it on the winning goal. Carlsson took the guy with the puck. Murphy wandered over to the corner when he didn’t need to. Toews and Kubalik were puck watching instead of keeping an eye on the weak side. I simply don’t believe that the players did what the defensive system called for them to do.

    Furthermore, I think the d-zone coverage has been pretty good. The breakdowns have been due to not being able to clear the puck and individual miscues – not because of some systemic deficiencies.

    But, that’s just one fan’s opinion. I understand many of my fellow Hawks fans think differently.

  23. Yeah, Strome played a helluva good game. It would be great to see him deliver that more consistently. Kinda feel bad for the Strome haters – they may need to wait 24 hours before they get back to dumping on him.

  24. By the looks of it, Strome is going to be a 45 point to 50 point player. His faceoff percentage was excellent today. He has a wicked shot he just needs to use it more and somebody has to convince him that he is a scorer.
    The question becomes how much is that worth contractually ?
    His buddy the Cat, cashed in before COVID. That’s nobody’s fault.

    I’m sure a teams like Jersey with 3 first rounders and Ottawa with a boat load of first rounders AND 2nd rounders would be glad to have a 23-year-old Center for picks.

    So September and the first week of October will be interesting. Here is what I do know. When a player wants big bucks and makes it public, Stan moves them. He did it with the Saad trade to Columbus in 2015. He did it with Lehner to Vegas this past February. I will say this. The better he performs the more his value goes up.

    There is no sense in whining about the salary cap. It’s the same dilemma for every GM.

  25. This was a hard loss to stomach.

    Crawford only started playing in the 3rd. Looked soft and disinterested for the first two periods. I thought our first 2 periods were impressive and with better goaltending we deserved the have the lead after 40.

    And then Crawford turned it on and the rest of the team forgot to come out of the dressing room.

    Guys, we hit THREE posts. Saad whiffed on an empty netter. The refs missed a blatant penalty on Dach and a knee on DeHaan on the same shift.

    Honestly though? No excuses
    After the third we were hanging on for dear life. Almost as if the Knights weren’t even trying and then just played at their potential and left us in the dust.

    Expectations are mitigated from the start but it’s hard to believe we didn’t take one of these very win-able games.

    PS it’s time to reunite 12 17 88

  26. Craig i think and said before Strome has to believe himself and know his money comes next contract not this one with state of the league. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a 1 or 2 year team friendly deal to show he deserves a bigger money contract.

    I like Carlsson too, but the move didn’t have a positive impact and taking Boqvist potential quick strike offensive ability out.

    EB if that last goal was a one up incident i would agree, but how many times have we saw it, been posted different times, when pressure is on and things happening fast players are 1 step behind. I just don’t see expecting forwards to suddenly think like a defenseman and defensemen to think like forwards being a recipe for success.

  27. Ian – I watched CBJ play what I think is either the same or similar defensive system to the Hawks and it obviously works for them but they have Seth Jones and Zach Werenski two very good skating D men who have full grown bodies and the experience to know how to use them and a bunch of forwards who are the same in those aspects – things the Hawks don’t have in abundance either in terms of D or Fws

    Frankly impressed with how far the Hawks have come in their defensive structure since say the start of the calendar year and I think JC gets the credit there

    The Hawks look like an NHL team now

    If Crawford were playing like he was before the Covid pause the series would be 1-1 and I’m sure we’d all take that

    This experience for the young guys to see and feel what it takes in the playoffs will go a long way next year IMO

  28. These games were close-actually both of them. it points to how hard it is to win and how good, but lucky the Hawks were to win three. Loved that Strome had a good game, so that some can’t dwell on why ‘he’ is the issue. (d-cat needs to contribute and I’ve been a big supporter)

    Toews came out like a bull in the playoffs, after the rest and plays such a hard two way game that he often goes into the background, doing his job but not ‘looking elite’. (Edmonton was a good match-up for Hawks)
    Crow is a warrior but he can’t win a whole playoff series, after a lay-off, having had co-vid , and being 35-best move the Knights management did-and it wasn’t an easy decision was to go with Lehner over another 35 year old.

