Hansen, Canucks Handle Hawks

On the second night of a back-to-back, the Blackhawks weren’t able to keep up with the Canucks. Corey Crawford kept them in the game until late, but the Hawks fell 4-1 in Vancouver.

Jannik Hansen’s empty net goal with 42 seconds left in regulation completed a hat trick for the Vancouver forward. Hansen now has five goals in 21 games this season, but those five have come in his last three games.

Crawford allowed three of Vancouver’s goals – two to Hansen and one to Radim Vrbata – in his eleventh consecutive start. Chicago’s netminder made 26 saves against 29 shots in the loss, but made a number of fantastic saves in the first and second periods to keep the game close.

Kris Versteeg scored the only goal for the Hawks on the night, redirecting a Duncan Keith shot past Ryan Miller for a power play marker to tie the game in the second period. Miller made 24 saves in the victory.

Versteeg goal VAN

Joakim Nordstrom led the Hawks in hits for the second time in as many night; he was credited with four in Vancouver on Sunday night. Keith led the Hawks with four blocked shots and added an assist on Versteeg’s goal. Brent Seabrook had the other assist for the Hawks.

Sunday night was an uncharacteristically mediocre evening for Chicago’s captain. He was minus-four in the game and won only eight of 21 faceoffs.

Rookie Phillip Danault, skating in his second NHL game, won only two of 11 faceoffs in the game. His ice time was cut back as well; coach Joel Quenneville sent him out for only four brief shifts in the second period and only three shifts in the third, one of which came to close out the contest.

The other recent call-up, defenseman Adam Clendening, didn’t have a great night either. Hansen cut in front of him and redirected a puck past Crawford for the eventual game-winning goal early in the third period, and that stapled Clendening to the bench at even strength for the rest of the night. Quenneville only sent the young defenseman back out for a power play shift and with Crawford pulled late in the final frame.

Chicago was without Andrew Shaw again on Sunday, and Antti Raanta was the backup again as he deals with an illness. Daniel Carcillo is expecting an addition to his family in the not-too-distant future, and will leave the team to be at home for the birth whenever that happens. Jeremy Morin may get out of the press box at that point.

The Hawks are off until a date in Denver on Wednesday night.

CHI VAN shots.11.23.14

61 thoughts on “Hansen, Canucks Handle Hawks

  1. vancouver fans are the dregs of civilization. you can say what you want about AC’s poor positioning and continued turnovers (and bad penalty). You can say what you want about the weak-sauce transition game tonight.

    What bothers me most is the happiness of vancouver fans.

  2. Hawks better send Cden down quickly…before everyone else (besides Wall) figures he can’t play, and then has zero trade value…

    Yawn…

  3. Too many men on the ice for Vancouver, twice!, quite blatant and no excuse for not a penalty….Versteeg slashed and stick in two but no penalty..now we had some PPs through the nite but we could not capitalize. Vancouver fans are easily the absolute worst in the entire league. The team is doing real well, better than us, and its a mystery to me why. Torts was a horrible fit there and the reborn Canucks version 2.o are responding. They were possibly candidates for the O’connor sweepstakes but not any more. We must be better or we cant win 4/7 against the better teams. Distrusting and distressing to see Danault and Clendening going backwards. Oh well ( hands in the air) bring on the Ducks, Sharks, and Kings and get a real test in the works. Bickell please wake up.

  4. Losing to the Nucks is bad enough. The sub-par effort by the team as a whole is what drives me crazy. It is easy to put some blame on 6 and 24, neither was good last night. However, at this point in their careers these kids are followers. What you ask is that they play at the level of their linemates or pairings. Well those guys were not very impressive either. It is just one game and the Hawks have been playing a lot better lately. Hawks need a good game against the Avs, then must showup for the CA teams.

  5. Noticed a huge difference in the way Vancouver played under this coach compared to their last two dolts. Up tempo, and less of the cheap shit they used to play. Hopefully we were just a little tired from raising our hands so much the night before. Enjoy a couple days off and lets get back at it in Denver.
    After watching Rockford play Sunday, there are options on defense that could help us out – unless they can’t handle Q’s microscope. I think in regards to the young guys, it may be more about their mental toughness then there ability when it comes to playing for Q. Seems the ones that succeed are the grinder, stick with it type of player that are always looking for the chance to get better and not the “skilled” guys that have a more fragile makeup. The goal scorers are under more pressure to produce and if it doesn’t happen quickly makes their games looked more flawed than a grinder,

  6. 3rd game in 4 nights in the middle of a road trip with two off days looming and the Hawks tried to coast against a decent team. Boring. Sloppy. Not nearly as fun as they used to be.

