Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks Fly Away From Jets

The Blackhawks dominated 59 minutes of play in Winnipeg on Thursday night, and came away with a strong victory.

Jonathan Toews continued to enjoy playing in front of his home town fans, posting four points and assisting on Marian Hossa’s game-winning goal as the Hawks ran away with a 6-3 victory.

Kane Toews

Toews stepped up and played a superstar’s game. He won 18 of 26 faceoffs, including all nine of his draws in the first period, and was credited with one hit with his four points.

Hossa returned to the lineup after missing three games and immediately returned to the excellent form Blackhawks fans had enjoyed before the injury. He led the team with three takeaways and added an assist to his game-winning goal.

Patrick Kane also had a multi-point night up front for the Blackhawks, scoring his team-leading 12th goal of the season on the power play in the opening period.

The Blackhawks’ top trio of superstars continues to be the primary reason for the team leading the Western Conference. There are only 22 players in the NHL with at least 10 goals right now, and three of them – Kane, Toews and Hossa – are wearing the Indian head sweater.

Kane’s 24 points are now tied with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom and Anaheim’s Corey Perry for sixth in the NHL, four points behind Sidney Crosby. Toews is right on their heels with 23 points, and Patrick Sharp has 21 (eight goals, 13 assists) through Thursday night’s action.

Chicago continued to show improvement at the dot from players other than Toews. Marcus Kruger won eight of 13 and Brandon Pirri won six of seven to lead a solid effort. Andrew Shaw won four of seven faceoffs and led the Hawks with four hits on the evening.

The other multi-point night for the Hawks came from Brent Seabrook, who was credited with two assists in the third period. Seabrook and Duncan Keith enjoyed a plus-four night by each of the Hawks’ top defensive pair.

Keith is now tied with Keith Yandle of the Coyotes for fourth among defensemen with 17 points. Keith, Yandle and Montreal’s PK Subban lead all defensemen with 16 assists to date.

Every stat that matters favored the Blackhawks on Thursday night, but a second period lapse made the game more interesting than it should have been.

After Brandon Saad scored to give the Blackhawks a 2-0 advantage, the Jets were able to tie the game within only 48 seconds. Andrew Ladd scored 19 second after Saad, and Keaton Ellerby followed with a power play goal 29 seconds later.

A strong move by Toews around Ellerby gave the Blackhawks the lead back later in the second, but another power play goal – this time from Dustin Byfuglien – tied the game at three.

The Blackhawks allowed only two shots on net in the first period and nine in the third. Unfortunately, the 14-shot barrage in the second period included three goals on Corey Crawford. Two of the three goals came while the Blackhawks were short-handed; the Hawks were only able to kill two of four penalties in the game.

Crawford faced only 25 shots in the game and earned another victory, but clearly needs a night off. With the Blackhawks visiting Vancouver next, Crawford’s next day off might not come until the team is in Edmonton or Calgary next week.

Kris Versteeg played only 10:20 in the game but was credited with an assist on Ben Smith’s goal in the third period. Versteeg has four points in four games with the Hawks, registering at least one point in three of the four contests.

With Bryan Bickell likely to miss significant time moving forward, the Blackhawks recalled Jeremy Morin on Wednesday afternoon. Morin started the game on the third line with Shaw and Versteeg, but was the only player on the Hawks’ roster to skate less than ten minutes in the game. Morin skated only 12 shifts and was on the ice for only 7:12, and was credited with only one hit on the night.

40 thoughts on “Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks Fly Away From Jets

  1. I believe the combined score from the three games against the Jets is 15-5. Considering the Hawks have a +16 goal differential on the season, and +10 of that is against the Jets, it’s too bad they have only two more games against those guys.

    It sure was nice to have Hossa playing again – what a difference he he makes all over the ice. I guess some would say the Getzlaf line or maybe there’s another top line or two that would be in the discussion for best line in the NHL, but for my money I’ll take Sharp-Toews-Hossa when all three are healthy and playing at their peak.

    I recall a couple Morin’s plays – one good and ond bad. The good one was where he showed better speed than I thought he had (or the Jet’s d-man is really slow) when he caught a Jet player from behind and got the puck and got an offensive chance. The bad play was where he flubbed a clearing pass and the Jet’s kept the puck in and the pressure on. I immediately thought that Q would minimize his TOI from that point on and he did.

    Crawford needs a rest. As Tab said – probably won’t get it against the nucks but I hope he gets a couple games on the road trip.

