Ducks Sweep Regular Season Series With Blackhawks

For the third time this season, the final score showed the Anaheim Ducks with one goal more than the Chicago Blackhawks. This loss, a 2-1 defeat at the United Center, may force the organization to shake up the lineup.

Friday night’s game-winning goal left the stick of Sheldon Souray and was re-directed when it broke Niklas Hjalmarsson’s stick with just over two minutes left in the third period.

Ray Emery took his first loss of the season, but was really good in defeat. He stopped 22 of 24 Anaheim shots, including a few big saves when sloppy passing in front of him led to excellent chances for the Ducks.

His counterpart, Jonas Hiller, stopped 25 of 26 shots to earn the victory.

During the game, Viktor Stalberg replaced Michael Frolik on the Hawks’ top line with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. Unfortunately, Stalberg was hit in the face by an attempted Ryan Getzlaf clear with just over six minutes left in the third period. He immediately left the bench and did not return.

Toews had another strong game while playing on a line with Saad and [fill-in-the-blank], winning 14 of 20 faceoffs. He was also credited with three takeaways.

Brent Seabrook played his most physical game in some time, and was credited with five big hits. There were more mental lapses, though, one of which almost cost the Hawks a goal; Seabrook was left in the dust by Emerson Etem, who sprinted past him and was able to get a pretty good shot on net.

Patrick Kane scored the only Blackhawks’ goal in the game. He is the only player in the NHL to have two eight-game point streaks this season.

Friday night marked the first time since February 24-25 that Saad failed to register a point in consecutive games. It was also only the second time in March that he had a negative plus-minus rating.

The Blackhawks need to get healthy, but there are other glaring issues.

With Hossa and Sharp out, the Hawks offense has become predictable and the depth that had been so dangerous earlier in the season has become silent. In four games without Hossa, the Hawks have been outscored 11-7 and have only two points (1-3-0).  In fact, Kane, Toews and Frolik have accounted for six of the Hawks’ seven goals (and Frolik’s two goals came while skating on a line with Toews).

Perhaps more telling, three of the seven games in which the Hawks have been held to fewer than 27 shots this entire season have come in the last four games, and the power play has been awful (2-15).

The bottom six forwards for the Hawks have disappeared. But they aren’t the only players struggling.

Dave Bolland had a fantastic opportunity to get a quality shot on net late in the game, but tried to make a pretty, blind, backwards pass through traffic instead. He won nine of 14 faceoffs against Anaheim, but appears to have little/no confidence in his ability to score; Bolland has now played 14 games since his last goal, which came on February 15 against the Sharks.

It was another rough night for the pair of Johnny Oduya and Hjalmarsson as well. There were both minus-two in the game, continuing a trend for the duo. In the last four Blackhawks games, Oduya is minus-eight and Hjalmarsson is minus-six.

If Stalberg can’t go in Detroit on Sunday, it might be time for Jeremy Morin to get a call. Entering Friday night’s game, Morin had 11 goals and seven assists in his last 12 games with the IceHogs, including six powerplay goals. The Blackhawks placed Hossa on IR on Friday, which would open a roster spot for someone from Rockford.

Unless a trade happens in the next 24 hours, Morin might need to be the spark for the stagnant Chicago offense.

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33 Responses to Ducks Sweep Regular Season Series With Blackhawks

  1. wall says:

    Hoss on IR… Put a fork in the Hawks… they are done if this is a serious/off season surgery deal… Is it the wrist or a shoulder?
    Hoss had shoulder surgery when he signed w/ Hawks.

    Bowman needs to make some deals… our “Prospects” are over-rated… Hayes- needs to be on 4th line… he can’t skate and doesn’t play physical enough for his size.

    Seabs- used to be my favorite D-Man… I think he is turning into Chris Pronger of late… he thinks that the other team isn’t going to skate after the Puck… I think #7 thinks he is at practice playing on the PP … WTF!!!!!! If we can get Yandle… maybe Seabs is the guy to dump!

