Phillip Danault, Blackhawks Sheathe Sabres

The Blackhawks stayed hot on Friday night, and rookies continued to play a huge role in the team’s winning streak.

Buffalo outplayed the Hawks for most of the first period, but inside the final two minutes a smooth passing play that involved almost everyone wearing red on the ice ended with Niklas Hjalmarsson scoring his second goal of the season. The passing sequence that set up the goal momentarily frustrated Hjalmarsson, who admitted between periods that he wanted a pass directly from Jonathan Toews. Chicago’s captain passed to defenseman Erik Gustafsson instead, but the rookie made a strong, quick pass to Hjalmarsson who was attacking up the middle of the ice and he could pick his spots.

Chicago picked up the pace in the second period but neither team scored. Without the benefit of a power play, the Hawks put 19 shots on net in the middle frame; Buffalo had one two-minute advantage with Hjalmarsson in the box but failed to capitalize. The Sabres were credited with 12 shots in the second, but the scoreboard continued to show 1-0 in favor of the home team.

As he has throughout his career, Ryan O’Reilly had another strong night. He tied the game 11:37 into the third period, his 17th of the season. The trade sending him to Buffalo over the summer didn’t receive a lot of headlines outside of the two impacted markets, but that may have been the best single trade of the summer in the entire league. O’Reilly had another really good night for Buffalo, winning 17 of 26 faceoffs in the game as well.

The last seven minutes of the third belonged to the Hawks, though. And another rookie, Phillip Danault, made the biggest impact of the night.

Danault broke the tie and scored the eventual game-winning goal at 15:01 into the third. It was the first goal of Danault’s NHL career, making him the seventh Blackhawks player to score his first career goal during the 2015-16 season.

Toews added his 15th of the season into an empty net to close the books on a 3-1 victory.

Chad Johnson was impressive between the pipes for Buffalo, stopping 42 of 44 in the loss. Corey Crawford picked up another win, making 28 stops against 29 shots along the way. Chicago killed both Buffalo power plays in the game; the Hawks’ power play failed in its only advantage.

Toews had two points, Duncan Keith picked up two assists and Hjalmarson also had a multi-point evening in the win.

But the story continues to be the impact coming from Chicago’s youngsters. On a night that saw the Hawks’ powerful second line get shut out, Danault and Gustafsson played important roles in the victory. Danault now has five points (one goal, four assists) in 10 games with the Hawks this season, while Gustafsson picked up his fifth assist in 11 contests.

Another young player who had a solid night was Trevor van Riemsdyk, who led Chicago with four blocked shots. He started the game paired with Brent Seabrook and was also credited with two shots on net and one hit in 15:15.

Bryan Bickell didn’t impact the box score in eight shifts (5:33). With Richard Panik reportedly close to joining the team – potentially as early as this weekend, according to Joel Quenneville before the game – Bickell’s play could make him the 13th forward soon.

Ryan Garbutt was also held under six minutes of ice time in the game but was at least noticeable on the ice. He showed great speed, saving an icing early in the game, and was credited with a team-high three hits while skating only 10 shifts.

Patrick Kane was held without a point but led Chicago with nine shots on net against his hometown Sabres.

At the end of Friday night’s action, the Blackhawks’ six-game winning streak makes them the hottest team in the Western Conference and now sit only six points behind the Dallas Stars in the Central Division. The Hawks host the suddenly-hot Colorado Avalanche at the United Center on Sunday. Colorado has won three straight, and are tied with Nashville at 45 points (the Predators have one game in-hand).

74 thoughts on “Phillip Danault, Blackhawks Sheathe Sabres

  • January 9, 2016 at 5:32 am

    Since Gustafsson has been recalled the hawks are 6-0. He might not be the reason for the streak, but it’s hard not to see his all around value. He has bad skills, smarts and a little bit of nasty in him. Him and TVR complement each other as TVR leads the Hawks in blocked shots, for wxample.

