LA Kings Win The Stanley Cup: How Far Are The Blackhawks From The New Championship Model?

Whenever a team wins a championship, they become the model for teams moving forward that are chasing the ultimate prize. As CSN Chicago’s Chris Boden wrote this morning, a comparison of the Blackhawks to the Kings could lead to some specific changes for the Hawks.

But looking deeper at the Kings, they paint one of the most unique championship pictures in recent memory.

Looking back at the 82-game regular season shows that the Blackhawks and Kings were similar in a number of areas.

The Blackhawks power play left a lot to be desired last season, ranking 26th in the NHL at a medicore 15.2 percent. But the Kings weren’t a great deal better, ranking 17th in the league at 17.0 percent.

Chicago and LA were fairly similar in the faceoff circle as well. The Kings ranked seventh in the NHL last year, winning 51.5 percent of their faceoffs as a team. The Blackhawks ranked 12th in the league, winning 50.6 percent of their faceoffs. Again, there wasn’t a huge difference between the two teams.

Chicago had a 1.01 goals for/against ratio last year in 5-on-5 play, which was slightly better than the LA (0.98). Both the Hawks and Kings were in the middle of the NHL in 5-on-5 goals for/against ratio.

So much attention was paid to shot blocking this year, especially in the playoffs. But during the regular season, the Kings ranked 29th in the NHL with only 969 blocks as a team (the Devils were 30th). By comparison, the Blackhawks blocked 1,029 shots, which ranked 26th in the league.

Indeed, blocked shots have proven to be arguably the most over rated statistic over the last few months. Looking back at the regular season, 10 of the 16 playoff teams ranked in the league’s lower half in blocked shots, and nine of the bottom 10 in the league qualified for the postseason.

In other areas, the Blackhawks and Kings were different.

The scoring issues the Kings battled all season were well documented. LA ranked 29th in the NHL, barely slipping ahead of the Minnesota Wild for the distinction of being the league’s lowest scoring team during the 2011-12 regular season. The Kings averaged only 2.29 goals per game this year; only four playoff teams ranked in the league’s lower half in scoring this year (Phoenix, St. Louis, Florida and LA).

During the 2011-12 regular season, the Blackhawks averaged 2.94 goals per game; scoring wasn’t a major issue for the Hawks.

However, after the trade deadline (when the Kings acquired Jeff Carter from Columbus), their offense took a major step up. In their final 18 games after the deadline, LA averaged 3.00 goals per game while allowing only 2.22 per game. In the postseason, LA enjoyed continued improvement; they averaged 2.85 goals per game while winning the 16 games required to kiss the Cup.

After the deadline (17 games), the Blackhawks averaged only 2.77 goals per game while allowing 2.41 per night; the Hawks only outscored their opponents by six goals over their final 17 games. While the Kings enjoyed the addition of Carter, the Hawks clearly struggled while playing without Jonathan Toews down the stretch.

Unfortunately, the flip side of that stat favors LA.

The Blackhawks ranked 22nd in the NHL, allowing 2.82 goals per game. The Kings, led by Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick, allowed the second-fewest goals in the league during the regular season (2.07 per game). Quick showed that he should be the winner of the Vezina as well during the postseason.

A major contributor in the Hawks’ struggles in the goals against category was their poor penalty kill. Chicago ranked 27th in the NHL last year, killing only 78.1 of opponents’ power play opportunities. LA, meanwhile, ranked fourth in the NHL at 87.0 percent.

It’s been said more than once, but it’s worth repeating: a team can get away with having one mediocre special teams unit, but not both. Mike Haviland is unemployed right now because the Blackhawks felt they needed change behind the bench to avoid having two bad special teams performances again in 2012-13.

So what can Hawks fans take away from the Kings success? (Other than being overwhelmingly grateful that they eliminated Vancouver, St. Louis and Phoenix?)

Both teams have a strong core group of players that are young enough to keep them in the title picture, but Chicago has some clearly defined areas that need to be improved. The Hawks have to be better on the back end, especially in net, and must improve their penalty killing. But those shouldn’t come as a revelation to anyone that watched the team all season.

With the 2011-12 season now formally, officially in the rear view mirror, it’s time for Stan Bowman to get to work making the 2012-13 Blackhawks a team that can achieve in 12 months what the Kings did last night.

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41 Responses to LA Kings Win The Stanley Cup: How Far Are The Blackhawks From The New Championship Model?

  1. Brad Stevenson says:

    Sorry Tab, but 2 HUGE issues with your article, even though we end up at pretty much the same point…and these are things that you have to know…

    Let’s start…we are even with LA in winning face-offs huh? Not quite, or like Bob Eueker used to say, Juuuust a bit outside…the Hawks won 50.6% of their face-offs this year…okay, what % did Toews win, and what % of total face-offs did Toews take? These 2 statistics BLOW the previous team stat out the window…WE HAVE A HUGE PROBLEM WINNING FACEOFFS beyond Tazer, which directly effects our special teams BTW…you can list Mayers if you want, but he plays 8 minutes a game!!!

    The LA Kings have a multitude of centres and forwards that can consistently win face-offs, we don’t…they control play because largely they control the puck, something that is even more crucial to our style of play.

    The 2nd point of contention are blocked shots…the Kings blocked even fewer shots than the Hawks, so sacrificing your body to prevent a shot from getting on or near the net is OVER RATED??? Wow, you have to be smoking more than cigars to actually make that statement…the Kings need to block more shots, they overcome the fact that they don’t by 2 CRUCIAL FACTS…they have large, physical DMen that control the crease and a large, physical goaltender that controls rebounds…we have NEITHER! The FACT of the matter is that not blocking shots to the Hawks personnel and style of play, is like not winning face-offs consistently…they are tantamount to disaster…and the only reason the Hawks season this year wasn’t disastrous was their extreme level of offensive talent.

    We won hockey games this year, in long streaks, when CC or Emery got hot in net…that allowed us to give up 30-38 shots against and still win 5-3…during these winning streaks lots of pundits, including you, mentioned that the Hawks had to get tighter defensively if they were going to translate this kind of play into wins in the post season…

    So what is “tighter defensively” to the Hawks…their goalie controlling rebounds…their defence clearing men from out front of the net, forwards blocking shots, and centres winning face-offs…

    Now think about this…how many games this year did we do ANY of these things??? And we were still 1 point from 4th (without Toews for a lot of the 2nd half) and 10 points from the President’s Trophy…

    The “answers” to the Hawks wining another Cup are profoundly SIMPLE…they must do the 4 things listed above…THAT’S IT.

    So, if keeping the same personnel and adding one new asst. coach, plus Q re-growing a set of cajones for his players is the answer…FINE…but I highly doubt it is.

    Point 1…Corey Crawford…he has shown that he has talent, but even against the Canucks in round 1 last year, he still struggled with rebounds, so he has NEVER proved to anyone at any level that he can do this…without it, we won’t win a Cup with this personnel…so do you move forward with CC as your #1 goalie??? I wouldn’t, but Bowman will…

    Point 2…We must win face-offs, outside of Toews, can Patsie Kane, Dave Bolland and Marcus Kruger do this consistently??? As of yet, against any opponent on any planet the answer has been NO…I wouldn’t go forward with these 3 acting as your 2nd and 3rd line centres, but Bowman will…

    Point 3…We must move bodies away from the crease consistently to win another Cup and with this personnel, come on, you know this is the biggest joke in the NHL…Bowman’s answer last year? Trading away Brian Campbell for $3.5 million in dead salary and NOTHING ELSE…adding 400 year old O’Donnell whose knees continued to give out throughout the season, and the Sabre castoff Montador who other than being a good Power forward on the 2nd PP unit, for 2 weeks, was a disaster as a DMan. I would absolutely make a huge push for Ryan Suter as our true #1 DMan, or at the very least the addition of 2 FA DMen, one like Wideman who would be a true Top 3 player, and a 3rd pairing veteran who stays at home and punishes opponents. I would do this, but Bownan won’t…

    Point 4…we MUST block more shots or at the very least have our forwards execute much better positioning in their defensive game if we are going to win another Cup…now this, like the previous 3 things, are BASIC TO HOCKEY and should be happening anyways, which is as much an indictment to Q as it is to Bowman…Q has protected his job by being soft on the superstars performances, including Marian Hossa, who is not above reproach…Hossa, like most forwards, was AWFUL with his shot blocking or disruption at the point…Q has to take every player to task for this lack of heart…and Patsie Kane standing alone at the centre ice dot waving his little arms is a JOKE and must stop. I would move ONE core player to send a message to this team that the little things matter and must be executed by all.

    Now everyone screams that if Patsie is traded it must be Rick Nash or better, to justify the move…I disagree…Kane should be traded for 2 players…a True 2nd line Centre (who wins face-offs and has a physical edge to his play) and a smart, physical 2nd/3rd pairing DMan…this deal could be completed by my Mother, so Stan should be capable of this…it will send the necessary message to those who need to hear it.

    Now, sans Kane and with an actual replacement for Campbell, plus a solid 3rd pairing, this team is in a better position to compete. Give Bolland players like a motivated Bickell and Andrew Shaw ALL SEASON and that will once again become a valuable line…BUT Bolland has to learn how to win a face-off, and believe folks winning face-offs is TWO THINGS…strong lower arms (something Bolland doesn’t have) and PRACTISE…

    Give Toews, Hossa and Stahlberg and they will roll…And a second line of Sharp, 2nd Line Centre, and Brandon Saad will be fine…a 4th pairing of Mayers, Carcillo, Kruger, Hayes, Bollig, et al, will also do just fine…

    Add the defence we discussed and we MAY be there…the kicker is CC in net…do we trust him to do what he hasn’t yet done in his career??? Smart money says no, but Bowman is in control of a lot of dumb money and he has the power, seemingly…adding a Nabakov in exchange for Emery, gives this team the true insurance policy it needs to win a Cup…and if Stan Bowman is serious about winning another Cup in 2013, then he will make these simple moves, if he isn’t then we will have yet another fall further from Grace…

    The next 6 weeks will tell…but all signs are pointing to Bowman doing little of nothing…executing another good draft and playing yet another waiting game for these kids to make it to the show…not a bad theory, when you have a lot of talent developing from below, but when Tazer, Hossa, Sharp, Keith and Sebs are all taking on tons of ballast in the meantime, it is a bad strategy…

    As I said, with all these deficiencies in all these basic areas of the game and we still were near the top of the league at the end of the year…with just some BASIC improvements, how much better would this team be??? Better than Jonathon Quick and the LA Kings??? I think so…but to prove it, we must do the little things better than they do…are you listening Coach Q???

  2. jj says:

    Hey Brad, take a breath.

  3. Tab Bamford says:

    Brad: please read what I said about shot blocking again. The majority of teams that qualified for the postseason this year were among the league’s lower half in that statistic, and the teams that ultimately battled for the Cup showed little/no concern for the number of blocks they had. It is absolutely an over rated stat. I’m sorry.

    With regards to faceoffs, the Hawks had two players take over 1,000 faceoffs (Toews & Bolland) while the Kings had three (Kopitar, Richards & Stoll). All three of those Kings were over 50 percent, while Bolland was not. Toews certainly carried the load for the Hawks at nearly 60% on the season; the rest of the roster won roughly 48% of their faceoffs during the regular season. To your comment about including Jamal Mayers (who, fwiw, won 56% this year), perhaps he should take more faceoffs if he’s the only guy other than Toews who can win one? But the center position being a weakness isn’t breaking news… I’m pretty sure it’s been talked about on this site more than once since the Hawks were eliminated.

    I agree – take a breath, Brad.

  4. Jim says:

    Damn Brad – that’s a mouthful! Maybe you should start your own website. I’ll help you name it. It could go something like http://www.toomuchpersonaltime.com.

    The only other kind of person that I know that has that much free time between normal business hours is a Cubs fan. Maybe I am on to something here…..

    Btw, I’m on lunch now.

  5. henry says:

    I agree with a lot of what Brad elaborated on, especially the need to get Patsie Kane out of here for a true legit #2 center and a physical DMan. I completely disagree that Bryan Bickell should have any role on this team, he is awful and I dont care if he’s cheap. Tab, I know you hate Getzlaf and I am not married to the idea of him being the #2 C. It should be relatively easy to turn Patsie into Jordan Staal and a solid physical Dman. I am also not opposed to moving Bolland (who I think Pittsburg would like).
    Just dont include Saad in any deals (Scotty)!

  6. NJ Dave says:

    Brad did provide a lot to discuss…but let’s reserve judgement on the team until the roster is set for the year.

    I’ve said it earlier, I feel like the Hawks are in good position to trade depth on both forward and defense for at one (if not both) of a top-6 forward and a top-4 defenseman.

    That will probably mean moving a veteran plus two youngsters. Let’s see what Stan has by the end of the draft, because FA’s are not in the cards with the way the roster is currently put together.

  7. Gou says:

    I had to take notes on that novel. A great deal to discuss. As stated in another post Stan will prove himself in the next 6 weeks, but the current history does not bode well. And all I was going to say was I raised my glass for Sutter and Fraser, who did quite a few things right to help the Kings.

    Picking up Carter was huge and was piece that would have definitely helped us for several years. That was a definite must do move for Stan and became a failed opportunity. We gave up to many players that have not been replaced properly. Just cheap filler to put a team on the ice.

  8. kent says:

    I hope we are not looking at our 2013 line up. Still think Suter Seabs Kieth is the way to go. Then trade one of them next year when rookies are panned out. This would give us one more year to find out if Mc Neil & company can bail Bowman out. Remember Mc Neil`s comment “I`m looking to make the team this year ..Toews & Kane did their 1st year” Guys like Suter dont come along with out a huge price until now. Leaving the red team up north to sign him would be a double wammy . I think every one would agree watching him hit them is better than being hit by him. Big help on PP/PK also. Bolly can go if Kruger can fill spot. What about Ben Smith some say he is a little small; but he does have the drive & heart, Cap geek says he is worth 2.2 He can take Fro`s spot. We all know we need 2nd line center BUT we where good enough until the 9 game streak [we where 1st in points] This did expose the problems but Q righted the ship w/o Tazer Offense can hold a year, work on defencive . strength Suter is FREEEEBE HELLO One problem I noticed in that time was our def. where deflecting the puck past Cory also blocking his vision. This is coaching and familiarity Bowman should be cut some slack he is still dealing with the past mgnt but Please remember that same mgnt gave us the CUP and a sense of pride Chicago has not seen for quite along time that is ; Yes we can every year Way to go L.A. Did you know Van. lost to the last STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS 3 years in a row? Glad we got the 1st punch hope to do it to them next year making it # 4 GO HAWKS

  9. Glenn says:

    For the current Hawks roster to win the Stanley Cup, a lot of things would have to be the best scenario. Things like good health, young players like Leddy, Kruger, Olsen, Shaw and Hayes would have to be better than they were last season, veteran players like Keith, Hjalmarsson, Oduya, Kane and Bolland would have to be better, questionable players like Crawfird, Bickell, Frolik and Stalberg would have to be more consistent, Special teams would have to be better.

    Most of that would have to occur for the Hawks to win it all. That’s a lot of “ifs, ands, and buts”. Is it possible – sure. Is it probable – I don’t think so.

  10. Tom Jaremka says:

    Brad, that was a very nice, thought out, piece of writing. I had to read it 4 times in order to absorb it, but it was good. You and Tab make my brain spin in my skull……LOL.

    Let me try and put in my 2 cents………I have to agree that CC gives up alot of rebounds, but our style of play does NOT help him. We tend to be very slow on the back check and therefore, alot of his rebounds end up on opposing sticks. If we backchecked better CC’s rebounds aren’t as much of an issue. I suggested this before, but a new goaltending coach would do CC a world of good. Ask Mike Smith of Phoenix.

    A far as faceoffs go, after Tazer, we have very little. The Kings have 3 strong faceoff men who not only can win at the dot, they take the body in either zone, when necessary. We definitely need one big center for our #2 line.

    With all the new rules, it’s not so much about moving players out from in front of the net as getting better body position in front of the net. If you watch the Hawks, their philosophy is to not block the goalies “line of sight”, so the “D” men need to stand off to the side and let the goalie see the puck. Once the shot comes, they close in on the opposing player and take away his rebound opportunity. Until they change their philosophy, Bobby Orr, Nick Lidstrom, Keith Magnuson(bless him!) or Chris Chelios will not be able to help them.

    When we talk about “shot blocking” we need to, again, talk about “philoshophy”. The Hawk forwards will not block a shot, standing still. They attempt to skate toward the shooter and hope to block the shot and take off the other way with the puck. Since our “D” often stand off to the side, they rarely block a shot that is from the high slot area, which is a “high risk” area. Again, the philosophy is to let the goalie see the puck and then collapse around the rebound.

    I could be wrong, but Detroit plays the same way. They let Jimmy Howard see the puck, collapse toward the rebound and gain control. Alot of “puck control” teams play this way. Maybe we need to change the way we play AND our philosophy. We need to play HARDER and SMARTER.

  11. Ratboy36 says:

    When we get a Goal tender like Quick,otherwise we are not far behind

  12. Negzz says:

    TOOO funny (and SAD.) I moaned and groaned and bitched and complained that the Hawks could and should have had Carter at the trade deadline (particularly with Toews out), and was brushed off on this site w/”he’s way too expensive”, “no thanks, head case”, etc. The bottom line, (I repeat), we had a chance to grab an elite player as our #2 C and we simply passed. The Kings do not win the cup without JCarter as their #2 C-man and he elevated their entire lineup by providing size and skill to complement Stoll/Brown. They went from sellers to opportunistic buyers and grabbed the Cup. Good for LA, told you so for the Hawks. Stan whiffed (again), and as most/many sites out there have well-chronicled, that is not big surprise. Stannnn? You out there?

  13. Kyle says:

    Negzz, Carter’s line was centered by Richards, FWIW.

    Also, the guy is a tool. Count me as one that is still glad we didn’t trade for Carter.

  14. Dickie Dunn says:

    CC and rebounds – 2010 is starting to seem like long ago, but I don’t recall Niemi as having been The King Of The Controlled Rebound.

    Large defensemen clearing in front of the goal – 3 of the top 4 d-men are still on the team. I believe that Sopel/Henry/Boynton were “interchangeable parts” as are *most* 5/6/7 d-men. (A lack of commitment to *team* defense may be the real problem?)

    This Year’s Model – after the Hawks won in 2010, Boston did not change the makeup of their team to mirror the Hawks to implement the “Blueprint For Success”, but they won.

    Best scenarios – I tend to agree with Glen, and not limited to the current Hawks roster…”Things like good health, young players have to be better, veteran players have to be better, questionable players have to be more consistent, Special teams have to be better” seem to apply to the team that wins each year, as well as luck and timing. The Kings this season got hot at the *right* time – as did the Hawks a couple of years ago. I am not discounting LA’s effort and desire/will-to-win – they outplayed the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd seeds – the only time an 8th has ever won the Cup. And, I am not saying that the Hawks do not need to improve – there are obviously some large problems. Whether Bowman decides to “fine tune” or make a bold move (or two), “work ethic” and “lack of desire” must be addressed. (Jesse Rogers is mostly full of it, but he got this right.)

  15. NJ Dave says:

    Not trading for Carter was the right move. The $’s and duration of his deal would handcuff the roster for at least 5 years. So I don’t blame Stan for that.

    However I find it hard to believe that the only centerman available was Morrison and none that were available at last year’s deadline were better than Kane. I just don’t buy it.

    I hope Stan doesn’t fall in love with potential and deals from the Hawks depth this summer. Staal, Getzlaf, and I’m sure others will be talked about, but it must come from a trade because the $’s don’t make any sense (or cents) for a FA move.

  16. Scott says:

    To me, (and this is the case for every team in every sport every offseason) the team needs to choose a couple outside moves, and also choose to make a couple bets on the existing roster. The existing roster bets I’d like to see are:
    1. Can Krueger become a solid 2nd line C? Does he have solid top 6 capability in his future?
    2. Can either of Carcillo or Stalberg become the 6th man on the top 2 lines? The Hawks brass clearly sees Car Bomb as talented beyond his reputation, and possibly (emphasis on possibly) harnessing his energy to get the most out of that talent.

    So to me, I’d like them to add a top 3 Dman, maybe Suter, but what about Wideman or another player just below the level of Suter. I don’t know my NHL personnel like some of you, but feel this D add for us needs to have size In the corners, and size to move players out of the crease. I’m worried that Suter is too size similar to Keith, Oduya, Leddy. Is Wideman a better size answer?

  17. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    TSN asked Marty what was the difference in the teams and he said with out hesitation that their(LA) size was there biggest strenght. Until the Hawks get bigger alot of this is a moot point the Hawks are such a small team. With the expection of a few guys the Hawks lack legit size especially on the back end. Keith, Leddy, and Oduya are only about 6 foot. Thats half of your d-pairings right there. Up front guys like Kane, Shaw, Bolland, Kreuger are about the same. This has been my biggest gripe since the cup team. Get bigger!

