Blackhawks Blown Out In Nashville, Playoff Chances Sliding Away

The Blackhawks rolled into Nashville for the first of three “gotta have it” games on Monday night. Shortly before puck drop, the lineups were released. Chicago was without Brandon Hagel, who was waiting for COVID test results.

In his place: Adam Gaudette, who would make his Blackhawks debut in a huge game.

There are times when it appears Jeremy Colliton is in over his head (sometimes way over his head) and the lines Chicago skated during warmups screamed for the help of someone with a clue. Colliton had separated Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat… and put Gaudette (again, making his Blackhawks debut) on the top line with DeBrincat and Kirby Dach. Kane was on a line with… Vinnie Hinostroza and Pius Suter.

Also scratched from the game: Adam Boqvist and Ian Mitchell. Colliton was rolling with Wyatt Kalynuk and Riley Stillman with his veteran four of Duncan Keith, Calvin de Haan (who returns from a hip issue), Connor Murphy and Nikita Zadorov. So two of the young defensemen many feel could be a big part of the future were watching from home.

So just judging by the way the coaching staff was lining up to start the game, Chicago was going to have its hands full on a night the entire division as in action.

Obviously the Hawks needed to get off to a good, quick start. When the puck dropped… they didn’t. And six minutes in the Predators had a 1-0 lead on an Matt Duchene goal. The forward line of DeBrincat, Dach and Gaudette was on the ice for the Duchene goal.

The Blackhawks were struggling to complete passes early on and running into the resistance they have all season against the Preds. Multiple players broke down what Nashville has done effectively against the Hawks this year during the pregame media scrum but that knowledge clearly wasn’t translating into any chance, much less success, on the ice.

Kalynuk wasn’t heard from after his second shift; he was on the wrong end of a big hit from Tanner Jeannot (who was recalled by Nashville before the game) and didn’t return.

The Hawks desperately needed something to change the momentum and Nashville did them a favor. Mattias Ekholm went to the box for tripping and the Blackhawks (gasp) scored a power play goal. DeBrincat sniped home his 23rd of the year to tie the game with 4:46 left in the first period.

Suter and Kane were credited with the assists on DeBrincat’s goal.

Less than 90 seconds after the DeBrincat goal, Yakov Trenin went to the box – also for tripping. After scoring a power play goal to tie the game, Chicago was quickly headed back on the advantage. Chicago wasn’t able to get another goal on this power play and dodged a good opportunity after the advantage ended inside the final minute of the period.

The horn sounded to close the opening 20 minutes of hockey and the Hawks had escaped a sloppy start to take a tie score to the room. Nashville out-shot Chicago 9-8 in the first. Kevin Lankinen made a few good saves to keep the Hawks in the game.

Kalynuk skated 1:42 in the period and did not return. The Hawks announced at the start of the second period that he would not return to the game because of a hip injury.

In his first period with the team, Gaudette skated 2:54 without a mark in the box score beyond the minus-one.

Kane skated 8:21 in the first period.

Checking the scoreboard, Dallas had a 2-1 lead over Detroit in the second period and Florida led Columbus 3-1 after two as the Hawks started their second period.

Nashville came out putting heavy pressure on the Blackhawks in the second the same way they did in the first. Lankinen made a huge save without his stick early in the period, but the Preds kept coming. Calle Jarnkrok beat Lankinen at 4:48 to give the Preds a 2-1 lead.

Zadorov probably couldn’t have played Jarnkrok worse if he had to; he whiffed trying to engage the Nashville forward to put himself out of position – and he started the play in the wrong spot. Another reminder that Zadorov was in the lineup while Boqvist and Mitchell were not.

Less than 60 seconds after the Jarnkrok goal, Mattias Ekholm took a Keith turnover the other way and beat Lankinen to extend the lead to two. You could see the wheels falling off. The momentum was completely with the Preds, Lankinen was fighting it in the period and Nashville was making the Blackhawks pay for poor execution.

Making matters worse, de Haan went to the box 58 seconds after the Ekholm goal.

Thankfully the Preds failed to count and were caught with too many skaters on the ice in the middle of their power play. For 55 seconds the teams would be 4-on-4 before the Hawks went to the advantage.

As they have at times throughout the season, the Blackhawks’ fourth line changed the story. David Kampf, Ryan Carpenter were with Gaudette and were able to put together some strong pressure. Gaudette was in the middle of the mess and it was Kampf who scored for the first time in more than a full calendar year (50 games personally) to bring the Blackhawks within one.

Gaudette was credited with his first assist as a member of the Blackhawks on the goal.

With 3:42 left in the second, Keith was sent to the box for tripping. Already down one defenseman, Keith going to the box put the Hawks even more short-handed for two big minutes. Chicago killed the penalty and the second period limped to a close with neither side scoring another goal.

The Blackhawks out-shot the Predators 14-11 in the second period but were chasing one after 40 minutes. The script of the second period was similar to the first: an ugly start but the Hawks rallied in the final ten minutes. Unfortunately, Nashville scored twice in 51 seconds in the second.

Gaudette skated 5:28 (seven shifts) through two periods – the lowest among all Chicago forwards. But he had one shot on net and an assist on the Kampf goal.

Updating the scoreboard in the division as the second intermission came to a close:

  • Florida 4 – Columbus 2 (F)
  • Tampa 3 – Carolina 2 (FOT)
  • Dallas 2 – Detroit 2 (end of regulation)

So the Blackhawks knew there was a chance Dallas could inch closer with a win and, obviously, losing two points to Nashville in the first of these three games would hurt.

Chicago needed to get off to a good start in the third period (sound familiar?) and… they didn’t (sound familiar?). Murphy lost his helmet on the first shift of the third period and was required to go off. As he departed, Nashville’s Jeannot scored – only 23 seconds into the period.

The Preds scored again 41 seconds into the third period to make the score 5-2. This goal came off a turnover by de Haan. Luke Kunin was parked on the doorstep all alone; there wasn’t a white sweater in the neighborhood other than Lankinen. Keith lost an edge and went down about 20 feet away from Kunin, leaving him wide open for the Preds’ fifth goal.

Instead of using his timeout to calm the team down, Colliton pulled Lankinen in favor of Malcolm Subban.

Because it was Lankinen’s fault the four senior defensemen on the roster shit the bed in front of him.

Because changing goaltenders once you’re down three in the third period is going to motivate the team.

Because Subban was going to score four goals to lead an epic comeback. By himself.

To be clear: Lankinen as not having his best night. But to have this be the first time all year Colliton makes an in-game change in net is ridiculous.

How did the skaters respond?

A little more than five minutes after the goaltending change, Suter went to the box for four minutes after a high stick did enough damage to warrant a second minor penalty.