    This is a good team, that has enough guys that hate to loss-but Vegas is legit and really hungry. They want to win.
    Oh yah Chicago needs a cross between Stone and Wilson-they will need someone to protect a gem-Dach and a young stud on D-always a little cringe when I hear-’37 year old Keith’ when Tuch, Reeves, Carrier, Stephenson and Stone are barreling down the wing..

    It is still fun to cheer, and a reminder how exhasting the 09-16 period was.

  29. The Blackhawks are just being schooled by a Stanley Cup contender. If they could manage one win in this series, that is the best we can hope for. The series win against the Oil was great, but reality is back against VGK.

  30. Ebony
    Like I said, u are a character study.

    To ur points on defense gaffes by vets and rooks:

    If it was a one off mistake, the coaching gets a pass.

    But how many times have we seen it since Colliton took over?

    My abacus needs a vacation from counting.

  31. Vegas knights are 10-1 against the Blackhawks. Noses & Pacioretty out After the 1st period the Knights stopped playing! They played down to a team that been put together & traded away for the last 5 years by one clown ! Wake the hell up ! For 5 years you see for yourself what team you been watching and who been put to coach it ! All this was done by Bowman ! He did Contracts that killed the cap and trades that gave away his piks. It’s been watching a train wreck every year and now you blame Crawford! They shouldn’t of made the playoffs! This team is average and your blaming Crawford! Bowman sucks and all you have to do is Start with contracts that capped us out that led to losing players. Done ?

  32. I guess I still have my contrarian hat on because I don’t agree “The Blackhawks are just being schooled by a Stanley Cup contender”. Certain players who haven’t had playoff experience are learning what playoff hockey is all about, so I guess you could say they are being schooled, but that isn’t a bad thing – it’s what we wanted to happen. And, as far as the overall team, I think the hawks have played them very well and if Crawford had played up to his past performances the series would be tied 1-1. I have no delusion the Hawks are a legit Cup contender but I’m pleased with the effort.

  33. The only reason your playing the knights is because of Crawford. Wake the hell up Bowman is the guy pulling this shit show strings

  34. The last goal has nothing to do with COLLITON,s system.In every system Riley Smith is TOEWS man.I know he was at the end of a long shift and tired,but he was terrible the entire shift and never picked up his man.Studs like the Blue Jackets have with Jones,Werenski,Savard,Murry,and the 2 russian men cover up a lot of mistakes.Also both of their goalies also bail them out.They are a treat to watch.That team plays the game the right way up and down the roster.A very good idea for the Hawks to inquire about 1 of the Jackets goalies.I know there was a story out at the end of the season that they were looking for draft picks this year to compensate for what they traded away.

  35. And yes,I am 1 of the guys who points at Crawford the last 2 games.I don’t care what kind of lose covering defense that a team plays or who got the players who are missing their assignments.STOP the damned shots that you are supposed to stop.A minimum of 4 BAD GOALS in these last 2 games is ridiculous.

  36. Lack of sustained puck time in offensive zone ,we don`t have enough players able to do that .
    Kane ,d-cat Nylander and Strome are unable to win a board battle .

    I like Highmores play ,and Dach is going good ,need a few more physical type players .

  37. Good idea to ask for Elvis. I believe he did have a good show at the Stadium. Also maybe Pitt would want their 2nd round pick back Jarry or Murray. I would watch the NYR three headed net monster movement. Don’t think King Henrick can be moved so one of the other two would be an option. Believe also a few good UFAs goalies will be out there but nothing more than 3mil jould be spent on them.

  38. Start charting TheCat and his passes when he has the puck, he either kills the play or turns it over .

  39. Las Vegas is a very talented well oiled machine at the zenith of their abilities. They are a formidable Stanley Cup contender. Hawks aren’t in their league. Let’s not pretend on that.

