Predators Kick Blackhawks’ Ass Out Of The Playoffs

On Thursday night, the Nashville Predators beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 to eliminate Western Conference’s top seed in four games.

Chicago was supposed to have their deepest blue line in years. Brian Campbell was atrocious and Johnny Oduya was worse.

Chicago was supposed to have a group of rookies who would make a significant impact in a deep playoff run. Ryan Hartman spent more time in the penalty box than he did making an offensive impact and Nick Schmaltz morphed back into the kid who looked lost and scared of his own shadow in October.

Chicago was supposed to have the better goaltender. Corey Crawford wasn’t bad, but Pekka Rinne was fabulous. He allowed three goals in four games. He had a .976 save percentage in the series.

In the four games, the Blackhawks scored one even-strength goal.

The Blackhawks got out-skated, out-hustled, out-worked, out-coached, out-scored and out-classed. Nashville was, in every aspect of the series, the better team. And it wasn’t close.

RIP 2016-17 Chicago Blackhawks.

117 thoughts on “Predators Kick Blackhawks’ Ass Out Of The Playoffs

  1. There were a number of guys who played their last game in a Hawks sweater tonight. Some, like Oduya and Soup are obvious. As for the others, well that’s up to Stan.

  2. I’M VERY VERY UPSET
    PLEASE OUT: KRUGER, van RIEMSDYK, CAMPBELL, CRAWFORD’s Salary, ODUYA…
    They need better Defenses, more depth at center (we are Fu*** bad at the faceoff circle), salary cap space… A BIG summer for STAN!

    PLEASE: SIGN DARLING, Add 2 bigs Center (like Brian Boyle) and very very please we need a new mobile top 4 d-man!
    1. Schmaltz – Toews – Panik
    2. Panarin – Anisimov – Kane
    3. Hartman – – Hossa
    4. Hayden – Kero – PLEASE NOT TOOTOO
    Rasmussen

    1. Keith – Hjalmarsson
    2. – Seabrook
    3. Forsling –
    Kempny

    1. Darling
    2. NOT GLASS

    It’s going to be a VERY VERY long summer guys… SEE YA

  3. Agreed Karl. Hammer was bad in this Series. And Seabrook looked a lot older than 32 (his birthday today) all year long.

  4. 7 D-men!!! Are you kidding me!!

    To me it looked like the Hawks didn’t have any legs that whole series. Was that just Nashville being a fast team? Or was that a conditioning mistake? Seriously I want to hear some opinions about that.

    I get the short bench factor to that, but that noticeable? That much of a difference? Seriously? We’ve won cups with 3 lines and 3 dmen.

    Am I the only one who thought they looked gassed the whole series? The Preds looked like they were on PED’s.

  5. Who would have ever thought the Toews contract would be the Albatross?!
    This team looked plain bad
    As Hawk fan for 50 years I’m embarrassed for them

  6. WALL… drops the Mic!!!

    Boring Hockey team to watch… Team couldn’t score– as predicted…

    Will SB be able to move any contract over $6M this summer??? w/o throwing in a “TT”-type sweetener??? I have been waiting since December for the answer to this question…. would have been easier and gotten more at TDL- to trade one of the Fat $$$ contracts…

    Seabrook contract- worse than Bickell deal

  7. Old and slow on defense is no way to win in the NHL playoffs. What the f happened between the regular season to the playoffs?

  8. Pissed off a little bit, Tab, are you? That’s the shortest and probably the most brutally honest recap I’ve read here. I’m out. This team will re-tool a bit and we’ll be back. Good Night and Good Luck.

  9. We need a new plan, Stan!
    We’re In a big hole, Joel!
    Get back on the plane, Kane!
    And think this one through…
    A new low should prompt some deep introspection about who can play, physically and fast, with tons of talent at the elite level … some tough choices need to be made to avoid another embarrassing season..

  10. They played poorly. Q coached poorly– very poorly. Crawford was just ok. Hawks looked old, extremely slow, lost, and disinterested until game 3 . Time to clean hous. It was embarrassing and pitiful.

    End of an era. Now we’ll see if Stan really is a magician — he had better be.

  11. Taking 3 weeks or so off before the post-season began didn’t help their cause I’m sure. Q should not have done that with a team full of rookies, and bad habits for all formed. Really disappointing.

  12. Long time reader…1st time poster. Not much to say after that absolute beat down! Stan has done good job for many years stick handling around the cap and we all have memories from three glorious cup runs…….however, it is painfully obvious those days are behind us now. Where do our once mighty Hawks go from here? Hate to be overly negative but at this point I don’t see a quick turnaround to meaningful playoff hockey for this team. The defence is old, slow and unable to withstand the grind of playoff hockey (even when it is only 4 games!). More troubling is the fact there doesn’t appear to be any young stud, control the game type defenceman in the system (tab…please correct if I’m wrong here). Very shocking to me was our group of core superstar forwards didn’t have any fight or heart in their game, right from puck drop in game 1! Is this a function of too much hockey over the years….or too comfortable with previous success and large contracts? As stated earlier, Stan has done admirable job working with cap up till now. However, one criticism I would have is the handing out of no trade clauses like they were after dinner mints….IMO this will severely hamper efforts to rebuild this team into a cup contender once again. Maybe still reeling from this devastating sweep, but this sure feels like the end of an era…..

  13. Keeping everybody playing and resting guys should be a good thing for a long run/depth. We got screwed in game 3, we won that game/goaltender interference then its a diff. series 2 games to 1. We didnt get any bounces or breaks, not one. That makes it easy for them. We didn’t flip the switch for the first time since we got our team/2009. Not cool, we need to get better at tackling.

    We have the top organization in hockey and most of core is younger. The young guys are going to get better each yr. Lots of good yrs to come. GM and scouts arnt bad. Were still on pace to win a 4th Stanley Cup before Hoss retires.

  14. Stan will be faced with a tough decision this summer. Does he tinker around the edges to keep the Hawks competitive but not realistically Cup competitive or does he rebuild by selling assets which will get a return of high draft picks and young players. My guess is he opts for choice 1. I would prefer choice 2.

  15. Mo- what ya smokin??? “Most of core younger” … are you talking about the Oilers or the Hawks??? D-men decline around 29-32 ( Both Seabs/Keith are in Decline!!!)
    Forwards around 27-29… both 19/88 are about topped out… Hossa is way over these “peak scoring years”…

    MOST OF CORE IS PAST THEIR PRIME/PEAKS!!!

    Why would SB- sign a large contract to Seabrook- with MOST of the deal past his prime??? Palm to the head!!!

  16. This IS the end of am era. Please clean house now so we don’t have to endure season after season of mediocrity. Without some high draft picks that is what we’ll be — mediocre.

    Yuck !!!!!!

  17. Wow Mo-did you watch the same series?-yes a team got better puck luck than the Hawks, but I’m sure once or twice in a series the Hawks did the same on the road to 3 Cups. They were better and wanted it more.
    I love your passion and optimism but the rose-coloured glasses are fogging up big time.

    It was painful but predictable, and the Preds look pretty good.
    It was mentioned earlier but the lack of development of a couple of defenseman in the last few years was a problem that finally caught up with them–not much size or grit and a predictable offence that has gotten stale.
    Thanks for the great run, and the elite skill at times but time to re-think things and shake this up.
    Oh and Hoss had a good regular season but his playoff time has come and gone. He’s a UFA in 21-22 lol

  18. Can anyone stop the hysteria for one moment? No fire sale, we’re still a champion level team.

    Yes- Some changes will happen this off-season. McDonough will likely want some answers for what happened.

    Q and the core arent going F’n anywhere. They are our best bet at success.

    If Krug does get Vegas drafted that will be decent cap relief. Maybe get something for Pokka -or- 99% hes top 4 next year. Do believe he’s rfa tho.
    It would be nice to see them acquire some young, top4 Dman, but get in line because every team wants that.

    I wouldnt be surprised if we yet again look for a 2C and move Artem to a top 6 winger. Hes talented offensively (omit this series) but has he ever been a draw winner?, no. Kero filled in on the line with success there. Not saying hes the answer, but everyone’s freaks out ast splitting up 2nd line. Success can continue solely by the grace of 72/88.

  19. Sure didn’t expect the four game beat down. It was awful and terrible in every respect. But I didn’t expect the Blackhawks to run over Nashville either. Nor did I agree with the Vegas odds etc. listing Chicago as the favorite. I watch every game from start to finish on TV or at the UC (even traveled to see them on the road once this year) and I saw just too much inconsistency from game to game, and from period to period within games. That doesn’t make for a good playoff run unless you can REALLY stay on an incredible hot streak.

    I still maintain that the core of this team is solid. I think they have to hit the reset button. They’re human and have to have the commitment to get it done consistently as a team. And Stan and the coaches have to build and develop the role players into that team.

    There are going to be some forced changes and some creative changes in the roster. I’m disappointed in how things have ended but I’m already looking forward to next season. Great players, great organization and great excitement and enjoyment that’s been provided for us fans that I refuse to discount.

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  20. From–Donut Wizard-
    “No fire sale, we’re still a champion level team.”
    Yes there won’t be a fire sale as you can’t do it in the NHL even if you wish you could-but a champion level team doesn’t get beat two years in a row in the first round and swept by the 2nd wild card-sorry!
    If they still have that level it was well hidden.

  21. What an embarrassment, Q’s shelf life has expired. The team was not ready to play and the coaching staff made poor adjustments.

  22. The highlight of the series on the Blackhawks end, Keith’s hit on Arvidsson. Hard to believe.

  23. I agree Big Indian- The Hawks have provided us with great enjoyment and excellent hockey theses last 8 years. I doubt we will ever see a trio of Hawk players like Toews, Kane and Keith again in our lifetimes. I feel fortunate as a fan to have witnessed this run.

  24. Watched the first 3 games in their entirety. Never saw that dominating play I have been accustomed to. Watched the last 10 minutes of game 4 and still never saw that intensity that we are all so used to seeing. I can’t believe it’s over this year. Out with a whimper. We were dominated in all phases of the game. All of a sudden we can’t score. What a nightmare. I hope the rookies gained some valuable experience in these playoffs and can build on that for next year. I agree Seabrook looked slow. Happy Toews scored a goal could of used a lot more of those. We are a tremendously experienced team and we know it doesn’t matter much in the regular season it’s all about the playoffs but we never turned it on. The Hawks have given us an incredible run. I hope it’s not over I truly believe we will be back. Go Hawks the mighty Blackhawks.

  25. No fire sale but let’s get younger on the blue line. Also, we got pushed around in the blue paint.

  26. I meant young as in 27-32, still in prime (even if peak/not prime of prime) yrs. Not young as in 20-25 young.

    JT/Big Indian, I agree with yours/think same.

    Another Cup these coming yrs, PIT did it after what 8 yrs gap.

  27. Let me get this out of the way. The refs did the Hawks no favors in this series. From the no call on the goalie interference in game 3 to somehow missing the obvious high stick slash to the face on Panarin tonight, which the entire world except the refs saw. I was almost shocked they actually called the penalty on Nashville for the high stick on Toews. Did the errors by the refs matter? Absolutely not. The Hawks were totally outclassed and it wasn’t even remotely close. They only got 3 goals in 4 games while getting swept. It was a complete joke and frankly other than the points they didn’t belong in the playoffs. Nashville appeared to have the better players. who tried harder and were coached better.

    Q and his staff were horribly outcoached. When a team doesn’t play to its potential its obviously on the players. But its also on the coaches as well. Its the coaches job to motivate and get the best out of the players and to put them in the best position to win. That didn’t happen. Did Q dress the best 20 players to try to win? After game 2 it was obvious to me that the Hawks only chance was to go with a young aggressive bottom 6, roll 4 lines and try to catch lightning in a bottle. He didn’t play Hayden in the last 3 games and didn’t give Jurco a chance at all. Meanwhile Nashville was bigger and faster and Q made it worse by shortening the bench and tiring the Hawks out. He finally gave Kempny a chance by suiting up 7 defenseman. Campbell and Oduya were slow and sucked. Kempney should have played in game 3 and Hayden and maybe Jurco also in games 3 and 4 and roll 4 lines. (you can check my posts on this at the time) Would it have mattered. I really don’t think so, but it would have been closer in my opinion. Q also never solved the Preds defense and the Hawks weren’t executing on basics like dumping the puck into the zone the right way. Even an exasperated Edzo commented on this and reading between the lines he was suggesting that the team was horribly coached and prepared. Q and the coaches sucked as much as the players and even Q admitted it so nobody should be apologizing for him.

    The roster is definitely flawed. Too many old slow players. Campbell was a 2M cap hit as I recall and he was useless when it mattered. Oduya was useless. Teravainen never should have been traded and I don’t care about the expansion draft, which would not impacted this season anyway. Never trade away the future when your not good enough to win now. Last year I thought they had a great team. This year they are obviously not good enough. The Teravainen deal was a bad trade and people need to stop defending it . Bowman had some great moves like Panik and many more great moves than bad moves, but we need to be honest about the mistakes. Is it second guessing after the fact? Yes of course, but that is how it works with sports GM’s. You get credit when things go well and blame when things don’t.

    In my opinion it is now time for the Hawks to stop trading away future talent for the present. They should develop young talent and build for the future before Kane is gone. And by the way, Panarin was a huge dud in the playoffs. I really like him as a player, but boy he was disappointing. The best play in the whole series was Keith’s hit tonight and I loved how he pushed the Preds players head down right after. That one play made watching tonight’s game worth it.

  28. Tab, thank you for the (HONEST) assessment/summary.

    “Seabrook contract- worse than Bickell deal” (- Hard to believe that Stan B. didn’t learn anything from the Bickell mistake), “Old and slow on defense” (- I hope that Stan B. concurs, and does something about it!), “core superstar forwards didn’t have any fight or heart,” (- I hope that Stan B. concurs, and does something about it!), “Why sign Seabrook to a large contract” (- Hard to believe that Stan B. didn’t learn anything from the Bickell mistake), “clean house now” (- maybe not entirely, but MAJOR move(s) must be made), “maintain that the core of this team is solid” (- Does that mean “old and slow?”), “a champion level team doesn’t get beat two years in a row in the first round” (- and, I would hope/expect that the owner reacts to the loss of revenue = grabs McDonough by the balls!!), “Q’s shelf life has expired/team was not ready to play” (- something to seriously consider, “Q-can-do-NO-wrong-because-he-coached-three-Cup-winner” fans), “The Hawks have provided us with great enjoyment and excellent hockey theses last 8 years” (- Yes. Thank you. Now, how is Stan going to fix this shit?), “Never saw that dominating play I have been accustomed to” (- Absolutely, me too. Why? Stan? Get on that immediately.) <<< all good comments.

    In my opinion, after last season' early exit, followed by this year's surprise(?) 109 pts regular season, there was legitimate reason to be optimistic. Now, it seems an absolute objective assessment and adjustment is necessary. It took Pittsburgh (Wall, "Pittsburgh 2.0"?) seven years…2009-to-2016. The Hawks seem to be in a similar position? Good luck, Stan.

  29. Shades of 1993 when the Hawks dominated the regular season, only to have St. Louis and Curtis Joseph stymie the Hawks in round one, including multiple shut outs by CUJO.

    For fans demanding big changes, no doubt John McDonough is fuming. Revenue from just 2 home playoff games is a killer.

    Good managers however do not make big decisions based on emotion. Stan and company need to take a week off, clear their heads, and begin the autopsy/analysis.

    They have oodles of with this early exit.

  30. A lot of good commentary. If they were gonna lose this series glad it happened in 4. We are 2 defenseman short of a top 4. We are 2 centers short of a top 3 at that position. Whatever we see the front office has seen way before us. Let’s see what happens in next 70 days

  31. Well ,we have some young D in the system ,.,.some had some time with the big team this past season . My ,…..in my brain thing is ,.,.,this Hawk team with Animesov and Panarin ,..,got not physicality ,to many non North Americans . Play time ends when the playoffs start .

  32. 21 MILLION $$$$$$$ = 2 GOALS IN 4 GAMES WTF !!!!!!! Tell me this was a bad dream. 2 seasons 2 eliminations in the 1ST round WTF !!!!!!! Please #27 gone, #51 gone,
    #16 gone, give me time to recover from the stroke I am about to suffer & I will think of a few more.

  33. Tons of comments so I will be brief:

    Q-gone-go to a better team! Player Effort was pathetic!
    Core 6 get rid of 4
    Stan…forget the past….fans will need something new so Change the model…
    Our team,coaches,announcers and players sucked in Round 1! Two years now.
    Love the past Cups,watched every game this year…..so no idea how this happened….but we live for tomorrow…Go Hawks…ps guys enjoy you golf again this summer!!!

  34. That ladies & gentlemen is what the end of an Era looks like! A big yellow bus that slammed into our Blackhawks! Nobody saw it coming BUT that result was unmistakable. Also believe that was the 1st sweep in the Toews, Kane era! So much to think about. Everything should be on the table. That blue line looked lost out there, wow!

  35. Best record in the league with an AHL+ roster. I hate to say it but they really screwed themselves by winning the division, that will drop them possibly 8 draft slots. Can’t win for losing.

    Lots of young talent will be ready for a full NHL season next year and the year after. The D can be rebuilt. He gets a lot of hate but Seabrook seemed fine to me, literally the only physical player on the team outside Hartman and the only D to at least have one standout game in the series. Everyone else on the blueline sucked or was at best invisible all 4 games.

    This will be an interesting off season. No idea what to expec. And I don’t care if Toews’ contract is an “albatross.” His numbers are equal or better to most years if corrected for time off. Look at the players he had around him in his career year of 2010-Sharp, Kane, Hossa, Ladd, Buff, a young D that kept pushing the puck… He’s earned his keep… and he’s still only 28. I’d rather lose than have him go somewhere else.

    Thanks for the Blog, Tab, couldn’t have put it better tonight.

  36. @ CRAIG NIGRELLI

    Good call, that happened to be the last time the Hawks were swept. That was the iconic Belfour melt down.

  37. It sucks being on this side of the fence. Have to appreciate a dominate team the preds were that. No bounce of the puck no lineup change no refs call was changing that.
    Very interesting offseason coming in 6 weeks or so. What to do. Make a big salaried trade or let the younger players get stronger more acquainted with the game.
    Defense needs a reset. Keith,Hjalmarsson,Seabrook? Not a bad start. Where’s the next option coming from. Is it Forsling,Kempny,Pokka somebody coming through the system. Who’s the next potential players.
    Can’t wait to watch the rest of the playoffs.

  38. Been a blackhawks fan since mid 60s and this group has produced alot of enjoyment over the last 8 years and had high hopes this year and hate to see them lose this way. I still believe there’s more yet. Rookies another year older and a few new faces and veterans get hungry again and great things can happen. One change that I could see happen is maybe Hossa agree to wave his no move contract and be exposed to draft and picked up by vegas to help reach cap.floor with a lower salary. He could play as long as he wants and transition into coaching that he wants to do when retires and take a big load off the salary cap too.

  39. Well I didn’t think the best I’d have to say about the blackhawks after a must win facing elimination game 4 would be that wow I didn’t know Oduya could play anywhere near that level anymore. Now where was anything remotely close to that by Oduya in the 1st 3 games? Wow, we actually competed at a level attributable to a team in the playoffs that actually cares about doing the things iy takes to win in the playoffs. It’s not easy. You’d think our notoriously slow playoff starting Hawks would have figured out maybe game 3 and not game 4 is the latest you can begin pushing the pedal down to desperation/ludicrous mode. Save Toews Panarin Kane regular shifts til you are down 3-0 in a series. Why even bother? I woulda tried Toews Kane Panik more and moved hossa up with anisimov (If I wasnt badly injured I need to spend every 2nd day of the summer with toews practicing faceoffs) and panarin. Btw even beer league hockey teams understand when you are getting schooled like the hawks were on draws and it was ugly, you stop trying to win them and simply tie up the opposing player until your teammates come in and help and at least scramble it somewhere so you dont lose it clean like the 1st goal tonight which I still think went off poor kruger’s (one of the only guys who worked his ass off thru most of the series) back. I guess a 2nd bright spot was we actually competed tonight even though the preds competed just as hard despite already competing at that intensity for 3 games. Toews was better, silly me I thought tackling guys was only allowed in football but years ago and miles of painful abuse and skating toews could have broken through the kinda sh*t cattle roping that the preds successfully deployed shift in and shift out against both hawks “top” um well if you can call either of them that still after the beat down domination by the jofa line of our whole team except maybe crow who was nearly superhuman again btw. Pred speed combined with defensive mobility and smarts and continuous clutching, slashing of sticks, holding for just the right moments, and tackling (yes kruger did that once in the series too and it wasnt legal then either but actually got called before the refs decided as usual in pkayoffs that only high sticking is a real penalty and deserving of a call after a 1st period is complete). Enough awful run on sentences. Enough awful tough to watch play (minus game 4 which was played for the most part at a breakneck speed appropriate for an elimination game between two teams who actually came to play on the same night. Thanks for the amazing memories Hawks. It’s not all what have you done for me lately with all of us fans. The magic of Seabs, Toews, Hossa, Kane, and Keith being able to tise up and flip the switch in the nick of time to open the floodgates when the flashlight was flickering and the last battery about to die appears to have vanished…hopefully it just needs a full battery recharge and will be back next season. Rest up boys. Get your mojo and your desire to win back, more experience for youth like motte, shmaltz, hartman, forsling, and maybe debrincat and a bit more bottom 6 grit and faceoff prowess and 4 in 8 or 9 could still be a possibility. One goal x 4. Go Hawks!

  40. Momentum is a duel-edged sword in sports! A favorable call or missed call can turn the tide in a series opener. The refs missing Roman Josi’s Delay of Game penalty was a huge factor in this series! I believe the Hawks, who incidentally were putting extreme offensive pressure on, would have scored at least one goal with 1:55 of 5 on 3.
    That blown call helped preserve the win for Nashville and was a huge momentum changer!
    If the Hawks only lose one of two games at home they would have entered game 3 with much less pressure and the momentum would have been relatively equal. I believe luck played a huge role in this series! Nashville got two extremely cheap goals in game 3. The first goal in period 3 bounced off the top of the glass and landed right in the crease for an easy tap in. Their 2nd goal should have been goalie interference. Crawford’s head was bumped and his stick was chopped. In the final game the glass shot that got lost in Crawford’s blocker was another cheap break/goal. Nashville played well but it seemed like every bounce went their way. The refs called a lot more penalties on the Hawks and those are game changers as well. Every time Nashville got a cheap bounce or call in their favor the momentum pumped them up and took a little more air out of the Hawks. How is it that we beat Nashville 4 out of 5 times this season and then got swept. Game one-huge missed call/Game two-we deserved to lose/Game 3-fluke goal and blown call results in overtime and loss ( by then the momentum was a steamroller for them and against us )/ Game 4-Goal #2 is another cheap, fluke goal. Also, the lopsided amount of penalties called against the Hawks in this series forced them to expend precious energy defending. Did the Hawks play poorly? Yes, in Game 2. And yes, they fanned on shots, and missed wide open nets that they usually score on. If game one and three don’t have the blown calls this could easily be a tied series instead of a sweep. I am proud to be a lifelong Blackhawks fan! Thank you for the great season and the 3 recent Stanley Cups! I’ll be watching every period next season.
    Jim Knaver-Lifelong Chicago Blackhawks fan!

  41. One more thing that killed us this year maybe more than anything. The Hawks D-men either didnt have the legs or backs or cahones to push the play as in years past. How many times over the years has Seabs, Keith, or even Hjarm risen up to make a huge play to change or win a game. Countless. Seabs barely went over the centerline in the whole series (I distinctly recall twice in one game standing out in game 3 tho sadly as an anomaly), Hjarm musta been hurt badly because I’ve never seen him make so many bad plays in a season let alone 4 games! He was awful but is an amazing legendary warrior so gets a pass from me. Same for Hossa who wasnt nearly as bad and was trying as hard as anyone as usual. Keith didnt seem capable of morphing into super/bionic man this year as in years past and with this team built to generate offense thru its dmen pushing the pace and stretching opposing defenses (which preds masterfully negated), is it any surprise our previously potent playoff offense sputtered? People forget quickly the Hawks often have had issues scoring in the playoffs and it took a gritty bolland or bickell or shaw type net front chaotic presence to begin to open the floodgates of the offense. We missed that element as Hartman wasnt ready and Panik wasnt quite enough to cause net front chaos though he tried.

  42. Agree with everything Jim Knaver except the regular season comparison. There is no comparison btw between style of play (and reffing) in reg season and playoffs but for goodness sakes the hawks know that after having the most playoff experience of any core still around so no excuse there. Oh and preds had some injuries and a rinne sucking a lot of the season and still outplayed us in games we won. The 4 outta 5 was a bit of a mirage this year tho of course never should be used to evaluate playoff chances anyways. Its apples and oranges from one season to the real season. If anyone needed another reason we deserved to lose, preds missing smith and wilson in game 4 and still beat us with a full lineup, if not necessarily completely healthy lineup.

  43. For those who believe a little “tinkering” will turn the Hawks into Cup contenders again….respectfully, as much as I hope you are right, I think you are wearing very rose coloured glasses. There are exceptions, but most Cup contenders are built from the defence core and up the middle of the ice. After this series I don’t see how anybody could argue that the Hawk’s defence isn’t in shambles at best…..and we have one true NHL center (maybe two if Anisimov could somehow win a draw!). What I fear now is a prolonged and very painful farewell tour! If Stan were to make some bold moves right away….then maybe, maybe Toews and Kane hoist another Cup. However, all the cursed no trade clauses are going to seriously hamper these efforts. Going to throw this out there…..think we really need to get out from under some contracts, such as Seabrook or Crawford (for this discussion assuming they waive the NTC – Crawfords is modified NTC, anyone know the terms). In order to make this happen, package one of the above with Panarin (our only true marketable asset) for true #1 young stud (tough to play against)defenceman, 3rd line center (that can actually win a draw, has a vague idea where the oppositions goal is located and maybe has the ability to throw a bodycheck), and some prospects/draft picks. This will jumpstart a rebuild, clear 12-12.9M cap, and in the short term maybe bump us down the standings for some better draft picks. If Hawks do not make some type of move like this then we become that semi-competitive regular season team that never drafts real high and wins one playoff round per year at most (if they make playoffs).

  44. Craig N– “good managers don’t make decisions based on emotion”… then what do you call that $7M /7 year deal- to a 31 year old D man???

  45. Jim first of all Jim thanks for getting one paragraph break there after Darren-much appreciated.
    Great site-thanks Tab–lots of opinions, rants which are reasonable after the sweep and some minimization about the refs and bounces–that is part of playoff hockey.
    Now that I’ve had a sleep and some time to decompress life will go on and the sun will shine-
    Great 7 years and big wake up call. The Hawks beat the numbers this year, especially early on–but the playoffs are a different animal. Some humble pie has been eaten and it was nice to see the ‘fire’ and excitement in the eyes of the Pred players and the fans. Curious what the next year holds and hope a couple of our draftees end up in the Memorial Cup—wishing one of them was a stud blueliner.

  46. The best multi year run in the history of the franchise is done. Three Stanley Cups delivered thru nine straight seasons of playoffs. Now the Hawks can go one of two ways. One, they can preserve sentimentality for the core and just milk what they have achieved while staying modestly competitive for a few more years. Two, Bowman can get busy tearing into the aging core group of players in attempt to find more young building blocks for the future. He’ll have to land or draft a star caliber youngster or two in the process.

    Toews and his contract scare the hell out of me. Unless he has been masking injury for a couple of seasons then legitimate concern is there about his decline. At 28 he isn’t the player he was. Alarmingly so.

    Time to see what Crawford and Seabrook can return in trade. Probably need to market the second bear defenseman in Hjalmarason too, because he’ll have good trade value.

    Need to bite the bullet with Forsling on defense next season and hope with some patience he can develop into a top 4 guy.

    More than anything, Bowman needs to get lucky in the draft and get some true high end physical talents into the system and pray they develop.

    Goodbye officially to Oduya, Campbell, TVR, Kruger, Des Jardins.

  47. Savard&Larmer… I like where u are going there… 1st it is a good plan/direction… 2nd- it is much more realistic… To include 72/50… BUT – Seabrook- will NOT bring any value back, and I don’t see anyone being that dumb to take him… so the only 2 Cap relief guys on roster that are trade-able- 72/50…

    Panarin- is fun to watch… but is he made/ready for NHL playoff Hockey- when tackling is legal in some series??? I don’t think so… I think Saad- is more valuable in that PO series than 72– when the Refs decide to Swallow the whistles like Wings series few years back… 72 is like watching Globetrotters basketball= entertaining- but don’t know if it will work at PO time/real games.

  48. A good surgical dissection of the series Tab. Hawks just got beat in all facets of the game. Preds get full marks for their passion and dedication to take the Hawks out of their game and bring an onslaught the Hawks had no answers for.

    If anyone would have told us the Hawks would score only 3 goals in 4 games I would have said they were nuts. Shots just off target, shots right at Rinne, shots released to slowly, rebounds left ALL cleared by Preds, shots not taken, shots blocked, shots off the post, and zero puck luck. Incredible team defense by Nashville gets huge credit. They left no room for the Hawks to do anything with. A clinic.

    As a fans we know when multiple strong shifts produce goals and change momentum. It seldom happened fore the Hawks in 4 games, and when it did the flame was put out quickly by the Preds with their strong counterattacks. As a Hawks fan this shit was hard to watch. Our team got taken to the woodshed for the first time in many, many years.

    I thought this Hawks team overachieved given the roster that skated during the regular season. You don’t win the division and the conference because you are lucky. Strong goaltending played a big role in keeping the Hawks in many games. More goalie wins than normal. I don’t blame Crawford at all for the mess that was the 1st round debacle. This Hawks team imo is not as strong as the group that did well in the regular season or as weak as the team that got blown up badly in the 1st round. The core players that have carried this team for years didn’t get the job done in playoffs which surprised me.

    Some personnel changes will clearly take place with this team over the summer. For whatever reason it appeared to be a quick Hawks team could not keep up with the Preds. It was glaring. Hawks looked like they had no legs. Maybe they just got tired chasing Preds all over the ice, or worn out from getting pounded into the boards. They need to get faster. How many guys were playing injured?

    I don’t blame Q or the assistants. Nashville had the horses to execute their game plan, and Q didn’t have the answers on his bench. Preds were just really, really good.

    Lastly, for all the frustration that had been building up inside me watching these 4 games, the shot Keith put on Arvidsson last night made it all go away for just a brief wonderful second.

    My final wish for the 2016-2017 is that any team except Blues win the Cup.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  49. Panarin is an interesting name–he works the boards hard and his edges are elite and it’s hard to find top 20 talent—it depends on what your doing–if it’s more cosmetic then you can’ get rid of him and would the Hawk fans that pay the money–seats and merchandise go for a re-build. What does upper management want based on the possible loss of revenue and realities of the cap?

    I’m a huge Seabrook fan but I feel some overvalued his play in this series. He’s slow! There’s nothing more painful than watching a great D-man slow down in a fast NHL before your eyes.
    But again where do you get a legit 4 guy? and at best he’s a 4/5 in this NHL And the flip side you don’t get much return for that anyways other than the cap relief. (Which is big)
    Crow? Again what direction are you going? You can’t move a lot of these pieces–it just doesn’t work that way.
    Tough decisions to come–tinker or re-haul truck moves?

  50. Amazing to me that most let 15 off the hook. His contract and cap number are both atrocious for a guy that won like 7 faceoffs all series. He needs to go. I think 15, 7, and 50 all need to be looked at as trade candidates. The main reason you look at 50 is he will likely get the best return back. And I think Darling can come at a better price without much drop, if any, in production.

  51. I think the only real option is to continue to round out the roster with young players. Stan is a good drafter and he spots young talent other teams give up on like panik. Old and slow is hopeless. If the team struggles next year sell off a veteran piece at the deadline if you can. The only part of the core you have to absolutely hang on to is Kane and toews. i wouldnt trade panarin either despite a tough series. I think there is a very good chance they can seriously contend again before Toews and Kane are gone. Q wants veterans who dont make mistakes, yet Campbell is “passing” the puck to rinne on a dump in. At that point even Edzo had had enough and called it out. Ill take young fast and making mistakes over old slow and making mistakes every time . Hawks need to be honest with themselves. Acquiring campbell oduya and trading TT for what they got back were mistakes. Carolina’s #1 pick had to be in that deal or add something more to get it or wait to move him at the deadline to a team that wants to win now and isnt paralyzed with fear of the expansion draft or dont trade him at all and risk letting him get picked by vegas. People say he wasnt that good yet he was 100 percent certain to be grabbed in the expansion draft! Huh? All this manuevering to get rid of bickell’s contract wasnt worth it as they got swept in the first round and they werent competive. And yes hindsight is 20/20 and shows the move was the wrong one.

  52. Everyone needs to take a step or two back and relax. The Hawks took the Predators lightly from the beginning, after fooling around out west for over a week. Not only were they out west, they were relaxing after clinching home ice w/ nothing to play for. The series turned into a runaway snowball down a never ending hill.

    The Hawks do not need major changes. You can’t keep a player like Tootoo on the team b/c he is a good guy and friends w/ Keith & Seabrook. I have enunciated on this blog for a few years about consistently rolling four lines — especially when it matters most in the playoffs. The trickle down effect can be devastating; we’ve seen this before in the other blown playoff runs. Bowman is at fault (as he was w/ Bollig & Mashinter, and the bottom feeders from ’11 & ’12) for having a player like Tootoo on the roster. You can’t tell me if Q showed 100% faith in Hinostroza (or Hayden) it wouldn’t have made some difference. Hinostroza Hartman & Hossa played well together during the season when placed together. Hinostroza has an offensive skillset and speed, there is no debating that.

    Faceoffs. That is the main area that needs drastic improvement. I don’t have the answer for it, but salary needs to be cut, so whatever lower tier players are brought in, the main job requirement is ability to be effective at the dot.

    Lastly, count me in w/ what Mayers said on the post game — unsolicited — last night. It would be a huge mistake to trade Crawford, he is a proven, money goalie, they don’t grow on trees. The goaltending in the playoffs is crucial, it is a team’s lifeline one way or the other. And save the Rinne compliments, please. This is the best series he’s had in his career, and it’s not like the Hawks made life hard on him. There is NO way Nashville wins the Stanley Cup, absolutely not. They are a one-line team, their D is vulnerable in their own zone versus a motivated group of forwards, and Rinne will revert to form, be it in one or two more series.

  53. Not sure what to say as this is a very sober day to get swept but its better than winning a few meaningless games and go out, at least this way management sees that changes need to be made.

    Toews and Kane will be fine I worry about the D corps. I’m hoping to see a large injury list now that the season is over to explain some of the collapse. I know it will be difficult but think that Seabrook needs to be moved and if it takes a sweetner than you do it.

    Panarin seemed to be playing lights out until he got his bonus and then disappeared.

    I’m optimistic as the young guys got some experience, We may have Dcat and Fortin coming next year. So If 51,27,16 and maybe 7 gone and try to get another solid center free agent and let some young legs on defence play.

    I’m curious to see how the Preds do in the following rounds to see if the Hawks were that bad or are the Preds really that good. Can the Preds keep that intensity throughout the playoffs or was this their SC.

    I guess I will cheer for my sons team as he loves the Leafs and hope they can knock off the Caps (great series, love the Leafs speed and never die attitude). Also the Sea Dogs round 3 starts tonight!

  54. Look, times change. Its a younger man’s game…speed & physicality….Q will never trust young guys. Why was Hayden not in line up.? Led the team in hits down the stretch…brought enthusiasm. Q destroyed Schmaltz in the 1st period of game 1. When he and Panic collided and Nashville scored, benched Schmaltz and the demoted him ….tell me that would’t break the kid’s spirit. Ruined Hartman too right before playoffs started…made him sit out a game for taking a stupid penalty that at least showed feistyness…..that changed Hartman’s game style during the playoffs. Feeling sent to Rockford..Kempny benched in favor of Oduya…Vinastroza never given consistent playing time…….As long as Q is around …the youth movement is stagnant.

  55. Keep in mind. With Las Vegas entering the league. The Kings and Sabres firing their GM and Coach. Vancouver dumping their Coach. There will be lots of opportunity for change and making trades this off season.

    Whereas in the past 2 off seasons the Hawks were looking to salary dump and to find teams willing to take our contracts, I think this off season there might be more opportunity for “hockey trades”.

    Rest assured their are going to be major changes. I think we all realize that.

  56. Noonan- Yes- I wish they had a BIG stud D prospect… Here is to SB finding the next Hedman/Ekblad type D man… would go a long way into improving the Aging D guys

  57. Changes can be made fairly smooth. I mentioned Hossa waiving his no movement clause would be an good opportunity for him and good for both teams if Vegas took him in the draft. Find a way if they want to move Kruger and maybe be able to sign a Dasharnais as a reasonably priced ufa and career 50+ faceoff guy and more offensive upside for 3rd or 4th centre. A decision at goalie either stay the course witb Crawford or go with Darling and sign a Johnson or Mcelhaney type as a backup. If the latter look to Calgary or somebody else where you could land some blueline help although personally I prefer Crawford he has proven himself.

  58. The notion that the Hawks lost this series due to lack of effort or taking the Preds lightly is not reality. They were completely dominated by a team that was faster,quicker and more skilled. They need an infusion of elite talent to realistically compete for the Cup again. The only realistic way to get elite talent is through top 10 picks in the draft or trading marketable assets before they become unmarketable. Diamonds in the rough in the draft in later rounds are possible (Keith) but not probable. The only potential elite player I see in their farm system is D-Cat and he is not a slam dunk due to his size.

  59. Wall – I still believe there’s a lot to like about Forsling and he’ll be good in the future. I think Carl Dahlstrom will make an impact soon as well. Butcheck into Dennis Gilbert @ Notre Dame & Lucas Carlsson in Sweden. Also good prospects.

    The problem w/ wishing on a shooting star for the next Eklbad and/or Hedman is they were both top 5 picks. Hawks won’t have one of those for at least 5 more years, if not longer, without a league-altering trade (which I don’t see happening).

  60. I was at game 3 of the cup final against Detroit in 1961, not yet a teenager, and saw 5 future HOF members play in that 3-1 Hawks win. I fully anticipated MANY more cups (the naivety of youth).

    Finally, after 49 years of repeated heartbreak, the Hawks had a resurgence: Duncan Keith moved into Pierre Pilote’s role; Bobby Hull’s goal scoring role was taken-up by Kane; Jonathan Toews follows in the steps of the greatest Blackhawk ever – Stan Mikita. I don’t think Crawford is at the same level as Glenn Hall, but certainly he has performed outstandingly. Al Arbour, a D-man on the 1961 team, was elected to the HOF as a coach – and was passed by Quenville for second in all-time-wins. Obviously there has been some symmetry!!

    Don’t let the disappointment from last night overshadow the joy that we’ve been fortunate to have experienced the last few years. Stanley Cups are not guaranteed.

    Let’s Go Hawks!!

  61. Well said Uncle Bill, from someone that was glued in front of a little black and white tv watching the Hawks win that Cup in 1961. What this Hawks group has accomplished has been a lifetime joy to have experienced.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  62. The world is not ending. This team will be back next year and will be mostly unchanged. Realistically, we’re gonna have crawford back, who is a great goalie and kept the hawks in this (just had no help). Campbell and Oduya will be replaced by younger, more mobile defensemen and the kids will have a year to think about how it feels to lose round 1 in the playoffs.

    This whole team came into the series thinking it’s just the 8th seed. They’re used to winning and being so good that they don’t have to play their best and can still get through a seven-game series. The fact is Nashville did their homework and knew the style of play that was needed. Chicago couldn’t come up with a solution fast enough, but without those two flukey weird bounce goals, this could be a 5 or 6 game series.

    Just kind of annoying to see all these fans who have been given the best team in hockey for the last decade come on here and bitch about how embarrassing their team is.

  63. Tab- I like all four of those guys mentioned… BUT- don’t know if any of those guys turn into the Younger versions of 2 or 7… Forsling – I have seen the most- maybe Leddy-lite… which is still good- but not Great… Gilbert- I have seen a few times- looks promising- but Versus NCAA (half guys are way below NHL skaters)- so that is always hard to compare…

    For me- when trying to “scout” guys with limited viewing- it is best to watch In u20’s WJC- to see the “Best vs. Best” at that age- just for skating/IQ… I really liked Tuulola from Finland … thought he played smart/ skated well.

    D guys are so hard to “scout” -imo… IQ/reads make it difficult… and can really make a difference on success versus average…

    OK- let’s hope SB finds the next Parayko– that guy is a monster

    Forwards

    Another kid I really liked from Camp– Mathias From- NHL skater/speed… good size… How smart is he??? I don’t know… but if kid has decent IQ… he should help Hawks in near future… also- Highmore- never seen him play- But what I read- says he is Danault type player- w/ better hands.

    Fortin- NHL skater

    Hope 2 or 3 of Fortin/From/Highmore can turn into Frolik/Danault types for bottom 2 lines…

  64. Two good things about the sweep and end to the season-
    I’ll be a nicer person around the house and …
    no listening to the Nashville homers on TV (in Canada that’s what we got)–that was painful, although at least it wasn’t Panger.

  65. Regular lurker here. Wanted to leave a thank you note after last season but didn’t feel like thinking about hockey after our early exit. Obviously, this season’s exit was worse, but I didn’t want to let another chance go by.

    I really enjoy stopping by this site for both the posts and the comments. Good community here, and it’s made Hawks hockey even more enjoyable for me.

    Thanks. Keep up the great work.

    p.s.: Getting swept was embarrassing, but a 109 point season isn’t nothing. They’ll be back next year, and I’ll be watching.

  66. Tab, I’m not sure I want to see Dahlstrom anywhere near the hawks for a couple of years. At the last Rockford/Wolves game this year, he was consistently getting skated around or through by the Wolves forwards. One game is a terrible sample size, and it was his third game in four days, but his skating made me cringe. How much of skating is talent vs training?

  67. Are you guys kidding? End of an era? Trade everyone? This team just came first in the west. First, not last. That’s a lot of talent. They were consistently great for 82 games but reading most of the comments would make you think they were terrible. No way. they just ran into a scoring drought at the wrong time.

  68. Wall is right, the contracts of Kane, Toews and Hossa are killing us. Plus is Kruger really worth $44 Mil for his checking?? I love Toezer as he is delicious looking but hs better days are over. Maybe think about moving his contract for a center that is alot less expensive.

  69. Getting rid of both Hossa and Toews may not be a bad idea if say we ask the Avs about Duchene and Landeskog.

  70. Let’s remember, the Hawks lost in the first round both years between 2010 and 2013. Yes, the Core needs rest and LOTS of it. They will finally get some this summer. No distractions. Yes, the supporting cast needs work, but not that much more than in 2011, 2014 and 2016.

    I believe this will be a huge wake up call for the organization. The team will come back focused and without diversion. The 2017-18 season will be approached from a more workman like prospective.

    My hat is off to the Preds. They played hungry, they played to win while our side played not to lose. That mantra is over for our guys and our core. They know better than anyone the thrill of winning. Now they know the humiliation of being swept. They might not have the best team next year. But without the diversions, next year there really is only “one goal”.

    OK…….Have a relative on the Habs so go Habs ????

  71. Wall..I see lots of Highmore and I’m not sure if he is NHL material. He could be a Danault (a late bloomer perhaps). He has done very well but is older compared to some of the younger kids playing. He will need to work a lot on physical strength when he plays for Rockford (I assume that’s where he is headed). The Guys that are lights out are Mathieu Joseph F (Tampa) and Thomas Chabot D (Ottawa) but they have lots of great players. Would be nice to get centermen Joe Veleno in 2018 draft but would have to tank to do so. Let you know of 3rd round results.

  72. Hi Guys:
    Maybe a little prespective is what’s needed today.
    Long story short – I am 61 and have been following the Hawks since I was 8. I’ve seen a lot of bad and (most recently) a lot of good hockey.
    My cancer came back in 2009 and if you would have told me – #1 that I’d still be around and #2 that I would be blessed with THREE Stanley Cups and had my arms around that beautiful trophy, I would have said you were nuts.
    Yeah, today stings pretty bad – but the sun is out and life goes on. Enjoy every day.
    Blackhawk Eddie

  73. I just don’t understand the thought of a “few tweeks” and this team will be back? We have seen the arch of this team. The run in 09 (the taste of the playoffs), the cup in 10 (2 years to reload), cup in 13, & two long cup runs in 14, 15 and now down the hill in 16 a good series loss to STL and now this trainwreck.
    This isnt a reload boys and girls this is a blueline that averages 32 yrs old, not including Rosy, Kempny and Forsling. Next, some of these guys are going to start breaking down after wear and tear.

    If its me I move Seabrook while he still has value, clearly some on here feel he can still cut it, hopefully, some dumb GM will too. Kempny needs to play next year and be a 4th Dman. They need to add another DMan, but not an old vet, a young up and coming guy. The aren’t going to be able to draft a NHL-ready blueliner in the draft those guys go EARLY and gems are hard to find.

  74. The Las Vegas franchise may be our saving grace, maybe take Hossa, Kruger, and a couple of defensemen off our hands. PS Wildman, something told me you swing both ways!! Lol.

  75. Nice breath of fresh air ed arlington, you are so right we should feel grateful for and just enjoy what this team has accomplished lately. All the best to you and here’s hoping you get enjoy another cup.

  76. Toews is the heart and soul of this team. I wouldn’t trade him. I also would not trade 88 or 72. Everybody else should be on the table.

  77. Puck possession time and shots allowed have been trending toward this first round disaster for 2 years.

    Toews hasn’t looked right since Saad left.

  78. I’m writing this more for my depression that hockey is now finished in Chicago until October. This morning I woke up still solemn and full of gloom, nothing helped, until I went to You Tube and watched highlights of the boys knocking the Preds out three times preciously. This helped, a lot.

    If they keep everything together for the most part this offseason with slight tinkering then Q will likely stay. If they decide to heavily change the chemistry and overall look of the team they must find a new coach.

    Full disclosure, I have never liked Q. I appreciate his love for his players and commitment to defense but hes always had serious flaws as the bench boss. When I read in the Tribune yesterday that he let Burish do the advanced scouting for opponents they were facing in the next round, or that video sessions on previous losses last all of five mins…..my jaw dropped.

    During our run, we’ve started series slow consistently, rarely have the Hawks jumped out of the gate, rarely. Their superior talent often took over games 3 or 4 thru 7……often superior talent won beyond the line blendering, gut decisions, special teams lack of structure or point men, the rabid insistence of playing Scotts, Bolligs, Handzus, That’s over the years over younger players far better suited for roles so he could play four lines and not has his stars etc etc…

    I am not a hater of Q, but I am not a fan either. This team was not prepared or properly motivated to play playoff hockey. Anyone can see that from grizzled vet beat writers to bandwagoneers.

    If they do decide to go a different route they must go with some new blood behind the bench.

    I love our Hawks. Always have and will. The last decade has been a glorious ride. I just pray it’s not over and don’t believe it is….but all things must come to an end.

    Especially in the Bettman era of doing everything they can to strangle good franchises for the sake of crap ones.

  79. Im in Canada , and I agree with the” anyone but the Blues” comment ! Hate Them ! Oh, and also The Panger comment , I cant stand curious George either ! Sad to see the Hawks out…. no other team plays like they do !

  80. Brian:

    Please quit smoking those funny cigarettes. Darryl Sutter is ready to help out on the family farm in Alberta.

    Q is not blameless, but he is a Hall of Fame to be coach. Let’s permanently drop the discussion re: removing Q.

  81. Good comments by all, as usual. Like everyone, I woke up today and my cereal tasted really bad!! I can’t get it in my head that our Hawks are out of the playoffs after 4 games. That sucks!!

    I listened to all the players, coaches and announcers analyze the series and heard all their expertise and comments about our Hawks.

    In my mind, the Hawks have played fast teams before and won. They have played big teams before and won. They have played teams with great goalies and won. They have played teams with great coaches and won. They have even played teams that have had all of the above AT THE SAME TIME and won.

    So what the hell went wrong?

    It’s a combination of a few things:
    1. Our core players are getting a little older.
    2. Our young players had no playoff experience.
    3. Tazer is hurt. No doubt about it the kid is not right.
    4. We have very little winger size to fight board battles.
    5. Duncan Keith was playing on one leg.
    6. We had no net front presence.
    7. The refs missed several calls that were blatant penalties.
    8. We looked “disinterested”.
    9. We couldn’t make any good breaks go our way.
    10. No puck luck at all!!

    But even with all of these things, we still ALWAYS found a way to win.

    It’s tough to stay on top of the mountain for an extended period of time. Let’s make a few adjustments, get some young blood on the ice and make a run at it, again, next year.

    I am STILL a Hawk fan……….win or lose!!

  82. I am in the glass half full crowd. I do ‘t believe for a second that this team is done. I do believe that we need changes in the D-Corps however. Stan will figure it out and the Hawks will be great again – chin up boys before you know it we will be complimenting our Hawks in 2017-2018. Until then enjoy the rest of the playoffs.

    Go Hawks Forever!!

  83. Iceman, thats the thing it doesnt/didn’t look that good but its not as big a deal as most will make it. Organization and GM/scouts will make us better/and adapt to the tackle/crosscheck and fast skate 2.0 league.

    Gander, it just goes wit the territory of being a dynasty (7th alltime) in the history of hockey when we get beat/donot win.

  84. Longtime reader, finally posting something for the first time.
    Having 24 hours to digest the disappointment of the this series, and reading the majority of people’s reactions, there’s a lot of opinions I agree with and a lot that I think are missing the big picture. One thing that irritates the hell out of me is people blaming the Hawks lack of quality depth for being the difference. Every single team has their weak links, there’s no way around that with the salary cap.
    I think some us out there just don’t comprehend how the Hawks beloved core, outside of Kane and Crawford, and Hossa to a certain extent, really aren’t being the difference makers that their respective slices of the salary cap pie necessitate them to be. I think it sucks that the NHL is run as poorly as it is, and the salary cap has to be the lowest out of the four major team sports, but that is the reality.
    Gotta stop with blind eye towards the so-so performances of players like Toews and Keith, their respective shares of the salary cap space require that they allow a team to cover the last third of the roster with guys making $1 million or less annually. Stop blaming role players like Tootoo, or a Desjardins. Same thing with younger guys like Hartman, Schmaltz, and Rasmussen. They are supplemental pieces, learning on the job, if you get something out of them it’s a bonus, shouldn’t be heavily depended on, and if you’re well coached, they are put into situations that play to their strengths, rather than exposing their shortcomings.
    Toews is the ideal No. 2 center, good 2 way player, honest effort pretty much every night, some production when not the center of attention, pun not intended, but just is not a consistent enough producer to be the glorified No. 1 center he is paid to be. Good all around player but not worth $10.5 million, 1/7th of your cap space, I’ll be generous and say he’s worth $5-7 million a year, around 7-10% of the cap. Kane, in comparison, maybe he’s not scoring 2 goals a game, but I see him competing much harder than he did in his early 20’s, less afraid to get his nose dirty, going to the areas you know you need to get to, even though you’re going to take a beating. He was one of the few guys getting the puck into to the offensive zone under control, getting shots on net, and setting up guys for some quality scoring chances that the guy on the ice with him just aren’t converting. Considering he is forward that is double shifted the most on the Hawks, it says a lot about his commitment to the game getting himself into the kind of hockey shape it takes to be a winger playing every other shift. During the regular season, Anisimov looked like the perfect compliment to Kane, the big center with good net front presence whether it’s screening the goalie or getting the dirty rebound goals. Come playoff time, that wasn’t working as well, and then he was replaced by Toews. Sounds like the ultimate power line with Kane and Panarin, but the chemistry is off when they are put together, maybe it’s that none of the 3 of them want to be that guy that has to do the dirty work, but when they are out there together there are just too many shots that the other team’s goalie faces little obstacles in seeing clearly, and juicy rebounds that no one pounces on.
    The overall play of our defensemen in our zone when the other team has the puck is ulcer inducing. They look good when they get control of the puck and get it out of our zone quickly to our streaking forwards, but if the other team starts having the puck on their sticks for any extended amount of time, they stand around flat footed trying the lazy one hand poke checks, praying for the other team to mishandle the puck or make an errant pass. They let the other team’s forwards comfortably camp out in front of their net, never try to engage them, basically forcing their goalie to hope he picks the correct shoulder to peer his head around in hopes of the seeing that shot from the point. What I still can’t decide is if this pacifist style of play stems from the type of defensemen this team likes to accumulate or whether it’s a directive coming from the coaching staff. But it’s been going on for as long as Q has been running the team. They’ve gotten by with that philosophy pretty well 3 times out of the last 8 years, but it always seemed like they were playing with fire. Still can’t believe they ended up beating Tampa Bay in the Finals with the guys they had forming the 3rd pairing. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I like my defensemen to beat the ever living shit out of anybody trying to stand near our crease. Sets a certain tone. Implies some team toughness and togetherness. The only guy that seems to do that on the Hawks is Seabrook. I’d rather have a guy clearing a path for his goalie to see the shooter than a guy standing off to the side hoping to get a jump on a rebound (Keith, TVR, Campbell, & Oduya) or guy that is praised for his shot blocking prowess (Hjalmarsson).

  85. Gbladz…. you have seen Highmore a lot… so I assume you have seen Noel a lot too… what is your take on N. Noel??? who is a better /faster skater? Noel or Highmore?

  86. Calm down…the Hawks will be fine. They got outplayed but they still had a good season. Man are we spoiled. This isn’t the end of an era. It’s the end of the postseason. I would of played Hayden because he fit right in from the start and he’s physical. Kempny should of got more playing time leading up to the playoffs and started in Game 1. I agree we need youth on D because everything starts on the back end. Hanzal would of been a nice pick up at deadline simply for his draw skills. In relation, I would of played Jurco instead of Tootoo. He has talent, just gets bounced around too much which is another issue all together. Chemistry is everything in hockey and sometimes it takes time to find it, but playing with different players every other shift is not the way to get it. I would package a couple of our young forwards, Schmaltz excluded, and look for a mobile D man or two. Still got some talent up and coming: Fortin, Debrincat, Pokka, Forsling, etc. Finally, it’s time to get some size and game disrupters. You need that guy that gets under the other teams skin like Shaw, Roussel, Cooke, and so on. If the opponent isn’t scared to sit in front of your net or not worried about getting blasted battling in the corner then they have all the time and space they need to get set up. Even simple hits take a toll on the body and add up, especially in a playoff series. That’s just my two cents. See ya in the fall…

  87. Oh the comments are absolutely killing me. TOEWS HASNT LOOKED THE SAME SINCE SAAD LEFT. WELL NO F***ING F***, take a lb lighting fast skater

  88. Away and nobody’s going to look “better” for it. Jeez. Yeah, Panik isn’t quite the answer for losing Saad. What am I reading.

  89. Kevin-Hawk fans spoiled-yes and a sense of entitlement. But not many fans feel that they haven’t been lucky and grateful. We are.
    but a good season?–ask Toews, Crawford, Keith etc. if it was a good season–their season is measured by playoff success (One Goal). Do you really care about 107 points? This season wasn’t successful.
    Most of the discussion evolves around if you want more 90 to 100 point seasons, making the playoffs and then a quick exit–cause that is a possibility for a couple more years.
    Is that the goal–to be a playoff team?
    Really, most of what you said after that makes sense.

    Realistically this team is stuck in a state of limbo due to a great core, that made us proud, that is either aging or has made things tough to do due to the money committed to them. (No Title Pun Intended)

  90. I think I can solve this problem. The players should smear dog and cat shit all over their uniform. Their opponents will not want to touch them. Brilliant!

  91. Here’s a thought. What’s the next big event for the Blackhawks when it comes to possible hockey headlines ? Answer : the NHL draft.

    Watch McDonough push Stan to make a big trade/splash at the draft to create excitement and enthusiasm for the Hawks heading into the off season.

    I have a funny feeling McD will want Bowman to march to the podium and push hard to try placate the fans and their anger.

    It’s the perfect storm. Hawks flame out in the first round. Fans outraged. Writers blasting them. A couple of trades at the draft to create a hockey headline that the Hawks swing for the fences and put the rest of the league on notice.

    Again just a hunch.

  92. Craig. …..i think exactly the same way ..1-2 Core players in a big trade …sometime players like Toews -Seabrook -Kane …need a boost to continue their career and it can also be very good for the Hawks ….. the core players where not there in the playoff this time for i dont know what reason ..but after loosing 8 games in a row something has to be done …euuhhhhh …i dont remember seing that in the past 7-8-9 years ..we defenetly need new blood….i am very Happy i could see 3 cups with the Hawks, but now its time to move on and restart the Machine ..for the future …

  93. Craig, with how good we are and adjustments/tweaks needed to adapt to the tackle and go fast 2.0 league/and salary cap it does feel like we do that. The organization always does things every once in awhile for the better of the team and it makes everyone of us feel like were lucky and prouder then before.

    Keep this red train rolling!

  94. Losing a tough first round playoff series in 6-7 games (like last year to the Blues) is no reason to panic. The problem this year is how they lost. Toews said as much in his post game interview. Losing 4 straight and not being competitive probably suggests Stan needs to do more than tinker around the edges.

  95. Well today is locker clean out day. I will pay little attention to what the players say.
    Obviously the are stunned, saddened, disappointed, bitter taste in their mouths, we’ve already heard it. They had control of the situation until the final horn sounded on Thursday night.

    Now it’s out of their hands until early October. I will be listening keenly to what Stan says and perhaps even more closely to anybody who catches up with John McDonough for a comment.

    Should be an interesting weekend.

  96. Wall the Sea dominated game 1 of 3rd round and won 4-1. Highmore and Noel each with an assist. Highmore wasn’t that noticeable and took a 10 minute misconduct for chirping the officials ( in all fairness his line mate was deliberately elbowed in the head). Noel had a fantastic game 1 lots of speed, forechecking and FO wins and he fought Peter Klimas son and kicked his ass and got an extra 10 misconduct for exciting the crowd.

    Game 2 the Fogs kind of played flat for 2 periods and then dominated after that but lost in double OT. Definitely a goalie win for Chicoutimi.

    To answer your question Noel is the faster skater and more aggressive than Highmore and is more of a Q type player than Highmore. Both need to work a little on discipline as they take unnecessary penalties. Both forecheck well and take draws and offensively gifted. Noel is a bit better defensively and has the speed to back check

  97. There was NO HEART, NO INTENSITY from anyone on the team. And THAT is Unacceptable. I DON’T Understand what happened to the team. This was a team that lacked effort and maybe golfing on the brain? What was going on in the Clubhouse? A stellar regular season. I am perplexed. It seemed like they were not prepared and did not do their homework. We cannot point to one specific thing or person. No offense, no defense, bonehead plays in the middle, no power play, faceoffs- terrible, too many odd man rushes. Why wasn’t Darling put in the net starting Game 3 or even Game 2? Is he hurt? The entire team was responsible for this terrible showing. The worst playoff appearance I have EVER SEEN. Worse than in the 90’s.

  98. Title not in good taste. What are you gonna write when we get back on track? This is the best core in hockey history and the only thing lacking this year was the supporting cast (the Bollands, the Froliks, the Bickels, the Shawzies, the Saaders etc etc etc). So little Boy Stan get down to it and build up those role players again cause this year bringing in only Johnny O. you didnt do your job. Hawks gonna make their way back (as they always do) so dont start the eulogies yet cause you will be suprized

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