Flames Speed Burns Blackhawks

On Sunday night the Blackhawks went into Pittsburgh and ended the Penguins’ eight-game win streak.

They then flew home and hosted the Calgary Flames on Monday. Calgary came in with 56 points, tied with Vegas for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Two of the better scoring forwards in the league were supposed to put on a show. Johnny Gaudreau came in with 24 goals, tied for eighth in the NHL. Patrick Kane, who has been absolutely on fire of late, came in with 23.

So of course Gaudreau started the scoring for the Flames at 3:24 into the first period, his 25th of the year.

Never one to miss an opportunity, Kane answered with a ridiculous goal – his 24th of the season.

Kane looked into the seats immediately after scoring. His parents were seated right there. Because of course.

Chicago was out-shot 16-12 in the first period but took a 1-1 tie to the dressing room. Collin Delia was good and the Hawks came back for the second looking to take a lead – and slow down the Flames’ offense.

Five minutes into the second period Kane took center stage again. He split the defense and set up Alex DeBrincat, who fired home his 20th of the year to give Chicago a 2-1 lead.

Marcus Kruger had a golden chance but opted to try one pass too many instead of taking a shot. And Brandon Saad had a couple really good opportunities in the second but couldn’t find a handle on the puck.

That lead lasted until the Blackhawks found themselves short-handed for a third time in the period late. With Erik Gustafsson in the box, Sean Monahan tied the game on his 23rd of the season.

The Hawks out-shot the Flames 12-9 in the second period in spite of being short-handed three times.

Early in the third, Gaudreau put home his second of the night to give the Flames a 3-2 lead. The goal came 54 seconds into the third.

With 13 minutes left in regulation Gaudreau and Monahan had a 2-on-1 but Delia made an enormous save.

Chicago needed a break as Calgary’s speed was too much for a lot of the third and they got it with 2:22 left in the third when Mikael Backlund took a penalty.

Delia went to the bench with 63 seconds remaining and Calgary scored almost immediately. Garnet Hathaway scored his fifth of the year into the empty cage to extend the lead to two. It was credited as a short-handed empty-net goal.

But the Hawks didn’t let that end the night. Saad scored with 25 seconds left in regulation, his 12th of the season.

Calgary iced the puck with 3.4 seconds on the clock and the Hawks net empty. But Monahan tied up Jonathan Toews on the faceoff and the clock expired.

With his goal and assist on Monday night, Kane has nine goals and 10 assists in his last 11 games.

Over that same stretch, DeBrincat has a point in eight of his last 11 games.

Toews won 15 of 27 at the dot but his personal six-game point streak came to a close.

Delia stopped 39 of 42 in the loss.

Chris Kunitz skated 5:40 with two giveaways.

83 thoughts on “Flames Speed Burns Blackhawks

  1. If he was wearing #50, we wouldn’t know the difference between Delia & Crawford. The guy was outstanding again.

    Playing (dressing is the better) Kunitz against a fast team like Calgary ignorant; Hayden would have contributed more since he can skate and forecheck a lot better than Kunitz. This wasn’t the difference in the game, but this was a poor line up choice.

    The ref w the French sounding last name was atrocious, he usually pimps the Hawks and tonight was no different. Despite their high skill level, Calgary (especially their D) lots of clutching and grabbing.

  2. Happy with Delia and team playing good and winning games/and not winning some games. We could easily go 25-15 in 2nd 40 and gain plu 10 to get to 5 over .500, right now the 7 and 8 seed/teams are at 5,4,2,1 over .500 so we could do it with 7/8 being 5 over .500, prob will be a little higher then that but maybe not.

    Anyways what ever it is, its ok. We ant a good player at draft though/need it. If not a top 5 pick (where chances arnt that great 20% for 1st pick) 6-10 could get us another player like Boqvist/being a FW this draft. I am cool with that.

    OTT/COL 8
    CHI 6
    LA 6
    PHI 6
    DET 5

    Go Blackhawks. Reloading Baby!

  3. When were a top 5 team again in a couple yrs, we better be able to get away with hooks holds and interferences like other teams do. Not blaming refs in this one or other like it. Just saying were going to be deep roster and I want to cheat like that to and get the advantage certain other teams do. We should learn how to do it to.

  4. Delia did what he had to do and gave them a chance. The opportunistic offense looked like it might do it again. Then the Flames speed took over, causing a run of bad penalties killing the momentum that was happening. Kunitz played like he was before his press box run, likely be back there Wednesday again. This is an improved roster but still not a strong group yet, so these games gonna happen this season against teams like the Flames.

    Liking Kahun more every game, getting comfortable and more noticeable in a good way. Could be a real find.

  5. P.S. there were two minutes plus left when the Hawks got the last power play; why not have the goalie pulled at the very beginning — 6 on 4 — of the power play to maximize your chances to tie the game?

    This was a poor decision by the coach, and it doesn’t mean NHL coach, it means an experienced and aware hockey coach.

  6. Iceman agree on that point, couldn’t understand why Colliton waited so long pulling Delia either. He seems to be more conservative than Q and lot of other coaches in his approach to pulling goalie, not the first time i noticed that.

  7. Hawks had their chances but Calgary is a better team top to bottom. Can’t complain about the effort. Delia with another good game. Kane with a Houdini goal.

    So if JC keeps Keith and Gustafsson together and hopefully keeps Murphy and Dahlstrom together – that leaves Seabrook and Jokiharju – both RDs. It’ll be interesting to see what JC will do.

  8. Until Chicago ran out of gas it was a good game.
    Delia makes all the expected saves and many of the hard ones-so far very impressive.
    Kampf must be a pain in the a.. to play against.

  9. Great to be there “LIVE” for my first ever game at the UC! Hawks have improved this year but “lazy penalties” – hooking, tripping etc shows how you gave to be as fast as the team you are playing and we were not. Speed, skill and size ( toughness on the puck!) are three winning ingredients and Hawks are short the depth in all three… but it was fun to watch, they played hard- they just came up short against a very good team! If we can improve on that against the top 10 teams in the league, then we’re making progress!
    Nice touch with Dennis Hull too!
    Sorely missed Jim Corneilison for my first trip to the UC!!

  10. The hawks just made too many errors. That was the difference. Delia, continues his case for starter. DeBrincat, as I keep saying, should be on that 1st line. Kahun to the 3rd with Kampf, and Anisimov. Perlini or Caggiula would be intriguing on the 2nd line. Although C had Caggiula centering on the 4th line. I think an interesting line would be Kruger, Caggiula, and Hayden. D was not bad. Some mentail mistakes, but they’re playing a lot better. Looking forward to Jokiharju coming back.
    Calgary is a solid notch, or two, better than the hawks. But, the hawks are playing tough. I think more moves are coming. Stay tuned.

  11. B2B quality games against two elite teams, with Calgary having an extra day’s rest. Delia continues playing at the top of the league. Caggiula looked good for his second game. Good speed. Almost blocked the empty-netter. Close loss keeps us in the running for a high pick.

  12. I like that we getting better/young guys upside/team system stuff and can play with the ‘real’ top 10 teams. We know were not full roster right now/this yr/we ll get there. So best thing for us is to get better playing like this/these teams, good against them. I respect CAL and hope they do well like WIN. We know the teams we hate and want to beat, STL PIT and we have this yr so, thats right. Those flatlanders.

    Its easy to know when to pull goalie, depending on whats going on. You caould wait to see who wins faceoff otherwise, right then like you said.

  13. My first UC game was a 2-2 tie and we didnt get the win against CAL to. We did win another Cup a couple yrs after that game I went to.

  14. again this team is tanking.

    Nice to see Kane have some fun with his parents. He clearly has another level we don’t really get to see this year.

    they should continue to fall behind….and on purpose at times. The real winners can come back and win.

  15. On a second of back to back games against a much better team, the Hawks gave a good effort. I agree with others posting here that Delia should have been pulled at the very beginning of the last Power Play. Also nice to see the Silver Jet, a great Blackhawk.

  16. Agree with most here – mostly good effort except for rash of lazy penalties

    and JC should have had Delia out at the start of the PP at the end of the game

    However what really got my goat was AA not doing more with his chance at the end just before the empty netter – he had both Kane and DCat in front and was coming from the right side of the goalie – instead of trying to make a play to the front where the Hawks outnumbered the Flames he takes a low percentage shot from the bad angle and misses the net (worst possible choice) and the puck rings all the way out of the CAL zone leading to a easy empty netter for CAL

    Just think it that were Panarin or Stone just to mention two UFAs who know how to score and who could possibly be Hawks next year that could have been very different

    I like Kampf but he’s got to develop a bit of a scoring touch if he wants to stay a 3C otherwise he’s a very good 4C – he can’t seem to find the back of the net even when the goalie’s not there – he should have scored on that play

  17. Yeh Kampf is a dilemma-he creates opportunities with his speed, size and tenacity so that works for 3rd line but he lacks offensive upside for a guy like D-Cat. (Who should be top 6) Ultimately it seems he is part of a really good 4th line, that could get a couple more minutes a game and some PK time. Nevertheless a nice role player who provides options.

    3rd line guys were always your shut down guys but it seems teams want 3 scoring lines.

    AA is a pass first guy who had a brain fart-it happens. My guess is he won’t do that again. (Honestly did we really want to see a tie?)

  18. This was a tough B2B for sure and CAL took full advantage. However, the improvements in team play are real. Building the supporting cast continues. I also like Cagguila as 4C so far. Hawks have a long way to go both with players and coaching. But watching them is a lot more fun than it was a couple of months ago.

  19. Kampf is a dilemma because Kruger is still here. The Hawks have 2 guys who are OK at the dot but should really only be used as penalty killing centers because they lack ANY offensive game.

    Kruger, Kunitz need to disappear. They need to take Davidson with them.

  20. Tab, I agree with Kruger and Kunitz, but not Davidson. He’s a good 6-7 D-man. Drop Kampf to the 4th line and bring up a creative, FO centerman from Rockford.

  21. Davidson looked OK last night, and had a sweet assist. Seemed to be playing better than before, maybe his knee was ailing all season. Anyway he should get some more looks, and Forsling to Rock.
    Hawks are competing, and still possible playoff run if they play Delia.
    Delia should get 90% of starts, what is the point of Ward playing, he is a backup and old.

  22. Like the effort last night, enjoyable to watch. Starting to see some skill and comfort developing. We still have some holes but I am starting to see some daylight at the end of the tunnel.

    88-17-need another high caliber winger
    24- need a solid FO C with good 2 way game- ditto from line 2
    91 is the 13th forward

    56 – need a banger
    7 is the 7th dman

    Good bye – 16, 14, 15, 22

    4 capable, high talents away in my estimation. Short term, like the progress though

  23. CinCod – I assume you mean 12 not 14 with Toews and Saad

    I wanna see that and the sooner the better IMO like on Wednesday

  24. Proper player slotting is not possible right now because the Hawks don’t have the lineup to do so. In my opinion the following is where players should be slotted.

    Toews 1/2
    Kane 1/2
    DCat 1/2
    Saad 2/3
    Kahun 3
    Strome 2/3
    Anisimov 2/3
    Kampf 4
    Cagguila 4
    Perlini 4
    Hayden 4
    Kruger out
    Kunitz out

    I think it’s OK to slot guys down in the lineup but not up above their talent level. The Hawks have only (7) top-9 guys (at best) which means (2) 4th line guys are slotted above where they should be. The Hawks really need to get 2 more top-6 guys to have a lineup that can be on the same level as the elite teams in the league. I wouldn’t mind a 4th line of Perlini-Kampf-Cagguila with Hayden as the 13th guy, so maybe at least we have the 4th line squared away.

  25. 12 on 3rd line gives 3 lines that can score. Give him more ice time by putting him with 88 and play 15 on 3rd line when chasing lead. Kahun coming into his own on Toews line let that work.

    Wonder if Colliton consider trying 56 and 28 on top pair and put 2 and 7 together to see how it looks. Make changes during game if needed by 2 getting more ice time, etc.

    Glad to see Dennis Hull get one more shift. Didn’t get the accolades of his brother but a star in his own right for sure. Watching the line of him, Pit Martin and Jim Pappin as a force in the Blackhawks runs to the finals in early 70s was memorable. If you watched the hi lite reel his slap shot was as hard Bobbys and with a wooden stick much harder than most today abd their composite sticks. Always quick with his wit too.

  26. Kunitz had his Pittsburgh party and parlayed it into a second game. Let’s get Hayden back in for Nashville.

    Hopefully Stan can get a draft pick at the deadline for Kruger and maybe even Davidson. Even though Davidson just cleared waivers, things will be different in mid-February leading up to the deadline.

    Montreal GM Bergevin said managers are not even talking trades yet. He says that will all change ten days before the deadline. Hopefully Kruger and Davidson can fetch something.

  27. Craig good point on deals coming in a few weeks, if Davidson still has some waiver exempt games available as a depth pick up may make a deal for him more doable later on. Thay may be the deciding factor in who goes to Rockford if Forsling injury just a game or 2. Kruger should be deadline pickup for a team, around $450,000 caphit at deadline. Kunitz with nmc may only be going to pressbox.

  28. ER, spot-on analysis! Your 4th line are all youngsters who will hopefully improve, some maybe becoming 3rd line. Should move 15 at the tdl if we can get a 2nd round pick/prospect. Kruger or Davidson may fetch 4th-5th rounder or prospect. Objective should be to a make a deep run in 2-3 years.

  29. Hawks have a couple of potential buzzsaw type players for bottom 6-
    Perlini is a wild card, starting to see some shifts where he looks good, and others?
    Hayden deserves a consistent spot this year to see what he is.
    Don’t see AA long term, especially if they want to get another bigger contract thru free agency.
    If Delia is for real, it really improves their path to playoff reality.

  30. Would love to see Cagguilla on the second or third line. With his speed and grit I think he would excel maybe even score when paired with Kane and Strome. Just like the way the kid attacks the puck. Agree Kunitz and Krueger need to go.

