Toews, Blackhawks Power Past Bruins

Finally, a goaltender deserved a better result and it wasn’t the guy between Chicago’s pipes.

Anton Khudobin and Anton Forsberg put on an terrific display of goaltending in a Sunday matinee at the United Center. Khudobin stopped 36 of 39 and Forsberg made 31 saves against 32 shots.

In the first period, the Bruins did the Blackhawks a hypothetical favor by having a steady line of players headed to the penalty box. Tim Schaller went at 6:08 and the Blackhawks scored on their first advantage.

Artem Anisimov picked up his 20th of the year, tipping what could have been Jonathan Toews’ 20th past Kudobin.

Matt Grzelcyk and Danton Heinen also served minor penalties for Boston in the first period; John Hayden sat for a couple minutes for Chicago. After 20 minutes, the Blackhawks had held onto their one goal lead and out-shot Boston 12-10.

The second period saw no penalties and no goals scored by either team – but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Boston put 14 shots on net and Chicago put 11 on Khudobin in the second.

Zdeno Chara tied the game almost 11 minutes into the third period and the sentiment was largely “here we go again.” That sentiment didn’t hold on the Chicago bench, however. The Hawks poured it on and, when Chara went to the box for four minutes – with less than four minutes left in regulation – the door was opened for Chicago.

And hot damn the Hawks actually took advantage! Patrick Kane scored his 25th of the season 18 seconds after Chara went to the box to give Chicago a lead they wouldn’t give up.

Toews and Erik Gustafsson had the assists on both of the Hawks’ first two goals. The emotion from Kane after the puck went it showed a great deal of frustration being lifted; it was a classic Kane snipe, but getting a late lead at home clearly felt good.

Brent Seabrook added an insurance goal seconds after Chara left the box – and, for some reason, went straight to the Boston bench despite the Hawks having the puck on the attack in their offensive zone.

Toews added his third assist of the day on Seabrook’s goal, and Kane picked up a second point with an assist of his own.

Without Patrice Bergeron in the lineup, Toews once again dominated at the dot. He won 16 of 21 faceoffs and skated more than five minutes of power play time in the win.

Kane and Anisimov led Chicago with five shots on goal each and Duncan Keith was credited with a team-leading five blocked shots in the game.

83 thoughts on “Toews, Blackhawks Power Past Bruins

  1. Good game. I see the league protected their (BOS or leagues) cheap shot dirty shot player.

    They could have let him play one more game before suspension. Because suspension donot do anything. An aftershock hit back to 63 does. Since 63 was protected 15 accidentally 47 in friendly place. Hey its a friendly run league when it comes to headshots and other things after all.

  2. I know i’m supposed to hope they lose for better draft position, but damn it, it’s hard to not be happy to see them win, even a meaningless game against a team missing some of their best players.

    Hawks musings:

    The Frozen Four is April 5th and 7th. The Hawks last game is April 7th. Therefore, is Dylan Sikura’s Northeastern team gets to the Frozen Four, there won’t be any games left for the Hawks to entice him into signing by playing a game to knock a year off his ELC. I guess I have to root for Northeastern to get upset because they are one of the best teams in college hockey this year with their top line of Stevens-Gaudette-Sikura.

    The Hawks have only 45 guys under contract with 22 players on the NHL roster, 2 on LTIR and 21 non-rostered players. I noticed Ejdsell is one of the 21 non-rostered players designated as “on loan”. That means the Hawks have 5 unused contract “slots” to add players with hopefully one of them being Sikura.

    Of the 45 guys under contract, there are 9 that will be UFA after the season (July 1st): Sharp, Franson, Bouma, Svedberg, Tootoo, Martinsen, DiDominico, Glass and Rozsival. Most of those guys will probably not be re-signed.

    Of the 45 guys under contract, there are 5 that will be RFA after the season: Duclair, Hayden, Hinostroza, Jurco and Clendening. There’s a good chance 4 or 5 of them will be re-signed.

    With what will almost certainly be 10+ contract slots open for Stan to use, expect Stan to go shopping in Europe and for college free agents. I don’t expect him to find another Panarin but even a Kempny, Kampf, or Rutta is a nice “get” for not costing anything.

