Filip Forsberg, Preds Force Game 6

Filip Forsberg’s first career postseason hat trick was punctuated with an empty net goal with 10 seconds left in regulation and the Nashville Predators forced a Game Six on Saturday at the United Center.

darling NSH

The script on Thursday night was unfortunately similar to the display in Game Two, as a quick blitz at the beginning of the third period blew a tie game wide open.

Brad Richards opened the scoring with his first of the postseason, but the Hawks were only able to hold the lead for 75 seconds before Forsberg scored his first of the night. Marcus Kruger won a defensive zone faceoff but Forsberg got to the puck and beat Scott Darling, who was his roommate last year.

Chicago had two power plays in the first period but both failed; the Hawks out-shot the Preds 13-10 in the opening 20 minutes but Pekka Rinne was up to the task.

The second period was scoreless, with the Hawks successfully killing a Brent Seabrook penalty. Nashville was able to gather some momentum in the middle stanza, though, out-shooting the Hawks 11-7.

When the puck dropped to open the third period, it took only one shift for the wheels to fall off.

Michal Rozsival failed to clear the puck and the Preds capitalized as James Neal scored on a wrap-around to give the Preds a lead they wouldn’t give up the rest of the way. Neal’s goal came only 47 seconds into the period, and Nashville would grab the game by the throat after the score.

With Rozsival in the box, Colin Wilson scored his fifth of the series. Wilson had 20 goals during the regular season but struggled over the final month of the season; those struggles are well in the past now, though, as he has been Nashville’s best offensive weapon throughout the series.

Only 12 seconds after Wilson’s goal, Forsberg scored his second of the game to extend the lead to 4-1. With three goals in just 3:14 to open the third period, the game was effectively over.

Forsberg’s empty net goal was a power play tally, making the Preds successful on two of three advantages in the game. The Hawks did not have a power play after their two in the opening 20 minutes.

Kris Versteeg was on the receiving end of a filthy pass from Patrick Kane and scored his first goal of the postseason with 5:08 left in regulation, but that would be the sum of the Blackhawks offense for the night.

Chicago was credited with 30 shots on net in the game, but failed to create any traffic in front of Rinne. Darling faced 28 shots and allowed four of Nashville’s five goals in the loss.

At 17:55, Marian Hossa was called for a slash on Viktor Stalberg and all hell broke loose. Andrew Shaw whacked Seth Jones after the whistle and Paul Gaustad took exception. Those two exchanged words – and a few punches – and were sent to the showers. Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, Shaw picked up the extra penalty and, with 2:05 left in regulation, any hopes for a rally were crushed.

Shaw and Gaustad picked up minor penalties for roughing 10-minute misconduct penalties on the play.

Jonathan Toews led the Blackhawks with four hits in the game, but struggled at the dot; Mike Fisher returning to the Nashville lineup certainly helped the home team in that regard. Toews won only seven of 19 faceoffs in the game.

Shaw led Chicago with six shots on net, but his 16 penalty minutes were costly. Johnny Oduya was credited with a team-high four blocked shots in the game.

Duncan Keith played almost half of the game’s first 40 minutes and finished the night skating 27:08 only two nights after he was on the ice for more than 46 minutes. Kimmo Timonen played only 8:35 in the loss and was a non-factor.

Richards added an assist to have a two-point night. Kane, Bryan Bickell and Brent Seabrook picked up assists in the loss. The assist gives Kane five points (one goal, four assists) in his first five games since returning from injury.

Game Six will begin at 7:00 pm CT at the United Center on Saturday night.

71 thoughts on “Filip Forsberg, Preds Force Game 6

  • April 23, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    wall, so uhhh… the team in front of darling might have been a factor in his SV%.

  • April 23, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Versteeg giveth and Versteeg taketh away. Not good all around. Saving the series win for the home crowd I guess. Hope so.

  • April 23, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Pu-leese no more about goalie/Wall/$6million and on and on. Its the playoffs for cripes sake.

    We go from million dollar whiz kids to cheap 5 cent cigars one game to the next. My brain hurts.

  • April 23, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Darling is great. Hawks let him down tonight is all

  • April 24, 2015 at 7:00 am

    JS- my chances of winning our little bet… just increased a smidge…

  • April 24, 2015 at 7:28 am

    Rinne is my favorite Goalie in the NHL. he is so awesome and consistent. When the Hawks beat the Preds, they just barely do so. When the Preds beat the Hawks, it is a total smashing.

    The Hawks have always had a hard time figuring out how to get one past Rinne.

    Some goalies in the NHL are worth 6 million per year. Rinne is one of them for sure.

  • April 24, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Hope tomorrow night is a full 60-minute effort to close this thing out… Rest up and watch the Blues and Wild battle it out. Not sure who I would rather see in round 2?

  • April 24, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Both teams are evenly matched but Hawks will win game six. To be honest without Webber i would have thought the Hawks would win.

    Darling played okay no goals but wrap around his fault, again he’s so big he was slow to pin the post and got stuck. Not easy at 6 -6!

    The Blues will win their series and I think they have the advantage big time over the Hawks but we’ll see.Tuff defense and some top line skill but average goal tending.

    Hawks did not play at the “speed” or as Coach Q says “pace” they needed to win. To my wife it looked soooo fast, it was actually about 10% slower. A little slower to the puck and little behind on the pass and slow to close on defense around the net and the Hawks will indeed look average.

    Hawks are a team , like last night, if they play about 10% slower they lose, they need 4 lines, 110% intensity every night because like everyone else in the NHL they don’t have enough pure scorers, an NO ONE DOES! About 15 NHL teams are all the same due to that team defense.

    The fourth line is really out playing shift per shift everyone! I am watching Shaw on that line and he is growing, and made some subtle offensive moves i haven’t seen him make. This is WHY you dont keep “vitamixing” lines, now Shaw has room to roam a little, look to score and get the puck to the net. In the past he needed to skate hard into the corners and not look up, he’s playing very well and is actually a better play thanks to 16 + 11.

    I will now sadly declare Vermette DOA. He will rebound in an off season trade but what a shame the Hawks could not pick up anyone to give them a lift besides ye ole Dezi! I would have taken JAGGGGGER-MIESTER looking back, on power play he rocks!

    Crow will start Saturday, Hawks should and will win, Preds really not there yet as a team even Peckkka looks beatable!

    go hawks

  • April 24, 2015 at 7:59 am

    Rinne looked average and the Preds know it . .. he isvery beatable, most teams don’t have depth at scoring like no a days 30 goals is a lot? He blocker side is very very weak, i woudl go their all day long but sadly most players take the bait of open glove and most GOOD goalies have good gloves. He is big like Darling so his 5 hole is like a manhole cover but again maybe one guy Kane has the patience or time to make him drop then hit the 5 hole. Rinne is good but after surgery he looks beatable and will be.

    Darling is pretty good, he just needs to control his size, he drifted last night a few times meaning moved left of right and move out of the crease not post to post like King Henry
    in new york. But what Darling does not have is “teachable” .

    Darling had some of the best PUCK CONTROL i have seen this year , very few rebounds I think he went with an xxxxxl jersey sort sucks the puck. Size matters but that size can work against ya at times.

    Crow or Darling no difference really . .. .

    i too hate all the chatter about who gets paid what . . . PLAY! PLAY HARD! period.

  • April 24, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Could the Hawks have benefitted from some fresh legs and high level skill in the form of TT last night? Just asking. I think yes, but I throw it out to the board.

  • April 24, 2015 at 8:15 am

    I thought the first two periods were great then it all went oops.

  • April 24, 2015 at 8:17 am


    Terrible assessment if Rinne. He’s been one if the best goaltenders in the NHL for some time.

    As for Vermette being traded that’s not happening. He walks with Zero compensation as a UFA. Bowman is just sooo awesome.

  • April 24, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Does anyone have a good site that shows the playoff advanced stats? I know small sample size and all that but just curious what the fancy stats are saying about the various series and (obviously) this one.

    As for last night… well, got to brush it off and be ready to bring it on Saturday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more lineup changes, maybe with 80 out and 42 or 86 back in. Netminder is going to be a really tough call. Darling has been largely solid and not sure you can pin any in particular on him last night. But putting Crow back in would have heaps of pressure with it. You can’t get down early in game 6 and then make the switch. So I think Darling starts Saturday. It will be interesting, that’s for sure.

    So, Wall, about paying the goalies…

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:09 am

    It is going to be an interesting summer for sure…

    Re: SB/TDL deals… as I stated earlier around TDL… Hawks Need too much help… Offense and Defense (everything but goalies)… Flames GM was doing it right… let an asset go… and Has a shit load of Picks for a very highly touted 2015 draft… Flames just need to hit on one pick… if two work out- watch out!!!

    MtM- both 80/44 are DOA… Sad for sure

    I honestly did not watch past 1st period… really sad watching Preds – 25, Wilson, Forsberg, and D man Jossi (is he the 2nd coming of Leddy???) skate outside, then inside on Hawks D… thru most of series (except game 3 or 4- can’t remember) where Hawks really limited that…

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:09 am

    war on the ice – they have pretty graphs and charts too

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Chev- Last thing I will say about Goalies- Until Off-season… then it will be Fantasy GM time!!!

    imo- Crow is greater than Darling (at least until SD has larger sample size to draw from)
    But- SD + Kesler (for example) is Greater than Crow!!!!!!

    End Of Goalie crap from Me— until Off season rants!!!

    Hof- I promise!!!! lol

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Pete, I am right there with you on the fresh legs thing. In a weird way I don’t think Q thought he could sit anyone after the 3OT win. I believe the Hawks would benefit from Timmo sitting and getting the same 8 – 12 minutes from Cuminskey or Runblad. I throw TT in there as well, for Versteeg. I then would play Shaw with Sharp and Vermette and then have TT go to the fourth line with Kruger and Desi.

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Everyone please go read Ryan Lambert’s post today on Corey Crawford versus Scott Darling. Ryan Lambert is a guy that rips apart goalies on the regular and often bashes their contracts. There are a lot of fun numbers, certainly worth reading.

    It’s too funny to me that people are bashing the Vermette trade. Bowman made a move to acquire the best center available at the trade deadline because he wanted to give the team the best chance to win. Had he sat on his hands and Vermette went on to play for another team, I can guarantee you people here would be bitching that he should have traded for Vermette but he’s afraid to move assets.

    Scott Darling coming back down to earth. Whoever would have thunk it? Sure, he was hung out to dry a few times, still half as much as Crow was in games 1 and 2.

    Welcome back Rozy!

    Not really concerned about this game. Hawks shit the bed for 3 minutes, Q didn’t take a time out when he should have, they lost. Fully expecting them to pump the Preds on Saturday.

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Watched two periods and went to bed. Hawks were on auto pilot for two periods, and I’ve seen this act before. Vermette was MIA. Another case of “See how beautifully I can Skate”. Kruger brings it night in and night out.

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Very pathetic third period. You can’t blame Darling for the melt down. Rozy was back to his old self and 80 was a turnover machine with his weak passes in the neutral zone all night. He also has an unwillingness to mix it up in the corners. Bad trade. As has been mentioned earlier time for some fresh legs. 80, 23, 32 & 44 need to sit. Bring in some speed with 42, 86 and Runblad & Cumiskey. Kudos to 91 on his best game in a long time. He was shot out of a cannon on his goal. Pressure is now on the Hawks. They better finish things off tomorrow night. I would hate to go back to Nashville for a game 7.

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Wall, “Flames GM was doing it right… let an asset go… and Has a shit load of Picks for a very highly touted 2015 draft…” — the situations in Calgary and Chicago are completely different. (…for somebody who knows something I’m a little surprised you overlook this) The Hawks are committed to taking one last shot at the Cup this year with this core. The Flames are committed to rebuilding – have not qualified for post season play since 2009.

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Maybe’15… yep on 16… My son asked me will Hawks win this series this am…

    Answer- odds are yes… up 3/2… BUT- Hawks are being out-skated/ and most look slow- vs. Preds… except for 19/81/20/88/16… and they don’t look faster… just keepin up..

    Hawks D being split when they have position/gap… is awful!!! happening way too much this series… And is JOSSI that good/Fast??? Wilson??? they look like hagelins/stalbergs out there… speed wise

  • April 24, 2015 at 10:11 am

    DD- with due respect… Flames are and aren’t, re-building… they are competitive now too… but for you to say the Hawks “one last shot”… implies SB/Hawks aren’t in “contention” near future… which might be case- cuz of giving away picks… but I think Hawks chances next year are as good or better than this year… but once again, damaged by losing some picks… Hawks need 2 prospects or more to shine… and hawks should be better!!!

    I guess- my real issue/or dis- agreement with you is fundamentally based on opinion…
    My opinion going into TDL… is/was The Hawks chances based on my “eye-test”,,, where the Hawks had/have only slightly better chance then Flames did/do at TDL …
    of winning Cup…

    You did say “with this core”… but really only 1 core guy probably goes… I don’t consider 29 a “core” nor is 65… if he happens to go…

  • April 24, 2015 at 10:36 am

    The only reason last night’s game wasn’t 7 or 8-2 was Scott Darling. All 4 NSH goals he had no chance on, including Neal’s wrap around where Duncan Keith even impeded Darling in the crease with his skates preventing Darling’s glove getting to the post, instead of going to play the body and/or the puck…the puck then went in off of Keith’s stick. Keith made at least 6 egregious errors last night and the big minutes are having an affect on him. Roszival was awful once again…that’s 5 games and Rozy has been bad in 4 of them while Timonen is a flat out bust! The Hawks can’t do this with only 4 DMen, they need at least 5 solid DMen to make the rotation with Keith function and they are not getting it!

    If Q panics and puts Crawford back in goal, I don’t think we will win this series. NSH has outplayed the Hawks every single game. Darling’s heroics and key NSH injuries have been the only things standing in the way of their rolling over the Hawks! We are simply not good enough, right now, to win the Cup or perhaps even advance out of this series. Crawford was given 4 periods against NSH and gave up 9 goals because his style of goaltending contributes to NSH’s dominance, CC hasn’t played poorly or forgotten how to tend his net, NSH has simply been that good and CC has spent too much time giving up rebounds and being down in his flop position.

    Most of you either are in denial or simply don’t process just how dominating NSH is with their speed. They come in waves at the Hawks and breakdowns are occurring everywhere. Again, without Darling, the Hawks would likely have given up over 30 goals already in this series, as NSH has already had over 40 “Grade A” chances to score at point blank range. It has been a shooting range in our own end.

    Mike Fisher could not possibly have been 100% last night, and yet he dominated and gave Toews nightmares all game. If Weber comes back for game 6 the Hawks will be lucky to score a goal with all of our perimeter play. Right now Bickell and Shaw are the only Hawks regularly going to net and creating traffic. Without it Rinne just isn’t going to give up very many goals and we are giving NSH at least 15 good scoring chances a game, do the math.

    This series is FAR from over and if Weber comes back, the Preds should be made favourites to close us out as they have been dominating even without Fisher and Weber and with average goaltending from Rinne. If will say this again, we had all better hope that Q goes back to Darling for game 6 because if its Crawford I think we lose the series. Darling had that game tied at 1-1 starting the third period last night, and then his D collapsed completely around him. He had no chance on Forsberg’s roofer off the faceoff (what were Hammer and Oduya doing?), ZERO chance on Neal’s wraparound (caused by Rozy’s turnover) as Keith put it into his own net, ZERO chance on Wilson’s PP goal where he was given all day by Keith to receive a pass in front of the net, spin around and then still have time to roof the shot, impossible for a goalie to stop that…and then the one timer by Forsberg just 10 seconds later was again impossible! Wilson has 5 goals in 5 games because he is allowed to pitch a tent in front of our net without retribution. Even little Mike Ribero is allowed to skate circles in our own end AND take runs at Patrick Kane without consequence!

    The Hawks can’t stop or punish the Preds because they can’t catch them and Scott Darling is the only reason we are still playing hockey, its that simple!

  • April 24, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Sorry, that last post was from me, that is my son’s moniker, I am not sure why it came up as his name?

  • April 24, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Vermette and Richards lack of skating ability is also hurting the Hawks right now. They might be more useful against STL but, they will be worse against MIN…and that’s if the Hawks even advance.

  • April 24, 2015 at 10:49 am

    They played OK until they didn’t. I agree with the poster above that I felt a letdown coming on after not scoring in the second. You’re not going to beat a 100+ point team with defensive letdowns like that, although at least they contributed on (Nashville’s) offense, 23 and 2 had nice assists and netfront presence on the wraparound. It it time for a goalie change? I don’t think so, at no point was Darling as shaky as 50 was looking games 1 and 2, Crow was letting pucks in a foot inside the posts. The Hawks will win with offensive possession and elite D, they didn’t have it last night. 4 is skating through an injury it seems, he is not moving well. 32 hadn’t offered up one of those meatballs in a while and has been above average holding the point and passing, which is key to a possession team’s success. No I’m not anointing him Norris Trophy material but he has played as well as a 5th Dman should, I don’t think it’s time to sit him for a kid. Yet. My prediction: if the Hawks don’t win in the next 2 games, their season will be over. AND YOU CAN PRINT IT.

  • April 24, 2015 at 10:53 am

    So lightning strikes again for a few short minutes and the game was lost. Eerily, similar to the Friday blow out last week that had many wringing their hands and calling for CC’s head. Apart from these 2 3 minute lapses the Hawks played have decent hockey in Nashville. It’s about winning and Nashville had to win that game and played like it in the 3rd. They deserved to win given their effort. Make no mistake about it, Preds are good, and if Hawks don’t skate hard and play disciplined, this series could easily go back to Nashville for a dreaded game 7 when anything can happen. Having Fisher back really helped Preds imo. He is a good player.

    We sometimes lose sight about how close these teams are and the narrow margin that decides many games. It gets tighter in the playoffs. I thought this series could be won by the hawks in 6, but all of this will decided on the ice. I like the odds to any team that has three clinch games to close out a series. I also think Q goes with CC tomorrow, but if it is Darling that’s fine with me as he has shown he can come in under pressure and do his job. If the Hawks get back and fill Preds passing lanes they should prevail.

    I was cracking up with these penalty calls late when the game was pretty much over. Shaw does a fly by chop on Jones with no call. Jones punches Shaw in the face moments later. Shaw punches back and Jones flops to his knees. Players all go behind the net and scrum ensues. Gaustad engages Shaw. Jones tries to come round back and Rozy takes him down with a body slam. Meanwhile Hossa got called for a BS slash. All of this should have been offsetting penalties, but really the game was done at that point. Happy to see Shaw frisky at the end. By the way, the keeper interference call on Shaw earlier was rubbish as well. If Hawks get to the net early and often Saturday they should prevail.

    Finally, I can’t resist saying how I chuckled to watch Dead Wings choke it up last night at the end of the 3rd in what have put them up 3-1 against the Bolts. Looks like lightning struck in Detroit last night too.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • April 24, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Thanks AJ. War on ice is now bookmarked. I was curious to see if there was anything that stood out other than the obvious that the teams are evenly matched. The numbers get skewed on the games where the Hawks basically stopped playing (games 2 and 5). Interestingly in the 3-OT game, the Hawks out-Corsi’d Nashville by the widest margin in the series. I think the biggest concern is that in the series thus far is Nashville out-shooting us 207 to 176. A 31 shot difference is worrisome.

    JS, great read from Ryan Lambert. My takeaway – it’s great to have a top-tier elite keeper (which CC is not). But, he gives the team enough of a chance to win. Not to further chum the waters for Wall (we will save this for the offseason, right?) but where is tipping point? I’m still not sure it’s as simple as “don’t pay goalies, pay skaters” but I’m sure we can hijack the Corey Crawford year in review thread on the site after the season ends (hopefully sometime in June).

    Also right-on regarding the Vermette trade. SB is damned if he does damned if he doesn’t. You make the move when you have the chance. At the time everyone loved it.

  • April 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

    I guess this would be a good time to point out the list of 18 “fancy stats” sites that has been on this site since the first week of the regular season… Apologies to those who missed those being here the whole season

  • April 24, 2015 at 11:17 am

    So that Crawford article was fantastic. Yay math.

    I have no issues with Vermette. I think there were some pretty unrealistic expectations by a lot of people when he showed up. Versteeg has proven to be a pretty potent line killer at this point soooo perhaps a substitution there would be in order.

  • April 24, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Chevrier- There were several of us who questioned the trades for 80 and 44 the day of the trades. Giving up a first round pick for an average center and two picks for a 40 year old that had not played all year was too high a price to pay. As I said on the day of the trade, this one might bite Stan in the ass.

  • April 24, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    i think both teams were tired after the 3ot game. nash may have shown it a bit less due to: desperation, being on home ice, younger.

    i think this will be a different game in the uc with last change. q matches up the lines favorably.

    i do however think that following a hawks’ goal by putting the krueger line out there has resulted in a quick nashville response goal. not sure why but it happened twice in game 4 in chicago and then the 3rd time the hawks went ahead q put toews line in and nash didn’t get that 3rd quick response goal.

    then last night it was krueger’s line again that let in the immediate response goal after the hawks first one.

    again, not sure why it happens this way. its like nashville comes out energized (panicked) and gets one back right away.

    krueger’s line plays great d but it think q needs to ice the toews line after each hawks goal to keep the foot on nashville’s throat.

  • April 24, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    It’s KRUGER.

  • April 24, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    Its as true as the sun coming up tomorrow if Stans last name was not Bowman he would not be a GM in this league. B

  • April 24, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Bronco, believe what you want but he’s surrounded by really good people and their front office is the envy of many teams. Plus two asst. GM’s who worked with him have gone on to run their own teams in Montreal and Winnipeg.

    Stan Bowman doesn’t get all the credit for that but try to be objective, he deserves some. Further, if you think John McDonough would keep or even employ an executive solely due to his last name … nope. That guy is ruthless about results and continually pushes. Although McDonough has finally come to understand how hard it is to win in the NHL.

  • April 24, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Just announced- Shea Weber out rest of the series with Hawks.

  • April 24, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    That’s a crazy statement bronco. To Bowman’s credit, he has done a great job drafting since most of Tallon’s staff left. He also built the dominate 2013 cup winning team with some shrewd and great additions. BTW, how has Tallon or Rick Dudley been doing? Last I checked they have fewer rings than Stan….

  • April 24, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Peter, I want to see what Teravainen can produce with Sharpy and 80.

    JS, I am very thank full of Bowman for trading for a good FW at the deadline. Bowman is one of the top GM, none is perfect but he has made all the right moves over the yrs as much as anyone could and held put/by drafting yr after yr. Then on the yrs he wants to dip into the well, the well remains loaded by paying his dues for all the yrs stock pilling prospects from all leagues.

    Phil, Not blaming refs for anything, but there was several bullshit and some horseshit calls in the games in NAS and the games in CHI the refs were more properly consistent.

    Chev, the shot diff, I would add the blocks to those totals and I think were ahead. Overall other then game 3 I think all of the games were close. The Vermette trade can still be good (think Bolly made some huge plays after having an off reg. season). Its better to have 80 then to not. I think hes going to do a Bolly.

    So what we traded a couple picks. Draft picks take 2-3 (some 4-5) yrs to develop. I have a feeling Bowman will get moar picks again (think 36 and 67/32 and 52). We kept (basically) all of our picks 5of7 yrs since weve had our team. We are going to have our core for ten moar yrs (other then 10or29 and 5yrs,etc. Hoss retires). We are the Blackhawks 3.0, that has another wave of good young players coming with having one of the two best cores in hockey. The Calvary is coming for the next ten yrs when it comes to good role players on low caphits.

    One of the good things about not having home ice is when your up 3-2 game 6 is at home. Its fine we didn’t get game 5 because we won 1of first2 on road and both at home, had it been 2-2 then this would not. It really shows that this division has 4 of the top7or8 teams in league.

  • April 24, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Nick- Dale Talon is more responsible for building the Hawks championship team than Bowman. He drafted Toews, Kane, Crawford and Kruger among others and traded for Sharp and Hossa. He resigned Kieth, Seabs and Sharp.

  • April 24, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Hey Nick, we had a nice back and forth a couple days ago about SB and bringing KT over from Philly, and I know you’re an SB supporter. Fact is, I am, too, but I still have to wonder about that choice, because the ripple effects will, I think, keep us from advancing beyond a round or two in these playoffs. The guys are tired, and they look it (and not just because of the 3OT game), and they’re making mistakes that they don’t normally make. Keith is in better shape than probably any player in the league, but being overplayed because we’re short on dependable d-men is showing in his game. And we can’t blame him. As I said before, nothing against KT, he’s a class act, but SB knew the reality of KT’s situation this year, and yet he was the guy he wanted to get more than any other, and he’s said so on a number of occasions. So, are we stuck? Will KT suddenly revert back to his old all-star self and fill the void? Will Q give Cumiskey or Rundblad a chance to bring some young legs and speed back into the mix despite the downside of their inexperience? It’s a dilemma . Q’s earning his money dealing with this one.

  • April 24, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Pretty sure Crawford was drafted in 2003. Mike Smith was still the GM and Tallon was a broadcaster during that time, it was in between his two stints in the front office. Giving him credit for drafting Crawford is a stretch. Not certain he re-signed Sharp either, Bowman has been the GM since 2009. But going from memory here for the most part.

    On drafting Kruger, word has long been that was a Scotty Bowman recommendation due to his and his close associates’ connections in Sweden but that too is from memory.

  • April 24, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Dale Talon was director of personnel in 2003 when Crawford was drafted.

  • April 24, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    Sharp was resigned before the 2008/2009 season by Talon for 4 years 3.9 mil a year.

  • April 24, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Wall – regarding TDL moves SB had to take a shot given the changes that will be required in the offseason due to the salary cap issues. I can’t imagine the scenario where he tells the fans “we aren’t quite good enough this year so we will be holding our picks to help us 4 or 5 years from now.” Whether you agreed or disagreed with the moves it is hard to imagine Vermette and Kimmo contributing so little based on their pedigrees. Regarding the picks we gave up you have to believe that we will get some picks back with the off season cap moves. Also, I have to believe we are going to be looking for young guys who can play with the Hawks in these trades as there is no way IMO we will be moving up 4 or 5 guys from Rockford at one time.

    For those who continue to bemoan the Leddy trade the 3rd goal last night against the Islanders is a clear reminder of the challenges Nick has with a physical playoff game.

  • April 24, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    ^Being signed for four years in 2008 has zero to do with the today of things, but ok technically you’re right he did re-sign him. Who signed him to his current deal is more relavant it seems. Bill Wirtz and Tommy Ivan re-signed Bobby Hull then too, they just didn’t re-sign him in 1972 when it mattered.

    On Tallon being director of player personnel in the summer of 2003, you might want to look that up:

    Hey went back into hockey opps Oct. or early Nov. 2003, he was a broadcaster immediately before that.

  • April 24, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Crawford was drafted summer 2003, 2nd round pick.

  • April 24, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Talon was director of player personnel through 2002. Technically he was not the guy who drafted Crawford but was probably the guy who scouted him and made the recommendation.

  • April 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Tallon was Director of Player Personnel until he rejoined Foley in the booth in May 2002. So he was a broadcaster during Crawford’s draft year junior season (2002-03). The key Hawks scouts that year were Bill Lesuk, Joe Yanetti, and a few other guys, Marshall Johnston comes to mind too, they were Mike Smith guys. Smith himself did a lot of scouting and ran the drafts. Mike Dumas was also a Quebec league scout and interestingly was a goaltender. I would say those guys had the call on drafting Crawford and not Tallon, who was a broadcaster that year and bumped heads with Mike Smith. Which is why I said it was a stretch to credit Tallon with drafting Crawford. Also Brent Seabrook was drafted 2003 although he wasn’t mentioned in the previous discourse.

  • April 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Anyone remember that one time the Hawks were still in the playoffs and only had one more game to win to advance to the next round and the next game happened to be a home game where match ups seem to have made a significant difference.

  • April 24, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    MS, that’s what I thought, we would trade for a young rfa (or rfa soon to be) instead of only picks.

  • April 24, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    albertahawkfan point was Vermette is not a fit, he’s gone, all the lame mumbo jumbo on cash trade not important to me, just that the hawks had an opportunity to ADD and actually wind up subtracting. over an out and Bowman is over rated. We’ll see how well mr. Pecker-re-nay does saturday if he wins i would be shocked. over and out!

  • April 24, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    WALL . . . Hawks D being split when they have position/gap!

    Best insight so far, they rest of this banter is sort of gm, contracts, hidden clause he said she said odd comments.

    But Wall, YOUR RIGHT, I thought the same thing you can’t put Rozy and Kimmo on the ice at the same time. SOOOOOO they destroy, slow down and hinder the only 2 lines we do have and make each line weaker than the whole. While it is a good way to hide the “Age” I love them both it is really hurting us on Defense and as some bloggers have whined Keith looks bad at times because he’s not with Seabrook or sharing a shift with grandpa. This is hockey at it’s best NO COVERING UP, no covering up Vermette or an aged 3rd line defense, what makes sports so exciting! Get TnT up here now, lets see him play, put the kid in the ring and see what he does, i bet on TnT.

    go hawks again

    go hawks

  • April 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Sweet Baby Jezus what is going on here?

    When was Crawford Drafted? It this a quizzzz, Trivial Persuit or Family Fued?

    Sweet Jezuz . . . 2003 ( i will google it later ) . . . it could be 1976 who cares? You’re only as good as your last performance . . . yikesssss!

    Few goal Tenders are going to have “runs” like King Henry or Quick . . . so it’s put up or shut up!

    Darling played well, period, one goal his fault, he should start again and this “goal tender” vitamix can not continue vs the Blues, then the Flames then the Rangers! Wont work!

  • April 24, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Mike the Mook,

    Well sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyy …

    I saw credit being given to Tallon for drafting Crawford, that didn’t jive with my memory so I (eventually) did a little research to see if my memory was still ok. It is.

  • April 24, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Late to the party and not in the mood to read through 55 comments.

    Suffice to say no one on the Hawks played as well as they needed to in order to beat a good Preds team. They need to be better Saturday and I’m optimistic they will play better. We’ll see if it’s good enough to win the game and the series.

    Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  • April 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    This series could have gone anyway up to this point and the next game or two is a flip as well-
    hopefully one more 60 minute effort for old times sake-
    he’s so good it hard to critique # 2, but it wasn’t his best game. They will focus on Toews, Hossa and Saad so another line needs to come up big.

  • April 24, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    MtM…your picking the Flames over the Ducks…hmmm…anyway Pecker-re-nay good one …need a laugh after last night.

    We will win game 6, I have zero doubt…experience, matchups , bounceback, revenge, mtchup control, home crowd….wether we advance against Blues/Wild is a different story but if we do…then its a good shot to the Cup.

  • April 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    MS- for sure the Summer will be very interesting/exciting…

    but I could see 4-5 guys from Rock making it…

    Pokka or one of swedes
    Ross or Ras-Moosen

    then again they could trade 1 or 2 of these and get a middle of the road $2-$3.5M guy… depending on which one(s) of the Core are moved!!!

  • April 24, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    I love how Tallon gets the credit for building the team but none of the blame for signing the ridiculous Cristobal Huet contract, the albatross Brian Campbell contract (which he graciously took off our hands). Stan Bowman had to undo much of the mess Tallon left behind shedding a number of contracts and rebuilding the team for the 2013 cup run including the trade for Zeus which played a pivotal role in that team’s run. Last year, not so much but he was huge in ’13. He also made the call to resign Hjalmarsson back from San Jose’s offer sheet and let Niemi walk when it was widely thought keeping Niemi was the better approach (you got to hang onto your cup winning goalie, right Wall!!??). It’s unfair to say that Tallon deserves all the credit and Stan Bowman sucks. You may not agree with the Vemette and Timonen deals but he’s kept this team competitive for the past 5 years.

  • April 24, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Wall, “Flames are and aren’t, re-building” — until they make the playoffs (after several years not participating), they are *still* rebuilding.

    (for me) “to say the Hawks “one last shot”… implies SB/Hawks aren’t in “contention” near future” — actually, NOT for me to say…this was Stan Bowman’s decision. I don’t believe his plan is for the Hawks to not be in contention – I’m fairly certain the (One) Goal is to be competitive every year. I think his willingness to OVERpay for players that are very likely rentals is evidence of (his version of) “going all-in”. Personally, I don’t believe he would have moved a first, second, and forth round pick (and Dahlbeck) if the Cap next season wasn’t dictating some significant changes (Sharp, et al…).

    As far as “this core” – indeed it depends how one defines “core”. Bickell and Shaw may not actually be “core” players, but SB values them enough to probably OVERpay Bickell, and Shaw got a contract extension. Figuring into the impending off season moves are contracts and willing partners (need and Cap situation), and possibly the outcome of this year’s Cup run = *maybe* more than one core player goes?

  • April 25, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Would say 8 core players. We trade 36 and add 50, then again at draft we trade someone and add 20. I would say guys like 16/29/65 are core role players. Then theres a difference between untradeable/tradable core players. We are going to be looking good for a long time.

  • April 25, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Who wouldn’t have made the vermette trade on paper when it happened? A low 1st round pick and minor league dman for a proven veteran center who wins at the dot. He has been disappointing offensively, hope he continues to improve, but who could predict him developing a hole in his stick? That’s one I just feel bad for Bowman on, he made the right move, the player has failed. Ultimately of course it’s Bowman’s responsibility, tough one though. His failure to bring in a minute eating defenseman is definitely a problem, and it’s a darn shame about VanRiemsdyk , Erixon was apparently not up to the task, and Rundblad has had some nightmares out there. Desjardins was a win. timionen was a wash, he didn’t give up anything but he hasn’t been able to spell the big 4 enough. I guess it’s just a cap crunch, he can’t just add Suter and Seidenberg to the roster and call it a day. shaw and Bickell are playing well for now, when it counts, so the money tied up in them is not a complete nightmare, but Crawford’s implosion has really been a turd in SB’s punch bowl. This is a tough year, caught between declining veterans and underdeveloped youngsters, tough to give Bowman better than a C for this year if the Blackhawks don’t at least make it to the finals, since his “all in” may not be paying off. This is going to be a tough tournament, but if the Hawks are able to get past Nashville without any major injuries, Minnesota and St. Louis has been an absolute bloodbath, no way that doesn’t go to seven games, maybe by then the lines will have gelled. The ducks handled their cupcake draw but they still don’t scare me. Minnesota does. Bring on the Blues!

  • April 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    re: “one last shot” talk – if we’re talking about a team that includes names like Sharp, Bickell, Oduya and Rozsival, then yeah… this MIGHT be the last run. But last realistic opportunity for a deep run into the postseason won’t come until 19 & 88 walk away.

  • April 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    ….and to your point Morrison/DD…if we go out this first round (no!) or even the second then a far more comprehensive reassessment of what constitutes core.

  • April 25, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    re: Chevrier’s calling out Tallon for the Huet & Campbell contracts – in professional sports, teams that are winning and have deep organizational depth have the luxury of asking a guy like Brad Richards to take a discount. You clearly don’t remember where the Blackhawks were as a franchise when Tallon signed Huet & Campbell. They were a dumpster fire that no agent wanted to get a call from… Tallon had to overpay in money and/or years to get a call back. he did that, and got an all-star defenseman to sign with a team that sucked. Tallon did what he needed to do to get the team back into the playoffs. Bowman has done what is needed to preserve excellence.

  • April 25, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    re: Wall – Rasmussen was on a one-year deal this season. He is a RFA this summer, but I wouldn’t assume he’s back w/ the organization. I like the player, but there are other options coming.

  • April 25, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    to Mining Man – the cap will dictate who goes more than what fans consider the core. The list of players who might be available this summer will be longer than most fans are ready/willing to admit.

  • April 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    To Tab…yes of course, you are quite correct…have heard $#’s as low as $68M…that could be a very real # and thus be a big factor and cost us something. Viewership and demographics from the huge Canadian TV deal not up to par with what was promised/expected. Who knows …time will tell for certain what is to come….in the meantime lets win game 6 and puts the Preds away. Minny looked good and St. Louis did not last night. How about that Ottawa team! 4 game comeback in the cards?,….they don’t know how to quit.

  • April 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Tab my point was that people have selective memory about the greatness of Dale Tallon and want to cast Bowman as a miserable failure and disappointment. The reality is both are somewhere in the middle. The Hawks were an unequivocal $#it show when he took over as GM and you are correct that he had to overpay to get people to come here. And Campbell was a key piece that helped bring the cup in 2010. He also left a salary cap nightmare in that wake of that season which Bowman had to dismantle. I just don’t get the short term memory of fans who think Bowman is terrible and Tallon was Hawks savior.

    Thanks for the point of the obvious fancy stats links which I should have been smart enough to find on my own but too many hits to the head, you know?

  • April 25, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Tab, absolutely true, the real core is here for 9 more years, and as the cap expands, we’re going to have 2 affordable hall of famers in their prime (with more than just a little winning experience) for a couple more runs at the cup. We have saad, and Shaw seems to be coming on as a nice second-tier player as well, another poster mentioned and I agree that he is showing some real offensive skill in space. Our top 3 D men are decent too. That “core” is halfway decent and adding some more second tier and role player talent can go deep in the playoffs for the next 4 years. I don’t really know enough about the cap to know if we can keep Shaw and Saad, it seems from most posts that Kruger seems like he won’t be there on the team next year, which is a real shame, but if another team will overpay for him, he more than deserves it.

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