<sarcasm font> Sticktap to Colliton for pulling all the right strings. </sarcasm font>

Dallas defeated Detroit in a shootout, moving the Stars one point in front of the Blackhawks pending the result of Chicago’s game in Nashville (which didn’t look promising).

There was little/no emotion from the Blackhawks until around three minutes left in regulation. Keith crosschecked Duchene two or three times in the corner and Nick Cousins took exception. He came flying in to throw hands with Keith. The teams exchanged kind words for a few moments and… DeBrincat was the only skater sent to the box. So with 3:40 left in regulation and Chicago down three, they would be short-handed for two minutes.

Again, ideal.

The Hawks killed the penalty (Nashville didn’t put much pressure on) but they lost the game by three.

Gaudette put a shot on net with ten seconds left in regulation and a few more kind words were exchanged behind the play. Cousins received an early trip to the showers for his efforts before the final horn.

Lankinen stopped 17 of 22. Subban was perfect, coming in with the game out of reach and his teammates showing zero pushback.

Will Colliton change the lineup for the next matchup? Will Kalynuk be available? Will it matter?

If Chicago wants the playoffs, they need to be a helluva lot better than they were on Monday night. That includes the coaches.

79 thoughts on “Blackhawks Blown Out In Nashville, Playoff Chances Sliding Away

  1. Colliton hasn’t pushed the right button all year and from my seat looks like he’s lost his team. They look like a group that can’t wait to get to the golf course. And I’m right there with them.

  2. No surprises here, We are what we are: A mediocre team with a young coach who’s in over his head with a team assembled by “Attaboy” StanBo. Once again Nashville laughed at our team. A couple of players showed heart tonight, especially the Cat. The rest showed nothing. Until somebody gets replaced upstairs, this will be tough to stomach.

  3. 1. Coach Boy Wonder aka Wet Noodle Jeremy really irked me today. Just everything. His line choices, his uninspired robotic monotone, his face…
    I feel like I usually give him the benefit of the doubt but today was a bad day and he just nauseates me.
    2. This was not Lank’s fault. Can’t always blame the (rookie) goalie.
    3. I can’t stand that Trashville acts like they won game 7 of a Cup final every time they win vs. our guys.
    As you were.

  4. Gotta agree Colliton looked more like a deer in the headlight than a Nhl coach. If the team isn’t ready to play, that’s coaches on the coach at the end of the day, if they come out flat and need to calm down that’s what timeouts are for. Hooe Lalynuk is ok. Maybe they’ll be pissed off enough after tonight to win the next 2.

  5. Predictably easy game for Nashville. It was a hostile road playoff type of game that required a couple of physical forwards in the lineup and a proper construction of the forward lines. Colliton failed on both counts. As I said leading into these alleged big games,this is a group of strangers playing together for the most part that has no on or off ice leadership. Blow this thing up and get a real NHL staff in here and construct this team properly. Tonight was an embarrasment that demands a front office response.

  6. “Nashville laughed at our team” – that’s priceless considering that all they have accomplished with their high priced talent is to beat the Hawks consistently. It was very frustrating to watch that effort but the fact is our talent on the ice tonight is near the bottom of the league (and easily the least physical team in the league). Looking at tonight’s lineup I believe 8-9 of the players will not be in the opening night lineup next year. As I said last week we are early in the rebuild and major changes remain.

  7. Kampf was the best Hawk – that’s saying something

    Tab – I didn’t here that Boquist was out of concussion protocol and could be available for this game – did I miss that?

    Zadorov – just wow – he was bad although so were lots of other

  8. Tab – just looked it up – Boquist still in concussion protocol – I guess you didn’t realize he was in it so not really JCs fault for not playing him

  9. This Hawks team has an unfortunate combination of lots of youth coupled with poor playing veterans. This is not a good combination when pushing for the playoffs. No one should be surprised by the result of this game. This is the time of year where veteran hockey teams can string together a two week stretch of playoff atmosphere/attitude hockey in order to push towards a playoff birth. The Hawks don’t have another level they can rise to just because a playoff birth is in sight or the season is coming to an end. They are who they are whether it’s the first week of the season or the last. That’s not to say that there haven’t been improvements throughout the year, especially from individual players. But collectively, the same problems have existed all year. They were simply camouflaged by an incredible pp and exceptional goaltending for the first 25 games or so. As those aspects of our game have regressed towards the mean, the losses have started to pile up more regularly and will continue till the season ends.

    As for the blueline, there aren’t any quick fixes. Hopefully, DeHaan isn’t on this team next year, either by hook or by crook. That will be a positive addition by subtraction. As for Zadorov, we’ll see what Stan decides to do. I would be o.k. if he’s back on a one year qualifying offer, but I wouldn’t give him term. On a one year deal, you would have the flexibility to showcase him for next year’s tdl, or limit his minutes from time to time so the likes of Stillman, Beaudin, and Kalynuk can get meaningful minutes on their natural left side next year. There wouldn’t be this internal feeling of obligation to play him 20 min a night which I think would be the case if he’s signed to a 3-4 year deal. At least, that’s how I would handle it to ensure that I maintained roster flexibility in the years ahead.

  10. Wrap – don’t ruin the narrative that Colliton’s at fault for not playing Boqvist. And for more evidence Colliton sucks – he played Kalynuk and Stillman instead of Mitchell who is destined to be a core piece of the rebuild whereas Kalynuk and Stillman are not … oh wait … not to mention both Kalynuk and Stillman have played pretty well and are more capable of handling the Nashville forecheck than deer-in-the-headlights Mitchell.

    Facts be damned – Colliton sucks.

    You know who else sucks – Keith. I’ve been a loud mothed critic of Keith for several seasons now but it’s always been on the offensive side of the puck. Lately he has been sucking on the defensive side of the puck too. Thanks for the old memories Duncs but the memories you’re creating now and not good ones.

  11. EB nobody saying there wasn’t anybody who played bad but how long do you give Colliton a pass for a team not ready to come and play, doing nothing to calm them down when nothing going right. He spreads the lines out to for the the purpose of having 3 lines that can score. Result is a pp goal and 4th liner Kanpfs goal. Is he that perfect he can’t be questioned on his decisions and those facts be damned.

