Blackhawks Season Ends

On Monday night at the United Center, Mike Smith stole a game with a fantastic performance and the Chicago Blackhawks summer began early.

This entry was posted in 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Blackhawks Season Ends

  1. Pete says:

    Tab, if possible can you please move my posting today at 11:19 am under the preceding article to this article since this is where it should be and I don’t want to have to retype it. If you can’t I ask people to review my posting under the prior article as I remain a loyal but very frustrated Hawks fan.

  2. Andrew says:

    Time to make some changes. Can’t wait to see how Bowman handles this offseason. I’d like to think he’s under some pressure since he did a terrible job last summer putting together the complimentary players we need. Let’s hope he wisens up and gets that center and d help. not really sure if he wants to get another goalie unless we can trade crawford or huet… and for the love of god FIRE KITCHEN!

  3. Andrew says:

    All in all an ok season. I had higher expectations than this but this early exit might light a fire under our ass, though i am pretty sure i said the same thing last year after the vancouver series.

  4. mason says:

    Pete,

    Torres got what he deserved. The officials are trying to protect the players and I think it was the right call on Haynes. Penalties tend to even up over the long run. You should stop wearing your tin foil hat. There are no conspiracy theories.

    We have certainly underachieved the last couple of regular seasons. St Louis has been the better team all season. With so many upsets, the playoffs is wide open this year. I am sad we are not there to take advantage of it.

  5. McKay says:

    Thank you Tab, for a great season writing on the Hawks.

    What can you say? Is there anything you would change for the Hawks against PHX? You can’t very well tell them to take more quality shots. Or try harder. That Phoenix team beat us in a very unorthodox way.

    I’m over dissecting the Hawks this year. It’s been a crazy final, what, 30 games? They’re a tough team and I’m proud of them.

    I can’t wait for next year. As hard as it is for a Cubs fan to say that, I actually believe it with this team. Rookies Shaw, Leddy, and Krugs had good seasons and there is no reason to believe that they won’t get better next year. We’re still in our prime and I think this PHX series was just a really bad draw for us. I’m already looking forward to next October.

    BTW, for everyone asking for Q to be fired… that line jumbling tonight was brilliant. Those first 40 minutes were relentless. It’s not on Q that the puck doesn’t go in. He gave us the best chance to win tonight. Now PP, that’s another story… someone needs to get that under control (if that’s Q, then fine). But I digress… I’m done with this season. Go Hawks.

  6. Pete says:

    Mason, I admit I am angry about the Torres thing because Phoenix benefitted in a huge way from that whole situation. So in that situation crime did pay. I went on the Toronto Sun website yesterday and they talked about the no call on the ice after the Torres hit. All 4 official were interviewed by the League and they said they wish they could go back in time etc and change what they did. Well in the end it was a no call and we lost one of our best players in exchange for a thug sitting out. IMO that situation takes away from Phoenix winning the series. Its a tainted win IMO.

  7. Dominic says:

    Yes, we should have had the W last night if not for Smith standing on his head. But, even with Smith doing what he did last night, clearly we are missing some key elements that we need to be able to win a playoff series. We mentally fell apart as soon as we let the first goal in. And we looked worse on the power play than we did 5 on 5. Phoenix looked better than us for most of the series, Mike Smith or no. They got out-shot, but they never looked outplayed. We got roughed up by a bigger, tougher, grittier team that wanted it more.

    And I do not blame Crawford, he played as well as an OK number one goalie should. We didn’t hire him to be great – if we wanted to build a team around a goalie we would have kept Niemi instead of Hjalmarsson, even though neither of them have turned out to be all world….

    I guess everyone will say that all our rookies are going to make us great next year or the year after. I hope that is true, but I have my doubts. With the core of young talent we have, I hate the thought that we are still “building”. We should be “built” already with these guys, and just need the right role players to fill in. One thing is for sure, what we have been doing the past couple years is not working.

  8. JS says:

    Andrew it’s been said 1000 times here that he did a terrible job last offseason. What free agent should he have signed? Go look over last summers free agent list and tell us who was out there that would have improved the team. There weren’t good players looking for teams last offseason.

    There will also be a lot of crying about why he didn’t trade for Vermette. People are assuming he didn’t make an offer, but no matter the offer Vermette is due a lot of money for the next 3 seasons. If Bowman thinks he has a more talented 2C coming up in the farm system that will be ready to play next year, he did a good job by not trading.

  9. Dominic says:

    Hey JS, is that what they mean when they say “bet the farm”? lol.

  10. JS says:

    Betting the farm is more of a Kenny Williams move, but then you run out of farm and have nothing to bet.

    Really though a guy like Vermette is due a lot of money for a lot of years. If you have someone in your organization you can bring up next year that you have control over for low cost, it is better than tying up additional salary.

  11. Harry says:

    The Hawks need to take a long hard look not only at getting a center for the second line.
    But overall look at what they did this season and how it turned out. One of the highest goals against average in the NHL. One of the worst PP’s in the NHL. Not one shutout this season. Too many losing streaks. Goal tending which is second best at the least. A defense that needs help. Patrick Kane was hired to score goals, not set up plays continually. Bring John Torcetti back. And for gosh sakes lets play 60 minutes every game, not only once in a while. This is the NHL, the big show, play like it and mean it! To take a line from Savy, “Commit to the Indian or get out.”

  12. Pete says:

    Phoenix is broke, has no owner, a limited fan base and they can afford Vermette and we can’t? I understand the whole salary cap thing, but lets just make sure that the Hawks are committed to a plan that uses the full cap at some point. I can live with a longer term plan that unfolds over several years but lets just hope that happens. Ticket prices keep going up so they are asking the fans to go “all in” and the fans should expect the Hawks to go “all in” as well.

  13. Dominic says:

    Pete I agree totally. We lose to a bankrupt team that can’t sellout, while our ticket prices are going up 8% next year and we have a season ticket holder waiting list of 10,000. There is an irony there. 8% is a lot. Most of the country hasn’t seen a raise since 2008. If they want fans to continue to reach into their pockets, then they need to use the cap space, I don’t care how barren the free agent landscape is….

  14. JS says:

    Supply and demand. If you don’t want to pay for the tickets, someone will.

    And I’m all for maxing out the salary cap, but you need to do it intelligently and having room to make a move before the deadline is also a positive.

  15. Dominic says:

    Well I can only speak for myself. My season tickets are starting to really pinch into my checkbook and my Stanley Cup memories are fading…. I would like those memories to be renewed before too many more ticket price raises.

  16. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    2 years removed after hoisting the cup, 2 1st round exits are unacceptable. Anyone that has watched the playoffs besides the Hawk games has seen the teams advancing in the west are physical teams. StL, Nash, La, and now Phx. The puck possesion teams Det, Chi, Van and to a lesser extent the Sharks have all been eliminated. I think its high time Stanley address the bottom six players. I’d like to see another physical defenseman added, a top six power forward added and the sorely need 2nd line center addressed. Im good with Kruger as a 4th line center. I like Shaw and Hayes. I also like Olsen but he is not ready from primetime yet. I’m wondering if Mark McNeil is ready for the big show.

  17. JS says:

    How do you guys feel about Gillis’ comments today in reguard to the teams left in the NHL playoffs? Basically about teams currently winning in the playoffs, “retreat from what kind of play we’ve created over last 3 years makes no sense to me.”

    I can’t help but agree with it. I understand the team aspect of the game, but the teams that play a style of hockey that is enjoyable to watch, are going booking tee times while Phoenix continues to play a style of game that makes you understand why no one watches hockey.

  18. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I can’t believe Morrison, and Bruno was skating on the top line!

  19. AJ says:

    This absolutely positively not the ref’s fault. They take their chances in that game last night and they win handily and probably break the Yotes back.

    Unlike most sports, being consistently excellent in the NHL with the salary cap structure is neigh impossible. See Detroit as really the only team that has won a Cup and had post lockout “success” just about every year. Conversely, Ottawa was picked to finish last and is now giving one of the “favorites” a run for their money. There is no clear cut dominating team in the NHL, anyone can beat anyone and anyone who says different is not familiar with the sport.