    Smith – I give him credit, he had a pretty good game. I’m not the biggest Smith fan because I think he’s more of a journeyman fill in player, but if he can play every game the way he played tonight – he’ll be more than adequate on that 4th line.

    Speaking of the 4th line, Bollig may need a rest too. Missed another point blank shot tonight. Course, if the only other option is Brookbank, I’ll take the tired Bollig.

    Lastly, don’t look now but Marcus Kruger has his faceoff percentage up to 54.3%. That’s pretty impressive considering his career average is around 44%. I don’t know what they’re paying Yannick Perreault – but it’s worth it. Now let’s hope Shaw spends some more time with YP.

  2. Agree ER Faceoffs were again favoring the Hawks by wide margin and its been a great improvement thus far over past seasons and a welcomed sight for sure. I’ve tried to keep up on it so far. YP is earning his keep. 16 has been great and he’s even a bit better on road than he is at UC . 65&37 are getting there I think. just need to be more consistant, its nothing for either of them to go 20% one game and 75 next but I feel good about the overall progress because it was a big concern coming into the season

    a great road period in the first, too many bad penalties in the 2nd but it just felt like one of those games to me, when 19 just decides his team is gettin the 2pts, end of debate and Hawks win. Not too many like him

  3. There is no doubt in my mind that Morin is a better forward than Brookbank. Morin was more visible on the ice (more good than bad) in his 12 shifts than BB in 3 or 4 games. I think Morin is sneaky quick and has a nose for the net. Does he make mistakes, of course, what rookie doesn’t. But as a fan, please don’t let management cause a player with Morin’s potential to lose his passion. A tentative player is a mediocre player.

    The way Q treats rookies is always my biggest beef with his style. I can not and will not argue with his success. I just don’t see Morin responding well when the tap on the shoulder is followed by “get out there and don’t f#@k up. And if this is the way Q wants it, trade him in exchange for a player that fits Q’s mold.

    I continue to be impressed with Smith’s game. He too has a nose for the net. Smith has had several quality chances the last few games. These pucks will start go in.

    Versteeg will come along. He has to adjust to 3d and 4th line talent, and he will. Obviously his numbers would be better playing on 1 or 2…..but then so would Shaw’s.

  4. ER- good comments…
    Smith did play great game- 4th line has been solid all year (excluding last 4 games- where they have been bad)… AND Bollig was the least effective last nite… Can’t wait for ONE of the prospects to come in and take his place (but Bollig is safe/cheap).

    Where is 26 gonna play when he gets back??? I don’t know if he fits w/ 16/28…
    I like how 37 understands the concept of “get the puck to one of best skaters/playmakers in NHL and find an opening”!!! (and 37 scares me w/ others)

    Another Morin miscue- he had a chance to pass to LW ahead of him on entry… he held the puck- (not Hawk Hockey)- putting LW offside- so Morin had to circle back…
    Seems like nothing- BUT- this is exact thing that Q hated about 37- AND 37 has drastically changed/understands now- to get rid of puck/push pace (cuz you ain’t NHL fast-maybe AHL fast- but not NHL fast!!!).

    37/11 aren’t Hawk/NHL fast- but watching both I can say that 37 seems to have better anticipation/reads (which can make up for being 1/2 step slow- to some degree).

    Lastly, Hawks are still making/giving other teams way to much time/space – due to Mental lapses/sloppy play… seems to be a pattern of late… really don’t know if it is mental/will… OR they are just an overall SLOWER team than last year and mistakes are not as easily corrected as they were last year!!!

  5. 1. Faceoffs- Outside of just adjusting hand position, I’ve also noticed them doing a lot of cheating. I imagine this is why they get thrown out of the circle as often as they do. Am I crazy or have more people been kicked out of the dot since Perreault came in?

    2. Ben Smith has played some pretty fantastic hockey recently. He is what he is, but he could be a damn important piece to another SC run.

    3. Pirri had a lot of opportunities last night and didn’t bury one. That said, I definitely see how his speed can be a limiting factor in his ability. He was one of the few Hawks with a negative corsi last night even with 2/3rds of his draws being in the offensive zone. However, Q is starting to trust him more and let him go out there against better competition.

    4. Seabrook was less drunk. That’s good.

    5. Crawford needs a break, but I doubt he gets it against Vancouver (a team that is MUCH better than their record indicates).

    6. Versteeg got 0 seconds of short handed time. Why was he acquired again?

    7. The last 3 times I can recall Kane being on the ice without Toews in a 4 on 4 situation, the opposing team has scored.

    8. Wall- you were right about Byfuglien. The Hawks DID miss him screening the goalie on the power play. So nice of him to pretend he was a Blackhawk tonight.

    9. I thought Morin played well, even though he was limited to less than 8 minutes. Q gonna Q.

  6. Observations…

    1. Winnipeg is just about as awful as it gets. Coaching change happens before New Years too.

    2. Morin had two craptacular and mistake prone shifts. Other than that he was non-descript. And on a team that ironically could use an injection of skating speed, Morin fails on that account too. He is what he is and that is Rockford Shuttle material. Nothing more.

    3. Faceoffs have improved because the Hawks are pushing the envelope with their feet set. Hence why we see more guys kicked out of the circle, but its been a subtle and effective change.

    4. Smith has played relatively well the last half dozen games or so. Like Bollig, he seems to be seizing the opportunity to fill a niche on this team. Smith is very replaceable outside of the short-term, but I give him credit for adapting and taking advantage of a great opportunity that has been presented.

    5. Pirri is slow. He’s done better than I expected and is really working his tail off, but he’s a stopgap solution until people like TT, Danault and McNeil are ready for promotion. Pirri has to be absolutely on the top of his game also for him not to be a defensive liability. Q is not trusting him more…rather he is accepting him more in the interim until better option(s) become available. There is a difference.

    4. Crawford needs a two game break to decompress and breathe.

    5. Versteeg is very much a work in progress in terms of fitting into the line mix. There were two shifts where his gambling on the pass surely pissed Q off. And another shift where he tried to do his best Viktor Stalberg imitation on defense, which is going to put himself in Q’s doghouse if he doesn’t get that turned around real quick.

    6. Bickell needs to eventually come back a different hockey player. I love Bickell, but must confess I have been extremely disappointed with his start to the season. I also question his conditioning if that can even be an issue a quarter way into a grueling hockey season. But bottom line is he needs to do the dirty work in front of the net and on the boards. Not only does he need to rehabilitate the knee, but he needs to rehabilate his mindset and what he is prepared to do to help this team win games.

    7. Anybody who catches the Jets on a semi-regular basis understands that Buff has been a maddeningly inconsistent and disappointing perform in the province of Mantitoba. He takes a lot of games off and has a commitment to the game issue. Won’t be surprised to see Winnipeg eat some of his too large salary and move him nearer the trade deadline.

  7. JS- I had exact same thought- to add the Hawks and former Hawks put up Record #’s last nite!!!

    And -yes the Hawks are cheating on FO’s/

    CC- does any Goalie in the league lose his stick more than CROW??? Can someone get that guy some stickum or pine tar?

    would love to see 16/28 and another quality/energy guy (McNeill, BBhurst, 42,other)- I know they “Might” not be ready- but 52 holds that line down- that one Brilliant possession was w/ 23 ice and 52 not!

    Hossa!!!! Only 2 guys in the league can embarrass two guys that easily stealing a puck- Hoss and Datsyuk!!! The guy is HOF’er… AND I hope he has a few more years- before retirement/injury get the best of him!!! Hawks will not be same without him!!!

    Kane#9 is a POS!!!

  8. Wall, I’m convinced Hossa is a Jedi. The way the puck sticks to his blade makes no sense… unless of course, he’s using his mind to do it!

    Defintiely agree about how that fourth line could play without Bollig… but at the same time, it’s a cap issue. Bollig is on a 1 way this year so his money can’t be dumped in Rockford.

    Rufus- I imagine we all knew Pirri was a stop gap. Anyone that has watched TT play knows that he has a much higher ceiling. He’s also the best 2C the Hawks have had in recent memory.

    And your bullets about Morin and Versteeg are exactly what irritate me about Q. Versteeg, a vet that knows better, does something dumb and it’s forgivable. A rookie, learning the game, does something dumb and they can no longer play. Can you imagine if a rookie had the game that Seabrook had on Tuesday?!? Woof.

  9. Rufus- In a lot of ways 29 is the new Buff… lots of game… big body/skates well/hands good… but takes a lot of games/shifts off!!!

    should be better!!!