  31. ER, I like your ranking of where guys should be slotted, but it’s hard for me to discern the difference between the Hawks first and second lines. For a long time on the Hawks it seems almost arbitrary which line is first and which is second. What is the difference between the two for the Hawks? The Toews (first) line always seemed to have more of a defensive responsibility than The Kane line, is that typical for a top line? The Kane (second) line seems to be the line with the third D pairing and focuses primarily on O zone draws. Is that typical of a second line?

  32. Hayden needs to be playing, kunitz is just old and slow. Kruger, with Hayden and Caggula on wings can play good D and get some dirty goals. AA needs to be moved at the deadline. Put the Cat on line 2 and bring up another Fwd from Rockford, but not sure who…..perhaps Tyler Sikura…..leave Dylan down to develop. Not sure who else in Rockford is worth a call up. Our fwd prospects in Rockford is horrible.

  33. Miroslav – I didn’t intend the ratings to be too specific but more of a general sense for where players are best slotted. In my opinion Toews, Kane and DCat have enough skill to be a 1st line player whereas a player like Saad is a notch or two below those guys and is probably more of a 2nd or 3rd line guy, etc. Likewise Strome and Anisimov are probably more at the 3rd line talent level but they aren’t totally out of their environment if they’re put into a 2nd line spot. It’s not an exact science but more of a general rule of thumb rating system. I tried to be more specific than top-6 versus top-9 because a player like Kahun seems perfect for a 3rd line role but not really not good enough to play on one of the two top lines.

  34. I may be wrong but looks to me that the way this roster is slotted is for balance.
    19, 88, 12 the 3 best forwards on different lines. Then the next 2 most skilled, mobile forwards with 19 to go against other teams top lines. Two good forwards who have chemistry with Kane and can score. Then which 2 forwards work best with 12 to try to get some depth scoring.
    22 and 40 to round out 4th line.

  35. Ian, I agree in principle that the lineup should be constructed to provide the best net effect rather than slotting guys strictly on talent level – so if 3 balanced lines provides the best overall effect versus 2 stacked lines then by all means do that. My point was to illustrate the Hawks are short (2) top-9 guys (at least) and there is no one on the roster that can legitimately fill those slots without slotting a couple guys above where their talent level places them. Slotting a 1/2 line player of the 3rd line is fine but not slotting a 3/4 player on the 2nd line – in principle. Player styles and how they mesh with each other comes into play but generally playing a 3rd line guy like Kahun on the 1st/2nd line results in that line not being as good as the 1st/2nd line on an elite team.

  36. About Dennis Hull’s last shift, the old replays brought back a flood of memories. One that has stuck with me was the game Tony O recorded his first shutout as a Hawk. Early in the 69/70 season the Hawks were off to a poor start. They were playing Montreal at the Forum and these games were typically at least 5 goal blowouts for the Canadians. The game was on WGN and had no homework so I got to watch it.

    I vividly recall Dennis Hull ripping a laser into the top right corner of Vachon making the score 4-0. I was pretty stunned. What the hell was happening? It is amazing that I cannot tell what I had for dinner last week but I can still see that goal and Esposito making various saves. Anyways I enjoyed it. And the Hawks did win best record that season, it fell to the Bruins in the playoffs I recall.

  37. Coming into this season there were a number of forwards that needed to have better years than last season for the Hawks to have any hope of team success. Toews and Saad had to play better and have better results. Schmaltz and DeBrincat had to “take the next step” and improve upon their 52 point seasons. And Kane had to sustain his excellent play. Those 5 were the legit top-6 forwards we would count on to lead the offense. Well, 45 games into the season we have mixed results, but mostly positive.

    Scoring stats are not exact because scoring is not linear but I think these 45-game scoring stats agree with the eye test and are a good metric to compare with the scoring stats from last season. Of the 5 players, Kane, Toews and DeBrincat are better than last season and Schmaltz and Saad did not improve. The eye test for Saad and Schmaltz is almost opposite because it seems Saad is playing better than last season but his scoring is lower, whereas Schmaltz seemed to be playing worse but his scoring is essentially the same.

    Toews 2017/18: 20g/32a/52 points
    .. 2018/19: 17g/22a/39 points (.886 ppg) projected = 72 points (+20)

    Kane 2017/18: 27g/49a/76 points
    .. 2018/19: 24g/32a/56 points (1.27 ppg) projected = 104 points (+28)

    Saad 2017/18: 18g/17a/35 points
    .. 2018/19: 12g/12a/24 points (.558 ppg) projected = 46 points (-6)

    Schmaltz 2017/18: 21g/31a/52 points
    .. 2018/19: 7g/18a/25 points (.625 ppg) projected = 51 points (-1)

    DeBrincat 2017/18: 28g/24a/52 points
    .. 2018/19: 20g/15a/35 points (.777 ppg) projected = 63 points (+11)

  38. ER, tahts the 4th line I thought of other day for next yr/could just do it now/why wait


  39. Actually for now/this yr I like idea of having 91/other on the 1/2/3 lines to see whats there, its a different system so things could be there. Not going to see if we stack the ‘deep’ roster lines now. That is exactly what I thought for a 4th though/when deep.

