Blackhawks Handle Business Against Blues

Morin STL

The Blackhawks were without Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Johnny Oduya and Brandon Saad on Sunday morning when they welcomed the division leading St. Louis Blues to the United Center.

But another strong effort from all four lines extended the Hawks’ winning streak to three.

Jaden Schwartz scored a power play goal to put the Blues ahead less than two minutes into the game, but the Blackhawks defense was suffocating in the game’s first 50 minutes. The Blues managed only three shots on net in the first period and eight more in the second.

Jeremy Morin played hit third good game in a row and got the Hawks on the board in the second. Brian Elliott left a rebound in front after a Bryan Bickell shot, and Morin was able to put it home from a mess of players in front of the net. Morin now has a point in each of the last three games, and added an assist on Patrick Sharp’s goal in the closing minute of the second period.

Andrew Shaw handled a high puck and pushed it ahead to Morin, who did a nice job of setting up Sharp for the rocket shot. Sharp goal gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead through two period, during which Chicago held a 23-11 shot advantage.

Marcus Kruger tipped home a Joakim Nordstrom shot that got behind Elliott only 56 seconds into the third period to extend the lead to 3-1. Kruger’s goal held up as the game-winner.

Vladimir Sabotka scored to bring the Blues back to within one with 2:02 remaining in regulation, but Ben Smith scored an empty net goal to put the final nail in the coffin. Smith has scored in back-t0-back games and now has 13 on the season.

The Hawks were out-hit 40-23 in the game, a product of controlling the puck for the majority of the game. Bickell, Brandon Bollig and Nick Leddy led the Hawks with three hits each, and Bollig entertained his semi-annual fight with Ryan Reaves. Bollig was the only Hawks player to finish with less than 10 minutes of ice time, coming in at 8:30 on the day.

After the opening goal for St. Louis, the Blackhawks successfully killed three subsequent penalties; unfortunately, the Hawks power play failed on all four of their advantages.

In another close game, coach Joel Quenneville again spread out the ice time across the roster. Only Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith skated more than 20 minutes in the game, with Keith’s 23:00 being the team-high. Shaw won only five of 15 faceoffs, but led all Blackhawks forwards by skating 19:01 in the game.

Morin saw 3:18 on the power play with Saad out of the lineup, and continued to look comfortable on a line with Bickell and Peter Regin.

Sheldon Brookbank led the Hawks with three blocked shots.

Corey Crawford made 21 saves to earn his 31st save of the season, which is tied for seventh in the NHL. The win was also Crawford’s 113th for the Blackhawks, moving him within one of Mike Karakas for sixth in franchise history.

The Hawks are now off until Wednesday, when they host the Habs in their home finale.

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92 Responses to Blackhawks Handle Business Against Blues

  1. Pete says:

    Great game. Morin looked great. Nordstrom looked good as well. Love the young speed and energy with those two. Bolig did his job as well. Wonder why Saad didn’t play? There was an article about him in the Tribune today discussing how the team needs him to get on track and then he doesn’t play? Hopefully his recent struggles are not due to a lingering injury problem. This win keeps the pressure on the Avs to keep playing hard and winning. We want them beat up and tired going into the playoffs. Even without Kane and Toews I really enjoyed watching the game today.

  2. Pete says:

    Also where is Sr. Brad. Q is rolling four lines and they are winning.

  3. Mining Man says:

    Gotta luv it. We looked very relaxed and in charge throughout lengthy portions of this game. Hossa and Seabrook were “brilliant behind the scene non stars”. Lots of confidence out there. The young guys are having a ball. A bit of everything for us fans. Really want to beat the Habs in the home closer …we need our revenge against these high flyers. Looking good …looking real good.

  4. wall says:

    It’s going to be a tough call for Q and who plays in PO’s- If 11,42 keep skating like they are… Love the speed/ drive to the net – they have both energized the team with…

    42 deserved a top 3-star today

    perhaps-

    29/19/88
    20/12/81— could flip 10 on LW for either 1st or 2nd lines

    10/65/11
    28/16/42

    Know it won’t happen-23,26,52 sitting to start PO’s… BUT

    I think this is the most speed the Hawks can skate- 23 is as fast but can be careless at time- ( I will credit 23- might be 1st game this year that he didn’t make a terrible pass in the wrong direction, setting up an odd man rush for opposition)

    42 might “wet the bed” in PO’s– 42 could always skate… but the kid looks way more confident and decisive since His initial skate w/ Hawks…
    Also, Blues were skating in sand today- exhausted from the beating/emotional game they tried to play yesterday!!!

  5. RedTopParking says:

    Yes, a very good game, especially coming on the heels of the win against Columbus. Team is answering the bell gallantly in the absences of 19 and 88. Morin really shining. Q: it’s going to be very hard to keep 11 off the roster now, dontcha’ think?? I am growing more optimistic about our playoff run, though goaltending still a little too shaky for my liking. Crow going to have to notch it up. I am a #50 fan but we all know he really didn’t play as well as expected this year. We need to know the truth about Saad right now…lingering injury or a wake-up call? Must consult Brad’s parrott, it knows all.

  6. RyanDale says:

    Morin was again first rate, 42 was active and really not much to complain about. No one was able to handle Sobotka at the dot but who does? With 19 out we’ve held up pretty well on f/offs. The 65/11/10 goal was huge late in 2nd.

