Blackhawks Lose Patrick Kane, Dominate Blues

Michal Handzus played in his 1,000th game in the NHL. Coach Joel Quenneville won his 700th in the NHL. Patrick Sharp collected his 300th assist. And the Blackhawks moved back into second place in the Central Division with a dominant 4-0 win over the first place St. Louis Blues.

Q 700

The Hawks were without Brandon Saad from the start, and without Patrick Kane for the second half of the game on Wednesday night. Kane went down in the middle of the second period and struggled to make his way to the bench before leaving for the dressing room. He skated only 10 shifts – 7:54 – but was credited with an assist on Duncan Keith’s first period goal.

Keith’s goal held up as the game-winner as Corey Crawford played an excellent game behind one of the better defensive efforts of the season from Chicago. Crawford was forced to stop only 23 shots in the game, and was up to the task to earn his second shutout of the season.

In front of Crawford, the Hawks blocked 11 shots and controlled the flow of the game throughout. Keith led the way with four blocks and two hits with his fifth goal of the season, a power play marker at 19:05 into the first period.

Andrew Shaw scored for the second time in as many nights to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead in the second period. After a rough stretch where Shaw had only five points in 18 games to start the 2014 calendar year, he now has seven points (four goals, three assists) in nine games in March.

In the third period, Peter Regin made a great play to get the puck to a wide open Marcus Kruger for the Hawks’ third goal, and Ben Smith scored a power play goal less than three minutes later to end the night for St. Louis netminder Ryan Miller. Miller allowed four goals against 27 shots before he was removed with just over 12 minutes left in regulation.

Nick Leddy and Sharp had two assists each in the game. Sharp’s secondary assist on Keith’s goal in the opening period was the 300th of his NHL career, one of many milestones achieved as the Hawks rolled the Blues.

Chicago’s power pay, which had struggled recently, scored twice in three opportunities. The Hawks penalty kill successfully took care of all three of the Blues advantages on the night as well.

Kruger won 10 of 14 faceoffs and Jonathan Toews won 10 of 18 in the win. Brandon Bollig once again led the way with six hits. And Bryan Bickell played another strong, physically-engaged game. Since being moved up to the Hawks’ “second” line with Kane and Smith, Bickell has played a more confident game. He was credited with two hits and three shots on net on Wednesday night.

Before the third period ended, NBC was already reporting that Kane is expected to miss two weeks with an ankle sprain. The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc reported earlier in the period that the injury was “not serious,” but Quenneville indicated Kane could miss around three weeks. Basically, Kane’s regular season may have ended on Wednesday night.

With Winnipeg defeating Colorado in overtime, the Blackhawks moved one point ahead of the Avs and into second place in the Central Division.

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35 Responses to Blackhawks Lose Patrick Kane, Dominate Blues

  1. JS says:

    Ryan Miller: Difference maker

    Blackhawks Bandwagon now allowing passengers to re-enter. Get on now while it’s hot!

    Hawks played a disciplined game and it was way too much for St. Louis to handle. They are now out scoring them by 3 goals in the season series and their only loss during real hockey came on a dumb play by Seabrook.

    Kane injury sucks, real bad. Will make the fight for 2nd difficult. Hopefully he gets back before the end of the regular season to shake off some rust, but at the same time I’d rather him not be rushed.

    Handzus played a decent game until he plowed someone over from behind because he can’t skate anymore. Happy 1000th old pal (emphasis on old)!

    Dumb Shaw penalty? Check! Good rest of the game? Yep. Please stop the dumb.

    I’ve been harsh on Seabrook this season, he has played really freaking good hockey as of late. Nice to see you again.

    Regin deserves ice time. Not sure why he was benched for the second period against Philly, but he tries hard and has more offensive upside than he is credited with.

    Brian “Handcuffs” Bickell looked great again. No one saw this coming.

    Get out of the way! Bandwagon coming through and it’s extra heavy tonight!

