Undermanned Blackhawks Drop Islanders

It’s been a tough week for the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans. The team got their lunches handed to them by the New Jersey Devils and headed to the Christmas break waiting to release news about the health of their roster. When the news came, it wasn’t good: Brent Seabrook and Calvin de Haan are done for the year, Brandon Saad is going to miss three more weeks and Andrew Shaw’s status is still TBD.

Fast forward to Friday evening. The New York Islanders, who have been among the league’s hottest teams this year, came into town to face a Hawks team that was also without rookie defenseman Adam Boqvist, who injured his shoulder against his brother’s Devils. Thankfully Boqvist doesn’t appear to need the same surgery that Seabrook and de Haan had (successfully) on Friday.

How would the Blackhawks final home game of the decade play out?

The Islanders, facing their former netminder Robin Lehner, came out of the gate well and scored the game’s first goal. Ross Johnston scored his third of the season at 5:50 into the first period.

Chicago didn’t fold.

Dennis Gilbert’s first NHL goal got the Blackhawks on the board and tied the game 104 seconds later.

Dylan Strome and Duncan Keith picked up the assists on Gilbert’s first goal. And, just as he did with Boqvist’s first NHL marker, fellow rookie Kirby Dach grabbed the puck for Gilbert’s trophy case.

Dominik Kubalik gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead 2:12 later.

Patrick Kane had the only assist on Kubalik’s goal.

Alex DeBrincat scored 2:10 later and the Blackhawks appeared to have the Islanders’ number.

Strome and Keith picked up their second assists of the night on DeBrincat’s goal. The third of the night also meant Thomas Greiss’ night was over. The goaltender who shared the Jennings Trophy with Lehner last year was called off the ice less than 12 minutes into the game after allowing three goals in 4:22.

When the opening 20 minutes ended the Islanders had a 14-13 shot advantage but the visitors were on their second goaltender of the night and were chasing two goals.

In the second period the Islanders out-shot the Blackhawks 16-8 but Lehner was an absolute rosk star (again). Chicago killed two penalties in the second period.

After 40 minutes of hockey, five Blackhawks forwards were over 10 minutes of ice time: Kane, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Carpenter, Kirby Dach and Alex Nylander.

Toews padded the Hawks’ lead with his ninth of the season only 50 seconds into the third period.

Matthew Highmore then scored his first NHL goal since the 2017-18 season at 3:03 and the Hawks appeared to be pulling away.

At 16:21 into the third Matt Martin and Slater Koekkoek dropped their gloves. Martin picked up the extra minor penalty, but it was the Islanders scoring short-handed. Casey Cizikas cut the Blackhawks’ lead to 5-2.

The Cizikas goal marks an unfortunate special teams reality for the Blackhawks, whose penalty kill has improved dramatically in recent weeks. The Hawks have now allowed more short-handed goals (two) than power-play goals (one) in their last eight games.

When the final horn sounded, Lehner had made 38 saves against 40 shots from his former teammates. The Blackhawks bounced back from one of the ugliest losses in recent memory with a terrific team win.

Connor Murphy led all Blackhawks skaters with five shots on net. Keith (23:40) and Erik Gustafsson (20:14) were the only defensemen over 20 minutes, however. Olli Maatta led the Hawks with six hits.

Gilbert skated 17:55 with three hits, three blocked shots, two shots on net and his first career NHL goal. Most importantly, he had zero penalty minutes.

Toews was marvelous. He skated 18:22 and won 14 of 26 faceoffs and added four takeaways to his goal.

Kane led all forwards with 20:12 on the ice but was credited with only two shots on net and one assist.

Highmore finished tied with Strome for the forward lead with four shots on net. Highmore did it in only 9:50, the lowest ice time total among the forwards.

David Kampf had the only assist on the Highmore goal and won 10 of 14 faceoffs.

78 thoughts on “Undermanned Blackhawks Drop Islanders

  • December 27, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Overall great effort, which leads to good results.

    Queneville is an AHL to fourth line player at best. To see him on the first line is baffling. It does the team no good. Highmore is a far far better, smiled, faster and smarter player. As I’ve posted before, Hagel, Kurashev and even Sikura (who’s no great shakes) are better choices than Queneville.

    Anyway, let him keep playing and the Hawks keep winning and I’ll complain and be happy.

  • December 27, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Skilled, not smiled, lol. Typo

  • December 27, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    Jekyll and Hyde team-
    +’s-Lehner, Kubalik and hard work by Toews and continued effort by Gilbert.
    potential of Dach, Cat and Strome line
    -‘s Power play stinks, backwards skating of Gus.

  • December 27, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    Good game by Hawks through effort.
    Shame Keith is So afraid of contact ever since he got his teeth knocked out by Marleau… Won’t goin corners,clear crease at home… carry puck thru neutral zone into the off. zone.. Might get hit… Better to ice the puck trying to hit a cherry picker.
    Happy Holidays ppl….
    “Here We go Black Hawks, Here we go”……

  • December 27, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Jekyll and Hyde is right, hard to figure. Good team win, Lehner solid as usual. Nylander when he works, he makes things happen, shame most of the time he spends trying to avoid battling for the puck and not going within 10 feet of the boards. Finally tried 12, 77, 17 and worked out well. Gilbert helluva game. See what the road trip brings.

  • December 27, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    For the most part it was very good defensive zone coverage.The defensemen were solid and stopped the running around out of position.77 and 12 played well together.17 was not bad with them.Agree with flipping 36 and 47.92 was useless all night.Has he ever driven to the net since he has been here?What’s with 56s skating?Kane must have been thrilled with his linemates for the night.Coach Colliton actually outcoached Trotz for about 12 minutes of the 1st period.Good to see a closeout in the 3rd with no drama.

  • December 28, 2019 at 12:15 am

    Toews looks completely different than he did at the beginning of the year. It is hard to figure what changed but something certainly did.

    It was good to see the snipers sniping tonight. Griess didn’t look particularly good but get the pucks on goal and sometimes they go in.

    Foley was telling the story that Seabrook said he hasn’t been able to play catch with his son because of his shoulder for a long time. You have to wonder how long and did it affect his hockey? Hard to believe it didn’t.

    They looked like a legitimate team tonight, but it will be hard to forget the 7-1 fiasco from Monday. They are capable of dropping another one of those on us at any time. That said, tonight was good and we should enjoy it.

  • December 28, 2019 at 12:44 am

    Hawks the most banged up I can remember and they outplay a hot team. Four day’s rest did wonders with a little help from Lehner.

    Super-skilled strip and score by the Captain. Hope he’s back.

  • December 28, 2019 at 1:00 am

    Nice job by Gus of dropping a steaming dump on an otherwise great performance. He should have been dumped after game 7 vs St Louis!

  • December 28, 2019 at 4:15 am

    Overall great game. But were we the Devils to the Islanders. Like the Devils were to us.

  • December 28, 2019 at 4:19 am

    Solid win – give Boqvist a crack at PP1 once he’s back

    I’ll be surprised if they can keep up their good play past a 3 game stretch though – hope I’m wrong

  • December 28, 2019 at 6:20 am

    I get it! Hawks made it look too obvious with a. 7-1 loss to the Devils. They are going to do their job to get LaFranchise LaFreniere. Lose to the Devils, Wings, Sens, Ducks, Sharks and Kings. This way the teams below them get their points. In the event of a tie in points with them the Hawks pick ahead of them with the head to head record being worse. Inspector Coluseau has nothing on me.

  • December 28, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Hawks are mixed bag of veterans and young kids, they will be very erratic this year. There will be games like vs the Devils and then games like vs the Avs and Isles.

    There are enough flashes that give you hope but don’t think they are a playoff caliber team

    Kind of impressed a bit though with all the injuries and other issues going on that they are within 5 points of a wild card

  • December 28, 2019 at 8:06 am

    WTF was that Quenneville kid on the top line for? Must be the head coaches little pet.
    Nylander needs to go away. There has to be someone better.

  • December 28, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Kane has tp be on the line that leads the offense if Colliton really cares if the team wins or not. Right now the linemates help being provided for that is basically won’t and can’t, just doesn’t cut it.

  • December 28, 2019 at 9:26 am

    This Gilbert kid is a keeper!

    Lays big hits & sticks up for teammates, what’s not to like!!

    And Dach showing leadership by getting the puck for him!!

    Good times coming!

  • December 28, 2019 at 9:30 am

    In any sport you are a blue print of your coach. as long as coliton is coach this team will be mediocre at best. he is a Terrible coach and line juggler. he looks like a little boy lost in the woods. him and stan should be walked out at the same time.

  • December 28, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Not trying to knock Carpenter, he can very good in the role he was signed for, which certainly wasn’t as offensive center to play with Kane. At best 22 and 92 should be who Kane gets an extra shift with not regular.

  • December 28, 2019 at 9:39 am

    I get the hockey culture is different than other sports.

    But with Seabrook being in that pain, why did Hawks let him keep playing. It would have been different if he was able to play up to level he use to. But he couldn’t, he sucked.

    Why wasn’t at least one of these 3 surgeries done over the last year?

  • December 28, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Steve, eddyhawk, Ian accurate posts.

  • December 28, 2019 at 10:47 am

    As far as who’s better than Quenneville… Who has been a near PPG player in the AHL.

    Well besides Sikura, there’s just turned 20 year old Phillip Kurashev. 29 professional games under Hagels belt. Entiwistle has even less. Evan Barratt is still in college. Shaw is hurt. Caggiula is hurt. Saad is hurt. That right there is a whole damn line.

    Regarding Seabrook and why he didn’t want surgery. Stubbornness. Thinking you can persevere. You hear stories of people putting off hip and back surgery for years and then they finally get it done and they say they should have had it done sooner. The pain builds up over time and you forget or don’t realize how limiting it can be. Seabrook is as tough as they come. I suspect the hip surgery is like what Patrick Sharp and a lot of players have had. It’s a somewhat major surgery, but the pain can be tolerated, which is why it was put off. Sharp said it would come and go. Did the surgery help Sharp? Debatable. Will it help Seabrook get faster? Doubt it. More agile? Maybe. Pat and Eddie had a pretty good summation on why he didn’t do it sooner.

  • December 28, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Yeah think likely if Seabrook sure he was going to play everyday he woulda waited until offseason and continued to play through it until then. I could see him more less say screw it, if i’m going to be sitting because of it, get it done now and come back healthy next year ready to play full time role again, hopefully that’s the case.
    Pat and Eddie saying couldn’t play catch with his son because he wasn’t able lift his arm above his shoulder is pretty telling on the pain he was playing through there and then 2 bad hips on top of that.

  • December 28, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Well now we know why Collitan was smiling at the press conference thing.

    Going to beat the Islanders because we play in 50% of the games and can beat any team, when we play.

  • December 28, 2019 at 11:20 am

    As for Nylander I truly believe there’s a NHL player in him if he really wants it. His problems are inner and confidence and a good coach can get it out of him. I’m seeing lots of good coming in the future with Gilbert, Dach, Kubalik and others in the pipeline but not much confidence in this coaching staff.

  • December 28, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Just reading a bit on hockey hip injuries. One article which sounds plausible to Seabrook is extended hours on skates can cause the hip and femur to wear differently where they come together. The cartlidge there can become irritrtated and have partial tears because of it and repair to cartridge is done. With him not missing time be no cause to reccommend surgery before this if that is why. If this is what he is getting done, if bone wear/degeneration and arthritis present, it could change time lines for his return.

  • December 28, 2019 at 11:55 am

    I’m not saying Colliton is good. Or that he isn’t in over his head. But with injuries to 3 of your top 12 forwards his options are limited. We all like seeing 12,17, and 88 together…in the offensive zone. Defensively it’s almost a train wreck. Nylander should be sent down, but who would you like up? The options are kids you’ve never seen play. You expect Saad will be back in a few weeks that helps. Shaw and Caggiula are toss ups. Both have had multiple concussions and play a physical game. The Hawks have 6 healthy defenseman. It’s not a good situation based on talent or injury.

    Gustafson last night, so much is made of his skating. But he gets crossed up and ends up on his rear far too often.

    I don’t know what they should do. Playoffs aren’t mathematically out of the realm. But realistically… This team is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. They beat good teams like the Isles, Jets, Bruins, and wild. Then totally shit the bed against the Devil’s. I don’t think management knows what to do either. It’s easy to talk about helping and taking advantage of another team with cap issues. But nobody really has issues right now. This team will have issues in the summer. So I don’t know a scenario that makes sense to take advantage of LTIR space.

  • December 28, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    I have missed most of the recent games, but I am noticing on some of the highlights (Gilbert’s goal is a good example) Dach is often exactly where he should be and creating problems for the other team. His minutes are going up too. I was all in on Byram, but I think Dach has done well so far.

    Also, from what I have seen in WJC so far, none of the other guys who were in the mix (Turcotte, Cozens) are giving me regrets. It will obviously take time to play out, but so far so good on Dach. Love his enthusiasm too.

  • December 28, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    It’s actually too bad Dach was not released for the WJC. Take his enthusiasm and multiply it by 20 and that’s what each team brings. A real once (or twice for a few) in a lifetime experience. The kids give it everything they have, every time out. Great stuff.

  • December 28, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    Rusty don’t see much benefit of ltir space unless a team up against injuries like Blackhaeks wants to move an expiring contract who is out for most of season and not enough ltir room but wants to get off ltir to have ability make tdl deal with reduced caphit, get a pick to do it or sommething. Unlikely to happen but be open to it.

    If it was up to me, i would put Kane up with 19 and 8. Use guys like Quenneville, Wedin maybe Fortin if Sikura isn’t going to work out,( agree with you on Nylander), with Carpenter until Saad and Cagguila are back. Myself a less skilled line of hard workers isn’t going to hurt, until they get over the injury hump.

  • December 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Dach is night and day better than early in the year. He looks confident and is stronger on his skates. The future for him is very bright.

    Quenneville was given a chance on the top line because he has size, finishes checks and is able to retrieve pucks. He had a great chance early in the game but shot wide. Let him play play a few games before deciding that Sikura and several Ice Hogs in their first year in the pros are superior players.

  • December 28, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Also if ltir room is not used when Saad, likely Cagguila (day to day and skates with team in practice lately) get back. The amount below cap ceiling helps cover performance bonuses that will be paid.

  • December 28, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Just an fyi, last night’s game marked the 3rd time in their last 5 games the Islanders have given up 5 or more goals. Maybe we just caught them at a time when they’re struggling. Let’s see what happens against a very beatable Blue Jacket team who also played last night. These are games they’ve gotta get two points.

  • December 28, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Rusty,I agree with a bit of what you are saying.Colliton has been dealt a losing hand.The team has not had to deal with so many long term injuries to key players since i cant remember when.The lack of NHL experience on the bench assisting him is a huge negative.Marc Crawford seems affable enough but he is from a time long ago.If you look at other NHL benches there are usually a couple of former head coaches that have recently coached.A young Coach trying to implement a different system to a team core that has won Stanley Cups is going to be tough.That being said Colliton had a very poor first 2 months in game coaching wise.You need to make changes on a shift to shift basis and he seems to wait for disaster to strike before doing the obvious.He has to take advantage of the matchups he could get on home ice.Months ago 56 should have been removed as the single point D Man on the Powerplay.I dont know if he is being forced to play 92 but that kid has to sit and be sent down.19 looks healthy to me.If that is the case there is no reason not to double shift him at different times to create some space for him.The way that Lehner is playing,ride him.Play Crawford on the back to back games.As much as the team loves him you cant tell me when he waved to come out of the Jersey game after the 4th goal that guys didnt notice that.Crack the whip a bit on the lazy stupid plays.A guy makes one he sits a shift or 2.Address the fire drill that happens in the defensive zone when they get tired.For him the honeymoon is over.He needs to take control and act like a NHL Coach if he wants to succeed.

  • December 28, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Watching Kane stuck with 22 and 92 was embarassing! This head coach has to go along with the GM, plain and simple!. Nylander is scared of his own shadow. Useless!
    Carpenter is probably the slowest skater on the team with Strome a close 2nd! We had Carpenter and Kampf as our number 3-4 centers last night! Pathetic Mr. Bowman! Truly pathetic. And Gilbert, wow, he drops the gloves and it’s a love fest? He is way too slow and headless to play in today’s NHL. In fact, he’s an awful skater.
    Once again, out shot at home!

  • December 28, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    All of us “armchair quarterbacks” do not know what many of these athletes go through on a day in day out basis and what physical hindrances they play with! Brent Seabrook has done an awful lot for this team and this city. I for one hope he’s able to come back better than ever next season!
    The rest of these guys need to “commit to the Indian” including coaches to turn this thing around! I really don’t care if Mark Crawford returns or not, I’m sure there’s a coach out there just dying to come to Chicago!

  • December 28, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Robs, Tazer I noticed his faceoffs go to off the charts in the last so many games. So maybe he was playing with hurt something for the first part of season/and normally slow starter somewhat?. How do you go way up in faceoffs like that.

    Wrap, yea its 50/50 when we ‘play’ so I think betting 1 million after every two or three wins or loses for the other and you could get rich on the way we play 50/50. Its like fricken clockwork.

  • December 28, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Lafreniere leaves WJ tournament with injury-another reason why some are reluctant to part with their young stars while on an NHL team.
    Too bad for Canada, and they got thrashed by Russia.

  • December 28, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Noonan didn’t look good either, right knee might be out awhile. Canada terrible in own end today, certainly happy we got Dach, from what i’ve seen of Byram so far, long ways from Nhl ready it appears.

  • December 28, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Wow. Jake Muzzin our for several weeks with a broken foot for Toronto. That would be a good landing spot for Gustafson.

    Also Jeff Skinner hurt for Buffalo. They’re in desperate need of Cap Space so they can acquire some scoring. Would love to see Stan take Bogosian off their hands along with a draft pick to allow Buffalo to be more flexible in the trade market.

    Stan should be all ears when it comes to draft picks in the first 3 rounds or solid prospects.

  • December 28, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    JORDY, I was all in on Byram, but am very pleased with Dach. Yes, he should have been sent to WJC for invaluable experience but management acted desperate because of the shortage of quality players on this team. Hope this doesn’t hurt his development.

    They are keeping Nylander around to justify Bowman’s mindless trade. Send him down for the rest of the year, where he needs to learn fundamentals on how to play without the puck. If there is no improvement by the end of the season, another Bowman big trade loss.

    Jokiharju -1 team -7 toi 16:56; Nylander -9 team -17 toi 13:02

    Joki good in the D-zone. Nylander would probably have even a worse minus if he played the same minutes as Joki.

  • December 28, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    I was all in for Byram at draft time but agree he did not look like a star today. Knocked on his ass four or five times. What also really surprised me was his very limited power play time. Not sure if that was just bad coaching or a bad sign for Colorado. Time will tell.

  • December 28, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Thought I posted it ealier, must have hit refresh button and forgot.

    Nice to hear those other top 7 ish draft players are not as good as thought. Wether Dach is the top player from that draft, as long as hes one of the few elite players from the draft thats what we want. Dach could be the gem of the draft like Tazer.

  • December 28, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    I did still do like Buckaroo.

  • December 28, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    For those pining for Doug Wilson as GM read the article about the Sharks currently on Pro Hockey Talk. The San Jose situation is just as bad and possibly worse than ours. Their first round pick this year goes to the Senators.

  • December 28, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Byram has a reputation of being cocky and arrogant.I know he was a jerk at the Draft and was very upset that he was not drafted in the top 3.It also seems that the league has received the tape on Makar.The Wild ran him last night.Seems he gets rid of the puck very hand grenade like in his own zone when the heavy hitters are closing in.He is young and will adapt.No one is shedding tears over Byrams slow start though.

  • December 28, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Boys, as usual great comments on here. I love the passion. As far as Seabrook goes………. he is a professional athlete and a 3 time CUP winner. NO professional athlete wants to admit to having to go under the knife. A guy like Seabs will fight against it because he believes that his body can heal itself. Plus, he has NEVER experienced this kind of major injury(s) before.

    I hate it when I hear about a football or baseball player who is out due to “turf toe” or a sprained ankle. Seabs could hardly walk and the guy suited up and played. Never a complaint, never an excuse, never pointing a finger and NEVER asking for sympathy. Players like this set an example for the younger guys to “fight through the pain”.

    I want guys like Seabs on our team. We need guys like Seabs on our teams in Chicago. You can condemn him all you want for being a step slow or for even trying to avoid surgery, but I will take him every time because of the example that he sets and the height of the bar that he sets for everyone else.

    Champions are not just born, they are blessed with a stubbornness and willingness to play when they are hurt. Champions say YES when the doctor says no. Champions numb the pain mentally and physically. Champions put on the sweater when the puck is dropped. Champions are in the hot tub when the rest of the team have left the building.

    Sound like Seabrook? Sound like a Champion?

    You bet!

  • December 28, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    Tim, thats one big reason I didnt like Byram after the draft was over. He looked and is? a spoiled little brat. Like he was entitled to it.

  • December 28, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    MS, agree the 8 year contract for Karlsson may be a huge mistake. (For sure it wasn’t wise)

  • December 28, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Thought Nylander had a respectable game last night from what I saw although I didn’t see every minute – I think he’s improving and will be fine by years end

    I would rather see him trying to clear the D zone than Dcat – 92 usually makes a good first pass out of D zone – plus his forechecking has noticeably improved

    Give him time and I think there’s a good chance he develops a better nose for the net

  • December 28, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Nice comment Reg, definitely agree

  • December 28, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    Watching Dach last night I thought it was obvious the Hawks made the right decision re the WJC

    He’s becoming a force on a game to game basis and steadily improving playing with and against men – I just don’t see how being at WJC accelerates his development

  • December 28, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Wrap whether the Wjc would or would’ve helped Dach or not, there was no chance he was going unless they intended on sending him back to juniors. That would’ve definitely been a mistake to send him back. I understand that thought, he is being paid by Blackhawks to play hockey for them if he is ready, not go to juniors tournaments, that is done during pre Nhl developmemt is over.

  • December 28, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    Hope you’re right on 92 Wrap.Halfway through the season and I have not seen him drive the net.Even on the 2nd powerplay unit in the bumper position he is continually backing up.He just does not look interested.Just a guy feeling after watching him the first half of the season.

  • December 28, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    Wrap – agree with your comment on Nylander. His forechecking has been very noticeable the last few games. If he can stop the brain cramp passes he will be fine.

    Saw Lehner interviewed after the game last night and he went out of his way to compliment Highmore who has been quietly very effective. Also, on HNIC tonight Elliot Friedman reported that he is hearing there will be trade interest in Saad when he returns.

  • December 28, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Wrap Nylander has skill, if he was making mistakes and learning that’s one thing, but somebody shows continuously he just doesn’t want try is a waste. Putting him with Kane so he can have a chance to look flashy now and again is laughable and a slap to the team. He has 5 goals riding in Kanes back, Kubalik has 11 goals playing mostly with Kampf. Making excuses for him isn’t going change his attitude.

  • December 28, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    The thing about Dach that I really like, we know hes going to be a elite player, is that he didnt keep getting hit like he did the first 5? or however many? games. Once he got past that, hes gotten better every wk. I wasnt worried but didnt want to worry about those hits into boards like that.

    Real happy now.

  • December 28, 2019 at 11:32 pm

    Lots of smart people here, that post. Are right about most things. I am glad the management/oranization was right to keep Dach stay in Chicago. They knew.

  • December 28, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    MS, is that interest from other teams or we looking to trade him.

    Seeing Highmore and other similiar players being pretty good. Good to have the experience of Smith and others. These guys can play these roles, need to get established and more experience. That will hlep salarycap wise, which we really wont need to worry about anymore until young wave starts bridges after elcs.

    Nothig agasint Nylander and be nice if he does eventually make it.

    Just cant say enough of liking Kubalik, right from the start. Knew he was a better player then Kahun. Kahun may get more points, through assists, Kubalik is the better player. So we then got Maatta for free, which you think would be good. Can see though that he is not part of the wave. Maybe he is still young, though look at the impact Gilbert makes.

  • December 28, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Yes Gilbert fighting, not really the fighting, its the I will hit you and hit you clean and hard, even your top players and if yuo want to fight I will beat your face. Which is more classy then cross checking other player in face, because its in front of the net, so its allowed? Refs need to call that everytime. Should be 5 min major. Doesnt matter if its front of net.

    So what I am saying is it the, keep you honest factor, instead of you can let your Defenemen pinch in the whole game because were going to do the same thing everytime every game, round and round the boards we go.

    We need to have that Gilbert factor as part of the team. Its the fight not the fighting is what important. Somebody here posted about that the other day. When we punched COL in the face and they couldnt play when being hit. Like how BOS doesnt like it when you hit them, well BOS if you do not like it then you shouldnt do it.

    STL put these teams in there place, with the honest factor.

  • December 29, 2019 at 1:14 am

    With the current roster the Hawks have it’s clear the 4 centermen they have are 19,17,22,64. Dach is 33% and averages 2.5 draws per game. He may become adequate. But that’s one of the weak spots to his game. The only other healthy player that can take even a remotely regular draw is 15.

    I liked Quenneville with Toews the other night. I’d give it a game or two to see if something develops.


    I understand why you want to keep 12-17-88 broken up especially in the D zone. Lately I’ve seen Kane play harder on defense as ive ever seen. Especially right now with 3 players injured in 91, 65, and 20 it makes thing difficult on the bottom 6. Trying to spread a semblance of offense to the third line. Your 4th is pretty much set in 36-64-15.

    Nylander does have skill. He can use his body effectively. He has wheels. He has hands. He’s just a bonehead. Lately it’s been 92-22-88. And 12-17-77.

    On second thought… I think I like the idea of 77 with 19 and 8. Hes obviously being played as a winger right now. And that’s fine. Maybe he moves to center maybe he doesn’t.


    I think that’s unfortunately your best roster right now. Look at capfriendly and the Hawks healthy forward roster. 10 out of 13 forwards are making 1mil or less. That’s crazy.

    The problem with “helping” out Toronto is you wouldn’t be getting an NHL ready defenseman back. We talked about the Rockford logjam. But the numbers game has quickly become a bodies game. 10 players have skated as D in Rockford. That includes Ben Youds and Dmitri Osipov. That also includes Dennis Gilbert and Adam Boqvist. Osipov played the other night because Krys couldn’t go.

    If you trade Gus and don’t get a player body back you’re calling up Carlsson, Mccoshen, or Holm and probably forcing Rockford to call another player from Indy. The Leafs have 8 rostered D so I doubt they have a need for Gus. And they don’t really have a bad deal that could come back this way unless they want to ship Ceci out for Gus? A push defensively. Just less offense as far as Ceci goes.

    What would come back in a Ceci for Gus trade? Certainly the Hawks would have to get something for taking on the salary and a lesser player. But you’re not prying a rasmus sandin away. Maybe Bracco? Seems they may have soured on him a bit or just a Brandon Pirri type. Prolific AHL scorer, not NHL caliber. None of their recent picks really appeal either. On previous call ups the Leafs decided to bring in Pierre Engvall over Bracco. Bracco was recalled when Trevor Moore went down, but hasn’t suited up yet.

    The sabres deal is interesting. That Jeff Skinner deal…there’s no way that doesn’t end in a buyout right? 8 years at 9m per and hes putting up 19 points in 39 games…in YEAR ONE. Everyone knew that deal was putrid when it was signed but yeeeeesssshhhh. Bogosian was scratched a few games and requested a trade. So he’s no world beater. But he makes more than Ceci and is obviously a lesser player. So the return would theoretically be greater. I don’t think we’re talking unprotected 1st territory, although their 1st has the highest likelihood of being good. Especially with Skinner out a month. Looking at prospects, mittelstadt does nothing for me. You’re not getting Cozens, more barren than the Hawks. Maybe Lawrence Pilut does something for someone? I like him, but more has to come back.

    The bruins would like the Backes contract gone. But there’s another year after this. Krug and McAvoy are banged up with Krug on IR but day to day. The lustre has worn on Trent Frederic. Jack Studnicka is younger and more productive than Frederic. Could you somehow poach Studnicka and a Zboril or Vaakanainen if you took the Backes deal on and included Gus? Doubtful.

  • December 29, 2019 at 6:02 am

    I’d like to meet/talk to anyone who has been laying dough on this team to come through on a nightly basis. Rhyme and reason are nowhere to be found in this group. A good win, … we certainly are capable, but geezus this is maddening to get a good feel for!!

    I tried to find the NBCSports best players of the decade, and somehow ended up seeing several different lists that seemed linked to NBC. One of which had 88 coming in at 15 or maybe 16, while citing his off ice issues. Really?
    NBC can stick to their damn dog shows because they have done nothing to enhance the league/broadcasts since they got onboard. EFF NBC,

    I miss the days of huge satellite dishes when I could pull in CBC for not even a Canadian cent, and Don Cherry was keeping me in stitches every Saturday night.
    EFF Rogers too. Typical spineless corporate b.s.
    Kane at 15 my ass…..

  • December 29, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Rusty- I think you’re on the right track with those lines- that’s the best you can do right now although I might switch 77 and 88 so


    We know these two lines can work and 12-17-88 in the D zone is a problem – I think Dach helps there and in the O zone 12 and 17 won’t constantly defer to 88 which is also a problem with a 12-17-88 line

  • December 29, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Rusty maybe trying to use ltir to retain salary of a goalie or another caphit to increase return, makes more sense, as you point out not alot of probabilities in expiring contract. Like those lines but agree with Wrap, leave Dach with 12 and 17 for now anyways.

  • December 29, 2019 at 10:07 am

    RYANDALE – Well said!

    Kane’s “off-ice” issues were due to his rapid accent to stardom & his immaturity to deal with it correctly.

  • December 29, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Agree 100% with Ryandale. NBC’s Adam Gretz doesn’t have a clue. Best it was a for the decade. He has McDavid on the list and has only played 5 years in the decade. Leaving off players that have won almost a third of the Stanley Cups played is asinine.

    Now Ryan Kennedy of the Hockey News is an intelligent human being. Very good top 10 of the decade list.

  • December 29, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Seabrook isn’t 25-27 years old… after these 3 surgeries.. Time to RETIRE… think about the team FOR ONCE… not about what you did 5 years ago…. GO HAWKS!
    Seabrook still playing… no Gilbert here playing… NHL Hockey aint for the old.

  • December 29, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    RD, any list that has Kaner at 15 and Tazer at 25+ centers is biased/fixed/other. Doesnt matter if we look through balck and red colored goggles, it still is what it is.

    There isint a player better then 19 or 88 in the decade unless your talking about 2. That top 100 players list of all time, was pretty spot on. Except for 81 and that 28 retired jersey thing.

  • December 29, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    Every Gretz article has an error or just some buffoonery in it. When I see amateurism, I call it out. It was every article…and then I got banned.

    There’s very few things about NBC sports coverage in general that I like. Bob Costas is a boob. The on air personalities they have for hockey is a joke. Roenick gets suspended, as he should (he’s not good anyway). But the fact Millbury even has a job after assaulting a child is infuriating. And that’s leaving out his on air crap.

    Kenny Albert calling hockey play by is nauseating. Forslund, Cuthbert, and Miller are better. But we rarely hear them.

    Pierre macguire is a penis with glasses.

    Keith Jones has a chicken bone in his throat and just agrees with whatever Millbury says.

    When NBC has a double header playing and your the second game, good effing luck finding the game before it starts. They’ve bungled that all to hell more than once.

  • December 29, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    Thats what I was saying about Cherry a mth ago when that thing happened. Always liked him and others that made the sport better, even if not onpar with the general public and there allowed to be gaay/other things laws in most states.

    For Kaner/others, thsi is not a church (and we are Christians) choir. Its ok and good to be wild at times/when you feel like it.

  • December 29, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Bob and Doug McKenzie as announcers.

  • December 29, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    Good news for Lafreniere. No structural damage. Hawks won’t have a shot at him, but still don’t want to see a kid injured.

  • December 29, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Really good news looked bad to watch replay, very ackward fall.

  • December 29, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Lehner in the net today.Hope the rotation thing is over now.Boqvist in for Maata.Interesting.Hope they are not rushing Boqvist back.Dont know of many shoulder injuries that completely heal in less than a week.Maybe Maata on the move to Toronto if the Muzzin injury is worse than a month out of their lineup?

  • December 29, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    Hmmm. Elliotte Friedman reports on HNC last night, that teams are calling on Brandon Saad, despite his injury. I wonder if Stan off loads that $6million for next year.

  • December 29, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    trade him ASAP

  • December 29, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Were rebuilding right? The young wave is what get us next Cup. Only 19 88 2 are untouchable and arnt going anywhere.

  • December 29, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Sure, with exactly zero prospects at power foward let’s get rid of Saad. Maybe after stealing Nylander from Buffalo we should dump Kane too.

  • December 29, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    if teams want Saad you have to listen.

    The price should be high, and if someone wants to blow you away at this point you absolutely have to consider it.

    That being said, I seriously doubt the Hawks move Saad at this point. He’s been the best skater on the roster not-named-Kane to date.

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