Blackhawks Can’t Overcome Canucks

On Thursday night the Blackhawks visited a struggling Vancouver team – a game Chicago needs to win if they want to get into the playoffs.

And in the first period the Hawks looked like they wanted the two points.

Nick Schmaltz has been the Hawks’ hottest offensive player, and he remained on a strong run with his 14th goal of the season 15 minutes into the game.

Brandon Saad and Duncan Keith were credited with the assists.

Anton Forsberg had a terrific first period, stopping all eight shots he faced. Chicago was credited with 11 shots on net and carried a 1-0 lead to the first intermission.

If the effort and execution were good in the first, the second period was a terrific attempt to cure insomnia for the viewing audience in Chicago.

Officially, the shots were 7-7 in the second period. Unfortunately, Brendan Gaunce and Bo Horvat both beat Forsberg and the Canucks had a lead ten minutes into the second. The Hawks were able to kill a Ryan Hartman penalty late in the period that was… questionable.

For Vancouver, Troy Stecher had two penalty minutes and two assists in the second.

When the Hawks came out for the third period, every other game involving a Central Division team was already in the books. The Hawks knew:

  • Winnipeg lost 3-2 in OT to Vegas
  • Nashville won 5-0 at home against Los Angeles
  • St. Louis lost 3-1 at Boston
  • Dallas won 4-1 in Arizona
  • Colorado won 3-2 in OT in Edmonton
  • Minnesota was idle

Three minutes into the third period, Daniel Sedin parked himself all alone in front of Forsberg and everyone in the road white sweaters watched as he calmly redirected a shot through Forsberg and into the net to extend the Canucks’ lead to 3-1.

For a while it appeared the Blackhawks were simply going through the motions, but then Alex DeBrincat happened.

DeBrincat’s 18th goal of the season came with assists to Keith and Jonathan Toews and got Chicago back to within one with 9:41 left in regulation.

The Hawks put pressure on but with three minutes left in regulation Loui Eriksson made a pretty pass to Gaunce who put home his second of the night to push the lead back to two.

Chicago pulled Forsberg for the extra attacker with 2:45 left in regulation but the Hawks couldn’t get anything going. The clock continues to tick away with the Blackhawks barely getting a decent shot on Jakob Markstrom.

The clock struck zero and the Hawks left two points on the table in Vancouver, losing a game they desperately needed.

79 thoughts on “Blackhawks Can’t Overcome Canucks

  • February 1, 2018 at 11:34 pm

    Really, we do not have a better dman then AHL, ECHL Osterle? He is a complete disaster in his own zone… Way too may give aways… Please let’s get someone else to play with Keith… Pokka, someone steady…Poor Keith having to play with this guy. There is a reason who was not drafted and cut by Oilers???

    And please, can we bring Sharp back and retire Wingels. We need goals not a player who can help community service in our city of Chicago. Sharp can lay the PP and needs to play right wing, not left. Coach Q does not bench Osterle for giveawys but benches Saad and Hartman????

  • February 1, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Defense terrible in own again mental mistakes, Forsberg gave them a chance but as you said 2 points left on table. Young forwards looked good and were visible with their speed, creating chances and scoring the goals.

  • February 1, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Last 4 Hawks goals kampf Hino schmaltz Dcat …… saad Kane Toews = 27 million = no goals.

    Horrible defense especially Seabrook Oesterle Gustafson

    Team teases you with Preds win then lay an egg and losing to two 38 year old brothers


  • February 1, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    What a terrible effort in such a critical game. So many breakdowns on fundamental plays. Constant turnovers at the O zone blue line and clean losses on most D zone face-offs. DeBrincat’s goal and the play of the 4th line were about the only positives.

  • February 1, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    The youngsters are skating and creating zone time. SAAD and TOEWS just terrible at simply shooting the puck. No scoring touch.
    But the blame should also be on Bowman for signing duds like Kero, Franson, Osterle, Bouma, and Wingels (guys who will be out of the NH next season). It took Coach Q 50 games to figure out Vinnie, Gustafson, Kempf and Jurco can play in the NHL on this 2017-2018 Hawk team!!!
    Yet, we need this game and Q is benching Hartman and Saad? Chooses Sharp over Wingels??? Really… After another of Osterle’s headless and soft giveaways that led to another goal by the canucks, I would have gone to 5 D and have Murphy play with Keith… Ridiculous that Keith has to play with #82 night after night. I am convinced Murphy or even Pokka can do better than #82.
    The season is slipping away. Bring Sharp back, put him on right wing not left so he can shoot the puck, and let’s have Wingels, Bouma, and Osterle sign autographs at a community centre the next 30 games… Please let’s get serious!!!

  • February 1, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    Morrison give me some positives because I can’t think of any

  • February 1, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Beg to differ on Gustafson – he is very weak defensively. An excellent AHL player but not a regular NHL d-man.

  • February 2, 2018 at 12:12 am

    Please no more Sharp bring Hayden back he’s strong on the puck and has physical presence. Dahlstrom could be a good call on defense more of a stay at home defensemen might help clear the crease.

