Crawford, Blackhawks Hand Edmonton First Loss

The Edmonton Oilers came into Monday night’s game at the United Center 5-0-0.

The Chicago Blackhawks entered the contest 0-2-1.

So of course the opposite of what everyone figured would happen took place.

Edmonton out-shot the Hawks 12-10 in the first period but neither side was able to get on the board. Corey Crawford looked terrific early on and the Hawks were skating with the Oilers.

Patrick Kane, who has haunted Edmonton since he broke into the NHL, got Chicago on the board first at 4:11 into the second.

In the second, everything changed when Andrew Shaw lowed the boom on Joel Persson. He dropped the Oilers defenseman less than a minute after Kane scored and was promptly jumped by Jujhar Khaira. Khaira earned a minor penalty for his actions after the play but the Hawks couldn’t convert.

After we complained about the Hawks getting owned in the second period in the team’s first three games the Blackhawks came out and dominated the second. Chicago held a 17-6 shot advantage, was the more physical team and controlled the tempo for nearly the entire 20 minutes.

But Chicago had just a lead of only one.

Alex Nylander didn’t get on the ice much in the first two periods but he made an impact early in the third.

Nylander’s second of the season gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead at 6:20 into the final period.

That goal would be a big one.

Dominik Kubalik went to the box with 3:02 left in regulation and the Oilers pulled Mike Smith. James Neal scored his eighth goal of the season while on the two-skater advantage to cut Chicago’s lead to one.

With about 40 seconds left Brandon Saad cleared the puck and chased it down to avoid an icing call. Then a crazy sequence took place in which Ryan Nugent-Hopkins blocked a Jonathan Toews shot at a wide open cage. The puck rested a couple inches outside the net for a moment before Saad tapped it in to extend the Blackhawks lead back to two. Saad had hit a couple posts earlier in the game and had played another terrific game so the goal was great payback for a good effort. The goal is also the 150th in the career of Saad.

When the final horn sounded Crawford held on for 27 saves and a big first regulation win for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Dylan Strome led Chicago with six shots on net. He was also credited with an assist and won half of his eight faceoffs.

Toews was credited with an assist and three shots on net. He won nine of 16 faceoffs. David Kampf had another strong night on the third line. He skated 18:02 with one assist, two takeaways, one hit and won eight of 14 faceoffs.

The deployment of the defensemen was interesting. Erik Gustafsson skated only 16:19, the second-lowest ice time total in the group; Calvin de Haan skated only 15:56. The Hawks’ blue line was physical though. The six defensemen combined for 20 total hits, led by six from Brent Seabrook and five from de Haan.

Connor McDavid was minus-two with only two shots on net in 26:21. He won five of ten faceoffs.

116 thoughts on “Crawford, Blackhawks Hand Edmonton First Loss

  1. Vintage Crawford. Outstanding..

    Shaw does some dumb stuff every now and then, but he changed the complexion of the game. Edmonton D men were worried about him every time he was out there thereafter. Gotta live w his goofiness, his good far outweighs the bad.

    Kampf is playing better, but he doesn’t warrant playing 18 plus minutes. He struggles at times against physical play and getting the puck out of his own zone. They are a second or third line center away from being a better team. He’s not great on the PK either.

    Maybe Crawford the assistant coach was “coaching” the team to a greater extent tonight. Colliton is still in way over his head.

    Good evening.

  2. Liked their play tonight. And they continue to show some grit. Nylander has skill but he is to the 4th line what skinny is to sumo wrestling.
    Who ever said Kulabik is an AHLer is way off.
    Shaw adds a lot to this team and Saad played very well.
    Mostly positives tonight.

  3. Thought it was icing before WIN 2nd goal, otherwise we win that 2-1 and are 2-2. Leeway around center ice line I guess.

    First couple games with full Defensemen Murf and Haan now all the sudden look pretty good. We played the first couple games without the 2nd pair.

  4. Mentioned before the season to have Nylander on the 4th line to have the others teach him how to play the defensive part of hockey. Told that would be a waste. Thinking that you usually have 4th line vs 4th line. Nylander could be that fast break player on the 4th line. Once we have possession send him long. Most likely the other team’s 4th line doesn’t have a player as fast or talented as Nylander.

  5. Saad and the Ahlers did quite a job on Mcdavid line, 78 corsi for 20 64 8 and only 41 corsi for Mcdavid line, head to head most of the game, lol.
    Definitely much better but only one game, got to keep it up. 2nd game in a row they outhit opposition. Winning the 2nd period is key to success. Do that and they are doing alot of things right..

  6. That was as close to a full 60 minute effort as we’ve seen for quite some time. Well done.

    It seems pretty obvious, at least to me, that the Saad-Kampf-Kubalik line has been the Hawks best line through the first 4 games. Yes, Kampf doesn’t have a good goal scoring touch, but he forechecks pretty well and he makes some good set up passes for his line mates. That line did an outstanding job checking the McDavid line tonight and just might be a pretty good shutdown line reminiscent of the old 3rd lines from years ago – good defensively with some scoring punch. Only 4 games is not enough to make any declarations – but maybe the “in over his head” coach made a good call putting that line together … nah … that doesn’t fit the narrative so it can’t be true.

  7. We played hard for 60 minutes as well as a more physical game. Nice to see us win our share of board battles and I liked the Murphy/Keith pairing. I actually thought Lehner would get another start but Crow was great. Let’s see a reply on Friday.

  8. When Nylander turned over the puck I thought for sure that Oilers odd man rush was going to score and then a here we go again.

    Glad he scored.

    Shaws hit was huge. Team mates love seeing that. Gets the adrenaline going.

    I questioned Crawford starting but very happy for him.

    That 3rd line is terrific.