    To all of the Kool-aid drinkers- Hawks aren’t Big/physical enough to beat either L.A. or Ducks!!!

  2. Tab Bamford says:

    so… wall, the Hawks aren’t big/physical enough to beat LA or Anaheim, so the answer is to trade the only big/physical defenseman on the roster?

  3. ZebraGreg says:

    I agree with many of Wall’s points.

    I don’t see Hayes being a legit NHL-caliber player either.
    PP continues to be way too predictable and obviously sorely ineffective.
    As in many games, far too many attempts at the extra pretty pass that ultimately nets nothing.
    Physicality is continually lacking.
    With Hoss and Sharpie out the strength of Hawks depth is neutralized to a great extent.

    I think they need a jolt whether by trying a few Rockford kids or a trade.

  4. John B says:

    Carcillo actually had a strong game tonight. He was active, made a few decent passes, and seemed to have a bit more burst. Maybe his knee is getting better and he’s skating more fluidly. We needs a guy like him–some scrap, some bile–for the playoffs, because as we saw tonight, we don’t hit anybody. If we can’t play our puck possession game, we’re done. Too soft, too meek. Disappointing.

    The brilliant forechecking and backchecking on display during the streak has disappeared. When we had it going, it created turnovers and offensive opportunities. Defensively, it foiled and frustrated. But it’s gone now. We play flat and on our heels.

    Bolland is a weak link. I don’t care if he was more effective at the dot tonight. On several offensive-zone opportunities, he inexplicably dogged it. I have no idea what’s wrong with him but he’s a zombie out there half the time. I’m with Tab–bring up a prospect to try to spark this team and light a fire under some guys like Bolland who aren’t producing and don’t seem to care.

    Bowman needs to make a move to right this ship and strengthen it. A GM with a team within striking distance of contending for a cup needs to do whatever is possible to try to get it over the top. Windows close quickly. We have to go for it while we can. What the hell is he waiting for?

    Frolik plays hard and hustles and we all appreciate that, but he’s careless with he puck and often out of control–and simply not of the caliber to be on a top line.

    Brookbank plays with some passion and will hit some people and fight on occasion, but he’s sloppy with the puck and a liability. Rozsival is clearly more skilled and stable with the puck. If he’s injured or old and needs rest, fine, but if Q’s scratching him to give Brookbank time, it’s a mistake.

  5. Die Hawk Black Hard Fan says:

    I don’t think we need to worry about Hossa. The Hawks have a game on Sunday and Monday and they should, as Tab says, bring up Morin or another youngster. Placing a player on the IR means Hossa can’t play for seven days but the placement for Hossa was retroactive to the 19th, I believe. The only thing the Hawks have to prove right now is that they are aware they need an answer at center so why rush Hossa and/or Sharp back? All that can happen now is GM Bowman goes out and makes this team better and everyone on the team try to not get hurt. They’re superior to every other team in the Western Conference.

  6. Die Hawk Black Hard Fan says:

    Every other team not from Anaheim I was implying

  7. Sr. Brad says:

    BRUTAL…any of you can say whatever you want about injuries…and its BS…EVERY team in the NHL has injuries and that is why you keep deep rosters or make trades…the ANA Ducks are a BETTER hockey team than the Chicago Blackhawks, and so are the LA Kings…the rest of the league has caught up to what the Hawks are doing, and the Hawks have lost their legs…we are in the midst of a very favourable schedule and have had lots of time off, AT HOME, and we were barely in this game all night…Ray Emery prevented this game from being what it should have been…4 or 5 to 1 for ANA. It wasn’t until Hammer completed his NIGHTMARE GAME by tipping home the winning goal (for the wrong team) that Emery was really finally solved. Oduya was BRUTAL…can’t any of you see this??? When our 2nd pairing plays big, forechecking teams THEY FOLD. Sheldon Brookbank is NOT a 6th DMan on a SC winning team…it’s not his fault, he just doesn’t have much of any game. But he is consistently finding himself in the lineup and looks lost, without a lick of confidence…as a result Brookbank limits Leddy’s minutes, and Leddy might be our best DMan right now.