  • February 2, 2018 at 12:21 am

    I was able to watch a lot of Nashville vs Los Angeles tonight.
    I must say The Predators are truly the champs of the Western Conference until proven otherwise.
    I can’t see anybody beating them 4 out of 7.
    Sometimes you have to climb the mountain and lose (like Pittsburgh did in 2008) to figure out what it takes to win it all. With Laviolette at the helm, that fantastic defense and the relentless speed they play at, Wow.
    This is their year.
    Meantime the Hawks with DeBrincat, Schmaltz and to a lesser extent Duclair and Hinostroza are getting younger and faster. It would be great if Stan could add another young, fast player at the deadline.

  • February 2, 2018 at 12:57 am

    WTF, come on really, #57 should be playing & #40 is in ROCKFORD. #57 #17 #20 all should be scratched for an extended period !!!!!!! Can we refuse penalty’s till the PP does not suck anymore ???????

  • February 2, 2018 at 1:38 am

    The glory days are gone when the Hawks could win when not playing their best. Now, they have to play near error free to win and that means crisp and accurate passing and a high rate of d-zone clears. Tonight the passing was marginal at best and they had a lot of trouble getting the puck off the boards and out of the zone. The result tonight was a loss and will be more times than not through the remaining games when their passing isn’t good and neither is their d-zone clears.

    Aside from the overall team disappointment, I need to criticize two players who deserve criticism more than the others – Toews and Hartman.

    Hartman’s nickname should be “whiff” because he whiffs on passes and shots at an alarming rate. what is going on with him? Is it lack of focus or is there something else wrong? He’s been terrible. He’s shown flashes in the last two seasons but at this point he’s more disappointing than promising.

    And then there’s Toews. He is now like Viktor Stalberg without the speed. What happened to his hands? He can’t handle the puck anymore. He can’t receive a pass cleanly. He can’t make a pass accurately. He bobbles the puck off his stick too often. He can’t shoot consistently. The only thing he does well anymore is win more than 50% of his faceoffs – but that only when he doesn’t get tossed out. Now, all that is bad enough, but at least those things are probably not due to lack of trying. However, there are occasions when the current Toews doesn’t bust his hump anywhere close to what the old Toews used to do and the 2nd Canucks goal is exhibit#1. Watch the replay and you’ll see Toews coasting back toward the d-zone and he only ramps up his effort after the goal scorer has the puck and is heading for the goal to take the shot. Shameful. Especially for a vaunted Captain.

  • February 2, 2018 at 7:30 am

    Totally don’t agree on Toews-
    19 isn’t scoring and that’s hard to take-I get it–but he played really well yesterday, and looked like a legit # 1 center for most of the night.
    People who win a huge lottery may not have earned the money the normal way but have it and don’t need to give it back-he WILL never be the 10.5 guy we hope he should be. Enjoy what he does offer and relax.

    (Saad I agree with-he’s been taken by aliens, and for months now-this may become another big issue. I hope he isn’t turning into a 4th liner)
    …and please the answer to the offensive woes isn’t Sharp. The young guys are very inconsistent on the back end-that’s to be expected. Hopefully a couple of them become legit.
    Remember the goal is to get better and become more consistent/faster–harder to play against—that’s different than getting into the last playoff spot. They aren’t good enough yet!

  • February 2, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Didn’t think Toews looked that bad last night in first half of the game, using speed to draw 2 penalties going to net one an obvious penalty shot that wasn’t called. The 2nd half he seemed to lose some intensity, on that play EB was watching it not sure if he was floating or just slow to recognize the situation.
    In fairness to Oesterle he has been asked to play big minutes in a top pairing role and on special teams and has done what was asked of him admirably. No he isn’t a top 2 guy, but its not like he’s playing half the amount of minutes in a more sheltered role and still making alot of glaring mistakes like some others who get a pass here.

  • February 2, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Another guy that I’ve seen more than enough of wearing the beloved sweater is Anisimov. For a long-time veteran center he has to be the worst face-off performer in the history of the nhl…simply brutal and an instant giveaway of puck possession.
    He’s another one to dump; start bringing up some of the hungry Rfd kids.

  • February 2, 2018 at 8:14 am

    It would be fortunate if Saad contributed consistently on the 4th line. He should be sitting next to Sharp in the press box. To me it looked like he made a halfhearted attempt to get to the point on the first goal. The shot came in clean and he only made a partial lung at the puck as the shot went by.

    The Sedin tip in was even more disappointing. Sitting in front of Forsberg all alone as Keith just stood there off to the side. No check no block attempt….no nothing. Just let Sedin park there, maybe Forsberg will check him.

    That Leadership. The A needs to come off. The guy was a warrior…..I just don’t get it now. Its plays like that that just sap the team energy.

    Go Hawks, who’s next.

  • February 2, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Craig… preds are solid… but Vegas – is for real… + their Coach is for real.

    Demo- agree…. Captain “Seriously” – should be his new nickname.

    ER- Toews- has fumbled/muffed more one timers/passes this year… then in all his past year’s combined…??? AWFUL discouraging for any future Deep runs… when a Core D and Core Forward… are playing that poorly.

    SB- really needs to move AA and One of the “CORE” in next 6 months… 19/you know who… have fallen off a cliff…

    Watching Jets game versus Vegas… Vegas great coach/ with “Cheap” players who can all skate… Vegas is for real.

    Jets- Man they have some real prospect/talent on their AHL team…
    Would LOVE to see SB- trade Toews to Jets ( even if he eats up to 40% of Cap)…
    Jets have 3-5 some studs coming up… would love to see that deal– for a Real hawk re-tool… and one or two of the Jets cheap prospects

    Or- AA + one of Seabs/Keith/Crow/Toews… needs to go… cuz game has passed all of them (excluding Crow- Crow- just might have most value/return of the bunch)

  • February 2, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Simple put this was the a game the Hawks couldn’t lose. Forsberg gave them a chance to win yet they couldn’t get anything done offensively. Couldn’t take my eyes off Toews who played one of his worst games. Missed the net, missed passes and kept getting knocked down. It’s hard to be objective when a 60 min effort was not there. The Hawks are running out of L’s before it’s curtains on the playoffs.

  • February 2, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Jurco belongs in Rockford and Hayden back up. SB just trying to force one of his 3rd round pick give-aways on Q like he did with Panik and Rundblad. GM should be removed before he does more damage.

  • February 2, 2018 at 9:09 am

    I’m not sure where the notion that right shooting wings like Sharp belong playing on the right wing came from. Many of the highest scoring players in NHL history play their off wing. It actually makes it easier to get shots on goal and one time shots. Panarin, for example, never would have been able to get off all those one time shots from the left wing if he was left handed. He wouldn’t be facing the puck as it comes at him.

    As many have said, the future of this team is in the hands of the young guys. Dcat, Hino, Schmaltz, etc. The vets can play a role as the young guys get better in teaching them the kind of compete level it takes to have success in the playoffs, but sadly they can’t get it done anymore, they need the young guys to do it. Patrick Kane and Crow, however, are still studs. Keith is still well above average, just not elite anymore. The rest of the guys stuck here due to NMC and salaries (Seabs, Toews, etc.) can be successful with lower minutes and supporting the younger guys as they get better.

    As far as Saad playing his way into being a 4th liner, he did the same thing last year in Colombus. He was playing on the 4th line by the end of the year. Chicago made the gamble that in the right environment in Chicago his game would come back. Well, it didn’t. That my friends is the kind of miscalculation that should get the entire pro scouting staff fired, if not the GM with it. Your pro scouting staff are the guys you rely on to make decisions about current NHL players.

  • February 2, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Top GM’s are smart enough to realize when the dynasty is over. The trick is to sell assets while they still have value. The Hawks dynasty is over. Although it will be difficult to accomplish due to the cap, now is the time to trade 19, 20,2 & 15. Would love to see 7 go but nobody will take him.

  • February 2, 2018 at 9:16 am

    19 & 2 should get Stan a first round pick.

  • February 2, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Simply a disappointing effort on both ends of the ice for the Hawks. I took zero positives except for the fact that the young guys like Dcat are developing. It wasn’t as though the Nucks were flying out there and doing magic tricks on the ice. Hawks team D was awful. Maybe it was Oesterle’s worst game, but let’s face it, he is a rookie playing big minutes in a long draining NHL season. Disturbing trend with this Hawks team is they don’t block that many shots compared with most teams. I didn’t look up the stats, but that’s the way it always looks. That trend falls in the give a damn category. No bueno.

    More take-able points given away to a not very good team. Jump we saw against Preds the other night was not there against Nucks. Why?????

    Like I have been saying, we can’t get that jacked up when these guys play a good game, and not to down(although last night was depressing to watch) when they inexplicably don’t have their shit together. Given the late start last night(at least here in Chicago) watching that snoozer especially the 2nd was a waste of time and lost sleep.

    Bottom line is this team as we see it is not good enough to make the playoffs unless they commit to bringing a solid 2 way effort every game. So far this season we have not seen that consistent on a consistent basis. They just aren’t that talented.

    Lets Go Hawks! Please….

  • February 2, 2018 at 9:35 am

    “So far this season we have not seen that consistent on a consistent basis.”

    Sorry, that was really bad. I normally edit. Meant we have not seen solid efforts on a consistent basis.

    See, what happens when you operate with reduced sleep..??

  • February 2, 2018 at 9:40 am

    The next 4 games will be telling. Calgary x 2, Minnesota & Dallas. If the Hawks don’t capture 6 of 8 pts Stan needs to start unloading and looking to the future. With the exception of Crow and Kane I think everything should be on the table.

  • February 2, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Great point Mike. I feel bad for Saad. I like him as a player. No luck around the net this year. Not sure what went wrong but taking away Panarin from Kane and the PP has us out of the playoffs. Saad seems slow and lost. But I do prefer him with Schmualtz and Kane. He fits in perfectly. A little too snake bite the last 2 months or so. Toews? Well, he seems better lately but his hands have left him and especially his shot!!!
    Pierre Gauthier , Mark Kelley and Bowman should be the ones fired for there lack of vision. Bowman doing his bully imitation after losing to PREDS led to what? By the way, apart from Subban, all those dmen were drafted by the PREDS!!!
    Trading two players that were not the problem last year was a mistake. In fact, Panarin and the HAMMER had great years! Murphy cannot crack the top 4? Saad is stale? The problem remains the disconnect with the coaching, the pro and scouting staff. And, in reality, what was Bowman’s Napoleon reaction??? Signing Franson, Kero, Bouma, and Wingels?Oh yes, firing Mike Kitchen ??? That is a is what should get him fired. Combine that with Coach Q’s impatience with certain players and his 1970’s doghouse Scotty Bowman tactics (i.e Hartman this year, and Gustafson the last two years) we have a team that is not as talented as the past. Let’s ask our GM and coaches why 2 second round picks like POKKA and Dalhstrom are unable to beat out Osterle or Kempny? Really? Why? I mean Keith and Seabrook have had to play with Osterle, Forlsing, Rutta, Murphy???? I actually like Gustafson with Seabrook but the reality is that the HAWKS have not drafted a top dman since the HAMMER….and that is embarassing for an organization that tries to be a contender every year. Can Mr.Bowman explain that to all of us and more specifically to the all stars like Keith and Seabrook?
    Wngels needs to be set aside for the rest of the year like Osterle, Bouma, Kero and Franson. Let Sharp play right wing and stop benching Hartman who is obviously not himself. If he cannot cut it then bring up IACOPELLI or FORTIN on left wing.
    Last night I had to watch highlights of a powerful skating dman, Minnesota born, 6’3″ Justin Holl score his 2nd goal in as many nights for the Leafs. Remember him???Stephen Johns, Danault, Teuvo, Panarin, Leddy, Hayes, Shaw, ….. ? Surely, if players like Pokka and Dalhstrom are drafted in the 2nd round, they can crack this lineup.
    3 cheers for Jurco Kempf and Hinostroza.

  • February 2, 2018 at 10:05 am

    I wonder if there is any truth to the Rumor… that Toews requested/approved Saad… being brought back in… to make Toews effective again… BIG FAIL…

    and that PP last nite… WOW- couldn’t even carry it over the blue line… screams- they Miss Both Panarin and Hossa… who were both very skilled at that.

    Why are Hawk’s D men the worst in the entire league – at getting shots to the net???

    BIG changes needed this summer

  • February 2, 2018 at 10:14 am

    “The next 4 games will be telling. Calgary x 2, Minnesota & Dallas. If the Hawks don’t capture 6 of 8 pts Stan needs to start unloading and looking to the future.” (SSHM) – completely agree!!

    Maybe they get lucky in the draft lottery…

  • February 2, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Great thoughts Max. I have been beating the drum for years, that the Hawks have not drafted and developed a solid NHL defenseman since Hammer. Waaay too long, and the price of free agent or trade market defensemen is prohibitive. Don’t forget, the Preds have all those stud defensemen, PLUS they have traded away SUTER (left as a free agent to MINN) and WEBER! Two number one’s. As an organization, you have to have some luck with this stuff and ours seems to have stopped a long time ago. Maybe Jokiharu and Mitchell will be the beginning of things coming back for us, but they are still 2-3 years away.

    The problem with Pokka seems to be his skating. In a fast skating league that is a hard obstacle to overcome. That is why lower drafted, more mobile guys are getting chances ahead of him. Dahlstrom I have seen play and for a big guy he does NOT use his body. He is tall but skinny. To me he has never looked like the answer to anything, a waste of a pick. I hope he proves me wrong, but of all the prospects I’ve seen, I would bet the house he never amounts to anything in the NHL.

    It really hurt to lose Johns, though. To me that was unforgivable. Everyone knew they had to trade Sharp after the 2015 Cup. Instead of making sure they moved him at the draft, they played the same waiting game that they did when they had to trade Leddy. And the same thing happened, hardly anyone had cap space left and they were held over a barrel to move a guy they had to move. In Leddy’s case, they got back minimal returns. Pokka at the time was not even one of the NYI’s top 2 defense prospects. In Sharp’s case, it cost them Johns, their best prospect at the time and a guy who is physical, and mobile, and fearless. He could have played here for ten years.

    Great point to mention the disconnect with the coaching staff and the GM/scouting staff. It has hampered the Hawks for years now. One thing I notice though, when Q determines someone sucks and doesn’t play them, how many of those guys have gone on to become really good players? Pirri, Morin, Stahlberg, etc. He is right a lot more than the front office is, and people don’t seem to give him credit for that. You don’t get to be second in career coaching wins without being an excellent talent evaluator. I do not understand, however, the short leash on Kempny.

  • February 2, 2018 at 10:44 am

    I agree, I like Kempny’s skating and passion on the ice. Watching Osterle is like getting an ulcer as he slaps at pucks like a hot potato in his zone.
    I feel for Keith and Seabrook. But, I agree, the drafting on defence has been horrid to say the least except for Johns. Where is Paliotta, Holl, Clendening, etc…
    I do like Gustafson’s calmness, stick handling and creative passing. I think Seabrook has played much better with him. And to think Tallon drafted the Hammer a long time ago.

    Mitchell and Jokiharu are good prosepects but we do need and Seabrook or Hammer type dman as well in our system. I streamed a game a few weeks ago with Rockford and I thought Dalhstrom was very smart with the puck and steady. True does not hit anyone but is very quick and mobile at 6’3″.
    I was like Iacopelli’s skating an elite wrist shot!
    Maybe it’s time to bring back Doug Wilson as our new GM???

  • February 2, 2018 at 10:47 am

    I do think Coach Q is a little too harsh with Hartman. Shaw had a very long history of bad penalties but Q put hi out there to redeem himself every time. One last shot for Sharp please. Wingels can sit!

  • February 2, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Keith’s contract is one of the targeted contracts that is front end loaded and is longer than 8 years and if traded then retiring before end of it a significant recapture penalty applies to signing team. So he won’t be moving anytime soon if at all. Quite likely Kane, Toews or Seabrook not moving before next season. Hossa a possiblity if the buyer is there. Between AA and Saad plus cap increase your looking at 15m roughly in cap space cleared and only rfa whose stock has risen but still him, Hartman, Hayden, Rutta and Gustafsson can all be signed low cost. Duclair hard to say yet what he wants. But what do you do with it, try to bolster defence in trades of AA and Saad and go after a Taveres type free agent or go for a upgrade at wing and spend more on D.

  • February 2, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Sorry Hino not him

  • February 2, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Too bad Bowman didn’t have the out available that Tallon had to lend a bad deal to europe and make cap hit go away as he did with Huets 5.625m one of the bigger ones at the time in 2010 to make cap room. Changed in 2013 to limit the cap hit you can shed to less than 1 m.

  • February 2, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    All of the line shuffling in the world, all of the mix and match substitutions, will not solve this teams problems. I can get over it and get on with it, but I can’t get used to it. And I hope SB feels the same because this current team sucks. Most of them don’t care, and the ones that do haven’t been in the league long enough to make a difference. Pitiful performance last night. We need to dump some salary and re-tool because this franchise is on the cusp of mediocrity, and I refuse get used to that again. Hate to say it, but I don’t watch again until this shit show is over.

  • February 2, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Not sure Saad has really regressed, I just think he always was this guy. It’s just that we couldn’t see past the heaps of potential he had when he played with a younger more effective Toews and Hossa. He is a 20+ goal 50 point a year kind of guy. Defensively responsible with average hands and finish ability. That is who he was when the Hawks traded him and what he essentially is now. We just expected him to keep getting better, but he seems to have plateaued.

    Watching guys like Schmaltz and now Hinostroza compared to Saad (and to a lesser extent Duclair) I noticed this, all four of them have elite speed, but Schmaltz and Hino can play fast as well. What I mean by that is they can control the puck and generate a hard accurate shot at top speed. I haven’t seen that yet from Duclair or Saad this year. Maybe it is something that can be learned because when I saw Hino last year I didn’t see it. It’s hard to be critical of Duclair because his sample size is so small, but in the few games I have seen him he seems to have trouble controlling the puck while going top speed.

    I think Saad has to play the role Anisimov played on that line the last couple of years, with the added bonus of being able to be fast up the ice on a rush. He doesn’t need to be that fancy puck controlling guy on this line. Kane and Schmaltz can do that (very well at that.) He needs to add that toughness that AA brought in front of the net and in the corners with more speed up and down the ice. He was doing it the first week of the season, he got so many greasy goals in front of the net. I think he just got into a rut and is focused on doing too much more than he is capable. He just needs to simplify his game and not try to do too much. With him it looks like a confidence thing, a long funk that he will work out of by not trying to do too much. Put traffic in front of the net and be stronger with the puck. The rest will take care of itself.

  • February 2, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Let me see if you all agree…………..McDonough will NOT let Stan fire Q because if the Hawks do not make the playoffs, McDonough with fire Stan and then the new GM can hire a new coach or keep Q. You don’t fire a sure bet hall of fame coach without firing the GM and just starting over.

    Based on the lack of goaltending depth, alone, you need to raise an eye to Stan.

  • February 2, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Agree with Max re Oesterle, that was a nice fling while it lasted.

    Craig N concur.

    Whoever posted re next 4 games crucial spot on.

    If they re truly pushing to make the playoffs, Sharp needs to play. He was playing much better before duclair trade. Who can skate faster and has a proven scoring touch and record, wingels or sharp?

    Lastly, Anisimov Hartman Wingels, lol what kind of line is that??? Dysfunctional fest.

  • February 2, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Very simple, Hawks need to win out the season, none of this win one lose three,or there will be no playoffs irregardless of who’s playing. They are all playing equally bad. Management needs to get to the bottom of what’s troubling everyone. Is it physical,psychological,coaching,ownership, everyone’s too spoiled,all of the above, none of the above? Take your pick experts.

  • February 2, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Stan had a chance to fix this embarrassment last year. He only made it much worse. I would say the most likely scenario is kick him upstairs to make him Senior VP of Pulford’s old job, and bring someone else in to be the GM.

    But that person would have to be willing to live with the Hawks manage by committee approach, and run everything by McDounagh, even though he knows nothing about hockey. That is what drove Dale Tallon away from the team. There has long been a clear divide between the old school hockey guys like Tallon and Q, and the new management/marketing guys McDounagh and Jay Blunk represent. I get the impression the old school hockey guys can barely stand the other side.

    You probably would never convince a strong experienced hockey lifer like George McPhee, who built Las Vegas, to walk into a scenario like we have here. And I would hesitate to get rid of Stan completely out of the organization, because then you lose your tie with Scotty Bowman, who is the Yoda of hockey.

  • February 2, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    There can be a long list detailing what is wrong with the Hawks but it can be summed up in four words – lack of stud players.

    When the Hawks were Cup winners they routinely had more stud players than their opponents – Toews, Kane, Hossa and Keith were on the top tier of stud players in the NHL To supplement the top tier players, they also had players in the other levels of above average players and most of those players were experienced – Sharp, Buff, Ladd, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson to name the most obvious.

    Now the Hawks have one stud player – Kane. The supplementary players are a collection of diminished players (Toews, Keith and Seabrook) and not much experience throughout the rest of the lineup, especially in the d-corps.

    Subtract Crawford from that miasma and the Hawks are trending right about where they should be – out of the playoffs drafting in the 8-12 range.

  • February 2, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Throw this one out there for anyone. Once Panarin’s contract is up and he hits the market, do we go out and drop the $$$ to get him back? Big assumptions here are that he isn’t re-signed by the Jackets before then and that we’ll have enough dough for Breadman 2.

    Can’t believe I’m so pissed and distracted by this team that I’m posing dumb questions like this…

  • February 2, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Well said Ebony. The Hawks lack elite talent. I do believe Schmaltz is on the cusp of elite talent status. I also think D-Cat has a chance to be elite. Beyond those three the talent is very average. ( Crow is also elite but who knows when he will be back). Do you really expect Q to win a championship with 2-3 elite players, a group of has beens and a collection of average talent? The Hawk demise is on Bowman.

  • February 2, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Tony thought of that too, Panarin has dropped off a bit this year his goal total 13 and projects to about 21 for the year, compared to 31 and 34 last couple of years. Shooting % is down to 9.3% compared to about 15.3% his 2 years prior. Corsi numbers good and it will possibly be his highest shot total of any year, just not finding the net. So if he doesn’t turn it around could be another Toews/Saad gamble with Kane.

  • February 2, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    We have played good and really good for our young team at times and for stretches in the first 50 games. We have outplayed a lot of top 10 teams won and didnt when we should have. We outplayed them more then they outplayed us. Without Crow is tuff and the team still played good most games. Just way to many like this. I cant take it anymore and I donot know how the players keep upbeat and try hard again and again.

    Could be blessing in a top 10 pick. Still think we can be 678 seed. Win 5 in a row go from there.

    There just has been more games then I have ever seen in 35yrs where the toher team got all or more of bounces and breaks that had nothing to do with good play. To the point that it just makes it virtually impossible it seems.

    Do whats best for coming yrs and put the stock in that because that is going to be good and get the bounces.

  • February 2, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    I didnt see the game but we lost to a really bad team at a really bad time. That in itself is pretty telling. It is an odd feeling being a fan right now. Most of us are long time supporters with a lot of memories and experience to draw from but this is uncharted territory given the last 8 yrs.

    We can muster up a great effort from time to time vs. stiff competition but that’s worth zero if you lose to a Van

    I’m not even sure what my point is….?

    about Hartman, …he has his limits but I have noticed more than once that he seemed to be one who will get mad about how a game is going and act on it. Some nights that is a sad, singular highlight from my seat at home.

  • February 2, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    I have been blogging for two years that Bowman has drafted badly and made poor trades. Looks like more of you agree. Don’t toss Q out. Sure, he can be stubborn about wanting to play more vets on D, but he is a great coach.

    Forget about the playoffs. Look to the next three years. Hawks should be major sellers at the TDL. Their future is: Kane (do not touch), Schmaltz, Debrincat, Hino, Murphy, Kamph, some Ice Hogs and college talent developing; maybe Hartman, Hayden, Kempny, and Duclair. Keep Crow.

  • February 2, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Stating Stan has drafted and traded poorly – I just can’t go there, at least not in a vacuum. No GM hits on every move and although I have no hard evidence to support my gut feeling – I think Stan has done OK relative to other GMs and the draft position he has been in because the Hawks have done so well. Even TDL trades are not something I can honestly complain about because I preferred Stan to trade away future assets to enhance the chance to win the Cup that year. Some he hit and some he didn’t but the point is he went for it when the Hawks had a legit chance to win – which they did twice.

    The only really bad 1st round pick was Mark McNeill at #18 in 2011. The blackhawks 1st round pick since Bowman took over in the summer of 2009:

    2010 #24 K.Hayes
    2011 #18 McNeill
    2011 #26 Danault
    2012 #18 Teravainen
    2013 #30 Hartman
    2014 #20 Schmaltz
    2015 None
    2016 None
    2017 #29 Jokiharju

    Look at that – not one draft pick in the first 17 selections ever. Show me another GM who has done better in similar circumstances.

  • February 2, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Good post ER. What is clearly obvious is Stan has to stop trading asstets for reunion/nostalgia. Ladd, Oduya, Saad. Enough.

    The league has gotten so fast. It’s way faster than 2015, when we won the Cup.
    The Duclair deal was excellent. The Hinkstroza call up has made the team faster.
    Must keep pushing the pace.
    Draft picks like Jokiharju, Mitchell, Olofsson, Shea, Soderlund, all play fast.

  • February 3, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Like the last two posts (ER and Craig)-if you look at the draft position that’s not bad and add in D-Cat, Krys and Mitchell in the 2nd and I agree you have to give at least a passing grade to Bowman and scouts.

    The one spot that has been neglected in the longer run is defense-but it seems like that is being addressed more of late.
    They’ve also been more apt to go with NCAA and Europe as opposed to CHL and we’ll see how that unfolds. Speed, mobility and skills are in.

  • February 3, 2018 at 9:12 am

    Bowman and the scouting staff has done the best they could with they had to work with, obviously drafting that low and finding that sort of talent consistently is no small task. The changes in cba midstream of recapture penalties, calculation of cap hits included and not being able to loan a bad cap hit forced him to unload a couple of them and change strategy. If wasn’t for that could be alot different. Trades always a crap shoot but if he wasn’t making deadline moves to try and improve and you have too and try to counter cap restrictions, we would calling him out for not doing it too. This year in a different spot and a chance to add some picks, prospects at deadline and draft, be interesting to see what he delivers then and with free agent signings.

  • February 3, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Getting 72 for free got us 20 back and 15 for free. Then if 15 is traded to new identity roster we get whatever that is for free. There’s more then just picks. Overall it’s getting free players or prospects within these moves along the way.

  • February 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Ian, great point about the impact the CBA had on managing the salary cap. While I agree in principle that closing the loophole of using front-loaded contracts to circumvent the spirit of the salary cap was the right thing to do – it bit the Hawks in the ass as much or more than any team and it limited Stan’s options. Look at the difference between how they removed Huet’s cap hit and what they had to do to remove Bickell’s cap hit. Huge difference and impact on managing the roster within salary cap constraints.

  • February 3, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Bowman has done well with drafting and signing young/college free agents. Very well at that.

    To his detriment, however, Bowman’s established NHL player transactions have generally left something to be desired (excluding getting rid of bad contracts he got into on his own in the first place, he’s done a great job of disposing of those). Vermette & Desjardins were nice hits during the last Cup run. Let’s not mention the following season’s trade.

  • February 3, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Two moves of Stan’s I hated were moving Johns and Danault primarily because we put years into each of their development, they both would have fit very nicely into our lineup, and we just tossed them away. The Danault deal never made any sense — he was already in our lineup as a bottom 6 guy and we moved him to get a couple of other bottom 6 guys. Whether he had to include Johns to move Sharp I don’t know, but it still rankles me.

    Stan had made some great moves and some not so, but my wish is that if we’re going to develop guys, stick with them. When you don’t have high picks you have to rely more on the development route.

  • February 3, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    We could get Danault back if they want to listen.

  • February 3, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    At the end of the Day…. Your core Millionaire’s need to have impact on the games… and be the difference makers.

    Latest wins for the team… Hino, Schmaltz, Kampf’s have been the “stars”… which is great… BUT, the “Core” has been MIA- and NOT making a difference… so more losses than wins

  • February 3, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Agree Iceman. Without Vermette the Hawks may not have won the last Cup. Excellent trade. Saad for Panarin was a terrible trade. He broke up the best line in the NHL.

  • February 3, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    ER – nice post re: SB’s drafting. I thought McNeil was a painful miss, however I went back and looked at the 2011 draft and it has turned out to be horrible. We drafted Saad in the middle of the 2nd round and he is one of the top players from that year. The only decent forwards taken in the first round after McNeil were Nemestikov (TB) and Rakell (Ducks). Both of these guys were taken after Danault late in the round.

    Re: Craig’s comments on speed taking over the game I heard an interesting comment from Ken Hitchcock recently. He said the game used to be like Tennis, where you could slowly work to take advantage of your opponents weaknesses. He says now the game is like Ping-Pong where you need to read and react immediately, if you think very long you are dead. Thought that was very insightful.

  • February 3, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Mo wonder what they’d ask for Danault, maybe worth looking at. MS thats the hard job scouts have now, not just recognizing speed but who has potential to play at this level with it too.

  • February 3, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    MS- tackle and go fast.

  • February 3, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    SB draft selections have not been the problem the Hawks have done a good job of finding NHL talent. The problem his been with SB over paying and overvalue of guys on the team. His poor deals weither on him or John D has cost the Hawks players (like TT and Johns) and flexibility. Add in the fact the Hawks have made some extremely poor deals and you have a last place club. I’ve already excepted this team baring an incredible run and luck will not make the playoffs. The question is how much rope does the organization cut him and more importantly how can he fix it? I think Keith & Artem should be shopped now or moved this offseason. Both have some value to other clubs.

  • February 3, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    After reading the bleacher report early today from the morning skate that the 3rd was made up of Saad Wingels Bouma, I am seriously wondering what has happened to our head coach. Sorry, but to see both Wingels and Bouma o the ice ahead of Sharp and Hartman is unbelievable. For the first time, I think Q needs to step down or be fired aling with our GM who actually signed those cast offs in the first place.
    Anisimov at wing to punish Saad? Then Wingels and Bouma back? Why?
    20 8 88 is perfect.
    39 15 10 is good,

    57 and 17 should not see the ice again when our Hawks need goals. And then Kempny out for Rutta? Why anothert rtight handed dman next to Seabrook? Remove the diminutive Osterle in that case and gine Keith Rutta and Seabrooke Osterle. This coaching staff is lost, sorry.

  • February 3, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Not saying were a top 10 team this yr but last place in the hardest division is 34 or 5 in every other division.

  • February 3, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Being in the hardest division is going to get us a top 10 pick. Otherwise we would have same record as TOR and SAJ and get 22 pick. That would suck for an off yr.

  • February 3, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    I do not mind if he Hawks miss the playoffs this year and it seems inevitable especially when Q re-introduces Wingels and Bouma. Is this to spite Stan Bowman who signed all this cast offs for no rerason but to flex his muscles? Let Hartman play and I would rather see Sharp instead of Wingels or Bouma for 82 games.
    Really all this does not make sense.

  • February 3, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    Wingels has been a center all year and with AA going to wing on 2nd line to try and get Kane going again he gets the call to be the 4th center again. Bouma likely in to protect against the Flames intimidators and not wanting to break up the other lines Saad is lines up with them. He will get pk minutes and maybe a few extra shifts to top up his ice time. I would say Rutta in just to get him in a game and Kempny who doesn’t play big minutes or against opponents top lines sits out, i guess.

  • February 3, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    So the lineup in morning skate was:


    Sharp and Hartman sitting.

    Does anyone think having Sharp and/or Hartman in the lineup is the difference between winning and losing? I don’t. That’s not to say I think Bouma and/or Wingels are better than Sharp and/or Hartman – only that none of them are difference makers or playing on a roll lately – so who cares which ones play and which one sit. It doesn’t matter.

  • February 3, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    Respect your opinion Ian but here is my take on this:

    After the all-star break, we are still giving Wingels and Bouma ice time? This suddenly becomes a poor 4th line with dump and chase hockey. This will not get Saad’s scoring touch back, in fact this will frustrate him even more. Why the doghouse mentality? We need wins or at least develop other players not Wingels and Bouma who could not make the Flames or Sens rosters lastr year????

    Sharp is better and much faster player than Wingels and Bouma. He still has grit and by the way, is a natural centre in case anyone has forgotten.
    From 2006-2007 season to the Cup season of 2009-2010,
    Sharp played centre.
    20 goals,
    36 goals,
    26 goals
    25 goals
    Ladd Sharp Hossa (2009-2010)
    And last two years with Dallas, until his injury, played right wing (obviously because he shoots right) with Seguin and Benn!!!
    He is extremely good at faceoffs and. I would rather see him play period. Tough guys in Calgary? They have lost 3 in a row. We need goals not another 4th line made up of two AHLers (who will be without a job next year).
    I totally disagree with benching Sharp and Hartman. And to add the slow skating Anisimov on the wing does nothing for the Kane line. Eventually during the game Q will realize that and then shove Schmualtz on the left wing which will again prevent #8 to diominate as he has been doing the last month.

    Kempny has been playing well and adding another right handed dman playing his opposite side is dumb, especially with Rutta’s eratic play. Why the constant benching of Kempny?

    I will not defend Wingels and Bouma playing in any games the rest of the season.

  • February 3, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Sorry Ebony, you are comparing Wingels / Bouma to Hartman and Sharp? Role players? Q has Toews, Saad, Anisimov, Kempf and Schmualtz killing penalties.
    Actually, he had Jurco take a shift as well.
    Who the hell needs the second coming of Fleishmann and Weise again (Wingels and Bouma) in the lineup? To pick a fight?

    Ask yourself this question? Do Bouma and Wingels crack the Flames lineup? Tampa Bay’s lineup? Pens or Preds linbeup? Answer is a big fat NO.
    Rather see #10 & #39 hands down.

  • February 3, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    This is going to happen regularly when you have more guys that can play then 13 or 7 plus guys like 40 and 42 that are close by plus the Northeastern man. Load up and keep grinding away the growing pains like 2007 08 11 12.

  • February 3, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Mikita21, you’re a tad verbose, but you are correct all posts. For purposes of trying to win games and make the playoffs, tonight’s lineup is on Q. Shaking my head.

  • February 3, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    P.S. If Sharp is going to sit, fine, those other two free agent stalwarts should join him or waive all 3 of them and let’s see Highmore and Hayden recalled.

    Roszival obviously played favorites with the D-men and the incriminating photo album of Q, he obviously can’t stand Kempny and never gave him access to it.

  • February 3, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    Crows back.

  • February 3, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Makita I said before I think Kempny needs to seize the opportunity when he gets in lineup and really impress. As Rutta did in preseason and Forsling coming back from injury then they had some chemistry as a pair. Oesterle when Franson went down made it too hard to sit him again. Murphy picked up his play especially with Seabrook for awhile and found a niche. I agree it seems unfair at times to him but he just doesn’t blow you away and build that solid case to stay in lineup either when he is in there. That said I don’t believe in this instance he sits for very long this time as he seemed more confident in there this time.

  • February 3, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    Well, I agree with bringing back Hayden or giving IACOPELLI or FORTIN who both have speed instead of Bouma and Wingels. Sharp can still skate and shoot the puck better than those duds.!

    And does anyone who is watching Osterle and Rutta tonight and think they have an NHL future??? Osterle cannot get the puck past the blue or even make an easy dump in…ask yourself why did he go for a skate on the opposite side of the ice when Keith had the puck looking for his dman partner (Gaudreau’s goal) ….Answer is headless. Rutta handles the puck like a hot potato and is often falling all over the ice. ( Cannot imagine Dalhstrom and Pokka worse than these guys)
    But Q has his pets. Poor Murphy looks out of sync playing on the left side.
    Let’s stay positive and give new Rockford coach some headlines for putting Jurco, Kempf and Hinostroza together. We all knew Vinnie and Kempf had really good camps. Jurco was given one preseason game? Love hisspeed, size and puck possesion. Smart IQ as well.

  • February 3, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    I would be curious to hear from Rockford’s coach on his take with both Iacopelli and Dalhstrom.
    Dalhstrom stats are impressive besides his 6’3′ frame (45 games: 3 goals + 20 assists= 23 points and +15)

  • February 3, 2018 at 11:22 pm

    Anyone seen the Anisimov experiment tonight?
    Saad being wasted on the 4th line with Wingels and Bouma.

  • February 3, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    One sure fact is #8 is our best player and centre on this team. High IQ, flying and creative!

    Wow, Osterle on the ice in OT ahead of Seabrook. 30 giveawys by #82 tonight.
    And smallish Debrincat ahead of Saad. Toews, well enough said, he has no zip in his shot.

    Great game by Glass.

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