Caps Crush Blackhawks

Having lost four straight, the Blackhawks went to Washington looking to slow down Alexander Ovechkin and the Capitals.

In an effort to try to find the right recipe for an offensive outburst, coach Joel Quenneville turned on the line blender. He opened the game with lines of:

Ryan Hartman – Jonathan Toews – John Hayden
Brandon Saad – Artem Anisimov – Patrick Kane
Lance Bouma – Nick Schmaltz – Alex DeBrincat
Patrick Sharp – Tommy Wingels – Richard Panik

And in the first period, the Hawks actually outplayed the Caps for a big part of the opening 20 minutes. Without the theoretical benefit of a power play, the Hawks put 16 shots on net in the first period, and controlled the action for ten minutes.

But over a span of 3:28 the Blackhawks were blitzed, during which Anton Forsberg allowed three goals and saw the coach call him to the bench. Nicklas Backstrom scored for the first time in 21 games to open the flurry, followed by a Tom Wilson goal three minutes later. Ovechin scored his 21st of the season 29 seconds after the Wilson goal to push the lead to three.

Forsberg was relieved after 15:22 in the first period, allowing three goals against 10 shots. Jean-Francois Berube made his Blackhawks debut and faced one shot in the remaining time of the first period.

Chicago would get on the board before the end of the period when Bouma put home a rebound for his third of the year.

The Hawks got the first power play of the night when Matt Niskanen went to the box at 5:10 into the second and they… did absolutely nothing with the advantage.

The Hawks got the second power play of the night when Tom Wilson tried to break Gustav Forsling at 10:48 into the second. Chicago… did absolutely nothing with another advantage.

But the Hawks absolutely poured it on in the second period, getting better chances at even strength than when they had a power play (shocking, we know). At the media timeout at 4:48 left in the second, the shots on goal were 21-1 in favor of Chicago since Washington scored their third goal. But the score was still 3-1 in favor of the Caps.

After he got a good, hard hit on Wilson earlier in the period, Bouma and Wilson took a few whacks at each other with every opportunity in the second. With 2:41 left in the middle period, Bouma got caught and wento to the box for the Hawks’ first penalty of the night and – you guessed it – Ovechkin scored. It was up to 4-1 Capitals.

Eight whole seconds after the Ovechkin goal, Hartman hit Dmitry Orlov in the mouth with a follow-through and appeared to knock a chunk of Orlov’s tooth out. He picked up a double-minor on the play.

Thankfully, Ovechkin was sent to the box 20 seconds into the first penalty on Hartman – and with exactly 60 seconds left in the period – and the teams skated out the final minute 4-on-4.

The Blackhawks out-shot the Capitals 15-6 in the second period and were outscored 1-0. Braden Holtby was superb.

Evgeny Kuznetsov added another goal to the Washington side of the scoreboard at 10:23 into the third. Chicago got a third power play two minutes later when Brooks Orpik hooked Panik. And the Blackhawks… did… nothing… with… it.

With less than five minutes left in regulation, Ovechkin – who had four points in the game – was hit knee-to-knee by Hartman immediately following the end of the Orpik penalty. Wilson didn’t like the play and took a shot at Hartman. Both went off for two minutes for their respective stupidity.

During the 4-on-4 Toews got a breakaway and scored his eighth of the season to cut the score to 5-2.

Madison Bowey went to the box as the Hartman-Wilson minors ended and the Hawks got a power play in the closing three minutes. But Panik turned the puck over in front of the net and Wilson flipped the puck the length of the ice and into the empty net for a short-handed goal to make it 6-2.

The Blackhawks have now lost five straight and have been outscored in those five games 19-10.

Berube faced 14 shots in relief of Forsberg, stopping 12.

Toews won 17 of 25 faceoffs in addition to his goal.

Duncan Keith led the Blackhawks with seven shots on net; he was minus-four and a turnover directly led to Washington’s first goal.

Panik put two shots on net for the night’s moral victory.

Tom Wilson had a four-point night.

The Blackhawks looked good for ten minutes to start the game. They put pressure on in the second period. But their defensive lapses, bad passing and mediocre special teams led to another blowout loss.

Line changes are improving anything; rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic isn’t solving anything. It looks more and more every night like personnel changes are necessary.