    Gustafsson is projected to finish the season +38 !!! That would be the stat of the year if it holds, which it won’t.

    If Panik plays the next game with Teows I’m less interested in his impact there than I am with Shaw returning next to Rasmussen. Him and Bickell were flying when Shaw has there and they halted since his departure. I would have liked to see Coach Q put Kane with them for some shifts here and there…try to give them some momentum.

    The Danault line keeps on being a joy to watch. They look so focused and determined. All 3 have something to prove and are going all out every shift they take.

    PS: Things are looking to get back to more of a natural GAA situation. The Blackhawks are now 5th in the NHL. I think that, more than anything is something to keep a close eye on as history teaches.

  • January 9, 2016 at 5:34 am

    edit: “mad skills”

  • January 9, 2016 at 7:51 am

    The Sabre’s looked like dinosaur’s trying to skate around. Big and slow won’t cut it in today’s NHL. Danault looks like a keeper. I am curious why people think Panyik could be a significant help. I looked into it and he was demoted to the AHL in Toronto. What would be the reason why he could help the Hawks if he isn’t good enough for the Leafs? Also, how is Dano doing and when is Kruger scheduled to return?

  • January 9, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I’m glad #24 finally got one. The young man skates hard on the forecheck and backcheck and hopefully his hard work will continue to pay off.

  • January 9, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Solid Game . . . Phillip Danault get’s one or was given one but Damn the kid can play and he is certainly staying. So much more offensive sensibility than Marcus but as said Marcus is a value in trade or in return to the lien up too, we’ll see.
    AAnisimov had 12 face off wins! Danault had 5 dots!

    Sabres clogged up the neutral zone ye ole TRAP and it works vs. Hawks really clogs things up, slows them down and forces Hawks to make Extra passes and takes away the stretch pass for break aways. BUT our D-men stepped up again, broke the TRAP even Gusty had some brilliant passes and obviously HAMMER walking into one. Small adjustment but it is our D-men who make it happen with their flexible DNA and IQ on the ice to read plays, step up and in. ( think cornerbacks in NFL ) Even with the trap the Hawks get like 41 shots of goal felt like 14? They continue to get out HIT but that’s over rated and they don’t seem to be getting BEAT PHYSICALLY yet?

    Hawks solid but still letting teams with a Guy like Ryan O’Reilly ( Monster) HANING AROUND! Still struggling to put teams away, BUT any team trapping the Hawks will keep it close but Hawks too much experience in anything “close”

    The 4th line need to be a shovel of dirt . . . I like Mooooose, and Garbut but they need a play maker like TNT or a TNT light to make plays. Bick is so inconsistent and his value to me is more a Sharp type player not the physical, Bick has a great shot . . . and is strong on the outside but now he is forced to be Dennis Rodman, which is why he struggles he is a skilled offensive player but is physically drained having to chase, crash and wipe out the other guy. I wish Mooooose ( love the kid) was a little more of a play makers or got to the NET MORE, they all play too far away from the paint, drifters.

    go Hawks

  • January 9, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Put Panik or just about anyone else on the TOP LINE and you’ll see how good he is or is not, but having Toews and Hoss on your line certainly makes YOUR GAME EASIER!
    We’ll see but it cant get any worse than it is . . . empty net goals count but certainly not what Toews wants, Toews is trying harder with his rushed so he knows what he knows. Captain ain’t no fool! Hawks can plug that HOLE much later . . . and will Panik will not be the final answer. But Panik down on the 4th lien too, could be!

    I would bring back DANO for Bick . . . today! Dano got to the net, held his ground and has speed and some size and like tHE ARTIST he does not back down, he is tuff!
    That is also why THE ARTIST will be around for a long long time, takes a hit and keeps on keeping on!

    go hawks

  • January 9, 2016 at 8:44 am

    It was wonderful to see Phillip Danault roof the game winner last night. What’s not to like about how this kid plays? What I was even more encouraged about the future of this young player is his attitude. Post game interview on WGN gave us an inside look at what makes this kid tick. It’s all about team and all about doing what the coaching staff asks of him. So far this is exactly what he shown out on the ice. Looks like this kid has the skills along with a big heart for the game. He also spoke about playing Rockford was so vauable for him to learn the hawks system and what is needed from all players on the ice if the team is too succeed. He has stepped into Krugers spot and played admirably. The goal he scored last night will go far in boosting his confidence. Way to go Danault!!

