Patrick Kane’s Dramatics Tie Series

There have been times over the last six years when Patrick Kane has taken over an entire game and personally willed the Blackhawks to victory.

Wednesday night was one of those games, and Kane reminded the hockey world he’s one of the game’s special talents.

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Kane scored twice, including the overtime game-winner, and added an assist as the Hawks pulled even in the series with the Blues. After looking tentative in the first couple games of the series, Kane was flying on Wednesday night. He skated 21:36 in the game, and once again showed the dramatic touch that has made him a star.

Johnny Oduya made a fantastic pass to set up Kane’s first goal, and the game-winner came after Ben Smith found Kane accelerating up the ice.

Andrew Shaw started the scoring for Chicago with a power play goal at 8:40 into the second period. Kane put the Hawks up 2-0 with just under four minutes left in the period, but the Blues scored twice in the final 70 seconds to tie the score through 40 minutes.

Vladimir Tarasenko, who has dominated the Hawks this entire series, scored his second goal of the game and fourth of the series at 12:26 into the third period to give the Blues a brief lead, but Bryan Bickell tied the game less than four minutes later.

And, again, the Hawks and Blues decided a game in overtime.

This time, however, Kane finished things off and the third 4-3 overtime final of the series favored the Hawks.

Bickell was a beast once again, this time playing most of the night with Jonathan Toews and either Kane or Marian Hossa. He was credited with seven hits in over 18 minutes of ice time and looked like the player that earned a big raise after the 2013 playoffs.

Corey Crawford made 30 saves, the majority of which came in the second and third periods as St. Louis came back. Ryan Miller also made 30 saves, but allowed four goals in the loss.

The Hawks once again spent too much time short-handed, taking five penalties in the game. St. Louis converted only one of their power play opportunities, while the Hawks were successful on one of only two advantages in the game.

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86 Responses to Patrick Kane’s Dramatics Tie Series

  1. Peter says:

    I am amazed Shattenkirk gave Kane so much room, but what awesome effort by Smith and Saad to drive the net. I get that Shattenkirk couldn’t go take Kane because both those young Hawks had a step on their trailing back checkers…but it is Patty Kane…and he potted it.

    Really, really, really happy with the cycle that led to Bickell’s goal. Toews, Hossa, and Bickell kept the Blues in the zone for nearly a minute…their players were dog tired at the end of the shift…Bickell got positioning and was able to deflect Rozy’s shot…that was good team O right there.

    I really felt the Blues were bordering on F/O illegality all night. I felt they were clearly staggering their feet, with one always past the “line”. I get that if you are not trying to get leverage, you aren’t trying to win the F/O, but the refs should have tossed more Blues players.

  2. RedTopParking says:

    Every player on the ice (Blackhawks included) bit on the Kaner’s pass fake as he was coming down the left wing there in OT, he was looking at 28 the whole way. Then the magnificient short side wrister as Miller begins to move middle. Absolutely marvelous. The boys of Spring will win this series. Odds on our chances for another cup have made a powerful up move. PITT sucks, their goalie proving again he’s got a series case of the PO’s yips. BOS good, but they have a long way to go. We’ll get out of the west and it’s going to be another huge showdown w/ Beantown

  3. Travis says:

    What a series. The whole first round has been filled with dramatic last-minute comebacks. The NHL and NBC must be loving this. So good for the game.

    Anybody else’s stomach churn when that asshat Lapierre scored?

    Trade Kane for Miller!!! -Every meathead ever.

  4. Tim G says:

    Wow… just like that its a 3-game series. We have STL reeling, time to bury ‘em! Kane found his stoke and looks better. Bickell is earning that contract (it was always contingent on post-season play, and he is living up right now). It was nice to see Shaw get a dirty “shaw-esque” goal.

    Now is the time to ride the momentum. Steal one in STL and get Seabs back for G6.

    I dont know how I am functioning after another Late night, but i dont care… why isnt it Friday at 8 yet?

  5. Tim G says:

    Peter- good point about the F/O… i thought that last night (that we were getting tossed out much too often compared to STL).

  6. Mike says:

    Zues has a purpose in these playoffs and after last night even Q has to see it is not at 2C. Reading some articles before last nights game were revealing. Writers saying Kane and Sharp have to pick it up. Well, who had been centering that line.

    Smith’s real assist was after the breakout pass. He hustled his ass up the ice and along with Saad created the space Kane needed to go one on one with Miller. Something Zues is simply no longer able to do. It was almost like after hitting the crossbar he said to his linemates, gimme that on again and I will bury it!

  7. Peter says:

    Mike, I thought Kane would shoot again too. The only time this year where I feel he didn’t consistently correct after “mistakes” (if we call hitting the cross bar that) was in the Olympics. He knew where he wanted to go with that puck all the way up the ice. When the opportunity presented itself for his shot, he took it. Awesome, awesome, awesome display of his skill.

  8. Matt M says:

    Hawks were finally able to win in an overtime game against the Blues. I was a little worried going into the OT game but luckily the Hawks were able to prevail!

    I think a couple of things need to be said. First off, I think we need to give credit to Brookbank. All throughout the season, everyone railed on him. He may not be the most talented player on the roster, but he has certainly done a great job at filling in for Seabrook. We have to give credit where credit is due.

    Also, Ben Smith continues to impress me. He has determination and heart that cant be taught. I loved that hustle he showed at the end of the Overtime which put Shattenkirk out of position for Kanes game winning goal.

    Hawks will need to try and shut down Tarasenko. That guy is such a beast (almost looks like a mini Hossa in the making). And we all know that those tools Lapierre, Ott and Jackman are going to try to bait the Hawks into taking stupid penalties. We have to play our game and may be we can win the next 2 games. It is possible to win 4 games in a row. LA did it last year to the Blues, lets make it a repeat.

  9. Sr. Brad says:

    Q has been shortsighted/reckless with his major line changes before the playoffs and that readdition of Zus and demotion of Morin, Regin and Nordstrom.

    If there was EVER a game that showed Michael Handzus’ very, very limited value to the Hawks, last night was it. Even at home, as soon as Zus was on the ice, 5 on 5, STL put speed on to counter him and it was a disaster for us. It got so bad, that by the 2nd period Zus was essentially on the ice only for the PK (at which he WASN’T very good). On the STL PP goal that made it 2-1, WATCH the replay again. Zus lost the draw. He then fell down TWICE, then paused while he fixed his helmet and then arrived a split second too late to prevent the Tarasenko shot…and Tarasenko was HIS man, his main responsibility after losing the draw. NONE of that was an embellishment. If you don’t remember it, watch it again. That was an inexcusable sequence from Zus, and if that had been Morin or Regin, they would be currently sitting in a Russian Gulag. In the 3rd period, Zus had ONE shift and it almost resulted in a goal against. He lost the draw, and then Oshie and the Blues skated circles around Zus until Versteeg made possibly the play of the game to get the puck out and down the ice, without icing it. He is a DISASTER…I watched the STL broadcast last night to hear what the Blues thought of the Hawks, and the announcers were drooling every time Zus was on the ice. He ended up skating about eight 5 on 5 minutes, while Bollig had his usual 5. Cuando? Cuando? Cuando?