    Ott looks totally out of it with StL

  7. wall says:

    Saad- Like JS pointed out- has not been right since the hit/injury…
    Smells like a Concussion??? He is making careless/dumb mistakes like Versteeg usually makes.

  8. morrison says:

    Saader looked good the first (or two) game back, then he didn’t from then on, etc. We need everybody so let 20 rest/fully recover more these 2 wks too.

    Since we have 28 at rw (when we could at c…) tells me the 12fw will be a center. Who played pk when handz was resting. 16/?, 19/20, 81/28?

  9. michael petan says:

    Hawks looked great vs a confused looking Blues Team! Morin is the real deal and is a keeper, quick to the puck and the size. That line with Bickel and Regin is perfectly balanced. I think Nick Leddy is due for a break out next year, when he finally decides to take it to the NET, with his speed and skill he should have 15 goals a year. Often he leads the rush to the “surprise” of his team mates and breaks in to only “drift off to the corners” but when Leddy starts taking it to the net look out! Everyone played well today it was a true team effort. Crawford 2nd goal was a shame. Would have loved to see only 1 goal today.

  10. MS says:

    Three great “character” wins in a row with contributions throughout the lineup. Hoping that 11 keeps it up to force a very tough decision for the playoff lineup. In addition to their scoring and puck possession, the line of 29-12-11 has brought added physical play which is great for team energy. Thought 29 was strong today and finished a lot of checks. We really need him to keep rolling into the playoffs.

  11. Martin M says:

    might the healthy lines for the playoffs be:

    10-19-81
    20-65-88
    29-12-11
    52-16-28

  12. wall says:

    Agree on the CC – another weak goal… I know some here will say “every goalie lets in softies”… well – only time will tell- if it IS the difference in the PO’s!!!

  13. JS says:

    Well, Q already said they are going to start the playoffs with Handzus as 2C. That will end well. He absolutely does not deserve to play over Regin or Morin, but what do I know, I don’t have two rings!

    I wonder if Rufus cringes ever time Morin makes a great play, even though they benefit the Hawks.

    I can tell you, I cringe every time Bollig makes a dumb play and is rewarded with more ice time. Someone please explain the purpose of his fight besides slowing down the pace of the game while the Hawks were flying? Guy routinely gets his ass kicked yet needs to drop the gloves because “that’s his job.” Get better at your job, if that’s your job. Knowing that he’s going to get playoff ice time over Regin or Morin is also silly.

    Didn’t see the second goal, I heard it was soft though. He should probably stop letting those in!

    Anyway, what I would like to see come playoff time (but probably won’t).

    20-19-88
    10-65-81
    29-12-11 (until this line comes back down to earth, which has to happen eventually, right?)
    23-16-28

  14. morrison says:

    When we have our lines right, that’s the 4th line I want to see.

  15. Jax says:

    My daughter takes me to at least two,three games a year and what a game! Great energy, great effort, very few stupid mistakes(even Steeg),and the relentless pursuit of the puck I have not seen prior to the last three games. Very impressed with Morin, I think has to be on P.O. roster. I think you have to see Hossa live to really appreciate just how great he is, especially without the puck. The short-handed play where he came out of nowhere was amazing. Long stretches of time without a shot on goal seam to lead to weaker goals on CC. Nordstrom looked good. Ben Smith looks stronger than his size. We missed Saad, anybody know if he is healthy scratch or hurt?

  16. Fan since 20ten says:

    If we keep winning without toews and kane then we can unload em.

    Who would you trade for toews/kane?

  17. Tab Bamford says:

    re: Fan since 20ten – nobody.

  18. Tab Bamford says:

    re: postseason lines –

    Quenneville has liked Sharp-Toews-Hossa, and will likely go back to that.
    Since March 14, Versteeg has skated at least 15 minutes in all but 2 games. He’ll likely be slotted in a 3rd line role… but with…?

    10-19-81
    20-65-88
    23-28-29
    Kruger w/ two of Morin, Regin, Handzus, Bollig

    Of course, the wild card is if Teravainen slides into the 2C spot, bumping Shaw to 3C & Smith to wing on the 4th line.

    It’s nice to have options…

  19. morrison says:

    Tazer & Kaner… If your drinking the bong water, youre pulling to hard.

    Smith is only 5-10 but he is built like a tank at 207. That’s why he looks that way.

  20. Pete says:

    So Tab, you don’t think Nordstrom is likely to play in the playoffs? Have you been suprised no TT last few games? Lastly, are you concerned that Saad could be hurt from that hit against Detroit?

  21. Gou says:

    Spot on with da lines Tab. That will be a solid four lines. 11 has earned a PO roster spot.
    81 is a special player in every aspect of da game.
    It makes me smile to read/listen to bandwagon jumpers. My favorite is when they call em quarters…instead of periods.

    Crow has to get sharper. Those crappers, especially late drive me crazy.

  22. noonan96 says:

    To Fan Since 20ten (previous 2010):
    after seeing a few of your responses you are either really mentally not sharp or purposely annoying-either way please go away.

    Morin’s game is now NHL ready. He will look good on the wing in the playoffs. Our so called bottom 6 looks good-if the top 6 is healthy they have a chance to repeat. I can’t wait. Getting out of the west will be crazy hard!

