Blackhawks Lose In Overtime… Again

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

The Blackhawks scored a late, game-tying goal to force overtime. And then lost when Corey Crawford allowed a soft goal.

Heard enough? So have I.

Mikkel Boedker was credited with the game-winning overtime goal for the second straight game. Unlike Game Three, when Boedker shot the puck at the net, this time he lost control of the puck as he blew past Nick Leddy on a would-be breakaway. But it didn’t matter; the slow-moving puck still somehow beat Crawford five hole and ended another game.

The Coyotes were credited with one shot in the overtime period on Thursday night. It went in.

There are a number of areas that one can look at for issues that have contributed to the Coyotes 3-1 lead in the series, but ultimately it comes back to the man in net. Crawford has allowed overtime goals in consecutive games on weak shots that had no business getting past him. His comments in the locker room after the game, and the emotion on his face, indicated that he is well aware that he is personally responsible for the deficit the Hawks now face in the series.

And that is a problem.

Crawford has always been a confidence guy. When Ray Emery rented time on top of the depth chart this season, it was as much because Crawford was struggling mentally as it was because of physical mistakes.

Based on the ends of the last two games, and Crawford’s understandably emotional response to Thursday night’s finish, it is time for Emery to get back on the ice. Crawford’s series should be over… and, perhaps, his tenure as a goalie with the Chicago Blackhawks.

But saying Crawford is the only issue is misleading.

Chicago battled back from a 2-0 deficit late in the third period with goals from… wait for it… Brendan Morrison and Michael Frolik?

Frolik hadn’t scored since Dec. 14, but now has goals in consecutive playoff games. And Morrison, like Brandon Bollig in Game Two, scored his first goal as a member of the Hawks.

The Hawks have now scored 10 goals in the series. Frolik and Bryan Bickell have two each, while Bollig, Morrison, and Andrew Brunette have each scored once. The other three goals came from Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Patrick Sharp.

Sharp has just one goal on 17 shots on net. Viktor Stalberg has been credited with 15 shots and Dave Bolland credited with 19, and neither of them has scored. Bolland has three assists in the series.

The well-deserved lack of confidence Joel Quenneville has in his group of defensemen screamed out of the box score last night. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook each skated over 30 minutes; Nick Leddy skated just over 17 minutes, while Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson were each held to under 17 minutes in the game. Sean O’Donnell, back on the ice after Sami Lepisto and Dylan Olsen failed to win the sixth spot, played 10:06 in the game.

Oduya may have had his “Campoli Moment” as Thursday night.

That turnover appeared to happen in slow-motion, as most of the 300 level at the United Center was screaming at Oduya that Shane Doan was coming up behind him. But he didn’t sense Doan, turned the puck over, and the Coyotes captain deposited a fat rebound moments later.

He was very good after being acquired at the deadline during the regular season, but Oduya has been mediocre in the post season.

There might have been only two bright spots on the roster in Game Four.

Brandon Saad started the game on the Hawks’ top line with Toews and Brunette, and was on the Hawks’ first power play unit the entire night. Saad skated 13:11, of which 2:17 was on the power play,  and he was credited with four hits. Unlike others on the roster, he never appeared to be overwhelmed by the moment.

And Bickell played his most physical game of the series. He was credited with a team-high seven hits in the game, many of which were noticeable.

Dating back into the regular season, the Hawks have now played in seven straight overtime games. They have only won two of those seven games.

Counting the end of the 2011 postseason, Chicago has also played in six straight overtime games in the postseason. The Hawks have only won two of those six games.

And they now head back to Phoenix facing three potential elimination games.

50 thoughts on “Blackhawks Lose In Overtime… Again

  • April 20, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I saw the same game as you last night Tab.
    I think Oduya has indeeed sealed his fate with his entire Playoff performance.
    We’ve seen the last of Crow for this season.
    And while Dylan Olsen may look like a deer in the headlights, Nick Leddy doesn’t even see the car coming.

  • April 20, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Tab, I agree that Crawford has let in 2 goals that I don’t think hit the back of the net, yet. I think he is under contract for 2 more years. Crawford is really Michael Leighton, in disguise. He’ll make 9 incredible saves and then let a goal roll in at a very unopportune time. He’s a solid backup, but that’s it.

    I still don’t think that Toews is 100%. He looks a step slow and a little behind, out there. I’m not sure where everyone on this team, is. Kane and Sharp have all but disappeared. For a defense that can “skate”, we sure get caught “flat footed”, alot. Leddy plays way to wide on alot of coverages, too.

    Tab, let’s go with your gutt, here. Put Emery in the net…….we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Put Lepisto back on “D”, but keep the forward lines the same. Let’s hope for the best.

