Kero, Hinostroza Lead Blackhawks Past Avalanche

The Blackhawks have been struggling, so coach Joel Quenneville did what he does: threw the lines in a blender.

Chicago opened the game with Jonathan Toews between Ryan Hartman and Richard Panik, while Tanner Kero moved between Vinnie Hinostroza and Marian Hossa. After skating seven defensemen in the last game, Chicago returned to a 12-forward lineup with Andrew Desjardins on a line with Nick Schmaltz and Dennis Rasmussen.

The new lines worked. Especially for three young Blackhawks – and the ancient warrior.

Only 2:38 into the first period, Schmaltz found a loose puck and put home the second goal of his NHL career.

Four minutes later, Panik got caught hooking Matt Nieto and went to the box. On the power play, Matt Duchene tipped a Nathan MacKinnon past Corey Crawford to tie the game at one.

After a strong stretch of penalty kill work in December, the Hawks’ allowed a power play goal for a second consecutive game.

Chicago may have had the bulk of the puck possession and the noise from the crowd in the first period, and Brent Seabrook gave the Blackhawks a lead at 12:50 into the first.

The opening 20 minutes ended with Chicago out-shooting Colorado 11-10, but Toews lost all six of his faceoffs and Kane – after a career-high 12 shots against Minnesota – had zero shots on net. Schmaltz, however, picked up an assist on the Seabrook goal to give him a two-point first period.

Early in the second a lazy play by Mikko Rantanen gave the Blackhawks a power play, but MacKinnon who got the first good chance short-handed after a Duncan Keith turnover leaving his own zone. After a solid first period, Schmaltz got time on the second power play unit.

Unfortunately, the advantage ended without the Hawks scoring – and prematurely. Seabrook hooked MacKinnon with three seconds left in the Hawks’ power play, giving Colorado their second power play after a brief 4-on-4 moment. The Blackhawks were able to kill this penalty.

Nine minutes into the second, MacKinnon’s strong game continued as he found Blake Comeau through traffic. Comeau rifled a shot past Crawford to tie the game at two.

Only 63 seconds later, Seabrook failed to execute a long pass to Panik and the Avs turned the tables quickly on the Hawks. Gabriel Lendeskog found Nieto and the Blackhawks were suddenly losing 3-2.

That lead didn’t last, though. Tanner Kero made a deposit from the doorstep 19 seconds after Nieto’s goal to tie the game at three.

Hossa picked up an assist on Kero’s second goal of the season, the 600th helper of his Hall of Fame career.

This time the score would remain tied for more than three minutes, but Duchene broke the tie with a burst of speed. Duchene had been credited with only one assist and two goals in 11 games coming to Tuesday night, but scored twice in under 35 minutes against the Blackhawks.

When the dust settled at the end of the second period, the box score showed Colorado scoring three times in only eight shots on goal. The Blackhawks scored once in the period, but only managed four shots on Semyon Varlamov in 20 minutes.

Kero lost all seven of his faceoffs in the opening 40 minutes, but Toews rebounded to win four of seven in the second period. Artem Anisimov won five of 13 draws to… lead… the Hawks. And Artemi Panarin’s one shot was the only puck put on net by the Hawks second line through two periods.

Five minutes into the third period, the Hawks’ new-look third line got Chicago back on the board. This time, Hinostroza exploded up the ice and beat Varlamov for his fifth of the season.

Three minutes later, Hinostroza decided it was his turn to break a tie game. Kero set him up with a gorgeous feed and the Blackhawks led 5-4 after goals on consecutive shifts by Hinostroza, who now has six on the season.

The Hawks hung on to the lead into the final minute, and Colorado pulled Varlamov.

Toews – desperate, struggling, frustrated Jonathan Toews – got the puck in the offensive zone with a wide open empty cage in front of him.

And passed to Kero, who scored for a second time in the game to make the final score 6-4 in favor of the Hawks.

There may not be a better example of Toews’ unselfish leadership this season than his assist on Kero’s goal on Tuesday night.

Let’s review the offense from the win in Denver:

  • Kero: two goals, one assist
  • Hinostroza: two goals
  • Hossa: three assists
  • Schmaltz: one goal, one assist

Rasmussen led the Hawks with three takeaways and won four of seven faceoffs. Toews finished winning seven of 16 faceoffs; remember, he lost all six in the first period. Trevor van Riemsdyk was credited with a team-high four blocked shots and also had an assist. And Hinostroza had a game-high five shots on net.

The Blackhawks scored six times, and the only line left intact – Panarin-Anisimov-Kane – was held to three combined shots on net.

Crawford finished with only 19 saves as the Blackhawks shut down the Avs, allowing only five shots on net in the third period after the second period blitz. Varlamov takes the loss after allowing five goals against 26 shots.

71 thoughts on “Kero, Hinostroza Lead Blackhawks Past Avalanche

  1. That was ugly! The rookies came through and Hoss was huge on helping out the 3rd and 4th line. All the mins that the top line and vets played against the Elves.. errrrr Wild showed tonight in that high altitude. Glad the rested 3rd and 4th stepped it up against the Avs. And yes, I know the Avs are one of the worst teams but still, we won.

    Too cool that they showed the dads in the luxury box and so excited when their kids scored.

    I was surprised that Darling didn’t start.

    As all have mentioned for a while, something is not right with Seabs. Maybe hurt, tired, personal issues, getting older. Who knows. Maybe time to give him a night off or two.

  2. Back to work. Score first and up 2-1, still cant any break/bounces (Hartman misses net, Panik crossbar, Hoss shot save, they score on PP-when they have sucked longtime, we donot score on PP, they get good shot, then a play when were standing around) so were down 3-2. Tie it at 3, then they get coast to coast shot. Dang Ridiculous we cannot get a break it seems (after scoring first and being up 2-1).

    Instead of taking it, we respond and play really good 3rd period. We have taken our licks in the last 13 games, its our turn to get the bounces/breaks and score on those ones we had, get PP goals and get threw this mini bad wave on PK/get on top of the PK wave. Roll 4 lines and start winning with some good scores/differential. I donot care who were playing.

  3. Good thing the Hawks were playing a bad defensive team capable of giving up 6 goals because Crawford was bad again, for at least the 3rd game in a row. It didn’t matter so much against Washington because the entire team sucked so they would have lost even if Crawford played fairly well. But against the Wild he let in one if not two that a goalie playing at the top of his game doesn’t let get by him – like the guy playing at the other end of the ice for the Wild. This night he let in three stinkers that he should have had but fortunately the Avs goalie didn’t stand on his head tonight the way he has in the past and the Hawks escaped the Pepsi Center with 2 points, not thanks to their goalie.

    But, aside from the 2 points, there’s plenty of other good news. Such as the bottom-6 guys pouring in 6 goals. Yes, it was against a terrible defensive team, but it is still a confidence builder to see goals go in. Kero, Hino and Schmaltz should be dreaming of goal celebrations tonight and good for them.

    So the work in progress continues. Hopefully Jimmy Waite is along on the trip and spends some time helping get CC back on track. With average to below average goaltending the Hawks are not a top team. They’re barely a top team when the goaltending is good. We need CC to find his groove if the Hawks are going to have a chance.

  4. What else can be said! We don’t get many Hawks games this time of year in Canada- unless they play a Canadian team! But if the “ONE GOAL” getting deep into the playoffs on the backs of your rookies and NOT your Vets?! We are Phkd!

  5. Sloppy game which was a wide open affair. ER, I agree that Crow is playing below the torrid pace exhibited earlier in the season recently. Fortunately, Varlamov has lost the magic he flashed at the Hawks a few years ago when they couldn’t beat that guy. Our experience with Crow though says he is a money keeper when the chips are down. No keepers are dialed in all year. Price lately?

    Praise to the kids last night. Hawks needed that because core offensive guys didn’t have much going. The line blender worked. Kero is being rewarded for hard work and good 2 way play. Nice to see Tazer with the class move to dish that one off late to Kero. Otherwise, the Cpt had another frustrating outing last night. Kero pass to Hinostroza was a beauty and a game highlight. Quick release by Schmaltz on his goal hopefully boosts his confidence.

    As it has been so far this season, Hawks consistency over 3 periods is lacking, but they have shown they can turn it on and get goals when they need them against lesser opponents. Considering what the Avs were a few years ago and the potential they appeared to have with young talent, this team is just floundering. Roy knew he was jumping a sinking ship that must have some real management problems going on.

    B’s Friday. Hawks will need a more consistent effort than we saw last night to beat those guys.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  6. Hino- looked like Robbie Benson in “One on One”… all jacked up on speed!!!
    Kid was flying.

