New-Look Blackhawks Top Capitals

The Blackhawks had two of their new faces in the lineup on Sunday afternoon, and the impact was immediate.

Andrew Ladd joined the Hawks’ top line with Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw, and Tomas Fleischmann skated on the Hawks’ third line with Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Desjardins. Both looked good – and comfortable – and the ripple effect down the roster was noticeable from the opening puck drop.

Washington took advantage of an early power play when Marcus Johansson tipped in a shot that was in the process of being bobbled by Corey Crawford. Justin Williams unloaded from the point and Crawford tried to catch it in his glove but it popped out, and Johansson was on the doorstep and took advantage.

The Caps held the lead for only 31 seconds, however.

Artem Anisimov made a great play to keep the puck in the offensive zone and Trevor van Riemsdyk made a terrific pass to a wide open Patrick Kane, who had all day to undress Braden Holtby and tie the game.

Washington out-shot Chicago 17-6 in the first period, but it was clear that some elements of the new-look Hawks were beginning to click.

Fleischmann and Teravainen looked to have pretty good chemistry early and often; Teravainen played his most confident game of the season. He was strong on the puck the entire game and finished tied for the team lead with four shots on net while winning half of his six faceoffs.

Late in the second period with Taylor Chorney in the box for Washington, Teravainen made a beautiful, easy pass across the crease to Toews who gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead.

Ladd picked up the second assist on Toews’ goal, the first point of his second stint with the Blackhawks.

Chicago totally flipped the script on Washington in the second, out-shooting the Caps 14-4 and controlling the entire 20 minutes. For a team that was integrating two new forwards and was still without Marian Hossa, the Hawks absolutely took it to the team with the best record in the NHL with all four lines rolling well.

The Hawks continued to put pressure on Holtby early in the third, and extended their lead to 3-1 when Dennis Rasmussen scored his fourth of the season. Richard Panik came in strong on the forecheck and Rasmussen was the beneficiary, putting home the eventual game-winner at 12:47 into the third.

A parade to the penalty box began with Andrew Shaw and Tom Wilson receiving matching minors for roughing, but Kane was sent off for a high stick 57 seconds later. The Hawks were able to successfully kill off the 4-on-3, a huge opportunity for a powerful Washington power play.

TJ Oshie took a dumb, selfish penalty at 13:05, getting called for interference after taking a whack at a few Hawks. Washington was able to take care of that penalty, and the officials then gave the visitors another enormous opportunity.

Chicago was called for too many men (which Rasmussen served), and then Niklas Hjalmarsson was sent to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct 71 seconds later. Barry Trotz pulled Holtby, giving the Caps a 6-on-3 with an empty net behind them 3:26 left in regulation.

Washington took advantage, scoring only five seconds into the three-man advantage when Evgeny Kuznetsov slapped a puck off Crawford and into the net. That killed off the first penalty, but the Hawks still had to kill 1:55 with Hjalmarsson still in the box.

Chicago did that, and withstood a strong rush from the Caps to close out the game. Duncan Keith barely missed an open net late, leaving the door open for a final rush but the Blackhawks had enough to hold on.

Crawford made 28 saves to earn a victory against Holtby, his strongest competition for the Vezina Trophy this year. Holtby allowed three goals against 23 shots in the loss.

Fleischmann skated 13:17 with one hit, one blocked shot and one shot on net. He was immediately put to work on the penalty kill, skating 2:15 short-handed.

Teravainen, the number one star of the game, led the Hawks with four shots on net.

Toews had a great afternoon against Nicklas Backstrom, one of the best centers in the league in his own right. Toews won 18 of 22 at the dot and was credited with three hits in the victory.

Michal Rozsival led the Hawks with four blocked shots and five hits in the game; Christian Ehrhoff was a healthy scratch for the matinee.

Alexander Ovechkin led all skaters with five shots on net, but was held without a point.

The Blackhawks hope to have Marian Hossa back in the lineup soon, and will add Dale Weise as soon as his visa issues are cleared up. Chicago visits Detroit on Wednesday night.

57 thoughts on “New-Look Blackhawks Top Capitals

  1. best I have seen the hawks in some time: amazing new players could assimilate this quickly and seamlessly: I am sure there will be bumps in the road, but caps played a superb game but we played better: crow has been carrying us, but rebound control and not having his post were the reasons for their two

    hope Q finally realizes how much value TT has and starts giving him the affirmation a new player needs even when they err: Q is great with some players but has flushed a lot of talent out of chi that the league thinks are valuable, nick leddy being example 1A

    gotta stay healthy, but if we do it looks like we might have a long spring: in bowmans and Q we trust!

    and I think SB has one more D rabbit to pull out of his hat!

    go for four!