    The first shift of the first game in this series Reeves ran both Toews and Kane without a single repercussion from Bollig or the Hawks. Why is Bollig on the roster now? He is NOT getting better with these fewer minutes…he is struggling handling the puck, his positioning is weak, and he is tentative in his decision making. That 4th line last night that had the one shift in the 3rd, Zus, Bollig, Versteeg, was perhaps the worst line Chicago has sent on the ice in 20 years…and it was Versteeg with a SINGLE handed effort that bailed them out. HOW IS THIS AN IMPROVEMENT over Morin or Regin? How is this Q being responsible, or defence first? He’s not. He is risking our chances at repeating by sticking with comatose veterans and enforcer muscle. Michael Handzus won’t even be in the NHL next year. Bollig’s 2 year deal wasn’t very big, but most writers around the league that noticed it, shook their heads. We are limiting the speed, talent, tenacity and skill of Morin, Nordstrom and even Regin by skating these 2 ahead of them. What Morin accomplished in the last 2 weeks of the season, neither Zus or Bollig are capable of. His future is now, play him!

    STL is a GOOD hockey team. We were VERY fortunate to win last night after giving up a 2 goal lead by surrendering 3 unanswered goals. We simply do not stand out far enough from STL to get away with dressing Bollig and Zus…and if we advance against COL it will only get worse. It is now down to a best of 3, and we will have Seabrook for only 2 of those games, and 2 of them are in STL. Who will win? Its a crap shoot because while we have more talent, they have better goaltending and DEPTH. Its hard to fathom saying that, but STL has more depth because Q dresses Zus and Bollig.

    Until late in the 2nd period Ben Smith had only about 5 and a half minutes on the ice. He then spent most of the 3rd on it, and thankfully so, as he was once again one of our best players. The Kane OT goal doesn’t happen without Smith. Winning a draw, winning a puck battle and the skating rapidly up the ice to draw Shattenkirk away from Kane. Zus has never been able to make that play…EVER…and how many plays like this have we “lost” in the series by only using Smith as the 2nd line centre only when Q panics?

    Sorry, but there’s no other way to put these matters. They are stupid personnel decisions by a stubborn coach. Even the STL announcers last night were scratching their heads (well, not Darren Pang) over why Ben Smith wasn’t on the ice more…they called him a Blue’s killer. So by all means, let’s not skate him too much. Zus was an appalling 27% at the dot last night. His F/O % this year on the PK is 42%. He spends more time literally down on the ice than on his skates when he is out there…WTF???

    If Q wants to use Zus as the 12th forward, whatever. I think he should be OFF the roster personally, but that’s it. You can’t have Bollig as well. And you f%cking can’t send out a line of Zus, Bollig and Versteeg and expect to win a hockey game…good grief!

    Also, Crawford who was brilliant in game 3, has to get better once again. None of the 3 goals should have gone in, and the last 2 were brutal. CC had lots of time to get back up late in the 2nd, find his post and stop Lappiere’s shot. It went in because CC didn’t “lock the post” as is his first responsibility and that’s inexcusable…and the 2nd Tarasenko goal was brutal. Keith took away the pass so there is NO WAY CC can show Tarasenko anything short side. He was badly out of position and these mistakes have to stop.

    Finally the positive. I thought Kane and Toews looked better in game 3, and they delivered big time performances in game 4. Shaw and Saad are battling hard, but they need a permanent fixture on the wing. If its going to be Kruger (bizarre) then leave him there. Kruger is playing like a SC champion…great compete. Hossa is getting stronger, and I expect him to break out soon. Bickell is a monster…this is why you can’t look at his contract from the perspective of one REGULAR season…Ben Smith is one of our best players and should be playing 20 minutes a night. He can EASILY replace Zus on the 2nd PK. Versteeg is showing signs of wakening up, but can’t be given line mates like Zus and Bollig. Keith and Hammer are warriors…better effort from Oduya…and 3 cheers for BB…I didn’t notice him one time last night, and that’s a good thing.

    I want the Hawks to win this series and repeat as Cup champions, so Q stop sitting on your head, and make the necessary changes!

  10. Pete says:

    Great play by Kane. My favorite part of it was you could feel the anxiety of the St Louis defense as he entered the zone with the puck. They knew they were in big trouble. Kane can freeze the defense better than anyone and St Louis will remember that play for the rest of the series.

    On the negative, too many dumb penalties that did not affect the game. In fact, I think only Rozy’s was done to stop a good scoring chance by St. Louis. Zus clearly should be the 12th forward for specialty play. Smith as 2C. I just wish Q would sit Bolig and dress Morin. Bolig is only playing 5 minutes a game anyway and by having two specialty players dressed(Bolig and Handzus) I feel it hurts the team effort and tires out the forwards. The coaches must see this so I don’t get the issue. If they need Bolig so much then why is he only playing 3-5 minutes a game. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  11. Tim G says:

    I will say i loved that Zus showed some real fire. It was awesome to see him Facewash Ott and then end up drawing an extra 2 minutes on Ott on top of the offsetting roughing calls.

    I have always defended his spot on the roster as a specialty player (ala Pahlsson, Madden, etc). I just want to see him off the 2nd line like everyone else.

  12. goldenbladz says:

    Didn’t get to see any of the game last night as the cable/internet service was out (nice timing). From the highlights, it was nice to see the traffic goals by Shaw and Bickell and both Kane goals were a thing of beauty. It’s nice to see Kane flying around. My only concern is giving up these late period goals as they can be momentum killers and hard for us fans to watch.

  13. ebonyraptor says:

    The difference between winning and losing in this series has been razor thin and I harbor no delusions that it will be any different in games 5 and 6 (and 7?). Momentum – shmomentum – each game starts anew and St Looie now gets last change. I keep posting that the Hawks have the better “A” game than the Blues but so far they’ve only been able to play at their best for short spurts and when it’s not during those spurts they’re very capable of playing like the Keystone Kops.

    There are certainly some encouraging signs though. Kane being the most obvious. His play has elevated each of the past couple games where he now looks to be playing at his elite level, or at least pretty close to it. Playoff Bickell has reappeared and is a welcome sight. Q may be stubborn with the starting lineup but is quick to make in-game adjustments and at least for the short term it is paying dividends.

    I posted a big rant over the ice conditions a couple days ago and now I’m a little confused. Did the ice quality suddenly get better between games 3 and 4? I ask that facitiously because I’m pretty sure it didn’t. But the passing was much crisper in game 4 than game 3 – so what changed? Yes, the vagaries of sport – I get that, but the passing seemed much improved last night and consequently the Hawks were able to break out of their d-zone with much more regularity than in game 3, and by doing so were able to play “their game” more often than not. Did the forwards come back deeper and give the d-men an outlet more in game 4? I’m not sure what the answer is but it seems there must be something tangible that was corrected between games 3 and 4, and if that is the case I sure hope they keep doing it.

  14. Phil says:

    Well, well, well, here we are again. Exhausted, but with that glow that only comes from a massive win in pretty much a must win game. Late start and adrenaline rush kept me up again to 1:30 CDT. So what’s a little sleep deprivation when your team shows it has some stones?

    Guys put together a pretty good effort except for the late 2 period meltdown that was about as deflating as anything I have seen at the UC in years. Crowd went to concourses in shock at the break. One can only imagine what it was like in the Hawks dressing room. They had the Blues on life support and let em breathe. That Hawks hangover carried into the 3rd followed by the Tarasenko go ahead. Thankfully, we had enough time left in my mind anyway to get the equalizer. I said to my wife after they fell behind that if we could tie we would win and sure enough. Kaner OT goal a thing of beauty. Miller had no chance.

    Corey had almost zero work in 1st period. IMo he was not at his best last night with some angles not well taken, but hey it was good enough. CC won us game 3. This time his team got it done. One of these games we get a strong Crow, and full team game. It’s coming I think.

