Lackluster Blackhawks Grounded By Flyers

The Flyers skated circles around the Blackhawks for 60 minutes and easily earned a 4-1 home victory.

Rozsival PHI

In the game’s opening 40 minutes, the Hawks out-shot the Flyers 25-22 but were outscored 3-0. Claude Giroux scored his first 5-on-5 goal at home of the season for the Flyers second goal of a second period that was dominated by the home team.

Early in the third period, Andrew Shaw redirected a Duncan Keith shot into the net for a power play goal, but that was the sum of the Chicago offense. Shaw now has three goals in his last two games.

Shaw should have two on the night, however. He whiffed on a wide open net in the first period, shooting a puck wide with Steve Mason nowhere to be found.

Corey Crawford allowed four goals, the same number he allowed in Dallas four night ago. Crawford’s record in March is now 6-2-1 and he has allowed only nine goals in his six wins.

Coach Joel Quenneville mixed up the lineup, opting to insert Daniel Carcillo and Andrew Desjardins in place of Teuvo Teravainen and Bryan Bickell. In 10:31, Carcillo fought, as expected, and did nothing else. Desjardins was credited with two hits and one shot on net with two giveaways in more than 12 minutes on the ice.

Quenneville opened the game with Shaw skating on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad, but Shaw emerged in the second period back on the line with Marcus Kruger and Joakim Nordstrom. Unfortunately, Nordstrom left the bench after a big hit and did not return. Moments later, Shaw went into the boards hard and struggled off; he was seen uncomfortably flexing his right hand on the bench.

Antoine Vermette started with Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa, but found himself with Carcillo and Desjardins in the second period. He finished the night the Blackhawks best performer at the dot, though, winning 10 of 14 draws in the game.

Kimmo Timonen returned for his final game on Flyers ice and received a nice ovation when the starting lineup was announced and again when a video tribute was shown during a television timeout. He skated 17:25 in the game with two blocked shots and one hit.

Brad Richards led the Hawks with five hits. Michal Rozsival was the only Hawks player with more than two blocked shots. Rozsival blocked five in the game.

Kris Versteeg had a terrible night, and may find himself in the press box host Columbus on Friday night.

65 thoughts on “Lackluster Blackhawks Grounded By Flyers

  1. This is getting ridiculous. Sharp, Toews and Hossa have been playing really well together and Q goes and changes up everything.

    This is called “normalization of deviance”, which simply means that unacceptable practice and behavior is becoming accepted. At this rate we will be knocked out in the first round in four straight!!

  2. If one stat could put this game into perspective – it’s that Brad Richards led the team in hits. Brad Richards! This was a game that had Carcillo in it, along with Desjardins, Nordstrom, Shaw, and all the usual suspects on defense. And yet Brad Richards led the team with 5 hits. That’s 3 more hits than the next highest total. I mean, if there is a better indication of total lack of heart and emotion on this team – I can’t think of it.

    In fact, based on what we have witnessed the last three games I would conclude this team is done. They are clearly not one of the top-8 teams in the conference and the only reason they will still make the playoffs is because they have points banked from earlier in the season when they were playing well and from the great play they have gotten out of CC in the last few weeks. But if they do make it into the playoffs if will be a short one and done series.

    I don’t believe in the “flip the switch” stuff, but I hope I’m wrong and they find that magical switch and find the team defense that they’ve lost.

  3. The Hawks have 94 points with 9 games left. The Wild have 91 points with 8 games left. The way the Wild have been playing I could see them easily taking 12 out of the possible 16 points. That would put them at 103 points. Since the Wild have 3 more ROW wins, the Hawks would need 104 points to finish ahead of the Wild. That means the Hawks would have to take 10 out of a possible 18 points. The Hawks remaining games are against: CLB, WIN, LA, VAN, BUF, StL, MIN, StL, COL, with 2 B2B’s: WIN & LA and VAN & BUF. I’d say the odds are against the Hawks taking 10 points based on the poor defense and inability to score. I think it’s too much to hope for that CC can get 10 points by himself.

    So, what about making the playoffs by ending up as the 2nd WildCard? Winnipeg is currently in the 8th spot with 88 points and 8 games remaining. CAL/LA both have 86 points with 9 games remaining but one of those teams will be the 3rd place finisher in the Pacific Division. So both WIN and one of CAL/LA could finish with 104 points if they took every point available, which obviously won’t happen. But a conservative guess would be that one of those teams will get to about 100 points. That would mean the Hawks will needto get 7 points in the last 9 games to get into the playoffs.

    So I think the odds are good that the Hawks will still make the playoffs. But here’s the thing – if they squeek into the playoffs as a WildCard, that means they didn’t improve the team defense which means they will be one and done before Kane has a chance to show up in his Superman costume.

  4. This road trip is just like this time last year, look it up. We sucked then too. In Ottawa, Pitts, etc. That’s all I’m saying. I don’t know how this is going to play out. Losing to the East right now isn’t a huge deal. Things will need to change though, It’s ugly but not deadly.