    The Gustafssen pass to Hammer was a thing of beauty as he froze up Sabres that though he would shoot. Nope he put it on the tape to #4 who made no mistake down the slot. A beautiful play.

    Yes I thought Sabres looked a bit slow, but rightfully pointed out O’Reilly is simply a great player. Just before he scored he was circling tight into open ice near the left circle and bingo puck finds him open to rifle one past Crow who had no chance with that one. O’Reilly does all the little things really well. Not sure why Avs parted with this stud, but I’m glad the Hawks don’t face him often in our division anymore. Young Eickel can certainly learn much from watching the game of Ryan O’Reilly. Were it not for Johnson the Hawks would have blown Sabres out of this one.

    Avs game tomorrow should be a barn burner. Both teams playing well right now and these divisional games are huge points.

    Now if Hossa can just start burying some of his chances….My God he gets 2-3 golden scoring opportunities each game. The puck has to start going in for him. To me he just needs to get some elevation on his shots. You can feel the frustration pouring from 81 after some shifts.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  • January 9, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Pete- Panik has some upside but it was hinted on TSN that he fell out of favour with Babcock.

  • January 9, 2016 at 9:31 am

    I don’t see Panik who is yet to be recalled. And yet to play a game for the blackhawks organization get thrown next to Toews. He’s a 3/4 line player. Then again so is Shaw. But, Panik is not the answer at 1lw. I have no problem with calling him up. Especially if he replaces Bickell. But let’s be reasonable with expectations.

  • January 9, 2016 at 9:34 am

    MtM- Moose- is a decent play maker… watched him make tons of passes w/ Defender on him at Rock- really good at throwing the puck into the crease from tough board positions… Not dangler/Like Kane… but Moose IS effective… the real issue… Bickell isn’t fast/and tough enough to go to net… Play Moose with Desi/Shaw/ Panik??? and there will be goals/offense…

    It will come down to: Does Panik shine or not on 1LW… if not- he can still be good asset w/ guys like TT/Moose… cuz – looking at Panik hilites- he likes to go to net… and then SB will go for 1LW…

    If Panik – shines 1LW- SB will have easier job of getting another “role” guy to fill PO roster…

  • January 9, 2016 at 9:34 am

    We would here the updates on Dano if hoff didn’t fall off the face of the earth in a tizzy. Also O’Reilly a hawk killer, would have looked soooo good in Indian head sweater

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I have trouble understanding why people constantly link Danault to Kruger. Those 2 are more diverse than they are similar.
    And even if you take only the similarities there’s room for 4 Centers and the Hawks only have 3 bona fide C.

    If it’s up to me… have Danault AND Kero (or Hinostroza or Rasmussen) explode in the future, that way you can move Anisimov at 1LW and take care of that weakness as well.


    My point is that there’s a certain need for 2 starting Centers for the Hawks. In no way I see it as either Danault or Kruger.

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Kane is fighting the puck the last few games. He’s not catching passes cleanly, not controlling the puck as he usually would and even though he’s getting shots on net they aren’t as accurate as we’ve come to expect. Is he injured or maybe it’s just a lull in the middle of the long season. But, and here’s the thing, the Hawks are winning games when Kane hasn’t been playing at the top of his ability and I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have been able to say that earlier this season. That is to say that the Hawks are better than a one line team now which bodes well now and even better when Kane comes out of this little mini slump.