  • April 20, 2012 at 8:20 am

    just saw the lowlights on sportcenter again!! very disappointing AGAIN!! When is this team gunna hit someone??? I realize this is a different team that the one that won stanleys cup but good god everyone knows that hitting the body helps take the other team out just as torres’ hit on hossa has taken the hawks out of the game….EFFEN HIT SOMEBODY!!!

  • April 20, 2012 at 8:23 am

    garbage goal the yotes are a better team time to man up and accept it!

  • April 20, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Every game we here Edzo talk about how important it is to keep your stick on the ice but yet again, Corey Crawford lets in an easy goal by not putting his stick on the ice.

  • April 20, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Coyotes are certainly not a better team, but they are playing harder and their goalie is better. That’s the recipe for some playoff success

  • April 20, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Horrible pinch by Odonnell. Then Leddy can’t outmuscle their guy at the net. Game.

  • April 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Another incredible comeback that didn’t quite make it. While we have lost two OT games in a row on soft goals, I give the Phx guys lots of credit. They have shut down our big goal scorers and jumped on our d men making turnovers. Smith has been very good in net and has had the benefit of some good luck having rebounds somehow elude our guys time after time. In the playoffs you need your keeper to win some games for you and come up with a big save to lift the team. Those 2 OT goals that went in this week just suck the life out a team. Corey knows he let his mates down. Time for Ray to get a crack at this thing. Can we make this series interesting? Yes, but the boys have to play desperate for 3 periods. Losing Hossa and Shaw has really hurt. The Yotes have some guys out as well, but their team system is strong and they have adapted. We have not. Looks like wait till next year, but finishing off a team is the hardest thing to do in the
    SCP. Lets go Hawks!

  • April 20, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Each of these games leaves me wanting to kick my dog.

    In all honesty I think we have a youth problem. Too many guys wide eyed and no stabilizing veteran like Ladd was a few years ago. To make it worse, one of those wide eyed is in net.

    While I understand what Bowman was trying to do with the veterans he brought in, I think he missed the mark with most of them. O’Donnel, Montador, Lepisto, Brunette, Mayers, Carcillo, Morrison and Oduya….I think the only ones I’d like to see for a second season are Oduya and MAYBE Mayers. Otherwise I’d like to see half of these guys replaced with different veterans and half of them replaced with youngsters coming up. Thoughts?

  • April 20, 2012 at 9:01 am

    This was so incredibly frustrating to watch.

    I am still angry this morning.

  • April 20, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Seems that we all share the same feelings about what has been going on. Can someone tell me how this team finds the next level of play or do they even have one. No sustainable play on the offensive end and bad turnovers on the defensive side. It’s become their trademark in all 4 games. What can they do that’s different, I’m all ears.

  • April 20, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Meh, I think a lot of the angst is misplaced here.

    Watching Phoenix from the 300 lvl coincidentally, they do a very good job limiting free point shots (or Hawk killers as it were) and they allow nothing up the middle. Idiots in the stands kept screaming for shots but there was no way the puck was getting through the Coyotes players clogging the middle.

    First, the Hawks have not adjusted at all to this. Kaner is still trying to weave through 3 guys but when it comes down to it, there is no one creating space for him and Phoenix is making it a point to neutralize his efforts. This is the type of series a bull of a player like Hossa is essential and him not in the line-up to keep them “honest” is a big obstacle for the Hawks.

    Also the defensive coverage is pretty bad, Leddy looks overwhelmed and both Sweeds seem a bit out of sorts. Crawford is what he is.

    The fact that they have made it this close is pretty telling how strong the “core” is. They’re having the same issue Detroit is having with Nashville in a lot of defensive oops, a garbage power play and no true power forward to assert their will on the game.

  • April 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Tab –

    I was to hear you out on this: Do you think we need a scheme change. I think everyone knows the approach to the “power” play needs to change, with most calling for Kitchen’s ouster. But I look at our D, and it is deeply problematic. That’s the difference in this series – PHX’s D is like Nashville, aggressive, blocks shots from up top, swarms the puck carrier when he gets in close, and is tough around the boards. Ours, by contrast, is passive, rather weak around the boards, fails to block shots from the top, and allows players to hang out in front of the net untouched.

    I also think our offensive scheme needs to change. Q has said a couple of times that the players are looking for a pretty play rather than just getting pucks to the net. Well, there is no one close to the net to capitalize on a rebound or redirect the shot. And, there is dismal puck support and cycling. One of the major differences b/w these two teams is that Chicago can’t clear the puck while PHX can and, moreover, that PHX stifles Chicago at center ice where Chicago doesn’t return the favor. PHX is winning because they have outschemed CHicago, and I think this last game we’ve seen the limits of efforts without sound scheme. Chicago dominated the game, giving PHX little time and limited shots, but in the end, effort alone isn’t effective.

    It is infuriating to watch a more talented team be gobbled up and exploited by a team whose start is 40yr old Shane Doan. Really, this shouldn’t happen. And to me it’s clear that the difference is scheme – PHX players are where they need to be, offensively and defensively, to be effective. And I can’t think of any explanation other than the coach isn’t motivating the players and is not scheming successfully.

    I say that as one who loves Q. I’d rather him stick around. He obviously wants his players to play clean, sound hockey. I like that. But I just can’t help but look at the way we play as the problem, not the players. It seems like our players are playing hard, but they’re just not in the right position to be effective – that seems like a problem of scheme to me. Am I wrong?

  • April 20, 2012 at 9:35 am

    wow. Before we chuck Crow under the bus let’s not forget that he kept us in games 1 and 2. He may have let up two shit goals in OT gms 3 & 4 but we also probably aren’t in OT without his effort.

    Our offense is killing us. We have 40 shots a game but the quality shots are poor. We’re not getting to the rebounds with very few exceptions. Our PP is embarrassing. We can’t beat anyone 1-on-1 in the zone to create broken odd man advantages.

    Our transition looked pretty good. PHX has been taking away the stretch pass but it was there most of the night tonight.

  • April 20, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I think a large amount of the problem is on the defensemen. They can’t win board battles and if they ever do they immediately try to go off the boards and out instead of staying calm and making an outlet pass. We have too many of the same D Men. The only guy willing to play the body and be strong against the boards is Seabrook, everyone else pokes at the puck and scurries away before pinning someone down and taking the puck away. Dylan Olsen seems to be on the same level as Seabrook as far as being physical enough to make a difference next year… but Keith, Leddy, Hammer… they are all the same.

    And as far as the power play goes- Why do they use two people of the same handedness at the points? Why!? That means a one timer is capable of coming from one of them and it makes it difficult to pass it back and forth. Both units have guys with the same shot and it makes me want to Weber-Smash Mike Kithcen. All successful power plays do the same damn thing. Enter the zone, park someone in front, get a point shot, get it on net. Also, I’m so sick of seeing Keith on the power play. If you doubled the size of the net he would still have trouble being on target. It’s become a joke. He either misses 4 feet wide or he waits until someone is in a good position to block his shot and burries it in his shin guards.

    I thought this was going to be an easy series for them but they have shown a complete inability to adjust.

  • April 20, 2012 at 9:58 am

    @ James M – I’m not sure the scheme is to make pretty plays. With 40+ shots a game, it’s clear we want rebound goals. Not one-timers.

    PHX is winning because they are living and dying by the defensive sword. And for now it’s working for them. Their defense gets lots of praise at the moment because the Hawks are forcing them to play a shit ton of defense. Is that good thing for PHX? For now it is. And the dip shit color commentators of NBC really have nothing else to talk about other than what’s directly in front of their nose so don’t let that fool you.

    Statistically, Chicago is dominating game play, we have more PPs, more shots, and more scoring chances. But PHX has countered adequately with the opportunities they’ve had. If we had given up 3 last minute goals, you can bet your ass the City would be going bat shit crazy.

    Phoenix has nothing to lose. And they’re playing like it.

  • April 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

    @McKay – yeah, I don’t think Q says “Wait around for the pretty play,” but at the same time he himself has said a few times this year that that’s what his players do too often. Toews has echoes this observation. It just seems to me that the hawks rely on their finesse more than discipline and strategy, and I think we’ve seen the limits of finesse and effort. Whose fault is that? Sure, the players. But at the end of the day, shouldn’t that be called out in practice, and should practices make sure players are in the right place doing the right things…

  • April 20, 2012 at 11:07 am

    James M- i am seeing the same thing you are… the inability for the D to get out of zone + the smothering of passing lanes thru the middle of the ice by Phoenix is the main problem… Yotes are executing this system as well as any team in league… I have not seen the Hawks look this helpless passing the puck thru the middle of the ice all year… seems Yotes will pressure passing lane on puck handler and sit or zone the places the Hawks like to go… when Hawks forecheck they seem to skate more, where as Yotes seem to stagger D and play the lanes and take timing away, so when Hawks do get a pass they aren’t moving much….

    the shot differential is misleading… most of these shots are w/ a defender “shadowing” or hanging on Hawks arm…

    Leddy, Oduya… very good skaters but wimps in front of net… Odon- just old and bad.
    Seabrook is only stud on D… and we greatly miss Campbell!!!!!!
    Bottom line- alot of people here think Hawks are “faster”… I don’t see it!
    Hawks should have pulled trigger on Doan in mid year!!!

  • April 20, 2012 at 11:27 am

    First off, that overtime goal just can’t get past Crawford. It wasn’t even a shot. Our defense messed up there but Crawford has to stop that from getting in. I honestly feel that Crawford would have done better there if it was a penalty shot. Doan made a great play on Oduya. I think Oduya has been great but that was a bad play and I also think he was slow in getting back to stop the rebound goal. O’Donnell is too old and slow, same with Brunette. Morrison came through for us but I feel that it was a desperation move. There is zero doubt in my mind that we have more talent and that we are the better team, but Phoenix is getting every break there is. They are benefitting from the dirty Torres hit and suspending Torres doesn’t even that out. Something else needs to be done to even out this series. 3 games and a 5 minute penalty and game misconduct for Shaw and Torres stays in the game without a penalty after almost killing our best player. Unbelieveable.

  • April 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Yea boys, that’s (2) overtimes in a row where we just can’t get it done. Our depth after our top line is questonable on “D” ad “O”. Our goalie can’t seem to make a game changing save, either. I seems that every goal that we let up is because of a turnover or we’re out of position. Plus, Phoenix is really strong on the boards and for the most part, we are very passive on the boards.

    What to do? Well, let’s start Emery in the net. Oduya gave up the puck, but he’s still quicker than O’Donnel. Lepisto instead of Leddy. Hayes instead of Bollig. Leave Saad where he was. Let Olsen take a regular shift on “D” and see what he can do. Put Kane, Sharp and Toews on a line and LEAVE THEM ALONE.

    We have nothing to lose…….right? So let’s get a little more size and speed up front and a little more youth on “D”. I hate to think about this, but Q may put Crawford back in the net. He may use the old saying, “he started this, let him finish it”. Plus, Emery hasn’t played in awhile. But I still would rather see Emery, win or lose.

  • April 20, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I agree Crow HAS to stop those easy goals!!!!

    But I have been to a couple of the recent open practices and Emery hasn’t stopped anything! Scary Bad!!!

    IMO- Hawks should have let Carter Hutton have at least one of the last two games… Emery was supposedly sick and Hutton on bench… if not for this year then for next…

  • April 20, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Guys Emery is slow post to post with that bad hip. I can’t get over that. But Crawfords soft goals are KILLING the Hawks. Since were second guessing, why didn’t we pick up Vermette at the deadline. Not to be a baby, but the NHL has hurt the Hawks in this series. There is no doubt about that in my mind with the Shaw suspension and Torres staying in the game after he tried to kill Hossa. That is just incredible to me.

  • April 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

    These four games should have never even gone into overtime. As much as it is easy to hang this one on Crawford, we can’t overlook how bad this power play has been throughout the regular season and more so in the playoffs. Something to work on in September and October?? This team was built for a wide open back and forth quick paced game; though Coyotes have been successful to slow it down to a “grind it out style” which has us at a disadvantage. Why? because we are smaller and because no one likes to camp out in the crease. It was a breath of fresh air to occasionally see the 180 pound Shaw play the roll of Bfugylien and stand near the goal and take his licks. His absense can’t be underestimated. Frustrating.

  • April 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    The guys that get paid the most decided not to show up! Kane, Sharp, Hossa, Seabrook, Bolland, Crawford, etc. should get out of the way and let the rookies play. These guys are soft spectators and the league has figured that out.

  • April 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    @A. B.–I’ll be happy to see Mayers as a depth 4th line guy again next year. But Oduya? As a #6 depth d-man for $1.5M, I’d be fine seeing him again. I hope we don’t offer close to the $3M salary he’ll probably seek. That turnover last night isn’t a one time thing–within a few weeks of his arrival (Tab: this didn’t just start in the playoffs) he’s been losing pucks and battles low in the d-zone, giving up prime scoring chances/goals. Not OK for a top 4, $3M+ d-man.

    @McKay: I agree, people are overlooking the offensive problem. Crow’s played 6 OT playoff games in a row with a 2-4 record. I’m not a huge Crawford fan, but I do want to make sure we’re realistic about this and don’t get too down on him for the bad taste those losing goals in OT leave; he didn’t give up more than 2 goals in regulation in any of the 4 OT loses. If the team wins him one of those 4 games, we aren’t having this conversation (he either beat Van last year in an epic comeback, or we’re tied 2-2 with the Yotes right now). 4 OT loses for this TEAM in their last 6 playoff games, and they didn’t score more than 2 goals in any of them. He needs to step up (when he gets another chance), but the problems with this team don’t start/end with Crow. @A. B.’s comment touches on a big part of it–we have too many role players hitching a ride on our talented core guys (@AJ–totally agree).

    @James M–also agree–we need to get that simple, chip/chase/hit game back that won us a cup. Go back and watch some of those games–the Hawks got pucks deep, made D turn and work, and wore down the will of their opponents.

  • April 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    If this is a multiple choice question the answer is all of the above. I am a season ticket holder and have seen the same things over and over and have heard we need to make this better over and over.

    I don’t know why but, our starts at home have been atrocious. They have never used the UC to their advantage. When was the last time they came out of the gate and pinned a team back and scored 3 or 4 goals ? The last time that I can think of was game 5 of the Finals. We let teams dictate the pace of the game and when we do that it is not to our advantage. When you do not move your feet you make the other team better than it really is. What more motivation do you need than to have one of your best players laid out on a dirty hit. Then come out in the next game and do the Tennessee Waltz for 20 minutes. This team as a whole has no fire and they have lost their swagger. The 07-08 team that did not make the playoffs would have beaten this Phoenix team. Because that team played hard from opening faceoff till the last whistle.

    I am frustrated because you only have a small time frame to win championships and I see that slipping away. I saw them win the cup in 61 and thought as long as we had Hull and Mikita we would win a few more well, we all know how that turned out. I am not one to rant and rave we should do this and we shouldn’t do that. If I was that smart I would be doing that for a living and just not being a fan.

  • April 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I had a real hard time watching that Sharp and Kane line. In my opinion Sharp and Kane are two seperate style hockey players and that being said Sharp works well with Stalberg and Kane works well with Toews. Thats what I thought they should have done last night. Next year im personally hoping to see Kane with Toews on a line and Sharp with Hossa on a line. To me that makes more sense am I wrong on this? Anyways I thought Saad had a great first NHL Playoff game, sure the stats are bare but watching him play everytime he was on the ice he always stripped the puck away and created chances. He stayed cool under pressure too which is always good. Other than that your absolutely right on Crawford. Seeing that ot goal behind Crawford’s net in the 300 level yesterday had our whole section stunned. That was a really bad goal. Bring in Emery and hope for the best.

  • April 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    No one would blame a lion for killing a gazzelle – that’s what lions do. Nor should Crawford be blamed for making lot’s of saves to keep the Hawks in the game and then letting in a softie – that’s what average goalies do. No – the blame should be placed at the doorstep of Stan Bowman and the Hawk’s braintrust, such as it is, for constructing a team that requires an above average goalie to win. The Hawks are a soft team that loses the majority of board battles which renders their supposed puck possession game ineffective and unproductive when playing against tough playoff level teams. Couple that (literal) physical weakness with undisciplined play and mental lapses that seem to be regular occurances … and you have a team with some sexy names on the roster but no chance at winning the Cup.

    Either get an elite goalie or construct a team that is tough enough mentally and physically to not expose an average goalie.

  • April 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    If you look at the western conference before the playoffs started, all of the teams with the better defense and better goal tending are up 3 games to 1, that is the bottom line. While Smith has allowed 2 weak goals in the series, neither was as weak, or at a critical time like Crawford’s both were in overtime. I am not sure how Q plays him the next game, he probably has no confidence and I doubt the team has any for him at this point. We likely see Ray.

    We can complain all we want about officiating, Shaw and Hossa being out too, but the bottom line is, the hawks have had plenty of PP chances and failed. The Coyotes have 3 of there top 9 forwards out, and they still play the same game. If Q could clone Keith and Seabrook, they could play all the minutes, instead of 50% of the minutes, and this would limit turnovers, but he obviously can’t.

    The Hawks look like they are being out coached. The top players rely on skill, the lesser players follow no system. Phoenix is doing all the little things, completing checks, less turnovers, winning one on one battles, playing a system, all the things you need to do to win. Smith is better, but the Hawks have been out worked, unless that changes, they could be done Saturday. The good news is the Hawks are capable of winning 3 straight, anything can happen in hockey.

  • April 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Look at the size of the players in the minors. This current team is not what Bowman wants as his ideal roster. Before you jump on the Bowman sucks bandwagon understand that he’s trying to put together a team that can win for years to come and he didn’t want to sell that away when he didn’t feel like they had a good chance at winning this year.

    And where do you people think good goalies come from? Mike Smith was released by Tampa Bay… Luongo was hilghly regarded as the best goalie in the league for years (and got paid like it), now he doesn’t have a starting job. Obviously the Hawks would love to have a great goalie, but they don’t just fall out of trees. Also, have fun playing goalie when you know you’re screwed if you let in more than 2 goals and your team likes to give the opposition odd man breaks every few minutes.

  • April 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    To me its a very obvious fact that Torres should have been given a 5 minute major and a game misconduct on that hit on Hossa. 4 officials can’t see that obvious call with the biggest head hunter in the NHL the culprit. Torres had been pushing the envelope and looking for a big hit all series. What happened was inevitable as the officials did absolutely nothing to rein him in. We don’t lose game 3 IMO if the officials make the right call there. You can call it crying about the official all you want but we got screwed there in a huge way and its not right. Phoenix has received every possible break from the NHL and the officials. I hate to allege this but at what point does the fact that the NHL owns the Coyotes come into this. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

  • April 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Broken record I know, but sad to say I told you all so.

    Phoenix is the better team. We may have more pure talent, but our role players can’t play roles. Phoenix (and most of the teams in the playoffs) manhandle us. We are soft on the puck in traffic, get pushed off it seemingly with ease. They have a better goalie so even if we get more chances it’s not going to count for much. Every other battle besides scoring chances we seem to be owned in. Physical play, goal-tending, defense, special teams, we are just not playoff caliber in any of those categories. All that offensive 5 on 5 skill is great in the regular season, but with Brouwer, Byfuglien, Madden and Eager missing from the cup team we can’t wear them down physically. With Campbell missing we have no power play. With two time cup winner Ladd missing we have a huge leadership and two-way hole we have never replaced. And with only 2 star defensemen and only 5 legitimate defensive starters, we have no defense. And all that was even before Hossa went down and Shaw got suspended. But Vrbata hasn’t even broke a sweat against us yet. What happens when he starts doing his thing? We get beat in regulation instead of overtime, that’s what.

    From an organizational standpoint, we have known we have needed a number 2 center for what, 3 years now? Should we have traded a garbage goalie and a 2nd and 5th rounder for Vermette? Absolutely, yes. Stan really screwed the pooch on that one. Vermette would be the leading point scorer, goal scorer and power play goal scorer on the Hawks if we have acquired him. Plus he has been almost as good on the dot at face-offs as superstar Johnny Toews. But we didn’t, so now he is helping beat us.

    As far as all the talk about prospects goes, perhaps we have a great team for the “future”, but only the “future” will actually tell us that. These so-called “excellent prospects” could end up as total busts. At “present”, our team is a mediocre regular season team that lacks the depth and the toughness to go deep in the playoffs. And it is really depressing to say we are “in a rebuilding phase, waiting for prospects to develop”, when we have a 23 year old captain and are 2 years removed from the cup.

    Enough said. Good luck to Phoenix in the second round. Bowman should really be on the clock now, because he was handed a Stanley Cup team and his own personal moves / non moves have not paid off at all. Apparently we are rebuilding. As I fan I hope he starts building something.

  • April 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Pete-Are you implying the Hawks would have scored with a 5 minute power play? They seem to be even more complacent when they have an advantage for five minutes. The Kitchen devised PP controls the perimeter and not much else. There’s no urgency, no one on front of the net. It seems the Hawks are capable of playing with that urgency since in every game they’ve stormed the net and scored in the final minutes to gain a tie.
    Let’s see that urgency on the next power play.

  • April 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Ok. On the trading nonsense. No one knows what any of the other teams were asking for from the Hawks. Most of the rumors have stated Saad or Kane were what other teams were asking for or inquiring about.

    Just because they unloaded him for a random goalie and two picks to Phoenix does not mean he goes to Chicago for that same price. Especially taking into account that Columbus and Chicago are division rivals. Absolutely ridiculous assumption, congratulations on listing to the Score and regurgitating what those “experts” keep trying to sell.

    The big name player from the Jackets (Carter / Nash) whoever it was did not come here because they specifically asked for Kane according to the rumors floating around.

    Bowman was not handed a Cup team. The team he ended up with was half the Cup team since Tallon forgot how to do math. You also realize that Campbell rarely played on the power play here… And Andrew Ladd was one of the whipping boys the Cup year because he didn’t score enough… Congratulations on following the team the last few years.

    Fact: Healthy and suspension free this team can beat any other team in the NHL and have a chance to do damage. 2 important roster players down with a less than 100% Toews kind of throws a wrench in that machine.

  • April 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Don’t forget about all the bad free agent signings without being able to list one free agent they should have aquired instead, AJ.

    And the Power Play is a SERIOUS problem. This team is built to score on the power play. Instead of crying “Why don’t Hawks hit more people? Why don’t the Hawks block more shots?” And the answer is because you can’t hit people when you have the puck, and you can’t block shots when you spend most of the time in the other zone (or having both defensemen behind the net losing board battles).

    The Hawks are built to possess the puck, draw penalties, and get the other teams playing from behind. Phoenix hasn’t been down in the series enough to force them to pinch on offense. Pinching on offense means more odd man breaks.

  • April 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Incredible…there are 50 posters and 50 different ideas on what the Hawks problems are…and no one wants to state the obvious…we are NOT a Stanley Cup champion right now…most of you think that this team is SO GOOD, I mean we have to be right? We won the bloody Cup only 2 years ago…

    But this ISN’T the same team, not even close…most of you (as indicative of sheeple) drink the koolaid laid out in front of you without ever thinking…Stan Bowman told you he kept the core and everything will be alright…Tab told you that trading Buff and Ladd were the smart plays because their value would never be higher, and we all agreed that trading Campbell for a $3.5 million log was brilliant as well.

    Well guess what, all those comments were in code…they have to be…Bowman needs you to buy your season’s tickets and Tab needs interested readers…like someone here posted, look at the players that Bowman has drafted since he took over…they are majorly different from what we have here now…he is grooming a group of BIG, smart, high character guys to help the Blackhawks get back to the top, and they will…make no bones about it….while Bowman’s stop gap measures clearly haven’t worked (Brunette and Morrison??? Really???), he is a smart guy, with a phenomenal drafting record, and championship teams are built through the draft…Toews, hopefully Kane, Sharp, Stahlberg, Bolland, Kruger, Shaw, Bickell, Bollig, Hayes…they are all going to get better…another 2 or 3 years will find them at the top of their respective games, it will also find Brandon Saad, Dylan Olsen, Mark McNeil, Phillip Danault, Rensfedlt, Nordstrom, Kevin Hayes, Joe Lavin, Holl, etc, etc, etc…also all ready to contribute…this organization is loaded, not thanks to Dale Tallon, who won a Cup at ALL COSTS, but due to Stan Bowman who knows there is no way to cut corners on building talent.

    That is why most of us felt that this past summer he needed to go out and get a true Top 4 Dman and a 2nd line Centre…he didn’t…he trusted in his core to compensate, and they haven’t, and he trusted that his 2nd year goalie CC would blossom, he hasn’t. This has put enormous pressure on the D to be perfect every night and they’re not, not even close…so the forwards have to compensate in the defensive zone, and then make full length rushes into the offensive zone…they are TIRED, besides Crawford, why do you think we have such a poor OT record…

    It is what it is…no ONE person is to blame…Tallon had orders to build a winner at all costs, and he did…Stan Bowman was asked to repair the major problems that Tallon created, and he is doing it, but it takes time…right now we are a pretty good team that might be able to make a push in the playoffs with GREAT goaltending…we are not getting it, and thus we are on the brink of elimination…with or without Hossa, we just lost 2 games in a row at HOME…this is not the hallmark of a great team or a Stanley Cup champion…

    This is why everyone of my posts about this series has said the same thing…we have to win the goalie battle to win this series…we haven’t and we are losing…

    The good news??? Next year we will be a little better, but not a champion, but in 2 years time and then for the next few, we should be one of the best teams in hockey, if not the best…its just not this season!

  • April 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Sorry, one more thing…back off Leddy…he is still incredibly young, and has contributed a lot this season…does he struggle at times? Yes, but a lot of that has been who he has been paired with…if Leddy played with Seabs, what would his season have looked like??? The problem is, this team, right now, has only ONE Seabrook type DMan and a million Duncan Keiths…we need more Seabrooks

  • April 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    My opinion is that we win game 3 if the officials do their job and call Torres for a 5 minute major and toss him from the game. I admit its pure speculation. My thought is that Torres was having an impact and his absence would remove that plus stress the rest of the Phoenix lineup in terms of minutes and also the stress of a 5 minute power play plus we could well have scored on that PP. The game was very close as it was and I think that would have made the difference. I also think psychologically having Hossa taken off on a stretcher with Torres then still skating around afterwards was not good for us. Again, I realize that I am speculating but that is just how I feel. And yes I am very angry about the Torres thing. I think Hawks fans have some valid points about who is on the team etc, but this Torres thing just angers me and Phoenix is benefitting from his antics. So I am mad at Phoenix and the League for letting them get away with it. Am I bitter. Yes I am bitter.

  • April 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    @AJ: Ugh. You take a well researched argument and spew of 10 minutes worth of BS to try and invalidate it. I have followed the team, and what’s more, I have done the research. Here it is:

    Campbell was second only to Keith in PP TOI during the 2010 cup winning playoff run. More than Seabrook. That is not “rare”. He may not have scored much but his puck movement from defensive zone to offensive zone was invaluable. Only Kane even comes close to his abilities in that area.

    If Don Maloney can make the Vermette deal but Stan Bowman can’t, that just means Stan Bowman is not as good a GM. It is his job to make deals. He has been failing at that job. This is well documented. I’m sure Columbus tried to pick Maloney’s pocket initially also. Maybe we couldn’t have got him as cheap given he is “in division” (which with the new schedule doesn’t mean all that much anymore anyway), but we could have got him without Saad or Kane. We needed at number 2 center and there was one available on a selling team. We didn’t go out and get him. That is a FAIL, simple as that. You don’t give someone a passing grade for not doing his job, and I fail to see why so many fans seem to be willing to do just that. Do you get paid if you don’t do your job? Cause I don’t.

    Ladd plays a two way game and was matched up against the top line of each of the 4 teams the Hawks faced. This is called the “checking line”. How much do you know about hockey? The “checking line’s” primary job is NOT to score, it is to stop the other team from scoring, and wear them down. Ladd was a plus 4 in 19 games against the opponents’ TOP line during the 2010 Stanley Cup winning Blackhawks. Mission accomplished for a checking line.

    And you conveniently don’t mention my other points. We have lost all of our size. We are soft out there because we don’t have the big bodies of Buff, Madden, Brouwer etc. All our big guys are good for 2 minutes ice time and two or more minutes in the penalty box per game….

    Seriously, Tallon has won more games this playoffs than we have with minimal money. He may even make it to the second round. Unless we can win 3 straight we really don’t have the right to criticize Tallon this year….

  • April 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    @Brad: Well written and insightful. I hope we do get better, we shall see if Bowman is brilliant at building through the draft. I will hold off on declaring him brilliant until we make a deep run with “his guys” though. And so far, not so good. But you are right, there is always next year….

  • April 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Not to mention that Rocky is approaching 200 straight sellouts, so one could argue that the team is perfect as it is. Don’t spend the cap, put an OK product on the ice with a few flashy stars, and sell out every game. From a business standpoint nothing more needs to be done.

  • April 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm


    Keith had over a half hour of more PP time than Campbell who had the 6th most on the team. 230:32 vs 197:15 not even close. 7th in points (Campbell was). Kane, Toews, Keith and Sharp were what made that PP go (plus Buff in the playoffs) unquestionably. Arguing otherwise is a blatant misrepresentation of how that season went.

    I am not arguing with you about Ladd’s value or role on the team… I spent most of that year defending Ladd’s and Bolland’s lack of production to ignorant fans and idiots on the radio. But no one missed him until he was gone and that is a fact. After him and Buff were unloaded the return was seen as “good” by most experts in an impossible situation created by Tallon.

    Pure speculation about trades in the NHL and what teams ask for; you don’t know what was on the table or what reasonable or unreasonable offer was put on Bowman’s table. Kane had an awful lot of success as the 2nd pivot so why mess with what works, especially if a team is allegedly trying to fleece you? Really? That’s a smart decision? Easy to say today but 3 months ago not so much. A little perspective would be appreciated.

    Madden was far from big or physically imposing, great point. Buff was moved because he was a headcase that would rather play defense than be the best power forward in the league and looked mediocre on the back line with the Hawks, big loss there. Bickell makes 1/3rd the salary of Brouwer and they were wrong on the assumption he could fill those shoes. Mistakes happen.

    Any GM that pays Kopecky 3mil over 4 years should be fired and committed. Awesome how that team backed into the playoffs with an absurd amount of loser points. Which is the only reason they got in.

    Seriously though, keep the Zawaski quotes coming your understanding of the game is clearly infallible.

  • April 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Make no mistake, Brad – I don’t think we’re good enough to make the cup, but we’re good enough to beat PHX.

  • April 20, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    @AJ: Keep thinking that this is an elite team as it then. That they don’t have problems and that management is not accountable when they do have problems. What do I care?

  • April 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Rather I should say that management should not be held accountable when they have problems – i.e. “mistakes happen”. And, “you don’t know what was on the table or what reasonable or unreasonable offer was put on Bowman’s table.” so we should call him a genius even though the “unreasonable offer” was for a guy who is the leading scorer and face-off man on the team that is currently beating us.

  • April 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    ……I have been a Black Hawk fan since I was five years old and probably always will be but to lose to the Coyotes has to be the ultimate humiliation……the only consolation is Vancouver, Detroit and possibly New York are heading down that star studded path as well….we can speculate that since the NHL owns the Coyotes there may be a secret agenda to milk this series and produce more revenue by pulling strings to enable Phoenix to succeed……nah that only happens in Seria A Soccer in Italy…..but a goal disallowed and Torres not drawing a penalty on his brutal hit on Hossa makes me wonder…..don’t worry about it the Black Hawks wouldn’t have scored on the power play anyway……..

  • April 20, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Were you five years old before or after the Black Hawks formally changed the team name to Blackhawks (one word)?

  • April 20, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    ……..sorry about that Tab……

  • April 21, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Way to welcome in a new customer Tab. Pretty typical. Either verbally abuse them or ban them altogether. Nice of you to let this one off with a simple cheap shot right to the intelligence. No one will ever call you Raffi Torres though, cause…. I forget, why again?

  • April 21, 2012 at 5:00 am

    ……Thanks Dominic, I can challenge our friend Tabby here to a spelling bee anytime…….

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