  10. Interesting reads, thanks everyone…last night was WAY closer than it needed to be, as the Hawks outhustled and outworked the Jets all night, but Crawford is tired and kept the Jets in the game…if you look at all 3 WPG goals, they came from CC being “lazy” and CC isn’t a lazy player…he’s slow right now because he is tired…the first goal from Ladd beat him just over his glove which wasn’t up high enough and he was slow coming over…that should never have gone in…the 2nd goal from the WPG DMan was another that should never have gone in the net…CC was slow to react and way back in his crease on a cross ice shot from the right point…and the 3rd goal was all positioning as CC was scrambling around in his crease when he didn’t need to…when you lose confidence, you begin to doubt and try to compensate…and that’s what I saw from CC again last night, and that’s 4 of his last 5 games I believe…

    Some of you are speculating that CC will start in VAN because its a “big” game, but starting CC isn’t the right play…for the rest of this trip he needs to split time with Raanta…win or lose, we have to find out who our backup goalie is, and CC needs time off, or he isn’t going to help us down the stretch…we should have won that game last night about 8-0, but it turned into a tight hockey game…

    Toews had yet another monster game, but how about Hossa…as Wall, ER, JS, Phil, Mike and others constantly point out, Hoss is in many ways the heart and soul of this team…when he is out, we really feel it…as we do when Tazer is out…they are such great hockey players who can finish, but its their defensive games that set them apart…what complete hockey players…I see this a lot with Saad…I think that if Brandon was kept on that first line with Toews and Hoss he would have Sharp’s numbers…and someone who doesn’t get a lot of attention, except by the opposition, is Shaw…he’s just good game in and game out…Kane scores that PP goal because of Shaw…in fact, if there is ONE REASON why the Hawks PP is that much better this season, its Andrew Shaw getting in front of the net and taking a pounding to create a screen on the goalie…thanks Andrew!!! Also, other than that bad bounce off the end boards in COL Seabrook has really turned his game around…for the first time in a couple of years, Brent is looking like the All Star DMan that we have come to know…and this is great news going down the stretch for the Hawks, because Hammer/Oduya have been rock solid and Leddy is quietly getting better each and every game!!!

    Rufus, Rufus, Rufus…WPG is the worst team in the league huh? Going into the game last night they were at .500 in the toughest division in hockey, and now 3 of their losses are to the SC Champions and you are calling for a coaching change, and calling this team the worst in the league??? Stop embarrassing yourself…WPG may not be the best team in the league but they are fighters, tenacious and have lots of young talent…that’s a pretty good hockey team…maybe Toews and others simply “get up” for the games against the Jets???

    Ben Smith has been playing great, mistake free hockey on 2/3rds of a line and you give him zero credit…I think you must be a troll, because why would you have such a hate on for certain Hawk players…or is it your ego not wanting to admit that your WRONG, again and again and again and again…he and Kruger have been great all year and Bollig has been inconsistent at best…he doesn’t intimidate ANY opposition players, can’t skate with his line mates and can’t hit the broad side of a barn with his shot…but he’s “gifted” 11+ minutes last night by Guru Q…while Morin, who hustled his butt off every shift got “collared” again after a weak clearing attempt…the WORST thing you can do to a young player is yank them after a mistake…I know, because as a coach I have made this mistake too many times…what they need is to keep playing and work out their mistakes…by hanging kids after every little mistake, you take away all their successes (and Morin had a few last night) and get them to focus on one thing only…and that’s “not to make a mistake” and that’s NOT how you play hockey…read Toew’s post game comments last night…he said the EXACT same thing…having Hoss on his line allows him to take lots of chances, make mistakes, but get better and better…as Mike, JS, and Wall said, if Q hates Morin for whatever reason and wants to play this ridiculous game (while stroking the underachieving Bollig) then TRADE the kid…but mark my words…Morin is a 20+ goal scorer in the NHL and he will find his confidence here or somewhere else…

    And then you rip on Brandon Pirri…our 2nd line centre for the forseeable future, with a +6 rating, winning 50% of his draws and making plays…last night, twice, he went hard to net (and took big hits) to make plays…but you must have missed those moments…when Pirri tookover the 2nd line C spot, Kane was a glaring -9, the worst on the Hawks (in fact only he and Brookbank were the 2 minus players on the Hawks)
    and now Kane is 4th in the league in scoring, is a -3, while Pirri is +6 and Saad is +7…but you run this kid down…again the question that you NEVER answer…WHY?

    I get why you or I, or anyone here, can make criticisms about a player’s game, but there shouldn’t be any HATE…their all Blackhawks…and homegrown kids…CC languished in the minors for EVER, you must have been a real CC hater back in the day I’ll bet…but look at CC now…give these kids time and they will produce…in fact, they HAVE produced…Ben Smith scored 3 goals in the playoff against the Canucks when we were down 3 zip in the series…and has been nothing less than stellar this season PLAYING HIS ROLE…because as someone who actually WATCHES the Rockford games, I can promise you that if put Smith on the 1st line, you would see more of the polish to his game…Pirri looks “slow” because he is constantly trailing the play…why??? Is it because he’s a slow skater? Not at all…Pirri has wheels…he’s behind the play because he is playing defence first with Kane on his line…and his only job right now, is to collect the puck in the D zone and then outlet the pass to the most dynamic offensive player in the league…what a dunce huh?

    Critique all you want Rufus, but drop the hate for Hawk players…I don’t dislike BB or Bollig at all…I have commended BB for his 3rd pairing D play this season, and identified Bollig’s solid start to the season…he’s an improved player, but he has made a litany of mistakes lately and perhaps needs a night off…I think that Q is making a mistake by not using Bollig’s spot on the roster as a rotational position all year long giving some of the kids in Rockford a game or two on that dynamic 4th line…its a safe place to put them, and will in all likelihood give them much needed confidence. But I don’t HATE Q or Bollig…they are part of this SC championship team!

  11. Brad- we know that starting CC against Vancouver isn’t the right play… but starting him against the Jets wasn’t either. You know who decides who starts? That is why we think CC is going to start.

  12. Always great when Rufus comes on to bash the 22 year olds. What – no negative Leddy comments? He’s 22 also.
    As for Pirri, he improves every game (just like he did in the AHL)
    10-11 70 games 43 pts -6
    11-12 66 games 56 pts +9
    12-13 76 games 75 pts +12

    Morin will too. (look at the stats – same progression) I like the way Q pushes and protects them. I’ve never thought Q hated either of them. I think he just expected more from them. They are starting to deliver and as long as they are up with the big club, they will get better. (nothing to learn anymore at the AHL level)

    At age 22 –
    Bickel couldn’t get off the bench
    Sharp played half time with a minus rating
    Andrew Ladd got into 20 games

    Your fascination with speed is overrated – Frolik was fast, Stahlberg was fast – they are no longer around. (and not playing a whole lot for their current teams either) Like all professional sports, it’s about making plays. Already, both Pirri and Morin can make plays. Defensively, they will get better as they adjust to the NHL but I’ll take playmakers over high flying skaters like Frolik or Stahlberg who can’t make plays. (Frolik doesn’t even play on the penalty kill anymore) It’s why Hayes couldn’t crack it up here either even with his size – gotta make plays.

    Don’t expect Danault or McNeil to be in the lineup next year either. I expect them to follow the same progression as Pirri, Morin, Clendening and spend 2 years with the Hogs. For my money, Alex Broadhurst might get to the Hawks before either Danault or McNeil for the same reason – He makes things happen. For the record I believe both Danault and McNeil will make it eventually but go watch a few Hog’s games – they are a long way from NHL ready.

    As for comparing the Q punishment quotient for rookies vs. vets, it’s a losing proposition. Guys with potential always are held to a higher standard. As much as I’d like to punish Bollig or Brookbank for their crappy play, they are true 4th stringers. You don’t replace them with prospects who will play less than 10 minutes a game. Better to have them double that amount with the Hogs and in more important roles.

  13. I also think it’s ok to hate Hawk players.

    Example: I hated Daniel Carcillo and I smiled for 3 straight days when they were actually able to get something in return for him.

    But to constantly rag on a talented group of young kids that have no proven worth or a lack of worth? Nah. I’m with you there.

  14. Understood JS…I too think Q will likely start CC in VAN, but after watching the WPG game, its very clear Corey is tired…

    Also, not sure what Versteeg did to get his ice time reduced to 10 minutes? His one shift with the 4th line was dynamite and resulted in a goal…Steeger has 4 points in 4 games with the Hawks…

    How is it that Bollig had more ice time than Kruger, Versteeg and Morin? He even almost had as much ice time as Smith and Shaw and 2 of those players are Centres???

    And for those that rip JS for his over rating fighting/the enforcer in hockey, ask yourselves this…how many times has having Bollig in the lineup ever helped prevent David Backus from taking repeatedly cheap shots on Toews???

    Answer? NONE…the Hawks need to roll 4 lines with the best 12 forwards and the best 6 DMen they have…regardless of who that is…and personally don’t really care who it is, just as long as the players playing represent our best possible lineup…

    And JS, hating Carcillo is nonsensical…Carcillo was NOT one of our best forwards and had no business on our 1st line, but he worked his butt off every shift and gave us his best…and that always demands respect!

  15. BTW, the COL goalie made 42 saves in an OT win over PHO last night…how long can he go facing that much rubber before something gives??? The same with Smith in PHO…I can’t see these two teams real SC contenders as this pace is unsustainable IMO…

  16. Raffi Torres also worked his butt off for Phoenix! Nothing against the effort Carcillo put in on a nightly basis, but he was suspended twice his first year here… one of which was ironic because he ended his own season while trying to end someone elses. I can’t root for a guy that plays dirty. (yes, he’s cleaned up his act)

    I’d guess Versteeg had his ice time reduced because he was playing on a line with Morin. They were short shifted a whole lot.

  17. Also, really good post mhawk.

    And yes, Brad, Phoenix and Avalanche are not trending well for sustained success. They are constantly outshot and the odds that their goalies can’t sustain the success they are having.

    Colorado has a future if they start spending money and actually use a draft pick on a blue liner.

  18. mhawk- I 2nd nice post…

    Agree about- Bhurst (and will add 42) as might be more ready than others… AND that doesn’t mean they are better/or have more upside than Danault/McNeill… just that they do “get it” now… and were perhaps better coached in different areas of the game…

    Both really stood out in Camp.

    Only disagree- about speed- it can/does matter… Hawks had more last year- and could be one of several reasons for teams lighting Hawks up from time to time (NOT the only reason)… and 67/25 could “make” plays (they just weren’t goal scoring plays)!

  19. Good bounce back game for the Hawks although it took 19 to take the game by the reins. That first line is pretty scary. They look dominant and dangerous almost every shift. Once again the value of Hossa to this lineup cannot be overstated. I loved the Jedi comment earlier in this discussion. Hoss is such a pleasure to watch playing the game. I was worried when he was badly interfered with top of the Jets blue line. Really dangerous play, that clearly had Hossa pissed off. No call of course. Bottom line is Jets are not that good especially in their own end. Can’t dislike them though cuz of Ladd and Buff playing there. Is Frolik playing hurt? He was like a ghost out there last night.

    Crow clearly needs a rest. He is not on his game now for what seems to be about 2 weeks. No fault of his. Put the kid in there and let the guys get behind him with a strong team defensive effort. Goalies need to win you some game over the course of the season. Right now Corey is challenged to summon such an effort. Remember when Razor went into Calgary last year and stole that game where we had our butts handed to us? Our keepers need to put in those efforts, but right now Corey needs both a mental and physical break. If it costs a game here or there so be it. Raanta needs ice time now.

    All this talk about Pirri, Morin, Smith, and Bollig. I think some of you guys are beating a dead horse here with all the debating, but here goes. Pirri in my eyes is getting better, and so he gets more ice time as Q gains confidence. His attention to defense is commendable over the past few weeks and he is is racking up points. Morin I think needs more ice time, and will get it this trip in spoonfuls. I do agree with the comment that when a coach makes a player afraid to fail, it can limit that players potential. Q is no dummy. He knows his assets and the bigger picture. Smith has been just fine. He goes to the net to make plays. What more can want from the guy? Leave poor Bollig alone. He is still adjusting to playing more minutes IMO, and is maybe clutching his stick a bit right now. He is also getting scoring chances which is positive. Just needs to be smart about taking penalties.

    My only complaint about the Hawks play the past week has been the preponderance of unforced turnovers and poor d zone coverage by the forwards. As a team the guys have had a tough time clearing their own zone lately. Could just be bounces aren’t going our way.

    Nucks game will interesting tomorrow. Despite a mild purge from roster a few years ago, many Knuckleheads remain. Kessler, Burrows, Hansen to name a few. AV gone has me interested to watch what these guys are up to. Torts is always a show, and while he threw many Rangers publicly under the bus which caused him to lose his job, I have always liked his compete mindset. Never mind though, how can anyone ever root the Nucks? Screw em.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  20. Phil- great pickup on the Hoss interference… I caught that, and replayed it several times during commercial cuz I was worried he tweaked something… he was pissed and reached for his groin area right before they cut to commercial… after he gave the Jet a little wack with the stick…

  21. Players like Dan Carcillo have no place in the NHL. None.

    And Toews is a good player but he is only capable of putting up points with Hossa or Kane on the ice with him. Other than that he is a Bolland who wins draws.