  12. Well…yeah. I don’t know what Colliton sees. I see that Dach didn’t register a shot. 0 SOG for Dach and a 40% FO%. Debrincat had 6 HITS. I have said before that as much as I don’t like a small line, having Debrincat-Suter-Kane is lightning. Why not put Kubalik-Dach-Strome as a line. The 3rd line of Kurashev-Hinostorza-Connelly? Gaudette-Kampf-Carpenter isn’t bad. But…that’s just me.
    Look, I hated the Saad for Zadorov trade. Saad is having a very solid year. The Blackhawks don’t even know if they’re going to keep Zadorov. He’s not hitting too much. Unless you count hitting his passes to the opposition? The jury is in on this SB trade and once again, the Blackhawks lost. Defense was a dumpster fire of errors. Keith had a 2nd bad game in a row. Zadorov was Zadorov, De Haan should have rested another week. I really can’t blame Murphy for losing his helmet and leaving the ice. It’s a stupid NHL Rule. I hope Kalynuk is okay. He was a bright spot on D. Will Colliton start Beaudin and Mitchell? He should.
    Lastly, I’m looking at this roster and it’s just a whole lot of confusion. What is this teams identity? Lots of skill and too little physicality. The Stanley Cup teams were overflowing with big, tough, physical players. This team, although in a rebuild, is entirely too small, soft, and troubling. Kane, Debrincat, Kubalik can’t do it all. The kids have hit the wall that is a usual for a team during a season. Strome isn’t doing much and neither is Dach. Is his wrist in need of more healing? Probably. He’s just a total non-factor. THAT is really disappointing.

  13. Sorry to say it but Dach is mucking things up with his poor lethargic play as a top center. If he is still healing and for whatever reason as an organization you think its of some type of value to have him out there,then place him as a 3rd line winger. Strome is giving nothing,sit him and move him. Let Entwhistle,Johnson,Barratt,or anyone with a pulse receive that ice time. Zadorov,s play in tonights game alone warrants him to have a seat on the taxi squad for awhile,that was pathetic. I know it will never happen,but if Keith is going to play like that he can rest also. Tonights game put an end to this playoff fantasy. From my perspective this organization has some very easy decisions based on what has been displayed on and off the ice for the last couple of months. They should definitely know who is who and be more than ready to make the moves. This includes bringing in a NHL Coaching Staff. Clean house and lets get on with it.

  14. That 3rd goal was a play we saw Keith make countless times, he eases up going for puck along the boards, forechecker on his side hustles for the puck and is out of the passing lane and Keith snaps a quick pass acrooss ice for his partner. Thing is a Hammer 5 or 6 years ago or Seabrook 10 years ago recognizes what he is doing and slides over to about the middle to recieve the pass, a Hossa or Toews rotates back to blueline to help if things go bad and more likely than not, Keith heads to net on a give and go for good scoring chance or goal. As TimW pointed this team doen’t really know each other in alot of ways, that’s what growing together will bring. Yes he makes what look bad choices but how many partners has he had since Hammer left. Draws the top opposing teams lines while baby sitting his partner, has had Murphy who came young, Joki, Osterle, Cody Franson who really wasn’t an Nhl defenseman anymore at that point, Boqvist, Mitchell, Carlsson, Kalynuk etc. When you really have no idea where your partner is going to be on the ice or do it’s not an easy row to hoe.

    Faceoffs tonight Kampf 13 and 3 redt of the team 12 and 24. They outshot the Preds, outhit them 22 to 19. Remember Toews, Nylander, Boqvist and Hagel plus Kalynuk all out tonight and would say Dachs wrist is still affecting his hands game.

  15. Anybody ripping on Keith clearly doesn’t have a clue about hockey. All he is guilty of is trying to do too much and trying to cover up for mistakes of his teammates. And once again plays the bulk of the minutes against the opponents top lines. But he as so called fans here claim that he “sucks”. What “sucks” is an unqualified Brookbank coaching this defense because when he played, he “sucked”. Sure the hell wasn’t Duncan Keith.

  16. I’m confused.

    Who is really coaching this team? Perhaps a better question is: HOW is this team being coached?

    It appears to me the Blackhawks are coached by committee and consensus. Colliton has said he favors this approach. So, on the bench we have:

    Collition, Sheldon Brookbank, Tomas Mitell and Marc Crawford.

    Who runs the Defense? The PK? The PP? The Offense?

    Why do we need 3 Assistant Coaches on the bench?

    Do they pass around a list of who is bringing the treats and drinks for each game?

  17. Wednesday Night- Suter-Kane-DeBrincat Gaudette-Hagel-Hinostroza Kurashev-Kubalik-Dach Kamph-Carpenter-Connolly (I would insert both Entwhistle and Johnson in but I know Collition will never do that.) Murphy/Beaudin Mitchell/DeHaan Keith/Kalynuk or Boqvist if out of protocol and Kalynuk can’t go. Lankinen in the net on a very short leash.

  18. Total lack of fundamentals! I know the D was over-worked with Kalynuk going down early, but Zadarov, Keith, Murphy, and Stillman were bone-heading it all night long. This was not a playoff team last night!

    Suter (7)
    DeBrincat (7)
    Connelly (7)
    Kurashev (7)
    Gaudette (7)
    deHaan (7)

    Keith (4)
    Stillman (4)
    Zadarov (4)

  19. Agree with whoever said that JC is spreading out the lines too much to try for 3 scoring lines – it’s time to try to put 2 decent attacking lines together such as

    DCat Strome Kane
    Kub Dach Hagel

    then
    Hino Suter Kurashev
    Gaudette Kampf Carp

    Also agree to sit Zadarov and assuming Kalynuk and Boquist still out bring in Mitchell and Beaudin

    Also wouldn’t mind Subban getting the start not that last night was Lank’s fault but Subban had a really strong game last outing

    The Hawks needed a good first shift last night but instead NSH gets a wide open chance in front of Lank about 10 sec. in – that was Zadorov – that just set the tone for the night

  20. Well must must wins needed and bet ya Nash is going to bring it. We must load up and change up.
    Gonna say the last two Nash goals had unanticipated circumstances. Lost helmet and banana peel on ice.

    DCat Dach Kane
    Kubalik Suter Hagel/Hino
    Strome Gaudette Kurashev/Hino
    Hardman Kampf Connolly

    Murphy Keith
    Boq deHaan
    Zadorov Stillman

    Lank

  21. A lot of funny comments here …JC said he would try many combinations to have a look at the kids with the newcomers and that what he is doing ( like he said ) it’s a year to try to know the players you have in your hand .
    From day one this year nobody here had a vision of making the playoff and everybody thought we might finish with a first round pick in the next draft.
    When the Hawks start the season with 4 loss it was really funny to see the reaction and all the guru here trading DCat and other players for draft pick .now that we are so close to the playoff suddenly the guru fans want to control the destiny of the coaches and players because the young team is not constant enough to win big games against stronger and more mature teams.
    Fact is that the young Hawks are a lot better team then everybody dream but still not ready for the big chalenge because they are on the first year of the rebuild plan .
    Everybody knew it would take a few years to rebuild but human are usually not very patient and the result is gurus want to coach the team and they know more then the Hawks coaches how to win games ….
    Still love my young team and I know they will make many young players mistakes because they are at the beginning of their career.
    Try your best ,listen to the coaches and have fun .
    No way the Hawks will win the Stanley cup this year and no way we can get the first pick except iff they win the lottery.
    Just my two pesos
    ;)

  22. We are sadly lacking a number 1 and 2 d man .
    Murphy is a 3 at best ,Keith 4 Zadorov 5-6 …we do not have a 1-2 developing in the system .

    Preds exploit this lack of defensive presence every game .

  23. Hawks2010 – well said.

    The blame game is alive and thriving, especially after the team loses. Hard to be a good coach when your team is out-manned, which the Hawks clearly are against Nashville and most other teams. Young players playing like young players is expected. Veteran players playing worse than young players is on those veteran players – not the coach. Colliton doesn’t have many levers to pull regarding the d-men while he tries to find the right balance between veterans and young players. He has to try to put the young players in the best position to succeed which is made more difficult when the veteran d-men play like they did last night.

    This is Year-1 of the rebuild and at times it’s been ugly. There’s probably more ugly coming the rest of this season and next season too. So … I anticipate a whole lot more blame game in the foreseeable future. Sigh.

  24. ER – prolly a good day to find something else to do, unless you have a really strong helmet on your head. In that case – go ahead and bang away!

  25. So it sounds like today, everybody agrees:
    Colliton is/was not the guy going forward.
    (except for Ebony, but what did you expect?)

    Colliton brings a Euro style in his coaching toolbox because he is young, with 2-3 years in Switzerland, 1 year in Rockford and now 2+ years in the NHL

    The latter being a league, he is learning despite playing 20 or so games in it, that is full of tough, gritty SOB’s that will try to run you thru the glass if you don’t push back and pushback hard….especially when your team is i it to win it, and your name has a chance to get engraved on a chalice after 16 wins.

    Euro hockey is by definition, not a pushback style of hockey.
    Hell, we all saw that when Colliton told his team to not retaliate against TB earlier this year.

    So this team has added some grit, skill and experience at the deadline to a very talented young squad. (Stillman, Connolly, Gaudette)

    Thank you Big Lebowski for that, and thank you for #77, #24, #12, #48, #8, and #32.
    But it is still hard to look past your Saad for Zadarov blunder, another example last night, amongst the plethora of others since 2016, which turned a contender into a pretender.
    (However, the recent additions show improvement in your game. So we will see how well you do.)

    That added grit and experience must now be cultivated by a top flight NHL coach, who can meld the young talent and the new additions into a solid playoff winner.

    I refer again to a poster named Steve, who said, ‘Colliton is taking the team from point C to point B.’

    Time now for a proven veteran coach who has been there and done that, to get the team to point A.

    4 points back of Nashville can be overcome.

    But not they way this team is coached.

    Nashville has pushed this team around, and they have not been taught how to combat it.

  26. What….Toews is out ?? Lol….lol…sorry Ian that was funny that you listed Toews being out.
    This was as I expected, Nashville just frightens this team to do nothing but make mistakes, Kane is invisible, Keith needs to disappear all together. If Colliton wants to play the kids to have a look at them, he needs to at least be smart on line combos. Most of the time I do not think he knows what to do, he will do better if he just put names in a hat and selected his lines in that manner.
    So….on to Wednesday for another episode of….scardy Hawks vs The Sabre tooth Tigers from Nashville….with the same outcome as well.

  27. The theory goes that one coach is adept at taking a team from Point-C to Point-B but then a different coach would be required to take a team from Point-B to Point-A.

    OKAY. Maybe.

    For the sake of argument let’s assume that’s true, at least in some cases. What are Points-C, B & A? Point-C could be the starting point of a rebuild and Point-A could be championship level. But where does Point-B fall? Obviously the answer will be subjective so I doubt we would find consensus but I would be hard pressed to agree with the notion the Hawks are at Point-B in the rebuild process so it’s now time to bring in that Point-B to Point-A coach. My assessment is that although progress was made in this first year of the rebuild – the Hawks are still much closer to the starting point of the rebuild – Point-C – than they are to whatever you would subjectively assign to represent Point-B.

    My definition of Point-B is when the new core group is in place and they are a playoff level team. Then it’s time to go from Point-B to Point-A by bringing in a proven coach and signing a free agent or two as the final piece(s).

    A championship level team requires a championship level d-corps. The Hawks are at least 3-4 years away from having a championship level d-corps and that’s if things go as we hope they will. The Hawks are not going to get to Point-B for at least a couple more seasons.

    I anticipate much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth and a whole lot of blame game in our future.

  28. The Hawks looked like a post trade deadline team full of journeymen.
    They missed Janmark, Soderberg, Hagel and Boqvist last night. I have no problem with the trades. This year has always been about development not squeezing in to the 4th spot and getting thumped by the first place finisher.

    Nashville is the better team pure and simple.

  29. Agree Craig – NSH is the better team (although that doesn’t excuse unforced errors) and to tie it in with ER’s comment NSH’s biggest advantage over the Hawks is their D corps

    JC said last night what most if not all of us think – that the Hawks have to be at their best to beat NSH and they certainly weren’t at their best

    I’m not expecting them to make the playoffs at this point (and haven’t really all season) but I do want to see them improve on last night’s dismal performance

  30. First, Hawks 2015 and 2010. Yep w are on the same page. The Hawks were never a playoff team this year or last. We were without 1/2 line Centers (injury), a top 6 wing (Reichal) and top pai def. Sorry folks Murphy at best is a 2nd line pair with Keith and DeHaan/Zadarov are at best 3rd or bench. I do think Boqvist will be a #1 DEF as he reminds me of watching Brent Burns his first few years as a wild. I do think Mitchell will be a sold #2/3 liner. Kalynuk/Beaudin maybe one can fill the gap as a #1 but certainly not looking like it.

    If we are to make the playoffs this year, some one needs to tell Pat T Kake to stop playing around and become the Patrick Cane Goal scoring machine he was the first half of the season. He needs 5 more goals to hit the 20 makr again which he has hit every year since coming into the league. News flash to patrick, Stop with the fancy passing and start getting in position to score. Dcat stoped it and look at where he is today, a goal scoring machine.

    It is shocking the Hawks have $30M in bad contracts to be even competing at this level. My can hope to get a top two pick but realistically shooting for a top 10-12 pick. I see the hawks winning 2 maybe 3 of next 10 unless Kane starts ripping the twine. I’m in.

  31. So true on the D comment. Murphy is nowhere near Hammer’s skill set. He’s tough and a decent defender, but he lacks offensive skill. He isn’t the quickest skater. Doesn’t move well laterally.

    Rather see the kids in there to see what they can do. Appreciate the “hey, we got Stillman, let’s give him some games”, but again that is such classic Stan move. He touts how much he’ll play the kids yet he signs veterans who, at the end of the day, are just “guys”. And these “guys” take away from important “learning” games for a Mitchell or a Beaudin. How about some size with Entwistle and Johnson from time to time? How often do we see Kampf lose a battle? Now we see Gaudette, who passed the “you must be this size to ride the rollercoaster” test to make the roster. Great. Way to go, but he can’t be asked to forecheck a 6′ 4″ defenseman and expect to win. I give so much credit to DeBrincat for his courage and his skill to be able to finesse his way through the offensive zone.

  32. Saw some line combos. At this point Dach and Strome are not top 6 players. Get Johnson,Entwistle,Hardman,and any other willing physical participants into this lineup NOW! And let’s have some fun punishing playoff teams these final 3 weeks of the season.

  33. Tim – regarding Dach and Strome being too 6 right now well maybe not but who else is going to play there – Kurashev? Suter? Kampf? – it’s a limited list

    You can only play the players you have

    Surely you’re not suggesting Johnson and Entwhisle play top 6 centre

  34. Wrap ,Have to be honest,after what I have seen from Dach and Strome the last 2 weeks,you can put Kurashev and Gaudette into those positions and throw them a Johnson,Entwhistle, or Hardman on their wings and I think you will have a more competitive product.

  35. Such is hockey Colliton goes from coach of the year candidate 5-6 weeks ago to the bum that many thought before the year.
    I’m not sure he is the coach of the future, but the outrage is funny. Nashville is the better team and much more ready for the playoffs. This team needs to get better–not just the coach.
    Craig said it well.

  36. Another great game by “not his fault”… 2 more years..then we roll.
    GO HAWKS!

  37. At present Lankinen has faced the second most shots in the league. It would have been nice to see more delia/subban but its a short season and im not the coach.

    I sincerely hope the coaching staff has been putting players in specific situations to help players develop and to evaluate them strategically. i dont see how you can be doing both this development and trying to win games…at least in every instance. It is a tall task especially when there are so many players to evaluate and develop in so many situations. It’s such a tall task i am genuinely interested in how they are doing it behind the scenes….or if they are doing it at all. They sure don’t talk about it as much as they did to start the year….but why share business team secrets so i expect to never know!

    Murphys helmet was ripped off. I dont have a solution whether its blow the whistle or whatever but thats some garbage there. Nhl needs to take a look at that rule. Anyone have some statistics on how many goals or even scoring opportunities high danger scoring opportunities exist because of this rule? I vaguely recall a goal against the Blackhawks earlier this year when a player lost his helmet.

    That swcind goal of the the third keith was up too high and lost an edge coming back. Tough luck but im not sure he would have stopped that goal being thay high up anyway. In a development year i see zero problem cutting keiths minutes or even sitting him for a game to evaluate and develop the other defenseman. Same can be said of dehaan and Murphy so do not think im targeting keith. Was a little disappointed murphy was not moved for a kings ransom at the deadline but i guess other teams were not interested. Really its the other teams loss.

    I sure hope delia is getting action in practice seems like a waste of a year for checking out other goalies in the RARE OPPORTUNITY to carry three….especially for a team at the start of the year wqant sure who would be in net. Talking to scouts it was not a huge surprise Lankinen would take charge but cmon use the opportunity to get delia and subban action early in the year! There are always teams looking for a good goalie or often a new goalie so heck at least could have seen some trade value from one of the three. Instead all season the next year UFA was given the net and whole he has shown to be an nhler lets be realistic hes not top ten in the league just now.

    Do not get me wrong goalies are judged over a long period of time and hot playoff runs. It is a bit annoying he took over the net so early on a “development ” year with teams blessed with carrying three goalies. Whatever maybe the organization is assuming next year its back to two goalies and they want delia to clear waivers untouched. if such is the case then whatever good decision i guess because based on what little action he sees i doubt a team will claim delia.

  38. Well, Hawks have a hard time scoring goals . . . period. If you take away the power play goals this team is simple pathetic 5 on 5. Hence Coach trying to do something with the lines in ye ole Vitamix and having very key ingredients to put into the Vitamix. He will be fired for sure and Bruce Boudreau will be behind the bench next year. I hope.

    The Preds are a very physical team and methodical defensively they know how to diffuse Kane, rub him off the puck and pin him to the boards, they won’t let Kane beat them, it’s that simple. Done! So who next? The Cat on a power play maybe . . . or maybe a made a scramble like scrum in front of the net by our third of fourth line or maybe a goal by someone who hasn’t scored in I still can’t remember.

    There is no good news except maybe Kalynuk who looks like the real deal. Really plays within his skill set, doesn’t over extend, take chances, he’s offensive minded but smart at when to join the rush or drop down below the dots and is reliable on D. He’s relaxed, comfortable and doesn’t panic.

    The Hawks need to decide what type of “team” they want to build. I’m confused. This weak perimeter game is not happening. Nothing up the middle of the ice, everything along the boards, outside, which is sooooo easy to defend. No real speed at all, Speed by stretch pass is a crap shoot. If we’re paying attention this team skates sideways a lot, waits, pauses, even looking backwards and dragging the puck up ice. Never have I’ve seen three guys all in gear moving forward in unison (hockey 101) putting pressure on the defenses to pick a guy and pick him up fast. Watch Vegas for 2 minutes. Hawks are the worse team on even the basics of “timing a dump in” the puck is often in the wrong corner or too soon or wrong guy doing the retrieval, .God helps us if it’s Dach or Strom The over all effort to get the puck is even weaker . . . but CAT has stood out as a player! A man child!

    Dach looks weak and intimidated to me and even good ole EDDIE called him out last night. Dach just drifting around, scared to go near the net, getting rubbed off like a Tsetse fly, he’s looking more like Strom, waiting around for someone to do the dirty work. We need more guys with speed, size and get the puck tuff-ness. Get to the net, TUCK comes to mind.

    Finishing at 500 to me is not really a season that was above expectations. The league is pretty average, the game last night without a few defensive blooper reel prat falls was actually pretty close.

    I’m concerned that the Hawks have no identity. What type of team are they building?

    go hawks still

  39. Tim, this is why I said other wk and before game 1/not routing agasint though to get a top player in draft because we need three more.

    That the DET lose other day was a huge win for the future of the Blackhawks being a top 2 team again. We have to add another top 5/10 skill draft player and this is the yr for that. And 2 elite ufa players/at least one being top pair Defensemen and the things you and everybody else here says we need.

    Or

    Were a mid tier team maybe boarderline top 8-10 team with the current young wvae we have now and already have coming.

    Need three more elite players and it starts with that lose to DET and this lose. Two Huge! wins there.

  40. We have an identity Knuckle Head ….Easy to play against and soft on the puck .

    Dach is lost without Toews ,that really stands out to me .

    Strome is a waste of space on this team ,he does not lead by example and shows up every 4th or 5th game …depending on his mood .

    Hawks look very much like a European style team …but without the defensive responsibility .

  41. KNUCKLEHEAD and HAWKS 2015, Very good points guys. I know it is way too early to consider the possibility of Dach being pretty much the same player as Strome but I would say that after his wrist is completely healed that Dach definitely warrants very close scrutiny right from the start of training camp next season. These last 2 weeks should have all Hawk fans concerned because their collective games look very similar to me. I hate to beat that Boqvist drum but where is this kids elite skating that we were all told about by Colliton? He has been alarmingly soft on the puck since he returned. Once he receives contact he stops skating and crumbles. The rest of his shifts are basic floating.

  42. Colliton never had the team. Totally out of his element. Should never have been hired to replace Q. And should have been released after it was apparent the first year he is not the answer.

  43. nylander 23, strome 24, zadorov 26. not one of the three play hard very often much less every night. strome and zadorov are not one iota better or more consistent players than they were january first. i feel certain nylander is going to be given another season to prove that a 23-1/2 year old hockey player with no guts will not find that type of game. i only hope bowman has learned his lesson with strome and zadorov and moves them in the off season.

    i expected nothing this year and, like many of you, am very pleased with what we have seen from several young players not to mention the growth in the games of some young veterans. we still know nothing of johnson or entwhistle other than it is likely they will give a fine effort if given the opportunity to suit up. connolly and strome both less than 22 minutes of ice time total for each in the last two games. what is the point of dressing them? play johnson and entwhistle and see if they provide some push back against nashville.

  44. The defense has been a train wreck all year. Keith and zadarov and de hann were giveaway machines all night long. They are a weak soft team. The small forwards can’t skate through the stifling defense these teams play against them. Kane looks completely disinterested lately. The last few weeks teams are shadowing and hitting Kane every chance they get. He looks tired of this and knows there is no push back from his team. JC showed his true hand when Tampa was taking runs and questioning why Connor Murphy wouldn’t retaliate to Tampa taking runs at him. Nobody has stepped up physically at all. Their 2 biggest players dach is soft, all he ever does is take big hits. Zadarov is clueless on how to play defense and doesn’t hit anybody. When teams take liberties with your best players they need to pay physically or on the scoreboard, neither is happening.

  45. Hawks2010 ….. I’m going to have respectfully disagree with your assessment.

    A lot of people, including Pat Foley ad nauseam, are saying “Lookit (his favorite term) nobody picked this team to do anything this year”. Well, that’s true. But once they showed that they COULD do something this year, then there are some expectations to play up to that potential longer term. Yes, the season is long and they have a lot of young players. Yes, we think they’ll get better and we know they will make mistakes. But they have to compete. And they need to be more mindful on the ice. Some guys get that and some don’t. And it’s not just the young kids who are causing the problems. Actually in a lot of cases it’s the ones who are not so young, and need to be guiding the younger ones toward how to play the game at the highest level.

    We’re seeing major problems with defenders like Zadorov, certainly not a green rookie, being out of position and making bad turnovers. We’re seeing Keith make egregious errors with decision making. He’s a workhorse and a warrior but he’s hurting the team at this point in time, and although Pat and Eddie will never call him out, at least Jamal Mayers will in the postgame.
    As my son said, making me laugh “I’m not sure if deHaan is the worst good player I’ve ever seen, or the best lousy player I’ve ever seen”.

    Colliton is now in his third season. Tab’s concerns are not lost on people who watch hockey games, whether we are considered NHL experts are not. Some of the lineups he puts out there are just crazy. Some of the matchups he puts out are head scratching. “We’re going to 4 on 4 hockey, let’s make sure Zadorov is on the ice”. Huh? Mixing up lineups to see what he has is one thing. Putting players in situations where they have little chance to succeed, or help others to succeed, is another. This team actively talks about trying to make the playoffs. This is not the Training Camp Festival where we all stand in line for our bobblehead and then sit General Admission and gauge the improvement of Bondra and Fortin since last Training Camp Festival.

    I’m kind of tired of all of the apologetic stuff about how since this team wasn’t supposed to be any good, it’s okay for them to get drubbed down the stretch, without them having much effort or grit or sensible play. It’s turning into an attitude of let’s just take the last third of this season off because we really weren’t good enough to begin with, and we’re a little tired, and we don’t need to work as hard as the other team does because we’re not supposed to be able to compete with them.

    Accountability should be there across the board. Keith is definitely a hall of famer. But his play is pretty lousy at inopportune times and he’s losing his cool. He was not a leader last night. Colliton is now no longer an NHL rookie coach and he’s making bonehead moves (regardless of the fact that you and others think it’s wrong to comment on a coach’s bad moves). Guys have to learn to play, and be accountable for their play.

    I’d agree with your assessments if the entire team was straight out of Rockford or college or the ECHL, but this is a mix of vets and kids. Some are playing hard and some are not. Some are consistently making bad moves and some are not. If there are no excuses allowed for Toews and Seabrook when they were playing these last few years, there are not real excuses for these guys, certainly not free passes.

    This is a team that could be doing more. With what they have. Young and old. And they ain’t cutting it.

    p.s. I can respectfully disagree with Hawk2010 and I know we are both Blackhawks fans, and we both want to see the team do well.
    I can also say, quite disrespectfully, that Nashville is a low rent hockey town full of goofballs who don’t know the rules. I’d be embarrassed to be a fan of any outfit that thinks behavior at a hockey arena and a WWE match are one and the same. They are bad for the league.

    My favorite team on any given night in the NHL, besides the beloved Blackhawks, is whoever is playing Nashville.

  46. I cannot remember a time when there was so little discussion around the league asking the true condition of a player of Jonathan Toews’ caliber. It’s seems like there is a hush order out there, which means his condition could be very, very serious. I wish him well regardless if he is able to return or not. We certainly miss him in every way.

  47. Dallas takes care of business against Detroit. They now are 3 in front of us, still with a game in hand on us and 2 on Nashville.

  48. Kalynuk and Boqvist not likely available so probably Mitchell and the usual suspects on the blueline tonight and Friday. As bad as Drhaan has looked hope they pair Mitchell with him, that was when he looked best early in the year when paired with Dehaan, so try him with him again. Unless they find a way to win both games which seems a big ask, time to see the youngsters. If healthy try Stillman Murphy/Kalynuk Boqvist as top 4 and Zadorov Mitchell Beaudin take turns playing on 3rd pair, tell Keith and Dehaan to to take seat for them. Probably not going to sit any of top forwards but maybe get some guys like Johnson Entwistle, Hardman into last few games.
    Tonight maybe put Hagel with Dach see if he sparks him, even Gaudette in for Strome with them too if you wish there too.

    Bowman said the other day that Toews, Nylander, Reichel and Borgstrom be available next season that weren’t this year, add them to Kane, Dach, Cat, Kubalik even it isn’t until mid season before they are all on Nhl roster that only leaves 1 or 2 top 9 spots open for competition, plus your 4th line.

    Big Indian, not convinced Keith wants to come back next year, not acting like a happy camper who wants to return for another year. Just not sure how that’ll play out.

  49. EUGENE REFAKES – There is definitely a gag order on Toews’ condition.

    Everyone should Act Like Stan and say nothing.

  50. Ian, Its refreshing to see a hawks fan as thorough as yourself having the same thoughts as I am having. On a separate topic,where did you see Bowman speaking in such definitive terms about the return of Toews next season? I missed that direct and confident statement by Bowman. I recently have been hearing quite the opposite regarding his return at anytime.

  51. TimW he was interviewed on the Hockey Show on a number of things, said he was confident Zadorov would be resigned too. Said most of the roster would return next year with those 4 I mentioned not available this year in the mix, have to see who is there after roster spots are filled basically. Also praised Lankinen and he how bright his future is.

  52. My glass is half full. Excuse me while I take a big swig of this koolaid … ahhh .., that tasted good. Oh look – my glass is still half full. :-)

    Some would say I’m a koolaid drinking rose colored glasses Pollyanna – yep, and happy to be so.

    Go Hawks.

  53. To Ebony:
    Read your Hawks history man,
    You will have answered your own question about Point B to Point A.

    What am I talking about?

    In 2007-08 the young Blackhawks. led by an inexperienced Denis Savard, were battling for a playoff spot with 10 games to go. They missed by 3 points.

    In 2021, the young Blackhawks. led by an inexperienced Jeremy Colliton, are battling for a playoff spot with 10 games to go. They are out by 4 points.

    Before the start of 2008-09, Savard got replaced by………

    So based on Hawk history, one has to accurately assess this 2021 team being at Point B now.

    But hey, why let history and fact ruin a good narrative, right?

  54. Thanks Ian,just found it. I must have fell asleep at the wheel. You would have thought such a definitive statement about Toews return would have got a little more attention. We all will see soon enough.

  55. The team won’t get better on its own without a better system in place. And that means a new coach, because JC will not change his approach. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I see his ego getting in the way of any real change. He’s vested in his ways and he thinks he has the answers, as all coaches do, but the question is whether or not it fits this squad, this rebuild, this youth infusion. I say, no.

    The other issue is our personnel and how we stack up against the real competition. We got fat against Detroit early on and played well against the easy teams. But we are not ready to compete against the best of the best, and until we are we will continue to see the kinds of results that we saw in Nashville.

    Stan won’t fire JC unless this inconsistency gets out of control and becomes a downward spiral, and even then I’m not sure he will. So we are in for a rough road ahead, and I can only hope that all of these great young players that we have watched this year will not become discouraged and lose their fire. There’s a lot of potential on this team, and I think we need an experienced leader who really knows how to mine it.

  56. PP – yeah facts and history … like the 2007 Hawks and 2021 Hawks are in the same position … well, except the 2007 Hawks had Keith and Seabrook just coming into their prime playing years and Toews and Kane just burst on the scene as the dynamic duo. The 4 main core pieces were in place and entering their prime. Where are those players on the 2021 Hawks? Name one that would be considered equal to the 2007 Keith, Seabrook, Toews or Kane.

    Those darn narrative busting facts.

  57. Subban starting tonight. Good news that Boqvist, Kalynuk and Hagel on the ice at morning practice – no news if they will be in the starting lineup though.

  58. Oooh look it’s a ‘secret lineup’ again!
    Only confirmation is Subban in net.
    I know COVID protocol/testing throws a wrench into things, but…
    at this point I’m convinced its because Wet Noodle Jeremy has no idea what lines he’s going to run and that he picks names out of a hat 10 minutes before puck drop.

    Also: whomever mentioned him–
    HARD PASS on Boudreau. No thanks.

  59. Stefanie – agree on no Boudreau

    Besides unless there’s an open rebellion or the Hawks completely meltdown next year I expect JC to be here at minimum until the start of the 2022 season – his contract is up at the end of that season – if there is to be a coaching change I don’t think it’ll happen until mid-season 2022-23 or more likely at the end of the 22-23 season

    By that time Stan will have a good handle on what the young players (some of whom aren’t even here yet like Reichel and Borgstrom) will probably be and if JC is the coach to move forward with

    We all agree that this year has gone better than expected – like it or not JC gets some credit for that and will be given the chance to improve on this year IMO

  60. @Big Indian. I don’t think the point is that this team wasn’t supposed to win so it’s ok that they aren’t following through on expectations. I think the point is that just because the team had a nice start and exceeded expectations to start the year doesn’t change the fact that the team is still was not very good in the first place.

    I think of it this way, if I am in my crappy Ford Escort sitting at an intersection and a nice Ferrari pulls up next to me at the red light and the light turns green. I may hit the gas first and pull away from that Ferrari before that driver realizes what is going on and it may look like I am going to run away from him as he is eating my dust. However, eventually the Ferrari catches up and passes me, it doesn’t matter that I had a great start and was like 10 car lengths ahead of him. I’m still in a crappy Ford Escort at the end of the day and if that Ferrari wants to finish ahead of me, there is very little I can do to stop it.

    That’s where the Hawks are right now. They are still a crappy Ford Escort, despite coming off the line faster than the Ferrari. Until the Hawks upgrade to something with a little more “ooomph” than the shitty four cylinder Escort, the Ferraris, the Porsches, hell the Mustangs and Chargers even some Honda Civics that have had all their scheduled maintenance are going to smoke us in the end.

    The point isn’t that the Hawks “were not supposed to win.” The point is that the Hawks roster sucks and the nice start to the season didn’t change that fact.

  61. Coaches like consistency – shift to shift, period to period, game to game and across multiple games.

    What one line or d-pairing has produced consistent results? Answer: none.

    What comes first – results or stability?

  62. Yup. Point B is where we are at.

    Remind me again who the top pair Dmen are on our team, and then the 2nd pairing. Oh yeah – then show me the team in the playoffs this year that would want at least 2 of those 4 to improve their top 4 Dmen.