    Panik- overall, I really like what he brings… BUT- the guy is a Cycle killer… the Only way he works with Toews – is if that line is only used as #1 checking line ( not looking to score)… or Q/Line changes philosophy of “cycle 1st” for that line…and Morphs into different Offensive strategy with 14/19/?whoever… 14 has terrible mitts when trying to cycle on boards.

    4th line had a great 1st period

    Seabrook- still trending down… despite goal

  7. Tail of two teams, on one hand you had your bottom 6 playing very well. On the other hand you had your top six playing poorly. Specifically the Captain who looks lost out there and Seabrook who has looked bad again! At what stage does Toews poor season become a concern?

  8. Rasmussen had a solid game last night. 3tka’s and an assist plus 2 sog. He won many board battles. I would not be surprised to see Darling in the net friday night to give Crow a break. Seabs needs a break also but that probably means Rozy. Good observation Wall about Panik. I also like what he brings but would rather see Schmaltz on the first line with Toews and Hartman. Schmaltz has a quick stick and seems to be able to handle the puck in tight spaces along the boards. Toews needs to be at the top of his game if the Hawks are to win a Cup.

  9. Let’s all not ignore the fact that Toews’ usage has been different since Kruger left the lineup. Without another center Q has confidence can win a faceoff, he’s been asked to do more dirty work in non-offensive roles.

    That being said, I like a LOT of what I’ve seen from Kero and Rasmussen and really don’t know that I’m too excited at the prospect of Kruger taking anyone’s job other than Desjardins and Tootoo (yes, AND).

  10. Well said Tab. It is a shame that 19 is going to the All Star events. He needs to rest, reflect and recharge. Not so much that he is tired or ailing physically…cause he might be.. He needs to rest, reflect and recharge because he in unfamiliar territory.

    He is having a (way) off year, getting paid huge bucks and staring at a rebuild effort that he is largely his doing. Add to the fact that Canada lost the WCofH, and you basically have his first two failures.

    Giving that goal to Kero was the right thing to do. I think I’d be a little disappointed if he took that goal himself. But this is why he is among the best Captain’s in NHL history

  11. Re: Desjardins- ironically Panik and Des are polar opposites… Des is a fantastic cycle/board guy (probably his strength) and mediocre most other things… Panik – horrible in cycle- puck just jumps off his stick… but good wrist shot, goes to net well, hits , + skating speed

  12. 19 skipped all star game last year.

    Canada won the world Cup of hockey

    And excellent cycle guys have more than ZERO points in 28 games.

  13. Its only just past mid season and in pretty good position standing wise. Kruger back will help toews concentrate on offense more and not a coincidence pk allowing more goals and faceoffs being talked about since he went out also. A pickup at the deadline, got to go for it this team has a chance now and 8 and/or 64 able to impact lineup be a bonus and we’re ok.

  14. Look no further then Anze Kopitar! Kopitar is a great comp for 19. Look how far his game has fallen. This is the scary side of locking up guys long term. For every Hossa or Bobby Lou you have guys like Kopitar, Nash, Dustin Brown or Eric Staal (prior to this season). The Hawks haven’t doNE Toews any favors by not providing him line mates but I can’t sit here and pretend that’s all on them. In the last 2 games 19 has 2 shots, and an empty net assist.

  15. How about sharp reports are he is available. Could be insurance if you lose hartman in the draft , at 35 years if age now he might be persuaded to resign with a soft cap hit next year and big bonus after 10 games played like campbell this year or iginla couple of years ago 1.8m cap hit and salary and 4m in bonuses after 1o games. With no major bonuses on the books next year could work

  16. Funny story: 4 years ago, people said the same stuff about Sidney Crosby they are about Toews & Kopitar now.

    Sorry, not buying.

    I do love the internal contradiction of SSHM’s comment “or Eric Staal (prior to this season).” YOU MEAN GUYS CAN COME OUT OF SLUMPS? OMG

  17. Sidney Crosby was injuried thats not the same. Cmon tab a 5 yr slump? Dead cat bounce maybe? Eric Staal has been in decline for a long time. Even after moving from Carolina to NYR his production as awful. It litreally took him until he was on his NHL death bed for him to revive his career. This is only a 40 game sample size too. Let’s see how he finishes.

  18. An article today in the paper was about Toews, Kopitar and Bergeron all suffering from World Cup hangover. Who knows what’s going on–still like that he’s on the Hawks.
    I think the playoffs will reunite some fire inside 19. (He’s won everything and plays a tough 200 ft. game. I know he makes a lot of money but mentally it must be hard)

  19. The Canes around Eric Staal were in decline for a long time. Now he’s skating with some decent wingers for the first time in a long time and OMG HE’S PRODUCING!

    And I appreciate that we can make a blanket assumption that Kopitar & Toews have been 100% all season so health isn’t a reason for a dip in production.

    I know the guy with the biggest paycheck is the easiest to blame, but I have a pretty short fuse when it comes to throwing a guy like Jonathan Toews under the bus. Blackhawks fans prayed to their respective gods for 20+ years “one day, please give us something that’s kinda sorta close to Steve Yzerman. Just once. Please.” and now that he’s here we’re all ready to walk away from him well before he turns 30? C’mon…

    I’m not saying he’s an All-Star. I’m not saying he’s been dominant. But I’m also encouraging those saying he should have taken less money to take a deep breath and think about what 19 would have been worth on the open market. Sorry, even with the greatest 20/20 hindsight he was getting $10M per. So stop.

  20. 1.) If you believe Toews is in a 3 month slump, Sydney Crosby’s 3 month totals at the beginning of last year (his slump) were 37 games, 9 goals, 18 assists — versus Toews 38 games, 7 goals, 15 assists …. or if you believe

    2.) Toews is beginning his decline, in his last full season (since Jan 1 last year), stats for him are 73 games, 16 goals, 29 assists … versus Crosby (since Jan 1) 72 games, 58 goals, 54 assists

    Cap hits – Toews $10.5 mil, Crosby $8.7 mil … Crosby is 9 months older

    The “right call” on which Toews we have will not only affect this year but will definitely determine Hawks results for years to come.

  21. So the excuse is Toews needs top notch wingers to be great again…

    Do you think Crosby would rather play with Hossa or Sheary and Rust?

    Crosby still makes those around him better.
    Toews is still a top tier player but 1 on 1 he loses the puck and along the boards he is not as strong as he used to be…bad back?

  22. When did Crosby sign his current contract?

    Do markets go up over time?

    Thanks.

    Never said Toews was the same offensive player Crosby is. But players get banged up and come back strong.

  23. I apreciate the ability to have rational conversation about Jonathan Toews. Tab I am absolutely with you that Carolina has been a complete mess durning alot of his days in Carolina. I just feel like Staal is a guy just hanging on at this stage. It will be interesting to see how he finishing this season and how he plays next yr.

    Anyways what’s the Toews excuse? Is he hurt? Fatigued? His numbers have all been decline year or year. Toews has skated with Hossa, Kane and Panarin all productive players this year.

    @Hawksfacts. Your 2) stats are very telling wow! My Toews alarm went off against Minnesota. Zero shots? That stat is very telling. I’m not saying trade Toews but the Hawks can’t afford to have him just be a guy. The Seabs contract is already looking bad in year 2. I was already expecting that one to be bad money, plus we’ve already discussed Hossa on here for years. The fact that Toews is already slumping is a scary proposition.

  24. Tired of hearing ” when Kruger comes back ” because when he comes back we have another player that can’t score. And all this talk about Toews taking on a different role is bull, he gets paid to score and set up his mates plain and simple. Sorry Tab but I call them like I see them. If he is hurt then give him some slack but we don’t know because nothing is being said why he sucks right now.

  25. Stamkos lives in Florida where there is no income tax. Compared to other offers Stamkos still probably comes out ahead staying in Florida with a better team than going to Detroit or Toronto. Not a fair comp.

    Besides, he has a rather lengthy injury history and I’m on record as saying I would have let him walk. 5 months later he’s missing almost the whole year. Toews’ injury history is not nearly as checkered.

  26. re: the “Toews radar went off” because of 2 shots on goal – God forbid we give credit to anyone else. Koivu has ALWAYS given us fits. Kane went from 12 shots on goal to 1 so he’s probably broken too by that logic…

  27. I am not throwing the Cpt. under the bus. This current slump he is enduring is bothering him much more than many could understand. I believe he will find a way out of it and become the valuable contributor he has been for so many years. I do not believe his career is on the downside from a long term standpoint. He is most likely in the head game of overthinking his way of playing and pressing. He will find the way. It looks that way to me, as his skating is powerful when he wants to bring it. It is almost as though he is playing tentative trying to avoid making a mistake. Toews is a proven winner and has NEVER been a quitter. I do not believe his problems are physical in nature.

    We will know more and have better answers at the end of the year. Of course Tazer’s play the past few months has been frustrating to watch. In the Cpt. I still trust. My two cents..

    Lets Go Hawks!

  28. LOVE Hossa on the 3rd line. LOVE putting Toews between Panik and Hartman. If anybody besides 72, 88, and 81 get Toews going, watch out.

    5 goals from 3rd and 4th lines, when our core and goalie aren’t having good nights. I almost forgot what it looks like, but I’m pretty sure that was a depth win. Against a terrible opponent, granted, but it’s refreshing to see the Hawks win without using the “one dominant line and stellar goaltending” recipe.

    Our PDO is regressing to the mean. We’re 6th now, down from 3rd. Perfect time for youngsters to start/continue putting the pieces together.

  29. Toews was 4th in scoring at world cup while shutting down the other teams top center crosby’s line was top 3 without near the defensive responsibility

  30. I’m not gonna doubt the Captain. If he’s “sub par” it’s not because his career has hit a wall. He gives it all, heart and soul. Overpaid ???? I don’t think so. He’s brought the team three Cups they would not have had without him. Maybe he’s banged up, maybe he’s not, but he’s always going to give it his all.
    Some may say this argument is not relevant when you take the salary cap into account, but there are mediocre pitchers who struggle and bring home 10.5 mil in baseball. I begrudge no player for taking what he can get. With the way they get banged up over 82 games plus playoffs, the concussions, risking future well being etc. etc. …… they should get whatever they can get. Yeah, he’s making 10.5 million. Do you not think some other team would have offered him that much or more? I’ll climb off my soap box now and wait for the abuse to flow in.
    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  31. I believe that Toews is hurt — not enough to keep him out of the lineup, but enough that he can’t play at 100%. I could be wrong…

  32. TAB, You are a Toews supporter and that is good and right now he needs it. Toews has played more games than anyone in the past 6 years and let’s face it that takes something out of a person. For example how many games has Crosby played in the last 6 years? I wonder how many of these questioners go to work every day and work lights out?
    Lets face it his position is to score, he is paid to score, fans come to see scores not face-offs. In my day fans came to see Hull or the Scooter line score. How many fans come/ came to see Crow or Tony “O” try for a shutout?
    I have to admit that the salary is hard to take, but that is a result of the hard cap. If this was baseball with a luxury tax, just think what the Hawks would be like not having to trade off and add Sadd, Leddy, and bread man.
    I think this last game both Toews and Seb should have been rested. Then again the Hawks are having trouble with the lower teams.
    TAB, one last thing, how many Hawk players are writing in on this site? I see a lot of “WE” did this and “WE” really gave it to them. The “WE’s” should all know what it is like to jump over the boards, sprint all out, and bang into the boards or whacked around ever three or four minutes.

  33. Big Indian- I agree, you can’t blame a player for getting what he earned. Key word is earned… his future value/worth- can’t always be predicted – at least not 100% of the time… but you can blame management (always easy after the fact). It is management’s job- to predict and assemble cap/team that hopefully works…

    I have said this before here… the easy SB decision- to Sign Both 88/19 to the deals they earned…. The way tougher move would have been to NOT sign one of them… and move on… (sell high)… but no guarantees there either. I would have probably made the same move (sign 19 for $10M) much safer bet/job security… but I really think/thought then… a better “business” move would have been to trade one , get cheaper assets/picks and cap space… for a “re-tool”.

    The Bigger blunder (imo) – Seabrook contract- bigger guy- who I think will age quickly (therefore- skate like Sopel) by the time he is 35/36… I liked Sopel- just not for $7m/yr.

  34. Just to play devils advocate…over the last 6 years

    Toews 471 gp
    Hjalmarsson 538gp
    Keith 484gp
    Seabrook 490gp
    Kane 495gp
    Kopitar 531gp

    6 years includes 11/12 season. Kane and Hjalmarsson played in Europe. Hjalmarsson plays for Sweden when possible for the WHC

  35. I can’t believe no one is talking about Kane and PAK line… terrible Avs team and doesn’t look like they even tried to play – 0pts, barely any shots. Terrible.

  36. Tab – spot on re Kruger. 1961 – keen call re Darling, he does have the net tomorrow.

    Speaking of, Desjardins looked like an NHL player for the first time all season — circa ’15 Cup run — and for his solid play he gets to watch the game from the press box tomorrow as Q slots Tootoo in b/c its the Dads’ trip and Q want to “get everyone in there.” Is this the NHL or 8 yr old girls soccer team?

    Q has stated, in pertinent part, multiple times during his tenure “we’re in the winning business.” Treating players like little kids doesn’t mesh w/ Q’s philosophy. Motte was here most of the season, why not recall him, slot him in and fly his dad to Boston in the a.m.?

  37. …..Enough is enough….If players are playing injured why bother?….Toews and even Crawford do not look good right now….Thank God for the kids but let’s bring back Sharp or another vet that isn’t injury prone….I would love to see Darling regularly until Crawford gets over his slump…..Up to Bowman now to bring this team back into Stanley Cup contention….Otherwise this aging 3 time championship team will be out again in the first round…..

  38. This from Ryan Lambert today at PuckDaddy blog, “Toews has kinda sucked this year; in addition to his well-documented production struggles, he’s also only a 50.3 percent adjusted corsi player this year. Few talk about this.”

  39. Personally I hope the Hawks don’t make a trade because I don’t feel like they are “one player away” from anything. This team will go as far as 19 & 7 will take them.

  40. 3 cups in last 7 years and all the talent on this team and posters here don’t want to try to win another sooner see them lose unbelievable. Every year that goes by is one less you have dynastys don’t last forever.

  41. The Hawks need a Re-tool, not a rebuild… that is why I suggested Selling this TDL…
    Better market at TDL to move a big contract… versus waiting til the Summer and acting out of need to reduce cap… can move a big contract and save money get picks…. more likely- they make small trade/rental… and out in 1st/2nd round…. and will be worse off next year- unless a Hayden or??? + Russian difference maker appears

    Selling at TDL- gives Hawks better chance in next 1-4 years- imo

  42. If seabrooks and toews are as far gone as everybody says then we should be trying to get as much out them as quick as possible before the sky falls.

  43. You mean Shalunov…the dude with 3 points in his last 13 games and 1 point in his last 8? Yeah, he’s the one that will save the season.

    How about former Hawks property Peter Regin, Jeff Taffe, or Matt Ellison? All close or better ppg numbers. And probably more than 1 point in the last 8. Oh and we’ve actually seen those dudes play. Still think he ends up in the system but to think he ends up here this year and plays a significant role is absurd. Remember how we were all salivating at Kyle Baun?

  44. This is a playoff team. Know what happens when you’re in the playoffs? Anything! Ask the 8 seed Kings. It’s who’s clicking when. Boudreau teams have always kicked ass in the regular season. Then shit the bed in the playoffs.

    Take a valium. Or an antidepressant. It’s not that bad.

  45. Eventually they will hit a low, but will enjoy a good team, in the playoffs again. That and know 3 Cups this decade, after some really tough times. That can’t be taken away and is appreciated.
    How the Chicago fans and the city of Chicago will take the low will be interesting to see. The re-tools have worked up to this point, but I think those days are closing soon-two years? More?

  46. Sure looks like the ledge is getting pretty crowded. Ernie I agree with you. It’s mid January guys. Of course I want to see consistently better play from 19 and 7. It can be argued that Seabs is still not 100% from his injury. Up until then he had been sharp and skating really well compared with the sample we had last year. The Toews situation can only get better unless he is injured again. The Cpt has too much give a damn in his heart to keep playing below his capabilities. I’m giving this some more time before calling the quality of these 2 guys into question. I’m open to abuse if these two core players are still dragging through the end of the year, but I still believe these guys have more game left in them when it really counts. Hope it starts tonight against a Bruins team that should come at the Hawks hard out of the gate.

    Let’s Go Hawks!!

  47. The Hawks do not need anybody else to reach the Cup finals. But they do need
    Toews, Seabrook and Keith to play like past years (plus staple Rosival’s rear to the press box seat)
    Toews – well discussed here
    Keith – Knee or not – by far the worst possession stats of his career and his driving Hawks possession is the key element for winning against the better teams. (also way off his usual goals and primary assist numbers) Keith is still a great defenseman but Hawks need him to be a top 3 defenseman which he is currently not.
    Seabrook – who the hell knows what goes on with him anymore – never seen him lo0k more disinterested. (3rd highest turnover rate in the NHL and only 1 goal 5vs5) Unless you think Seabrook is going to provide some miracle in the playoffs – his play (and salary) should be jettisoned ASAP
    “If” those 3 play to their capabilities, however, the Hawks are in the finals. We’ll know for sure by their bye week what the prognosis is.

  48. One last thing. Don’t be surprised if the Hawks bring back Oduya and/or Sharp at the deadline provided the Stars are out of contention. Both are old, oft-injured UFA’s (Oduya is currently out for another 2-4 weeks) that could fit. Might wake up all 3 of the guys I mentioned earlier

  49. Sure hope the Hawks don’t give up their first round pick, Motte, Schmaltz, DeBrincat or Fortin for either of those guys.

  50. hawks1961 – Stars need defense. would probably cost somebody like Kempny, Forsling, Pokka and a lower pick. Stan will absolutely not trade his 1st this year with the Hawks hosting the draft

  51. I sure hope SB doesn’t add Sharp the Sharp from 13-14 is long gone! I don’t anyone is on the ledge more like concerned on guys recent play. Listen if Toews has a poor regular and poor playoffs and the Hawks get bounced in the 1st round again that’s a differnet conversation then the one right now.

  52. There cant be that much of a difference in return between deadline and summer/or more likely draft even if we did that. Then your making the roster worse instead of same or better. At draft we would know top 5 or so picks and could do that trade there but our core guys bring it and play as good as really are/normally play then we keep entire core anyways, get through the bottle neck, and add/bring guys back like 10 (27).

    The 1.75m player bonuses would make more of a difference then that (return). Which would cover Soupys caphit or Sharpys and another guys at .750m. Bread Man hasn’t scored as many goals or pts recently so the gf during that bad stretch and overall good streak since was a good thing.

    Why trade for Sharpy now when we can add him for free during summer. I think Sharpy, like Soupy, come back for a workable caphit around 1m. Soupy comes back again for similar 1.5m with no player bonuses because thats the way it can work. Hes a good player lets add him during season. Add a another FW now.

    People can think whatever want, I cannot see making worse. Always same/better and get back assets during summer/draft. Always compete and make it work later. The young guys we have now/and coming are going to make roster deeper/faster. Let the wheel roll.

  53. I hope we just stick with the team we have for the most part. I could see adding a guy to play with 19/81 like Alex Burrows (much as I have always hated him) but certainly not anyone who would cost us significantly. Vermette helped in 2015, but last year’s adds were expensive busts. I’ve never liked the deadline deals much (they more often end up being Pahlssons than Vermettes). The guy that might have helped us most last year was Hamhuis, but I guess Benning choked on that.

  54. H-Fax- interesting thoughts on Oduya… might kick start things… and different idea than everyone’s obvious of 1LW…

    Like u said– (I don’t see a real guy out there- at TDL) that is going to kick start Hawks from the 10% chance of making SC finals— to 20% chance or better— that is why I am in the Sell/TDL camp (probably by myself)… in that case Hawks go from 10% SC finals chance— to 3-5% chance… but improve team/Cap/Draft chances going into summer/next year– just my $.02

  55. Johnny Oduya for Gustav Forsling and Ville Pokka is the rumor. Steep pricetag. Then again we’ve been hearing about Pokka for three years with nothing much to show for it.

  56. Vermette’s contributions are overstated. He was scratched twice in the playoffs.

    A few other names…

    Thomas Vanek- probably doesn’t fit, but price might be right.

    Evander Kane- risky. But, with a stable locker room he might be worth the ask at half retained. If it doesn’t work you leave him unprotected and Vegas will scoop him up.

    Ondrej Palat- Tampa is out of the playoffs with 3 and 4 more games played than teams ahead of them. Palat hasn’t been the same since 15. He’s an RFA as well as Tyler Johnson and Drouin.

    Hanzal and Vrbata also available.

  57. Vermette scored the winner in double OT in game 4 vs. Ducks when we were down 2-1 in the series and being outplayed and desperately needed the win. His being scratched by Q in the previous game was a bizarre decision by Q and did not reflect negatively on Vermette. He also got stronger the deeper it went and scored the winner in game 5 vs. Bolts, so although he might not have dazzled the whole time he was here no his contributions are not overstated.

  58. For all the people saying Toews will come around come playoffs and he’s money in the post season, where the hell was he last year in the series against the Blues. Zero goals I repeat ZERO goals and the Hawks are a first round exit. Don’t tell me its not time to worry or maybe last April was time to worry. I remember the bad years and don’t think I can do that again.

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