  22. JS – thanks for the compliment. Must be a Friday so I did some ice time stats
    5vs5 Total Diff
    Patrick Kane R 13.7 19.9 +6.2
    Brandon Pirri C 13.6 14.6 +1.1
    Patrick Sharp R 12.8 18.4 +5.6
    Marian Hossa R 12.8 17.9 +5.1
    Jonathan Toews C 12.4 20.8 +7.4
    Brandon Saad L 12.3 15.7 +3.4

    Ben Smith R 10.5 12.7 +2.2
    Brandon Bollig L 10.4 11.2 +0.8
    Marcus Kruger C 9.3 11.6 +2.2

    Kris Versteeg R 9.1 10.3 +1.2
    Andrew Shaw C 8.6 13.8 +5.2
    Jeremy Morin L 7.1 7.2 +0.1

  23. Sorry that got posted in error.

    5vs5 Total Diff
    Patrick Kane R 13.7 19.9 +6.2
    Brandon Pirri C 13.6 14.6 +1.1
    Patrick Sharp R 12.8 18.4 +5.6
    Marian Hossa R 12.8 17.9 +5.1
    Jonathan Toews C 12.4 20.8 +7.4
    Brandon Saad L 12.3 15.7 +3.4

    Ben Smith R 10.5 12.7 +2.2
    Brandon Bollig L 10.4 11.2 +0.8
    Marcus Kruger C 9.3 11.6 +2.2

    Kris Versteeg R 9.1 10.3 +1.2
    Andrew Shaw C 8.6 13.8 +5.2
    Jeremy Morin L 7.1 7.2 +0.1

    The point I was trying to make is that it appeared that 5 on 5, the distribution between lines is just fine and what you would expect. When you have lots of power plays and penalty kills, time gets skewed especially for players who play on neither special unit.

    Look at Pirri who, 5 on 5, gets even minutes with the big boys (remember when he got less than 10 minutes a game) He gives up his power play minutes to Shaw because of the net presence thing.

    Now look at Shaw whose minutes go way up because he’s on the power play. That’s always going to punish his fellow 3rd liners because there is no one to center them.

    That’s why the 4th line got more minutes. (along with the fact that the penalty kill sucked and Kruger got fewer minutes than if they had actually killed the penalty)

  24. Winnipeg is a complete suckfest, how bad would they be without our salary cap purge. Ladd and Buff is their heart and soul. Thats a bad team! The Hawks needed that game now lets see if they can build on that.

  25. Gee, Rufus, I guess being called names by you is a compliment, because you’ve been wrong about everything…thanks so for showing up.

  26. Alright mhawk, you’re getting a little too statistical with your analysis. Don’t you know you’re just supposed to watch the game and judge people off your gut! (ps love the numbers)

    While that makes sense (about the PP and PK), I still think the third line was pulled off of on very short shifts and Versteeg has more 5 on 5 time because he was doing what he normally does, take extremely long shifts (definitely typed shits).

    Also, I think Q did an excellent job of balancing the lines in this game. If you did this same analysis for some of the previous games, you’d notice some bigger differences.

    Now, are they successful because the minutes are balanced, or are the minutes balanced because they are successful?

    And really, Winnepeg isn’t THAT bad. If they had someone to actually play center and a coach that knew how to devise a game plan, they’d probably be a lot better. Instead they are what they are, a yearly bubble team.

  27. I love Coach Q and what he has done for the team but as someone who has coached kids of all ages and coaches adults I have to say in my opinion I deplore the way Q develops young talent.

    This season is a rebuilding year that has a potential for a Cup run. With that in mind the rebuilding is so quick that if done right would only take a quarter of the season. Unfortunately Coach Q refuses to do any rebuilding. He was forced into playing Pirri because of injury. He is forced into playing Morin because of injury. This is why Stan Bo has futuristic tendencies. He sees that we need for a small rebuild and gives Q the pieces. Q is stubborn and refuses to see the point that is put before him.

    The only thing Q needs to suggest to Morin is that the play is NEVER easy. If Morin gives all his energy on every shift through the entire shift he will be a good player. Unfortunately he makes a mistake and Q sits him instead of putting him back on the ice with specific instructions of what to do and what not to do.

    Q wants everyone to be an NHL vet but doesn’t like to give them the time to develop. Our current set of NHL ready prospects aren’t all up to speed and need to be allowed to grow. Q will eventually be dragged kicking and screaming into a Cup contending roster by the end of the year. The sooner he gives over to allowing the younger players to grow, the quicker we get through the growing pains and have an amazing roster again.

  28. I’m guessing that everyone is in agreement with me that AJ must be a Canucks fan? If you can say that and call yourself a Hawks fan please stop watching hockey.

  29. My point was never in favor of the enforcer. I was happy when John Scott and Carcillo were sent packing. I said fighting should be kept for two guys to settle a dispute that has been building up all game like jabs, spears, etc. as tempers boil over in a fast contact sport like hockey. It’s the officials job to stop these cheap shots. There are four officials out there for christ sake someone has to monitor it. I also don’t agree with the fighting or need to fight if a player was hit with a good solid hit and someone tries pay back the player who delivered the hit.

  30. Goldenbladz, I agree completely…there are 4 officials now, they are more than capable of keeping games clean, and Brendan Shanahan and the league office can keep it out of the game by utilizing their powers…but when they don’t I like that a play, as you say, has the means of settling something one on one…if the refs and the league actually did their jobs to the letter, then there wouldn’t be a need for fighting, but this has never been the case…

    Omaha, nice post…this is why coaches are rarely GMs as well, because they are fixated on the “right now” and GMs have to think of the now, the immediate future, the playoff picture, and the long term future…all Q really needs to do is allow for a “rotational” spot in the lineup with a 12th forward giving way to kids being brought up for a chance to play…again, its fruitless to 2nd guess Joel because as senior coach, he will do things his way and not likely change his ways before he retires…and Joel has a good track record when his GMs give him what he wants…follow Joel’s career and his “good runs” have always come to an end, because his GMs have stuck with his winning formula too long without enough annual turnover…its just Q’s way…and as I said, he’s a damn good Hockey bench coach and a smart guy. This is why I said from the beginning that the Hawks and Q fell into a perfect relationship when Q came here, as he had a young dynasty in the making, and did a wonderful job teaching all of these kids how to play team defence…no better example of this than Kris Versteeg…with another organization Versteeg might have easily become a perpetual 20+ goal scorer who would never come close to winning anything…but Q develop Steeger into a very good 2 way forward…even his efforts with Kane are notable as if Kaner had his way, he would just camp out at the centre line…

  31. It was more of a facetious comment.

    Noticed the other day that he is never stuck with Kruger and Shaw on his wings or Bollig and Bickell or any spare parts in general. Pretty much with A squad at all times. One of the top centers in the league but it isn’t like he ever gets stuck playing with junk.

  32. great discussions

    one last post to Omaha WI – I would disagree that Q doesn’t develop young talent and that it’s a rebuilding year.

    Leddy, Pirri, Morin, Shaw, Saad – nearly a third of the skating roster is 22 or less. Also you have Kruger 23, Smith a rookie at 25 and Ranta 24 (pretty impressive for a SC team – by contrast Florida has only 4 players 22 or less and they have nothing to lose). And as far as I know, none of Hawks I mentioned lack confidence. More often than not I hear them spouting the company line about defense first which shows me they are going to all be good players

    The team is leading the NHL with 34 points in the toughest division of the toughest conference – that’s not rebuilding

    If you want to see someone who knows how to screw up young players – look over to Detroit and Babcock. His young defensemen don’t know which end is up and Nyquist has been on a yo-yo string to Grand Rapids even though he’s probably their 3rd best forward.

  33. AJ – didn’t Toews get shifted on the 4th line in the Cup finals last year for a bit, maybe in Game 3? I think it immediately preceded Q switching his strategy from “keep Toews away from Chara” to “lets make Chara move his feet.”

  34. AJ – actually Toews had Bickell on his wing in the Finals and that worked pretty well. But I think you’re looking at it upside down – it’s not that Toews hasn’t been saddled with 4th liners as linemates because he’s being favored or protected or coddled or whatever – it’s that 4th liners aren’t good enough to play at the same speed as Toews and elite level players. And I don’t mean only skating speed – I mean the ability to recognize and execute plays at high speed. Why would Toews’ coach want to put a governor on his best player by saddling him with players that aren’t capable of playing at that level. It’s not that a Ben Smith or Brandon Bollig can’t be on the same line as Toews, it just that Toews won’t be as effective.

  35. Who was it, when asked who’s the best player on Team Canada, replied, “Whoever plays with Toews.” ?

  36. Toews is an invaluable and anyone thinks he plays well because of the players around him need to find another blog. Toews has the talent to make the players around him better, not the other way around. Mud, your statement is correct. Babcock also was asked during the last Olympics who his best forward is. Babcock replied, “whoever is playing with Toews.

    Don’t get me wrong, Toews is not Crosby or Stamkos and he whines a lot at times. He has trouble avoiding hits even though he knows their coming. BUT, there is no player in the NHL with more desire to win than Toews. Furthermore, as pointed out above, the Hawks have a lot of young players, Toews is the perfect captain for the Hawks. It is his job to keep players like Morin motivated.

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