Teuvo Time: Blackhawks Down Stars


In the much-anticipated debut of Teuvo Teräväinen, the Blackhawks handled their business and earned two points in regulation against the visiting Dallas Stars.

Teräväinen became the 18th player selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft to make his NHL debut, but his may have been the most anticipated of the group to date.

He was as good as advertised in his debut, skating between Brandon Saad and Ben Smith for most of the night. Teräväinen was also sent out on the Hawks first power play unit of the night. In the game, the phenom won his first seven faceoffs and showed off the vision fans have been hearing about since he was selected almost two years ago.

Andrew Shaw got the Hawks on the board in the first, scoring a power play goal as he was falling to the ice. Dallas carried the action in the opening 20 minutes, but the Hawks escaped the first with the lead.

In the second, Marian Hossa made a nice defensive play to take the puck away and get it to Kris Versteeg, whose shot was directed past Kari Lehtonen by a Dallas stick to extend the Hawks lead to 2-0.

Ryan Garbutt scored his first goal of the night moments after Versteeg’s goal to cut the lead in half, but Duncan Keith sixth goal of the year made the score 3-1. At the end of two periods, the Hawks were out-shooting 30-20.

Garbutt scored his second of the night and 14th of the season at 14:20 into the third, but a late goal from Hossa capped the night. The Hawks scored four times on 42 shots, with Lehtonen making 38 saves against 41 in the defeat. Corey Crawford finished the evening making 25 saves against 27 shots to earn his 29th victory.

Jonathan Toews won 23 of 28 faceoffs in the game and was credited with an assist in the game. Dallas won 22 faceoffs as a team on Tuesday night. Patrick Sharp was credited with two assists in the game, while Keith and Shaw had one goal and one assist each.

Teräväinen skated 16 shifts in 11:39 in the game.

Colorado defeated Nashville in a shootout and St. Louis also won on Tuesday night, keeping the standings in the Central status quo.


86 thoughts on “Teuvo Time: Blackhawks Down Stars

  1. I think TT will get better each game. I am already thinking about the increased talent level in the lineup when Kane comes back.

  2. TT- played well… If he plays with any of 10/88/81 – the kid will be really dangerous making quick/slick/sick outlet passes… showed a really good stick… great positioning in all zones… Yes – he will lose some one on one battles… but he is perfect for the type of quick puck moving/up tempo game Hawks play… It will be a tough decision – to burn a year of ELC… (but based on 1 game ONLY)- TT does make the Hawks better

    Crow played well early

    Q- Really isn’t liking what RunBad is showing

    Regin- skates well, looking good on 4th, he has made some solid centering passes to the Goal – just no finish.

  3. Toews on first line, Kane on second, and TT on third. That’s going to create a lot of space for other goal scorers.


  4. I guess Bickell should be ready on Thursday, so no need to play TT against the Big Bad Bruins. Would put him back on Friday against Ottawa.
    Lineup for game in Boston:
    20 – 19 – 81
    10 – 65 – 28
    29 – 26 – 23
    52 – 16 – 12
    2 – 7
    4 – 27
    8 – 17

  5. Rufus- “he just needs time”… He just needs faster skaters who are ready for his quick no look passes… Saad was off tonite (most likely from mild concussion???) 20 bobbled a few passes tonite…

    the kid was good, especially with the stick, broke up several plays, I hear he uses an xtra long stick which fools a lot of players

  6. I posted before the game that I was keeping my expectations low and just wanted him to play within himself and not trip over the blue line … and then he goes out and trips over the blue line :) Actually, he toe-picked on what could have been a 2 on 1, but that was the only miscue that I saw and it was a minor one anyway. I thought he played a real solid game. Was surprised he went 7-0 on faceoffs, but the whole Dallas team was woeful at the dot so we’ll have to see how he does against teams that have good faceoff guys.

    I have no idea how many more games TT will get this season, but for as much as I liked him having Saad and Smith on his wings – I hope we get to see him with Sharp and/or Hossa because it looks like TT’s passing is at such an elite level that he would be better off with wingers that play at an elite level to not only anticipate the pass better but have the skill to bury it. Smith is a nice player but he doesn’t play at that level and for as many good things that Saad does at or close to elite level – shooting/finishing isn’t one of them, at least not yet.

    Oh yeah – the game. CC was huge, especially keeping the game scoreless in the first 10 minutes where Dallas could have been up by 1 or 2 and that may have resulted in a much different game. Pretty solid game by all and it was a nice cherry on top having Bollig go with Roussel (even though Roussel did all he could do to make it a hug-a-thon because he knew it was his only hope to not get beat).

  7. Was there for the game. Crowd knew when he came on the ice and took that first faceoff. 7 for 7 is damn impressive. During warm ups you could see how nervous he was. Stayed in one spot for moments at a time. Had a good defensive play with his stick that stopped a scoring chance and sprung Saad I believe. He tripped when he was receiving a pass once. It looked like he didn’t want to be caught on the ice too long as he seemed to be the first of his linemates to get back to the bench.

    Defensively he looked solid. You could tell he knew where to fill in and rotate to. He went to the corners a few times and battled along the boards a bit as well. On that first power play, he had the puck along the half boards. It was uncanny the resemblance to Kane. Everything about those few seconds looked very much like Kane. He didn’t do much then, but the way he skated and handled the puck just looked like Kane.

  8. Runblad got beat early. Got caught flat footed early and didn’t see much after that. Crawford bailed him out. Leddy made a bad pass then recovered poorly on the second goal, and didn’t see much of him after that. Their ice time reflects that.

  9. To me, from what little I’ve seen, it appears that Rundblad has no idea of how to play defense….even a little. How can that be? He must’ve shown something to be a first round pick, and then for a team to trade a first round pick to get him. And, of course, that second rounder…

  10. That was Tayvoo’s B game. He can play better offensively, I have seen it. Like, Wall said if/when he plays with Sharpy or Hoss we are going to see some serious shit. He was holding back thses first few games to get comfortable & be responsible D wise.

