Blackhawks Lose Thrilling Home Opener In OT

For the third time in as many games it required overtime for the Blackhawks game to be decided.

After ugly starts in their first two games, the Blackhawks started their season at the United Center with a strong offensive attack. And nine minutes into the contest Jonathan Toews scored his fifth goal already on the young season.

Dominik Kahun picked up an assist on the goal for his first career NHL point.

Three minutes after the Toews goal, Alex DeBrincat scored his second of the season – and Kahun picked up his second career assist.

The goal is the 30th of DeBrincat’s young career, a mark he reached faster than Toews or Patrick Kane.

Apparently this year we won’t be allowed to have nice things – or a lead. Because the Leafs Kasperi Kapanen and Auston Matthews each scored (and assisted for each other) in a 34 second span to tie the game at two.

At the end of one, the game was tied.

Almost four minutes into the second period, Toronto’s new addition – John Tavares – gave the Leafs a 3-2 lead. But John Hayden, making his 2018-19 debut, tied the game a few minutes later.

Henri Jokiharju was credited with his third career assist on the Hayden goal.

Unfortunately, Tavares was only getting started. He added a power play goal exactly two minutes after Hayden’s goal to give the Leafs a 4-3 lead.

Less than 90 seconds after Tavares gave Toronto the lead again, Chicago got a great opportunity (in theory). Andreas Johnsson was sent to the box for four minutes.

During the two minor penalties, the Hawks managed to put zero shots on net. The power play remains an absolutely clown show, and the wasted four minutes hurt on Sunday night.

The score would rest at 4-3 in favor of the visitors after 40 minutes.

Brandon Manning looked better in the first two periods, and he was rewarded two minutes into the third when he tied the game at four.

At 9:29 into the third, Tavares completed the hat trick capping a dominant performance for the expensive new top line center of the Leafs.

For nine minutes, the score remained 5-4 in favor of Toronto.

Then things went crazy at the United Center.

Kane scored his third of the year to tie the game at 18:36.

Matthews answered the Kane goal 22 seconds later.

But there was no way Kane was letting Matthews steal the stage. So Chicago’s star scored his second goal in 55 seconds to tie the game at six with 29 seconds left in regulation.

The assists on Kane’s two goals went to Jokiharju and Nick Schmaltz, giving Jokiharju his first career three-point night.

Unfortunately, the Blackhawks’ streak of winning 44 straight games in which Toews and Kane both score a goal ended. Morgan Reilly scored 19 seconds into the extra session to give Toronto the hard-fought victory.

Duncan Keith (three assists), Kahun (two assists) and Schmaltz (two assists) joined Kane and Jokiharju in having multi-point games.

Jokiharju put five shots on net, blocked two shots and was credited with two hits in addition to his three assists in 20:10 on the ice (19:50 at even strength).

Kane led Chicago with seven shots on net. Toews put six shots on net and won 12 of 18 faceoffs.

Before the game the Blackhawks honored Stan Mikita.

100 thoughts on “Blackhawks Lose Thrilling Home Opener In OT

  1. TOR 2nd, 5th and 6th goals were garbage.
    The 2nd and 5th were our fuckups. That’s can be fixed.

    TOR is a borderline top5 team. A top team though.
    We played even overall, after outplaying them buy a lot in the 1st.

    We can play with any team in league.
    We want to play good and even to outplay other team, were doing that.
    FWs getting better and will be pretty dang good by the time we get deeper on D.
    Going to be fun yr, without any worry of WLorT.

    Be careful we donot want to win to much.
    Need another high end player to add to the group going forward.

  2. Explosive offense but other than Jokiharju bad defense and inconsistent goaltending. Atrocious pp, something gotta give there. Last 2 goals Kane from Jokiharju and Schmaltz has a nice ring to it though, think we will be hearing that one alot for a few years.

  3. I’m starting a petition for Jokiharju on 1st PP unit – Keith is clueless on PP, Seabrook has more of a clue but is not a good enough skater, Gus can be good but is too inconsistent, gimme Joki – I think he can do it

    I was on Manning last game – this game I feel like Q should sit Gus – he’s far too unreliable in the D zone and that pathetic skate he took on the Tavares’s 3rd goal to give the Leafs a 5-4 lead was well pathetic

    You’re supposed to be an NHL defensemen Gus – wtf was that??