    Gustafsson plays fast. He makes decisions fast and executes fast. He plays with confidence which allows him to play that fast. He may not have shutdown defense abilities but I’m becoming a believer that he can be an effective #4 d-man. I still think the Hawks would be a better team with a veteran #4 d-man and Gustafsson-TvR being the bottom pairing, but with the way Gus has played it’s less of a priority for sure.

    I’m really happy Danault got rewarded with his first NHL goal last night. Number 1 it was needed to win the game, but Danault deserved it with his tenacious and effective work. He is a motor player but whereas other motor players spend some of the TOI spinning their wheels, Danault plays with purpose all over the ice and all game long – every game. The Hawks have a keeper in that kid and along with Panarin and Gustafsson have three rookies that were question marks at the NHL level who have come through as well or better than expected. Life is good as a Hawks fan!

    Colorado next. Bigger test against them than the last few games. Hopefully Panik plays if for no other reason than we will be able to stop wondering what he’s all about. If Panik plays 1LW, who does Shaw replace – Bickell or Garbutt?

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:38 am

    71 could spark 1st line, especially 81. Tazer past few looks back to normal driving past people while stick handleing. This line could ignite fireworks with the 2nd line once it starts scoring at a normal clip.

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:43 am

    How about Panarin getting into fights in front of the net and in defense of Kane ?

    All this 2 night after Teows jumped in for him against Letang.

    I have trouble finding weaknesses with Panarin. He checks all the boxes I can think of.

    I can imagine him at the United Center watching the Stanley Cup Finals, with that smile of his, thinking “Pfff…I can do that”. He has that arrogance, but it’s the positive kind. I hope he doesn’t change in time with all the success and status he’ll gain.

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:45 am

    1st congrats to Dannault, slick move for the GWG! Solid effort by Gus, the addition of Gus and subtraction of Daley has seemingly paid off. Q and staff has done a good job coaching up the new additions to the blue line.

    Lets hope its timw to Panik on Sunday. If the Hawks could figure out that 3rd line id be very excitex

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I guess im in the minority of my opinion on Panik. He was waived by Tampa for a reason.

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Sorry 1st line

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Panik has played 151 NHL games. And scored 39 points. For a .26 average.

    Bryan Bickell has a .35 ppg average. Comparing Morin to Panik when it comes to advanced stats, Morin graded better in every category. Albeit a smaller sample size.

    I wouldn’t be shocked if Panik never plays for the Hawks. Look at TJ Brennan last year. Put up numbers, but was never called up.

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:53 am

    @ Ernie,

    By that logic they should have signed Panarin. I mean he wasnt traded for a reason.

    Seriously its a low risk high reward move, thats whats exciting about it.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Ernie, if 71 isn’t good on 1st/he might spark/help 1st. We know Shawzer can fill in (anywhere) so its a good time (games 40-60) to see if theres something there. We have to know for deadline/keep improving the roster as we go along. Then, I think your right, he plays on 4th/3rd.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Morrison – the 3rd line is on fire as well. If Hossa joins the party with O production that would make it 3 lines “igniting fireworks”

    I think there’s a misconception (??) about Teows which I find rather baffling. People continue to say Teows “seems in a slow period”,” isn’t his normal self”. I even heard “he might be dinged”,

    Well… in the last 11 games he’s had 6 goals and 5 assists. He’s on a point per game average for the last 11 games.

    He had his slump in the 11 games prior to this last 11 ‘1 point per game’ games.

    He managed 2 goals and 1 assist in that chunk of games. But he’s out of it and it’s already been 3 week now. Hossa is actually the one on the clock and he’s visibly getting more pissed with each passing game.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:09 am

    I have no problem giving him a crack at top line duty. But he’s done nothing to this point in his career to suggest he is a top line NHL player. AHL stats are misleading, look at Bickell. If he shows me something in the Hawks organization I’d be more open to him playing there. Everyone wanted to give Dano time to learn the system, but now they want to throw Panik next to Toews? Dano at least had training camp. Granted Panik is older and not trying to change positions. I just see that deal as a change of scenery for both players and a depth move for the Hawks.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Dum dum, the only guy saying Toews looks slow was Rufus.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:12 am

    EbonyRaptor – I was thinking about the same thing.