    Crow was, once again, spectacular. And he’s about the only thing that stood out.

  7. Not over-reacting on this one. Just a bad night. It happens.

    Psst…Brian Bickell is making 4 million dollars a year. Insert in pipe and proceed to smoke?

  8. Agree with the above posts, nothing tougher than watching the Hawks lose to the Sedin Twinkies. Tough night for the Toews line. When is the last time the captain was -4? Look for a big game out of the captain against the Avs. Still liked the energy of 42/16/28. Versteeg had a good night, the guy is on fire. No way Foley passes a breathalyzer test last night.

  9. Cden has made 5 really bad plays in 2 games… I can only remember 1 really bad play by TvR in the 15 + games he played… Read a theory on another site that Hawks brought up Cden over others- cuz he will have to clear waivers next year- if re-signed…which makes sense – so they want to see what they have/don’t have… I say this because I thought that after TvR in camp- based on Camp- the pecking order should have been Dbeck, Johns, Cuminsky, Cden…

    Throw in 2 non-Hawk prospects- who are as good or better Pokka,TJ… CDEN is Done!!!

    Get better soon TvR!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I almost forgot!!!!

    I was having a Heart-attack when during the Canuck’s 1st period PP… KANE was on the wing ON THE PK!!!! Now I would love to know the TRUTH — was that by Q’s design??? Or did Kaner forget there was 12-15 seconds left… any way as soon as they lined up for the Face-off… I said “WTF” is he doing out there- “is the PP clock wrong…
    He proceeds to chase the puck into the corner… the puck (And Vancouver break out)…
    the slow-mo replay shows Kane is still in the Offensive zone when the puck is about to be deflected…

    That is/was the kind of play that really PISSES me off!!! I am dying to know who/why they called Kane on the PK!!!

    JS- did you catch that!!!

  11. When Nordstrom leads your team in hits you got problems. Hawks go into corners with sticks and no body so Vancouver was able to square up, look up and have an extra 2 to 3 seconds to move the puck. No pressure! Vancouver also dominated the DOT as to me forget of stats vs weak team , the Hawks suck on the face off’s they MUST win and they don’t. They face offs they do win they win in a scrum, a pile up, a fist fight never cleanly for a one timer. That is an issue.
    Vancouver skating hard and really used their sticks and bigger bodies to tie up the neutral ice and did not allow the “Ever difficult” stretch pass and cross ice passes Hawks fall in live with. Hawks play a pretty “skill driven” game when opponents slow that down even just a little it ends up a one goal game. Back to back games are tuff, Hawks will continue all year to look good, average and then really good. At least the dont look HORRIBLE with no Sharp and Shaw it’s not eays!

  12. Just want to pump the brakes a little bit on the “lack of effort” and “can’t compete” portion of the dialogue for a second… let’s all remember that a) the Canucks have played well this year, b) the Hawks had 3 should-be IceHogs (Clendening, Danault, Nordstrom) in the lineup instead of Patrick Sharp & Andrew Shaw (and TvR to a lesser extent), and c) the Hawks were playing the second half of a back-to-back. Was it a great game? Not by any means. But let’s not sprint back to the sky is falling narrative either.

    That said, the Hawks need Raanta to get healthy or call up Darling to give Crawford a night off in Anaheim or LA.

  13. wall – Kane actually had a pretty good defensive game last night, but coming out for the final 20 seconds of the PK had me scratching my head as well. Unless Saad, Kruger, Smith, Toews and Hossa ALL had an equipment issue simultaneously…

    However, Kane wasn’t on the ice for the shot Hansen tipped past Crawford in the third period.

    You’re thinking of the first goal of the night, that developed into a 3-on-2. Kane had just come on for an offensive zone draw and was admittedly trailing the play as the Canucks sprinted up the ice and converted.

  14. Wall- I did notice that. Q will occasionally try to squeeze him out there when a penalty is about to expire and they get an offensive zone face off. However, there was too much time left and he was beyond lazy busting it back.

    Can we just talk about how stupid it was that Versteeg was in the box in the first place? A legal check on Kane and Versteeg comes to his rescue only to be penalized and have the Canucks score on the power play. Genius really. Standing up for your team and stuff. Building morale. Yeah. Rah Rah

  15. Nordstrom – 6’1″, 189 LBS, 4 hits
    Bickell – 6’4″, 223 LBS, 1 hit

    I know Bickell bashing is a fun pastime for this group, but can anyone reasonably explain what value he adds on the ice? Norstrom is the hit leader and Versteeg is camped out scoring goals in front of the crease. I think the commercial should be changed for Bickell to say “My goal is to be a salary cap albatross.”

  16. The saddest part of this was watching the continued demise of Oduya and seeing Leddy have an all-star year. This year’s troubles started with bad personnel management and continue with stubborn, arrogant coaching. Every defenseman is struggling and Keith and Seabrook are wearing so many minutes that an injury is inevitable.

    It also hurts to see Toews & Saad get schooled by the Sedins. And no, it wasn’t about fatigue

  17. I’m giving credit to Nucks system changes as it relates to their early season success. A far cry from the Vigneault torpedo squads we all came to hate. Hard to say, but good for them. A much more disciplined team to my eyes, and they have some good players out with injuries(many teams do). Nucks looked quicker than the Hawks although the 3rd game in 4 nights is rough.. Hawks were lucky to be tied through 2. CC was outstanding last night AGAIN last night and kept them in the hunt especially in the 2nd.

    The guys have a few days off, and yes CC needs a break so Darling is logical choice if Raanta is weakened by recent illness. Clendening’s eyes suggest he is not so confident out there and this is perhaps reflected in his slow decision making. The NHL is such a fast paced game. Wall’s recent comments regarding player IQ were very well taken. Some guys have it in spades and other don’t. I don;t see Clendening as being in the “haves” camp. He takes a seat next to Bicks. Nordstrom really looks like he belongs out there, and has greatly improved the discipline to his game. Not sure yet with Danault as his ice time has been limited. Wonder when Shaw is back? He would be welcomed in the lineup against what can be a chippy Avs team. I would imagine Morin plays against Avs too.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  18. Vancouver still has quite a lot of talent and now are soundly coached. No shame in losing to the Canucks in British Columbia.

    Clendening? Yeesh. He’s just not ready for the NHL right now. Way too many dumb, dumb, dumb mistakes. Maybe we are seeing the reasons why he has been in Rockford so long. Lets get Johns up here for Colorado and send Clendening back down to Rockford.

    Loving Nordstrom. Loving Danualt.

    But again, the 2014 Chicago Blackhawks are a team in a transition regardless whether we want to stick our head in the sand and not believe. Too many role players dressing each night. And Saad is either having a down season or regressing to what he really might be in this league…I’m honestly not sure yet, but I guess I bought into the hype prematurely like many others did as well.

  19. Another request: leave the “OMG DEY TRADED DA WRONG DMAN” comments for somewhere else… everyone would have preferred Leddy stay around for another decade, but Oduya has a NTC and the team viewed Leddy (aka 5th dman) as replaceable internally (Rundblad, TvR, Clendening). Before he got hurt, I felt that TvR had done a nice job of stepping into that role.

    As was the case w/ Ladd and Byfuglien 4 years ago, it sucks watching players go on to have relative success somewhere else. And Leddy landed in a fantastic opportunity w/ the Islanders, and is going to make A LOT of money if he continues playing the way he has to open the season. But good, deep organizations in a salary cap world have to be able to replace guys like Nick Leddy.

  20. The Nick Leddy love knows no bounds. For crying out loud Leddy was nothing special in Chicago. Yes he can “skate.” But yes also he was never going to be more than a 3rd pairing in this town. Given the salary cap he was absolutely the right guy to send out of town. Who gives a crap is Leddy is having a nice offensive season playing in hockey purgatory out on Long Island.

    Hjalmarsson is having an All-Star caliber season, so I’ll pause for a moment to laugh hysterically at those who think he is part of the problem. Good grief the moron brigade on this board can get out of control.

  21. Brandon Saad far and away leads the Hawks at points per 60 at evens, even while shooting 4% below his career shooting percentage. Maybe when his shooting percentage stabilizes he can carry the play even more than he has been.

    But yeah, disappointing year even though he is producing better than he has the last two years.

  22. mo, would love the info. thank you

    that was a tough assignment for sure. Miller was determined to not lose 5 in a row too. I always take the trip as an entirety. Get points anywhere you can and move on. Pretty happy to this point.

    21 games (not 5) seems like a good time to assess things. I dont know of many things that are a huge surprise, tvr maybe. STs are doing their usual flip from the previous season. if anybody would like an assignment for explaining
    2009-2010) 16th PP 17.7% and 4th PK 85.3 %
    2010-11) 4th PP (23.1 percent). 25th PK (79.2 percent)
    2011-12) 26th PP (15.2 percent) and 27th PK (78.1 percent).
    2012-13) 19th PP (16.7 percent) 3rd PK (87.2 percent).
    13-14) 10th PP (19.5 percent) 19th PK 81.4%

    isn’t CC a better fit for the NYR than Hank? CC #1 on Broadway!

    Leddy was fine here, he a boot on his neck, tough to play that way

  23. Rufus- completely agree that 2014 Hawks are a team in “transition”… too many role players… BUT… what does that say about next year? OR the following year???
    EVEN MORE role players will be called upon (considering the $$$ allocated to 2 guys)… AND the Hawks don’t have the Top 6 talent/role guys in the system!!!

    Which leads back to what I suggested Before the season… Hawks will need to find 2-3 Diamonds in the rough – to be a legit contender again…soon (cuz the core IS aging)
    TvR- is/was a great find (only hope he makes 100% recovery- if not- Hawks just lost a Diamond)

  24. I felt before 2008 when I got back in the season ticket game that the Hawks had a 6-8 year window where they could be very competitive and challenge for the Cup every year. I believe we are still in that window, even with father time ever at work. Hossa and Sharp are in decline, but are still much better than average players, as well as having invaluable experience. Otherwise, our forwards are not “old guys” by any means except for 91 whom we all know is probably a 1 year band aid signing. Goes without saying with Rozy of course and Oduya is more than likely not to be re-signed. Seabs is getting slightly long in the tooth, but still a much better than an ave player. Duncs here for awhile IMO. I think it is safe to say transition period is beginning with this season still full speed ahead towards a deep playoff run, barring injuries re-railing the train. One of the larger cap guys will probably be gone off season, which for me would probably be Sharpy or Seabs in a package with younger talent for that elusive kick ass 2 center or a size forward with some talent and grit tnhat shoots righty. TT awaits and will more than likely help Hawks in a big way down the middle.

    Hawks glass still more than half full with me.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  25. You hit the nail on the head Wall. The Hawks farm system is made up of a bunch of nice role players and only 1 potential super star. The system is ranked in the top 5 in the NHL based on 1 player-TT. I believe TT will be a star based on his incredible skill set. I think TVR may be a diamond in the rough if he can recover from his injury. I agree Phil, the window of opportunity is closing. That is why we need to win now. Last year was a lost opportunity. What does the lack of top 6 talent (except TT IMHO ) say about Stan’s drafting? Let us hope there are some diamonds in the rough that we are not seeing.

  26. The Hawks may be in transition, but man, a lot of what we don’t know is centered around that dastardly Cap. So the question is what will transition mean? As projected Hawks have $2.4mm in Cap space with a roster of 16. Say the Cap increases by $6mm to $75mm….That will give the Hawks $8.4mm for basically 8 players. If Saad gets $2.3mm and Kruger $1.6mm Hawks will have about $4.5mm for 6 players. Those 6 will all have to be Entry Level contracts playing full time in the NHL.

    Given this, and the fact that the Cap may NOT rise to $75mm, I believe the Hawks will trade between $8mm and $12mm in salary of the 16 players under contract for next year. The question will be who? This will be a lot different from 2010 in this respect. In 2010, the Hawks traded players expecting to earn more. In 2015 the Hawks will trade players who already earn more.

    No, we can not worry about next season. Hawks have a Cup to win this season……Go Hawks

  27. Almost the entire league (besides perhaps the Kings-although Voynov never playing in the NHL again might railroad them) is still trying to catch up to the Hawks, so if this is a transition year for them, that’s pretty damn impressive.

    I’ve given up on Morin ever doing anything for the Hawks because I feel he’s just too in his own head. He was the Hawks most dynamic offensive player in the small sample size that was last year. This year, too much pressure to perform and not mess anything up.

    I don’t think Nordstrom will ever amount to anything besides 4th line grinder with maybe some PK ability. His offensive game is such a bland version of vanilla. But a 4th line of Nordstrom/Kruger/Smith should be able to take on pretty tough assignments.

    Problem, for me, comes down to the third line, the Hawks only have 3 real centers on the team once everyone is healthy.

