Minnesota Mild: Blackhawks Shutout Again

Corey Crawford was the only player to show up for the Hawks on Tuesday night, and for the first time in almost nine years Chicago was shut out in consecutive games.

Rundblad MIN

Crawford faced 24 shots in the second period; Devan Dubnyk faced 24 in the game. Unfortunately, Crawford stopped only 40 of 43 in the loss. The Hawks have allowed more than 40 shots in a game only twice in the new calendar year – and both instances have been in Minnesota.

Offensively, the Hawks were non-existent. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews were credited with one shot on net each; Bryan Bickell led the team with five.

The Hawks won 27 of 60 faceoffs, were out-hit 20-14, and failed on their only two power plays. Of course one of those advantages lasted only 22 seconds before Andrew Shaw went to the box for interference.

Teuvo Teravainen skated 12:26 in the game and won two of three faceoffs, but didn’t register a single shot on goal.

Chicago returns to the ice on Friday night in Winnipeg to face a Jets team that left Evander Kane in the press box as a healthy scratch on Tuesday night. Dustin Byfuglien moved back to forward, and the Jets lost in overtime.

The Hawks have lost three of five; the Jets have lost five straight. Something has to give.

66 thoughts on “Minnesota Mild: Blackhawks Shutout Again

  • February 3, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    Yoikes! Lemme see, trying to put a positive spin on this ( us old timers are really really good at that because we were constantly in that mode from 1962 and forty seven and a half years every year after that). Well we only get shut out back to back every nine years so the next one is not due until 2024. Our goalie was really good. Thats about it.

  • February 4, 2015 at 12:27 am

    I have always tried to not buy into the “Sky Is Falling” reaction that is sometimes expressed here. After watching the last two games, I will just say that I really hope that the Hawks aren’t in free fall.

    Maybe it was just a Super Bowl Hangover tonight…?

    The passing absolutely SUCKS! And, they are not creating (m)any quality scoring chances. The 5-on-3 PK was great, but canceled-out by the bs PP in which they were out scoring-chanced 2-0. To me, Crawford, Smith, Sharp, and Hjalmarsson played well, but beyond that…

    Maybe they will be able to “turn it on” in Winnipeg (hope, hope)…

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:42 am

    Hey we didnt lose at home to Buffalo

    not too worried

  • February 4, 2015 at 4:34 am

    Agree about the passing, very careless, we played like we want to get in the Conner McDavid sweepstakes.

  • February 4, 2015 at 4:57 am

    There is no positive spin you can put on this game. The Hawks sucked last night. Another opponent who wanted a win more than we did. 2 days rest followed by 2 days rest, yet a very very disappointing effort. Oh, there is one positive…..The Stars and Kings lost too.

    The Jets will be desperate Friday night. The Hawks need to show some purpose themselves. Like Tab (and Pat Foley) said….something has got to give.

  • February 4, 2015 at 5:55 am

    There are acute realities wirh this team. One, we are playing with only 3 true quality defenseman in Keirh, Seabrook and Hjalmarason. Runblad has been mildly ok but has too many shortcomings. Oduys is no longer a 2nd pairing capable player. Rosival is an old warrior forced to play way more than he should. Two, beyond good PK duty the Hawks have gotten very little for weeks from “role” players Shaw, Bickell, Smith, Kruger, Nordstrom / Carcillo. Which has really magnified itself in bad ways. Three, one of the greatest all time two way players in the NHL, Hossa, has declined markedly in the offensive zone this season. Father Time has come to his doorstep. Four, Sharp is not having a good season by his standards, and so the inevitable question becomes is age and high mileage also a factor with him as well. Five, the Hawks have a growing dilemma in their lack of size, physicality and net presence. And their are teams now in the Western Conference exploiting the weakness in aggressive and bold terms. Six, while Crawford is a very solid and battle tested goalie he is not in the class of Rinne, Quick or Lundquist and therefore is dependent on strong defense and superlative passing in front of him. Which has been compromised. And let’s be honest, Crawford has not been the same goalie he was to start the season ever since the drunken mishap at the rock concert landed him injured.

  • February 4, 2015 at 6:07 am

    Six, Richards has regressed to being the ill fitting slow skating defensive trainwreck he was to start the season. Seven, the Teuvo introductory tour has been flat out awful. This kid is not remotely ready for the NHL and a truly God awful lousy fit on a team that needs more bigness and real big boy two way play from its forwards. End the experiment now. And think seriously on whether it might be best to sell high in the offseason to acquire a much better fitting piece. I’ll say it again some of you are rationalizing and trying too hard on Teuvo. And yes, it sometimes happens where a finely talented skill player isn’t a good practical fit with the successful system of an elite franchise.

  • February 4, 2015 at 6:28 am

    That was a class A stinker by the Hawks. I was worried about the WIld coming to play and by God they certainly did. Good for them, they need to win games and lots of them to make the playoffs. Crawford was very good last night, but the team in front of him was not ready to play. Wild had total domination.

    Even Rufus could have played in goal last night for the Wild and picked up a goose egg. Rufus I am not sure what you want from Crow, but why you would point out his efforts or skill level being insufficient baffles me. The guy has proved himself to be an excellent keeper in recent years. Give CC a break. b

    Friday in Winnipeg the Hawks should find a highly motivated Jets team. Thing is the Jets have plenty of defensive issues to fix and they take a ton of dumb ass penalties. I also believe their goal tending is highly suspect and will eventually let them down by seasons end.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • February 4, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Probably their worst game of the year. Oduya has really disappeared lately too. Keith gets blown by for that 2nd goal. What a poor performance across the board minus Crow.

    I’m not going to say the sky is,falling but I will say this team doesnt look special at all.

  • February 4, 2015 at 6:59 am

    My positive opinion of Crawford is well documented. But since the injury he has struggled to regain form. Yes, he was generally solid last night in the midst of s clusterduck on the ice.

  • February 4, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Unmotivated. Lazy. Tired. Disinterested. Dominated. Outskated.

    Let’s hope this “trend” changes by Friday.

  • February 4, 2015 at 7:15 am

    Rufus- Might be your best post ever…

    You forgot#eight (Other teams are younger/faster -up and down the line-up)…

    Minn. outplayed/skated Hawks last year… Hawks outsmarted them and won series…

    Hockey is a business- If another GM offered me 1st or 2nd Pick for -TT +29 or 10+ Hawks 1st Pick… I take that deal… I luv TT – but I luv McD and Eichel way more.

    PP- the Wild had more Shots on Our PP than the Hawks had in entire 2nd period!!!
    Wild had more SCORING CHANCES on Hawks PP –then the Hawks had in entire game!!!!!!!

    IF this were an option… SB would be dumb not to…

    Hawks have a lot of holes to fill here… I would really be OK with Hawks not making PO’s … and being seller’s (they have to make cap room for next year- anyhow)- So this is where they might get the biggest return for say 27 and 10 (27 yields zero return otherwise)… If Sellers, Hawks can stock pile the picks- and or trade up big time…
    cuz – they are going to really need to infuse the team with Young and CHEAP talent in the next few years to avoid Pens2.0.

    Lastly- let Ras-MOOSEn play… park Shaw (who still makes a lot of dumb plays) or 29.

  • February 4, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Trading Leddy instead of Oduya will (has) come back to bite SB. NOT because Leddy is a great player BUT because Oduya’s value has plummeted. I expressed that sentiment at the time last summer. Oduya’s value will never be as high as it was at the end of last season.

    Wall, I can not express the feeling that I would be OK not making the playoffs. I do not want to be a seller at deadline UNLESS the deal is GREAT for the Hawks. On the other hand, and to your point Wall, I don’t really want to be a buyer either because it usually involves giving up young guy(s) for a rental player. However, I agree……give these young guys a chance. See what we got, keep an eye on the inevitable the future. Let the chips fall where they may.

    The Chicago Blackhawks are a skilled professional team. Things will turn around for them. They do what is necessary to make the playoffs and will give 110% during the playoffs. The sky has not fallen, but there are big changes ahead.

    Some of you will think I am crazy but only 19, 88, 20, 28, 23, 2, 7 and 4 are untouchable IMO. Everyone else is expendable for the right price. Take the remaining $30mm or so and build the team around them.

  • February 4, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Rufus, agree with all your points except Crawford was outstanding and looks to be regaining his form but you are right about his performance since the injury. I heard he was deeply moved by the Clint Reif suicide. So hopefully he has come to terms with that also.
    Wish we would have made some off season moves regarding Sharp and Oduya but we have to move ahead with what we have this season. Why did they bring Rasmussen up if he can’t sniff any ice time with the way this team has been playing.
    Why limit TT and even Runblad in a game that your top guys are taking the night off. I agree TT might not be everything he was hyped to be but I wonder if he was given the chance to do what he does well with players that can play with him – how would he look then. Why not let him play with Kane and maybe Bickell, who seems to always play a little better when he’s with Kane. Why not try an old line of 91-81-10 and see if the veterans can inspire each other for a stretch drive run. What happened to the famous Q blender. Time to shake up this team before they sleep through the rest of the season.

  • February 4, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Mike, a solid group of untouchables. Smith could do what Hossa is doing with Toews and Saad right now IMO. Hossa still has tons of value but maybe needs a role other than top line as he ages. I have been wondering if his downturn is his downturn or an overall downturn of that line. He still is consistently one of the players that gives an honest effort each game.

  • February 4, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Maybe I am the glass half-full type and look at the 16 guys on the roster who came within an overtime goal of going to another SCF and trust that they are going to get things figured out. The team looks bored from the mid-season grind and is waiting to hit the switch come March. That’s a dangerous road to tread but they’ve done it before and can (and most likely will) do it again (see mid-November to mid-December).

    I also will voice my objection to letting TT go. Does he fit with this current roster? It doesn’t appear so. Are we going to need reasonably priced talent with the opportunity to improve when we enter salary cap purgatory next season? Yes, very much so.

    I get that people want a big-bodied banger with good hands, can score goals, tracks back on defense and can keep up with the speed of this team. You know who else wants that guy? Literally every other team in the NHL. Those guys don’t grow on trees and teams who have them don’t give them up for nothing. So who are you going to give up to get him? Oduya, Rosival and a bag of used pucks?

  • February 4, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Whomp Whomp – Vegas Baby

    Don’t buy the whole sky is falling narrative. This is still an exceptionally strong team.

    I still dislike the combination of Richards and the two Patricks. Only one can exist at the same time there – you know the same matter cannot occupy the same space and such. It is an unworkable group of players against decent competition \ a coach that isn’t an idiot.

    The advanced stats for Toews Saad and Hossa were abhorrent. It should be impossible for that group to get shelled like that unless Kopitar or Bergeron or someone of that ilk is on the ice. Otherwise it is inexcusable. And even in that scenario, at worst, it should be a +/- 2 or so wash. That group should be setting the tone not getting buried.

    The better players should be embarrassed for that loss and I think that pinning it on some role players, who for the most part did their job if you look at a stat sheet, is a mistake.

    On a high note TVR was skating with Verbeauty

  • February 4, 2015 at 8:25 am

    And on TT. The kid carried possession last night and is dangerous every time the puck is on his blade. Sucks to get stuck with trickle and shaw who have been incompetent and impotent for most of the year.

  • February 4, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Evander Kane was a healthy scratch for Winnipeg. And their situation is more dire than ours…

    Why not send a message by sitting Bickell, Rozy and/or Oduya?

    Maybe that would light a fire under their butts….!

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Haven’t posted in a while, but am amazed/amused at the head in sand reaction by many posters to the past 2 months of hockey by our very own previously heralded “Cup favorite” Blackhawks. Time to get real guys, this team is not “going to be ok” as is. We are simply not armed and dangerous enough talent wise to make a run unless we make a move or 2. Here’s a wake up call:
    * In 2015, (including the Jan 3 WC in which the Hawks choked away the game and Versteeg went out in the loss to the Caps), the Hawks are 6-8.
    * D is terrible. Avoids physicality (27, 5 and 2), slow (32), and can’t seem to clear the zone when under duress 9 (the rest of the gang.)
    * On O, we’re slower than promoted as other teams have caught up (with bigger players I might add.)
    * 86 should go back to Rockford. I know, I’ve read the drooling posts that he can “See the play”, has “special talent” etc. Bottom line, he not yet big enough to handle the middle of the ice against physical teams, and cute little passes will not cut it during the run to the playoffs. Some say he needs to be on the ice with players of his “skill level” (not that I’m sure who that is.) Put him on a line with 88 and 10? Really? Who’s going to get the puck from the other team?

    Better have a move or 2 in mind, as I doubt simply getting 23 and TVR back are going to significantly change these problems.

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Thought the first period last night was the worst of the year…until the second period.

    Confidence (or lack thereof) is such a huge thing (see LA Kings) and right now we need to somehow put together a couple of wins to get some mojo back. Thought TT had a difficult time competing last night – I haven’t seen McNeill live but don’t know why we wouldn’t give him a few games on the 3rd line with Shaw and Bickell to see what they could do. His size alone would be a welcome addition. Also with Versteeg coming back soon it seems like TT is definitely going to head back to Rockford.

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:14 am

    To address “Other teams are younger/faster -up and down the line-up”…

    (from nhlnumbers.com)

    Team / Average age: Chi 27.465 Min 27.197 Ana 27.758 Nas 27.739 SJs 27.319 Bos 27.643 StL 27.724 LA 27.070 Dal 27.684 Pit 27.990 Mtl 27.782
    Van 27.689 Fla 27.948 NYR 28.190 Phl 28.494 Ari 27.452 Tor 27.022
    NJ 30.296 Det 27.927 Col 27.854 TB 26.518 Was 27.196 Edm 26.337
    Clb 26.138 NYI 26.995 Car 27.023 Wpg 26.775 Buf 26.533 Cgy 27.071
    Ott 26.472

    Obviously, an average doesn’t reflect age/experience of “core” or “key” players, so value is limited. But, there doesn’t seem to be a significant difference between Chicago and the “younger” teams – Blue Jackets, Oilers, Senators…

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Negzz hit the nail on the head. The Hawks as currently constructed are no longer good enough and the weaknesses and core problems are not temporary, but real and growing. Bowman and Quenneville surely understand this. So too do Toews and Keith in their respective roles as leaders.

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Dickie… well played… I will just add… Wild have more youth/talent/speed than the Hawks – let’s cancel Kouivo,Parise,Vanek,Pomm, w/ 81,88,19,10
    so who is better/faster/skilled- Haula,Zucker,NiNo, Granlund,Coyle vs. 16,20, 28,42,65,29??? Personally- imo- the ONLY “young”Hawk I take vs. those guys is 20!

    Who has looked faster in the last two games – head to head? Wild or Hawks???
    Who looked faster in PO series last year? Wild or Hawks?

    Did you not see twice in 2nd … Hawk’s D man almost get beaten to icing calls from 4-5 strides behind?

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:50 am

    It seems like an age ago but that guy that used to post here, sr. Brad was dead right about this years team. He said this was the year that the Hawks had to get younger, bigger and stronger and they didn’t. Dahlbeck should have been up all year, perhaps Johns would have if he wasn’t injured. But getting back TVR doesn’t help this team. The problems on defence are the same. Runblad is not a playoff defence man and that’s why anyone plays hockey. Roscival can’t play at a high level consistently. TT is not what the Hawks need. Talent isn’t the problem, size and strength are. We are constantly losing the battle in front of both nets, offence and defence, and that spells no playoffs or a first round exit.

    I watch a lot of Hog games and Mark McNeil can help them right now, so can Garret Ross as well as Danault. These are all smart hockey players who make a living around the net, which we have none in Chicago. Let these kids play and get rid of the “soft” players. Soft physically always means soft mentally and that loses playoff games. Thanks for listening.

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Two bad games and the world is over….obviously, there goes our chances at a cup. Blowup the team, trade Kane and burn down the UC….

    Come on, people. Some bad things have been happening lately, but bad things will happen to good teams now and again. Just like when they are on winning streak that’s gotta end some time, losing won’t go on forever either. This team is just too good.

  • February 4, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Tony- put down the Hawk’s Kool-aid…

    please read my last post… Hawks need to get Younger/faster/skilled players…
    Now if Ross/McNeill/and some other forward can step up next year and be as efficient/fast/good as Wild “yutes” I just mentioned… Hawks will be fine next year…

    If not… Hawks will fall further (further than they are now)… I said this from Day 1…
    Hawks need at least two Prospects to step in and contribute in Big way (like Saad did)
    or they will be in trouble… Trouble is starting to show up!!!

  • February 4, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Well, it would help a little if the 3rd and 4th lines could start chipping a few goals in. Seems like its been since December that these guys have forgotten how to score. Better passing might help some too. The past 2 games revealed worst passing stretch of the season and that says mental/physical fatigue. If you think the Hawks are falling into a tail spin look no farther than the vaunted LA Kings. These guys are playing through a stretch of pretty brutal hockey. My point is while the Hawks are in a rut, they absolutely throttled what was the last time I looked the best team in the league last week on the road after taking a tough loss to Kings. I said yesterday and will repeat, teams that are on the bubble as far as making playoffs are the most dangerous teams to face right now. Classic example was Minny last night. Jets game will be a good test Friday for the Hawks whom I believe will play for some pride within the dressing room. Don’t look now , but a matinee game in St Louis will be no cakewalk Sunday. Yikes. These games will be a strong test. It is hard to win consistently in this league. Hawks have raised the bar pretty high over the past 5 years in this regard. I still think this group will get it together when the chips are down. The key issue will be keeping core guys healthy and if possible not overworked going into playoffs.

    Addition of some new and improved role players and shoring up the D longer term can be addressed. I have no problem with sending TT back to the Hogs. The guy needs to play larger minutes and put a few lbs on. He doesn’t need to be “the guy” right here right now, although it would be welcomed of course. We will see changes with this team between now and the beginning of next year. Its up to the Bowman’s as to where the switches will be made. Some beef up front and on the back line would clearly help. You have to give to get, which will rile many fans. Let’s wait and see.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • February 4, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Size, strength, defensive depth, physicality, the systematic decline of Hossa…all growing and distressing problems. Bowman has definite and creative work to do in the offseason. The Hawks as currently constituted have small chance of making it beyond the 1st round of the playoffs.

  • February 4, 2015 at 11:57 am

    So this team lives and dies by the stretch pass. Or Keith doing Keithy things.

    If cannot make tape to tape pass because lack of skill, persistent pressure, stacking 4 guys in a line in the neutral zone, whatever
    Then problem will occur

    Because teams have adapted to this style of play and there is no Campbell or Leddy as a second make them pay option it creates an issue.

    They need the centers to be available and the wings cannot stand on the blue line waiting for a jail break like they have been accustomed too.

    Very fixable problems. Sky not falling. Yikes some of you people.

  • February 4, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Rufus, outside of the first 2 games back, Crawford’s SV% has been basically the same as his career average (.917 over the last 13 games, .915 for his career), it is the number of shots and scoring chances that he is facing that is causing an inflated GAA (2.71 over those 13 games) and the subsequent 7-6-0 record.

    Crawford has always been a guy that thrives on fewer shots against him (while some others seem to be better when getting peppered). He has been making big saves for at least a month now, he is just being asked to make too many of them.

  • February 4, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    @ Hogfan

    Mark McNeil flat out sucks! He’s not good enough to play at the NHL level, look at Peter Regin he’s doing well in the AHL. AHL success has little to do with NHL success. Most elite level NHL’s play very little AHL hockey. Sure their are guys like Tim Thomas from time to time but overall that doesn’t happen often.

    Mark McNeil isn’t an NHL player which is why he’s not on the team! This roster is flawed! Im not buying the crap from last year either. The Hawks got lucky against Minny in the playoffs and got their butts kicked by LA, last years team was lucky to advance as far as they did. If this core stays the same the Hawks don’t get out of the 1st round!

  • February 4, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    The ledge is looking pretty crowded out there today. What do tickets cost?

  • February 4, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    We need to keep in mind that this is early February and there is time to get back on track.

    However, the post season is where the concern is… unless Stan Bowman can make a move for a veteran defenseman (that Coach Q “trusts”)… Oduya and Rosival will log more ice time. I don’t see Q giving more ice time to Runblad or any other young dman because of that lack of trust.

    Coach Q has a history of limiting exposure to young players, especially defensemen in the post season.

  • February 4, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    i read all the comments, still not worried.

    we played 1 brutally bad game.

    Who’s clearly better than Chicago?

  • February 4, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I was madder than a hornet last night during and after the game. They played like they were still drunk and in Vegas. I wanted them to lose 15-0 thinking that maybe a thorough ass-kicked embarrassment might be what it takes for them to find the passion and pride that has been missing. But alas it was only 3-0 with the usual platitudes coming from the post game locker room about “needing to be better” and “learning from this”. Really? That’s all you got? Which is “I” hiding behind “we”. How about Toews stepping up and saying he was embarrassed for the slashing penalty he took that negated a Hawks PP. Or how about Hjalmarsson admitting that the sequence where the Wild scored their first goal started and ended with him where he whiffed on the puck before Richards idiotically threw it to Seabrook who “hot-potatoed” it back to Hjalmarsson who threw it up the boards to a waiting Wild player. Or how about any player standing up and admitting they were not prepared to start the game? They – them personnally. Not the royal “we” for them to hide behind.

    It’s one thing for the players who have won a Cup (or two) to not have the same hunger as other teams trying to get to the mountain top – that’s just human nature and to be expected on some level. But it’s another thing entirely to get your ass kicked and the only discernible response was the captain of the team acting like a petulant child taking a selfish penalty.

    I don’t think changing a player or two or re-arranging the deck chairs is going to make a meaningful difference. The difference between the way they played last night and the way they will need to play to win the Cup will either be found or not found in the guts and heart of these players. Either they have lived the good life and are no longer able to fight for what they want or they will summon up the physical and mental toughness needed to win. It’s too late to remake the team this season. Either these guys still got it or they don’t. We won’t have to wait long because Winnipeg wants what we have which is 3rd place in the Central and they’ve already beat us three out of three times this season so they believe they can come in and take it away from us. We’ll see if the Hawks have enough pride left to put up a good fight or if they roll over like they did last night.

  • February 4, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Phil: “Some beef up front and on the back line would clearly help. You have to give to get…”

    Exactly. The issue is roster configuration in total, not that 19, 88, 81, 20, 2, 4 and 7 are not a great core. We are in a tougher than ever division/conference that will continue to get tougher. In order to remain an elite team we need to get stronger with our core. Right now, our “physical” guys up front are 65 (small) and 29 (hot and cold)- and on D we have 7 (keeper), and 32 (old and slow.) That’s simply not going to work moving forward imho.

    Challenge is complicated by the cap, who stays, goes and can we add to make us bigger, better and harder to play against? Adding add’l small skill guys is not the answer (regardless of their maturity level at present), unless chess moves are made to make that addition a complement.

    Bottom line, this season we’ve had 1 great month of hockey sandwiched by 2-3 months of mediocre (at best). We’ve been lit up and seriously outplayed by teams like the Jets, the Oilers and Minny.. Just sayin…

  • February 4, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    It’s highly insulting for some of you to claim some of us are ledge jumpers. If you want to dismiss the distinct and growing problems of this team, and how the Western Conference is going after the achilles heel of the Hawks, then more power to you. I’ve been a fan for too damned long to let silly dismissal of things cloud what is my objective assessment. And I might add, a number of hockey folks around the game are voicing similar concerns about the Hawks. I stand by my statements. Of more relevancy, I’m confident Bowman and Quenneville would generally agree and know that there is roster construction work to be done.

  • February 4, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Chevrier, you are spot on re: Mr. Rufus. Speaking of, Mr. Rufus — how many repetitive posts? You’re back on the Rinne kick? Did you see his brilliant effort v. St. Louis before he got hurt? He gave up three goals w/in five minutes. Or how about his clutch play v. the Hawks in 2010 first round. He’s not a clutch goalie. Good regular season goalie. That’s it. Crawford is as solid as a rock. Ryan Dale is correct, there is no one in the West better than the Hawks. Look at the goalies they have to beat to get out of their division — Rinne, Elliot and Hutchinson, really? That’s laughable. Let’s see that Winnipeg goalie do that v. the Hawks in the playoffs 4/7 times. I’ll take my chance. The playoffs are a different animal. The Hawks core is battled tested for six years. I’ll suggest once again — akin to picking up Handzus couple years ago — minor tweak is all that’s necessary, Burish fits the bill. He’s a better player than Nordstrom and Carcillo and Q knows what he brings. Perfect bottom line and locker room fit. Minimum salary, San Jose has to eat the rest. Q won’t play any young players from Rockford, we are all familiar w/ that protocol. R-E-L-A-X.

  • February 4, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I’m curious to know what exactly can be done replacing players while dry humping the cap with Saad needing a new deal and Toews and Kane getting huge raises.

    Sharp – NMC which complicates things so probably not until the summer
    Bickell – Who would want him and those dollars
    Shaw – Doesn’t get the defender you’re looking for and at the most a similar player back which is a wash though I’d take someone good on the boards
    Rozy – What idiot GM would make a deal there
    Oduya – He’s sucked but they could do worse and have zero other options

    There probably isn’t meaningful help coming unless there is some giant blockbuster deal but if they adjust their game based on the way forwards are pressuring their defenders they will probably start to have success again. This team can win 15 in a row just as easily as it has lost 2. Trading a replacement value player for a replacement value player will not drastically change anything.

    For having a terrible defense in the toughest division they’re still the 3 in goals against. And top 5 in terms of goals for.

    Have some perspective.

  • February 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Things can/will be fixed, but yesterday, regardless of how bad the hawks played yesterday, Minnesota just played really well. I mean, I can’t remember a single moment when the hawks had time to make a good decision with the puck. Its energy that has been lacking. Its the hawks annual february slump, which you should all be familiar with. Remember that 9 game losing streak from a few years back? This is just what happens for this team, then they have a wake up call and turn it around up until playoffs. Its just part of this teams process and unfortunately we have to sit through it each year.

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    As much as I would like to trade 3-4 players off of this roster, I have to listen to what Jamaal Mayers said on the pregame show, last night: “This team can turn it on and off like a light switch when it comes playoff time”. He followed with, “I have never been involved with a team that could do that”. The man knows hockey!

    We won’t know anything about this team until the playoffs.

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    The probability of a significant “deal” for the Hawks this season is very small. My point is/was that we have to make some in-house and minor “moves” if they’re going to compete deep into the playoffs this year as follows:
    * Why was Moose up to sit and watch? (Sent him back down today.) Would have liked to see him on the ice and in front of the net.
    * Play TT on the PP until he’s sent to Rockford.
    * Dahlbeck up, rotate in with Rosy and 27.
    * Is Johns out until March? Get him up when you can.
    * Who else is ready on Rockford squad that can bang and hustle and finish?
    * Trade for 2nd tier, physical PF (rumors abound.)

    As for 2015-16, lots of moves to discuss that will be dictated by how we end THIS year, but best bet is we’ll be trending towards adding bigger and tougher pieces on both O and D.

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    I’d like to see McNeil playing to stay up too…

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Last week everybody was singing the praises of TT. This week we want to throw him on the trash heap and trade him. Does anybody really expect him to light it up saddled with 29 and 65? The game last night was a real stinker, no doubt about it. I thought 91 was atrocious. 5 had a good game all things considered. Some good offensive moves and the kid can actually pass. The Hawks will be fine once they sniff the playoffs and get out of their typical February malaise. Last I looked they are still 2nd best in goal differential. Back away from the ledge boys.

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    You guys throw out so much irrelevant stuff its incredible. The problems the Hawks face are the same issues that caused them problems last year (and they still just missed another SC win). The Hawks are more than fine at Forward. Sure they will struggle to consistently remember to get in front of the net, but this is who our forwards are…smaller, faster, skilled, two way players who create chances and back check. We can’t overhaul an entire team, Bowman built the Hawks this way and this is who we are, so live with it. Crawford, Raanta, Leighton, Darling are all good goalies, we are fine in goal!

    It is our defence that is one year older, slower and more “gun-shy”. Look at the Minny goals last night, pressure, pressure, pressure. Our D wasn’t good enough last year to get us to the SC finals even with a two goal lead at home in game 7 and they are significantly weaker this year. With cap space being what it is, this team needed to bring up (and stick with) young, bigger, stronger DMen in Rockford this season, but they didn’t. They kept an injury prone, slick but weak TVR (who got seriously injured again), a dinosaur whose lost the desire to battle along the boards and coughs up the puck, and two swedes (one young one old) who hate contact. Then they traded for another swede in Erixon who also doesn’t like contact and has sat as a healthy scratch, incredible.

    The Hawks are fading as the season progresses because our D is shying away from the pre-playoff intensity. Once the playoffs arrive, we may find ourselves out of the dance. As one person here said, this team has 3 NHL calibre defence men, Keith, Seabrook and Hjarlmarsson, the rest aren’t good enough, don’t like to be hit, can’t handle pressure and give the puck away a ton. TVR returning solves nothing for this team. And its too late to bring up Johns and Dahlbeck. This team is stuck with this crew or perhaps a minor player at the deadline, and our 4 lines and goaltending are not good enough to overcome this defensive group. Everyone in the NHL could see the Hawks problems last playoffs, and Bowman and Queeneville have done nothing to change this. Just go back to the LA game last week, LA kept pushing on the forecheck because they knew that our defence would fold! NSH, STL, WPG, SJ, VAN, ANA all have teams that can take advantage of this and its only going to get worse as we come closer to the playoffs.

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    C’mon RTF I never accused you or anyone of being a ledge jumper on this forum. I did say though that the naysayer/negativity ledge was getting more crowded. We all know this hand wringing comes and goes, as well it should given the insanely long season, followed by playoffs. It can wear the best of us out. Thankfully, this is a pretty good place to vent and air things out relating to the Hawks in both the good and bad times.

    I watched last nights debacle again while working out this afternoon. The Wild were really, really good last night. Outstanding positional hockey, as they had just about everything sealed off defensively. Insane puck pressure all over the ice, shut down neutral zone, and strong offensive pressure to boot. Kudos to them.

    Lets GO Hawks!

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    We didn’t play.

    Spring Break in Vegas… baby!

    It was well deserved and need to attend. Need to be right in the head.

  • February 4, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Sweet Baby Jezuz it is the end of the world, yes the Hawks have a few “holes” but they are not in free fall and they know after winning the cup twice the level of play / energy it takes to get there and may actually go into some games on “auto-control” Winning their division is worthless and yes they have to make the playoffs to win the cup but no need to go cray cray. One issue is Keith and Seabrook not playing together, Runblad is doing well paired with Keith but the type of lock down Keith and Seabrook provide is the difference. Hammer carries his weight OH-do-Ya is gone! We wont know how good Runblad paired with Keith. Giving up 40 shots and over 8o in two games to the Wild is nuts. This means we just don’t have the puck and possession. I tried to watch hard last night and it seemed the WILD very well coached as always did a light forecheck but had at times 4 guys in the neutral zone, forcing the Hawks to skate the puck thru the neutral zone, Hawks don’t do well in the center zone and to me are the worst at chip and chase or dump and run, only Bick and Shaw maybe Sharp can play that game Kruger can too but he just get’s flattened. So they need to be able to work the center zone and move and skate, they are built on that lame stretch pass and our d men holding the puck for toooo long time looking for a “Break” the Wild just took it away, do that and the Hawks are average. this is evident on power play if ya watch, often they can’t even get it into the zone even on the first line, once they’re in the zone they do well. So in a nut shell it’s that lack of size which is why if your a HAWKS fan the ye ole TEVVVVVV dude is the worst thing for ya, and undersized forwards have to work way too hard to maintain possession? Richards is too slow not his fault, SADD is the only guy with hardcore speed and skill and he last night was just rubbed off on the boards easily. Need some size upfront and on D too one big Defensemen who needs NO offensive skill! go hawks, JETS will be a battle

  • February 4, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Wall, *based on last night’s game* I will (/can) not dispute anything you’re saying. However, do you really believe that Minnesota has a better chance of winning the Cup this season than the Hawks?

    Except for beating the Ducks, most of play in January left quite a bit to be desired. I’m not writing this team off just yet (and, the defending champs haven’t been so good either…the league catch up with/pass them, too?). It may have been a mistake (it remains to be seen), but Bowman decided to take one last shot at the Cup with this group (and Richards), probably know some significant Cap changes were inevitable before next season.

  • February 4, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    TT is of no value to this current team, he adds yet another light presence on the ice. WILD and KINGS know the formula, while Hawks can beat them both the size and skill and ability and backbone to hit hard in the corners and finish checks makes the game easy. Hawks are like the Globe Trotters very very skilled, best sticks in the history of the NHL while other crash the body hawks use the stick and go for the puck which works. But as I say they only play GREAT as a team seldom does a player or two carry them for a week, never! To win they have to out skate the other goons, that simple, and if you played hockey to out skate is much much much harder than playing an offense where you crash the boards or rub out a player adn just finish your checks, plus the hawks demand “back checking” so not only are you skating ALL OUT On OFFENSE for god sake your turning and skating all out on DEFENSE. NO team very plays like this, i am surprised we don’t have more 5 or 6 game slumps, i played it’s exhausting! Give me a big ass winger like LUCIC and he taps me the puck and I go five hole. . .easy peasy. Kruger is killing himself, Shaw too and Sharp is playing hard! I wish Towes played more like that . . . just at times to change the flow? Wild did another great thing last night on the Hawks forecheck which is often just sticks and skates no HITS they took Kruger and Towes and others out, so they could not get back and back check, this to me is why they won, pinned our forwards down low, quick exit and your on your way.

    TT is great trade bait him and Oh-do-ya maybe.

  • February 4, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    WILD is going no where, they too have to play sooooo hard to play just even, BLUES, KINGS, DUCKS, PREDS even SHARKS and JETS at times make it look effortless. WILD is under manned but I think I might take a healthy ZAKE when healthy he really carries them and is always a force because he’s physical even at 5 -11 but Towes is like 6 -2 and plays light! So for a guy 6 -2 and over 2oo pounds yo sort of kinds wish he’s be a little more physical, otherwise he MUST SCORE to be worth it? Make sense?

  • February 4, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Hawks have 31 games left. To be top 4 they probably need 108 points. So we need 44 points in 31 games. That will be a tall tall order (ie: 22-9….ain’t happenen). 100 points (36 points in 31 games, ie: 18-13) might get you 5 or 6. I think the Hawks slot there.
    So the sky is not falling but the road ahead has heavy headwinds.

  • February 4, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Even if the Hawks entered the PO’s as Wildcard (although it’s far more likely to get in as 5 or 6), they’ll still play the same teams we having trouble with from a size, speed and physicality standpoint (SJ, ANA, STL, etc.) What difference is the seed at this point? The goal is to be playing well as you enter the PO’s regardless of your seed. Bottom line, it is critical to have so momentum (I don’t buy into Meyers assertion that this team “can turn it on for the PO’s” like a light switch.) Personally, I’m just as (if not more) concerned with Hawks performance against hungrier teams like Minny and the Peg (not that we’d see them until rnd-2 if we/they get there.) The bigger issue is does our group have what it takes to take a playoff pounding the way we’re currently configured (even while adding 23 and TVR back in the mix.)

  • February 4, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    typo alert: “we’re having”; “some momentum”..

  • February 4, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Hblast- while I agree with your last paragraph… you lost me on the forwards smaller,faster, more skilled… at least last nite…

    Mayers- sayin the Hawks can just push a button and turn it on!!! lol

    Someone- better tell him the Hawks aren’t the same team from 2013…
    couple missing pieces, and a couple Core guys – on the wrong side of “prime”

  • February 4, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Jesus, look at Brophy. He’s plastered.

    Faire pipi, eh? No, no. I OK.

  • February 4, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    The Hawks are likely a 6th seed type and don’t make it out of the 2nd round. There can be no denying the fundamental and growing problems with this team. There will be substantial roster transition heading into next season. Hawks need to find two legitimate blue liners, with maybe one coming in the form of Johns or Dahlbeck. They need to have a means to overcome the further offensive decline of Hossa. They will need size at wing. They will need to replace likely salary cap casualties Kruger and Sharp. They will need to find some way to remove the albatross contract of Bickell. They will need to find a legitmate center. They will need to make critical decision on whether to trade the poor fitting pip squeak Teuvo and get hi value in return. They will need McNeil and Danault to become legitimate and sound role players. Oh, and they will have to pay Saad and not have it further cripple their payroll flexibility in hopes of derailing the seeming destiny to become the Pittsburgh Penguins version 2.0

    I have full faith in Bowman and Q. But there is a crap ton of profound and tricky roster makeover that has to happen. They know it too.

  • February 4, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Translation of 7:18 post-
    The Hawks are somewhere between Mission Impossible and They’re Not Very Good.

    Case Closed!

  • February 4, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Waited 24 hours to post after attending last night’s “Pleasure Skate” by the Blackhawks.

    Sat 6 rows from the ice in the corner at the end where the Hawks supposedly shot twice (periods that is . . . not actual shots on goal). Zero compete from the opening face-off.

    Yes, it’s a long season. I’ll side with Morrison’s sentiments for now.

  • February 4, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I watched parts of the Hawk’s game and the LA-Capitals game which the Caps won 4-0. Jeff Carter was invisible, no late surge from LA, in fact the Caps scored two goals in the 3rd peri0d from an aggressive forecheck. LA looked almost as bad as the Hawks. There must be something in the NHL water for these two teams to play so poorly. Caps had men left alone in the slot repeatedly.

  • February 4, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Ok, so we play the Jets Friday night, a team we have lost to all 3 times this season. We have to face Big Buff, Ladd, and Frolik…all former fan favourites…and our captain gets to play to his own home town crowd. Both teams close in points, Winnipeg on a horrible losing streak and we are misfiring on all cylinders lately. This could well be the big game of the season, a real turning point for both. This will be a doozy by any yardstick. If we lose yet again and we get beat Sunday in the matinee against St. Louis then we can, as fans and Commited Indians, to start getting kind of antsy about things. Would not miss this matchup for the world.

  • February 4, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Noonan, agree, Hawks’ goose is cooked. The 7:18 pm post brilliant.

    Hawks are becoming second coming of Coyotes…. oh sorry, I just woke up, bad dream.

  • February 4, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    7:18 post aka Groundhog Day post. On a loop. Ad nauseum. Geezus

  • February 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I got you babe
    I got you babe

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