52 thoughts on “Caps Crush Blackhawks

  1. That Keith turnover was bad. IMHO he’s been average to below average this year. As Tab said, the Blackhawks looked good at times but the lapses just killed them.

    Shots are one thing, and give Holtby some credit, but there wasn’t much action in front of the net for the most part. Those wind up shots from the perimeter right in the midsection of a good goalie aren’t going to cut it.

    Things look pretty bleak. However, I still have hope that this squad will pull it together to at least make things a bit interesting. I’m shaking my head like everyone else, but I don’t think this team is a non-playoff team talent wise – no way! They just have to clean it up. Easier said than done but they have to do it and I think they can do it.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  2. Keith was terrible, but we are all witnessing why Franson was on a PTO. His sole “strength” is the power play and the Hawks’ PP is currently laughable at best. His D zone play makes Rundblad past play Norris trophy worthy.

    I still have faith the Hawks will change their ways, but only by making some personnel changes as Tab stated and I have previously set forth.

    We ‘ll see how this all plays out.

  3. I concure with a few comments from a few weeks back….. I think they want the coach gone ! I may stop watching them for a while . Too sad !

  4. Okay, observations. Yes, the hawks had a lot of shots on goal. Mostly from the point or easy to see and stop. No traffic in front for a majority of those shots. It’s a false flag. The powerplay? Same shit…different day. I commented on the page that the line scramble was unnecessary. It screams of panic. Debrincat to the top line and sit Panik in the pressbox. That, to me, is an easy one. The 3rd line needs another player, maybe from Rockford, to step in. The 4th line, as has been the case all year, has been the best line and most consistent. Great for the playoffs when you want to roll 4 lines. Bad, if it’s the only line that is consistent. Right now…it is.
    Defensively, yes, Keith was a -4 and he had that turnover. He sees Q’s panic and I think he tried to do too much. On the good side, Murphy & Seabrook seem to click well together. That’s a good thing. We know that Rutta & Forsling are solid. Keith & Franson had a rough night. But, they’re still a good pairing.
    Panik is done. I’ve been thinking about who, in Rockford, would be a good call up? I’d call up Highmore. He has more PP goals and a better shooting%. Put him on that 3rd line and keep it rolling.
    Will SB make any deals? I don’t see any blockbusters. Maybe a package deal to get a minor league center with a strong FO%. I don’t normally take shots at SB, but how nice would it be to have Phillip Danault? He’d be a damn site better at 3rd line Center with that FO% of 53.17. If I could have one trade back, that would be it. That’s it. That’s what I saw tonight and my opinions, in general. Another tough night in a tough season.

  5. I watched the game and it’s hard to fathom they had 40 shots on net, because it seemed like two or three good chances only.

    Schmaltz was flying and 12 can play. Bouma works hard. A couple of positives.
    Kane is either disinterested, depressed or pissed off.
    (Has Saad been abducted by aliens?)
    Watched this with a Cap’s fan (his son is the goalie coach for the Caps) and left embarrassed. The line blender thing is painful.

    Is there a 5th line for Sharp?

  6. I’m not a Milbury fan, but he said it – Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook…and add Saad – they SUCK (- I’m paraphrasing), and “that’s a problem”. I don’t have a solution — I hope Q and Bowman find one.

    Panik also SUCKS, but the expectations should not have been as high – he’s not “a leader”. Sharp – really, nobody expected very much, and he’s delivered on that. I believe blame shouldn’t be placed on the “new guys”. Also, I concede the schedule is part of it, but c’mon…it goes much deeper than that.

  7. Our Gm is at fault for this season’s obvious decline. Watching the HAWKS win cups with speed and skill is what made this team hungry every year. Thus, when Bowman signed players like Bouma, Wingels, Franson, and Tootoo, it seemed like an odd and desperate move. Overreacting after the loss to NASHVILLE in the playoffs was his first mistake. Firing the coach’s best friend was his second. The 3rd mistake was not admitting to his own errors in trades and draft picks the last 5 years. In fact, he should have stepped down or been fired. Rick Dudley and Dale Tallon, the real builders of this 3 cup dynasty should have been brought back. Added to this is the incredible stubbornness displayed by Q with young players. Why Hinostroza, Jurco and others are not up with the Hawks is puzzling to say the least. I am tired of going to the UC to watch slow footed players like WINGELS, BOUMA, FRANSON and MURPHY. We got rid of speed with players like Teuvo, Leddy, Danault, and Panarin. Why? The cap issue excuse is a Bowman smoke screen that takes Hawks fans for granted.

    I feel for Kane, Keith, Seabrook, Toews, Sharp and Crawford.

  8. Mikita21 – “Bowman signed players like Bouma, Wingels, Franson” — NOT! Bouma and Wingels (and Hayden) have for the MOST part played exactly like “4th line” players should.

    “Overreacting after the loss to NASHVILLE…” — NOT! That sweep DEMANDED a LARGE response. It was beyond embarrassing. (TOO BAD all the no movement/no trade clauses handcuffed Bowman – maybe he could have done more?)

    “Firing the coach’s best friend…” — who was responsible for the PK = he probably should have been fired 2 months into the season. Sorry Q, a “drinking buddy” “best friend” is BULLSHIT compared to actual qualifications.

    “Rick Dudley and Dale Tallon, the real builders of this 3 cup dynasty” – really? The picks that allowed Toews and Kane to be drafted could have fallen into anyone’s lap. Thankfully, Tallon didn’t blow it.

    “incredible stubbornness displayed by Q with young players” — uh, yes and no. For example, this year Forsling and Rutta have been given every opportunity, and have been the Hawks #1 pair. We all know about Kempny, et al, – the other side of that…

    “Why Hinostroza, Jurco and others are not up with the Hawks is puzzling” — I really don’t know, but it may be that they really are not better than the players here? And, yes, I can see that maybe Hinostroza probably could not possibly contribute less than Sharp…

    “The cap issue excuse is a Bowman…” — NO. The cap is absolutely real. All GMs have to deal with it…and S.B. has, fairly well. To me, the NMC/NTC contracts that Bowman agreed to are insanity. But, he’s the GM…

  9. Sorry but I disagree Dickie Dunn. Defending Bowman is your opinion but you have not examined the facts closely.
    Where is POKKA? Where is Johns? Where is Teuvo? Where is Shaw? Who did we get for Danault and why did we trade him that year in March when the team was doing well? Forlsing and Rutta…5-6 dmen at best? Answer this question: who has Bowman drafted as a top 4 dman since the Hammer who was drafted by Tallon? I see no one in our lineup? Since he drafted Saad, has he drafted a left winger who shoots left? What about a right winger since Kane? The answer my friend is no.
    When was the last time he drafted a goalie of the future? Never….oh yes, he drafted a Belguim goalie-that’s laughable to say the least. Getting rid of players because of salary cap every year unlike any other team in the NHL and getting nothing in return seems suspicious to me and frankly, irresponsible. But that is what we have, an accountant hired by a company given the task of downsizing without getting anything in return. I like little number 12 but he is no Panarin and cannot cut it against the top teams. If you are excited by Bouma, Wingels, and Hayden, then you need to start your own AHL team. FROLIC, BOLLAND, BROUWER, MADDEN, SHAW, KRUGER, EAGER, all past 4th line players on CUP teams. Vinny, Jurco, Kempf should be on NHL roster ahead of that deadwood. Again, I will head back to the UC when the current 4th line is sent down or put on waivers. EXHIBIT A; FROLIC OR BROUWER, GOAL SCORES could move up in the top 6 during a dry spell not so with Wingels or Bouma.
    Every team has cap issues just like the HAWKS…Pens, Kings, Capitals, etc…. why Bowman acts like he is the only one seriously affected by it is Bullsh……T….
    I feel the fans need the identity back which is speed and skill. And if you still think this scouting team is NHL calibre, let’s look at the last 3 years incuding the next one, how many Hawk draft picks represent the power houses in Junior hockey;
    Canada, Russia, Sweden, USA, and Finalnd….in that order especially our copusins north of the border.

  10. I can’t fault the effort through much of the that game. That terrible softy 2nd Caps goal by Wilson really hurt, yet the Hawks managed to get a nice Bouma goal to bring it within 2. They were still well into the game and played a spirited 2nd period, but could not put one past Holtby who had a decent game. Hawks though with many shots played “hit the goalie” making the Hawks shot total look a bit inflated. Quality scoring chances were not that frequent. This agonizing scoring drought continues. It’s pretty tough for any team to come back from a 3 goal deficit.

    While I don’t have any stats in front of me to back this up, to my memory the Hawks PP has suffered for years it seems. They have had some streaks where they get some production, but there seems to be more floundering than precision. Puck movement has been slow, passing inaccurate and around the perimeter. Not enough shot attempts and when they finally decide to shoot there is seldom anyone in front of the net to provide a screen or be there to pop in a rebound. No fly by tip in attempts. Most other teams get some of this done. Caps didn’t fool around. Bing, bang and it’s in the net.

    I found it laughable last night to hear Milbury and Pierre blame Forsling for getting slashed and then boarded by Wilson in the 2nd period. All in one play. Ridiculous! Wilson should have got 2 minors for those infractions. Hawks made Wilson look like a 1st line All Star last night. Brutal to watch.

    When it rains it pours, and right now this team is soaked. Three upcoming games in a row at the UC against so called “lesser” opponents better be W’s or the ship is going to start taking water with plenty of finger pointing to be counted on. Hopefully these are lows of the season right here right now.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  11. The cynic in me would say that our top 4 paid players- representing about half the teams salary- are saving themselves for the second half of the season! The intellect would suggest that having played the equivalent of 7 seasons worth of games, in 6 years, to win 3 cups (and command huge salaries as a result!) has the core burnt out! The pragmatist in me says this is what SB gave coach “Q” to work with – and somewhere beteeen Rockford and Chicago is the answer going forward?! Now I’m really glad we can’t get these games in Canada?

  12. Forty shots one goal, but maybe five tough ones. And two of those went in. The next three games are against weak teams, and all at home. The Hawks have to win all three.

  13. does the puck stop with bowman or does it go to the savior rocky w. the salary cap was demanded by the owners they got it. bowman was hired because his last name is bowman, he should be fired on his nmc ntc alone

  14. April 2017…..
    “Bowman said he was “frustrated and angry” at the team’s first-round playoff sweep at the hand of the Predators and pledged to make the necessary changes in an attempt to avoid such a “complete failure” next season.

    Bowman, speaking at the Hawks’ end-of-season news conference at the United Center, would only guarantee that coach Joel Quenneville would be back. Beyond that, a somber Bowman said he would not rule making sweeping changes to the roster if that is what an internal review of the season concludes.‘…..The buck stops at STAN!!

  15. Wingels and Bouma blaming isn’t smart. As DD and others have said they do their part well–Bouma showed he cared last night and got to play with the big boys.

    Having said that, I too am tired of seeing the same old thing over and over not working—-e.g. see power play.
    (I’ve said my piece on still playing Sharp-with so much tied up in the other salaries you need to be smart with your top 9 and him playing isn’t. But it’s true the core 40/45 million need to win more games)
    Please be OK Crow!

    Bottom line–Changes are coming one way or another-better results or personnel changes in players, coaches and/or management.

    This site could get interesting if the wolves start to circle. It’s been interesting at the best of times—

  16. I’ll admit I watched very little of this game. The Hawks are playing themselves into sellers at the deadline. This team for 1 reason or another is not winning. To see Keith starting to play badly is alarming. I’ll be curious to see what SB does as the season continues, does he let this core play it out? Will you foolishly try to add a player to the core? Does he trade a tradeable player? Does he shake up the staff? Sadly, as losses pile up more of these options are suddenly on the table.

  17. My opinion is Keith has regressed slightly, but the larger factor is look at his D-man pairing, particularly last ten games or so w/ Franson. Give me a break. It’s human nature when you are working with someone that is not as competent, and the incompetent person/employee (Franson) is not performing well, it follows that the competent employee (Keith) regresses as well — while working within a team setting. This leads to bad results for the given business/company.

    Speaking of the D-men, Rutta has been no great shakes as well lately, the eye test, stats and the Hawks’ record correspond. Perhaps he has hit a bit of a wall. Meanwhile, Kempny relaxes in the press box….

  18. A lot of this last night can be summed up by pointing out that Keith was minus 4. His game needs to evolve to a smarter game. He can no longer rely on uncanny skill to make up for strategic errors the way he used to. Without the former Keith and the former Toews, this probably isn’t a Cup contender. We knew this day was coming, but hoped it would be further in the future. Of course, you could probably figure out that playing Keith 26 minutes per night would shorten his career. The brutal second goal was probably dis-spiriting, but former teams would have found a way to overcome it. The PP definitely is a morale breaker. The Toews goal was kind of a gift because of Ovechkin fanning. The only hard earned goal was because of ADB’s nifty stick-handling and nice pass to Murphy, who put it on net for Bouma to clean up. This is getting rugged.

  19. DD your right it is the sch and not only the sch. We were playing good 4-0-1 in the first 5 of these 10 (7of10 agasint top 10 teams) Then we outplayed NAS and dint get win or tie. Those 3 DAL DAL LA were dead even and we deserved at least 3 ties only got 2 ties and then that WAS score (which I thought before the LA and WAS games a score like that might happen being at the end of that 5in7 days).

    So we did really good/played good until that 5 in 7 days creeped up on us. Lets not forget that and right before the 5in7 we had like 2 games in 9 days? That throws your off as well.

    There is something wrong with something. Not going to point at 1 or 2 guys say theres a bunch of/group of guys that need to play and play as good as they really are. I believe those guys will once were playing a normal sch. just like they did when we went 4-0-1. Still though theres a missing ingredient it seems.

  20. Phil good post ups and downs. We had the initial 10/15-20 to get up to speed and settle in. Then we played good starting with that 2nd game against NAS (another game we outplayed the other team and didnt get win or tie) that was the start of the up. We played good and outplayed 4 teams and were 2-2. Thats wrong we deserved better then that record.

    Since that 2nd game against NAS we have been playing good until this 5in7 days. We were even winning or tieing games after long breaks inbetween games like 4/5/or6 days between games. Until the 5in7 days. Now we have this 2nd 5 games in these 10 we were 0-3-2 and we deserved a better record then that. Like 1-1-3 and were still 4 over. Now when we win 5 in a row it wont get us to 10 over. Thats what sucks.

  21. As long as Crow is out this team will play like a non-playoff team, which it is without it’s number 1 goalie. Crow is a top 5 goalie in the league and we just had a dropoff last offseason from one of the best backup goalies in the league to an unproven AHL guy, likely one of the bottom ten backup goalies in the league. That is a big fall.

    Best thing for the Hawks would be to miss the playoffs and be a seller at the deadline, get some picks / prospects and try and restock the pipeline which is threadbare. This team is going nowhere. And if father time has really caught up to Keith, Toews, Seabrook and Sharp the way it looks, they are going to have to turn the reigns over to the younger guys on the team over the next couple years. But I have a hard time believing Toews is washed up at 28 or 29 years old. The concern is if Keith can’t be elite anymore, and Seabs has fallen, who will take up the slack?

    The rest of this season is all about how good some of the young guys can become. Forsling and Ruuta both show promise. Schmaltz has potential but very little production to show for it, and is very inconsistent. It’s fine to be fast but you need to put the puck in the net sometimes. To me he has been a huge disappointment.

    Hayden might become more than a 4th line banger, which would be huge. He has some upside offensive potential. Dcat seems well on the way to being a top 6 force on the team. Kempny will be a decent player for somebody when he gets a chance to play, but more of a 5-6 guy, with 3-4 potential.

    At this point every game that Franson plays is just plain stupid. Why lose all the time with the veteran when you could be developing a guy and finding out how good he can be? I guess Stan wants to find out how good Kempny is after he trades him away, just like Danault.

    What you are seeing play out is what happens when you do not have the horses to compete with most teams. Crow was the guy that could even out the playing field for them, and now he is hurt. As I said before when he was put on IR, groin, meet swift kick….

  22. The bunch of/gourp guys can play good and as good as they are. Not sure if the PP can ever be normal good.

    The PP is an xfiles.

    Copy another team/cut and paste. We donot get shortanded shot/scoring chances so whatever other teams are doing has to be better. Its like an ahl team doing the PP.

    Get rid of this pass back thing and go back to the basics. Pull a rabbit.

  23. I watched the start of this game.

    How many times have we seen this broken record – hawks all over them but can’t score, caps get a chance & bury one….

    I really like #8, but the next practice they should put a shock collar on him & every time he passes up an opportunity to shoot ZAP! He’s got to learn to shoot more!

  24. When an superstar laden team needs its core to turn things up a notch or two, to enable the young stars and supporting cast to thrive and rise with them usually the only change that does that is the coach. Im am a big Q fan but a new system to buy into may be what it takes to get your pp and overall 5 on 5 play ignited. I do not believe that the core players want Q gone by a long shot but in pro sports coaching changes have to made sometimes just because.

  25. I didn’t understand putting the line blender on the max setting last night. It felt like Q was grasping without a plan. Hayden has been solid but he is not a top 6 guy. Schmaltz is a solid winger and poor center. I actually felt we played well in the losses last week so it was a surprise to see changes to every line. The result was awful, couldn’t even watch the 3rd period. I don’t care how many shots we had, nearly all were completely harmless. If we can’t turn things around in the next 10 games we will need to focus on developing the young talent, plan to be sellers at the deadline and hope we have a case of Penguin flu where the stars return to form next year.

  26. MS – Q was not elevating Hayden and Hartman to the top line. He was demoting Toews to a lower line, which is not unreasonable at this point.

  27. @MS good point with the line blender I agree with you, but I can see it from Q’s perspectives also.

    Coming into this season one of my biggest question marks was the blue line and development of Forlings, Kempny, to a lesser extent Rutta, (as he was more of an unknown) and Murphy being able to play Hammers mins.

    After a third of the season, a few of these answers have taken shape. 1st Obviously, Murphy will never be able to replace Hammers mins or role. This expectation was likely unfair. This was a clear misjudgment of talent from the Org. Not unlike their acquisition of Trevor Daly. 2nd Its fair to say Rutta as exceeded expectations and Forsling has probably met or exceeded them as well. However, the Kempny role has been a complete head-scratcher.

    @ Tab do you have any insight on Q’s reasoning for Kempny lack of playing?

  28. MS we deserved a much better record then 4-0-1 and 0-3-2 in those games even with that sch. We played good until that part of it. Coach didnt need to do that and I think it woulnt have made a diff though. Just what goes with the territory of playing 5 in 7 days. Its aftershocks.

    What I like about it though is he may have been doing it to see diff things. Looking ahead now that we completed this bullshit part of the sch. Find something you not looking for but see when you do that. Coach always finds a way to get lines good with who we have every yr. Then we stick to that basic structure of lines for a long time.

    This is what we had for 15
    20/19/81 40/19/20
    23/91/88 12/trade/88
    the pizza line
    10/80/86 10/15/8
    65/16/11 38/57/17-14

    This is what we had for 13
    29/19/88 40/19/88
    10/26/81 12/15/8
    20/65/25 20/38/14
    36/16/67 38/57/17

    I sort of like a line 20/38/14

  29. Makita 21 I love Dale Tallon as much as anyone but during his 5 years as GM he had a total of 43 draft picks of that 43 the only ones really making contributions to the Hawks were Toews, Kane, Hjalmarson and Kruger. Given where the Hawks were drafting when they got Toews and Kane it’s really not a fair comparison to where they have been drafting. He also signed Khabulin and then Hurt as a goalie tandem that really was bad. What I can’t forgive Bowman for is all the NMC contracts.

  30. Tallon was also in charge of scouting and the draft when they took Byfuglien, Brouwer, Keith, and Seabrook.

    All GMs have some hits and misses but Tallon’s hits were absolutely huge ones. Don’t forget taking Toews with the third pick was NOT a no brainer his draft year.

  31. When Duncan Keith gave the puck away for the first goal, my wife threw her slipper at the flat screen………..LOL.

    As we always say, “confidence is a funny thing”. Right now, we have NO confidence and the team is feeling the heat. 2 weeks ago we had TONS of confidence and we were manhandling the Ducks.

    As fans, we need to let these young players develop. Conor Murphy, Schmaltz, Hayden, Ruuta and a few others are going to make HUGE mistakes before they can make any kind of impact at the NHL level. They all have “promise” , but promise does not get you Stanley Cups.

    As far as Keith, Seabrook, Toews and the other veterans who have been making mistakes……………..well, when this team could score at will, a turnover here and a bad goal there didn’t matter that much because we could score when needed. Now, every turnover is magnified, every mistake is critical and every bad goal is insurmountable. A big save and being able to score can cure a lot of problems, boys.

    However, through winning and losing I am a FAN OF THE HAWKS. I like this team, the organization, the players and the fans.


    I cannot turn my back on this team. I am a fan through thick and thin. I believe that they will get better and the kids will learn from their mistakes.

    Let’s see where we are in a week.

    Thanks for reading my ramblings………………

  32. Tallon had a great eye for talent, but it’s funny how his success hasn’t translated to the Panthers. That may be the result of a lack of resources and scouting. Either way, those days are long over SB is in charge and his roster changes that will lead the Hawks to Cup number 7 or him out the door.

    @DAVE MANSON couldn’t agree more about those NMC. This silly thing is I’m not sure SB ever needed to include them. Look at Seabrook, for example, SB paid him the 6th highest salary for defenseman. Did he need to add the NMC as a sweeter? That’s just horrible bargaining and cant be forgiven.

  33. There are 3 fundament problems with the Hawks as constituted now.
    1- This is a gutless team. Look at the heat maps if you do not believe me. The majority of the SOG are coming from the perimeter. The PP sucks because the only player willing to stand in front of the goalie is Arty. High percentage of SOG are coming from above and beyond the dots. Guys are not willing to pay the price to score.
    2- Bowan broke up one of the most lethal scoring lines in order to improve the play of Toews. Saad is on pace for 41 pts this year. 28 games in and the early results are this trade is a mistake and the 1st line has not improved. 70 pt scorers do not grow on trees and what made Panrin effective in Chicago is that he did not need a screened goalie to score just a great pass.
    3- This team has lost its leadership. Toews has become a soft player. He gets rag dolled and knock off the puck all the time. He does his fly byes around the net rarely setting a screen. He is weak in the corner. In hockey the team reflects its captain. Look at the change in the Blues once they got rid of that goof Backes. What makes this worse is that Q is being ignored. The Hawks are not playing Q’s style. They are tuning him out.

    Solutions are not easy. First the team must ensure that Toews is healthy. Is he strong enough to be the top 5 center that he is being paid to be if not change his diet, rest him, do what’s needed. Move DeBrincat into the top 6 and let’s see if he can continue to score. Lastly Q’s effectiveness needs to be evaluated and improved if not then a coaching change is in order.

    I hope I am dead wrong and the Hawks bounce back but now I don’t see it. Go Hawks

  34. One thing the Brouwer and Backes free agent contracts from last offseason should show, as well as the Seabrook contract, is that it is a HUGE risk to give term and high dollars to a guy in his 30’s in today’s NHL. The game is skewing younger and faster and an ever increasing rate. Pay veteran guys at your own risk.

    It used to be you could get defensemen into their mid 30’s before their play would drop off. Can’t imagine that being the case today with very rare exceptions.

    The Hammer trade is the exact type of thing this organization could have been doing to stay younger and more talented, with more cap room. That trade, however, was marred by an overestimation of Murphy’s abilities. The strategy was a good one, the execution was poor.

  35. We got sections of games coming up that I think were going to do good. The next 10 games, then the 5 after that and then the 14 after those. During this stretch of 10/5/14 those 29 I think will determine how good of a record were going to have for the 82 games.

    We can add and sell at the deadline as well as add in the summer if were creative.

  36. I thought the Hawks played better last night than they did the 4 previous games. I tend to judge the Hawks level of play based on how well (or poorly) they execute their passing game. Their passing game was fairly decent last night – not perfect, but more well executed passes and receptions than not. Unfortunately, a turnover here, a soft goal given there, and there, some lax d-zone coverage, an empty net goal, and it’s a 2-6 blowout. Crawford in goal might have made a big difference in the outcome of that game.

    I’m actually more encouraged after the 4-goal deficit loss last night than the 1-goal deficit losses lately because they came closer to playing the way they have to play to win than they did recently, at least in my opinion.

    But, having said that, they still are light years away from their stated “One Goal” which is to win the Cup.

  37. Hereismike no doubt Tallon was a great scout but as a GM it was also under his watch that the Hawks missed a player contract deadline which forced the team to increase contract amounts and lead to future cap problems. I think Bowmans problems have been poor deadline deals and NMC clauses.

  38. Not sure how much longer Crawford is out but in the mean time, is Forsberg the better goalie to play right now or would Berube be better? I know Forsberg is young and inexperienced and I dont know anything about Berube so perhaps some one with more to go on could give an opinion.

  39. Abe from what i have read Berube has been good for half his starts in Rockford and not so good in half his starts. So kind of an enigma. Forsberg was good in 4 out 5 starts before Crawford went down snd 2 out 3 since, so Forsberg would seem the better percentage risk but you never can be sure how Berube would respond.

  40. Prospect goalie Nalimov continues to roll this tear in khl in last 9 starts has stopped 310 of 321 shots for a .966 save %.

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