Varlamov, Avalanche Dominate Blackhawks

If anything, Blackhawks fans should come away from Tuesday night’s loss with a reminder that organizations can rebound from terrible season(s) to be a playoff team.

Nathan MacKinnon led the Colorado Avalanche into the United Center as the Blackhawks stood a matter of hours from being eliminated from postseason contention. The Hart Trophy candidate didn’t disappoint but the home team did in another Chicago performance that could cure insomnia.

Oh, and Semyon Varlamov was back to dominating the Blackhawks.

Anton Forsberg got the call for Chicago and wasn’t very good. He allowed four of Colorado’s five goals, the last of which was perhaps the ugliest.

The Hawks – wait for it – scored first. Brent Seabrook gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the first period with his fifth of the year. The power play goal saw Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane pick up assists.

The Avs out-shot the Hawks 16-11 in the first period but trailed by one.

That didn’t last long.

Colorado scored three times – twice on the power play – in the second period to blow the doors off the United Center that could have hosted a kindergarten nap time. There was as much energy in the stands as there was on the ice and rightfully so. The Blackhawks have been a boring product this year, and are one of the more expensive tickets in the NHL.

The Avs added two more goals in the final two minutes of regulation to make the final score 5-1.

Varlamov stopped 44 of 45 and Alex Kerfoot scored twice for the winners.

For Chicago, Toews won 17 of 28 at the dot with an assist. Kane put a team-leading six shots on net. Connor Murphy and Jordan Oesterle were credited with a team-high three blocked shots each. And John Hayden led Chicago with six hits.

Andreas Martinsen made his Blackhawks debut, skating 11:22 with two shots on goal, three hits and two penalty minutes. Matthew Highmore was out of the lineup still dealing with an injury and Anthony Duclair wasn’t available, necessitating the recall of Martinsen.

73 thoughts on “Varlamov, Avalanche Dominate Blackhawks

  1. Andreas Martinsen, who is this guy? This is an indictment on the talent in the org. This has to be the least amount of talent the Hawks have had since the 06-07 season. Also the last time they finished in last place. I hope the Org moves some front office people in addition to some of the players on the roster. Their pro-personal guy, and several of their scouts should also be shown the door. This season continues to be an epic failure. New faces and fresh perspectives are necessary. Let Q finish out his contract next year. I would like Bowman removed from the front office but I’m not sure John McD and Rocky won’t give him the benefit of the doubt. The lack of talent on the roster and in the AHL is alarming.

  2. With the Hawks officially being eliminated with the loss, I believe it also closes the book on the Hawks most productive stretch. It’s been an amazing run but all good things must come to an end!

  3. Agree with u 100%. And to fill the holes you must have cap space instead of getting 1 million players in hopes there good. It’s that simple. Start with a backup goalie proven. And then see what cap room u can make for legit young guys under 24

  4. I have generally not been critical of Q over the years because I think a coach should be judged on the body of his work and the results have been very good. However, the Hawks are in a different situation now calling for a different game strategy. Q’s standard strategy of moving players around to find the best line combinations to win that particular game is not the best strategy for building for the future.

    There are two obvious cases in point – the way DeBrincat is used and the way Keith is used.

    DeBrincat is the 2nd best offensive player on the team. His shooting, passing, vision and high end offensive IQ are second only to Kane. His offensive genius is wasted playing with anyone who can’t take advantage of the plays he makes. There is only one player on the team that can consistently play at the same elite level and that’s Kane. Schmaltz and Toews can do so at times but Schmaltz still can’t figure out when to shoot and can’t consistently shoot one-timers and Toews can if he’s having a game like the old Toews but not if he’s having a game like most of the games the past 3 seasons. An example was late in the game tonight when Kane put a perfect pass right in the wheelhouse for a one-timer by Schmaltz and Schmaltz doesn’t try the one-timer and the goal scoring opportunity was lost. DeBrincat would have been ready and taken the one-timer, and probably scored.

    DeBrincat should be playing with Kane, whether it’s with Toews, Schmaltz or Anisimov at center is less important than getting the two offensive maestros together to make music like Kane and Panarin did.

    Keith … he’s still the best of the bunch defensively but his shooting is hurting the teams chances to win. Q needs to tell him in no uncertain terms that he must not keep taking the shot. It is incredible how often Keith takes the shot when the Hawks have the man advantage either on the PP or an empty net situation. They pass it around the perimeter and what ends up happening – Keith is the guy who takes the shot. That has to stop. Period. I hate to take Keith off the man advantage team because he does everything else better than the other d-men but all of that positive stuff is negated when Keith ends the Hawks possession with his weak ass inaccurate shot. Unfortunately, Keith doesn’t seem aware that he’s hurting the team when he shoots so he just keeps doing it. That is on Q for allowing that to continue all season long.