    Rutta wasn’t much better – a Murphy/Forsling pairing down the road replacing those two would be fine with me

  4. Glad to see Hayden in and score

    Wonder how long before Highmore or Sikura gets a chance with AA/Kampf rather than Kunitz

    Gotta admire the way the Hawks keep coming though – very entertaining game from O point of view – a lot of skill on both sides

  5. As regular followers are well aware, my opinion of Martinsen is that he would struggle to play regularly w Rockford. That being said, I would sign off on him playing regularly on the 4th line in Chicago if Manning were jettisoned. Manning’s defensive zone coverage is a joke; simply stayed, he sucks. He is a major liability. And that’s being generous. Matthews goal that made it 6-5, I have no idea what Manning was doing, and neither does he.

    Speaking of D-men, Rutta sucks as well. Ward is left out to dry repetitively. Speaking of him, his GAA looks like something out of the run and gun 80’s. The Hawks arent going to continue to score at this pace. In order for Ward to function competently, the defensive zone coverage has to improve asap. 911. 911.

    Fun game to watch nonetheless.

  6. What a fun game to watch. Really liked that the Hawks came out with high energy, unlike the first two games. I was worried Mikita’s ceremony might have them start slowly.

    Yeah, the team defense and goal tending are bad. But my oh my the offense has been very good with the exception of the PP which has reverted to clown shoes again. If they are going to stick with the 1-3-1 PP they should put the players in the proper roles. Kane and Toews are where they should be. The middle guy, the winger on the left side and the point man are all wrong. DeBrincat should be in the middle getting set up for one-timers from Kane – not Schmaltz. Schmaltz can take the left side winger and be used to help enter the zone. Jokiharju or Gustafsson should be on point instead of Keith.

    BTW – Anisimov gets a raw deal from a lot of Hawks fans but there is one very valuable thing he does better than anyone else on the Hawks and that’s stand in the paint and screen the goalie. He was a big part of Manning’s and Kane’s goals tonight and maybe those don’t go in if AA isn’t playing his role to a tee.

    How about Joki with 5 points in his first 3 games. And his his defensive play is pretty good too.

  7. P.S. the special teams are horrendous so far. The PK is particularly troublesome, they either give up a goal, momemtum or both. Its one thing not to score on your PP, but if you don’t have an effective PK, you cannot survive long term. No way.

  8. Gus is just being Gus. Stan has gotta be the only person on the planet who thinks he is actually an NHL defenseman. I don’t think Gus even believes it himself. Actually defending is just a lark for him.

    Ward was doing his best Murray Bannerman against the Oil impression and the guys in front of him looked like Jack O’Callaghan.

    Shinny.

  9. Maybe its ok if our record is good, 45-35 and make playoffs.
    We could still trade up from 20th and get 10th pick and get the same player we would going 35-45.
    Got a feeling, Crow plays entire 2nd 40 and sch is way more balanced, we could put up a very good record in the 2nd 40. Priming ourselves for a 20 season that is the next step, after this season.
    Which I think could be way better then most people had copyrighted before it even started.

    Lots of good comments this summer and now.
    Intelligent conversation/ideas and tell it how it is. No short cuts.

  10. Iceman good point on special teams , they are running about 63% on pk and 0% on pp. Good special teams shoot for the 100 magic number where a success rate of over 80% on pk and score 2o% of the time on pp. Those numbers will improve but a long way to go to reach respectability.
    Good news is the goaltending, defense, special teams will improve as this year goes on and alot more in next couple of years.

  11. It appears to me if Ward is getting screened his plan is to just wait for the Blackhawk in front of him to move….which…..I’m not so sure that’s the best of plans.

    What was he doing with his glove hand on that breakway; it’s like he didnt plan to use it until it was too late; it was open an the Leaf took it.

  12. @ ER Q used Seabrook on 1st PP unit tonight and Keith on the 2nd

    I’m hoping Joki gets a chance as early as next game – making the first pass or dump in coming up the ice on PP is crucial – that’s often the D man in the 4FW 1 D set up that does that and then once you’re set up making a smart quick pass from the point is also crucial

    From watching Jokiharju in these 3 games I feel like he’s got the skill set to do it and I’m guessing he ran the PP in junior and he seems very poised with the puck on his stick

    I realize you don’t want to put too much pressure on him but he at this point he can’t be any worse

    The idea of Cat in the middle also makes a lot of sense – after all he’s a shooter and Schmaltz isn’t

  13. The game was fun and scary all at once-some bright spots
    Gus is going to invent a new position in hockey-the rover. But let’s face it, half of the D guys shouldn’t be playing in the NHL. The younger draft picks need to get here sooner than later and there will be a few 4 to 6 goal games in the mean time. Certainly Crow would have had the win in that game.

    Ward will struggle in back to back games.
    The power play is offensive (pun intended) to watch.

  14. 5 points out of 6 to start the season. Utterly amazing with this cast of characters.
    Toews and Kane are still “the franchise”.
    If Stan can trade Saad, he should do so pronto. He is truly lost on offense in a top 6 role.

  15. So it looks like the Hawks can skate, pass and score. Now they have to learn how to play defense in their zone. Also, their turnovers are horrendous! I’m not sure if he still has knee problems but Duncan Keith has become the “old man” on defense. My god his reads are horrible.

    We also need some more pressure on the point men and we need to work on the PP and PK. This team SEEMS to be ALOT better than I thought they would be, but they have a LONG way to go on the D side of the puck. But it’s early and they are young, for the most part.

    Let’s keep getting better!!

  16. $3 million dollars for a washed up goalie who has not stopped a puck in 10 years! Thx Mr.Bowman!!! Rutta…? Thx Mr.Bowman….Cam Ward whould not goal a single game for the rest of the season. JOKE!!!

  17. WARD KUNITZ MANNING DAVIDSON RUTTA MARTINSON KRUGER, a waste of time and money. Bowman is a joke of a GM. Any other goalie would have made a few more saves tonight. What is Kunitz still doing in the NHL? Rutta is a nervous wreck. Kruger slow and weak, done. Ward…..ECHL goalie at best…pathetic. Manning is clueless.
    Davidson cannot defend….Martinson is embarassing.

  18. This team is very good offensively. If Crow gets back and is back to his best, this team might go pretty far.

    The Leafs are among Top 5 NHL teams talent-wise, and the fact that we could keep up with them– could have even won if we have a better goaltending– is a good sign.

    Fix that defense and we will be a strong team.

    And maybe if Schmaltz finally figures out when to shoot instead of passing, we’ll be golden.

  19. 3 games in and 5 out of 6 points taken. The only surprises have been on the positive side – all the negative stuff is fun to bitch about, I guess for some, but we knew all that and whether we like it of not – THIS IS A TRANSITION YEAR – maybe next year will be too. Accept that FACT and enjoy the season much more than where complaining and whining about reality will take you. Bowman is the worst GM ever. Q is the worst coach ever. This team sucks directly because of Bowman and/or Q and wouldn’t suck if Bowman and/or Q had been fired this summer, or is it last summer, or is it the summer before that, or maybe it goes back to the fax machine debacle. I guess for some it really sucks to be a Blackhawk fan if the Hawks can’t win the Cup every year for the rest of eternity. I mean, they could win the Cup every year for the rest of eternity if it weren’t for Bowman and/or Q. Right?

    I can understand how some would think that way. This is, after all, a “what have you done for me lately” world. More winning! We demand more winning and we demand it NOW! Am I doing this right?

  20. Yea, this is just the beginning.
    It may take 2.5 yrs to be a top5 team again.
    We could be there/close the 2nd 40 games next yr., then
    just get better and deeper from there on.
    No matter exactly when we get there, I think were going to get there, and
    be there for awhile.

    To me theres only 3, real top5 teams-same last two yrs/this yr/and maybe next yr.
    Top2- TB and NAS
    Top3- WIN
    Top 6 to 10- STL, WAS, SJ, TOR
    Top 11 to 22- pick em
    Top 23 to 30- there obvious

    I would bet 9 out of 10 people would have voted us in the bottom10 before any games were played/during the summer. Bla bla bla.
    I always had us as a midtier10 team, until we get deeper on D.
    No matter where we actually are now, I think were towards the top of the 11 to 22 range next yr/and maybe there at some point this yr as we get better.

    The one thing that we will have/and some other teams to, is upside/lots and lots, by reloading the right way and taking our hit all at once. Were going to sky rocket when we do.

    This is just the beginning, and its looking pretty fucking good, eh.

  21. Finally Hayden plays! Big presence who can score- seems right to me!
    Agree on most of the comments on forwards- “D” is where the issue lies and I don’t see the Leadership out of Keith and Seabrook?! If Seabs gives up one more garbage pass, or misses his checks – Q should have him “sit the pines”
    both teams suck at D- both shoulda got 3 points for entertainment value ! Bring up some more fresh faces from Rockford- please!

  22. In they’re own end, they are just terrible. In the first three games Joki has been the best D-man. But that’s not saying much.

  23. These young fast skilled defensenen are going to need to learn how to defend by having good sticks and positioning. Keith made a hall of fame career out of playing this way, if he can mentor these young guys like Jokiharju, Boqvist, Beaudin, Mitchell etc. in the right way to play in this league, he will still be a serviceable defenseman for a few years yet. So don’t under estimate what his value is to this team.

  24. If you are going to lose, at least the Hawks made it entertaining. Wow, that game last night was over the top some crazy hockey. Lots to like, lots to cringe about, but it was really fun to watch for the fans. I loved Kahun’s reaction to the tic tac toe Dcat goal. Kane mocking Matthews “let me hear ya” after tying it up minutes later towards the end of regulation time.

    Despite the OMG nature of the game last night, not all of that was about positive developments. Like the preceding two games, the Hawks defensive coverage remains highly suspect. Rutta, Seabs are struggling and massively overpaid. Keith doing his best, Manning trending better, but really bad decisions at times too. Kid Joki is a surprising bright spot, but he’s going to make a lot of kid mistakes. His instincts though look very good. Cam Ward ain’t the answer. Some good saves to offset the softy parade that has been the first 3 games. Corey we need you!

    Not sure why Q went with Martinsen over Hayden first 2 games. Last night showed why Hayden needs to play and Martinsen sit. Somehow Saad looks a bit lost in the mix with these first three games behind us. A few good plays, but he is playing tentatively, and does not look confident to me. He needs to be much, much better.

    I like what I am seeing from Kahun, and Dcat playing in the top 6 is showing he belongs as he is going against the better opposing competition, and is a dangerous offensive weapon.

    I am sooo pleased to see the Cpt having fun playing hockey again. He has that extra jump in his skates and he is all over the ice. Tazer net presence has been outstanding, and he is ringing the register down there. Both Toews and Kane look fit as fiddles. Anisimov also looks faster. Hawks need those guys to have big years. Super start from the big two.

    If we thought the Hawks PP was underperforming in recent seasons, the first 3 games this season have lowered the bar to the ground. Hard to believe how sad this has been to watch. There too much talent on this team for the P to be so poor. Yikes.

    While the early sample size is small, I think it a stretch that this Hawks team makes the playoffs with the personnel they are skating. Likely we will be cheering and crying multiple times each game.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  25. I have a German PhD student staying with me for a month. He never saw a hockey game. This was his first. What a barn burner! Good attacking aggressive hockey. So fun to watch, I reckon he will be hooked now. So pleased he got to see this game.

    The Hawks style of play reminds me of the 2010 team. Or last years Golden Knights. Not in terms of talent and depth but rather a fearless toe-to-toe slugfest style of play. I love it. They look loose and relaxed and they’re having fun playing 80s hockey. Even if they don’t make the playoffs they are a joy to watch. Breath of fresh air in a league full of teams trying not to lose. They don’t give a shit and in my opinion they shouldn’t.

    In addition to the defensive lapses they also need more depth scoring. Kane and Toews cant carry the load like this sustainably. Realistically if we are to outscore the opponent in barn burners we will need production from the bottom two lines as well.

    Keep attacking! Who gives a shit!

  26. I like it Travis! “One Goal, nah Who Gives A Shit!” is the rallying cry this year

    Lets Go Hawks!

  27. How good is a team when…. Your shut-down D pairing in final Minute is

    Seabrook and Manning??? Special

    That 4 minute powerplay… SPECIAL!!!!

    Other team’s PK’s– they just assume the “Dean Smith 4 corner’s set”… and PK
    Hawks… Hawks have ZERO ANSWER

    Agree with several here… How is Joker not on PP… Only D man to consistently put shots on Goal… Beatiful on the Money passes to Kane in 6 on 5…

    Tab- I was Really wrong on the Joker… Kid- is a very solid D man… Pleasantly surprised!!! Who would have thought the Hawks Best D man– would be a teen-aged kid this year?

  28. The more of the younger guys come in/nhl ready the moar we can play fearless like that.
    That is prob exactly what we need to fill out the roster with. Those kind of players.
    Were here to learn and get better and better this yr.
    We can finetune the roster once were deep again.
    You wanta out score the other team, every game we can.
    Just think about adding the Bread Man to a group of players like this.

    Whats nice is not having to win or tie every game and worry about standings.
    Whether were 45-35 and make playoffs or 35-45 and get another 7th pick, were good.
    It be nice to go the 45-35 route and just trade up from 20th to 7-10th pick and get same player anyways.
    So we can enjoy this, while we transition.
    After last yr. We deserve it. The team deserves it.

  29. This is going back a few posts but loved your sarcastic rant ER on how the Hawks would win the Cup every year if only Bowman and Q had been fired!

    Preach baby!

  30. I’ve been saying for a while that the Hawks would be better than many thought they would and if they can stay in the hunt until Crow gets back in form (and hopefully he does) that they would compete for a playoff spot

    So far that seems like what we’ve got and it’s a hell of a lot better than the way we ended last year

  31. What can we say,.,.,.,this is Stan’s baby . How the man still has a job is well,shocking .
    Rutta has been a wash right from his first game with the Hawks ,.,.,hell lets sign him for close to 3 mill a year ,.,.,have a happy Thanksgiving friends .

  32. Bump Saad and put AA with Kane (AA is better in middle of the ice than Schmaltz).

    12-19-24
    8-15-88
    20-64-40
    14-16-62

    Sit Gus (until Forsling or Murphy comes back then waive him). Give Davidson a shot.

    2-28
    23-7
    22-44

  33. Right on EB, people holler for a rebuild but then can’t deal with it, it’ll take some time.
    They have 2 decent lines now why not just go with them as pp units. Kane line with Anisimov instead of Saad for net front and faceoff purposes, with Keith and Jokiharju. Toews line on 2nd unit with Gus and Seabrook. Let Kane double shift with them for part of it with only one Dman.
    Just let them do what they normally do instead of trying these super combos that continue to struggle.

  34. Entertaining but frustrating game. Frustrating in the sense that this team holds a lead like it holds a porcupine. One trend I would like to see the Hawks reverse more than any other is how many times they give up a goal right after scoring one themselves. Not sure what the actual numbers are on this, but the Hawks seem to do it a lot the last year or so. Perhaps having Crow in net helps plug that leak a little.

  35. Exactly, how Stan Ward Kunitz Mannjng, Bouma Davidson Rutta Kruger Osterle Franson Bowman still have a job is crazy.
    Happy for Toews and Kane. Hopefully Saad can recover and put asixe his hatred for Coach Q’s benching last year and break out the rest of this month. Otherwise, well Stan misses Panarin and the Hammer.
    The 3-4-5-6 defence, the 3rd line and Ward are awful and this will not improve until CC gets back, Bowman trades for a top natural wing prospect, and that Coach Q benches RUTTA, MANNING, and DAVDISON.
    The team will have its up and downs but they will remain out of the playiffs woithout a doubt.
    15th place at most but as long as Kane, Schmaltz, Toews and Saad have a productive year along with Debrincat, they will sell tickets.
    The real coup would be to fire Bowman, Gauthier and Kelley.

  36. That’s why I always think they should have automatic tv time out after every goal scored.
    That way they can have the review ref, both teams review guy, review the play for offsides, high stick, goaltender interference, puck crossed line, those things.
    It also then doesn’t allow the other team/for bot teams, to score a cheap goal within a min after the other teams scores, just because a team has their pants down for 10 sec after.

    What are tv timeouts now, 90 sec. Have these goal tv timeout reviews 60 sec.
    It wont slow the game down, since they have how ever many tv timeouts regularly anyways.

  37. Didn’t an NFL trade get nixed last year because one team failed to notify via fax? Or was that email?

    Elvis Dumervil got released because he couldn’t get to a Kinko’s to sign his contract in time.

  38. Man have the idiots come out in full force today. To them I ask 2 very simple questions.

    What would you have liked them to do regarding player development and roster construction?

    Who would you rather have that is better at the job?

  39. re: swapping AA w/ Saad – hell no. Schmaltz is struggling at the dot but I don’t see AA being able to skate with much above the Hawks’ third or fourth line. Thankfully Kahun has looked ready for the NHL.

    Now about wasting ice time on Kunitz…

  40. Stop whining about defense. The defense hasn’t been great, but the advanced stats show that they’re around the league’s average. With better goaltending, we would have won this game. Most goals Ward let in were stoppable. He’s just been garbage, pure and simple. Give Forsberg a chance, Q. This is getting ridiculous. The defense is actually better than last year, but Glass and Forsberg played better than Ward.

    The team is good.

  41. Read our previous discussion and the importance of advanced possession stats. We discussed the flaws of the stat itself. How you need to break it down situationally rather than look at the whole game itself.

    Was Ward soft? Name another goalie that gives up 7 without getting the hook. I think him not only starting, but not getting pulled is an indictment of Anton Forsberg. Could possibly be his health, but I’d suspect Q isn’t too high on him as well.

  42. The Hawks are 15th in High Danger against CF%/60. Which shows that we actually don’t allow that many high danger chances– the defense is average. But Ward’s save percentage is 33th (!!!) of 41 goaltenders in the league. So the abnormality high goals against are mostly his fault, not the defense’s

  43. AA’s skating (lack of acceleration mainly) may not be great, but that didn’t seem to hold back the line when he was centering 72/88. Saad is dead weight right now.

  44. I don’t have a problem with advanced stats and I know they provide value and a lot of people like and swear by them – I’m just not one of them. I’ve enjoyed hockey since long before advanced stats came along and I’m happier not cluttering my feeble brain with all that noise. I’ll just watch the game and see what I see and draw my own conclusions and if advance stats show my conclusions are wrong – I’m OK with that.

  45. Tab AA for Saad was a power play suggestion not 5 on 5. No i don’t want that.
    Sven despite their record the Blackhawks have not played with the lead much and rarely if at all in the 3rd. That probably makes the numbers you cherry picked look the way they do. Wait awhile until they are leading in 3rd a bit and look at it.
    Ward has been inconsistent but the team is obviously playing better in front of him offensively, than we saw last year. The defense nor forwards either have offered him much support when play is in their end.

  46. Nylander would look great on the Hawks right now but I don’t know that we have the chips to get that done. TOR really needs top 4 Dman but so do we. We can’t afford to give up Joker.

    But Saad and an assortment of Rockford dmen would be fine by me. But I also could never see that happening. It’s not nearly enough.

  47. The Four Horsemen are not going anywhere.

    What Ian said about Dunks could be very important for those guys.

  48. @IAN I’m not cherry picking the numbers. I know stats don’t tell the whole story, but eye test can be misleading too. Because we don’t watch all other teams’ games, we don’t see how many defensive mistakes they make. We only pay attention to our defensive mistakes and don’t realize that they aren’t any worse than most other teams’. The advanced stats clearly show that the Hawks’ defense is around the league’s average. We suppress shots well enough and don’t allow more high danger chances than the league’s average.
    And yet we allow significantly disproportionate amount of goals. That’s on the goaltender, not the defensive effort of the team. Ward doesn’t make a save when a semi-decent goaltender in his stead would have. Even with merely average goaltending, we would have won this game.

  49. Regarding our lack of a defensive system ,.,.,.who ,if anyone is working with our d core on defensive systems ? Who owns that ? Rutta ,Manning and Gus , and a few more look totally freeking lost in their own end when under pressure .Who i ask is responsible for the coaching of defensive systems ? Ward does not stand a chance . Any goalie in the league would be hung out to dry ,.,..,sad .
    At times they look like squirts playing chase the puck ,or where`s the puck .
    What the fuck do they work on all day at practice ?????? Does my hair look good ,how`s your old lady , mine`s driving me nuts ,yours ? Who`s Q putting in the dog house today,.,.,whew glad it`s not me !!!!!

  50. Sven it’s way too small of sample to make that kind of observation, look at it later in season and see what it’s saying.

  51. Pretty sure Hawk talk is driving his old lady nuts. Slowly back away from the ledge. That was an entertaining game they lost in overtime. You talk like a game has more meaning than entertainment. Man some of us are wound tighter than a
    girdle on a ministers wife at an all you can eat pancake breakfast.

  52. I would not have signed Ward…at least not for that kind of money nor with a nonmovement clause.

  53. I know someone out there told me that Lehner was no good. I mentioned he was in Buffalo with a bad defense last year. Well a 0.00 goals against and a 100% save percentage against a top 5 team with Leddy leading my defense isn’t bad for half the price.

  54. Any pro scout who has been watching Ward play the last 5-6 years could have told you he is done. But our arogant GM thinks he’s a genius along with Pierre Gauthier at signing free agents. It’s amazing how no none from the media dumps on Bowman, the archetitect of a serious lack of prospects since Smith and Tallon drafted the Stanley Cup core. To stop the bleeding, Ward needs to be put on waivers now. And Kunitz is taking icetime away from a younger player. Mind you, we have no elite, high drafted young left winger in the system, nor a high drafted goalie nor a high drafted right winger, nor a high drafted 3rd line centre. Anyway, Keith, Seabrook and the rest need to stay, they deserve it. Bowman has let them done. Watching Rutta, Manning, Davidson, Murphy, Franson and Osterle the last two years is embarassing for this organization. $3million on Ward??? We could have used that money along with Manning’s money and Kunitz to sign a real dman or lewft winger.
    I hope SAAD wakes up, I think he can be a solid player but his relationship with Coach Q has gone sour since last year. Trade him for Nylander if he does not want to play here anymore.

  55. You didn’t hear it from me. Maybe Bowman and crew wanted to get a goalie who has % like this, so we would play balls out and get better, during one transition yr, contracts for only 1 yr, so we would get another high prospect and get better at the same time.

  56. Hull65 -some people seem to like the rants. But don’t you realize that saying the same thing a million times loses it’s effectiveness? SEE BELOW

    Semantic satiation (also semantic saturation) is a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or phrase to temporarily lose meaning for the listener, who then perceives the speech as repeated meaningless sounds.

  57. Some of the comments here (and their authors) get annoying, at times. I suspect the same can be said about me and my comments, at times. There are different personality types that sometimes grate against each other – it’s the way things are and nothing can be done about it and it’s OK after all because this is just an internet blog. And actually, in one respect, having that juxtaposition of outlook, in this case on the state of the Hawks, is kinda what makes blogs like this work – if this was just one big echo chamber it wouldn’t be nearly as evocative and fun to participate.

    But, really … lighten up Francis. :)

  58. Your right ER-Patience was lacking.

    There was an interesting article about how Kapanen’s emergence has made Leafs think about Nylander in a different light-Nylander has more skill but isn’t as fast as Kapenen or have the edge/grit of him either.
    Can the Leafs afford 4 guys at 40+ million and none of that going to a d-man? (and Kadri has a cap hit of 4.5 as well) And if Kapanen can play top 6 he will need to be paid eventually.
    I can’t see Nylander being a Leaf long term-probably bridge deal or he takes less-say 6.75/7 on a long term– or he’s traded. And he’s losing good money each game.

  59. Sven – You hit it right on the head…average goaltending wins that last game. People have to keep in mind that Ward sucks, but he is an NHL level of suck, while we lived with AHL goaltending much of last year. That was the difference in winning the first two games, which we would have lost in regulation last year with our AHL level goaltending. So while Ward is better than that, he still is really bad.

    Hull65 raises a fair point that I have observed about Bowman for some time. We shy away from the big contract guys, but then when you add up the money he gives to the crappy fringe players to fill out the roster, you have to wonder if there isn’t a much better use of that money. Just about every vet we picked up in the offseason or signed (Rutta) is NHL fringe quality and barely able to outplay a kid. But they draw salaries that are way beyond what they can contribute.

    Today’s NHL is all about the bang for the buck. What kind of production are you getting per salary cap dollar. I have a feeling in about 20 games it will be really obvious that we have spent a lot of salary cap dollars on guys that have no chance of delivering production anywhere near their salary. And I’m not talking about Seabrook either.

  60. Unbelievable start to the year! Sans croyable !
    Team defense is a bust so far.
    I thought Ward would pick up his game – he did not. That display against the Leafs was as bad as can be. He needs more rest in between games – not less.

  61. At least i have an old lady Ernie ,.,.,..,My comments were not specifically about the Maple Leaves v.s. the Hawks game ,.,..,my comments are related to the sad assemblage of n.h.l. has beens and players on the Hawks who should be in the A.h.l.

    Is there such thing as a shut down defensive paring ?/?/ Have not seen that so far this season .

    Oh and by the way ….the next time a guy like Austin Mathews cup`s his ear after scoring a goal in our barn he should end his night being helped off the ice .

  62. Re: Matthews cupping of his ear – that was fun particularly the way the Hawks and Kane especially responded

    If someone had been so thin skinned as to take a run at Matthews so that he had to be helped off the ice he certainly would have drawn a penalty and probably a suspension

    the Hawks would have lost the game in regulation (so given up a point) and probably lost a player to suspension

    Not a good strategy for an NHL team IMO

  63. I thought what Matthews did was brash and unnecessary (it just gives others energy) but he was having some fun-and doesn’t need to be carried off for that-
    40 years ago he would have been in trouble, but times do change.

  64. I see Q got our petition for Jokiharju on #1 PP unit – excellent!

    Hopefully it makes an improvement

  65. Seems like it’s been a week since the Toronto game … must still be feeling the after effects of the long hockey-less off season. The 4-day gap between games 3-4 and the 5-day gap between games 5-6 works out pretty well though because if CC can come back on Oct 18th against Arizona, which is the hope, then he misses only the first 5 games of the season. The schedule picks up after that though so even if CC does play on the 18th – we’ll still see a lot of Ward.

  66. New Blackhawks power play units
    1: Jokiharju, DeBrincat, Kane, Schmaltz & Toews
    2: Keith, Gustafsson, Kahun, Saad & Anisimov

    Joki on PP#1 – YES! (which is to say Keith off PP#1 – YES!)

  67. Matthews should do that, when he scores a cheap crap goal.
    If he sored a good goal, where he play hard and worked and earn the goal, then ok.

    For players deserving to helped off the ice, that should be for every guy who hits and of our players in the head.

  68. EB they put Debrincat in center on 1st pp unit and Keith in center on 2nd also. Like Jokiharju on 1st unit, will see if it helps ir just more definition of insanity.

    Bobby Orr said he couldn’t make it today if he had to play systems or a certain way, his game was to adlib. I wonder if more freedom for Toews and Kane to do their own thing and adlib on pp instead of telegraphed drop passes etc., maybe less coaching instead of more would help.

  69. I am all for standing up for teammates when liberties taken on them and calling opposition out, as didn’t happen to Malkin. In Matthews instance though the proper was response was what Kane did.

  70. If the Haeks PP continues to have trouble possessing the puck on zone entries (or failing to enter the zone) I would like to see the puck carrier just fire it on net from outside the blue line. Try to get control off the faceoff. It is unconventional but this has to be one of the worst zone entry teams in the league.

    In the meantime at least. This coaching staff has a lot of tape to watch and employ.

  71. Hows the power play coming along.
    Yeaa, were working on it.

    You shouldn’t have to have one of the top teams in 100 yrs, 2009 and 2010, to score/be top5-10 in league pp%.
    You would think its, not, rocket science.
    Theres only one explanation of it. Its an X file.

    Really should just do something so out of the ordinary instead of everything weve tried since 2011.

  72. Yep, gaining the zone is a major problem for our PP. They got the best guys on the team to do it on that first PP unit though. Well, first of all, winning the draw would help to start in the zone. They really need to work a variation or two off that drop pass play. Too often the guys are standing flat footed waiting to Kane to cross into the zone and are of little help to get give Kane a spot for a pass. So all that stuff remains the same but at least Joki replaces Keith on the point and DCat is Kane’s one-timer option.

  73. Joe Haggerty has the Hawks 2nd in his power rankings. Seems a bit premature to be that bullish.

    Someone else had them at 9 while another had them at 22.

    Jury is still out, but they’ve scored the most goals so far. Conversely the goals allowed is as bad as the goals for is good.

  74. Hereismike is bang on in his comments about Bowman, he is repeating the truth Noonan about the GM’s lack of vision.
    Finally, Fortin recalled. Next is Highmore in place of Kunitz. Then Dalhstrom or Carlson in place of Manning.

  75. Joe Haggerty is obviously an idiot. I don’t even think the most devout Morrison would put the Hawks in the top 10. 2nd is just crazy.

  76. That’s that top 5 in GF and GA I was talking about before the season started.

    Obvisuoly that those guys are ranking the teams by how good they’ve done in games played, not the rank of how good the teams actually are.

    I posted the other day, where I think the teams are this yr/at the starting point. During the 82 games teams can move up or down.
    Post from other day,
    is the next post.

    Yes I am bias and I am realistic at the same time.
    I think in a yr/start of 20 season we can be at the top of that 11-22 group of teams and maybe at some point this yr, if-when we get Crow, Murphy and someone else like that to make the D deeper then we have now.
    I also think that once enough of the Four Horsemen are established, and at that point the FWs will have had a yr and a half to gel, were a top 5 team again from there on, for yrs.
    Good day, eh.

  77. posted
    October 8, 2018 at 5:18 am

    Yea, this is just the beginning.
    It may take 2.5 yrs to be a top5 team again.
    We could be there/close the 2nd 40 games next yr., then
    just get better and deeper from there on.
    No matter exactly when we get there, I think were going to get there, and
    be there for awhile.

    To me theres only 3, real top5 teams-same last two yrs/this yr/and maybe next yr.
    Top2- TB and NAS
    Top3- WIN
    Top 6 to 10- STL, WAS, SJ, TOR
    Top 11 to 22- pick em
    Top 23 to 30- there obvious

    I would bet 9 out of 10 people would have voted us in the bottom10 before any games were played/during the summer. Bla bla bla.
    I always had us as a midtier10 team, until we get deeper on D.
    No matter where we actually are now, I think were towards the top of the 11 to 22 range next yr/and maybe there at some point this yr as we get better.

    The one thing that we will have/and some other teams to, is upside/lots and lots, by reloading the right way and taking our hit all at once. Were going to sky rocket when we do.

    This is just the beginning, and its looking pretty fucking good, eh.

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