  9. EB glad to see you coming around on Kampf playing 3c with Saad and Kubalik being the best line so far.

    Nylander does give the effect on 4th line of Kane double shifting every time their out. Plus brings lots of speed, but gotta think it’s not an ongoing role. May be better off playing 18 to 20 mins in Rfd working on his game than 2 or 3 mins a period. May be a good spot for Dach to start off when he’s ready, then move him around after he fets comfortable with the pace. Probably not much changes before Friday lineup wise now.

  10. We aren’t at 10 games yet but a couple notes from tonight’s game.
    1. Crow is still the best goaltender
    2. Kubalik also checks and hits people, can we get him some PP time, when Kane isn’t out there.
    3. Saad was a wrecking crew this game,he now goes north and south not east and west. He should be on the top line but is playing so well with 8 and 64.
    4. Did this game feel like it was coached by Crawford and Seabrook, because the defenseman and defense were awesome this game. Murphy and Keith are a top pair. Murphy is finally filling Hammers shoes, which is huge. Dehann is everything Gus isn’t. Dehann also hits people and looks to be a solid stay at home defenseman. Maatta and Seabrook looking like a very steady pair.
    5. DeBrincat needs to be with Strome. I’m not sure about him on top line, his style doesn’t fit with Toews. Grinders need to be with grinders. Toews, Saad, Caggiula, Shaw. Toews need players that offset his style, driving the net and greasy goals.
    5. Lines need some tweaking didn’t see a lot of chemistry out there, but man did everyone loook pretty good defensively. A lot of tight gaps, checking and hitting. Limit the other team to 2 or less and the skilled players will find a way to score when opportunities rise.
    6. Let the first round picks with all that speed see what they can do on bottom line.
    20 19 91/8
    12 17 88
    91/8 64 65
    11 22 92

  11. Ian, I was never down on Kampf as a player – just didn’t think he has enough offensive finish to be anything other than a 4th liner. Still don’t, but he’s looked better these first 4 games and that line has been the best line. Now, maybe calling them the best line is a little like winning first prize in a tallest midget contest because the other lines have not been good – but it’s still something positive and if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.

  12. Hawks put in a positive workmanlike 60 minute performance. Better puck management in their own end, and apart from some bad turnovers from Kubalik and Nylander near their own blue line, the team did a good job of not turning over pucks which helped immensely. Also seemed as though Hawks passing was crisper than in recent games. Crow had a very good game. Give the Hawks credit for shutting down McD, who remains one hell of a powerful, fast skater.

    Happy to see Hawks mix it up physically. More please in upcoming games. Shaw hit was a big motivator and I really liked de Hann standing up McDavid with a solid shoulder. It’s sort of funny to watch how opposing teams react when Hawks play at all physical. It is as though they simply don’t expect it and then bang “Hey, what was that?”

    Bravo on a solid Hawks effort in the 2nd Period. It looked like top to bottom the team came in focused after the first intermission. Again, more of this please, as this team(like most) can’t afford to relax, especially with lots of new players in the lineup.

    Hopefully, Hawks build on this win during a very important home stand. As Mo said, it’s a pity Hawks have to wait extra days to play their next game.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  13. The guys should feel very proud after that win! Other than anemic PP, solid D play and really good neutral zone play was evident for full 60 minutes. Can’t say enough about the edge Shaw brings- hope guys like Perlini, Nylander, Strome, Kampf were watching him play power forward!
    How is the league going to better protect goalies?? Crawford got absolutely driven in the blue paint by McDavid! Concussion, concussion, concussion!!
    de Haan is the real deal- and what we needed!

  14. Good recap by Phil and agree with Knox about Debrincat needing a east/west player with him at Center (either Strome or Kane on wing). Toews has enough skill to play that way but he’s best going with strong forecheck.
    Hard to change things up though when they play well as a team.

    Regardless, when McDavid is on the ice you’re always on edge.

  15. Olli Maatta continues to impress me. Pretty steady and he seems to be skating well. The Blackhawks defensively had a lot better back checking in their game and it paid off in stopping some plays before they could get started. I think that’s a huge key to Colliton’s defensive scheme that has not been consistent. Really good effort.

  16. I am liking you guys with the younger guys doing 4th at first.

    I sitll like that playoff style 1st line
    20 19 65
    12 17 88
    91 64 8
    15 22 92

  17. Big Indian – agree about the Fws coming back – a big part of that is that they were better on the forecheck so even if the Oil broke out it wasn’t usually with speed and the Fws had time to get back and help on D

    Previously the FWs were letting the opposition D out almost uncontested with speed and then they were late getting back on D – better forecheck = better defensive play as a team

  18. Nice to see Saad getting more TOI – he was on PK and PP2 – he had a great game – should have been 2nd star IMO

    Also nice to see Gus TOI greatly reduced – unfortunately that means de Haan TOI was also low and he’s a good player – like to see him eventually with a bigger role

    JC was right about starting CC and Nylander – both paid off huge

    We’ll see if the Hawks can keep up this idea of playing 60 minutes consistently – if they do I’ll come off the ledge ; )

  19. That was a Hull of a goal by Kneel!

    When Kampf and Saad got put together last year it was apparent JC was trying to get a 3rd line that can match against the other team’s top line. Many here didn’t understand the concept, but hopefully now everyone can see why that is necessary. Personally, I would prefer Saad on the top line with Toews, but there isn’t a better use of Saad than giving him this role, and he is embracing it. It’s a lot of money for that player and a waste of some of his offensive strength and ability, but something the team needs badly. Toews is too old and valuable to be in a matchup line any more. Now we need to get him going offensively. He’s not skating well or making plays. I expect Saad up there from time to time to inject some energy to Toews and help him get going if others can’t. But breaking up the most consistent line that is playing the best hockey just isn’t a smart thing to do right now.