    Until the Defensive structure/execution and the quality of top 4 players get to an NHL level, no coach – I’ll say it so it can better be heard – NO COACH can make this a team capable of competing for a Stanley Cup.

    Get over it.

    Enjoy the games on TV before the next contract kicks in. Who knows what will happen then.

    Bruce Boudreau!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!! Put Babcock as his assistant too!

  63. What a nice show of confidence in the goalie your future relies on. I’m referring to Lankinen, of course.

    Subban was probably slotted to start tonight. But, Lankinen was also slotted to finish the last game. Things happen. Situations change.

    Sure, The Great Communicator would have explained his wisdom to him. But, Lanks still may feel a little embarrassed or at least dissed.

    I’m quite surprised Colliton is not playing Lankinen tonight. He is clearly the better goalie and this is absolute must win. Colliton has no problem running his best player into the ground, even for cosmetic wins.

  64. WIJG agree showing confidence in who you want to be your future goalie would seem like the obvious move to make. After all Lankinen is the only reason that Colliton is in a playoff discussion, Hard to imagine after the way Lankinen carried them all year the dressing is very happy with it.

  65. Ian – I think Subban is the right call
    He played great last game and hopefully will again
    I agree Lank looks like our #1 going into next year but I like the idea of giving NSH a different look in net hopefully winning and then coming back with Lank on Friday
    It’s a a bit of a risk but a small and calculated one and Subban deserves it after his last performance

  66. Big Lankinen supporter here. But I like the Subban move. Let him showcase his improvement (or not) going forward too. Keep hearing he is a great teammate.

    The playoff discussion is now pretty much a distraction. The rest of this season should be about player personnel discussions. I don’t think Lankinen has anything to prove.

    To be clear on my opinion for Lankinen getting pulled last game – It was a way for JC to stop the game without burning his timeout he hoped to need later in the game if the Hawks could get a goal or two. Obviously it annoys Ed The Brain that JC doesn’t use his timeout when Ed feels it is necessary. But I had no problem seeing what JC was doing. Why couldn’t Ed?

  67. Sad that Delia is pretty much a clipboard holder and punching bag in practice….what a waste of 1 million dollars, just freaking play him already. Plus, it would be nice to see what this Hardman kid has….very curious.

  68. Silent then the whole lineup should reflect the playoffs are not a reality then if that’s the message. If he wants the team to believe it’s the most important game of the year, then Lankinen should be there.

    Saving his timeout, that’s a stretch, he never used a timeout late in a game all year to help the team, took one in first period a couple of games ago is only about the only time he used it to help.

  69. The playoffs are a mathematical possibility but not a reality. Subban played outstanding on Saturday after sitting for 9 games. Lankinen has been excellent (but has looked tired to me) and will be protected in the expansion draft but Subban deserves to play tonight. I see no subliminal message in that decision.

  70. I think the best chance to win both games is Subban tonight and Lankinen Friday – they need to change something and with Subban in net that could help

    I think that’s all JC is thinking about regarding who to start in goal – it’s a bit of a gutsy call because he’ll be second guessed if they lose but the right one IMO

    Win tonight and then the biggest game of the year is Friday and Lank should get that one

  71. Lank has shown serious weaknesses up high and on breakaways and partial breaks. Give a guy a clear cut chance and he almost never makes the save. Biggest difference from Crow.

    He seems tired or something is off lately to me too. I am happy he isn’t playing. He certainly isn’t ‘hot.’ His save percentage this month is way worse than the year overall, I forget the exact number but in the 800s.

  72. To: Perimeter Player, you are 100% correct in your post except we are probably between a C and a B point right now. Now the problem: Kid Coach isn’t going anywhere, he’ll be here all next year unless StanBo gets the boot….and I just don’t see that happening for a while at least for sure next year unless they totally do a swan dive. StanBo can’t fire Kid Coach then the “Attaboy Stan’s’ will discover that StanBo was an idiot for firing Q. If StanBo even had ANOTHER chance to hire a new coach, who would he hire??? Some European coach?? (Hello Alpo Suhonen???? )

  73. Subban has earned the right to be in a pressure game. His response could be a big step in his career, or his failure could be his greatest downfall with the Hawks. I don’t expect anyone in the Hawks organization to say the playoffs are out. That’s not how professional sports works, but behind the scenes I firmly believe they are smarter than to think it is a very real possibility. The moves at the TDL told us, and the players, that.

    JC has been VERY consistent in his comments about using time outs. He believes they are only for last minute strategy sessions, not for momentum changers, and of course he has used them. I get all the complaints about him, but he feels that playing is done by players, motivation is done by players looking inward not looking to a coach like in middle or high school. Players/teammates motivate players. Coaches bench underachievers. that’s how coaches speak.

    He definitely has done some things wrong. But he is consistent with time outs.

    I remember Hossa ripping into the line blender crap that Q did all the time. It was the only time I can recall Hossa having a negative opinion about anyone but himself (and Raffi Torres). I recall Toews chuckling about the remarks and refusing to offer an opinion.

    Sometimes coaches need to learn from mistakes too. Some, like players, learn faster than others. This is the first year, in my opinion, you can actually judge JC for his leadership (or lack of) with this team. It was still Q’s team last year. Kane finally bought in. Toews isn’t here. And Keith – well, he’s Keith. Doing his own thing and looking for others to adjust to his game!!! Only Seabrook isn’t there any more.

    I hope you’re right and Keith isn’t happy. Most of the rest of us aren’t either. Keith moving on would be a big plus to this team by opening up a left side defense position. He is only in the way here, and can’t possibly be expected as part of the next potential Cup challenging team in Chicago. We need his spot and de Haan’s spot available to start building our left side. Tonight would be fine with me.

    I wish Keith well with his next team, or in retirement.

  74. YEa nice to be on the same page. Most here are/except minor details.

    Good to see the respect here even though not mandatory.

  75. Even when we get beat DET and last NAs we still find way to win other game and are still there at 2. I would rather make the roster Cup worthy and lose 3 or 4 in a row and get to -2 and a top 8/12 pick then win 3 in a row and have NAS DAL lose a couple and get blown by top teams again/when were not ready yet.

    Give these guys credit still playing to win games and meaningful games right after we lose a meaningful game. No quit. Though this is a good yr to lose a few more then win so we can get the horses we need to complete roster.

    DAL 5
    NAS 4
    CHI 2
    CLB -9
    DET -9

  76. Goes to show you how close we are with half a roster being right there with the 4 5 seed teams. And how far ahead/with half a roster then the bottom 10 teams like CLB DET.

    Huge gap.

    Also between top 5 teams and where we are so lets get another gem like 77 before we add two elite ufa players.

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