    There are some pretty good college players available this year, with 4 of the top players already drafted but could choose to become UFA on August 15th. One of them is our guy Sikura and the other three are Ryan Donato (Boston draft pick who plays center for Harvard – 22 goals / 33 points in 25 games), Jake Evans (Montreal draft pick who plays center for Notre Dame – 11 goals / 38 points in 34 games), and Louis Delpedio (Minnesota draft pick who plays defense for Miani of Ohio – 9 goals / 28 points in 34 games).

    Beside those 4 drafted players, there are quite a few undrafted free agents that have some promise: defensemen: Kevin Autio of Penn State and Daniel Brickley of Minnesota State to name a couple at the top of the list.

    The point is that Stan will probably be like a kid in a candy store this off season.

  3. Good to see Kane and Toews rediscovering some chemistry again… Putting them on the same line seems to be improving our PP, they seem more aware of each other instead of looking like they exist on separate islands

  4. Even in this lost Season, it’s fun to see them play well and win. The Captain had a good game, and I agree with Sven about the Kane and Toews pairing.

  5. EB Gilbert, Tillman and Krys all rumoured to be possible elc signings plus Jokiharju. Soderlund is another possible elc signing too. So with Sikura theres 6 spots may be taken for contracts. Also Ejdsell finished he season yesterday so he could possibly join the Blackhawks if they want him too for remainder of season.

  6. Wasn’t Bruins A team but a good morale booster for everybody. Little bit of positive for mostly everybody today.

  7. We could use more Hayden. I think he has the potential in time to become a higher line player — his hands are good enough. I’m no expert but I wonder if he could be taught to skate with a lower center of gravity in order to really get the most out of his size and strength. If he could do that he could become a real beast. The effort is certainly there.

    Gus had a nice game running the point. There I said something nice about him. If he wants to prove me wrong about him, more power to him although it’s the other end of the rink that he has to learn to play in.

  8. Yes, please sign Soderlund ASAP and bring him over. Lightning fast and plays on the edge. Really looking forward to seeing him.

  9. Soderlund shows potential but I doubt he’s close to ready yet based on him getting only 3rd/4th line minutes on his Swedish League team (SHL). I’ve read the comparisons of him to Arvidsson, mainly because he’s a small Swedish player with good speed and some dangle, but, and as great as that would be, take a look at Arvidsson’s career.

    First, Arvidsson is 5 years older than Soderlund. Arvidsson was passed over the first 2 years he was eligible to be drafted before Nashville took him with the #112 pick in the 2014 draft (4th round). Soderlund was drafted at the same position when the Hawks took him with the #112 pick in the 2017 draft. Other similarities are they’re both 5’9″ and played for Skelleftea in the SHL.

    Soderlund is finishing up his 3rd season in the SHL, as a 20 year old, with point totals of 9 goals and 14 points in 43 games.

    Arvidsson’s 3rd season in the SHL was also as a 20 year old with similar point totals – 7 goals and 12 points in 49 games.

    But then, Arvidsson played another season in the SHL as a 21 year old where he broke out with 16 goals and 40 points in 50 games. That got him noticed and Nashville drafted him. He than came over to North America and played the full season in the AHL as a 22 year old and started the following season in the AHL before being called up and finishing up the 2015/16 season with Nashville.

    The bottom line is that Soderlund in 5 years younger than Arvidsson and at least 2-3 years behind him in development … and that’s if Soderlund even gets as good as Arvidsson is – no guarantee.

  10. It doesn’t matter whos in the lineup. Its good for young guys for experience that can help development.

    Were still winning half of the games without Crow a the deadline players.

    We weren ever going to do better then 15-5 or 5-15 in these last 20 games without a full roster and Crow. We were going to get between 7-9 predraw pick. The couple teams ahead of us we wernt ever going to catch for a 4-6 pick these teams suck. But make sure we donot win to much to stay ahead of 9-12 pick teams.

    Were a .500 team with a roster like this, that’s not full and without Crow. With Crow a more established/and fuller roster were a 12-20 over .500 team this yr. Before Crow got hurt we were 6 over, another 6 in 2nd 40 were 12 over .500 and that’s is where the playoff spots are this yr.

    It really doesn matter, but were a much better then .500 team when we have the full roster, then we are without Crow a not a full lineup.

    Were doing what we need to and want to last yr and this yr and that is to get 2 really good young players, which now will be 3 thanks to 38.

    Were going to be much better the next few yrs then this.

    When you think about it, we stopped playing sometime between when Crow got hurt and the 0-7-1. We played pretty good and beat a lot of top 10 teams before that/stopped playing. I forget the number but I think we won more games against top 10 teams then they best us/first 55 games.

  11. Great game to watch and all lines were balanced and playing well. Sharp obviously won’t be back and hopefully Sikura slides into that spot. I still like Anisimov but if he has to go to get a top 4 D then so be it. Nice to see the Bruins lose and I don’t believe they will get by the Leafs

  12. Those 4, 5 and 6 days inbetween games really cut into rhythm of a team.

    ‘Those swimming breaks really cut into the day, don’t they?’

  13. After that cheap shot by dirty Marchand it was nice to see Hawks play with some pride. Anyone else notice Highmore’s relentless high energy motor?

  14. I know it wont happen in 12mths (which started last draft) if we load up with guys like 40 and 36 style/type players that’s the tackle and go fast we want.

    The passing can be crisp once were playing on the same field and have guys that are alike.

  15. Soderlund probably is a 3rd line buzz saw who be a strong penalty killer. May not likely ever be a top 6 player but his speed and strong defensive skill to go with some offense is what he brings.

  16. Yes Demo you’re right and he played the exact same way in the Q. He plays well in all situations. I noticed he came in when someone was waved out of the FO circle and he won it. He can play centre as well as wing

  17. Yeah really like the way Highmore is playing looking really good , lots of energy and be real good bottom 6 guy next year.

  18. With Arizona in last overall currently and if they end up landing Dahlin. Would they look to move Ekman-Larsson with his contract up in another year and what tge ask would be. Look nice taking the load of Keith on the left point.

  19. I want to see Soderlund on NA ice — not expecting him to make the big club for now. What I find exciting is that he has the speed and aggressiveness to really pressure the opposition and put them on their heels. If you think back to 2010 we even used to score some shorties. We haven’t done that in a long time. We used to kill teams with stretch passes as well; not anymore. Soderlund has the potential to bring some of that element back, certainly not all by himself but maybe he’s a start.

  20. Nice to see the franchise pillars playing good of late unfortunately a little too late. The Hawks continue to play well against the East, but simply can’t compete in the West. Also nice to see Gus trying to play up to his new contract. Move 1 this offseasons needs to be moving Ansimnov for some blueline help. They just lack talent.
    I attended the Hogs v wolves game at the allstate. The Hogs minor league team is a collection of cast offs and has beens. There isn’t much there to get excited about. If everything plays out right next season this Hawks team is maybe a wildcard club but that’s if SB can have a good off season otherwise its probably another yr in the basement for the Hawks. 1st time ever the NHL playoffs will be missing the Hawks, Wings and Habs this April.

  21. Not disagree, it seems other then DAL and expansion team we split the games with every team in Campbell.

    The East has 5 of the 7 worst teams in league.

  22. Which is ok with me. Being in hardest division/and harder conference were going to get a high top pick.

    If we were in the east conference we would have the 17-19th pick. Ouch.

  23. Every goal the hawks scored today had someone in front of the Bruin’s goalie. And we actually shot the puck on the power play instead of all that perimeter passing. You would hope that the coaches would notice this when reviewing the game film.

  24. Southside, thanks for the info on three of the original 6 teams not making the playoffs for the first time ever. When I started watching hockey (mid-’60s) there were just the six teams. The Canadian national anthem was God Save the Queen. Yes, I’m old.

  25. I used to be proud of being an original 6. (not that I am not anymore)

    Now I am proud we are one of the few dynasty in hockey history.
    OTT TOR MON ISL EDM DET CHI

  26. Me proud of me team. I am the most biggest hawks fan. Couple picks next year and WE be ok. Add 19, 20, 2, 7, 88, and Crow have bounce back year and we in it babaaaaay!!! I proud of my role in dynasty. Have all the chips. I lose my blouse. Duuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….

  27. The Blackhawks really need a top 4 defenseman to be picked up in the off season. It may have to come at the expense of losing Anisimov in the grand scheme of things, but I’m going to hope it doesn’t. He picked up his 20th goal of the season yesterday after missing extended time this year, and also on a team that has real trouble scoring goals. Parks himself in front of the net, doesn’t make a lot of egregious errors, does his job.

    Management has gotta do what it’s gotta do, though. Go Blackhawks!!!!

  28. Re: AA– I like the guy… BUT- Hawks need top 4 D… he has a Mid level cap…
    you can book him missing 15-25 games a year…

    Ejdsell – will be better. younger, stronger version (especially on PP)

    Soderlund- makes Highmore look like a statue… (and I like Highmore)

    Sikura- (Based on Prospect camp comps) is a great /agile skater–

    Above guys + 36/40… make Hawks faster/cheaper next year… gives SB some $$ to spend (especially if AA or ?? is moved)…

    + 2 –1st Rd. picks

    SB- looking like he should have signed Gus – to 3-5 yrs. after last couple games of point production

  29. Be a big step in right direction.
    Ekman-Larsson Murphy
    Keith Rutta
    Gustafsson Seabrook
    Oesterle
    If they want use 8th spot to give Jokiharju a look and Gilbert eligible for Rockford, starts there and can use 8th spot later in season to get a look if deserving.
    Arizona with 18 contracts and roughly 12m below cap floor, cash strapped with Bolands contract 1 year left could be in narket to buy cap space ( Hossa 1 m cost for 5.275m space) also. Seems it could be possible not just a pipe dream.

  30. ER, really good summary of the Hawks contract situation along with numbers and possibilities.

    I doubt Stan moves Anisimov. As the saying goes, as soon as you trade a big Centerman, you then begin searching to try to find another big Centerman. It would be different if Anisimov were struggling to put up any numbers. But he is a 20 goal, 50 point guy. Add the fact, that Kane and a Panerin are no longer his wingers and he’s actually performed pretty darn well.

    It stunning to me how Gustafsson has really turned it on. If he can be a capable #4 defenseman on this club that would be a huge plus.

  31. I’ve flip flopped a couple times on trading Anisimov – not because I don’t like him as a player but because he’s one of the only guys that is “trade-able” who could bring back something of value. I think the rationale for trading him is more impulsive than practical, including my own rationale when I was on the “trade him” side of the fence.

    From a practical perspective, Anisimov is a valuable player not easily replaced. He plays his role very well by being one of the few guys on the team that go to the net and have the ability to score from there. He’s hit the 20 goal mark again with 11 of those goals coming on the PP … think of how bad the Hawks PP would be without Anisimov standing in front of the net screening the goalie and popping in 11 goals of his own. As Eddie-O says – a player must (1) accept his role and (2) execute. Anisimov does that very well, and to suggest Ejdsell or some other guy who has never even played a game in the NHL, let alone stood in front of an NHL net and get beat on by NHL d-men, is kind of ridiculous, don’t ya think?

    The same rationale is used to suggest Soderlund can play in the NHL because he skates fast is just not correct. Is there some possibility Soderlund shows up on N.A. ice for the first time and blows our doors off … sure, and there’s a possibility I could win the lottery too. Pretty unlikely both. The best case scenario for us is Soderlund turns into the next Arvidsson and he’s a good 2 years behind that development track. He’s got all of 14 points this season and can’t break into the top-6 of a team playing in the Swedish league and we’re supposed to believe he is ready to use his speed to skate rings around NHL players – ain’t gonna happen next season, maybe not even the season after that, maybe never – who knows?

  32. AA’s biggest return may be as I said before helping bring the khl players over in a couple of years and giving solid centre depth behind Toews and Schmaltz. Having a no.3 center who can step in to a top 6 spot if needed, is no small item.
    Ejdsell is projected by alot of scouts to be a better winger prospect, so on 4th line with Kampf and another winger Hino or Highmore may be his role at first, then maybe a power winger up the lineup. Getting Soderlund under an elc and in Rockford if not nhl ready to get a look at him may be a route that would work good too. He seems to have a strong pk, forecheck 2 way game so working on his offense there may be beneficial for him.

  33. re: Anisimov – he has size and a knack for being in front of the net that the Blackhawks need. He’s a 20 goal guy. He isn’t great at the dot. So… do the Hawks consider moving him to the wing? And, if so, who are the four centers? If they stick w/ Schmaltz at center, are Kampf & one of Matthew Highmore/Luke Johnson your other centers next season? I, for one, wouldn’t mind a line of Anisimov-Toews-Kane getting some run during 5-on-5

  34. Tab I think Noel could be a darkhorse center too. He was injured in camp and then went to Indy and played well. He just now getting a healthy run in Rockford and if he gas a good stretch run and playoff could put himself in conversation. Although i don’t see the rush to replace AA at center, especially when there may be a couple of younger wingers on 3rd line who could use him there.

  35. The best teams have three scoring lines come playoff time. That is how the Penguins rolled the last two years to Cup victories. We have no current ready replacement for Anisimov, and he is still effective, and centers with size are hard to come by.

    On the other hand, he is getting up there in age, not fast and will continue to slow down over the next couple years, and will transform into a declining asset maybe as soon as next season. With all of the forwards we have coming into the mix, can we find one to nail down a 3rd center position? In time, pretty likely yes.

    So it is a tough call, move him or keep him. I would guess it would depend on what kind of return they could get. Everyone has a price. If someone gave up enough, sure they should move him. Move him for the sake of moving him? No. It would have to be the right deal. We need dmen, and maybe a goalie depending on Crow’s health. And help for our PK.

  36. I really don’t want to have to keep being an Anisimov apologist but the statement that he’s “getting up there in age” is not accurate unless you consider Toews to be getting up there in age because they’re both 29 with Toews being a month older than Anisimov. Yeah, both Toews and Anisimov are not young players anymore but the phrase “getting up there in age” makes it sound they’re mid-30’s which they are not.

    I don’t believe trading or not trading Anisimov is a make or break thing for the Hawks, I just think he would not be as easily replaced as some people think.

  37. I doubt anyone gives SB a top 4 D for AA – at least not one the same age maybe an old on the back end of his career player. IMO they shouldn’t trade AA unless the top 4 D coming back is AA’s age (29 soon to be 30) or preferably less.

    The Hawks will have some $ to spend in summer for UFAs – I think that’s the more likely route to upgrade the D

  38. Who do you target? Top UFA defensemen:

    John Carlson, Wash. 28 yrs old, $3.96 current cap hit
    Mike Green, Wash. 32y/o. $6 mil current cap hit
    Zdeno Chara, Bost. 41 y/o. $4 mil current cap hit.
    Calvin De Haan, NYI. 27 y/o. $3.3 mil current cap hit.

    Unless you think Ian Cole is a top 4 defenseman despite getting scratched a lot, that’s it.

    Green would help the powerplay. Not exactly a shut down guy in his own zone though. Chara is 41. If you think Carlson will sign for less term and money Shattenkirk got last year, (4 years, $6.65 mil cap hit) no way.

    The argument could be made if you sign Green and De Haan, you improved yourself in the defensive zone and on the powerplay. But then why sign all these other guys to one year deals? So that’s not gonna happen.

    And are the Hawks the kind of team that is one big UFA swoop away from being a serious Cup contender next season? Time for a long, hard look in the mirror this offseason. I would say, no.

  39. Hereismike look at what Boston has accomplished, none of the experts had them even being a playoff contender let alone one of the top teams and league. Third overall and games on hand on Preds and Bolts. The guy that played in goal yesterday Khudobin is a free agent who could looked at for goalie insurance if needed or to help lighten Crawfords load anyways. Although i’m not convinced they will go far in 2nd season look at what VGK have accomplished in one season. To be strong contenders next year the Blackhawks need strong seasons from veterans, probably mvo and vezina type seasons from 88 and 50 no different than if they were to be contenders any season. The suppirting cast has to step up and shoulder the load with them, just like the Bruins this year and Pens have. There is a void while younger players develop on defence and that needs to be addressed too and whether by FA or by trade or the rest may not matter. What other teams have done shows that there us not alot to pick between them. The Jets are an example if that.

  40. Here’s a thought that probably has a hole or two in the logic because it’s just off the top of my head, but how about working a trade for OEL from Arizona. He’s got one year left on his contract with a cap hit of $5.5M which might mean he will want more than Arizona is willing to pay after the 2018/19 season. We could possibly include Hossa’s contract to offset the cap hit because Arizona is a Cap “floor team”, which would be helpful to both teams. The question becomes what the Hawks would be willing to give up to get OEL.

    First, a little info about OEL. He’s 26 and will be 27 by the start of next season, which means he is in the prime playing years of his career with a good 5 years in front of him. He’s an excellent skater with a very good offensive game, got good size at 6’2″ / 200lbs, shoots left and can play the point of the PP with a good point shot. He is a top-pairing d-man.

    So, what to give up? How about the first round pick from this year, a d-man like Gustafsson or one of the prospects and a conditional 2nd round pick from 2019 if OEL re-signs with the Hawks. Too little? Too much?

  41. Ebony – I read the same article that suggested what you just put forward regarding EOL from AZ. Tricky to get them to take Hissa’s contract, but it’s possible. I like the idea, though do not want to see Gus go. He shows great promise on the offensive side of his game, just needs some work in his own zone. He’s been quite good since he came back up from Rockford. I think the nightmares he’s had since that game 7 giveaway against St. Louis that cost us the series have helped him.
    Also, see no reason to get rid is AA. I think it’s true that the expectations of some grand return for him in a trade are pipe dreams. And, he would be much harder to replace than some think.

  42. EB like the thought of getting OEL, but if Coyotes extended him to a deal that was liveable first take away some the risk of losing him walking in a year and lose 1st pick too. Probably hoping you land a comparable player in draft for one in his prime would work. Losing Hossa’s contract be a big plus. Seabrooks be good too but not enough cash savings in his hit for them.

  43. Tony, I saw OEL mentioned somewhere which put the thought in my brain, but I don’t recall reading an article about it. Where was the article? I’d like to read it.

  44. I like the idea of trading for OEL, but the trade you proposed was way too little for a defenseman of his calibur.

    In addition to our first, they would probably want Jokiharu or Dcat plus stuff. You don’t trade a top pair / Olympic top pair defenseman for a borderline AHL/NHL guy and a first.

    Last time a defenseman of that ilk was traded in the NHL it was Weber for Subban.

  45. @hersismike, yeah, you’re probably correct that my proposed trade wouldn’t be enough to land OEL because even though a trading partner would have a little leverage over Arizona knowing they probably won’t be able to re-sign him after 2018/19 – the list of teams looking to get in on that trade would be long and Arizona would get some very good and competing offers. It would be nice though, wouldn’t it!

  46. Tony, that’s OK – don’t spend time trying to find it. Who knows – maybe I did read it somewhere and just forgot – I read lots of stuff. Plus me putting Hossa into a trade proposal to get OEL the same day you read it somewhere is kinda coincidental and I’m not a huge believer in coincidences.

  47. I think that’s the thing 15 doesn’t have to be a center. Faceoff % is not the only important thing as a cant but it is huge if your not around 50.

    Then 15 is a good top 6 player, that’s what matter. For the caphit (I really donot want to get into caphit worthy crap)(good top 6 or not).

    If we need more top 6 players, keep 15. If not, only trade if we get a top 4 dman. We have loads and more coming of guys like Highmore and Soder and Hayden. Which is exactly what we want.

  48. It would be interesting to see AA on wing. As for trading him, it depends on what next year is about (full rebuild vs on the fly) and what we get back. I am for full commitment to rebuild so I wouldn’t hesitate to move him but it’s got to be for a good return. Keeping him certainly isn’t a bad option.

    Kampf was near 53% in dot last time I checked. He’s been a good find.

  49. Hereismike I would compare it more to Seth Jones for Ryan Johansson, no.4 for no.4 . OEL was 6th overall close to where Blackhawks will pick in what is being touted as a loaded draft. If Bowman gave up what would amount to a couple 1sts for him and he walked next year as a FA, everybody would be really be calling for his head then. I guess having him extended would be too high an ask but as basically a rental unless he is signed 1st pick and young dman and another lower pick would be plenty.

  50. Trading AA will probably get the interest of teams who feel they can make a deep run next season. I think he can fetch something equivalent of an early to mid-2nd round pick (if an interested team has available) or decent prospect. If the Hawks’ playoff horizon is next year, they will likely keep him. For two years out, I think they should trade him. He is injury prone and we get back a young asset, while opening up a slot for another young player to develop. May result in a couple/few more loses next season, which helps our drafting position for 2019.

  51. @ER, you may have read it a couple articles back. I’d been posting that OEL would be a great fit for the system and proposed two first rounders, not sure if that is enough. It’d also allow us to slit Keith and Seabs to 2nd pairing. The thinking there is that as these guys get older they can’t take the 1st shift, shut down assignments. Still valuable but not the same players they were. OEL & one of our d prospects 1st pairing, 2&7 second pairing and 5 &52 third pairing. Seems like a solid upgrade and might enable our current guys to have more success slotted appropriately vs being leveled up.

  52. I like getting Larsson for free/ufa in a yr. If Calrson doesn’t want to be CHI. BOS is an excellent example, they were not deep on D at all, way worse then us and their FW were worse as well 2 yrs ago. How they got better having those 1st rd picks and Paster.

    BOS has 4 good young players. We wil have 5 Schmaltz, Debrincat, Jokeru, high top pick, other 1st pick. With 5 we will be better then BOS is now. They have Berge and Kryck we Toews and Anisimov. They have Backes and Nash who are not as good of players as Saad and Kane.

    So we will be better then BOS once those 5 guys are going.

    Now to think Larsson for a high top pick. That prob is fair and good deal.

    There will be floor teams with cap going way up.

  53. This is the only time were getting a high top pick. For the 5 coming yrs were picking between 17-31.

  54. We need to shift our attention at the center position. Anisimov is now the team’s 3rd line center. Nick Schmaltz might not be Toews at the dot but he’s become a damn good 2C. If the Hawks are rolling Toews-Schmaltz-Anisimov-Kampf at center, they’re OK in my book. They need to address the scoring wings…

    I would love to see a few games of

    Sikura-Toews-Kane
    Saad-Schmaltz-DeBrincat
    Hinostroza-Anisimov-Hayden
    Highmore-Kampf-Duclair

  55. touche, BLS. touche

    A big part of my change is the emergence of DeBrincat & Schmaltz as legitimate 20-goal guys in the NHL. In October the theory was to keep 19 & 88 separated, so Saad riding wingman w/ Toews was the driving force in the trade. If Schmaltz & DeBrincat can carry a line w/out 88 and produce, and 88 back w/ 19 makes that a bona fide scoring line once again, that’s a win for the organization. But also remember that my lines are predicated on Sikura signing *which I believe he will.

  56. Tab, I like the top-6 (provided Sikura signs and is as good as we think he is), but I think DeBrincat is better at LW where he can play that “off wing” creator role like Kane does at RW and Sikura has played RW at Northeastern so it’s probably better he starts his pro career in a comfortable spot. So either:

    Saad-Toews-Kane
    DeBrincat-Schmaltz-Sikura

    or

    DeBrincat-Toews-Kane
    Saad-Schmaltz-Sikura

  57. Like to see them give Seabrook a look on the wing maybe he could transition there and still contribute at some point.

  58. I said all last year Campbell, Brian should have been put on wing. They tried all season to find a winger for Toews/Hossa and NEVER found one.

  59. May have worked too Recliner. Just thinking that trading or buying Seabrook out doesn’t seem feasible and young dmen coming who need a spot, that maybe as a winger might be a solution where he can still be a valuable contributor.

  60. Would love to have seen Soupy on wing. Seabs would be a wrecking ball in net front presence.

  61. Those lines are too good. Were not suppose to win more then 10 in the last 20 to secure a high top pick.

  62. Here’s the up to the minute draft position standings showing points and (games remaining):

    1. BUF …. 56 (13)
    2. ARI …. 57 (13)
    3. VAN …. 59 (12)
    4. OTT …. 61 (13
    5. DET …. 63 (13)
    6. MON …. 64 (12)
    7. EDM …. 64 (13)
    8. CHI …. 68 (12)
    9. NYR …. 69 (12)
    10. NYI …. 70 (13)
    11. CAR …. 71 (12)

    So the Hawks are currently in 8th place and are actually closer to the 11th spot than they are the the 7th. I’ve watched Detroit, Montreal and Edmonton play a couple times over the past couple weeks and they are all awful. I’d be surprised if any of those 3 teams win enough points in the remaining games to pass the Hawks in the standings – the 8th draft pick might be the best we can hope for.

    Conversely, the Preds are playing very well. I’d be surprised if they didn’t get to at least the Conference Finals meaning the 1st round pick we got for Hartman will be in the 28th-31st range.

  63. The only hope for as high as 7th (I felt his way wks ago) was if MON just won 5 in a row/because they play a weak sch./weakest division/free wins against each other. Nope there just not doing it.

    DET sucks!

    My only worry was the teams behind us. That’s why it was good for CAR to get that win, they 5 games ahead when they did. Now it’s 3,we beat BOS and they must have lost.

    I have always thought along 7-9. EDM just sucked that bad this yr (worse then us)(and their a good team too like us)(real surprise this yr standing wise CHI EDM OTT and last yr LA TB)

    Good post ER, not disagree/I just think and thought that along the way, even after our 0-7-1.

    Remember that’s just pre draw, being 7-9 we get higher 4-6 pick.

    I would be shocked, in a way, if NAS and TB weren’t in finals. Those two teams deserved to win the Cup the last two yrs and are the best two teams again this yr.

  64. Interesting thing OTT and NYR had to trade away half their good players/sort of speak to get to top 10 pre draw. (even though OTT did kinda sucked all season)

    Where EDM and CHI kept their roster intact/for the plan and are getting a high top pick. Really EDM doesn’t deserve a top 5 or 10 pick for 20yrs, they’ve had enough in the last so many yrs. They should have a limit on top 5 picks, like no more then 5 in a 10 yr period.

    They cant even get 5min penaltys called or headshots major/ejection/20 game suspension right so the pipe dreams really are getting a chip in the puck so we can have 3s tennis style instant replay to help the refs/instant replay dipshits.

    Do not have a choice, so need to adjust roster and team style to the way the league is being with stuff. Were not done yet 19/88.

  65. No matter where Blackhawks finish come draft day there should be a big mobile dman or smaller super skilled dman, or a skilled winger or if a center projects that high available.
    If Florida slides into that last wild card spot, 3 behind Devils with 2 games on gand and 4 behind Columbus with 3 on hand in 2 wild card spots now. That could be an all Florida first round matchup and Panthers stanley cup and upset in making.

  66. Ian, I’m with ya – hopefully we get a glimpse of the big Swede in the next couple weeks. He’s got a contract and not on the NHL roster so it may require a “call up” from Rockford and that may be the problem but at the very least I would like to “see” him get into some Rockford games.

    Also, I’m hoping the Hawks bring over the Finnish d-man for a look see. I think his name is Tuulolo or something like that. He had a real good start to the season with something like 12 points in the first 15 games but then he tailed off so I don’t know if he has a chance to be an NHL player of if he’s just “a guy”.

  67. Ian, I just checked and I think Edjsell’s last game is today. His team (HV71) is playing in the loser bracket so they’re done after today.

  68. Ok thanks thought Saturday was his final game. After his season is over they should be able to add him to nhl roster without going through Rockford, without affecting using their last callup. Haven’t really been paying attention to Tuula or whatever, may be ready for a look.

  69. I’m not knowledgeable with the contract/call up stuff so maybe there isn’t an issue but according to CapFriendly Edjsell is non-rostered and on loan which makes me think when he comes over he will not be on load anymore but will still be non-rostered which I think means he would have to be “called up” to be added to the Hawks NHL roster. I could be wrong though.

    The difference between adding Sikura to the Hawks NHL roster and a player already under contract (like Edjsell) is that Sikura doesn’t already have a contract therefore he doesn’t have to be called up from anywhere – he can just be signed and added to the NHL roster.

    But there again, I could be wrong.

  70. EB the way i read if you a add a player as long as his season ends from another league it is outside a callup from Rockford. On loan is because he had european clause and could go there rather than ahl. Similar to Runblad when he had european option he went to a team that signed him there and came back for playoffs without going to Rockford if i remember correctly.

  71. I might not be right on Runblad but sure you can add a player when their season ends without affecting their 4 callup limitation.

  72. The only way you would consider trading their top pick this year in a strong draft year is if you think your ready to compete and Crow will be healthy and on top of his game for the next two or three years (like he was earlier this year). I think there are too many unknowns and more patience would be wise.

  73. Would rather get the 5 good young players (8, 12, Joku, high top pick, other 1st) and see if Larsson wants to sign for free in a yr/ufa.

  74. OEL has been one of the worst (+/-) players over the last few years. He is not the answer. Ansimnov, Skuria, Edsell, none of these guys matter until the blue line and PP is fixed. Those 2 things go hand in hand. None of the UFA blue liners are remotely worth the money either. Smart drafting and trades will be required. Unfortunately the Hawks pro personal decisions have been as horrible. So I’m not confident in smart trades being made. The Hawks should not be active in the FA market unless they are looking at small players to flip at next year trade deadline. This team is at least 2 yrs from cotending. Keep stockpiling picks! However in 2 yrs they will be looking for another goalie. In other words good luck SB. His NMC will set this team back years. Conversely Dean Lombardi refused to hand out NMC and the Kings are in a much better place to rebuild n reload.

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