    There are 8 games remaining and they are now officially eliminated. Q needs to play DeBrincat with Kane to hopefully build chemistry for next season and Keith must be replaced on the man advantage so Gustafsson or someone else can claim the spot and get more experience there for next season.

  5. By the way:

    Artemi Panarin – 74 games, 25 goals, 68 points

    Brandon Saad – 74 games, 16 goals , 31 points

    But … we did get Anton Forsberg in the trade … so, there’s that.

  6. I’m doing a tribute to the team on Sunday. “Chiefs Fold: A Sad Commentary.” – Something along those lines.

  7. Dollar Bill would have looked at this mess and raised ticket prices. He didn’t give a fuck. Rocky was able to come in as a nice guy and succeed, but the run is over. If we’re going to turn it around changes are needed at many levels. That can only come from Rocky. Does he have the teeth for it?

  8. ER, excellent analysis. D-Cat reminds me of Panarin. High offensive IQ who makes smart decisions. Doesn’t waste a good shooting opportunity and is an excellent passer. And being so very young, more upside will be coming. Schmaltz needs to pull the trigger, like the great opportunity you describe. I yelled when he passed instead. Speaking of passing, year-after-year, is there a better passer than Kane? On a better team, he’d have a boatload of assists.

    Am giving up on Saad. Unlike Toews, his play continues to be lackluster, is too often out-muscled, and doesn’t have much of a (accurate) shot. If we could get an early 2nd round pick for him, I’d take it.

  9. Well another good ass whooping ,..,got to hand it to Q we have been consistent,.,.,letting in 5 or 6 goals a game that is . To many bad signings and poor decisions made by this management team .Some top brass needs to fall .,.,.,will it happen ,.,.,i think not ,.,.everyone is to comfy ,sucking titty .
    We have no chance to win with the tandem we have in net ,.,.,who owns that ,.,.?

  10. I’m watching the game but looking away from the screen. Announcer is talking about a featured giveaway at an upcoming Blackhawks game. He says it’s a Blackhawks Tote Bag.

    I jerked my head back and was like WTF? because I thought he had actually said “Blackhawks Toe Tag”. Rewinded and heard it again to get it straight.

    Blackhawks Toe Tag would be more fitting for this season. Rough one to watch tonight. That stuff by Keith at the end of the game was a little bit too much. Play with that kind of edge during the game Duncan, not with 3.5 seconds left in the third. Reminded me of when he laid a guy out in game four against Nashville last year with time well along in the third and the Blackhawks out of the game and the series.

    I don’t know what to make of Keith’s play this year. He’s frustrated, sure, but some of it is self-induced. Defenseman heal thy self!

    Go Blackhawks!!!!

  11. @ ebonyraptor. They did that for cry baby capt. To help with his 10 mil reason he cried. That’s when I gave up on that trade. U had the best scoring line in NHL. U had 1 min of a pwr play scoring chance. U had a overtime starting line and a shoot out scorer. All removed !!!!!!!!! There goes the W chances ! I waved the white flag at that trade !!!!!!!

  12. Re: D-Cat-he would be in the rookie of the year conversation with about 30-35 goals with the right, and consistent players with him–but it has been that kind of year—a blender. It is showing that Q isn’t the right kind of guy to take this new/old crew forward. You develop a lot of habits and tendencies when your with a team for 10 years and have gone through the obvious success. I think some flexibility and creativity of thought are valuable.
    (again not bashing-he’s a legend who did a great job)

    Didn’t watch much of the game but something has been consistent in many of the goal re-plays this year-the defense is looking for the puck and trying feebly to get it out of the paint area, not even looking at the play-no detail to the body of the opposition–yes those guys that actually deflect, wack at the puck, get re-bounds and score the goals. Opposition players have no fear of being near the goalie, doing what they need to do.

  13. Any one see these guys??? NCAA UFAs

    Ryan Kuffner- putting up good Numbers- 2 straight years

    Daniel Brickley- tall D-man, played at WCup for USA

    Cal Morris- Notre Dame – Goalie, solid #’s

    Wonder if SB is chasing… should be – especially the D/Goalie

  14. Panarin has twice as many points as Saad? Wow.

    Panarin will be a free agent after next season. Maybe Bowman can re-sign him, then he will have both of them on the same team. That’s probably what the grand master plan is. I shouldn’t have blurted this out.

  15. I look forward to post season pressers from Bowman and McDonagh. Should be interesting viewing. As terse as Stan was in last years version after the Nashville blowout, this years commentary should make 2017’s sound like a kindergarten teacher scolding kids for not finishing their lunch.

  16. As much as a point producer Panarin was / is, I still have doubts about his skills to play the 200’, grinding all-around game that’s required, especially, in the playoffs. As cute and dangerous as he can be offensively, he was a ghost in both his playoff years with the Hawks.

