Blackhawks Win… Again

The Blackhawks won. Again.

And, as has become the trend with this team, the superstars stole headlines while role players made a major impact.

When Michal Rozsival signed a one-year contract with the Blackhawks this summer it was overlooked by many. After being among the ice time leaders among defensemen for the Coyotes last year, he was viewed as a nice depth addition.

In his first nine games with Chicago this year, Rozsival has seven assists already; he posted only 13 points in 54 games with Phoenix last season.

Rozsival was credited with two assists in Monday night’s thriller at the United Center, leading a rush that set up Viktor Stalberg’s game-tying goal in early in the third and then receiving the second assist on Marian Hossa’s game-winner in overtime. He was also credited with three hits in the game.

Rozsival was just one of the Hawks players that isn’t yet a household name making a huge difference in the game.

Marcus Kruger continued his fantastic start to the season with another strong performance. He won nine of 13 faceoffs and was credited with the primary assist on Patrick Kane’s powerplay goal early in the first period.

Daniel Carcillo was once again on the Hawks’ fourth line, but was a wrecking ball throughout. He was credited with a team-high six hits in the game while skating only 10:21 on the night.

The Hawks were trailing early, when a blowout by Duncan Keith gave the Oilers a golden short-handed opportunity that Jeff Petry capitalized on during the first Hawks powerplay. But Kane answered 62 seconds later with his team-leading tenth goal of the season.

Edmonton took the lead again with a powerplay goal from Nail Yakupov in the second, and the Oilers took that lead into the third period.

But in the third, the Hawks looked like anything but a team playing for the third time in four nights. Between the third period and overtime, Chicago outshot Edmonton 16-5 to take control of the game.

Ray Emery stayed undefeated on the season, improving to 8-0-0 with 17 saves.

For the Hawks, Nick Leddy and Patrick Sharp were also credited with assists in the game.

On the blue line, coach Joel Quenneville once again spread out the ice time well.

After his blowout, Keith missed a significant part of the first period; he skated only 16:43 in the game. Brent Seabrook saw only 19:22 in the game, while Rozsival (20:02), Johnny Oduya (24:53) and Niklas Hjalmarsson (23:42) carried the bulk of the ice time.

Leddy was credited with four hits and two blocked shots in 16:34 in addition to his assist.

The Blackhawks finished an incredible seven-game homstand 6-0-1, and remain on top of the NHL.

NOTE: the assist on the game-winner was the 400th point of Sharp’s career.

44 thoughts on “Blackhawks Win… Again

  • February 26, 2013 at 6:18 am

    Just checking the standings… after 19 games the Hawks are a +24. Good god.

    The next highest is PIT w/ +17. ANA is the only team in the West any where near double-digits with a +12. Hawks are top 3 in goals for and bottom 2 in goal allowed.

    Go Hawks Go.

  • February 26, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Great summary. I just don’t understand why Q switched Carcillo and Saad for a while last night. Saad just seems to work the cycle with Toews and Hoss better than Carcillo. And speed… contest.

    Agreed, Kruger is playing excellent hockey. He and Bolland competing for 2cd line duties is a great thing for the Hawks.

    Rosival is a great addition to the D. I hope Bowman signs him to a two year deal before the season ends. He is not that fast and has coughed up the puck a few times. But given some time in the system he will provide tough quality minutes and make fewer mistakes. Brookbank has also proved a good addition.

  • February 26, 2013 at 8:11 am

    For a few games, I’ve been really impressed with Rozsival – he’s pretty solid on defense and can be quick to jump in on offense with shots or pinches. I’m like the direction of Carcillo’s game – he’s getting in there and getting chances. Sometimes he seems a little lax, a weak stick here and there, but most of the time, high energy, good positioning, etc.

    It’s stupid to complain about anything when they’re winning like this, so I’ll just imagine what it would be like if the powerplay had a bit more push and success.

  • February 26, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Pretty impressive game. Was great watching the movement from the Oilers on their PP’s. Surprising to me that they are more successful than the Hawks strategy of “stand still and let Patrick Kane do something fancy.”

    Was great seeing how much desire they had in that third period. Everyone on the team wanted to score that GWG and they were digging hard.

    I have no idea why Q keeps putting Carcillo on the first line. Saad is so much better at everything. Carcillo looks out of place and he doesn’t understand where he is supposed to be for cycles. I’d maybe understand it if Kruger was still on the 4th line because then they would be able to have some decent scoring chances with 67-16-20… but being on that 4th line is a waste of Saad’s talent.

    Emery seemed nervous all game, but hey, he stopped enough pucks to get the W.

    I hope Bolland’s dome heals soon. 6:50 ice time for Mayers does not make for good hockey.

  • February 26, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Re: Saad- Perhaps Q sees it the same way as I see it… Saad has great speed, a great stick… way better than Cbomb… but Saad and 19-81 don’t always seem to be on same page. Realistically most of 19-81-Saad’s goals have come on PP or great individual plays!!! There have not been any great set-ups like Bix to Shaw the other nite!

    I have been saying this for two weeks- C-bomb is not better than Saad- but he is a pro and knows when/where to get 19-81 the puck- and he knows when to get out of the way of those 2 studs!
    Perfect example- last nite 3 on 2… Hoss passes to Saad in between circles- Saad overpasses to 19 on far left wing- leaving Toews no shot/horrible angle- poor decision.
    It seemed like after that Saad was moved around a lot.
    Also, Saad on 4th gives u speed vs. 3rd pair + a lot of good D- especially if 16 is on 2nd line.

  • February 26, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I counted no less that 5 stellar accurate passes from Rozsival – deep in the Hawks zone – right to the Hawk forward near the blue line, allowing for a clean entry into the Oilers zone. He’s got some great skills, and some good size. What an upgrade from O’Donnell and Lepisto.

  • February 26, 2013 at 9:15 am

    re: Saad & Carcillo on the top line – Quenneville moved Carcillo up for one shift after Saad was in the box for the second time in the game. The move clearly wasn’t permanent, and shouldn’t be. Carcillo’s a bottom-six forward, Saad’s a top-six forward.

    And with all due respect to wall’s comment about “most of 19-81-Saad’s goals have come on PP,” only 4 of 16 goals from Toews & Hossa have been on PP and Saad doesn’t have a point on PP yet this year. Indeed, those three have almost never been on the ice together on PP. Saad has given great effort in every zone and continues to improve; just because he hasn’t found the back of the net as often as a guy like Yakupov doesn’t mean he isn’t playing well. Are there rookie moments? Sure. But I would rather have a highly skilled player making plays (and trying to make plays) on that line and have Carcillo’s energy where it belongs: on the fourth line.

  • February 26, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I’m not all for individual flashy plays when the team game is usually more appropriate, but what Sharp did to the Oilers just before Hossa’s put back was sick. He held the puck and skated for about 30 seconds, pulling two of the Oilers way out of position. That is why Hossa was able to spend 5 seconds by himself in front of the net just he and the goalie…Notice an Oiler player doesn’t get in the screen until the very last second after Hossa takes his 2nd or 3rd whack at the puck.

  • February 26, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Carcillo started the third period on the top line and had multiple shifts with them throughout the period. I’m hoping it was just Q punishing Saad for stupid penalties, but it definitely seems like he has a hard on for Carcillo.

    Peter- Was an amazing individual effort by Sharp, but how bad is the defense of Edmonton? Followed him with terrible position and allowed him to turn around easily, and then the other guy just let him skate to the front of the net without trying to cut off his angle. Awful.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Saad has zero assists. There is a problem if a guy can’t play with two of the best players in the league and produce a helper. I am with wall and that I think that Carcillo is a better fit on the top line. Saad’s game as it stands now does not fit well with 19/81. This is not a knock on Saad, he has gotten better this year no doubt. A solid addition to our lineup. Carcillo in jr’s was almost a point a game guy. He has more skill than people realize and has played on skilled lines before. Q has an interesting decision here.
    Hossa postgame mentioned Johnny is fustrated.
    When we as fans are going back and forth on this, it’s a good sign. Boy is this team good.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Tab, goals have come on PP AND Individual efforts for 1st line…

    please don’t make me prove my point.

    Saad Shortie
    Hossa 2 OT goals ( Saad not on ice)
    Toews muscles thru Phx ( by himself)
    Saad beats man one on one ( by himself)

    I love Saad- remember I was the guy who said 2 weeks ago Saad should be on PK…
    And he will score some shorties… Guess what – he scored on PK 2 games ago.

    Name one goal that the other 2 forwards assisted on for the 1st line-NONE

    Saad is way better than C-bomb-yes!
    Great fore-checking line- but passing chemistry is not there yet- w/ Saad.
    Hawks Winning and that is great!!!!

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Two other things. Like JS says I hope Carcillo on the top line was punishing Saad for the 2nd penalty, which is inexcusable. Saad should be back on the top line Thursday.

    Second, the celebration with Hossa at the glass was big for the entire team and took a long time. I love that the Hawks still remember last year and being waxed by the Oilers. The team couldn’t give a crap about the streak last night (which is how it should be) and, at least in my opinion, really wanted to win that one game last night. Fantastic.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Speaking of that post game celebration…….

    Did you see how Saad kinda quickly congratulated Hoss? Like it was awkward kind of?

    Then Carcillo gives Hoss a big bear hug, big smile and talks with him?

    I believe that to speaking loudly to the chemistry we are talking about.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:15 am

    You can’t just look at it as goals, that line has generated a ton of chances. Eventaully it evens out (like Patrick Kane’s shooting percentage). Even the play you pointed out Saad messing up yesterday is a goal if Hossa doesn’t biff it off the heel of his stick.

    The team is going to end up being better with someone besides Carcillo on the top line. Sure, maybe he scored in juniors, but that was 10 years ago. He’s a minus player in the NHL.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Edmonton played fast and hard, and Khabby was very good in net, so it’s not surprising that it was a tough game for the Hawks…also, 3 games in 4 nights.

    The defence were solid, except for Keith’s blowout, and Hammer was a beast…easily our best DMan on the ice…the 3rd line was very good again, lots of pressure and physical presence…Toews and Hossa were good, but that 3rd line mate is becoming a bit of a problem…lots of chances created by that line, but not lots of goals. That being said, I thought Carcillo was very good all night, just not lots of chemistry with any of his line mates.

    Kruger and Frolik are dynamite on the PK, and every time both are on the ice, good things happen for us…lots of effort and hustle from Sharp once again.

    Kane is frightening in our zone with the puck…he gave the puck away twice in the 3rd period from lazy, sloppy plays…he was better in our zone earlier in the season and needs to regain that form…

    Now a nice little rest until St. Louis on Thursday.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Count me in the Saad on 1st line side of the debate. Carcillo is a nice option for Q to throw on the 1st line to mix in some banging when he wants to throw a change up, and Carcillo does have some offensive abilities, but on average, Saad is going to pay better dividends. It seems to me that it is equal, if not more the case that Saad is making the right play (except for the Hossa to Saad to Toews play cited above) but for whatever reason Toews and Hossa aren’t finishing the play. And the same can be said in reverse – when Toews or Hossa gives Saad a set up, he’s not burying it. The comment by Hossa regarding Johnny getting frustrated was probably meant Toews is frustrated with himself for not being able to bury the chances he’s getting – not that he’s frustrated because Saad is not in sync with him and Hossa.

    I won’t belabor the point regarding bad ice at the UC, but I’m looking forward to the Hawks playing some games on the road where the ice is NHL quality. I think we’ll see plays completed that were not possible on the UC ice and I expect 20-19-81 to start lighting the lamp because of it. Stay the course.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:36 am

    As to the Saad/Carcillo debate, I think that Wall makes very valid points, and really he and Tab are both heaping praise (deservedly) on the youngster…regardless of who it is right now, there IS a chemistry issue on the 1st line…Toews is creating very solid scoring chances every rush up the ice and very little is getting buried, so I am not surprised to hear that he is getting frustrated…whoever plays on that line, has got to learn to be in the right position and bury their chances.

    Too much of Toews great play is being “wasted”.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Time to give credit to where its due, Bryan Bickell has played a strong last few games, being very physical. Tab I really enjoy your keen hockey eye and I completly agree with your thoughts on Rozsival he has been an excellent addition on the backend. I am wondering about your thoughts on Seabrook? He hasnt had a strong year. He has been very poor clearing his own zone and his game is leaving alot to be desired. As unbelievable has it is I really feel like the Oduya/ Hammer pairing has been much stronger then Keith and Seabs.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I think Q moved Saad down for the pair of offensive hooking calls, 1 of which was very questionable. I think Saad will move back to the top line shortly. Q was all over with his lines yesterday, their were a number of odd combo’s out there on a few different occasions.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:56 am

    One other comment about last night…the physicality of the Hawks this season is a big reason why we are so much better…it puts opposing DMen on notice that they are going to get hit, and encourages turnovers…

    Shaw, Bickell, Stahlberg, Carcillo, Mayers, Frolik, Saad, Hammer, Sebs, Rozy and even Leddy all hit everything in sight…this is a HUGE turn around in our game, and has put us over the top…Andrew Shaw is such a huge addition to this hockey team, as he sets so many good examples, not only for his line mates, but for the whole team…he is a keeper!

  • February 26, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Saad’s stick handling is reminding me of Hossa–with the puck, he one hands the stick using his other arm to keep defenders at bay while muscling through traffic. Plus he’s constantly crashing the net creating scoring opps. And he’s what? 20?!? He obviously hasn’t finished great so far, but his numbers will improve with experience.

  • February 26, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Who plays best with 19-81? It’s not only about who the player is with the most “skill” (which is subjective.) It’s also about who plays best together on a line (also subjective.) For those commenting on their clear-cut conclusions as to who’s best, who is a +/- player, etc, here’s a some facts/stats regarding time each have spent with the Chicago Blackhawks:
    Carcillo: 28GP, 2 Goals, 9 assists, +10
    Saad: 18GP, 3 Goals, 0 Assists, +2
    Carcillo: 4GP, 0 Goals, 1 assist, +3

    I haven’t looked up the hits (we all know who brings the more physical game to the team), but the facts show that Carcillo has played very well for the Hawks when healthy on a strictly stats-driven basis. In my opinion (and part of my perspective comes from the fact that Toews has articulated that he considers Carcillo an “key” player for the Hawks), Carcillo is a great complement on the 1st line and has the skill/toughness combo that helps open the ice for 19-81. I like Saad’s game and he’s got a great future with the Hawks, but my vote is for 13 on line-1…

  • February 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Let him be “key” on the 4th line and move Sharp or Kane to the first line if you think Saad is lacking the “chemistry”. That first line is getting a ton of scoring chances, they just aren’t denting. If you watched the game yesterday, Carcillo was contantly out of position and is always more concerned with taking a late run at someone than getting back at his defensive responsibility. If those late hits make him a better player in your eyes… by all means. I’d rather have someone on the line that gets in front of the net, is strong on the puck, and has defensive responsibility.

    The good news for the people that don’t want to see Carcillo on the top line, is that he should be suspended soon. Either that or he’ll hurt himself taking a late run at someone that is stepping out of the way.

  • February 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I can’t believe there is a open discussion for Saad vs Carcillo? 1st off anyone looking at only stats is way off the mark. It’s almost like watching only the puck when you watch the game. Goals and assists are important but new school stats like take aways and blocked shots are equally as important. Its also why a guy like OReily from the AVS is so valuable and his contact is taking longer. If you like at his goals+assists and +/- he isnt that valuable but if you look at the other elements of his game its a different story. Going back to Saad vs Carcillo when was the last time you saw Carcillo on the PK or taking a defense zone faceoff? Saad is a legit top 6 where Carcillo is clearly a bottom six forward. I’d even so as so far to say Saad is the best drafted prospect on the current Hawks roster since Toews or Kane( or maybe Hammer).

  • February 26, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Tab, if you can, can you look up the Hawks stat on TIZ(time in zone)? In 5 on 5 situations, we are spending alot less time in our zone, this year. I think this is for a couple of reasons: 1. Our defense seems to be quicker on the puck and moving it to our forwards. 2. Our forwards are coming ALL THE WAY BACK into our defensive zone and helping our defense.

    Also, our back checking (led by Saad) is becoming lethal. I don’t know the stat numbers (I’m sure Tab has them), but we produce more turnovers in the neutral zone than any team, right now. Our back checking helps the “D”, the goaltending and the offense. This team just isn’t an offensive machine, these boys play defense and back check like crazy!!

  • February 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I like Saad on the first line. He just hasn’t figured out how to be patient yet and to let the game come to him. He still has narrow sight. That is why he missed the pass to Toews. As he gets more experience the game will slow down and he will see the whole play as it develops. Some times his speed can be a detriment because of this.
    Carcillo is playing great. He’s not taking dumb penalties for roughing and fighting. He had a couple of good chances. I was hoping he would put one in the net. Hitting people coming out of their zone keeps them from getting down the ice also, and those body shots have their affect later in the game.
    I think Q is giving seabs and Keith a break. They were putting up big numbers earlier. Seabs has taken a few good shots over the last couple of weeks. Hard checks, pucks off the ankles and the one in his jock would slow most of us down for a few days.

  • February 26, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    If Toews had poor chemistry with Saad and didn’t feel he could scrore with him on his line, he would have a closed door meeting with Q and request C-Bomb (or anyone else for that matter) and Q would quietly rotate Saad accordingly.

  • February 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I am a Carcillo on #1 and it is not close. He makes the professional play. Saad players vertically and 19 and 81 don’t. Carcillo’s drop pass through his legs then the puck was moved to 19 was amazing. Saad is flashy. Saad looks good doing things. When the play comes to him on the cycle it ends. Just watch a few games. You notice Saad since when he gets it it is either lost or something flashy happens, the play just doesn’t “continue”.

    The stats show Car is better in a production points per game metric. I have watched a long time and while Car on the 4th line with 16 and 67 makes that line unreal, put me down for liking the #1 line better with 13 there.

    It just doesn’t seem Saad plays well with others. Sure he can make a nice cross rink pass from his blueline to someone far away and that’s nice but I see Carcillo chipping pucks to the right area and making little plays more than Saad. That leads to production. #19 played great when he had Big Buff with him. His style fits having a big body around. And I think Carcillo when healthy and in game rhythum post injury is better than Saad. Remember Troy Brower, they tried him there as well. #19 just seems to play behind the goalline more and like that where he can use his skill AND size. Saad is a little darter and do think 19 is frustrated. Hossa banging his stick on the ice when he doesn’t get it back from saad. There are a lot of little signs I see with Saad out there, and my eyes aren’t lying to me.

    If you were from Mars and saw Saad and car in warmups you would like Saad, no question. Forming an NHL line with 19 and 81 I would like car there this year no question about it. There rocked that first 10 minutes in LA.

    Anyway, it is nice that this is our only issue in flux.

  • February 26, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Steve B- that was perfectly said… thank you! Now I Know I am not seeing things!
    That is exactly what I see when it comes to Saad on 1st line… kinda like Stalberg 2 years ago when they would put him up w/ big boys Lots of potential- just never connected!
    I also agree that when Cbomb is healthy it isn’t even close… but I don’t think he is near 100%.

    Southside – you are right about Bickell- he has been really good…
    But I take offense to “Tab’s Keen hockey eye” in regards to Roszival… If you roll back the scrolls here… I commented around game 1 that Rosey would be a much better option for Q over Brookbank… Tab scolded me and said that B-bank played perfectly fine and should be left in line-up… I was at the open practice and said Rosey is way better!!!

    Rosey is slow… but he has much higher I.Q. and patience in the O zone should be learned by others!!!

    Sorry Tab- had to break your balls!

  • February 26, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I’m enjoying how all of the Kane & Hammer-bashers advocating immediate trades over the past two years have been proven wrong. When these two guy’s are playing to their potential, as they are this year, Kaner’s skills and Hammers talents are clear. Kane’s elite offensive skills & creativity are readily evident and Hammer is a top-pair dman on a majority of teams in the league. So many were wondering why Jr. wasn’t pulling the trigger…just goes back to the old adage that sometimes the best trades are the one’s that aren’t made. I acknowledge that both had sub-par performances in comparison to 09 & 10 seasons, but I’m truly happy that anyone from here calling for trades of these two guy’s weren’t pulling the GM strings. Patience in waiting for the talent to return to the surface payed off I would say.
    The one team to be wary of in the west appears to be the Kings…looks like they’re returning to the form displayed last year.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Greg, it just isn’t that simple…clearly Bowman’s patience has paid off thus far this season, but it cost us for the past two…his “soft” moves to assist the corp weren’t enough, or he simply chose the wrong players…the bottom line is that we all try, and sometimes we make the right choices and sometimes the wrong ones…but no one here wanted Bowman to fail, or Kane to slump, of Hammer to lose confidence…but they did happen…but the Hawks stuck together as an organization and we did as fans…to great success this season! And Bowman has done a great job in executing 3 bountiful drafts, however, its not like many of these picks have any room on this roster now that Shaw, Kruger and Stahlberg have developed so nicely. So to that end, if Bowman can make a move to upgrade on Bolland (who is oft injured and horrendous at the dot, plus gone anyways after next season), for say O’Reilly, then you make that move to put your team over the top for this season…because winning now is the only thing that should matter, and Bowman has yet to show that resolve.

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Steve B & Wall – While I don’t want to get into a pointless argument on opinion, I would like to offer another perspective on the Saad v Carcillo debate. In a word – timing. As in timing is everything, and at this time in this amazing season the Hawks have the luxury of investing in their future with the potential for a short term payoff. By this I mean that the Hawks are winning, regardless of the effectiveness or lack thereof of the top line while giving Saad valuable top line experience that could pay big dividends later in the season and into the playoffs.

    This perspective is predicated on the assumption that Saad will ultimately be the better top-6 player and the more experience he gets, the sooner he’ll get there. If you believe Saad is a year of more away from being a better option than Carcillo, then fine we’ll just disagree on a matter of opinion. But if you think Saad may be the better option by the time the playoffs roll around, then I contend the better option is to pay it forward and keep Saad on the top line.

  • February 27, 2013 at 5:52 am

    @Steven B – which sample size are you looking at? The 2012-2013 season statistics in which Carcillo gets .75 points per game in just 4 games played? Or his career total in which he has .27 points per game in 300 games played? Saad is a UC ice pot hole away to be clipping at Carcillo’s rate in just 20 NHL games played. Saad is a north/south player—how exactly would you describe Carcillo if not a north/south player (at best)? This is a guy who could barely get on the ice during the SCF in 2010 and we laughed in his face when he did play.

    Carcillo is a character role player. He’s great at what he does—scaring the shit out of other teams. Our bottom 6 have size, speed, and can score. Q can mix Carcillo up with top lines when he needs to (we may need it in a nasty playoff series against the Kings or Vancouver). But Saad could mature into a 20 goal scorer; Carcillo would be over-achieving if he reached 20 points.

    @Brad Sr – it’s not Bowman’s fault that the Hawks lost in OT against the Cuntnucks in Game 7. And it’s not Bowman’s fault that the Hawks can’t score on 1,000,001 shots against Mike Smith. That’s on the players and the coaching staff, not on the GM.

  • February 27, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Somewhere in a recent broadcast Saad was asked what was biggest adjustment to the NHL… Broadcaster said his reply wasn’t about the “speed or size” of players… it was more about theses guys all are “Pros” and know how to play/Pro style!!!!

    To me – a perfect example is the Maturation of Hammer… this year he is so much more poised with puck on back end- he holds, fakes, and fakes again to get rid of the forecheck, and moves it when he should… It isn’t about the SKILL (just like Cbomb vs. Saad) it is about the understanding of the PRO game speed and angles!!!!

    Lastly, in 2 years (assuming Hawks replace Bolly w/ top 6 center) Teuvo will be a the other top 6 player– that would push Saad out of top 6.

    Great problems to have!!!

  • February 27, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Hammer is very confident right now, and he is playing physical hockey…this is one of the biggest differences with the Hawks…when you take the man, you don’t allow a bunch of opposition players skating free in your zone…and that is how you win puck battles…if the Hawks keep this up, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t, they are going to be very difficult to beat this season…

  • February 27, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I think we all can agree that the lockout-induced time in Europe did the most good for Hjalmarsson of any of the Hawks players.

  • February 27, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I love hockey

  • February 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I am sure the circumstance of and amount of Hammer’s contract weighed heavy on him last year. It is sinking in for him. He is wanted and makes big bucks. The team and the fans deserve 100% every night.

  • February 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I just wanted to chime in that this site is the BEST Hawks website bar none! Mike I love hockey too! Any word on Dave Bolland? If Bolland is hurt long term who is the next guy up @ center in Rockford? Pirri, Hayes, McNeil, Danault?

  • February 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Sr. Brad, all I was referring to is the bashing that two players received here; between all the trade suggestions (many ridiculous) that were made for Kane & Hammer, the Hawks could have filled out a 20 man roster. Another name I’ll add that routinely got the same treatment even during the Cup year was Ladd; he was regularly crucified for lack of productivity. As his performance with the Jets has shown, he clearly has skills (that have come to light because of the enhanced role there) besides all the intangibles and little things he provides that the Hawks lacked over the past two seasons. You mention Stalberg; while he has improved, I’ll take Ladd and his play over Stalberg any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
    What moves were you looking for over the past two years? With the attrition in the year following the Cup, what moves would you have made to avert the slide beyond all the talent that was moved? Who expected the core (with exception of only JT & Hoss) to struggle like they did? Anything that you come up with now is hindsight. Did you expect the erosion in Kane’s & Hammer’s play? I don’t think anyone did.
    Agreed that some of Jr’s moves worked and some didn’t…I would have kept Kopecky rather than sign Brunette for an example. The latter had to be the worst skater I can recall and was way past his prime.
    On the surface, agreed that O’Reilly would be nice addition but I’m not sure if the package desired would be worth it. Just the fact that the guy has been holding out should make one wonder about team commitment; what effect would a guy with that demeanor & attitude have on the locker room over time? One things that’s been clear over the past several years is that the Hawks locker room has been managed and is clean and committed. Maybe there’s something more to the O’Reilly story?

  • February 28, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Tab- BTW

    that link you gave was not the comment from you that I was speaking of….

    Your comment – was a reply to my comment about “playing Rosey over BB” – BEFORE the Columbus game ( which he played well in)… not after the game!

    Your comment- paraphrased – “BBank played well- why change things- he did not do anything wrong to not play”

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