    And I also think 88 is getting lazier – if that’s even possible. Come on man – participate at both ends. Even Ovechkin figured that out.

    Love to see us physically involved. That’s a look we haven’t had in quite a while. Breaking up Gus and Keith was a no-brainer (and an awful idea to begin with). Now Keith can be Keith without destroying us with bad pinches. Murphy is a good fixer for him and far more physical than people here give him credit. We can muddle our way through a season with this group on defensive, but we need top play all of the time from them to get anywhere post season. Much better pairings and probably getting the most from the group right now. Still need a top pair player though.

    That was a great effort and fun to watch. And for the record – I don’t think I could ever be a fan of a team that has Smith as their goalie. That guy constantly looks like he has never played the position before.

  20. I agree on the Kane thing. Yeah, he’s gonna score goals because he’s constantly given the puck and he’s very skilled, but its almost like he’s too cocky at this point. The puck slid right past him along the boards at least 3 times and he was slow to react and make a move to get it.

    I’m not really seeing who Dach replaces in this lineup if/when that happens. The obvious choices would be Kampf, Caggiula, or Nylander. I think Kampf and Caggiula’s play is very underrated at this point. Those guys work so hard and have a way of winning board battles and keeping possession and play alive in the opposing end. Could it be Carpenter or Smith that sit? Perhaps give any one of these players the occasional rest day but just rotate them?

  21. Where does Dach slot in? If it were to happen next game – I would sit Smith, move Caggiula to the 4th line with Carpenter and Nylander and put Dach on Toews wing opposite DeBrincat.

    But I doubt it’s Friday when the Hawks play their next game – so let’s see where things stand when he’s ready to make his NHL debut.

  22. Silent – great post – spot on including about 88 unfortunately. At times he is really engaged defensively and other times he is going through the motions.

  23. When they travel to Carolina on the 26th, Dachs conditioning stint will up, so thats the latest a decision can be made. May let him play in Rfd until then and injuries or just the play of team certain players dictate at that point where he plays.
    Could use similar approach as they have in Rfd, ease him in on 4th line and move him up. My opinion thats the point if doing that in Ahl so he can jump in where they want him to play with Blackhawks. I’m leaning towards on wing with Toews if not right off, pretty quickly.

  24. Happy for the Crow…Healthy, he still can makes saves.
    Tampa loads up their first line with Kuc, Stramkos and Point!
    Boston loads up with Marchand, Bergeron and Pastenak
    and we load up our 1st line with Dcat Toews and Cagg?
    JC needs to figure it out soon and not penalize players who are top 6 calibre with those who are not?
    SAAD TOEWS KANE
    DCAT STROME PERLINI
    SHAW DACH NYLANDER
    SMITH CARPENTER KUBALIK
    64 & 91 bench

    And if we think Seabs is too slow, I beg to differ when you watch Connor Murphy play! Once he has to turn around he practically always falls on his back.

  25. @hull65 I have to wonder where all your Shaw dislike comes from. Easily one of the most hockey guys on the team. Only reason I dont want to see him play bug minutes is I dont want him to get hurt pr take too many penalties.

    Nylander once again the lucky recipient of drifting around the offensive blue line in the neutral zone. Smith should have had that.

    Entertaining game. Crow looked good. Keith looked like he gave a damn while can change the whole complexion of the team

    So is Seabrook on pace to be the all time leader of blocked shots this season or are we a ways away. They only kept this stat since what year? How common was shot blocking pre1990? I have no idea

  26. Honest – it was Nylander who stripped the puck off McDavid and then he finished off the play with a goal

    I don’t call that lucky – it was a good play all around from him

    Agree that Dach on Toews ‘ wing is something I’d like to see – Caggs to the 4th, Smith to press box or rotate them on 4th line

    Nylander only player 8 1/2 mins. but he added a nice element to that line and IMO was working hard although his turnover when he got his pocket picked in the neutral zone almost resulted in an EDM goal

  27. What a pleasure to read the various comments, thoughts and opinions after an impressive win. Let’s hope for many more.

    I do think this roster has talent with many of our additions looking like nice adds: Maatta, de Haan, Shaw round 2, Lehner, Kubalik.

    Maybe others not so great, Smith needs to find his groove. Maybe he doesn’t.

    Nylander looks exactly like the high upside, low floor acquisition we thought he might be. With patience and development, this might be a genius move. Too early to call it that, but there’s something there.

    Fun. Again.

  28. Rusty they are right up there in hits per game for league lead so far this year. If it would a measuring stick if they weren’t, it should be i guess while they are. Imteresting to see if that continues.
    Saw a statistic that said Pens 33.5 hits pg, Blackhawks 33 hits pg and Sens 30,3 hits pg are top 3 and only ones averaging over 30.

  29. We’re a much harder team to play against than last year’s group. The additions of Shaw, Carpenter, Smith, de Haan, Maatta, make us more physical. And a full healthy year from Murphy, and Caggiula who both are unafraid to mix it up will only add to it. It helps offset the lackadaisical flybys we sometimes get from the flash players like Kane and Cat.

  30. Another thing about Dach being ready and being able to play top 6 RW is then Saader can stay 3rd line and be like Laddy and Bolly or Tazer and Hoss kind of player for that role. Once Dach is established and I mean more then 40 games he is that kind of player to. Wouldnt that be wicked a 20 19 77 line.

    Smith was banged up some so I am not going by anything for awhile with him, he still could be very good like the other draft summer guys. I have a feeling they are everyone of them good. Just have to settle in and be 100%. In the meantime let howevers ready and going play more often and rotate in that kind of way.

  31. We have the mix and deepness and full roster we havnt since we were 1 seed and a top team. Lets give these guys plenty of time to settle in. Do not want to be 10 points behind but what can we do about the sch. Nothing right now until we pay our dues I guess. Then game on again. We have this game off for the first part.

