Devils Put Blackhawks Through Hell

There are games when you don’t even want to start reading the comments… And, after a nice comeback victory in Carolina on Saturday, many were hoping Sunday wouldn’t be one of those nights.

Coach Joel Quenneville indicated before the game that there might be some changes to his lineup in spite of the win on Saturday night, and those moves were interesting indeed. John Hayden, Jordan Oesterle and Michal Kempny were inserted into a lineup that featured seven defensemen; Ryan Hartman, Cody Franson and Tommy Wingels took a seat for Chicago.

The Blackhawks started the game out in a way that got everyone excited. Only 42 seconds into the game, Jan Rutta unloaded a shot that was credited to Artem Anisimov. Either way, the Blackhawks were up 1-0.

Brent Seabrook went to the box for tripping Miles Wood at 2:12 and Wood made the power play count, scoring his fourth of the game.

Seabrook went back to the box 75 seconds after the Wood goal after hooking Jesper Bratt, but Chicago was able to kill the second penalty.

Kyle Palmieri and Richard Panik mixed it up and both went to the box and the Blackhawks got to work during the 4-on-4 action. Last night’s headliner, Alex DeBrincat, took care of finishing the business end of the offense for his sixth of the season.

Nick Schmaltz picked up the only assist on the DeBrincat goal, starting an impressive night for the Hawks’ young forward. Schmaltz was flying in the opening period, making plays on both ends of the ice and aggressively getting the puck into open areas to create opportunities.

Damon Severson went to the box for Jersey 60 seconds after the DeBrincat goal and Rutta put one home the official scorer couldn’t award to anyone else.

Tanner Kero waited only 22 seconds to extend the Blackhawks lead to 4-1.

Wood scored his second of the opening period to get the Devils back to within 4-2 only 36 seconds after the Kero goal, and the first period would end with Chicago hanging onto a two-goal advantage.

The Blackhawks out-shot the Devils 17-12 in the opening 20 minutes and carried most of the action.

That would change quickly in the second.

Wood’s goal to close out the first period would be the first of five unanswered goals for New Jersey. Andy Greene scored at 3:07, rookie Nico Hischier tied the game at 6:52 and Taylor Hall gave the Devils the lead with his 400th career regular season point at 12:15.

Brian Gibbons gave the visitors a two-goal lead at 17:05 and the United Center was vocal with their anger at the Blackhawks’ performance.

Chicago would get a power play late in the second and Patrick Kane got the Hawks back into the scoring column with under three seconds left in the middle period, cutting the lead to 6-5.

Somehow the Blackhawks still out-shot the Devils in the second period, but the wheels were completely off the wagon when the horn sounded.

And the night was over for Corey Crawford after 40 minutes. When the Hawks took the ice for the third period, Anton Forsberg was between the pipes; Crawford allowed six goals against 25 shots.

Even with the change in goal, the Hawks came out to open the third totally flat. Jersey attacked the new netminder and got Panik to take a frustration penalty. Wood completed the first hat trick of his career at 2:21 into the third and Jersey was back to a two-goal lead.

With an assist on the third Wood goal, Jesper Bratt became the first player in the NHL to have five points in his first two career regular season games since Vladimir Tarasenko did so in 2013.

Hischier, the number one overall pick in this summer’s draft, picked up the second assist on Wood’s third goal to give him a three-point night.

And the dumpster was fully ablaze.

To his credit, Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid rebounded from a shaky first period to stone the Blackhawks over the final 40 minutes. But once the Devils caught up and took the lead, the Hawks looked like a team that was not only playing the second half of a back-to-back, but also a team that was lost and had seven defensemen in the lineup.

The play of Rutta, Schmaltz and DeBrincat were the few bright spots for Chicago.

Schmaltz saw his ice time increase again, up to almost 22 minutes. He had two assists, two takeaways and two blocked shots.

DeBrincat skated over 15 minutes in the game with five shots on net and a goal.