    Next year, if they go young they will probably be a playoff team but more than likely ride the struggle bus at times and may not go deep again. Realistically, with what they have today, probably 2 years out.

    None of those kids are ready. May have physical tools but not top tier impact types so please don’t get your hopes up.

  20. Pete says:

    JS, I have a couple thoughts on that. 1) Could big athletic goalies change the balance between offense and defense? Toews spoke after the game that Smith stops everything he sees and then when he doesn’t see it he is still so big the odds are he will block it anyway. Peka Rinne is a big guy. I don’t know enough about hockey to answer my own question and whether a change is occuring in the game. 2) The League did not handle the Torres thing fairly(IMO) from the Hawks perspective. Phoenix was a beneficiary from that illegal play with Hossa going down and Torres staying in game 3. The Hawks didn’t catch any breaks from the officials even after that. So I think that taints the Phoenix victory. The four officials on the ice knew Torres was a headhunter and that he was charging all over the place. They should have had a special eye on him. That was inexcusable and it hurt the hawks BIG TIME. Maybe when someone is hurt like that the refs should be able to look at the replay during the game and call a penalty. The fact that Torres stayed in that game skating around while Hossa was taken off on a stretcher is absolutely outrageous.

  21. JS says:

    I have a big issue with big goaltenders, but there isn’t anyway they can prevent it. If a 6’5″ guy is that athletic, all the power to him. They are much harder to score on, even if they are out of position.

    Even if the Hawks got a 5 minute power play from the Torres hit, do you think they would have scored? They were winning for a big part of that game, just couldn’t tack on to the lead.

  22. Pete says:

    Its all speculation but I think we win the game if Torres is thrown out and we had a 5 minute PP. Its a game we should have won anyway and I recall that after the hit Phoenix actually went on the PP because of Bolig getting penalized for going after Torres. So Torres really did a number on us and the refs let him get away with it. Also, Phoenix would have been a man down for the rest of the game with Torres out. The whole thing just angers me quite a bit.

  23. Cord says:

    Anyone know why Kane got tossed?

    I hope he told the refs to get fucked.

  24. Logan Reilly says:

    No real shock. I said special teams would be the end of Chicago and it was.

    First task is to fire Mike Kitchen. He did his job in Epic Fail fashion. If I did my job as successful as he did, I’d be fired immediately. Coaches get canned sometimes unfairly, there’s no reason to not keep him.

    Second task…upgrade the defense. Cut the cord on Hjalmarsson. He is what he is and its clearly not good enough. Trade him and go get Ryan Suter.

    Third task…trade for the damn second line center. I don’t want anymore talk of this. Do it already!

    Finally, all the puck possession teams got knocked out because they’re all weaker. Chicago, Vancouver and San Jose only have two scoring lines. Previous years they had more firepower. The scoring is starting to blossom again in Chicago with Saad and Shaw in the near future so the Hawks stay the course.

  25. Dominic says:

    We got beat by the better team. It wasn’t the refs, it wasn’t Torres. Phoenix owned us fair and square. Keep in mind, we needed a last minute goal just to force overtime in our first win, and a third period goal just to tie in our second win. This could easily have been a 4 game sweep.

    In playoff hockey, grit and determination beat everything else. Over the past 25 years, more President’s Trophy winners have bowed out in the first round than have won the cup. This is because, in hockey, unlike any other N. American sport besides maybe college basketball, the regular season truly doesn’t matter. The playoff game is totally different.

    We don’t have any depth, no “character” guys who up their game in the playoffs. 2 guys averaged 30 mins/game. Another 5 averaged 20+ minutes, 6 if you count Bolland’s 19:30 which might as well be 20 mins. So we are basically rolling two lines. Those two lines must be exhausted. We never could have won the 16 games it takes to win a cup like that. PHX had no one over 30 minutes, but conversely had 17 guys who averaged 15 mins or more per game – we had only 12.

