Blackhawks Come Up Short In Calgary

The Chicago Blackhawks rolled into Calgary winners of five of their last six games. The host Flames were on a three-game win streak of their own and sat in first place in the Pacific Division. So even though the standings don’t love the Hawks, this Tuesday night game featured two teams playing successful hockey recently.

Caleb Jones returned to the lineup with Wyatt Kalynuk returning to the NHL roster but in the press box. Philipp Kurashev joined Adam Gaudette as a scratch as well.

The puck dropped and things got crazy within the first minute. Blake Coleman hit Alex DeBrincat from behind in a way that usually warrants a teammate letting him know the hit wasn’t appreciated. The Blackhawk who turned on the dance music was… Kirby Dach?

Dach and Coleman took a seat for five minutes each. After Dach missed as much time as he did with a wrist injury last season, seeing him drop the gloves was an uneasy few moments.

Marc-André Fleury has been incredible since the calendar rolled over to November, but Dillon Dube beat him with the first Calgary shot of the game. It was from a wide angle, but certainly a shot Fleury wants back; he lost his net, something we hadn’t seen in a few weeks.

One tough goal deserves another, and the Blackhawks were happy to tie the game when Brandon Hagel found a loose puck and ripped a shot past Jacob Markstrom to tie the game.

Ryan Carpenter and Reese Johnson picked up the assists on Hagel’s goal. The helper marked the first career point for Johnson. But he wasn’t done.

Unfortunately, the Hawks offense was done for the rest of the first period. Milan Lucic gave the Flames a 2-1 lead 13 minutes into the first period.

At the end of the first period, Calgary had out-shot the Hawks 13-7 and had a 2-1 lead. Fleury settled down later in the period but the Hawks were starting to go too long between shots on net. Life was too easy for Markstrom.

Maybe the ease with which he handled the second half of the first period had an impact on Markstrom early in the second. Almost four minutes into the middle period he committed a terrible turnover from behind his net, finding a wide open Johnson who ripped the shot past him as he tried to get back in position. Johnson’s first career NHL goal tied the game at two.

From there it was mostly Fleury making save after save, the Blackhawks blocking shots in front of him and their offense being just a little off again.

The Flames out-shot the Blackhawks 14-8 in the second and had a 27-15 shot advantage heading to the third. But the scoreboard showed the teams tied at two, and the Hawks finally got some secondary sources of offense to show up.

Chicago actually started winning puck battles more frequently early in the third period. Dach was doing a great job getting to the front of the net and Chicago was turning loose pucks into offense, spending more time on the right end of the rink.

The longer the Blackhawks hung around the longer it felt like the next goal might win this game. Sadly, that next goal game at 14:25 off the stick of Matthew Tkachuk.

Fleury went to the bench with two minutes left in regulation and the Flames added an empty net goal to extend the lead to 4-2 (and hit a sixth total goal for this interested in such things). With 25 seconds left in the game Johnny Gaudreau scored a second ENG to make the final score 5-2.

But the Hawks didn’t have enough and took the loss.

In most of the games since Derek King took over as the head coach of the Blackhawks, there have been excuses for the Hawks winning. Pittsburgh didn’t have Crosby or Malkin. Seattle sucks. Vancouver sucks, too. But Calgary came into this game playing well and the Blackhawks hung around. This was arguably the best performance from the Hawks since King became the head coach.

Chicago finishes their four-game road trip with a 2-2 record, with losses coming to Edmonton and Calgary — two of the best teams in the Western Conference.

Fleury stopped 34 of 37 in the loss.

The Blackhawks were credited with 21 shots on net in 60 minutes. Patrick Kane (five), Hagel (four), Dach (three) and Jake McCabe (three) accounted for 15 of the 21 shots. That’s not good enough.

Chicago competed on Tuesday night. They really tried. But the reality is pretty clear at this point: if Ryan Carpenter, Juhjar Khaira and Mike Hardman are three of the best 12 forwards you have available, you’re not a playoff team. The Blackhawks are near the bottom of the NHL in goals per game because they don’t have enough legitimate options.

Dach, Jonathan Toews (who won half of his 22 faceoffs) and Dominik Kubalik aren’t getting anything done offensively. If the entire offense is going to come from Kane and DeBrincat, the Blackhawks are going to struggle to beat decent teams in the league.

74 thoughts on “Blackhawks Come Up Short In Calgary

  • November 23, 2021 at 10:38 pm

    Bummer they played hard tonight, 2nd period especially. 2-2 road trip that’s not bad. Everybody have a great Thanksgiving.