    I not sure what we do with 2 games in 11 days, then 2 in 7, then 5 in 7. Too much after too little. Try to climb steps like that.

    Going to be geourgous once we get settled in and can just play. By that time we ll know more of what were doing system wise to.

    Colliton for sticking with 20 64 8 when people gave crap about 64 OFF, for staying with other options like 50 92 others. Both goalies are playing so and same with some of the FW. Everybodys part of the team and good players

  32. What does New Jersey do with no. 1 pick Jack Hughes? 6 games and zero points. He can’t play college hockey. I believe he’s AHL eligible as the CHL rules don’t apply. His CHL rights are owned by Mississauga. But I doubt that’s a thought.

    Never rush a highly touted prospect until he’s ready. If Dach doesn’t produce offensively in Rockford, send him straight to Saskatoon.

  33. Wrong! Saad is wasted as a 3rd line player with Kubalik and Kampf! He’s 6million dollar player playing with AHLers. Has a short handed goal and an empty net goal, no thanks to his linemates.
    Tonight the Leafs 1st line was Tavares Marner Kapanen! 2nd line Mathews, Nylander Johanson! .
    This team does not need Saad to play barely 13 minutes on a checking line. If he is a 200 foot player, Hawks best winger who plays a 200 foot game, then just like Hossa, he should be a top 6. Nonsense!
    And load up on top 6 JC. Our bottom 6 is a little more stable than last year. All the top teams load up on the first 2 lines. Saad does not have Hossa or Sharp playing ahead of him. He has Dcat, Cagg and Nylander early on? And Perlini needs a real shot.
    By the way Stan, Nick Schmaltz 1st star tonight in Winnipeg. 1 goal & 2 assists. Had the puck all night. Skates like the wind and his puck possession and retrieval is top. Makes the PP go! 3 goals 2 assists so far.

  34. So now Hull has designated Kubalik an AHL player too.

    I would have no problem with Saad moving up to Toews’ line as their games complement each other. However, after just getting the 1st win of the season where Saad and his two AHL linemates were the best line going – I think it would be unwise to not build upon that success by keeping that line together for the next game or more, even if it doesn’t get the seal of approval from Hull.

    He really ought to be happy JC is playing Saad on the 3rd line – it’s gives him something to complain about after a very nice 60 minute effort win.

  35. While I was very pleased to see Hawks more engaged physically against Oil, the number of hits per game often means you don’t have the puck as much as the other team. A more physically aggressive Hawks team though presents opposing defensemen with the challenge of being forced to make faster decisions and potentially more puck giveaways to Hawks forecheckers. I hope they keep the heat up.

    The discussion regarding Saad on 3rd line with Kampf and Kubalik has good points both ways. Saad on the 3rd line with the other two makes matchups more challenging for opposing coaches. However, the Hawks first line needs to get more scoring chances and then put them in the net. I kind of like the chemistry that Saad, Kampf and Kubalik are developing. I thought SB left the team short at least more quality scoring forward coming into this season. Clearly, he is betting heavy that the new fill in guys will score more. Time will tell.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  36. Hull check or stick to the facts first before you spout. Kapinen was bumped to 3rd line last night and Moore, a workman less skilled player played with Taveres and Marner because they were struggling. Looks like it worked.

  37. Phil your right about hits per game, the Blackhawks pairing of Maatta Seabrook has 2nd worst possession numbers in league, 30.5 corsi. On ice for 27 shots for and 58 against. Plus Strome 36% on fos, line has poor possession nos, some work still to do.

  38. Hull65, re: Schmalz trade. So, what?? The Hawks are sooo far ahead on the Schmalz for Strome-Perlini trade, the Yotes are still embarrassed by it. It was an utter fleecing by the Hawks. And very similar to the type of trade you propose for Neal. See, Stan makes the sort of trades for which you advocate, you’re just not giving him due credit. Have you ever responded to the question, “get Neal with what and how?” I haven’t seen it. Frankly, we should be glad Schmalz seems to have recovered well and is playing well. Seems like a good kid. I’m personally glad he’s doing well to this point.

  39. Phil that said Blackhawks didn’t have hits per games to help possession numbers last cpuple of years is more to the physical point.

  40. I think NJ with Hughes is a bit of a PR thing too. “See the #1 pick…” Maybe an attempt to fill seats. I agree that could be a detriment if rushed.

    Don’t think it would hurt Dach to get a few games in, but if Hawks continue the momentum, he could use playing time elsewhere.

  41. Ok, we have something to build off of. Really hoping that Nylander is locked in a room and forced to watch the play HE made over and over and over. Clearly there’s some upside there. If he can learn to give max effort and play both sides of the ice, he can be an asset. Loved seeing him pick #97’s pocket and send it to the back of net. Aren’t too many guys not wearing 88 that can carry the puck net to net so quit trying that shit, move the puck and play some d young man.

  42. Agree with ER re: Saad – JC isn’t going to break up his best line (20-64-8) particularly since it could be a line that matches up vs opponents top lines but they also need to get Toews’ line going something Saad might help with down the road

    I was glad to see Saad’s TOI up to over 16 mins. (I’m not sure why that took so long though) and as I stated before he deserved to be the 2nd star of the EDM game rather than Kane

    He’s playing great and impacting the game positively playing where he is – why change that right now?

  43. Going back to 91-19-88 and 12-17-65 would be an obvious possible solution to get both the first two lines creating more chances

  44. @Aurora Way to early to say who wins or loses the Schmaltz for Strome- PerlinI trade. Looking more like Schmaltz for Strome with the way Colliton is not using PerlinI. Only time will tell who actually wins the trade.