    So we can’t roll 4 lines. We live or die with our stars. And the stars couldn’t do it. Hossa went down. Sharp, Keith and Hammer were MIA. JT and Kaner played well but not up to the superstar level we have learned to expect from them. Keep in mind, Crawford had a better GAA than Niemi in 2010, so all of you who want to blame Crawford I do not think this is correct.

    We need at least 3 legit lines, with a fourth line that can log double digit minutes, and we do not have that. Phoenix does. This is playoffs. It’s a long physical haul. Depth counts. And we don’t have it. That is why we lost.

  26. Ken van coutren says:

    Q should have been fined $10,000 for dressing Bollig. He got stomped by biz nasty. Q doesnt look well , Chicago does that to people. See ; Jamal Mayers went from a tough player who gave 100% to a whiny version of Avery. As for Crawford he will never be a top goalie , I havent seen a hole that big between someones legs since Paris Hiltons video came out.

  27. Steve says:

    @JS

    I have said many times to the stupid question of “well who would you have wanted signed since no player in existence could have helped us or any team out there”.

    I could list many. How about no Folick and Brunette and instead sign Ryder. He was a winner and a top 6 F. He scores even for an avg dallas team. HE would have been perfect.

    Look Bowman SUCKS real bad. There is no doubt about that. He made A LOT of big bad calls in year one post Cup and then in year #2 it got worse but with less magnitude. It is shocking that he thinks, like Foley alluded to in the broadcast with some doubt, that this group “was enough to win with”. Like Foley said, “opinions will differ on that”.

    Great comment on Vermette.

    Tallon in 2 years gets FLORIDA, hotbed of hockey, close to winning a round. In 2 years Jr. has moved us backwards. The only thing helping is #7 and #19 are still improving. I would think 88 is still getting better as well. So there is some improvement on the team, but he is not helping.

    Anyway, i saw the throw the hands up in the air asking who would you sign.
    Od = no
    MOrrison = no
    Brunette = $#%$ no

    Anyway, lot of guys over the summer would have been better. bad luck his best signing, Carcillo, was injured. He would have been perfect. He would have replaced some grit we lost and added some skill, perfect for this series. Giving 2 games away was too much for this group. Crawford has to save those 2 in games 3-4. Wait, that was a Jr. decision as well over niemi. oops.

  28. Ryan says:

    For thos that are saying the refs didn’t cost us let me ask you this. Did you like the Interference call on Toews in the 2nd period last night? I thought it was a terrible call and monumentally swung the game for the Yotes. Toews was just trying to hold up at the blue to avoid offsides and the D man ran into him. Offsides was whistled on the play as well as the penalty to Toews.

  29. JS says:

    @Steve

    I think you are too quickly trying to judge what Bowman has done without trying to see what he has planned out. He had to make HUGE roster changes because the mess that Tallon made. Yes, Tallon is doing wonderful things with Florida right now, but it’s still a team that backed their way into the playoffs with loser points, and it’s still really early in his regime.

    Bowman made a bunch of one year deals on forwards for a reason. He wants his young controlled players to be on the team when they are ready. The Hawks core is still extremely young, they should only get better with each passing year, you keep filling that in with cheap, quality players, you’re set for decades (see: Detroit Redwings).

    It’s easy to say that Ryder would be a great signing, but he also had a career year. 7 million for his numbers over the previous 5 years? Ehhh…. I would call it an overpay. Especially when you think you have a kid come up next year and put up better than his career numbers.

    And really you think Niemi is a much better goalie than Crawford? Like worth twice the salary?

    And Bowman may have said he thinks the group is enough to win with, but that doesn’t mean he means it. He can’t publicly say that it’s going to be another year or two until his plan comes to fruition.

  30. pete says:

    Ryan great point about the call on Toews that lead to the first goal. BAD CALL again. You would think after 4 refs in game 3 blew a blatantly obvious call that they would give us some breaks. No nothing. Instead we still get the short end of the stick again on a bunch of calls. Horrendous.

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