  18. henry says:

    Size is a must! However it’s not how big you are it’s how big you play. For example:
    Bi ckell (for the life of me what do any of you see in him, (yeah he’s big but he plays small & STUPID). He must go. Shaw is small but plays big and smart. He’s a keeper.
    Frolik gives us 1 week per year for a 2.3 cap hit. HE MUST GO! Jimmy Hayes should play in the top 9 somewhere. Dylan Olsen is just what we need more of on D, give him a chance. I say get Staal from Pittsburgh (I say sell high on Stals, make Bolly available with all the young centers on their way, especially Danault and move Hjalmarsson out)
    Sign a underated and big guy on D like Shane O’Brien to replace Hammer. Listen to all offers for Patsie Kane and make Saad untouchable.

  19. Brad Stevenson says:

    Southside and Henry are both saying pretty much the same thing…this team has to play “bigger” and be harder to play against…which is what Tab has said all year long, so again, I think that we are all on the same page, with a few discrepancies…

    Playing “bigger” means cleaning out the front of the net (remembering that a goalie who smothers rebounds is a DMan’s best defence), it means finishing your checks, and it means clogging up lanes and blocking shots…

    These are teams that you have to work HARD to beat, and we haven’t been this team the last 2 years…

    But again, the solutions are fairly simple…better, tougher coaching from Q’s staff, and better personnel from Bowman…Henry, yes Keith, Leddy and Oduya are smaller, faster DMen, but pair them with Suter, Seabrook and Olsen and there is your answer…smaller, faster DMen play a vital role in our style of game, but they must be paired with balance.

    And as for playing big, 3 players play BIG for the Hawks…Toews, Shaw and Seabrook, and only Seabrook is large physically…as you mentioned, playing BIG is as much mental as it is physical…so I agree, find ways to keep Jimmy Hayes and Shaw, get rid of dead weight (regardless of their size) and add Saad to the mix…

    All this team needs to do is add 2 KEY PLAYERS and get better coaching out of Q to return to the Cup…I believe Crawford will be a lot better this year, but he needs HELP with his rebounds…and all of the Johhny Oduyas in the world won’t help him do that…

    Gou…I took the last 24 hours to breath after that novel…

    Take care my Hawk brothers and sisters…remember, we all share the same vision!

  20. Morrison says:

    Dave,
    We can get a 3-8m in FA,’s it doesnt have to be a trade. We would have to trade a player like Fro &/or Monty in exchange for picks & that would free up more cap space. To sign a player like Suter, Parise. If the cap is close to same in oct….

    If we get a player like Palvaski, Staal, etc. then trade Hammer &/or Stalls, etc./picks/propects to get what we need & free up the cap space.

    It doesnt have to be a trade itself… but trades will be made before to free up space.

    I’d like to get Allen or Wideman & Gustad/Slater if we dont get those better players by trading the players I mentioned.

  21. Morrison says:

    Saad/Tazer/Hoss
    Shooter/Palvaski/Kane
    Haze/Bolly/Shaw
    Carbomb/Slater/Burish

    Suter/Dunks
    Leads/Seabs
    Oduya/Olsen

    Crow
    Backup

  22. henry says:

    Who on the hawks goes to SJ for Pavalski? I see no match there as much as I like Pavalski.

  23. Dickie Dunn says:

    …Maybe Doug Wilson is still interested in Hjalmarsson?

  24. Tuke says:

    @Henry, Just wanted to make sure I have this straight. You are all for trading away Kane and Rattlehead but you want to make Saad untouchable? May I ask what Saad has done to earn this majestic status? I’m all for trading Kane also if the right deal comes along but I’m also in favor of trading Saad if an NHL ready player that contributes can be brought in.

    I really think some people need to slow their roll and lower their expectations to a realistic level on what exactly this kid is going to be able to contribute. Until then I damn sure don’t think he belongs in the top 6 like some have suggested unless he is able to earn it. I hope that I’m wrong by not having these fantastic expectations about him and what he is gonna mean to the Hawks, but I’m certain that every team that drafted prior to the Hawks last season weren’t just doing the Hawks a solid by not drafting him earlier so there must have been a reason that he fell all the way to the 2nd round.

  25. Dickie Dunn says:

    (Tuke) – (keeping it superficial & friendly,) following your reasoning – (what Saad has done to earn this majestic status?) “every team that drafted prior to the Hawks last season weren’t just doing the Hawks a solid by not drafting him earlier so there must have been a reason that he fell all the way to the 2nd round.” – if applied to the 2005 draft, Jonathan Quick was taken 3rd Rnd/72nd overall — was every team that drafted prior to the Kings doing them a solid? There must have been a reason that he fell all the way to the 3rd round.

    I think the point might be that Saad, based on what he showed at the beginning of last season, deserves a legitimate chance to “earn” a spot in the top 6. If he is ready it may allow Bowman to move a forward or two?

  26. henry says:

    Tuke, please define NHL ready layer who can contrubute. Perhaps a few examples.
    Saad has enormous potential, in this salary cap age you hold onto assets like him.
    Obviously Kane will bring much more via trade., but I’d take Saad over 2 rattleheads.

  27. henry says:

    Sorry for the spelling errors (p)layers contr(i)bute

  28. kent says:

    Saad had an injury draft year that made him a risk to draft higher. He did also dominate in scoring in a highly competative league . I see him as a # 3 winger this year. He will be a very dangerous scorer here. As for Widemen I`ve done some reading up, the skinny on him is good puck mover BUT is a defensive liability. He did get better as the year went on though. Problably because he knows this is contract year and showed he can do it. Will he do it next year? We already have a few of those type players. We may see what Stal`s can really do this year. Can anyone comment on why Ben Smith is never mentioned? Or Monty? I fully agree the Kawks need to commitment to defense as a team. NJ NY LA PHX all to the man played “D” The Hawks can do it. Remember last year against Van.? It took Seabs getting hurt by a cheeeeap shot to finally put it together. Same thing this year. Only one mistake each game cost us. Problem is why not all the time?

  29. kent says:

    About Kieth; Kieth makes 8 mill. salery this year cap hit 5 538 7.65 next year same cap hit

  30. Tuke says:

    @Dickie & Henry. I agree that the kid has potential and I do like him. I just think that a lot of people are expecting him to jump in to a top 6 role right off the bat and put up 50-60 points. That would be outstanding contribution but not exactly a realistic view. I agree with Kent and see him starting the season off as a #3 winger and working his way in to a top 6 position.

    As far as comparing where he was drafted to Quick is neither accurate or inaccurate. 1st round draft choices bust nearly as often as 2nd & 3rd rounders just like gold can be mined from the late rounds (Zetterburg). Yes Saad did put up some good numbers in a very competitive league last season but that may not always translate to even similar numbers in the NHL. It’s not a really fair comparison seeing as one chooses to use his brain while the other does not in most cases, but just for the hell of it Kyle Beach put up some great numbers his last season in the WHL for Everett but we’re still waiting for that player to emerge in the AHL or NHL (incidently, this season would be a great time for him to show up).

    Like I said, I hope Saad does come in and just rolls over people, I’m just advocating being realistic in the expectations and waiting to see what he can do when given the chance before he’s penciled in to the top 6.

  31. wall says:

    Agree on Saad Tuke… You never know…

    Ben Smith got injured again in AHL season… hip surgery… can’t count on him really to be an impact….

    Monty??? I have said it before- the guy was tripping over his own feet since pre-season last year… My bet is Sabres knew there was something wrong w/ him… hope I am wrong…

  32. Tab Bamford says:

    I think we all need to take a deep breath…

    First of all, where were the Blackhawks in the standings when they were totally healthy in December?

    Exhale…

    There are no guarantees that Saad will be a 50-60 pt guy. There are no guarantees Montador will be ready for October. Or Hossa. There are no guarantees the playoffs happen next year (if the Mayans are right). All we can do is hope the Blackhawks that skate in April 2013 are better than the Blackhawks that skated in April 2012. We have a free agent period & 2/3rds of a season before the trade deadline for the organization to get the mix right.

  33. wall says:

    Agree on Saad Tuke… no guarantees on how good he will be, but I like him!

    Ben Smith got injured again in AHL season… hip surgery… can’t count on him really to be an impact….

    Monty??? I have said it before- the guy was tripping over his own feet since pre-season last year… My bet is Sabres knew there was something wrong w/ him… hope I am wrong…

  34. Dickie Dunn says:

    Tuke — agreed, except the Hawks 3rd line has been Bolland and wings who can check – not Saads forte or future, is it? If he can’t “earn” a spot on the 1st or 2nd line, maybe play in the AHL would be better for his development? I think(?) an injury slowed Kyle Beach’s progress, but you are correct – this season would be a great time for him to show up.

    Guarantees – there are none. Fact. Tab is absolutely correct – all we can do is hope for the organization to get the mix right.

    (Wall – interesting…about Montador. I don’t know what/why, but he certainly looked FAR out-of-place even before the injury. Ben Smith? UNluckiest player in the organ-EYE-zation? Incredible debut (post season pressure performance) and then a headshot…still waiting.)

  35. henry says:

    One would think that this is the year for Bowman to unveil some of his shrewd picks: Saad, Danault,J.Hayes etc but he’ll once again probably try to appease Q with junk like Brunette & Montador – hence blocking the paths of these guys who probably only need a 1/4 of a season or so to establish themselves
    I for one would love to see Ben Smith make it back. If Frolik & or Bickell are on this team over the players I mentioned I think I will puke

  36. kent says:

    I am a biz. owner and that is where I will TRY to keep this for a while. Huet`s salery is gone but I still have Olesz Salak and maybe Frolik`s not giving much of a return. Considering also Monty [ & perhaps Hoss may it never be] last years negative return cost aprx. 13 833. Not counting Hoss of course. That is with out Smith & Kruger … I may need a SHOT after thinking of that. Hockey losses? Yes , but due to bad choices comming from Fla. Lesson 651 in hockey mgnt. If the team you are getting your hopes up in trades have not moved up in standings for YEEEARS their must be a reason. I promised to spend for the CUP [ WOW THAT WAS FUN]but how do I go for it again? Daddy always said ” A dollar save is a player turned” remember Jeremy ,Larmer, Espo. & Hodge worse yet Chelios. We could have had one of the best of his time “D” men and had him retire as a HAWK ! Trade him to the enemy, talk about a gut roll every time he made the play against you. O Man that hurts. Then there is Hasek. OK I Got a little off focus. Do I spend again or do I recoup a year? MY plan; I believe we should keep Stal`s until mid season this is his contract year, sell high for a sizeable lunch pail man. Sign Smith to AHL min. NHL if healthy contract . Draft goalie to put pressure on CC. Then if I get to sign Suter 6/ 6.5 sell Fro. Hammer .. w/ Monty sitting . Or do I put him in a display case with a sign “How much is that Monty in the window?” Best case possible is to sign Stoll also. This means Bolly moves or cap goes up to keep him. Then sign 2/3 low dollar defencemen one of them be an enforcer/defencemen ala Scott. Could we sign Scott? Or would that be like a “We can still be friends thing relationship” One thing is a little murky to me. Does Rock want a winner consistantly? I believe we all do, thing is it is not our money. Looking at bad contracts , Rock will shovel out another tub of dough the Philsbury dough boy would love. This will go on for 2/3 years unless someone sees what we saw so our hopes go up and down . Unfortuneatly money MAY play the deciding factor in whether the Hawks are contenders or pretenders players or layers. We all watch to see if Rocky will rid ALL Chicago sports of over 8 decades of fan fustration do to financial reasons. Bears and Cubs and PAST Hawks ownerships are notorious for this. We have proved our loving devotion to this one sided relationship over and over. PLEASE don`t tell us “It`s not you it`s me” Signed your faithful and devoted fans. PS No I am happily married but I do remember high school. ha ha

  37. Dickie Dunn says:

    Bollig looked like an enforcer to me. (He’s not as “heavyweight”, but has more skill than Scott.) He’s a RFA, I believe? He should be inexpensive to retain.

  38. Brad Stevenson says:

    Christ…do a little research…the Mayans DID NOT predict the end of the world…that is simply mass media bullsh$t to scare you and sell more 2012 live action figures…

    The Mayans did not create a calendar past 2012 because they believed we are entering into a new age, the start of another GREAT YEAR, they last approximately 26,000 years, in this new age of enlightenment we won’t need calendars because we will become enlightened spiritual beings, not these ugly physical beings that we see all around us…

  39. Dickie Dunn says:

    ….hmmmm. The dawning of the Age of Aquarius?

  40. Brad Stevenson says:

    Dickie understands…

  41. Dickie Dunn says:

    Yes, but I don’t necessarily subscribe.

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