    To me Tazer line is always the 1st line because he is the best center. Kaner line is always the 2nd line because the center is 2nd best after Tazer. To me it doesnt matter where people rank the two players 19/88 at any current moment between the two, its whos the better center. Now when Tazers 35-retire contract yrs and mught be 3rd line center, then maybe Kaner would be on 1st line.

  40. Lots of good posts.

    I agree that we are 2 top 6 forwards from a roster that can make a serious run. But I tend to side with Ian in constructing a balanced roster. If we can ice 3 scoring lines, then somebody can bumslay. Especially with the strong skaters on the backend coming through the pipeline.

    I also side with Ian to leave Kahun on the top line, at least for this season. Let’s see if he breaks out. He may or may not, but it’s worth the gamble. If he starts producing as he deserves, then we save millions in space for a top winger on the market this offseason. If he doesn’t then I’m ok with him on a really good 3rd line next year.

  41. I had the pleasure of hearing Dennis Hull speak in Toronto- years ago at a sports banquet- and he is one of the funniest speakers I’ve ever heard!

  42. DJS, remember those movements and not sort of recent things.

    Those are badge on honor engravings.

  43. DeBrincat needs to stay on the line with Kane and Strome, as those 3 create more havoc on the ice than any other 3some, including Toews,Saad &Kahun. Test the waters with Cagguila on line with Toews,Saad. Third line Anisimov, Kahun,Kampf. Then use the blender for the rest for the 4th line.

  44. ER, think 4 of those 5 happened (other then Saader first 10 games, which we can just throw out/donot count) Can Strome be a top 6 FW, then thats 5of5.

    Wouldnt worry about exact numbers, just way better then off yrs 19/20 and keep her going 88, and young core guys keep taking levels/when they do. 12 had 28 goals and theres no sophmore slump theres keeper 30 goal sniper like 10 was in prime.

    We just need to get a 81 and 4 replacement/really positions filled with ‘legit’ top 6 FW and top 4 D. 72/other could do that. Just need that 4 position filled.

  45. It really doesnt matter what we do with lines, for this yr. In terms of trying everything each person said here at some point in 2nd 40 games.

    We ll have time to stack the lines, when were deep, in 2yrs anyways.

  46. Morrison: what guarantee is there that these prospects or picks will come to fruition. These stacked lines need to be in tune every game. Nothing breeds success full out effort. Speak to any pro. athelete, they will tell you about pride, and the hatred of losing. Action must be taken to address short comings, and don’t have the we hope attitude. I have been a Hawks fan since 1959, and I can’t accept the half assed attempt to put a good roster together. With all the tech available to scout potential players around the globe, and we can’t find them, then maybe we need to fire the scouts who evaluate these prospects that have been so called can’t miss.

  47. Prospects:
    Gravel 16 saves win
    Ryczek 2g 1st star ( defenceman having a big year, will play in Memorial Cup)
    Entwistle 2a
    Boqvist 1g

    NCAA Krys still out of BU lineup with injury.

  48. I know what your saying. Pride is my weakness. I havnt been a Blackhawk person as long as you, I wasnt born then, I am as loyal and care the same as you to. A lot. Its part of our lives, its not just a sport/to us.

    Not thinking anyone on team is tanking or not playing good on purpose. Not having a full roster, helps a worse roster-which is a better pick/not just top 5/10 but 32-35.

    Theres no guarantee on any draft pick. Our scout staff is excellent though. So other then top 10 picks, where you get whos available, it comes to how good our scouts crew is. We have a wicked crew. Debrincat and Saad are 2nd round, so we can get good players without tanking/pre say.

    One way to get higher picks, is not not field a full roster. Know when its time to do it. Last yr and this yr we had to transition from one of the fasted teams 2009-2014, 2015 other league teams caught up like TB and they were fast which brought our superior roster/team closer for them because of their speed.
    Then all of sudden were not a fast team anymore in 2016, the league caught up, every tem was fast and we wernt then. Transition for speed and younger.

    Now were looking to get players who work well with new system and fast pace style thing. You guys know what I am saying/this stuff, what I am trying to say. So basically I think its good timing on Bowman and crew to not field a full roster with those ufas we got last summer and this summer, since were werent close to deep roster these two yrs, in order to stock up and get good ufas and not overpay, just to get good players every summer.

    Build form draft and get a couple good ufa when the time and price/contract yrs is right. Look at all the terrible ufa contracts last few summers.

    I think were doing it right. I would rather do that for to yrs to be better for the next 2-7/10 yrs.