  5. “Lacklustre” “unacceptable practive and behavior is becoming accepted” …No offense, little defense and what there is is all CC. What the heck is Q doing? Where has the confidence gone? Cannot be just because Kane is missing…those crazy Calgary Flames are really exciting to watch, never give up and no lead is safe …they remind me of the ’09, 10 Blackhawks…what do we have to do to get our team back?

  6. ER , well presented as always. You are an easy read, thanks. We aren’t done yet though. Sleep on it and stay healthy for post season. We’re gonna need ya!

  7. If Shaw doesn’t whiff on a wide open net we would have got out of the first period in a 1-1 tie. Not saying the end result would have been different considering the number of odd man rushes we gave up. Three big games coming up, especially Monday against the Kings – hope Q can settle on a lineup. Don’t see how we can sit TT given the current offensive challenges.

    Is Palliota going to be K. Hayes II? Read an article today suggesting his signing is no slam-dunk.

  8. EbonyRaptor, “I don’t believe in the “flip the switch” stuff, but I hope I’m wrong and they find that magical switch and find the team defense that they’ve lost.” — totally agree. To me, it looks like these jerkoffs are “saving” their best effort for the playoffs. Except for Crawford, pretty much…(Wall, I admit that he’s not $5 mil. better than Darling or Raanta, but in my opinion, he’s played – except for the couple of weeks immediately following his off-ice injury – as well as ANY goaltender in the NHL. Yes, that includes Rask, Rinne, Price, Quick, Talbot, et al…when you’ve finished laughing, consider the crappy effort the team in front of him has delivered in TOO many games)

    EbonyRaptor, “well presented as always…” – I agree with Ryan Dale.

    Ryan Dale, “We aren’t done yet though.” – I agree, but it’s getting difficult…and a bit frustrating/irritating — talk, talk, talk, talk…and then, sleepwalk – where’s the effort? Where’s the “urgency” and all of the other crap they talk about…? Will the Kane injury be “The Excuse” for failure…?

  9. paliotta now thinking it over with his family according to scott powers from espn. that is not a good sign. not a good sign at all. if he does not want to sign with the hawks, stan should give his agent permission to shop him and hawks should trade his rights.

    furthermore I would be very leery drafting these New England kids heading to college. They might think they are all going to be like Kevin Hayes : buried in Rockford vs. fast-tracked to the NHL elsewhere.

  10. OK..I’m calmed down a bit now… lets assume, and quite justifiably so, that Q and Stan know what they are doing. We shouldn’t be going into Philly pressing for a hard fought win at all costs because that team and town can easily lose us a key player at a critical point in time. Hence Carcillo out there to take the brunt and deflect. We are 7-3-1 last ten I think so thats not too shabby. Of course I’m just trying to rationalize …much better than calling them jerkoffs or having them find their own way home from Philly…got to show respect to the Indian Head ….we have a great history and some of our most loved and legendary teams did not win the cup but they sure gave it a go come playoff time. This group has several who have won two cups and know what it takes to get there…lets cruise into the playoffs healthy and wise, then tear things up. Lions in the Savanna.

  11. Mining Man, “…got to show respect” = respect is EARNED. Yes, I’m aware of the TWO Cups, but they shouldn’t be allowed to lean-on/milk-that forever (…for example, Ozzie Guillen got a pass on all of his bullshit for about six years…Championships *can* be OVER-valued…). I hope the Hawks do “cruise into the playoffs healthy and wise, then tear things up”, but TOO often their performance does not inspire much (any) confidence that will be the outcome. (And, I can’t help but feel they look like they’re *saving* their energy/effort for the post season, OR they really are WEAK?)

  12. Guys- let’s get rid of all the negative vibes…

    Q was sandbagging on this game… decided to play the Mustard guy Desjardins and the “Glue” guy carcillo- I think Q thought Schultz and Clarke were still skating from the 70’s Flyers…

    Q decided to not drive the sports car (TT)… went w/ the off road warrior’s!!!

  13. I think this was a coaching loss. WTF are we doing juggling lines like this. Its like our staff has no idea how to get the most out of this team. Why do we play Carcillo AT ALL? Shouldn’t the Blackhawks, one of the best teams in hockey, play their best lineup and make other teams match up to us? NO TT? Shaw on the 1st line? Seems like Vermette and Desjardins are playing like they expect to be sat if they make a mistake. Seems like the trades made were for Q’s coaching benefit, bring in some veterans and bypass youth again. I don’t blame any player coming out of college looking at the Hawks and wondering if this is their best chance to play in the NHL.
    I raised the question a year ago If not Q, who? Well as I stated when Mike Babcock didn’t sign an extension he might be the right guy and has the Bowman connection to make a change.
    Lets hope you guys that remain positive are right and we are just going to switch our game back on when the playoffs start and bring home another cup.

  14. This is why I fear the East. Philly as I have said more than once is a very good team to watch very physical and quick they get up ice as a “unit” in a rush, heads down and when they are in the offensive zone they are heads up looking at the net for a shoot, not the next pass. Mason is average at best so 1 goal on that shot total again tells us “not enough real big time top shelf finishers” did ya see where Simmonds put the puck all of them elevate the shot.
    The last 5 or 6 games here will “expose” the weakness of the Hawks. Lack of size and skate speed getting out of our own end, plus add in Crowford is a FEMA project behind the net.

    Cole with the Wings has 3 goals! They put Cole ( out now ) on a productive line! BUT sadly, Vermette can not be kept thrown in the Vitamix every time Q has a hunch. AV needs to score soon or we’re in trouble. Richards is indeed playing well, seems the only one oddly enough to be working for the playoffs.

    Kane will come back ho-hum and the Hawks will look good, for the first, 3 or 4 games but will quickly fall back into “default mode of over passing, slow exits and too many easy shots on net.”

    I still think they can win the west, Kings are a problem but the BLUES with crap goal tending will be caught again and PREDS wont out score ya by more than one so YOUR ALWAYS in the game. Otherwise this could have been cup year for us.

    They need BIG Mo or at least a little MO going into the playoffs. They can not just turn it on.

  15. re: Dickie’s “respect is EARNED” comment – it’s always funny to me that when they players on the ice don’t show up there are people who come out of the woods to blast Quenneville, but when they’re shutting out the Rangers at MSG nobody brings him up. Funny/Convenient, isn’t it?

    Now a step back from the stupidity: the Blackhawks have 94 points and are 7-2-1 in their last 10. They’re going to be a 100 point team this year and they’ve done it w/ three key offensive players – Sharp, Versteeg (who was hot when he got hurt on New Year’s Day) and Kane – missing extended periods of time. Indeed one could argue they’ve done it w/out Sharp all year.

  16. One purpose of this blog is to look at probe and examine the “performance” of each game. To see patterns and habits and tendencies and line chemistry. I’m not concerned with what the Hawks did 50 years ago or how they did last year or how many cups we won or how over rated Dennis Hall was. We try not to “bash” players these guy play at such a high level even Car-Bomb who does more little thing right than we can imagine. Plus all the AHL mumbo-jumbo we attempt to keep up with and who’s coming up next or sent down, means nothing when it’s time to skate at the United Center vs the Wings on a Sunday night. The “pure beauty” of all sports, is it’s stage, a paid performance and has an outcome, and it’s live. The main objective is to win and mainly compete at a high level. Hawks are not competing at a high enough level, not ever concerned with WINS just level of compete. Not there!

  17. So I’m going to raise the question about Toews again because he got clowned last night and put together another lackluster performance.

    Kimonen looked more alive at least.

    Odds on Carcillo getting resigned? Again? “Sandbagging” seems like an apt description.

    That game was a steaming pile of poop.

  18. “the Hawks are not competing at a high enough level” – explain the Islanders & Rangers victories…

    If the Hawks are guilty of something, it’s collectively taking the night off against non-playoff teams a couple times this month. Yes, a couple times this month. They’ve lost three games in March, and one was 1-0 in OT to the Rangers, who might be the best team in the Eastern Conference.

  19. re: AJ asking the question about Toews “because he got clowned last night and put together another lackluster performance.”

    In 10 games this month, he has 10 points (4g, 6a) and is winning 57% of his faceoffs.

  20. I’ve said it for weeks. The Hawks as currently constructed represent the weakest roster there has been in Q’s seven seasons as coach. And you don’t lose an elite offensive player in Kand and not have it be a substantial blow. Sharp has been terrible all season. Versteeg has reverted back to Q doghouse material. Bickell has been a massive disappointment for 2 seasons. Richards has been flat out a mistake. Shaw has devolved. Hossa is 36. Vermette has been very slow to gel. And on defense we all know we play wirh 3 guys a night on most occasions in Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson.

    I agree. There is going to be no flipping a switch. We can all rationalize to death the flaws of the other Western Conference teams while puffing up our assessment of our own roster, but that is just formula for a sobering reality check in fhe playoffs.

  21. Wall, yes, Hawks Team is “pretty deep” and “talented” but the NHL has flat lined in a good way as we have about 12 really good teams who can out play you on and smack ya any given night. Out of those 12 we have maybe 6 elite teams BUT NO ONE TEAM is dominate! Goal Tenders have gotten bigger, technique driven and execute (stay square) like they have been programmed in an EA Sports Game! Why I love Cam Talbot so much. So yes Hawks will get 100 points and next year they’ll get 100 too and maybe the year after that 100 points but not sure the point of points, Stanley Cup is the Stanley Cup. Funny to me the Hawks home advantage to me is over rated as is most sports so racing for points to me is a stat with some meaning but not much once the season ends and playoffs begin.

    How far Hawks will GO will be up to CROW and how well Q manages his “Talent” which I think at times his management and “vitamix combination” for lines, is weak and short sighted and as some nlh coaches say is a Short-Cut to really pushing and taking time to coach everyday! Q is a very good coach, but for such a good( hall of famer) coach with soo many seasoned, experienced veterans the team should be “highly coachable” so no excuses for a poor power play and no adjustments to exit passing from our zone, shorter, more puck support and up and out with speed or getting bodies to the net. If the TEAM doesn’t execute then sadly it’s the coaches fault with this much talent, Q is known to be a players coach which means to me means team and he is very comfortable, but sometime comfort is a challenge. Go Hawks it’s anyones CUP to win this year hope it’s Hawks

  22. “The Hawks as currently constructed represent the weakest roster there has been in Q’s seven seasons as coach.”

    Obviously Rufus didn’t watch the team in 2010-11…

  23. I knew when the lineup card was turned in this game was lost. Add to that asinine line blending and the result is not surprising. I sure hope Q is not reverting back to last years playoff personnel/line management debacle. Does anybody really think a team skating 32,44,13 &11 have a chance in hell of winning?

  24. At least we didn’t get shut out?

    I love how Rufus disappears for the 7 win part of the last 10 but the second the team puts out a bad performance, hey, look who’s back. RTF, do you care if this team wins or do you just want to be justified in your prediction so you can tell everyone “I told you so” if they flame out of the playoffs early?

    The frustration, in my mind, is the lack of consistency. They look good against the Rangers and Islanders and then like crap against a Philly team who had lost 4 in a row and against Carolina who probably should have won that game. We are all waiting, waiting, waiting for the consistent playoff level spark to start and carry through into the second season. It’s frustrating when LAK, Wild, Blues, etc seem to have found it while we keep flip-flopping from good to bad every other game. Heck, they were doing this during the playoff run last year, they didn’t look too interested against the Blues until they were down 2 games. I hope they turn it around but am losing faith.

    Oh, and invoices for next years’ season tickets are out. 300 level up to $95 per game. Is it just me or is this getting to be absurd?

  25. re: ticket prices – yes, the annual increases are making it harder/impossible for many fans to attend games live. But as long as they have 20k people waiting in line to buy them, they’ll keep jacking the prices up.

  26. Ticket prices are a function of supply snd demand. My costs have skyrocketed the last 8 years, but it is what it is and the day we don’t renew there will be dozens lined up behind to gobble up our allotment.

    As I said, the playoffs will once again come down to Crow standing on his head. That and superlative top of game play from Toews and Keith, coupled with a return in some positive form of Kane. I don’t expect much out of Sharp and Richards at this stage. I do expect the role players to all dial it up. Saad is a wildcard. Hossa too. But can’t gloss over the defense, unless of course Kimmo can draw from the ghosts of seasons past and be a force out there…which I think could happen even given his age and rustiness after the 10 month layoff. Vermette? I just don’t know. What happened to his two way game is what I would like to know.

  27. Other than the battle tested, Cup winning Kings (x2), the Hawks’ core has been thru thick and thin during the playoffs. Once again, absent a once in a career (see M. Smith) playoff run, what goalie is going to shut down the Hawks in a seven game series? Blues are still playing goalie roulette; Rinne on Preds is not a big game goalie, he has zero track record; the Wild goalie? — ha! let’s see him do that in a seven game series, please; Winnipeg see Blues; Anaheim, see Blues; Vancouver hello Ryan Miller, welcome back; Calgary give me a break. The Kings are the only threat to the Hawks in the West. Let’s hope Calgary can edge them out.

  28. Another in a series of road games where the effort just was not there. This began back with the Bolts blowing them out, and then we got the Dallas debacle. Philly game should be the bottom I think because this won’t cut it at home. Long schedule makes it tough to bring huge efforts EVERY game. Doesn’t mean I don’t get mad when they stink the joint up because I do.

    Playing minus your best offensive weapon has been hard on the Hawks as it would be for any team. The record in games minus 88 has been better than most of us would have expected. Given the lack of offensive production without Kane in the lineup I was surprised to see Teuvo sat down last night in favor of Carcillo or 11. Otherwise, Q mixing the lines up is understandable to me anyway.

    The past 3 games we have seen Stars, Canes, and last night the Flyers bring all five players forward on offensive rushes which has overwhelmed the Hawks. Do we fairly blame the Hawks wingers for not picking up those d men moving forward or is it a collective team issue with the guys on the ice? either way you cut it, Hawks look like they are killing penalties when its 5 on 5. Speaking of penalties, that hook call on Tazer late in the 3rd was BS especially when a Hawk forward got flattened in front of Mason moments before and nothing called. Not that the Hawks bringing it hard enough to pull it out although it was only a 2 goal deficit at the time and there was an outside chance they might have tied it up.

    I expect much better showings against the Jets-Kings as well the Wild coming in and 2 Blues games. Those will be games the guys should well be up for. Who knows what playoffs bring? If the team can stay relatively healthy, and given very strong play from Hawks goaltending I think they can get past 1st round and then anything can happen. Core of this team is still very good, and when they put their minds to it Hawks play a great 2 way game.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  29. Tab, great comments from you this morning. Forget it though – the same old people will make the same old comments over and over again, that’s just the way it is.

    Hopefully a better effort vs. Columbus coming up.

  30. Guys let’s not over react, was yesterdays game a suckfest, absolutely. The maddening thing about this team is there is talent but I’m not sure if guys are getting the most they can. The line combo’s didn’t help last night either.

    Here are a few thoughts from last night. Did Bickell play or was he scratched? How much longer is Rosy going to be playing? Why was Tuevo benched? Why is Carcillo on the damn team?

    Kimmo Timmin should have retired, that is looking to be a very bad trade. It looks like he has regressed instead of getting better over the last few games.

    Nice to see Keith have a good game, he has been very average for Keith standards.

    I’m not sure what to make of this team other than consistently inconsistent.

  31. We are going to see wholesale changes in the offseason, cap necessitated and otherwise. Sharp, Richards, Oduya, Rosival, Vermette, Desjardins, Kimmo, Carcillo, Raanta will all be gone. Bowman will also work hard to shed Bickell and Versteeg. Kruger could leave and Seabrook too, though I would think Bowman will work very hard to prevent that.

    Clear path for Johns and Paliotta to make next year’s defensive mix. van Riemsdyk will have opportunity as well assuming he overcomes a devastating injury. Unfortunately there is little to get excited about at forward down in Rockford.

    So let’s see what happens. I’m not optimistic about what happens in the playoffs and we all are massively colossally guilty of underestimating the loss of Kane. Even if he does come back once playoffs begin it may be too late or his game far from 100% to make s difference.

  32. Good news: Oduya has been significantly better since returning from injury. Making good/aggressive plays when needed. Timo seems to be getting his legs back.

    Bad news: I’m done with Rozsival. He’s so god awful I don’t even want to see him on my tv any more. On the first goal, the CC bank pass to him was a little off, but he still should have been able to get the puck rather than just sitting and waiting for the puck to come to him while a Flyer easily picked it up. On the Giroux goal, he stayed wide to cover… no one? I see a lot of people wanting to blame Saad, but I’m pretty sure he cut back to cover the drop pass assuming Rozy would cover the guy busting down the middle rather than covering nothing. It’s also funny watching how often Keith will just completely ignore Rozy when he’s in trouble.

    Q. Struggling to score? Well then of course Carcillo makes sense to draw in over TT. Nothing says point production like watching someone go face first into the dasher while trying to skate. 2/32 D-Pairing. Yeah, saddle your best defender with an absolute albatross. Makes sense. Andrew Shaw on the top line? Yeah I can’t even. Also, if he can’t get his team up to play games against bad teams, that’s a huge problem.

    Toews has some points, but he still doesn’t look right and 4 of those points were against the Islanders backup goalie that was god awful.

    I miss Patrick Kane.

  33. Tab, “re: Dickie’s “respect is EARNED” comment – it’s always funny to me that when they players on the ice don’t show up there are people who come out of the woods to blast Quenneville, but when they’re shutting out the Rangers at MSG nobody brings him up. Funny/Convenient, isn’t it?” — I didn’t mention Quenneville…it’s on the players (unless the coaching staff encourages coasting) – as I said in my previous post, “it’s getting difficult…and a bit frustrating/irritating — talk, talk, talk, talk…and then, sleepwalk – where’s the effort? Where’s the “urgency” and all of the other crap they talk about…? Will the Kane injury be “The Excuse” for failure…?”

    …shutting out the Rangers at MSG – I’m thrilled/appreciative when the Hawks show-up with their best effort, as I’m sure is everyone here (a given – not mentioned) – it’s feebly going thru the motions against Dallas, Carolina, and Philadelphia that’s annoying.

  34. By the way, let me be the first to state that Garrett Ross would add more to the Hawks’ fourth line than Carcillo, Desjardins or Nordstrom. He leads R-ford by far in =/- @ +20, and also leads the team in scoring. He is defensively responsible, and has a far, far better offensive touch than Nordstrom. Carcillo can be waived to add him to the roster for the last two weeks. Alternatively, there is no cap in the playoffs if necessary. I highly doubt the Hawks would choose this route, but they having nothing to lose. In nearly half a season, Nordstrom has zero goals, three points and is -5.

  35. Im still going to blow sunshine out my butt and say im not worrying until we get to the playoff and go down 2 games. This team knows how to play.

  36. The biggest problem AND concern that I have with this team is that they, as a group, believe that when the playoffs come they will be able to flip the switch and turn on the light. My REAL concern is that they flip the switch and the light don’t come “on”.

    Honestly, every top team has gone through a bad spell in the last month, this is just our time. Let’s get these bad games out of the way and be ready for the playoffs. An 82 game schedule is a grind and let’s just hope that the boys are all healthy and ready to go in the first round.

  37. JS- Q has won over 700 games … and does not make line-up mistakes… ever!!!
    Remember- when you (and another poster here) pissed and moaned about Q’s line-ups during the 2013 cup PO’s… and Q – finally – went with your line-up… and the Hawks dominated… and won the Cup!!! (that was done in memory of the Farley/SNL character)

    Iceman… what goalie/team can shut down the Hawk’s vaunted offense??? What Hawks team are you watching??? They can’t out score teams anymore… they need to shut them out to have a chance these days… you do know that Kane is out, right?

  38. Yes it’s disappointing seeing your team mail it in on occasion and I don’t like it either but the Hawks can’t win all 82 games in a season. I look at the Flames as someone had mentioned and they play so hard every game and give everything (even with their best player and captain out) just to stay in the playoff hunt. They give their young players a chance and live with the pros and cons. However the Hawks are not in the same situation as Calgary and will be in the playoffs and I hope and believe the switch will come on.
    I hope that Paliotta does get signed soon and hope this isn’t a trend of young college players not wanting to come to Chicago because of lack of opportunity. There should lots of spaces opening up next year.

  39. @ Goldenbladz

    I wouldn’t count on that happening. I’m not saying he is not signing but the rumblings don’t seem encouraging. Hopefully Stan learns his lesson and starts drafting players that have talent and sign-ability. The current roster and farm system lacks and the organization isn’t the same as it was when Stan took the job in 2010. Significant pieces need to be moved either because of age, contracts, or not meeting expectations.

    http://www.si.com/nhl/2015/03/25/chicago-blackhawks-prospect-michael-paliotta-may-sign-with-another-nhl-team

  40. I haven’t ignored the 7-2-1 record or the impressive wins over the two NY teams last month. However, I’m also not willing to gloss over some clearly troubling trends, not the least of which is that 7 of those 10 games were against non-playoff teams. They have scored only 24 goals for a 2.4 goals per game average and the PK has allowed 4 goals in 21 chances for a .80% kill ratio, and if you go look at the past 15 games the PK has allowed 10 goals in 38 chances for a pitiful .73% kill ratio. Meanwhile over the past 15 games, the PP has scored 7 times in 40 chances which is right on the season average of 17%. So the PP conversion rate has stayed the same, the PK kill rate has dropped from the loty 90% of earlier in the season to a woeful 73% over the past 15 games.

    In addition to the drop off in PK, the overall team defense is trending worse. There were a few games where the team defense played well, but the majority of the recent games has seen way too many odd-man rushes and more time spent in the d-zone chasing the puck around than spent possessing the puck in the o-zone.

    There are 9 games left to reverse these trends. Obviously I hope they can do it and I’m not saying the can’t do it, but I’m not going to stick my head in the sand and ignore the evidence before me.

  41. 7 / 10 points over two games. He murdered Tavares which was good to see and beat up on Carolina but otherwise he has been meh.

    For a player like Bickell or Versteeg or Sharp or Richards or Vermette, I would expect and be happy with points in bunches.

    From Jonathan Toews, especially with Kane out of the roster, I would expect his level of play to elevate not stagnate. He has shown little ability to impose his will on the game or carry any type of scoring responsibility with the guy — who is their real life best player — out of the line up.

    For the “engine that makes this team go” it has been acceptable at best. You’d think there would be another gear he’d be hitting and inspiring the rest of the line up with the folklore and all. Especially considering the fact that there are 3 NHL centers behind him now which was allegedly the greatest inhibitor of his success.

  42. Toews, Kane, Keith are elite players. Hossa is a HOF player who is 36 and no longer elite but still quite good in more games than not. Seabrook and Hjalmarsson are solid. Crawford is solid. But beyond that? Be honest here. Sharp and Richards have dropped off a cliff. The rest of the roster is role players, some doing well (Kruger) but most doing poorly or not up to the standard of role players we have seen in the past.

    The roster is no longer great. It’s not. Yet there are idiots who want to rip Quenneville a new one because somehow an elite 750 win coach is fu(king things up. Comical.

  43. Disappointing play is one thing, and we’ve had plenty of that recently (with and without Kane). But there are more troubling trends. What young talent have we discarded this year? Both Hayes brothers. (KH – 14 goals, 22 assists. JH – 18 goal, 13 assists.) Pirri. (15 goals in his last 21 games.) Dahlbeck. (Young, strong, soon to be a star in AZ.) Clendening. (Not making a great impact in Vancouver yet, but time will tell. And we did get a promising prospect in Forsling in return.) Not a very good track record for a management group that loves to brag about their system and the youth waiting in the wings, and yet never plays them and keeps giving them away for nothing. But none of that matters because Q knows better and will keep playing his oh so dependable veterans – Rozsival, Oduya, etc. AND we’ve got Bickel for 4 mil a year, who’s 6’4″ and plays like he’s 5’8″, that is when he feels like playing. And Carcillo (holy shit), keep a roster spot open for that guy.
    Quenneville is coaching this team into oblivion, with his constant swapping and mixing and shuffling. He seems to be allergic to playing the young guys, letting them learn and make mistakes, because “of a lack of strength in the puck area and bad play recognition and no pace to their game” and all of the rest of that tired BS he throws around in post game interviews. Toews and Kane will grow old as Hawks and will sit in interviews in front of their statues years from now and say, “yeah it was nice to win 2 cups. Too bad we didn’t win more when we had the chance.”
    And what makes it even worse? I live in LA and have to put up with Kings fans…

  44. I am not sure how many years we need to see it in a row. This will be 7, since weve had our team (09-15), every single year we have these ‘off’ games/stretchs and people start/feel worried. Then every single year we play good against the good/top10-12 teams and in the playoffs.

    Anyone who hasn’t thought of this and needs good vibes, stay positive during a difficult stretch. Big picture of 82 games.
    7-6-1 start (with a 4-0-1, then 3-6 stretch/deserved better dominating some teams)
    13-2 (played really good, got deserved results)
    6-8 (played better then that, didn’t get a tie in 4 games we were tied in in the 3rd)
    4-0-3, then took a couple hits (didn’t show up against EDM/BOS)
    8-1-1, then took a couple hits/with a win in between (didn’t show up, DAL/PHI)

    The bottom line is 82 games is long and when we didn’t show up, then we didn’t play. When we play, we play and are one of the two best teams. Look at the top teams records against only top10 teams. There arnt any bottom10 teams in the payoffs folks. We have always showed up to play against top10 teams and in the playoffs.

    I would not base anything from games when we didn’t show up. I base everything on how we do against top10-12 teams and when we actually play.

    Yes we are the Lion in the Savanna.

  45. You can all argue all you want about who’s to blame, but the fact is the Hawks are an inconsistent beast, even with Patrick Kane in the lineup, and that doesn’t win playoff series. Q has witnessed this all season and he has tried everything he can to light fires under the pants of MANY players…look at last nights game for instance, why all the roster and line changes??? Because the coach with 750 wins felt like the team needed it!

    There is a problem with this team that goes much further than the absence of Patrick Kane and the goaltending salary of CC. The Hawks far too often have only 1 or 2 lines buzzing each night, especially since Ben Smith was traded, which was a bigger loss than most of you could ever understand. The fact is Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette (for whatever reasons, take your pick) are NOT playing consistently well at centre, as Toews and Kruger are. And until one more DMan arrives allowing Q to sparingly use Rozy (remember Q didn’t force Bowman to sign Rozy to that 2 year, $4.4 million dollar contract), the up and down play of the Hawks ISN’T going to change…get used to it!

    The Hawks without Patrick Kane and without a good 3rd defensive pairing are just another good NHL team, and there are DOZENS of them in the league right now!

  46. One more thing…Crawford’s goaltending numbers have stayed relatively the same ever since he came into the league…if he has a bad stretch and they go down, you can be guaranteed he will go on a hot stretch to get them back up. But when those numbers are skewed higher, like they are right now, he always hits a stretch where he comes back down to Earth! That’s nothing against CC, he’s a positional goaltender that plays his tendencies which “guarantee” his numbers each season. But if he does have a little down turn over the next 9 games, as ER said, this team might not make the playoffs! Just remember that little fact over the last 5 seasons…

  47. I think it’s way past the time to stop lamenting that K.Hayes “got away”. The fact of the matter is that the Hawks never had him to let “get away”. He chose to not sign with the Hawks and he was within his rights to make that decision. Please stop whining about K.Hayes as if the Hawks could have and should have “found a way” to sign him. He didn’t want to play for the Hawks. Period. Let it go.

  48. How well do the Hawks’ March records predict their playoff success? Look at their March and April records for the three years they made it to the Conference Finals in the Kane & Toews era (excluding the shortened lock-out season, where March was more like December in a normal season).

    A pattern emerges: in ’09, ’10, and ’14, the Hawks play sub-.500 hockey, improve in April, and then flip the switch in the playoffs.

    In ’09, the Hawks were 6-7-2 in March and 6-0-1 in April.

    They nearly duplicated this in ’10, when the Hawks were 6-7-2 in March and 5-0-1 in April.

    Last year, the Hawks were 7-7-1 in March and 4-2-0 in April. Recall that those later wins were ground out in the absence of Kane (injured March 19) and Toews (injured March 30), so April could have looked worse.

    Certainly, these records are surface level effects of deeper causes (team composition, player performances, injuries, and coaching decisions, etc.). However, this pattern should AT LEAST caution against taking March to be indicative of playoff success. Step away from the ledge people!

    History shows that April is a better measuring stick. But there are still questions here, because one would have to evaluate the quality of the opposition in each of these years. For instance, how many opposing teams were clawing their way into the playoffs versus tanking versus just trying to avoid injuries and giving their star players a rest? Still, the Hawks tend to turn things around in April, which is when we start to hear Q talk about ‘a higher level.’

  49. I don’t think Versteeg would be hard to trade. Small cap (2.2 mil) and decent stats would appeal to some teams. He didn’t play as bad as Tab stated. In fact, he’s skating on the top line with Hoss and Toews tomorrow. The whole team just looked discombobulated.

    Has Morin played recently??? He and Erixon wouldn’t do anything for the Hawks.

    Pirri has like 18 goals and 2 assists. No way he would take that many shots in Chicago. His stats are mostly a result of Florida’s roster. I always liked him, but realistically he wouldn’t fit in here.

    Nordstom isn’t much but hopefully he’s healthy soon.

  50. Canadian Dollar up 2 cents since bottoming. Think positive and good things will happen, Bitchs.

  51. Hawks gave up 34 goals in last 10 games last season. Home ice was a possibility then, too, given Blues free fall. Yes, they also scored more goals than present. I don’t think they care where they end up as long as they are “in”. Look for a few very good games in the last 9 and also some games where the compete level is non-existent. How far they go, who knows? Certainly not me.

    “Lion in the Savanna” – YES!

  52. The great Brandon Pirri cannot play two way hockey or skate. But alas since he can score goals for a lowly joke of a franchise then the Hawks surely made a mistake letting him go. Wondrous logic by the idiot brigade. Pirri will never be a top 9 forward on a legitimate playoff team.

    Kevin Hayes didn’t want to be here because he didn’t want to compete for an NHL role. Rather he wanted to go where he could be handed opportunity on a platter.

    Jimmy Hayes is so ridiculously one dimensional its not even funny. Did you forget what he was in Chicago?!?

    And if anybody is going to argue Jeremy Morin is a top 12 forward on a playoff caliber team? Well then I just don’t know what to say.

    Klas Dahlbeck was the price to pay for rental on Vermette. For a team trying to go for it that lost Kane and faces salary cap hell in the summer. So who can honestly fault Bowman for that move is beyond me. His job is to try to win a Cup before this summer and the radical roster changes to come.

  53. Thanks Rufus, you mentioned Morin — finally! Great post! I’m sure you’re busy crafting your “WELCOME BACK JEREMY” poster for tomorrow’s game.

  54. Tony…nice to know we got a guy in LA holding the fort …its got to be a tough spot for sure amongst all those Kings fans..I’m surrounded by Vancouver, Montreal and Leaf fans ( the Leaf fans just kind of mumble incoherently and have suffered serious damages to their psyche and they hide now ). Keep up the good work out there …we need our guy in LA !

  55. RTF –
    I don’t think anyone is saying it’s realistic or even preferable that they should have kept Pirri, Clendening, Smith or such like. All this boils down to disappointment that several players just haven’t consistently shown up in a way we were hoping – Sharp, Bickell, Shaw to name a few. Hossa is great player, but it’s still sad to see him lose puck battles you know he used to win every time. Richards panned out for a while and then he didn’t for a long time (although he played great against his old squad recently). It seems like Rozy gets burned to the outside as if that were in fact his job.

    At least we didn’t engage in the soft bigotry of lowered expectation – all the rage in places like Toronto. Actually, only in Toronto.

    Anyway, as I say I think the grasping for solutions is just because it’s demoralizing to watch the last few games and have the Hawks look genuinely slower to pucks, unwilling/unable to finish available checks and losing board battles. Hawks did not look faster against the NYR; if anything it was a CC, system (i.e. Q) win. Can somewhat quote stats on how many come-from-behind victories we have trailing after 2 periods compared to prior seasons? I am not a stat guy, but I just feel like when the Hawks are down this season, they are more reliably out. Please correct me if I am mistaken in that impression.

    Pep and verve may be around the corner, for that I am hopeful. And I grant that AV, KT and AD may need more time to marinate in the system and that TT is looking increasingly promising. It’s just been a bummer to watch the team get smoked like this… and not have Sr Brad to provide his incisive commentary and hope from the Rock. Where is that dude?

  56. Rufus T, good points all! Just venting a bit from under the palm trees out here. Big changes coming this summer, which will force the brain trust to open the doors to some new blood – I hope. Good we have Paliotta and Baun now. Need those big bodies to compete in today’s game. Hope they’re both on the roster next year. And please, can we just waive Carcillo and open that spot for someone who will do us some good.

  57. Usually agree with Rufus on most items but not on his stance with Pirri. He scored two more tonight to bring him up to 20 goals…The Panthers are far from a lowly joke of a franchise. They have a great GM,( you know “that guy” ), Luongo in goal and a good mix up front and some real up and comers. Last time I looked they were in the NHL and play all the same teams as we do. They are still in the playoff hunt and, even though likely to miss out this year, will be something to reckon with for a good while to come yet. Besides a person cannot judge up and coming youngsters and just write them off…looks as if he could very well be a natural goal scorer but time will tell how he develops and what he becomes. Is it possible we missed something with him? Most Blackhawk fans see those impressive stats he is piling up and think “wow we could sure use that right now” ….its the same league, different jersey…East is coming along just fine now and no guarantees the West wins it. Still think the Central Division has the Cup winner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *