Scott Darling, Blackhawks Survive 3OT Thriller

It took 101 minutes of hockey, and didn’t end until Brent Seabrook’s third career overtime game-winning goal 60 seconds into the third overtime, but the Blackhawks successfully took care of business once again at the United Center. Chicago will head to Nashville with a 3-1 series lead after Tuesday night Wednesday morning’s 3-2 victory.

Seabrook’s goal, scored at 1:17 AM in Chicago, was the highlight but the story of the series continues to be Scott Darling. He stopped 50 of 52 shots in Game Four, and has now made 127 saves against 131 shots in the series. As Nashville dominated the Blackhawks over the final ten minutes of the second period, Darling kept his teammates in the game by making a number of huge saves. Darling has been a revelation in net.

The Hawks needed three goals to win the game, however, and were happy to (finally) get a contribution from a trade deadline acquisition. Less than 90 seconds after Colin Wilson scored his fourth goal of the series to give Nashville a first period lead, Antoine Vermette perfectly redirected a Michal Rozsival pass past Pekka Rinne for his first goal in a Chicago sweater.

With the monkey off his back, Vermette played a strong game. He finished the night winning 12 of 20 faceoffs and was credited with two hits and two shots on net in 19:20, but was as active as he’s been in any game since being acquired from Arizona.

The second period was all Predators, and the Hawks were lucky to escape chasing only one goal. Nashville out-shot the Hawks 14-7 in the middle period, and were credited with 10 of the final 11 on net as they blitzed the Blackhawks. If not for Darling, the score could have easily been 3-1 or 4-1; at the same time, if not for a mental lapse by Duncan Keith, the game could have been tied at one as well.

That brain fart by Keith opened the door for James Neal to score his first of the series. Over the first two periods, Neal and Mike Ribeiro spent more time trying to get under the Hawks’ skin than they did playing the puck, but Neal was able to capitalize on Keith’s error and get on the board.

From there, the Hawks followed the script from Game Three… except there were two full periods between Brandon Saad tying the game and Seabrook winning it.

With the Hawks finally finding some pace to their game in third period, Saad took a pass from Marian Hossa and ripped a shot past Rinne to tie the game. When the horn sounded and 60 minutes of hockey were complete, Darling had made 30 saves.

Darling would face 20 more shots in the first and second overtime periods, stopping them all.

Keith made up for his mistake with some fantastic play in the overtimes, and ended the night skating more than 46 minutes. To coach Joel Quenneville’s credit, and even with Kimmo Timonen only skating 12:18, Keith was the only Blackhawks defenseman to play more than 37 minutes. On the other end of the ice, Peter Laviolette relied on four defensemen the entire night and each of them – Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Mattias Eckholm and Ryan Ellis – were over 42 minutes in the game.

Jonathan Toews finished the night skating 29:56 and spent a lot of that time being held by Predators away from the play. Nashville appeared to make harassing Toews a priority on Tuesday night, but their strategy failed – just as it did for Detroit in 2013. Chicago’s captain won 21 of 38 faceoffs and was credited with five hits and one takeaway in the game.

The ice time leader among Hawks forwards was Patrick Kane, who was on the ice for 34:55. The final seconds of that long night included the pass setting up Seabrook’s game-winner, giving Kane four points in as many games in the series. Hossa skated 33:56 and picked up the primary assist on Saad’s game-tying tally. Kane and Hossa were credited with four shots on net, two missed shots, two hits and one takeaway each.

Seabrook and Bryan Bickell led the Hawks with six hits each, and Bickell was credited with the secondary assist on the game-winner. He provided a solid screen on the play, and lowered the boom and Neal and Ribeiro during regulation time. Keith led the Hawks with seven shots on net.

Johnny Oduya played 37:01 and led the Hawks with six blocked shots, and played arguably his best game since returning from injury. He was also credited with three hits and one shot on net.

Given the short turnaround before playing Game Five in Nashville, the Blackhawks may look to their depth to rest some veteran legs. Teuvo Teravainen and Joakim Nordstrom were healthy scratches on Tuesday night.

69 thoughts on “Scott Darling, Blackhawks Survive 3OT Thriller

  • April 22, 2015 at 2:51 am


  • April 22, 2015 at 5:30 am

    I think Tab may be as drunk as I am as there are a few typos and the Hawks just played game 4, I salute you sir, as always. Keith is as hot and cold as it gets right now… Maybe a little more like warm and let’s get into the next series, whaddya say #2? Seabrook’s been fantastic all year and all series, nobody deserves a little glory. Even 23 put in a nice effort, but I hate to say it, sit him for 89. The only reason I don’t say sit 29 is, well, he’s got beyond ordinary offensive skill, and it’s nice to see him use it sometimes, and indeed he laid out a few preds along the way. Hope he’s getting warmed up… 80 played great, patched the hole in his stick… Although that may have been the slowest non empty net goal scored in a decade or 2. Whatever works. The Hawks were the better team for most of 4 periods and were fortunate it paid off, Rinne is ridiculous. Darling is just as much in control, and has the coolest helmet ever, yes, even cooler than the eagle. He has the fricking blues brothers on it for god’s sake. Any chance we can snag that jones kid? Talk about mean with an offensive motor, that guy would fit on this team quite nicely. Let’s do this in 5 Hawks, I need a break.

  • April 22, 2015 at 7:34 am

    TimG – looks like our mutual desire to reunite Bickell with Kane was the right move. That combo became a factor and ended up setting up the game winner. To me, the big boy (29) always played stronger with Kane and who can blame him. And isn’t it nice to see Richards playing well.
    Is there any question who should start in goal next game?
    Will this long game open the door for Cumiskey or Runblad to get a game?
    10-80-23, I guess, I know Versteeg won’t sit but 86 could spark this line.
    11-16-65, maybe 86 could give Shaw a night off?
    32-26 or 5

    Lets end this series now!

  • April 22, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Nick, at least you were in San Diego. As Tab said, 80 has that monkey off his back. The Hawks need him to be good.

    Tab, what depth do you want to use and what vets do you want to sit? Rosy and/or Timmo…..OK. But I don’t really see any forwards sitting, except maybe TT for Versteeg. I think Desjardins and Vermette earned game 5 with their play is games 3 and 4.

    It will be interesting to see who is in goal. Normally I would say Q would ride Darling until he cracks but I am sure he is exhausted physically and mentally.

  • April 22, 2015 at 7:37 am

    BTW……Thriller is the right word

  • April 22, 2015 at 8:08 am

    Keith is playing a lot of hard minutes = erratic play at times. Not sure how any NHL insider could question his effort night in and out. Up and Down and in the corners getting pounded.

    Rosy deserves a little credit, when he made a mistake he quickly recovered and also did well on the offensive end when he got support. Solid game for him even in the ot’s!

    Vermette played better and better after his goal and could have easily had two! The “tip in” is symbolic of how and “Where” he scores when he does, movement, center of the ice, away from the net, so seems others are now learning where he likes to be it is not just him fitting in, they need to know where he is on the ice! He also did pick up speed on his close outs and his contact and got back D with the best of them.

    For me once again all 4 lines had production, puck possession and had their moments so once again a team effort. Marcus and Desjardins are a FORCE when together. Desjardins continues to impress, he is everywhere on the ice and is a legitimate threat to score!

    Having KANE as a Chess Piece to insert on any line truly makes the Hawks hard to match up with, Kane covers up a lot makes Q’s job easy.

    Power Play is still Schootizophrenia and can not even get the puck into the ZONE, which to me is unacceptable, I can see wide shots, or over passing but way tooo much talent to not get clean entry. We’ll need it next round but this is an epidemic.

    Bad news is Pred’s where without their BEAST Webber and their BEST FISHER so to take 3 ot’s is a little worrisome. WILD or BLUES will be much harder to BEAT and be much more physical for three periods. WILD is looking confident.

    Darling . . . Sasquatch was steady again, but to me faced very little pressure all game. Hawks won a cup with Annti Niemi so Darling or Crow won’t make a difference, really is the team defense. Just cant make BIG MISTAKES, he did not and he’ll start again and we may never see Crow Again?

  • April 22, 2015 at 8:13 am

    Hawks should NOT TOUCH this lineup . . . We are getting what we can out of all 4. I think many fans want more out of so called “Second tier” players Versteeg and maybe Shaw come to mind, the Hawks have depth like no one else, pretty skilled players on all lines. Don’t touch and level set expectations, a Versteeg will look great every 5 game and look bad once a week and be “solid” for the other 90% of the time. I think DEPTH is not to say we have lots of SCORERS we DO NOT! But that Depth forces “match ups” on the other teams and that is why Q again has an easy job. The Issue is never Versteeg or crying about Richards believe me.

    That said if TnT is going to be in our future he needs to play now, he must be able to tune his skill set to play in these type of games vs. guys like Webber who just crush ya at the blue line.

    Hawks can shuffle lines but to me it destroys chemistry and momentum and comfort.

  • April 22, 2015 at 8:13 am

    H-O-L-Y crap. What a game. Gawd I hope they put them away Thursday and get a few days off. This over time stuff is exhausting.