  23. Pete says:

    Gou, I’m not a bandwagon fan, but they have the right to get off and on any time they like. Die hard fans don’t own exclusive rights to root for a team. What makes me smile is when all the die hard Cub fans cry about the bandwagon jumpers buying their way into expensive playoff seats. Neither you nor them have exclusive rights to anything. By the way, Colorado and Pitt are in the fourth quarter.

  24. Fan since 20ten says:

    Guys, if we can put a stanley trophy winning team on the ice- less $12m in salary to pay toews and kane- and could bring down the price of admission, wouldn’t you be all for it?

  25. Pete says:

    Pittsburgh just beat Colorado in the fourth quarter.

  26. ebonyraptor says:

    20ten – your shtick was tiresome and annoying the first go-round, now it’s just pathetically embarrassing. Try it a Comedy Club, but don’t wear anything requiring dry cleaning.

  27. The Fly says:

    Trade Kane for Wayne Simmons. We need agoalie so trade toews for khabibulam! He was great I hear

  28. ebonyraptor says:

    Should we form a search party? Sr. Brad MIA. Hope all is well.

  29. Pete says:

    Good point ER. As I mentioned in my post up top we haven’t heard from him in a while and he obviously cares a great deal about the Hawks. I also hope all is well.

  30. ebonyraptor says:

    I think Versteeg has been playing better the last 5 – 7 games, probably because it’s been about a year since his knee surgery and it’s finally healed completely. I think he needs to be in the starting 12. With Q’s insistence on playing Zus, the only guy I see possibly sitting in place of Morin is Bollig – but even that is a long shot. So I think the lineup for the first game will be status quo. However, if the Avs have home ice and Zus played the first game, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Avs speed at altitude exposes Zus so even Q sees the need to replace him in Game#2.

  31. ebonyraptor says:

    Oh great – now we got a copycat comic.

  32. Dickie Dunn says:

    Fan since 20ten, “less $12m in salary to pay toews and kane- and could bring down the price of admission”…BRING DOWN THE PRICE OF ADMISSION – good one!! That comedy club thing ebonyraptor said.

  33. morrison says:

    Noonan/ER, sounds like state workers. I would guess that their from NY.

    I think there a lot of shysters in NY.

  34. Dickie Dunn says:

    ebonyraptor, I agree about Versteeg…and I hope he can take it up (injury not prohibitive) to the level at which he played in 2010. The way Morin is playing, HOW could Q (always respectful of the 2 rings, games played, and coaching victories) possibly take him out of the lineup?!?! I like Bollig *as a 4th line guy* and Q likes Zus, but C’MON!! Morin and Smith have been as effective as anyone in the last 2-3 games. Loyalty is important, but allowing yourself the best chance to win is more important, isn’t it? You mention the Avs’ speed and I think of Nordstrom.

  35. ebonyraptor says:

    First, I’m not a Zus hater, but I think everyone would agree that he doesn’t have NHL speed and consequently can be a liability in a fast transition game, both offensively and defensively. The matchup between the Avs and Hawks promises to have very fast paced games, just the type that puts Handzus at a disadvantage, which puts the Hawks at a disadvantage. This will be all the more pronounced when the games are played in Denver with the high altitude issues that affect even the best conditioned athletes, let alone a 36 year old who can’t skate well enough, even at sealevel.

    I hope this is anticipated by Q and he doesn’t wait until Game#2 to swap Zus out of the lineup with someone else – anyone else – please.

  36. Mike says:

    I have been on the Morin bandwagon here for 2 years. He is aggressive and brings energy and toughness every nite. It is good to see Q let him expand his game a little bit. Morin is playing his game and not the ” I can’t make any mistakes ” he was playing at the beginning of the year. I hope Q keeps his confidence up, we need guys like Morin for the playoff run. If Q sits him for making a mistake, our playoff run will be short.

    As you know I am also a Leddy fan and agree that he could bring more offense to his game. Besides his ability to rush up the ice he has a heavy shot and should use it more often. If Q benches him for a mistake or two, again our playoff run will be short.

    Sorry guys but Zues will be in the lineup. Q trusts him and figures he has plenty of offense to make up for him. The question is who sits and what line will suffer….I I I mean which line Zues will play on.

    All I know is that our first round (The Avs) will be built around speed and physicality. Q will need his fastest and toughest line up on the ice for that series. I can not see this series without Morin and/or Nordstrom but hey, I’m not the coach.

    It will also be interesting to see what happens with the 6th D man. Will Q revolve the 3 guys or will he settle on one guy until that guy pisses him off?

  37. Peter says:

    Guys, in 57 games played in (not all starts), Crawford has given up 2 goals or more in 37 of them. I just feel he is usually good for at least 2 goals a game given up. I try to wrap my head around his play. Using yesterday as an example, he made some great plays in the first 50 minutes and the entire team D was excellent. When the Blues ramped it up, there were some team struggles…The 2nd goal would have been nice to stop, but it wasn’t a softie. However, I always expected the Blues to get a 2nd goal…last year I wouldn’t have. But I guess the other team has good players too.

    Love him or hate him, Sheldon Brookbank is a good 7th dman…this makes me wonder about the insistence to carry Kostka for so long.

    Tab, mentioned TT as simply a possibility. I wonder if that ship has sailed unless there are mass injuries, plus Toews will be coming back. Toews is a world class player, but it will be hard enough to re-integrate him back to the team (along with Kane) without even considering TT. I think the TT would have been more of an option if he would have been given 9 games in a row to see what he could do.

    42-11-12…I just don’t see how they can sit consistently over Zus and Bollig in the PO.

  38. Tim G says:

    OK, i havent read all the comments yet, so i apoligize if other have said this but i wanted to weigh in before I get busy at work…

    Crawford cannot let that 2nd goal in… It wasn’t his softest, but it was more than “saveable”… Last year we win 4-1… this year its 4-2… and in the playoffs, goals like that are the difference between raising a cup and hitting the links early. I felt that goal was just waiting to happen. I dont know how many people here play Xbox/Playstation, but its like a game of NHL 14 where you know the computer is about to score some rediculous goal just because the game figured its about time for a goal… I get that feeling alot with crow right now… “oops its been a while… its about time for goal” and sure enough, there it was.

    It is nice to see the role players really stepping up. 42 and 11 really put in nice showings.

    As far as PO lines, I think 11 and 29 have got come kinda of mojo going together (cleaning up each others shots in back to back games). I would like to see them stay together. so this is what I think could happen.

    10-19-81
    20-65-88
    29-28-11
    52-16-23
    26-12

    I would like to see TT get in the PO lineup, but just dont think he has the Chemistry to really have solid place yet. If he does get in, it will be during home games where we have last change. That way Q can load him up with 88, but also protect who it goes against.

  39. wall says:

    Rufus/Brad are MIA???

    I heard a rumor that they went on a Retreat into the Himalayas… Some Monk thing to find their inner Parrot’s and settle some things- in fact Brandon Pirri paid for it with the xtra $$$ he will be signing for next year!!!

    Anyone know more about that?

  40. Mike says:

    Fan Since….come on, stop it. Yes tickets are ridiculously expensive, just like NBA games, even baseball games in some cities. And what about Football tickets? The fact is people are willing to pay for a great product. People are NOT willing to pay for a bad product. The Hawks have lived through this scenario many times in the old Wirtz era.

    Toews is our team’s captain and is one of the best in the league. Kane is Chicago’s prodigal son. If one or both ever leave it will be because they want to go, whether that be from ridiculous salary requests or the desire to play elsewhere. The Hawks initiating a trade or not making an offer is not happening.

  41. imtgrill says:

    Can’t really say I miss Rufus….I was growing tired of his bitching about how the team was done…maybe their recent success isn’t allowing him to fill his role on the blog

  42. JS says:

    Brad got fed up because people were mocking his “roll 4 lines” theory. Rufus has probably disappeared because his “Rockford Shuttle Type” players are showing they can actually play in the NHL while his “savior” in Phillip Danault is struggling through the AHL. He probably doesn’t want to argue about Bollig getting playoff minutes over Morin, because lets face it, how can you argue that? (He still will because Q gonna Q)

    Wall- have you watched any of Florida’s games? Pirri looks like a different guy out there. Confident, getting to all the right places, skating better (maybe it looks better because the team is slower overall). His Florida stats alone will probably net him more points than Handzus’ entire season playing with some of the best players in the world.

    I told you guys off the bat that TT wasn’t going to play 10 games. Why you no listen to me!?

    I make fun of Handzus a lot, but I’ve been consistent all year in saying he should be a depth center, especially now with how well Regin is playing. MAYBE he would have value in a second round series against the Blues (if the Blues make it that far), but the Avs will pick him apart and he will be a non-factor in a quick transition game they need. Maybe you noticed when Sharp was paired with Handzus he basically said “f it” and started doing everything on his own? There is a reason for that.

    PS- Don’t feed the trolls.

  43. Phil says:

    It was a pretty good effort by the Hawks yesterday. I thought they deserved better than they got in the 1st. Overall, I thought the Hawks took it to the Blues and if the Hawks PP had been productive at all, the score could have been lopsided. Only negatives I can take out of that game was Zus skating noticeably slower, and CC giving up what looked to me was another late game softy that kind of opened the door to a Blues team that was looking somewhat dispirited as the game progressed. Sharp goal from Morin was a beauty to end the 2nd and kind of a deflator for the Blues. Morin had a really great week, and that Regin line has been causing opposing teams all sorts of problems. Some real positive chemistry developing with those three.

    Blues were without Teresenko and Steen. Hawks without Saad, Oduya, Kane and Toews. I like our lineup top to bottom better than St Louis healthy or not. We appear to be deeper and more importantly faster. It is important to remember that when push comes to shove the Hawks can play that physical game if they have to. The Hawks are more versatile/adaptable than many give them credit for. I was noticing at the game yesterday that Backes does not like being challenged, and the Hawks kind of made it a team project. Backes is a guy that likes to give but doesn’t like to get. Kind of like jumbo Joe in San Jose. Lastly, I still can’t stand Ott who is currently providing the Blues with no positives whatsoever.

    Meanwhile, what is Q to do with this lineup going into playoffs? Some very tough decisions here. I would like to see Morin stay up, but who do you sit? Q likes Zus, but against a fast team like Avs, 26 is a liability in my eyes. I’d play Regin. Versteeg has been playing with more confidence. I like Nordstrom speed big time, but maybe he is on the program next year. Assuming all injured guys are back, the Hawks will look pretty deep going into playoffs whomever gets dressed.