    20/19/81
    10/91/88
    23/65/29
    42/16/28

  28. Yep, Wall is on target but doesn’t mean things are bad. I think SB has done a good job of drafting considering it has been years since the club has had a top 10 pick. Look at the Oilers and all their high picks the past few years, still at the bottom of the heap. I am sure 5 years ago SB (as well as most GMs) thought the Cap would be much higher.

  29. Why so much hate to Clendening? He´s a kid, he can and i hope will learn. He makes mistakes, but I was actualy pleased that he can play under preasure.

  30. I don’t “hate” Clendening, by any stretch. He just looks nervous(rightfully so), and it is being reflected in some of his decision making. Reminds me of Rundblad’s first few games which weren’t too pretty. TvR was very unusual in this regard. He just looked comfortable in comparison. I wish #6 well and hope he can prosper and take his game to the next level. Meanwhile, Johns and Dahlbeck with get their looks soon enough.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  31. Oh grindyness. And the will to win. Only stats that matter.

    Islanders are third place in the east with a few games in hand which is pretty neato for them. Hardly purgatory. Absent the injury crisis they had last year, they have had a pretty solid core of young talent the last few years. Just needed the right players to fill the gaps and get some decent goaltending which they appear to have done quite well with this past summer.

    Weird start to the year. Gotta figure that Calgary falls back to earth shooting percentage wise. But other than that the West is probably about where it should be. Nashville has been surprising but it isn’t like they have droves of bad hockey players, albeit underwhelming ones. They’re scoring at a sustainable pace though which is pretty interesting.

    Whatever, few days off and a little recharge and well see what happens. Not too concerned about this last one.

  32. The reason the Blackhawks system is rated in the Top 5 (if indeed it is) is due to depth. They have several defensemen not only knocking at the door but coming along as well. Defensemen are golden – they can always be traded for forwards.

    What Stan Bowman & staff will need to do is collect more draft choices and perhaps be willing to trade up in drafts to get more premium talent. They did that this year to land Schmaltz but I’m talking higher in the 1st round. Easy to say and tough to do though.

  33. Another reason for minor league rankings: Stars don’t stay in the minors for very long. They are pretty much drafted and then come up and start playing. The Hawks have a system filled with replacement level players, and that is how they will maintain success. Ideally, you find a Brandon Saad every once in a while, but the Hawks were lucky that he fell as far as he did.

    Ideally TT becomes something special. But you have Danault to replace Kruger, McNeil to replace Bickell, Johns to replace Seabrook, Dahlbeck to replace Oduya, Ross to replace Shaw, Hartman to replace Smith, etc. Maybe you get lucky with some of these guys and they outgrow their potential, but if they were going to be great, they’d already be in the NHL.

    Find me a competitive team that has all-star quality players waiting in the AHL. Not very common.

  34. A.J., You and JS will never guess where I was Sat night for the Oil spill? Yep, Swig yields 2 Hawks blowouts this year, and I even got it done without you this time. Only 2 games I have been there this year too. Weird..

    Lets Go Hawks!

  35. The Hawks absolutely ARE in a period of transition. The premise for maintaining legitimate Cup contention ability rests on several things….

    1. Saad becoming a legitimate top 6 force — of mounting concern to me is that this is absolutely NOT happening this season

    2. Teuvo becoming a legitimate top 6 force and a “difference maker” at Center

    3. Two of Johns, Dahlbeck, TvR, Clendening and Pokka becoming LEGITIMATE every game defenseman options by the 2015-16 season

    4. A steady pipeline of quality role players and specialists to flow from Rockford and beyond

    5. Developments with the NHL salary cap not biting the Hawks completely in the ass –unfortunately, there are warning clouds to the contrary right now

    ===

    Bottom line, the 2014-15 Hawks are not a top 5 type team in the NHL right now. Sure, the core talent still exists and anything can happen once the playoffs begin, but my head tells me we have a 2nd round type exit from the playoffs this season.

    How the points noted above shape up will go a long way to saying whether a 2014-15 type season becomes the trend over the next few seasons, or whether we can legitimately be a strong Cup contender again.

  36. Hockey Futures new fall ranking has Hawks at 7th (my bad). The player rankings are 1. TT, 2.Schmaltz, 3.Johns, 4. Clendening, 5. Hartman. I guess the St Louis Blues draft table reaction to the Hawks jumping over them and taking Schmaltz may be warranted.

  37. Rufus- You had the Hawks losing to Detroit, then the Kings, then Boston in 2013. Last year there was no way they could get by the Blues in the first round. Now it’s a second round out. Alright.

    Again, Saad is LEADING THE TEAM IN EVEN STRENGTH POINTS. Can you read that? Does it need to be in bold? Saad IS LEADING THE TEAM IN EVEN STRENGTH POINTS

    I’m interested to know the teams you currently view as better than the Hawks. Thanks.

  38. All the bashing of our young players is making me sick. EVERYONE of these players is going to make mistakes……HUGE mistakes at the NHL level. There is a HUGE learning curve at this level. It’s going to take time to gets these young players to develop and some will develop faster than others.

    Playing in the AHL is a world away from the NHL, so don’t sell me on how good guys are down at Rockford. At this level the physical / skill part of your game is developed, now it’s all mental. Many players came to the NHL with the physical / skill part of their game and they could not cut it, mentally. It takes a lot to overcome a benching, a chewing out, a bad game, 3 great shifts and then a game changing turnover……..most of the time these players cannot cut it and they are forever minor league players or traded from team to team in the hope that they find their game.

    It’s easy for you to sit in your easy chair and critique every pass and every play. On the ice it’s a “dog eat dog” world and the mistakes have to be a short memory and the great plays have to be remembered. These young players aren’t learning game to game, they are learning shift to shift. The mental side of this game will debilitate you if you don’t watch yourself and learn quickly.

    I can only speak for myself when I say that I have seen really good talent at all levels of hockey get screwed up, mentally, due to too much pressure and not enough patience. I saw guys who had unbelievably great physical talent that just could not get to the next level, mentally.

    So far, these young players are doing okay. They all make mistakes, but they don’t give up on the play. They try to learn from their mistakes and move forward. I think we have a good group of youngsters.

    So the next time one of our young players screws up, just know that he’s learning as fast as he can.

  39. The worst thing about last night’s game with the nucks was watching that complete a$$bag-douche nozzle Hansen get a trick against the Hawks. After the flying elbow that concussed Hossa a couple years back, I have been wishing someone would lite him up! I guess I will have to keep waiting.

  40. Clendening looks tentative, just like TVR looked tentative during his first few games and Runblad looked whenever he appeared until the last few weeks. The positive is that he has the skill to work the point on the PP and be a serviceable defenseman. That itself is worth having a look. Let’s give the kid more than 3 games before we throw dirt on him.

    It sucks losing to the Nucks. But they’ve been playing well and we are back to back on a long trip. Time to forget about that one, take a day of rest and refocus on the Avs.

  41. JS, I wish Saad were playing a lot better. But fact is he has been among the biggest disappointments to date on the young season. If you want to pull a statistic or two to validate your proposition, then more power to you. But this season the theory was Saad would step up to become Hossa Lite. That hasn’t REMOTELY happened, and in fact Saad on most nights looks like just another guy on the ice. I like Saad a great deal. But he most definitely has not graduated to the next level like some of us assumed he would. I am guilty of falling into that camp, and am know re-thinking my view of Saad. The more important question becomes, does he have a future with the Hawks given the salary cap and the fact that his “market value” will no doubt be “excessive”?

    So lets chill for the time being on annointing Saad.

  42. I complimented Nordstrom yesterday, but I have to rain on some of the favorable comments made about his game last night. Like C-den and Danault, Nordstrom’s IQ isn’t there either. Did anyone notice that every shot 42 attempted was deflected into the crowd or off net by a waiting defensive stick. (Like Eddie O said ad nauseum on Cden, one hand on the stick would have prevented the GW’ing goal) 42’s reaction time was too slow in getting his shots off when the puck hit his stick. I saw it happen 3-4 times when I was watching.

    Now to cut 6, 24, 42 some slack. These are young players that need time to adjust to the faster NHL game and talent level. They have to be nurtured along because they are thinking too much at this point. We have to give them time to develop NHL instinct. For some guys, that happens faster. Send these boys back down to Rockford for Dent to coach them on the NHL game time film. (I say Dent because I can’t see Q doing this. Q’s is too impatient with young players and I disagree with his splinters in the ass method of coaching. Sorry, I don’t believe that is productive.). Let’s fire up the bus and keep rotating the boys from Rockford while we have the need with the injuries. The time is now to develop them otherwise the “One Goal” motto will be diluted in the future. That goal will be to make the playoffs rather than to win the cup.

    Someone said after the Oilers game that we aren’t missing Sharp out there. Has that opinion changed after the Canuck’s game? I won’t make excuses, but this was the 3rd game in 4 nights. Face it, our core is a year older and, I am sorry to say, the distance between us and the competition has narrowed. We need every ounce of experience and skill from the core to win the cup this year. Hopefully, with the proper nurturing, the boys from Rockford will develop to meet the expectations created by the hype around them.

    Go Hawks!!! Get well soon #10 and #67.

  43. While we’re all discussing the “transition” of the Chicago Blackhawks, I’d like to take a moment to remind everyone of a few key numbers:

    Jonathan Toews: 26
    Patrick Kane: 26
    Niklas Hjalmarsson: 27
    Brandon Saad: 22
    Andrew Shaw: 23
    Marcus Kruger: 24
    Ben Smith: 26
    Corey Crawford: 30*
    Antti Raanta: 25

    Those are the ages of a big chunk of the Hawks’ core (Crawford turns 30 on Dec. 31). The two superstars that make this thing tick are still in their mid-20s, and Hjalmarsson is still fairly young as well. Obviously there will be a decision in the next 10 months on both Saad & Kruger as both hit RFA status in 2015, but assuming one/both of them stays keeps this roster relatively in-tact w/ young pieces moving forward.

    Sure there will be departures, and seeing what the Hawks have in some young soon-to-be contributors (Teravainen, Nordstrom, Danault, Clendening, Johns, Dahlbeck, McNeill, Hartman, Pokka, etc) gives us a brief taste… and Keith plays like a guy who will go until he’s 50 (like Chelios).

    Agree that we need to see something from the kids at some point, but let’s not sell this team for dead or write them off as “old” quite yet.

  44. I am surprised some are quick to say get rid of Seabs. He is only 29. I believe he will be here a while and he should be.

    With regard to the Leddy trade, I could say with extreme confidence that it will never ever be mentioned in the same breath as the Phil Esposito trade or discussion thereof. In fact, I believe it won’t even be discussed 1-3 years from now. If it is discussed, it will only be on this board. :-)

    Phil, Mike, Wall – agree with a lot of your comments on the role player pool we have. That is the downside of success, lower draft picks. Phil, I believe Sharp and Bickell are gone next year. Sharp because of his age and Bickell because he only plays 2 months a year. Regardless of 29’s contract, his size, hands, & playoff history would entice someone to take him off our hands. That’s about 10 million between those two. Then you get Rosy, Oduya, Richards off the books. Mike – you did some nice accounting and I have not gone to the extent you have, but that takes a lot of salary off our books. Phil-I am with you saying on our cup window being open for several more years.

    I’d rather be the Hawks than the Bruins!!!

  45. In Hossa’s year 22 season – he played 81 games, with 75 points. 48 of those points were at even strength. He averaged a little over 3 shots per game.

    In Saad’s year 22 season – he’s on pace for 54 points. 50 of those points being at even strength. 2.3 shots per game.

    The odds of him having that many points on special teams are low, since he’s playing on the second unit. I’m not sure what you’re “seeing” that makes you think Saad isn’t having a good year, but he’s on pace for his best ever even while shooting a miserable percentage.

    I just want to know what you want Saad to do that he isn’t. I would like him to contribute more on special teams. But his 5v5 production puts him as a top 20 player in the league. I’d like him to look to shoot more rather than pass as well.

  46. Does it seem strange reading that Kane & Toews are 26? Wow! How privileged we all have been to witness them from 18-19 through 26.

  47. I like our team. I feel very fortunate to be watching this group. Not long ago I was convinced I would never see a Stanley Cup come to Chicago. I appreciate the efforts
    the org has made to ensure success. I wish games were more affordable to attend for me personally because it is the greatest place to watch NHL hockey. I’m hoping to take my son as a grad present when he gets home from his Army basic training next month.

    I’m extremely thankful I believe we will be able to do so.

  48. The window might be closing for guys like 10 or 7 (salary cap), but its not for basically all of our core that were going to keep for many more yrs. We have a top5 farm, JS asked of the top10 teams in league who has a top5-10 farm. In the spring farm rankings Only ANA 2nd & CHI 4th. All of the other top10 teams have bottom10 farms/20th-30th (except STL 17th & PIT 16th). I do not get prospectus, but in hockeysfuture the fall farm rankings has ANA 5th & CHI 7th. So our farms are not slipping a little, its other farms fluctuating up and down… like someonelse mentioned.

    No matter where the cap is going to be, all of the top teams (except the few that are not at cap every yr) are going to have to do the same thing. Look at BOS, they already started it before they needed too. ANA has strengthened their farm by trading Ryan, we havnt done that yet. When we do that, it will also strengthen our farm even more.

    You guys are right about the reasons why our farm is top5ish. Another thing about that is even though the top10 draft picks, etc. play soon/right away, they still count as prospects in the farm rankings until they’ve played 50games. The farm rankings only come twice a yr, so that makes a diff too… based on when a player has got to 50games. For example Drouin & Hertl are still in their teams prospects lists.

    Its good idea to move up the draft for a 5-15 pick to get another pick like 86. The yr we finished 19games over .500 and we wanted to win for a higher seed per say. There was about 5-6 teams that were 20games over .500 then, so we got lucky baby. Plus 86 birthday was 4days diff he would have been in the other draft and even a higher projected pick then what he was at 7thor8th at 17.

    We have been saying this for seems like every yr. We do not need any high end player right now. We will take them though (86) and when we can trade up for a high pick for one. We do need an entourage of role players. Like the kind that are nasty two-way players and I think we have several fast, really good skating, checking, good IQ type of guys. We not going to be able to keep everyone for 20yrs (19 & 88) but we can have a 20yr window because we have 19 & 88.

  49. booman, next years roster salary numbers do NOT include Rosy, Oduya or Richards because they are not under contract next season. Hawks will have to move some veteran pieces. That is just the way it is.

  50. Saad is tied with Crosby for even strength points FWIW (tie for top 20). Also 5th on the team in terms of PP60 ahead of Hossa. Ummmm not sure what you’re expecting this guy to be. His shooting percentage is off right now, though so is much of the team. The goals are going to come for him and he’s gonna get paid after this season. By someone.

    Hossa soon to be 36 (two months) and has been gassed \ injured in the off season the last 3 years, Sharp soon to be 33 (one month) Oduya is looking like he is regressing, Seabrook is soon to be 30 and going to require a massive check. This team isnt “old” but they do have some aging components eating salary that need to be addressed in an intelligent manner. I have no idea what an intelligent manner would constitute.

    The Bickell money hurts, I think the Versteeg contract is probably a bargain now that he is healthy… Dislike the Sharp contract. How many monies Saad and Kruger get is a bit question mark (5 together, in the 4 range for Saad?) and their payroll starts at 65 mildo with 9 forwards and 4 defenders. Something has to give there.

    Long story short, a winner this year would be nice because unless they have a spectacular off season next year will be a transition year.

  51. A really good discussion here as it relates to the depth of the Blackhawks organization. I would be the first to admit I rely on those of you that have done your homework regarding cap issues, and also a call out to those that closely follow what’s going on in Rockford. Your efforts are very much appreciated. Mo, I think you did a ral nice job with your last post. It also brings into focus how difficult it really is to keep a quality team on the ice, give the cap problem as well as injuries. With so many variables in play, SB the younger and elder get plus marks from me. Sure mistakes have been made which I believe have involved over-paying some players making cap issues more difficult. I still miss Ladd in particular, but you know shit happens.

    On an off day I just wanted to say thanks for the clarity many of you bring to this board as well as the lively discussion Tab has facilitated on Committed Indians.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  52. I posted after Sharp was hurt that it would provide an interesting sneak peak at integrating our Hog talent as potential replacements when 10’s contract was traded (15/16) or expired 16/17). My view from what I’ve seen and where we are to date in that context:
    1. I like the line 1 and 2 combos we are playing currently with 20-19-81 and 23-91-88. Not likely we keep Richards, but I am not against it for another year. We need to keep assets up the middle and he’s playing well from my pov.
    2. Nordstrom, Morin and/or Denault are not going to replace 10 anytime soon, they’re not in same league and I’d bet that TT is not soon to be either..
    3. Therefore, I’d work to keep 10 thru his contract and work with the $$ we free up with departure of 27 & 32 with some hopefully higher cap space. Fill the D holes with return of TVR and one of the young guns in Dahlbeck and Johns (am not a believer in #6.)
    4. Therefore, need to get Johns and Dbeck some NHL ice time this year once 6 is sent back down..

  53. Negzz, agree and I think that’s what we do to. Teravainen is going to be wicked but your right probably not until he starts his prime yrs.

  54. Hawks looked really tired from the 3rd game in 4 nights. Did anyone notice Ryan Stanton? He plays on PK and has really developed. If SB hadn’t resigned Rozy, Stanton would be starting for us. Big mistake letting him get away.

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