Predators Out-Work Blackhawks, Win In Chicago Again

After Chicago’s stunning comeback win on Wednesday night, the Blackhawks looked to capture some momentum into their final nine games of the regular season. Malcolm Subban was superb in the win Wednesday and was back in the net on Friday evening.

Coach Jeremy Colliton made one lineup change for the third straight game against the Predators, however. Nicolas Beaudin returned to the Blackhawks lineup for the first time since March 27 in the place of Calvin de Haan, who was taken out of the lineup because of his lingering hip issue. Colliton still opted to roll with seven defensemen, however.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, Juuse Saros was back in net for Nashville. In five games against the Hawks this season, Saros came in with a .945 save percentage and 1.75 goals against average, good for a 4-0-1 record. He has dominated the Blackhawks all year – until Wednesday night. Could Chicago ride that wave of success to another win?

Subban was tested early. Nashville came out the way they have played against the Hawks all year, putting pressure on the puck and not letting the Blackhawks make easy passes. Chicago tried to battle back and their effort earned them a power play; Colton Sissons went to the box for whacking Vinnie Hinostroza 6:33 into the period.

The alleged advantage that followed was a clinic by the Predators, who barely let the Blackhawks enter the zone during the two minutes. Chicago didn’t have a shot on net because they didn’t complete a pass despite having an additional skater on the ice.

Subban fought off multiple 2-on-1 situations in the first period and made some huge saves.

As the period progressed the Hawks started to get more shots on net but nothing was getting through. When the horn sounded after 20 minutes, the Blackhawks had an 11-7 shot advantage but the scoreboard had a zero for both sides.

Hinostroza only skated five shifts in the first period but he was noticeable on each one of them. He was credited with one shot on net and one blocked shot in the first. His 3:58 was the lowest ice time among Chicago’s forwards in the period.

Chicago started the second period much better than they had the first but couldn’t score (again). It took more than six minutes into the period for either side to put the puck in the net, and it came off Ryan Johansen’s stick unfortunately. Connor Murphy was late to the party in front of Subban and Kirby Dach couldn’t get between Johansen and the net and a loose puck was tapped in to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.

The Blackhawks kept putting shots on net but Saros didn’t care. Chicago was short-handed for a couple minutes in the middle of the period when Dach was sent off for a high stick but Nashville didn’t accomplish anything. Subban made a couple good saves to keep the Hawks within one.

Inside the final four minutes of the second period, Mikael Granlund won a board battle and set up Luke Kunin, who somehow found a gap big enough for the puck between Subban and the post to extend the lead to two. The play started with two Predators and two Blackhawks battling for the puck in the corner. Kunin and Nikita Zadorov left the scrum as the puck moved out and Kunin simply skated away from an oblivious Zadodov.

With 90 seconds left in the first period, Dach left the ice after Mattias Ekholm put him into the boards hard. He left the ice holding his left arm and appeared to be in some pain.

Thankfully, Dach didn’t miss a shift.

Sadly, even with a 13-12 shot advantage in the period, Chicago went to the room down two goals. The Blackhawks had some chances to get the puck on the net even more, especially early in the period, but didn’t pull the trigger. Saros was good, but he wasn’t tested with the high shots that Eddie Olczyk has begged the skaters to put on net for five games and finally saw work in the third period two days ago.

Desperate for offense, shift after shift we watched as Kane was sent over the boards with David Kampf. Because Colliton is smarter than everyone else in the room apparently.

Subban kept making big saves but there was simply no offense to speak of from the Blackhawks. Chicago was credited with one shot on net in the opening 11 minutes of the third period.

With 7:30 left in a period that saw the Blackhawks making more bad passes than even shot attempts, Hagel went to the box for holding. Time was running out on the Blackhawks playoff hopes and they weren’t putting up much of a fight.

The Blackhawks killed the penalty. Nashville happily let two minutes roll off the clock without a stop.

With 3:55 left on the clock, Erik Haula ripped a shot from the corner on the goal line and it went in. The lead was three. The game was, in reality, over.

Colliton pulled Subban almost immediately after the faceoff for an extra attacker, hoping to spark a comeback. He could have, you know, skated Kane with DeBrincat and Dach a few times. But now that the lead was three and the clock was disappearing he started to show some desperation.

The skaters showed almost no sense of urgency on the ice. There were about a dozen times in the game that a forward could have shot the puck but opted to look around and hope someone else was open. A team that doesn’t have a third legitimate sniper in uniform was suddenly trying to be perfect.

With Subban on the bench, Hinostroza parked himself in front of the net and Beaudin put a high shot on net. Hinostroza got a piece of it and it redirected around Saros and fully crossed the goal line. The officials needed a review to confirm the goal was good, and the Hawks were within two.

The one goal was nice but it was the extent of the offense.

The Blackhawks spent the final 90 seconds casually skating after pucks and throwing more grenades at skates instead of passes on tape. They lost to the Predators again, and their playoff chances are no longer something they can control. Indeed, they may not even be on life support.

65 thoughts on “Predators Out-Work Blackhawks, Win In Chicago Again

  1. Played well for stretches but game seem to lose intensity after Preds got a goal. Kampf a hard worker and an important player on their bench. Got agree about chasing the lead with him centering Cat and Kane

  2. Another pretty easy skate in the park for the Preds. Not much push back from the Charmin soft Hawks. Can anyone remember anything more than 1 and done in the Preds zone? God,the Preds have to love playing the Hawks. They were chuckling their asses off not only on the bench but on the ice and I don’t blame them. Dach,oh HELL,all of the forwards that weren’t named
    Hagel or Hinostroza got pushed around and outworked all over the ice all night. Zadorov was horrible,yes horrible looking like he was medicated. Give Mitchell his ice time.Subban let in 2 very bad goals,he is what he is. If Kane was even thinking about doing something special,Colliton put the kabash on that by sticking the place where offense goes to die,KAMPH as his center. The Preds didn’t even need a coach tonight because Colliton and staff did their work for them. It looked to me like many of the Hawk Forwards were very shy about driving to the net,lots of inaccurate overpassing.This team is a bunch of mismatched parts with no physicality or leadership on and off the ice. Its embarrassing when a player that arrived in a trade a couple of weeks ago and a rookie are by far your best players night in and out save DeBrincat maybe. Oh well,whens Training camp start?

  3. Halfway through the game the Hawks were outshooting the Predators 23-11 and NSH was up 1-0 – at that point you had the feeling that the game was lost

    NSH got their game back and the Hawks had missed on their early opportunities
    If CHI scores first it’s probably a different outcome but they didn’t and despite the comeback on Wednesday they generally don’t handle adversity well – a lot of that is inexperience

    Dach has to develop a goal scorers mindset – on that shortie chance he had a good look to shoot but didn’t take it

    Kane was not good again – not only not generating much but turning the puck over

    The Hawks showed their youth – many still trying to adjust to speed physicality and lack of space in the NHL

    Some will get it with more reps others will be replaced – there are a lot players that will be competing for jobs in September

    On to the draft

  4. I’m not gonna bother dissecting this one. I get that Strome sat in the pressbox for the last game. Not for this one. Connolly hit people, but he’s supposed to be a shooter. No SOG. Kurashev again with his 0 SOG. Whatever. Well, now the team can sit some of these guys and we can see Gaudette, Strome, Hardman, Johnson, Entwistle, Mitchell and maybe Regula or Barratt.
    I didn’t expect the playoffs, but this was a must win game and the Blackhawks and Colliton were just outplayed and out coached. Let’s talk about where the team may end up, in the draft, and who may be available and what position they may pick in the 1st round.

  5. Kane is just being played too much on horribly mish-mashed lines—wearing him out so he’s just hanging on for the opportunities that never come with no chemistry
    I thought it was one of Keith’s better games out of the last several, in both zones
    In the end, it was Subban’s softies that really hurt in this one

  6. I would now for the rest of the season take a blow torch to this lineup and sit Zadorov,Keith,DeHaan, on Defense. At Forward sit-Carpenter,Connolly,Kamph,Dach,Kane.At Goalie sit- Subban. Put Suter/Hagel/Hinostroza out as 1 Line. Strome/DeBrincat/Kubalik as a Line. Gaudette/Johnson/Kurashev as another. Barratt/Entwhistle/Hardman as the 4th Line. Defense= Murphy-Kalynuk -1 and 2 . Boqvist-Stillman-2nd. Mitchell/Beaudin-3rd Pairing. Delia at Goalie with Lankinen backing up.

  7. < 49 YEARS THIS TIME – TV shots of Kane on the bench looking dejected and spent says it all. The numbers match the mood.

    He may be rethinking his support for Colliton. At first, it was great because he was getting as much (perhaps more) ice time he could handle. Now, teams can focus on him and make life miserable for him.

    No wonder he looks miserable.

  8. Nothing more needs to be said, are we still having some fun???? Attaboy StanBo. Probably a good idea to just let the fans in the building next year, no sense in hearing any booing this year.

  9. As much as I respect and admire P Kane it was hard to watch him avoid any physical contact at all cost. Especially compared to Dcat and other small forwards going after the puck in all greasy areas.

  10. Tab, thank you for providing candid, insightful and unvarnished assessments of the Blackhawks.

    I find it refreshing that someone is willing to say what needs to be said without the PR spin foisted on them by the Blackhawk’s front office or worrying about political correctness.

    You also know your subject well.

    Most of the other scribes and pundits wouldn’t know a Loonie from a Toonie. Just listen to their post-game interview questions which often remind me of Chris Farley’s interview with Paul McCartney on SNL.

    Again, thank you.

  11. Not going to Lank after Wednesdays game was a mistake- trying to roll the dice twice with Subbban cost them although NSH is the better team so the result may have been the same anyway

    I thought Lankinen after his year deserved Friday’s biggest game of the year just like Subban after his recent good performances deserved Wednesdays game

  12. tim w.

    love your lineup except for strome. why would you ever want to see him wear a hawks sweater again?

  13. TimW, teams are limited in number of callups after tdl, 4 i think unless it’s emergency loan. Beaudin and Mitchell be 2 used so likely only be able to recall a couple of forwards, but should play what they can for a few games.

    Live the development we’ve seen this season from the younger players, gotta give coaches alot of credit there, certainly silenced the not being able to develop players in Rfd. rants this season. However as far as showing that he would be able to handle everyday game situations and adjustments of a conteding Nhl team, Colliton leaves nothing to get excited about in that area at all. See what happens on another year or 2 when his decision making has a bigger impact.

  14. @ ian

    with all due respect…….. “certainly silenced the not being able to develop players in rockford rants.” seriously? let’s not get over your skis about what rockford’s part has been in the development of the young hawks currently emerging. games at rockford:

    beaudin 59
    boqvist 15
    hagel 67
    suter 0
    kalynuk 8
    mitchell 5
    dach 0
    kurashev 39
    lankinen 40

    mostly rockford has been the place where prospects have gone to die over the years. one year of meager production from rockford (lankinen, hagel, kurashev, beaudin….. and all with less than one full year at rockford. the largest part of lankinen’s development in finland.) in absolutely no way is sufficient production to silence the critics of what has been the utterly abject failure of the “rockford pipeline” over the years.

  15. Well, I must admit I forgot the Hawks were playing last night and went drinking instead. I did see the highlights, and it just reinforced what I have seen all year. DO NOT start “SUBBAN” in back-to-back games. He needs a few games to decompress and then he’ll be fine after 3 games. I call him Veisor, after Espo’s backup Mike Veisor. You don’t want him a your starting GK. Colliton should know better than to run him out in back-to-backs.

    I agree with everyone who says that we need to let the guys who won’t be here next year, sit out the rest of the year.

    OUT:
    Keith – He must go! Leave him unprotected because he doesn’t have a NMC
    Zadarov – WTF happened? Do not even give him a qualifying offer.
    deHaan – Always hurt. Good luck on the open market.
    Strome – Going through life lazy and inconsistent will get you banned from the NHL.

    IN:
    Reese Johnson – How about some toughness?
    Adam Gaudette – Too much skill to sit
    Mackenzie Entwistle – Let’s see if he’s a keeper
    Ian Mitchell – I’d rather see him make mistakes than Zadarov
    Nicholas Beaudin – I’d rather see him make mistakes than Keith.

    Ratings:
    Tommy Ivan (2) – Getting boozed up with your boys is no reason to miss the Hawks game!

  16. my wish list for the summer:

    1) do not try to win next year. stay with the youth movement and commitment to rebuilding. if winning and making the playoffs comes along with that all the better.
    2)moves made with the assumption toews will not be back. if he is on the ice for preseason camp all the better.
    3) DO NOT resign zadorov.
    4) trade strome, de haan, carpenter, and connolly.
    5) resign hinostroza.
    6) sign zhafyarov if the terms are reasonable. do not overpay.
    7) no sacred cows come training camp. the best performers make the team regardless of contract or position drafted.

  17. Again just like the DET 1-1 split and this 1-2 split these three games 2-3 is huge for future instead of going 4-1. It keeps us around the 0/even area instead of back to 4 or 5 over .500 better for roster getting to top 5 team is top 5/10 draft pick.

    Keep losing at least one of the two games every time and we ll be in good shape.

    NAS 5
    DAL 4
    CHI 1
    massive gap/like mid tier and bottom 10 teams
    CLB -10
    DET -8

  18. Totally agree w/ hawks 29 re: Rockford. Let’s not start giving them credit for the youth movement quite yet… there are 2 rookies on this Blackhawks team – Lankinen & Hagel – who I would consider to have spent “developmental” time in Rockford who are getting on the ice regularly. Beaudin, Mitchell SHOULD be in the lineup but Colliton hates kids (I thought that was Quenneville’s fault?)

  19. Subban has had enuf starts this season.. not getting better. ALL 3 goals were his fault. All shortsided either by he can’t find the post to hug with his skate or by “cheating”..Either way, Let him be exposed in Seattle draft . Enough already…
    Defense are not rushing the puck up ice to start offensive thrusts.. They mostly sit back and pass it up ice to 3 forwards going against 5 defenders.. Just watch other team against Hawks how THEY DO IT. And until they park a forward in front of opponents net, very hard to score… Maybe let Zadorov play forward.. Are you seeing the new Byfuglien? LoL.
    Blame Murphy on his play as other SMALL Dman gets outworked along the board behind the net.. Goal was small rookie dmans fault & Subbans, but lets roast Murphy since he couldn’t cover up for those 2…

  20. Hawks29 agree didn’t play alot of games Rfd., but the last 2 seasons Rfd. didn’t play alot of games because of covid, had they played full seasons those numbers would reflect the it. That they got to Nhl so quick and ready is firstly a big credit to the players but also credit the coaching system to for helping get the job done in this era under difficult circumstances by making the most of their limited game and non game time work. Yes it’s true past years they weren’t developing the support players needed is a fact but I think this year they should get credit that’s due.

    Tab good interview on That Hockey Show, you raised alot of valid points.

  21. Billy ,the thought of playing Zadorov at forward p.p. might be a try …..he is a terribly sad defenceman , i realize the Saad trade was a salary dump to some degree but…..wholly hell did we get fleeced .

  22. Kind of a goalie win for the Hillrods.
    Subban with great saves but some tough goals that got in.

  23. Start Delia. Resign Vinnie. Sit the vets. If I have one concrete criticism of Colliton, it’s the constant line blender.

  24. Hawks 29 ,Yes you are right. My fingers began to ache when I typed Strome,s name into my proposed lineup. It was a mistake. Tommy,As usual I agree with your Ins and Outs for next season. Tear this thing down. We all know who should not be here.

  25. Tommy Ivan – Where do you go drinking that doesn’t have the Blackhawks game on at least one TV?

  26. Colliton is all about Colliton IMO. He will take any and all shortcuts to rack up a cosmetic win and he is desperately trying to keep his record above .500.

    I would like to be wrong and see Kane’s minutes drop from 24 to 18 minutes and not get double shifted anymore. Same for Keith. I would like to see him build confidence in young players like Lankinen rather than throw them under the bus on a whim. I would like to see him put together lines based on a strategy and stick with it instead of guessing, hoping and panicking.

    We will see in the last 8 games where Colliton’s priorities lie. Actions speak louder than words.

  27. I donot want to see/I didnt see game Kaner be like that/have to play like that. Its stupid. Unless its a one game win all game situation and were behind in game. Just play normal/close to normal-little more kind of thing. Goes back to having Four good lines and roll 4 lines.

    Need to get roster to look more like 2010 roster for makeup.

    WHO IS JOHN GALT
    April 24, 2021 at 6:26 am
    < 49 YEARS THIS TIME – TV shots of Kane on the bench looking dejected and spent says it all. The numbers match the mood.

    He may be rethinking his support for Colliton. At first, it was great because he was getting as much (perhaps more) ice time he could handle. Now, teams can focus on him and make life miserable for him.

    No wonder he looks miserable.

  28. The Hawks have very little margin for error – they simply aren’t good enough. When their goalie lets in two squeakers they are hard pressed to overcome them. When they can’t convert their offensive chances they are hard pressed to win. When they get out-muscled and/or out-quicked and/or out-hussled they probably aren’t going to win.

    Nothing new there – we knew all that before the season started. And yet, progress was made and in my opinion the season has been a success. Weird that.

  29. In conclusion – The Hawks are just too easy to play against. When they have three lines fore checking hard they are almost good. They are not built to play a hard fore check and force turnovers. Re-wacth how the Pred’s orchestrate the fore check or watch Vegas. Three guys to the puck hard, relentless and defense men not worried about being trapped below the dots. They ROTATE simple hockey 101, defense men drops the winger covers, since the hawks defense does not consistently add support high or low, it’s a crap shoot, inconsistent and Dyslexic at best. When the Hawks where on a mini-roll they had three guys trapping. Often on the game you could see even four guys on the screen, containing and checking.

    They have only a few good fore checkers that come to play every night
    1- Carpenter ( no one works harder ever single night )
    2- Kampf ( good at the dot, great on the penalty kill)
    3- DeBrincat ( amazing )
    4- Hinostroza ( speed, passing skills, patience, can hold the puck)
    5- Hagel ( defies description and his offensive skills will get better )

    Honorable mention Suter. He has been to me a great find. Not always consistent but when paired with offensive minded line mates he’s damn good. I think The Cat will rub off on him over the summer, bulk up, get stronger. But Suter plays big for his size.

    Kubalik is a little weak on his fore check. Dach is even weaker and is now avoiding contact and is way too easy to rub of the puck on his ultra-wide entries and gets knocked off his skates way too easy . Strome is the worst (trade him)

    This is a five year drought in my opinion plenty of time to have rebuilt.

    Kalynuk- I love watching the Kid Kalynuk from day one. Even at Wisconsin he stood up and out. The kid is a natural and on the offensive side of the tilt is consistently in great position, and has incredible instincts. He will improve on the defensive end.

    Boqvist- Has been inconsistent his entire young career in Sweden. For a defense men a GM or novice fan would fall in love with his skating ability. BUT his ability to skate in traffic is horrific. He doesn’t have the size or skill to FINISH A RUSH. He does not play well in high traffic areas on the defensive end nor offensive end of the ice. He has a very good shot BUT can not work his way into space to get his shot off. Look how easy Kalynuk seems to find open ice, instinctive, high IQ and fins his shot. THAT IS NOT EASY. Boqvist needs to bulk up and get more physical but he’s a Swed so he won’t. He’s used to the softer style of play, wide open, more open ice where he can skate easily, with no obstruction, you see what an average team like the Pred’s can do to clog up the neutral zone, which is where all games are won and lost.

    The Hawks for a decade have relied on high skill players. Solid passing and few turnovers and one of the least penalized teams in the NHL those days are gone and building a high finesse team is almost impossible in this day and age.

    Our defense men except for maybe Dunk, are horrible on long or stretch passes. I count like 15 to 20 icing because a pass is too late or over shot. Not to mention a lot of bad defense men out let passes that never leave the zone. In the old days, they would reload, turn back and regroup, this team hurries up, seems to panic and makes too many good awful passes out of our zone.

    Shorter passes, safer passes, clear the zone and just skate north, hard! Hockey 101.

    go hawks

  30. Ian, yea at least he got to coach during these yrs and if hes good a development coaching then thats what we need anyways. Then like you said when its time for young wave to roll 4 lines with quality roster then we get the coaches Tim talks about and it wont be unfair to Collitan because he got to coach for 4/5 yrs. Can he go back to rockford then? No need to fire/just adjust if wants to.

  31. The way Pat and Edzo talk about Hagel, the more they are telling us the rest of the team lacks grit. Nashville is an ok team, but they’ve managed to lose 20+ games and their window is passing. What does that say about the Hawks? Would have liked to see another Cup run for Kaner and Duncan. Time to let them have that chance elsewhere.
    The astounding silence on what is wrong with Taser tells us it’s serious. Anyone, hear about Mongo ?

  32. Knucklehead,Excellent post! All the points many of us have been stating off and on but you put it together very nicely. MO,If we go 1 and 7 and the Wings go 6-1-1 to end the season we move up a spot or 2. I didn’t check Ottawa,I know they have been playing very well.

  33. When the season started I thought the Hawks would be closer to the bottom of the division than to the final playoff spot – now that could still happen but the fact that they’ve had games this late in the season with playoff implications was frankly unexpected

    We all know there’s tons of work yet to be done but because of the rise of youngsters like Hagel, Lankinen, Boquist, Kalynuk and Suter and the development of DCat and the continuation of Kubalik’s game from last year I consider this year to be a modest success

    There are others who played this year that may still have a long term future in CHI (Kurashev, Mitchell, Beaudin plus others) and there will be new players added next year – next year will be a lot like this year in terms of player development (think Reichel, Borgstrom. Stillman, Enwhistle, Barrat, Slavin, Mitchell, Beaudin, Hardman) and hopefully with Toews back leading the way again

    By the end of next year we’ll have a much idea of how the rebuild is going – I’d like to see a young power forward or two emerge but if not then we’ll know that those players will have to be acquired

    We’ll also have a much better sense of whether JC is up to the task of anything other than player development – I still think it’s an open question – some things he hasn’t done well others he has – whether he can become a good NHL coach is still an open question

    If Stan can move a vet or two (deHaan, Zadorov?, Strome?) and have a good draft then it’ll be a good summer and I think the Hawks will be well positioned in September to further build on this year’s modest success

    Moving on

  34. No reason why Hawks should be an experiment with a coach. J C has been given more than enough time to prove himself and has failed. Time for excuses has left the building:

  35. JC has shown he is good at developing young players – they have all shown progress under Colliton

    If developing young players is what this year and next are about then having him as coach is not an experiment- in that regard he’s done well

    Where he hasn’t proven himself is in game management and strategizing for opponents- a more proven NHL coach would done better there but if you hire a proven NHL coach then you’re putting winning above young player development – it’s hard to do both

    I’m ok with JC for another year because next year will also be about player development – if he develops himself into a coach who go toe to toe in game and before the game with opposing coaches then great – if not he’ll need to be replaced either when his contract expires or before

  36. Wrap
    I agree with you …it’s not the time to play to win Stanley cup …it’s time to develop players and JC is doing the job so far .
    We all know that we have a nice bunch of inexperience players and that’s the goal to play them and give them the chance to show who they are ….of course you can’t play 15 kids 18-20 minutes per games …
    My deception so far is Kurashev….who like in Junior is unable to be steady but it’s also a bit normal for rookies .
    Wish to see a few new faces in the next games …we still have a few kids to play and try to develop.
    Calgary just won again against Montreal …iff they continue that way ..they will finish ahead off Hawks ….good for the draft pick.
    We should be around 11-13 to pick in next draft means top 45 for 2picks….and another pick around 55 ….really good.

  37. Tommy, its ok I did the same thing it happens on yrs like this. From 2009-2017 I didnt miss a interview postgame website videos postgames pre games between games eveything not once. Have to reset for the reload and then its on again like 2009-2017 for the coming yrs.

  38. ER, yea this season was a big success. And the adding of good ufa players in summer paid off. Now good ufa players know they can come here and go to a good playoff teams at tradeline so they wont get horsed around on being stuck on a reloading team. This bodes well for the future summers for us.

    Keep doing the same until were deep again.

  39. An Honest Question:

    Has Colliton really developed young players?

    That is the narrative from the Blackhawks and is often repeated here. But what has Colliton done that every NHL coach doesn’t already do or that he does better than other NHL coaches?

    I am looking for specific examples because I cannot think of any.

  40. Tommy Ivan – Texas explains why no Blackhawks game on at your watering hole. Hopefully, they had some Garrison Brothers bourbon on hand.

  41. Wijg that’s a good question, i guess it’s the same as asking what did Q do to be considered one of the all time greats, the results speak for themselves. Q’s teams are winners but he needs the horses to as we saw in his final years in Chicago. The youngsters have to have talent for Colliton to be succeesful but results support him as being able to develop them. Started with 3 goalies with basically no Nhl experience, finishing the year looking alot more solid in that area, with Lankinen and Subban. Would like if the signed the young Swedish goalie EB reminded us of as a potential upgrade too, never hwve enough depth. Other youngsters like Hagel, Colliton commented at first of season that he needed to get back to where he was playing at in Europe this fall, so he sent him to Rfd. to find his level and he has been one of the better players since his recall, can’t argue with those results, some will say ho shoulda been up all year but we don’t see the whole story. Maybe not everybody we want to see play gets to play, but hard to argue as group the results haven’t shown alot of development. Some rookies like Suter and Kalynuk are older and further along and handled the adjustment better, others hopefully results show in next few years become very good players. Also throw in that confidence players who they hope to be a big part of the future like Debrincat, Dach in his return and Boqvist, not all agree, are paying offf or i think will pay off big results in next few years. Strome on other hand seems to be showing he won’t be a part of the future. That’s my reasons for saying he was succesful with youngsters, i see what to me anyways are positive results.

  42. Tim, it took awhile for NAS DAL to get going I look for VAN to get going at some point they are better just like those teams. CAL and other were ahead they just got to reality or other teams played harder in 2nd 40 games. So about the same overall. Like some of those better teams to get to where they belong like NYR VAN ARI like NAS DAL did. Same for STL crazy to say more then VAN sucking big for how good they are STL needs to stay ahead to.

    There was hope for SAN LA after slow starts they got there latey lose 8 in a row for a 1-8-1 and 3-7 last 10 for those teams thats not going to do it for us not even if we did that.

    PHI needs to hang on CAL win some and MTL hang on. Those teams can make a big difference. Still anwhere in the 8-12 area would be ideal so we can grab one of those Defensemen that has top pair quality.

    Whats important to me besides a top 10 skill draft player is how big it is to get a 30-40 pick we draft very well there and have found 6 gems in 20 yrs there so it doesnt happen every draft it does once every three drafts so load up those 1st half of 2nd round picks because thats a 1 in 3 average not a quota.

    We have more of those picks we get moar gems. Trae up other picks for that 30-35th pick area please.

  43. Remember to it doesnt go by points it goes by winning % so teams like PHI MTL are +2 and where at 1 so were ahead and need those teams to hang on.

  44. WIJG – what Ian said plus I see good reason for optimism in each of the young players/rookies who has seen significant ice time under Colliton this year and last – Boquist, Kalynuk, Mitchell, Beaudin, Kurashev, Suter, Hagel, Stillman, Lankinen, Dach, Subban – they all seem to be making progress – I’m not saying they’re all going to be long term fixtures on the Hawks – some will some won’t but if they’re all developing well then they either will contribute to CHI or be good trade assetts

    We’ll never know if another coach would have done a better or worse job – all we know is the results we see

  45. Ian – Perhaps it’s still too soon to see if Colliton is actually “developing” players. We really don’t know if the development we have seen (hard to tell) is Cause or Coincidence (from playing time, experience, maturation or just average NHL coaching). We also don’t know who should get credit for “development” – the organization or the Coach – and which Coach(es) in particular.

    Examples of “development’ in my mind are Q molding Kane into a more complete player – it took years. The other example is Barry Trotz’s work with Ovechkin – turning him around from a -35 to a + player in his 4 years with the Caps. BTW, Ovechkin is back to being a minus player.

    I am not ready to give Collition all the credit for developing players just because that’s the narrative the Blackhawks PR machine is pushing or because players are developing as a natural progression. The real question is: Is he doing anything that any other Coach does in terms of development?

  46. Right now this team is only 7 pts better than the Red Wings that says a lot. Definitely not a contender for anything but last place. Going into next season we still don’t know much about what we have in Rockford at forward position because they haven’t been given a chance. Play these kids now and see what they can do, the worst that could happen is you get a higher draft pick.

  47. WIJG – it’s impossible for us to know what goes on at practice or is said between coach and player, what teaching moments are taken advantage of or not and it’s pointless to speculate – we do know that several players have had high praise for the approach of the coaching staff

    And we know the results on the ice – you are obviously skeptical of JC’s contribution being a significant one to player development

    A better question might – what would it take for you to admit that JC has done a good job developing the young players?

  48. Who is John Galt, I too struggle on those players that Colliton has molded into NHL ready. I pushed for Hagel and Kurashev right from then start because you could see they were ready as soon as they got to the organization. I would argue that Colliton has actually stunted the growth of Kurashev by not keeping him at center and playing him close to 9 minutes a game. I know his injury could have contributed, but Dach looks like he has regressed to me. He is constantly being pushed around and rag dolled,his skating looks slower and tentative,and he makes very poor decisions with the puck as he is very hesitant to drive the center of the ice. Kalynuk just needed ice time in the NHL to adjust to the speed of the game. He was the more ready young D Man from the start of the year. Boqvist is alway the eternal debate here. I see that he tries harder in the D zone and protects himself better but I would argue that is a case of survival. He is going on concussion # 5 now and must become more elusive. His skating has not improved. He just can’t close the gap on opposing forwards so his progression is minimal to me. Mitchell has become more tentative as time has gone on losing confidence,which I am sure is at an all time low now,so I would say that progression is not there. Suter is basically the same player,he is older and was developed when he arrived and has had the benefit of playing with top linemates. Subban is what he was when he arrived here. He can be spectacular and the next shift or game he will let in a 50 foot wrist shot from the boards. The big question on development this year is DeBrincat. Who is responsible for his transformation into a full ice/full time player? I would say only he knows. I just do not agree with much of anything that Colliton has done from the bench,but that is a whole different post for another day.

  49. Wijg success as you pointed out is the decider to me, as for what other coach could have done, you can argue the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I see some good progress so i give him credit i think is due. If it is the assistants deserving, fair enough very well may be. He brought in who he wanted and like any boss, gets credit for surrounding himself with coaches who make the process work better. Agree, i often mentioned Q played and developed rookies, doing a good job but he when asked about if he was interested in staying for this kind of rebuild, his answer was i’m not sure i want to be part of that, so basically he said no to youth development before winning. I don’t think Colliton has what it takes to coach a contender with his kindergarten teacher aporoach but younger players seem to respond and show improvement under his guidance. Maybe your right in hindsight it will show that’s not the case, but i try not get caught up over hype or constant negativity as much as i can.

  50. Wrap, only time will tell.

    I do give him credit for their puck movement and pace of play. I do give him credit for exceeding expectations this year.

    More importantly, in terms of coaching, is this the best we can do? I don’t believe he is or was. And, I don’t think he is doing anything special. Why not upgrade?

  51. Hakws2010, I want to see that top 10 skill draft player and two 30-45 picks by trading up for one of them with the Janmark summer add/tradeline player.

    Excellent move Bowman if that gets us a 1st half of 2nd round pick.

  52. TimW, Keith drafted 54th overall, Mitchell drafted 57th overall. Keith spent 2 full seasons in Ahl before cracking Nhl lineup after spending time betwern Chl and Nhl. Mitchell played 34 games in Nhl so far in his 1st year out of Ncaa and year younger than Keith his rookie season, who still wasn’t turning heads at that point. Hitting a wall and losing confidence is the same story almost 99% of Nhl players have been through not Colliton issue.

  53. Even though it 7? points its a mahor differnce when looking at top 1- mid tier bottom 10 teams

    Top 5 teams are +20
    Boarderline conference 4/5 seeds are +10
    CHI +1
    DET -8

    So that has us as close to a boarderline top 10 team then bottom 10 team. Not trying to be nit picky though where in the middle there and surging with young wavers and more of them to come each yr. DET has been reloading since when Datsysuk tucked tailed and run to Russia like a Red Coat would.

  54. Tim, that might nbe good for 77 to get a little pissed at himself and work harder for real traingin season in summer. HEs a winner like 19 is and I see it working out for the better.

    We do need to get roster to what where all saying here and with enough grit physical players on 23man it will flow thourgh lineup and we can get back to a Bicks lineup and not a Stals lineup.

  55. Funny Dunks Mitch are two of the only three gems we have drafted in 2nd half of 2nd round in 20 yrs. We have 6 gems in the 30-45 picks area. 2 to 1 ratio. Well Mitch would be the 4th.

  56. Colliton has done a decent job. This team is not built in his vision. I sort of compare Hawks with old Bulls, with Collins sort of doing okay, getting the young players time, Jordan develops, building a team slowly and then bringing in the big gun Jackson to get over the hump.

    Hawks are in mid-hump. This fantasy draft selections we mumble about will not get us to the top of the hill.

    Colliton was a center ice man! Average at best but indeed he had a gritty career.

    Hawks need a great Defensive Coach, focus only on defense, that’s not Colliton. I why say make DUNK that defensive coach (specialist) next year, player coach even You heard it here first. This blog mumbles about players development and that’s on All the coaches behind the bench. Not just Colliton. They don’t develop in the AHL not in Rockford, It’s hours of watching film (smartly) , reviewing, improving your skating technique, conditioning and adjusting your game. Look at CAT, he has transformed himself, even Panarin in NY is a lot more solid and plays heavier than he did in Chi. With a lame coaching staff you can actually go backwards and go back to old habits.

    Sheldon Brookbank has to go. I’m no fan of Marc Crawford. Start with them!

    Jimmy Waite is okay, but you’d think he’d be able to teach our two goal tenders how to play the puck behind the net, puck exits, when to drift and when to not? Ya think?

    Go Hawks

  57. I think we need that stuff and the high draft skill player and two elite ufa players.

    Horses and the team system and coaches like that style.

    All of it.

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