  2. Mining Man says:

    Be careful what you wish or ask for, you just might get it. So, yesterday I posted on this site that we really needed a big win tonite, for the sake of the fans and the spirit of the team and voila we get it….but at the expense of Patrick Kane. Q says 3 weeks. Just goes to show you that there is no such thing as having your cake and eating it to, or no free lunch or best intentions are the road to hell, whatever! It didn’t look too serious from the TV angle but what do I know about this kind of thing. 3 weeks takes care of the remainder of the regular season. Team played great. Keiths blast, Shaws perfect redirect, Regins beauty pass, Smiths net presence, Crawfords sharpness, all were the Hawks we know and what we see from them in the playoffs. We got the big win we needed. Kane could use the break anyway, take the time to get a good rest and return for the playoffs. Still unfortunate because last two games he has been flying around out there with his new line(s). Well done.

  3. Travis says:

    Secondary scorers/forwards were huge. Shaw, Bickell, Bollig, Kruger, and especially Smith, all with very strong games. If they play like that and compliment the core, then nobody beats us in a best-of-7.

    We also gave out as many licks as we took. Keith’s hit on Oshie was gold. Pleasant surprise.

    So uplifted by Bickell’s last two games. He’s skating, he’s hitting, and he’s relaxed. Let’s hope he continues peaking at just the right time.

    Smith is playing extremely well as 2C. Regin and Kruger with Bollig is still a formidable 4th line. That’s our sole glaring roster hole filled. If Smith plugs it effectively… imagine all the prospects and picks that Bowman saved by not making a move!

    Of our 4 star forwards, I really love having one on the third line, instead of stacking the top 2 lines. At the moment, it looks like it’s Sharp (when Kane is healthy). I’d be equally happy with Hossa on the third line. When we spread our top 4 forwards, it allows (read: forces) Q to roll lines, and those star forwards lift the secondary forwards around them.

    Be warned: that wasn’t St. Louis’s best punch. At all. Nor was it ours.

    Looks like TT may be taking Kane’s place on the roster… though I must admit I don’t know the rules on LTIR and cap relief.

  4. MS says:

    What a great team effort – thought everyone had significant contributions tonight. It was really nice to see the team defensive commitment – That has to be the fewest quality chances St. Louis has had in a long time. As tough as the news is on Kaner, I hope we give Morin a chance. As some pointed out after the Flyer game it is hard to see TT jumping right into such tough physical games yet Morin can clearly step into that environment.

  5. Dean Youngblood says:

    ^ Via @capgeek: Lots of Chicago fans asking how the Blackhawks can add Teuvo Teravainen in the regular season from a salary cap perspective. The answer is, according to our cap estimates, they can’t, not without someone joining Nikolai Khabibulin on LTIR or a demotion.

    Terms of LTIR are that you have to miss 10 games and 24 days. In 24 days Kane would miss all 12 remaining regular season games.

  6. morrison says:

    Yea, for everyone who was wondering how its possible to get T on the roster within the salary cap or why Morin wasn’t up when 81 was temporarily out. Things have a way of working themselves out for themselves. Silver lining is that we get to keep everybody, no waiving anyone, playing Morin, playing T for as many games as we want, and oh yea we have won or tied every game against all top 6 teams since we have been on this new year (really Olympic stretch that fucked up the sch.). ANA, BOS, SJ, LOS, ANA, PIT, STL and we have had some stinkers against bottom 10 teams, but like that fellow said the other day. We have played a lot of games in last 12mths, more than another team. (the league trying to give us a couple days off before break and then a couple after break to make up for the more games played in less days in the first half… guess what that makes it harder & a longer break makes it harder)(Like Dunks said were used to it, having to play with these kinds of sch. That was Classic statement, like wtf at least spread it out over the yrs so its less obvious) No excuses but it does make a difference.

    Theres a reason why we have played really good against all of those top teams and have had the ups and downs overall since the Olympic bomb radius. The teams that benefited from the Olympic bomb radius, your 5 or so games are up. Time to nosedive, bitches. Dive, dive, dive… U571.