    Dave Bolland has hit a BRICK WALL…I’m sorry because I have really liked what Bolland has done here in the past, but he is a GHOST of his former self…and is completely useless on the ice…its not just that he has lost his offensive game, he has lost his entire game…he’s not even thinking out there…he can’t pass worth a lick, he can’t seem to back check and forget about forechecking, he can’t get near the puck. But what else is Q supposed to do right now? Andrew Shaw’s legs are gone…he isn’t the same player since the Colorado games…and now his line mates have seemed to lose their confidence as well. It’s tough to criticize Kruger too much when he’s asked to centre two complete WASTE OF ROSTER SPACES in CBomb and Mayers…Jamal Mayers simply has NO game…and Carcillo has lost whatever confidence he has ever had.

    Even Toews had rubber legs tonight…I am not sure why the Hawks have let go with their fitness at this point of the season, but they have. We are definitely hurting without Hossa and Sharp, but get used to it…Hossa at this stage of his career gets hurt a lot, and its happening more and more to Sharp. Where is our depth on this team or in this organization? If Bowman is so terrified of trading anyone away, then why are the burgeoning superstars not here to help us??? Bollig, Mayers and Carcillo? Are you kidding me? This is Florida bad for depth.

    Our winning streak is OVER and long gone. The rest of the league has caught up to us, we have had injuries and Stan Bowman has done nothing to fix this. Didn’t any of you watch the PHO playoff series last year? Toews line faces tight checking and is neutralized…big, physical teams attack our Defence and they wilt away, and we drop out in the first round. This is where this team is headed once again. We beat a PATHETIC Calgary team 3 nights ago to get a win…take that gift away and this team is in a serious funk with no signs of getting better.

    Our PP is a JOKE…if it wasn’t for Patrick Kane’s great personal effort, we don’t even get a lick at tying this game…in fact, this game, at home, could easily have been 5 or 6 nothing for ANA. We play Detroit and then a bunch of Nashville coming up, with lots of back to back games…and unless this team finds some depth, and another actually good centre, we are going to continue to lose at lot of hockey games. Because understand, the Hawks aren’t in some temporary funk, this is where we are at as a hockey team at this point…we don’t know when Hossa and Sharp will be back and we have no idea if they will even make it to the post season healthy, but once again our GM sits back and does NOTHING.

    People call the Oduya trade a great move by Bowman (and I don’t say it was a bad one), because since Oduya arrived we have won a lot of regular season games…how have we done in not only playoff games, but playoff like games with Oduya? How many of those have we won with Oduya on our 2nd pairing? He’s a 3rd pairing DMan…he’s a good DMan playing 15/16 minutes a night and facing 3rd and 4th line talent…Q put Hammer and Oduya out all night against Getzlaf, and they OWNED the puck, and should of had a bushel full of goals.

    Bringing up Jeremy Morin or Ben Smith, or Brandon Pirri (who are all playing very well) is only a band aid solution…they will help and are needed, as Carcillo and Mayers shouldn’t skate another shift this season. But our problems start because we are a puck possession team who can’t win a face-off, generally, outside of Toews. We MUST have a true 2nd line centre…Shaw must get back to how he has played for most of the season, and Kruger needs more than Zombies on his wings to be effective. If we don’t address this dire need, then this losing is going to continue…and to those who mentioned Hayes, you are right, he has not done enough to warrant staying on the 2nd line with Kane…if fact what we done to Patrick over the last 2 weeks is kind of an insult…the most talented offensive player in the league, and we can’t find him a centre or a replacement winger…and that lies completely on the doorstep of the GM who is failing this team right now.

