Ray Emery Earns The Blackhawks 2 Points

The second-half of back-to-back games haven’t treated many teams in the NHL kindly this year, and the Blackhawks were once again playing for a second time in 48 hours.

But Ray Emery showed up to play, and the Blackhawks needed him. For the third consecutive game, a shootout determined the winner of a Hawks’ game. This time, though, the outcome was different.

Ray Emery

The Flames came in allowing the third-fewest shots against (26.2) in the NHL. However, Calgary had the worst team goals against average in the NHL, allowing 20 goals in their first five games.

Chicago failed to get the puck on net with any frequency in the game; the Blackhawks were credited with only 18 shots in regulation, and added only one more in the overtime period.

If not for an exceptional effort from Emery, the game would have been a blow-out for the Flames.

With the Blackhawks offense going into hibernation over the last four games, it has been the biggest question mark on the roster – Chicago’s goaltenders – that have come up huge. Emery was the best player on the ice for either team throughout the game, stopping 45 of 47 shots in the game.

The first Blackhawks goal of the game was scored by Patrick Kane (again), who has registered at least one point in eight of nine games this season.

At 13:23 in the third, the Blackhawks allowed a power play goal for only the second time this year, the first they have allowed on the road. The Hawks sent five players to the box on Saturday night, four of whom – Johnny Oduya, Michael Frolik, Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson – are key members of their penalty killing unit (Brandon Saad was called for tripping in overtime).

Oduya and Hjalmarsson were the ice time leaders for the Hawks, skating over nine minutes each in the second period alone and carrying the weight of the ice time in the game. Oduya led the Hawks with 26:05 in the game.

If not for Hossa being in the right place at the right time, the game would have been the Hawks’ first regulation loss of the year. But he put a rebound into the back of the net with only 2.1 second left on the game clock, earning the Hawks another point in the season.

For the third straight game, the Blackhawks got a chance to win in a shootout. Patrick Kane found the back of the net, and Emery slammed the door against all three Flames shooters to earn the second point and finish a great evening for the veteran netminder.

55 thoughts on “Ray Emery Earns The Blackhawks 2 Points

  1. Thanks Tab…wow, what a turnaround from the night before, and yep, I get it, they were tired from two late games and the travel in between, but there is NO EXCUSE by the level of effort from some of the Blackhawks core…

    Toews and Hossa were the only core members who decided to show up and put in a solid effort, the rest were awful…Kane needed a goal, then a great set up late in the game on Hossa’s goal, and finally the game winner during the shootout just to overcome his sloppy, lazy, selfish play tonight…and there is no excuse for it. Kane is paid $6 million a year to put out a great effort every game, regardless of how tired he is…the same goes for Sharp, Keith and Seabrook…and the so called elite defensive pair MUST be singled out tonight for their horrendous play…I literally have never seen so many give aways and bone head decisions by a defensive pair since I watched a junior hockey game…Seabrook single handedly gave Calgary their first goal late in the game on the PP…both men need to take a long look in the mirror after this game. Again, I appreciate how tired they were, but the effort and compete levels must be strong every game.

    Hammer was great again tonight, and Oduya certainly had his moments…Hammer has quietly been the best Hawks defenceman this year…and Leddy and Brookbank continue to get better, and played solidly tonight.

    I thought what this team needed to do tonight was roll 4 lines equally and stay out of the penalty box…but an early fight with Bollig, and Q stopped using the 4th line, creating a stress placed upon the top 3 lines, and this can’t happen with Chicago…Q must do a better job of rotating players in and out of the lineup who can skate regular shifts and not simply take up bench space like Mayers and Bollig.

    Bickell is getting worse and worse each game, and simply doesn’t warrant a roster spot when a kid like Jimmy Hayes is lighting it up down in Rockford…he has NO HANDS, he is slow, he has poor stick positioning, he is forgetting (once again) to hit any one, and he is not skating…again, this team cannot afford any less than 4 lines rolling…

    The bottom line is that if the Hawks had played a good hockey team tonight, they would have lost 9 or 10 to nothing…that’s how badly outplayed they were…if this were Edmonton again, those kids would have lit the net up like it was Christmas time. Q is responsible for ensuring that his hockey team brings an A Level effort every night, and that didn’t occur…some changes need to be made before Tuesday to shore up the 4 lines, and get things rolling again.

    Thanks to Ray Emery for earning two points when we deserved NONE!

  2. Sorry Brad but I haven’t got enough gusto for 2 articles in a row. I thought they had some quality chances throughout. Emery made the game thanks to Hossa. What really stood out to me was how dead everyone looked during and after the OT PK.

  3. Brad, I’m not sure why you’re killing Kane. The guy has NINE assists in 9 games. How can you call him selfish? Is it because he curls deep in our zone and every single defenseman on the team passes to him to carry through the neutral zone? Guess what – that’s not Kane being selfish – that is the Chicago Blackhawks’ transition scheme.

    Do you like plays like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhPcI5YYLd4

    Do you think that’s a selfish play?

    Kane had some really nice dishes that created very quality scoring chances. He’s the only one who consistently creates penetration on the PP. In fact, in the 3 on 2 in the third period he looked to pass when I would have actually preferred him to (selfishly?) shoot in a game where we have less than 20 shots.

    What more do you want from Kane if not a team leading 13 points and a +4?

  4. Wow Emery really stole that game! I am really proud even though the Hawks were dominated. Of course the Flames had more energy they only played one other game this past week. Hawks had back to back, less than 2 hours between games. Apparently, the Hawks didn’t get in Calgary until 2:30 am and then got caught in horrible traffic. Travel is always merciless on teams. They were totally exhausted and still managed to pull it off. CAN’T WAIT FOR THE HAWKS VS SHARKS GAME!!!!

  5. I have to agree with Mckay. There is a reason why the Blackhawks are undefeated in regulation and have a point in every single game so far this season. Kane has been a big part of that reason. Yeah, the team played sloppy but come on, they have been working their asses off playing day after day (literally) and still manage to get a point in the only 2 losses they have had this season so far during shoot outs. Emery was fresh and came up huge tonight to give the Hawks a chance to win and the hawks did not give up even when they were down 2-1 with 34 seconds left of the period. It took a team effort to be able to get that puck into Calgary territory and set up a game tying goal. Their PK is simply sick right now and they were short handed yet again in OT and still managed to kill that off and than Kane came in FTW! This is Teamwork, this is Chicago Blackhawks Hockey!

  6. All the comments well said but I think that when you are 16 points out of a possible 18, only two games at home, the best PK in the league and the hottest goalies you can afford to have some bad nights. We have done the above without some core stars showing up yet (Sharp etc) and still waiting for a breakout from the young ones (Shaw has the potential of a breakout). On the other hand the Flames are not a team that you expect to go in and score 5 goals. This is a good team with a classy skipper and they have gained my respect. There are no easy opponents in the league. Detroit went nice and rested to the Jackets last night looking for an easy 2 points and the Jackets gave them a 4 goal going away present.

  7. I wish I knew the thinking behind the schedule. You would think that the NHL would try to pit back to backs for both teams. Maybe there is an excuse for last nights performance. Hawks played their 9th game in 15 days while the Flames played only their 6th game. How does that happen? What is worse is the Hawks have been on the road basically all season, this was the Hawks 7th road game, while the Flames have only played one away game.

    I guess we will get our schedule breaks down the line.

  8. PP looked awful again…

    Getting out of the our own zone has been awful again (memories of last 2 years)-
    Shaw, Stalberg, Bickell, Sharp, Kane turning puck over way to much on cute touch passes around our blue line-

    Emery played great- but really it was mostly his positioning that was great- In reality the puck was just hitting him ( if Glencross could elevate any of those close in shots- he has 4 goals!!!!) But Still he was in position- and did not panic when the Hawk’s pathetic turnovers yielded odd man chances.

    I have been to several Hawks open practices in last couple years-
    Hawks always work on fast pace transition (which they are very good at)
    I have NEVER seen them work on exiting from there own end – from D-man to forward – center—starting behind there net!!!

  9. Amazingly frustrating game to say the least…I can’t remember more turnovers, many skaters looking two (not just one) strides slow, and our guy Bickell looking invisible AGAIN. Two weeks ago there were comments on here about extending his contract. He still does not show up often enough…no crunch at all to his game…I’ve seen enough of him after this season.
    Hammer was terrific on the back end, Hossa was the same up front; Emery’s savior-like performance goes without saying again. Love Kruger’s rink-length smarts. Hoping Bolly can come back quickly.
    As much as I like the hustle and straight-ahead speed of Saad’s game, has anyone else noticed what I have so far this season? My perception is that he lacks an ability to move right or left with any speed or quickness when he has the puck. Skating straight ahead he looks like a bull with decent speed but I see little maneuverability both right/left with any quickness.
    I just hope these guy’s regroup for the rest of the trip.

  10. Emery stole the game. You take the 2 points and you get the heck out of Dodge.

    As far as Kaner, he is a special player that can change the game on any given shift. He has done quite well as far as contributing which has been mentioned several times.
    Every other team in the league would take a player of his caliber in a heartbeat.

    My concern is Sharp, but I am confident he will get it going as his past speaks for itself.

    Shaw should stay with Kane and Sharp. His high energy will create space.

    I too, would like to see Hayes up with the big club. Big body that will not get pushed around and will have to be accounted for especially if they use him in front of the net, aka Buff on the PP.

    Bottom line 16 out of 18 points. Early season title fight on Tuesday night.

  11. McKay, I singled out Kane as one of the culprits from that game, and rightly so…if you have read anything else I have said about Kane this season, it is positive…but last night he was tired, and that equalled lazy, selfish play…the goal late in the game that gave Calgary their 2nd goal was all on Kane…all it took was for him to dump the puck in deep and we were headed for OT…

    Yes, Kane has the ability to then set up Hossa’s game tying goal with 2 seconds left, but it shouldn’t have been the result of an incredible gaff…

    Kane has been MUCH better this season and his efforts are greatly appreciated…he is such a dynamic young hockey player, but last night brought out the worst and the best in Kane…and we know that he can control both!

    Wall, the PP was offensive to watch because no one was skating, and that included Hossa and Tazer.

  12. My apologies to Ray Emery – I said, “I almost dread his next start” after the game in Phoenix.

    I agree with Steve, “…when you are 16 points out of a possible 18, only two games at home, the best PK in the league” – to me, it’s difficult to find a lot to complain about (especially after a road WIN). Certainly it wasn’t the best effort from some of the guys, and yes, Kane probably cost them a goal, but I’m not so sure “selfish” or “lazy” fits…maybe “tired” is more accurate? I agree with comments about Bickell – he was coming into the season energized, in-shape, etc. and now he’s contributing nothing.

    The schedule is no excuse – all teams are playing 48 games in 99 days (or whatever), and it’s complicated because most arenas host other events – NBA or Disney On Ice (or whatever). The Hawks “escaping” with a point during this part of their schedule is probably a good thing.

  13. The thing that we are all going to find out with this schedule, is who can dig deep enough when you just don’t have the legs, to win a game. You saw it last night. The Hawks dug deep and got a win.

    I’m not sure who plays hockey on this blog and who doesn’t, but there are games when you just don’t have your legs. It doesn’t matter if you make $7 mil a year, or you’re playing for beer. For some reason, there are games and stretches in a game when you just don’t have your legs. In Vancouver, Sharpy clearly was struggling and had no legs. In Calgary, Kane looked slow at times, but he sucked it up enough to make good passes at key times.

    That’s why sports, especially hockey, is so challenging. In Calgary, we couldn’ complete a “tape to tape” pass until halfway through te third period. Why? We just didn’t have it until it counted. Sometimes, that’s just the way it is.

    Good teams find a way to win, even when they are dog tired and aren’t playing well.
    The Hawks are a good team AND they found away to win. Sometimes your goalie needs to “steal” a game for you, too. Thanks, Razor.

  14. Brad – yes Kane’s turnover turned into Calgary’s go ahead goal. But he back-checked to try to catch Bouwmeister (who made a nice one-timer to eliminate any back pressure).

    Why not single out Hossa for an arguably worse turnover which led to Ig’s breakaway? And Hossa did stop back-checking on that play. Instead you say Hos is the only one to show up with a solid effort?

    I agree that the Hawks a) aren’t doing a great job breaking out and b) are turning the puck over at the blue line.

    Q wants them to carry through the zone to maintain puck possession and teams are adjusting to it. I’d like to see some mid-game adjustments where they switch to a dump and chase for a couple of minutes just to keep the opposition guessing, and then switch back.

  15. “It was criminal,” Quenneville said. “We got to the call the cops after that performance. We stole two points. (Emery) was spectacular. I have never been out-chanced, outplayed like that in my life. It was a special performance. It continued on to the shootout. It was tough watching, but you get a little consolation prize on how well he played, a bonus there.”

    That’s exactly how I felt with this game…the Hawks were so bad, it was unbelievable at times…and yes, I know they were tired, but to be that bad???

  16. Thesis: We won in name only
    – we won the shootout sure, but during the actual game of hockey we were severely outshot and outchanced
    – we didn’t consistently finish checks, and the 2nd line seemed to simply ignore battles in the corner (which if fought we didn’t seem to win very often)
    – we lost the vast majority of stick battles and our PP was sluggish (I turned to the ANA-LAK game and saw set-piece plays turning into goals all over the place…)
    – our PP seems to be all ad-hoc with little one-touch passing, no opening up space for attackers and no consistent opening of shooting lanes

    – in OT, hossa and sharp seem to work well together; why not make that a regulation pairing? bring sharpy up to first line and put saad on 2nd line so kaner will have to skate (and so someone on the 2nd line will have the gusto to back check)
    – work on set-piece plays for the PP, or practice cycling plays (which have actually netted teams like the oilers quite a number of goals and chances in deep)
    – bollig is a waste of roster slot, and energy line should have fresh legs and some impetus to make a mark (where it counts – how useful was that 1st period fight to anything???)
    – mayers is the new brunette, get Hayes (or anyone else!) out there
    – Emery earned more ice time, give it to him
    – work on transition plays that don’t involve shots up the boards (so many neutral zone turnovers due to this…)
    – work with craw and razor on their puck handling; a little more aggression could save time and ease transitions on the PP after zone clearing, we lose 25% of our PP time to these awful transitions

    N.B. not the actual tab here

  17. we have played great this and we’ve played poorly. The fact we are stealing wins brings me back tp 2009-2010. That team was special and this team is getting there. Remember Carcillo and Bolland are out and we still find a way. The double barreled Saad-off is killing it right now (anyone else find it ironic that his number is 20 needs to be 2.0 double barrel).

    We have it going. Oduya and Hjalmarsson were a terrible pair last yr and outside of the first game this yr have been terrific together. I love the make up of this team.

  18. Bab (N.B.) – some interesting points. I think everybody here is willing to acknowledge Emery stole 2 pts for his team. No team has everybody going 100% or everything going their way every game – the good teams find a way to win more often than the not-so-good teams in most of these situations.

    It’s probably a good bet that Q will change the lines (when necessary?). The PP has not been effective lately and the transition game can also use a little “work”, but the 48 games in 99 days thing along with travel does allow a lot of time for practice (and rest is also a larger consideration).

    I disagree about Bollig. His first period fight may have had no direct impact on the end result of the game, but having the threat of at least a little of his “game” may act as somewhat of a deterrent to wholesale cheapshots at skill players, and as long as other teams have guys like Jackman, Reaves, Torres, etc., he may be a “necessary evil”. Until he becomes a defensive liability it’s not a complete waste of a roster spot.

    Hopefully the goaltender won’t have to steal (another) one in San Jose – GO HAWKS!!

  19. If you’re going to criticize Kane…. How abysmal was Sharp’s performance. You want to talk about a dog…

  20. Hawks haven’t lost a game in regulation (only in the gimmick shoot out). I think people might be stressing out a little too much about making changes and poor effort.

    Jimmy Hayes can not skate, isn’t defensively responsible, and isn’t strong enough to stay in front of the net on a Power Play. I actually think Bollig is a decent hockey player and if he would stop punching people in the face he might start showing it.

    Also, people really need to stop thinking that people like Bollig/Carcillo/Scott prevent other teams from taking cheap shots at your stars. If I remember correctly (I drink a lot so my memory might be sketchy), Bollig chased Torres down after his hit on Hossa and received a 2 minute penalty for doing it.

    Would a goon deter Joe Thorton from punching Toews in the back of the head and giving him a concussion for 1/4 of the season? People like John Scott are a waste of a roster spot and Buffalo is learning that quickly this season.

    Kane has been the best Hawk this season. Even in a game where he played poorly he had 2 huge points. Yes he should have gotten the puck deep. Mental lapses happen for even the best players.

    With people jumping down the Hawks throats without a legit loss on the season I don’t want to see what happens when they actually lose.

    PS. It isn’t “We” unless you are paid by the team.

    PSS. Stop talking about Byfuglien. He wasn’t very good at hockey when he played here outside of the Stanley Cup run.

  21. JS – completely agree with “might be stressing out a little too much about making changes and poor effort” and “jumping down the Hawks throats without a legit loss on the season I don’t want to see what happens when they actually lose”.

    On deterrents – yes and no. I blame John Scott for the Torres hit. The previous season when Torres wasted a roster spot for Vancouver he delivered a headshot to Seabrook behind the Hawks net. Later, before a faceoff, Scott and Torres lined-up next to each other and Scott *politely* asked him if he wanted to fight, or so it appeared. (I also drink, so my memory might be sketchy.) Good sportsmanship. (In my opinion, the proper way to send the *appropriate* message (the “measured response”), would have been to say nothing and at the drop of the puck Scott should have beaten Torres into a (near) coma. I believe he was quite capable. Even if the Hawks were shorthanded for 5 or 7 minutes, and even if this meant giving up the game, it would have been worth it. There are times that the message is more important than the game (Good sportsmanship.) – hindsight is 20/20, but it would have served the Hawks and the rest of the NHL well, I believe…you know, it may even have helped Torres become a better person. Delivered properly, the message resounds. That isn’t to suggest that the occasional reminder isn’t necessary.

    Also, Bollig appears to have more skill and considerably more mobility than Scott – if he isn’t a defensive liability, he may not be hurting then team. How does his skill compare to other 4th line players? Does his presence in the lineup mean anything to his team mates?

    Byfuglien – we agree here, too – I thought that except for the Cup run he was MIA in at least half of the games.

    GO HAWKS!!

  22. I am very encouaged by this team’s ability to be a tough out each and every night. Clearly the Hawks didnt have it in Calgary but managed to fight to a tie w only seconds on the board and then stole the game in OT. This season is really starting out amazing for the Hawks. I am however very concerned w Seabrooks play, his hit are up and he is playing physical but he is having a difficult clearly pucks in his own end. Go Hawks!

  23. You know what would make the players stop with the head hunting shots? Stiffer penalties (fines/suspensions). It’s also time to start punishing the team as well as the player. How much did it benefit Phoenix to eliminate Hossa at the cost of Torres?

    I’ll admit I’m the first one to jump out of my seat and start shadowboxing when two players drop the gloves, but why is fighting still in the game? It’s exciting for the fans but really it has no place in the game. If they can get by without it in the Olympics they can get by without it in the NHL.

    I think Bollig is more than capable of being a competent 4th liner. He takes a few too many dumb penalties and won’t stop punching people in the head.

  24. JS – I would have no problem enjoying hockey without fights. I said, as long as teams have guys like Reaves, Torres, etc., other teams pretty much must have a guy (or two) who can and is willing to answer.

    I don’t know how one could quantify occasions when a fight changed to momentum of a game or to what extent it may actually be a deterrent. I have read claims that without (“the release” afforded by) fighting there would be more “stickwork”, etc. I do believe that if players know there will be consequences – either by league or by the players policing – the number of cheap shots will be limited.

    Your point “stop the head hunting with stiffer penalties (fines/suspensions)” may be true (I would like to believe that – it makes sense, but) – we’ll see if Torres learned anything/changes his game.

  25. My point about buff was only in reference to a body in front of the goalie. I had no problem seeing him go. I miss Ladd and what his game brings to the team.
    A better example would be Holmstrom and I know Hayes does not have his ability, but a few game stint at this point of the season would not hurt. We have some guys that can bring it and we all know when a goalie can see it he usually can stop it. The point was to create that screen..

    I agree with the stiffer penalties to the point that the offender should be out as long as the casualty. It would clean it up fast. There has to be some substance.

  26. The only time he stood in front of the net was in the playoffs. I’m sure they would have loved to park him out there all year but he believes he is a “skill player” and wants to play from a point or top of the circle instead of getting dirty.

    I don’t like the idea of having the offender out as long as the casualty. Suspensions should be based around intent, not end result. I HATE that the NHL gives longer suspensions if the player receiving the check is hurt. Concussions vary from body to body. Intent should be the only thing that matters.

    Not to mention teams wouldn’t mind bringing up some no name from the AHL to make a run at a star player if it isn’t going to hurt the team. That’s why I say suspend the roster spot. (even though that 19th/20th spot are only getting 5-8 minutes a night)

  27. The NHL game has changed over the years. It used to be that fighting was as important as speed and skill. Intimidation was as much a part of the game as anything. However, in this day and age, you cannot afford a roster spot to a guy that cannot contribute someting other than fisticuffs.

    In the NHL and at the “professional hockey” level, fighting is needed for 3 things:
    1. Protect yourself
    2. Protect your teammates
    3. Change momentum

    In a game where raw emotion is so much a part of the game, sometimes it is best to let two willing combatants fight and get it out of their system. I’d rather have a fight than see what happened to Hossa, last year. What needs to be eliminated are “cheap shots”, not fighting.

    Players like Raffi Torres are more dangerous than players like John Scott. Torres plays recklessly and, as you saw with Hossa, can almost end a career with one cheap hit. Players like John Scott know their roll and fight only when necessary AND with a willing opponent.

    Raffi Torres is a predator on the ice. He looks for an unsuspecting opponent and then pounces on him when that opponent least expects it. But Raffi Torrese would NEVER fight a guy like John Scott or Bollig. That is not his style.

    Fighting is a necessary evil in the NHL. It has to be used at the pro level at certain times in a game, by certain players for certain reasons. As fans, that’s all we need to know.

  28. 1) Why don’t they need to fight in the Olympics?
    2) Why do most fights happen during blowouts?
    3) Can you back up that fighting changes momentum?
    4) If you eliminate cheap shots you no longer need to worry about “protection”

    Of course you would rather see a fight than what happened to Hossa last year. But why do you need either one? Isn’t the idea of the “enforcer” supposed to prevent the cheap shots on your stars? It doesn’t. You know what will? 27 game suspensions.

    You know what happens in other sports leagues when they throw punches? (Hint: They get kicked out of the game) If you think hockey is a more emotional sport than football or basketball…. well just stop.

  29. Trying to recall the last fight I had seen that had any meaning……….

    Really can’t think of one. Just a pair of bozos twirling around the ice in some staged spectacle to sate some meathead’s bloodlust.

  30. I remember a fight a few years ago when Nick Boynton dropped the gloves against someone late in the 3rd when we were up a goal or two. Can’t remember who it was against, but the entire team came back with a vengeance and tied it up and I believe won it in overtime. Fighting has a place in the game, if it didn’t it would of been abolished years ago.

  31. So you think the NHL is always on top of making the best decisions for the game? Alright…

    And just because the other team came back after a fight, that doesn’t mean they came back because of the fight. For every “momentum changing” fight you point out, I’ll find 10 that did nothing.

  32. You can change the channel when there is a fight during the game. You’re not fighting, the players are.

  33. 1) we have no regulation losses thanks to some lucky calls (disallowed goal, offsetting penalties), not because we’ve consistently been dominant force on the ice. Did you watch the Columbus, Minnesota, Calgary games? 3rd period of the St Louis game? I suppose we should pat ourselves on the back and stymie any constructive criticism of the team’s play and system because we’re doing so well. i guess improvement only matters when you have a regulation loss.

    2) The calgary game was the worst performance of the season. even the SJ commentator’s tonight called them out for it. But you’re right, we should leave all the lessons from the game there at the W. Not like there’s an upcoming cup run that we all hope for.

    3) After tonight’s game, I’m willing to watch more from Mayers, but Bollig remains a waste of space. He may have some skills, but what he apparently lacks is judgment.

    4) As you may know, ‘we’ is a common pronoun used in casual conversation by sports fans when referring to their preferred corporate sports entity. it illustrates a loyalty and collegiality among same. it is metaphoric, and does generally follow delusions of hockey stardom. I can see how you might be confused. martinet as you are, i want to thank you for your kind consideration in permitting me this usage on this forum.

  34. 5) Fighting helped grow the US hockey market. This is a league where it’s illegal to cover the puck with your hand, but it is almost essential that someone engage in quasi-gladiatorial combat at least once a game. Go ahead and complete the syllogism.

  35. to my good friend bab tamford:

    Yes, the Calgary game was ugly for the Hawks. But let’s evaluate that in the context of their performance IN DETROIT last night…

    Either the Hawks were flat, the Flames are getting their stuff together, or the Red Wings are REALLY, REALLY BAD. My opinion: a little bit of all 3 is true

  36. Tab,

    You’re right, context is definitely a big factor. I think the fatigue, back-to-back games, heavy away scheduling magnified some of the things we’d seen in other games. Even so, there’s always room to improve, and the hope is that a strong system bolsters you even in the face of adverse conditions. And I think the Hawks are working on that. For example last night I saw much better lead passing which was not exclusively up the boards. I saw more finished checks and was impressed with Bickell’s leadership in that area last night. There was more willingness to get into the corners and fight (and win the puck – see Tazer, Hoss, Saad). I saw nice puck cycling and even evidence of set-piece plays (albeit mostly on 5/5 play). Hopefully that stuff will continue as the hawks polish off the road trip.


  37. JS, it’s obvious that you have never played the game, and if you have, you’re a complete fool. Like I said, PRO hockey has a place for fighting and it always will have a place for it.

    Let’s see, as far as changing momentum, did you watch the HAwk game last night? Did you see Duncan Keith, a NON fighter, go after Dejardins? The game was close, it wasn’t a blow out and Dejardins took a shot at Mayers. I believe it was a good, solid hockey hit, but obviously Duncan Keith didn’t like it. The HAwks reacted with positive adrenaline and positive play. So JS, you are wrong about everything that you said. Fighting can change momentum.

    Believe me when I tell you that there is a code among most players in the league and it has to do with “an eye for an eye”. It doesn’t matter what the referees call or don’t call. The game is played by the players so let them settle their own problems and let the refs call the slashing and holding penalties.

    Again, players who fight usually fight another willing combatant or a guy who just took a cheap shot at another player. A guy like Brent Seabrook will not fight Steve Sullivan because Sullivan slashed him. It doesn’t work that way.

    The refs don’t see everything. If you take fighting out of PRO hockey, a player will die on the ice because of a cheap shot. Believe me.

  38. So you think Keith taking 19 minutes of pentalties was a smarter idea than the Hawks having a powerplay for 5 minutes?

    Better yet since it WAS a clean hit and the guy shouldn’t have gotten the penalty, you like the idea of putting the Sharks on the PP for 4 minutes in a tied game?

    You can not prove that fighting changes momentum. Stop. Just because they scored on the four on four doesn’t mean it was because Keith took a stupid penalty. “Momentum” can be caused by a bad pass.

    Remember when Steve Moore almost died on the ice? How did fighting prevent that?

    Remember when Hossa almost died on the ice? How did fighting prevent that?

    Remember when Keith flying elbowed Sedin? How did fighting prevent that?

    Remember during the Pens/Flyers series last year when they kept fighting and taking nasty cheap shots at each other? How did fighting prevent that?

    Stiffer penalties on cheap shots will make them stop. Fighting doesn’t make cheap shots stop.

    You also said earlier that guys like Torres will never fight a guy like Bollig/Scott/etc. So in order to get back at the guy that takes the cheap shot they are just supposed to fight some random guy that had nothing to do with it? Ok… Makes sense.

  39. Don Cherry said it last night on the NHL Network, “people who never played the game will never understand it”. That’s all that needs to be said.

  40. Oh, since Don Cherry said it it must be right!

    Also, I never said I didn’t play the game.

    You still didn’t explain why they don’t need to fight in the Olympics.

  41. Don Cherry’s teams lost to the Bowman teams in the Cup twice.

    Hmmmmm wonder which philosophy is better.

    (the Hawks fyi are a Bowman styled team in case that was unclear)

  42. JS & Stinky……..the reason you don’t see fighing in the Olympics is because the Olympics are NOT PROFESSIONAL SPORTS. Hockey, in the Olympics, is still considered amateur athletics. Most(not all) of the teams use amateur hockey players and all the referees are amateur, not professional.

    Again, PRO HOCKEY needs fighting. Both of you may not like it, along with may others, but just talk to some NHL players and some ex-pro players. They will give it to you straight. Or better yet, ask an NHL referee what their opinion is on fighting.

    Close your ears……..you’re not gonna like the answer……..LOL.

  43. Maybe no one in the Olympics fights because you get kicked out of the game if you do?

    Almost all hockey players in the Olympics are professionals. Some of the terrible teams might have a handful of amateurs. You couldn’t be more off on this.

    A fair amount of the officials in the 2010 Winter Olympics were indeed from the NHL. Three of the four zebras in the gold medal game were from the NHL and the other was a professional in Europe. What this means is that in the gold medal game, there were zero non-professionals on the ice. That gold medal game was one of the greatest games of hockey I’ve ever watched.

    Looks like you were just caught talking out of your butt.

    And you still haven’t answered. If fighting is there to deter cheapshots, why are the cheap shots still there on a regular basis?

    Also, to quote myself earlier, “I’ll admit I’m the first one to jump out of my seat and start shadowboxing when two players drop the gloves, but why is fighting still in the game?” I love watching hockey fights… I just think the game would be better without them.

  44. Hartnell is a pretty big tough guy. Claude Giroux takes more cheap shots and has been concussed just as much if not more than Toews. Zero deterrent.

    Since the guys who commit most of the infractions don’t fight anyways I don’t see what the point of two bozo players twirling around the center of the ice fighting each other for no reason proves.

    If watching two meat bags beat the hell out of each other entertains you that is fine. I personally enjoy boxing so I get that, but just say it. Don’t try to justify it with these silly reasons though. Bollig skating 4 shifts and sitting in the box for 5 minutes fighting some other clown who does the same is asinine, interrupts the flow of the game and serves no purpose.

    In any sport, you get back at a guy by scoring several goals, pointing at the clown after every one and having someone who knows how to operate a hockey stick with out the referees seeing do work.

  45. The Olympic rules state “fighing is a game ejection” which is the same as in college and in the amateur ranks, as it should be. However, in the PRO game, fighting still exists and it exists for a reason. The NHL game has changed over the years and fighting has more harsh penalties now than in the past.

    I was wrong about the ref’s in the olympics, you are correct. However, they do not employ the NHL rules. Remember, before 1988 I believe, the olympics were strictly for amateurs. The amateur ranks do not allow fighing. The rules AND the salary cap have put a damper on fighting in the NHL.

    You can write and say whatever you want, it’s a free country, but fighting will NOT be taken out of the NHL game because players like Raffi Torres will always play in the NHL and someone needs to be the “equalizer” because the rules will not deter players like him from taking cheap shots a more skilled players.

    The way the NHL rules are now, players like Raffi Torres are protected because of the “instigator rule”. If the rules were perfect and the ref’s saw everything, cheap shots would be a thing of the past. However, they will always be there and that is why fighting will always be there.

    Cry all you want………….someone needs to patrol the playground.

    Sit in your easy chair and watch the game. Let the men play the game.

  46. What is more likely to deter Raffi Torres from taking another run at someone:

    a) His next suspension might be his last + money lost from suspensions.

    b) He might have to fight Jamal Mayers again

    The LEAGUE needs to patrol the playground or else the players will get out of hand. Why do you think bench clearing brawls were worlds more common back when they were the ones responsible for justice?

    Here is the best fix I see. Make suspensions harsher, and make them escalate. 2-3 for first infraction (unless egregious), then 5-7, then 10-15, then indefinitely until the league decides if it’s worth keeping the player around. Also, roster spots need to be suspended instead of players. Make the team suffer for keeping the cancer around.

  47. Let the players patrol the playground and everything will be fine. I guess my theory about momentum changing when a fight occurs is true. Did you hear Kane? He said, “I got chills” when Mayer’s went after Torres.

    It’s something most people don’t understand, and I get that. It’s okay with me that people want to get fighting out of the game. But the players know better than anyone what fighting means on the ice. You didn’t see anyone else jump into the fight. Every player stood around and watched. Nobody, not even the refs, intervened. Do you want to know why? They get it!! They understand what fighting means in a game.

    Again, let the players patrol themselves. The league will be better for it and the players will have more respect for one another. There is no place in this game for “bench clearing” brawls, but there is a place for “one on one” justice and that is what you saw, last night.

  48. Patrick Kane saying he got chills is the reason that the Coyotes played about as undisciplined as possible. Yep. Your theory is true! Definitely quantifiable.

    Once again, you are dodging my questions. Is that fight between Mayers and Torres going to deter people (and Torres) from taking runs at people in the future?

    You wanting the players to police themselves means you don’t think the league should suspend anyone and everything should be settled by two men tugging at each others sweaters until they fall down? If you think that silly dance between Torres and Mayers is justice for last spring… I don’t even know what to say.

    No one intervened in the fight because it’s a game misconduct to be the third man in. And fighting is legal so why would the refs break it up immediately?

  49. JS, there will always be guys like Raffi Torres. The reason that Mayers fought him wasn’t to “teach him a lesson”. It was to make a statment. That statement was, “don’t take advantage of our guys, again”. Plain and simple. It also makes a statement to the Hawk players on the bench, which is simply, “we are united”, “one for all and all for one”.

    It’s obvious that you’re a spectator and don’t understand what goes on out on the ice. It’s a different world out there. I don’t condemn you for that. You love hockey and you love the HAwks, just like all of us. But fighting is a necessary evil at the NHL level and there may come a day when the punishment will outweigh the gain, but there will always be fighting in the NHL because it is needed.

    I never said that there should not be any punishment for fighting. I said, “don’t take fighting out of the game”. Let the players decide who, why and when to fight. And when the fight is over, they will take the punishment, whether it is a 2,5,10 or a game.

    Let’s face it, everyone knew a fight was going to happen, last night. The HAwks, the Yotes, the refs, the fans…….everyone. The question was who and when? All it was, was payback by the Hawks and Mayers. Sometimes retribution is swift and hard. I have more respect for Torres today than I did yesterday. He took his suspension, took his lumps and played the game without incident. We’ll see how this year goes for him.

    Until next time, “let’s go Hawks”!!!!!

  50. LOL………..Hahahahahha. I never played pro hockey, but, yes I HAVE been hit in the head alot…….LMAO. Let’s agree to disagree and remain Hawk fans!! You’re not the first person to ask me that question, either……..LMAO.

  51. Yeah, we won’t convince each other one way or the other.

    I understand why there is fighting in hockey. It’s been in the game since it started so it’s kind of hard to get rid of it.

    What bothers me is I see these dangerous plays and people think the proper retaliation is fighting and that fighting will somehow prevent it from happening in the future. I want the LEAGUE to prevent it from happening in the future, not a 4th liner that gets 7 minutes of icetime on a good day thinking a staged fight is going to resolve everything.

    I understand why Keith went after the Shark I can not remember the name of. People said it was great and he was standing up for his teammate… I get that. What if Keith broke his hand coming to defend a guy that has little value to the team? What if the proper penalties were assessed and the Hawks end up losing that game? It’s not worth it.

    I love a good hockey fight. It gets me jazzed up. However, when I see a pair of 4th liners going at it for no apparent reason, it bothers me. It interrupts the flow of the game.

    So I understand why you like fighting and why you think it needs to be a part of the game. In my ideal world they stop the stupid hits by giving more punishing suspensions and let the skill players flourish.

  52. JS, this game is changing in our lifetime. However, in order for it to evolve even more, USA hockey realizes they need to change it at the lower amateur levels.

    A few years ago they really cracked down on checking from behind. Then, all open ice hits are scrutinized because of “head shots”. This year, they removed checking from the pee-wee level of house league hockey. Naturally, you cannot fight at the lower levels, but it exists. USA hockey figures that if they teach the same “safe” rules at a young age, as the kids pass through travel and high school hockey, they will play smarter, safer hockey. You have to change the mindset at a young age which is a really good thought process for USA hockey.

    You’re right about one thing, though, when a good player like Duncan Keith gets in a fight, does he risk injury? Absolutely!! But I think at the NHL level, whatever happens on the ice…….happens. You just hope that when the fight occurs that no injuries occur and it brings the team closer together. I reffed a game one time at the lower junior level and a player in a fight got his hand stepped on by a skate. It was an ugly, terrible, senseless injury that ended his playing career. Anything can happen in a fight, you are correct.

    In my mind, you don’t just change the way you teach the players at the lower levels, it’s how you educate the parents, which is a WHOLE other story……LOL.

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