Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Shut Out Blues


Corey Crawford was called out by coach Joel Quenneville after Game 2 of the series. Chicago’s netminder said he needed to be better.

On Monday night, Crawford shut down the St. Louis Blues with a 34-save shutout and the Hawks are right back in their first round series.

Jonathan Toews put a tipped puck through Ryan Miller at 4:10 and the goal would hold-up as the game-winner. Marcus Kruger added an empty net tally in the closing seconds to extend the score to 2-0.

Michal Handzus being active has been widely criticized before and during the first three games of the series, but he was outstanding in Game 3. He was credited with one assist, three blocked shots, one hit and one takeaway and skated 3:45 short-handed in the victory.

During a key sequence in the middle of the game, Handzus blocked two shots on the same penalty kill. As the clock was winding down, he made a good play to cross center ice and get the puck deep, where Brandon Saad set up Kruger for the empty net goal.

Sheldon Brookbank was pressed into action with Brent Seabrook suspended, and played arguably his best game in the Indian head sweater. He started the game with Duncan Keith and skated 14:32 with two blocked shots and one hit. Brookbank was also credited with the secondary assist on Toews’ goal in the first period.

Toews won 19 of 24 faceoffs in 22:30 with his game-winning goal. In three games against the Blues, Toews has won 56 of 83 faceoffs – 67.5 percent – and now has three points (one goal, two assists). Saad now has four assists in three games.

Keith played 27:27 with the primary assist on Toews’ goal and three blocked shots. He saved a goal in the second period as well, helping out Crawford.

Johnny Oduya and Nick Leddy led the Hawks with four blocked shots each, and Niklas Hjalmarsson once again played an exceptional game. The Hawks blocked 24 shots as a team.

Bryan Bickell, who woke up at some point between the end of the regular season and the start of this series, had eight hits in 15:44 and continued to be the most physical player in the series. He has 21 hits in three games to start the series.

For St. Louis, Alex Steen won only one of 11 faceoffs and Ryan Miller allowed only one goal against 24 shots. The Hawk failed on all four of their power plays, and the Blues did nothing with three advantages.

117 thoughts on “Corey Crawford, Blackhawks Shut Out Blues

  • April 21, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    Crawford made a great save at the end on Pietrangelo I believe. Great game for Crawford. But the Hawks are not playing well enough to repeat. Give credit to Handzus for making a solid contribution to the win and I liked seeing Smith out there to center the second line. Bolig skated 5 minutes. I say play Morin for Bolig and Handzus can be used as a specialist as the 12th forward.

  • April 21, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    I would like to be the second to point out (after Tab) that Handzus was god damn outstanding tonight. HE SHOULD STILL NOT BE CENTERING HOSSA AND SHARP EVER. Scratch Bollig and his 8 minutes in the last 2 games and play someone that can provide SOMETHING. Put Handzus on the wing with Kruger and whoever.

    Goalie win?

    Good goalies don’t let in soft goals?

    Without question tonight was the Hawks worst game of the 3 and they won. Hockey is dumb. The Blues played a fantastic game but couldn’t solve Crawford.

    Kane looked a lot better, probably helps when he has linemates that play into his game.

    Brookbank deserves a gold star for how well he played, but he absolutely should have stayed on the ice after being boarded by Lapierre. That would have been a 5 minute major if he played dead for 15 seconds.

  • April 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Exceptional efforts from everyone right across the board. Brookbank hit …nothing…Keith hit…nothing….Keith has BIG target on his back forever with the Blues. Everyone can breathe again… we can get past these guys now, just got to keep our heads and play our game.

  • April 21, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    ZebraG- goose egg buddy! cc

  • April 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    yes, plenty of great individual plays, efforts. Ugly as a whole. A familiar tone in the 3rd left me very uneasy. No style points whatsoever(cept50), who cares? We won the f’ing game. Definitely swung the tide, even when out played, nuckin futs!

  • April 21, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I have been hard on 26 the last two weeks so when he comes through you have to give him his due. 26 was very good on all the kills, a great play at the end to set up the empty net. 2nd line with Ben Smith (the fire plug) looks so much more potent. CC stole this one with the help of many, many less bad turn overs. Brookbank with a great decision early not to retaliate, and a much better game from Saad. 88 missed quite a few looks that are usually in the net. Much cleaner game. Hope 65 heals fast for wed. Sure was nice to get through last 2 min. of each period . Well done boys, going to need much more of the same on wed. to get to STL. even. Got to say it again, fine game 26.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Most of us who rip on Zus feel if he were used properly, 4th line specialist, we would have no problem with him. Smith drives that 2nd line forward and if my memory doesn’t fail me, he was one of the most consistent players we had the last few weeks of the season. Despite our fantastic record of winning when we roll 4 lines (sarcasm) I believe you get your best players on the ice more often in the playoffs. Our power play just doesn’t make sense. We are one of the top scoring teams in hockey and can’t get 2 shots on net during a power play. I would be inclined to play normal lines and see if that works, can’t be worse. We need to score on the power play to keep winning.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Team D was swarming on our end and CC played well.. A couple of BIG saves in 3rd period, need more of this version of team and Crawford.

    I thought Zus had another good game particularly as PK specialist- and played well on Sat in that role as well. Agree with JS that his value is realized in the ST role and not as 2C, but hey- that’s hardly news. I agree that brookbank played a strong game in relief and deserves props.

    Frankly, I was surprised at how mild the game seemed to be relative to expectations. That said, the board on Keith not being called was a joke. Don’t understand the disparity in how these calls are being made against/for the Hawks most of the year.

    I’d guess that game 3 will be much more intense as StL will realize they have to bring it all if they don’t want to go home 2-2.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:24 am

    Tab? You are allowed to sleep during playoffs?? absurd! Thanks though, nice to see it back

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Mike, I agree which is why Bolig should be the odd man out. He only plays 3-5 minutes anyway and it allows Q to put Handzus out there as needed without killing the second line. Morin for Bolig, Smith to line 2 and Handzus to the 12th forward for specialty role on penalty kills, faceoffs and unique situations. For those of you out there who know this game a lot better than me, what am I missing?

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:27 am

    I agree completely with JS’ comments. The Hawks played their worst game thus far. That is a goalie win from CC. And you have to love his maturity. He called himself out after the 2nd game and then led the way in the third.

    Zus did a good job shot blocking on the PK, but really what else? He played only 8 minutes of 5 on 5 hockey. Bollig played 5…Leddy only had 10 minutes of 5 on 5 (BB had 14???) Q has his favourites and his “unfavourites”. But if the Hawks are going to win this series, we MUST start taking the game to the Blues. CC likely can’t repeat this every night. Where is Jeremy Morin putting pressure in the offensive zone? The first thing that Toews said after the game last night was “WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO SPEND MORE TIME IN THEIR END MAKING THEM PLAY DEFENCE”.

    Handzus doesn’t do this. He contributes to us getting stuck in our own end. Twice last night on the PK, he got caught going the WRONG WAY from the puck, and twice CC bailed him out with big saves and NO rebound. But no one wants to “report” on that. Zus was 42% at the dot last night (his season average on PK F/Os) and that isn’t good enough either.

    It Q wants to use Zus like this, then fine, he is the quintessential 12th forward. But no matter what, the Hawks cannot continue to use Zus like this AND keep Bollig on the roster…WTF is Q thinking?

    So again, a much better effort from Zus. He showed some energy out there too. But he is a role player on a 12 man forward roster. We can’t afford two of them.

    On the positive side, both Toews and Kane seem to be getting better. Bickell was a monster out there, and we have not seen Hossa’s best game yet. What was Q doing skating BB 4 more minutes than Leddy? Yet another decision that I don’t get at all.

    The Hawks are going to have to get better than this.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:31 am

    re: RyanDale – Great night/morning for server issues… apologies folks

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Zues skated 8 and change of even strength time. That is a massive help in terms of him being in a position to succeed. If he plays 8 minutes of 5v5 + penalty kill then I have zero issues with him skating. If he is playing over 10 minutes of 5v5 then we have some probs.

    Brookbank wow. Who is Brent Seabrook?


    I feel like Kaner took off the brace after the 1st. He seemed more spry after.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Oh yea, meant to mention- and after months of supporting 29 despite his being demonized on this board, Bickell is again proving to be a KEY piece of the puzzle if we’re going anywhere. Have also been suggesting a 19/88/29 reunion had to happen (as have others), and there it was in our 1st win of the series.. Nice…. Btw- you HAVE to keep these guys together Q… Please.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Haha, just clear the cache and restart Apache.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:45 am

    First Crawford had a good game not great. Blues are back to playing average hockey and the Hawks should have dominated this game on many levels. The first 5 minutes where short lived. Zus is a player, no speed but smart and seldom out of position. Again, Hawks defense men keep looking up and holding the puck waiting for the break out pass, and then get CRUSHED and turn over the puck way too much. Hawks need to SKATE the puck into the zone, we have 3 scape goats who actually play dump and chase. If we are paying attention Bruins send in 3 guys and Blues send 3 all aggressive, we are lucky to have one guy on each line, no power in the corners, Shaw, Bick and Bolig do it, everyone else is poking and drifting. Our Speed is taken away in the lame dump and chase, skate it in, crash the net condense the game to the goale crease, simple shit!
    Also way to many blind turnovers in our zone, horrible. Blues may bot score another goal all series but sadly the hawks are right there too.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I think the sentiment is the same across the board today….

    It wasnt the best game, but Crow got the job done tonight… thats the game we hadnt seen from him this year, so it was good to see.

    Zus played very well, but his value is not on the 2nd line. I’m still all for moving him into an 8-10 minute Even strenght role, with PK time extra.

    I was very upset with the Hawks PP. That abbriviated 5-on-3 has to net more Shots on Goal. I think we only had 2 (without looking at a stat sheet). When 5 Top 50 players in the world (19,88,10,81, 2) are out there at the same time, you gotta give them a bigger scare.

    But, I said it the other day… all STL did was hold home ice… we are doing the same thing. Win wednesday and keep trucking.

    I think Bollig has to come out if Zus comes back to the “12the FWD”/PK specialist role. He is not “protecting” anyone, and hes not offering anything that JMo/Regin cant provide. But i doubt we see any changes. If we didnt see a change after the first 2, Q wont change it after a win…

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:52 am

    PP can always be better, I felt coming home we would get a couple calls go our way and kinda expected the PP to get at least one, but it was pretty bad when it had the 2nd pd for 4 straight(was it ?). Didn’t think 5/3 would have enuff time(sliding hawk scale) to click and it was lame too.

    19 is driving this thing best he can, not sure why he was getting heat while in StL. His line is easily outplaying others, we gotta get something from 2-3 especially, but 19 is manning up pretty well I’d say

    88 – Why was here out there at the end? He was on ice in OT of game2 running outta place , just prior to Jackheads(his man prbly) winner. I need to re watch G3 last 90sec and see what happened, but he was pond sliding in front of ”the shot”
    that has been going in, in Gs1-2. Love the guy but…wrong time/place obviously

    No idea why 52 is suiting up. I like 29 with top line incl 88. 26 demotion asap! before its too late

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Last night (and game 2) shows the role Zus needs to play. I agree completely he should not be 2C, but he has more value than Bollig because of Zus’ PK duties. Therefore, Morin should play for Bollig because it is easier to rotate Morin and Kruger with the other forwards since the Hawks won’t role 4 lines consistently. Zus can then get his 6-8 minutes of even strength time and damn near 4 minutes of s/o duty because the Hawks can’t stay out of the box.

    One last thing on Zus…I love him selling out by diving to shoot that puck on the empty net or to get a puck to leave the zone when short handed, but this epitomizes how slow he knows he is.

    I really felt the Dmen were more aware of Chicago’s net last night. They still had some horrid turnovers (I’m thinking Brookbank, Leddy, Oduya, Rosy, and Keith), but Keith and Leddy saved goals by being where they should be when Crawford had to leave the net to overplay on the strong side of play.

    The Toews goal was great, but Miller seemed to be in such slow motion out there. I am pretty sure form has the five hole open up like that when making that save, but the five hole seemed to stay open forver…which let Toews goal get through.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Crawford was good, not great? Does the guy need to score a goal to have a great game? Dumbest post in a while.

    Handzus is constantly out of position because he doesn’t have the wheels to get there anymore. However, I think he made a ton of fantastic plays on the PK last night. Him and Hammer did some great 2 man work to get a handful of clears.

    And yes, Bickell has been a monster since getting healthy. Handcuffs! Pooh pooh on the people that immediately judged a man coming off of a serious knee injury.

    As far as Leddy, I think the guy just needs to be more aggressive. I thought he was pretty good last night, but he needs to use his speed better to help with exits from the defensive zone. What would also help? Hawks forwards being in the picture when their defensemen are looking for someone to pass to. Stretch passes against the Blues have turned into turn overs in the neutral zone all season long.

    Hawks need to play better in game 4. If they blow up the Blues it might be collapse time for that weak minded club.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Lines for G4:
    Bickell – Toews – Kane
    Sharp – Shaw – Hossa
    Saad – Kruger – Versteeg
    Morin – Handzus – Smith

    12 best forwards and Handzus has to stay on 4th line!

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

    This Hawks fan called that yesterday! That is what is known as stealing a win! Excellent work Crow! No room for error keep it going!

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Just read that Lucic got a $5k fine for intentionally spearing a Wings d-man in the BALLS in game-1.. In the meantime, Q gets $25k for grabbing his own balls.. Hmm, I guess it’s better to poke than grab?

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Btw- a $5k fine for a guy making $6mil/yr is the equivalent of a $40 fine for a guy making $50k/yr. Not too bad of a penalty for spearing a guy in the nuts with intent… Man- the NHL is screwy…

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Certain players are just playoff players, no doubt that Bickell is one of those guys. Bolland is one of those guys and so is Steeger. Good NHL teams are loaded with those type of players.

    I’ll keep my prediction machine rolling look for Versteeg to have an impact game in game 4!

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Hilarious ^

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:10 am

    It was about time the Bicks, Kane and Toews line was back together for a whole game. Kane still doesn’t look himself though. Better, but only in short bursts. Maybe I’m wrong. When Toews scored the first goal I saw on Kane and Toews face that they’re going to win this series.

    Rozy looked like he was getting manhandled all night. I think I saw him hit one guy and it looked more like a joke of a hit.

    Zues…. I saw him fall down a lot and make some bad turnovers not this fantastic game I’m reading about. It could be the filter in which I see his play because of my previously established opinions. I get he can kill penalties but I’m still nervous every time he’s on the ice.

    Brookbank played really well… I loved when he got hit from behind and stood up you could read his lips yelling “You wanna Fuck*ing go!” He didn’t get a stupid penalty by instigating but he let everyone on that ice know he wasn’t afraid to kick your ass if you cheap shot him like that. Plus it proved the guy that hit him was a pussy.

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

    This past 5 days has been exhausting with last nights game at the UC so thick with tension you could just feel it. Nerve wracking, agonizingly slow clock to end the game. I was so wound up after the thrilling win last night I didn’t get to sleep until 1:30. Got home and my neighbor who normally has a league game to play in was out knocking back beers with his team mates. They blew off their game to watch and were as wired as I was. I joined em for a few. Yikes.

    Crow was magnificent. He stole one for the Hawks who were outplayed by the Blues. Blues came in with a game plan and stuck with it. Slow down the Hawks, clog neutral zone, stand up at their blue line or else pack it in around Miller. They were very patient and methodical, and played pretty much a perfect road game, AND LOST!!! Hawks gave the puck away too much and Blues had plenty of takeaways.

    Power play is getting worse instead of better. Not good. Watch the Blues on PP. They move the puck quickly with one touch passes and get their point guys to launch laser beams at net. My God when are the Hawks going to pressure the puck or especially the point guys? It’s a shooting gallery out there. That said, Zus was heroic on PK duty. This is what he is good for as a specialty player. He earned his dough last night with some fantastic blocked shots and good positioning. Those Blues power plays though were very dangerous and it seems a miracle nothing got by Corey. Hawks just need to simplify PP and get pucks to the net. Puck has to move faster if Blues are playing puck pressure game. make them pay for coming out to challenge everything. Gotta get more shots off period. It cant get worse unless we give up some shorties.

    Listening to Hitch comments you would think those guys have won the Cup. Crowing on on. I want to see Cpt Kangeroo’s face if we win again Wednesday which I believe we will. The guy is arrogant beyond belief.

    Hawks played not very well and won. The good news is they can and should start playing better. I thought the Hawks lost their legs in the 3rd period. No gas left in the tank. A day and half off will help. Blues look a little softer up the middle with Backes out and Berglund just back and probably not 100% yet. Sobotka took one in the wrist last night or hand that looked nasty. He should be less than 100% as well. Miller to me still looks shakey and really was not much tested last night. Loved Tazers softy going 5 hole. Brutal goal, and amazingly it stood up.

    We win Wednesday and we are back in this. I still think we take these guys, but its going to be a rough road. These teams hate each other. Hawks know how to win big games. We have an A game effort in here somewhere.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:13 am

    If ..50 gets a 34sv S/O while playing ‘good’ He has a much higher ceiling than anyone has ever considered. Guess we are damn lucky to have him.

    I just think he played better than good and is the same guy we’ve known for a good while now, with same ceiling etc…

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Oh Yea I think Saad and Ben Smith are playing really well. They seem to be always pushing the tempo. Also Saad is becoming my second favorite player, behind only Hossa.

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:27 am

    BB really showed his value last night. Agree that this was his best game as a Hawk.

    Not much to say about the much maligned Zues. His PK is great., D work is great, Veteran leadership is great, his Offense stinks. The perfect 4th line wing or center.

    Ugly win. Not goona take the series getting out shot and out chanced every game. CC stole one for us. Hope the skaters respond with a 20 shot against effort Wednesday.
    Since Q will not sit 52 or 26 I like these lines for game 4.
    29 19 88
    10 28 81
    20 65 23 or 20 16 65
    52 16 26 52 26 23

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

    PP IS frustrating, it gets to me too, but not really essential,
    PK is what we need to ensure success… It’s been rock solid
    We rode the same wave in 13

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Good call out Negzz on Lucic. WTF can the league be thinking with that??? Anyone see what went down with Avs Wild game? Mean stuff. Avs got really beat up physically and sustained some bad injuries. That series is going to be amped up now for sure. Cookie gonna get some sit down time for that kneeing penalty. The guy just can’t get out of his own way. How many players has he hurt bad??

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:49 am

    That knee from Cooke was on the Avs best offensive defensemen too. That team is already HORRIBLE on the back end so I can only imagine what it will look like now. Unreal game from the woman beater last night, by the way. 44 Saves in a 1-0 loss. Can’t stand seeing this guy have success.

    As far as Lucic, he does that crap all the time. Guy is one hell of a hockey player but seeing him do stuff like that just makes him seem pathetic.

    As far as the Hawks PP. I’ve been saying it for roughly 100 years now, why don’t they put Keith and Sharp at opposite points so they can actually one time passes from one another? Seriously. It blows my mind. It’s Power Play 101. All of the one timed shots have to come from down low which don’t change the goalies angle enough or open him up for more rebound opportunities. The second unit has much better movement with half of the skill.

  • April 22, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Smith > Shaw by a large factor including but not limited to: strength, intelligence, faceoffs and likelihood of ending up in the box.

    Cooke should probably be banned for forever. How many more guys is he going to “accidentally” end the career of or knock out for 4-6 months before he is done playing.

  • April 22, 2014 at 10:34 am

    JS- Great 1st post… good summary…
    But a little too much luv for Crow… It wasn’t GREAT… very good.

    Really- neither team allowed Many Grade A chances (that is why I can’t say GREAT/goalie win)

    imo- every game lost in this series- was in part the goalie letting in “soft” goals-
    BUT overall- neither team is generating a lot- due to very good team D and attention by both teams to time and space.

    Yes- Handcuffs is skating better… But your statement implies – he wasn’t 100% which kind of contradicts an earlier statement – “he is playing better than last year”. which was inaccurate.

  • April 22, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Handzus was outstanding last night. And he was a solid contributor in games 1 and 2. End of subject.

    Crawford single handedely won this game for the Hawks. Goals are extremely hard to come by against St. Louis. Hitchcock’s system…even without Backes…is a thing of beauty when it works. Miller has been outstanding in goal too, and is clear upgrade over Elliott and Halak.

    Hawks must win game 4. To do that they need to find a way to get 3 goals in regulation I believe. That means bodies need to start getting in front of the net. And Sharp needs to work harder penetrating the zone.

    The one player who should be subject to critique is Saad. He had flashes last night, but his play has been increasingly troubling the last 5 weeks. Need to get that turned around, and quick.

    Kruger is the most underrated member of the Hawks. That’s all I will say.

  • April 22, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Correct Wall. No way Zus is better/faster now than he was last year.

  • April 22, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I think I said that- statistically he is playing better than last year. His possession numbers were better, his goals/60 were better, his shooting percentage was better. Where he was getting killed was PDO which is really considered a measure of luck. And yes, all of that while skating around on a not-100% knee. The main point I was trying to get across was that we are expecting too much from him when he’s really just being himself.

    And I don’t know how someone stops 34 of 34 shots after putting the team on his back and that isn’t called a great performance. The man fell on the sword for the team and then bailed them out in a game where they had no offensive output.

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

    JS I also thought it was a great effort by Corey. He won a huge game for his team that was outplayed/out chanced by Blues, as much as I hate to say that.

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:11 am

    We expect a lot out of Saad but gotta remember he is a 21 YO kid. He is a great 3d liner for the Hawks and should be used as such. I agree that 16 is underrated but 28 is one of the most underrated guys in the league. He just fits in wherever Q puts him. I would love to see 28 as 2C for the rest of the playoffs.

    If TT is gonna be 2C long term I would like to see 28 as 3C long term. Shaw would move to wing. Think of the line combos Q could come up with
    29 19 88
    10 TT 81
    20 28 65
    11/52 16 23

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Uhhh… Rufus? 4 points in 3 games and Saad needs to play better? Whatever you say Mr. Hockey.

    Sharp would look a whole lot better if most of his minutes weren’t spent with Handzus. Next time you watch a game notice something, Sharp and Hossa are consistently the first 2 players in the zone and wait for the late man. Typically this would be your other forward, it’s almost ALWAYS a defender and not Handzus. When Smith centers the line (which he’s been back and forth doing the last two games), they get a lot more sustained pressure.

    They need to switch up the lines. Versteeg and and Saad can’t play together. I think if they get the lines right they might see a lot more success against the Blues… but that isn’t going to happen when Bollig is seeing 5 shifts a game and you aren’t willing to bury Handzus.

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Grade A chances are an insignificant and arbitrary stat. We have had this discussion before and I have cited mathematical evidence that proves that the only statistic that matters is pucks directed towards the goal / shot differential. STL won that battle without a doubt.

    Here’s the link with graphs and other fun mathy things incase you missed it

    “the analytical community has long known that shot differential is very important and shot quality effects are minor”

    “Grade A” is meaningless. Nothing but a pretentious buzz word that people use to justify irrational thought.

    Crawford had a brilliant game and deserves man of the match for that one with out a doubt.

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

    It certainly wasn’t the Hawks best game but i don’t have any critiques other than the PP…..just wow that 5-3 was pretty bad and they are trying to be too cute. I watch the Hawks struggle scoring and then watch the Sharks completely dismantling Quick and the Kings and scratch my head

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I wouldn’t say they are completely meaningless. If a team only gets 20 shots in a game but they are all break aways, I like their odds of winning that game. The problem is, it doesn’t work out that way. That’s why the effects are minor.

    Toronto thrived at the start of the season even though they were getting shelled in Shots Against. Their coach claimed that they gave up a lot of shots but they were low quality shots and they were scoring a lot because they were getting quality scoring chances. How did that work out for them in the end? Their shooting percentage and save percentage started regressing to be more in line with what they should be.

    This is why Colorado blows my mind. Their success makes no sense and is really unheard of in this era of the NHL. EVERYONE in the analytics community is waiting for their castle walls to crash down and for them to get bounced early. However, I know what we’ll here when that happens. “Well they were young and it was just too much pressure on them.” Yeah, probably had nothing to do with them playing with fire all season and finally getting burned.

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:57 am

    fwiw, this year’s Avs remind me a lot of the 2008-09 Blackhawks

  • April 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    JS Agreed, Saad and Versteeg don’t seem to mesh well. I think 23 and 16 are more compatible and would like the 4th line to be 11(or 52) 16 23. I think 20 28 65 is the best 3d line in the league.

  • April 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Rufus T is right on the money with his analysis. Take a look at AJ’s Corsi/Fenwick mathy things…very interesting. Hockey Night in Canada crew, especially Ron McLean ( whom I truly respect) seem to laugh it all off, which I find puzzling and somewhat of a luddite response. There is something relevant to this stuff. In the end though its a spiritual game…its the Indian Head logo, the spirits of the past, Rudy Pilous and Tommy Ivan, Moose Vasko and Chico Maki and all the others…heart, drive, desire, pride, the human element that is unquantifiable that makes this team.

  • April 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    The point is that shot differential and “grade-a” vs goals increase along the same mathy graph line so 34 shots on goal = many good chances = 0 goals = great game.

    And since shots from the slot, off rebounds and off of deflections isn’t readily available, I’d believe the numbers that are available and that have been demonstrated to show the same thing over some bias eye test.

  • April 22, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    AJ- I know this discussion got beat to a pulp a few weeks ago, so i dont want to get into anything big here, but I wanted to chime in since i didnt before…

    Would you atleast agree to the idea that how many “grade A” chances a team gives/gives up is an indication of the “level of play” of a single game? I know its not a Real/Quantifiable stat, but I think there is some merit there…

    If A team gives up lots of A+ chances every night, they probably struggling Overall… maybe Bad pinch attempts by D-men… or maybe some bad line changes… or ill advised passes from wingers to the point that get read by the other teams centers… an while they may outshoot the opponent, 30-25, they could still lose 2-1 if the other goalie stands on their head… this is what Varlamov has done to us this year. We out shoot them, but we lose to the “hot goalie”.

    and while it is not quatifiable, it does say “something” about how the team is playing. if dont give up those high quality chances we probably give ourselves a better chance of winning. And each time we give one up, it could mean that we prevented ourselves from having one too…

    I will agree that any shot on net is a “good shot” and that its more important to get pucks on net and out shoot your opponet than get more “grade A attempts”. If you get 35-40 shots and only give up 20-25, you SHOULD win… but to your point Look at our 5-on-3 PP! They wait for the grade A attempts and sometimes (like last night) they never come… and we get nothing out of it. A random shot on net would be better, cuz the SOG may make the Goalie come out of position and leave an open rebound (which would end up leaving the Grade A chance itself!)

    So while the Number of Grade A chances maybe have little meaning as a whole, it is an indication of the way the team played… if the goalie stopped alot of them, analyst will spotlight it and say look he had a good game. or you can say, the defense stuggled that game because they gave up lots of high quality chances….

    I feel like im rambling now, so i’ll stop, but does that make sense?

  • April 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Hawks need to find their stride. Not the most promising home ice display. Corey has been our best player in all 3 games in my opinion. These forwards need to step up. I know we all want bollig to sit down in favor of morin but is there any talk from the hawks camp of that being a possibility? I dont think 52 has been playing particularly poorly per se, but 11 really seemed like he provided a boost in the offensive end where it seems we are not getting enough.

    AJ that was a very interesting link, thanks for that. It makes complete sense but I think we all fall victim to the grade A brainwash time to time. I mean numerically that makes sense of course, but obviously anyone would take a breakaway over a shot from the blue line right? Either way we definitely need to get more pucks at the net.

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Yes. The rate of scoring from in front of the goal is 15% or something like that whilst shots from the points are around 5%.

    My point is there isn’t a readily accessible way to measure shot quality but shot quality and shot differential typically correlate when people have tried to compare the two. Chris Boyle has a bunch of crazy data on some of that stuff but its limited since the NHL hasn’t quite caught up with how to accurately track free shots, screened shots, deflected shots, rebounded shots, change of the point of attack shots and so forth and he tracked a lot of the stuff he did manually.

    I would say that Varlamov is playing out of his mind. Above his career average and not really regressing anywhere. See Mike Smith and the Coyotes in the WCF.

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Can see twenty years from now hockey going the route of soccer…all defensive plays and posturing, waiting ,waiting, everything figured out mathematically…vast majority of games ending up 0-0 or 1-0…sure hope not. Hey what do we got to do to get that Gandlund kid in a Blackhawk sweater…what a goal…Savard, Secord and Chelios all rolled into one.

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    thank you crow.

    thank you zus.

    thank you capt for getting it started.

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Hawks looked uninspired last night and were lucky to win. Fortunately crawford played great throughout the whole game and not for 59 minutes or they would have lost. For a team on the brink of elimination the Hawks did not look like they had fire in their belly. They got to find a way to ramp up the offense against Hitchcocks system. Agree that Morin should play instead of Bolig. Perhaps he can provide the spark they so desperately need,

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    SSHM, great call on Crawford…I am going to hold you to Versteeg (however, he needs to get more than 10 minutes playing time).

    Negzz, you did support Bicks all year, and so did JS. As I have tried to mention all year long, for Bicks contract to be judged, we need to judge the whole season, or two. Bicks was very strong for us at the end of the year, and has been a bear in the playoffs so far.

    Phil, this is why Zus can play on our PK because we are one of only a couple of teams left in the entire NHL that play that soft, lay back system…and I hate it. Always pressure the other team and force them into mistakes. Our PK, IMO, makes entering our zone WAY TOO EASY, and then once the opposition has control of the puck at the point, they begin blasting away usually for up to a minute, before either Crows stops play or the puck goes over the glass. That’s horrible coaching IMO. We have just been very lucky that Crawford has been so good in net of late, especially on the PK. When the opposition doesn’t score against us, it almost seems like a miracle. And when we score a PP goal it too seems like a miracle. Our coaching staff is VERY antiquated with their PP and PK systems. We are just fortunate we have a lot of talent.

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Preaching to the choir Brad regarding passive PK. I just cringe when other teams are just allowed to set up, slowly just get closer to the net and launch the uncontested bombs. The new sticks have so much whip that the puck explodes towards the next with every shot. Hawks can’t keep relying on shot blocks(which tend to really hurt, injure) or the goalie to track and then stop. We are giving away free scoring chances. I would at least mix up the approach, do some pressure on one one PK, and then pack it in like we are already doing. Give some different looks. I would cheer a more pressuring PK. Didnt the 2010 Cup winners pressure more? I seem to recall they did.

    Point guys on opposing teams PP must have drooling problems when they play the Hawks…..

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Tab- Right on with the Ave comparison…
    A few Veteran leaders- (Col: Parenteau, Stastny vs. Hawks: Havlat, Campbell)
    Some budding stars- (Duchene, RoR, Landoskog, Barrie, MacKinnon vs. Kane, Toews, Kieth, Seabrook, Sharp, Ladd)
    Role Players- (Talbot, Mitchell, McGinn, Benoit vs. Steeg, Bolland, Buff, Brower, Pahlsson)

    Looks about right…

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Brad/Phil, that is a fair point that Handzus is probably more effective in the Hawks kill system than he would be on more aggressive killing teams. I don’t have too much of an issue with the Hawks PK system, other than the easier zone entries you mentioned. I wish we put up more of a fight once the puck is out of the zone to keep it from going back in, but then the Hawks couldn’t quickly get back into their “shell” and pk’ers would be chasing more instead of being in their position. Its tough to argue the current results in the series as the Blues are 1/15 (?) with the 1 goal coming at the end of a 5 minute major…maybe playing a different style than most other teams is a good thing as it gives the opposing team a change-up.

    The Hawks PP…don’t get me started. It is the reverse of the above where I literally would just be happy with doing something different.

  • April 22, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    Phil, you are right…in 2o1o we did pressure the points on the PK, but that was with Asst. Coach John Torchetti (our best Asst. Coach in a LONG time). Q’s Asst’s since then have been less than inspiring.

    Peter, its true that you can’t argue the results of the PK over the last 1/3 of the season, but it just rubs me the wrong way to make things so easy for the opposition to gain the zone. As for our PP, its like the rest of our game, we need to go to the net and get people in front of it. All this cutesy perimeter passing means nothing…shot the damn puck and get bodies on the net.

  • April 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Tab based on your comments about the Avs do you see them as a year away from being a legit cup contender? IMO they are a complete wild card I have no idea what to make of them. I think their defense (on paper) looks suspect but they are well coached and have deep and balanced top 6.

  • April 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Well, it’s also easier to pressure the points against the Hawks PP because the puck has to travel further when being passed between point men… and then when they work the puck down low, neither point man moves to create a passing lane from down low. It’s stupid, I hate it. I don’t understand how people are paid to coach the power play and can fail so miserably.

    Hawks led the league in SHG in 2009-2010 with 4 more than the next closest team. Those were the glory days. If only they still had Sharp and Versteeg who scored like 5 of the 13 shorties that year.

  • April 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    JS, I just laughed out loud with the Sharp and Versteeg comment. It’s okay, the last Blackhawk to score a shg in the playoffs is still on the roster…M. Handzus.

  • April 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    want shorties? Graham 33 :-)

  • April 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I am shocked to read anything from R.T.F. Why would you care about a team that has already (submittedly already accepted defeat?) lost. Sorry I can’t spell your words but I have never had to use them to this point. Talk about bandwagon issues. Either back your team or when you decide they don’t care or all done putting out there best effort, back them in 2015 or 2016 like YOU said. I have not singled anybody out, ever on this or any other site, and I am sure I’ll receive a bunch of shit for this, but the hawks are my team , I don’t see them “cup hungover, loosing their MOJO, or on their way to the links just yet. I am pretty sure they will play even better wed. If not, they are still my team.

  • April 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Yes, I want short handed goals . If the right guys were out there it could happen more often. Did anyone possibly think when Versteeg was acquired he would not be on the Pk?

    RD you are dating yourself with Graham reference, although I’m proud to say I was there in those days at the old barn. Those were some great teams . Before the dark years began .

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  • April 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Phil, indeed those were very fun teams to watch. I knew 33 had a bunch as a Hawk and remembered double digits one year, i posted and went to check the numbers, 88-89 I thought he might have had 12?? but it was ”only” 10! Used to come in bunches for us back then.
    Definitely expected Versteeg to contribute this yr

  • April 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Brad- We agree on needing at least 2 years to evaluate Bicks deal, 29 was coming off major injury challenges and believe he still needs a full offseason to re-hab those knees (hoping he doesn’t get them too banged up this tournament.)

    I also agree that PK is frustrating to watch as style is passive, I far prefer a more aggressive approach but Hawks seem to do well in the shot-blocking dept and that makes it work (Sopel was a walking lump of bruises by end of season in ’10 and #4 is now the bruise guy.)

    The PP (on the other hand), is painful to watch and has been for what feels like 2-3 years now. I personally do not like #10 at point (on his offhand), and further scratch my head with team’s difficulty in gaining the zone with so much talent. This series, they seem to be getting in zone more effectively but can’t (or won’t) move the puck fast enough to generate multiple 1-timers.. as they seem to be looking for the perfect play. Bottom line, if they have 12 shots generated in 14 PP’s that obviously a problem.

  • April 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Zus looked better but he isn’t one of their top 4 PK forwards-yesterday as the exception. One things for sure, we spend a lot of time on this site over a bottom three forward who hopefully (God Please!) is in his last year. The problem is he’s a top six forward on the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
    Quietly Ben Smith is emerging as an above average two way forward. Love his game and his increased level of confidence with the puck.

  • April 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    when was the last time Bollig registered a point? Wasting roster space. Let Morin play already. The Shaw, Bickell, Morin line was the best line we had while 19 and 88 were out.

  • April 22, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Noonan, I agree…Ben Smith is a good hockey player…I don’t see him as average at all. There were a few here that described him as a “shuttle” player, nothing more than filler, and he is now a key Blackhawk, which is great to see…a 6th round pick. Shaw 5th round. Kruger 5th round.

  • April 22, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    agree on Saad. POOR POOR puck management throughout the game. He is pointing and made a few plays but he isn’t making the simple play. he has to improve, he gives up way more chances than he is generating.

  • April 22, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Tim- thanks for the assist

    AJ- There IS a stat that many NHL Teams track– “Scoring Chances”- and it does matter and is relevant/correlated to all that Corsi stuff.

    You are correct – at least math wise– that if a team consistently out shoots another team that over a large sample size that team will have MORE SCORING CHANCES- grade A’s… I get it… and that is great… WHAT you fail to realize/admit is that in games vs. Avs– “the Eye test” says- Avs were getting High % of “Slam dunks” relative to shots… and Hawks were getting fewer “slam dunks”- despite taking more shots…

    JS- understands this… that is why he is in disbelief /amazed at the success of Avs…
    JS- says they will regress to the mean… I say – they are built that way!!!

    JS- perhaps they will fall apart (with that weak D- which just got weaker w injury)

    Tab- Great call on Avs– I had the exact same thought couple days ago!!!

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Interesting thoughts one and all today/tonight. Will be interesting to seeing if the boyz can find their A game…as many are aptly pointing out, gm 3 was their least effective of the series so far. Can it be just a matter of time that things begin to click? I’m looking for Sharpie to find the touch tomorrow night.
    No more complaining about Zus and Brooksie…what say everyone? For being our 7th dman, can anyone name a better #7 blue liner in the league? And let’s face it, Zus brings a lot of guile and experience…keep him in pk situations and give progressively more to Smitty.
    Geezus…let’s go Hawks!
    P.s. Thank you CC for heeding my post on you…Ryan dale

  • April 22, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Way to go Brookbank. Good job Zus and Crow working his nuts off.

    Kruggs, Shawzer and Ben & Jerrys are good role players for us for yrs to come.

    PP, do aomething different. Do the complete opposite of what we have been doing.

    COL, a bunch of fricking wife beaters. here karma karma karma.

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    There’s nothing I can add to the comments regarding player and team play. The only things that matter are that the Hawks won and apparently finished the game as healthy as they started. So I’m going to comment on something that should be better and it should have been made better for several years now – the ice at the United Center.

    There was a hockey game played in LA in March this year. I believe the temperature was around 70 degrees. This leads me to believe that the technology that is used to create an ice surface has improved to the point that having an ice surface like the one for Game#3 at the United Center is not acceptable and does not need to be tolerated. I’m not insinuating there aren’t challenges in a multi-purpose arena and that it wouldn’t be a very costly endeavor, but it is well past the time to make it a priority and get it done.

    The home ice/field advantage is something that should work for the home team, not against it. The Hawks, probably more than most teams rely on precision passing to play their game. The defense to offense transition is what sets the Hawks apart and drives their puck possession game. That starts by being able to complete quick and accurate passes out of their d-zone and continues up the ice and into the o-zone. If they can’t complete those passes because the ice quality is not good enough, then the home ice advantage turns into a disadvantage favoring the opposing team better equiped to play a board battle game than the Hawks are.

    If the Hawks had a “heavy” team like the Blues, Kings or Bruins, then keep the ice surface at a low standard and effectively negate the advantage quick puck possession teams have. But that isn’t the correct strategy for a team like the Hawks. I hope more attention (and funding) is put toward making the ice surface better to give the Hawks the best possible advantage home ice can provide.

  • April 23, 2014 at 1:32 am

    ER, we know Rocky, etc. spend good money on basically everything so why cant they get the ice really good. Our organization is good at everything it does, so its weird the ice isnt too. It really doesn’t make any sense. We know our people know it would benefit our team… Unless were in EDM, we should have better/as good ice as rinks south of UC. Its like this every yr. Would prioritizing the playoff games with no other events for these 2mths make a diff. in the ice.

  • April 23, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Memo to Rufus T Firefly: Hawks scored 3 goals EACH in Games 1 and 2 IN REGULATION! what are you talking about when you said they need to score 3 goals in regulation?

  • April 23, 2014 at 1:56 am

    Whoever said on here that Tyson Barrie is out 4-6 months: it’s 4-6 WEEKS. And morrison, the Avs are a bunch of wife beaters? All 23 of them? I know of only 1, supposedly.

  • April 23, 2014 at 6:46 am

    ER, it is always worthwhile to bring up ice conditions as it affects games due to bouncing, rolling pucks that can’t be controlled. Better ice would clearly benefit the game in general, and also be slightly advantageous to more skilled teams that rely on precision passing to push their agenda. UC ice has been bad for years IMO. It matters if it is warm outside, as well as when their are other events the previous day such as Bulls games and concerts. Improved ice via UC infrastructure investment by the Blackhawks would be much welcomed. Games would be better, and the Hawks could utilize speed and puck skills to their advantage. Not mentioned often are safety issues. Players have blow outs more frequently on soft ice due to losing an edge or toe picks. would it not make sense to protect multi-million dollar investments like your players with a safer ice surface? Sounds like a no brainer. Only thing needed is money.

    It’s game day guys! Not as nervous this morning compared with Monday. Wish the puck drop were sooner than 8:30….

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

    9:30 for me Phil… gunna be a long night with a new baby… but you said it right…

    ITS GAMEDAY! I’m ready to see if we can tie this up. I still feel good about my Hawks in 6 pick to be honest. If we take our 2 at home, I feel the Blues could be reeling without Backes, and getting Seabrook back for game 6 will put the cherry on top.

  • April 23, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Better grab a power nap this afternoon Tim. I feel better about this game tonight for some reason. Could be it is my belief that the Hawks will play better hockey compared with Monday. I always feel that in playoffs, when you can win, and not play particularly well, better things are to come. I also think that Q gets smarter as playoff series evolve. We all pull our hair out with his lineups during the year, but in playoffs Q finds better combos. I hope so anyway. I would be happy to see Morin get some ice time and sit Bollig. Bollig ice was so reduced Monday that he was kind of a wasted spot on the bench. This is likely to be a long physically exhausting series. Rolling 4 strong lines has been Hawks formula for success. No time to get away from that. I will accept Zus as the specialist guy. Forwards need to score more goals. PP can’t get worse. Only upside there.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 23, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Dave- Patrick Roy is pretty well known for beating women too.

  • April 23, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Then again, so is Bobby Hull but people still cheer him and treat him like some sort of god.

  • April 23, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Tis true JS about Bobby, but as fans we didn’t know about this back when he played for the Hawks. Bobby Hull was beloved by fans because he gave back to the fans, and was a phenomenally exciting player to watch. When I was a kid growing up in the Chicago area, Bobby and Stan were both like Gods to us young fans/players. Bobby’s treatment of women and his family at that time was sad and disappointing to learn when it was disclosed.

  • April 23, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Yeah, I get that Phil. Belfour was the same way and I idolized that guy growing up. I named a pet after him. Admired his work on the ice, was very sad to learn about what happened off of it.

    When I was just a young idiot (now I’m a slightly older idiot), I was able to justify still liking the guy. Now? Impossible for me to root for anyone that abuses women are children.

  • April 23, 2014 at 9:45 am

    JS I never knew Eddie the Eagle was a wife beater? I did know he was a lunatic and a gun toting crack smoker during his Dallas years. Next thing you are going to tell me is Santa isn’t real?

    I’m feeling very apprehensive going into today’s game. This is the series, its either win or go home! I really don’t want to be at game 5 and watch them go home,…literally!

  • April 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I am with ya brother JS about having disdain/DISGUST for men that abuse women and kids. Don’t know how Bobby is now with his private life, but to me he will always remain one of the greats, if not greatest in Blackhawks history.

  • April 23, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Phil- I plan on getting a nap at 5 when i get home but we will see if the kid cooperates… he kinda runs the show right now… lol,,

    but I think the general concensus wants to see something more out of that 12 fwd spot. Again, most people are ok with Zus as the 11th Fwd… the biggest gripe was when it was in the Top 6. If 28 gets the 2C spot… then the bottom six are 20/65/23/16/26 and either 11 or 52. In all honesty, Im not sure what 11 really brings to a line with Kruger and Zus , cuz that line would only get 5 minutes of 5v5 time. I think his value would be playing with 2 of 20/28/29/65. but that means 23 gets pushed to the “4th line”, and Q probably wouldn’t do that. If morin gets in the lineup he will get 4th line minutes (5-8) and playing with Zus as a 4th line winger, how much can he really do with that?

  • April 23, 2014 at 10:18 am

    What is logical about Stars-Ducks starting 1 hour earlier than Hawks-Blues?

    NHL Bizzaro World logic will always be the rule rather than the exception.

  • April 23, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Yikes busy afternoon yesterday.

    Again, “scoring chances” is not readily available anywhere. It would be helpful if you found me some because I am open to accepting your viewpoint with evidence.

    I can tell you that Crawford saved 8 shots within 15 feet. So 1.2 goals should have been scored by STL off those 8 chances. One at a minimum and probably another one from anywhere based on luck and Crawfords career numbers.

    Here is the play by play where they railed Varlamov with 37 shots — 13 of which were from within 15 feet and one of which they converted. Definitely not a lack of prime scoring chances going off the within 15 feet definition. OVER 1/3 of their chances were from that significant distance. Based on the books the NHL keep they look in good shape to me and Varlamov is having a special year. Crawford played a poopy game and they lost 4-2. Which is why they play the games and what makes it entertaining.

    Here is more data supporting actual “shot quality” or “scoring chance” stat as being arbitrary and full of errors.

    Part two gets into the whole numbers thing but that explains the method behind the madness in case you have free time. Basically trying to calculate a replacement value for goalies, which involves many variables. Rask would have a really high one btw.

    Here is another one reflective of shot distance. That’s where 15 feet comes in.

    In conclusion, the actual “scoring chance” data is not readily available on the internet. Trust me, if it was there I would find it. Most “grade-a” chance score keeping has been documented as bias but even so there is a documented likelihood increase of more goals scored the closer to net you are by a significant factor that magically matches up to shot differential which is pretty neat stuff.

    Against the AVs the Hawks had plenty of “higher percentage” chances to put them away. The “eye-test” in that game is not very accurate and shows bias in relationship to the given stats which are numbers and have no opinion.

    Crawford = spectacular game and Varlamov is playing tremendous hockey.

    Yay for outliers making life fun and exciting!

  • April 23, 2014 at 10:27 am

    So if the 4th line only gets 5-7 minutes, why not 11 for 52?. With Zues on the 4th line he is fresher for the PK and Krugs will also get in his minutes on the PK……Do it. 28 at 2C please.

  • April 23, 2014 at 10:46 am

    No more talk about the eagle being a wife beater. Please just let me live in denial. Just kidding, but that’s why we should never “idolize” anyone outside of our own family. Stick with what you know and have I always say.

    The Hogs season is over so things have really slowed down. I wanted to make a couple comments on the season and players if I could. First, when you field such a young team, like we have done for awhile you are going to get up and down results. I think we missed the playoffs mostly because all the kids ran out of gas towards the end. Our best players at the end were the kids that were called up like Hartman and Johns. I mention both of them cause they were great. Both have great nhl futures, I have no doubt. Hartman played just like Ross did, when he wasn’t dead tired, but has more finesse than Garret. I could see Hartman with the Hawks in just another season. Johns was great. Big, strong, surprisingly fast for a big guy, big hitter, big shot. He’s another guy that will be in Chicago sooner than later. Clendening and Dahlbeck both faded a little towards the end, but both logged a lot of minutes and both have all star seasons. I think both will be in Chicago next year. Phillipe Danault got stronger while everyone else got weaker at the end. He played his best hockey of the year when he was matched with Ross and Hartman. If Phillipe continues next season like he ended this one, it will be his last in Rockford, cause he will be in Chicago. McNeil faded, and while he scored quite a few goals, I would be worried at this point that he is not going to pan out. I could be wrong but he has to show me more next year. The Broadhurst were great, fun to watch. But they must learn to take the body and back check if they are ever going to be anything but AHL players. I am very optimistic about next season as we might get the Finnish kid Tevo to start the year, and that will help a lot.

    As for the Hawks, I don’t know what to say. I didn’t like the timing of Seabrook’s hit, but I didn’t think it was worthy of a suspension. #26 played better last game, but he’s not a great player, while we have some very talented players sitting because of him. I told you guys about Crow. I know Corey and he is a person that cares. He put the team on his back in game 3 and I expect him to continue this the rest of the way. He has mental lapses, but you won’t find a bigger competitor than Crow. If we win this series it will be because of Crow.

    Thanks for reading.

  • April 23, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Yes AJ all of what Dan Bernstein said in his article is true with some Hull comments taken out of context. People also need to understand where Dan Bernstein comes from as it relates to hockey. He does not like the sport and says so frequently on the air. His comments on anything relating to hockey should never be taken seriously. If the Hawks were not here he said he would not even talk about hockey, but feels he must because the Hawks are a good team, popular, and winners. The Boers and Bernstein show which airs on am 670 Mon-Fri afternoons features on a daily basis arrogant, pompous, condescending and bullying behavior towards callers, whose opinions and comments are more often than not dismissed out of hand. I had mentioned here on CI following the Saturday loss that fans could tune these jackasses in Monday and be treated to outrageously stupid comments as it related to the Saturday game. They did not disappoint in this regard, as my wife and were out in the car doing errands and i said to her. Want to listen to some serious BS? So I turned on AM 670 and sure enough these guys were in rare form. Had it on for two minutes. Best comment from them was it would be really hard to cheer for the Hawks going forward after seeing the “thuggery and cheap shots” . Champions DON”T play like this!” The Hawks were a disgrace! These guys should stick to basketball, baseball, football. These morons are clueless and in over their head with hockey.

    Sorry, rant over.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 23, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Phil, I stopped listening to those guys years ago.

  • April 23, 2014 at 11:22 am

    I appreciate your research AJ and time invested presenting it. In the end a really hot goalie trumps everything.

  • April 23, 2014 at 11:39 am

    BB- Good to hear about Hartman. I think that was a great pick. Also, Agreed about Crow… he is a gamer, and will be the reason we come back.

    Phil- the only justification I can come up with for the STL/CHI start time (vs ANA/DAL) is that NBCSN is a “sports channel” and MSNBC isn’t really one. You have to imagine fans of the 4 teams will watch no matter what. But more “non-fans” of those four teams will tune into NBCSN, and they are more inclined to watch a marquee matchup, so they put STL/CHI as the “late-NBCSN game”.

  • April 23, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Picking up on the Boers and Bernstein rant – I too stopped listening to the Score in the afternoon because I can’t stand the two of them. Boers should have the “e” and “r” transposed to have a fitting description of him and Bernstein is the most pompous “smartest guy in any room in which he finds himself” on-air “talent” in Chicagoland. I listen to the Score at other times of the day and enjoy having a couple options for sports talk radio – but never the “nails on the chalkboard” B&B show.

  • April 23, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    BB thanks for the updates, specifically on Danault. Danault IMO is a very important piece to the Hawks puzzle, he was a high draft choice and could be the 2nd line center we have been searching for. I believe if the Hawks are going to win another cup it will largely be due to the young kids developing and contributing at the NHL level.

  • April 23, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    adding to my previous post …

    and that isn’t just hockey talk – it’s any subject B&B take up – total pomposity to be avoided.

  • April 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Amen ER. I only tuned in Monday knowing they would further lower the bar and they did not disappoint. Hawks fans call those guys out and rightfully just abuse them. I would never bother wasting the time. I too flip the dial on local sports radio, but try to avoid the B and B slot.

  • April 23, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    SSHM – rightly or wrongly I think the Hawks project Danault to be a bottom-6 guy. I don’t have the link but I remember Danault was told by the Hawks to try to emulate Kruger’s game indicating they see him as a Kruger replacement.

  • April 23, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Another reason for scheduling- Dallas and Anaheim started at 8:30 on Monday. Only fair to give each team a 1&1 at the 7pm local start.

  • April 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    AJ- just because you can’t find “scoring chances” – doesn’t mean the stat isn’t kept/used by teams!!!

    ANOTHER STAT!!! I heard –teams going down 2-0 in series … lose around 85% of the time!!! So ya- better stop watching… OR are the Stats only useful when they are convenient???

  • April 23, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Tim G i think you are right on in your assesment. Most fans just don’t want to see 26 at 2C and Smith would make a much improved 2nd line. AJ some great research and much appreciated…very interesting. Also nice insight from B & B on the Rockford kids.

  • April 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Sports radio at local levels can be about as disgusting as anything on public air. I never heard of Bernstein but before finishing the article knew he was pushing his agenda for whatever reason.

    Not to sound flippant but I find numbers can be boring after you know the basics, and prefer to spend more time watching games than ciphering all the metrics. Probably just old time pov by me

    Wish list for G4

    1 ppg from 10
    1 goal mouth goal 29
    1 highlight reel goal by 88/19
    1 B. Jackman into own net goal
    A 2g lead that lasts longer than 20sec

    I will be very surprised if we don’t play much better in our 2nd home game. I still fully expect to win the series. We haven’t played great but there is something to be said about staying competitive, and all 3 games we have done that without fail, while being tested pretty darn well by StL. Plus, to some degree, adversity, fate, luck and all that intangible ‘junk’. Which in turn makes me think…
    With our guys , I still feel pretty damn good because of what we have upstairs. I know if watching G2 you might not think so, but Playoffs are won with the head, the mental toughness, every bit as much as the physical. Advantage: Chicago. I would say by more than just a whisker, we will see. This is a ‘pivotal’ game, that’s all they ever can really be described as, because unless going home is for real one night, and ”must win” really applies, you don’t know what you might be capable of. I feel good about tonight’s game, if we fall…I will be even more jacked for g5 on Fri. It’s Playoffs!! it’s suppose to test you!

  • April 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    What the teams have is irrelevant if no one has access to it.

    Yes the Hawks are probably not going to get out of the series but like Crawford playing GREAT the other night I’m hoping for a deviation from the mean

  • April 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Well said RD. May your wish list come true. My voice is ready to contribute to what should a rockin UC in a few hours. May we have much to cheer about.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 23, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Phil, enjoy. Yes, let there be plenty to get excited about, but straight home/bed this time ok!!

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Like to hear the good things about Danault & Hartman. I really like the type of players/guys they are. Those two and Ross are going to be sweet to watch on a line with Shawzer.

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Lets go now.

  • April 23, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for your concern RD but the level of rest I get tonight will be contingent on whether Hawks win this one. I doubt any if us will be chipper in the morning

    Let’s Go Hawks!!

  • April 23, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    hey, could feel bad win or lose!

    3+ hrs anxiety > Win > relief > celebration > nap > worker production down sharply

    here come the hawks…

  • April 23, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    nap is optional I suppose given the 88 ot gwg

  • April 24, 2014 at 12:15 am

    and a beauty it was!

  • August 21, 2014 at 11:49 am

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