    As mentioned already Bickell had a really good game. That Bicks poster was a rocket that beat Miller bad. Bicks also playing a very strong physical game and it is starting to take it’s toll. We really planted Sobotka in OT. That guy is getting really beat up. Blues strength all year has been down the middle, and right now they are diminished there. I think Hitch was just messing with heads talking about Backes being ready to go. If he plays though that’s fine. Bickell game is clearly trending higher, a very positive sign for Hawks success going forward. Kane is now trending higher along with the Cpt. None of this is good news for the Blues. From what I could see last night Hawks team speed is starting to assert itself, and create more dangerous scoring chances. I don’t think the Blues have an answer for that.

    I like our chances in this series, but it could go seven. I thought beofre we started it would be 6 and I hope I’m right. I just think we have more horses that can run the race down the stretch than St Louis does. I admire Blues determination even though I detest many of their guys. Their shitlist is easy to figure out. Hawks must avoid dumb penalties.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  15. Phil says:

    Sorry meant so say Bickell planted Sobotka in OT not “We”. Need to check more carefully for typos. Doh!

  16. Mike says:

    Those late period goals are gonna give me an F’in heart attack. I was so upset after the 2P I ironed my own clothes for today.

    Tim, yes a good game for Zues last night. His PK is very good thus far. 12th forward all the way…

    To those, who like me, would like to see Morin for Bollig, forget it. Q trusts Bollig and he will be in the line up unless he really screws up. With last nights roster I would like to see Q use a 4th line of 52 / 16 / 26. Run this line 7 minutes in 5 on 5. 16 and 26 will pick up another 4-5 minutes of PK and maybe 16 a minute of PP. A decent nights work for 16 and 26 while 52 logs his usual 7 minutes.

  17. wihawkfan says:

    kane is starting to look comfortable skating. the broadcast said that he was sleeping with the brace on to get more used to it.

    ben smith just never quits!

    this may have been saad’s best game. he had a nice hit on reeves that put reeves on his butt and in general he was playing possession hockey, tough on the boards and patient with his passes. he created some chances.

    maybe not crow’s best game (the last one is hard to top) but the guys owed him and they paid up last night.

    you need your role players. bickle with a goal and shaw with a goal. both working
    in front of the net (mcneil and speigel show: “anette frontpresence”)

    and you need your stars to play like stars. toews and kane both with your game winners in the hawks victories. crow with the shutout.

    i can’t wait until hoss and sharp get their goals warmed up.

  18. michael petan says:

    We see what “driving” to the net can do. The Hawks have too much skill to dump and jump, yes occasionally you just gotta, but they have skills and speed to carry the puck in under control and have players “timing” get to the net. Kane’s game winner was my exhibit A! Hawks also at times had some net presence tonight but not enough. The Hawks D-men can skate Oh-Do-Ya showed my exhibit B (leddy, Keith and Brookbank) let our d-men skate the puck in, don’t dump it on net take it to the net or let wingers fill the lanes and pass it or shoot. Game is so frickin simple this way. Exhibit C is what i have been yelling for 4 years now, with ROZY shot, quicker shots, stop over passing and over skating, get the puck to the net, ROZY one timer from the blue line was perfect, quick don’t let d set up and see what happens, why too much over passing, one timers, quick reads and quick reactions. Hawks also continue to turn the puck over in their zone, often with little or no pressure. Stop looking for the long out let, Magic Johnson Fast break. Blues are not that good Hawks sort of playing to their level. Go hawks . . .

  19. Sr. Brad says:

    Sorry, I have to piece this together…

    Q has been shortsighted/reckless with his major line changes before the playoffs and that readdition of Zus and demotion of Morin, Regin and Nordstrom.

    If there was EVER a game that showed Michael Handzus’ very, very limited value to the Hawks, last night was it. Even at home, as soon as Zus was on the ice, 5 on 5, STL put speed on to counter him and it was a disaster for us. It got so bad, that by the 2nd period Zus was essentially on the ice only for the PK (at which he WASN’T very good). On the STL PP goal that made it 2-1, WATCH the replay again. Zus lost the draw. He then fell down TWICE, then paused while he fixed his helmet and then arrived a split second too late to prevent the Tarasenko shot…and Tarasenko was HIS man, his main responsibility after losing the draw. NONE of that was an embellishment. If you don’t remember it, watch it again. That was an inexcusable sequence from Zus, and if that had been Morin or Regin, they would be currently sitting in a Russian Gulag.

  20. Sr. Brad says:

    …In the 3rd period, Zus had ONE shift and it almost resulted in a goal against. He lost the draw, and then Oshie and the Blues skated circles around Zus until Versteeg made possibly the play of the game to get the puck out and down the ice, without icing it. He is a DISASTER…I watched the STL broadcast last night to hear what the Blues thought of the Hawks, and the announcers were drooling every time Zus was on the ice. He ended up skating about eight 5 on 5 minutes, while Bollig had his usual 5. Cuando? Cuando? Cuando?

    The first shift of the first game in this series Reeves ran both Toews and Kane without a single repercussion from Bollig or the Hawks. Why is Bollig on the roster now? He is NOT getting better with these fewer minutes…he is struggling handling the puck, his positioning is weak, and he is tentative in his decision making. That 4th line last night that had the one shift in the 3rd, Zus, Bollig, Versteeg, was perhaps the worst line Chicago has sent on the ice in 20 years…and it was Versteeg with a SINGLE handed effort that bailed them out. HOW IS THIS AN IMPROVEMENT over Morin or Regin? How is this Q being responsible, or defence first? He’s not. He is risking our chances at repeating by sticking with comatose veterans and enforcer muscle. Michael Handzus won’t even be in the NHL next year. Bollig’s 2 year deal wasn’t very big, but most writers around the league that noticed it, shook their heads. We are limiting the speed, talent, tenacity and skill of Morin, Nordstrom and even Regin by skating these 2 ahead of them. What Morin accomplished in the last 2 weeks of the season, neither Zus or Bollig are capable of. His future is now, play him!

  21. Sr. Brad says:

    …STL is a GOOD hockey team. We were VERY fortunate to win last night after giving up a 2 goal lead by surrendering 3 unanswered goals. We simply do not stand out far enough from STL to get away with dressing Bollig and Zus…and if we advance against COL it will only get worse. It is now down to a best of 3, and we will have Seabrook for only 2 of those games, and 2 of them are in STL. Who will win? Its a crap shoot because while we have more talent, they have better goaltending and DEPTH. Its hard to fathom saying that, but STL has more depth because Q dresses Zus and Bollig.

    Until late in the 2nd period Ben Smith had only about 5 and a half minutes on the ice. He then spent most of the 3rd on it, and thankfully so, as he was once again one of our best players. The Kane OT goal doesn’t happen without Smith. Winning a draw, winning a puck battle and the skating rapidly up the ice to draw Shattenkirk away from Kane. Zus has never been able to make that play…EVER…and how many plays like this have we “lost” in the series by only using Smith as the 2nd line centre only when Q panics?

    Sorry, but there’s no other way to put these matters. They are stupid personnel decisions by a stubborn coach. Even the STL announcers last night were scratching their heads (well, not Darren Pang) over why Ben Smith wasn’t on the ice more…they called him a Blue’s killer. So by all means, let’s not skate him too much. Zus was an appalling 27% at the dot last night. His F/O % this year on the PK is 42%. He spends more time literally down on the ice than on his skates when he is out there…WTF???

  22. Sr. Brad says:

    …If Q wants to use Zus as the 12th forward, whatever. I think he should be OFF the roster personally, but that’s it. You can’t have Bollig as well. And you f%cking can’t send out a line of Zus, Bollig and Versteeg and expect to win a hockey game…good grief!

    Also, Crawford who was brilliant in game 3, has to get better once again. None of the 3 goals should have gone in, and the last 2 were brutal. CC had lots of time to get back up late in the 2nd, find his post and stop Lappiere’s shot. It went in because CC didn’t “lock the post” as is his first responsibility and that’s inexcusable…and the 2nd Tarasenko goal was brutal. Keith took away the pass so there is NO WAY CC can show Tarasenko anything short side. He was badly out of position and these mistakes have to stop.

    Finally the positive. I thought Kane and Toews looked better in game 3, and they delivered big time performances in game 4. Shaw and Saad are battling hard, but they need a permanent fixture on the wing. If its going to be Kruger (bizarre) then leave him there. Kruger is playing like a SC champion…great compete. Hossa is getting stronger, and I expect him to break out soon. Bickell is a monster…this is why you can’t look at his contract from the perspective of one REGULAR season…Ben Smith is one of our best players and should be playing 20 minutes a night. He can EASILY replace Zus on the 2nd PK. Versteeg is showing signs of wakening up, but can’t be given line mates like Zus and Bollig. Keith and Hammer are warriors…better effort from Oduya…and 3 cheers for BB…I didn’t notice him one time last night, and that’s a good thing.

    I want the Hawks to win this series and repeat as Cup champions, so Q stop sitting on your head, and make the necessary changes!

  23. Sr. Brad says:

    …If Q wants to use Zus as the 12th forward, whatever. I think he should be OFF the roster personally, but that’s it. You can’t have Bollig as well. And you f%cking can’t send out a line of Zus, Bollig and Versteeg and expect to win a hockey game…good grief!

    Also, Crawford who was brilliant in game 3, has to get better once again. None of the 3 goals should have gone in, and the last 2 were brutal. CC had lots of time to get back up late in the 2nd, find his post and stop Lappiere’s shot. It went in because CC didn’t “lock the post” as is his first responsibility and that’s inexcusable…and the 2nd Tarasenko goal was brutal. Keith took away the pass so there is NO WAY CC can show Tarasenko anything short side. He was badly out of position and these mistakes have to stop.

  24. Sr. Brad says:

    Finally the positive. I thought Kane and Toews looked better in game 3, and they delivered big time performances in game 4. Shaw and Saad are battling hard, but they need a permanent fixture on the wing. If its going to be Kruger (bizarre) then leave him there. Kruger is playing like a SC champion…great compete. Hossa is getting stronger, and I expect him to break out soon. Bickell is a monster…this is why you can’t look at his contract from the perspective of one REGULAR season…Ben Smith is one of our best players and should be playing 20 minutes a night. He can EASILY replace Zus on the 2nd PK. Versteeg is showing signs of wakening up, but can’t be given line mates like Zus and Bollig. Keith and Hammer are warriors…better effort from Oduya…and 3 cheers for BB…I didn’t notice him one time last night, and that’s a good thing.

    I want the Hawks to win this series and repeat as Cup champions, so Q stop sitting on your head, and make the necessary changes!

  25. Scottie P says:

    Sr. Brad………….. PREACH….. my comments get deleted nowadays because I have been telling everyone how the blackhawks depth is OVERRATED, and mainly because of poor line makeups. Everyone loves how DEEP this organization is but I am 100% with you. A line of Bollig, Steeger, and Zus is comical and the Blues dominated it every shift. Q jumbled up the lines before the playoffs started for no good reason and only when we get down does he put aces together. Hawks fans are so retarded that there were endless ZUUUUUSSSS chants at last nights game.

  26. Mike says:

    Brad, although I agree with a lot of your posts, there is simply no way there will be any wholesale changes. Q has always been very cautious with his coaching style. It surprised me a when he became coach that the Hawks stayed with the home run outlet pass as part of their routine. However, Q plays it safe always. Zues is safe, Morin is not.

    These past couple of years the Hawks play while possessing a lead has been the weakest part of their otherwise excellent game. Hell, the first couple of shifts after we score are sometimes pretty scary. What witnessed in game 2, 3d period was scary. That’s Q for ya.

    StL has no where near the team speed that Colorado possesses. I think if we can get by StL, Q will have his hand forced into fielding a faster, quicker team. Let’s hope we get to see that!!!!

  27. Mike says:

    I don’t know Scottie.
    29 19 88
    10 28 81
    20 65 23
    52 16 26
    11 TT 42 12 is a pretty deep line up.
    That said the top 12 forwards can be better and deeper if we used 13 -16 forwards a little more.
    Or look at this another way, substitute 11 and TT for 52 and 26 (or not). OK who’s team’s top 12 would you trade our top 12 for??? Pittsburgh, Boston, Colorado San Jose, probably not. But even if you said yes to any of these, there are 25 teams you would not trade top 12 for top 12. That is depth.

  28. Pete says:

    Nobody has mentioned that in overtime there was a shift where Bolig and Zues were out on the ice together. I am not sure who the third player was. I went into an absolute panic in my living room because I was sure St Louis would score on them. Sr Brad, I agree with you, but the question is why is Q sticking with Bolig and then only putting him out there for 3-5 minutes. If he isn’t good enough to play more then DONT DRESS HIM. There isn’t going to be a fight at this point. Morin can help the Hawks.

  29. AJ says:

    TT is in Europe, no playoffs for him.

    I could due with Bollig not in the line up. Would not mind Versteeg absent it. Don’t mind Handzus if he skates 8 minutes in the beginning then only kills penalties. Whatever. 2 Cups does what he wants and it is senseless to get a headache over it anymore.

    They are rolling three lines and that seems to be working OK.

    With the way Kane is moving I would have to think he took the brace off.

  30. ebonyraptor says:

    Mike, TT is playing on Finland’s WC team and in fact got a goal and an assist in Finland’s win over Slovakia in a practice game today. He’s got a good shot to make that team but a lot will depend on which Finnish NHLers decide to play after their NHL season is done. When Montreal knocked TB out of the playoffs, that freed up Filppula but I haven’t heard if he is going to play or not. If Colorado knocks out Minnie, then Koivu and Granlund are available, and so on with other Finns still playing in the NHL playoffs. We’ll see – but a nice start for TT in his first men’s international game.

  31. Pete says:

    And the Zus chant was manufactured by Edzo aka Eddie No Check. Who felt the need to repeatedly talk Zus up in game 3. He even talked Zus up to Jamie Kompon in the coaches interview at the beginning of the third period of game 3. Of course Kompon has to reciprocate but I thought I detected Kompon being irritated with the question and that he was essentially forced against his will to agree. I think Kompon knows the game well and I can’t believe he is on board with playing Zus and Bolig.

  32. ebonyraptor says:

    If I had to pick a player to sit so Morin could play – it’s not a hard choice – it’s Bollig. He’s basically not playing anyway getting only 4 or 5 minutes a game.

    I like the Bickell-Toews-Hossa line. While having Kane with Toews has certain advantages, the downside is that Kane doesn’t play the board battle cycle game as well as Hossa and limits one of Toews best assets. The Saad-Toews-Hossa line has worked well in the past but Bickell is a better finisher than Saad so I’d go with 29-19-81 at the top line.

    I thought Smith centering Saad and Kane also worked pretty well and in fact was the line that scores the winning goal. That leaves Sharp on the 3rd line but so be it until he starts producing at which time Q will mix and match again.

    29-19-81
    20-28-88
    10-65-23
    26-16-11

  33. Scottie P says:

    People are so sure TT is going to be so sick, lets let him play more than 10 games and weigh more than my sister before we jump him up to elite. Morin cant be counted as depth as he doesn’t play. He is great depth for the icehogs, not us currently. When our 12 forwards doesn’t include an entire line of bums then I will listen to the depth argument. Until then we are rolling 3 lines, and less deep then the team we are playing let alone teams like boston.

  34. ebonyraptor says:

    Handzus was a big factor in the Game#3 win. And now fans are griping about him again. Good grief! I swear I think some Hawk fans would prefer Handzus to play down to their low expectations of him than to give him any credit at all. He has limitations – so what? He has also contributed in both wins. I don’t recall who it was a month or so ago who was explaining how Handzus didn’t know ho to block a shot and he as adamant that Handzus did not use the correct technique and was useless as a PKer. Ah ha. It’s easy to take pot shots at players and to spew your so call hockey accumen from the comfort of an anonymous message board. Meanwhile, Handzus has played better than many expected he would and still gets disrespected.

  35. Mining Man says:

    Keep the faith. Brilliant moments, scary moments. We were fortunate to tie it but it was Toews carrying the team on his back that eventually got that one…Kane goal was pure Blackhawk all the way. As Ebony states we do look like the Keystone cops once in a while but that is because the other team is a serious cup contender with super stars that are doing their job. We won for crying out loud. Q and Stan ( with helpful advice whispering in his ear from Scottie ) sure know a heck of a lot more than a bunch of armchair “after the fact”generals. Q knows what he is doing with Zus and Bollig and Versteeg is a perfect fit for this team. Prediction…we win a game 7, 4-0. As for the Avs we just keep getting better and the ying/yan goes back to us. Ditto for the Sharks. We meet either the Bruins or the Rangers (my hope) in the final and win the whole shebang.

  36. RedTopParking says:

    Sr. Brad your analysis (as usual) is sound but Mike is more correct “…there is simply no way there will be any wholesale changes”. Q keeps Bollig dressed for his own mysterious reasons, one of which (the only one?) is that he is our only heavyweight (and not anywhere near true hvywt status ala yesterday’s Probert, McSorley, and my all-time favorite John Ferguson, etc., etc. those days are gone, plz excuse old school reminisce). Yes, 26 has no further business 5on5 and/or 2lineCtr. Certainly he showed grit and presence in last 2 games but OMG keep him in limited role, Q, we beg you. Something must be up w/ Tab’s server as Brad’s posts (magnum opus – again) are repeating…sorry Brad that’s not a shot at ‘cha I really do like what you say but glad I was never in your lecture hall :) I am waiting for Rufus to check-in as he has helped make this whole season fun (Let’s Keep It Going!!!). C’mon Rufie there’s more fodder from The Parrot today than usual you got to be licking your chops

  37. Tim G says:

    For those argueing about Depth… we have 5 guys who would be on the first line of atleast 20 teams. 19/88/81/20/10. Most teams have 2 of those caliber guys… elite teams maybe have 4. Very few have 5…

    We dont have a 2C… i’ll agree to that… Zus is a “bad” 2nd liner.

    Shaw/Bicks are both guys who could be a 2nd line grinder type winger on “most” teams… they are on our 3rd line…

    Smith/Kruger our on our 4th… they are 3rd line guys everywhere else in the league

    Steeger probably is a “bad 2nd liner” on a “bad” team and decent 3rd liner for other teams. We are talking about him as a 4th liner.

    Bollig is a 12th fwd, and thats what we use him as.

    Now yes, we dont have guys who can replace a injury to the top 3… but who can replace 19/88/81. No team in the NHL could “effectively” replace a guy of that caliber.

    We have a great team, and many guys who will be able to contribue, and most every is YOUNG! Sure we aren’t “NHL 14 Fantasy roster deep”, but this is one hell of team that Stan has built!

  38. Sr. Brad says:

    I can’t believe that anyone could be defending Zus’ 5 on 5 play. It was awful. That one shift in the 3rd with Bollig and Versteeg was embarrassing. And if any of you want to support Zus on the PK, PLEASE go to the Hawks website, and watch the replays from last nights game. Check out STL’s 1st goal and just watch/follow Handzus…then tell me he should be in the lineup. And don’t forget, the BIGGEST part of the centre on the PK is the F/O…Zus was 27% last night…42% for the year on the PK. Ben Smith is a better penalty killing option.

    As I said after the last game, the difference between these two teams is RAZOR thin. We cannot afford to be dressing both Zus and Bollig. That’s about 12 minutes of 5 on 5 time per game by combining TWO players. Which means we are essentially 2 forwards short during 5 on 5. Playing every 2nd night of these physical games, its going to get players tired, and thats when they get hurt.

  39. Sr. Brad says:

    Tim I think we have the best depth in the league, without a doubt. I mean Morin and Regin aren’t even playing…and Nordstrom can play now too. Tons of depth if Q chooses to use it.

  40. Boy Named Sioux says:

    ER . . . to your last paragraph in the 11:56 post – I thought a significant adjustment the Hawks made after Game 3 was in their defensive zone breakout. In Game 3 I lost count of the number of turnovers created by “hope and a prayer” clearing passes along the boards. The forwards did little to help the situation by positioning themselves too far up ice. Many times the trailing Blues forward was positioned between the Hawks forward and the defenseman making the exit pass attempt. From my vantage point (pacing the floor of our family room) I continued to see open ice in the middle of the defensive zone. A change in break-out strategy was apparent early in Game 4. There seemed to be a concerted effort to have the forward come down along the side boards fairly even with the face-off dot to receive an exit pass. This pass was often followed by a short, quick pass to another Hawk forward already skating (not standing in place), leading to a clean break-out from the defensive zone. How many stretch passes were attempted in Game 4? Very few to this observer’s recollection. We know the Blues will make a between game adjustment in their forecheck strategy. How will the Hawks respond? Another reason why I love Stanley Cup playoff hockey! Two down, fourteen to go!

  41. Joey Zamboni says:

    Paging Mr. Patrick Sharp……. You are cordially invited to participate in the Stanley Cup Play-offs………… Thank You.

    I hear Hollywood is looking to cast him as the lead character in a re-make of the film “Ghost”…….

  42. noonan96 says:

    Sr. Brad-I get your frustration but things won’t change unless there is an injury. Let it go and enjoy the best 2 of 3.
    Since my daughter has developed a crush on Patty Kane many weeks ago (and starting to watch—hockey?) he hasn’t been as productive or electric. I totally blame her. Last night he was flying-now let’s hope Sharp hits the net and 81s hard work pays off.

  43. ebonyraptor says:

    Boy Named Sioux – you’re right, there weren’t as many stretch pass attempts in game#4 like there was in game#3. Having the forwards come down deeper into the d-zone is such a fundamental part of the game plan that it boggles the mind when it doesn’t happen. I know it’s often a grey area between when to fly the zone and try to catch them for a breakaway and when to drop down low to give the d-man an outlet – but these guys need to when each is appropriate and I think sometimes they get a little carried away wanting to hit a homerun.

  44. Goldenbladz says:

    That was me ER and just because you can block a shot doesn’t make you a good PKer. In most of the competitive teams I played I was chosen as the main PKer on the team for three reasons. Firstly because I was tall 6’3″ with a long stick, secondly because I had good skating agility and finally was the fastest skater on the team. Handzus has none of these except height. Laying down to block a shot is one dimensional and puts you out of the play ( you better hope you make the block). Being quick enough to rush the D man makes them panic and either make a bad pass or disrupt/intercept the pass and breakaway or odd man rush the other way. I never once had to lay down to block a shot. I either took the shot in the shin pads or got there quick enough with the stick to deflect the shot or sprung on a breakaway. Sitting back and allowing D men to tee off and hope to block the shot is not efficient or proper technique IMO .

  45. Jax says:

    To JoeyZamboni, I also am sick of 10 ability to dead center a shot to the mid-section of Miller. As I have posted before, 10 best quality has been to have his blade on the ice when 81 banks his shot off it. We got it Sharp, you can hit Miller in the belly all night. I don’t understand why 26 starts as 10 and 81 center ever game, the when the shit hits the fan you finally let 28 center . Here is a thought, put 28 as starting center between 81 and 10 and if you are not winning,. put the statue in. I watched this game again today and did not see one 81 , 10 , rush up ice with 26 in the picture/screen at all. Always a defenseman or two before 26. He has a place on this team that is for sure, it’s just not 2-c. To put 26 on the ice during 5 on 5 is to hand-cuff that line. Sorry I can’t spell casterate.

  46. JBods says:

    This is a pretty late response, but Sr. Brad you are a tool. Stop writing books on the blog and bitchin’ about Bollig, Zus, and Q.

    Bollig was part of the best 4th line in the league this year. Zus is a top end PK guy, blocks shots and takes away lanes. Sure he doesn’t keep up speed wise these days, but his positioning is spot on. And Q probably has more victories than games you have ever just watched. He wins, period.

    Take a pill.

  47. Goldenbladz says:

    I guess I should add I was a winger and not centre so I didn’t have to worry about the FO and could rush the D man right way

  48. Goldenbladz says:

    Jbods Brad is entitled to his opinion whether you agree or not. Btw Q doesn’t know everything and has coached a lot of great teams. It wasn’t like he was coaching the Current Oilers for all these wins

  49. Jax says:

    To Mike. Why is Morin not “safe” ? I really do not think he will trip over the dot and the circle and give up an easy goal. He sure looked good the last week of regular season. I, know, rookies suck in the playoffs, Saad was terrible right? Sarcasm.

  50. Sr. Brad says:

    JBods, go back and watch what I suggested that you/everyone should…you are spouting the party line without actually checking/thinking for yourself. Hey, I think American Gladiators is on one the channels right now, maybe check that out.

  51. Pete says:

    Jbods, if Bollig is so great and part of the best 4th line in the league how come he plays only 3-5 minutes a game?

  52. JBods says:

    Goldenbladz, of course Sr. Brad is entitled to his opinion, as am I. That’s why Tab let’s everyone post. Just asking him to chill and shorten it up a bit. The Hawks did win the game after all.

    Pete, just pointing out the facts on the 4th line. A 4th plays to eat up a few minutes, not give up much in the way of opposing chances, and chip in some offense now and then. And the Hawks 4th was the best at that this year. On a side note, it’s sad not too many people will remember 4th liners’ names 20 years from now.

  53. RyanDale says:

    Thats a fourth game now where its been so tight and fun to watch. I was real glad that the UC crowd was able to leave happy, after letting in 3 straight. Hats off to u 22k crazies that get our boys going.

    The gwg was pretty cool on some of the replays. 20,28 busting asses down to the other end and 88 taking it all the way. Great shot, but the linemates helped too by going all out and where there for options/rebounds.

    These playoffs league wide are not too goalie friendly. 6g per game, I’ve seen a ton of short sided goals going in too. Not many teams are getting by just leaning on their G to win them games.

    88 is a rare breed, His resume for big time, big game heroics is getting to be pretty impressive. He’s as good as there is, especially at his size, for rising up and delivering. Let’s hope he’s not done yet. 10 will get going, that’s just his ‘consistently streaky’ trait at work .

  54. wall says:

    Sr. Brad and AJ… I am with you on the thoughts of 52/23/ and or 26 being replaced by 12/11/42

    And for those bashing Brad’s lengthy Rants on Q/26 playing… Isn’t it quite obvious the Hawks looked so much better w Handus NOT playing in top 6!!!!!!!!!

    Hossa, Sharp, Kane ALL looked Alive again just by inserting 28 for 26 and mixing/matching the rest!!!!

    The frustrating thing… Is idiots like me, JS, and others have been calling for # 26 only playing 12th man minutes (or less)… secondly, 52 serves NO purpose skating 4-5 minutes… Why not put Morin there… if he makes a stupid play… sit him –just like you are sitting 52… How many mistakes can he make on the bench?

    Lastly- prior to series- I called for Versteeg to sit… He hasn’t don anything horrible…
    but wasn’t playing as well as Morin, and Regin actually plays the checking/responsibility role quite well…and had good chemistry with 16…

    As someone has eluded to before ” Q is out Q-ing himself”
    It is so obvious that the only use 26 (maybe) is on the PK…
    Re: lines
    JS and others have been calling this for a while… JS/me called this out in last year’s PO’s. ( to skate 26 away from Kane) 29/19/88 and 10/26/81 ( this year- even 81/10 can’t make 26 look good)

    Q is obviously a great coach… but he is wrong/stubborn sometimes too!!!

  55. morrison says:

    Now Kaner is back. Tazer and Kaner were flying. Sharpy is getting warmer to go streakin again.

    We need everybody during the playoffs at some point. Right now Brookbank is doing really good (he was a better this then last yr). Bollig is in this series but if we play a faster team (ANA/COL) maybe Morin/Regin get in then..

  56. morrison says:

    Lets go now.

  57. CollegeKid says:

    Everyone’s been saying it here…. all my buddies agree… and apparently Craig Ramsay thinks Zues shouldn’t be centering Kane either.
    NHL website posted that he said: “I thought when Smith played with them they were more effective just because he can participate in the stuff. As good as Handzus is playing, it does come back to the other stuff and I think Smith gives them a little more quickness. He can get involved with them.”

    Q, I trust your judgement…. but Q, come on!!!

  58. JS says:

    I love people bashing Sharp for not being good enough. Sharp has 18 shots in the series, Hossa has 21. Neither one has scored a goal yet. They will soon. Something common with both of them? Skating most of their 5v5 minutes with the offensive Black Hole known as Handzus.

    If you don’t like Brad’s long winded posts… don’t read them. Crazy how that works.

    I wrote something long earlier while I was at work, but it didn’t post, so I’ll keep it short.

    Leddy and Rozi played really well.

    Bickell is in full on beast mode and the Blues are afraid of getting near the puck/making bad decisions when he is on the ice. Although, he didn’t win as many board battles as I would have liked.

    Remember when Rufus said that Patrick Kane wasn’t a playoff performer?

    Crow should have been better, but the defense farted in front of him a few times. Between Handzus falling down on the PK and not being able to recover to Sharp making a lazy clearing attempt. Need to clean it up.

  59. RyanDale says:

    Steve Ott was below 50% at dot , breaks string of 25 games. Zus’ ice washing at work?!

  60. Tim G says:

    Not to take the conversation too much away from the Hawks, but the over all play of the NHL playoff has been FANTASTIC!

    Even in a sweep the TB/Montreal series was highly entertaining.
    Minnesota woke up at home and is 2-2.
    Boston rallied after dropping game 1 and last night’s game was great to watch. down 0-2 to win in OT.
    Kings stave off elimination by running Niemi off the ice.
    Columbus wont go quietly into the night like i thought they would
    and then to be honest ive only seen about 45 seconds of the Rangers/Flyers series, but it has been back and forth and tonights game should be interesting to see if the Rangers can put a strangle hold on Philly and go up 3-1 with a home game for game 5.

    Man i love the NHL!

  61. AJ says:

    So the AVs Minny series is now interesting and hilarious. I hope Roy loses his mind soon. That will make for good TV.