    An actual Strome sighting last night. Got to be honest. I look forward to him becoming an ex-Hawk. And he can take his pal Debrinicat with him on the trip out of town. A top 10 team like Vegas would never have a player like Debrinicat taking ice time. We need to recognize his limitations and move on.

    Nylander is an enigma best suited to be playing in Europe. I can’t stand this guy.

    So much rides on Ian Mitchell. The Hawks aren’t good enough or deep enough on the blueline. They need a infusion of true quality.

    Big decision coming on Crawford. A great warrior who is clearly less than 100%. And he’s going to be 36 in December. Don’t understand why we jettisoned Lehner. While I won’t pretend he’s great I do believe he would be more than capable netminder in Chicago for a few years until something better came along. Sadly, I don’t think Bowman has a strategy for goal.

    Colliton? I can’t stand his philosophy on hockey and he’s a lousy in-game coach. But it’s a virtual lock he is coming back in 2020-21. I don’t see Danny Wirtz making changes. I’m afraid Danny won’t be proactive on anything. Like to be proven wrong.

  40. “The only reason your playing the knights is because of Crawford.” What? That must be sarcasm because the Hawks advanced past the Oilers despite Crawford’s poor play, not because he carried them.

  41. There is a lot of Strome love for this game. Yes, he was better but there were times he wasn’t. The one thing he has done is bring his price tag way down if the Hawks decide to re-sign him. Maybe he is worth taking a gamble on for the next couple years at $2.5 mil or some such.

    Kubalik has been great, but it seems that he might be in one of those periods that we have seen previously from DeBrincat and Gustafson. Shots that don’t often go in are going in for him. Of course, maybe it’s who he is and this will continue. Either way, you have to sign him and how much you pay is a tough one.

    When your team isn’t that good, you need great goaltending. The Hawks aren’t getting it. However, there is some good in everything and I think the good here is that the decision on whether to invest heavily in Crow for the next two years has been made easier.

    The Hawks showed great character by fighting back and that’s the best we can ask from a mediocre roster. Blame Colliton all you want. Nobody is taking this group deep in to the playoffs and never forget that they had quit on Q. The prime example was the 33 shot outburst that Tampa had on them in the first period of a game near the end of Q’s reign. How do you think Q would be describing Crawford’s play? Probably “Just OK.”

  42. Everyone complaining about Colliton, Bowman and the defense:
    This team could have withstood the loss of any player from the cup run teams except Hossa. They have failed( as have most teams) miserably in trying to replace maybe the best 200 foot player from this generation.
    His dominance on the kill. His ability to root himself in front of the net. He was the ignition switch of the famed nuclear option. Without Hossa you win maybe one cup.

    Who else in the league plays the game like Hossa did. Find him. Target him. Sign him. Trade for him. Just get him.

  43. “Cat either kills the play or turns it over” is an absolute statement – it’s either one thing or the other with no other options. In almost all cases it is self refuting to use absolutes in an argument. It’s easy to cite the pass he made from behind the net to set up Kane’s lone goal in the playoffs, and he made a good pass to Kane who made an outstanding pass to Strome for a goal. He has the 4th highest SOG total with 11 which means there are at least 11 other times he didn’t either kill the play or turn it over.

    I’m not suggesting Cat has played great or like a $6M player, because he needs to score goals which he hasn’t done so far, but he hasn’t been as bad as the criticism suggests.

  44. We are getting beat by a better team, not much better, but just enough to beat us. I just look at the bright side, we are so much better as a team than we were in NOV/DEC and I hope with a few additions that we take the next step. It’s just how much do Toews, Kane, Keith, and Crawford have left? It’s the question that Stan needs to answer. Do we hope that the new generation of Dach/Kubalik/DeBrincat/Boqvist/Nylander/Strome lead us to the Stanley Cup or do we build around Towes/Kane/Keith/Crawford for one more ride? Also, what do we do with our young veterans whose contracts are about to expire in the next year or two, like Saad/DeHaan/Murphy/Cagguila/Maata/Koekoek – do we continue to pay them or seek upgrades? What about Shaw and Seabrook? I believe there is over $10M in salary in those two, and they are not contributing, no fault of their own, but $10M would get us Taylor Hall + another GK. I love the fight that we showed last night, but we are just not there yet. I hope to hell that I am wrong, but this is an elite Knights team that is hard to beat.

