Darling To The Rescue, Blackhawks Win In 2OT

The opening 20 minutes were about as ugly as the Blackhawks have looked this year.

But the power play, which had been dormant for the last month, showed up with authority in the second period and a three goal deficit was erased in 14 minutes.

Nashville came out physical in the first period and chased the Blackhawks to the dressing room after the opening frame. Six minutes into the game, Colin Wilson brought the puck up the ice and Michal Rozsival played it about as poorly as an NHL defenseman could, giving Wilson a clear lane to advance the puck and get an easy, hard shot off that beat Crawford.

Wilson had himself a period to start the series. He had scored only once since Feb. 21, but scored twice in the game’s opening 20 minutes. His second, a power play goal that extended the Nashville lead to 3-0 late in the period, came after an ugly Joakim Nordstrom turnover. Sadly, ugly play was the calling card for most of the visitors in the first.

Three goals on only 12 shots was enough for coach Joel Quenneville, and he made a change in net to begin the second period.

Corey Crawford didn’t get much help on the first and third Nashville goals, but the second was squarely on him; Crawford came out of the net to play the puck and made a beautiful pass to former Hawk forward Viktor Stalberg, who easily put it into the empty cage.

With Scott Darling in net, the Hawks came out for the second with a sense of urgency we hadn’t seen in more than a week. Aided by a parade of Predators to the penalty box, the Hawks allowed only four shots on net in the second while they were credited with 11 against Pekka Rinne.

The Blackhawks had scored three power play goals in their previous 14 games, and hadn’t scored more than one with the advantage since March 14. But two power play goals in the second period brought the score even and sucked the life out of Nashville.

Mike Fisher, who was one of the more physical Predators players from the opening puck drop, was questionable for the start of the series and was not able to return to the game for the third period. He was only able to skate nine shifts (5:32) but was credited with two hits and one takeaway.

In the third, Nashville put pressure on Scott Darling and he responded in a big way.

— Stephanie Vail (@myregularface) April 16, 2015

Darling fought off 16 shots in the third to keep his teammates in the game. The Blackhawks put 10 shots on net, and Rinne was also up to the challenge. So, as has been the case for so many postseason games for the Hawks over the last couple years, overtime was required to determine the winner.

Quenneville cut his bench short on the blue line in the third period, as Kimmo Timonen and Rozsival were rarely seen after the middle of the game. Timonen skated only 8:03 and Rozsival was on the ice for 12:02 through regulation. Of course both defensemen appeared in the first three shifts of the overtime.

The first overtime period was fantastic theater. Both sides had great opportunities to score, but neither could convert as Rinne and Darling continued to be exceptional. Both teams also had to kill a penalty; Brad Richards went to the box for high-sticking at 12:42 and at 17:35 Seth Jones sat down for tripping.

The Jones penalty wasn’t well received by the fans in Nashville because Duncan Keith appeared to get away with a trip a few minutes prior, but escaped without a call.

Darling made 17 saves in the first overtime, while Rinne successfully stopped nine shots. Keith skated more than 28 minutes in regulation and added almost eight more minutes in the first overtime.

Keith’s super-human effort culminated with the game-winning goal at 7:49 into the second overtime. In total, he skated 39:40 and was credited with one takeaway and two shots on goal. He also picked up an assist on Toews’ power play goal in the second period.

Chicago’s captain picked up two assists with his game-tying goal, but won only 10 of 30 faceoffs in the game.  Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa were credited with two assists each. For Kane, the early return from injury saw him on the ice for more than 23 minutes. He was credited with four shots on net and two takeaways.

The stunning win was a coming out party for Darling, though. After a regular season performance that earned him a two-year contract extension, he replaced Crawford after the first period and won the game for the Blackhawks. Darling made 42 saves and allowed zero goals to earn his first career playoff victory. He was magnificent.

Bryan Bickell led the Hawks with eight hits, while Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya led the way with four blocked shots each.

Chicago killed five of six Nashville power plays.

80 thoughts on “Darling To The Rescue, Blackhawks Win In 2OT

  • April 15, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    I’ll just ask what everyone is thinking… Who does Q go with between the pipes in game 2?!

  • April 15, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    you’re not in trouble till you lose at home… Vancouver.

  • April 15, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Ohhh Baby! What a shot by Keith to win it. Great team effort. As Tab said…Darling “magnificent”. What a great start for us in a-typical Blackhawk style coming back from diasaster. That is the hard fought scratched out kind of victory with twists and surprises that we have come to know. Happy Blackhawk fan.

  • April 15, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Geeeezzzz, Darling didn’t even rate one of the Three Stars…

  • April 15, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I hate to be negative, but I’m a little worried about fatigue wearing down the Top Four.

  • April 15, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Tab- WHO to the Rescue??? there must be something wrong with my computer

    If Only SB had $6Million more to spend on skaters…
    Vermette might have someone to drink with in the club box…
    And Kimmo might have someone to eat with at Old Country Buffet!!!

  • April 15, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    OK but that last shift leading culminating in Calgary’s goal #2 with 29 seconds left – that was 100% pure unrefined schadenfreude… I wish the Hawks had a shift like that against the Preds.

  • April 16, 2015 at 12:01 am

    3rd star– crow
    2nd star– Rosey
    1st star– Vermette (he didn’t make any mistakes)

  • April 16, 2015 at 12:02 am

    Darling was Beast-Like. Even with that horrible first period, this was a different Blackhawks team tonight. More battles won against the boards. Better and more careful passing overall despite some bad turnovers. Faceoffs need to get better for sure. I liked TT and Versteeg’s play. They battled and kept the puck moving forward, allowing the other guys to at least try and be creative. Go Blackhawks!

  • April 16, 2015 at 12:03 am

    MtM– Kudos for “Crow will never be elite goalie… cuz he does NOT play the puck well”

    true dat!!!

  • April 16, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Keith’s point shot sucks, eh?

  • April 16, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Certainly not going to criticize our team that battled thru such adversity and pulled out victory from a certain loss. Crawford got us here and had a stellar year, …so the guy had maybe a bad night, some bad breaks..start him right away 2nd game for sure. It is comforting to know Darling is the back up should things get a bit strange. Top marks to Q and Stan for recognizing that ability. No way we trash talk CC over a period where he made one mistake. Kane will just get better and better. This was a great effort by a great team.

  • April 16, 2015 at 12:33 am

    For all those Nancys out there who thought, thoughts after were down 3 goals. Bolly says, suck on thaaat.

  • April 16, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Okay, you can blame the first goal on bad defense, but goalies have been known to stop much cleaner breakaway goals. Not expected I guess, breakaway goals are going to happen. Tab, You’re being too kind on Crawford on the third goal. The shooter was played to the outside, Crawford defended the puck with his four hole. Play is to the right, defender is driving player to the right, left side of the goal is covered by somebody’s butt, Crawford is to the left. Simply can’t explain it, but he just does that sometimes. He was the worst Player on the ice for a crappy team in the first period. Certainly darling needed a touch of luck on his stupidest saves, but at least he was moving toward the puck. If I am Q, I start Darling until he proves he needs to be replaced. He was beyond competent, he was in command.

    Kane is the single best offensive player in the playoffs, and I know Pittsburg and Washington are playing. Toews is the second best player overall in the NHL. Keith is ok (passable, needs to work on his conditioning a little). Seabrook commands an absolute shutdown area of the ice, you know that because you almost never hear his name. #4, ridiculous. He’s never in a puck fight, he’s got the damn puck. Bickell was hitting like Nordstrom… Nordstrom fired off a couple wristers like Bickell… I just had to laugh on the offensive rushes the predators had when number 16’s line was on the ice. He is going to be a tough loss next year similar to Boland, Frolik, and Stalberg. Not that I’m keeping track, but I am 33% closer to my prediction of Sharp’s goal total for the first round.

    If these guys ever decide to play like a team, we might have something. Coach Hitchcock said last season that The challenge in beating the Blackhawks is not matching their talent, it’s breaking their resolve. Was this game the swan song of a team that could have been a dynasty, but for one overtime game seven shot last year? Can 81 keep up with these kids for a 7 game series? Maybe we need to wait a couple years until the 26 year old Kane and Toews are “really” in their prime. I don’t know if this team is good enough to win the cup, but I do know that they are not not good enough to win the cup.

  • April 16, 2015 at 1:37 am

    Nick go surf or some shit

  • April 16, 2015 at 1:40 am

    Krugs is staying.

  • April 16, 2015 at 6:40 am

    So Wall gets on here after an overtime win and almost breaks his arm patting himself on the back with the same old $6M goalie schtick. In other news, the sun rose in the east this morning.

  • April 16, 2015 at 7:00 am

    Wow. So tired, but so worth it.

    Gotta think to go back to Darling in game 2, and Crow in game 3. If Darling wins, you give crow a game with no pressure (up 2 games coming home). and if Darling loses, you have “reasonable cause” to go back to the starter…

    I could add to the good and bad from last night, but right now im just going to take the win… and move on. Friday night is 36 short hours away… gotta get ready.

  • April 16, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Darling you are our hero and our savior! Now that is some goal tending, that is goalie leadership, that is what it takes to win playoff games right there. He is really good at reading plays and getting to the right spot just in time, no excuses.

    Those signature, soft, playoff goals ensured that Crawford absolutely had to go. No doubt about it, that move is what saved the game from being one of the most devastating playoff losses.

    Start Crawford again but be ready to pull him at a moments notice. He costs too much not to play him. However, I don’t buy this embarrassment rubbish for pulling Crawford anymore when it is needed like this. Cro gets paid 6 million per year, he is a big boy, he can handle it.

  • April 16, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Wall, I used to read what you wrote and thought you had some good insights. Now I just can’t get past the ego…….

  • April 16, 2015 at 7:41 am

    1. Sasquatch was unconscious, flashbacks of Belfourrrr with 4 or 5 really really big saves.
    2. If Q didn’t have control in the locker room, he does now! Two of the boldest decisions that i can remember. Scratch and Sit Vermette a player who could and should be making a contribution somewhere somehow. Pulling Crow was a brilliant move and it worked on the “team” and in the “net” as Sasquatch pitches a 42 shot SHUT OUT. So who starts FRIDAY since Sasquatch shut them down so now it’s an issue. I think a bigger issue is that Crow’s confidence will take a big hit and that leaves a question on how he will respond OR will he sit friday . . . I lean toward sit, only because of the shut out on over 40 shots, not sure you unplug a hot goaltender?
    3. Poor Preds, very physical but so what. . . . but the offense driven by defense is easy to
    beat. Hawks went with speed not sure we won that but in the end we did. I’d go with more size!
    4. Hawks Power Play scored which was the game but still looked dreadful on most opportunities that second power play line needs to perform
    5. After the first period everyone play very well, TnT played comfortable and glad to see him get the ice time in the only “real game: of the year. Happy that Nordstrom is playing he has given EVERYTHING he has all year. But Hawks needs the size and skill of Desjardins on the ice too.
    6. Rozy and Kimmo will cost us a goal a night, the speed in transition and center ice is weak but age is a factor.Rhunblad should get a shot.
    7. Darling and Crow will cost us again as they wander out of the net and play the puck.
    8. Great to see Kane on the ice, adds space and draws a rather stiff defense out of it’s comfort zone. TnT did this also tonight, he’s impressive but needs to be on a productive line not a forecheck gut check line. TnT can pass and find “Scorers” on the ice on a 4th or 3rd line his efforts are not maximized.
    9. The Captain played like a Captain.
    10. Sasquatch Sasquatch Sasquatch

  • April 16, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Hof- actually – My arms hurt too much- and I am no longer able to pat myself on the back… I am patting Darling on the back…

    MtM – gets a pat on the Back too… for speaking objectively- in regards to Crow’s weakness of playing the puck

  • April 16, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Q had no option but to pull Crow, it was a TEAM pull as well as a CROW pull!
    Unfortunately Crow may or may not respond to this, I think he will bit I also think if Q has a goal tender in the locker room that can shut out and shut down the opponent then well the choice is easy to me Sasquatch! Not letting it go to 4 zip was so smart as was sitting Vermette but sadly the entire team was flat on the opening drop.

    I think Q will start Crow . . . but i think Crow is now in game 2 and Pred’s are down 1 at home so if CROW felt the pressure last night “he’s gonna get blitzed big time” on friday night and now he needs a perfect game. Pred’s will be more physical for the “Entire” game that stupidly got in a skating contest with the Hawks and so it goes.

  • April 16, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Nice to see the Hawks/Coaches utilize a 1-3-1 set on PP and set that “legal” pick to give Preds some troubles…

    Hawks PK better figure out that the Low D guys CANNOT drift too high and cover the Middle man… which exposes goalie to 2 on 1 and… ain’t gonna wi that battle.

  • April 16, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Love Darling but you have to go back to Crow in game 2 considering his body of work; he’s been the Hawks best player for much of the year and he deserves to be back in net.

    I’m like all here and love Sasquatch but one suck of a period (and not all Crow) doesn’t deserve a goalie change.

    Crushing defeat for the Preds…Hawks have to come out and try for a road sweep.

  • April 16, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Another example of why 19 is the best overall player in the league. Sure liked the way 42 crushed Weber behind the goal. Looks like he can’t take what he dishes out. Great pass by 86 to 4. 23 played a solid game with a great deal of energy. Good job by Q of putting his best forwards on the ice and line management. I wonder if we may see Cumiskey or Runblad in the next game.

  • April 16, 2015 at 8:18 am

    Wall–some insight with the mention of the 1-3-1. Great point and I almost crapped myself to see something different while also passing the puck. Giving Kane space on the PP is so stupid if you are an opposing team.

    Really good jump on the PK last night. Not allowing Weber to blast from the point is huge.

    Thought Versteeg had a strong game.

    Timmonen wasn’t great last night, but he wasn’t the worst Blackhawk D-Man. The drop-off from Rosival from 2012-13 to 2013-14 was huge. It is worse from 2013-14 to 2014-15.

    TT’s pass to Hammer was beautiful.

    It is tough to pull a goalie who just made 42 saves and didn’t allow a goal in relief. That wasn’t mopup duty. This will be a tough call.

  • April 16, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Mike the Mook…..Stop calling him Sasquatch. It is a moronic name for one of our guys.

  • April 16, 2015 at 8:57 am

    It’s 100% clear who should start game 2. Corey Crawford. End of subject. He is the number one goalie on this team, and clear argument can be made for him being team MVP in 2014-15. The same guy who carried the Hawks in last year’s playoffs. The same man who was a big reason for why this team hoisted a Cup in June 2013. Crawford screwed up mightily on the second goal last night, but he was provided NO favors in that 1st period.

    The problem for the Hawks is simple…can Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson withstand the brutally heavy and hard minutes they shall be forced to play in this series and, hopefully, beyond. Oduya is the key…he MUST come up huge. And Rosy has to be able to get it done on most shifts. Kimmo has nothing left in the tank. Nothing.

    I’ll give Teuvo props for his beautiful pass/assist last night.

    Keith was game MVP last night.

    Shaw was vintage magnificent Shaw…he got inside the Predator helmets and despite a stupid play or three, he was a true difference maker in that the Predators could not keep him out of mind.

    Nordstrom had a beautiful game. While I wish DesJardins could also dress somehow, credit Quenneville with a smart decision in playing 42.

    And speaking of Quenneville, all of his detractors can go pound sand up their ass. Once again, last night proved his elite status in the pantheon of NHL coaches, especially come playoff time.

  • April 16, 2015 at 9:03 am

    This game had something for everyone on this board – critical defensive errors for RTF, a Crawford hook for Wall, and an epic comeback, overtime win for the rest of us. Is it really that difficult to enjoy the games without having to validate your own narrative in the process? Even if SB had Crawford’s cap money to spend on more skaters, who would you spend it on? Someone like Vermette, right? How has that worked out? Who knows what the dynamic is by subtracting Crow and adding others. Get behind the boys and enjoy the last run with this crew.

    I don’t like seeing Crow get pulled but it was clearly the right move and Darling was downright awesome in relief. Kane and TT with sick passes on the assists to 10 and 4. Great resilience coming back from 3 down and getting blown off the ice after the first 20. Let’s keep this thing going boys…

    Did anyone else notice that Nashville has cheerleaders in the aisles up and dancing around between every break in action?

  • April 16, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Give Nashville fans a break. I’ve been to that stadium and their fan base is “newbie” by definition. But generally speaking, a class act crowd and very nice people. Which defines people from that region in general. Leave them alone and let them enjoy their hockey with their own set of idiosyncracies, etc. Do you know what the rest of the NHL world thinks of things at the United Center?? Well, it’s not a pretty portrayal of any of us.

  • April 16, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Exciting finish. The Hawks need to get that FO% up. If only they had made a deal to get a FO winning center that would help them in a playoff push, even if it was for only one year, Hmmm…. I know they would have had to give up a lot, but it sure would be worth getting someone that could make a difference. Hmmm…

  • April 16, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Gotta love playoff hockey. We watched some real drama last night and one we won’t likely forget. Let’s enjoy this win, because it was huge. Preds won’t quit, but choking a 3 goal lead by taking dumb ass penalties in the 2nd showed very poor discipline. Speaking of penalties the refs called some and let alot go. Such is randomness of NHL playoff officiating. Preds are now under big pressure to win Friday, and hopefully Hawks fans that invade Nashville for the game will have plenty to cheer about, me being one of them. Like it or not Hawks just took back home ice last night. I think Friday is a must win for Preds or they are in way over their heads. This series I thought would go 6 to the Hawks, but it’s still early in the race.

    It was a no brainer to switch out Crow after 1st period with Hawks down by 3. He made a bad play on the Stahlberg goal behind the net, but I don’t fault him for the other 2. Darling was heroic in reserve to say the least. Amazing performance by THE Sasquatch who stood very tall and kept the Hawks in the game. How can you not love the local guy doing well on the big stage? So I think Q has kind of an easy choice with his keepers Friday. I think he goes back to CC because he has proven himself to be reliable and in general a proven clutch performer.

    While Joel has nice choices with his goalies, my God the 3rd D pairing is a simply an ulcer in the making for any supporters of the Indian head. Rozy and Timonen is just a nightmare that keeps playing over and over. There should be a law that say these guys can’t play together. Both can’t skate to save themselves. Rozy makes NHL blooper archives by skating away from the guy with the puck and taking out his own guy that might have saved his ass and made the play. This was pretty amazing stuff. That was so bad it was kind of funny in a sick way. I just don’t know what Q can do at this point, but those 2 guys are simply not able to get the job done. So 2, 4, 7, 27 are going to get run into the ground, which in the bigger picture ain’t a good thing. Can’t Cumiskey play for Rozy? The guy seems a logical choice to me. At least he can bring the puck up ice with some speed.

    Do we see Vermette and Desjardins back in the lineup Friday? Face offs not pretty for the Hawks last night. That needs to get better. They paid alot for Vermette, so now is the time see what he can bring on the big stage.

    The Swig Chicago gathering put up another road game W last night. Lost sleep worth every yawn today on a massive victory Thursday. Enjoy.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 16, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Hey Chevy, they had cheerleaders in Montreal when I was at Bell Centre last year! Talk about lame…..fans I sat next to could only shake their heads when I mentioned this was blasphemous to see that in Montreal of all places. Anyone know if the cheerleaders are still at Habs games?

    Lets Go Hawks

  • April 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Gee Wall, you’ve been quiet about Crow for the last month while he’s been playing out of his mind. We get it, he’s not worth $6M, to you anyway. Give it a rest.

  • April 16, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I have to agree with Rufus… Crow should get the next start… he is better than Darling (a bigger sample might prove different- but until then…) and Crow is the #1, and Paid a lot more… so you have to start Crow. you can always pull him- if needed…
    but better for Hawks/Crow if he plays (and wins/does well)

    NOT being sarcastic… Just playing coach from office chair…
    form GM chair… better if Crow does well too!!! more options in summer

  • April 16, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Otis, I have been quiet on Crow??? Only because I pinky swore with Hof… that I would stop beating Dead horse!!! But – I just couldn’t help myself in Game 1 of PO’s…

    Furthermore… I continue to see a different game than lot’s of you here…
    I missed the Crow “playing out of his mind” month… Hawks played better… I saw that month (still can’t generate a lot of O… But have been playin great Team D/limiting the D TO’s and large number of Odd-mans that plagued them – earlier this year… I saw that last month…

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Playoff Hockey, nothing like it. The veterans came through and the non-veterans held their own. Great coaching from Q. Can’t say enough about Kane coming back from the injury. Darling pitched shutout hockey for almost four periods. I am just basking in the glow.
    Very, very tough loss for Preds.

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:19 am


    Are you a complete idiot?! That win had nothing to do with Darling, and everything to do with the defensive prowess of Michael Rosival. Open your eyes.

    In all seriousness, I haven’t agreed with a lot of what you’ve said regarding goaltending, but I think the Hawks have a gem in Darling. Granted, Crow single-handedly won us a lot of games this year. There were several saves that Darling made last night that I don’t think Crow makes. Maybe he’s expendable in July.

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Tab nice clip from the locker room, hadn’t seen that yet!

    If there is ANY doubt about Toews leadership watch that clip again. The minute he opens his mouth the locker room is dead silent. All fucking business after that win! The Hawks expect to win and until they lose jump on the bandwagon! That’s a perfect example of why all those dumb losses at the end of the season doesn’t matter. Last night mattered, Darling mattered! Lots of Onions for the Hawks and onions during playoff time matters!

    Last nights result was a body blow to Nashville. 6 rookies for the Preds, no track record of playoff success, an OT loss up 3-0, not good for the Preds! We will see real fast what the Preds are made of!

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:31 am


    Rosey should have gotten 2 min. penalty for interference on that Goal… Keith could have stopped him!!!

    It is clear that Rosey has Money on the Preds!!!

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:33 am

    On another note…

    Tanner Kero w/ 3rd goal in 4th game… maybe SB has something there!
    COOL name too

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:40 am

    As the goaltender in game 2, I start Crow but if you ride the hot hand in Darling I’m good with that too. Q is really in a WIN WIN decision with that one. I’m not sure why Runblad or Cuminsky can’t start over Rosy. I understand Rosy is a vet but wow that was unreal. My son is 6 and was like “32 can’t skate”! Hawks got their ass handed to them at the dot, I wish they had traded for a few centerman to help win some draws,….hmmmm vermette cough, cough!

    What really matters besides those small changes is how Nashville responds

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:44 am

    For those that know him, Scott Darling has a nickname. Its “The Boss” or if you are addressing him directly its just “Boss”. So one would say “The Boss had an awesome game in relief” or “nice game Boss!”

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:49 am

    OH… and TT with that slick pass to Hammer…

    If thats the TT we will see for the next 5-7 years, i’m game! lol

    I’d still like to see him with 19/81 for an extended time. Obviously you dont overtinker now… but next year, i want to see it. Give 20 time with 88 and insert 2C (although last playoffs they did ok with 65, but i’d rather 65 as 3rd line W)

  • April 16, 2015 at 10:59 am

    I’m all for Darling starting, but only bc of his “shutout”. Nashville hasn’t scored on him yet, and he may get in their heads. Obviously start crawford game 3, to show we still believe he’s the number one, but I don’t think you can sit the hot hand until a goal is scored on him.

  • April 16, 2015 at 11:10 am

    imtgrill- problem w Darling starting… if he/or hawks do well… de-values CC and hurts his confidence…

    Let Crow- get back on horse… and hope he gets better support/and plays better…
    That is the best thing for CC and Hawks right now.

  • April 16, 2015 at 11:27 am

    I expect Crawford to be starting game 2. He has a history of responding well to a bad game. If he falls on his face again Q can always yank him. What was up with Stahlberg?His speed was giving the Hawks some trouble. Rozy is last years Zus.

  • April 16, 2015 at 11:58 am

    1 win down, 15 to go!

  • April 16, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I know I come off as a Crow apologist, but it isn’t his fault that Rozsival gets ice time. Rozsival was on the ice for the second goal too, I understand if you didn’t know that because it took him about 30 second to get back into the screen. Woof.

    Amazing how much better the PP looks with PK. That’s really confusing. It’s amazing how much better the power play looks with Patrick Kane.

    We all had a good laugh when Nordstrom boarded Weber. Almost an identical play to the one he was suspended for. That suspension sure taught him! I’m good if the Hawks want to play 11 in place of 42 tomorrow.

  • April 16, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Nobody in their right mind can be serious saying that Runblad should play over Rozy. Runblad is horribly incompetent in the defensive zone and his only attribute is that he can pass the puck. Against Nashville you must play Rosy and Kimmo by default. And those two must produce 12 minutes each of competent hockey so Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson don’t die of exhaustion on the ice. It’s a very delicate balancing act that Q has to manage because the defense, more than anything, shall define if we do or do not compete for the Western Conference title.

  • April 16, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Count me in the “CC starts Game#2” camp. Not only because CC is the starting goalie, but because it’s better to Darling sitting on the bench with confidence in his game after having had a good outing than to have the potential situation where if CC had to relieve Darling he would be coming in with lower confidence and added pressure because of his last outing. In other words, I’d rather have Darling in the bullpen for Game#2 than CC.

    That was a heckuva come back. They showed a lot of heart and that was important for the rest of the series even if they didn’t pull out the victory. That first period put the Hawks on their heels and if they didn’t turn that around in the game they would be under trendous pressure and a real confidence crisis going forward. Now, it’s the Preds that have the pressure and must have at least a little doubt in their minds. I don’t thing the Preds are going to go away or roll over by any stretch, but the Hawks now have the upper hand and giving a team with championship pedigree the upper hand is not a good thing for their opponent.

  • April 16, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Rufus – what are Rozy’s positive attributes? I’m not saying Rundblad is good, he just isn’t as bad as Rozsival.

  • April 16, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Coach Q announced Crow will start Friday.

    Some fans keep him on a short leash? How short is that leash?
    So how many goals is too many goals to fast or in a row? Is 2 zip start for the Pred’s enough to pull Crow again? Is it three goals, is it when Crow kicks the puck into our own net? Now fans got something real to talk about, and if only Darling did not shut them out this would be easy. Plus Pred’s are NOT a high octane offensive so 3 goals is a little ridiculous. GO Hawks

  • April 16, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    @ Rufus call me crazy I guess

    What’s worse a guy (Rosy) who no longer can skate to the right spot or a guy (Runblad) who doesn’t know the right spot? I understand the Runblad is a defensive liability but isn’t Rosy too at this stage. At least Runblad gives the modest upside of being able to “carry the mail” or make a solid outlet pass.

    Makes you wish they had Dalbeck or another prospect available(Johns). Why they never developed a prospect in the 6th hole is mind boggling. So now the option is Rosy, Runblad or Cuminsky.

    Score is reporting Crow will start game 2 and Q will keep the same lineup in game 2.

  • April 16, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Same lineup, well ok, some of these guys are going to need to do a better job at the faceoff circle then. Shaw in particular I thought I noticed was really bad. Toews not much better.

    Terevainenen I thought had a really good game; if somebody sits to get Vermette in, which looks like it won’t happen, it shouldn’t be TT. Nordstrom was pretty good on the PK with the exception of that spin and fall clearing attempt on the 2nd goal and he’s physical. But those faceoffs have to get better.

    As for the #5 and #6 defensemen, Roszival did have a few good plays if you watch closely and aren’t totally biased. But yeah, he’s outclassed by speed and Timmonen skating less than 12 minutes isn’t going to cut it.

    On SSHM’s comment about developing another defenseman, they did, it was TVR. They’ve worked hard with Runblad but …

    Other than that it’s Cumiskey and Paliotta, and IMO those are coin flips whether it’d be better than what they’ve already got playing.

    But yeah, got to agree the 5-6 D-men as it stands could be an Achilles heel.

    I’ll have some Rockford stuff in the next thread.

  • April 16, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    @ Hof

    Your absolutely correct, I forgot about TVR.

  • April 16, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    do you think vermette won’t be in until someone else needs to sit? Regardless of how ineffective he was at the end of the season it seems a little ridiculous to sit such a great player…

  • April 16, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    We haven’t seen him with kane yet…you never know what 20 80 88 would look like

  • April 16, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Starting Crow is the only decision Q was ever going to make, he has pocket aces in Darling. Crow will absolutely be better in game two. Agree that Rosy should sit until Runblad screws up at least as bad as Rosy, I don’t think that will ever happen. Mission accomplished for now tho, Go Hawks!

  • April 16, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    I hope Crawford has his shit together for Game 2. It’s going to be a shooting gallery out there, I have a feeling. He looked like he wasn’t seeing the puck last night. Maybe that perm he was sporting knocked his helmet out of alignment.

  • April 16, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Let me get this straight. Vermette has been bad in a Hawk uniform. Not ineffective, but rather bad. A big disappointment. But because Bowman gave up a 1st round pick on the rental and the guy is a proven veteran, then Quenneville is an idiot for benching him?!? The same coach who piloted a massive comeback in game one, and oh by the way you already know, has 2 Cups and 750 plus regular season wins on his resume. And this same Quenneville guy is an idiot because Vermette sits in deference to two kids playing in Teuvo and Nordstrom?!? Isn’t this the same coach who the meatball brigade rips to shreds for never giving youngsters a chance in deference to grizzled veterans?!?

    And on Runblad versus Rosy, against a team like the Preds, I dress Rosy 100 times out of 100 over Runblad. And apparently so too does Quenneville. The idiot brigade wants to rip Q for dressing Rosy and Kimmo when the alternative is Runblad?!? Good God. Nobody said Rosy or Kimmo are world beaters, but I’m pretty sure Q is playing them by default because it’s not like Chelios and Dougie Wilson aren’t dressing instead.

  • April 16, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    – Nordstrom; + Desjardins.

  • April 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    That first goal by the preds, good lord. Looked like Keith was torn whether or not to bail Rozsival (who absolutely can’t skate) out. Or take care of his side of the ice for any would be trailers. Rozsival looked like he assumed Keith would come to rescue his sorry ass. Both receded, and the puck is in the back of the net. Was hoping Crawford would pull a Subban on his team mate.

    And yet Rozsival is out there the next fucking shift. Good lord.

    I know Johns hasnt been up, but I’m fairly certain between Johns, Rundblad, and Paliotta one of the 3 has to be better than that turd. Johns by the way, despite missing 15 or so games leads the Icehogs, and the entire AHL with a +30.

  • April 16, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Has anyone else noticed over the last 20 or so games, Hjalmarsson joining in down low more? I hope that pass he got from Teuvo was a sign of things to come.

    Rufus, I will without a doubt give way to Q as a hockey god. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t criticize his roster moves. I could care less if Vermette sits. He’s been bad. He deserves to sit. FWIW his wife is due to give birth soon and had complications with their first child. Couple that with new surroundings and you can understand why he’s been awful. Not that that gives him a pass for being bad, just understandable.

    Its refreshing to see a coach manage his team the way he wants and isnt hindered by management because of what a player makes or what was given to acquire him.

    However, when it comes to Roszival I will criticize him. Rundblad was bad to start the year. But he’s gotten better. He will have mental lapses, but theyve become far less frequent. Roszival simply can not skate. He makes mental mistakes trying to make up for that. Rundblad is a capable replacement, he’s not the second coming of anyone. I just don’t want to see a guy routinely get beat because somebody filled his skates with lead. I feel they won last night despite 32 and 44. As for Timmonen, I dont think you skate Cumiskey or Paliotta over him.

  • April 16, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Why not get that SKS line (Saad, Kane, Shaw) back together? They were incredible during last years’ playoffs and couldn’t be stopped…until Q broke them up that is.

  • April 16, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Nordstrom is a liability. Every player dressed — or not — makes a difference one way or the other. Desjardins please. We’re all glad the Hawks won, but fools’ gold Nordstrom in lineup in lieu of Desjardins. Thank you Q.

  • April 16, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    So the 4th line was probably the second best if not best line for the Hawks. Not sure how Nordstrom was such a huge liability…

    Shaw is not good at center…

  • April 17, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Nordstrom is faster and quicker than 11 and he is a better fore checker. He is not much of a scorer but then again either is 11. I am not sure what is meant by Nordstom being a liability. 32 is my idea of a liability.

  • April 17, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Nordstrom had a very strong game #1. His speed and two-way defensive play were outstanding. How anybody can conclude he was a liability on the ice is mind boggling. He also has clear chemistry with the invaluable Kruger.

  • April 17, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    Rufus – You got it straight. “Vermette has been bad in a Hawk uniform. Not ineffective, but rather bad. A big disappointment”. I’m not sure what the difference in playing bad or being ineffective, but OK. I think SB is to blame not Q, for acquiring this veteran that gets benched for kids in the playoffs. Especially for this veteran loving coach.

  • April 17, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I like both 42/11 on 4th w/16/TT…
    42 is quicker, and actually hits harder … 11 wins more board battles… giving TT more space/time to hang around/float… so either one is ok

    kinda neutral on 32/5… 5 has way more upside, faster, way better shot… But seems to make the HUGE TO from time to time… 32 usually – less likely for the BIG TO…
    but skates and shoots like crap!

    11/42 is win/win
    32/5 is usually lose/lose

  • April 17, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Pretty sure people didn’t like Nordy’s turnover during the PK that lead to the 3rd goal. Not a great turnover but also not like he had an open route to clear the puck. Tough break and a redirect on the shot. Those goals happen.

    Not sure you can say 42 is a major upgrade over 11. 11 seems to hit harder and be more of an offensive threat but 42 has been role playing well.

    The 3rd D pairing is what it is. They are trying to cover liabilities by mixing 4, 7 and 2 up with 32 and 44. As long as those two don’t kill us we should be in decent shape but may need Crow to bail us out. +1 on Q for getting Crow right back in there. The right move, he’s won us the cup before and he needs to carry the load.

  • April 17, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    While I do enjoy Q playing kids, I die inside when I see Shaw being used at center because he’s significantly less effective there.

    The fourth line was great on Wednesday (though still underwater, but that will happen with the amount of defensive zone starts they have). However, Nordstrom did fail on a pretty easy clear that led to an open point shot and easy tip in on the PK.

    Rufus, I asked you for things that Rozsival does better than Rundblad. You gave me absolutely nothing besides what you do without reasons for why you would do it. Nashville is a great forechecking team and they are obviously targeting dumps on Rozsival’s side because he can’t recover in time to beat them to the puck. If he ever does beat them to the puck, he rarely makes good decisions on the outlet and they often get hemmed in for a long time. As I said, I don’t think Rundblad is “good” but I do think he’s less “bad” than Rozsival.

  • April 17, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    And on that first goal, not only did Rozsival get blown past, he also picked Keith who was busting his ass to cover the guy he knew Rozy wasn’t going to get to.

  • April 17, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    As much as I hate agreeing with RTF, I don’t think you can start Runblad over Rosy. On the plus side, Runblad is a better passer, an offensive threat and is certainly light-years faster than 32. While he does get to the puck faster, he often gets destroyed on the forecheck and is really ineffective at keeping his body between the checker and the puck. Rosy can at least get in the way, Runblad ends up on his *$$.

    Rosy has also been there and hopefully gets his head screwed on straight for the rest of this and hopefully more series. TVR is the guy you’d really like to have back, tough breaks for the kid, hopefully get gets over his injury bug and can play a full season next year. We’re going to need him.

  • April 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I know Rosy has been bad but what about Kimmo Timonen. Maybe he was good in his day but his day has passed. Maybe he looked taller in orange and black but he looks like tiny out there and he took a holding penalty and still gave up a quality shot.
    Rosy can not play the minutes but if you can give him 12 minutes with Cumiskey, maybe that works so 2,7,27 and 4 can play 24 minutes each and not die out there covering for guys that are just plain bad. Cumiskey at least can skate and looked better than Runblad in his small sampling.

  • April 17, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Rosy is generally reliable in the defensive zone. And at times rock solid. Runblad is none of that. He’s a bad weird offensive defenseman hybrid who you can’t possibly count on in the defensive zone. Especially now in the playoffs.

    I keep reading idiotic post after post that state things like, “well Q the idiot keeps sending Rosy and Kimmo out on shifts after mistakes…” What the Sam Hell is supposed to do?!? Keith, Seabrook and Hjalmarsson already are logging punishing and too great of minutes. Do you want the 3 of them to double shift for 60 minutes a playoff game?!? The Hawks have a big issue that Q is trying to work around…and that is playing with 3 1/2 very good defensemen and 2 1/2 defensemen with definite limitations. It’s not rocket science.

  • April 17, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Duuurrrrrr…Crow is the man! Q is a genius. My seats are the best!! Stan Bowman calls me in to meetings! Duuurrrrrrrr!!! Timmo is the man!!! Preds fans are the best! I love the south, i am a hockey guru! Duuuurrrrrr!!!

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