Oilers Bounce Back, Blast Blackhawks

How would the Edmonton Oilers respond to getting blown out in the first game of their qualifying series against the Chicago Blackhawks? They were on home ice, albeit without any fans in the arena, but their elite scoring and speed was neutralized and the Oilers were simply out-worked for most of the opening game.

The answer to that question came 19 seconds into Monday night’s game.

Connor McDavid opened the scoring, as he did in the first game. This goal came before fans had settled into the broadcast.

After McDavid’s goal on Saturday afternoon, Chicago rolled off four consecutive goals. That was not the case on Monday night; McDavid scored his second of the game at 4:05 into the first period.

Edmonton completely dominated the early minutes. And when Chicago got a look at the net, Mikko Koskinen was up to the challenge.

When Duncan Keith went to the box at 4:51, Edmonton had a chance to blow the game wide open – just as the Hawks had done in the previous contest.

The Blackhawks were able to hold the potent Oilers power play off the board for two minutes. With a little momentum from the kill, Chicago was able to cut the lead in half. Patrick Kane scored his first of the series at 9:06.

Both sides settled down after the Kane goal and neither side scored in the final 10:53 of the opening period. The Oilers held a 17-9 shot advantage after 20 minutes and appeared significantly more aggressive than they had at any points in the first game of the series.

The Oilers were back on the attack early in the second period. Tyler Ennis scored an unassisted goal at 1:44 into the middle period to extend Edmonton’s lead back to two.

A couple minutes later, Zach Kassian took a run at Slater Koekkoek and got a big piece of him. But on Koekkoek’s next shift he got even in the best way possible, scoring his first goal of the postseason.

Alex DeBrincat picked up his second assist on as many Chicago goals and Koekkoek had his second point of the night.

After the Koekkoek goal the Blackhawks had a few tremendous opportunities to tie the game. Kassian went to the box and Chicago’s top unit held the puck in the offensive zone for almost the entire two minutes – but without a tying goal.

Riley Sheahan joined Kassian in the box for the final two seconds of the penalty and the Blackhawks effectively had a four-minute advantage. Unfortunately, the four minutes came and went without a tally for the “visitors.”

Matt Benning then went to the box 21 seconds after the Sheahan goal finished. The Blackhawks struggled on this third consecutive power play and failed to score once again.

Give credit where it’s due: the Oilers commitment to shot blocking was clear during the Blackhawks’ power plays. They did a terrific job of taking away passing lanes and keeping shots from reaching the net.

However, the next goal was indeed scored by Chicago. Olli Maatta became the second Chicago defenseman to score in the game, tying the contest at 15:11.

The Blackhawks kept chipping away and taking their shots and finally broke through with a third goal of the night.

Unfortunately, McDavid wasn’t done. Kirby Dach, who picked up an assist on the Maatta goal, went to the box at 16:25 and McDavid banked a shot in off a couple Blackhawks sticks/bodies to give Edmonton the lead again.

Somehow, hats were thrown on the ice for McDavid.

Immediately off the faceoff following McDavid’s goal, Kassian was dropped by a high stick with a bloody nose. Dylan Strome was initially sent to the box, but a video review showed it was Sheahan’s stick that did the damage. Strome came out of the box and the Hawks continued at full strength, chasing one.

Because the Blackhawks’ power play hadn’t been dissapointing enough after three tries in the period, Chicago got a fourth advantage in the final minute of the second. Jujhar Khaira spent the final 60 seconds of the period in the box.

The Blackhawks failed to scored before the horn ended a wild second period that saw six penalties total and both teams score twice. Chicago out-shot Edmonton 10-9 in the period and the Oilers carried a 26-19 shot advantage to the third.

Chicago’s hero from the first game, Dominik Kubalik, was silent in the first two periods. After setting an NHL record with five points in his first career postseason appearance, Kubalik managed only one shot on net in 13:47 in the first two periods.

Kubalik had one shot on net more than Strome, DeBrincat and Brandon Saad combined, however. Dach and DeBrincat had two assists each in the first two periods.