  45. Reading through alot of the comments, there are a couple clear things I think we can agree on.
    1. We need to jump start Toews. Saad is not an option because the third line is rolling. So maybe Shaw with Toews. I don’t really ever remember them on the same line???
    91-19-65
    12-17-88
    20-64-8

    2. Giving Dach a chance?
    92-77-11
    Carpenter and Smith kind of block Dach at this point though, with the powers that be will they give him a chance? As many people have noted we are getting deeper. I don’t hate Smith but I didn’t really even know he played the other night besides some good defense, skating only 9:17. The other bigger thing here is can Colliton put a line like 92-77-11 out there where they don’t get scored on. The performance the other night pointed out we can really play defensively and hold a team like the oilers to 1 goal which is huge. Anyway I want everything a defensive minded team with firepower so…. Colliton get it done and turn a bunch of first round picks into a 4th line that could possibly have 10-20 goals this season and also not get scored on. If something like that happened I would have alot more confidence in Colliton because he turned first round draft picks into serviceable players. I think the bigger thing about Colliton is not so much telling Seabrook how to play defense but how to get 1st round draft picks to play defense.

  46. Knox agree with you, but the more you load up on offense it’s seems obvious defensive strength is lowered. The biggest problem this team had up until last game was defense, so it seems Colliton is trying walk the fine line of enough offense and much improved defense and i have to agree on that approach. Nylander on 4th works to give speed against teams like Oilers, Bolts or Leafs. The night in night out grind against heavier division playing and
    Western conference teams will make him invisible mostly on a 4th line role. If he isn’t ready for to be a top 6 impact player some time in Rfd to try and get his game to that level is likely best. Perlini seems to be in no mans land with no role and needs to clear waivers to go down.

  47. I like Schmaltz and glad we have Stromer and he’s Debrincat team mate from before. Would like to see 17 and 8 become very good players. That means 12 and 17 are kicking ass in Vegas again. Babbitt brothers. Main man.

  48. Wrap, that’s what I think for top 6 or this

    65 19 88
    12 17 91

    As I really like that 2nd line there with Cagiluga.

  49. When we can and good time to I want to see the 1st like this

    20 19 65

    Or if you have to keep 20 there and 77 is ready and can get established this

    65 19 77

  50. Or send 92 down for the few games Dach will be here if the bonus thing is an issue. I really don’t see Dach being here long term. If thats the case and if the Hawks think that to be the case…why even burn any games…other than being a marketing thing for fans

  51. Thats a good point Rusty, if Dach only plays a few games the questions will be, is it a actual tryout or marketing and use tryout a diversion to make it legit. If he stays then it would seem they pretty well know that now, i guess.

  52. Mo, thing not looking at is 20, 64, 8 are dominating possession on other teams top lines, which is huge. 59.7% of shot attempts, 68.6% of scoring chances and 76.9% of high danger chances. The rest of the roster is only getting 47.6% of shot attempts, 46.2% if scoring chances and 41.7 % of high danger chances against mostly opposing teams 2nd-4th lines on 5on 5 play. Unless the 20, 64, 8 line start regressing significantly seems unlikely to be breaking them up. Thats the type of domination needed in that area, the rest of the forwards need to step up and get it done.

  53. Ian is right, this team has lacked Smith and Carpenter on the bottom 6-they need to stay and see how they do over the longer haul. When Dach is ready he will hopefully be a key part of the top 6. (let him be /get ready)

  54. To try and spark the pp, like to see Kubalik on top unit. Can set in slot and give somebody with one timer ability there for Kane to feed. Teams are waiting on the Debrincat one timer and another one to compliment might open more opportunities. Maybe Strome to 2nd and gives somebody there who can score alot on pp.

  55. Honest Guy, love Shaw, happy he is finally back!!!
    And he should be the engine for a good 3rd line or 4th line…scoring 15 goals would be great. I repeat, Saad on this team is not a 3rd line winger, he should be on the top line with Toews not Cagg who could not make a bad Oilers team…never drafted, but an honest 4th line performer and good to have on the roster. But again, playing on the first line? Why? Just as bad as Kahun last year playing ahead of Saad.

    Washington has Ovie, Kuz, and Wilson on their top loaded line! Who do we have?
    My issue is not Shaw who I repeat on a playoff team is a 3rd or 4th line player. Kubalik? He’s a 24 year old rookie who needs to prove himself in the AHL in my opinion but since our forward prospects in Rockford are average, then he is with the NHL club. He might make it or might not, good shot, not sure about his hockey IQ, but to just hand him the job ahead of a proven NHLer like Perlini is all about Stan Bowman. And to dump Saad with Kampf as well is ludicrous. Just an opinion.
    20 19 88
    12 17 11
    65 77 92
    15 22 8

  56. Not sure what Perlini has proven yet in his NHL carreer – that he can be good but is too inconsistent to be relied upon?

    I hope Perlini can prove himself as an capable NHLer with the Hawks – there are times when I think he’s a positive contributor but then there are other times when he seems not able to contribute much of anything positive

    It would be a real boost to the Hawks if he were a ‘proven NHLer’ but as of now he ain’t IMO – he still has to prove himself

  57. I don’t think a team makes the playoffs if the third line is the best line. You need your best players to play that way. The Hawks have to find a way to make the first two lines better.

    How I would do that is by taking my six best forwards and dividing them into the top two lines. Move BOTH Saad and Kubalik off the third line. Put Saad next to Toews on the top line. You then have the option of putting either Kane or Kubalik on the other side. I would start with 20-19-8 and see if they can continue generating the possession they were with Kampf on the third line. Putting Toews between them should allow them to continue to drive possession but they should be able to finish a lot more of those chances than they have been with Kampf.

    12-17-88 is like a video game line; all offense. The chemistry these three have should become evident quickly once they are reunited. Hoever, if the lack of defense is too scary to consider, then move Kane to the top line and bring Kubalik here. I actually think #8 would bring a physical dimension and net front presence that this line lacks as well as a defensive focus. I think this could be the line that they tried to create with Perlini last year. If Kubalik doesn’t play with Strome and DeBrincat at some point this year, I will be disappointed.