  • November 23, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Nice summary Tab – this team is playing way better than at any time during JC’s run – the winning goal went in off Jones I believe and the Hawks had chances before that to take the lead

    Agree on having too many 4 th liners playing – if they’re not going to give Gaudette any run then bring up Reichel or Nylander even –

    Hardman in the top 9 is not working

    Overall a good game from the Hawks against a tough opponent on the road

    Now can they play this way consistently and find more offence

  • November 23, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Yes MAF should have stopped the first one but Murphy giving the puck away caused the second. The third was just sloppy passing. Hagel looked good again.

  • November 23, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    Agree 2 and 2 on this road trip, couple of weeks ago we’d all be happy with it. Yes they were outplayed but Tab mentions they managed to hang around. The goals against, a MAF miss on the first one, Murphy with a bad clear attempt in the corner turned the puck over and Jones skate deflecting 3rd goal in. The empty netters, oh well. Blackhawks had their chances to go up 3-2 but were unable to finish. Putting the puck to the net instead of the one more pass attitude should be more of a priority until they find a little more offense. See how they look against Blues, Flames a top team and they fared ok.

  • November 23, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    Wrap doubt you see Reichel any time soon, world juniors coming up, be after that or maybe after olympic break at least.would think. Kings answer on it sounds like their in no hurry, which is not a bad thing.

    Unfortunately until they move a few bodies out, likely see alot of the same lineup for awhile.

  • November 23, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    The last two paragraphs of Tab’s summary are dead on. The positives are that this game built on the 3rd period in Vancouver and was one of the best all around efforts of the year. It was also the most I have seen Borgstrom and his skating looked good and it looks like there is some talent there. The effort and structure are vastly improved since the coaching change but it will be tough for this team to overcome bad goals (1st), bad turnovers (2nd) or bad breaks (3rd).

  • November 23, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    Well..we sure have some broken pieces ,
    Dach made a man of himself today . Calgary smothered our offensive threats….all 2 of them .
    Reese Johnson now has more goals 20 games in than … Toews .

    A trade needs to happen ,,,,,,, ,bundle Strome, Nylander, Gaudette and who ever the hell else for a competent two way guy and a D man who can make an outlet pass ….i know it sounds bat shit crazy but put Kubalik in the trade away pile as well , Stan has left a hell of a mess eh !

    I will say our compete level has risen 10 fold since the two pieces of lameness have been escorted from the building . Please give Mr .King a couple more building blocks to work with.

  • November 23, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    TAB, That Toews face off life preserver that is thrown his way after pathetic performances is getting real old. He did do something that is pretty difficult to do, hang on now. he had 0 Goals 0 Assists 0 Shots on Goal 0 Blocked Shots and 0 Hits. And as a cherry on top he was a Minus 2. For the league minimum we could have ran an AHL Center out there and saved some money in these tough economic times. Poor Hagel found himself alone in the offensive zone most of the night. Pathetic.

  • November 23, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    Against a good team like this, you can’t have your goalie giving up softies and Fleury did on the first goal. He’s been great but that was unfortunate. Murphy getting stripped for the second goal when there should have been a clear was rough as well. Markstrom gave the Hawks one back with the misplay.

    Dach still passes too much when he has shot potential. He gets predictable. Goals from rebounds count, don’t they? Let’s generate some rebounds, Kirby.

    I guess I don’t understand the rules. That looked like it should have been a boarding call on the DeBrincat hit that caused Dach to eventually get his own blood on his face. It wasn’t quite as egregious as the hit from Sunday, but it was bad enough to have been called.

    Kane is not burying opportunities that he normally would. Kubi is invisible. It’s hard to know what to make of Toews. Sometimes he looks like he’s getting better and sometimes he looks like he isn’t getting it back. I agree with a couple others above that Borgstrom is worth a further look. I don’t understand the Carpenter hate. He dug the puck out that led to Hagel’s goal. He’s not a skilled guy but he plays hard and is impactful at times. The Gaudette situation is puzzling, but he really appears to be in the doghouse. Maybe he’s lazy at practice or something.

    The better team won, although it took puck luck with the goal off Jones’ skate for the Calgary 3rd. But that can happen when you get pucks to the net……………………….Kirby.

  • November 23, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    Anyone notice who is leading the Blues with 8 goals in 14 games this season? Even has an assist and 40% faceoff record for the year!

  • November 24, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Silent, I will wildly guess Saad. Who would have thought he would be so sorely missed.

  • November 24, 2021 at 12:24 am

    Murphy was poor most of the night,Kubalik was another non factor. DeBrincat did not do much after being drilled into the boards. Dach and Kane look like they are meshing and getting comfortable with each other. I thought as a team they again came out for the 1st half of the 3rd period and took control of the game. At about the 8 minute mark they ran out of gas and their defensive zone coverage went to HELL as gaping holes and clear lanes to the net became available. On the 3rd goal off of Seth,s stick Gaudreau was wide open in the net front slot anyway. Coverage broke down all over. Overall it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be but I agree with others,this team is short at least 5 legitimate top 9 NHL forwards. Probably only 1 of the Khaira,Hardman,Johnson trio should be playing. Although I would put Reese at Center between Gaudette and Hardman and sit Khaira. Get Hagel away from Toews and let him play with Borgstrom. Put Kubalik back with Toews and toss Carpenter with them,you are not getting anything from those 3 anyway. Tyler Johnson comes back and plays with Hagel and Borgstrom and they are your 2nd line. Dach,Kane,and DCat for the top line and let those lines stay together until the deadline,you are not going anywhere anyways.

  • November 24, 2021 at 4:31 am

    Wrap- why burn a year of Reichel’s elc on this waste of a season? There’s just no reason to bring him up except maybe to get his feet wet for a few games (less than 10) in April, if even then.

  • November 24, 2021 at 6:00 am

    The better team won. No shame in that.

  • November 24, 2021 at 6:44 am

    John Galt- no, no shame in that. The shame is the Hawks will be the lesser team 2/3 (at least) of the time they take the ice. MAF will steal some points, and occasionally we’ll run into a good team/goalie having and off night, and some nights the hockey gods will smile upon the Hawks and bounces will go their way, but talent wise, this is team in the bottom third of the league. I’ll probably spend more time this season focusing on Rockford and other Hawks prospects in the juniors and college, much like I did with the Cubs this past year.

  • November 24, 2021 at 6:49 am

    OK I’ll relent on bringing up Reichel – it does make sense to leave him until after the Olympics but Hardman on the 3rd line is not working and with TJ injured and Gaudette banished there aren’t a lot of other options

    I’d like to see Gaudette given a real chance but if he’s not going to get it then I guess you go back to Kurashev in Hardman’s place and if that fails then Nylander?? Someone other than Hardman deserves a look

    The Toews issue is a definite problem – you’re getting almost no offense from your 2nd line centre – on any team that’s a problem – you could try Borgstrom there with Hagel and Strome – keep Toews as a checking 3C which he’s still good at

  • November 24, 2021 at 7:18 am

    Okie – ‘no shame’ does not mean ‘acceptable’.

    Clearly, Stan Bowman degraded Stanley Cup caliber teams in many ways (reasons have been beaten to death on this site). Thankfully, he’s gone and so is his coaching staff.

    The Blackhawks are what they are – not great, but at least watchable. Bottom 3rd? Perhaps.

    This is NOT a team on the cusp of becoming a legitimate playoff team as Bowman and Stan’s Fans (like ER, who have disappeared) tried to convince everyone of. Colliton was not the miracle worker who was going to turn underachieving castoffs into top line players, rehabilitate injury prone players and develop young player and prospects. It’s ironic Collition – the ‘great communicator’ – got fired because he couldn’t communicate (sorry, I digress).

    There is a lot of work to be done, and undone. We just need to recalibrate our expectations.

  • November 24, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Is the question where has Kubalik gone ? or has playing a more disciplined game with less gifted players make him just an OK player at this level.
    Speaking of scoring Hartman has 9 goals-and the Hawks have a need for a power forward that can put the puck in the net-lol.
    Actually David Kampf has as many goals as Toews, Kurashev and Kubalik combined.

  • November 24, 2021 at 7:58 am

    Tab why worry about Dach’s wrist while hitting a face…more damage is done while he falls, takes a hit(believe the 2 wrist injuries are from this) or slash, or shooting.

    Glad Dach finally grew a set, more meat on his bones and he will become better.

    MAF-soft goal(s), that first one was bad, Ray Charles could of stopped that one.
    Hagel-Hardworking SOB, wish 15% would rub off on Towes and Dom.

    DominiK-good at figure skating, his time has come to an end. AHL for 3 weeks

    4th line-start’um good game but need more rock’em and sock’em from them every game. they came to play

  • November 24, 2021 at 8:43 am

    John Galt- fair enough. I was one of the ones who talked myself into thinking this would be a playoff team if everything went right. Obviously they haven’t, and I don’t think a team of the 5 best coaches in the NHL could turn this roster into a contender. I was more than OK going into rebuild mode as Bowman proclaimed just last Fall. Why he went away from it is beyond me. Maybe he knew crap was gonna hit the fan with the Beach/John Doe situation and figured he’d be safe from scrutiny if the Hawks were winning. Who knows. I never liked Bowman, even when the Hawks were winning Cups. Always thought he was a slime ball. Used to run a Facebook page that had about 15K followers and I got so much grief from people cuz I trashed him constantly. To be fair, he did make some good moved, but far too many brainless ones. The day Seabrook inked his massive extension I said it was going to hamstring this organization for many years. I didn’t mind the Q firing, although the timing was absolutely terrible, and in hindsight really unfair to Colliton to put him in that position. 99% of our fan base hated him from day one. As to why he was let go, I’m not gonna speculate because I’m not in the locker room. Did some players resent/not respect/tune out him? Probably. That said I still think he was dealt a lousy hand. Even now, yeah they’ve won a few games under King, but mainly against other bad teams and even most of those were goalie wins and the team was outplayed for the majority of the game. Toews looks all but washed up. Dach really hasn’t taken that next step I figured he would have by now. I’m not gonna label him a bust just yet, but man I’m starting to wish Stan had taken Byram. Kubalik isn’t producing. Hell nobody really is outside of Debrincat, Kane and Hagel. The defense hasn’t been good, and I expected they’d be improved over last year. I’m not seeing it. In fact, Murphy even looks worse than he has the past few years. Too many guys who should be in the AHL or mediocre 4th liners at best. Oh well, maybe they’ll surprise me, start to gel once healthy, catch fire and go on a run, but right now it’s looking like I’ll hope MAF plays solid, gets flipped for a first rounder before the deadline, and we get lucky with the lottery balls and get a top two pick (which is protected). In the meantime, Reichel and Slavin have looked really good in Rockford., so that’s something to give me some hope for the future.

  • November 24, 2021 at 8:55 am

    Overall the Hawks where playing a good game but the goal on $Jones skate was the difference .it could turn out to be lucky bounce for the Hawks but it was a Calgary lucky goal.
    Still glad to see that the Hawks are not giving up when they are Down a goal ,they just come back and stay focus on their game .
    Sorry for you guys who where dreaming that the Hawks would fall 8-2 or 7-1 against the Oilers and the Flames .haha.
    The Hawks are definitely playing better hockey since King arrive and they will get more confidence in the locker room.
    Always easy to blame when you are watching a game in your living room.
    Love my Hawks and I stay positive for the future ,

  • November 24, 2021 at 9:05 am

    Wrap wouldn’t mind seeing Hagel get some time with Borgstrom and Kubalik. Kubalik kinda going through same thing as Cat a couple of years ago when the trade Cat bandwagon was so popular. King can play whoever more 5 on 5 minutes depending on game situations. TJ with Toews and Strome, Kurashev or Khaira/Carpenter until he is healthy. Agree Hardman looks like some time in Rfd. could help him right now.

    Also agree and said before if the 4th line guys can impact the game more with their physical play, that can go a long way to evening up the playing field. I guess you could put TJ at C and bring up Nylander and Reichel, then roll 4 run and gun lines as Wijg has mentioned he thought was the goal before. This group isn’t deep enough to make that a successful strategy though.

    There isn’t a snowballs chance that Kubalik clears waivers and goes to Rfd., forget that one. If they feel it’s not worth playing Gaudette to try and up his trade value, with apperently no interest from any team in acquiring him, why not waive him. If he doesn’t want to report to minors then release him, nothing lost, could always lend him to another Ahl team or a European team and retain his rights if he wants too.

  • November 24, 2021 at 9:14 am

    If the Blackhawks were in the Flames shoes, how many posts would see saying how bad they were because they needed some fluky goals to best a team struggling like the Blackhawks.

  • November 24, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Hawks need more skill – what about these lines:
    Cat – Dach – Kane
    Hagel – Borgstrom – Kubalik
    Kurashev – Toews – Strome
    Gaudette / Connolly – Carpenter – Khaira

    Send Hardman and R. Johnson to Rockford.

    Would try to exchange Strome and Dach too, 3rd line would be super defensive then…

  • November 24, 2021 at 9:40 am

    Ian, To be fair,the Flames were coming off a long east coast 7 game road trip that ended up Sunday night with a thorough 4-0 spanking of the vaunted Boston Bruins. Given those circumstances I think we all would have been ok with last night’s 5-2 flat first game back win. The Hagel goal and about 3 Kane Shots were the Hawks only offense. I think Darryl Sutter would be good with last night overall.

  • November 24, 2021 at 9:43 am

    Moon, Kurashev-Toews-Strome would be an utter disaster. They would never retrieve the puck or have even a semi dangerous chance. The other lines you put out were good.

  • November 24, 2021 at 10:03 am

    My fear is that Hipster Wirtz elevates Kyle Davidson to be the permanent G-M.
    This organization needs an objective look from somebody outside who can assess the current roster, the prospects and the plan going forward. Davidson has said he and the Wirtz’s are in the process of coming up with a plan. Despite his remarks that he’s his own man, Davidson is a Bowman disciple.
    I’d rather see them hire somebody with rebuilding experience such as Jeff Gorton to come in and overhaul the engine.

  • November 24, 2021 at 10:09 am

    Craig, Well said! We need an entire staff void of any connections to Stan Bowman or the Wietz family.

  • November 24, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Sorry, meant Wirtz family.

  • November 24, 2021 at 10:17 am

    John Galt- so now bottom 1/3rd team is watchable?

    So basically – ALL teams are watchable… cuz there is nothing below bottom 1/3 team.

    Not trying to start argument… just pointing out obvious. Team IS more watchable then JC days… But I find it waste of time to watch more than 10 minutes here and there.

    Hard to see the one of best Centers in league- who almost always came up w every 50/50 puck… be a non factor/dud- few years later… HOF for sure… but how fast and far do they fall sometimes

    I said it before… will ay it again. Hagel is my now favorite Hawk (as was Hossa when he played) – just does everything 100%, IQ, effort, both sides of puck.
    IF this is a rebuild now w/ SB gone… Hagel – would bring back almost as much as 12/88 in a trade at TDL… kid deserves to play with a Playoff team during his prime and have a chance at a cup. Hagel like Frolik/Bolland player… would be a difference maker in close PO series/cup runs. I am guessing some smart GM might see/buy this and overpay for him.

  • November 24, 2021 at 10:44 am

    For the people that want to line blender the team: It is what it is, The cupboard is bare thanks to the dearly departed StanBo. I want no trades to be made until we get a Hockey Guy GM’ing this team. I don’t want a StanBo “intern” taking over this team. I would be completely P.Oed if Wirtz does the “cheap” way out of this. The team is watchable right now because they are trying and for this season I’m good with that, its certainly better than what we witnessed in the beginning of the season. Is King the answer for this team? Probably not but he is doing what he can and maybe he can go back to Rockford whenever we get a GM in here and brings his guy to big club. What you see is what we got, its not pretty and probably have to dump almost half the guys you see here right now before we can be considered “contenders” so in the meantime, have some fun with it, see how far we can get with what we have and consider this a rebuilding year with no StanBo, no Kid Coach(how great is that!!) and wait until we see what the “Organization” does to right this ship. Whining about certain players not doing this, not doing that , is not going to make you feel any better, so why whine??? Its going to take awhile to get this done. This will be an awesome weekend regardless, got family coming in from all over and we’re going to watch the game on Friday and throw another big party and have some fun!! You all should do the same!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • November 24, 2021 at 10:56 am

    I can’t believe I am going to have to watch McCabe for three more years after this year. He is a train wreck

    Borgstrom brings nothing to the table…doesn’t matter if you can skate if you aren’t remotely effective with it

    Love Hagel…need to clone him!

  • November 24, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Outshot 39-21 yet the consensus is this was their best game under King.

    The 4th line was their best line all night, Johnson/Khjaira/Hardman played alright, although watching Khjaira play isn’t fun at all.

    Moon I could see Gaudette centering Toews and Kurashev. Giroux in Phillie has been playing well after changing from Center to the wing. It would also be less taxing on Toews to play the wing rather than C. He could still take the defensive draws, but him playing the wing is something to consider.

    Scoring 2 goals a game isn’t going to cut it. King needs to shake up the lines, but even if he does the play of the offensively challenged D men outside of Jones and maybe Gus is a problem as well. Watching the puck on Murphy/DeHaan/McCabes stick is plain ugly.

    As I’ve said before I’m hoping Danny isn’t seriously thinking of letting KD be the next GM, it would be a
    disaster, nothing more and nothing less. Gorton is the guy I would bring in and if Edzo could work with him as Prez of Hockey Op’s I can see that as being OK.

  • November 24, 2021 at 11:04 am

    Hammer, I know you’re right about the whining but I am an NHL and Center Ice fanatic who watches parts of most games and entire Hawk games. That being said ,it’s hard to hold back when you see certain players contributing very little on most nights. I wish that Toews would stop putting up Stat lines like last night. I wish that Kubalik would contribute much more. At this point their tweeked system and better effort will have to suffice I guess. I will still keep watching though hoping for something additionally positive each game.

  • November 24, 2021 at 11:19 am

    Agree that 4th line is doing it’s job plus they scored albeit a lucky goal

    The scoring problem lies with lines 2 and 3

    Changing out Hardman is a pretty easy way to try and squeeze out a little more offense but also getting Kalynuk in would help with transitions – as others have pointed out 5 6 and 44 are not very good with the puck on their stick – Gus is currently playing well enough so maybe take out C Jones for Kalynuk and see if that helps

    Unfortunately if this is the way Toews is going to play all year there is not going to be a big change in the team’s offensive production

  • November 24, 2021 at 11:37 am

    Absolutely have to get more out of Toews, his offensive game is nowhere to be found.

  • November 24, 2021 at 11:40 am

    As Dach develops physically I hope he learns to stay on his feet more. I can’t recall anyone falling down as much as he does (other than Spurs ‘Arry Kane for any EPL fans out there). Kudos to him for sticking up for the Cat.

  • November 24, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Wrap, Unless King drops him down to a 3rd line faceoff specialist. Let him play with Carpenter and Hardman and any offense you get would be a bonus. Just please get Hagel away from him and let him play with players that will join him in the offensive zone attack.

  • November 24, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Wrap agree it will take Toews finding a way to take it to next level to really have this team show improvement. Dach as 12 and 88’s C is ok but nobody else stepping up to fill a void of Toews offense, which is necessary. Dollar Bill being saying since a few years, before his virus, that Toews moving to wing and taking important fos is something that likely will need to happen to extend his career, mainly because ho does everything not just specialize in offense.

    Seems likely that the Wirtz’s want try and put a winning team on the ice sooner than later. Heading into the abyss of years of full rebuild and losing teams unlikely. No doubt that was some of the reason Bowman never wanted to go that route and new Gm may not either. Last season was curtailed by injuries and inability to secure a veteran goalie, this season with Toews return and addition of TJ, C was supposed to be a strength, obviously that never happened.

    TimW people here being happy if Blackhawks win like Flames if spots of the teams were reversed, your joking right.

  • November 24, 2021 at 11:52 am

    Yes, Dach desperately needs a summer at the Mark Messier/Paul Coffey power skating school. Currently he does not skate well on his edges and has some balance issues.

  • November 24, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Tim W: You see it, I see it, everybody sees it and the new GM whoever he’ll be already knows it. Like I said, half of these guys won’t be here when we’re ready to contend again. Right now you just let them play and make a name for themselves or not!! Maybe they aren’t contributing much because they really aren’t that good and/or developed yet?? I got my wish for Xmas already: StanBo and his sidekick are gone(although the Beach situation was not what I wanted at all, that was horrible. But if that didn’t happen they’d be STILL here stinking up the joint) and now what I want is somebody to get off their duffs and make a friggen decision on where this team goes from here. Right now this organization is about as inept as the Chicago Bears but that’s another story for a different day.

  • November 24, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Ian, Ha Ha, You’re right, I guess not everyone but you and I would accept a Hawks victory resembling what the Flames did last night. They are definitely a Sutter team that is in shape and playing a different game. HELL, even Johnny Gadreau looks relevant and is playing in both zones.

  • November 24, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Hammer T… wishful dreaming- “half of these guys won’t be here when we’re ready to contend again”… that’s funny.

    Odds are 90-100% of them won’t be here. ( I will define contend- as making Conference finals)
    if we define contend as– making PO’s… I would still guess over half will not be here.

    I am guessing- 1/3 of this roster will not be in NHL in 3-4 years!

  • November 24, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    TimW it was telling looking at the Flames bench and no mouths hanging open with 6 minutes to play in the game. Sutter has them fit and ready to play that’s for sure.

    Best top 6 i see in a couple of years without adding anybody. If Reichel who is being groomed at C, can fill the spot on top line then maybe.

    Cat. Reichel. Kane
    Dach. Dach. Hagel

    No way to know if Toews will be still around after his contract up. Don’t see the organization giving raises to Strome and likely Kubalik too, to hang around. Guys like Borgstrom, Kurashev, Entwistle and Hardman likely get another year to earn a 3rd line spot or maybe even a 2nd line spot for one of them.

  • November 24, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    Ian, We definitely need a few high-end quality NHL forwards here that are capable of generating an offensive zone attack. My gut is that the future only includes DeBrincat,Hagel,Dach,Kane,Reichel,Borgstrom,and Dach2. Jones,Kalynuk,Mitchell on the Defense so far.

  • November 24, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    Lots of people have speculated about Dach and Toews switching spots and the more I think about it the more I think it’s definitely worth a try

    Toews although not scoring is still a very good defensive player and he can still make a pass – he’ll cover for the other two and hopefully benefit points wise from them

    Dach has been playing better and can possibly drive a line with say Hagel and Kuablik

    A third line of Borgstrom centring Strome and Gaudette (or Kurashev or Carpenter) might chip in occassionally

    This could be a way offense generally and get a little more specifically from Toews without giving up anything

  • November 24, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    We need a Al Secord type of player and a Hossa or Mark Messier style.
    But not easy to find these days I would also a young Duncan Keith on Defence.
    Am I asking to much ?
    Yeaaa probably .

  • November 24, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    Just to add to Chuckie83’s comment on McCabe, what exactly was he trying to do when he made that spinorama blind pass late in the first period turning an odd man advantage for us into a 3 on 1 for them? Just atrocious and for his apologists that has nothing to do with his body and everything to do with his head. Just a bad, bad signing.

  • November 24, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Great piece in the Hockey News on the Los Angeles Kings and their rebuild.
    GM Rob Blake is totally committed. Over the last couple of years they have drafted a ton of players. That allowed them in the 2021 draft to target a few players in each round. They then traded up to get the player they wanted and were giddy with the four guys they drafted.
    Amazingly no crazy trades that blew up the rebuild.

    In my opinion it’s not too late for the Hawks to get back on the rebuild track. Stan set us back with his “speed up” or “accelerate” this past summer. But we really need an experienced guy like Jeff Gorton to come in a formulate a realistic plan.

  • November 24, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Wrap wouldn’t mind if King intends on leaving Strome with Toews and Hagel, let Toews play wing to try to see if it helps him and Strome in middle where he is more effective. Toews can still take big fos, Carpenter can slot in Stromes spot if trying to protect a lead or tie.

    Jordy, last night McCabe made a bonehead play heading into Ozone, no question. The other night when he took a penalty, it was end of back to back games after playing a large amount of hard minutes, he was gassed, shit happens no apologies needed.

  • November 24, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    I am encouraged by the way the Hawks played and hung in the game. But it was discouraging to not be able to punch that third goal before Calgary did. Unless the underperforming Hawks (too many to list here…) start to meet expectations, I don’t see how this team remains competitive without some kind of external addition to the roster (Reichel, Trade, something…)

  • November 25, 2021 at 11:00 am

    So King has done some of the roster shuffling I was hoping for

    Toews and Dach have switched spots although so has Cat and Hagel

    Hagel Toews Kane
    Cat Dach Kubalik


    Kurashev Borgstrom Carpenter
    RJ Strome Khaira

    TJ is practicing so when he’s ready he probably takes RJ out of the line up or maybe Strome

    Kalynuk is in C Jones out – I like although Gus will blow up soon enough then Caleb can slot back in

  • November 25, 2021 at 11:23 am

    I wish 1 of the Crack Hawk beat writers would give us some info on why Gaudette is buried. Laz,Powers,Roumoleotis where are you? I would rather see Hardman and Tyler Johnson with Reese Johnson. Those 3rd and 4th lines for this afternoons game look like non factors.

  • November 25, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Something to do now is to identify the good teams that are not hitting on all cylinders that might need a piece that we have. Also the teams that are on the bubble of being a playoff team that we have a piece they need.

    Gotta play TJ to show case to a NYI or Bos. Carp playing good could catch someone’s eye.

    A SJ or LA might be looking also.

  • November 25, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    Trying to stir things up at least, should have a bit of chemistry with those line combos, hopefully. Gus still on 2nd pp in practice, King said he was perfect fit there for Blackhawks.

    Wonder how long before Strome gets Gaudette treatment again, back 4th line again, he doesn’t make the most of his opportunities either.

  • November 25, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Ian – it’s the lack of ‘want to’ that’s so frustrating with Strome

    I can’t help but think he’s gonna regret not realizing what it is about his game that he needs to fix because he could be out of the league in a 2 or 3 years the way he’s going

    Skilled but slow with a lack of compete just isn’t in high demand around the NHL – I was hoping he’d as you say make the most of this opportunity under King but so far it’s the same old too often

  • November 25, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Wrap, From what I read initially from Arizona beat writers and then watching him play, I really don’t think that Strome cares about his level of play. Since coming into the league he has been told that his skating has to absolutely improve and that he has to play more assertively if he wants to be a top 3 line Center in the NHL. He did nothing about it while in Arizona and has done nothing now in Chicago. I don’t think that I have seen a more stationary forward in the league that refuses to move his feet. The lack of any edge to his game is terrible. He is so slow that you really can’t even label him as a floater. At least a floater will hang out and cherry pick at the blue lines and center ice in the hopes of scooping up a stray puck now and again. I wish that the experiment with him would just end

  • November 25, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    TW – I actually feel a bit sorry for him because it looks like he’s never going to achieve what he could have had he been honest with himself about what he needed to improve upon

    He set out this summer I think to improve his face offs and he has but he hasn’t applied that strategy to either his skating or his compete level – DCat is more physical than Strome – heck Kane is more physical and Strome is 6’3

    It’s as though he can’t bring himself to change his game from his junior days which for him anyway doesn’t cut it in the NHL

  • November 25, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Agree Strome doesn’t appear to want to do what it takes to stick in this league. Gotta think similar situation with Gaudette too.

    Hopefully Kalynuk makes the most of his opportunity and sticks in the lineup and last year wasn’t another late season mirage.

  • November 25, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    Gaudette has more competitiveness than Strome by far. Just give him one game with DCat and Kane .

  • November 26, 2021 at 9:34 am

    Blackhawks have a pretty busy stretch coming, they average about a game every other day between now and olympics break, 34 games in 69 days. They have 14 division games in there, 3 each against both Avs and Wild, 2 of 3 at home in both cases. 2 games, 1 at home against Blues, Stars and Preds, plus they host Jets once and play in Arizona once. Throw in 8 games against Pacific division, 5 at home, 12 against east 6 at home. Should tell alot about how much they are improving with Kings influence.

  • November 26, 2021 at 10:29 am

    JR, that’s the problem with how the Hawks have handled Gaudette. The 1 game is all that they give him before he is yanked from the lineup. And that 1 game he receives under 12 4th line minutes. I have seen nothing in his play that warrants being yanked after 2 game. Wish someone would either tell us why or have him do an interview as to his permanent benching. The kid is a scant 3and a half years from leading college scoring at over a point a game and being a Hobey Baker winner. Give him at least the chances that you have given Strome and Nylander.

  • November 26, 2021 at 10:30 am

    P.S. He has more goals than the top line Center for our team.

  • November 26, 2021 at 11:47 am

    TimW maybe if Gaudette improved his game so he wasn’t such a liability on defense and at the dot he might be in the lineup regularly. If his offensive nos. comparable to Kanes now, you could give him the pass you refer to.

  • November 26, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Ian, I like to keep it simple. Gaudette moves his feet and gets to the scoring areas. That puts him ahead of 5 to 6 of the Hawk forwards playing regular shifts now. As far as him being a liability at any part of the game, I just can’t confirm that when he plays 8 minutes in a game and then sits for a month. Who knows what would happen if as a new coach you went to him and told him he is going to be in the lineup playing regular minutes for the next 10 games to see what exactly he is and where he fits for the future.

  • November 26, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    I would be willing to bet that his stats would be better than our top 2 centers anyway.

  • November 26, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    Ideal lines until Olympics for me would be- Dach,Kane,Debrincat…….Borgstrom,Hagel,Gaudette…..Toews,Kubal8k,Carpenter…… Tyler,Reese,Hardman….. Seth Jones,Dehaan….. Murphy,Kalynuk…..
    Mccabe,Gus….. Fleury 3 out of every 4 games.

  • November 26, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    TimW just saying if you want play defense more like Kane and produce at the rate Toews currently is, your likely going to sit. As far as defense that has always been a knock on him, so seeing now his third coach in less than a year has no confidence in him, it would seem nothing changed.

  • November 26, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Think about it, the Canucks sold low on Gaudette for Highmore and 30 other teams likely could have picked him up for even less this year and nobody bit, should tell you something.

  • November 26, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Gaudette on waivers today, see if he clears.

  • November 26, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    The waivers news answers my questions. Back to watching Strome stand still I guess.

  • November 26, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    I was a big Kurashev guy last year but boy his game has gone the other way. His play and looks on his face are the definition of timid.

  • November 26, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    TimW in a way i hope Gaudette clears and goes to Rfd., gets some playing time, gets a wake call, forcing his way back up.

  • November 26, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    I agree with that Ian but I think someone will claim him

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