Avs Bury Blackhawks Early, Skate Away With Game One Win

Wednesday was the beginning of a new day in Blackhawks history. The organization turned over a huge part of the roster, leadership changed and hopes were high as the team hit the ice in Denver against the best team in the Western Conference.

Once the game started… um, yeah.

The opening 20 minutes of the 2021-22 season were a trainwreck.

Four minutes in, a Connor Murphy shot from the point went wide and the Avs were off to the races. Jack Johnson streaked up the middle of the ice and… Tyler Johnson collided with Jake McCabe, wiping both players out of any chance at helping defend the net. Johnson went one-on-one with Marc-André Fleury and beat him for the first goal of the season for Colorado.

The Avs continued putting pressure on the Blackhawks. Only 82 seconds after the first Johnson goal, Erik Johnson put a shot on net that was redirected twice, first by Nazem Kadri and then by Gabriel Landeskog. Landeskog’s first of the year made the score 2-0 Colorado.

Less than four minutes later, Landeskog added a second point to his register with an assist on Bowen Byram’s first career NHL goal. Colorado was up three less than half-way through the first period.

And Colliton burned his timeout less than ten minutes into the first game of the season.

Fleury looked frustrated. The passing was all over the place, players were losing an edge far too frequently and the communication didn’t appear to exist.

Chicago got a power play late in the first when Alex DeBrincat was hooked by JT Compher. The first unit looked good in the offensive zone, but after a clear they looked lost. Seth Jones left a drop pass for… presumably Patrick Kane? at the blue line but nobody was home. That almost turned into a breakaway for Colorado but Kane broke up the play.

When the second unit came out they made it count. Dominik Kubalik rifled home his first of the season to cut the lead to two. Ian Mitchell and Philipp Kurashev picked up the assists.

But when the final horn sounded, the Blackhawks were chasing two goals and had been outplayed all over the ice. The shots were 18-8 in favor of the Avs and that felt generous for the Blackhawks.

Jonathan Toews skated 5:20 in the first period and won five of six faceoffs, a solid return to regular-season action after a “full” 2021 season away from the team. Tyler Johnson, in his debut as the top-line center, lost his only faceoff in the first and was minus-two for the period. Riley Stillman and Logan O’Connor mixed it up after the final horn of the period and spent the first two minutes of the third period in their respective penalty boxes.

Seven minutes into the second period, Landeskog went to the box to give the Blackhawks their second power play of the night. Nothing happened on the advantage and Jones was on the ice for the entire two minutes.

Shortly after the Blackhawks’ powerplay expired, the Hawks were short-handed. Murphy was upended about 15 feet away from the puck — which wasn’t called — and the player who hit him, Tyson Jost, ended up with a breakaway the other way that Murphy broke up illegally.

The officials leveled the field with a hooking call on Compher 35 seconds into the Murphy penalty. The Blackhawks actually had some momentum before the blown call on Murphy that turned into a would-be powerplay, so going to 4-on-4 opened up the ice for Chicago to potentially take advantage.

The 4-on-4 lasted less than 60 seconds. Brandon Hagel got mixed up with Cale Makar as he tried to fly up the ice and got caught. For 38 seconds the Avs would have a 4-on-3 advantage.

Toews won the faceoff with Jones and McCabe on the ice and the puck exited the zone. Once the teams were back to 4-on-4, Dach got a breakaway but was stoned by Darcy Kuemper.

All of the penalties in the sequence came and went without either team scoring; the best chance for either side was Dach’s takeaway/breakaway.

Dach kept flying up and down the ice. He had another great opportunity with about five minutes left in the period but Kuemper turned his shot aside. Dach then stole the puck in the neutral zone and attacked, weaving through traffic before the puck eventually found its way to Murphy who unloaded a hard shot that went wide of the net.

The problem with hard shots that fly wide against the Avs is it usually goes the other way quickly, and it did just that. Kadri was credited with his first goal of the season, the fourth of the night for Colorado, as he finished a terrific rush by Byram.

In the closing seconds of the middle frame, Stillman absolutely unloaded on Darren Helm. Helm struggled to finish his shift and get to the room as the horn sounded ending the second period.