    My point is that 88-19-12-17-20-8 are, in my mind the six best skilled forwards on the team right now and these six should be playing the most minutes each night. Get them sorted on the top two lines and the rest of the lineup should take care of itself.

  58. Yea for now or soon enough

    65 19 88
    12 17 91

    Then when we can do Saader or whoever do that some kind of way

    20 19 65/8

  59. If we had a nother good player,s ay a big skilled two way player, we could have the 3rd line be

    ? 65 77

  60. I would like to see 20 and 8 with more offensively skilled player too. Gotta ask the question though would putting 19 between 20 and 64 be that much of improvement the way the current line of 20, 64, 8 is dominating opposition top line. Gain offense but lose some on another line and would defense suffer against opposing top lines and another line too. Be careful what you wish for. Solve the problem yes, but creating one were it doesn’t exist may mot be solution. The 5 on 5 minutes if matched against top lines aren’t suffering, as we saw last game when special team mins are there.

  61. Just don’t understand with options like 88, 19, 12, 17, 92, 77, 65, 91, 11 available why everybody wants to fix the line that isn’t the problem and break them up.

  62. One thing for sure is that the line blender that’s happened (and certainly it has been called for at times) over the past year or two isn’t conducive to ‘chemistry’ between players. Part of that result is through practice and repetition and part of it is just there, it’s natural-it’s almost immediate. ) Like 12 and 17, they have history and that ‘feel’.
    Hopefully the top six, and top two lines will be clearer by mid-November.

  63. My opinion is leave 20,8,64 alone. If they continue to shutdown the other teams top line that is a plus. Why break up something that is.not broke. Last yr Toews and Saad didn’t work out so what makes you think it will work this time. It’s should be up to 19 88 12 17 to get their games going. They should be the ones to make their line mates better not the other way around. As for Perlini give me a break. Until he proves he can play consistently a two way game leave him on the bench. Just because your a first round pick doesn’t automatically make you an NHL playet

  64. @Ian, from my point of view it’s less about breaking up or fixing the third line and more about getting the top two lines working. I don’t see anyone from the group of 92, 77, 91 or 11 as viable options for the top six right now. I think 65 can be, but would be more effective in a third line role.

    Honestly for me it’s about putting the best players in a position to play the most minutes. Right now, I think the Hawks six best forwards are 88, 19, 12, 17, 20 and 8. They should be in a position to play the most minutes.

    Is this a permanent solution? Probably not. Eventually 91 or 77 or maybe someone from Rockford may come in and be a better fit in the top six. Then people can get moved around. I’m not a fan of “balancing” the lines. Nylander or Perlini should be able to add offense to the third line while they learn to play the NHL game. In the mean time, load up the top two with the best players and be done with it for now.

  65. I think eventually we’ll get to see 20 and 8 move up to top 6 but not right now – not after the last game – a coach would be crazy to break up his recipe for success

    The Kampf line will eventually stumble a bit and then JC can try some other options but for now if you can run 20-64-8 out against the opposing team’s best and they either play them to a draw or like they did vs McDavid win the match up you take that all day long

    As others have said it’s up to 19, 88, 12, and 17 to get going

    We already saw JC move 8 off that 3rd line onto Toews’ line and that had a negative effect on the third line and no effect on Toews

  66. Miroslav making lines is not all about jyst skill, as Bobby9 pointed out Toews and Saad haven’t shown alot of chemistry since his return. Also you could make an argument that 20 and 8 would default to 19 to much instead of playing selfish when they should as we often see and the line not regress instead of improve offensively.

    Remember Pens put Kessell on a 3rd line with Hagelin and Bonino, everybody thought he was being wasted. After a couple of cups, that went away, except save for a few people who can’t admit he was right.

    As Wrap said change may address itself at some point but for now it’s working too good with 20, 64, 8.

  67. The Hawks have the advantage of “last change” with this string of home games so they can match up the 20-64-8 line with the opponent’s top line but on the road they could be exposed by the line combo’s they currently use. I think things will change when the schedule moves away from this weird string of home games.

    There is a legitimate debate on whether it is better to load up the top two lines or spread the best 6 forwards over three lines. I understand the rationale for both sides of the argument and if I had to jump off the fence I would probably land on the “spread it out” side. However, as with so many things, there is a big “it depends” element to the debate where the circumstances would weigh the decision to one side of the other. To be somewhat simplistic on that – loading up may be what’s called for when there isn’t enough offense being generated from the spread out line combo’s. I’m not sure that the offensive output through 4 games indicates that to be the case – it may be more of Toews early season slow start and Cat just having a slow start as well.

    My vote would be to leave things as is for now, especially considering these next games are home games.

  68. Saying in practice same lines except Smith maintenance day Perlini in.
    Kubalik on top pp unit, Strome out, like the switch to see how it works.
    EB, lines likely change at some point but changing lines doesn’t eliminate the issue of trying to get matchups he wants on the road.

  69. I like the idea of Kubalik on PP1 whose main issue it seems to me is setting up in the O zone because they haven’t been good on puck retrieval and board battles something Kubalik can help with plus he’ll go to the front of the net and has a great shot

    But just read a tweet from Powers where Colliton is saying the Kubalik was practicing 5 on 3 PP but otherwise PP1 is unchanged so we’re not going to see Kubalik on PP1 very often at this point

  70. Colliton said they would use Kubalik in 5 on 3 situations. Smith playing tomorrow, so Perlini may be out again.

  71. Ian, with all due respect – Kubalik on the first PP unit would be redundant. We already have 3 left-handed shooting forwards. We need – and I have stated this a million times already – a RIGHT HANDED shot for the power play. Kane lives on the right wall (as we face the net) and Toews (or Strome as they interchange) sits on the right side of the net or drifts into the slot. If both of your key puck possession players are on the same side of the ice and of the same shooting hand, the potential for one-timers from those players is greatly diminished. The only real one-timer available is across ice to Dcat, who is dangerous with that shot and still improving. Where does Kubalik setup as a one-timer? Being left-handed shooter means his back is to Kane or is facing Toews in an awkward position to one-time if he sets up in the slot. The pass would need to come from Dcat, not Kane, unless you put Kane on the left wall. Then where does Dcat go, to the right wall where his one-time shot is useless? If we have a righty setup in the slot, then Kane and Toes have 2 options for one-timers. As that player moves up and down the slot, it creates a lane to Dcat across the ice. Defense has to pick their poison. Gus on the blue line is the outlet who has to slide with the puck to the middle to give Kane the one-time chance, and cal also feed Dcat. Or shoot himself. Nobody thought his shot was as good as it was last year. Once the league took his shot away on the PP, we became an ugly PP again. The setup doesn’t work without a one-time opportunity for the guy in the slot. For proof – just watch it! Amazing that coaches can’t see the issues. Change the personnel or the plan. Geez – put Seabrook in the slot if that is all you got!

    Watch Washington do this with their PP. One of the best in the league because of planned passing, and shooters in shooting positions. Oshie slides up and down the slot for the one-timer while Ovechkin sits across ice for the one time slam. Pick your poison. They have far more options than we do. And, far more success.

  72. Again, changing a left-handed Kubalik for a left-handed Strome changes what? Change player positioning to utilize 3 left-handed forwards or change to a more balance approach personnel wise.

    The definition of insanity does not change, by definition.

  73. Silent as i said and Colliton alluded to today having him there for his one timer shooting ability to give Kane another option is the advantage, Strome has his plusses but that is definitely not one of them. Kubalik likes to set up in slot and Debrincat on wing so 2 lethal options foe Kane to feed that could compliment each other.

  74. If Kane is on the right wall, how does he pass to a left-handed shooter in the slot for a one-timer? A back-handed one timer??? That would be about as effective as Keith’s blasts from the blue line (which JC recognized last year as the joke we used to have on PP1)! So that would mean Kane needs to be on the left side boards, putting Dcat where, on the right boards? LOL! That would please Dcat I am sure. He may as well go sit on the bench.

    It doesn’t make sense. I’m not saying JC didn’t say it or your source is wrong (your ears or someone else), I’m just saying that the human body needs to face the passer to get off a reasonably decent one-timer. Kane from the right boards to Kubalik in the slot doesn’t happen to fit that definition. Kubalik has his back to Kane. Put Kane on the other side and Dcat has his back to Kane for a one-timer. Help me out – explain the positioning!!

    Kane on the goal line moving from one side of the net to the other works, but that’s a huge change in the setup and then Toews gets lost in the shuffle.

  75. Unless your going to have 20 and 8 with 19 or 17 then we have 3 of the players that would make the 1st or the 2nd without 20 and 8.

    Do that for the 1st or 2nd and keep the 3rd for now and figure out the other of 1st or 2nd.

  76. Smith was hurt in preseason so he has been playing hurt somewhat. Prob why he doesnt look that good, in terms of how good he really is. 4th line going to be good when hes 100% again. If the 3rd line is the checking line then the 4th doesn have to be a goon line it can have scorers on it, 92 77 others.

  77. Oshee a right shot? Once Dach is ready then we have that.

    PP the same, good wise. Then we have a better 2nd PP with Strome.

    Who scored lots of PP goals or was a part in 2013 2014 2105.

    65 20 right? 65 20 17 ? ?

  78. Its crazy with the 12 17 thing 88 doesnt fit being on separate line then 19 until 77 is ready and established. 8 is a good player, still need one more to make it work, with 65.

    20 19 65
    77 deadline add 88
    12 17 8
    15 22 64

    What do you do for top 6 until 77 is ready and deadline add. If you cant have 12 17 88 because of D thing. Without doing 19 88 on the line.

  79. @Ian, I actually really like this third line and would not want to break it up IF, (really big if) the other two lines were playing well. But four games in and I don’t see much working in the top six with Nylander, Shaw and Caggiula there.

    One last point I will make on the issue is about meritocracy. Good play being rewarded with more playing time is a universal incentive. Isn’t there value to young guys trying to make the team to see that if you play well you get to play with Kane and Toews? Saad was “demoted” from the top line exactly for not playing the way he is playing now. Doesn’t the short and long term benefits of being rewarded for good play outweigh the perceived value of keeping a third line together? A team that has missed the playoffs does not have the luxury of keeping a third line together when the top two lines need a jumpstart. And the two players who are driving the success of the third line should be rewarded for doing so.

  80. Silent time will tell, they are practicing utilizing Kubalik’s shot for 5 on 3 situations at least.

    Miroslav winning takes precedent, not players personnel stats, that’s what all successful organizations have to do sometimes.

  81. Wishful thinking to have Each here at the deadline. This team could very well be sellers at the deadline as well. Had 1 good game. Let’s string a few more. Lose tomorrow and all the fire everyone bandwagon comes out and says I told you so.

  82. Why break up 20, 64, 8? Easy, because Saad is not paid $6million to be on a checking line with two AHL players. He is still young and has lots in the tank. He’s a power forward that we do not have in the top 6… A power forward with talent And by the way, Kessel played with Malkin when the Pens won the Cup not Bonino! The fact remains this team has not made the playoffs the last 2 years. And if they want to compete, they need a real top 6. I think a 3rd line with 65 77 92 (or 8) is a little better than anything we had the last 2 season. Hopefully Dach becomes a dominant center one day. But at the moment, the top six need to be loaded up. And why Perlini is still not in the lineup while Cagg keeps playing is ridiculous.
    20 19 88
    12 17 11
    65 77 92
    15 22 8
    And the checking line is the 4th line not the 3rd line in my opinion. No more Cagg or Kampf.

  83. It’s a good thing there is a game tomorrow to give us something new to talk about – we’re in a rut.

  84. Two maintenance days for Zack Smith. Back problems in Europe. Hmmm!
    Seems we could do better on the fourth line. Somebody who is healthy and brings energy and defensive responsibility to go with Carpenter and Nylander.

  85. Hull 65-you’re falling into that rut again. (You were actually doing better part of last year)
    We get it–Saad good, AHL players no good. (actually in simple terms you are right)

    Please watch Cags and Perlini play. Night and day as far as results go-one is a grinding machine who is fast and opens up chances for his teammates, a coach trusts him. The other plays sometimes, and rarely lives up to his God given talents, which got him the first round pick but that only ‘plays’ so long and then he might join the island of first round duds. Not a small island.

  86. Rusty, sure. I think we had 2 bad 2 good. We win the WIN game if they call icing on their 2nd goal, it happens. Thats a good 2-0 without penatly 6-4, it happens. Just saying we seemed to be bad without the 2nd pair, 44 and 5. Now 2 games with 44 and 5 we look that much better. People to get like that when things are bad, know what your saying.

    I just think we cant go by anything in first 5 games, to me its games 6-10 that show us, because were up to speed by then. Then you have your games 15 or 20 that the lines are established and were going. Q always did different lines, every yr, even when we were once in 700 yr team, in the first 15-20 games. Then we were set for 82 games.

    For deadline eve n if were sellers we could add a center and trade Gusto. I do not know just that I am not sure where we get another center until 77 is ready. I would have 65 for 3rd line center like 2013 and even then we still added a deadline center, we have every yr we were deep, except for 2010 11 came in summer.

  87. This balacned lines or stack your top 6 thing and caphit and min thing is who deserves the higher lines. To me this all means that every bit of this goes hand in hand. You get a checking line that works and a top 6 that works and then who cares what caphit any player has or what the min are, with being within a proper range, not counting high low PP PK differences in the game not each players.

    Hand in hand. You need both checking line and good top 6. 77 is going to be really good should he be playing 3rd line until he gets his 6.3 caphit after elc until his elc is up. Hes prob going to be RW in top 6, unless you do a balanced top 9 and 4th line checking line like 2013 2014 2015.

  88. I do agree with the 4th line needing to be the checking line and the 3rd should be a line like 29 65 25 or 10 80 86. This is where 77 can play and I like 65 there to.

    I think we should stay 3rd line for now, when we do can a 4th line checking line of this be good. Is 15 too slow or when hes 100% can that line be fast enough.

    15 22 64

  89. Actually Rusty, a pretty good read, gives a good example of how Colliton seems to look at his top 3 lines, not their roles, but as equal parts. Don’t make him deal in facts though, he’d be an unarmed man then. Lol

  90. Thanks Ian. I remembered reading that and just had to find it. Why let facts get in the way of a good biased narrative?

  91. Stop with , we need to jump start our 2 top lines by putting Saad or whoever to get them going. If Toews and Kane (10.5 mil ) can’t get themselves going we’re not making the playoffs. If you think Dach , who has yet to play a regular season game is our saviour,your hoping for a miracle. Finally have you ever heard that Crosby needs to play with so and so to get him going. NO . Your best players have to be your best players. Saad didn’t work with Toews last yr. They both like to carry the puck into the O zone.

  92. Looking at the comments I will agree.
    Full 60 minute effort.
    Colliton is over his head.
    Shaw is a difference maker.
    Saad was a monster tonight.
    And I will add:
    Crawford played super AND did not let in the easy one he seems to do every game.
    All good.

  93. Finally, Saad with the two so called AHL players nullified the McDavid line and the other top lines so far. But their AHL caliber , seriously?

  94. Great article in canoe.com about how Crosby is elevating the play of his teammates with all their injuries, some of AHL calibre

  95. In the East sure. Not in the central he wouldnt. None of ‘those’ 50 goal scorers score 50 or maybe even 40 in the Cambell.

  96. So let me make sure I have this right – Perlini = Proven NHL player while Kampf and Kubalik are AHL players. Perlini > Caggiula. At least we haven’t heard how bad a skater Strome is for the 1,000th time. I actually think Caggiula has been one of the most consistent players so far this year. To me he is a pretty valuable guy that can play throughout the lineup and will give great effort in whatever role he is asked to play. I would love to see Perlini succeed but I have to believe he had as good a shot as anyone in training camp but again failed to impress. Yes he has size but Caggiula plays a much more physical game.

    Bobby9 – completely agree with your comments about Crosby and Dach. The media seems to be acting like Dach is going to be a savior – I feel for the poor 18 year old kid. Let’s let him play hockey without burdening him with huge expectations right now. I watched the Devils play last night and Jack Hughes looked pretty solid but the storyline is that he is a disappointment since he hasn’t scored a goal after a handful of games.

  97. @Ian, It’s ok, if you disagree with me, but don’t put words in my mouth. I never said anything about making the Saad and Kubalik move to bump stats. Nor did I ever indicate that winning isn’t the priority. The Hawks have one win in four games, so it’s not like they are tearing up the standings with the current configuration…

  98. Miroslav not trying to put words in your mouth, but if your moving somebody to top line as a reward, having better stats is part of that expected reward.

  99. Good teams win when they get outplayed from time to time or half the time.

    First 2 games, without 2nd pair 5 and 44, bad both games.
    Second 3 games, with 5 and 44, good and really good and decent got outplayed, 2-0-1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *