Blackhawks Fall To Flyers

The Hawks scored twice in the first four minutes in Philadelphia, but fell 4.2 seconds short of a shootout opportunity and lost to the Flyers 3-2.

Shaw PHI

Andrew Shaw opened the scoring with his 17th of the season at 2:29, and Duncan Keith followed with his fourth of the campaign just 1:22 later. The Hawks dominated the early action, but an odd goal by Scott Hartnell changed the momentum.

Hartnell banked a puck off both of Marcus Kruger’s skates and it went into the net off Antti Raanta to get Philly on the board. Hartnell added his second of the night at 16:27 in the first to tie the game, and that is where the score would stay until through the second and third periods.

Unfortunately, a missile from Claude Giroux beat Raanta with 4.2 seconds remaining in overtime and the Hawks were only able to take one point away from Tuesday night’s game.

Sheldon Brookbank and Zac Rinaldo dropped the gloves at 3:10 into the second, and Bryan Bickell threw down with Wayne Simmonds at 13:52 into the third. It was Bickell’s first fight of the season.

The Hawks penalty kill was successful in all five short-handed situations on the night, but the power play continued to struggle with no conversions in three advantages.

Jonathan Toews had the primary assist on Keith’s goal and won 14 of 23 faceoffs in the game. Ben Smith, once again skating as the second line center with Bickell and Patrick Kane, won four of five faceoffs and was credited with three hits on the night.

Brent Seabrook led the Hawks with five blocked shots as the Hawks were credited with 14 blocks in the game. Philadelphia still had 37 shots reach Antti Raanta in the game, including 14 in the third period. Raanta was good almost the entire night, making some key saves late in the third period to force overtime. He made 34 saves in defeat.

Former Hawks netminder Ray Emery got the start for the Flyers and 23 of 25 to earn the victory.

The Hawks were without forward Brandon Saad and defenseman Michal Rozsival in the game; neither made the trip. Before the game, coach Joel Quenneville indicated Saad may return for Wednesday night’s game against the Blues in Chicago, but said Rozsival may miss a few games with a lower-body injury.

Peter Regin dressed, but only skated 5:13 and didn’t take a faceoff. Michal Handzus won only five of 18 faceoffs in the game, but was good during 5:29 of short-handed ice time. Brandon Bollig led the Hawks with five hits in only 9:01 on the ice in the loss.

Montreal handled their business against Patrick Roy and the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night, as the Habs earned a 6-3 home win. With the one points secured in Philadelphia, the Hawks pull even with the Avs at 93 points with 13 games remaining on the schedule for both teams. Colorado has seven regulation/overtime wins more than Chicago, however.

59 thoughts on “Blackhawks Fall To Flyers

  • March 18, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Whats the PK % after the initial 10-20 games/period that squired the season total %. It must be top 3-5 just about right were it was in ’13. Even though PP is hot and not right now/streaky, its still top 5 or is it only top 10 now. Whatever it is, its better overall then ’13 & after those first 10 games PK is really good again.

    The GA have come way down as well, I think were 10th now. So, both PP/PK & GF/GA are good. These are important things.

  • March 18, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    The good guys were outplayed most of this game, even Hossa had trouble controlling the puck. Hopefully missing the shootout opportunity sparks them tomorrow night.

  • March 18, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Limping for weeks now. Looking for another gear that isn’t there this season. Not as deep or as genuinely good as we were last season. More importantly this team looks and plays like it wants the offseason to get here. The Cup run took a toll. It just did.

  • March 18, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    its not much fun watching the Hawks anymore is it does anyone honestly think they can repeat with their half assed effort , Kane had a great game but that was about it I hope theyre not blown out tomorrow night

  • March 18, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I give Philly credit. They doubled down after going down by 2 goals in the first 3 minutes. Their forecheck caused problems for the Hawks most of the game, especially for Leddy and Brookbank. All that one on one practice didn’t look to have helped tonight because the Flyers won the vast majority of not only one on one battles but too many one on two battles too. The only couple times when the Hawks looked like they were in the same league physically was when Brookbank and Bickell acquitted themselves well in the non-hockey portion of the hockey game.

    I’m going to say something here that many of my fellow Hawks fans don’t want to hear – but that was the type of game that TT is not ready to play. That was a man’s game. That had playoff type intensity. I am very optimistic that TT will be a good player for the Hawks at some point but I will eat my hat if TT is able to be a difference maker this season. Don’t get me wrong, I would still like to see him play a few games and hopefully he will, but I just can’t fathom that he is physically ready for NHL playoff physicality. But, hopefully I’m wrong.

  • March 18, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Yeah the Hawks had some good luck if you consider the Flyers drew iron 4 times (vs 2 times for the Hawks), but I contend that the Hawks are not getting their share of breaks this season (probably because they had more than their fair share last season). But look at what happened tonight. The Hawks come out buzzing and put two quick ones past Emery and what happens? Philly gets a goal off a pass from behind the net that deflects off Kruger’s skate then bounces off Raanta. That turned the momentum and Philly took it to the hawks from that point on, or at least for the majority of the game from that point on.

    Some seasons you just don’t get the breaks. Last season we did. This season we don’t.

  • March 18, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    It all started when we had that horrible loss to the Leafs …been sputtering since, on and off…losing key games all over the place. Do not like our chances in a best of seven against the other big teams in the NHL. Kane looked like he wanted to win that game by himself and showed great determination. Suppose Emery had something to prove as well. Thought we were going to win for sure after Bickell creamed Simmonds in the big fight but we went backwards instead and Philly picked up the game. Its plain silly to think TT is going to turn this team around….he will have a huge learning curve to go thru yet. Yet another OTL , yikes!! Many teams showing great improvemnets and we seem to slide. Lets regroup and hand St. Louis a big loss…on a back to back this will be a great test of where we really are at…in my opinion tomorrows game is critical for us fans and the spirit of the team..big win, big.

  • March 19, 2014 at 5:01 am

    I’m still drinking the kool-aid. Bickell beat up Simmons. That was great to see. Raanta played well although the last goal was far enough out that he should have stopped it. I was hoping they would get to the shootout because I don’t recall Emery being very good in that when he played with the Hawks. I just feel that when the Hawks have all of their players(and they need all of them) including Saad, Rozy and hopefully TT is ready to contribute more than Regin, that they can beat anyone. They are tied with Colorado and if they can get home ice in the first round and have a full lineup that Q doesn’t have to shorten so they don’t tire out they can still repeat. That’s how I’m seeing it.

  • March 19, 2014 at 6:07 am

    I didn’t get to see this game but 5 seconds left in OT Sheeessssshhhhhh. It looks like Raanta played great by the numbers but when will one of our goalies actually steal a game that we don’t deserve to win like this one. I see the lines were not balanced again and Regin 5 min? why bother dressing him? Q realizes there is a back to back against a top competitor right?

  • March 19, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Not seeing Philly play much this year-Couturier is flat out really good, a combination of Hossa and Getzlaf. I don’t think too many teams in the east want to face that team first round.
    It’s too bad the Hawks couldn’t take a little mental break but it will be playoff hockey to the end to see who gets home ice against Col.

  • March 19, 2014 at 6:45 am

    My “too short” synopsis of the game….

    Why did keith not but a body on Giroux on that last rush? From what i remember he made it far to easy for the best player on their team to get a shot off. Not that Keith wasnt in good defensive posisition, cuz he made Giroux have to make a perfect shot, but with 5 seconds left, why not just put a body on him and take it to SO?

    Overall i thought the game wasnt too bad from the Hawks… we are an unlucky bounce off 16’s skate from just winning in regulation. How many goals are they going to score on themselves this year?

  • March 19, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Hawks outplayed much of the game as Philly is battling for playoffs more than we are. Good start, but as the game progressed Flyers won more of the puck battles hence possession. Despite my feeling of impending doom about final score leaning towards Flyers as the game wore on, but we grabbed a point. The Hawks sickening OT/SO spiral continues. That one should of at least gone to the SO, as much as I dislike the format. Versteeg was either gassed or quit on the play and Sharp just skated off. Raanta played pretty well, and paid off the post Gods. Pity about the first Flyers goal, but you just chalk it up to bad puck luck that will eventually start swinging back the other way. Another game we barely lose to a team that brought a full 100% effort to sneak by. And so it goes when you are Cup champs.

    Kane looked really strong on the puck last night. Sharpy looked energized as did Smith and Shaw. Nice to see Bicks and BB step up to the Flyers. Hoss looked a bit off his form.

    The game tonight should be high intensity. Both teams should bring it. Blues juggernaut can be slowed and it should start tonight on our home ice. If CC plays well, I think we win. Saad should be back which will help. Not sure about Rozy. I hope our PP finds some net again. By the way I liked the way Philly stack 2 guys forward of the net. It really causes some problems. Hawks need to get dirty and pay the price in front of Miller tonight.

    Anyone else catch the Jets-Blues game the other night? I loved Buff running Jackman at the end of regulation the other night that ignited a brawl. Buff earlier in a scrum had 2 guys in the double arm choke hold, and he did it again to a lesser degree with Jackman and Polak. Notice Jackman brought his patented face wash against Buff and no punches, unless linesman was in the way. Blues are good, but they still drink from the same jar as the Knuckleheads used to. It’s in their blood and it will eventually derail their quest for the Cup IMO.

    I’m already jacked to go to the game tonight. I can’t stand the Blues..

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  • March 19, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Tim, I agree. How do you let their world class player have space on that final shot. I don’t fault Raanta…while he should have stopped it. It was a missile from a skilled player who doesn’t wind up. Giroux has such quick hands.

    Emery was so shaky. I really wanted that 3rd goal, but credit the Flyers they battled.

    How Morin is not up is beyond me…how many games does Regin have to skate 5 minutes to realize we need something different.

  • March 19, 2014 at 7:05 am

    The “patches” SB has made to plug the holes have not worked so far. Outside of Versteeg, whose game is getting back to normal, this years trades have not improved the team, and I will say has slowed forward progress. Regin, PMB & Rundland are not going to take this team to the Cup. The answer is in Rockford. The team needs the energy and enthusiasm that Morin, Clendening, Dahlbeck, Ross, Nordstrom and Danualt would supply on a nightly basis. Rotating these guys in and out would give them forward progress and the “will” to stay up. That is exactly what Hawks need right now.

    Unlike some recent games, the Hawks did not just mail this one in. I thought they worked hard but left the ice time to too few players. Now a late trip back to Chicago and another very physical team tonight. Win or lose tonight, the response by the Hawks will be very important. The team will be tired. Outside of the Pen’s game, have not beaten a top tier team in a while. I want a win badly, but even more, I want a complete effort, a hungrier look, energy on every shift etc. Tonight the resolve to play 110% is as important as a win.

    I did not mention TT because tonite, this season, he is simply not going to change the course of the playoffs.

  • March 19, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Philly has been on a bit of a streak. 7-2-1 last 10 and Giroux has been on fi-yah. They have only lost two games in regulation since February 1 which is pretty cool for them. Um not really an excuse but peaks and valleys and such.

    Only watched the last ten of the 3rd and the over time. Looks like a buncha guys skating in circles. Not very cohesive. Some consistency in the line up could help a little bit. Some of the guys are starting to look frustrated and could probably use a night on the town or a team trip to the zoo or something not on the ice to flip the reset switch.

    Tonight should be interesting and/or frustrating.

  • March 19, 2014 at 8:02 am

    ER- completely agree that TT would have probably wet the bed vs. Flyers…BUT- several Hawks wet the bed… Hossa is my favorite player- But I think he had a little Raffi Torres on his shoulder last nite… as did a few others…

    BBank has been good this year- perhaps he knows he is the odd man out if TT shows up-cuz 17 was terrible last nite!!! 8 was bad too (still wets the bed vs. the “playoff” type forecheck)

    Agree- Dbeck, Morin, others would have been better options all year… I still think SB knows this- and Is playing to set up next two years as legitimate Cup runs…Problem is Avs/Blues will be better (if they decide to use $$$ and full cap)- and CC/29 contracts are still too fat! 29 was engaged again- so hopefully he is “feeling” better.

    As soon as 23 lobbed that backhand- I screamed at the TV- Knew that was going to lead to a Grade A…

  • March 19, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Um Crawford has better numbers than King Henrik, Kari Lehtonen, Mike Smith, Antti Niemi, Jonathan Quick, Jonas Hiller, Jimmy Howard, Craig Anderson in terms of save % which is typically seen as THE goalie stat, and he has been tremendous since February 1st and was very good in January. Check out his splits, they’re stellar. He is probably one of the few players actually playing at a high level consistently. AND unlike other goalies listed the wide swings rarely occur with Crawford. Season to season and game to game he is steady and predictable which is pretty rare for that position. Things don’t deviate too far from the mean and that is a very good thing.

    There is absolutely ZERO reason to justify the statement that Crawford isn’t worth the money they signed him for. None.

  • March 19, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Some problems I noticed.

    On the first goal, you have to go back beyond the bad luck bounce. Ever hear the term “you make your own luck”? The Hawks were hemmed in their own zone, Brookbank got possession of the puck, and there wasn’t a forward within 100 feet of him. He iced the puck attempting to make a pass he shouldn’t have been forced to make, and that was that.

    On the second goal, defensive stalwart Andrew Shaw got beat to the inside and it was tic-tac-toe from there.

    On the overtime goal, Sharp extended his shift way too long and Versteeg made a stupid play instead of just getting the puck deep. Sharp was too gassed and couldn’t back check so he just skated off, and then Raanta was so far out of position I think he already had a skate on the bench. Raanta was out of position all night, no idea how this game wasn’t 10-2.

    Some stupid reporter, I think it was Tim Sassone, said, “That’s how Bickell has to earn his contract!” regarding the fight. Chicago media, folks. As much as I liked watching Bickell beat the hell out of Simmonds, you don’t want a $4M man (the guy who is 3rd on your team in G/60) sitting in the penalty box for 7 minutes during a tie game.

    And before we all go crying that the Hawks aren’t good enough this year, anyone want to guess what their record was after the Olympic Break in 2010? 4-4-1. Anyone want to guess waht their record is this year, post break? You guessed it! 4-4-1.

    I think last year spoiled a lot of people. Hockey isn’t supposed to be as easy as they made it look. I think they had 23 wins in 1 goal games… that would be the best in the league in most 82 game seasons, not to mention a 48 game one. Ya’ll bitches can jump off the bandwagon now, but you aren’t allowed back on in late May.

  • March 19, 2014 at 8:55 am

    More importantly, Crawford is 4th or 5th in the league in even strength save percentage. Guys a bum! Why doesn’t he score goals or get more shut outs!

    Pirri another goal and assist against the Sharks! 7 points in 8 games for that AHL lifer…

    Oh, also, overall, the game sucked. Far too many stupid penalties from the usuals.

  • March 19, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Backus and Towes will get nasty tonight, Fight for sure, St. Louis is ready to knock The Hawks looked ordinary vs Phily. Sharp and a few other Hawks peaked at Olympics as they played a little over their heads to make the Olympics. Hawks should have made a SIGNIFICANT move at trade deadline to shake this team up. Kessler is hungry! Hawks always lose as a team, they have no players that can carry you and no goaltender who steals a game for you when they play, so it is 110% Effort just like the BULLS. Hawks have many forwards who have speed to get back and back check BUT not many with the offensive skills, size and puck control we need. Hawks built on a prototype stick and speed (not scoring ) and we need a few more scorers, getting SHOTS ON NET is no indication of offensive capability. Also it is time of Defensemen don’t just dump the puck but take a few more chances and get to the net and drive it, move in off the point and step in. Our Defense is more potent scorers than the offense. Blues are more than ready sadly

  • March 19, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Good comments JS!

  • March 19, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Screw the Blues. They have BARELY beat us this year, and we were not at our best. If the Hawks bring A game they win tonight. It should be good theater for sure.

    Bring it on!

  • March 19, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Kesler is also out injured… Plus they didn’t have the $ to make adding him to the roster work anyway so while I would really like him in a red sweater, thinking that would happen mid season was nothing more than wishful thinking.

    The Hawks lead the league in G/G. Pretty sure they have a lot of offensive talent. 6 guys with +15 goals already so not sure how much more scoring you want. It isn’t like they can field an all star team.

    And again… This notion that Crawford cant steal a game or isn’t good needs to stop. It is an unfounded and profoundly ignorant statement. Read a book… Or a stat sheet.

  • March 19, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for the excellent write up, wasn’t able to watch the game but this game sounds like a lot of Hawks games this season. Strong for stretches but has lapses and can’t close out games. I recently saw a stat that the Hawks were the best team in the league while playing with the lead. Based on that stat it looks like the Hawks are finding new ways to lose. The Flyers are playing really good right now, they have been playing extremely desperate for a while now so this wasn’t going to be a layup. This Hawks team doesn’t look like a team that is going to make a long cup run. I hope I am wrong but I’m not seeing the little things are prove to me otherwise.

  • March 19, 2014 at 9:52 am

    On the TT front this according to the 4th period

    According to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, Teravainen may be more likely to play for Rockford, as the Blackhaws may not have the necessary salary cap space to accommodate him on their roster.

  • March 19, 2014 at 10:02 am

    To AJ and JS- the whole CC/contract thing is ONLY my opinion on using $$$ on skaters vs. Goalie… I have stated several times—- imo- CC is NOT the reason for Hawk’s losses/Hawk’s struggles… I think he is playing well… BUT – just don’t like the $$$ for a Goalie (money better spent w players in front of goalie)

    Two easy/perfect examples are Miller #’s w Blues vs. Sabres… and Emery w/ Hawks vs. Flyers… perhaps the team/players in front of Goalies play a BIG role!!! Ya think!!!

    The other argument- is Hawks have two Cups w/ Goalies making under $3M…
    So WHY change the Formula that has proven to be successful??? Don’t Pay too much for goalie- And Buy the Best/smartest/quickest guys in front of Goal!!!

  • March 19, 2014 at 10:12 am

    We can rip St. Louis all we want, but fact is they are a formidable club right now. The best and most complete team in the NHL. In my mind they are the presumptive winner of the Stanley Cup this year. If they fail in that mission, then they have the most to lose…ala Vancouver a few years ago when they always choked at the end.

    The Hawks are in trouble. They know it too. This team is listing to port and primed for an early playoff exit. The sad thing is I think half this team is looking forward to that. They look mentally wiped out and ready for an offseason to catch a full breath and prepare for a legitmate Cup run in 2014-15. I’m seeing little to counter this view I have.

  • March 19, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Come on Wall, good proven keepers make $6m. That’s the way it is in the NHL right now. Strong team D and 4 good lines in front of a good goalie equals wins. The task is putting THAT together.

  • March 19, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Wall- Miller has played 8 games with the Blues against some of the worst offenses in the league. Sample size is everything. There have been plenty of studies that say that changing teams rarely affects a goalies save percentage. The odds are it will come down to be in line with his career average.

    The Emery example doesn’t really work. The guy only had a .900 s% in 2012. 2013 is mostly an outlier. His career s% is .906, so he isn’t far off.

  • March 19, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Rufus- you aren’t seeing anything to counter your views because you don’t read what anyone says.

    The Hawks are in the playoffs, that is what matters. History shows that it doesn’t really matter how you are playing when you get into the playoffs, but how you play once you are there. The Hawks are more than capable of winning the Stanley Cup this year, regardless of the Blues regular season success. Afterall, we’ve seen what they’ve done with Presidents Trophys before.

    Wall- one more thing to consider on the CC contract. They have no one ready to step in. Bowman had to give Crow that contract or risk having no goalie next year, the year you and Rufus think they are supposed to compete.

  • March 19, 2014 at 10:24 am

    Look Ruf, of course the Blues are good. No disputing that. I can and will root for them to lose because there are guys on that team I don’t like. That’s why being a fan is fun. I respect the Blues, but don’t like them and never will. Your comparison to the Nucks is a good one, although the league in general doesn’t hate the Blues like they did the Nucks organization as it was back when they gloriously choked to the B’s. Either way I hope the Blues find a way to choke as we look to the playoffs this year. If the Hawks have something to say about that all the better. We have 2 Cups in 4 years. It’s been a dream for us fans.

    The blue notes have squat.

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Allow me a minute to pet my peeve …

    his name is spelled T-O-E-W-S (not Towes)

    he’s the captain of your favorite hockey team – please dedicate a brain cell to that.

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Oh, and if Toews allows himself to get into a fight with Backes tonight, he should have his head examined, which very well may be the result of allowing Backes to rattle Toews’ thrice concussed mellon. Toews isn’t a fighter. Backes is. Not to mention it would be more clostly for the Hawks to have Toews in the box for 5 minutes than it would be to the Blues to lose Backes for 5 minutes. The Blues would take that trade off all day long.

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

    While I agree they had to pay CC to keep him around… 6M per is kinda steep… Somthing closer to 5M would have been better IMO. CC has been great and definitely deserved (and has earned) a raise/extention.

    But teams CAN win without “elite” goalies. How many Cups does Rinne have? Lunquvist? Luongo? Miller? They all get PAID… and how many do they have… Zero.

    A good goalie is important, and im not going to say just bring in a joe schmo every year… but it is just as important to have the $$$ to build a strong lineup… and a cap hit of 6M per might hinder that. (MIGHT). I hold my faith in SB high, and I expect him to do some great things to work around it… but it still makes you hold your breath in the mean time.

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Agreed ER as it relates to 19 trying to drop em with Backes. Tazer should do his best to goad Backes into taking dumb penalties ala Bolland mentality. Play hard, play tough.

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Phil- “common Wall”- at the end of the day… Hawks won 2 cups w/ goalies making less than $3M in recent years… THAT is NOT up for argument…

    JS- I fully understand the “risk of having no goalie” next year argument…BUT look at how many Goalies moved recently, and more will move this summer… CC would/could have been replaced for sure… we will never know if the “replacement/who” would have been better/worse… but My argument is – it could have been cheaper… AND Hawks still could have been Great…proof is- they have 2 cups w/ “cheaper”/non-proven Goalies in past 4 years…

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:46 am

    ER- do you think Towes should resign with the Chicago Black Hawks?

  • March 19, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Couldn’t you have posted that 2 minutes earlier wall!

    Technically, if the Hawks win the Cup again this year it will be for the 3rd time with a Sub 3M goalie!

    And in 2010, Niemi was just kind of “meh” in the playoffs. The Hawks don’t win the Cup without Crawford being phenomenal last post season. It’s easy to say that Crawford was just good because of the system last year, but he’s put up pretty consistent numbers outside of 2012.

  • March 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Common Wall, I understand that $6m is not cheap for any player. The Hawks may have slightly overpaid for CC. The problem is to retain him he received a good contract befitting a player that is important to his team. Could be they paid perhaps $1m high? Hawks had no one behind CC to come in and fill that position. He was huge in Hawks Cup run last year. He got paid and if the Hawks didnt pay him someone else would have coughed up similar cash. They could have/would have kept Niemi too, but his agent apparently made it difficult. I think a great team in front of “good” goalie wins lots of games. Don’t think paying Corey was a wrong at that price since that’s what quality starting goalies make.

  • March 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Some of you are WAY underestimating Ryan Miller in St. Louis. Now he is playing on an excellent club with perhaps the league’s best defensive focus and defensive guru Hitchcock as his coach. That’s a formidable recipe. And Miller is the sort of goalie who can put the Blues on his back if need be.

    Comparing what Miller did the last few years on a God awful Buffalo club where defense was optional versus his new home in St. Louis can’t really be done. Miller is very good. Miller in St. Louis is very scary.

  • March 19, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Rufus- I put up a bunch of numbers as to why Miller in St. Louis isn’t much of an upgrade (this is why I say you don’t pay attention to what people say). I think you are WAY overestimating how important he will be to that team. If you want me to find the numbers and repost them, I’ll do that for you.

    St. Louis has a chance to win the Cup this year. I don’t think anyone is denying that. I still don’t think they are as good as Chicago, LA, or San Jose. Especially the way St. Louis has pooped the bed the last two years. AND, if they get Phoenix in the first round that isn’t a really good matchup for them.

  • March 19, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    The Blues seem to match up well against Hawks and Avs, but struggle against California teams. Go figure.

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Waste of time to say, as few here are seeing it, but once again, that loss is on Q…we should have and would have won that game if we rolled 4 lines…but because we had a key regular injured (Saad), Q brought in a player to replace him (Regin) that he clearly has ZERO TRUST in and didn’t play him…the rest was undue stress on the core players…late in the season, the night before STL???

    Look at the minutes last night…Regin 5 mins, Zus, Bollig, BB all 8+ minutes of 5 on 5, hell Shaw only 9 minutes…we have a PP that we have stopped scoring goals with and Bickell plays only 10 minutes…maybe he could stand in front of the net on the PP?

    We have all gone over this ad nauseam…when the Hawks roll 4 lines they are over .800 this year…when we don’t we are below .500…with the loss last night, with Zus in the lineup we are now below .500…think about that, a team this good, with still a pretty decent record, 1 game below .500 with Zus…hasn’t anyone learned anything? Now there is talk that the Hawks don’t want to cut loose BB and leave us with only SEVEN DMen so they might put TT in Rockford instead of the bigs…HOW F$CKING STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE TO EVEN CONTEMPLATE THIS???

    BB is a WASTE of roster space…his kind are found on waivers every week, or in your own system…stifling a chance to bring up one of the most talented prospects in the world is simply stupid.

    When the Hawks skated with Brandon Pirri as 2nd line Centre we went 18-3-5 or a 70% Win percentage, including ties, without Pirri we have a 49% win percentage, including ties. Again, this isn’t to say that Pirri was amazing, but he did his job and helped the players around him…it allowed us to roll 4 lines…but when Zus came back, Pirri was sent down and with Zus in the lineup this season we have a 49% winning % including ties.

    In his last 5 games with FLA, Pirri has 3 goals and 4 assists and is a PLUS 3 playing 15 minutes a night…FLA during that stretch is 2-2-1…these are incredible numbers for FLA…but they’re a joke right rufus? A joke that just beat SJ in SJ…

    Zus has become a substandard hockey player, plain and simple, and his poor skating is at complete odds with the rest of the team…Regin is a mediocre hockey player…I told you this day one, and he has no idea of how to win…Bouchard is an aging, talented, little chicken sh$t that can’t play in the NHL…BB is a dime a dozen 7th DMan found all around the NHL…Rundblad couldn’t get minutes with STL, MIN and PHX as a 7th DMan, but he was our trade deadline addition??? Are the coaches and Mgt. actually trying to win another Cup this season? Because it doesn’t seem like it..if rufus and others actually think that I, or others here, are the only ones around the NHL befuddled by the decisions/moves of the Hawk Coaches and Mgt. then pick up a freaking sports page…any one…

    With Morin in the lineup we went 10-3-2 and he was a PLUS hockey player and our 3rd line had dominating Corsi #’s as they seemingly always had possession of the puck. Again, Morin wasn’t great, but he was more than doing his job, and it allowed us to roll 4 lines evenly…with Zus, Regin and BB, Q shortens up the bench and we are significantly below .500? WHY? Because he doesn’t TRUST Brandon Pirri or Jeremy Morin to play defence??? WTF??? Both were plus hockey players in CHI and both had good Corsi #s…and our record with them in the lineup is the best in the NHL…but NO ONE on this site wants to talk about this???

    Oh, we’re hung over…the bounces aren’t going our way…the players are just mailing it in now…excuses…last night we came out strong, and a good PHI team (who rufus called a joke a couple of months earlier) responded…but we dominated that 2nd period, and should have come away from it with a lead…PHI dominated the 3rd BECAUSE WE WERE TIRED…Toews 23+ minutes, Kane 21, Hossa 21, Sebs 26, Keith 28, Hammer 27…and who does our push back for us??? On the road, late in the season, coming off a short summer, these guys don’t NEED to be ridden…and besides, when Q does, we LOSE ANYWAYS…

    Final Stat…since the New Year we are 11-7-8, in those 26 games since the break we have rolled 4 lines now 10 times…in those 10 games we are 8-0-2, in the games where Q dresses DMen as forwards or shortens the bench we are, get this, 3-7-6…you figure it out…

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Phil-my stance still is…In the Cap era- GM’s have to manage the $$$.
    Successful teams will most likely have to have the “young cheap” player(s) contribute in meaningful ways…cuz just skating 20 average ($3M) guys – probably doesn’t get the Cup…

    wts- teams will have handful of High-pay/elite guys + handful of Low pay guys (AND some of those need to be “Saads/Shaws”/types)- rounding out the team- are the middle of the pack – smart/all around guys (36,67)- do what is asked guys. Once these “middle of the road guys”( CC) become “overpaid”/above average in salary- the GM’s/teams will face the piper…or NEED to have a few more 20/65’s show up at the next training camp…

    JS- that is exactly why the Hawks won’t win it this year- cuz- they didn’t come up with 2-3 “cheap” prospects to maintain the void of 36/67/25.

    My prediction states that in 1-2 yrs. a few of these prospects can become major contributors (at a cheap price)… BUT the CC @ $6M ??? —–Instead- I would have taken my chances adding another Frolik type or two— and finding the next CC/Niemi in FA/trade/summer.

    Of course, if Mo,Nordstrom,TT or other become the next Saad… next year or two-Hawks will be fine… I just think from Cap perspective- finding a proven 36/67 type might be easier than Guarantee that TT/Mo becomes a Saad- statistically

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    BTW, Ben Smith was IMO the best Blackhawk last night…now that Q has given him a greater opportunity, he has responded in a big way!

    Also, all the Rockford kids have helped us besides Pirri and Morin…Hayes wasn’t great here, but played well enough, and we had a great record with him in the lineup…even Nordstrom and Brad Mills played well and helped us…

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    I agree with Wall. CC has been ok this year but not stellar and sorry AJ he has not stolen any games this year “Did you eat too many paint chips as a kid?”. Yes Crawford played well in last years playoff (arguably the MVP) but also played horrible in an early playoff exit against Phoenix too. Bickell deserved a raise and got paid well as there was a demand for his services from other teams. CC also deserved a raise but in my opinion wasn’t sought or in the same demand as Bickell and was overpaid. Let’s hope the CC from last year shows up for the playoffs and not the Phoenix CC.

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    ***Slow Clap for Brad***

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    In 09-10 the hawks went 4-2 in February and 6-9 in March getting smoked by the Islanders and BlueJackets twice…

    2-3 in February this time around and 4-4 in March is pretty comparable.

    They hit a wall when they won the first time around. To say they are a sinking ship is a little preposterous at this point, especially looking at the last time they had half their roster in the Olympics. The sky is not falling. Little premature to get all worked up about a roster that is near identical to the one that won last year. AND most of the losses have been one goal ones or OT, unlike 2010 where they either won or got lit up. Perspective

    The Hawks won with a goalie who has been in the Vezina discussion two out of the last 3 years (Neimi). He is kind of good. And Crawford who was in the discussion last year and had a stellar post season. Um, thinking they can win with anyone in the net is silly. Thinking they will strike gold with developing a third Cup winner is ridiculous.

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Look at the stat line and advanced metrics from that Phoenix series and tell me who played well other than Mike Smith (Crawford is out performing him as of today btw).

    And Crawford was spectacular in the Vancouver series the year before that.

    Didn’t steal a game? What a load of crap that notion is. One of the stupidest statements related to hockey on the planet. Wins games? YES. Plays consistently well? YES. Has Cup? YES. Gives awesome speeches? YES. Has a better stat line than Jonathan Quick who has the best defensive team in the NHL in front of him? YES. Y’all got some warped expectations.

    Also to think that they can just pull goalies out of their ass is delusional. See the Philly debacle the last 5 years or Toronto or the Islanders or Edmonton or the Hurricanes or Nashville absent Rinne. Yes I’m sure the Hawks have some secret stash of Cup capable goalies just sitting around idle somewhere waiting for a call. Wow. Astonishing thought process. Their goalie pipe is soooo impressive they have journeyman Jason LaBarbera starting in Rockford and a little guy who has NOT been anywhere near as solid as Neimi backing up Crawford right now. I can’t believe this is even up for debate.

  • March 19, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    AJ, you didn’t see the game that Raanta played last night? He faced 37 shots in Philly…the first goal was an own goal…the 2nd one, zero chance…and the last one in OT was on him, but that was a hell of a performance…better than ANYTHING Niemi showed this early in his CHI career…and as JS said, Raanta’s positioning was so bad last night (because he rarely plays and is young) that its a miracle Philly didn’t score 10…but they didn’t because Raanta has extreme talent…and you don’t think this Hawks team couldn’t win a SC with Raanta as goalie in another year or two??? That’s crazy…

  • March 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    AJ, the statement was “steal us a game” and he hasn’t…CC had one brilliant game this year in MTL (his hometown) and we still didn’t win…other than that, he has absolutely NOT stole a game for us this year…and that doesn’t make him a bad goalie, because he isn’t…but CC is not a great goaltender…now, is he worth $6 million a year because the league is filled with lots of good $6million dollar goalies? I don’t know, that’s another question altogether…

    Wall’s point is that Stan Bowman (the winningest HC in NHL history) made a decent living out of riding the next goalie…Ken Dryden in MTL is a good example…the year that MTL beat us in the finals, largely because of Dryden, was a year that Bowman took a ripping in the MTL press for “being cheap” and going with an untested Dryden…

    Look at our own rebirth to a great franchise…from 2008 to the first of 2 cups, we went with VERY substandard goaltending…Huet was god awful and Khabby wasn’t much better…we won the Cup IN SPITE of our goaltending…Niemi showed flashes that he was going to become a good goalie, but he was wildly inconsistent, especially in his positioning (a la Raanta)…and while CC had a great series against VAN in 2011, he still had a mediocre year…and his performance against PHX in 2012 was horrid…now last year during the playoffs, he played well, but he still had problems with his glove hand…and that game 4 in BOS where WE HAD TO WIN, Crawford did his best to try and prevent us…that’s why he wasn’t the Con Smythe winner, voters weren’t prepared to select a guy who played that badly in a Cup final game.

    Again, nothing against CC…his is a great story, working so hard year after year in the minors to finally get a chance, and then wins a Cup…its a great thing…but would I have paid him $6 million for 5 years? Not on your life…

  • March 19, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Numbers and projections don’t tell everything AJ. Too much caffeine dude relax is CC your brother or something? It’s Crawford’s propensity to give up a weak goal in crucial times that makes people nervous (just like the two horrible goals in the Phoenix series that sunk their fate). You never get that feeling he is going to stone the opposition. If fans sense it the players do as well.

  • March 19, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Brad you are silly. Neimi was significantly better as a Hawk than Raanta. One outlier is insignificant compared to the rest of the season.


    Neimi stopped 44/45 against SJS in the WCF in game one then 26/27 in game two and 44/46 in game three that won the series. Kind of a big deal and under more pressure.

    I have no idea what Raanta can do or cannot do in 2 years but I know they can win with Crawford this year and next year and that Raanta has looked very lost at times. Talent yes, better than Neimi position wise or statistically? Absolutely not. Plus I’m not foolish to think I can strike gold 3 times in 5 years.

  • March 19, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Brad you are wrong again. 2010-2011 Crawford had a .917% and was a Calder finalist. Pretty sure he had a good season. Game four… what about game one if you want to talk outliers against Boston… 51/54 Oops. That is why averages matter because outliers regress to the mean.

    Name me one goalie in the NHL whose weakest spot isn’t their glove hand.

  • March 19, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Last team to win 3 Stanley Cups with 3 different goalies inside of a decade? Detroit. To be fair, a blind monkey could have been the goalie in 96/97 and in 2001 they paid Hasek an ass ton of money to carry them. And I don’t think I’d say the “Scotty Bowman way” is just to use whatever goalie and then move on to the next one. 6 of his 9 Stanley Cups are with Hall of Fame goalies. Tom Barrasso is in the US HOF, Mike Vernon probably should be, and I think Chris Osgood will be. Goalies are important.

    I actually think Raanta might have a high skill cap… but he was a complete unknown coming over and banking on that would be a dangerous game to play. Factor in that he has a .905 s% over 21 games this season, that’s well below league average. Yes, first year. Yes, doesn’t play enough… he’s still terrible positionally and is tiny for the modern NHL goalie.

    We can also bring up “the glove” game all day, but Rask gave up 6 goals in that game… soooooooo? Crawford gives up 5 because he’s mediocre, Rask gives up 6 because the Hawks are just that good? We seem to do that a lot in this town. Our guy doesn’t score on a breakaway “HE SUCKS HE SHOULD HAVE SCORED THERE” our goalie doesn’t stop a breakaway “WTF YOU HAVE TO STOP THAT!!!!!”

  • March 19, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    AJ- where did I ever say the Hawks have a Pipeline of goalies? But – the Hawks could have picked up a Fasth or Scrivens or ???? for a lot less money- Yes, I know neither has “won a cup” -like CC…

    BUT Emery had same numbers as CC last year!!! I ask you – is Emery as good as CC??? ??? or was the team in front of Emery/CC that good??? Please answer this question -honestly. Most will answer CC is better- and he is… BUT How did shitty Emery put up those nice #’s??? THE TEAM/SKATERS IN FRONT OF HIM!!!!!

    What I have said -and continue to say… Goalies are like Pitchers… there are very few in a decade… that are really consistent/and worth their pay… and once they have that 1-2 “great years”- they usually get over paid… which by definition means “they make more than they are worth”…

  • March 19, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Does the conference 1 seed play the lower 4 seed, if there are 4 teams form each division… or is it division only when its 4/4 from each division, then PHX & VAN would have to have a better record have MIN & DAL to have PHX play the 1 seed in our division.

    JS, I to would like them to have to play PHX in first round. You just need ANA/SJ to be 1 seed in conference…

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