There has been a lot of talk about D, D pairings, turnovers and goaltending lately but there is one thing in particular that has bothered me for more than 2 months now.
Toews and Hossa need to be on the same line. They are pure magic together. Pencil them in on the top line right now for the rest of year Q. We have to play to our strengths at this point and it doesn’t stronger on this team than Toews and Hossa together. (I don’t think it matters who is on the other wing. It could rotate as the coaches see fit and has on the rare occasion that we have seen the pair this yr.)
Q puzzled me tonight. Turnovers have been a big prob all year why pick tonight to bench a guy? He should have made a point like that when our guys lead the League in points. The season is almost over and we need every freaking point possible. Then Bickell goes to the box and he still felt the need to “prove” his point? With a 6 game losing streak that wasn’t the time for a tallest little person contest to break out on the bench.
I know everyone, Coaches Players Fans, are frustrated right now. Leaders need to provide leadership. There was an EDGE to this team for a stretch in 2nd period. It is time for the guys to go to work. Forget all the BS, get your nose dirty and play hockey some freaking hockey.
Dangit. I forgot to add that Kruger came alive after Q changed the lines moving Hossa to the top line.
Another stellar job of coaching — especially special teams . Q stinks !!!
Crawford looked liked a deer in headlights on most shots tonight . He gave up 5 goals on 27 shots . He has to be one of the worst goalies in the NHL .
This team will NOT make the playoffs . They are finished . I hope they lose the remaining 4 games on the trip . Maybe then something will be done . kane looks so lost ! He is as useful as a screen door in a submarine .
TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE !!!!
Wow. I just love the optimism.
Dave – You have no idea how Ironic it is that you mentioned Optimism. I don’t know you from Adam, yet I was thinking about putting something in my original post about Optimism vs Pessimism. I didn’t because I thought it would be to long so I focused just on the team.
The following is Dave’s fault so blame him if it is too Dr. Phil or something :)
We’ve all heard the question. Is the glass half empty or half full? This is supposed to give insight to the individual that lets them a little bit about how they view situations. I contend that these are more valid responses than just Half Empty or Half Full and what those reponses mean.
Is the glass Half Empty or Half Full?
Optimist Answers – Half Full
Pessimist Answers – Half Empty
The Engineer / Problem Solver / Accountants, etc Answers – The Glass is either: Twice as big as it needs to be, OR Not filled with enough liquid. Either way there is a problem that needs solving.
Realist Answers – The glass is 100% full of some combination of liquid and gas.
Anyway I always like to have fun with that. I believe that this can apply to the Blackhawks. Coaches, players and fans (myself included) need to take a step back and make sure we are taking in the whole picture when we break down the team.
Tab, this year’s team isn’t as good as last year’s… naa-naa-na-naa-naa!
Kane if you had half the desire or attitude of Kruger you might be good!
Can someone tell Clark Kent (Kane) to where his Superman cape under his Jersey and stop to playing like a girl!
Good news is… we soon might have a top-12 pick in the draft next year.
Projecting the rest of the season right now is as hard as projecting the stock market with all the variables
Can anyone who watched the game say whether Olsen, apart from tipping in a Sharks goal, looked ready to play at this level?
Now that the hockey season is in the stretch run, teams have to deal with injuries, difficult road trips and the malaise of a long season. This is when a TEAM has to come together and played inspired hockey. Talent alone will not get it done.
The Hawks leaders, ie. veterans need to stand up and say enough is enough. This team has a lot of weaknesses, but they should not be playing at their current level. In last night’s game the hawks did play with some edge to their game and got some contributions from the bottom of the roster. Playing the sharks last road trip got them back on a winning streak, so maybe this will be the point that they turn it around. Last years team went on a eight game win streak when it was sorely needed, without that they were out of the playoffs. A similar run will be needed this year.
Comparison to last years team is definitely warranted, on paper they appear to have a better squad then last year, but this team has a similar point total at the same juncture(60 in 2011 vs. 65 this year), and at the end of the day the points are all that matter.
For analysis sake though , the main difference in my opinion are in two areas. Last year Corey Crawford was solid, this year definitely not . As well special teams were better last year, the power play was near the top for most of the season, the PK has been terrible in both seasons. If the hawks can make the needed improvements in these areas I think they can turn it around.
I only watched the first 2 periods because I knew what the outcome would be.
This team is comprised of too many “Mavericks” aka fly-by boys……. Our captain gets mugged by our bench & only O’Donnell & Keith come to his aid????? I give Mayers credit for trying to right the wrong, but it was too little to late…. There is no team toughness, Toews gets hit after the whistle behind the sharks net & nothing……. cream puff kane skates by & LOOKS AWAY….!!!!!
Crawford…. How can an NHL goalie be so slow moving side to side….????
Pat Foley was saying that of the remaining 28 games 21 are against playoff caliber teams…… Doesn’t bode well for us…..
Seems like a lot of our guys can’t wait to play golf this spring………
bye bye crawford
Crawford blows goats.
James M- great question- about Olsen.
IMO- in few games I have seen from him. He has alot of what Hawks are missing.
Positives- Can win most boardbattles- (as strong as Seabrook)
good offensive reads and Pinches in well
Negatives- not quick (might have decent top end speed- but not quick in small space or he is too slow to react mentally)
I would like to see more of him… Our defense is horrible at getting shots thru on goal-
Secondly, our defense is horrible at clearing bodies from in front of the net! 2 things that Olsen might actually be good at! They happen to be weaknesses of both Keith and Leddy- Leddy just simply gets overpowered in front of our net.
175 lb. Kruger is the only guy going to the net on “O”- (besides Shaw, Hayes, and Smith) – not good- of course Hawks reward Hayes by sending him down?????
Same story different day- D- can’t protect the net- O- has no true power forwards.
Toews is definately still hurt- if Hawks can’t aquire to fill voids- I would like to see Toews go to IR- Hawks do some selling- and potentially fall to a top 10 draft spot.
Toews is getting his ass kicked and most Hawks don’t seem to care! And if this continues, he is going to get hurt. It reall is hard to watch– Pat Foley was even getting pissed off last nite!
re: Olsen – he’s as ready for the NHL as Shaw, Hayes, Pirri, Smith or Kruger are at this point. He’s big and actually has a pretty decent mean streak when he gets going… he’s just been playing as conservative as he can in his limited NHL time because he realizes what’s at stake, both for him & the Blackhawks. To wall’s assessment, there is more quickness there than we’ve seen, but he’s clearly feeling out the NHL. He’s played 3 games w/ the Hawks… when he stops thinking about bus fare and plays, we’ll be thrilled. Frankly, I walked away from last night VERY pleased with Olsen’s performance in almost 19 minutes of ice time. And the goal he put in was a really good effort to make the right play that miraculously hit his stick shaft and went in; they could try that a hundred more times and never accomplish it again. It’s hard to hold that against the kid.
Troy Murray was spot on during the radio broadcast last night. Everyone on the roster is squeezing the sawdust out of their sticks right now and is scared to death to make a play because, as we saw w/ Olsen’s block attempt, it seems like every effort play they make right now winds up going the other way.
The best cliche/advice in sports is “Don’t Think. Play.” Right now, there are 23 guys in the Indian head that are thinking and not playing.
Wall – thanks, I totally agree. We need an Olsen type, but it’s hard to say yet whether he’s there. Don’t want another Leddy situation, where lack of veteran leadership leads to regression.
This whole debacle is infuriating. I really do think that we simply have too much of the same – skilled but not powerful forwards and dmen. That’s easy to play against – crush them before they can make a play. Get some balance on this team. Trade Kane for Suter, bring back Hayes, let’s see more of Mayers. No more of these gamble deals like Morrison and Monty. Let’s pay for a sure thing. Even if it’s all for next year.
Based on the following-
1.) Tab and I agree on something (Olsen)
2.) Hawks are playing like crap!
3.) Hawks couldn’t beat Coyotes when the Hawks were playing well!
Hawks will win tonite- if not- we are looking at 10 Losses in row- Until we play Bluejackets!!!
I’m neither able or willing to say Leddy has regressed. He’s 20 years old playing huge minutes for a team with Cup aspirations & a fan base expecting perfection. That ain’t easy. In fact, go back & look @ Keith’s #s from his rookie ywhen he was 22… W/out pressure…
Coach Q doesn’t seem to have a good feel on when to play John Scott i.e when the team needs to have a sort of circle the wagons protect each other approach. I realize its 20/20 hindsight, but for instance he played Scott against a very fast and skilled Edmonton team where he was completely useless. Then last night when that punk Vlasic was abusing Toews he wasn’t out there to beat that guy to a pulp. I am sure there is more to these decisions that I am not aware of but thats how I feel.
I did enjoy last nights game though. I thought putting Mayers on the first line to protect Toews sent a message and Bickell finally hit Vlasic. It was definitely going in the right direction there. I would live with Olsen’s growing pains and bring Hayes back up and just run with what we have unless a trade opportunity presents itself. Don’t mortgage the future at the trade deadline for someone on their last legs.
Tab – re: Olsen, thanks – that’s helpful. And that’s a good point about them playing timid because they’re afraid to make a mistake. re: Leddy, yeah, maybe regression isn’t right, perhaps lack of progression.
Sad thing about the draft pick talk. Rummblings are out there that this year could be a very thin draft class. Might be the year when a guy like Jr will make his mark.
Quenneville benched Stalberg for the rest of the game after Stalberg turned the puck over in the 2nd period last night. Yet another reason why this is Quenville’s mess — and why we need a new, better coach in here.
Unfortunately, it probably won’t happen until this joke of a team starts affecting the Hawks bottom line by reduced revenues.
I have a stat that I produce that ranks players according to: ((Points + Plus/Minus + Hits) / Games Played). It shows me who plays a total game which, on this team, is like looking for a Democrat in Mississippi. You have to look hard. Seabrook leads the team in this stat. Stalberg is 9th, three spots behind Hossa and one spot *in front* of Toews who is 10th.
Frolik, Kruger and Brunette are 23rd, 25th and 26th on this list with only Ben Smith and newcomer Morrison below them, yet these guys play shift after shift after shift while this team disappears in the standings. Meanwhile, Q punishes Stalberg, his 5th best scorer (31 points), his fastest skater, one of his biggest forwards (6?3?), and the guy with the 4th most hits on the team (57).
Stupid. Stunningly stupid.
Good bye, Quenville, and good riddance.
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