  17. With Oilers win last they are tied with Blackhawks and have a game on hand. So sitting at no. 7 now, NYI, NYR are 3 points up and a game on hand and Canes 4 up with game on hand. Wings 4 back and Habs 5 back both have game on hand, Sens 6 back and 2 games on hand. Anyone looking to see Tyler Sikura this year, he is under an AHL contract until July 1st so he is not eligible for recall this year as is.
    If Preds finish 1st overall, where they currently are, their 1st rounder eould be 23rd overall pick if eliminated in 1st round and 27th if eliminated in 2nd round. Then drop to 29th if lose conference finals, 30th if lose in finals and 31st if they win cup.

  18. Wait, so Q sucks because he switches guys around on different lines because the team isn’t playing well, but we have less talent on the team than we’ve had in over 10 years? Which is it? It can’t be both.

    Show me a coach that doesn’t change his line combos when the team is losing. Cuz the guy in Pittsburgh sure does. Not that Q has had a great year but that’s not the problem.

    And the issue with playing Dcat with Kane is its great when you have the puck in the offensive zone, but it equally sucks trying to get the puck out of the defensive zone. That is an easy line to have your defensemen pinch along the wall and make it hard for Kane and Dcat to get pucks out that are played up the boards from behind the Hawks net.

    Rotisserie hockey is easy, you put your highest scorers together. But the NHL isn’t always so simple.

  19. Good stuff Ian. I believe there are actually 3 lotteries. One for 3rd pick overall, one for 2nd overall and one for 1st overall.

    In a very deep draft, the Hawks could get a stud prospect in the early 1st round, a blue chipper with the Nashville picks. With a pair of third rounders and the four other later round picks you would hope, we could find at least one more gem.

    Bottom line : this is year where the Hawks could really help the future of the franchise for years to come. June will be huge !

  20. hereismike said “Wait, so Q sucks because he switches guys around on different lines because the team isn’t playing well, but we have less talent on the team than we’ve had in over 10 years? Which is it? It can’t be both”

    Yes it can. In fact, you’ve made my point. Yes, the team has less talent so Q can’t simply throw out any combination of 3 guys on a stacked roster and have success like he could in the past. When the Hawks had more talent Q could rearrange the line combo’s game to game or in-game to arrive at line combo’s playing well together that particular game and the end result was more times than not a win that particular game. That has changed, both in terms of the level of talent on the team and now in terms of the strategy going from winning games to building for the future. The modus operandi needs to be changed from winning the game to preparing the team to win games next season, and finding the best line combinations and sticking with them so they can build chemistry is the change that is needed now.

  21. Unfortunately, Panarin was traded and there isn’t anything that can be done now.

    However, new comments about his potential 200ft game in the playoffs sure sound stupid on the night the Hawks are eliminated from the playoffs.

    He is a plus 17 this year, plus 74 for 3 NHL seasons and had 7 points in the 7 game playoff series in 2016. So his 200ft game is an issue because the whole Hawk team sucked against Nashville in 2017? Wow!

    He has roughly the same number of points this year as Kane and well over twice as many as Saad.

    I think we should question SB for the trade and drop the argument about Panarin’s 200ft game.

    Finally, I would still like to see a Dcat, Toews and Kane line for the balance of the season. Nice to see how close Dcat can get to 30 goals. We can only hope the D want to pinch against that line.

  22. The lack of talent on the back end after Keith and Seabrook falls solely on Mark Kelley and Stan Bowman. And in goal, Carter Hart was available in the draft of 2016!!!!
    The trades that vhave gutted this team fall on little school boy accountant, Stan Bowman. His reaction after the playoffs showed the his lack of vision and experience as a GM. Firing the coach;s best friend and trading Kane’s best winger he has ever played with to save TOEWS was dumb.
    Let’s not forget whistler blower Pierre Gauthier, the worse pro scout in the NHL (look at all the teams he has gutted in trades as both a GM and pro-cout).
    Fire Bowman, Kelley, and Gauthier. Coach Q might need to go as well unless he respects the new GM. (Dean Lombardi or Doug Wilson)

  23. @ EBONYRAPTOR

    I think you can make a case that only has Q disappointed but Org has done a poor job of helping him be successful. Let’s take Forsling as an example, here was a guy all offseason was being touted by the Org as an up and coming prospect. So he breaks camp with the club then Q puts him in some truly odd situations on the ice. Poor zone starts, PK assignments and shuffling of partners. Truly screwed him over. Then he gets sent down and Gus (who was really a forgotten prospect) gets recalled and SB extends him for 2 yrs and over market value??? What??? So is Forsling no longer what they expected? Does he need another 2 yrs? Then when I was at the Allstate Arena for the Wolves v Hogs no Forsling? Scratched?