    Lets Go Hawks!

    Habs game should be fun Wednesday. I think the Hawks remember that game up in Bell Centre as one they should have won, and will bring a strong effort mid week.

  44. Bannerman & Belfour says:

    I am so proud right now of Mo, Nordsy and Smitty. They have been some of the Hawks best players the last while and seem to be getting better just as the playoffs are about to start. Winning these games without the 2 superstars is no small deal right? And at the centre of these wins were the 3 Rockford guys I mentioned. I am not the Hawks coach, and in fact I have never coached but Mo and Nordsy should keep playing in that first round series, I don’t care who that means should sit.

    I think all of this is a great credit to the Hogs coach Ted Dent for coaching in a way that the Hawks want. I know Ted a little and he wants to win but Rockford winning games is secondary for the Hawks. They want players ready to play Hawks style hockey and that sometimes isn’t what’s best for a particular game or road trip. I said this before that all these kids can play and be successful in the NHL. Pirri, Hayes and Olsen are all doing very well in Florida, and the kids we have promoted to the big club now are all doing great! And just wait till training camp next year, you will all get to see Clendening and how good he is, Dahlbeck to. I would hate to lose either of them next year, but they are so good and consistent that I can’t see them staying. Also watch out for Garret Ross. He has been like our captain at times this season and thats unheard of for a rookie. He has hit a bit of a wall of late, but he’s had a heck of a season…tough as nails, a good skater, and a very smart player. He’s NHL bound too.

    Just great to see the Hawks without their 2 stars handle the Blues the way they did yesterday, and it will only give the rest of the team more confidence heading into the playoffs that they can beat anyone under any circumstances.

    I didn’t like seeing #26 in the lineup yesterday. He doesn’t play Hawk hockey in my opinion.

  45. Bannerman & Belfour says:

    Sorry, I forgot another thought again, why isn’t the Finnish rookie not playing in Rockford? If he can’t crack the lineup with all the players injured right now, he never will! I don’t know if many of you watch our games, but the AHL is not goon hockey. Tevo (sp?) is not going to get hurt. There is a ton of talent here for him to play next to, and if Ted skates either McNeil or Ross with him, he’ll be fine. We can sure use his help right now and he needs to play!

    Also, missed Saad yesterday, hope its not an injury. That kid is a great all around hockey player.

  46. Jeremiah Zinchavich says:

    Hey Gou – way to stir da pot. :) It’s almost magical the way 81 can move into heavy traffic and will the puck – that’s usually bouncing and rolling all over the place – to stay near his stick. This little side trip for 88 & 19 could be just what the doctor ordered – good move to sit 20 IMO. Their #’s were good but I think it was a combo of other teams figuring them out / and fatigue that caused the stagnation. And unlike the past 4 yrs – until the last few games you didn’t get the feeling these guys could pop off a few quick goals (ala 17 seconds) and turn a game around – but I think it’s back. Really like the energy and jump I see in 11 (and 42 and 12). TOI was much more evenly distributed yesterday. Coach Q – PLEASE continue this trend. Thought they went into prevent D a bit too early against StL. They are all about puck possession and forechecking – need to be disciplined enough to avoid an odd-man rush – but sometimes best D is a good O. Really excited about POs!

  47. Dickie Dunn says:

    Fan since 20ten pt. 2, I didn’t earn a masters in financial analysis. In the real world (of professional sports/entertainment), wouldn’t the $12 million of which you speak go to the shareholders? Admission prices (almost) NEVER go down. In fact, haven’t they already gone up for next season?

  48. Phil says:

    Yes, Dickie, invoices are out for 2014-2015. I think it’s a 10-12% increase and that is what has been year to year since 2009-2010.

  49. JS says:

    I would imagine that in order for the Hawks to get TT out of his contract overseas, they had to tell them that he was going to be with the big club and not go to the AHL. This is just me guessing.

    The season ticket wait list is 12k deep and they had a 99% renewal rate. Prices are going to keep going up as long as that’s the case.

  50. Phil says:

    When all is added up Club level seats next season will run $132 per game, although you get parking. No choice, it comes with the so called “Premium package(ahem surcharge)” which is fine because this way you don’t have cough up the cash to park every game. Four years ago these seats were $100. I really enjoy being able to go to most of the games, but I am lucky to be able to afford it. I am sure beer will hit or pass $10 next year which is really insane. Talk about nice profit margins….

    Knowing all that, we Blackhawks fans are fortunate to have a good team, and most of the NHL teams are pretty competitive on the ice. Think of season ticket holders in Toronto whose team hasn’t exactly been lighting it up for some time. Taint cheap to see games in there. They are even steeper than Hawks ducats.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  51. AJ says:

    Supply and Demand is pretty awesome but choice is pretty great too. Nothing an HDTV and trip to the beer store can’t fix.

    As the games go on Bickell gets better. Who would have thought.

    Regin is kind of useful. A guy that has driven possession on poor teams and skates well fitting into the Hawks system? Some great mystery that is.

    Bollig should probably stop fighting people. Though it was cute how they shook hands after. Glad that interruption of what was an entertaining game had any depth of meaning.

    Oh those softies. How could Crawford ever win another Cup? Musta been some kind of fluke, aside from the meaningful and measurable statistics that paint a clearer picture.

  52. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I am starting to feel like the Toews hit was a real wake up call for the Hawks. I think the Hawks are starting to hit their stride at the right time.

    I liked the lines yesterday. Norstrom again was always around the puck. He really worked on his game in Rockford. Morin NOW has earned his ice time I’d really be surprised if Q was scratching him at this point in the season. A lot of people were down on Morin after the Hawks brought him over from Winnipeg. He’s never going to be a burner on the ice but clearly provides scoring touch and grit on a team that needs some.

    Colorado is going to be a real pain in the ass in the 1st round, I just pray that Zus doesn’t see a lot of minutes.

  53. goldenbladz says:

    The Handzus issue (as i see) isn’t just his immobility (which is in no way good enough to play against the Avs) but for such a big guy he is pretty soft and is not great on puck battles along the boards (even if can get there in time). I love the agressiveness of Morin. He fed Backes his lunch on one particular play and Backes didn’t like it. I would really like to see 29-12-11 stay together.

  54. ebonyraptor says:

    OK, giving the Master of Financial Analysis the benefit of the doubt, against my better judgement and at the risk of feeding the trolls, I will offer a perspective that fans prior to 2010 (actually 2007) understand all too well.

    Back then, the Hawks were not a “cap team”, meaning their payroll was less than the maximum allowed. Even before the Salary Cap was implemented in 2005, the Hawks did not take the “spare no expense” approach to win the Cup. Rather, the approach was to not pay top dollar to star players but rather to try to win the Cup on a shoestring budget (maybe a little exageration there, but not too much). The Hawks were managed as a bottom line business where the profit margin took precedence over winning.

    That changed after Bill Wirtz passed away and Rocky took over.

    The Hawks became a “Cap team” meaning they spent up to the maximum amount on player payroll. Therefore, unless the management model is going to revert back to the model used prior to 2007, the Hawks will continue to have the same payroll regardless whether Toews and Kane are on the team. Trading them would not reduce the payroll, it would only allocate the same amount payroll to other players.

    So, your “suggestion” is that the Hawks go back to the management model that produced no Stanley Cups in the moderm era in order to reduce ticket prices. As a Hawks fan I say perish the thought. We have been treated to two championships and still have a competative team capable of winning more expressly because Hawks’ ownership has put their money where their mouth is and rather than just talk about winning championships, they have actually spent the money to make it happen.

    No Hawks fan wants to go back to the bad old days.

  55. CollegeKid says:

    The Hawks’ biggest issue going into these playoffs will be goal tending. It seems that we are a team that can turn it on when necessary, and most of the time the difference between winning and losing is our goal tending. Let’s hope Crow heats up for the playoffs and carries us like he did last year.

    Always optimistic with this team! Go Hawks!

  56. Joey Zamboni says:

    Fan since 20ten – I get you bro…… Hilarious…… Keep on trolling….. It’s working …..

  57. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Trolls gonna Troll,…nice breakdown Raptor, perfectly stated but probably not necessary. I think most Hawks fans completely understand the shift from Pre-Rocky days to the current mindset of the organIzation.

    I’m curious to see how StL responds their next few games out. The more I’ve watched the Blues the more I start seeing them for who they are. First they completely lack “game breakers” I’ve seen multiple outlets state that StL is also without out 2 star players. If Tarasenko and Steen are “star” players then I guess I’m missing that memo(both are good players).
    Second Kenneth Hitchcock, how fragile is this guy? Walking out of a presser, fighting with other Coaches? Granted he narrowly won a cup with a LOADED Dallas team but seriously this team is facing adversity for the 1st time all season and is becoming unraveled.
    Which brings me to my last point, how strong is this team between the ears? Backes is one of the biggest d-bags in the game and plays dumb. I still think back to the failure of US Olympic Hockey and it screams Davidson and StL. Lots of shootout wins in the Blues point total this year which doesn’t mean anything in the playoffs. From a talent perspective I think they are the 5th best team in the West I’ll take the Hawks and all 3 Cali teams before I’ll take the Blues!

  58. Phil says:

    SSHM, I think your assessment of the Blues is spot on. They have not done very well against West coast teams especially on the California circuit.

  59. JS says:

    I’ve only been preaching that the Blues are overrated all season! And that they needed a “game breaker” and not a freaking NAME upgrade in goal! Having said this, they will win the Cup just to spite me. But seriously, I never see a team like that coming back from a deficit in the playoffs.

    SSHM- Yesterday, didn’t Edzo say that David Backes was the reason for the USA’s success in Sochi? 4th place is quite the success!

  60. ebonyraptor says:

    I think Edzo is one of the best color guys in the business in one respect – seeing and breaking down the play. He has an uncanny ability to see detail at live action that most require slo-mo replay to see, and he understands and can explain why plays work or don’t work. If he would stick to doing that instead of working in his goofy vaudeville act with Foley, he would be a joy to listen to on local broadcasts. On national broadcasts of Hawks games, he doesn’t do the yuk’m up stuff but he seems to go out of his way to defer to the Hawks opponent, probably to not be seen as a Hawks homer. Hence the Backes slobbering yesterday.