  • April 22, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Mook- we will see Crow again- but it will probably be when Hawks are down 2 games to Wild… and CC will likely be in net when hawks lose that series… losing more value/possibility to move in summer…

    SD did face mostly Low quality shots… so Once again- the Skaters plaed bigger role than goalie last nite with that score- from both sides…

    Weber- is a future HOF… Kudos to the Preds for Playing w/o that guy for 5 periods

  • April 22, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Awesome game, I like this line up a lot too. Saad is my favorite forward in the NHL. Darling is so darn freakin awesome, he reminds me of Rinne. We love our Darling!

  • April 22, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Let’s all send out fondest regards and well wishes to Doug Wilson — traded Handzus to Hawks in ’13, and this year Desjardins. He looks much better kept these days than Bob Murray as well.

  • April 22, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Versteeg, for all his frustrating turnovers and head scratching decisions, is a fiesty attitude guy that I like in the lineup come playoff time. I agree with Mook- do not change this lineup.

    If Q must make changes going into Nashvagas, do NOT take out Desi or 80, these guys are playing well and making a difference. I don’t care how long the game went, I would not change out Darling for CC. Could you rest Rosi or Timmo? For who? 5?

    1st line is obviously going good (nice that Weber is out), 88 is getting his legs, and 29 looks like more like playoff Bickell every game.. The 4th line is having a great series. Don’t fix what’s not broken…

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I agree I wouldn’t touch the players in the lineup right now, maybe slight movements between lines. Looking at the other teams TOI the Hawks have the best balanced four lines in the playoffs. The 4 line is hands down the best and could be most teams third line. Let’s hope for no more OT’s so 32 and 44 don’t get worn down anymore.

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:04 am

    M57- RIGHT!? I would like to TT in for Steeger, but im not holding my breath on that one. although i think TT setting up Sharp sounds good…

    I think Crow may get a call in game 5 just since Darling played 1.66 games last night… Regarless of outcome in game 5, i think Darling has won the net. He will start game 1 of round two/G6.

    I would say 44 would be on the block to sit, but he only played 12 minutes, he should be fine to play again. maybe 5 in for 32 but thats all i see there.

    Great to see the guys pull this one out!

    is it thursday yet?

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I will add… I always loved Kruger for his IQ/heart/ and beating he takes fighting for puck on boards… But where/when did the kid develop a wrist shot… 16 has never stunned a goalie w/ wrister till lately…

    I really hope 16/agent are true to what I read last summer (can’t blame him if he goes for more $$$)… that 16 really wants to stay in Chi. and is willing to take a discount ( I think 16 might be a little naive – to what he might actually fetch on Open market)

    and I don’t think Danault or others can bring what he does

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:19 am

    There’s not much to add to the comments already expressed other than even though the Preds had more shots on goal (52 – 48), I though the Hawks had more Grade-A chances than the Preds and the reason was they got their nose dirty taking the puck to the net. Keep that up boys.

    A great effort from both teams and a joy to watch.

    Go Hawks ! ! ! !

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Thank you Antoine Vermette. Or maybe you’re welcome is better suited

    7 is a playoff beast. Maybe they R bunk mates, 7 & 80 ??

    That game winner doesnt happen if Brad Richards doesn’t hit the ice and go right at the Pred and pressure him at his own blueline. Assist worthy to me.

    2, 7, 19, 88 Is there any way we can make absolutely sure…we dont ever have to see these 4 play elsewhere?

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:28 am

    A long night, but glad I stayed. Kudos to the entire team. Although they gave up 52 shots, they clogged up the middle limiting most of those shots to less than quality opportunities.

    I am not a Richards fan because of his speed, but I have to compliment him. He played his heart out in the OT.

    Kruger… Wow! It is a shame he does not have Bickell’s size, because he plays like he is with 40 less lbs. A couple times last night he was protecting his goalie. That’s inspirational and I hope some of his bigger teammates were watching.

    Still concerned about the number of times Rosy failed to clear the zone resulting in many of the Preds shot opportunities. Kimmo’s game was cleaner. Kudos for 2, 4, 7, and even 27 last night for covering 32 and 44. Great effort.

    Bickell was where he should be as much as possible, in front of the opposing goalies. Net front presence baby. Hopefully the boys will take notice of what happened last night when he did that. Ladd taught the 2010 boys how to do that and play playoff hockey.

    We are just warming up boys. Go Hawks!!!!

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Let’s go Blues tonight!!!!

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Scott Darling is posting an insane .096 save percentage which is absolutely unheard of keep riding that horse into the ground. Giving up a ton of shots is not the recipe for success but this is a results business and the results are wins!

    Seth Jones is going to be a beast for years to come, when he blew by Hoss for a 2-1 it was insane!

    Vermette, welcome to the team! Jammer had the spot on comment after the game, after getting that 1st goal Vermette was confident with the puck and was calling for it during the game. Now is when we need him, hopefully his strong play continues!

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Bickell going to the net in the playoffs is mind boggling because he doesn’t do it during the regular season. He played well last night.

    Wall, while I will agree with you that Nashville didn’t have the best scoring chances, I thought Darling was positionally very strong. As an example is when the Nashville player wrapped around the net and Darling wasn’t watching him, but was already with his pads and body stuck tight to the post. He could control a few more rebounds, but he is playing at a high level.

    It is tough to make lineup changes after a win, it just is. The 3 OTs may give more credence to it. I think TT in for Versteeg or Shaw could make some sense along with Runblad for Timmo. I am quick to kill Rozy, but he had a really good game for him last night.

    The Hawks have to come ready to play and can’t expect a victory, but I truly feel that was a game to break the Preds Psyche.

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Ryan Dale – add 4 to your list and you have my full endorsement.

    Game 5 should be very, very interesting, especially if Nashville gets Weber and Fisher back in the lineup. They will also get final line changes and can keep Neal away from Keith (although 2 did have a nice assist on Neal’s “goal”). Darling’s 50 save marathon also sets up a workload dilemma. Although I still think you ride the hot hand until it goes cold.

    The smile on Vermette’s face was great. He looked like an un-rightfully convicted prisoner released from jail. Hope he has his mojo back and brings it from here on out.

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Just another ho hum hockey game at the UC….. Obviously the Hawks were just toying with the Preds, before plunging the dagger. Kidding of course, as Preds gave everything last night, but came out empty in the end. Those Nashville guys played a very strong game, and imo that is about as much as you can ask of them given 2 of their best players didn’t dress. Game could have gone their way quite easily, but the Hawks have lots of experience in these nail biters, and ultimately prevailed. Man o man has #7 delivered big in OT winners over the years? All of those goals are just cemented in my brain. When Seabs blast blew by Rinne it was simply joyful and I just love that sound in playofs when huge goals like that are scored. It’s a different roar than other tallies. It’s like a drug you just want more of. Extreme euphoria.

    My voice is cooked this victory morning and operating on 4 hours sleep is just par for the course in the playoffs. I’ll take this fatigue and warm feeling ANY day though. Lets hope the guys can put the Preds away tomorrow, but somehow I think it will close out Saturday.

    Ride home after the game had a great interview with Vermette on AM 720. He comes off as a really good guy and admitted being relieved to finally score. You can tell he very much wants to contribute more. I thought his play was good last night and perhaps now he is getting some confidence back. I still want to believe 80 can make a difference and I think SB did the right thing in bringing him here despite disappointing results during regular season.

    Wild-Blues game should be good theater tonight if I can stay awake…..

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  • April 22, 2015 at 10:02 am

    RD you are forgetting about #4 being in that group?

  • April 22, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Ughhhh if you look at the shot chart, Nashville had quite a few shots from between the circles and in front of the goal. 33 scoring chances for vs 37 scoring chances for (Preds – CHI respectively) isn’t a glaring difference. The corsi differential is pretty hilarious though. Especially the time vs pucks directed at the net graph. Yay for actual forward depth and Duncan Keiths absurd fitness level.

    war on the ice has some interesting charts and graphs and what not. nice way to break up the day if in the office and there’s a lull.

    Anyway, crazy intense game. Hopefully they put them away Thursday. I really wanted a sweep but crushing their hopes and dreams in Nashville with the way they’ve stupidly marketed things seems only fitting.

  • April 22, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Mike, “Hawks should NOT TOUCH this lineup . . .” — I wouldn’t mind switching-out Versteeg for Terevainen. (- still waiting for Versteeg to look great…since January? “solid” is debatable.)

  • April 22, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Chev- thanks for the “meatball”!!!

    I don’t have time to rant right now… have a meeting to go to…

    But you bet – I will take that ball and RUN!!!!

  • April 22, 2015 at 11:24 am

    I thought Kimmo looked pretty good last night in his limited role. Rosival had a great game too. Hopefully those two can keep it up!

    Still one win left, but does anybody have a clear preference over who we play next? I still think the Hawks can outlast the Wild in a 7 game series. The trap defense only goes so far and I am betting on Dubnyk to bottom out here pretty soon. Plus the Wild have always leaned too hard on Suter. If the series with the Blues goes long he might be wiped out…

  • April 22, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I am very surprised by most of the comments I read this morning, thinking that the Hawks were “full value” for the win and Darling didn’t see many chances…what game were you watching, or which glasses did you have on?

    NSH outplayed the Hawks in a game the Hawks needed to win to hold home ice, especially since Weber and Fisher were still out of the lineup. Take away those two players and NSH is a pretty young hockey team and they took it to the Hawks until they ran out of gas half way through the third period. And huge kudos to the Pred players (especially their 4 young DMen) for pushing hard in the OT periods. They should have won this hockey game going away! Maybe most of you remember the many chances that the Hawks had in OT, but those chances don’t materialize without Darling’s goaltending! I noticed something that the announcers said last night and it might be the reason why so many of you are still not “sold” on Darling or think he hasn’t faced many chances…he makes everything look so easy as a goaltender, including handling the puck!

    How good has Darling been this postseason? He made FIFTY saves last night and his save % went DOWN! His rebound control last night was something that Crawford has never demonstrated and he is a rookie. His puck handling reduced the NSH forecheck so much because he is quick and accurate with his stops and passes. His positioning was literally flawless last night, never giving the Preds much to look at, and late in the game and in OT, the Preds were looking for corners to beat him, instead of just shooting the puck. If there is one single player on the Hawks who has got into their heads, its the unassuming, Scott Darling! When the Preds bear down on Darling you can see their eyes searching for tiny spots to aim at, which is what the Hawks used to do when they played against Mike Smith. The ONLY reason the Hawks are up in this series instead of being down three games to one, is Scott Darling. The two goals against him last night were impossible to stop, which you could argue the same about the two the game before. And he isn’t in a “zone” right now, this is just Scott Darling being himself.

    I think it might be important to repeat that line again, the Hawks are fortunate to up in the series instead of being down! The Preds have outplayed and out chanced the Hawks EVERY GAME this series, including game three. Full credit to Michael Roscival last night for playing a solid 30 minutes of hockey, which is the first time he has done it in these playoffs. Q can continue to roll with 5 Dmen (its very clear that Timonen is a responsible bust) but at what cost? Keith played well, but made a number of glaring mental mistakes and Rozy surprised all with his game last night. The Hawks need another DMen to be inserted into the lineup if they are going to win the Cup, its that simple. Darling is playing very well, but he can’t stop them all. With Kane getting back into game shape, Sharp coming alive, Bickell playing his usual playoff game, and Vermette and Desjardins contributing in a meaningful way, there isn’t a team in the NHL that can match up to our forwards and goaltending right now! As I have stated all along, it comes down to our Defence. Keith, Sebs, Hammer and Oduya are all playing very well, but they need ONE MORE Dman to make this thing work! Is it Rozy after last night’s performance? It’s clearly not Timonen, and the three other options currently on the roster are not very appetizing!

    Game 5 in NSH is a big one for the Hawks, they need to win and then give Darling and the Defence an extended rest before round two! But this talk about putting Crawford back in goal is just silly, understand, even on his game, CC doesn’t do the things that Darling is doing, and making them look so easy.

    A big thanks to Brad Richards last night who finally showed up and played a solid game.

  • April 22, 2015 at 11:37 am

    In a perfect world the Wild-Blues series goes 7 and we close out on Thursday. First things first, of course, but of the two, I’d like to see us get a crack at DD and the Wild. We need to play a team like them to really test our mettle. Plus, home ice against them could be huge for us.

  • April 22, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Uncle Hoss, 12 minutes of ice time in a triple OT game isn’t contributing. He is a ghost out there for the Hawks, and the same problem as last post season is very visible again. Rozy played a SOLID game, but that was his first of the post season, and he skated 30 minutes on that one leg of his!

  • April 22, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Wall, Danault will be on the Hawks next season, he is absolutely NHL ready, and he possesses leadership intangibles that the Hawks need.

  • April 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    Seabiscuits goal reminded me of the one he scored in ot against the hated red wings in 13 , Dave Bolland crushed one of the wing players against the boards the puck went to Seabs he skated over the blue line took a wrist shot it deflected off the head hunter Kronwall , and in against Howard eleminating them . sweet iceman youre right murray is not aging well wilson always looked good especially in an indian head sweater B

  • April 22, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    6 weeks ago, a lot of people on tis blog were saying that we had become slow, old and predictable. From the look of things, the addition of “Desi” has allowed Bickel and Shaw to become more physical because they can be trusted to do other things, too, and they aren’t the only 2 forwards playing the body every shift.

    Even though our physical game has picked up, speed, skill and discipline wins games boys. Right now, we are as skillful and as fast as any team in the league. Let’s close ’em out and move on to the next team.

  • April 22, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    Booman, ‘we are just warming up’ that is what I mentioned a few wks ago about us having 4-6 or so guys that can play better then they did in the 82. Sharpy is bringing it. Shawzer is doing good. Bicks is warming up (for a few wks now) and when he gets going its going to add something to our lines that we (Kaner) didn’t have to work with. Steeger is playing decent. Vermette got his regulator taken off and is starting to play.

    With Kaner coming back when he did, it allowed him to use these couple wks to get into game shape instead of having to do that against MIN/STL. Kaner is 9 days in and getting up to speed and will be in game shape for then. Put that together with playoff Bicks and we have 4 quality deep lines. We didn’t have that last yr against MIN/LA. If we play MIN they will have STL taking some toll on them (not us) and we have 4 lines again. MIN is as good as last yr against us but we are better then we were last yr, because we have 4 lines again. Going to be a wicked intense games and the one that gets us to play better and we take it to another level (just like the redwings one did).

    Starting to come together and at the right time.

  • April 22, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    RD/Chevrier, those guys. 2/7/4/19/88. Better then most.

  • April 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    B&B if you aren’t Sr. Brad you certainly have inherited his spirit.

    Yes, the game looks totally different given one crazy bounce or screened shot for the other team. The biggest concern about this series is the Hawks inability to stifle the other team’s offense. The hallmark of the teams the past several years has been out-chancing the other teams by wide margins. Since, basically, January 1, other teams have been out-shooting us and when not out-shooting us are getting better overall chances. Darling probably only has so many head-stands in his bag and while fun to watch, it’s not a recipe for winning 16 games.

    The other thing I’ll say is that the drop-off from top 4 to bottom 2 d-men in the playoffs is pretty drastic across the board. I can’t think of any team that doesn’t put heavy minutes on their top pairings during the playoffs. Nice to see 32 contribute but not sure we can count on that each game. 44 is unfortunately a shell. Just not sure you can trust 5, 26 or anyone else to step in.

  • April 22, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Up way too late last night! Paying for it today at work.

    Can’t let the boss see me sleeping.

    Must… Stay… AWAKE!!!!

  • April 22, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    My head is rooting for STL tonight. My heart wants MIN to kick some STL butt.

  • April 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Vermette was the fist guy to leap off the bench and onto the ice last night and it’s good to see him smile and relax a little. He played well, almost there.

    Marcus wrist shot as mentioned early did have some snap to it, like TnT i don’t expect too much from their shots but your right Marcus wrist shot had some juice. Sometimes they just get all of it and he was open, skating towards the net and had “time” to lean in on it. Marcus spends so much time head down in corners, poking the puck, checking, skating that he seldom has an open shot.

    The NHL is so even, this current line up and team as good as any. Just need to get that power play going and not have sooooo many unforced turnovers in our end! We still keep going long and even our “out-let” guy is on the blue line, they should be just above the dot, one extra short pass and go.

    Darling will play until he loses and should. No one owes anyone anything!

  • April 22, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Your comment made me laugh Mike. Like many here, I loathe the Blues and want to see them beaten. However tonight is special in that we Hawks fans kind of win any way you look at this game. If the Wild win, the Blues are in deep, deep trouble, and will likely be closed out in the next 2-3 games. Blues win tonight and the Wild will have to expend more energy to make it to the next round, if in fact they can get it done. In a perfect world this series goes 7 games with 10-15 plus penalties called in the next few games. Fights, torpedo body slams into the boards, and bad blood reaching a boil between the 2 teams. This one I have to watch for sure this evening.

    Meanwhile the Hawks have a job to finish with the Preds, and should not let up on the gas.

    Lets Go Hawks!!

  • April 22, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    lots of opinions on Car Bomb Danny Carcillo but do yourself a favor watch this video and see how human this guy really is. Hockey is a tuff game with lots of emotion, injuries, recovery and fighting for you spot back in the line up.

  • April 22, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Negzz…think its you and me as far as Carcillo supporters go..Always liked this guy as the dimension he brings to the game changes the dynamic quickly..he played a very strong game in October/November. He is capable of scoring key clutch goals..gets the crowd into it immediately and keeps the opposing team distracted and off their game. He is a very useful option and an asset if and when used properly, especially at 500K . on’t think you can call him an enforcer…he is more of an unpredictable Tasmanian Devil whirlwind shiite disturber.

    Geez it was good to see Seabrook fire that laser…nasty…take that Pekka. Les Pred-at-tours meet the Lion.

  • April 22, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Mook. Great video on Carbomb. Gives perspective on the personal troubles players have to deal with in their personal lives. Both as a result of the game and their own lives.

    Mo, you called it. They are only in 2 gear working their way to overdrive.

  • April 22, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Chev- that B & B post made me think Sr. Brad… Immediately!!!

    And Your Link- is just further proof and leads to conclusion… Money better spent on the skaters… prevents goals/or is as Big as a factor in GAA, as the Goalie… thanks for the Assist on my goal…

    Where are all the”Crow is the Only reason the Hawks are where they are today” people??? Rufus and many others have been critical of my Objective, calculated thinking – Regarding the goalie position… Now there are two Studies based on Stats/numbers… that basically slap you in the face… and prove that paying a goalie big money- isn’t the answer to winning a cup!!!

    B & B… I agree with Danault will be on Hawks… my point is- I hope the Hawks can Keep 16… he is exactly the type of player… low paying/overachieving… successful teams need… VS Overpaid/underachieving (29/50) that teams don’t win with….

    Lastly, MtM., your wrong..SB owes Crow $6M/yr. (reply to your 3.18 pm post)

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    Krugs is Staying.

  • April 22, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Toughest game to win is an elimination game…Preds will fight back like crazed weasels…play the skating wounded, the kitchen sink, the works. We must not let the momentum swing to them simply because they are dangerous and had a great season. Have a good good feeling though…that was the playoff Blackhawks that we know that won that game…we can beat crazed weasels.

    I see Kevin Hayes scored the OT winner over the Penquinos …St Louis way on top of the Wild so far…thats good.

  • April 23, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Wild currently have $5.5M invested in their goaltending.

  • April 23, 2015 at 8:33 am

    “Wild currently have $5.5M invested in their goaltending” – and Dubnyk is UFA this summer…

  • April 23, 2015 at 8:48 am

    The only two teams with real gaping holes at goalie without salary tied up are San Jose and Edmonton.

    You can argue STL but that would be counterproductive. Buffalo maybe an option.

  • April 23, 2015 at 9:43 am

    If theres a team in the Campbell I wouldn’t mind some of our players going to, its SAN. There a good trade partner for same conference.

  • April 23, 2015 at 9:49 am

    JS and Tab- coincidentally/ironically – the Wild’s Highest paid Goalie ( and last on their depth Chart) … is their Highest paid Goalie!!! and his contract is a stomach-able $3.75M hit.

    That is a somewhat affordable mistake… in the Cap world.

  • April 23, 2015 at 10:07 am

    So anyway Wall- as you know, I’ve been beating a very similar drum to you. Not so much on the “Move Crawford and start unknown!” but I certainly believe that goaltenders are overpaid relative to their value for a team, and I’ve said that before.

    However, the market sets the salary, and for you to have a slightly above league average goalie, it’s going to cost you $5M+ a year, even if it may be smarter to allot that money elsewhere.

    Let’s look at teams with a legitimate shot at the Cup.

    Hawks – $6.55M
    Ducks (I really don’t think they have a chance, but whatever, for science) – $2.65M
    Blues (see above) – $4M
    Wild – $5.5M
    Flames (lol) – $7.25M

    Wings – $8.01M
    TB – $7.4
    Rangers – $10M
    Canadiens – $7.1
    Caps (no) -$2.8
    Isles – $7.65

    So anyway, discuss.

  • April 23, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Also, what was our bet again? I’m getting ready to collect.

  • April 23, 2015 at 10:51 am

    JS- very nice try with the Cap/goalie numbers… As always… the numbers alone… don’t tell the Whole story…

    1st off — you are using combined/cumulative $$$ for the position (ex. raanta’s $$$ aren’t showing up)

    2nd–at least 3 of those team’s listed… top paid goalies – are not starting now!!! (proves my point even more)

    3rd- and most important– here is a number for you!!!
    Of the top 17 paid goalies in ENTIRE NHL… I think only 3 or 4 of them Have a Chance of winning Stanley this year!!!! and Two of those guys are named Rinne and Crow…
    Rinne- ain’t getting by hawks (at least appears not)
    Crow – ain’t even Playing!!! (of course- he can still win- if SD stumbles)…

    So real #- is 3 of the top paid Goalies (not top paid cumulative/team paid) have a shot at the Cup this year… and Crow is riding pines at moment…

    That should OPEN some eyes!!!

    Our bet is Hawks making Western Conf. finals… I said-No!!!
    I will admit when Kane got hurt… your chances improved (by $$$ to TDL guys)
    and your chances also improved by Hawks dodging playing Combo of Jets, Wild, Blues…

    So I say it is near 50/50 now…. if Hawks were to play opening vs. Wild, Blues, or Jets… I had me at – 63% vs 37% — + before Kane went down… 75%/25%

    just sayin

  • April 23, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Say the Hawks get rid of Crawford and his salary and go with Darling and Raanta. Darling plays great and the Hawks make deep playoff runs with him or even win a cup or two. His contract is up so what next? Let him go and bring up the next guy? Raanta is probably gone anyway because someone gives him a chance to start. Like JS says, the market dictates salary and the options are to have stability in goal or go through goalies every two years and have to bring up prospects or trade for or sign an over-paid veteran goalie whose contract expired and his team doesn’t want anymore.

  • April 23, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Yeah so the moral of the story is and continues to be, goalies get paid. As was stated, the market sets it, it’s a union after all.

    Goaltenders also have peaks and valleys, they all do from time to time and that’s what Crawford has experienced. The trick is to have game ready capable back ups in your system and the Blackhawks have now done that with getting Darling.

    And if Darling does well for two years, he’ll get paid too. I am encouraged the Blackhawks appear to have embraced the “bigger is better” philosophy regarding goaltenders. I hope it continues – I’ve felt that way since watching Ken Dryden 30+ years ago.

    And no Wall, this goaltending sidebar is not an open invitation for you to espouse your theory for the 500th time, we get it. LOL, just kidding … sort of.

  • April 23, 2015 at 10:57 am

    JS- also– of those teams listed by you only-
    Price, Lundquist, Crow are in top 17 paid goalies in NHL (at least I don’t think Bishop is in there)…

    So I guess – what I am saying… it doesn’t pay to put all of your eggs in one basket!!!

  • April 23, 2015 at 11:14 am

    mudturtle- Like Hof said… trick is to have Backups/or options in Market available…
    Hawks have the kid from Leddy Trade- in KHL… 6’6″ – putting up great numbers in over there… that is a good start

    Plus – you can hope that SD takes a discount to stay Home in Chicago!!!
    Then again, SD may wet the bed soon… this has never been about Crow being worse or better than this guy, or that guy… it is just my thinking ( and stats are popping up too) that Guys in front of Goalie – are a Bigger factor… and like others have stated… there is a big variance in goalie position from year to year…

  • April 23, 2015 at 11:59 am

    So how much can be saved at goal and how much does that money improve the defense. What Hofmeister said applies to the team in general. With the salary cap, successful teams can’t afford to keep every player that’s developed in the system and plays well. So yes, players have to go and prospects step in. I think Darling would offer a hometown discount and I think Bowman isn’t a tightwad and is more than fair and appreciative of players who produce. Wall, Anders Nilsson (6’6″) was obtained in the Leddy trade. Nalimov (6’4” ) was drafted by the Hawks last year. Both have been playing in the KHL.

  • April 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Hofmeister, you were never a member of the Darren Pang fan club????

  • April 23, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    re: Wall “you can hope that SD takes a discount to stay home in Chicago” – he’s signed for the next 2 years already

  • April 23, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Someone smarter than me might be able to comment but I believe Anders Nilssan is not under contract with the Hawks. I’ve seen his name brought up but I believe the Hawks picked up his rights, but he is not under contact with the organization. As for ad for the Russian kid, I saw him at the rookie camp he was extremely underwhelming IMO.

  • April 23, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Tab- the “SD discount” post… was a reply to MudTurtle’s earlier post… of what do u do w/ SD in couple years… if SD wins a cup??? Sign him to the Fat contract??? or let him walk?

  • April 23, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Well Wall obviously you don’t sign him for big money because skaters are more important. I’m sure they’ll have another rookie lined up again.

    An experienced Goaltender that preforms at above the league average on a winning team is going to cost +5 mildo for a decent term. That has been established. Right or wrong, that is what it is.

    Not a lot of places to dump that salary either. Most teams are already tied up with too much salary in that position.

    And can this not wait until the summer when were all bored and filled with malcontent due to the lack of hockey? Conversation kind of moot at this point.

  • April 23, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    The hope with Darling moving forward is that like Saad (we hope) he gets a “bridge” contract because he simply doesn’t have a huge track record. Signing Darling after this contract expires to a 2 or 3 year $3.5 million/year deal makes it sensible and workable. I am certain he would want to stay with the Hawks and keep having a chance at the Cup for this kind of money!

    The stats, without the help from two or three different newspaper articles, already tell the story about shelling out for top name goalies…it doesn’t work in the salary cap era.

    Wall, from what I remember Sr. Brad was a very knowledgable hockey fan that used to play the game, if I remember correctly, don’t know what happened to him, they were good reads.

  • April 23, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    AJ- your 2nd paragraph… it is a correct observation… “experienced, above average goalies… getting $5M +”… Another Correct Observation- Is -Majority of those Top 17 paid goalies… aren’t in the hunt for a cup…

    If Goal position were more directly correlated to Cup Contender… One would think there would be at least Half the teams in PO’s starting $6M goalie… or close to half… the Number is way less than that…

    AJ/JS – both of you were all over the Corsi stuff… and the Corsi #’s are just another way of saying… control the puck/shot differential… and You are “limiting” the shots on your net– “protecting your goalie”… I will add – Quality chances to that…

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