  8. ZebraGreg says:

    Die Hard…I’m not so sure that LA shouldn’t be mentioned. They will be very tough in the playoffs and combine excellent skill players with toughness and Quick is terrific when he’s on…and he’s Cup tested.
    It will be between the Ducks, Kings and Hawks in the west. Right now, that’s my pecking order as well.
    Not to mention the Pens who look unbeatable right now…much of it without Malkin.
    When the playoffs start, here’s hoping for health, peaking at the right time performances, and maybe some degree of blood transfusion via an effective means.

  9. RyanDale says:

    We had no business having a shot in the end. Ray was good , had a few big, timely saves and the Ducks were unlucky finishing a few or this is Dallas revisited and we’re wearing black and green folks. 8-1 was possible, believe it.

    The D was brutal. What’s been said to have the best top 6 in the league, Friday nights edition was unworthy of a bottom 6 ‘compliment’. The inconsistency in this group is maddening. Leddy gets my vote of ” best in class” at this point. Q must have been in a giving mood tonight because he GAVE Seabrook all his ice time from the 8 min mark of pd2 to the end of the game. He sure didn’t earn it.

    The PP? What can you say? Inept, ugly, misguided, out of sync. Is it possible to DECLINE A PEANALTY in the NHL? 5 on 5 seems to better suit us. Kane gets a sliver of space, makes a great shot , scores, and everyone’s happy at the game. Really? I remember Anaheim getting some good SH looks, shots. Probably more memorable than anything we “generated”.

    Poor 16. Having to lineup with 22 and 13. I have alot of sympathy for that dude. Talk about making a silk purse out of TWO sow’s ears. I don’t know maybe I’m just pissed because we played poorly when I happened to be spending my salary on a trip to Chicago, but this team, as of today, has alot to prove to me to keep me believing in them.

    What are we to make of this IR move? Is this some formality or something bigger?

  10. EbonyRaptor says:

    @Sr.Brad – heckuva rant. Most I agree with. But teams do hit lulls during the season, so I’m a lot less fatalistic then you seem. In fact, I feel a whole lot better about this team’s chances in the playoffs than I did going into playoffs the last two seasons. Some of the players are pressing right now but the Hawks have good leadership on the team and I have faith the doldrums will be short lived and the Hawks will be OK.

  11. RyanDale says:

    Earth to 36…. Trying to mimic 88 is not what we need from you, c’mon now! Just be the player we all know you can be. Be the Rat!

  12. Dean Youngblood says:

    Some of you guys need to step back from the ledge. Losing to LA and Anaheim x2 sucks, especially when they come on late 3rd period goals, but every team is going to have bad games. I can’t believe how butt-hurt everyone is over the ‘Hawks 5th regulation loss in 33 games.

    I do agree with some points made above. With 10 and 81 out Q can’t roll four lines like he loves and the PP has been out of sorts. They gave up more SH opportunities than they got chances with the man advantage. Without Kane having a career year we’d have more than 5 losses.

    Perhaps Hoss was placed on IR in order to shop a prospect as trade bait against Detroit or Nashville? Bowman has to be able to find a non-contender willing to part with a legitimate 2nd line center. For the love of God, we’ve been yearning for a blockbuster trade since the big dump of summer 2010.

  13. Dean Youngblood says:

    Side note, the cup team had Brent Sopel, Jordan Hendry and Nick Boynton. Boynton was on the ice when Kane scored the OT winner. Our D is better now is better than it was in 2010, even when Rozsival is in the press box.

  14. BigSmokeJ says:

    I find it hard to believing after watching that game that someone can still feel this team has a chance to win a cup. As Brad stated the league has figured out what needs to be done to beat the Hawks. Beat them up on the def and over power them. Can all teams do this, NO, but the good ones can and have,
    And unlike when the season stated the other teams are stronger and playing better. The hawks had an advantage early because Toews had them in sharp for the start of the season. Well the season is at the end stretch and that advantage is gone.
    I’ve come to the realization that SB isn’t going to do a trade and if he does one it will be a very minor one. He’s so in love with his draft picks that he isn’t moving anyone of them.