    I just continue to think Scotty was WAY more involved with the Org during the Hawks Championship building. The Org has made poor roster decisions after decisions depleting a pipeline that was extremely strong and netting very little in return. Trading players for pennies on the dollar. Giving away talent. Its as if they had zero ideas that some of these guys would lose a step. I understand that the Hawks were in a win now mode but. Couldn’t they have stockpiled picks for a few years out? Sharp was the teams top pt getting in 13/14. A YEAR later they needed to move him and get SCREWED. Its that type of move that is unacceptable.

    Anyways remember Stan’s Presser with Comcast during the “bye week” before things got completed derailed. “these are young guys” no you buffoon these are guys that Q is played a TON of minutes over the last decade. Its easy to 2nd guess but DAMN I was 1st guessing at the time!

  24. I seem to recall Panarin playing extremely hard in series vs Blues in 2016 (didn’t he manhandle one of their big defenseman against end boards and set-up a great goal)? He’s a tough little dude and plays the whole ice.

    Panarin is just doing what he does. The trade is skewed because of Saad’s play. Hard to figure out what’s dragged him so far down.

  25. @ MIKITA21

    Dean Lombardi or Doug Wilson both sound like good choices to me. I had read an article about Dean Lombardi’s HATE for NMC clauses. NONE of the Kings franchise players have a full NMC. Some have some limitations all are team friendly. I’d also add Bob Murry to the GM list and 2 of those 3 guys have rings.

  26. I am not sure if we have done relatively better or worse than other teams at finding NHL players in the draft, it feels like we are about average.

    The pro player scouting has been really piss poor as some others have pointed out. And while I give Stan credit for having the stones to pull of an attempted major shakeup with the Panarin trade, there is no question that the deal has blown up in his face in a more spectacular fashion than anyone could have imagined.

    We could have had Kane, Panarin, and Dcat as 3 out of 4 wingers on the top two lines. Now we will be looking to fill those slots for years most likely.

    Anthony Duclair? Give me a break. You know your team sucks when a chunck of the season you roll out Duclair as a top line winger.

  27. I’ll admit that I wasn’t dead set against the Panarin/Saad trade when it happened. I was open minded that although Saad wasn’t expected to produce points the way Panarin did, his overall game and his past success with Toews gave reason to believe that the trade could work out well for the Hawks. Unfortunately, Saad has had a bad year and the trade looks ridiculously lopsided. Maybe Saad bounces back next season and the trade won’t look as bad as it does right now.

    As for the argument to trade Panarin because he was a disappointment in the 2016 and 2017 playoffs – I never bought that argument because it implies that Panarin was singularly more disappointing than other players, which wasn’t the case. In 2016, Panarin was tied with Kane for most points with 7 points in 7 games. In 2016, the leading scorer had 2 points in 4 games and Panarin had 1 point in 4 games – every player on the roster played terribly. That’s not to claim Panarin is a good playoff performer but it is to say it’s not accurate to single Panarin out for playing poorly when the whole damn team sucked.

  28. I was very confused when Panarin got a lot of the blame for the poor playoffs and voiced that at the time-agree with JordyHawk-he played hard, what he didn’t get was some of the other stars elevating their game–
    but the reality is that the trade was made, it’s done.
    (and I agree that Saad, although not Panarin, will be a better than what we are seeing going forward)

    I think a big shake-up in the organization would (could) be healthy.

  29. A GM can be evaluated on trades, bads contracts, and a bad farm system. Bowman has accomplished all these feats.

    How does an organziation not draft a goalie prospect in over 10 years? Or a D prospect since the HAMMER?

    Other GM’s would have been fired because Tallon was the real architect.

  30. re: SSHM’s recommendations for replacing Bowman (which i don’t see being a reality, but we’ll go there)

    I PASS on Dean Lombardi because I don’t want his father-in-law anywhere near the organization every again. Also, to the point about NTC/NMC, both Dustin Brown & Anze Kopitar have one. Doughty undoubtedly will on his next contract. Other than Quick – who’s signed at $5.8M cap hit until he’s 37. Lombardi is cut from the same cloth as Bowman – lots of long deals.

    I PASS on Doug Wilson because he had Thornton + Marleau in their primes and did what with it?

    Everyone continues to believe that the grass is greener for a new coach/GM but when you really dig into the options outside of Bowman and/or Quenneville, it’s hard to find many who are a) better and/or b) available.

  31. I also never understood all the blame Panarin got as a result of his play during the 2016 and 2017 playoffs. The fact of the matter is that the whole team stunk. I am not surprised the Saad/Panarin trade was a disaster. I do not expect much of a rebound from Saad next year. The guy has no hands. He skates aggressively into the opponents zone and then either loses the puck or makes a bad pass. He seems to have no hockey IQ. When he does get a good shot at the net he fumbles the puck or shoots off target. He needs to go while they can get something for him. He is not a top 6 forward and never will be.

  32. This organization / team is NO different from any other NHL team over the last few decades. They have a really good run for 5-10 years, then they fall off the cliff and suck for a couple of years. What we HOPE happens with the Hawks is that SB and Q can find a couple of good, quality, consistent goal scorers that can do well on the PP, 2 good consistent, puck moving defensemen and a quality, consistent back up goalie.

    How many teams have had a good run for 5-10 years and NEVER won a thing? Washington, Vancouver, St. Louis, Nashville…….they all made it into the playoffs but NEVER won the big game. The Hawks won it 3 times in 6 years.

    I am not angry with SB or Q or even the players. Sometimes when you try to get young guys to blend with veteran guys it just takes time. You can see that the Hawks have individual talent but they lack chemistry on the ice. Believe me, this summer will not sit well with Q, SB, John McDonough, Rocky, the players or the fans. This summer is gonna SUCK!! But sometimes a good organization needs a “wake up call” to keep things going in the right direction.

    I am STILL a Blackhawk fan AND a hockey fan. Seabrook is STILL my wife’s favorite player. Let’s get this season over with, reshuffle the deck and get to October.

    As far as the playoffs………I am a fan of any team that plays Nashville. I hate those M-Fers!!

  33. Bread Man is the same reason people complained about Teravainen in 2016. Their both really good players. Though how much will people bitch when your paying 72 9m caphit and he does same thing in playoffs (he didn’t really have a chance to play on a deep team so you cant really say)

    Still would rather have Saad for playoff hockey for the 5 coming yrs. He does need to be as good as he really is though. It just looks worse because of shitty record, playing bad, stats, this yrs bounces, etc.

    Not sure why anyone is wasting time getting mad. None of these 30 games (50-82) matter. It doesn’t matter whats so ever if we play good or bad.

    I guess everyone lets their frustration out in different ways since post game 82 2017.

    We are going to make moves and add players. LA BOS TB etc didn’t make playoffs and sucked for a yr/some two. There back where they belong. We will soon enough. We do need help though.

    We are doing better then I thought we would for a higher top pick and that’s not win or tie games.

  34. Remember when Ken Holland was everyone’s best GM in the league and then it was Ray Shero and now it’s Jim Rutherford except it wasn’t when he was with Carolina

    Every GM makes mistakes – I know Stan has made his share but I agree with Tab, you better have someone better than Stan lined as a replacement and I don’t think that is Lombardi or Wilson

    Lombardi was in SB’s position for the last 2 years so that makes him better?

    And Tab nailed it with Wilson – what has he done that so brilliant? Make it once to the SC final and lose.

    Or maybe Dale Tallon? How many years has Dale Tallon’s teams been in the playoffs since he left the Hawks? one maybe

    The Hawks fall from grace is mostly due to the salary cap, the contracts to 19 and 88 (which in context is part of the salary cap problem) and the Hawks constantly going for it every year, trading away 1st rounders which they should have. Stan didn’t realize the cap would flatten out the way it did the last 2 years – who did?

    Everyone knows if they traded Sharp after 2014 they would have gotten more than when they did trade him but I’ll take the Cup in 2015 with Sharp on the team thank you very much.

    Too many people have 20/20 hindsight – take this incredible run and be thankful – I don’t have a problem letting Stan and Q try to rebuild the team. If they can’t make significant progress next year then Ok move on but they earned the chance IMO to try.

  35. Why would you want Bowman fired and replace him with Lombardi somebody who is going to turn the clock back to recreate past success. Who was blamed for dismal performances of US national team by not taking players like Kessel etc. and trying to win with old school grit and being passed by the game, no thanks.
    I’m in the give Bowman and Q another year or 2 but if they are replaced hopefully it is with someone younger and innovative and instep with todays game and not old school and set in their ways, unable to adapt. I mean thats what alot if the current criticism is. When the time comes to hire a new coach looking no further than Rockford or Granato may be all thats needed but Q should get a year or two first. Lots of younger players did well under him, Hammer, Saad ( 1st go around), Panarin, Shaw, Crawford and Bickell before he got ill to name a few and currently Debrincat and Schmaltz are thriving , Hino showing promise.

  36. @ Tab

    A full NTC is a vastly different animal then a modified NTC which both Anze and Brown have. Either way both can be moved if necessay. I’m sorry I can’t help but feeling Stan’s success is a result of Scotty brilliance. Ever since Scotty has been out of the picture SB got a lot of utter screw ups on the roster. I appreciate what SB has done but I’d welcome a change. His comments and dealings have shown him to be daft. He had ready made HOF core and was able to find supporting pieces. Those accomplishments deserve recognition. However now this team is going to be limited for YEARS thanks to his player friendly horrible deals.

    Doug Wilson aquired a Norris Defenseman for spare parts and a future HOF center for average players. Plus is it wrong that I prefer a GM with great hair vs a GM with no hair?

    @ The wraparound

    Sharps biggest contribution to the 2015 Cup was a badly played mistake by Ben Bishop. He was hardly a key player in the run. They would have won without him. Shoulda Traded Sharp coulda kept Johns and Saad and likely still added Panarin.

    Ken Holland? When was the last time he was recognized as a good GM 11 yrs ago? Wings fans can’t stand him and with good reason. Ray Shero is a pretty good GM too but last time I checked he still has a job.

    I’m sorry it sucks watching this team and knowing how far they have slipped from contention. The cupboard is bare! Even if Q and SB manage to hang around another year both will get launched after Qs deal expires then it will be a full house cleaning. Deservidly so too!

  37. Two camps. Camp one is for significant and immediate changes in management. Camp two is to stay the course with another year of Stan and Q. Good arguments can be made for either.

    I am in camp one — I think Rocky needs to move boldly. If it’s between Stan and Q then I think Stan should go (I just don’t like a lot of his decisions). I admit I don’t have any particular candidate in mind and obviously we would have to come up with one, but surely there are some decent options. I have argued that Q is not a development coach, but if he were given that as his mandate for the duration of his contract I’m sure he would do the job. We seem stale, dated. Time for a shakeup and a new direction. It goes without saying that this would also mean some major changes particularly in terms of scouting and player development.

  38. Brian Campbell had a full NTC. He was traded. If you think those can’t be negotiated around you haven’t paid attention to the NHL.

    Related: If you’re talking about how far the Blackhawks have slipped from contention, do me a favor and go back 12 months & read the comments about Kopitar, Brown & the LA Kings. They’re a perfect example of how things can change for players & a team over one long summer.

  39. Also, let’s not roll out bullshit like “Doug Wilson acquired a Norris Trophy defenseman” when Burns was a forward struggling to figure it out in Minnesota.

  40. @SSHM

    Maybe the 2015 Hawks would have won without Sharp and maybe they wouldn’t have – it’s pure speculation completely unprovable

    What’s important IMO is they decided to go all in for that year to win the SC and they thought their best chance was retaining Sharp and it worked. If they had traded Sharp and not won the cup that year lots of people would be lined up to lambast Stan for such a stupid move, maybe even you. Even though his role was reduced it wasn’t insignificant – he played solid third line minutes mostly which everyone knows is a very valuable part of any SC winner.

    He may not have been worth his contract at that point but he fit on the ice and in the room. I wouldn’t dismiss his contribution so easily.

    That series was very close with Tampa – I thought TB probably outplayed the Hawks actually but CHI had experience (another aspect of Sharp’s contributions) and CC and an otherworldly Keith.

  41. The problem with Rocky moving boldly is the last time he did that he hired Mcdonough ,who was a baseball man with no hockey smarts, he came to the Hawks and did some good things promotion wise. He brought back the golden jet and stosh and made things fan friendly. however maybe the marriage of Mc and Tallon was not made in heaven who knows maybe Dale with 33 years with the team felt crowded and didnt take orders well + but Tallon as everybody knows was responsible for signing and drafting most of the team i think Buff was a 5th round pick i may be wrong , same with Keith .The last ten years have been a dream for a Hawk fan. but when Mc made SB gm who also didnt have the apprenticeship evaluating talent, except hanging around with the old man and now we see the that instead of having a championship team to follow we have this. train wreck Panarin for Saad in what world would a hockey fan want that trade made

  42. I like Bread Man.

    Need to see how each guy does the next 5 yrs in playoffs. Reg 82 games do not mean anything but stats.

    Cant count Saader playing on a dynasty team 13-15 against Bread Man. Though to date Saader has played well in playoffs and Bread Man hasn’t done anything, yet.

    In 5 yrs from now, then it will be interesting whos better. Maybe their both good.

    You cant go by regular season stats, that are designed for offensive oriented players.

  43. Who cares about bread man, he’s not in Chicago.

    Offseason to do- find top 2 d men, ideally 1 in draft and other in trade. 48, Preds #1, pick of Gus or Rutta and number 2 next year(not sure that gets done, leave it to those more in the know) for OEL. Move Hosea deal and find 50’s backup. Sign Sikura

    In season 2019, hope 2 & 7 have a bounce back playing together on the 2nd pairing and move 1 or both if possible. Look for offense to gel over a full season with ELC’s from 2018.

    Off season 2019, fill out dcorps with Gilbert and other young up and coming and top off the offense via FA to the extent of any cap space.

  44. Good analysis on Sharp by Wraparound. Did some of you forget the work he did behind the Anaheim net to set up Vermette for the game-winner. If the Hawks lost that game, say good-bye to a cup in 2015.