    I would have Morin play R, no reason to let them take a cheap shot… that they wont get suspended for the entire finals series.

    Tayvoo is not going anywhere.

  11. Ernie and Morrison, I completely agree. TT did seem to be the first linemate off the ice and he was overloading on D and not jumping into the offensive scrums unless there was an opening so as to not be out of position. It was like he read a book on how to play for Q…or he was allowing himself to be coached and understands what he needs to do to play more.

  12. exciting day to be a hawks’ fan!

    good comments. great comments, actually. solid observations. this board is the best and most interesting i’ve seen on teh interwebz… unless the hawks lose. then it’s on par with the others.

  13. I agree CC was fantastic early on and kept the game scoreless until the team woke up. I thought there were strong performances all around, even Handzus played great on the PK and screened Lehtonen a few times. TT I thought played great, excellent on FO and that backhanded saucer outlet pass to Saad was awesome. Also that quick give and go with Smith was so good i think it kind of surprised Smith the pass was back so quick. The only blackspot on the night was Rundblad….not good. He almost cost a goal on that breakway and was out of position many times. He looked lost

  14. Sounds like it was exactly what we could have asked for… even though we might have been asking for more lol…

    While 20/28 are both very nice hockey players, I agree with ER that TT should get a shot with 10 and/or 81.

    Moonshine- I disagree… I think it would be a mistake to take him out. If i was Q (which im not) i’d let him play, but just limit is use to something like last night… 10-12 minutes.

    The rest of the year is gunna be fun to watch.

  15. I think you need to be a special kind of mentally tough to play for Q. Rundblad has been a disaster since getting here when he has shown a lot more promise in his other stops. Guy was drafted in the first round, traded for a first rounder, traded again for a first rounder, then traded for a second rounder. He’s also put up pretty good possesion statistics in most of his other stops. He now looks lost/nervous.

    Brandon Bollig hat trick last night. Dumb penalty, dumb fight, potential goal redirected with a high stick. Not to mention, what the hell is he doing hitting people 200 feet away from his own net with 90 seconds left in a one goal game?

    Crow was great.

    My two favorite parts of the night were when Handzus had the puck in the corner with no one in front of him and couldn’t even make it close to the front of the net, and then when he skated directly into Seabrook and forced him to take a penalty. Good times.

    As far as TT goes, kid has obvious talent, but I also don’t think there is a chance in hell that he plays those 10 games. My guess would be 6 or 7 so they can use him in an emergency in the playoffs… but I just don’t see them burning the year. He got favorable zone starts and favorable matchups all night and still had terrible possession numbers. This might be because he was so concerned with the defensive zone that he wasn’t doing much to maintain possession in the O zone. One observation with him on the first PK… when he had the puck along the end boards (and looked exactly like Kane), Duncan Keith snuck down and was in great position for a pass, but TT didn’t make the pass. Maybe he wasn’t confident to try to go through 4 Stars… but I’d guess it’s because Keith is a left handed shot and he wouldn’t have been able to one time it because the Hawks are stupid and don’t understand how to set up a powerplay.

  16. As I have been saying for awhile, TT doesn’t have to carry this team…he just needs to play 2 way hockey and take that 2nd line centre spot for him to make a HUGE impact on this team as it allows us to roll 4 lines…last night we did again, and we won again…11-0-2 in the New Year when we do…

    A few thoughts…

    Shaw has taken a lot of shots from some folks here, but he is in many ways the heart and soul of this hockey team…and if he doesn’t score that amazing goal late in the 1st it could have been a different outcome…he’s a huge part of this team

    CC was solid again, but (once again), a goal went in that shouldn’t have…Dallas’ first goal was an awful play by CC and these mental lapses have to stop as we get close to the playoffs…in games where we outshoot the opponents almost 2 to 1, we shouldn’t keep needing empty net goals to cinch the outcome.

    Saad has been a little slow coming back, but he’s a smart, monster hockey player…I predict a big post season for him.

    Rundblad skated 4 minutes…why did we give up a 2nd round pick for this guy? Our system is loaded with outstanding Defensive prospects, and a guy that has been playing for a few years shouldn’t need to be babied, at home, on the 3rd pairing, against Dallas…brutal…Rozy can’t get back soon enough, as BB has hit a rough patch in his play as well.

    Versteeg showed once again his great value to this team…he can play and contribute on ANY line and on both special teams…his play, with all the injuries, has been key to our success…I hope Steeger stays for the rest of his contract…

    Bandwagon jumpers with TT??? I love rufie’s comments so far…up until the game was played TT was going to be a disaster, and now he just needs a little more time…nice genius…

    Finally, in a game at home, where we won almost 90% of the FOs and almost outshot the opponent 2 to 1, we should have won going away…this team needs to get its confidence back with scoring goals and start burying more of their many, many chances…

    A big 2 points…

  17. Honestly JS, with TT on the roster now, why is Handzus getting ANY ice time? Other than winning 2/3rds of his draws last night, he did NOTHING, including his PK time.

  18. JS, I think Mo is right…TT isn’t going anywhere…that was his “B” game…his first words in a post game interview last night were,

    “Teravainen: I felt like I can really play in this league and really help the team. I still don’t think that was my best game.”

    I think he was overly nervous and was just trying to get through the game without a major hiccup…but he saw how much ice is there for him, and knows he can make plays…it was a great first start…

    Just no more Runblad…that was awful.

  19. For one, I don’t think TT sticks. I think he has the talent to, but I just don’t see it happening. I’d be happy to be wrong about this. Problem is, if they don’t play TT and they crash and burn in the playoffs, they are going to catch hell.

    Q will also say that Handzus is a vital part to the surging PK. I know we both think that Versteeg can do a better job… but you know how it goes, we don’t have 2 rings! We just have to deal with Handzus skating with all world talent come playoffs and hope that he can repeat his performance from last year. For one of his shifts last night, Sharp was the first to take the draw and after he got booted, Shaw went in. Why is Shaw taking a faceoff over Handzus again?