  45. It’s time to trade Toews or Kane, hope Seabrook and Shaw retire. This frees up much cap space. I would not sign Crawford and yes I would move Saad. With this in mind sign physical productive players that would like to wear a blackhawk uniform for less then 10.5 million a year. Yes stars are welcome but so are guys that bring it every night. If Bowman stays he must use wisdom in his acquisitions and in a couple of years I think the compete level will be back. We do have some solid young players. Dach will be the goods, I think Strome can develop and DeBrincat deserves a second chance, I admit he’s not been good this year to say the least.

  46. I think the real acid test for us in this series will be 1) can we ever get the lead and 2) how do we look if we get it. The (almost) heroic comebacks while inspiring are quite common and nothing to get too excited over.

    Up until now I have supported re-upping CC, but not sure any more. I wonder if getting his bell rung too many time has hurt his concentration.

    To reiterate what I posted yesterday, our average age may be young but a lot of the youth (DeCat, Strome, Nylander, Boqvist) have big question marks and are far from sure things. The heart of this team (Dach excepted) remains the older guys. We still have a long way to go before we have the right mix to seriously compete again.

    As for our brightest light, when I see young Kirby gathering steam in transition he reminds me more of young Lindros than Getzlaf. Lindros was always heavy and KD has some muscle to add, but he is deceptively fast and is so good in transition. It’s exciting to watch his every shift.

  47. I missed the first period of the game, but when I picked it up in the second, I was really impressed with how the Hawks finished the game. They looked like a team that recognizes it isn’t the best team on the ice on any given night. They played like a team that realizes that the only way they are going to win is if they try harder than their opponent. And they played like it for the rest of the game. Despite the outcome, it was an enjoyable game to watch because the Hawks never gave up and for the first time made Vegas work harder than they appeared to want to work to win.

    Interesting thoughts on the players. I like your take on “absolute statements” @ER. Also like your take on Strome and the how the defense is playing.

    One of the things that makes me more hopeful that guys like Strome and DeBrincat are going to come out of their respective slumps is that they have shown they can produce at the NHL level. I’m not saying it’s a guarantee they will recover, but it seems more likely they can do it again, because they did it once before. Does that mean they should have unlimited chances? No, but they earned a longer leash than guys who don’t have any kind of track record to fall back on.

  48. Hawks team defense has been a disaster for two years.

    Wide open men in the slot are the norm.

    Defenseman lost above the face off dot and overcommitting in the corners are common place.

    Forwards making bad line changes, not clearing the puck past the blue line, and back checking with all the intensity of a tree sloth happen with regularity.

    Who bears the blame for that?
    The guy selling t shirts at Fandemonium?

    One guy is responsible for that……any guesses who?

    Hint: it ain’t Craig Berube.

  49. Robs didn’t forget about defensive short comings before Colliton at all. His reason for being hired was said to address that specifically and even with cap room used last summer to bring players to help in that area as is often forgotten, there seems to be no more progression when faced with a big pressure attack. If Colliton can prove that wrong i’ll be happiest guy on the board and admit to it, but not convinced it is happening. Maybe some teams like Columbus can be successful with similar version but part of coaches responsiblity is to adapt to your personal also, which Tortorella has shown over again the ability to do.

    Wrap agree the line changes helped, see how they play out on the weekend.

  50. Good effort last night. Hawks should have lost the game as Vegas had more dangerous chances. Excited to see the growth and development with some of the younger guys.

    I still think we need 3 or so forwards that can make it tough for the opponent exiting their zone. Teams have no fear and therefore they exit too easy and our d is forced to scramble. We also need more gritty goals so the need extends to both offense and defense with our forward needs for 2021.

    Would love to see Carpenter, Nylander and Strome moved out.

  51. I know many of our regular posters do not want to hear this,and for the most part I get shouted down everytime I point it out,but this team is too small and not physical enough to compete with the Knights,Jackets,Lightning,Capitals,Blues or most any team left in the playoffs.You need at least 3 physical forwards and a real 3rd line center along with a physical shutdown Defensive pairing to compete against teams like Vegas.And of course a goalie to make those routine stops.

  52. Interesting perspective from Tuukka Rask.

    After the loss, Rask said things don’t feel the same without fans in the stands.

    “To be honest with you, it doesn’t really feel like playoff hockey out there. There are no fans, so it’s kind of like playing an exhibition game,” he told reporters. “It’s definitely not a playoff atmosphere out there. You try and play as hard as you can. When you’re playing at a home rink and an away rink and the fans are cheering for and against you, it really creates a buzz for the series.
    “There’s none of that. So, it just feels like dull at times. There are moments when there are scrums and whatnot, and then there will be five minutes when it’s coast-to-coast hockey. There’s no atmosphere. So it feels like an exhibition game,” Rask said.
    So I guess the “young players gaining playoff experience” is slightly overstated. When and if they get into playoffs with a stadium full of fans they will be overblown by the experience.

  53. I didn’t like the matchup when LV beat the Avs. Not that that Colorado would have been a cake walk, but Knights are a team that can play a heavy fast game and put pressure on opposing d corps making it tough to get zone clears. The first two games showed that when Vegas wants to turn it on they simply overwhelm our comparatively smaller players. Hawks d men don’t play a physical game generally speaking. Teams like Vegas and lineups like St Louis when they want to bring a hard forecheck Hawks have no answer. As Tim just mentioned this Hawks team is simply not able to physically deal with upper echelon teams in the league. Those rosters not only have big forwards, but numerous mobile Sequoia d men too.

    I thought the Hawks put up a good effort last night, but clearly didn’t have much left in the tank as the 3rd ran into OT. Crow needs to be on top of his game if the Hawks are to have a shot at winning, and he has so far not been that guy. Why Hawks were reticent to shoot the puck last night was weird. Strome was better last night, but still needs to improve his skating. Maybe this is a quick as he is going to get. I would not offer this guy more than $2.5- 3 m for 2 years.

    I hope for good efforts this weekend from the boys. Make LV extend a full effort all over the ice.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  54. @Tim W – Agree with you 100% on your assessment of this team. It’s OK to have a couple of smaller, but super skilled players. But, when your team has an abundance of shorter players who do not like or cannot mix it up. Things need to change. That is why we need someone like Taylor Hall upfront to upgrade the physicality and skill level of this team. Also, we miss not having a Seabrook type at his prime. Look at what Lucic is doing for Calgary; no one messes with their smaller player, or Looch will have something to say.

    Rask is reading our posts because I said that this was an exhibition Stanley Cup tournament before it even started. I was super skeptical about it, but now I am so glad that they are having it! There is nothing better than being able to watch hockey all day long. I really like this Hurricanes team too! They are super fun to watch, and Columbus too! Man, that Pierre Luc Dubois is an absolute monster!

  55. Maybe the Bruins (and the Blues) are suffering from not having fans to play to, to get up emotionally but I’m not seeing that from a lot of the other teams

    Most of the teams remaining are bringing it – the quality of hockey has been good – and teams know their fans are glued to the TV – I know it’s not the same but nothing is the same right now – get over yourself Tuukka

    If the Rask and the Bruins are going to use no fans as an excuse for not playing their best then they’ll be bounced from the playoffs and good riddance

  56. Thanks Eb-Rapt! I enjoy your posts very much!

    Now to piss people off – I wish we had Fortin on this team. We could have used him to keep the defense honest and from pinching in. His speed alone would have put so much pressure on this defense.