    Kaner will be fine, reguardless of the exact time length. This just help us out for these extra guys we have wanted/want to get in. Guys to get moar min., Bicks. When 81 was out temporarily it got us Smith at center and with 88 out temporarily it will get us our answer for 4 complete lines. These things happen for a reason & coach Q is not perfect but he know better than most on what to look for… let things lead on to something else. Smith is doing it, whos next.

    We all need to feel really good about our team bringing it against all the top 6 teams when we have played them, even when our sch. is at the moment more diff. than who we play that night. (back-to-backs) Sorry, no whining about refs or sch., bounces even out. BS, like that guy said in past 24 hrs. ER is right we have had about a 20-80 split in bounces this season & we still have done what we have done.

    What we did last season, happens about 3 times every 100 yrs/a century. 30 games over 500 is dang good & we havnt gotten a/our fair share of the bounces to do that. This a rebuilding yr compared to last yr and the next few, but we are pacing ourselves for the more important games/teams.

    Fucker out.

  7. morrison says:

    Focker out.

  8. Sr. Brad says:

    You had better believe that was STL best punch…the hadn’t played since Monday, they have been on a tear, there a relatively healthy team, they have “had our number” so far this season, and we played last night on the road…believe me, STL saw this as their statement game…they were going to crush us physically and mentally in our own building, and put us out of our misery…

    But wait…they didn’t, because WE are the better hockey team…without Saad and with only 8 minutes of Kane…all we ever have to do is roll 4 lines, let our depth play, keep our stars fresh and we win hockey games…

    Since the new year we are now 9-0-2 when we roll 4 lines…we are 3-7-5 when we don’t…if Q had simply trusted in Regin, Bollig, Bickell, BB and Zus last night, we would be celebrating 2 wins in a row…

    This isn’t rocket science…our depth is better than any team in the league, and Q has us playing a very sound system of hockey…and CC’s play is more than good enough to win another Cup with…now let’s just keep rolling 4 lines…and to that end, Kane’s injury might come with a silver lining…Kaner had a long season last year, its been a long season this year, and this break right before the playoffs may be just what he needs to revive mentally…

    Injuries are a part of the game and never a “bad” thing…they simply present opportunities for others to shine…Q just needs to trust ALL of his players and let them play…

    Congrats Q on 700 wins…a great achievement!

  9. Sr. Brad says:

    Great post Mo…

    Hey, how about that Ben Smith…a 3rd game in a row as 2nd line centre, and looking great…very exciting to see…

  10. ebonyraptor says:

    So they’re calling the Kane injury an ankle? I though it looked more like a knee. If it is an ankle it answers the question why they came out to quick with the (first 2 week, and then) 3 week estimate for Kane’s return. If it were a knee injury they usually can’t assess the damage for a day or two because there’s usually swelling involved. If it’s an ankle then it’s probably more cut and dry and they would be able to diagnose that pretty quick.

    A few shoutouts are in order after that beauty of a game. First, Versteeg, after being the goat for that ill advised backhand lob pass against Philly, played a pretty good game and had a nice assist on Smith’s goal. A shoutout to Bickell too, who has started playing better lately and it should be mentioned that not ALL Hawks fans have been throwing him under the bus – some actually took his injuries and into consideration and were still hopeful he would turn it around. Hopefully he keeps trending in the right direction. And lastly, I give a shoutout to Brookbank who has been taking a beating from many of the fans who expect more from a 7th d-man than is fair. Picture the game tonight when Brookbank grabbed Ott and gave him a facewash while having him in a headlock while pulling him away from the scrum in front of our net and then laughed at him like what are you going to do about it punk? He’s a 7th d-man and he steps up when the going gets tough. 7th d-men are 7th d-men for a reason – he’s not good enough to be a 2nd pairing guy – but he’s a prett good 7th d-man when you need to throw him in there (just not as a forward please).

  11. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Very pissed I wasnt able to watch the game, however a friend from STL was planning on giving me play by play and guess what he didnt have ANYTHING to say. Sounds like the Hawks controlled through out. Bummer about Kaner but Ben Smith a 2nd line center? Ben Smith isnt the most talented guy on the roster but he is skilled, has a high IQ and makes the most of every opportunity he has been given. You can’t help but to root for a player like that! Still scared of the AVS match up but go Hawks!

  12. RyanDale says:

    That was a nice win. Constrictor mode was engaged.

    We could be even better when Danault gets here…..by….. Easter….was it?

  13. Mike says:

    Hawks answered the call last night. The win was great as well. Sharp’s pre game interview said it all.

    Been saying for 2 years. Ben Smith is the real deal. Heart, heart, heart is what he brings every night…….plus enough skill to be a threat on the 4th line and to step in a top 6 role when he needs to. I hope he is a Hawks for a long time.

    Leddy’s game was much better after a so so night in Philly. He needs to find the seam and shoot more often. The velocity of his shot is underrated. He took a little snap slapper in the third that was just a laser, and is pretty accurate.

  14. noonan96 says:

    Hard to say if this is a silver lining until we find out if there is any damage to his?-I thought it was the knee looking at the replay-the rest Kaner can use. At least Chicago found a way to battle the Blues-quick out of the zone and speed entering their defense and grind out the cycle and battle. Chicago has a great record with the second game of back to backs-a good stat for the playoffs.
    I really don’t care about spelling, although Toews is important-but I can’t seem to not look at this one for the last couple of years-more is spelled as you see it-not moar!
    Please, now I’m obsessed with the word.

  15. goldenbladz says:

    Great win Hawks, like Brad said the ice time was evened out and guess what the Hawks dominate. It’s so nice seeing the Blues get it handed to them (just like it used to be against Detroit). I don’t see the Blues as a challenge as much as the Avs. Smith has done a great job so far. CC had a good game and got the shutout (thankfully Seabrook had no tip ins). Let’s keep it rolling guys. Get well soon Kaner and take advantage of some well deserved rest.

  16. Peter says:

    Will TT or Morin get the call up?

    Finally, rolled 4 lines again. How did Regin and Bollig only have 11.5 minutes of ice time last night…it seemed like they were out there a lot. I, along with Sr. Brad and others, want us to roll four lines because it is a constant wave that just demoralizes other teams while keeping the Hawks big guns fresh. Q will go games without rolling four lines, then he will roll 4 and completely not give a fu!# who he rolls out against anybody because he has so much confidence in them. I cannot figure him out, but I like last night’a version better!

    That was a strong game. I love it when Keith hits somebody because he really lines them up and then hits the pooh out of them. He is kind of like Brian Campbell or the most interesting man in the world in that way. “I don’t often hit somebody, but when I do…”

    Great Hawks win!

  17. Mike says:

    4th line got more minutes in the third so it just seemed like they always out there.

    GBladez, I would not discount the Blues based on last night. Hitchcock knows how to beat the Hawks. The Blues represent a physical challenge that can be very tough in a 7 game series. That said, I too would rather face the Blues before the Avs.

  18. Travis says:

    Brad – Agreed on many of your points, but that wasn’t St. Louis’ best game. Just because a team is hot and rested doesn’t mean you’ll get their best. When the Hawks match the Blues’ physicality, it’s an indication that the Blues are off their game a bit.

    That isn’t meant to discredit the result, but only to take it with a pinch of salt. Like you, I believe we are a better hockey team, A game vs. A game, all health being equal. Our depth beats their depth. But that was not St. Louis’ best effort.

  19. AJ says:

    Ryan Miller is human oh my.

    Somebody pitched a shutout.

    Nice to see the guys who suffered major knee injures last year start to round out. Not that it was only a matter of time or anything.

    And Regin gets ice time and does good things like make crafty passes but more importantly cycles the puck effectively and drive possession.

    Brian Campbell could lay artful devastating hip checks which, like the power move and stacking the pads, has unfortunately disappeared… Keith plays pretty dirty which is fine as long as he doesn’t lose his mind like he did against Vancouver.

  20. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    It sure looked like Kane torqued his knee. But now the word is an ankle. A one month recovery window obviously means no structural damage…I’d rather have a sprained knee be the case versus a high ankle sprain.

    Bickell had his best game of the season. Shaw similarily played one of his best games too. What was most obvious however was the game Keith had. My goodness. Crawford owes him the finest steak dinner in town and I would presume the Norris Trophy is simply but a formality at this point, though I think Ryan Suter is going to get a shit-ton of consideration.

    Anybody intently watch Bollig in this game? If you did then you saw visible evidence of his underrated value. He has become the consummate role player and Q is looking like a genius frankly.

    Hawks got people in front of the net. Hitchcock will take notes. Next time we play the Blues you can bet the ranch the nastiness factor on their part will be dialed up.

    If it’s me? Then I call up Morin right now. Teuvo shouldn’t be subjected to the wolves. That is a patently unfair and ill advised idea right now.

  21. wall says:

    Travis, good post on the Hawks spreading more talent to that 3rd line… Like I said before- it allows Hawks to essentially skate “three #2 lines…” — I think it’s the Hawks best option… AND the Keys to this- 29 skating/playing much better than first 40+ games… AND even more importantly- 28 Playing Great as #2 C (who was the first guy here to say that guy deserves more time there???)… Most teams need 2-3 guys to cycle the puck in corners… 28 is Literally cycling the puck by himself- Looks like Curly Neal out there!!!

    Regin- and Kruger did look decent together… Maybe Regin has found his place.

    I also liked 52 w/81/19… I thought Q should have used that line a little more- to get Backes off of 19.

    JS-I changed my mind-Hawks will win Cup for the next 5 years…Please JS can I have a seat on the wagon -I promise I will sit in the back and be quiet!!!

  22. Peter says:

    Rufus, I call up Morin too for the same reason. Morin has some NHL experience and can score which will help with Kane out. You don’t want TT to have the deer in headlights look AND be without Kane.

  23. Tim G says:

    Obviously this was a great game for the hawks (minus losing Kaner)…

    Leddy showed what some of us were discussing, on how he really is more than just a “5th dman”. The kid has potential coming out the yin yang!

    I am still on the TT train to bring him up if possible cap wise… it would be contingent on Saad returning but… Im thinking something like
    10/19/65
    20/TT/81
    29/28/23
    52/16/12,26

    When 88 comes back… 23 slots in on the 4th line and 88 goes back with Smith/Bicks.

    We really do have an embarrasment of riches on this roster… While there are still some question marks (i.e. how to not have let down games like we have had and how to beat Colorado) its hard to think that another cup run isn’t possible.

    I like our chances vs ANY team in the league. The only ones that scare me top to bottom are Pit and Bos… and we only have to play one of them.

  24. Nick says:

    Who are we kidding, Brookbank will take end up taking Kane’ spot….its illogical, which is why it will probably happen.

  25. michael petan says:

    Hawks only needed this win for “self esteem.” Ryan Miller is average and when you get simple traffic in front of the net Ken Dryden is average. Our defense was awesome, they control the destiny of the Hawks. Where Hawks finish doesn’t matter but how they finish is everything. BLues like the Bruins are just a little slower, they have bigger players and that extra 1.5 seconds it takes to dump it in, and GO GET IT, is everything in hockey. Hawks D-Men when PLAYING are the best and quickest and skilled at getting to the puck in the corners, turning, passing and exiting the zone. It aint easy and they dont do it always but when they do like last night HAWKS SPEED KILLS on defense, offense not so much! BIG WIN, standing don’t matter!

  26. JS says:

    If Kane goes LTIR, I think they can have both TT and Morin on the roster. Does the 23 man roster limit go away after the trade deadline or am I losing brain function because of a lack of alcohol?

    Wall- I’d like you on the front of the wagon so I can hear what you’re saying and cheer you up when you’re thinking about jumping off.

    I’d also like to say that I hope one of the dogs that American Hero David Backes rescues bites him in the neck. Took two runs at Kane, came at Toews with his stick at throat level, charged Hammer, and then tried to knock Hammer into the net onto Crawford. Pretty obvious intent on that last one and it was beyond wreckless. Screw that guy. I can’t wait to watch him and Oshie crying together after they fail to get out of the first round again.

    Steve Ott is on the powerplay of a “legitimate” Cup contender. Just saying. Steve Ott. You probably saw him on the powerplay yesterday when he attempted to lay out Seabrook instead of going for the puck and keeping possession. GRIT. TOUGHNESS.

    It’s easy to say that the Blues weren’t “on their game”. That’s what happens when the Hawks follow the Q game plan. They absolutely swarm people in the neutral zone and offensive zone and there is no where to go with the puck. They move like a pack up the ice instead of doing the stupid 150 foot stretch passes from their own goal line. St. Louis has a really good D core but they looked mediocre yesterday because the Hawks actually executed their game plan.

  27. wall says:

    JS- I can’t have you behind me on that bus… I know your fetish for tall handsome men (Stalberg) and I fit that description…

    Yes- That is why -52 was on that line 19/81… to try to reel in that POS Backes… Backes
    is a Turd!!!

  28. Phil says:

    Clearly a massive win for the Hawks last night. Both teams were aware of the importance this game presented. Blues knew if they won decisively they would put a big stamp on their ascension towards raising a Cup this year. Hawks knew they had to bring their A game to dim the confidence of the Blues, a team that had sneaked by some earlier season wins. Hawks needed the points and got em in resounding fashion.

    While this one started out slow for the Hawks, they found their legs mid way through the 1st. No surprise since they played a tough one the night before and had to travel. I thought Bollig did a great job with a strong physical presence. Seabs and Bicks did it too. It was a positive sign that the Hawks were not going to get pushed around. I saw a play in either the 1st or 2nd period over by the benches where Toews took a shot by a Blues player, and there was Seabs right behind him it giving it back. Might have been that little sneak Sobotka.

    Net presence was a major factor in the win last night. Bodies in front of Miller resulted in goals. The Hawks were willing to pay the price to set screens or at least be around the crease to get rebounds. Bottom line here is simple. Go to the net, sticks on the ice, and good things happen. Shaw is getting really good at moving to present an effective screen. Team D was excellent for the Hawks. Zone clears were crisp and forwards came back to help. Special teams carried the day which usually translates into a W. Give em an A.

    Good for Ben Smith. A feel good story for sure. His play is rising to the occasion. Smith has developed this reverse right pivot power move behind the net off the boards with the puck that is very quick to the net. He is a strong skater, gives 100% and commits to playing defense. Bicks is rounding into shape. More minutes is helping his game progress and importantly his confidence is rising too. Good news for the Hawks, bad news for opposing teams. Bicks and Bollig bringing the physical edge can only help make other teams perhaps rush passes to avoid contact.

    CC had an excellent game on a big stage. Really a strong team victory that must have left the Blues thinking WTF. From my perspective, the Hawks bring their A game against the better teams. This is a good sign looking towards playoffs. Hopefully Kane will only be out for 2-3 weeks. He is not replaceable, but assuming Saad is back soon I think physically we are good shape going into the 1st round. Hopefully Q will split minutes evenly and not ride his stars into the ground down the stretch. We all know when the Hawks are rolling 4 lines, they tend to get good results.

    Classic guys sitting next to me last night in corporate seats yelling shoot every time Hawks had puck in O zone. Even with point guys receiving passes on their back hands. These people are clueless

    I still believe with this team, the glass remains half full. These guys are champions, have big hearts, and the will to win. As fans we need to try and see the big picture even though we are guilty at times of over analyzing and some hand wringing. It is a great time to be fans of this team and appreciate what we have. This is very similar I feel to when the Bulls were in their glory years and they were the team to beat. We are in a window where this team can be good for a 10 year run. Most fans can just dream of what we have. Enjoy it.

    Lets keep it rolling through this home stand and

    Lets Go Hawks!

  29. Phil says:

    Meant to say lots of good comments guys. JS, I echo your sentiments regarding the Blues completely. I have said all year that with a Cpt like Backes the blue notes cannot win championships. The Cpt sets the tone. The Blues still play like our old pals the Canuckleheads. I’ll take it a step further and present this one. Blues have Lapierre, former Canuck. Older Chicago fans know the Mike Royko “ex-Cub factor” saying where any ex Cub playing for another team automatically jinxes that team they are with, and keeps that team from winning championships. Well, now you have the “ex Canuck factor” to contemplate in St Louis. By the way Lapierre is still, and always be a POS. Throw in Sobotka, of course Backes, Jackman(assistant Cpt??) Ott, and this is a real cast of characters. Screw em.

  30. Mike says:

    RTF, I agree that Morin should get the callup and let TT get introduced to NA hockey in Rockford. Morin has tons of potential and will bring physical energy to the 3d or 4th line. I think Morin is more talented than Bollig. But like I said 3 months ago, Bollig is the most improved player on the Hawks for a couple of reasons. 1 he is taking far fewer stupid penalties and 2 he is actually trying to create some offense (Thanks to 16 and 28). Bollig is sometimes a burden when playing the Avs, Ducks, Wild etc. But he is a Huge asset against the Blues, Cunucks etc. Bollig is a physical presence when we need it, but I am glad he no longer gets into too many fights….cause he is a crappy fighter. Bottom Line: Bollig has found the secret to keeping Q off his back. Maybe he can give some pointers on that to Morin.

  31. Sr. Brad says:

    Phil, I wanted to say the same thing…excellent comments all around…

    I really am not worried about Kane’s injury, because it will lead Q, almost by default, to roll 4 lines, and as such, the team will pull together over this stretch…when we play this way, like Peter said, it demoralizes teams because EVERY line is giving the same effort, and taking it to the opposition…we don’t give them any brakes…and we won’t miss Kane’s scoring as he hasn’t done much of it for quite awhile, however the PP could be affected…but again, its an OPPORTUNITY for someone else to step up, like Ben Smith, or Jeremy Morin, or TT…

    And as for TT, he plays Centre…I played centre…its not the same as being a winger or a DMan…smaller guys can play centre and “survive” physical teams because the responsibilities and positioning of a centre in hockey are very unique. TT’s job is not to fish pucks out of the corner…Toews does it, because he is fearless and he can…plus his line mates know how to cycle…but it is not essential to the centre position…plus many of you might remember, Wall and others during training camp, commenting on how well TT controls his body and how aware he is on the ice…I believe Wall even said that TT was further along than Kane was at this point in his career…avoiding big hits and collisions is a natural ability that some possess, TT is that slick type of player that is lithe and always moving, so he’s hard to target…

    Bottom line, is that this is a tremendous opportunity to put him in our lineup and see where he is at with regards to the NA game…if we put him on a line with say, Hoss and Lil Hoss, he will be fine…if he centred Sharp and Bickell, I think he would be fine…let him play!

  32. Sr. Brad says:

    Mike, I know that you and I agree about all players acclimating to the NA game by playing in Rockford…I just think that TT might be that exception…one, because he plays centre, and two, because of his “graceful” skating ability and awareness on the ice…

    I would like us to give him a shot, right now and see how it plays out.

    BTW…the Blues last night found out the true keepers of defensive hockey…this is Q’s system to a T…aggressively back check and create offence off of turnovers…that’s our game and it wins us championships…

  33. Phil says:

    Hawks have Canes, Preds and Dallas coming up at home. If possible I would love to see TT in the lineup ASAP against teams like that especially as they are home games and perhaps less stressful. Could be argued less stress on the road as he could fly(no pun intended) under radar. Break him in against teams that don’t try and run your ass out of the rink. I believe this kid can make a solid contribution, and will “season” quickly because of his ice awareness and skating ability. Give the kid a shot right here, right now.

  34. morrison says:

    Yea, the guys are right about Morin being more ready now for bigger teams. I do want T & Morin on roster. Want to see T in right away to. Depending on who were playing, etc. we can get both of these guys…

    We need T to get his feet wet, so then he can play his game/style moar comfortably.

  35. Mining Man says:

    More..not moar…as noonan96 has pointed out.

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