  49. In terms of draft picks, sure. Some of the ones we have now are different then the ones we got in 2010-2016. We did really good to get Saad when we did. Now we have blue chip draft players and a few of them and another one coming. We didnt have that those other draft yrs. I think its aprt of the plan, and doing it that way, I like and think its smart. Especially when you guys with pride like we do.

    Be good for the young guys to see the core/older guys play that way as they get better. Get that fire and want into them. have to grind and earn it. Then when were deep in 2yrs, these guys are only going to get better.

    We do need to add a couple good ufa. Building more and getting gems from draft are key. We got Panarin and Kempny not other teams. So there is good players who want Blackhawks not Rangers money spotlight.

    I do believe and feel like that many of the guys we have now in juniors/college level are going to be really good players. They donot all have to be, we need however many, not all of them. We wont know until they get to 200 games. Hammer looked good pretty much right from the start, like Buckaroo, and we didnt know how good he was be to come until later.

    The salary cap hurt us not keep everyone and now it will help us as it will take away/keep other top teams from going anywhere.

  50. Ian forgot about Ryczek-thanks for the updates. Another right shoot, and I think he is an overage?

  51. About adding those ‘tank’ ufas. It was better, besides the plan, to do that because we would waste yrs/contract wise overpaying.
    It doesnt matter if were more then two players away, so do not do anything. I just think if were saving the 5m before trading 81 contract and now have his 5m. Thats 10m plus whoever else we trade and not keep (which is why it doea=snt matter at all who we sign for this One yr caphit wise) which will add up to a lot in cap space.

    We havnt pulled it yet. Replaceing 81 and 4. Then getting the depth back. I tihnk were planning to build from draft, keep most/which ever part of core, then get certain elite ufa guys we want and caphit wont matter their worht it. Overpaying for mid line players and 4-6 D guys is not what I want.

    Not to be top heavy, because your not when you get deep, I want a elite FW like 72/other and when available try to get a top D man. Then those guys are guarantees and which ever draft guys are awesome thats who we go with. I think we have too many good D guys in a a couple yrs from now, taht we ll be able to hockey trade like NAS did.

  52. If anyone knows what I mean and can post it better or more insight to same way of thought/plan for future of roster.

  53. I am a big Dcat fan but believe he is in the right place for now on the 3rd line (and 1st unit PP). His work in the defensive zone is weak, particularly on the boards. I’m sure this will improve with more strength and experience but I agree with how JC is using him.

  54. Craig Button is out with his draft rankings post World Juniors. He still has Hughes #1 and Kaako #2. No surprise there. The good news for Hawk fans is, he really like the big Center Dylan Cousins from the WHL and Podkolzin from Russia in the top 4.
    It would be great if this draft went 4 forwards deep in terms of star potential. Less pressure for Stan to win the lottery.

    One other point. Darrell May is the head scout in the West. He Loved Jokiharju in 2017 and got his way at the draft table. The Hawks then nabbed Ian Mitchell from Western Canada in round 2. His voice carries a lot of weight with Mark Kelley and Stan. I say this because May’s opinion of Dylan Cousins will be huge on draft day.

    Draft and Develop the truly sure fire way to build a foundation and long term winner.

  55. Good post Craig another top 10 forward prospect in the whl is Kirby Dach who isn’t getting as much press but could be on radar draft day.

  56. Noonan Rycek he is 20 your right, probably going to be more like a Gus type player with lots of offense, more of a rover type.

  57. @wrap, yes 12 not 14 up top.

    Netting it out, if we slot guys appropriately as ER suggests, you take the load off the big guns and allow them to do what they do. More balance should equal better results. Icing 3 capable scoring lines means Toews line isn’t stuck being shut down line against opponents #1. Today they are.

    Where those three come from? I’ll leave that to Stan. Like the defensive pipeline to backfill the needs we have there. Short term, focus on moving out, 14, 15, 16 and salvaging a couple of picks hopefully.

  58. Craig—Button is very respected-
    there will usually be a surprise pick (or two) in the 3 to 8 area and hopefully the Hawks can get a top 6 pick-Looking at the standings the Hawks could end up anywhere in the top 12-perhaps even top 15.
    One more year of suffering in the standings is OK.
    Big difference in quality top 5 or 12-15, although it’s always a gamble, other than the Kanes and McDavids.

  59. Agree on Button. He’s done it. Been in the trenches and knows specifically what to look for in a prospect. Plus he only ranks players he has personally viewed 4 times, aka the eye test.

    One other nugget. Great to see Habs GM Marc Bergevin announce to the hockey world that anyone who wants to trade for one of his good players at the deadline must be willing to trade a 1st rounder. So he sets the price nice and high. Let the buyers know if you want a key piece to make a Cup run, pay up.

  60. Creating lines that mesh is nowhere near as simple as we make it here. Adding to that problem is that in hockey each line is supposed to have a specific purpose, which is constantly being countered by the other team.
    20-19-24 has been line 1 for most of the season. Their “job” against Calgary was to stop the top line from scoring and then add scoring whenever possible. Saad is the BEST scorer on the team that actually plays defense responsibly besides Toews. That’s why they work together so well – a mutual respect for the effort and understanding of their roles. Hossa was likewise the perfect third (actually Saad was the 3rd, but you get my point) person for that line. Name another player on the team besides Kahun that can take that role. Debrincat? Kane? They have no desire to play a 200 foot game. Dcat is a turnover machine trying to get out of the defensive zone. You can’t have him playing against other team’s top lines or we will have the fire drills of the early season. Reality sucks – neither belongs with 20 and 19. Can you imagine either being on the shutdown line every night????? Seriously???? Yes, we can use more scoring from 20 – he knows that.
    FACT – Defense is a frame of mind. Most elite scorers don’t have it and frankly – DON’T WANT IT. We miss Hossa more than many think. Hossa and Toews taught Saad to play both ends and he bought into it. If you want to play on the right side with that pair, you better come to play defense every night, every shift.
    Second lines are usually all about scoring. Third lines used to be the shutdown line, but now are more about scoring because it is so hard to shutdown great players (there are more players interested in scoring goals that stopping others from scoring). Salary caps just don’t allow for that many great players on a team any more. 4th lines are still more about chaos and energy, and killing some time while the other nine guys rest.
    We need a strong 2-way player to be RW on our first line. Who is that on this team?
    Eddie “O” says a lot of garbage most nights, but one thing in my opinion he has spot on is his comments about 3rd and 4th liners – role players – needing to do 2 things: Accept their roles and execute. If you use that statement as a basis for building a team, you can better see how difficult it is to assemble 4 lines.

    Ever wonder why Hossa was outspoken about Q’s line blender? He didn’t want to be responsible on the same line with someone who didn’t want to cross center ice to get to the defensive zone. Paraphrasing Hossa about the most important thing his father taught him about hockey: When you turn the puck over, you better be the first person on your team to touch it next.

    You want to chase Crosby around the ice all night? Johny Hockey? The pay may be nice, but the failure rate is also high.

  61. Silent agree with you, talented 200 foot players are hard to find asset, but one of the most important things that make a line works is chemistry between linemates. Without that nothing else can effectively work between them.
    Years ago there was a couple of offensive lines a strong defensive line and more of a muscle/goon 4th line that saw limited ice usually.
    Now teams try to employ 3 scoring lines and the strictly goon players are phased out. Now more often than not because of that maany smaller skilled players are being used over bigger slower players.

  62. Yea, based on last yr standings (which anything can happen and it wont always be the same) there was 6 teams that were ahead for top picks then a gap, then us at 7 and the others of the bottom 10 or so records.

    Last yr we were 17-11, plus 6 at 30 games in, then did bad/record wise. This yr we were 6-2-2, plus 4 10 games in, then did bad record wise-which is better for getting a higher pick then last yr. My point is, being only 10 games in and not 30, were in that wave of 6 teams ahead of the gap before the other teams in the bottom 10 or so.

    So we might have a good chance of being one of those 6 teams for top 6 picks. Based on rosters ANA STL LA CHI are better teams then others just have those records, so who knows.
    To me the four worst teams in league NWJ OTT PHI DET.

    Hopefully the other ‘real’ bottom 10 teams do not wake up and start to suck and go by us/take our spot at the top 6 pick table.

    OTT/COL 8
    PHI 7
    LA 7
    CHI 6
    DET 6
    STL 3
    ARI 3
    the other bottom half of midtier teams are holding their own 41 games in around/little over .500, they are’
    (I fully expect ISL and MTL to go down as they have done good but arnt good as records are)

    Right now, it looks like, 3 of the 4 worst teams in league have pased us and will stay there. They are just that bad. Not even a 3-16 stretch by us could keep us ahead of those teams for more then a few wks.
    We still can stay in the top 6 though and thats our chance for a 1st pick. Otherwise like you guys said, we can get a very good player between 3-10, based on bingo and what teams needs are.

    I feel good about it and the team. Just want to get rewarded for having a shitty record on a rare yr like these.

  63. Cliff notes of that.

    Based on last yr records, there prob be around 6 teams that are ahead of others record wise for top 6 picks. Right now those teams are,

    Then the other teams that are clustered/or will be, picks 7-12 or so

    These teams are with them roster quality wise, just have played better at 41 games

  64. Based on rosters, not looking at any teams sch in the 2nd 40 games. I think this prob happens.
    1-4 picks
    OTT-COL/PHI/DET/NWJ are 4 worst teams and stay there
    5-6 picks
    CHI/LA might get lucky for top 6
    7-12/13-16 picks
    STL-a lot like ANA and LA good roster just suck monkey
    ARI-good team please win some games
    VAN-good team hold their own stay ahead/+500
    RAGS-not good team hopefully get free wins vs other bad team in div
    FLR-decent team hold their own/+500
    EDM-decent team hold their own/+500
    CAR-decent team hold thier own/+500
    ILS/MTL-over rated, good for them to do good, this way they might have done well enough to stay above 500

    Basically we got a really good chance at top 6 pick. We also could go on a tear in 2nd 40 games and get 15th pick.


  65. Silent, in 2013 against BOS. They had a line that was unstoppable during playoffs, in east conference, and when they played us the 1st period of game 1 they were too good that we took a good two way player Sharpy off the 1st line and had to Saader there to slow that BOS line down. And they did, the 20/19/81 shut that line down the whole series after that adjustment.

    We were the only team in league to have that good of a two way player line.

  66. Which makes me think, even when we get Panarin back or other similiar top 6 FW, we still need at some point another really good two way FW for that line. 20 can take 81 spot which means we need another good young two way FW from draft just like when we drafted Saader or from some source.

    To get back to a complete roster.

  67. Mo thats the attraction with drafting a Podkolzin or Cozens, both are high end complete players that are top picks. May not have the flashy offensive skill of the hyped 2, but have a elite 2way potential.

  68. Were lucky there was so many rated D last draft and FW this draft. Thats we can get a top 3/5 kind of player anywhere between 4-10 if available/turns out good.

  69. Thats also why I like getting 4 blue chip defensemen last two drafts. Otherwise we would be stuck with 4 FW and only two D last three drafts/counting this draft.

    Best available right? goes for overall 1st/2ns picks from three drafts combined not just one draft.

  70. re: needs to the roster (forwards)

    Kane, Toews, DeBrincat have all shown that they’re established scorers in the NHL.
    Saad, Strome I still believe have top-six capabilities.
    There are other guys under contract – Perlini, Sikura, Kahun, Anisimov – who have some offensive upside/ability and can be played in situations where they’re dangerous offensively. But I view all four of those guys as bottom-six players. That is also assuming Anisimov is here long term (which I haven’t been sold on for a while).

    Then you have prospects who are coming. Kurashev, Altybarmakyan, Wise, Barratt, Entwistle, Kayumov, Söderlund all have some playmaking ability that makes them intriguing.

    So something has to give, because as long as 19 & 88 are under contract they’re here and they’re elite (still). Obviously the Hawks will need some protection for the other side of a Seattle expansion draft, but having prospect depth is going to give the Hawks some flexibility if/when they need to dump a contract (Anisimov) or when someone is selected by Seattle.

    Reality is the Blackhawks have a really nice crop of players on the blue line and up front coming along that should bring another wave of skill to the NHL roster at some point in the next 2-3 years. If the Blackhawks opt to bring back Panarin this summer, that complicates their moves at an expansion draft. What we shouldn’t want is to make stupid moves w/ Seattle the way Florida did with Vegas.

    In the 2019 Draft, the Blackhawks should take the best player available, whether he’s in the US, ready for the NHL tomorrow or headed to college for a few years.

  71. The league should have not approved that FLR trade. Theres a difference between a horseshit expansion draft and sounds kind of fishy, guys trade. It was already cheap expansion draft as it was.

  72. Cant wait until we get a full roster again. Make a big difference.

    Good thing about not having it this yr/last yr, makes the younger/new/rookies learn better and try harder.

  73. Tab good thing about expansion draft is anybody not in Rockford or on Blackhawks roster this year is exempt, unless somebody burns an elc year at end of season. With AA and Saad set to fas then if still around, they wouldn’t need to be part of it and could still be retained. So Toews, Kane, Keith and Seabrook if all still around plus Debrincat, Panarin if signed plus have 2 1/2 years for guys like Strome, Kahun, Sikura etc. to see if they should be protected or another Defensenan with Jokiharju having a spot available either way. Right now looks fairly good. Delia only option for goalie at this point it would seem. Crawford would be an extreme longshot at that point even if he comes back.
    Like what is being said about Carlson, should be a candidate to stick out training camp next season too.

  74. Ian – bad thing about an expansion draft is IF the Blackhawks spend big money this summer on someone like Panarin, they’re going to have to either get someone to waive a NTC or someone significant is going to go… or a prospect is used to sweeten the deal (see Panthers, Florida).

  75. Panarin takes one spot but with trades, hard to say who will be gone like Schmaltz is and find it hard to believe something won’t be done with Seabrook by then. One player who doesn’t have to be a core player, either on current roster or in Rockford will go, thats unavoidable. Theres lots of time to see what promise those prospects have and make whatever moves needed to avoid a big hit. Hopefully there is no moves like we saw from Florida with Vegas, one younger player shouldn’t be a back breaker.

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