After 40 minutes, the Blackhawks were down 4-1. Chicago out-shot Colorado 13-9 in the second but Kuemper was up to the task. Dach had four of the Blackhawks’ 21 shots in the first two periods. Toews won 10 of 16 faceoffs through two periods.

In the “What did Jeremy Colliton do to limit his roster in this game?” category, Mitchell found himself stapled to the end of the bench for most of the second period. Even though he had a powerplay assist in the first period, he had only skated 7:14 through two periods. MacKenzie Entwistle skated only 5:16 through two periods because, you know, why give the kid any chance to earn his spot, develop chemistry or — heaven forbid — get comfortable.

Playing the first game of the regular season in Denver (read: altitude), Colliton had two players on the end of his bench not skating. That wasn’t helping a team that was a mess to begin with.

To open the third period, Henrik Borgstrom was centering Kane and DeBrincat. Entwistle got a shift with Dach and Hagel early in the period. And Tyler Johnson was on the fourth line.

It took almost 16 minutes in the third period for either team to change the score. Murphy blasted home his first goal of the season to cut the lead to two.

With 3:34 left in regulation, Landeskog hammered Dach into the boards. Dach was on his knees when Landeskog initiated the contact and Colorado’s captain drove him into the boards. He was sent to the showers with a boarding penalty and should get a call from the league.

The Blackhawks got a power play; Tyler Johnson was sent off for roughing for having Dach’s back.

The Blackhawks pulled Fleury for an extra attacker while on the power play with three minutes left in regulation.

While on the power play, DeBrincat dumped the puck in and chased it into the corner. He got hit hard into the boards and left the ice immediately favoring his left arm. It looked bad… but he returned to the ice for his next shift. So there was a modest exhale. However, the Blackhawks did not score on the power play with Fleury on the bench.

The final minute rolled off the clock and the Avs skated away with a 4-2 victory. After an ugly first period, the Hawks put more pressure on Colorado. Kuemper was terrific, Dach missed on a couple grade-A scoring chances and the early misses were too much to overcome. Even without Nathan MacKinnon in the lineup for the Avs.

Toews finished the night skating 17:15 and won 16 of 24 faceoffs. Dach skated 18:59 and won three of five faceoffs. He led all Hawks skaters with five shots on net; unfortunately, two of those were desperately needed goals that he needs to finish in the future.

Borgstrom had a nice night. He won half of his eight faceoffs and blocked two shots with one assist in 13:25.

Mitchell finished the night with one assist and one shot on net in 8:23. His assist came in his 16 seconds of power play time in the first period. But, you know, Colliton is the coach who’s here to help develop the next generation of whatever bullshit the font office is going to tell us about him being the head coach still.

Jones had a long night. He blocked four shots and put four shots of his own on net in 28:19 on the ice but the Avs’ speed gave him and the rest of the Hawks’ new-look blue line fits. The communication needs to improve and there needs to be a system in place… of course, these are things we’ve been saying since Joel Quenneville got fired.

This was only the first game of 82. The good news is Jonathan Toews is back and looked like the Jonathan Toews who led the Blackhawks for a decade. The silver lining in the loss was the reality that this Colorado team is going to run a lot of teams — especially in the Western Conference — out of the barn this season. But there’s a lot of improvement the Hawks need to make to get into the playoff picture this season.

49 thoughts on “Avs Bury Blackhawks Early, Skate Away With Game One Win

  • October 14, 2021 at 12:14 am
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    “Colliton is the coach who’s here to help develop the next generation of whatever bullshit the font office is going to tell us about him being the head coach still.” Pretty much sums it up.

  • October 14, 2021 at 12:16 am
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    My gawd, the Colorado players act like preseason is over already.

  • October 14, 2021 at 12:28 am
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    After the opening period chaos, the Hawks looked competitive. That is a fine team they were playing. If a couple of the outstanding opportunities for the Hawks go in, things might have been different. Kuemper was excellent. The Hawks defense did give up way too many good chances.

    After almost giving up a breakaway on Jones’ lame drop, you’d think the Hawks would abandon the “push em back” entry. That was terrible. Other than that, they were moving the puck pretty well on the PP and the PK was good.

    It’s unfathomable that the refs missed the interference call against Murphy. Yeah, they made up for it but it was pretty egregious. Also, it’s apparent that the league is going to jawbone about player safety this year, as usual. Landeskog’s hit against Dach should have been 5 minutes for boarding, not 2. But we’ve been seeing that for years. The league must figure that if they take too many of the dirty hits out of the game they will lose some of their thug fan base. Can’t have that. A little CTE for a small number of players is a small price to pay for satisfying the barbarians.

    There appeared to have been some “chemistry” issues on the lines and Johnson had a rough night. Dach was excellent and when he figures out how to cash in his opportunities, he will be special.

    Take away the first period and we can’t complain too much. However, a lot of this stuff needs to be fixed in the remaining 81.

  • October 14, 2021 at 12:28 am
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    This teams defensive structure is non-existent. Their coverage has no layers to it and no one helps anyone else out. I know its just the 1st game but here it goes,they don’t have any physical forwards with and edge to them to do the required grunt work. None of their forwards take the body. This team played like they do not know each other. From what I saw tonight Dach and Borgstrom are Centers 1 and 2 with Toews being #3. He provided no offense whatsoever tonight. Did not attempt to get anywhere near the net or make rushes up the center of the ice. He did what 3rd line Centers do,win faceoffs and kill penalties. He didnt even have to shadow MacKinnon tonight. If that is the way Colliton is going to skate Mitchell,just send him to Rockford until Colliton is fired. Tyler Johnson was needless to say HORRIBLE all the way around except for sticking up for Dach. Landeskog is pure garbage and a chepshot hack,always has been. Hope to god things get better because tonight was pitiful.

  • October 14, 2021 at 1:26 am
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    Hopefully the DCat-Johnson-Kane experiment is over.

    I don’t think the Hawks played that poorly, especially the 2nd and 3rd period.

    What shouldn’t be overlooked is that the Hawks have some new players (S.Jones, McCabe, Johnson, Borgstrom, Khaira) and some players who didn’t play much (Dach, Entwistle) or at all last season (Toews). It’s going to take time for the team to gel.

  • October 14, 2021 at 2:15 am
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    On the positive side: No goals allowed on the PK.

  • October 14, 2021 at 6:18 am
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    One team came out as team ready to win with lots of chemistry. The other came out dazed and confused with a top line that wasn’t designed to be able to compete puck possession wise and things snowballed out of control early on. Liked the that they hung in and were competitive in 2nd and 3rd periods but still as mentioned in article a long ways to go to become a good team. Fortunately its what they look like in April that matters most.

  • October 14, 2021 at 6:52 am
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    Kane was invisible , Johnson needs a role…and not in the top 6 .
    Collition is and always has been a joke .

    Next !

  • October 14, 2021 at 7:24 am
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    Kane invisible- has me going back to my concerns- his injury is hip/related- and might never be the same player… hope I am wrong… but doesn’t show same elusiveness and change of speed- that truly separates him from most others in NHL

    Tyler J with Dcat/Kane- I have not liked that line since start

    Dach- looked improved/promising…. But Bowen Byram- looked like a true Difference maker… considering all the D men Hawk scouts have missed on- and they passed on this kid??? Someone should be held accountable

    MAF/Jones- alot of $$$ – SB should be held accountable

  • October 14, 2021 at 7:43 am
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    The first period was all miscommunication and bad passing with a few turn overs. After that not a bad game. Dach buries two it’s 3-3.

    Let’s not forget the Hawks were not expected to win this game so let’s continue on with the season. Watch the tape of the first period to know what not to do. Watch the tape of the 2nd and 3rd to continue and improve what to do.

    Agree Boy Wonder didn’t fair well today. Under used Mitchell and Entwistle. Over used Jones. I at first wanted the Dcat Johnson Kane line but after further review maybe not. Granted it’s one game maybe try it out for a few more games.

    This just popped into my mind. DCat Eichel Kane (Johnson Strome and a 5th for Eichel Buffalo retains 5mil. Atleast have them retain something minimum retain 2 mil to have the same cap hit preferably 4mil.)

    Not done with Buffalo yet. Strome for Skinner and a 1st Buffalo retains 4.5mil.

  • October 14, 2021 at 7:44 am
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    I bet that Kool Aid is going down like spoiled milk today. Wasn’t for Fleury it would have been 10-2. The 1 play that sums up this team the best is one that Murphy was called for the penalty on Jost: He was the one that got upended and HE was the one that hustled back, no other Hawk in sight. Bowen looks like the real deal. Might as well bring up Gus now for Mitchell, can’t get any worse there. Hard to believe Fleury only faced 36 shots, felt like 60 with 20 breakaways. Actually he may be able to steal a couple of wins this year, if he isn’t battered and bruised by then. Good thing McKinnon didn’t play last night, at least nobody here can blame Duncan Keith anymore for anything.

  • October 14, 2021 at 7:49 am
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    BOY TAB SOUNDS LIKE YOUR HONEYMOON WITH JC IS FINALLY OVER AND CAN SMELL THE SH!T FINALLY. I WOULDNT EXPECT ANYLESS FROM THIS “BAD NEW BEARS” TEAM. MAF ACTING LIKE DENIS LEMIEUX “TRADE ME RIGHT FAWKING NOW” TO HIS AGENT. YOU WOULD EXPECT MORE LEADERSHIP OR ACCOUNTABILITY WHILE HAVING YOUR CAPTAIN ON ICE.

  • October 14, 2021 at 7:59 am
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    Having slept off opening night I’ve come away with one main theme:
    Last night is a glaring declaration of how bad Colliton is in over his head–AGAIN. He is so committed to “his scheme” that he can’t/won’t make in-game adjustments until its too late.
    When the Captain is literally coaching on the ice 10 minutes into the game, that’s a RED FLAG. (And not good for 19’s mental health!) It’s a Captain’s job to lead–not to actually *coach*.
    The talent is there on the ice, but the person responsible for the direction and management is wholly incomptent.
    This ship is rudderless with Colliton behind the bench.

  • October 14, 2021 at 8:02 am
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    The Colliton era has run its course, time to move on. His teams are always late for game time with no sense of urgency. The firing of Q and replacing him with this joke will go down as the worst move in team history!

  • October 14, 2021 at 8:21 am
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    Down two or three goals with a power play, the hawks second unit had a good shift running the Av’s defenders around the o-zone but did not score. A second after the power play ended, the Av’s iced the puck. The genius coach sends Carpenter, Kaira and Hagel out to take the offensive zone faceoff against the tired Av’s penalty kill unit. That move alone should get this ice clown fired with a one way ticket back to the swiss league.

  • October 14, 2021 at 8:33 am
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    Amazing how you all are crapping on Mitchell, when he was in college, he was the next Duncan Keith, now…..he to be tossed in the garbage. Some of you guys must be ADHD and only focus on the next new shiny thing. Must really suck to be a Blackhawk prospect, your only good for about 1 yr til the next draft, then you are an after thought to be discarded. Give some of these kids a chance. D is the most difficult position to play out of college or juniors. Remember that.

  • October 14, 2021 at 8:38 am
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    That was an Avalanche. Kept coming and coming with no end in sight.
    Hammer, you said you wanted to watch Byram. I watched, and all I can say is Wow!
    C. Jones is not very hard on the puck in the defensive zone. No sense of urgency or ferocity to disrupt the play.

  • October 14, 2021 at 8:52 am
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    Sorry, I meant #4. Actually the brothers play both look the same – one at $800,000, the other at 8 mil.

  • October 14, 2021 at 8:57 am
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    The Captain should focus on being a quality Center and not coaching. Let Colliton,s incompetence shine through. Everyone loves Mitchell but knows he will not be treated like an NHL Defenseman by Colliton. My prediction for Friday night in New Jersey is that Strome,Gaudette,and Gus are in the lineup with Entwistle, Mitchell,and maybe Kurashev sitting out. Early panic button by Colliton.

  • October 14, 2021 at 8:59 am
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    It’s standing room only on the ledge … after 1 game. The JC hate is in midseason form … after 1 game.

    Everything appears to be back in order in Blackhawk-ville.

  • October 14, 2021 at 9:00 am
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    JR , I agree with you. Go get Eichel and Skinner and insert Hardman,R.Johnson,and Gaudette into the lineup. Fleury gets a break and Lanks plays Friday night so Fleury can start in Pittsburgh Saturday night.

  • October 14, 2021 at 9:02 am
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    Seth Jones looks lost. Very unimpressed with him. Dach is too soft and his shot is nothing. At least he can skate. Kane does not look right to me. Colliton’s system is what? First game of the year and we come out lost and flat. Get rid of JC now and let Marc Crawford coach the team. At least he’s an NHL coach.

  • October 14, 2021 at 9:05 am
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    Funny that I kept thinking the best D pairing all night was Stillman/Mitchell, yet the $9.5mil man looked like horsepoop.

    Is Dach’s wrist a problem? I think any goalie in the AHL could’ve stopped his 2 breakaways.

    The smurf line needs to go into the trash bin of history.

    JC’s best move was moving the $5mil man to center the 4th line starting the 3rd period, although
    I give him huge credit for sticking up for Dach, which goes to show you how soft this team is

    Stan put together a team w/talent for sure, but not a team that can win

  • October 14, 2021 at 9:11 am
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    @Dollar Bill: It’s my contention that the team is talented, but talent means jack squat unless you have someone who knows how to best use said players talents to maximize the roster and their best abilities.
    Jeremy has proven time and time again his scheme is more important to him than making a lineup that maximizes the strengths of the players you have.
    Tyler Johnson is NOT a 1C on this team– or any other. He’s a 3rd/4th liner.

  • October 14, 2021 at 9:13 am
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    re Goose: when exactly was there a “honeymoon” period w/ Colliton with me? Also, the caps lock is overrated

  • October 14, 2021 at 9:15 am
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    Hawks played ALOT of different players ( kids) in preseason to figure out who makes the roster for the season… So continuity wasn’t established as far as chemistry .. Not an excuse , just my opinion….when your star players don’t play very well, you gunna lose… Its only ONE game.
    Thank god no Keith or it woulda been 10-2…
    LMFAO
    Go Hawks !!!!!

  • October 14, 2021 at 9:45 am
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    @Stefanie, I agree w/your sentiment 100%. JC is horrible and Stan is even worse.

    It was only one game but it seemed like GroundHog Day as we’ve all seen this picture before.

  • October 14, 2021 at 10:09 am
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    Somebody show Colliton a video on BACKCHECKING. The Avalanche had a group of new players too and played without their #1 Center.

  • October 14, 2021 at 10:44 am
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    I have not seen many reviews on Toews play last night. What did everybody think? I was disappointed and did not see much excitement or jump along with very little if any offense. He won faceoffs. Other than that.meh.

  • October 14, 2021 at 10:59 am
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    Let’s not pretend our blueline didn’t get much worse swapping Keith for C Jones. That’s why Edmonton threw in a pick and pays their difference in salary in full.

    It would have been great to see Keith slotted into this blueline after picking up Seth Jones. Then we would have been on to something.

    Keith didn’t seem to hamper Edmonton too much, they won. They are glad to have him, since he is still light years a better defenceman than C Jones.

  • October 14, 2021 at 11:38 am
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    Wow that was fast. Most of the same people preaching how great we should be all summer sure changed their tune pretty quick here. Been saying this since I got here. The excuse err opinion from somebody here that “the Hawks played a LOT of different players(kids) in preseason to figure out the roster so continuity wasn’t established as far as chemistry” is pathetic at best because every team in the league did the same thing: Avs had a whole new 3rd line, new defensemen, new goalie, their head coach was sitting due to COVID, their #1 star player was out and they looked like they had decent “chemistry”. We have some good players on our team, the problem is upstairs and behind the bench. The true test will be when they return to the Stadium and we see how many empty seats are there. Duncan Keith must be chuckling at his good fortune.

  • October 14, 2021 at 12:48 pm
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    Glad that the boys realized preseason was over by the end of the first—was not looking forward to an 18 goal, 72 SOG game if it continued at the opening pace. Finding a positive amidst all the negativity: Stillman was gritty, knocking around some Avs and getting under their skin…had them going after him after the whistle going into both intermissions (and stood his ground)

  • October 14, 2021 at 1:44 pm
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    Injuries are part of the game, Bolts lost opener 6 2 to Pens with Crosby and Malkin both out. Can’t imagine anybody saying that proves they suck lol, it was 1 game and a bad start. If not for Entwistle line with some strong early shifts against Wild Saturday night, last preseason game likely woulda had a similar start. That is definitely something they need to improve on, the number of different players on this roster compared to other teams returning almost same roster, at times will cause some growing pains, that those teams won’t deal have to deal with. Good chance if this team continues to struggle out the gate for an extended period, Bowman may be forced to replace Colliton or somebody else will replace them both.

    Agree Mitchells usage kind of a head scratcher last night, no goals against while he was on the ice, nice job on pp of distributing the puck on Kubaliks goal, seemed to warrant more ice time. Although the Avs physical play and team speed may have hurt his confidence more than playing more helped. Either way it wouldn’t have been a game changer if he did play more.

    Next 2 games should look a little better and hopefully we see more of what Entwistle and Mitchell can do. See the Toews naysayers still trying to deny they were wrong lol. For what it’s worth i’d try tomorrow night for lines.

    Kubalik Toews Dach
    Hagel Borgstrom Kane
    Cat Strome Kurashev
    Entwistle T.J. Carpenter

    Getting to know each other will take a little time on a revamped roster and again its not what the team looks like at start of but at the end that really matters.

  • October 14, 2021 at 1:51 pm
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    Likes: Johnny being back and looking good. Dkat looked solid. McCabe is a hitter.

    Dislikes: Dach falling, too many blowouts. JC inability to work with young dmen. Stan

    Concerns: Kane is not right physically, there was no puck dangling. Crazy talk about more free agents (Eichel and Skinner). Teams built solely on FA rarely play for the cup. Hawks are not developing players. Stan has got to go.

  • October 14, 2021 at 2:23 pm
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    Tim W regarding Toews… odds are if Hawks get off to a real slow start… 19 will not be able to continue

    speaking of Kane looking off- Hate to think that the team does not know/understand the “injury that is nagging him”… if 88 turns out to have serious injury going forward- How?why SB changed from rebuild to playoff hunt team- is truly mindblowing. This team is going no where if 88 is playing Meh hockey like 19

  • October 14, 2021 at 2:42 pm
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    Relax folks,it’s one game against a high quality team. SOG we’re virtually the same last night. This team will be fine.

  • October 14, 2021 at 4:43 pm
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    Ouch that one hurt. I am and never have been a fan of Coach Wonder. There’s some talent here but we need a coach to take this to the next level. The job has outgrown JC.

  • October 14, 2021 at 4:50 pm
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    They got ambushed in the first period by a very good team. The Hawks actually played a good second and third. Watch the SOG difference trend for this team , a good indicator. Last night the SOG was even.

  • October 14, 2021 at 5:30 pm
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    I like #77, he can skate, stick handle & pass the puck very well. He is not afraid to go into the corners or in front of the net but, if he does not learn how to finish the rest really won’t matter much. Had a chance to make it 3 up last night & really swing the momentum to our side & failed twice. His finish ( OR FAILURE TO ) I feel is a huge area of concern.

  • October 14, 2021 at 6:55 pm
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    With all the new players this year, and in particular new defensemen, they should have made a very easy move this off-season by hiring an experienced, seasoned, and well respected defensemen coach to replace Sheldon Brookbank. A Steve Smith or Trent Yawney type that will strictly enforce structure going forward. And Colliton needs to stay the hell out of their way if he hopes to salvage his job. His system is not working in their own zone, its as simple as that. Next time they play the AVS you need to have Khaira out there against Landeskog every shift he is on the ice to do nothing but harrass him. That was a very dangerous hit from a greasy player . I loved how Gilbert surprised and handled Landeskog aa few years back when he chose to be greasy with the rookie. I`m not sure we have anyone that will or can do that today.

  • October 14, 2021 at 8:18 pm
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    Holy crap, it’s all Chicken Little up in here. If I didn’t know better I would have thought that the Hawks played Buffalo rather than Colorado from these comments.

    Does everyone need a hug or something?

    I am drinking the cool aid hard this year, hard, and this game went almost exactly as well as I expected. Literally half the roster is different from last season. Why would anyone be surprised that the Hawks look like a bunch of guys who haven’t played much with each other? That is literally what this team is right now.

    The reality is that the Hawks don’t have to compete with the Av’s right away or even at all this season. If you break up the NHL teams into three tiers, take the 4 or 5 best teams in each conference and label them the elite teams. Take the 4 or 5 worst teams in each conference and call them the dregs. Then take the rest of the teams and call them the mid tier. If you do that, you will see that the Hawks don’t have to compete with the elite, but rather, win the battle of the mid tier to be a success this year.

    The Hawks don’t have the horses to ride with the elite, so don’t stress about that. We saw this roster dominate the dregs last year, and they will likely do so again this year. The elite and the dregs will cancel each other out, so the question becomes, how will the Hawks fare against the mid tier teams?

    Can the Hawks be a B+ team and compete and win against the mid tier teams? That is the question. Getting manhandled by the Av’s does nothing to answer it, so take a breath, come off the ledge and have a sip of the nice ,cool, refreshing cool aid that is being so fervently rejected by you all right now.

    How the Hawks look against the Devils is going to be a much closer indicator to what this team can be this season. There are 81 more games to go…

  • October 14, 2021 at 9:26 pm
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    Well played Miroslav, well played.

  • October 14, 2021 at 11:01 pm
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    I think I’d put Strome in

    Cat Borg Kane
    Kub Toews Strome
    Hagel Dach Kurashev
    Gaudette TJ Entwistle

    And Gus in for Mitchell

  • October 15, 2021 at 6:10 am
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    Miroslav- I am trying to be positive – and yes this team is better than last year, But at what cost?

    Is it a SC type of team- imo- NO
    Can it make PO’s -yes
    Can it make deep run- I say No- Unless some incredible good fortunes- – Like a scenario where they play excellent 1st half- have a big $$$ cap loss to IR- than are able to go way over cap- at TDL to Buy a better team for PO’s… That is relying on too much luck

    The real kickers- SB/Hawks are relying on so many “good fortunes” — to even make PO’s this year- let alone do something in PO’s
    Kane- Nagging injury- that he chose not to get fixed in Summer??? Only guessing- but is that a wrist? Hip??
    Toews- missed last year- and has been trending down last several years
    Old Goalie-big $$$
    Lots of new – re-tread players – that seem promising… BUT
    Jones- good player- $$$/term- too much risk
    McCabe- good stats- Like DeHaan- seems to get hurt- alot

    If all goes well- should be a fun team to watch- and I am hopeful… but!!!

  • October 15, 2021 at 8:21 am
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    Look for shots on goal in games yesterday.

  • October 15, 2021 at 9:33 am
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    Wrap, Toews,Strome,Kub? Yikes,the center of the ice and high slots will be ghost towns. None of those 3 has any interest being in those areas. The rest of your line setup is good.

  • October 15, 2021 at 9:39 am
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    Miro, The Hawks were horsed by an Avalanche team without Mackinnon and with just as many new players in their lineup. I assume that you consider New Jersey a dreg and the Penguins middle of the pack without Malkin and Crosby so we will see if your theory holds water very quickly this weekend. I hope you are close to being correct.

  • October 15, 2021 at 11:33 am
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    It’s very early.
    Kirby Dach needs to concentrate on finishing.
    Stop with the between the legs puck movements and worry more about having the patience to get your shot off where it needs to be.

    Colliton ….. what everyone else said.

  • October 15, 2021 at 6:06 pm
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    @Tim, I expect NJ is similar to the Hawks, in the mid tier fighting to get in the playoffs. Pitt is likely a high mid tier, maybe one of the elite. How the Hawks play against the Devils is to me the first indicator of how they are going to fare against the rest of the mid-pack teams. If the Hawks play well against the Devils, that is a good sign that maybe this roster can win the middle. If they struggle against the Devils, that isn’t the end of the world, but is certainly NOT a good sign.

    @Bluto, not sure I like the cost of the Hawks being where they are now either, but here they are. I’m trying to look at it that they have a team that actually has some talent. Maybe not elite talent, but a team that if they work hard will be difficult to win against. I for one will enjoy rooting for the team to win instead of hoping for a better lottery chance.

    It was not a good game the other night, but it was against the best team in the division and maybe conference, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet…

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