    There is a lot of frustration from everyone. I have been critical of SB, but in the past two years, he has made some good moves (e.g. Shaw for a couple of second round picks, one of which is already a gem). Am not going to pretend I had an issue with the Panarin-Saad trade because at the time I thought it made sense. In addition to helping Toews, Saad was the much better 2-way player, which was needed with the loss of Hossa. I can also understand the Hammer-Murphy trade for more youth and size (along with a better contract situation).

    Let’s see how SB addresses (finally) the G crisis, followed by D, with the draft and summer.

    As for Q, be careful what you wish for. He may be stubborn with his defensive line-ups, but his track record of success should not be dismissed. With all of our new players, with more coming, am willing to withhold judgement until mid-season next year. By then, we should expect an improvement in our D-corp and more production on offense.

  45. Cincod, that’s right hats history move forward with whats needed, so when younger guys are ready were full roster.

  46. One thing we need to steal during the off season is that green PP playbook from coach Cline.

  47. Tons of opinions today, interesting reading while having a little vino.

    I don’t think I read one post about acquiring/securing another capable goalie that can be trusted. Bowman has to work under the assumption that Crawford isn’t healthy for next season. The three characters we’ve seen in goal this season in Crawford’s stead aren’t going to cut. Not even close. You can either play goal like Murray did for Pittsburgh when he came up or you can’t. We’ve seen enough of Forsberg & Berube, thanks for playing, enjoy your time in Rockford or elsewhere. It would be utter insanity to think one of them can take the reigns next season if Crawford gets hurt again, or even worse, isn’t back next season. One of the reasons the Hawks have played so poorly since Crawford was hurt is mental — they score first a lot, but they know in their minds “hmmm, our goalie sucks, this lead ain’t gonna last too long….”. Crawford has been a security blanket back there.

    Nevermind revisionist history as to the long contracts and the like, there will be plenty of cap space next season, get a solid goalie please Bowman. Ray Emery w/ one hip will suffice. How about Darling w/ Carolina retaining half of his cap hit? He has and continues to be atrocious down there. Just a thought….

    Ok, back to the bottle…. good evening to all.

  48. Iceman, what are you drinking? I must be sipping the same thing because I completely agree with your thoughts on a goalie. Not having Crow makes me more nervous than any of our other issues, which quite frankly are not as catastrophic as some here say. How we solve the netminder problem is a mystery to me though I’m hoping not to SB.

  49. If any of you think that … a fix of this train wreck is as simple as Crow- playing/and being healthy… Your gonna need to wake up and watch the skaters a little more closely… 20/19/88… had solid Corsi numbers (as Usual)… this team is rotten to the “core”… those guys don’t finish any more (19/20/2/7)… unless there playing Yotes/Sabres

    SB will target a Goalie and a College UFA goalie + Pick in KHL is putting up good #s there…

    Can’t wait to scout the Ejde out in Rock

  50. I think were fucked without Crow and then another high top pick would stack the roster up for awhile. Then the core/more established players are going to get bored waiting.

    I am more nervous about Crow then anything else we need to do to get back to top 10/5.

  51. If you don’t think that replacing a goaltender who was playing at a Vezina level with the crap we’ve watched the last 3 months isn’t a 10-12 point difference in the standings I can’t help you, Wall. I’m not ignoring the other issues; never have. But Crawford by himself has this team at least trying to get into the playoffs, not schedule tee times on the 21st of March.

  52. Tell you this, it’s rhe whole back 8. Say what you want about the rest of the lot but it starts there. What would this teams record be if you took Nashville’s back 8 and meshed them was org our front 12? Put another way, take our back 8 and put them on Nashville. They a playoff team? I don’t think so.

  53. Tab- completely agree – Crow gets Hawks 8-14 more points… PO bubble team-

    But they still would be an easy out in PO’s- IMO

    Oesterle/Seabs/Murphy/Gus- are NOT top 4 D-guys

    I believe Hino ( bottom line Forward- is leading team in Pts/5 on 5 per minute)
    Where do 19/20 fall in that stat??? they need to be way better- producers- not just Corsi guys

  54. Iceman i’ve said before addressing backup goalie with somebody who can pkay 30 games or more to ease Crawfords load if healthy should be a priority and if worse comes to worse ltir can be used to acquire more next season if needed and it makes sense. Also have posted different occasions that Nalimov’s agent says he is slated to come over in 2019. Wall open your eyes and look around at how much parity in league today. Certainly a healthy Crawford with a year maturity and upgrade on defense can a world of difference. If it has to be winning cup next year to say the ship is righted, well only one team does so thats just an empty prediction.

  55. There’s all kinds of things that can be improved-from power play (this has been an on-going issue with more than enough talent to do better) to lazy turn-overs. Someone to play with Kane all year, and now Debrincat. A true # 1 defenseman and another pure goal scorer, hopefully bigger than 180 pounds (think someone like JVR), a good shit/shift disturber with some size. Long list–but it begins with a healthy Crow and/ or replacement and an NHL caliber back-up. For any of you guys that have played hockey not being confident that your goalie can do the job is a back breaker.

    The decline has been coming for a couple of years, and was expected, this sharp drop of, no-that is due to no Crow. And last year Crow-Darling.

  56. A few posters mentioned Patrick Sharp’s contribution to the 2015 Cup. I don’t think the issue is that we should have traded him prior to that season. The thing that cost us Stephan Johns was the timing of that trade after the 2015 season.

    The draft was June 26. Free agency was July 1. The trade was July 10. With a $6 million cap hit (a lot $$ back then), waiting until most teams had spent their available cap space in free agency was a huge mistake. Suddenly, there were no buyers but one, the Stars. Stan got bent over a barrel and it cost us our best prospect, Johns. What has never been explained is why he was not moved at the draft as was anticipated.

    Moving Sharp was not trivial. He had a no trade clause, and maybe he blocked a potential deal at the draft, who knows. But the bottom line is not moving him sooner AFTER the 2015 Cup was very costly to the Blackhawks.

    The frustrating part was everyone knew this, and they still waited so long to make a deal. Sharp was part of the core, and the Hawks thought someone would offer them a 1st for him, but they greatly misjudged the market.

  57. What about a return of the Raanta Claus next year? – he’s UFA with a current cap hit of only $1 mil.

  58. Wraparound not sure on Raanta after he admittedly sat in press box after losing backup job to Darling and hoped Blackhawks wouldn’t win the cup in 2015.

  59. I would take Raanta back in a second. Top notch backup with the potential to be a solid starter if need be. Just the kind of goalie we need.

  60. Not disagreeing with his ability Hereusmike just not sure if either side be interested in it happening.

  61. Noonan you are so right about the weak goaltending. I have seen it on teams I played for and on my sons team. The players are like oh F@&k here we go again and the same for the reverse if your goalie is standing on his head then you are guns-a-blazing and players are flying.

  62. Speaking of the 20/20 hindsight Wraparound mentioned, I believe Panarin led his team with 20 pts in 20 playoff games to the KHL Championship before we brought him to Chi. Outscoring teammates like Kovalchuk. You don’t score a point per game in the playoffs by being a player that disappears and can’t fight through checks in the playoffs. Yes it was KHL and large ice but as it was mentioned he put up 7 in 7 in NHL against STL too. Concerns about his 200ft game are mostly unfounded. He isn’t going to be in the convo for a Selke sure and he makes some risky moves in the D zone from time to time but he also makes great long tape to tape breakout passes or rushes the puck out with speed and deking reminiscent of Kane going literally between guys where there is no space. Saad has been unbelievably bad. Did not see that coming at all. He looks concussed half the time. This guy did have hockey IQ lots of it and used to make all the right decisions and even have a good snap and wrist shot that could beat goalies one on one. All that and more is missing from his game this year. He used to actually burst through guys. His speed is still there but everything else his hands, shot power, accuracy, decisions are all MIA. If it’s concussion related then maybe both he and Toews can come back dramatically different next year. My only question then is wtf the organization is thinking about letting them play this year after all star break basically. Shut them down and let them fully recover the way Crosby did.

    Yes I know Toews is still useful in a lot of ways but having him out there partly concussed is a huge risk for the rest of his career and life beyond hockey. Let him and Saad recover fully before letting them back on the ice.

  63. I wasn’t 100% against the Panarin trade at first either, as I bought into the theory that Saad would be able to come through in the playoffs, like against Tampa in the finals when he scored a huge goal.

    But the more I look at the two players and the more we discuss it, the worse I feel about it. Saad’s downward trajectory didn’t just start this year. He played his way onto the 4th line in Colombus last season too, and everyone just thought it was because Torts is nuts. Well, maybe not.

    He is too young to sell him out now, though. I don’t know if he could get any lower in trade value than he is right now so we are stuck keeping him to see if he rebounds next year. But to think we gave up an all star talent like Panarin for a plumber like guy in Saad really bothers me, as it did Patrick Kane when he found out about the deal. He was the only guy Kane has ever played with that is right in his wheelhouse skill-wise.

  64. hmike good post, its going to take years to exit this trickbag that SB has cursed the Hawk nation with. I keep reading posts about next year, Saad will rebound. if you count the years with the BluJaks its been cooking a long time. I think sb must have a different way to look at a players talent

  65. I can believe Saader would just drop like that. I think he will return to form and play really good for the 5 coming yrs.

    I aslo think Bread Man will be better in playoffs then he was in 16 and 17 because he wasn’t good at all.

    Bread Man playoffs 16 and 17 = Saader regular season 18

  66. Does it matter? 10, 12, 16…I would still be much smarter than you. Can you even tie your own shoes? Or do they do that for you when they let you go bowl on the bumper lanes?

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