    Let me put this is in a soccer perspective. There was a striker who played at TB named Roy Lassiter. Not the most skilled guy, not terrible, but an absolute speed demon. No one could keep up with him. He was Alexandre Fortin in a soccer uniform. He put so much pressure on a defense because they were afraid that he would get behind them. As the years progressed, he actually became a soccer player, and not just a sprinter. His speed left the midfield open for Carlos Valderrama to create his magic. Just that extra space that Valderrama had was enough for TB to have many more chances and they finished theie share. All I am saying is that Kane is our Valerrama, and just some extra space would make him so much more dangerous. I just look at Nylander, and what does he do, just skates around, fights in the corners a bit, usually gets dispossessed, takes the occasional shot, and is blah on defense. Fortin was an exceptional penalty killer at Rockford, and when healthy and fit, he was flying behind the defense. He was a weapon we could have used. That is on C!

    Out!

  57. Tim W. – no doubt we need more size on D and at FW

    We need some D who can muscle a man off the puck or simply use body position and not be run over to get the puck back and out and we need FWs who can get in on the forecheck and retrieve the puck – at least some of their defensive woes are from not being able to maintain hardly any O zone pressure

    The defense looked better vs EDM because their D sucks and the Hawks could maintain O zone pressure for some length of time

    DCat is squeezing the stick – IMO he has been all year since signing his new contract

    He missed that open net last night (a small opening but it was there) by a country mile – not sure what they should do with him next year but I think he’ll be back regardless and hopefully he’ll find his sniper ability again or that contract is going to hang heavily on the Hawks neck

  58. Thought we actually played a good first period and it was nice to see the response after being down two. I’m still pleased that we beat the Oilers and are able to get some more games. That said, there are a lot of questions that need to be answered. 1) Goalie – my sense is that Crow is playing his last games as a Hawk. I don’t see the logic in signing him for 2 years regardless of the dollars. I like the idea of offering a decent pick for one of the younger quality backups in Columbus, Pitt or NYR. 2) Seabrook – He needs to either be a solid top 6, long-term IR or traded (which is a pipe dream). Unfortunately that won’t be known until the next training camp. 3) We have some interesting young talent but I am concerned about the lack of size and grit. While guys like Entwistle and Regula may develop, that process will take 2-3 years at a minimum. You look at most of the favorites like Vegas, STL, Phil, Carolina, Boston and they just play a much heavier game. I just don’t see our roster competing as currently structured. Strome needs to go, there is no long-term fit. Cagguila needs to go, Sikura needs to go. I believe Dcat can be successful but a team full of Kanes, Dcat’s, Boquist, etc. just isn’t going far in the playoffs unless they are surrounded by guys that are much tougher to play against. The offseason should be interesting.

  59. The Blues haven’t been eliminated yet, obviously, but the couple games I saw them play they weren’t playing with the same intensity that took them to the Cup win. With 2020 being an abnormal year, I wasn’t sure if we would see the Stanley Cup hangover effect with the Blues. Early reports indicate they may be a bit hungover, even with the 4 month Covid hiatus.

  60. T. IVAN

    totally agree with you on fortin. i don’t know people who know people. i pretty much don’t know shit. but i know for absolutely sure fortin can fly and will hustle. maybe he just doesn’t have the soft hands to be a top nine player. i can live with that. what i cannot live with is not giving a guy who can fly like that a chance to be a real pain in the ass on the fourth line. maybe he can’t do that either, but you don’t know if you don’t try. and he has what no one else in the bottom six has and that is speed.

    above you questioned if we should hope the new generation of dach, kubalik, strome, de brincat, boqvist, and nylander can eventually lead the hawks to cup contention. the last four on that list can’t play defense, won’t play defense, are not physical enough to play defense, or all of those lovely traits. that makes everyone of them complimentary players and complimentary players don’t lead teams.

  61. Perimeter & Ian – amen.

    Defense is piss poor b/c of the coach. It doesn’t take two years to implement a system. What is the system? Mistakes and getting stuck in their own zone into perpetuity like the winning goal last night are simply commonplace. Standard operating procedure.

    The players as a group don’t respect him. He isn’t good at his job and he never will be. He wasn’t qualified for the position. He was hired b/c his boss wanted to have control over the coach. God bless him.

    Re hiring Savard would be an upgrade. Letting Seabrook coach and paying him in that fashion and removing the cap hit would be an upgrade. Orval Tessier is still alive, that would be an upgrade. Chelios working out, tanning and coaching during the games only would be an upgrade.

    Good evening.

  62. I might agree and give you the benefit of doubt on the coach, I just don’t think were talented enough or physical enough. I believe that until we acquire some players that are skilled and physical we wont be in the mix. Kirby Dach is as good start.

  63. You know … I have a bone to pick with God … apparently when he was creating me he left out the clairvoyant gene and consequently I can’t tell what people I’ve never met or spoken to are thinking. Not only that but I’m also missing the super power to tell the future. I’m so jealous of some of my fellow posters here. I guess, unlike some others, I’m truly omniscient deficient.

  64. What Rask verbalized, the Hawks are taking advantage of. Edmonton never quite got cranked up, with no crowd in their home city. Vegas is an insane place to play, the Knights won both games so far but their is no crowd or experience to feed off.
    Yes it feels like watching a hockey tournament. But kudos to the NHL. It’s great to be watching NHL hockey during a pandemic. Pretty amazing actually.

    Keep in mind Colliton has Marc Crawford right there next to him, almost like a bench coach. A Stanley Cup winning coach. However, I have a problem believing that Sheldon Brookbank is an NHL level assistant. There are far better hockey teachers out there than this plug.

  65. Watching the Blues tonight and in their previous games,it looks like TARASENKO is not fully recovered from his surgery and is really shying away from contact.The BINNINGTON bubble has burst.He looks shaky and tonight could not even be bothered to tap his stick on the ice to let his d men know that the powerplay was over.It also looks like father time or failure to put down the fork is catching up to OREILLY.He looks like he is skating with a piano on his back.He got horsed in the faceoff circle tonight by Bo HORVAT.Bo won 76% of the faceoffs.I would like to know the story as to why FORTIN has not been given any opportunity to play.Get HAGEL and KURASHEV in the lineup.I would love to have about 3 of the NY Islander forwards.Yes,Matt MARTIN would be on that list.

  66. ER/others, no we are not being scholled. We are being outpolayed by one goal as Noonan stated its a tight league and as far away as ‘we ‘ know’ we are its tight to win ‘per say’ in the terms of its not just lucky its do you have a dynasty in you or do do you have a once in you.

    Theres a difference between a dynasty a once in you and a one time wonder. Major difference in all of that. Major. Monster. And Noonan knows what Imean.

  67. Nothing against the n i b s (new initiated brothers) good on you guys that have been here and are classy in, talks. I havnt read yet but I am ;ullin gthe tin foil from the potatoes. Was going to meat and potatoes night but this isint yet a full roster so I wont try to make people stand out the guys do it themselveles. They know and hav a chance tpo redeem themselves. These games or next season.

    Peace. no one can expect a 1/2 roster team to beat a full roster team. Doesnt matter who plays full or plays less. Doesnt matter. Team effort period.

    Then the two way players really stand out. What we see is peek a boo to what 20 can really look like.

  68. Phil, thats what I see in VEG will they easily and BOS winning easity. TB is the team but will the team that hasnt won yet but deserves to based on past yr win, like WAS STL. Yes. It will happen again.

  69. With Strome playing with Debrincat for these playoffs and likely next year or 2, gives somebody who besides needing to put up offense, can play with Kane and get him going if needed, which is a plus. Don’t see them as permanent line but can spark in small doses. Dach with Kane more of a long term goal and maybe Cagguila for playoffs now. Nylander got to use his size and doesn’t seem to want to do that. Can survive the small players, but not alot of bigger players like Strome and Nylander playing a soft game too.
    Maybe the Swedes fill out those lines next year, Suter as a scrappy defensively sound forechecker with offensive potential alongside Kane and Dach. Chalupa bigger, fast forward who plays in the dirty areas and good defense and some offensive ability, might be a good fit with 17 and 12 next season. Like Highmore there for now, Nylander to 4th or sit and Hagel in for now. Nylander still young but with teams in a cap crunch now, his trade value may at its peak with teams trying to find skill on a low caphit, may be best move to make with him.

  70. Like that stuff and seeing how Highmore brings that right attitude and way of going baout things makes me think of whats its going to be like when we have 6 3/4th line players like Highmore. Suter Barratt other so a full amount of them and that style. Thern were buzzing and rolling 4 lines and that is when 19 88 can do there thing because there not being double teamed.

    Its then fair to our guys and trickle down effect. Without a full deep roster like VEG and some other teams have its like our core players are playing with one arm tied behind there backs. So only players like 20 can get through that double team. Once we are deep and have fast players that forck I think it will make a huge difference.

    Like Jordy said a wk ago good to see who can handle what when being double teamed so when we are deep its not being disguised. We find out with this experience here.

  71. Get a look at Hagel and Kurashev.I know that Fortin was not taken to the bubble so that is not possible.I hope for his sake that he gets cut or traded so he can get a fresh start.He certainly wasn’t given an opportunity here.Hopefully a legit training camp is held for the 2020-2021 season where the best players make the team.

  72. Rask, probably shouldn’t have went to Toronto to start, he tried to do it for his teammates but family came first, yesterdays comments seem likely he was convincing himself going home to be with them was best thing. Too bad as the teams get lower in number after a couple of rounds, they couldn’t find a safe way to bring in immediate families. The Nhl deserves credit for providing a safe environment to play in, kudos to players for respecting it.

    Mo, correct he is out for rest of playoffs.

  73. It now seems Rask’s whining about no fans was just an excuse for not wanting be there at all

    That’s fine if he wants to opt out – he has a newborn I get it, I don’t think less of him for leaving but the whining was uncalled for and unprofessional

  74. Pretty certsin Mo, once you opt out it’s final, no going back. I guess there is provisions for families to join them in the bubble for conf finals and finals.

  75. I just turned off this poor excuse of a hockey team provided by bowman. been watching the Hawks since 64 and am grateful we got to see a magnificent group of different players winning cups with glory. but now we must all admit that it was a special time for hawk fans, that time has slipped away

  76. I agree its like midgets playing Giants, much ineptness. I’m telling you its time to move Toews or Kane, why not, they moved Panarin and he’s considered a superstar.
    Its the only way we are going to acquire talent. I don’t see the few young players we have maturing in time to claim another cup and even if they do its not enough, we just have too many holes.

  77. @carl. I too am a 3 1/2 gate fan and tallon did a great job with his piks and coach. This is A Bowman product right down to Coach. His cap management since 2010 is grade F. His trades since Saad leaving and that point on F. And then his piks and trades m away showed u he not only can’t balance a check book but can’t evaluate his piks. Was in Detroit thus year and every fan was grateful they got rid of his ass ! What’s that say ! Don’t sign Crow use the cash to get Lehner back cuz knights can’t afford both. And dump the old dead wood with buy outs ! Stay young cuz Kane and Toews r now in 30 and should be the oldest next season !

  78. Interesting that Toews,and his 1st line mates, were benched for the last minute and half of play when the Hawks emptied the net.

  79. Players on the ice when the final horn sounded-Kane,Dach,DeBrincat,Strome,Keith,and DeHaan.You do the math on who was missing on the ice.And they deserved it.

Leave a Reply

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