    2010 fun facts – Adam Burish averaged like 5 minutes of ice time and Ben Eager just over 6. Not unprecedented for Q to roll 3 lines and have a few place fillers. Not that it isn’t frustrating but it has happened before with some kind of measured success.

  62. JS says:

    12 shots on goal with 8 minutes on the power play including a full 2 minutes at 6 on 4. Contender!

  63. Mike says:

    All the talk about Q, 26, 28 and wanting to see 11, 12 and/or 42 get some time comes down to this:
    1. Q is not likely to make any roster changes unless someone gets hurt
    2. Q knows what is going on. He puts 28 on 2C late in many games.
    3. We have no idea why he does not choose to see what we think.
    4. Q is stubborn and is convinced he can win playing whatever combinations he chooses.
    5. That is the way it is.

  64. wall says:

    JS- I was waiting for that…
    My only reply… as long as half of those 12 shots are 2 on 1 or 3 on 1 ( which they seemed to be when Hawks played Avs (in losses)) — the Avs would still prevail…
    but as I stated before– Hawks can beat Avs… BUT really need to change their approach
    to eliminate/minimize the Avs quick striking forwards — And I know you are smart enough to see/know the Wild are stifling in the neutral zone and great at limiting odd mans as well as skating thru the neutral zone (some of the most BORING Hawk’s games this year have been against the Wild-imo- because of their style).

    Of course – perhaps the Avs and or Hawks may not even get past 1st round…

    But like Tab said earlier… the Avs remind me of the 2009 Hawks

  65. JS says:

    I’m very confused by the Avs. I don’t understand how they don’t have the puck more with all of that fire power up front. Watching MacKinnon is just hilarious. That kid is going to be a star.

    I’m not sure what they have as far as depth on the back end, but they need A LOT of defense help and there is literally nothing of value going on the market this off season. That’s why people were so confused that they took MacKinnon over Jones. Sure, MacKinnon has turned out to be an outstanding player, but their biggest need has been help on the blue line.

    And yes, the Wild have figured out how to neutralize Colorado’s fast breaks… they also have done an outstanding job of using the room behind the net to create passing lanes/cycle the puck. You’ll also notice they are running Varlomov at every opportunity.

    Anyway, as I mentioned, the UFA market for defensemen is just a joke this summer. Makes a little more sense for the Rundblad acquisition since defensemen will be at a premium. Any defender on the Hawks could net a huge return.

  66. AJ says:

    Again, “seemed to be” is arbitrary, immeasurable and a preposterous way to predict future results.

    Minnesota is getting good goaltending after making that change and has had a stranglehold possession wise the last two games. That has paid dividends in spite of Varlamov being spectacular night in and night out.

    Goaltender performance and possession metrics have dictated the results in that series spot on. This can’t be illustrated clearer.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/minnesota-wild/2013p#game-by-game-5v5-close-ff

    The Hawks need to change their approach in general as they are barely dealing with the Blues. With the exception of the last game they have been getting dogged in the shot differential department and that has more or less been the difference outside of Crawford’s brilliant performance the other night.

    Oh and look again… Aside from the gem put up by Crawford, possession metrics are nearly spot on in telling the story of the Blues Hawks series.

    http://www.extraskater.com/team/chicago-blackhawks/2013p

  67. Sr. Brad says:

    In all, Ben Smith played 25 shifts and 14:04 of ice time. He played 5:52 and 12 shifts through the first two periods on the fourth line and played 8:12 and 13 shifts on the second line from the third period on. He had one assist, a zero rating and was third on the team with a 74.1 Corsi percentage (the Blackhawks had 20 shots for and seven against when he was on the ice in 5-on-5 situations).

    The only question is, with how well Smith has played for the last month and in this series, WHY only 12 shifts through the first 2 periods in a game we had to win? Smith was one of our best players in the 3rd period and OT in game 4. As he was in Games 1, 2, and 3. This isn’t an isolated incident. Why does Q continue to give Zus MILES of rope to hang himself, then be rescued, and then press reset for the start of the next game.

    Now I know that there are some Sheep on this board (like Dufus…Baaa, Baaa) but most here surely realize one bizarre point in particular…why does Q start the next game with Zus as the 2nd line centre when each game he fails miserably and has to be replaced? That’s the elephant in the living room.

  68. JS says:

    My guess, Brad, would be that he actually used Smith/Kruger as the checking line in game 4 and they did really well. Zus can’t play against that burner second line, so putting him on the wing and trying to shut down the Sobotka line would likely end up in a disaster.

    It’d be nice if a reporter actually did some… you know… reporting? Not that Q would ever really answer a question anyway, but it’d be nice to try to decipher what he means.

    Q has effectively neutered the scoring of two of the best players in the league by pairing them with Handzus, but it’s really the most efficient way (read: still not efficient at all) to keep Handzus in the lineup without double shifting someone. It sucks to watch knowing there are better options, but Q gonna Q.

  69. Sr. Brad says:

    Tim you are so right…there is so much parity in the league, it is ridiculous…that is why what the Hawks are doing (with everyone else watching intently) is so remarkable. The Kings and the Wild, for example, were both looking like they were done in the playoffs, and yet what is the difference in coaching and talent between those teams and the Hawks??? Not a lot…that’s why players like Toews, Shaw, Smith, Hammer and Keith are SO valuable. They will run through brick walls to win every puck battle, and that’s what wins championships.

    Mike, you are very right on all your points…I just can’t get over how Q resets the play button for the start of every game with Zus.

    Wall and JS, outstanding comments. Wall, I sure hope the Hawks are watching how the Wild are shutting down the AVs breakout…that series is far from over. JS, excellent points, especially on the offence the Wild are creating BEHIND the AVs net…the COL goalie looks fairly human with bodies flying around him. And if the Rundblad deal is designed to move him again this summer, then I am feeling better about it.

  70. RyanDale says:

    No reason to keep 28 down, he’s earned it all season. Nothing he can’t do.
    Slot him 2c with 88, 10 and keep the Jumbo line of 29/19/81
    Without 42 at 1c Steen, Ott, JTo may well be over matched. Keep sending Jumbo
    till they wilt.

    CC is 6th in both Sv% .927 / Gaa 2.21, Miller 9th /7th
    Niemi/Emery = 14th/15th

  71. Tim G says:

    I doubt Rundblad gets “flipped” since his Cap hit is so friendly… but it does make Oduya and Rosy both tradeable… I have been saying for a while… i think they both get moved.

    2,7,4,8 are in… then Runblad, TvR, Johns, Clendening (2 in lineup, 1 strached, 1 in rockford… maybe 2 in rockford if we resign BB to a cap friendly price)… there is room to move 27 and 32.

  72. wall says:

    AJ- Ok- Not “seemed to be”… But factual – in the first Loss to Avs… was—-

    Avs netted wide open point blank shots (with no defenders on them) from between the circles (while getting out shot)… Hawk’s Goalies had “no chance in stopping” (of course- in quotes– is my opinion).

    The only stat I can verify that with— Avs scored more Goals then Hawks!!!
    My eyes told me those Avs goals were not the fault of the Goalie… Just a very fast group of Forwards – counter attacking Hawks…

    Once again… Sorry- I can’t provide stats to back up that last statement!!!!
    But the logic in me says… with respect to shots for/against in Avs vs. Hawks this year
    1.) the Hawks must be very “unlucky” to not score more (while out shooting the Avs)
    2.) the Avs must be very “lucky” to be shooting such a high % (while being out shot)
    3.) the Avs must be getting more “lay-ups and dunks”

    Now – if I combine the fact that Avs Corsi is bad… yet they Won the division…
    it leads me to reason…
    1.) they are fucking lucky – complete rarity vs. “the numbers”– all year
    or
    2.) they are a great- counter attack team and get a lot of “lay-ups”

    JS- has implied their “luck/numbers” will run out… I don’t think it’s luck… I think it’s their “style”… CAN they lose??? Of course- Vs. teams that don’t Pinch as much, or are more patient (less aggressive attacking them on breakouts and thru the neutral zone— which is where Q preaches quickness and attack)…

    Once again- can’t back any of that up with numbers– other than Avs put up a lot of goals and won series vs. Hawks!!!

  73. Sr. Brad says:

    JS, so right…with Sassone gone there are ZERO reporters that ask Q any “tough” questions…in fact, they don’t really ask him any moderate questions either…if you read ANY stories about the Hawks, all the reporters do an excellent job of simply displaying what is…the problem is that we all KNOW “what is”…what we as the fans (the people who actually pay for everyone’s jobs in the NHL) want is accurate information as to WHY things are the way they are…

  74. Phil says:

    I look for Hossa and Sharp to light the lamp tonight or get on the score sheet in the next few games. These guys are looking more dangerous as this series has progressed. I hope Smith gets more time at 2C as I think he deserves it. Speed kills and Zus has none which holds back wing mates. These games have been decided by such a thin margin. Teams need to pay to their strengths. Hawks its with speed, puck possession, and quick d men putting pressure offensively. Blues strength is puck possession as well, but a strong forecheck to cause turnovers. Blues d men have big shots for the most part and as a team St Louis gets lots of deflections to net. They set guys mid slot for tips as well as down low. If Hawks use d zone ice with quick passes out away from wall pinching d men forwards can gain center ice with speed which is where the Blues can be broken down defensively. Their d men aren’t that fast if they are made to turn. Hawks getting guys to the net will be huge. Miller I still believe is not seeing the puck that well and IMO is playing nervous. there is lots more pressure on him than on CC in my mind. Scoring first will be massive tonight. Just close out a period strong for a change and we win this tonight and close em out Sun afternoon. I believe we will prevail even if it goes 7. Blues will bring the house early so I hope the Hawks bring their A game out of the gate. Past playoff history shows Hawks play very strong on the road as these series progress. Hopefully Hawks don’t take dumb penalties. Blues PP always scares me even though we have shut them down pretty well thus far. Don’t give em that extra man advantage with bad penalties.

    On a lighter note I thought you guys might be entertained by what happened to me after Kaner scored the OT winner Wednesday night. My wife and I were luckily invited to sit in a Club suite so I gave my regular seats to 2 of my daughters. My seat in the second row of the Suite was just under a concrete overhang about 8 foot high or so. Kaner scores and I leap out my seat right hand punching upwards right into the Concrete overhang. Screaming YEA and then OWWWWW F**K!!! as i just slammed my hand into the overhang. I walked with great pleasure scraped and bleeding to exits,and that goal will always be remembered as pure pleasure and pain.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  75. Sr. Brad says:

    Tim, we have to add Dahlbeck to that list. He has done everything asked of him in Rockford and is ready for the Pros…whether with the Hawks or not.

    His #s this season were 10 goals, 25 assists and a +21. He’s a stay at home guy, but this year added jumping into the rush to his forte. Hard shot from the point, big, strong and smart.

  76. Sr. Brad says:

    And I agree about Oduya being moved. BB’s contract is up, and Rozy might just retire. It gives us room to move up the DMen in the system that have been knocking on the door so loudly.

    Phil, that’s a sweet and sour story! What were the sight lines like from the suite?

  77. Sr. Brad says:

    RD, that’s a great way to describe Ben Smith…there isn’t a thing he can’t do…

    As for Miller’s #s. I think they are a little skewed. He has made a # of very tough (Wall would call them Grade A chances) saves against us every game. In game 4, honestly, we could have put 7 or 8 past Miller legitimately. He’s been every bit as good as we have heard about him.

  78. Phil says:

    Sr Brad, the sight lines in those Club suites is outstanding. I was in C2, between red line/blue line. I prefer to be up off the ice as you get a better perspective on plays developing. Box seats are great for appreciating the speed and intensity of the game, but upper boxes center ice, Club and 300 level between the lines are ideal. Coolest perspective are end zone Club level seats for me, but my regular seats are in Club 231 last row by aisle. I like it there too as you don’t have to listen to BS chatter from row behind you.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  79. Tim G says:

    Yes Brad… Dahlbeck too, absolutly… I completely forgot about him! so BB probably doesnt get resigned for anything… Just proves my point that 27 and 32 are probably making their last runs as Hawks.

    If im making my “way too early guesses”… Clendening, Rundblad, and Dahlbeck probably get the 5,6 and strached dmen spots… with TvR and Johns in Rockford to start… and then the Hawks can go from there and move them around if someone is struggling in the bigs.

  80. Sr. Brad says:

    That’s how I saw it playing out as well Tim…

    Phil, thanks for sharing those experiences!!!

  81. Tim G says:

    on the topic of views for hockey… my last 2 games were both down in Tampa (closest stadium to me), and i had 2 drastically different experiences. both awesome….

    08-09 season: I was 4 rows off the glass. End of the ice where Chicago shot twice. Stamkos recorded his first career hattrick, but the Hawks won 5-3. This was cool because it was really intense. I was with a Lightning fan (who’s family is actually from chicago, but he grew up in Tampa so he followed both teams), and we were right in the heart of season ticket holders… I was one of the only ones in Red in my section. And even though you miss some of the board play, there was lots of action on my end, so it was really cool…

    13-14 season: As cool as it was to be right down by the action, this time i went behind the hawks net, 1st row of the 300 level… TOTALLY different. You can see rushes/stretch passes/defensive schemes evolve right in front of you. It was really cool to see it from such a different aspect… Much more technical. Even though we lost in OT and Khabby was atrocious I think I preferred this view.

    I’ll have to try to take your advice Phil and get in the neutral zone next time! go for experience #3!

  82. RyanDale says:

    Miller is playing very well, the numbers are nearly the same. In my mind they are even at this point as it should be given that every game is a 1g affair. Hoping CC will rise up in 5-6 and we grab wins in regulation. Then we can move on, without the added pressure of a 1st round 7g, multi ot marathon . Too taxing…

    Honestly I think StL is feeling a bit fragile. Even if only 2-2 they are feeling some heat, believe it. They know they tanked last year, and are half way there again. They know we are not going away, that we are defending Champs. We’ve been ahead most of the minutes. Plus no sign off 42 coming back, Sobotka possibly another 29 bomb away from watching from the dressing room. They are feeling it.

    They have to win tonight for one reason, there own psyche. or they know what an uphill task winning 6 and 7 would be vs us. We come fast, hard, and as ‘heavy’ as we are capable tonight, keep special teams in step, this thing is gonna be coming back ready to be won on Sunday….frckin afternoon game or not, damnit!! bring it boys

    night games only bitches!!

    nod to mo

  83. Tim G says:

    RD- PREACH! We are looking good and got to keep the heat on them… they WILL melt. like you said, they HAVE to win… if not its over on Sunday… PERIOD!

  84. Montana Blackhawk says:

    Mike…way up this post…I didn’t iron my clothes (LMFAO) but heart attack I had!

    Two hours til puck drop! LET’S GO HAWKS!

  85. Gou says:

    Pete. Two best fourth liners: Ricky Patterson and Billy Gardner. That was mid 80′s.
    Great banter here so I do not read any of the crap from the papers.
    For whatever reason Q loves Zus but Morin for Bollig is the correct change to be made.

  86. JBods says:

    Gou,

    Nice drop in on Gardner and Patterson.

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