  61. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Phil, I still feel like Miller is a significant up grade over Halak. Halak might have a higher ceiling then a 35 yr old miller but he definitely has a lower floor. Halak has had some awful games between the pipes.

    JS, I ended up listening to the Radio broadcast so I didn’t hear the Edzo comment, IMO I felt like that team USA Hockey was an absolute failure. I felt like the roster was poorly constructed but even with that concern that team had enough talent to play for a gold. How Yandle and Ryan were left off the roster is still surprising to me. That team should have done much better!

  62. goldenbladz says:

    Just a comment on the Team USA. The US team had the tools to win and were one of the top 4 or 5 teams but the coach allowed them to play run and gun with their speed. This worked well against the lesser or or poorly defensive teams but against the Finns and Canada (best and deepest team in the tournament) they were no match.

  63. morrison says:

    Bannerman, Teuvo was 17yr old at the draft so he really is a ’13 draft pick, which this is his first yr after draft… T was one of the best players at world juniors in ’12 & the very best player in ’13 world juniors. When the players that are in his age range are in the league that’s when Teuvo… patience. He is going to be a really good player. Some of the ahl guys are more nhlready right now then him. You watch the ahl guys live, I have watched live Teuvo both summers after he was drafted… Teuvo just needs some/a little bit of time to adjust, etc. I think if hes not going to play more then 9 games, yea have him play with your guys. That makes sense.

    I think that Bowman & Q are seeing who is going to help the team the most right now. It doesn’t make any sense to use a elc yr, if Nordy can do what Teuvo can, at this point in his development. We really do have loads of depth. That’s what makes it funny when we lose a few games, some people think not. I chuckle at that.

  64. ebonyraptor says:

    Morrison – good point on Teuvo’s age. He was born on September 11, 1994 and the draft cutoff date is September 15th. If he had been born 4 days later, he would have been in the 2013 draft instead of the 2012 draft. If that had happened, TT would be the property of another team right now because there would have been no way for him to slip low eough in the first round to be there when the Hawks selected. They were lucky there was that run on d-men in the 2012 draft (8 in top-10) or he probably wouldn’t have slipped to 18th where the Hawks got him.

  65. Bannerman & Belfour says:

    By the way, someone was asking about our new D Stephen Johns. He is wearing #36 and in his first game against Abbotsford he scored a goal scorers goal. The pass from his D partner was too far for him so he skated into the loose puck around their blue line and then just kept on skating around the Abbotsford goal and wrapped it in the other side. So for anyone worried about his speed for a big man, I don’t think you have to worry. Over the weekend, he was a little robotic in his own zone, but I chalk that up to a new system, new team mates and new coaching. He looks good. A big specimen for sure.

    Dent threw a new line together, Danault centring Ross and the rookie Hartmann. They were our best line in the 2 games versus Abbotsford.

  66. Jax says:

    B+B. I saw Ryan Hartman play in high school a couple years ago, seemed to skate well with quite the physical presence. Has he played much w/ Hogs?

  67. morrison says:

    Yea, ER that’s the beauty of the Bowmans is we didn’t have to draft more nhl faster/ready guys, we can pick some no rush/have more time to develop guys because we have a loaded farm. Just like Bowman traded a 3rd pick for another yrs 3rd & a 5th round pick, which is a free pick… We did get lucky in getting Teuvo, all of those things had to happen for us to get him. Like you said he would have been a 7or8 pick in the ’12 draft if it wernt for D man crazy & probably a top 4/5 pick the ’13 draft…

    I LOVE it.

  68. goldenbladz says:

    Good point on TT having the late birthday. It makes what Nathan MacKinnon is doing even more impressive as his is late as well September 1 1995 almost a whole year younger than Seth Jones was. Watching MacKinnon in the QMJHL was something special.

  69. goldenbladz says:

    Look forward to see TT in the future with the Hawks

  70. morrison says:

    We wouldn’t have had that high a pick as well on all these other yrs.

  71. 'hawks58 says:

    What I would like to see:
    20-19-81
    10-28-88
    29-16-23
    11-12/26-65

    What we will probably get (at least to start):
    10-19-81
    23-26-88
    29-65-12
    52-16-28

  72. ebonyraptor says:

    hawks58 – did you intentionally leave Saad out of your “what we’ll probably get” roster or just forget him?

    Here’s my “hope for” and “probably get” lineups:

    20-19-88
    10-65-81
    29-12-11
    23-16-28

    20-19-81
    10-26-88
    29-65-23
    52-16-28

  73. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Thanks B&B I was asking about Johns, I know the organization is very high on this kid so how be curious about his play @ Rockford.

  74. Phil says:

    ER I really hope you get your “hope for” lines.

  75. Hawks insider says:

    Boys we gotta get some wins. It’s plain and simple. The more wins the more points the better off we are. Let’s get some points boys.

  76. Gou says:

    Good hope for ER.
    Pete, ya made me smile. Thanks. I had a helluva of a long day.

  77. JS says:

    ER- Great minds think alike. (I posted the exact same “hope for” lineup) :)

  78. ebonyraptor says:

    Ha JS :)

    We’ll see what happens in the last three games but if 29-12-11 continue to play well as a line – how can Q not play them in Game#1 and then go from there.

  79. Pete says:

    My two cents on St. Louis is that they had a very favorable schedule for most of the season, but now its catching up to them. I noticed that they had played about 4 games less than the Hawks around Christmas break. Then coming out of the Christmas break the Hawks played a game and then the next night played St. Louis on a back to back. Meanwhile St. Louis was just sitting there resting and preparing. Of course, the schedule has finally tightened up on St Louis and they had a bunch of players in the Olympics and they are now hitting the wall. Plus Steen and Tarasenko have been hurt. So they have been losing lately. Personally, I think Colorado is better than St. Louis, but they are now missing Duchene and they are also playing a lot of games here at the end of the year. Maybe I’m drinking the Kool-Aid, but I really like the way things are setting up for the Hawks even if Colorado has home ice. The Hawks finish the regular season one day and game ahead of Colorado and then if Toews, Kane etc. are back at 100% and fully rested the Hawks are ready to roll as their younger players have done well in their absence and are now ready to contribute in the post-season. One last point, this last little winning streak has been important even if the Hawks don’t catch Colorado(and I doubt they will) because it has forced Colorado and to a lesser degree St. Louis to play hard all the way to the end of the year so hopefully they are tired and beaten up going into the playoffs. Colorado (and St. Louis) both have to play again tonight. If Colorado loses and/or the Hawks beat Montreal then the pressure stays on them. The Hawks schedule at the very end here has been light and I am hoping that helps come playoff time.

  80. JS says:

    Because that would mean sitting Handzus and Bollig, which I don’t see Q wanting to do. Hopefully they play well enough these next 3 games that he doesn’t have a choice.

    It’s happened before where an injury forced a young player into the lineup and he turned into a stud. Hell, it happened last year with Saad. Hopefully Morin keeps lighting it up and forces Q’s hand.

  81. JS says:

    And Q gonna Q. Broke up the third line because two rings!

  82. RyanDale says:

    Health is still the big concern, all the other stuff just secondary. Sad but true, Q will likely double down on his propensity for wanting ‘trusted’ players come playoffs.

    Going up 10% yearly on tix is a bit greedy if you ask me, but they obviously have buyers. I hated to see CBJ leave the div, could go there for half the cost and sit within first 10 rows.

  83. Tim G says:

    RD- Tampa Bay is the same way as CLB… thats the closest stadium to me, and the Prices are much more reasonable… but then again, they have about 1/10 the history and fandom the Hawks do. When i was down there this season, atleast 1/5 of the stadium was Red. I’ve sat 5 rows off the glass for under 100 a ticket before down there.

  84. Tab Bamford says:

    Lines Tuesday practice:

    Sharp-Shaw-Hossa
    Versteeg-Handzus-Saad
    Bickell-Smith-Morin
    Bollig-Kruger-Nordstrom

    Regin wearing white (5th line).

    If we slot Toews in at 1C, hopefully that bumps Shaw to 2C & Handzus to 5C.
    If we slot Kane at RW2, that would bump…

    Saad to RW3, pushing Morin to the seats.
    Morin to RW4, pushing Bollig/Nordstrom to the seats.

    Lots of options. Personally, a line of Bickell-Smith-Morin is something I’d like to see stick for the next couple weeks/months. Let Versteeg skate w/ Kruger & Nordstrom/Regin/Bollig

  85. Tab Bamford says:

    Also, Prust, Moen, Murray, Price, Emelin and Markov aren’t coming to Chicago for Wednesday night’s game. Thanks, Habs

  86. Phil says:

    Saw Gilles given the gate in Van. Bout time….I always thought the cancer in that team started with Gilles and trickled down from there. Nuck fans should be overjoyed to be rid of that guy.

  87. Bannerman & Belfour says:

    Sad to hear about those lines. Smitty should be the 2nd line centre from here on, not #26. Shaw can return to the third line when Johnny returns. I too like the looks of the new 3 line, but why kick Regin off the 3 line now for #26? Regin is this year’s #26, its pretty obvious to see that. Sorry to be very opinionated about this one, but #26 doesn’t have any game, and anyone can be doing what he’s doing on the penalty kill cause he doesn’t win penalty kill draws. #52 had better play well come playoff time if he’s the reason for Mo and Nordsy sitting on the pine.

  88. ebonyraptor says:

    Kinda nice that Price, Emelin and Markov aren’t playing. Prust and Moen is who cares but I’d rather have Murray play because he is addition by subtraction for Montreal, especially against a fast team like the Hawks.

    Not surprising that Handzus is in the lineup but I’m a little surprised that Regin got bumped ahead of Nordstrom. Maybe Q juggles these last few games to keep everyone sharp.

  89. Skt88fan19 says:

    First time poster long time fan. Let’s go hawks!! Not sure how to kick it off but likewise why don’t we roll w THE best. 88-81-19. I know it doesn’t make sense but let’s go w our top 3. Make some magic happen!

  90. Pete says:

    St Louis lost again. They are out of gas. Colorado winning in the second.

  91. ebonyraptor says:

    Skt88fan19 – nice idea but Kane and Hossa don’t play on the same line because neither of them want to play on the left side. Other than a line shift or two over the years, the only time Kane and Hossa were on the same line was when Kane was tried at center a couple years ago.

  92. Pete says:

    With three games left St Louis ahead of Colorado by only two points. The Hawks could play St Louis in round 1.

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