  2. I think this game puts an exclamation point on why Teuvo is an untouchable player. Just a huge difference maker the whole game. Great game by Anisimov and Desi as well. I also think that Panik played a very good and physical game along with Moose. The Hawks will now be able to roll 4 lines in the playoffs. Sr. Brad where are you? You should be loving this!!!

  3. I have consistently opined that Teuvo was not going anywhere when others shared different opinions. He is going to be really fun to watch as he matures in the league. His vision may already be the best on the Hawks – absolutely world class. Also thought Desi had one of his best games of the year.

  4. Looking forward to what Weise will bring to that 3rd line with Fleishmann and TT. Thinking Desi and Shaw will get back to the 4th line come playoff time with Kruger.
    Panik and maybe Rasmussen will stick around though? (especially with Kruger just getting back to play after a long layoff)
    Murray and Sirott interviewed Hammer after the game; he said he got a high stick in the face that wasn’t called after the face off and said something to the ref. He said it also happened once before this season that wasn’t called. Said he was sweating bullets in the box and will keep his mouth shut next time.

  5. It is just too bad that Teravainen was “just another guy” and had no value as he just ” did not fit ” on this team and had to be traded. Oh, wait………

  6. Outstanding effort by the boys in the second and third periods. The fourth line played very well. That kick pass from Panik to Rasmussen was a thing of beauty. TT clearly belongs at center. His vision and passing ability is outstanding. Once he gets confidence at the dot he will turn into an outstanding center. I do wish he would carry the puck a little bit more. Nice pass from TVR to Kane. Very pleased with 12’s game both on the boards and willingness to go to the front of the net. Once we get Hosa and Kruger back with the addition of Weise this team will go places.

  7. Kane and Toews goals exactly as they should be but that Mashinter, Panik, Moose goal was a real heads up play on negating the icing. See, you never know! Panik booting it out to an open Moose while Washington is waiting for the whistle …it looked like Trotz was going to call his mommie. New look Blackhawks turbo charged for sucess already with Hossa, Weise and Kruger yet to come. Crazy good.

  8. Shouldn’t get to high or low based on the way the Hawks play a game in February, but after the stinker in Minnesota this one feels good.

    TT played very well and I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but TT plays better against teams that don’t play a heavy/interference game. The Caps like to play fast, like the Hawks do, and that plays to TT’s strengths and it’s not surprising he plays a very good game. The tell of whether or not TT has stepped up his game now that he is moved to center and has wingers that can play at his level will be when the Hawks play against the big mucker teams who give him no space to do anything. Hopefully he continues to play as well as he did today, but I’m waiting to see him against teams that toss him around and get in his way all game long.

    Fleischmann – very nice first game. Hopefully the harbinger of more good games to come.

    Ladd was providing net front presence for Toews’ goal but other than that I really didn’t notice him (or Shaw) much in the 5 on 5 play. We’ll see how it goes moving forward.

    Crawford big. Officiating inconsistent. What else is new?

  9. Hawks1961- We posted near identical thoughts at the same time. Pretty good! So I will say this as it got to me to thinking and remembering. There are a few games I recall in great detail including where I was and the whole feeling of it and the 1961 Cup win is one of them; the game 6 where the Blackhawks beat the Habs in the semi final that year is another. That game 6 was quoted by Foster Hewitt as the greatest game he had ever witnessed. That Chicago Blackhawk team put the NHL on its ear and was so fresh and exciting to watch…they literally we’re bringing in a new era of style of play. This team is very similiar in the whole feel of it all. Everyone trying to emulate and catch us now and then more unanticipated new bold moves that the rest will have to fiqure out the hard way.

  10. Quite the nailbiter! That Williams is always a Hawk Killer, every time he is out there I get 2014 flashbacks.

    Awesome game, love the new look of this team. Interested to see Weise on that 3rd line. He is the type of player we are going to need down the stretch.

  11. On Toews goal Shaw and Ladd were in front of the net. It has been a while since we saw that type of net front presence. Can’t wait ’til all four newbies have some games under their belt to assimilate into their roles. Then when we get 22 and 81 back, we can see how the playoff Hawks will look.

    Caps do look very strong. Agree that the goals CC gave up were relatively soft, but he made many, many high end stops to make up for it. I know we haven’t played that many games the last two weeks, but I wish Q would give Darling some more games.

    I am not sure that we need anything further on defense. However, it sure would be nice if we could get a solid number four for insurance. I guess that depends on finding a taker for Bickell. Can’t believe no one will take Bickell with a prospect as a sweetener. McNeil isn’t getting a chance here. Dent feels he has NHL potential, doesn’t anyone else? Throwing him in isn’t an enticement for someone to eat a year of Bickell’s contract?

    One thing is certain, we are much stronger 5-7 than last year with the subtraction of Runblad and Kimmo. Q seems to be comfortable with TVR, Gus, Rosy, Ehrhoff filling 4-7 roles. Heard Q mention Cumiskey is close to coming back. He was best of the worst last year.

  12. Sorry, just could not help it.Thanks JT, had no idea what that penalty was about, 4 is about the last guy you would expect a u.l.c. penalty to come from. A complete team win with some incredible assists. I liked Fleischmann’s game, along with Ladd will bring some much needed grit to this team going into the playoffs. Great game for Desi and Anisimov, as well Kane. Go Hawks.

  13. Mining Man- My dad took me to that game six against the Habs but I was only 5 years old and don’t remember much of it. I do remember a lady behind us dumping a beer on my old man when the Hawks won. He sure was ticked off. I do miss the old Stadium. Nothing like sitting in the upper deck looking through the fog from the smokers.

  14. Hawks1961-And here we are 55 years later talking to each other about it .. Maybe, just maybe, civilization is not dead! Thanks for the “connection”.

  15. Ernie agree on 11/86/12…

    TT- would/could benefit w/ better hands– 65, Weise, Panik on LW… BUT Desi- has had so many chances w/ TT and has looked very solid there… so – I guess it is a good problem to have…

    as is- 14 (looked great), Moose looked good, TT line created best scoring chances all day!!! It’s a shame that 70/14 might be sitting come PO time… I thought they have been solid… and that is including 53 on their wing!!!

    Guys maybe Rufus was right — TT didn’t fit with any one on Hawks… so SB brought in some guys that will fit with TT!!! ONLY 1 game… and ER is right NOT a real hitting/mucking game… BUT- Fleischmann and TT looked like they have played together for 80 games… if that continues…. WOW!!!

    Hawks have 3 guys out… 16/81/Weise… that could be a top Checking line for most of the league… and a 2nd line for half the league….

  16. The trades have awakened some of the troops. The compete level has been raised so we will have a good problem with several guys fighting for ice time come playoff time.

    TT has been used by Q in more situations than anyone on the roster. He is only 21 years old still learning on several fronts. With the additions over the last week and month, there will be some size, grit, and skill on his wings. If he has a chance to play with the same players for a while, I think the value of his game will become more apparent as he gels. Putting him in a position and letting him play it consistently will speed up the development of his game. With the additions made, we don’t have to fill holes like Q had to do since the beginning of the season. Over the next 4-5 months, I believe a lot of opinions about TT will be changed for the positive. We’ll all be glad he was not traded.

  17. That’s what I was thinking 12 plays good w/compliments with 86/etc. Its a good time to try things. Blessing in disguise the visa bullshit/ulc penalty. Good vibes from bullshit.

    We always knew 86 really is and with two way players a dang good 3rd line.

    We havnt had a full roster in the bulk of the 82 games. You can see the difference on the 3rd line already because of trickle down effect.

    What ever we do (and I like he ideas) its going to be quality depth.

  18. Wall, Good one on TT!: ‘maybe Rufus was right, TT didn’t fit on the Hawks…so SB brought in some guys that fit with him!’. Awesome, ha ha

    Teuvo has had his detractors (Rufus), but this kid has grown leaps and bounds. Probably his very best game today as a Blackhawk. Real happy for him, the fruit of all of his effort. Earlier he seemed to always go for the pretty pass, too often when he should have fired it on net. He does shoot a lot more now, and quickly. But he has those great hands. The PP goal this afternoon…that was the perfect pass, great decision. TT found the puck on his stick, Holtby and a d-man squared up right toward him. The whole world was expecting a shot, but TT slides it over to 19 and it’s in. I say nearly every other player would have taken that shot (it would have been blocked or saved). TT deservedly game’s #1 star. Attaboy, 86.

  19. Wall – yes, TT and Flash had some great instant chemistry. Fleishmann was turbo charged the entire game. Loved his effort. Ladd back in the mix – that’s a dream come true for this fan. Losing him after 2010 was the biggest heartbreaker for me. And now, as the reality sinks in with the new additions, Rasmussen, Mash and Panik, seemed to step up their games. I can see some healthy scratches in their collective futures.

  20. Nice game but almost got out of hand late. Those penalties are tough.
    Crawford had another instance of having body position issues on pucks being jammed up against the post. Maybe being picky on a goaltender who’s made great, game saving plays in a number of contests. However, it would be nice to see that issue cleared up a little. Certainly easier for me to talk about than to have it be perfect in action.
    Really liked what Fleischmann had to offer. SO close on that spin around shot on net that hit the post. Good effort and awareness, really in the game.
    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  21. This can’t be the same team that played the Wild outdoors in the wilds of Minnesota?Some of the names sound familiar. New guys played well. Great game from Desi and as for TT, its all been said. Trotz has done a remarkable job with Washington as has their new GM who isn’t afraid to deal to shore up weaknesses. Thrilled with Ladd, a real professional. Tomas Fl looks better than he ever did playing for the Caps. Hope this is the new normal.

  22. Caps vs. Tampa… that will be hell of series if/when they meet in East

    Panthers are good too… but less experienced

  23. That pass by Panik was crazy. Pinning the puck with the toes of his skate until the space opened up then kick passing it to 70.

    12 had more jump that I feel like I’ve seen from him in a long while.

    Way to go Stan!

  24. This was a very entertaining and exiting hockey to watch yesterday at the UC. The crowd was ready and you could feel there was some added intensity to what was happening on the ice that made it feel like a playoff game. Players on both teams gave a full effort. It would be a dandy finals match up, but lets not too far ahead with that.

    One could easily see why the Caps have been so successful. Caps came out of the gate and put heavy pressure on the Hawks all over the ice. They shut down the neutral zone and applied heavy puck pressure to keep the Hawks bottled up with many turnovers forced. I was cringing to watch all of the quality scoring chances that came to the Caps in the 1st. I felt that when the Hawks came back to make it 1-1 at the end of the period that it was a good omen. My God though the Hawks team d was brutal in that opening stanza. Corey thankfully was very good when he had to be. I don’t know if it is the early puck drop, but the Hawks by my memory seem to frequently get poor starts in these matinee tilts.

    Hawks much re-energized and focused in the 2nd and played well in the 3rd. Holtby was leaving lots of rebounds the Hawks just could not get a stick on. Pretty good net presence by the Hawks yesterday imo.

    Fleischmann looked great yesterday in a Hawks sweater. Weise has to help when he laces up. As much as I liked Danault we got some good players for him. TT at center had a really fine game yesterday. Once Teuvo gets confidence to shoot instead of more often than not looking for the pass will really open things up. That said what a beauty of a pass to Tazer to put the Hawks on top.

    Some pretty inconsistent officiating last night affected both teams. There were numerous “what’s an icing call or non call” that left the players and fans confused. Would have loved to hear what Hammer said to the ref that caused that late 3rd period penalty to provide the Caps with a seldom seen 6 on 3 PP when they pulled Holtby. I see yet again on SB Nation Caps site much bilge being spewed about how the Caps got screwed by the refs. Same as it was mid month after Rangers lost to the Hawks. Marcus Johansson leans his head into Toews and gets flattened because the Cpt is trying to pick up a loose puck. Elbow catches Johannsson as Toews was trying to ward off the back pressure with his arm. No way is that dirty play as Caps fans were whining. Over there Toews is a dirty player, NHL wants Hawks to win. Blah blah blah. Hey Caps fans welcome to TJ Oshie Blues world. Dumb ass penalty. Seen that a few times before eh?

    Ladd given a very warm welcome yesterday by the UC faithful. He will fit in just fine. Big on Kruger to give up the 16 to Ladd. Great to see Ladd back where he has always belonged.

    Schedule doesn’t get easier, but there are some gaps between games that will help. As Hawks fans we have much to optimistic about moving forward. Q can run good lines down the stretch with the talent that is now available. Thanks SB!

    Lets Go Hawks!

  25. I was critical of GMGM in Washington, That deal of Erat for Forsberg is still mind boggling. The new GM Brian Maclellan hasn’t had much impact on the team via draft.

    He signed Orpik for 5 years at 5.5 at age 34. Orpik has 3 years left after this.
    Signed Matt Niskanen through age 34 at 5.75 per.
    Traded Brouwer for Oshie.
    Signed Justin Williams.
    Traded for Daniel Winnik.
    Made 4 total picks in 2015 draft. Drafted a goalie in the first round.

    The draft is where GM’s win or lose. It’s where they get most of their bargaining capital. Trades and free agent signings give the most immediate impact, but for the most part. Armchair guys like us can figure out a good deal from a bad one. Those players are known quantities. And even guys like Rufus can tell you Trevor Daley wasn’t going to fit here. And he’ll be glad to tell you. I’m hesitant to say the new GM in Washington is good because that Orpik deal is going to look bad. Mcphee is the one that signed Backstrom for 10 years at 6.7 aav. Kudos.

  26. This Stanley cup review would be great for the NHL.
    Caps are Fast but it didn’t matter!

    Hawks are a team that can adjust, to any style get out shot and out hit and
    and hand you a fistful of power plays still find ways to adjust and win. Caps defense
    a floating zone was tuff in the first period their d-men float, they move up to take away space move well, and Hawks had so much trouble they seemed to spend weeks behind the their own net or circling in our own zone. This is when you see lack of real break out speed, Hawks are pure pass! But that works too!

    Ladd makes a big difference, TNT pass was perfect ( that is what he does) but Ladd did what he does best Net Front Paint and two guys trying to contain him opened up a passing lane. Watch Lass without the puck which is how i watch skill players, Ladd is amazing, he waste no movement, and is like a middle line backer, just find gaps. He is a rock star and a member of our BEST HAWKS TEAM Ever!

    Paniks kick pass was amazing, the kid can play and will stay around for the playoffs. Thank GOD Moose got his goal and that line played better than good.

    Flesicshmann looked great and compliments TNT like we thought he would. That line played great and opened the 3rd period.

    Great that Marcus gave Ladd his number back. With Marcus coming back and Hossa and Weise crawling under the border as we speak this team is stacked, locked and loaded on offense, CROW SHOW should keep them in it. BUT DEFENSE is down to 3 guys and need HELP, way way way too many turn overs in our zone. Many un-forced! I think if Ehrhoff get a shot he’ll stick!

    Go Hawks

  27. Mashinter & Rasmussen on the 5th line (once Wiese, Hossa & later Kruger) — now that’s a comfort level we can all live w/. Bowman saw the same issues most of us did arising w/ those two in the playoffs and quickly eliminated that risk. They are very solid 14th & 15th forwards that can slot in on an emergency basis, particularly Rasmussen.

  28. Tony, yes, Ladd is the guy we missed since that first Cup. I was worried we would lose Sharp and Ladd. I wonder if we could have kept Ladd instead. In any case they sure looked good yesterday! Can’t wit for the playoffs!

  29. I thought Tuevo along with Johansson were the 2 best players on the ice. Flash played much better then expected, I didnt expect Q to him out their on PK and during defensive zone draws. Keith didn’t have the best game. I wouldn’t be shocked if Washington doesn’t make it to the Eastern finals. I think they lack defense and Holtby looked average. I think he is going to start wearing down. They seem like one of the million teams that have a huge reg season and then fall flat! Consider me less then impressed.

    Also how many times did we hear Washington has the best record and Chicago has the 3rd best record at least a dozen I think. Last point what was up with the sound? The sounds was garbage all game long.

  30. There were several reasons the Hawks decided to keep Sharp over Ladd at that time. (Besides cap constraints)

    Sharp wore an “A” on his sweater and gave Q more flexibility as a forward.
    Sharp was the Hawks number 1 left wing where Ladd was #3.
    Sharp could also take face-offs and was second in winning percentage (behind Toews) of those draws.
    While Ladd was purely a left wing.

    It was sad to lose Ladd back in the day, but I’m glad SB was able to add him back to the current group of lads… (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it)

  31. Love the Hawks, Q and SB, however, they blew it with Bickell.

    Instead of sticking Bickell on the 4th line and giving him 6 minutes a game they should have put him on the teams second best line (with Toews and Hossa) and given him 18 minutes. He is as good as anyone else they had there all year long.

    Bickell needs play time and confidence. This would have given him some numbers that would have made him look at least somewhat interesting to the rest of the league.

    Q told the league that Bickell sucks and Bickell and the league believed him. If they played him with Toews and told the league he was a quality power forward they would be rid of his 4.5 salary today.

    No, I don’t think Bickell is the answer for the Toews line. Not at all. But that ice time would have given you a chance to get rid of him.

    I agree players need to earn their minutes but you also have to manage your assets and get the most out of them. The Hawks screwed up with Bickell.

  32. Honestly the next month is about playing well as a team, players finding their roles and preparing for the playoffs. Wins and loses arent as important, This team has banked enough pts to not be concerned about wins now.

    I’m looking at Dallas and St Louis and wondering if they make any moves? Out west there is a reason LA Kings are where they are. They picked up Steeger, but without Gaborik im not sure they have the firepower.

    I’m not sure their are any big fish left on the trade block. Will be interesting if a middle of the road team finds a gem, like LA did when they pulled Gaborik off the scrap heap and turned him into Gold! That’s what I’m looking at in March.

  33. With all due respect GOHAWKSGO, Bickell had plenty of chances on many line configurations to show he still had some game. I was always pulling for the guy to come around. Something changed with him due to injuries, vertigo, confidence. He no longer was able to show that he was an NHL caliber player, at least within the Hawks lineup. I hope his life/career move in a positive direction, but clearly he has not proved he can play at the level required to make the Chicago Blackhawks lineup.

    So SB made a mistake with the size of the salary. The player Bowman signed and the player that has evolved are not the same guys. Shit happens. Bicks is a nice guy and I wish him well. That’s sports biz. Hopefully you win more than you lose. Bowman has achieved more than he has failed as the record attests.

    Hawks failed with Bickell only in that they overpaid a player that didn’t deserve that kind of money. Shouldawouldacoulda.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  34. Thanks PHIL but I think you missed my point on Bickell.

    How do you get rid of a 6’4″ 29 year old with a good attitude, a few rings and a huge contract?

    I believe you get him playing his best hockey for 20 games. Showcase him. Get him numbers (including some hits and a decent plus minus) that beats the other teams second line players. He would have that with Toews and Hossa and some quality ice time.

    Yes, you still need to eat a big chunk of his salary but in my mind, that would be better than nothing.

    I still agree Q and SB have done a great job overall. With Bickell, I guess we just have to disagree. Not just a mistake with the contract but a mistake this year trying to get rid of him.

  35. Actually, I understood the point you were making. I just don’t agree, as much as I wish you were right. I think Bicks has already been shopped in the show, and in Rockford. The scouts around the league have not shown any interest. Surely Bowman would get creative with eating some salary to move Bickell. The fish don’t like the bait.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  36. Southside-Ordinarilly I would agree that getting ready for the playoffs at this point in the season is more important than wins and losses. The huge disparity between the Hawks home and road records suggests our chances to win the Cup are better if we have home ice throughout the Western Conference playoffs. I don’t want to see the Hawks burn out trying to win the presidents trophy ( like St. Louis or Vancouver) but if the top spot in the West is there for the taking why not grab it.

  37. That is true its a good thing to have home ice. Even if were 2 seed in division and conference that would fine. We want to win as many games as we can, keep improving team game, get lines good and that’s the seed we are. I think road record is been good since first 10 game segment. So not counting that we have been good. No team in the history of hockey has won without being 6 or more games over .500 on road.

  38. Agree with Phil regarding Bickell. Bickell dragged Shaw, Teravainen and anyone else on his line down. NHL scouts aren’t stupid. Even if he is putting up points, they know what a player is capable of. We have no reason to assume Bickell wasn’t playing his best hockey. He got sent to The Rockford and put up numbers. Brought back up and couldn’t come close to that. He just cant do it and playing with better players won’t help or mask that.

  39. Well, I guess I’m in the minority on Bickell. Shame that they couldn’t convince the smart scouts that someone who is 6’4 and a career +14 wasn’t worth gambling on with a reduced salary and only one year left on the contract. Plus 14 and 29 years old.

    I think we underestimate the importance of confidence and minutes in someone’s play. Oh well. Moot point now that the trade deadline has passed.

  40. +/- is a flawed stat.

    Watch him play in the NHL, he’s invisible. He put up points in Rockford so they said hey, he’s got his confidence back. They brought him up and he crapped the bed.

    Nothing personal against the guy. Contract sucked the minute it was handed out. But 4for 4 for a guy that could have been a Conn Smythe winner isn’t bad either.

  41. A longtime Blackhawks fan consigned to watch Caps games because I live in the area is one thing but putting up with prior Caps Gm McPhee was similar to putting up with Blackhawks long time Gm in the reign of Dollar Bill. I cite Alexander Semin as exhibit one, he not only drew a big salary for no output, he was a distraction in the room. The acquisition of Orpick and Niskonen was a signal to a team noted for their lack of toughness. Chimera now had some friends along with Wilson. The addition of Trotz who didn’t try to change Ovi or Backstrom but added defense was also welcome. Note Green was shipped out. Troy Brouwer, ex Blackhawk, had slowed considerably.

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