Rutta had three points, two blocked shots, one hit and three shots on net in 23 minutes on the ice.

The rest of the roster looked like garbage.

Jonathan Toews won 11 of 18 at the dot and put six shots on net but failed to register a point. Panik had almost as many penalty minutes (four) as he did hits (team-high five). Anisimov won 12 of 32 at the dot. And Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp failed get a point on the board again as well.

Quenneville’s seven defensemen experiment failed and the Hawks – after looking great in the first after a strong performance in Carolina – are right back searching for answers.

Before the game, the Blackhawks honored legendary forward Al Secord with One More Shift.

58 thoughts on “Devils Put Blackhawks Through Hell

  1. Well so much for building some confidence after the Carolina game. Tonight, those were two teams going in completely different directions.

  2. The cupboard isn’t empty. We’re starting to see Schmaltz, DeBrincat, Rutta, Forsling show a little bit as they get increased opportunities. And that’s encouraging. The Hawks need a “next wave” to bring it. But they need their core to show up – especially at home when you’ve got a 2-goal lead. The lack of push back in the third was embarrassing.

  3. Another good game by us. We have outplayed/or equal in 6 of last 7 games. We deserved to win this game, they got the breaks and were allowed to hold our sticks that entire first min of 3rd period until they called penalty on us.

    Schmatlz is looking more and more like hes getting back to full health. Debrinkat is getting experience and coming along nicely. Were looking good for games 20-40 and we will have a more normal/normal sch. for alot of games 20-40, as well as 40-60. So regardless of any negative TALK, I think were going to have a really good NOV and DEC.

    Just sucks to outplay the other team and be 3-3 in these last 7 games.

    Cant wait for games 20-60. That’s when well see what our team is really like.

  4. This was an incredibly hard game to watch. I actually turned it off after the second period.

    It was fantastic to see how they came out firing in the first, it really started to I still some confidence in the entire team and you could see it.

    What happened after the first is such a head scratcher? How can this be the same team that played in the first? What the hell happened?

    I’ve said it before but this team is not as bad as they’re playing. You can’t win hockey games when you’re entirely outclassed, out hustled and outplayed.
    It’s honestly so frustrating and confusing to watch such poor effort after poor effort.

    Serious question, is this team done? Are they just not good anymore or has the rest of the league gotten that much better? Crawford had his worst start of the season. A few of those goals were definitely saveable.

    So disheartening…

  5. as usual, tab has the finger on the pulse: respectfully suggest it was a 3 and not 2 goal lead in first

    when I was young, any of the 6 or 12 nhl teams could close the door on a 3 or 2 goal lead

    that can be learned again and practiced and executed by the right coaches

  6. Lets just give it time there is lots of season left its not presidents trophy everybody wants. They are scoring again as Tab mentioned some of the young guys showing promise. Power play looking better but the veterans need to step up. Favorable schedule for a spell now.

  7. Wow up 4-1 and lose 7-5 that’s something special right there. Let’s start with Q, not sure what he was thinking when he filled out the lineup tonight. Hopefully he wont be foolish with the lineup again. This team doesnt have the talent to make up for silliness. On the plus side with the last 4 mins remaining and an open net the Hawks took the ice with Keith, Rutta, Kane, Saad, ADC and Toews. Those are the best chocies right now. Seabs was not out there which was telling. At this stage some of these core guys belong in the press box occasionally, since they are not contributing. Continued results and games like this are going to get guys traded or fired.

  8. Also i don’t get why they don’t make a move to 7D if same 2 are going to be sitting most of the time. Trade one or try sending 82 down. Have Hino available to put in lineup for a spark.

  9. Wow that’s a wide assortment of responses-(and after the same game). Can we all agree that confusing seems to define the ‘new’ Blackhawks.
    22% of season gone and on pace for 82 points—109 last year.

  10. We all know Seabrook not playing to level he was but he logs about 5 or 6 min. a night on special teams both pk and pp which is hard replace. Also in last 2 losses 10 of 11 goals were scored 5 on 5 and neither Seabrook or Forsling were on the ice for any of them. The one pp goal scored against them 7 was in the box and 42 on pk but hard to lay to much on 7 on those losses.

  11. “The play of Rutta, Schmaltz and DeBrincat were the few bright spots for Chicago. The rest of the roster looked like garbage.” “..they need their core to show up – especially when you’ve got a 2-goal lead” (Tab) — yes, “really captures the spirit of the thing”.

    “Another good game by us. We have outplayed/or equal in 6 of last 7 games.” (Morrison) — sarcasm?

    I think Q should dress eight defensemen next game.

  12. I was listening to the game. From the descriptions, that I heard, the hawks were flying in the first. As much as Crawford has been the saving grace, so far this season, he was the weak link tonight. When the hawks were up 4-1 he let that 2nd goal in. That needed to be stopped. It took the wind out of the sails. That 2nd period? Oh boy!!! 5 goals. I am a strong Crawford guy, but tonight, he was brutal. Q took out Wingels, Franson, and Hartman. I get Franson. He’s not a fast skater. Wingels? He’s been very good. Hartman? Not sure why, unless Q wants him to see where he can improve. I think Sharp should spend a night in the box. Playing
    seven defensemen is a, not so subtle, way of hinting that Q may not have his hand on the pulse of the team. I think he’s just as lost…at least…defensively. Where is the team leadership? The C and the A’s are not providing it. Yesterday, Debrinkat put the team on his 19y/o shoulders and won that game. Tonight, he took the lead…again!!! Where are the veterans? Kero should center that 3rd line and keep Wingels on the 4th. Their play has more heart than the top two lines.
    Defensively, I get that everyone is pissy with Seabrook. He took two dumb penalties and was not exemplary. Q should decrease his ice time. However, Q needs to decide what D men are going to be where and with whom. This may be a tough season, but the team can take this time to get answers about who is worth keeping and who is worth moving.

  13. Agree with Tab on the “next wave”. If this is a transition year so be it, Forsling and Rutta are now in the top 4 or at least playing top four minutes. They will need the rest of this season to become acclimated to those roles.

    Murphy at $3.5+Million for 11 minutes of ice time is insane. Has anybody seen Richard “flash in the ” Panik in the last dozen games ? $2.8 Million.

    Schmaltz and deBrincat are seizing the opportunity to play. Great to see.

    This 8 man defensive unit stuff is silly. Franson or Kempny should be able be able to fetch a draft pick. I would imagine both would rather play in the 3rd pairing somewhere than sit in Chicago for a 500 team and walk away in April. Heck move both and let Oesterle be the number 6. It won’t change the overall result but it will give the Hawks more picks at the draft.

    I think McDonough should change the mantra from “One Goal” to “The Next Wave”
    Might as well rebrand this 500 team.

  14. Crawford was bad tonight – no sugar coating it. But, he has earned a little slack for the stinker tonight after so many stellar performances. Plus, it wasn’t all on him – the defense in front of him looked like they didn’t know what they were supposed to do. Too many times the forwards were either flying the zone early or staying up high instead of helping to battle for the puck. Yes, Crawford stunk but so did the team defense.

    I’m not sure what playing 7 d-men was supposed to accomplish. Whatever it was – it didn’t work. Keith, Rutta and Forsling all had over 22 minutes and Seabrook was just under 20 minutes. The other 3 d-man got between 9:28 and 11:15 – did that help something? I don’t get it, although I can’t see how playing 7 d-men hurt the team either so it was more or less a “who cares”.

    So, now what – a crash course in how to play defense?

  15. Didn’t watch the game yet but why is Anisimov taking 32 draws to Toews’ 18? I know 19 has been having production issues but his numbers at the dot have been around 50% or so fairly steadily.

  16. Press the panic button. Seabrook and Keith had terrible games. Seabrook needs to be scratched on back to back games as he simply can’t keep up. This team will not make the playoffs. Another month of this and Qs job will be in peril and yes the young guys showed they had the fresher legs last night.

  17. It has come down to which Hawks team is going to show up period to period. This past weekend at least revealed some improved offensive chemistry, yet defensive shortcomings continue to plague this team. All of the Devils goals last night I seem to recall were scored right around the Hawks net. Forwards and d men do not seem to be on the same page as it pertains to coverage responsibilities. Crow had a rough night for sure, but didn’t get much help around the net. This problem has been a chronic issue with the 2017-2018 Hawks team. This is not a trademark of Quenneville teams. As fans we knew the team would usually play a pretty solid team defensive scheme. Not so through the first 1/4 of this season.

    Lack of team speed was apparent last night against a very quick Devils squad. Keith is not as fast as he used to be and certainly Seabrook who was never particularly quick on his skates has really slowed down. The Hawks don’t have Hossa this year. That guy was a beast on the back check game in and game out. I thought Saad might lead the way in that regard with HOss sadly out of the lineup. Before he left for the Jackets he was also a fierce back check guy. Toews too. Schmaltz warms to the task, and creates lots of takeaways. Panik can play that way when motivated. Something though is missing from a defensive standpoint in the Hawks d zone. I’l let the x’s and o’s guys figure that one out.

    This team is still trying to get it figured out. Each game I go the UC this season I get to my seat thinking, which Hawks team is going to show up tonight? For so many years I had this feeling most games SHOULD/can be won. Right now I don’t have that feeling with this group. There are some positives, but this consistently soft defensive effort is disturbing.

    Lets see if they can tighten things up against a not so great Rags team Wednesday.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  18. The young kids are starting to get their legs under them. They have to learn that you cannot let up in the big league. This is a process that will continue to develop over the next 2-3 months.

  19. Spot-on points by numerous posters — Tab as to young players making a difference, Patrick as to number of faceoffs Anismov took v. Toews, Ian & Craig as to disproportionate amount of ice time allotted among D-men.

    Clearly, Q has no trust in and/or dislikes from a player standpoint both Murphy & Kempny, both of whom hardly played at all the last half of the game. Oesterle is rusty he looked shaky at best, and Rutta was no great shakes in his own zone last night. His treatment of Murphy & Kempny is far worse than his disdain for Daley’s game two years ago.

    Once Q loses trust in a player and/or never places trust in one, good night Irene, that player is done here, for better or for worse. That’s not to say Q is incorrect in his assessments (i.e. Pirri & Morin), but what does that say about the dynamic between Bowman’s signings and Q’s line-ups and in-game benchings? This is a recipe for failure.

    Tab’s point as to the young players is correct — this is why Hinostroza, and possibly even Highmore should be recalled and given an opportunity to play regular shifts. The same holds true for Kempny on the back end, but he appears to be non-starter for Q.

  20. Iceman just looking at takeaway/giveaway stats. Not surprising Schmaltz leads with a plus 16 with about 350 mins. of ice time. While on other end Srabrook -16 with 400 mins ice time and Kempny -14 with only 200 mins ice time. If you balance out ice time and then adjust it for quality of opposition on the ice Kempnys becomes considerably higher and shows his inconsistent play. Could be a reason also why he is sitting alot lately.

  21. Really great to see Al Secord out there on the ice before the game. Those years when he skated with the Hawks were wonderful for us fans. That was a very good team with a solid lineup that always had the Edmonton All Stars in the way.

    Those were the days at the Stadium. Season tickets I had 2nd balcony red line were like $5.50-$7.00 back then…

    Lets Go Hawks!

  22. “The young kids are starting to get their legs under them. They have to learn that you cannot let up in the big league.” (Reg Dunlop) — I guess this lets the veteran (“leaders”, especially) off the hook – they would have to actually be playing to at some point “let up”…

    “Once Q loses trust in a player and/or never places trust in one…” (Iceman) – yes, and this is a problem. It’s a fair bet that he will keep going back to Seabrook, no matter how ineffective, until he literally dies on the ice. Keith hasn’t been playing at an elite level for some time. It hurts to see it – these (and a couple of others) were great players. They just can’t do it any more?

  23. I hate writing this next comment but I have to; Ducan Keith has lost half a step.

    Let that sink he! He is still an above average defenseman. His positioning and stick covers for that against most forwards, however really speed players, and elite players are able to take advantage of it and put themselves in good positions. Keith is forced to play against teams top units and those guys are mostly elite level players. That was an assignment Hammer usually took and did it well. Well, Hammer can’t take those assignments now.

    I feel like the Hawks can live with Keith’s slowing down but only if they can pair him up with a good partner. That’s the real problem, Jan Rutta is just a guy(He has played well). Seabroke play has been borderline embarrassing, Kempny & Murphy can’t escape Q’s doghouse, Fosling has limitations in his own end and Franson cant play on a top pair of a contending team. Unless the Hawks can address the blue line this is going to be a long season.

  24. SSHM I would like to see them get sonebody to play with Keith too, as he seems to trying to do it all when he is out there and its too much. His ice time is primarily with top lines and their offense often starts with him in the play but this year having to be more concerned with defensive end of it he is not able too like usual. That could be a factor hurting the offense of the core too.
    It appears for now though the plan is to have Keith and Forsling who has been about 22 to 23 min since his return to eat up most of the leftside mins and 5, 7,11 and 44 cover right and a few leftover 3rd pair mins by committee. 6 and 82 as injury insurance so nobody has to go through waivers.

  25. SSHM – Keith is 34. The fact that he’s lost half a step is only natural, and you’re right that he has. But he’s still a top tier defenseman. I think our collective frustration is that when he was w/ 4 in the past it was a known commodity. Now we don’t know who he’s going to be with and how that pair will perform… or how long until someone else is w/ Keith.

    Seabrook’s issues are magnified by the rotating door on 2 of the other spots on the blue line. I think if they could settle on a top 6 and keep pairs together for a couple weeks he wouldn’t look nearly as bad as he has recently. But when you and your partner are guessing it leads to bigger mistakes.

  26. Phil, that’s what I think. Going to support the guys and not puss out on them by being negative, no matter how long it takes to gel.

  27. @ Ian

    Let me say this I am not advocating for the Hawks to make a silly trade and give up draft picks. If the Hawks can move some salary and get a decent return I’m all for it. SB trades have been met with mixed results and our drafting outside of grabbing ADC & Schmaltz recently has been ok.

    Here is the problem, If I’m SB I make an aggressive play for Jacob Truba in free agency. He is restricted FA, however, the problem is the Hawks have zero wiggle room to improve themselves from outside for the next several years. They are absolutely screwed.

  28. SSHM i’m not advocating a silly trade either as often discussed midseason trades have mixed results, only if there is a need and a possibilty that could to make make team better. As for Trouba rfas rarely get signed by other teams and with to sign a RD you are either giving up on Murphy or not signing Rutta or both. Which clears some room for that. I don’t see how they become big players in free agency without at least moving Hossa’s contract and maybe more depending how big you want to go.

  29. They need to stop giving away picks and try and collect some this deadline. Look at what St Louis did, they sold some parts off at the deadline (Shatty) and still improved and competed in the playoffs.

    I see nothing wrong with taking your 8 defensemen and selling one off at the deadline for a prospect / picks. It clears the logjam and gives you some future assets which as has been mentioned this team needs more of in a bad way.

  30. @ HEREISMIKE

    If the Hawks are playing like this around the deadline, I’d hope the team thinks about being a seller. If I’m SB I trade Kempny or Murphy. Both are 2nd pair guys and could fetch a decent return and both are stuck in Q’s doghouse so whats the sense in keeping either of them. Hell, I’d trade Keith out East if the right deal came along.

  31. Although I am not totally in favor of a trade, this team needs to figure it out. My belief is that you will not be able to trade any of the large contracts except Crow and Keith(not a bad contract at all). So this coaching staff, these players and the leadership on this team need to figure out why they just lose focus during a game.

    Q does not let guys play out of a rut, if they screw up just once they are in the press box. To me, that can’t continue to happen. These guys have got to play and learn by their mistakes. You can’t expect Kempny or Forsling to play 2 games and then sit for 4 games. That alone tells me that SB is letting Q do the coaching. But Q has to change his thought process or we are going to NOT make the playoffs.

    I still support this team. 3 cups in 7 years has earned my trust and loyalty!!

  32. @GoForFour

    With all due respect, in the 6 & 12 team NHL it was a way different game.

    If you got up a goal it was even more clutching & grabbing then normal, heck at times it was more like tackle football!

    Plus the 2 line pass took away any stretch passes.

    Todays game favors more offense & is a more exciting game IMHO.

  33. Reg with AA 4.55m and Murphy 3.85m and Panik 2.8m thats 11.2 m in movable contracts if something big in free agency was thought about. Plus Hossa 5.275m still no move c?ause to be dealt with but could be possibly in play too.

  34. With all the musical chairs governing the forward lines and defensive pairings the team has built no chemistry. I think this lends itself to when things start going bad it just snowballs. Q please stick with the same lines and defensive pairings for awhile!

  35. If these guys want to stay on the same lines and learn from their mistakes, …..you know where they do that? Places like Buffalo! Where they haven’t sniffed the playoffs in years.

    If you want to see guys on the same lines I suggest they start winning. Of course Q is pulling the strings, you don’t win 1 Cup, much less 3, and have the GM tell you how to do your job. And make no mistake, he is paid, and will be held accountable, for winning today.

    There is a slim margin to make the playoffs, so as long as the losing keeps happening the blending will continue, as it should. You don’t stick with the same lineup and post a .500 record for 3 weeks, that is how you work on your golf game come April. Ask guys like Evander Kane.

  36. I just realized today that the Hawks are without a 2nd and 4th round selection in this year’s draft. Then I look at why they were without those selections and I wanted to cry. Earlier I had throw Truba out there. If the Hawks were to go after him they would forfeit a 1st and 3rd, essential taking them out of the draft, so that’s even less likely knowing that now.

    As for those picks; The 2nd was in addition to Danault going to MTL, for 2 bottom 6 players who did nothing while here. The 4th rounder was for Oduya to return for 15 reg season games and 4 playoff games.

  37. Regarding the rotating door on 5-8 D…

    Would they be better off trading 1? Giving the D more continuity instead of trying to find ice for guys. Based on age and c
    ontract status, id guess Kempny is the odd man out. He alone probably doesn’t garner much attention. I threw this out in the other post, but if you really think the Hawks have a shot at Tavares. Would you part with Anisimov and Kempny for Bozak? Bozak and Anisimov are probably pretty production wise. But Bozak gives you a stellar faceoff guy. Anisimov is 49.6 and Bozak 54.3. Both have 8 points.

    Bozak’s deal is expiring. Anisimov has time left. Salary is similar. Would the Leafs want the cost control where they’d lose Bozak in the summer? Or are they banking on that space to resign guys?

    If you lose the 15 hit, and without the 3 million plus in bonuses…youre close to being in the Tavares ballpark. That’s if you think he can be had. Tavares is rep’d by super agent Pat Brisson. Same agent for 19 and 88. Tavares might want 12 million…but it’s just not going to happen unless he stays in New York or signs in Arizona.

    It’s tough to part with NHL caliber D. But it might be for the better.

    2-44
    42-7
    5-11
    82 With Gus and Snuggerud ready for a call up. I think we’ve all given up on Pokka.

  38. Hereismike what you say is fine but you can’t change your lines every 3rd day. If you do that you will never have any chemistry. I love Q and know he’s working with what he’s been given but give the lines a chance to jell.

  39. Well, I’m going to take one thing at a time.
    Looked better on offense last night. Actually had more continuous pace throughout the game relative to what has been going on. More energy. More guys around the net.
    Those things are good.
    The overall team defense let the whole squad down last night. Crawford wasn’t any great shakes but the team didn’t help him out.
    Let’s get the offense and defense in sync this next time out.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  40. Ernie the Leafs want to sign their young forwards and add a top 4 dman, doubt AA holds much interest for them. With 44, 38 & 40 needing resigned and in the vicinity of 1.5m in overage possible your probably going to need to move more than AA to have room for Tavares.
    ?empny could be valuable depth if injury bug hits and kinda looks like they don’t want to lose for him that reason and Oesterle on a league minimum salary for next 2 years is a handy fill in guy, so not going to risk him on waivers. I’d Like to see 7 d but doesn’t seem to be any hurry to do it.

  41. Lazerus had a couple suggestions in the SunTimes today to put 12-8-88 together and to send down Oesterle and bring up Hinostroza. Both ideas have been bandied about before on this and other Hawk blogs, but maybe it’s time to actually make those moves.

    DeBrincat seems to have some confidence right now and getting results and Schmaltz speed game has been apparent the past 2 games. Kane needs to shake the doldrums and putting 2 playmakers with him just might do the trick. There’s no doubt that line would be a defensive liability if the puck get’s stuck in the d-zone – but the potential for offense production could override that.

    Carrying 8 d-men seem to be more of a burden than a good thing. It would be different if one of the d-men were banged up and questionable to play but that isn’t the case. Oesterle hasn’t played much but if you had to pick a d-man to send down and potentially lose on waivers it would be Oesterle. Hinostroza has played very well in Rockford and is in the top-10 in AHL scoring with 8 goals and 7 assists in 14 games. He has earned a call up, and the Hawks could use his speed.

  42. Pleasantly surprised to see so many measured comments after last night’s debacle. Forsling at 21 yrs old has real upside. Keith didn’t play with the Hawks until he was 22. Not suggesting Forsling is Keith but he has top 2 potential as he physically matures. He needs to continue to be given big minutes. Dcat’s last two games have been very impressive. While his skating isn’t elite, his other skills (vision, creativity, snipe ability) are. I would play him more minutes with skilled players. Send down Oesterle or Kempny, neither will ever bring a draft pick and if we are concerned about losing one of them we have much bigger problems. Bring up Hino, he has performed in Rockford and deserves a shot. If the core can’t get their act together in the next 15 games then move to a more aggressive development program (including cutting Sharp loose) and look to be sellers at the deadline.

  43. Honestly, I could be wrong, but I don’t think you put Schmaltz, Kane and Dcat together. What made Panarin Anisimov Kane work was all the defensive work Anisimov did down low, and the fact that he has the size to win some one on one puck battles. Plus, Schmaltz can’t win a faceoff, and Panarin can rag the puck and play keepaway from the defense almost as well as Kane can. That’s not Dcat’s thing. But he should play with skilled guys, no doubt.

    If last game proved anything, it should be that Schmaltz is a better player on the wing. His only defensive gift is using his speed, backchecking and stealing the puck from behind which led to a goal last game. Other than that, he gets exposed on D when he plays center. The center becomes and extra defenseman below the dots in the defensive zone, it’s 3 on 3. You need to be able to take a guy head on and take the puck from him. Not his strong suit. Maybe in time he will gain more weight / muscle. But for now, any proposal with Schmaltz at center just doesn’t make sense.

  44. MS I like your comments about Forsling and Rutta. I agree their development is huge for the Hawks future. Top 4 D does not grow on trees, you need to develop them yourself or pay huge free agent / trade prices. Forsling has the kind of wheels that are necessary to excel in the new NHL. Patience is key.

  45. Mike, I agree with Schmaltz as a wing and not putting 12-8-88 out there. Q won’t do it because he wants a bigger body and a defender. While Schmaltz can pick a pocket better than anyone, when he has to make sure he’s there defensively you lose a big part of why he can be so dangerous.

  46. Last year Schmaltz looked better on the right until that line went on a run. Debrincat has said he’s more comfortable and probably more effective on the left. Bump 8 up with 20 and 19. Move 12 with 15 and 88.

  47. Someone reminded me that Toews had all of his success last year when Schmaltz was on the line with him. Schmaltz will also take some heat off Toews and Saad with his scoring ability and speed and is defensively responsible. I also think Debrincat is defensively responsible enough to play with Kane. Also you need to put some one as dangerous as Kane on the other side and try to get those two to create some magic like we saw with Panarin. This coaching staff needs to figure out what to do with all this talent or get a new coaching staff……

    8 19 20
    12 15 88
    40 67 14
    Bring up 48 57 38

    42/44
    2/7
    5/ Bring up Snuggerud

    Keep 6 to rotate in and out

  48. Ms good points and keep the big picture in perspective. This team is developing future stars on the roster, good young future depth players being groomed in Rockford. For 1st time in quite a few years they will have the ability to pursue big pieces through free agency next summer if they choose too. This rest of this year will be a struggle no doubt, but we should be happy about what we are seeing too

  49. Yes man. The young/40 game rookie/80 game rookie guys in 11 and 12 needed time and experience and then they were really good. We have a good group of guys like that now and there going to be really good as well. Add very good player through ufa, with the cap space from 81/no player bonuses/trade-not keep whoever and were looking good again with quality depth. Salary cap goes up 2or3 every yr no matter who says what back and forth, use that for contract raises.

  50. I have a feeling that Q is resigned to this team’s fate and if it’s 500 and no playoffs so be it. He no doubt is seething that Stan fired his best hockey & drinking buddy Mike Kitchen. He was furious that Stan traded a “warrior” in Nick H.

    I am not saying he has stopped coaching or lost the room. However, he might be thinking, these are the ingredients Stan has given me and I’ll mix them up a bit.
    But the results are the results, and that’s on Stan. If Q gets dismissed, his legacy is cemented, not just in Chicago but league-wide.

    He’s in his 10th season here in Chicago, that’s a long run in the hockey business in one place.

  51. 2 games this week, and next week–then 5? (with 2 back to backs)
    Crazy and unnecessary.

    Who does this?

    That would be like the NFL team having a week off then three in a week?

  52. So early with so many new pieces to move around. I’m not an expert by any means so I would throw just a few early observations out there.
    1. Please give Ryan Hartman a fair shake to play. He comes to play night in, night out giving full effort. For that he seems to get the doghouse and no chance to build any chemistry with teammates.
    2. The importance and impact of a great 2 way player is sorely being missed on this team right now, not to mention the professional leadership he showed. #missMarion
    3. The PP needs a serious overhaul. It’s broken and stalls way more than it applies pressure.
    4. The defense has no confidence and seems to be wearing out its greatest asset #50Crow

    Could this team miss the playoffs? Everything I have watched so far tells me it easily could.

  53. @ KNOX

    The fact that we need to move players to fit around the Hawks franchise center in itself is a laughable comment. Let’s hope Toews does his best Kopitar and suddenly finds “it” after missing it for a long stretch. It’s not the Toews had played bad, but he certainly needs to play better if the Hawks want to make any noise in this season . I’m already resigned to the fact that Seabs is going to continue to get worse as the season continues. However, it would be nice if Toews started playing better. Really how far off is a Kane “off ice” issue anyways with bad team play? This Rangers team started the season awful and has been on a run so let’s see what happens.

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