And yet, for all of the problems that were easily identifed after 40 minutes, the Blackhawks and Oilers were playing an entertaining game that kept fans awake easily after the 9:30 PM CT start.

Edmonton killed the final 60 seconds of the Blackhawks “power” play to open the third period, making Chicago 0-for-4 in the game. At least we can say the Hawks were in mid-season form on that unit.

Crawford tried to play a puck seven minutes into the third and it backfired terribly. James Neal was credited with the goal to extend the Oilers’ lead back to two.

Neal drove Adam Boqvist about 15 feet into the crease, crashing the net 40 seconds later and three Blackhawks circled the Oilers forward and Crawford. Unfortunately, the puck was loose and found Alex Chiasson, who made the score 6-3 in favor of Edmonton. A stunning, quick turn of events that blew what had been a close game wide open.

Connor Murphy tried to catch up to Andreas Athanasiou a little more than 14 minutes into the third. Unfortunately, Murphy reached out and hooked Athanasiou – and his stick got caught in the forward’s equipment. Athanasiou skated all the way from the blue line to the blue paint with the stick hanging from his right hip. Edmonton didn’t score on the play, but Murphy went to the box (with his stick) for two minutes of contemplation.

With five seconds left in the Murphy penalty, Keith whacked Kailer Yamamoto in the face and joined his teammate in the sin bin. Spending four minutes short-handed inside the final six minutes of regulation isn’t an ideal way to come back, folks.

Crawford finished the night stopping 29 of 35. He was okay for most of the first two periods, but 50 bad seconds in the third period saw the game slip away.

There were two players who stood out as having exceptionally poor performances on Monday night: Boqvist and Strome. Strome, a pending RFA, worked hard to make himself more affordable and Boqvist looked like a nervous teenager.

Plus-minus isn’t generally a stat one points to as a good summary of an individual’s performance, but it was on point with Strome. He was minus-four in 12 minutes with zero shots on net and having won five of 11 faceoffs. He was bad.

Boqvist was minus-three with three shots on net but was out of position frequently and physically out-played too often. He skated 12:56 in the game.

John Quenneville replaced the suspended Drake Cagguila in the lineup and was limited to 5:39 on the ice. He was credited with one hit and one blocked shot.

Dach skated 18:35 and had two assists with three hits and one blocked shot. He was plus-three in the game but won only one of eight faceoffs.

Kane led all Blackhawks with five shots on net in 22:42.

Keith led all Chicago skaters with 25:09 of ice time.

56 thoughts on “Oilers Bounce Back, Blast Blackhawks

  • August 4, 2020 at 12:45 am

    Besides Kane,Dach,Carpenter,and Kamph the rest of the team was horrid with no legs at all.Crawford was swimming and out of position for the most part.The Hawks defense was terrible.Boqvist was out of position and physically overwhelmed all game.You can not resign STROME,I will leave it at that.Nylander and Highmore should sit for Caggiula and Hagel Wednesday night.Kubalik and Saad were ghosts and floaters all game.If you were going to dress Quenneville and only play him 4 minutes you should have dressed Carllson as the 7th D man instead.He could have taken Boqvist,s or Dehaan,s or Maata,a spot.I know they would never do it but I would rather see Kurashev instead of Strome Wednesday night.Maybe our home jerseys,the last change,and use of the home locker room will give us a boost.

  • August 4, 2020 at 12:51 am

    Well … at least my Lafreniere dream is off life support.

  • August 4, 2020 at 1:16 am

    Bounce back was the right way to say it. The Oilers certainly got alot of lucky ones. Toews line will be make adjustments and be fine, no way could they repeat game one. Kane with Dach and Debrincat likely all next game looks like a breakout line. The 4th line continues to impress which bodes well. If Strome, Nylander and Cagguila are 3rd line next game, thaey are 3 players whose series is kinda of a train wreck so far with something to prove, woukdn’t be surprised to see them step up and play better. Crawford hasn’t hit his A game yet should have some strong games yet. Pk played much better,.the 1 goal in off Keith’s skate, pp needs to be more of a weapon like game one. Boqvist is young and still learning, his time will come but growing pains an unfortunate part of it. Series far from over.

  • August 4, 2020 at 2:35 am

    This was a really poor effort.

    So many lazy clear attempts and sloppy, disinterested play in our own zone. No urgency.

    This positives; Dach looked good, so did Toews. Our fourth line did it’s job. There were some good moments with Kane and Cat.

    The negatives: The Nylander experiment is over. He was brutal and solely responsible for one of the Oiler goals. Not a single defender had a good game. The worst performances belonging to Keith, Maata and Dehaan. Kane was BAD. Like he forgot how to handle a puck and play hockey bad. Sure, he scored. But holy hell did he make some bonehead plays and do absolutely nothing once the turnovers took place.
    Crawford was pretty weak. I’d like to think the ice conditions played a part but man oh man that was hard to watch. Starting to remember why we finished 12th.

    I’d like to see these lines in game 3.

    8 19 20
    12 77 88
    95 17 91
    36 22 64

  • August 4, 2020 at 4:12 am

    tonight was not a surprising result. their performance over the 70 games pre covid-19 showed they should not be playing for lord stanley’s cup. a meaningless win in an “alice in wonderland” round of what isn’t stanley cup play and the resulting poorer draft position will not serve this team well. so let’s hope the hawks skate gently into the night the next two games and allow bowman to focus on his off season business.

    i am done beating the “bowman out the door” drum. i have come to believe that the “make the playoffs no matter the cost of the salary cap or the future of the team” theme of general managing the last several years was orchestrated by mc donough. it will be interesting to see the direction bowman takes in his leadership of the team without looking over his shoulder and sans mc donough’s interference. encouraged by the three recent signings. will be further encouraged if bowman draws a firm line in the sand on a hawks friendly contract for strome or let him walk.

  • August 4, 2020 at 4:46 am

    Sorry Hawks 29 …this team is Stans baby .

  • August 4, 2020 at 5:45 am


  • August 4, 2020 at 6:34 am

    I don’t understand Colliton with Dcat…maybe we need a new Coach before the next season start with Lafreniere.

  • August 4, 2020 at 6:51 am

    These are the games we expected. Shoot outs at the OK Corral. I say load up with offense and hope Crow stands on his head.

    8 19 20
    88 77 12
    95 17 Hagel
    Enwistle Kurashev 92

    2. 27
    5 46
    68 Beaudin

    Ps. Hawks29 you feeling alright?

  • August 4, 2020 at 7:29 am

    I think you give 17-91-92 one game as a line (and keep Kane with Dach and DCat) to show they are capable and if not then game 4 put Kurashev in for Strome

    Crow was not good – not every goal was on him of course but he didn’t play well overall

    The team will be better – series not over yet

  • August 4, 2020 at 7:48 am

    The other day you guys were talking about Kaner and who should play with him so I posted this. Nice to see something I thought of be done and go good. Felt like there is something there.

    August 2, 2020 at 7:31 pm
    Not that is matters for future when 77 is 1st line center. Now or until then is the time to have 77 88 on the line because when 77 is 1st line center in a couple yrs he wont be with 88 then. For what people are saying here about 88 needing players with size and certain skill sets 77 is the guy.

    Look at who Kaner was with over the yrs on the stacked roster yrs. 10 26 88 a center with that style. 23 91 88 that line didnt have the size. 29 19 88 bicks brought the size and a two way player. So the most ideal line for Kaner is a player with size and a good two way player.

    With 77 being the player with size its like with 26/hands and who played with them in 2013 Sharpy. Whos that now its 12.

  • August 4, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Tippett realized that if you get on the forecheck vs. the Hawks and they will make mistakes.

    Kassian vs Boqvist in the corner is not a good match up. Kaner needs a power forward like that to pick up loose pucks and turnovers. How playoff hockey is played. Hawks have no one to counter this type of play.

  • August 4, 2020 at 7:59 am

    Lots of things to complain about with that game. Sheesh! Too many to list so I’ll just call out the one that needs to play a WHOLE lot better if the Hawks are going to win the series – Crawford. Corey didn’t play well enough either game – the Oilers poor play and the offense bailed him out the first game. That’s not to say the loss is on him because it wasn’t – it is to say that the Hawks team defense is what it is (not good) which means that if the Hawks are going to win the series Crawford has to play much better than he has the first 2 games.

    Now, allow me to put on my Nylander apologist hat for a minute. Eddie called him out on the turnover in the neutral zone that led to an Oiler goal – I disagree. When a teammate passes the puck into the feet and the other team comes away with the puck – is it really a turnover by the guy who had to try to corral the puck in his skates with a defender right on him? I don’t think so. I think the guy who made the bad pass and put his teammate in a bad position should be “credited” with the turnover. There was a lot of poor passing by the Hawks last night, including by Kane.

    And speaking of poor passing, can we retire the notion that Crawford is one of the best puck handling goalies in the league – he isn’t unless passing isn’t considered part of puck handling.

  • August 4, 2020 at 8:39 am

    One of the advanced metrics that are tracked in soccer and hockey is a continuation of possession. In other words, when a player gets the ball or puck, does the team still retain control or does possession flip to the other team? If you watch Nylander, he kills puck possession in the offensive zone unlike anyone I’ve seen in a long time. That is why he cannot play with Kane. Kane needs the puck.

    It was no coincidence that Kane scored on his first shift away from Nylander when he was out with Dach and Dcat. A seasoned coach would have made that change early in last night’s game, if not right from puck drop. We have to wait until game 3 to see if Colliton can figure it out. Or maybe he has to have a meeting with Bowman and get his permission before making a decision like that.

    I am not doom and gloom on this series. It was no surprise a full game of Koskinen and a better effort made for a tougher Oilers team. But this is the playoffs. You beat a team. They make adjustments and play better. Now it’s on the Hawks to adjust and play better. We will see if they have the coaches / players to adjust to the Oilers and get a win in game 3 or make it closer at least.

    Even in our Cup runs there were not many series that were sweeps. The competition is too close to beat teams over and over with no losses. Let’s see what they come up with for game 3. This series isn’t over.

  • August 4, 2020 at 9:05 am


    not absolving bowman of the roster, but i do feel he was ordered by mc donough to sign seabrook. just as i believe bowman was ordered by mc donough to sign bickell after the miracle play off run in which he was a hero. back to his cubs days mc donough always promoted heroes.

    similarly i believe bowman has been ordered by mc donough to chase playoff spots rather than make decisions with a rebuilding mindset. no argument that bowman has not handled that well, especially the nightmare of last off season. but willing to give bowman a fresh start now that mc donough is gone.

  • August 4, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Unfortunately we got to watch the team that we saw all season. It’s too bad since the Oilers are very beatable – when we tied it at 3-3 I thought our chances were good, then Dach takes a terrible penalty. Agree with ER that Crow has not looked comfortable at all. It’s not his fault that we lost but we need a much higher level of play to compete in the “playoffs”. I thought we started all three periods very poorly from an energy standpoint while the Oilers created lots of energy by blocking shot after shot, pretty impressive display.

  • August 4, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Wasnt Crow unfit to play meaning he is way off normal in game shape condition.

  • August 4, 2020 at 10:00 am

    I’d play Carlsson and sit Boqvist. Keith is now the triggerman on the power play. He’s out there almost the entire two minutes. If Colliton is not going to use Boqvist in offensive situations and he’s a liability defensively, sit him and play the better defender.

    So much for Kane-Strome-Nylander lighting it up in intra squad scrimmages.

    I did the the Kane-Dach-DeBrincat line.

    It’s not the end of the world or the series. Truth be told it was 3-3 with 25 minutes left and the far hungrier went out and took it.

  • August 4, 2020 at 10:02 am

    @MS: I was thinking exactly the same about it being the same team now as it was all season. All teams try to play with structure but only the good teams are able to hold that structure game in, game out. We are not one of those teams with the consequence that there is very little consistency game to game. One night we look okay, the next night it’s pond hockey, That said, I’m not bothered by it because while I always pull for us to win, this year I’d rather have the high pick and avoid the self-deception that we belong in playoffs.

  • August 4, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Game 3, a thought re: lines –

    Saad – Toews – Kubalik
    Cagguila – Dach – Kane
    Highmore – Strome – DeBrincat
    Hagel – Kampf – Carpenter

  • August 4, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Biggest difference between Nylander and Stahlberg is that Stahlberg has a 22 goal season in the NHL on his resume. Other than that they are very similar. Doubt Nylander ever hits that total unless he decides it’s ok to go near the crease area sometimes.

    Craig I like your idea on D. Neal sure has figured out anytime Boqvist is on the ice, just stake right at him and bull rush him to the blue paint and he can’t do anything about it. He created two goals doing that.

    Boq has a lot of potential, but he has a lot of work to do to figure out how to defend against NHL power forwards as an undersized guy. Keith does it with his skating, stickwork, and anticipation, but he also mixes in enough physical strength and edge to get the job done. I think Keith was 155 lbs when drafted, but transformed his body by being a workout warrior. I think Boq will get there but his body is not there yet, probably needs a couple years to learn to defend better.

  • August 4, 2020 at 11:01 am

    The Nhl showing a still 19 yr old Boqvist has a learning and growing curve left to master is not surprising. The big is thing how he handles the adversity and adapts his game to rise beyond it. Defending will always the weak part of his game, letting his skill make him comfortable to handle that aspect and letting his offensive skill level develop to an elite status is the long term hope.

    Blackhawks were better team Saturday and even with a less than inspiring effort last night, they still could’ve very easily won that game. A couple bounces here or there going the other way could have just as easily deflated the Oilers and changed the momentum. So not sure wholesale changes are what’s needed, just go out and take care of their responsabilities every shift and next game is there for the taking.

  • August 4, 2020 at 11:49 am

    JC once again has shown that he does not fully understand his players capabilities. The Nylander experiment should be over again. “He is who we thought he is” He has skills that do not translate to game time. No matter how hard JC and Stanley try to make the Joker trade work, the Hawks got fleeced.

    Someone needs to be accountable for the lack of development of the young players.

  • August 4, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    MS/Jordy, thats what I am thinking. Not routing against us thought I want the top 5 skill draft player.

    As we can see we need as many as we can get and add some top pair Defensemen ufa/trade.

    Then were looking good for the coming yrs. Many yrs.

  • August 4, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Craig N – spot on re Carlsson. Boqvist is soft and that’s not gonna change. If he’s not an elite difference maker offensively (which he certainly is not so far in his career, not even close), why is he dressing? Men against little boy for the Edmonton forwards out there.

    A horrendous trade Joker for Nylander bc Bowman listened to Colliton. This is how Colliton romanced Bowman in Europe in the first place. A fool’s marriage. What’s worse is Danny Wirtz (publically, let’s hope he is lying) is 100% behind Bowman and appears to like Colliton as well. This is a recipe for perennial mediocrity at best.

    The players don’t respect Colliton, they’re not gonna come out and say it, but it’s clear. Put Gallant in coaching starting tomorrow night and the Hawks win the series. Edmonton is no great shakes, it’s a two man team, their D sucks, goalies are average to bad, and supporting forwards are worse than the Hawks.

    Tippet v Colliton. Lol.

  • August 4, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Ice, I agree with most of what you write, but consider this. I would continue to play Boq. I would also relegate Matta and Kookoo to the press box and bring up 2 more young d-men. The d-men need to play. What better way than in a meaningless tournament that the Hawks have no chance of winning. Assess their play and tailor the off season workouts to address deficiencies. These young d-men need game speed work and development plans. Besides Matta and Koekkoek have chipped in 4 points thus far, how much more can we expect.

  • August 4, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    I hate to admit it, but damn that Nylander kid is about as tough as a slurpee and as smart as a beef jerky! Now, I’m watching Boqvist play and in my mind, he’s not a defensemen. He has extraordinary offensive abilities, is a great skater, passer, great vision, nice shot, etc…why not play him at RW alongside Strome and Kane, and play Carlsson on defense. We need skilled players up front and pure defensemen in the back.

  • August 4, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    The question I keep struggling with is not can the Hawks beat the Oilers in this play in series, but should they…

    Hawks biggest problem is not Nylander in the top six (though that is a horrendous crime that I have been railing against since training camp opened and should be addressed asap) but rather the lack of elite talent on the blue line. Take the Hawks best defenseman after Keith (Murphy? deHaan? Boqvist?) And then swap them out for any player in the top defensive pair for the top eight teams (the ones in the playoffs that don’t have to play in this play in round) and tell me which team is improved by that replacement? None? Now expand that to include the top four defenseman, and I still don’t think any of the Hawks defenseman with the possible exception of Keith makes any of the current playoff teams better, that is telling.

    Bottom line is that as flawed as this roster is right now, it still could beat the Oilers, there is enough playoff experience that the Hawks could do it. I just don’t think it would be best for the short or long term development of the team if it did.

  • August 4, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Great post Miroslav! I think you hit the nail on the head.

  • August 4, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    HHNL, your right about playing those guys. This is a meaningless and fools gold tournament. It doesnt count for anything. The whole thing is a scrimmage.

  • August 4, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Miro, thats what is for the better good. As much as its nice to see us play again and win games. Its going to be a nail bitter to prob game 5 OT to see the draft pick.

  • August 4, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Imagine LeFreniere on this Hawks team! I agree that this exhibition tournament is fun to watch, but it’s not the Stanley Cup Playoffs. So, I want to see some of our young guys get some exhibition experience and get ready for next year. I really liked what Carlsson did at the end of the Covid season. Plus, let’s see what Beaudin can do against anyone besides McDavid. Like I said prior to this tournament, I did not want it to happen because someone is going to get hurt badly because they don’t fully have their legs. Thus far, Schiefle and now Jake Muzzin. This is a costly tournament. I just hope we can get out of it unscathed. Also, I’m watching Dach and thinking how much better and stronger this kid is going to get; he has some Super Mario qualities.

  • August 4, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    Miroslav is correct. As bad as Nylander is bc he is inconsistent at best, and Colliton is a poor coach at best, the Hawks’ D sucks. From 1-6 it is the worst group of the 24 teams. Keith tries his best and he gives a crap, but he’s no great shakes either.

    Good post miroslav.

  • August 4, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Everyone here is right and has been right. We know what we need to get back to worth while playoffs and thats another top 5 skill draft player.

    Also add some top pair Defensemen ufa/trade wise.

    You can just see Dach and then the others getting better by the every 24 hrs. Lets add to the young wave properly.

  • August 4, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    I wouldn’t mind Carlsson in for Boq but not gonna be upset if it doesn’t happen – Boquist is a fast learner – I really think he’ll be better for last night’s experience and not sure benching him for one so – so game is a smart move

    I would consider Carlsson for Maatta though – someone who can turn and keep McDavid to the outside

    Like I said already keep 77 with 88 and 12 and give 17 and 92 one game on the 3rd line to show that they belong in an NHL playoff game and if they don’t engage to an appropriate level sit them for Kurashev and Hagel

  • August 4, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    But the biggest improvement has to come from Crow if the Hawks are gonna win this

    Based on his past record I would normally say that he’ll be a lot better next game but the fact that he had Covid is an X factor he may not be able to overcome so quickly

  • August 4, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    Wrap agree with you on Carlsson for Maatta, need more speed on back end against Mcdavid, Draisatil, Athansiou, your not going catch them to hit them. Carlsson brings that and looked ready, him and Koekkoek would give pretty mobile 3rd pair and decent size.

    If there was other forwards the coaches wanted in there, would have saw a different choice than Quenneville last night. Obviously the thought was to double shift Kane alot and when he wasn’t, hope Quenneville could impact physically in his few shifts. Didn’t seem they felt Hagel, Sikura or a Kurashev would’ve impacted much. The 12 forwards that started Saturday have the confidence of the coaches to give best chance to win i would say.

  • August 4, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Another that might make some difference is we were reading to play at breakfast time 11am/2pm and EDM wasnt awake yet. Then when we played at midnight we wernt awake and EDM was. That prob only happens for thsoe games but it can be like that for those breakfast games.

  • August 4, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    Anyone see how 36 went headfirst into boards in 3rd?

  • August 5, 2020 at 12:37 am

    Crowford not only had to stop the Puck… but had to play as a Defenseman too.
    Keith is a Huge Toad…
    HOF —-> at -3..
    I know, “ wasn’t his fault”.

  • August 5, 2020 at 6:36 am

    If you really want to loose a game then you pick Quenneville instead of Hagel or Sikura.Why DCat is playing just a few minutes per game
    Hopefully they will put a few young kids on the ice tonight and let them play for the pleasure of playing hockey.

  • August 5, 2020 at 8:00 am

    What a fantastic opportunity to get some young guys some playoff experience.
    Give them lots of ice time to see who the keepers are. What is the point of not playing the young guys?

    To dress someone and play them six minutes seem pointless.
    Is double shifting anyone really beneficial for any future team success?

    Will Beaudin , Kurashev or any other supposed top prospect get experience of playing at least one game in the playoffs this year? My question would be why not?

  • August 5, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Sorry Stape but I disagree with the notion of putting young guys in solely for the experience – to answer your question here’s why not

    If you’re in the playoffs the only objective is to win – you owe that to your fans, your veterans (imagine how 2,19, 88 and 50 would feel using a playoff game as an excuse to get a young player a taste), your ownership

    However if you feel a younger player like Carlsson is a better option and will give you a better chance of winning plus it gives him the added bonus of playoff experience then yes by all means play him

    But to put Beaudin for example just for the experience sends the wrong message to everybody IMO – fans, players and owner

  • August 5, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Did the Oilers have home advantage (last change) both games? Or just the second? Would that explain a bit of the unbalanced results?

    I personally want to watch as much Hawks hockey as possible this offseason, but if they lose this series, the Toews 3rd overall, Kane 1st overall / Dach 3rd overall, Lafreneire 1st overall is just too perfect a coincidence. I don’t see how history doesn’t repeat itself…

  • August 5, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Wrap, I respectfully disagree. The Hawks organization needs to be focused on one goal, building a championship caliber team which they are not at this time. The players and fan know that the Hawks do not match up to the elite teams at this time and do not stand a chance of winning this tournament. Matter of fact, during a normal season they would be on the golf coarse. That being said there is an opportunity here to improve. Getting a look at the young players in game situations is very valuable. Tailoring their development plans according to what they see against the Oilers should help accelerate their development. The team learns nothing skating Carpenter, Matta or Koekkoek. The team does not evolve double shifting Kane. Any other time I would agree with you that not putting your best foot forward is a negative message however not address a team with deficiencies is worse. There is a time for win at all costs, this is not it in my opinion.

  • August 5, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Oilers were home team the first two games – we will be home next two. It will be interesting to hear the continued Saad/Panarin takes after the Rangers were swept. The Canes were a much better team but Panarin did not stand out once again in the playoffs. On the other hand I wish the Hawks had a couple more guys with Saad’s size/speed combination. Panarin is clearly a better player but the playoff comparison is certainly different than the regular season and the contract difference is substantial.

    Regarding playing young guys I am with Wrap. They had 3 weeks of camp to prove they deserved a shot. If they couldn’t win a job there then I see no reason to hand them the opportunity just to give them experience. It’s not fair to the rest of the team.

  • August 5, 2020 at 9:51 am

    HHNL. You nailed it. I’d love to see the Hawks win and advance. But let’s face it, the League grandfathered in the Hawks and Montreal to its Corona Quarantine Tournament. That certainly is what it feels like. This remains a win/win for the Hawks. Valuable experience for the younger players and if they lose and go home.
    A top 10 pick and 3 others in the top 80 in a deep draft in October.
    It’s been a fun month of watching camp, scrimmages and now the tournament. We shall see who stands out in the next two games.

  • August 5, 2020 at 10:57 am

    People posting the players on ice have no respect for Colliton or Bowman, then read posters saying do the most direspectable thing you could to your players and quit on them, by not playong who gives them best chance to go out win. Unbelievable, want lose respect of your team, that’s the way to do it.

  • August 5, 2020 at 11:25 am

    Whelp…in this strange playoff/exhibition circus, a few thoughts…
    1. Colliton has to go…this international style of play, and the players he migrates toward, drive me nuts. He’s had more influence on roster construction then folks realize.
    2. Nylander MUST go…see number one above. Unforgivable really that Nordstrom was sacrificed for this heap of nothingness who apparently “skates well” as his redeeming quality. He should be playing in Europe and NOT the NHL.
    3. Strom MUST got…while he clearly has talent, his game is anathema to how you win in the NHL and ESPECIALLY how the Blackhawks were constructed pre-Colliton days.
    4. DeBrinicat is a novelty act…play him in line with that description, or ship him out of town. He doesn’t skate, he doesn’t play defense, he doesn’t play the boards, he doesn’t dig out pucks. Again, he is anathema to how the Blackhawks have traditionally built great teams (dating all the way back to the heady days of the early 80’s).
    5. Crawford isn’t up to par to being playing right now. He needs an offseason to reflect and recover. And the Hawks need a bonafide goaltender to split duty in 2020-21.
    6. I’m beginning to have big doubts about Boqvist. It’s frightening how truly useless he is on the blueline.
    7. A crap ton is riding on Mitchell in the future. A crap ton.
    8. The offseason storyline is going to be all about Danny Wirtz, and what role he is or isn’t going to play. I hope he has the vested authority from Dad as well as his own strategic mind to recognize bold decisions are in order. Beginning with showing Colliton the exit. My belief is he won’t touch Bowman. But my goodness Bowman needs some strict operating orders handed out. But the question remains, is Danny a token Team President intent to let things go as they are or is he going to be willing and able to step up and be that leader that is needed.

  • August 5, 2020 at 11:25 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first two games, mainly because it’s nice to see the boys playing hockey again, which would always be the case. But these games are even more enjoyable than normal because I see them as a win/win for the Hawks regardless of which team actually wins each game.

    If they win the series against the Oilers then we get to see even more games and the young players get even more playoff experience. If they lose the series against the Oilers then we get a top-10 draft pick with a 1/8 shot at Lafreniere.

    What’s not to like?

  • August 5, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Love the great hockey discussions going on here!
    I’m not sure if the boys can advance past this first round, but I am glad that there is this opportunity for the team to be on the ice and to get some continued looks at players, and to do some future projections.

    We’re seeing a mix of some really good play and some really bad play (think regular season). But I like the tempo and the sense that there is some urgency to the games, more so than what we saw before the break.

    The Danny Wirtz interview on TV the other day was strange. I will admit that I don’t know beans about the guy. He pretty much said that Stan was going nowhere and had a long term contract they would go with. And he had high praise for Colliton, his system took awhile to take effect, and said that his future was in Stan’s hands. Maybe just being super chipper and saying the “right things” at this time of year.

  • August 5, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Yea we donot have to play every young guy all at once. Get as many of them in there for a game/or two each. Take turns.

    Indian, yea prob that being nice/polite. Right now were developing not overloading the roster with extra players like 2010 2013 2015 2016.

    ER, thats why were in a good spot for that and the virus salary cap next 3 yrs.

    The coach stuff has time because were developing right now. Just donot trade any good young players for less anymore. None of stinking root beer.

    Young wave baybaaaay!

  • August 5, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    Strome and Nylander have been given enough rope and they have hung themselves.Boqvist needs to sit for his own safety.He cannot protect himself out there in a playoff atmosphere. Hagel ,Kurashev,and Carllson should be in this lineup.We need a real NHL 3rd line Center who can win faceoffs and shutdown an opposing #1 Center.

  • August 5, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Does JC know he has the last change!!!!!

  • August 6, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Who woulda thought. Maatta Koekkoek Murphy were the offensive defenseman.

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