    I loved Bolland but for whatever reason, (injury, or what not), he has no reason being on a 2nd line with any team. He is no better then a 4th liner now. And you aren’t going be be able to trade him unless you’re giving the other team such a high prospect that they can justify taking him on.

    And YES if they meet the wrong team in the first round they will be one an done again. Then I want to see how SB defends his lack of moves.

  15. smitty says:

    Great report once again Tab. Always enjoy reading the many postings since they are either insightful or simply entertaining. Every team goes through streaks where their results are better or worse than they deserve. We had plenty of the better and now are seeing some of the worse.

    There are several good teams that have a legitimate shot at the Cup. Hawks are only one of those teams. Odds for any of the contenders will shift based on how the players play, how the coaches coach and how the management manages. Over the long haul owners matter but at this point of the season about all the owner can do is support the GM, coaches and players.

    Our players have shown they can play when all are healthy. Our coaches have yet to learn how to coach a PP. The fact that we have not been top 5 in the PP with the individual talent on this roster is unbelievable and responsibility there lies with the coaching staff. The players were able to overcome that disadvantage for a while but like all disadvantages in time they catch up. Our GM has 3-4 days to justify holding that title. His tenure to date is unremarkable. He inherited considerable talent and some cap challenges. Our owner showed tremendous support in dealing with the contract issues. Many would not have been so generous.

    No team is a contender every year and so when it is the GM must be all in to take advantage of the opportunity. Within the week we will be able to grade the GM. If he fails to address the most obvious weakness on this roster – a center for Kane – then I fear not only will the opportunity this year be gone but it will slip away for another generation. Cap constraints and the new restrictions on hiding bad contracts for next season are certain to be a challenge.

    After that the focus will be on resigning Toews and Kane. It is certain they will be well paid. A variety of factors will determine where they decide to play. Will they want to stay with an organization that failed to provide the support needed to take advantage of their talents and commitment when we were so close? Players play to win but they need coaches and GM’s in order to succeed. Hopefully the owner has signalled to the GM that he is on the clock. We can only hope.

  16. pete says:

    Im still drinking the kool aid. Bottom line is the Hawks are missing two top players and lost by one goal to another good team that is at full strength. And by the way Anaheim just lost 4 in a row so teams go through bad periods. The reference to Phoenix beating the Hawks last year in the first round is a non-starter for me. The Coyotes defeat of the Hawks in the first round last year was not legitimate in my opinion. The Hawks were better and it took a career performance by Mike Smith, a brutal and illegal cheap shot by Torres and Crawford giving up a series of soft goals for them to beat the Hawks. But that is history now. My point is that the Hawks have the best chance of making the finals out of the teams in the west. They should bring up a kid and see how he does and make a move at the trade deadline. On the trade deadline move I say only give up reasonable draft picks and mid-level prospects. Do not give up top prospects or quality players off the NHL roster. Its not the end of the world if the Hawks don’t have home ice advantage for a potential playoff series Whats more important IMO is that they get their injured players back, tweak the roster and prepare for a deep playoff run. GO HAWKS.

  17. BigSmokej says:

    well Pete last years defeat by tbe yotes was legimate. Hot goalies can carry a team to the cup it happens all fhe time. To not acknowledge it will cause a repeat situation. So to combat that you need a team effort. And this team without a legit 2nd center has no chance.
    So SB is on the clock, but if you look at his past moves he won’t do anything I fear. And if I was Kane and Toews I wouldn’t resign here when SB is wasting my best years.

  18. pete says:

    T0rres was suspended for the illegal play so that makes it not legitimate. Not to re-litigate the issue, but Torres even stayed in that game and the Yotes went on a power play while we lost one of our best players for the series. And yes I am still angry about it.

  19. Dickie Dunn says:

    Good comments.
    There is a definite trend here to OVERREACT.