    I’m not really sure how you can pin that breakaway goal on Crawford. The guy timed it really well while Crow was going for a poke check. If he gets the poke check, it’s a great move. Instead the Dallas forward timed it perfectly and beat him. Seabrook needs to be the one that gets grilled for that play, not Crawford. Can’t let a forward sneak behind you like that.

    As far as Saad, I had heard it was a concussion, I was almost positive it was a concussion… but he’s kind of moving around like a guy that had a lower body injury. He still did some amazing things along the boards… just doesn’t seem to be full motor like he usually is.

    Shaw does a lot of great things, but he should have been called for 2 penalties last night and I have no idea why the refs swallowed the whistle. I think Eddie even said at one point, “Penalty coming up on Shaw” and then there was no penalty.

    Oh, also, Regin has been really good.

  20. I really liked the lineup today having A 2nd line will make a big difference moving forward. Steeg and Hossa was a good line & Saad and Smith w Teuvo was solid! To have someone in that roll w be huge for us moving forward.

    The fact that TT went 7 for 7 was just a bonus, and the fact he played well in is own end was an even bigger bonus! It was obvious on a few of his passes he has above average hockey IQ and elite sense on the ice. On the powerplay for a moment when he was stick handling on the boards I thought I was watching 88.

    That TT line last night was all Stan! Very entertaining game!

  21. I’ve changed my tune when it comes to playing TT more than 9 games this season. Yes, it will count as the first of three ELC years, thereby (essentially) reducing the seasons of criminally cheap AAV from three years to two years. However, it doesn’t reduce the number of RFA years because TT will not play 40+ games this season so the Hawks will “control” him for the same number of years regardless if his ELC slides or not. That’s probably not new news to most, but it is an important point.

    If he plays more than 9 games and the first year of ELC is used, it means he will need a new contract (raise) after the 2015/16 season instead of a year later. An argument can be made that he might be signed for less after only two full seasons than it would take after he plays his third full season. The thought being that his game will improve each season thereby increasing his value each season. That’s speculative on a couple levels, but it’s plausible.

    But here is the decider. If TT makes the team better and to the point that it enhances the Hawks chances to repeat, then he plays and burning the first ELC year is worth it. It’s the one in the hand is worth two in the bush philosophy – go for it now because no one is promised tomorrow. Aging and injuries (both physical and salary cap) are lurking down the road so let’s make some hay while the sun is still shining.

  22. Ya i remember that play by Handzus running into Seabrook and thinking come on man get out of the way. Also for a big guy Handzus plays pretty soft on board battles maybe it’s because he is so old those battles tire him out too much, but thought he looked ok on the PK. I agree there are better defensive prospects in Rockford than Rundblad. For a player that is supposed to be a decent skater he certainly didn’t show it, hence the 4 minutes TOI.

  23. Um. With VERY favorable match ups and playing with two strong human beings I thought T2 looked fine. Made a few slick plays, showed some better awareness than Kruger to not get murdered on the boards or open ice.

    He played very protected minutes and I am not sure where he fits into the line up when the playoffs start. Competing against guys on the Dallas stars… And realistically that is all he did was compete and get bossed possession wise despite winning every draw… Is COMPLETELY different than getting caught out there matched up against Duchene, Stastny or O’Reilly or MacKinnon. Maybe he burns down the rest of the season but this is going to be a tough one for them to handle.

    I’d expect him to see maybe a handful more games against Ottawa, Columbus, Washington and maybe Montreal or Pitt.

  24. Hawks fans need to be optimistic about the future. This team is loaded now with more help coming. The kid played good last night for his first real game in the show. He not only won face-offs, but they were won clean. He moves the puck very well, and so fast that open team mates are going to have get used to receiving passes quicker than normal. Team mates just have to get to open space and be ready. The puck will be there. All I can say is this kid has unusually perceptive ice vision, which is scary cool. Not saying he is one of those guys yet, but Gretzky had this talent. When Wayne first came up as a scrawny kid, he was uncanny in his ability to get open players the puck to create scoring chances. Kaner can do this. All of the great center men have this to a degree, but TT though already shows this talent in a big way. I would take him on the road trip and play him 10-15 minutes a game with special teams duties as well. TT likes to play defense, which also showed up last night. He would sooner defer to a defensive role, if he sees something shifting. It’s just hockey sense. TT will gain weight and confidence.

    Hawks should have beat Dallas last night, but it was closer that it should have been. CC was very good early, but gave up that goal late that was clearly deflating. Easy for me to say from my vantage point, but I thought he should have hugged that post and prevented that stuff shot. I’ll take the 2 pts.

    Good comments Brad and others. Some good games coming up. I hope we get 2-3 and then come home for more.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  25. ER, thanks for posting about TT’s RFA years not being shortened. I get the argument about lower raise after only 2 “good” seasons instead of 3. If he is all-world, it won’t matter…I am not saying he is all-world, just the reality of the situation. If TT plays well (and last night he played well and did what he was supposed to…you can tell he is trying to not cost the Hawks a goal right now instead of playing “open” offensively), and I am Hawks management, I burn his year if the team realistically thinks it can play in 2 postseason series. That would be at least 4 home games of extra money. Additionally, his play, in conjunction with everyone else’s could lead to another Cup and that should be the goal. In the playoffs, I just can’t see forsaking an opportunity to win…you have to do it. I am not saying at the trade deadline…I am saying once in the actual playoffs.

    The corollary could be The Nationals shutting down Strasburg when they were going to be in the playoffs…you only have a limited number of opportunities to win. Once in the playoffs, you have to exercise every option available to you to win. If I was a Nationals Fan, I would have hated that move. I don’t want to be a Blackhawks Fan thinking every option was not exercised for the team to win this year once in the playoffs.

  26. (Phil – BE CAREFUL!! I got hammered for placing “Gretzky” in a post referring to Terravanen…)

  27. Oh and on the Keith watch.. +27 minutes… Time to get into playoff shape.

    Can we please hold the Gretzky / Kane comparisons until something tangible happens. I get that he has skill but I think some brake pumping needs to be done.

  28. ER- You make a great point on speculative value. If he is growing every year… he will be worth one price after 2 years and like you said potentially more after 3 years…

    I am on the boat that if he helps us this year… then GO FOR IT. Nothing is guarenteed. You never play for Next Year! If you burn a year this year… he will need a new contract for the start of the ’16-’17 season… Seebs and Versteeg are off the books that summer so there should be plenty of cap space to work with come then. There really isn’t much downside to going for it this year IMO, if he plays well in the next 9 games. if in 9 games he’s not making us better thats a different story, but it looks promising…

  29. TT on that line with Saad and Smith was pretty electric. If Q just goes hands off the “blender” leave them simmer that line will carry the Hawks. TT won every face off for that alone he’s a rock star, his sight lines and passing skills are elite already and you can see he is concerned about getting back on defense, a few times he left it to SMITH to go in and crash the boards but that’s fine. His size is not a real issue only an issue because the Hawks are not overly physical but he will ROCK on the Power Play, calm and skilled and tape to tape passes. He will contribute big time and now. Boston will go out of their way Thursday to ruff him UP. Should be a great game . . . Boston = Pissed! go 86

  30. JS- “your Corsi/possession #’s” will most likely be skewed w TT… As I commented before… Cycle- is not TT’s game (YET)… TT is more about the quick/long outlets, and Finding guys for quick cuts/one-timers… these traits- do not always equate to “possession-time”… but can lead to some quick strikes… that is why I like him paired w/ 10/81 or 88 (some of the best floaters/readers of leaking early for the “Home run”)-

    and if the pass is muffed like the one last nite… could lead to quick transition the other way.

  31. Definitely let’s not couple “TT” and “Gretzky” in the same sentence, though TT absolutely reminds you of Kaner, especially along those boards on PP. Real glad he’s here. Play him.

  32. That makes me nervous, Wall. I don’t like the idea of a player that gets hemmed into his own zone all of the time and gives up more chances than he creates. I don’t think that translates to long term success.

    I also doubt you see TT with Sharp or Hossa until next season because they wouldn’t be able to shelter all of his zone starts/matchups.

  33. Corsi has nothing to do with cycling the puck. It has to do with pucks directed towards the goal which is the most accurate possession stat that they currently have.

    Patrick Kane’s numbers are staggering the last two years. Like bad. Amazing he is putting up points. Really illustrates how special of a player he is and how idiotic skating him with substandard players is.

    Anyway, having a negative shots directed towards the net differential on a team that’s success is dependent on possessing the puck is a very bad thing. With a players deployed like Kruger, Smith and Bollig who start in the D zone 80% of the time – their numbers will be skewed because of their situation deployment.

    Bottom line is that if you are an “offensively talented player” starting close to 70% of the time in the O-Zone and you have a negative Corsi # then you are sucking hard at life.

  34. AJ- I didn’t say they mean same thing -hence the /… my point is — that is what TT plays like… as an example- the Avs- have had way worse Corsi and Possession vs. Hawks, yet have won… in same way Finland vs. Sweden (WJC gold game) Sweden dominated those #’s (i am guessing)… But TT (Fin.) was able to beat them w quick/passes, counter -attack… Much the same way Avs have beaten the Hawks…
    with fewer BUT BETTER chances!!!

    And I think you are saying Kane’s Corsi is bad??? I don’t track Corsi… but if Kane’s is bad… you are only defending my point that TT and Kane belong together- CUZ- where they will beat you is on the counter-attack grade A chances (like Fins beat Swedes!!!)

  35. There’s no doubt Q made sure TT got sheltered minutes last night. It was the obvious thing to do for the kids first game. However, based on the defensive awareness and plays he made last night, I’m not convinced that he will continue to need sheltered minutes. I’m not sure he won’t though either because 12 minutes of TOI in one game isn’t enough data. I hope Q plays him against Boston tomorrow because it will be harder to shelter him not only because Boston will have last change as the road team, but also because there aren’t any easy matchups against a stacked Boston team. TT showed last night that he understands what is required of him – the IQ and awareness questions should be considered answered. Now it remains to be seen if he can play that way when he’s under duress and Boston will provide plenty of duress.

  36. The AVs are only in the playoffs because of stellar goaltending that has not regressed to the mean yet. Only reason. The AVs have only beaten the Hawks because of stellar goaltending that has not regressed to the mean. The Hawks have gotten 37 shots or more pretty much every game against the AVs. Super comfortable playing them in the playoffs.

    Kane’s is poor but it isn’t negative. It only emphasizes that he is producing points in a silly situation based on poor roster decisions and his drop off in point production is a regression to the mean. I’m implying that if he were playing with players to better compliment his skill set that he would have a legitimate shot at being close to Crosby’s point totals.

    It is one game and a small sample size but to say that T2 did anything other than compete and show a few flashes of a high ceiling is preposterous. He far from dominated which is evident in the advanced statistics and the quality of competition he faced.

    He is an incomparable player to Kane in terms of his ability to carry the puck up the ice and dictate the game even going back to Kane’s rookie year where he was dominant as an 18 year old. These comparisons are silly. When/if the runt dictates play and starts putting up points maybe I’ll get a little excited but that game showed nothing other than “nice prospect” “could be good at some point” and that is about it.

  37. Wall- If you think getting shelled and then converting on a quick play is the recipe for long term success, you’d fit right in with the Leaf’s front office. If you think the Avs will beat the Hawks in a playoff series in which they give up 39.8 shots per game while only generating 21.8, I would like to play poker with you.

    The Avalanche success this season is miffing everyone. They shouldn’t be winning as much as they are and I don’t expect it to continue.

    As far as TT. Kid showed flashes of brilliance, but trying to compare him to anyone or predict his future after 10 minutes of NHL action against a bad defense is jumping the gun a tad bit.

  38. AJ – I agree with the basic premise of your post – that even after TT did pretty well, it was in sheltered minutes and it was only 12 minutes in one game. The Kane comparisons really need to be qualified to say that he showed Kane-like vision and passing but he has not done anything remotely close to what Kane has done, even when Kane was a year younger than what TT is now. It’s still only potential until he actually does it.

    But, I disagree with your comment that he “showed nothing other than “nice prospect” “could be good at some point” and that is about it”. There are “nice prospects” and then there are “nice prospects”. I think your comment implies there was nothing “special” that our first glimpse revealed, and that is what I take issue with. I think he showed that he could be more than “good” at some point. I think he showed elite level skill that showed he could be very good and maybe even elite at some point.

  39. Please understand my use of Gretzky as an example of how certain players view and utilize space on the ice does not imply that TT will achieve the success that the Great One did. This applies to Kane as well. It is reasonable to assume though that this kid has qualities that look special based on what we have already seen from him wherever he has played. Of course there is an adjustment period all players go through transitioning into the level of play present in the NHL. I believe this kid will quickly become a really good player, and am pleased to see him wearing a Hawks sweater.

  40. JS/AJ- I don’t think I really compared 86 88, really… I said they would blend together well… one outlets/moves puck well,,, the other “leaks” out and flies the zone well

    Hey – Yotes beat Hawks in PO’s – getting shelled in your Corsi?
    Hey- Avs “will not make PO’s”
    I am not here to argue “Corsi”… but those Avs games… I still say Hawks were out chanced in Grade A’s

    AJ why are other teams beating Varlarmov??? Hawks are better than most?
    My point is Avs are super quick- and Hawks are being counter-attacked and beaten…
    A better strategy vs. Avs might be to less aggressive and more D focused…imo

  41. I agree that you play to win this year…you never know what’s going to happen next year. If everyone is healthy, you owe it to the team and to the fans to put your best foot forward.

    Love the idea of putting TT with a couple of finishers in 10 and 81.

    The other effect of that which could be interesting is reuniting the line 88/19/29 line that clicked for us in the playoffs last year. Perhaps playing with the Captain will energize Bickell to that same level that he demonstrated last year…

    Still leaves a tough to match up with 3rd line of 20/65 and 28, 23 or 12.

  42. When it comes to TT, seems like everyone sees what they see through their own filter of expectation. I am traveling and missed the game, but appreciate AJ trying to keep it real. And PLEASE- no use of Gretzky in any reference to this kid for at least 5 years of his proving a fraction of the Great One’s ability/skill. Really. Let’s keep it real..

  43. I agree with those who say let the kid play.
    He will not develop that much physically in the next 6 months when he becomes a full time NHLer.

    This year has really got me becoming a Leddy fan. He makes some mistakes but he has been holding up partners like BB and Rundland and should be given his due for it. Leddy actually has a wicked shot and can skate with anybody. I am hoping for him with Hammer next year and if they have to trade a Dman trade Oduya.

    Bollig is feeling the pressure. Smith advancing, TT moving into a top 6, top 9 spot and Krueger making his line good regardless of linemates. That said, what bad would Morin do the Bollig isn’t. I would love to see tomorrow night

    29 / 19 /23
    10 / 86 /81
    20 / 65 / 28
    11 / 16 / 12

  44. So the use of Wayne Gretzky’s name is taboo in talking about certain special hockey skills? That’s silly. I saw Gretzky play at Chicago Stadium for many years. I watched him in his rookie season. I know what the guy could bring. He was of course a special, gifted player, one of the rare ones. Denis Savard you knew quickly was one of these guys. I was a season ticket holder from his rookie year on. The guy was magical. In saying that other players have a special gift in how they perceive what is going on while they are playing, and can affect positive change to a game does not diminish Gretzky, or ANY of the all time greats! My point was TT having an apparent talent that most players don’t happen to possess. as far as ice vision. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can bring. Time of course will tell. I think this kid can be a great player, but that does not put him in the HOF by me saying it. Why is it wrong to say this kid could be really good? I never said TT was as good/better than anyone yet. Lighten up guys. This is supposed to be fun.

  45. Wall- Mike Smith put up the second best save percentage ever in that series. I don’t understand, are you arguing that it’s better to not have the puck when playing hockey? Correct, I didn’t think the Avs would make the playoffs. I was wrong. They have defied logic and gotten unbelievable goaltending.

    You’ve grasped at two huge outliers and are trying to prove a point off of that? The ONLY TEAM in the last 14 years (as far back as I cared to check) that won the Stanley Cup with a negative shot differential? The Penguins, and their playoff numbers relative to their regular season numbers couldn’t be different. But sure, find a few outliers and try to turn that into a point.

    How would the Hawks become more D focused against the Avs? Only give up 20 shots instead of 22? Dress less skilled players so they have the puck more?

  46. You can say TT reminds you of Gretzky but we will not know for 10 years whether you can compare TT with Gretzky. Excellence over time will dictate whether TT is the next Gretzky or not. So please

  47. The Avs will be a real concern in the playoffs. I look at them as much as a challenge as the Preds posed during the 2010 cup run, not a good match up for the Hawks at all. The Preds were the biggest opposition during that cup run IMO.

    I would much rather have the Hawks open on the road against the Avs because I am nervous that the Avs could win a game or two in the UC, and the Hawks haven’t played well in Denver recently.

  48. So what is wrong with saying TT sees the ice well? This is a special talent that some players possess. Special players have great vision. Sorry if I haven’t explained this well enough. As I also stated before, time will tell. I never said this kid was as good as or reminded me of “you know who” or anyone else.

  49. Mike, I like those lines for playoffs… with everybody.

    29 / 19 /88
    10 / 86 /81
    20 / 65 / 28
    23 / 16 / 12

  50. ER, thanks for the info on TT…I think that cinches it for the Hawks…giving him a raise, but still controlling his rights is a SMALL price to pay for his help this season…I think what a lot of people here are forgetting is that over this season TT put on an extra 7 pounds of muscle…so he’s not the 169 lb weakling that I think a lot of people believe him to be (he’s a 176 lb weakling…just kidding). If he continues to play, he’s simply going to get better, you can bank on it, as that is what always happens with true talent…

    JS…on the breakaway goal, it came from an extreme angle…all goalies are taught to hug the post and then slide across across the net with chest up to give the shooter nothing to look at when the shooter comes from across the ice like that…if you want, re watch that play and this time focus on CC…he panicked…he wasn’t sure if he was going to use technique or poke check…that split second of hesitation is all the Dallas player needed to get the puck by him…for veteran goalies, everything is about technique…its grilled into their brains (situational hockey)…thus they don’t need “to think”, they just need to respond to the situation and trust their mentors and themselves…

    Again, CC did a lot of good things last night, and helped us a lot early, but those kinds of goals need to stop.

  51. Mo, when Bickell comes back, I sure hope it means the end of Zus as a regular player and/or centreman…he’s a liability 5 on 5 playing centre…if he skates as a winger for Kruger, the Hawks can get away with this…in fact, the couple of times Q did this, things turned out well for the Hawks and the 4th line wasn’t bad…

  52. Phil, others, there’s NOTHING wrong with comparing TT to Gretzky…no one is claiming that he is, or even will come close to the great one, but TT certainly possesses abilities that remind one of Gretzky…the big difference between Wayne and other talented players, is that Gretz KNEW he was unstoppable…from the moment he played his first professional game…Gretzky knew no one could stop him from achieving his goals…now, does TT possess that same level of confidence??? That’s why I posted TT’s comments after the game last night…the first thing he said was “I can play in this league…I can be better, this wasn’t even close to my best game”…if he’s going to make it, he has to KNOW he will…

  53. You know what I saw TT doing better than Kane in his rookie season? Get back on D.

    Man, comparing a rookie to Gretzky seems to get the same rise from people as bands who say they’re better than the Beatles! lol

  54. Phil, there arnt many lucky people who got to see 99 play during his rookie yr like you did. I really value your thoughts because no one else here probably saw 99 play that yr & their just keeping it real for the common hockey person not to get over excited. Every top prospect is compared to this guy and that guy… bla bla bla, never become that good or good at all to play in league… ya ya ya.

    No one, not even the great Crosby/Ovechkin playing east conference defenses, will be as good or score as many pts as 99 did in the salary cap century of hockey. I totally agree with your actual witnessing 99 during his rookie yr/those yrs and know what you saw then & see with Tayvoo. I to think Tayvoo is going to be that type of passer because he does have that rare vision. It is fun, because Tayvoo can really be that good.

    Nothing against Danualt, I really like him, but someone smoked a lot about him.

  55. JS- my point really is the “GRADE A” chances… I am not looking directly at stats from Avs vs. Hawks… (nor do I always really agree w subjective stat of Grade A chances)
    were even -if not in favor of the AVS!!!!

    AJ can keep on thinking V-mov is the Show stopper!!! But The Grade A’s were in favor of Avs- imo… Look at that 1st loss to Avs… their 1st few goals – were basically break aways.

    Here is example from Yesterday… 19 on backhand for two seconds/untouched…
    the goalie down… 19 was too close on backhand.. not a Great stop or grade A chance in my book!!!Goalie just holds position (aka Emery) and the puck hits him!!!

    Yotes – won cuz didn’t give up a lot of Grade A-imo… and CC gave up the 1 Grade D every other game!!!

  56. Didn’t mean my comments to be so provocative, but a lively dialogue it has become. Lest we forget to laugh I couldn’t help but think of the eternally funny Python sketch that can be viewed at any time over at Youtube.
    Monty Python’s Flying Circus – COMPLETE Spanish Inquisition
    If that doesn’t make you smile, watch it again

    Even Brad’s parrot likes this one

    Lets Go Hawks! Beat those B’s. Bruins fans will have flashback nightmares seeing Hawks white road sweaters tomorrow night.

  57. The type of chances are irrelevant. Save % is THE statistic and volume of shots on goal vs goals scored just about always regresses to the mean. Those are the facts.

    If you want to make up arbitrary stats, then if the Hawks raise their “compete level” to its “maximum” which is more than Colorado because they have “experience winning it all” then I would tell you that they are going to win.

    I can tell you that historically speaking, teams that give up that many shots to good teams will not go very far. Mike Smith in 11-12 was an outlier but he also faced Nashville (barf) and a Hawks team with a knocked out Hossa, concussed Toews and little beyond Kane and Sharp.

    If the Hawks are mostly healthy in the first round they either sweep or 4-1 steam roll over the Avalanche.

  58. Side note. The Bickell-Simmonds tilt last week up at hockeyfights.com was well captured. You can hear Hawks players rooting Bicks on from the bench around the 40-50 second mark. Good stuff. I think it was Shaw.

  59. I wonder if TT plays tomorrow or if Joel gives him the game off against the big bad bruins,…”You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.”

    One of the only teams I despise more than the sad sack canucks!

  60. AJ- 1st of all please don’t try to argue Statistics with me… I have a degree in Stats!!!

    2nd- I am quoting you- “the types of chances are irrelevant”??? Please do your homework before you open your mouth and say false things!!! So if I take 30 shots from the blue line… that is equal to 30 shots from the slot??? My whole gripe about “Grade A” (which I admit is subjective) is completely relevant!!! Please have your Corsi buddy JS- explain the term “Scoring Chance” and how coupled with Corsi- shows a very strong correlation to Goals!!! Scoring Chances (and Grade A) for that matter are totally relevant!!!

    3rd- You love to throw the “regression to the mean” term around… BUT- why won’t the Hawks “regress to the mean” and become an average team??? average in wins, average in goals scored, just average??? I know the “statistical” answer… but my hunch says – you don’t…

  61. SSHM, the Hawks have a back to back and the Bruins could be going for revenge after the cup finals last year and to send a message for the coming up playoffs. I wouldn’t blame Coach Q one bit if he played the tougher guys and tried to protect some of the younger skill players by sitting them out etc. This strikes me as a game where Brookbank, Rundblad, Zus, Bollig, Morin, Shaw and Regin get a lot of ice time and then the Hawks go all in on the Ottawa game the next night. Just a thought.

  62. Good insight Pete. Bruins have their division/conference locked in with home ice it would surely seem. Why not exact revenge even though B’s- Hawks final last year wasn’t a knock down drag out? Intense yes, but not mean by standards. Bruins fans should ask why their coach didn’t call a timeout or change lines after Hawks tied it up at the end of the fateful game 6 . I trust Q to bring what he believes will be best lineup with the bigger picture in mind. A game that will require Hawks heads to be up and on a swivel.

    SSHM, cursed Blues don’t qualify??

  63. Yea, that’s why I mentioned not having T in for that game. Its the only one of all the games left to do this because their the only team that has nothing to loss or play for. All the other teams we play are fighting for playoffs or homeice, etc. I know their going for the league 1 seed but with a east conference division sch. they know they should get it just because of easy sch. & they just played against their most hated team and it wasn’t clean…

    I think it would be wise to have 17, 11, 26 guys in and then give 26 the backtoback off…

  64. The one team that worries me is the Avs. I’m not saying the others can’t beat the Hawks, but the Avs have their number. And it’s because they have more speed then the Hawks. They are the only team that can out skate them.

    Most teams try and out muscle the Hawks which plays into their system. They take the blows and then feed on the other teams weakness. Lack of speed. Not so with the Avs.

    If they can get past the Avs they have shot and that’s all we can ask for as fans.

    So if TT gives them a chance to win Stan and Q will play him and worry about the rest later. If Q trusts him, he will play. Look no further then Saad…

  65. Phil, I grew up watching Monty Python…that’s a classic sketch…remember though, I haven’t had the parrot until very recently…

  66. The Hawks are a top team talent wise so over the course of the season they wont drop down to average unless the talent pool in the league significantly rises or theirs due to age or injury or ineffective management drops.

    I’m not arguing statistics I’m stating fact which you clearly ignore. Varlamov has about a .924% this year and .918 overvhis career. Simple math dictates that he SHOULD be surrendering between 3 and 4 goals per game if Colorado continues to allow Chicago to get around 40 shots on goal. His playoff averages are even lower.

    With the shots Chicago allows and Crawfords history they should give up between 2-3 per game. And his numbers get better in the post season.

    Barring an injury crisis the Hawks are going to roll right over them.

  67. Philly looking a bit less energized vs Rangers tonight in a game they need points. Win the Cup, and you wear the bulls eye on your sweater EVERY game. Get to the playoffs, its a new season. I still like our chances with a relatively healthy core guys lineup .

  68. Phil I definitely have a healthy dislike for both the Blues and Wings. The Wings for kicking the Hawks ass for a solid decade plus the whole Chelios thing, but without Scotty Bowman this rebirth of the Hawks doesn’t happen so I have a new found respect for them. The Blues just haven’t been a legit nuisance recently….but my answer might change in 6 weeks.

    The punkass Canucks and Bruins for this hockey fan are in their own class. so many jerks on those rosters. When they played in the final I was hoping no one won. I despise both organizations. For the Bruins it starts with Charelli, Claude and that pompous Jack Edwards and continues. For the Nucks its their unfound sense of entitlement.

  69. Poetry, thanks ebonyraptor! I think we are going to enjoy seeing that played out over and over for years to come on various ice surfaces.

  70. AJ- not disagreeing w any of your last post… However, you failed to acknowledge the term “scoring chances” as being different than shots… and the relevance of scoring chances. All scoring chances are shots… ALL SHOTS ARE NOT SCORING CHANCES!!!

    In English- The Hawks can pepper Avs w 40 shots from the perimeter…but Duchene,McKinnon,and Co. only need 2-3 shots from the slot to score more than the Hawks.

    You say it was the Great V-mov in goal,,, I prefer to say the Hawks (while out shooting the Avs) gave up more Scoring Chances/high quality shots!!!

    Can the Hawks beat Avs- certainly- But they better change their approach,,, giving that team of Young stud forwards quality “scoring chances” will lead to the same results -as the reg. season games.

  71. Again. You are wrong. Because math.

    “There is a strong correlation between shot differential and scoring chance differential, so the simple shot differential tells us most of what we need to know. And since others have shown this for a team here or there, this isn’t news; the analytical community has long known that shot differential is very important and shot quality effects are minor.”

    And since shot quality effects are minor they are an arbitrary indicator and nothing more than a buzz word to add drama to a clearly definable scenario which is better explained by some unmeasurable factor like “luck” or the normal ups and downs of a season.


  72. AJ- You are still failing to address the HIGH correlation between scoring chances and Corsi… AND skillfully trying to “CLOUD” the interpretation with “Differentials” (which I am sure is another accurate reading on your behalf)…

    BUT- my point still is the AVS have had more/better scoring chances… THAT WILL HAVE TO STOP- if Hawks are going to beat them… and I know what you are going to say… the Scoring Chances will “regress to the mean”– if the Hawks continue to Outshoot the Avs by a wide margin,,,, well in this year’s head to head it hasn’t happened yet,,, But the Hawks team wins can’t regress to the mean- cuz they have too much talent, etc. AND I say the Avs have talent, speed, style, and have been playing the Hawks tough for a few years- which indicates that might be the mean!!!

  73. BigmuskJ tell me how the Avs are that much faster than Chicago? the answer is they aren’t. I would say they may be equally as fast but let’s not say they outskate the Hawks, especially with TT in and Handzus out. The Hawks D would skate circles around the Avs and Handzus is really the the only anchor on forward. I agree the Avs will be a force but let’s not give them too much credit. Duschene is one of their faster players and i recall Sharp chasing him down from behind to prevent a breakway.

  74. Y’all drunk.

    Wall- find me a box score that says the Hawks have had less “scoring chances” than the Avs. I understand what you are trying to say, but if you ask me, every shot on goal is a scoring chance. Yes, some are higher quality than others, but if it’s on net, it has a chance to go in. It is proven that shots on goal matter. It’s also proven that head to head success in the regular season doesn’t mean shhhhhh.

    We just have to remember that the playoffs are a different animal. The Hawks are capable of playing a dirty game just as much as they are capable of playing a pretty game.

    If you tried to make a list of teams that were nearly doubled up on shots but still won a series, it would be a very short list. I like the Hawks chances regardless of the numbers the woman beater put up in the regular season. Roy doesn’t call them the class of the league because he’s a nice guy.

  75. When all the stats are examined for relative merits as it pertains to Hawks-Avs matchup, it will get down to a few other things that do make a big difference. Avs advantage year in and year out is they play at altitude. This is huge, and probably wins them 20% or more of their home games. That is a random number I chose, but it could be much higher I think. Avs have had very good goal tending with Varlamov. He can’t get any better against the Hawks unless he pitches shutouts. Not likely over what could be a 6-7 game series. We must also remember the great goalie obstacles from last year, and all the hand wringing. The “invulnerability” of Howard, Quick, and then trumpets blaring, the unbeatable Raask. In the end all of these guys got lit up. Yes, of course we don’t forget what Smith did to us a few years ago, but shit happens. Plus, as pointed out here by others, we were reduced offensively due to injuries against Yotes. When all is said and done, I think we solve Varlomov. The guy hates traffic in front of his crease. It gets under his skin. He is a good keeper, but I think he is kind of high strung. I think the Hawks will find a way. If you take Varlomov out of the equation we are better top to bottom than the Avs IMO. Yes, they have some fast, skilled forwards. So do we, but the Hawks also have what Avs don’t have, and that’s experience. I say we get by Avs in first round hopefully with home ice advantage against them. That’s what the Hawks are playing for to end the reg season.

    Lets Go Hawks! Beat the B’s.

  76. goldenbladz I think the Avs are a faster team but it is specially up the middle. That’s why Zus playing 2nd line center has been such a hot button topic all year. When Zus gets 2nd line mins against fast teams the Hawks get exposed. If the Hawks were to match up against teams like LA, PHX or STL this wouldn’t be as big of a deal. Zus had a strong playoffs last season because many of the matchup favored his current game. An Avs matchup exposes that. Which is why TT will play a HUGE roll moving forward.

  77. The high correlation between a dominate corsi and “scoring chances” is exactly what I am addressing. The higher the Corsi / Fentwick the MORE “scoring chances” are generated. There was this awesome graph on the page I provided that shows that. Math is super cool.

    This isn’t a difficult concept. Because the Hawks have a significantly higher ratio of shots directed towards the goal and shots on goal, statistically speaking, they should score more goals than the other team.

    Like I have stated numerous times if the AVs give a relatively healthy Hawks team around 40 shots per game they are going to get swept or at the best win 1 game. This is a very favorable first round match up. A team that plays zero defense is ideal to get Kane back into game shape and a guy who needs momentum like Bickell going.

  78. JS- Find ME the boxscore that says the Avs have less “scoring Chances” head to head this year!!! imo- Avs have had more— NOT quoting any boxscore- Just OPINION!!!

    Another perfect example- Last year Flames vs. Hawks (Emery) made around 50 saves!!! a lot vs. Glencross from about 1 foot.away… they show up IN the stat book as “scoring chances”… but to me they were EASY stops/saves… cuz the guy was actually TOO close!!!! BUT people said Emery was a God that nite… I didn’t.
    YES- I understand the math- if Flames throw 50 shots/nite… more goals most likely scored… but stats don’t always tell story… and there are Deviations/Outliers/etc.

    Once again- I don’t know if there is one…

    But -imo- the games I have seen the Avs have had more Grade A- (which I admit 100% is even more subjective stat… ) that is still my point!!!

    And Yes- I still believe Hawks can turn it around vs. Avs… but it will take a bit of different Strategy + EXECUTION!!!!

  79. AJ your over confidence is troubling. Math and stats are fun however they don’t tell the entire story and stats are easy to manipulate. There are two real concerns for me with this upcoming round match up. 1st Semyon Varlamov has absolutely OWNED the Hawks recently, he has posted insane numbers against them.

    2nd Team speed on the middle the Avs are strongest were the Hawks are weakest. Right down the middle. Zus getting heavy minutes in the Avs series is a recipe for disaster. Can TT solved that problem? Possibly but that’s asking an awful lot for an 19 yr old kid with 10 mins of NHL ice time under his belt. Its just not a good match up for the Hawks.

    The Avs didn’t look like a contender to anyone this season(including me) yet here they are right in the middle of the western conf w all the big boys!

  80. Yeah, math is super cool, except when it doesn’t prove your point over a 5 game season series.

  81. stats, cats and goldenblatz – this new math is giving me a headache. I think I’ll just watch the games. :)

  82. hahahah good one ER. SSHM. I still don’t see how you can call the Avs a faster team. If you are saying the Avs are more talented up the middle, I can buy that. To say the speed favours the Avs because of the centers is wrong as it’s the wingers that are first up the ice and not the center right? and to say the Avs will outskate Kane, Hossa, Sharp and Saad is foolish. Like I said Handzus is the only anchor as a forward and if he is replaced then speed favours the Hawks as their D is quicker. As others have said only Varly has held the Avs in many games and if pressure affects him like it did at the olympics then the Avs go down.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *