Vegas Cashes In On Poor Hawks Performance

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper was there for all three periods to watch his hometown Vegas Knights.

The Chicago Blackhawks appeared to be watching much of the action as well.

Chicago came out chasing from the get-go. Duncan Keith took a rare penalty at 3:01 into the first, and the Hawks turned the tables quickly as John Hayden got on the board with a short-handed goal.

Unfortunately, that was it for the Hawks offense until the closing moments of the game.

William Karlsson scored 26 seconds later – still on the Keith penalty – to tie the game at one.

Less than two minutes later, Deryk Engelland carried the puck into the zone and kept attacking. He put a shot on net that Corey Crawford couldn’t control and Tomas Nosek tapped it home to give Vegas a lead they wouldn’t give up the rest of the way.

Vegas out-shot the Hawks 14-10 in the first period.

In the second, hung around in spite of their play for 18 minutes. Brayden McNabb put a big hit on Nick Schmaltz 14 minutes into the second and Ryan Hartman came to his defense. Unfortunately, Hartman took two minor penalties on the play. The Hawks limited Vegas to only one shot during the four minute advantage, but Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was left all alone on the doorstep with under two minutes left in the period.

At the end of 40 minutes, the Hawks were down 3-1 and Vegas held a 22-18 shot advantage.

Jonathan Marchessault ripped home the Knights’ second power play goal of the night ten minutes into the third to extend the lead to 4-1. Chicago didn’t show much jump and Vegas was taking everything they could get at the expense of Crawford.

Patrick Kane scored to cut the lead to 4-2 with 65 seconds left in regulation, but it was another case of too little, too late.

Vegas is now 5-1-0 at home and is off to the best start of any expansion team in NHL history. Oscar Dansk made his first career NHL start on Tuesday night and was sharp when he needed to be, controlling the limited opportunities the Blackhawks created.

Jonathan Toews won 13 of 25 at the dot and was credited with two takeaways in the game. Brandon Saad and Jordan Oesterle were credited with the only assists for Chicago, both coming on Kane’s goal.

Keith had a team-leading four blocked shots and Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with four hits. Patrick Sharp was credited with a team-high four shots on net.

Crawford stopped 29 of 33 in the loss.

Chicago was 0-3 on the power play with none of their alleged advantages looking even decent.

53 thoughts on “Vegas Cashes In On Poor Hawks Performance

  1. here are ceiling players that i hope some of these kids can develop into.

    Hartman- andrew shaw
    Hayden- Scott hartnell
    Schmaltz- Marcus Johannsen
    Debrincat- Tyler Johnson

    Hartman will have to work as hard as shaw did to make that happen. Hayden will is my favorite of this group for being what he is supposed to be. Schmaltz can skate but better keep his head up before he loses it. Debrincat is creative, but turnovers and staying on ice could prove issue worthy.

  2. 5-3-2, after ten games. C+
    Power play needs to come alive. Too much talent not too.
    Anisimov has disappeared since the Panerin trade. Very concerning.

  3. The good?

    Hayden has a nice game, that kid needs some more speed to play with. He’s got grit, skill and speed.

    I thought Seabrook had his best game of the season. Made plenty of good plays and was quite physical.

    The team had a good 2nd period, took the play to them and generated some attack zone pressure as well as chances.

    The bad

    Keith didn’t have a great night, made some decent recoveries but man did he make some thoughtless plays.

    The first and third period as whole.

    After killing that 4 minute power play giving up that goal just crushed them.

    The Hawks will continue to lose games in which they get outworked. I know it’s still early but the effort and drive can be better than this. The talent level is too high for this club to be dropping games in this fashion.

  4. Played like they spent too much time partying in Vegas before the game…lack of effort, poor execution and at times confused…yep, hungover ?

  5. After the first two games, this team has gone flat. vegas outworked them from beginning to the end.

  6. Let me ask some honest questions:
    1. Did SB trade Panarin to get back Saad in order to help Toews get back to the old Toews, but in doing so he took away the skill and offensive opportunities from Kane and Anisimov?

    2. What is wrong with Toews?

    3. Are Hartman and Schmaltz just 4th line players that SB thought could be high skill players?

    4. At this point in his career is Toews a second line center that leaves this team without a #1 center?

    5. Is Q the right coach for this younger, NHL developing team, at this time?

    Please answer with serious thought because I am tired of seeing us get beat to loose pucks, lose board battles, get out chanced, give up odd-man breaks and, most importantly, wait for Kane to bail us out, again.

    Or, am I overreacting to a young team that needs to get some NHL games under its belt and get these young guys some experience?

    Help me, please.

  7. Ogie… to answer your post about “if Wall ere GM”… for starters… I would not have given out Big $$$ contracts to either 29/Crow/Seabrook…. which means- Hawks would still have Saad/Panarin locked up for long term deals… and 2 solid Lines that can score…

    72 compliments Kane… and Saad carries – cry-baby face Toews…

    Reg Dunlop- spot on Post… concerning thing is- 3 out of those points center around your $10M -aging Center

    AA- is garbage
    Hartman- is 3rd/4th line guy

    Hawks Vs. Knights… That is why you don’t pay guys $8M + (ESPECIALLY- when the Majority of that inflated contract is PAST prime Hockey AGE!!!!!)

    Look at Knights – balanced pay roll versus Hawks Inflated to 3-4 players payroll
    Knights were faster to almost every puck – at almost every position on ice!!!

    AND- we haven’t even mentioned Seabrook’s Contract!!!

    Only thing that can save Hawks now- is SB Making Huge Trade… (Not gonna happen)
    Or A perfectly timed “Kane like LTIR” to bank cap space… (Not wishing injury to anyone here)… just saying

    The Hawks would be better off- losing the rest of there games- and getting a top pick and SELLING at TDL ( a big name player or three) … to include-
    Seabrook– Don’t know anyone dumb enough to take- but try
    AA– 100% needs to go– Probably have to throw in a “TT-type prospect”
    Crow- Best player of this bunch- Hope he brings back the most value in sale/trade!!!

  8. This was a pretty poor effort overall by the Hawks. Passing not crisp. Lack of Hawks willing to crash the net. Five on five offensive push was really not there. I give the Knights credit though for playing a strong defensive structure and they applied lots of puck pressure on the Hawks who didn’t have much open ice.

    If the NHL refs are going to make these ticky tack slash/hooking penalty’s call em every time a player comes down with his stick. Half of these don’t get whistled and it seems the players don’t know game to game how this will be called.

    Hawks will need a much better effort against the Preds Friday.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  9. Yes, Wall… look at the team that’s played EIGHT GAMES in their history as a model of not having to pay superstars you’ve developed.

    Do you realize how hilariously ludicrous that statement is? Vegas isn’t paying anyone big money because THEY’VE DRAFTED ONCE. THEY HAVEN’T DEVELOPED A SINGLE PLAYER. They’re built on table scraps – albeit pretty good table scraps (James Neal, MA Fleury) because of the cap providing teams with a desire to shed money. But to say the Knights are better off because of a balanced payroll is the most ridiculous argument I’ve ever heard – even from you.

  10. I’m still not impressed by Forsling, to use Q’s word, he is “OK” at best. If Rutta & Forsling are the second D-pairing, good luck. Forlsing’s play doesn’t warrant top four minutes and exemption from being scratched. He was no great shakes last night.

    Kempny is not the type of player to be yo-yo’ed in and out of the lineup, and when he is in, looking over his shoulder knowing one mistake will place him back in a nice suit during the following game. He played extremely well last year when he was given a regular chance to play when Hjalmerson was hurt and the Hawks went on their winning streak to overtake Minnesota.

  11. Tab- what is ridiculous is paying “Stars” FAT contracts- where the majority of that contract $$$ is paid- past their primes… YOU are missing my point

    example- Good deal – Crosby/Malkin @ $8-9M when they are 22 years old
    19/7 at high cap Hit – where more than Half years of contract- player is in 30’s+ age

    I know– SB thought the cap was going up $5M/year… blah-blah-blah

    What is Ridiculous- Is your $10M players – whining for $6M players to be brought in to Help/make them better… (19/Saad and now Kane- rumored to want E. Kane)… Don’t these Superstars realize their is a Cap in the NHL- and that they make HUGE % of the team’s Cap??? That is truly – laughable!!!

    Yes- 88 is ONLY a rumor – at this point– but completely believable- cuz- Hartman ain’t cutting it… and Hawks have no one right now to skate w/ Kane on wing- that is both Good/and good size to make a difference

  12. Tab- Vegas- ain’t a Model- just an example- that Hockey is a TEAM sport…

    and 20 guys making $3M– might be better than 4 guys making $33M + 17 guys making $1M or less… especially – when some of those Mega-cap Contracts are on the wrong side of PRIME!!!

  13. Ok…so you’re minus Seabrook…and replace him with who?

    Do you keep Toews? Assume it’s 10.5 or nothing. Who’s your top line center if you don’t?

    Hawks like last game, showed up for the last 7 minutes. I miss those corsi game flow charts.

  14. I love what Hayden brings to this
    I think the *derp* goal that got by Crow hurt big time and like Bird said–the goal immediately after the 4:00 kill really devastated them.
    What really baffles me is the anemic PP.
    Again, I’m glad this happened in October and not March.

  15. Boy Anisimov does look terrible, I don’t think anyone saw that coming to the degree it has happened. I think $21 million for Kane / Toews isn’t so bad when you consider Kane is probably worth $12.5 million / yr easy. Think how bad we would be without him. Scary.

  16. I will have to agree with Reg!
    Toews is a 2nd line centre! He had Hossa at 38 playing alongside him the last 2 years and this year asked for Saad back. I also have to agree that Saad actually flourished when he played with Kane and Richards to win cup in 2015.
    Hartman and Panik are not top 6 forwards which goes back to the reality that we do not have the talent to play top teams. Our remaining core is getting older and only Kane, Saad and Keith have all -star impact. Thus, we have no one waiting in the wings to step in to keep the flame burning. I guess the Wings did it for years drafting low but we seem to have lost that comparison.

  17. Wall I’m curious to see what you would pay for Kucherov as he will be 26 at the end up a very generous contract. He is going to want to get paid for the generous bridge deal. Let’s say he wants 8years $12 million AAV, what do you do?

  18. Responding to the Wall stupidity because fact checking is so damn hard: You’re bitching about the Blackhawks overpaying their star players. And talk about Pittsburgh being “smarter.”

    Evgeni Malkin is 31 and will have a $9.5M cap hit for 4 more years after this. He signed an 8-year contract as a 28 year old. His bridge deal was a five-year deal with an $8.7M cap hit that he signed as a 22-year-old.

    Sidney Crosby is 30 and will have an $8.7M cap hit for 7 more years after this. He signed a 12-year contract as a 26-year-old after playing 63 combined games over the previous two seasons. His bridge deal was a five-year deal with an $8.7M cap hit signed as a 21-year-old.

    When Crosby & Malkin signed their bridge deals, they were tied for the second-highest cap hit in the NHL. During the four overlapping seasons that Malkin & Crosby had their matching bridge deals (2009-10 thru 2012-13) the Penguins won zero Stanley Cups. They made if past the first round in only 2 of those four seasons, losing in the 2nd round in 2010 and the Conference Final in 2013.

    For the sake of comparison…

    Jonathan Toews is 29 and will have a $10.5M cap hit for 5 more years after this. He signed an 8-year deal as a 27-year-old. His bridge deal was a 5-year deal with a $6.3M cap hit signed when he was 22.

    Patrick Kane is 28 and will have a $10.5M cap hit for 5 more years after this. He signed an 8-year deal as a 26-year-old. His bridge deal was a 5-year deal with a $6.3M cap hit signed when he was 22.

    Kane & Toews prime contracts made them the highest paid players in the NHL. During their overlapping bridge deals, the Blackhawks won two Stanley Cups. Since 2011, Toews has finished in the top 10 of MVP voting four times (2011, 13, 14, 15) and has finished in the top 3 of Selke voting 4 times (2011, 13, 14, 15). No other player has that on their resume in the league.

    You’re so anti-Toews that you can’t even try to hide it. You’re a one-trick pony and your comments are both sad and boring. Move on, Wall.

  19. Wall – Malkin signed an 8-yr $9.5 cap hit deal beginning in 2014-15. He was 28 / is now 31. Crosby signed an $8.7 cap hit deal beginning in 2013-14 running thru 2024-25. He was 26 / is now 30. Toews signed an 8-yr $10.5 cap hit deal beginning in 2015-16. He was 27 / is now 29. (- CapFriendly) I agree with all who believe the Seabrook contract was a mistake – an 8-yr $6.875 cap hit deal beginning in 2016-17. He was 32.

    You brought up Crosby and Malkin – in comparison, the Toews contract doesn’t seem out of line.

  20. Mrfenn92, that’s the thing cant go by any games we donot show up to play. If we sucked that bad/were terrible/played like shit, ok. The STL and LOV we didnt play, usually 4or5 every season is like this, 2of10 ouch. Were in for a long stretch of playing now.

    15 was a A+ with Panarin and Kane, he played really good. I am worried, unless hes playing with something, you cant go from really good to this overnight/summer. He really miss Panarin. Long awaited good 2nd line center. Arty is better then this, I want him to be happy/do good, maybe he doesn’t work as good with shooters then he does with playmakers.

    38 is more ideal for 3rd line, yea. I think we do like 2013 or so, hes there like Steeger was. Same thing 23 was better for 3rd, to have 4 good lines and role 4 lines we had the pizza line 23/91/88 and a heavy 1st line of 20/19/81. Looks kind of familiar.

    We are going to add a good player with Hoss ltir cap space, since we cant bank. Even if we sell at deadline, we might have 9 D by then.

    Tuff to watch these ones, cant wait until we start to play again. Are really good start 4-1-1 has us in good position/basically tied for 1 seed div., just need to weather these storm games and play/answer/respond.

  21. I got one thing to say about PIT, they didnt do shit after 09 to 16, other then 13 when BOS smeared them. Who beat, battled, deserved and earned a hard fought Stanley Cup in 13. When PIT gets outplayed by NAS yet still wins.

    PIT won when top 5 teams were watered down.

    CHI won when teams were stacked and went head to head against the best/other top 5 stacked teams.

    PIT is like NJD really good and won a few times (bookend spread out), not a dynasty nor 2nd best team in that era. COL was they went head to head with DET.

    CHI is like DET won 3 in 6 against other stacked top 5 teams LA/BOS head to head like DET and COL. LA or maybe BOS is the 2nd best teams in this era, roster wise, they went head to head with CHI.

  22. Wall …..Get over it …
    Everybody knows what you want …and everybody will stop reading your post if you continue your negative messages about the same players
    I think you wake up at night just to hate 19 and 7 ..

  23. Boys, I have to get one thing off my chest………..I really don’t care about the money and the contracts because if the Hawks were winning and our Hawk players were productive, we wouldn’t be complaining at all……..well maybe Wall…….LOL.

    The money that these guys are paid means nothing to us as fans. What matters to me is the production by each player and the team as a whole.

    Maybe I (we) are being impatient with these young players. The NHL is a tough game to learn as a youngster. It’s faster than ever, the players are bigger, the rules are changing on a yearly basis and the competition is fierce. Plus, the expectations put on these young players are extremely high.

    Let’s see where Q and our coaching staff can steer this floating ship. I am not worried about winning every game but I am worrying about the compete level of this team in the games we play.

    One last thought……….boys, I love Johnny Toews as a player and a person. But maybe it’s time to take off the “C” and give it to Keith or Seabrook or Kane. Maybe the guy who led this team to 3 Stanley Cup championships is just plain tired. No shame in being burnt out after all he has given to us. I don’t want it to happen and I don’t expect it to happen but it is just a thought.

  24. Besides the shorthanded game by Hayden at no stage during that game did I think the Hawks would win. They played absolutely awful. Seabrook looked terrible missing passes and being outskated. Keith looked shaky and the offense failed to look in sync the entire game. The Hawks PP is a complete disaster a joke really. Then they kill a 4 min penalty only to have Keith and Seabs come off the ice and leave a man open in the high slot for a 3-1 lead with under a min left in the 2nd. TV off went to bed woof!

  25. Find it amusing TSN referred to the Hawks to a “powerhouse” hardly.

    A couple of final thoughts big picture. Toews is here to stay and hasn’t been the problem this season.

    Kempny needs to play more, the Hawks win and Q takes him out?

    Conner Murphy needs to play better. That is starting to look like a bad deal.

    Hayden needs to play up in the lineup he has earned it

    I see RFD in Alex DBC future

    I hate bitching about Seabrook but OMG 21 mins from him last night. Why is Q using him so much? This is a 32 yr old guy with declining skills and by the way now a minus 1 (+/-) on the season. I hate watching him now because I remember how much of a badass he was early in his career. This is the age when the wheels start falling off NHL defenseman statistically speaking. This is exactly what it looks like. Keith is an expectation to the rule. Get him some damn help!

  26. The Hawks were in Vegas almost 72 hours with a bunch of new guys first time there as a group and or individually. The veterans are away from wives and or significant others with cash to burn. Give me a break.

    Lets not overreact to a get away game in October from the worst city to be hanging around in within North America.

  27. Toews is a 2nd line centre. So maybe we move up Schmaltz up to first line status with Saad and Kane. These are our 3 most gifted foot wards. Thus, it might be interesting to see them together. The 2nd line can be Toews , Sharp on the right side and Panik on the left.
    I am also worried like everyone about Connor Murphy.

  28. I’m not worried about Connor Murphy. And I’m not worried about Seabrook or Toews either. It’s not even Halloween and the bitching and moaning is already deafening.
    This board has become a naysayers haven. What happened to all the positivity and the non-repetitive logical discussions?
    Oh, wait, never mind. Wrong site.

  29. I agree Tony, Savoir what are you talking about? Many teams would like to have Toews as a 1C, including Chicago as he is their best centre and 1C in the league deserve good players to play with they all have them

  30. Jesus Christ. Talk about out of town stupid…except its in town. What would you call that? Nucking futs?

    Tab, wall has 3 tricks.

    1. Toews is a checking center, possibly injured and over paid.
    2. Seabrook is overpaid and slow
    3. Crawford is overpaid.

    Since Wall won’t say what he would have done differently other than not sign those 3…to get more players lets imagine what the team looks like.

    Toews, Seabrook, Crawford… gone. 6 anonymous and mythical players signed.

    Panarin stays.

    Send down 42,8,12. Sign 1

    Trade 15 and 5. Sign 4.

    12 new non existent (except for Panarin) players.
    7 guys going out. Roster size of 35. With a bunch of blech.

    20-?-14 L1
    72-?-88 L2
    ?-?-? L3
    ?-?-? L4
    ?-?-? Bench



    Not sure where he stashes the extra players. And your on ice product is a flaming pile of dog shit. But hey, all those ? And mythical non existent player signings gotta be good for a couple wins above replacement…right?

  31. Tony/Golden, Tazer a 2nd line center. Now I know they must be joking to pass the bad game time.

    I have heard it all now.

  32. One thing I have noticed over several games is that a lot of the shots from the point seem to be right into the shin guards of some player that bounces out of the zone.
    I would think you could see there is a person right in front of you before taking the shot.

  33. Folks, there are 10 games under the Blackhawks’ belts so far ……
    So now let’s play the sometimes silly numbers game.

    If we look at the Captain through 10 games, he has three goals and 8 points.

    Yeah, it’s a limited data pool, but if you compare this vs. his historical stats (I know that someone will complain about this) he is on pace for numbers, albeit after only 10 games, that will essentially match and/or exceed his highest outputs in goals, assists and points in a season as a member of the Blackhawks.

    I’m seeing him move with the puck and make nice feeds and a number of things I didn’t see him do last year. He may not be as flashy, and may not be the team’s “guy” that they had to rely on as much before, but he ain’t what some of you are saying he is.

    If we’re going to start nitpicking on players after ten games, let’s call out Saad who started out smoking but has been largely average the last few games.

  34. Tab- Thanks for the Bitch slap- in regards to Pens/contracts… I missed the boat- and will eat some humble pie- for living on old “contracts”…

    BUT- my eyes- and opinions have not changed- w/ regard to 19/7/AA sucking wind and the terms/$$$ they are now playing for… SB mistakes here… and it will be super hard for SB/team to overcome…. w/o a Major trade/contract or “Luck” of some cap saving LTIR (like Kane in 2015)

    and You are still in Denial- if you think 7 and 19 will earn their keep- w/ contract going forward-

  35. WALL – while you’re eating the humble pie do me a favor and keep up with what I’ve consistently said all along.
    1) Toews isn’t declining as fast as you personally believe so get over it.
    2) I have never – anywhere – said Seabrook still plays like he did as a 25-year-old. I have fully acknowledged his decline and the issues with his contract on multiple occasions… I just don’t bitch about it on an hourly basis like you do.
    3) I have also noted on multiple occasions that Anisimov is getting paid 2C money to be a 3C who isn’t good at the dot – which is an issue. That said, if you have a 2C who’s still on his ELC (Schmaltz) it’s easier to stomach an overpaid 3C, but we clearly need more from AA moving forward. He hasn’t been good to start the year.
    4) You appear to be the only person who is still living in a world where the Blackhawks “need” an injury to have enough cap space to make a deal. They have space now – and have options. But Bowman has something you clearly don’t: patience. He’s going to see what he’s got before unloading/making a change/upgrading anything.

    You love to bash Bowman because of 2-3 contracts but ignore that the Blackhawks 2nd-best defenseman right now is making $925k. Rutta has been terrific and is cheap, just as Schmaltz moving into 2C and Wingels being an adequate 4th line guy at $750k have provided cap flexibility this year. There’s plenty of good here if you remove your head from the “I hate Toews/Seabrook/AA” ass that yours is stuck in….

  36. Abe, that happen to us what seems to much at times. Though when you shoot from point right around a Dman and it gets through there the hardest puck to see as a goalie. That’s got to be the reason other teams, from time to time, get these shit goals from far out that they didn’t earn. Puck luck by shooting like that.

    Indian, only thing there, and its a good sign Tazer has found another weapon to use to stay on top, he usually doesn’t get many pts to start then piles it on over a long stretch of games. He has always had very good player to play with and you cannot count the last 2 yrs against 19, in terms of pts, because he wasnt playing with 1st line players like he has every yr of career. Regardless if hes I not as bull rush, power moves with agility by people before he had 25 penaltys to him per game/with no calls. He has added speed so he has options and can stay on top as head to head 1st line center who line can shuts down other teams top lines and still get more pts then that line. 20 and 14 can be the bulls and 19 can be the 81 wise one.

  37. @ Tony,

    I am all for having a logical discussion. Please explain to me why I shouldn’t be concerned that Connor Murphy has been scratched 2 times now and hasn’t logged more than 17 mins of ice time in any game this season and has largely been used as a 3rd pair dman?

    This was a guy moved for a top 4 dman and expected to serve a similar role. Add to the fact that he hasn’t been used on any special teams either? How is this not concerning? Or perhaps you would like to share why you aren’t concerned with Brent Seabrooks play either?

  38. to Tony + SSHM – re: Connor Murphy – I’m not putting a ton of weight on his couple healthy scratches. They’re carrying 8 defensemen and need to justify the cap hit. Jordan Oesterle earned a roster spot in camp and might be trade bait, so they need to play him at some point. Franson has been OK.

    re: Murphy’s ice time – he’s a right side dman skating behind both Rutta & Seabrook. 16-17 minutes of ice time for the 5th defenseman isn’t crazy. to SSHM – you’re right that he was expected to play a top 4 role but Rutta has taken that spot and he’s been terrific. If the Hawks didn’t have Rutta I would be more concerned. Right now Murphy is the Blackhawks’ 5th defenseman and I’m fine with that.

  39. Tab- my issue is — those Issues– that you acknowledge… are not easy to fix…

    for every Panarin/Rutta find – there 20 bums (especially on hawks/SB budget) that are/signed/play

    And- I don’t hate/blame the players- their right to make as much as they can…
    I also realize – all GM’s will make bad deals/contracts/player signings… ya can’t be right 100% of the time… but the combo of these deals- is tough to overcome…

    I applaud SB for moving both 72/4- for better cost/term players- even if he got 10-20% less value of player(s)– and i am not saying Hawks or Jackets got the better of the deal… I am saying it was a needed business deal… considering where the Cap/Hawks are.

    Still laughable- if a $10M player- is really asking for another High $$$ player to be brought in to play with him– if true- that’s a joke!!! should have taken a few Mill less- imo

  40. What’s laughable is the fact that you can’t understand that elite players deserve to play with other elite players and almost every teams top players play with other top players, except poor Tavares and look what that has done to him.

  41. So, to be clear Wall, you “applaud SB for moving 72… for better cost/term player… I am saying it was a needed business deal” and then in the same comment rip Toews for wanting a Hossa replacement/known commodity back? GTFOH

  42. SSHM – I believe Tab covered the Murphy question better than I could. I agree with his assessment, especially the welcome surprise that Rutta has been. And I just don’t believe Murphy’s sample size is big enough yet to warrant any concern from me.
    And Seabrook has slowed down, no doubt and no argument from anyone on that. But I just don’t see the catastrophic decline that some here are saying. I think his presence is hugely important with the guys in the room, and you can’t place a dollar value on that.

  43. Sorry to be late to the party but would like to kick in my 2 cents:

    1. Hartman is not a 4th line guy. Sure, he made a mistake but this guy has too much skill and heart to be relegated to this status. He is much better than Shaw.

    2. DeBrincat should be the odd man out, not promoted to the first line. They are force-feeding him when he should be at Rockford making his bones. Not that he won’t be a good player down the road, but IMO Vinnie would give the Hawks much more right now.

    3. Q should have let the first and fourth lines alone and tinkered with the second and third lines with the addition of Vinnie.

    4. I think they’re force-feeding Forseling as well. Kempny should be playing every game. Not that he is a world-beater but he needs to get in a regular groove. Would like to see him and Rutta as second pairing and just leave them there. Q can fiddle with the third pairing as much as he likes.

    5. My biggest worry is Schmaltz. Who is he? If he is pre-season and first and second game Schmaltz, no worries. If he is recent post-injury Schmaltz, team will not score enough. This is key to the season IMO.

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