Power play propels Blackhawks to shootout victory

Wearing their black alternate jerseys from the Winter Classic, the Blackhawks took on the red-hot Islanders on Tuesday night at the United Center.

And all they needed to keep things interesting was an advantage (or two).

New York physically dominated the first period. Valtteri Filppula gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at 2:19 and New York controlled most of the rest of the period. The visitors held a 13-9 shot advantage after 20 minutes.

But early in the second, the Blackhawks got a two-man advantage. Cal Clutterbuck slashed Artem Anisimov and then Matt Martin tried to get a piece of John Hayden and was called for roughing.

As they have done so frequently of late, the Hawks took advantage. With Jonathan Toews skating off to replace a broken stick, Dylan Strome got the Hawks on the board.

The game stayed tied for only 1:28 until Matthew Barzal got a breakaway and beat Cam Ward.

But the next time the Hawks got a power play they took advantage again. This time, it was Toews.

Toews’ 22nd goal of the season tied the game at two with 22 seconds left in the second period.

Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat were credited with assists on Strome’s power play goal. DeBrincat and Strome picked up their second points of the night with assists on Toews’ goal.

The Hawks out-shot the Islanders 18-7 in the second period.

With 11 minutes left in the third period, Erik Gustafsson took a goal away from Barzal. Ward failed to control a rebound and Barzal was on the doorstep, but Gustafsson laid out to block the net and Ward was able to cover and stop play in time.

Kane went to the box with 6:46 left in regulation, giving the Islanders their second power play of the night. Thanks to a couple big saves from Ward and a shot block by Brent Seabrook the Hawks escaped.

Regulation wasn’t enough, so we were once again treated to overtime.

There were some great looks in overtime for both sides, but the game couldn’t be decided. So we went to the skills competition.

Chicago finished 65 minutes of hockey with a 40-36 shot advantage.

Toews was up first in the shootout and easily beat Robin Lehner. Ward was able to stop Josh Bailey.

Kane then put Lehner to sleep with his handling and whipped a shot past him. Ward slammed the door on Barzal and the Hawks earned a win heading into the All-Star Break.

Chicago’s defense was active. The Blackhawks blue line generated 16 shots on net, led by four from Connor Murphy. They also blocked 14 shots and were credited with nine hits.

Chris Kunitz was minus-two in 8:38 – the only Hawks skater to be on the ice for both of the Islanders’ goals.

DeBrincat led the Hawks with six shots on net in addition to his two assists. Toews won 13 of 25 faceoffs with his goal and Kane led all Chicago skaters in ice time (25:29).

80 thoughts on “Power play propels Blackhawks to shootout victory

  1. Great headline Tab. Power play amazing, looks like a real team. Solid all around game. Other than the Kampf 3rd period trifecta — 1) couldn’t make easy clear out of zone on nyi power play; 2) great offensive chance later on, fumbled puck away without provocation; and 3) lost faceoff in D zone under 30 secs left, good save by Ward.

    I guess he’s been such an offensive force all season he’s exhausted. The break will do him good…

  2. Slater Koekkoek taking full advantage of his NHL opportunity. Moves the puck, skates well, physical around his net, rubbed out Barzal along the wall in final 90 seconds.
    Love the way Strome stays so close to the crease on the power play. The kid knows where to go to score goals.
    Saad shadowing Barzal in OT was thing of beauty. Saad also had three prime chances in regulation and could not convert.
    Caggiula plays tremendously hard and hungry. Perfect understudy for Toews.
    Fun few days for us Hawk fans.

  3. We still have stretches where the d-zone coverage is a keystone cops episode but the compete level is much improved and Kane is playing at another level. Although Gus has improved more than I thought was possible, I can’t see anyone trading for him at the deadline – too many unforced errors for a playoff team to handle. Agree that Koekkoek was aggressive and physical – let him play to see what we got. Thankfully in the third period of a tied game we got to hear Foley give an extended description of the upcoming Margarita night, instead of describing the action. Then he proceeds to mix up several players. The amount of non-hockey crap on the hometown broadcasts is off the charts compared to all other teams. Sorry for the rant but it is embarrassing to listen to.

  4. Didnt see game. Watching video from 2013 at work.

    Which mean we played good in 12 of 16 games noe.

    Suck on thaaaat!

  5. Did not see game. If PP good again I think people need to acknowledge 17 as the firecracker to the PP, eh.

  6. Where has this PP been the last 5 years (or more)? Oh, that’s right – instead of having 5 guys who can shoot the puck and hit the net, we had 4 guys who could shoot the puck and hit the net and Keith who could miss the net and hit shin pads. Well, I guess batter (5 years) late than never.

    Strome has 21 points in 27 games with the Hawks. The extrapolates to 64 points over 82 games. Pretty good for a guy who some thought was heading for 1st round bust territory. Yeah, Schmaltz can razzle and dazzle and skate in pretty circles around Strome but Strome plays a better game. He’s a year younger (21) than Schmaltz, bigger than Schmaltz (3″/25lbs), and finally, he’s better at faceoffs (51% combined ARI+CHI versus 37% combined CHI+ARI). Strome is an NHL center, Schmaltz still has to become an NHL center. I think the Hawks won the trade regardless what Perlini does.

  7. Hawks looked good but turned over the puck a lot. Lucky that Isles flubbed many of those gifts. Fantastic performance by Ward.

    Like some of you, KooKoo was aggressive, physical, and skated well. Hope he is given a fair shake to see if he can make the team. Maybe this 10th pick has upside that TB lost patience with. This is the year to give many young players a lot of playing time.

  8. I with you MS – I watch the game for the hockey – not to be entertained by Foley, The Pat and Eddie schtick is maddening to have to listen to. Konroyd is bad because he puts a positive spin on just about everything even when the exact opposite is called for – but at least he doesn’t participate in the Foley Comedy Show. If the radio broadcast was simulcast I would listen to John and Troy in a heartbeat.

  9. Joki had the lowest TOI of the d-men be a fair margin with only 12:55. I’m starting to come around to the opinion that maybe it would be better for Joki to spend the rest of the season in Rockford if he’s going to get low TOI and get healthy scratched. I can’t say Joki looks worse in the d-zone than the other d-men but maybe I’m not seeing what JC is seeing because it sure seems like JC isn’t too enamored with Joki for some reason. So be it.

  10. Even though the radio guys are better. When were winning and have a deep team do those guys really bother anyone. There fine when were winning. When I am driving out of town and have radio on, I want to crash into other cars and look at them and say, whats up now bra.

  11. A positive for this team is that a solid effort is there every night. Unfortunately, so are a lot of mistakes. I love the alternate sweaters, they should keep them as a third sweater. And I totally agree with others here that Foley is annoying. All the name dropping and clowning just grate on me. John and Troy on the other hand, are pretty good.

  12. Good win over a hot team going into the break. Obviously they must want to send Jokiharju down, Colliton keeping his stock low for some reason.
    PP looking good, moving puck alot faster and creating, not looking like 5 robots anymore, bodies in motion entering and when in O zone too. Gus big improvement on the point and Strome fitting in well too.

    With 16 defencemen currently under contract this season, plus Boqvist and Beaudin signed. Campbell and Davidson ufas, plus Hillman, Forsling and Koekkoek rfas. If latter 3 are resigned that leaves 16 under contract for next year.
    Mitchell you have too think signs, Ryczek playing like he deserves an elc and will be ufa in June if not, i believe. Krys may sign too. That leaves 18 or 19 signed, little crowded. Boqvist and Beaudin could be eligible to go back to juniors. That would prevent them from being able to reach ufa status a year early, which looks like may be a concern now. Also fitting in Boqvist bonuses under the limit, which looks like some changes needed to do that next year not be an issue. Snuggerud who as been decimated by bad luck injury wise or someone else if still on elc could be loaned to Indy to make room too.

  13. Good game last night. Agree Foley gets annoying at times, but would rather have him and his ramblings than the imbecile Laura Majors (or whatever her name is) who was on WGN-TV before the game and between periods. Konroyd looks like he’s about to get sick whenever he has to talk with her.

  14. Rockford has two home games this wknd then no games all next week until 2/1. Lets see if any players are sent down for the weekend games.

    If so it’ll prob. just be temporary to keep them playing so no need to overreact. Or paper transactions for cap purposes.

  15. ER with you on the Joki idea-yes guys are getting to NHL quite young but most d-men (except possibly elite ones) need some seasoning in the minors, 19 is young and the play is fast and heavy. Some may want Boqvist to step in but is it the best thing?

  16. Noonan you can defend not playing the young guys and can’t prove the reasons are wrong. But its not realistic to deny this a business and pushing ufa status back a year and not having to deal with that for another year is big. GM s around the league readily admit this, burning an elc and paying that is a non issue to them, but keeping them from becomingan ufa sooner is a real issue with teams. It may not be at play here but to try to pretend that couldn’t be is not realistic either.

  17. Craig N

    Most excellent post… completely agree on all points/players

    Had exact same thoughts on KOO-KOO and Saad tracking Barzal… Barzal- is an excellent skater/player

    Cagg- is excellent at anticipating where play is going and quick… kept lot’s of plays alive

    ER– Joker is slowly regressing to what I originally thought he was…. NOT as good as Boqvist/Mitchell/Beaudin and perhaps KOO-KOO and Dahlstrom too

    Gus- should still be dangled at TDL… Guy has Great O/PP skills… but still a wreck in D zone– see what Other team will offer… we need a Hammer type guy… with ALL the Skilled- O type D-men in Jrs. that Cannot be any worse than Gus in D zone… Me Hopes

  18. Ian – with all those d-men under contract I have to believe some get moved around draft time in exchange for forward depth or forward prospects.

  19. NOONAN96, I have seen Boqvist play a few times this year and while I hope that he will become a huge asset for Chicago going forward It might be wise to let him develop for another year in either London or Rockford.
    No need to rush his development and cause him hardship at the NHL level.
    The defensive part of his game will take time and patience and he will definitely need to bulk up. This kid has a lot of skill.

  20. Another very entertaining game at the UC last night. Two in a row! LOTS of empty seats. I ended up going by myself as I could find no takers. Regulars in my section very much absent. Maybe it was the weather, standings? Black uniforms not my cup of tea, but for a few games why not? Remember it’s all about merchandise promo.

    Apart from a sluggish start the Hawks sure got better as the game wore on. Isn’t it amazing how games change when a PP starts to click? Hawks PP right now is really humming. Loved the double minor that the Isles took. That dirtbag Martin roughs up Hayden, takes a dumbass penalty, and presto Hawks made em pay. Martin left the ice trying to goad Hayden into dropping the gloves, but Hayden didn’t take the bait. I like that kid, and this team needs more like him. We are seeing teams take less physical liberties with the Hawks lately now that the PP is scoring regularly. Funny how that works. Keep it up guys. Gus on the point helps QB, and with players rotating and skating into open areas the quick passes are finding the tape and quality scoring chances. How many years was the Hawks PP horrible, 5 plus, more? This was one area where Q and staff couldn’t get it right. JC gets some credit.

    New adds Koekkoek and especially Caggiula have been noticeable. I love what Caggiula is bringing. A very sympathetic player, and a little guy playing every shift hard, and finishing checks on much bigger players. Very tenacious in the corners. He and Toews have been digging pucks out of corners with great success in recent games. Tazer on a roll and so of course is Kane who has been all world. Ward not good early, but he finished strong.

    Is Barzal fast on skates or what? Yikes.

    Well, we are at the half way point, and this season is playing out the way many of us thought it would. Not too high or low is the way to watch. We are getting the good with the bad, lately more on positive I think as this team tries to find it’s way with a roster that is still a bit thin in the depth bin. In the end we just want a competitive team that works hard while in transition.

    Sympathy to those cringing during Foley Tv broadcasts. It has really gotten out of hand in recent years with the aw shucks joking around BS. Just call the damn game. Foley used to be an excellent play by play guy, but now cruising on past laurels. There are so many other broadcast crews around the league that I’d rather listen to, which is sad to say. On the other hand John and Troy do a really terrific job on the radio.

    Enjoy the break and

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  21. Ciszikas got a bit too rough on Kane and Hayden came over and threatened him. Martin took exception and wanted a piece of Hayden. They all were jawing near the bench at the end of the first period. This is what led to Martin grabbing Hayden’s helmet and ripping it off, giving the Hawks a 5 on 3 pp and led directly to the first goal by Strome.

    We used to have Burish, and then Shaw, but someone to piss off guys on the other team and get them to do something stupid that helps us win. If Hayden could do that more often he would spend less time in the press box.

  22. Yikes Anisimov centering the 4th line and playing only 9 to 10 minutes a night.
    His name was bandied about last year at the deadline but supposedly Columbus offfered a 3rd rounder and demanded the Hawks puck up half his salary. No sale.

    Things might be different this year. Teams that miss out on Duchene might be seeking a big Center man.

    I happen to like Anisimov. He goes to the greasy areas, stands in front of the net and is a really good teammate. But $4.5 for a fourth line Center is extreme. This seems like more of a Colliton decision than anything else.

  23. @ Wall

    Saw this and had to reply:

    “ER– Joker is slowly regressing to what I originally thought he was…. NOT as good as Boqvist/Mitchell/Beaudin and perhaps KOO-KOO and Dahlstrom too”


    It is Henri J.’s first year. Progression is not linear – as much as fans might wish it was. There will be ups and downs.

    Saying he is not as good as three who have never played an NHL game is a small sample size argument.

    Comparing him to the other two: KK and Dahlstrom are what, 3rd yr. pro players? There is your difference. Those two SHOULD be more consistent in their play.

    That said, KK has talent no doubt and was a good pickup. The challenge will be to further develop him to see exactly what they have.

    No one is patient anymore. Regrettably, patience is what it takes with young defensmen. Jumping to conclusions after 3-5 game segments is a fools errand.

  24. @ Craig Nigrelli

    Curious, are you the same Craig Nigrelli the news anchor in Omaha? If so is Bronco Burgers still there just w. of downtown?

  25. Wall lol let’s ship Jokiharju out for a 7th rounder go with other 7D and sign From to solve forward problems too.

  26. Agree with Row A about Joki. He was brought up quickly and no one should expect perfect upward development. I think it would do him good to be sent to Rockford so that he is much more ready for next season. This season should be about developing our young players and experimenting.

    I looked up info on KK and he had two shoulder surgeries years back. It was hard for him to crack a very good defensive line-up with TB. I liked what I saw last night. If he can consistently play at that level, with moderate improvement, he will make a quality 3rd pairing.

    At the TDL:
    1. AA for late 2nd rounder or decent prospect.
    2. Kruger for 3rd/early 4th
    3. Gus for late 2nd/early 3rd.
    4. Saad only for late 1st+2nd or good prospect.

    I have been complaining about Foley’s annoying laughing for three years and would shout at the TV to knock it off and call the damn game. I used to think that Foley was one of the greatest Chicago play-by-play announcers of all time. Agree that Wiedeman is better (with Troy). Am in my 60s and have heard a lot of good and bad announcing. The clear #1 is Neil Funk. No clowning around from him during the many lean Bulls seasons. An absolute gem.

  27. I forget what the number is but there’s some number of games that a d-man needs to play in the NHL before he is seasoned enough to really know how good or bad the d-man is. I want to say it’s 250 games or there about. Jokiharju has played 37, Dahlstrom has played 29, Koekkoek has played 88, Forsling has played 98, Gustafsson has played 128. Even Murphy had just played 250 games about when the Hawks acquired him from Arizona. Murphy has played 97 games in a Hawks uniform and it’s probably not a coincidence that he is playing better now than when he first started playing for the Hawks – he has played enough games in the NHL to have that seasoning and experience to play to his potential.

    Think about that – half of the 6 d-men that suit up for every game are still in the early to mid stage of growing into their NHL career. That’s not to say they will eventually be a good d-man, but it is very understandable that they’re not there yet. If the plan is to bring Boqvist, Beaudin and/or Mitchell into the Hawks lineup, that’s even a more inexperienced factor. Granted, the “magic games played” factor is a rule of thumb and not applicable for every young d-man – but for a young d-man to step into the NHL and play great defense before they play 250 games in the NHL is the exception to the rule of thumb.

    All that said – Gustafsson is 26 so even with only 124 games in the NHL I tend to think he may never play solid defense – some guys just don’t have what it takes to be a good defender. But, with his offense I think it’s worth more time to see if he can improve in his own end … and hopefully other GM’s think that way.

  28. Re: Joker… He has played better than I thought… especially early season…

    All I really mean to say– Is Based on Camp viewings… I am Higher on all 3
    Boqvist/Mitchell/Beaudin…. IMO…

    Yes- none of those 3 – have played a minute in NHL… But I just see more speed/better skating/better creative IQ (especially in O zone)… of course it is all based on small sample Camp/Pre-season views

    Koo-Koo and Dahlstrom… not a knock on Joker… just been pleasantly surprised with their play.. so really more of Positive post for Koo-koo and Dstrom

    Of course- all 5 of these guys could turn into – Runbads!!!
    and Joker- could be the Hammer2.0… perhaps- that is why I thought more highly of all 3 (Bvist/Ian/Beuadin)… cuz they are more O guys… and Joker- is the Lock down stay at home (Hammer2.0)???

    we shall see

  29. Lehner/Isles/Trotz

    Basically- the above- “system” is the Poster child for my age old argument– that the Team/system in front of the goalie… is bigger/more important than the actual Goalie
    (as long as the goalie doesn’t completely suck ass– Looking at Huet like guys)

  30. Completely agree Wall, look at the Isles last year and this year. Plus they lost two of their best players to free agency. They add Trotz, and suddenly they are hard to score on.

    Joki was playing better under Q when he was with Keith. For whatever reason once Colliton got here he has been regulated to third pair minutes and has not seemed to have the same confidence.

    The Hawks need one of their young dmen to step up and be top 4 quality by next year. At least. And that is a tall order for a young guy.

    With all the prospects in the mix, it will be interesting to see how they go about developing the blue line. I am not a Gus fan, but I have seen improvement in both his offensive and defensive game over the course of this season, and in my opinion, the kind of offense he is bringing right now is worth keeping.

    Sure some of the younger guys are supposed to be offensive defensemen but until they can do it at the NHL level, I don’t thing it is wise to part with a guy who can. And I can’t believe I am saying that. But the two things that I have changed my mind on this season are Gus being a viable option on the blue line and Strome being a key piece moving forward. Those are two things in the Hawks favor right now.

  31. If you want an assessment of the team’s depth, just look no further than the vast chasm between PP unit 1 and unit 2. Unit 1 is looking like one of the most dangerous in the league, unit 2 can hardly get the puck over the blueline and maintain possession.

    From a roster construction standpoint, this team still has a long way to go.

  32. Impressed with this weeks performance leading into the ASB… short on talent, depth and speed but high marks for heart, passion and effort…rest up- last 31 games could be a wild ride- Matthew Highmore skating, at least.

  33. Wall – there is a lot to be said for your argument and in general I agree but let’s not underestimate how hoe Lehner has been – only 15 goals given up in the 12 games prior to last night – that’s lights out goaltending and he was sharp last night as well – it took the Hawks 2 PP goals to get the game to OT

    Agree with a lot of comments on KK and I had said before I thought he looked alright

    To me he’s a better defender than Gus by a considerable margin but you need Gus for the PP so why not consider Gus for forward – you play him instead of Kunitz with AA and Hayden – give some O to the 4th line and still use him on the PP

    That idea has been out there amongst some of you before and I think the Hawks should try it

    Also I don’t like the rotation idea that Colliton is currently employing with the young D men

    Play Dahlstrom and KK send Joki to RKF when Forsling is back (I still like Joki even by next year but he should be playing heavy minutes and he’s looking a bit overwhelmed – that first Isles goal being a good example – he needs to get stronger most of all)

    The you have 2-7

    If you’re going to keep Joki up then he could pair with KK and send Forsling down but like I said I’d prefer that Joki be playing a lot not 3rd pairing minutes – he skates well, thinks well, passes well but gets physically taken advantage of regularly

  34. Kampf played well – except when he has the puck on a scoring chance he looks like a decent NHL 3C but if he can’t improve his finish even a little bit he’ll never be more than a 4th liner and maybe not even that on a good NHL team

  35. Loving the PP – having Gus on the point and 4 forwards who can handle the puck is not rocket science but Q never even tried it

    Did Q even employ 19, 88 and 12 together? – he always seemed to have at least one of them on the 2nd PP unit

    Strome gives them 5 very good puck handlers – that makes a huge difference – there’s no weak link really in that regard which was never the case with 2 and/or 7 on the first PP

  36. Big Indian’s random thoughts;

    To answer JR ROMAN’s inquiry about the alternate sweaters and how they looked live and in person …… they look great! The version worn did not have the Winter Classic Notre Dame patch. Simply black with the Mikita 21 number on the shoulder. Really looked sharp in my opinion.

    Pat and Eddie ……. I really do love these guys, but the banter has indeed gotten a little out of control. I heard someone once say that a good announcer’s job is to describe what is taking place during the game. We’re losing some of that now. I think that these guys are such good friends that the game analysis has gone down, and yes, the name dropping and worshiping of one another has become to prevalent. More play by play from Pat, and more in-depth color analysis and teaching points “for all you young hockey players out there” is needed.

    To reply to UNCLE BILL’S post about the terrible nature of the WGN broadcast …. as I’ve mentioned before, the poor lady in question’s name is Lauren Mageira. She is indeed awful and knows absolutely nothing about hockey and it’s sad. I agree, Konroyd does look like he’s about to vomit when he tries to deal with her. Burish handles it a little better, but it all makes for a bad broadcast. The poor woman should not be doing the hockey games. She doesn’t know players or their names. It’s really bad for an outfit like WGN to be putting that out.

    Strome continues to impress. I’ll give Stan some credit for that trade. Perlini is still a question mark but I think the Blackhawks still win that deal hands down.

    I sat much closer to the ice than I normally do at last night’s game. Man, Barzal for the Islanders is incredible. That guy is just a rocket, and his shot is so damn quick. I thought the Blackhawks did a decent job on him. The turnover that led to his breakaway was bad, and allowed him to showcase his talent.

    Seeing Hayden up really close just cemented my thoughts about him being a 100% plus effort guy. The guy busts his a$$ so hard and you can see it on his face. I hope he’s not lost in a trade shuffle somewhere because I’d really like Chicago to hang on to him.

    I too like Anisimov for his net presence, but as mentioned earlier the price tag might be high. I just don’t know who they get for him, though.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!!

  37. I see that the Manning for Caggiula trade was the last straw for EDM management – Chia Pet fired!

  38. Good to hear Big Indians praise of Hayden- on TV, he looks like he’s giving 120% on every shift, punishing hits, going to the net! He needs a good mentor and I hope we keep him

  39. The thing about Henri J. is development can take place off ice too and that is why Colliton is toying with rotating the young defensmen.

    1. He does not want to throw any of them in the deep end. That can ruin a young defenseman. I will contend Gustav Forsling was brought up too soon and he has still not established himself although he is young still.

    2. Development can happen from video work, individual skills work, training room work etc. Henri wouldn’t have even made the NHL but for his off ice regimen last summer. He is not mature yet physically and it takes time. Playing him until he drops is not always the best way. Patience.

    3. Views from prospect camp or even training camp mean very little. How do they stack up when the proven NHL players line up against them, that’s what tells the story. Dylan Sikura Exhibit A.

    Those wishing for Boqvist, Mitchell, Beaudin etc to jump right in the starting lineup you may want to slow your roll as the kids say. Henri J. is a good example. Very talented, mature for his age but some things cant be rushed.

  40. Row A

    I can’t argue Point #3… Sikura skated circles around rest… so either Sikura was that good… or rest were that bad!!!

    As we see the LACK of scoring/talent in Rock… more likely–the Rest that Bad!!!!!!!!

  41. I saw where WGN is out as far as carrying the Hawks next year. NBCSN only for local telecasts. I remember when Lauren referred to a hockey stick as a club…. That was enough for me.

    The benchmark for games to be able to evaluate an NHL defenseman is 150-200. That’s 2 to 2.5 seasons. As stated above, we don’t have many with that amount of games yet. Players mature at different times. Kempny made his career later than most. 26 or 27 is usually the cut point. Dmen like Ekblad are special talents and can be evaluated at an earlier stage, but even he has matured a lot.

    Odd that everyone seems to have come to the same conclusion last night that we have 2 very different qualities to our PP. Actually, we simply don’t have enough offensive players to man a second unit. And that is sad.

    Foley has been a different announcer since coming back to the Hawks. Always enjoyed him, but his ego after the return and EO loving him all night has really put a damper on the experience. I also think they spend far too much time singling out player mistakes without doing it fairly. Hey – you gonna pick on Kampf or Perlini or even the abuse they piled on Saad, then don’t forget to call out 2, 7, 19 and 88 when they do the VERY same boneheaded things. EO has always been the President of Keith’s fan club, but almost never willing to point a finger. Keith, like every player on the ice, makes his share (sometimes less and sometimes more) of mistakes. EO is a bit more careful about being fair in his comments when on a nationally televised game.

    And thank you to whomever the person was that finally got Pat to understand that just because you get hit with the puck when doing a line change doesn’t make it too many men on the ice. GEEZ!!! That only took about 6 years.

  42. IMO Eddie O is one the best, if not THE best, hockey color guys going strictly speaking. He sees plays happen in real time as quick as anyone and can explain what happened, why it happened, and what could have been done differently. And if he would just stick to that he would be a real joy to listen to. He’s better on national broadcasts when he doesn’t have to play his role in the Pat and Eddie show.

    There was a comment earlier that the annoyance level has gone up because the Hawks are not playing winning hockey like they used to – not true, at least in my case. Their yuck it up shtick bugged the hell out of me back in those seasons too.

  43. Wrap, thanks for the info on Chiarelli. I just reviewed his player moves. At the time he traded Hall for Larsson, the experts said he didn’t get enough back. This turned out to be correct.

    When we criticize SB, we should keep in mind that the grass is always greener. Reviewing his trades the past two months:

    Strome/Perlini for Schmaltz: May take a year or so to know for sure, but so far – advantage Blackhawks

    Cagg for Manning: Getting a decent younger bottom 6 player for a low-performer and saving on cap space – advantage Blackhawks

    Koekkoek for Rutta, plus moving up in the draft, while freeing up cap space – advantage Blackhawks

    In addition, Stan has made other good trades the past couple of years (yes, I’m including Hartman). Let’s see if he can keep it going at the TDL.

  44. From Silent Spot;

    “I saw where WGN is out as far as carrying the Hawks next year. NBCSN only for local telecasts. I remember when Lauren referred to a hockey stick as a club…. That was enough for me.”

    HAR! I hadn’t heard that one! I’d heard plenty of name bungling and statements that made it obvious that she knew absolutely nothing about hockey (and didn’t care to learn). But calling a stick a club is pretty bad. Other than her I thought that WGN did a decent job with Dan Roan et al.

    On the NBCSN side, I do pretty much like what Michelle McMahon provides as far as break discussions. Her questions are at least searching for some explanation and have some thoughts behind them. I also liked what Tracey Myers brought to the broadcasts before she left to go work for NHL.com.

  45. We need every blue chip and normal prospect we can get.

    Have to have a 81 and 4 type players back. To me we have to have that, like before, to get back to deep roster.

  46. I would be all for selling high on Gus. If there is a team that needs a PP specialist who they could also hide playing sheltered minutes that might work.

    I made the case on many occasions that HJ could benefit from time in the Rock even though he is still playing well enough to stay up. He has been just fine overall. A real good first year so far.

    Maybe we could package AA with a lower tier defensive prospect (eg Krys) and get him off the books. As Michael Corleone said, “nothing is impossible.”

  47. Any thoughts on why the power play is so much better? I appreciate what Strome and Gus bring but I have a hard time believing that personnel changes are the main reason for the improvement. Over the last 5 years we had plenty of firepower to ice 2 solid PP units but both were still clown shoes far too often.

    I think the main difference is the system but am unsure exactly what was changed. It’s clear that the puck movement is causing coverage problems and the entries are better. I’m not clear on why those aspects are so much better though.

  48. Re: PP I think the personnel is the main reason the PP is so much better

    You could say they are using the 1D/4F arrangement which Q didn’t always do but he did it sometimes but not with Gus as the D man and as I said earlier having 5 very good pick handlers out there and let them do their thing is the main reason

    I think they know what to do – I’m sure the coach offers tips but they’ve all played the PP their whole careers – they know what to do

    Q would always have someone like AA or Saad or Keith or Seabrook or in past year’s Shaw on the 1st unit – none of them are great puck handlers

    The idea of loading up with your best puck handlers all together is what has made the difference IMO

  49. Think the biggest difference in PP is players looking more relaxed and not like stationary robots trying to do set task. More movement and creating and playing to their strengths vs looking like they are standing there hoping something different happens doing the same thing. Passing the puck, waiting to cross blueline without moving not loooking like they believed in what they were doing.

  50. Could see Leafs being interested in Gus maybe. A mobile dman who can play offensive game with their high powered forwards. Without cap space to be too choosy and under contract next season might at bargain hit, they might find him very attractive.

    Wall watching Chl prospects game, Kaliyev just sniped one 55 secs in.

  51. I agree with the premise that the PP is much improved because all 5 guys are good puck handlers. It only takes a bobble or a pass a little off the mark for the opposing PK’ers to clear the puck. I think that’s the biggest difference and main reason for the improved PP. That includes Gustafsson and Strome who are better at controlling the puck on their stick than Keith and Anisimov/Saad/ or whoever else was the 5th guy. Just entering the zone is much improved which goes a long way toward having success and that improvement is in large part due to a whole lot less bobbling the puck away or not receiving a pass cleanly. Toews/Kane/DeBrincat/Strome/Gustafsson are simply better at doing the little things that make a big difference.

  52. Nice to win games and have fun. We played good in 12 of 16 games now, that started with that 9 game 6-2-1 part. Still good to be top 6 pick.

    OTT-COL 7
    CHI 6
    LA 6
    DET 6
    NWJ 5
    PHI 4
    EDM 1
    ARI e
    FLR e
    STL e
    ANA e

  53. We traded the untradeable 81 contract.

    We got a 3rd for Bollig and a 5th for Scott.

    We got 12 for 65 trade.
    We got Beau and Kurachev for 38 trade.

    We got a 5th for 7th with Rutta.
    We got Cagilua for Manning.

    I think we get good for 15, 56, anyone we trade at deadline.

    We have a very strong wave coming already and these picks/having so many will just add to that wave. Going to be sweet when we top 5 roster again in 2yrs.

  54. some of these suggested trades have to be from people who hate the Blackhawks.

    Just my eyes but seems to me Kane has a lot more influence on this team than meets the eye. Looks like he wants to play with Gus. He’s not going anywhere.

  55. Looks like Kane wants to play with Panarin, he is not going anywhere, right Stan?
    Looks like Kane wants to play with Schmaltz, he is not going anywhere, right Stan?

    I would rather see this team play without the GM, right Stan?
    Now imagine the Hawks without Kane the last 3 years where would this team be, right Stan?
    Trade AA, Kruger, KOOKOO, Sikura and get some prospects, right Stan?

  56. Wait until we have a deep roster again. Then Kaner will be ‘not a chance’ happy.

    Are you going to take it easy this time. Not a chance. Not a chance.

  57. Why PP is Better…

    Gus + Strome

    Strome- playing 19’s old spot… allows Hawks to Put 19 in middle of 1-3-1
    Hawks – have been terrible in slotting that “Middle Player” — that guy need’s many skills… Tough, quick hands, ability to quick pass… think about all the guys Q tried there Keith/Schmaltz/AA/Saad… NONE were complete as Toews

    Another reason– Hawks are “flexing with puck… Q at helm- guys just stood in same place as 88 skated up and down wall… Now weakside and 19 are flexing up and down with 88– as 88 moves up and down- giving 88 options…

    end of Day- Hawks Pre-Strome had NOBODY good enough and Tough enough to play that Middle spot of 1-3-1 ( of course they Had 19 back then– but always used him below the goal– where Strome is now… Strome has great hands/patience in tight… so he works there… when 88/19 draw defense higher

    just my 2 cents

  58. Kaliyev- 2g’s and 1 a in Top Prospect game

    Ian- or anyone- watch the entire game??? Thoughts on Kaliyev?

  59. Wall, Kaliyev definitely got sniper ability, it was a showcase so not much physical play and players who play with an edge like Cozens and Dach have to adjust. Guys who play a strictly a skill gams, like Kaliyev it was a better showcase for them.
    Nick Robertson could be somebody who may be around for 2nd pick is somebody to watch. Assisted both Kaliyev goals, plus another, looks like a play maker potential type.
    Sogard best goalie of the night, looked very sharp.
    Lavoie who should stick out in this type of game as Kaliyev wasn’t really noticeable, not a good sign for him.

  60. Washington Crapitals PP is the gold standard to me. TJ Oshie makes it work by being able to one-time from the slot, the most dangerous place on the ice. But pass it through him and the on the left boards is a guy pretty good at scoring. Oshie creates the easy access threat that causes lanes to open, Combined with Ovi being willing to slide around. But note that Oshie and Ovi are both right hand shots, making for easy one-timers from down low or the right boards. Their blue liners like Carlson can fire a puck too.

    We only have Dcat as a righty. Our team is SO heavily left handed. Check out the roster. That is why we actually had Seabrook on the left side for the one-timer. Q tried to balance the 2 pp groups. It couldn’t happen because we only have enough skill for one full group, and no righties for the second group. Thus, neither PP was worth a darn.

    With Kane being the QB on the right board, passing to lefties makes the one-timer very difficult. If we are going to be so left handed, we should be working the puck from the left boards to enable one timers from the slot.

    We MUST balance our team with a righty who can score on the PP and snipe 5 on 5. Priority one offensively for me. I think it will be addressed.

  61. The Hawks tried to do a lot of higher slot tips in the past on point shots during a PP. That fad in the league has gone away this year. It’s a tougher play. Keith was best when he took his half-slapper from the blue line and used it as a pass rather than a shot on net as he could keep the puck at ice level. Probably the best on the team at it, but just doesn’t get used effectively any more, partially because we just don’t have that many players with great hands. Sharp and Hossa to name 2. That also accounts for some of his apparent wild shots that miss the net. They are actually passes.

    Schmaltz was a righty. It made sense to put him in the slot, but he didn’t have a shooter’s mentality (think Dcat or Panarin) so he was never going to work on the PP as a scorer.

  62. One more reason the PP has improved is that Dcat has become a mini-Panarin. His one timer has really improved and we now have big threats on both sides with him and Kane. Also, as was pointed out Strome is really good at handling the puck in tight spots. Lastly there is nothing like success to breed more confidence which the group clearly has right now.

    Any thoughts on whether we should consider kicking the tires on Burakovsky? He has had a poor season and is clearly on the block.

  63. My worry with Burakovsky is that two coaches now haven’t trusted him-he seems to be a talented guy who comes up with 25-30 points in a full year. I think character trumps his ability here.

    MS I think D-Cat has adjusted his shot, due to quickness of the players in the NHL-but I saw quite a few of those 10 to 20 ft. half slaps, in the OHL find the back of the net. (often from Strome)

  64. I ve been saying Strome is PP difference. Might not just be him, what he makes difference in all 5 players working together. Bingo Bango.

  65. HEREISMIKE, agree we should keep every player thats good/doing good, unless traded, until the young guys are ready and better. No need to trade just to make room. The young guys will make room, just like 12 and 17 did.

  66. Indian, the alternate sweaters and how they looked live and in person …… they look great! The version worn did not have the Winter Classic Notre Dame patch. Simply black with the Mikita 21 number on the shoulder. Really looked sharp in my opinion.


  67. Indian, the alternate sweaters and how they looked live and in person …… they look great! The version worn did not have the Winter Classic Notre Dame patch. Simply black with the Mikita 21 number on the shoulder. Really looked sharp in my opinion.


    Feel the same way about Hayden, since I saw him on Lake Placid a few yrs ago.

  68. Wall, end of Day- Hawks Pre-Strome had NOBODY good enough and Tough enough to play that Middle spot of 1-3-1 ( of course they Had 19 back then– but always used him below the goal– where Strome is now… Strome has great hands/patience in tight… so he works there… when 88/19 draw defense higher

    Thats what I think Strome has mad the PP overall unit more complete/complete enough to do it/more/balanced.

  69. A lot of what I saw from Strome in OHL was those closer in range passes and shots. It didnt matter who was passing or shooting those guys did the same thing. Shot after shot, they kept doing it and would score.

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