  20. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    tough tough lost last night and a tough sweep by the Ducks. The give up winning and tying goals in the final minutes of a game is never easy on a time but to do it time and time again is a trend. The Ducks KNOW they can beat the Hawks b/c they have done it. I know the playoffs are a different animal but, I don’t like the Hawks chances against this team if they meet them in the Western Finals!

  21. IceHogst says:

    Hawks can’t adapt to hoss and sharpie being out. Both 1st and 2nd lines have been neutralized. But these are star players we’re missing. A severe drop off is understandable. My question is how lingering will the shoulder injuries be once they return? That’s a medical question SB should be paying close attention to, both from a trade perspective and when to activate them.

    SB’s attempt to fill the 2C spot from within has not worked. Putting Kruger there will yield the same result as bolland has been. Devin Hester comes to mind- once a returner, always a returner. We are what we are and 2C has become a stone around the Hawks’ neck. Sorry to preach to the choir.

    The O is in a funk and the forecheck, back check and PP have no drive at all. Hell, they ‘re not even getting hard shots on net (except Kane’s last night). D scored both goals against the Flames. Not to make excuses for hammer and Oduya, but absolutely nothing is going on in the other end. It’s to the point where Kane should move to first line with toews and saad and make the other 3 lines pure shut down. Puck possession is on vacation and we need to grind out a couple of Victories.

  22. Dickie Dunn says:

    Pittsburgh – 35 GP, 54 PTS
    Chicago – 33GP, 53 PTS
    Aneheim – 34 GP, 50 PTS

    Who knows what will happen in the post season? The Ducks may go out before meeting Chicago…or, the Hawks may go out early…

  23. Sr. Brad says:

    It IS time to panic, over react and be hugely concerned because of time…you can all take the stance of “look at our record”…but that’s in the past…our brilliant start ensures that we make the playoffs, likely a top 3 seed, but that’s it…it means NOTHING if it is not repeated.

    Since the loss in Colorado this team has won 4 0f 9…and 1 of the last 4…the Calgary game was a GIFT. Have any of you looked at the schedule for April?? Until we hit Edmonton at the end of the month (a place we can’t seem to win at) we play nothing but BIG, STRONG, physical teams who forecheck like crazy…oh, and they win a lot of face-offs. It is a recipe for disaster with this team if things don’t change in the next 5 days. To win we must roll 4 lines regardless of whether Hoss and Sharp are in the lineup…we have those players to do this, but they are sitting in Rockford. I am not trying to play for points when I say that Mayers is done…he is…you could see in the first week of the season, that’s why the Hawks have barely played him this season, they know it too. Why do you think that Carcillo has seen so little ice time lately? The coaches know he’s done…and yet who do we line up as wingers next to Marcus Kruger on the 4th line last night in a first place showdown against ANA? Wow…3 times Mayers couldn’t handle a simple pass, which led to a turnover and a glorious scoring chance for ANA…and yet he keeps getting shifts because every other line right now is dog tired.

    We need fresh legs and energy on this team…Morin, Smith, Pirri all DESERVE a shot, and all of them can play 2 way hockey, and will only help this team. Bolland should sit and rest whatever he needs to rest right now (his brain comes to mind)…but these additions will only help so much…our 2nd D pairing has huge marks on their backs as targets, and unless we get a 2nd line centre for Kane and the 3rd line returns to top shelf hockey, this trend will continue.

    Stan Bowman has now had 3 full years to deal with the 2nd line Centre issue, and he hasn’t…it’s killing us…we might have won 2 more Cups the last 2 years with this legitimate player…Brendan Morrison, Dave Bolland, Marcus Kruger, et al are not legitimate 2nd line centres and Bowman knows this. How about the Patrick Kane experiment there last season coming off wrist surgery? Does the word STUPID come to mind? Hey Stan, instead of cheaping out and falling on your face, how about making a trade? Antoine Vermette was moved from CLB to PHO last year, and PHO is a bankrupt team run by the NHL. We could of and should of landed Vermette…he is the answer to this problem, and yet he skates for the same money as Bolland on the 11th place Yotes.

    If Bowman doesn’t make serious moves in the next 4 and 1/2 days, this season will be lost, and the incredible streak all for naught…the Hawks schedule in April is for grinders and muckers and we have only a couple on the roster…and with the loss of our legs, our back check will continue to disappear and then god help Hammer and Oduya.

    I’m not joking when I say that Nick Leddy is the best DMan on this team right now.

  24. Phil says:

    It was a tough game to watch last night. It looked like we were running on fumes. I give the Ducks credit. They really cut down space for us to generate much. Our puck possession game consequently was not what we wanted/needed it to be. Therein lies the formula to beat the Hawks at the moment. Anaheim brought a good forecheck and we had trouble clearing our end smoothly. Neutral zone clogged that means you have to dump and chase. Our forwards for some reason did not have the legs last night again. Refs were kind to the Ducks as there was LOTS of interference allowed to take place, but our PP is so horrible right now that it seems like we should have the option to decline the man advantage. Just kidding. Hawks need to put pucks on net. This fancy Dan passing below the dots just drives me crazy when we are struggling to score. Oduya and Bolland were noted offenders last night to name a few.

    The 2nd period was one of the worst we have played all year. Maybe we are all making too much of this. For whatever reason we have lost the mojo that carried us the first 2 months of the season. As painful as some of the recent games have been painful to watch, I would rather see this now then 2-3 weeks into April. We miss Sharp alot for his versatility, and Hossa immeasurably for his total game. Just watching these games it looks like the team has hit a wall of sorts that normally we view in a regular season around late Jan early Feb. The compressed schedule though has the same effect on all teams.

    As bad as the 2nd period play was by the Hawks last night the most disturbing trend has been goals allowed deep into the 3rd. Some bad luck is part of that and it usually balances out over the course of the season, but giving up leads and ties in the last half of the the 3rd period is becoming a problem that good teams don’t allow. Mental and physical fatigue? Remember a month ago? One always felt they would find a way to win. Right now it seems to be going the other way.

    The one positive last night was Ray Emery. He kept us in a game that could have been a blowout. He was very good last night. We need good goal tending in the playoffs if we are going to make any noise. Ray and Crow have been good for us so far this season.

    Is it me or was the bad ice at the UC last night even worse than normal? WTF is going on with that? Hawks brass need to do some capital spending and fix the entire system in the off season since our team relies on speed and finesse as an advantage.

    Not hitting the panic button yet, but games lately against better teams have revealed some cracks. The warning flag is up. We are still going to make the playoffs. If we get there healthy we should do some damage.

  25. Mike says:

    IMO sitting Rosival changes the whole completion of the team. That is not to say that it is Brookbank’s fault the Hawks lost. Rosival is simply much better at moving the puck forward, the rotations are different and the time is more evenly distributed. Rosival has much better offensive instincts, pushes the puck and is a damn good passer…..save a few errent passes now and then.

  26. RyanDale says:

    Gotta agree with Sr Brad here. It’s NOT gonna get easier the deeper we go. The run is over and it should carry zero weight moving forward. That is who were WERE. Today’s team is struggling and saying 10 & 81 are gonna get us back to winning 90% of our games is not gonna happen. Give 16 a reasonable chance to succeed with some talented players NOW. Ride 8 as long as he’s willing and able, he’s earned it. If 36 needs rest, give it to him. …. and then give him some more to be sure! But we need outside help, and if it’s not forthcoming, there’s probably tee times for the golf crowd coming

  27. Pete says:

    There are only 15 games left and the Hawks are 14 points ahead of 2nd place Detroit. Let Q and Bowman tweak the roster and spread out the minutes so the Hawks are ready for the playoffs. Hopefully they will add Derek Roy. My main point has been that last nights game(s) against Anaheim does not mean that Anaheim is going to beat the Hawks in the playoffs. I think the Hawks will beat them even though I have always thought that Hiller is an excellent goalie. Bottom line, would any of you guys change rosters with Anaheim. I wouldnt and I doubt any of you would either.

  28. wall says:

    Tab- You know I think the Hawks need Big / physical players…

    My Point is that # 7 has skated like Sopel/ and John Scott the last couple of games on the PP– In case you haven’t noticed he personally has been beaten down ice a couple of times when we were on PP!!! He is either mentally off… or physically SLOWER!!!
    Remember Q benched him!!! Like I said- until the last few games- he was my favorite D-man…

  29. RyanDale says:

    Oh, of course not. But only because I’m emotionally invested in the kids we have, as I know we all are lol. I think LA provides an equally strong challenge . We all know the regular season pales in comparison to the play in the playoffs. So no, I don’t feel, just because we lose 3 to ANA, we are doomed to fail if we meet them in a best of 7. Just a little anxious about the “non- move” that’s been a gorilla for 3 years .

  30. Dave says:

    The Ducks lose 4 in a row and then come in to our house and win The Hawks looked terrible , i know teams have their ups and downs but losing the series to your close competiror is worrisom the Hawks defense is too small ,they dont punish the opponents forwards at all . stick slapping is about it Suddenly this isnt a cup contender but there is time to right the ship but will they , nobody expects a team to win every game although for a while it seemed like it but everyone expects a solid effort , sloppy play no effort not a pretty sight

    Hobby Bull

  31. Dickie Dunn says:

    Sr. Brad – I agree “that Nick Leddy is the best DMan on this team right now”.

    However, “If Bowman doesn’t make serious moves in the next 4 and 1/2 days, this season will be lost, and…” – how do you know? We know that “Since the loss in Colorado this team has won 4 0f 9″ and at times during that stretch have looked pretty bad-to-awful. We know that the Hawks have serious trouble winning faceoffs and from what we;ve seen so far, that Bolland is not an effective second line center. We do not know what goes on between Stan Bowman and the other GMs (- at least *I* don’t). Maybe Bowman hasn’t seen a deal he believes fills-the-need/is an actual upgrade (*for the asking price*?)? It’s difficult for me to see “this season will be lost” at this point – first in the West with 15 games remaining. Also, I don’t believe the 2-1 vs. LA or the 0-3 vs. the Ducks has any significance when considering the post season – they will be difficult to play? Certainly – which playoff opponent will be easy? At the end of last season who picked the Kings? Back in 2010 after the second loss to the Predators I suspected the Hawks could be going nowhere…but you never really know.

    We’ll see what tomorrow brings. GO HAWKS!!

  32. Dickie Dunn says:

    Sr. Brad – Antoine Vermette…interesting. probably would add some size and win some faceoffs.

  33. Sudden Death Hockey says:

    The Hawks came out of the gate skating over every team that got in their way. Although this is only a 48 game season, it is still alot of games in 99 days. Every team “hits a wall” during the year. Boys, the Hawks have “hit a wall”.

    They look a little tired and to be honest, a little complacent. You may say, “they’re professionals and they make aot of money, they sould not be complacent”. The truth is that they are human and they are no different than many of us on ths blog. So they are complacent and a little tired, that’s not a problem. Let them hit the wall, now, before the playoffs.

    I believe that Bowman’s strategy is to get Hossa and Sharp healthy for the playoffs. Then, try to pick up a #2 center before the trade deadline. The trade won’t be a huge one, either. It will be a 3rd line center from an under achieving team and we’ll give up a 4th round pick. The Hawks didn’t suddenly become an awful team. They just need to be “tweaked” a little.

    Even though we lost the game, Jahlmarrson still stood in front of a 105MPH slapshot from Surray and was willing to sacrifice his body to block that shot. Championship teams have that kind of character.

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