    Garbutt has played better than Bickell. but if they put Panik on the 1st, they could reunite Shaw with Rasmussen-Bickell which was rolling before Shaw went with Teows. Get those guys back on track.

    That being said… I think Bickell goes out, because when Shaw moves up with Teows to play different shifts you’d have 2 LW in Bickell and Panik on that line. So Shaw LW with Rasmussen so they can simply move him and Panik up and down freely. And you know they’re going to do that switch because you can’t have Shaw play 8-9 minutes and Panik 14-15.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Not talking about goals/points, just play. Your right he had this slump for those 11 games then has however many goals/points in these 11 games but the past few games hes back to normal/taking it to another level. I see it with his stick handling while driving. Nothing against 65 but 19/81 need a spark now/soon because they are primed to have a really good 2nd 40 games.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:16 am

    to the “lines” (spellcheck free I might add) that dumdum presented:

    No, you don’t move Anisimov to LW1. The Blackhawks haven’t had a bona fide 2C since Sharp moved to LW and haven’t had one w/ Anisimov’s size in… who knows. If they didn’t plan on him being 2C, they wouldn’t have handed him a 5-year extension. Stop it.

    Stop it w/ Kero. Really… just stop it.

    As I already outlined elsewhere, the Blackhawks’ deepest position is center right now – without Kruger healthy. With Toews-Anisimov-Danault-Rasmussen they have a nice group. With guys like Shaw and Desjardins who can step in and take a draw as well, there’s better than average depth at the position. By rearranging things because you’re the ONLY person who thinks it’s broken you’re actually shattering the strength and integrity of the hottest roster in the Western Conference. So please, stop it.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:17 am

    re: Ernie’s comments on Panik – Quenneville has already said he’s coming straight to Chicago. He’ll get a look at LW1 so they can move Shaw down the roster and have better depth across the board. The biggest question(s) is/are how he plays/will he stick?

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Phil, what you mentioned about Danault reminds me of the traits/character that Bolly and Krugs have.

    Rookie forward Phillip Danault, continuing his brilliant first season with the Chiefs…
    Il parle de la game d’hier, ecoute ca.
    OK. Phillip Danault continue sa saison…

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Ernie – no… I’m not criticizing anybody. I don’t remember who said this or that.

    I’ve seen it generally on the blog and on twitter. It’s an impression that fans have about Teows in the last stretch and I’m also part of it. To me it seems like he’s mostly going throw the motions like a veteran of his stature has to do during the NHL season. He looks in 3rd gear.

    Even Coach Q isn’t minding that, just look at his 2 unit PK usage.

    All that being said… I think we Blackhawks fans are a little bit cocky and unrealistic. The man has put 11 points in his last 11 games and we’re all like “when Teows starts heating up… watch out”. Hahah.

    Teows season:

    first 10 games 5 points (2 goals -3 assist)
    next 11 games 9 points (5 goals-4 assists)
    next 11 games 3 points (2 goals-1 assist)
    next 11 games 11 points (6 goals-5 assists)

    As you can see what’s missing is Hossa finding his scoring touch. Teows usually has more assist than goals by a wide margin. This year it’s the other way around and that’s obviously because Hossa is in a prolonged scoring drought.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:31 am

    As Tab mentioned, Q already said Panik is coming to the big club. He will probably get a shot at LW1. To weigh in on ER’s question, I would replace 29 with 65. 29, with all do respect, is done.

    DumDum, in addition to being a low rent hillbilly, you know nothing about hockey.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:31 am

    At some point, dumdum has to figure out how to spell the name of the Blackhawks’ captain… right?

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:33 am

    And DumDum, as Tab says, kindly spell the names of our players correctly. It’s Toews, not Teows!

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Since dumdum wants to put Toews’ (note the spelling) numbers in a vacuum, let’s play that game. Here they are from the last 2+ year:

    The only thing that’s inconsistent in his game to date is PP Assists. Which has been impacted by the moving pieces on the roster affording the Hawks the luxury of not relying on him on both special teams as heavily.

    But he’s just going thru the motions… #stupid

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Makes sense, Teravainen and Bread Man are really good PP. PP is better.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Since a guy with a 37 yr old ( in 3 days) right winger, and a revolving door of not really left wingers playing left wing isn’t producing like he should. That apparently means he’s slowed by injury.

    Q said Panik will be up, and given an opportunity. If we’re reading into opportunity as playing next to Toews, that opportunity will most likely be short. Hearing his comments on Panik and how he lost favor with Tampa, then Toronto has mirrored Morin here. I’m not saying they’re the same player. I’m not saying Panik is going to fail. I’m just saying that if he was a top line player, or had shown top line anything he would have shown it by now. I don’t want to sound too pessimistic. But I doubt he’s the answer. He was waived by Tampa, claimed by Toronto. Waived by Toronto at the start of the year and went unclaimed 1 year later. So in 3 months he’s ascended to top line quality? Doubt it. Give him a chance. But if/when it doesn’t work. Let’s move him to a line better suited for him. Let’s not do the Mashinter or Rundblad and keep him on the top line longer than he should if/when he shows he’s not up to task.

    They could say its visa issues. But, I wonder if it’s salary cap related why he’s not here yet. As of now they don’t have the space needed to call him up. Will they finally waive Mashinter? Maybe theyre working on trading Bickell and that’s the “opportunity” Q was alluding to. Maybe they planned on sending Gustafson down, but his play has kept him here.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Tab – Chill.

    I has talking about options in the FUTURE as in next season.No..I wouldn’t start doing that in the playoffs when Kruger comes back.
    I don’t see how line shuffling 12 months from now is “shattering the strength and integrity of the hottest roster in the Western Conference.”

    Funny how in your next post you talk about Panik (who?) getting a chance at 1 LW, but you dismiss using Anisimov there even if he’s just as good there as he is at C.

    All this while declaring the Center position as the deepest position on the Hawks roster. If it’s the deepest position lets see which one of them can play true LW next to TEOws, don’t you agree ?

    So I think I’m going to stick with my opinion. If Danault becomes IN THE FUTURE a legit 2 C, I’d more than entertain the idea of putting Anisimov at LW on the 1st line.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Broke- prey for me and my family. Zelot.

  • January 9, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Come on DumbDumb…….

    Prey or pray?

    Zelot or zealot?

    Toews or Teows?

    Send me or posts and I’ll spell check them for you, free of charge!

  • January 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Frank, how long does this show go on.

  • January 9, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Tab – First of all… you can’t possibly think a player like Teows is going all-in in the regular season. They can’t because they burn out.

    I have to ask…have you lost your mind ? My post was an admiring post about Teows. I was saying that we’ve become so cocky and unrealistic about him that even when he scores 11 points in 11 games we say ‘he’s slow’, ‘he’s going through the motions”, “he needs to step up”, “he doesn’t look normal”.

    That was my whole point… the baffling difference between the impression fans have about Teows and his actual high as usual production.

    My post was clear as day light and you can’t blame my English. Talking about one’s English lets see what you got.

    “The only thing that’s inconsistent in his game to date is PP Assists. Which has been impacted by the moving pieces on the roster affording the Hawks the luxury of not relying on him on both special teams as heavily.”

    “The only thing that’s inconsistent in his game to date is PP Assists. Which HAVE been impacted by the moving pieces on the roster THAT AFFORDED the Hawks WITH the luxury of not relying AS HEAVILY on him, on both special teams.”

    Please guys, lets not start checking the spelling and all that bullshit. Now I take full responsibility for my ‘Toews’ constant brain fart. I need to focus when I write his name because you can’t do that…keep misspelling his name. I’m ashamed and rectify my error.

    But the other stuff…that’s childish and silly. Stop it.

  • January 9, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Ok, dumdum, I’ll prey on you and your family!

  • January 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Amazing shot by Danault for the gwg. He had very little net to shoot at. Don’t write off Krugs when he returns. Q will welcome him back with open arms. He has the heart of a champion and is an important part of the core. His gwg against the Ducks in triple ot was clutch. For the playoff roster Krugs will get the edge over Moose.

  • January 9, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Well said Milton. I’m still hopeful that they can work out a cap way to keep 24 as C3 and 16 as C4 for the next few years. May be impossible, but I hope it will work out. If Kruger is willing to accept 4th line money, it may work!

  • January 9, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Ernie – you’re 100% spot on re Panik. Morin is a far better player than Panik (even if we classify them as AHL players) via the stats and the eye test. Trading one blackballed guy for the other. If Mike Babcock thought he could be a useful player, he would have been w the leafs all year, not in the minors. Same goes for Morin and Q’s thoughts re him.

    I give it ten games max for Panik on hawks; and the hawks are hot, best streak of the year, why change the lineup now? Its not like Panik is Stamkos getting traded to Hawks.

    Keep up the fine posts Ernie.

  • January 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    A nice six game winning streak, the team dominating play lately and 99% of the team firing on all cylinders seems good to me. Morrisons premise of a better after Christmas stretch seems to be correct. That poor Johnson fellow sure had his work cut out for him and he was a genuine star last night. Tip of the hat to that guy. Lots of movement on the trade front around the league before the trade deadline as teams shore up perceived inadequacies so maybe it’s time to dangle Bickell and a pick or send him down to Rockford again, were he is a star, or lose him to waivers…win win in my books. Every game is a test but Colorado will be a doozy so let’s keep it going and stuff it to that Varlamov because we owe him, or he owes us about a dozen goals and payment is due. The overrated Preds and the much overrated Rinne are coming as well so let’s not let our foot of the gas yet.

  • January 9, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Iceman, maybe we should wait and see how Panik does before you make comparisons to your beloved JM. Just because Panik didn’t work out in Toronto, doesn’t mean he won’t in Chicago. Let’s wait and see. Then you can tell me “I told you so” in your blue Morin sweater with a leaf on it!

  • January 9, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Love the play of our 2nd and 3rd lines, first line still needs LW. Keep seeing in the Hockey News that Hawks are still looking for someone on defense. I don’t see the need with the way Gustafsson and Van Riemsdyk are playing why change. Looking forward to the next two games with Colorado and Nashville fast teams with good goalies will be a good test. I miss Hof’s updates on the Icehogs. Go Hawks!!

  • January 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I’ve put zero stock in basically anything from dumdum.

  • January 9, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Panik is an intriguing add and he gives the Blackhawks an option to move Shaw back down in the lineup. There is no way in hell I’d move Anisimov to LW1

  • January 9, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    ditto re dumdum

  • January 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    Anisimov should and will stay at C2

  • January 9, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I’ll admit I may be the “out of step Charlie” in the bunch here, but I fail to understand the venom spewing that seems to pass for normal discourse in the comment section of just about every blog here. It would be more understandable if the Hawks were losing and we were all miserable about it, but guys – the Hawks have won 6 in a row and we should all be happy. That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate concerns or we have to sing kumbayah together but hells bells it seems like the Hatfields and McCoys in here sometimes. It shouldn’t have to be a choice between being “pick-able” or “dis-pick-able”. Just imagine what it would be like to be a Penguins fan, or a Ducks fan, or a Canucks fan. We’re Hawks fans – we’re the cream of the crop, the top of the mountain, the envy of every other fanbase with the possible exception of the Kings and even they could not look down on us. This won’t last forever. Enjoy it to the fullest while we can.

    Peace brother.

  • January 9, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Ernie, I agree with you and think 71 will not be good enough for 1st but if hes good enough to be one of the 12 FW then it makes us deeper. I hope hes good enough for 3rd because the most ideal 4th line would be 11/16/65. Wall described it the best and laid the prints for the lines and think the same for the lines. It would be gorgeous if 71 can on the 1st, then we could add a Defenseman.


  • January 9, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    ER – Well said.

    If Q thinks Panik is worth a shot at 1LW then I, for one, am happy to see how it works. The ability to recover from the massive roster losses through shrewd acquisitions and strong player development is nothing short of amazing and is the biggest story of the year so far.

  • January 9, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Kindl on waivers. Salary might be difficult to add at 2.4 million. But I think I’d like him better than Scuderi

  • January 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Ladd, Byfuglien, Sharp, Saad, Versteeg, Oduya, Campell. Brouwer, Nick Leddy. And have to throw in Bergevin,Chevyldayoff, Stephane Waite. John Torchetti,Mike Haviland, and I guess Jamie Kompon

    Top 6 and top 4 pairing players that have come come and gone. Someone give the man GM of the decade. I know there’s still some years left if the decade. But come on. Whos gonna usurp him? Dean Lombardi? No one has lost more talent and replenished that better than Stan and the Hawks. I keep waiting for Mark Kelley to be named GM somewhere.

  • January 9, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Would have to use 1.450m of cap space (by having 47 on Rockford roster).

  • January 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Morrison, I got an answer for our LTIR question thanks to our friends at cap friendly.

    “Thanks for the email. No, there are no restrictions in terms of the amount a players cap hit needs to be in order for him to placed on LTIR.

    However, more times than not, the team won’t bother placing a player with a low cap hit (i.e. 600K) because it’s not worth it (or in some cases they can maybe go the Emergency Roster Exception route… but that’s a whole other thing). But if a team were really desperate, they could definitely do it.

    As a matter of fact, the CBA (at page 291) provides an illustration of how the LTIR works using the example of a player making $1.5M.”

  • January 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    The hope with Panik is Hossa will take him under his wing and as long as he can find his way to the front of the net he will be some help to the Toews line. Bickell is not that front net guy and Shaw is willing but just can’t take that beating all year. Back on the 3rd or 4th line his minutes are less and he can skate more as those lines don’t play the same puck possession game.

  • January 9, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    ER, stick to talking about hockey, you make much more sense when you stay on topic.

  • January 9, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    ER, was thinking the same thing. Time to play some Bob Marley.

  • January 9, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Morin may never make it in NHL. Who knows? I hope Panik pans out, but the history says he wont.

    I have a suggestion — if they cant find a left wing in the next six weeks to play w toews and hossa, there is an experienced fast skating forward w an expiring contract on an Eastern Conf non playoff team that would fit right in …. Let’s see who is astute enough to name this player.

  • January 9, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Ernie, this is big and makes a difference. Feels righteous to know for sure we can use Krugs 1.5 on top of Salary Cap.

  • January 9, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Iceman, Iceman, Iceman.

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Iceman – you wouldn’t be thinks about Versteeg would you?

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:27 pm


  • January 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

    ICEMAN – could it be JVR

  • January 10, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    Versteeg may not be eligible to be traded for. I know the panthers can’t trade for him but I’m unsure if the Hawks can.

    Michael Grabner.

  • January 10, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    JvR is not expiring.

  • January 10, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    My last 2 guesses: Brayden Schenn, Boone Jenner, though I doubt Columbus would part with Jenner.

    I was assuming you were talking about only natural left wingers.

  • January 10, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    I thought about Schenn. But he’s not that experienced. He said forwards. Also said if they can’t find a lw1 in the next 6 weeks. I suppose that could mean internally but I think they’ve exhausted all those options.

  • January 10, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I do chuckle that we’re bickering about “needing” a LW1 to make the hottest team in the Western Conference more formidable. Not sure it’s broken folks

  • January 10, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Yes can we pull up someone’s reference to this being the weakest Hawk team in the last several years. 7 straight-not bad

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