Vegas Hangs On, Blackhawks Season Ends

The Blackhawks started Tuesday night 1-0 in elimination games under Jeremy Colliton. So they had that going for them, which was nice.

Chicago’s power play was 1 for 11 in the first four games of the series and it took a heroic effort from Corey Crawford for Chicago to force a Game Five.

How would the Blackhawks answer the bell in their second must-win game of the series?

The first period was a good one for the Hawks. Jonathan Toews opened the scoring at 10:32, finishing in close to the net.

At 18:19 it was Alex DeBrincat finally scoring against the Vegas goaltender; his first goal in the series was into an empty net. His goal gave Chicago a 2-0 lead late in the first.

Two hallmarks of the Blackhawks’ struggles over the past few years have been opponents scoring quickly after a Chicago goal and late in periods. Those trends showed up once again in this game. Max Pacioretty scored with 31 seconds remaining in the first to cut the lead in half.

Vegas held a 13-10 shot advantage after 20 minutes but the Blackhawks played a strong period. The Pacioretty goal was an unfortunate ending to a solid 19 minutes of hockey for Chicago.

Mark Stone tied the game 57 seconds into the second period. Vegas started to play more a more physical game all over the ice and they were putting consistent pressure on the Blackhawks.

But four minutes into the second Drake Cagguila took the puck away inside the blue line and found Patrick Kane all alone in front of the net. He beat Robin Lehner badly to give Chicago a 3-2 lead.

It felt like the next goal would be a big one and it came from the stick of a defenseman whose name gives Blackhawks fans nightmares. Chicago’s penalty kill was perfect in the series, but with Adam Boqvist in the box Alec Martinez was able to end that streak with a tying goal.

The Blackhawks got their first power play of the game at 14:22 into the second but – surprise! – failed to convert.

After 40 minutes of hockey the score was tied at three. Vegas had a 28-19 shot advantage and had some momentum heading to the dressing rooms for the second intermission.

Chicago would need to come out of the room with a strong effort in the third period to survive to play another game.

Alex Tuch scored 94 seconds into the third period to give Vegas a 4-3 lead.

Crawford continued to hold up his end of the bargain in the Hawks’ net but the skaters in front of him struggled to sustain any pressure on Lehner.

The Blackhawks had four shots on net in the first 14 minutes of the third period. Obviously that isn’t going to get it done against a good, strong, deep Vegas team that had a one-goal lead.

With 4:47 left in regulation and the Blackhawks struggling to get the puck out of their defensive zone the Golden Knights made them pay again. Tuch sniped home Vegas’ fifth goal of the night and his second of the period.

Chicago challenged that there was goaltender interference on the play. Nick Cousins appeared to make contact with Crawford as he reached back across the crease to stop the Tuch shot.

The referees decided there was enough contact that the goal would not be allowed. Chicago’s deficit remained one with the season on the line.

John Quenneville, playing in place of Alex Nylander, was on the ice shifting with Toews inside the final three minutes. Why, we don’t know. But Colliton continued to give him regular shifts the entire night.

With Crawford on the bench for the final moments, Colliton sent Adam Boqvist out with the stars. The kid, who has been overwhelmed most of the postseason, showed no sense of urgency in the final 20 seconds. The clock expired and the Blackhawks’ 2020 postseason came to an end.

Toews skated 18 minutes. He won nine of 19 faceoffs and scored a goal. He was credited with just one shot on net but led the Blackhawks with blocked three shots and was credited with two takeaways in the loss.

Kane skated a forward-leading 21:29 in the game. He was credited with three shots on net and two hits.

Cagguila led Chicago with five hits and had the only assist on Kane’s goal in 13:25. Quenneville skated 13:49 with two blocked shots and four hits.

Boqvist skated only 10:55 but was on the ice for the most important moments of the Hawks’ season. He had one shot on net.

Crawford stopped 35 of 29. Lehner stopped 23 of 26.

49 thoughts on “Vegas Hangs On, Blackhawks Season Ends

  • August 19, 2020 at 12:28 am

    A good effort for the most part. Simply too much depth on Vegas for a Hawk team with too many missing pieces.

    Another tough game for a young Boqvist. He just isn’t fast enough to make up for his lack of strength. Maybe in a few more years.

    Great game for Murphy at both ends of the ice. Nice to see him step up.

    It would be interesting to hear the longterm strategy for this team. Avoiding mediocrity will be tough.

  • August 19, 2020 at 12:29 am

    Crawford stopped 35 of 39. (39-4 = 35).
    Final score 4-3 for VGK

  • August 19, 2020 at 12:32 am

    The better team won. Plain and simple. Kudos to the Hawks for playing them tough, but this was a #1 seed versus a number 12 seed.
    Boqvist refused to shoot in the final 15 seconds. Painful.
    Next step, next season to make the playoffs legitimately.

    Lots of big decisions loom on personnel.

  • August 19, 2020 at 12:33 am

    Proud of the players, they played hard, had fun, got the young guys a taste of what playoffs are about. Hung in and competed against the no.1 seed, deep and in their prime. Made up of alot of players, Marchesault and Smith Florida, Karlsson CBJ, Tuch Wild etc. who’s teams gave up on them at about the same age as most of the Blackhawks young elc players because they didn’t produce and develop quick enough.

    Had fun, played their hearts out, good learning experience, nobody hurt, healthy heading for next year. Know they have to be better and can be better. Some changes be made but all good.

  • August 19, 2020 at 12:36 am

    Could Keith be any more brutal? His regression the last few years have been increasingly noticeable, and God forbid he even attempt to block a shot or shove an opponent out of the way in front of the net. My 7 year old could get position on Keith in the high danger area.

  • August 19, 2020 at 12:49 am

    The Hawks played better and with more urgency tonight but unfortunately it was way too late in the series and physically they just can not sustain a pressured attack yet.I am not a huge Boqvist guy.I believe he needs a couple of years in Rockford.That being said,I don’t blame his abysmal performance tonight on him.He had no business being on the ice against Vegas this series.He needs a lot of work physically and mentally.I realize Toews scored a nice goal tonight but he is your #1 Center and you need a hell of a lot more out of him in an elimination game.I will assume that he has some type of injury because for the most part he was ghostly.Keith was on the ice too much and was not good.Koekkoek had a real shaky game also.Saad was better and the puck seemed to follow him all night but he is your power forward and has to close the deal and be more dangerous.I thought everybody else was pretty solid and competed hard.We were overwhelmed and out played physically this entire series.There is much work to be done.Hopefully what they have in the pipeline will be given a chance to compete for spots next season.If I had an end of the series question for Colliton it would be,what the hell is wrong with playing Hagel,Kurashev,and Carllson ahead of Boqvist,Quenneville,Nylander Etc.Thank god Nylander finally sat tonight.I do not need to see anymore of him.

  • August 19, 2020 at 12:50 am

    Good effort by most in the series. Hustled and worked hard. Always a good sign. Entertaining too.

    BRUTAL effort by some on the defensive side tonight and in most games. BRUTAL. Not acceptable any more from a veteran, and the kid absolutely needs to get his head screwed back on in an environment that isn’t so overwhelming. Wasn’t it Keith who said last year that the NHL isn’t a developmental league? BRUTAL.

    It actually looked like it hurt JT to lose. He seemed pained in the 3rd period.


    Try selling that to a free agent goalie!

  • August 19, 2020 at 1:23 am

    I was surprised that the game was again as close as it was. The Hawks possession numbers were brutal, but they still managed to stay in the game. How much of that was the opposition not pressing as much as they could vs the Hawks making it harder for them to do so? Six of one…

    The Hawks have to find a way to become a better possession team. Where Vegas was superior to the Hawks was being able to evade the Hawks defensive pressure, while the Hawks were unable to do the same. Vegas had more time and space in their offensive zone than the Hawks did in theirs. Is that a systematic problem or a talent problem? I think it’s more the latter than the former. The second problem is that when the Hawks did close the gap, they were not strong enough to disrupt the Knights possession. That was the series.

    When the Hawks found space, they were dangerous. When Vegas took space away, the Hawks were ordinary.

    I think the Hawks represented as well as could be hoped. To me the big winners of the playoffs from the Hawks perspective were Dach and Matta. Those guys came to play every game. I think Nylander was the biggest loser in that he did nothing to prove he belongs in the top six, much less the NHL roster. That kid has his work cut out for him.

    I think the Hawks need to find a way to get faster and stronger on the blue line and on the bottom six. I really felt like the bottom six was just there. A few standout moments in a sea of struggling to keep up. Am I being too harsh? Perhaps.

    The most encouraging thing I got from this experience was how hard the Hawks played every shift. They came ready to pay the price to try and win, and they came a lot closer than I thought they would to doing so. Stick tap to Colliton, say what you want about his coaching decisions, but he got this roster ready to play in these playoffs and despite the result, I think they looked a lot better than expected.

    The most discouraging thing I got from this experience is how far away the Hawks are from being a contending team, especially on the blue line. One could argue that the Hawks were close to beating the (arguably) best team in the West and as a result, are close to being one of those teams. But one could also argue that without serious roster upgrades there is no guarantee the Hawks even make the playoffs next year. They are not close.

    Bottom line is that the Hawks were terrible in their own end at winning possession of the puck and then keeping it through an offensive possession. I think the biggest reason for this is mediocre speed on the blue line and not enough strength to muscle the puck. Hawks are horrible at dump ins and Vegas forced the Hawks to do that, a lot. In the last 3 minutes of the game the Hawks had to dump the puck in three or four times in a row before being able to get an O-zone face-off. That isn’t good.

    Last in a long list of thoughts, I hope the Hawks management look at the playoff performance and does an honest assessment of where it is. If management uses the playoff showing to somehow justify roster construction and claim that is on the rise, well that is a wrong and a huge mistake. This team has some good bones and some great young talent, but it is a flawed roster that needs more than cosmetic repair to become a consistent playoff team again.

  • August 19, 2020 at 4:45 am

    Thanks Tab for all the coverage. It’s been fun to follow this site.

    The better team won. I’m not upset because we lost. I’m upset because we played like horse shit in both elimination games. Unforced errors all over.

    Our passes were sloppy, way too many turnovers, way too many bobbles, far too careless with the puck. Vegas crushed us in the “making plays” department. That ‘no goal’ call to keep it 4-3 was competely ridiculous. We should have lost 6-2 at best.

    2019-2020 Blackhawks were an exercise in what a team can do when their best defenseman is a #3 tops. The future looks good, but the question is whether the kids’ window overlaps with the tail end of the Toews-Kane-Keith window…

  • August 19, 2020 at 6:51 am

    Why Keith and Bodquist on the ice at the end of the game when they pulled Crawford???? How about 6 forwards!!!!!! And when good ole number 2 had the puck in our zone with 24 seconds left he just drifts with it instead of heading up ice….
    Thank you for your years time to be done.
    Okie Hawks Fan.. total agreement with your comments.

  • August 19, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Miroslav had two of the great comments (below)-it was the difference. This used to be the strength of the 09-16 Hawks. They did try, it wasn’t lack of effort but they we’re outmatched-both in system and personnel. This will soon be Dach’s team.

    The Hawks have to find a way to become a better possession team.

    When the Hawks found space, they were dangerous. When Vegas took space away, the Hawks were ordinary.
    (Vegas took it away for most of the series)

  • August 19, 2020 at 7:42 am

    Does anyone know how many goals against Duncan Keith was on the ice? And all we here is how Boqvist was overwhelmed. Maybe if Keith simplified his game to the skill level he possesses now his defensive game might improve. Someone said he goes out of his way to avoid contact and boy was he right. Lets give the kids a break and let them play and decrease the old fossils ice time.

  • August 19, 2020 at 7:44 am

    Pat Foley said it correct last night, “no puck retrieval”!!! We would dump the puck in, get beat to the puck, get slammed around on the boards and then Vegas would carry the puck out of the zone.

    Just like Panarin who was too small to play a “playoff” type of game, DeBrinkat is just too small to do anything along the boards, which if everyone understands the game of hockey, is where the game is won and lost.

    The game has changed over the last 5 years, Stan. The game is not just about speed through the neutral zone, it’s about board battles, puck retrieval and NET FRONT PRESENCE. We do not defend well at all and that is on Colliton and his “system”. He’s a minor league coach that thinks he is smarter than he really is. Go back to coach in Sweden.

    The “hall of famers” are getting older and the GM and coach are useless. Next year is going to be terrible if things don’t change. And next year will be here a lot sooner than we all think!

    Lastly, I felt sorry for Boquist. He was over matched and at times looked completely LOST in our zone. At 19 he is not even close to being a skilled NHL defenseman so I have to give him credit for just being on the ice and doing the best he can. He needs to put about 10 LBS. of muscle on his body and grow into being an NHL defenseman over the next 2 years.

  • August 19, 2020 at 7:53 am

    It’s Over! It didn’t have to be, but let’s examine why:

    1.) Colliton was out-coached, out maneuvered, and made some bone-headed lineup decisions . For instance, sticking with Boqvist and Nylander for far too long. Not injecting some needed speed and energy in Kurashev and Hagel. Not playing Seeler when we needed some size and toughness. A good coach wins this series, a great coach pushes us deep in the playoffs, but a sub-par coach gets us tossed in the 1st round. I am not so concerned about getting rid of Bowman, but I think Colliton needs to go.

    2.) Boqvist is not a defensemen! I would send him down to Rockford for half a season and make him a RW. He has all the offensive qualities to be a great RW, and his lack of size and toughness prohibits him from being an elite defender.

    3.) Duncan Keith cannot play defense. Every time I looked he was on the ice for a Knights goal. He’s done! Either retire or let’s move him. Too bad Tallon got fired, we could have dumped him on his buddy.

    OK – that’s enough! There are so many positives and I will write about them in another post, but we need to correct these three issues before we are able to move on in the playoffs.

    It was a fun series nevertheless.

  • August 19, 2020 at 8:02 am

    Be interesting to see if Toews was dinged up for this series – if not then he’s slowing down – he looked good at the start of the playoffs but a step behind by the end so perhaps he is nursing an injury – the Smith line dominated him whenever they were out together

    He and Keith in the post game presser were totally pissed – great to see their competitiveness is still burning

    There will be changes and there should be – back end needs to be more mobile and needs to handle the physical play better

    FWs need more size but with smarts and speed – Mark Stone please or even a Mark Stone lite and some bigger mobile bodies the bottom six

    Overall I think they came to play hard and they did so credit JC and the vets for that and the experience for the young guys will be invaluable – it seemed by the end that DCat and Strome finally realized the intensity level you have to play to in the playoffs – Dach was great but shoot the damn puck!

    Very curious about how the team will look next year but first the draft

  • August 19, 2020 at 8:20 am

    There’s a saying about success: “never confuse effort with results.” I admire the Hawks’ effort as much as anyone, but they were outclassed in this series from top to bottom. In some respects, they had no business being in these playoffs. Anson Carter from the studio had it right – the Knights can roll 4 lines and they will come at you with scoring chances. It reminds me of the successful Hawk teams of 2010, 2013 where all 4 lines could score and would wear down the opposition.

    Stan put this roster together without any sort of plan or structure. Many of the players are mediocre at best. Kampf, Caggiula, Carpenter, Nylander, Highmore. Sometimes they can make plays, but you saw them outclassed all series. The roster also lacks chemistry – a key variable when building a roster.

    The defense lacks a true #1 defenseman. It lacks any sort of shut-down d-man as well. Much like the forwards, most of these guys are just “guys”. Koekoek, Murphy – they lack speed and change of direction. They don’t really scare any forwards. It’s amazing they were both #1 picks.

    I feel bad for Boqvist – he’s a victim of Stan’s poor roster management. He was rushed and it’s showing. Can’t help to wonder about his confidence. The Nylander trade made no sense. You have a dire need for defensive players and you give away one of the top prospects to get an underachieving, small-sized winger. Further, Hawks have small D-men in Mitchell and Beaudin. Jury is out for sure and let’s give them a chance, but how do they manage NHL power forwards like Stone, Reaves, Tom Wilson, Miko Rantenen, etc?

  • August 19, 2020 at 8:46 am

    To me from the beginning JC seems to be in over his head. There are lots of fire JC posts flying around the internet. Things like having John Q on ice in last 4 minutes etc.

    What I am curious about, are there actual objective reasons, why the Hawks see him as coach of the future? What am I missing?

  • August 19, 2020 at 8:58 am

    It was fun to get to see the Hawks play nine extra games this season. Especially fun to see them eliminate two of the best players in the game in the play in round.

    .We saw that Dach is going to be really good and it looks like Highmore is going to be a competent bottom six forward. I really liked his compete level and he chipped in a couple of goals. Already looking forward to next year’s camp to see if some of the new signings can make the team.

  • August 19, 2020 at 9:15 am

    HAWKS need few more Big fast players Who can score… SAAD is NOT that player. WAY TOO MUCH MONEY…Put him in market -see what you get… lol
    Now to keith…. Jagr wanna be with locks…
    Keith was MINUS 3 last night.
    THAT IS MINUS 7 Combined for both series… THATS YOUR #1 Dman?
    Never Blocks shots intentionally with body or engages in front of net…. DONE

  • August 19, 2020 at 9:29 am

    Good ride.
    Lasted about as long as we thought it would.

    Discuss this, discuss that about player performance in series or game 4?
    …..all in vain really.

    Now comes change time.
    The GM who managed a wonderful team he was handed, but failed miserably at building a team?

    Probably history when new Hawks prez comes to town.

    The flailing coach trying to understand the NHL game, brought on by aforementioned GM?

    Probably history too, by default.

    In defense of Coach Flail, not really his fault. He was given a promotion he was not ready for, after aforementioned GM thought it best to fire a HOF coach.

    It was fun.
    Will watch rest of playoffs like I have for last 45 years.

    Signing off til David Bowie song fires up at Hawks HQ.

  • August 19, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Wondering if the plan (assuming there is one) is upgrade the 3D and 4th lines with recent signings (Chalupa, Suter, Morrison) and try to draft a top 6 winger in the top 2 rounds of this draft? May be difficult if they are also looking to draft Crawford’s replacement in this draft assuming the goalie remains available where they draft in round 1.

  • August 19, 2020 at 10:20 am

    A lot of work to do in order to be a legitimate playoff contender next season. Major questions at goal, on defense and forward depth. Nobody wants to admit it, but Toews and Kane will be 32 next season. And Toews is no longer a star player, although he’s still solidly above average on most nights and remains the defacto leader of this hockey club.

    Colliton will be back. I hate it, but the Hawks don’t care what I hate.

    Boqvist is hot garbage at this point. Bitterly disappointed in what I saw from this highly touted youngster. I don’t get what Bowman saw in this kid. He’s got to play in Rockford next season. No ifs ands or buts.

    A crap ton riding on Ian Mitchell.

    Strome has played his last game in Chicago. Thank God for that. The Nick Schmaltz trade proved to be a disaster.

    Nylander has no business being back, but I’m sure Bowman will stubbornly stick with his grand experiment of making a low energy disinterested soft style of play Nylander fit into this bizarre Colliton system of play. Ugh.

    Legitimate top 10 NHL teams don’t have a guy like Debrincat on their roster They don’t. He’s a scoring novelty act who is a huge negative defensively and in doing any sort of the essential forward work on the boards and such. He’ll be back, and I wont like it.

    I’ll imagine not a lot will happen in terms of free agent additions. And Hawks aren’t going to find instant help picking #17 in the draft. So a few trades here and there, with patience on the development of a few guys. Not exactly a recipe for great hopefulness in 2020-21.

  • August 19, 2020 at 10:31 am

    re: “A crap ton riding on Ian Mitchell.”

    Perhaps. But the unit they put on the ice in these playoffs wasn’t awful. Boqvist looked out of his league much of the time, but let’s all keep in mind that the entire blue line will be back next year. So you’re adding Mitchell to a veteran group with Keith, Seabrook (back and healthy), Maatta (GREAT postseason), de Haan, Murphy & Boqvist (among others). I’m guessing 1-2 of these guys is gone via trade to clear cap space/playing time for Mitchell, but that group could be solid.

    The Blackhawks need better depth up front – period. They need to upgrade Smith, Carpenter & Nylander. Perhaps Chalupa & Suter can help with that and some of the kids can take a step up, but they absolutely have to be better up front.

    And for the love of everything sacred do SOMETHING about the power play.

  • August 19, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Tab, the defense overall was poor this season. There’s no depth to speak of. Keith is 37 years old and not remotely the great player he once was. Banking on Seabrook to do anything is silly. He’s been terrible for three seasons, and if not for his albratross of a contract he would be retired from the league by now. At best, maybe we hope Seabrook can be a Rosival / Sopel type of 7th man contributor in 2020-21. But that contract of his is crippling if he’s carried on the roster in ANY role.

    Fact is there’s not a number one or even number two defenseman right now. Maybe Ian Mitchell can develop into that guy. But it will take time and patience to see what his true ceiling is all about. Fact is Murphy is the best defensemen on this roster right now. And that is sadly quite revealing.

  • August 19, 2020 at 11:07 am

    There is an article in the athletic about 40 important people in hockey ounder 40. On the cover of the article has JC.

    I don’t subscribe to it, so not sure article but the fact that he is even 1 of 4 on that list.

    Further proves I believe that he isn’t going anywhere any time so

  • August 19, 2020 at 11:09 am

    Agree, it’ll take a complete collapse the first half of next season before any coach or Gm moves made, don’t think Bowman gets this far with leash to make fa signings if he wasn’t going to be around to start the year. Be interesting to see how roster rfas handled, resigned or Qos and dealt with later, some movement to maybe.

    Steve, would say Wild or Canes could be interested in goalie Askarov. Oilers need a goalie but are wanting to put a contender together before Mcdavid decides he wants out, so may use other methods to land a goalie and draft somebody who can play with the big 2 fairly quick. Tab agree the defense is probably pretty much same, with one of the caphits of 5, 6, or 44 moved, 6 seems most likely and Mitchell likely makes team or up quick. Seabrook won’t be a pressbox guy, so if not in top 3 pairings plan, wonder if something is done to accommodate a trade for him.

    Toews and Kane never won a cup while on elcs, so patience needed as these young guys that are going to be fixtures develop. Need a 3rd line that can take load off top 2 lines, draft possible help there in a year or 2 combined with some devlopment from non roster under contract players too. Dach time seems has to have come as number 1 center, so is Toews moved to middle 6 role or switched to winger, where his load is reduced.

  • August 19, 2020 at 11:43 am

    @Tab, my issue with the defense is as constructed is that it isn’t likely to improve at all and if both Keith and Seabrook return is more likely to decline than not. Maatta had a great playoff series as essentially the 5th defenseman, but all season long his skating proved to be a liability when he played bigger roles/minutes They played better in the playoffs, but they were never able to dictate play, they are always reacting. If I had to pick a qualifier for this blue line, “adequate” comes to mind before “solid.” What am I missing?

  • August 19, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Miroslav, not saying the blueline is going to be compared top ones in Nhl, but not all bad. Until somebody steps to take the torch from Keith, not alot will change. Only way to change that right away i see, is maybe Tampa who probably can’t resign Sergachev, is make a move there and have top pair guy for a decade or so. Bolts don’t have a 1st rounder and may prefer picking this year than waiting for offer sheet and picking next year. Would you be willing to give up 1st round pick and plus to land him. Then if either Mitchell or Boqvist develop to form top pair. Actually not a stretch if Boqvist adds muscle and learns from adversity in playoffs, could benefit with less intensity to start season and show good progression. With Murphy and Dehaan plus potential in pipeline, defense picture looks better. The fact all contracts expire in next 3 years , would give alot of flexibilty toward need to land a goalie and develop or sign some forward help.

  • August 19, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    It was fun while it lasted, Dach experienced the playoffs and no one got hurt. The Hawks are who we thought they are, one and done.

    This team will require wholesale changes in order to compete in the current NHL. The young players are not ready, and one must question the organizations direction, and their ability to identify or develop young talent. Boquist, too early had his hands full and was overpowered. Carlsson not there yet either. Nylander seen enough and losing Joker only rubs salt in the wound. Strome seen enough. Dkat has limitations and not top 6 material. Saad, most nights not top 6 however better than average 3 liner. Highmore looked ok as a 4th liner.

    This team lacks enough high-end talent. How many of the Hawks players could be top 6 on Vegas? Kane is the only player that can dominate. Toews started out strong against the Oilers but seemed to run out of steam as the Vegas series played out. Dach was solid and has bright future.

    A direction needs to be picked. Either the Hawks try to load up on FA and experience and get another cup run in the Kane and Toews window or buy into a total youth movement. No more Carpenter, Matta and DeHann deals. Either way SB and JC need to be gone and what is to be done for a goalie. Crow is free and Suban ….. well enough said. Another example of no direction.

  • August 19, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Tab, the blueline wasn’t horrible this series, but five games is much different than eighty two games..I wouldn’t want to go into a full season next year with the same blue line..fortunately, I don’t have to worry about that..Maatta will either be traded to a team looking for a couple years of cost certainty or bought out since his buy out is very reasonable with regards to our cap needs..I think De Haan is shopped in the offseason as well and I’m betting on him being moved..Seabrook will be on the roster because of his cap hit, not because of his health..after three concurrent surgeries, no professional athlete is ”healthy” after..he may be able to play, but I’d be leery of counting on anything more than 9-11 min a night as a seventh defenseman..He’s how I’m hoping the blueline looks for next year..and yes, this blueline lacks veteran presence, but there is a young puck mover on each pairing which the Hawks need..and it’s a very friendly blue line cap wise, so we can begin to bank some cap space to resign Kubalik this year and god forbid Suter is awesome next year lmao..we’ll have to immediately pay him for 2021-22..
    Kalynuk-Koekkoek(Seabrook and Carlsson in the wings)

  • August 19, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Oh no – the sky is falling! Fire everyone – especially the guys I hate the most.

    The grass is a lot more green over there so let’s insert so-and-so into the lineup, even though no one has any proof he would be any better than the guy he replaces – but hey, if he fails we can always blame Colliton. Course, you’d have to wait in line to throw Colliton under the bus as he is the main reason the Hawks weren’t good enough to beat the #1 seed.

    Recall I was one of the guys who wanted the Hawks to lose to Edmonton so they would have a chance to draft Lafreniere, but now I’m happy the young players got 9 games of playoff experience instead of selling out for a 1-in-8 chance to win the draft lottery.

    Lot’s of stuff to analyze and discuss but I’ll leave that for another day.

  • August 19, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Donot think the dynasty team 2009-2016 was good at dump in as well. Top notch at possission. Better on that but I want to see the young wave be good at dump in style as well so we can actually play both kinds.

    I were not close next yr then we better be top 5 skill draft player. Let the younger players play and learn and have a bottom five record.

  • August 19, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Total youth movement keeping 19 88 maybe 20 12 others for now/wait and see.

  • August 19, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    You folks all make very good points. I agree with many. My big question is why Colliton doesn’t try Bagel, Kurashev or Sikura the whole series? These kids are quick and are goal scorers. Nylander proved to be useless and unmotivated. Bowman’s insistence on his being in the lineup is simply another attempt to cover his making another huge mistake. The 3rd and 4th lines are bad. The D needs serious rebuilding. And, above all, Bowman and Colliton need to be FIRED

  • August 19, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    I will go out on a limb here and predict that Mitchell,Kalynuk,Carllson,and Beaudin all pass Boqvist.I know it sounds crazy but I just do not see what this kid is being heralded for.His skating is certainly not elite.Cale Makar from the Avalanche is an elite skater.Quinn Hughes from the Canucks is an elite skater.Werenski from the Bluejackets is an elite skater.Boqvist,s shot is ordinary.He is overwhelmed on most 50-50 pucks.He is position wise terrible.Always on the wrong side of his check.The door is wide open for the other young D Men to take his spot.You can improve his straight line skating,situational awareness,and put some weight on him but you can not teach him heart,desire,and some nastiness.

  • August 19, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    “Unmotivated”. Really? There ‘s no shortage of things to pick at after the Hawks fell short of unrealistic expectations, but I thought one thing the Hawks did well was play hard every game – all of the players, including the mob’s whipping boys. Criticizing a player for not playing well is one thing, but implying a player has a lazy attitude is something else entirely and in this case is unfounded and without merit. In all the 9 games of post season play, I don’t recall any Hawks player dogging it because they were unmotivated. I’d tear up my mob membership card if I didn’t already do it a long time ago. I’m not a nitpicking contrarian because I like playing that role and I have nothing better to do but it pisses me off to watch mob mentality rule the day. Think for yourself and back up your statements with more than popular narratives.

    One thing I’m pretty sure we can all agree on and that is the Hawks losing is a good thing for all the Negative Nellie’s – it gave them a transfusion of lifeblood they will thrive on for weeks or months.

  • August 19, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    Toews played hard evety game.. My opinion on his lack of production is his line only had 2 players on it. Himself & Kubilik… Where was SAAD? Doing Ice Capades everyshift… The one goal last game that Toews scored was by – SAAD digging puck out in corner, centering to Kubilik in front of net shooting on net & Toews banging home the rebound! But unfortunately every other shift was TOEWS digging in corners, Kubilik parked in front of net and SAAD just doing figure eights all over the offensive zone… But all allowed to blame Toews… He lost a step but still played hard… Too bad he doesn’t have a REAL Power Forward.

  • August 20, 2020 at 1:38 am

    Toews was dominated by the Vegas Centers the entire series.You can’t put his unwillingness to get to the slot to make some high end plays or maybe beat the opposing center up the ice for scoring chances on Brandon Saad.Hell,I would have taken him playing a little shutdown defense on the Golden Knight centers.If Toews wants to dig in the corners and play below the goal line you can just put him at forward.This team needs 3 legit NHL Center men if Toews was not playing with an injury.

  • August 20, 2020 at 6:14 am

    the hawks won three cups with:

    1) one of the top two or three centers in the game in toews
    2) one of the top two or three d-men in the game in keith
    3) one of the top two or three power forwards in the game in hossa
    4) two of the top two way forwards in the game (#1 and #3 above)
    5) the best captain in the game in toews
    6) the best captain in the league who wasn’t wearing the “c” in seabrook
    7) a clutch deadly scorer in kane
    8) one of the best coaches in the league in quenneville
    9) one of the best defensive d-men in the league in hjalmarsson
    10) one of the best fourth lines in the league in every cup winning year
    11) the best players on the team being twenty somethings and in their prime
    12) likely four hall of fame players on all three teams
    13) likely the best home ice advantage in the league

    with all of those advantages going for them they had to fight tooth and nail to win each of those cups in six games. 2010 they were an overtime goal away from game seven. 2013 they were behind a goal with less than 90 seconds to play in game six and facing a game seven. 2015 game six was scoreless with three minutes to play in the second period and they were protecting a one goal lead through three quarters of the third period.

    how many players on this hawks roster could have played on any of those teams? regrettably the best players from that last cup team who are still with the team are still the best players on this team five years later, but only kane is still the player he was. and those players who are gone were replaced by lesser talented players.

    the defense was garbage this year and likely as not will be no better next year. nothing we have seen from boqvist gives us any hope he can ever play quality defense in the nhl. keith is regressing week to week and is still the best d-man. de haan will always be one solid hit from retirement. murphy is a pedestrian top four d-man on this team, but would have played bottom six on those cup teams. i will give credit to maatta for playing above his pay grade this post season, but he might have been a sixth/seventh d-man on those cup teams and was average at best during the grind of the regular season. in mitchell they have a rookie who we all hope can be a real guy down the road, but can’ t expect much other than growing pains from him next year. and there is nothing we can expect to rely on from seabrook. the rest of the pretenders aren’t as good as those already mentioned. so no tab, this will not be a solid defense unless a miracle happens. you have to stop drinking that blackhawks kool aid.

    four of their current top nine forwards (kane, strome, de brincat, and nylander) cannot or will not play defense. the fourth line is unremarkable and the forwards are soft as a group. saad is a solid third line forward, not a first liner. dach and kubalik give great hope, but no other forward in the system projects above the bottom six. there is no backup plan to crawford.

    there were many of you who comment on this site who were pleased with the entry round victory and first round ass kicking they absorbed. and make no mistake about it. the loss to vegas was an ass kicking and not nearly what the scores of the games indicated. this is what happens in hockey. it is not the nba. eighth seeds put up a good fight against first seeds and occasionally knock them off. same with seventh seeds against second seeds. a hot goalie can turn an also ran into a competitive team on any given night and make a series look much closer than what is actually taking place on the ice. so yes, the hawks did play some decent hockey in some of the games, but unfortunately all of the games go at least sixty minutes and the hawks don’t have the talent and physical ability to compete over sixty minutes night after night. so while the hawks split the last two games of the series and out scored vegas 6-5 the telling stat that they got there asses kicked in both games is they were outshot 88-50.

    the future looks dismal for this team and will continue to be that way until management focus is changed from sneaking into the playoffs and selling seats to building for the future. the type off season trades made last year to try to slide into the playoffs and failing this year cannot be repeated. acquiring players like carpenter, smith, de haan, shaw, nylander, and maatta were stop gap failure moves that shit all over the salary cap. now, one year later, if the hawks could have a do over and make those six go away to be replaced by joki, kahun, one year left of anisimov, the draft picks for shaw, the bums they gave up for de haan, and the cap space eaten up by the acquired contracts wouldn’t that be a “hell yes” decision?

    i am not a front runner fan. i loved the hawks of larmer, darryl sutter, roenick, wilson, and countless others who gave us wonderful seasons of 90 or more exciting hockey games year after year without ever wining a cup. i attended or watched most of those ninety games every year. year after year. one quarter of my nights year after year were spent watching a really hard working talented team play the best game in the world. so i am not expecting stanley cup wins. i just want to see this team get back to being a top six/eight/ten/twelve team in the league which competes hard every year. patching the roster with ho hum aging players while, toews, keith, and seabrook regress year after year is not going to get that done.

    i am willing to give bowman a break and hope that his “make the playoffs now” mindset was dictated by mc donough. i can only hope against hope that another off season like the last one doesn’t play out again. it is time for management to accept that this team must be torn down and rebuilt. there are way to many holes in this dyke for patchwork additions to keep it competitive. these last few years have been hard for a proud franchise. time to tear it down and build it up again. if that means trading kane, toews, and/or keith and not resigning crawford so be it. aging heroes don’t win games. young, vibrant new talent does. the four recent signings are all good moves. young players who have upside. will they be good enough to be productive hawks down the road? who knows? but a lot more promise than the middle of the road to mediocre players they acquired last off season and all salary cap friendly. those are the types of moves bowman needs to continue to make. continue the infusion of youth and hope the kids grow together.

  • August 20, 2020 at 11:33 am

    @Ian, your thought about bringing in a top defenseman is intriguing, and I think that is exactly the kind of approach that should have happened last season instead of bringing in Maatta and de Haan. I don’t know if the Hawks can justify spending a draft pick on it now to get it done, but if they want to win while Kane and Toews are still in their primes…

    I am critical of the defense because I think that championships are won with defense and I don’t think this defense has enough top end talent to build a cup winning team around.

    I want to take a step back from looking at what is wrong with individual players or individual components of the team and look at a holistic view of the team’s performance in the playoffs.

    My assessment of the team is simply that the Hawks are no longer good at being a puck possession team. If the Hawks start there and admit that this is what is preventing them from being a winning team, then they can start addressing this through roster movement.

    It’s kind of like AA, first you have to admit you have a problem before you can fix it. The Hawks problem is they suck at puck possession. Can any coach fix that problem with the players the Hawks have? Can Bowman evaluate talent and bring in the right combination of players to better possess the puck?

  • August 20, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Anybody see Tyler Motte put on a show against the Blues last night.If only there were tradebacks.

  • August 20, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    “the future looks dismal for this team and will continue to be that way until management focus is changed from sneaking into the playoffs and selling seats to building for the future…. i am not a front runner fan.”

    For those who have been lifelong fans over the age of 20 (read: recognize the difference between really terrible hockey and what the Blackhawks are currently) and those who claim to not be a front-runner…

    Stan Bowman did not draft well for a few years. We’ve documented that at length here and elsewhere (ex: this article at The Fourth Period).


    Alex DeBrincat has scored 87 regular season NHL goals before his 23rd birthday.
    Dominik Kubalik is a Calder finalist after scoring 30.
    Kirby Dach is going to be a superstar.
    We’ve been banging the drum for Ian Mitchell for 3 years. This winter we’ll get to see him in the NHL.
    Adam Boqvist has a ton of talent (needs good coaching).

    There are reinfocements coming. Some are already in the NHL. Others are still en route. We don’t know what Suter and/or Chalupa might be to the Hawks next season, but Bowman (his staff) have done a nice job of identifying good NHL prospects in Europe.

    Bowman has done a terrible job of filling roster spots with mediocre veteran bandaids at the expense of either room to promote a prospect and give him a chance to learn on the job or by trading said prospect (Danault) for said medioce veteran bandaids.

    At some point, if you believe in your scouting dept, you have to let the kids matriculate to the NHL level and see if they’ve got it (see: Motte, Danault). And if those kids DO have it, you need to find a way to put them in position to succeed, not wasting them on 3rd line shifts (see: Teravainen, DeBrincat). If you spend half a decade NOT drafting/developing adequate replacements internally, you either need to fire the guys scouting the players you’re picking or, more importantly, fire the guy who’s approaching the podium and calling the names. In a hard cap system you cannot rely exclusively on trading good, young, affordable players for potential (read: Nylander, Strome) and then rectifying your mistakes by throwing short-term deals at Europeans.

  • August 20, 2020 at 3:18 pm

    @Tab…I agree with you on your last post 100%. I am so pissed that we got rid of Panarin, Tuevo, Kempny, and Danault for absolutely nothing, and now Motte too. But, I will give Stan the benefit of the doubt, because he brought those players in here, but did not have the patience to wait for them to blossom. That is why I am upset at letting someone like Fortin go, because he will be another that got away. To his credit, Stan brought in all of those players plus Kubalik, Dach, DeBrincat, Strome, Henri, Highmore, Maata, DeHaan, Koekoek, Rutta, Boqvist, Kurashev, Carlsson, Hagel, Entwhistle, and now the Big Chalupa, Suter, Morrison, and Kalynuk are coming. And, he will find a stud at #17, his scouting department always does. But, Colliton is over matched and is an arrogant prick. We can all see the distaste that his players have for him. Toews would not even look at him after the game, and Robin Lehner game him the courtesy shake and moved on, while he fawned over everyone else in the receiving line. Volumes!!

    Se you all next year! Tommy Gun OUT!!!

  • August 20, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    I too saw the very fast shake from Lehner to Colliton. Speaks volumes. Laviolette would be good for
    this young team.

  • August 20, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Miroslav don’t expect any major moves either, but could be creative and busy if they wanted to do something like that, options are there to make some room and do it, be teams looking for trading partners, wouldn’t be just one team, one trade. I don’t mean waiving nmc clausess or crazy one sided trades either.

    Hard not notice after Lehner showed so much respect for the players he basically just put his hand out for Colliton to shake and looked beyond him without any eye contact. Pretty telling. Doesn’t lead you to believe Colliton has much respect in the dressing room. See what the off season brings. Potential with a right adds, not alot either, this team can improve alot in next a couple of years, just hope best opportunity for that to happen is given by the powers that be.

  • August 21, 2020 at 6:45 am

    @ tab

    i have been a bowman basher for a very long time, but i have come around to thinking (hoping) the issue is greater than his performance. he has had his successes and many failures, but maybe he has had his hands tied in exercising his vision of how the hawks roster should have been handled from year to year.

    i believe the hawks have had a very flawed management chain of command. in a perfect world there is president>gm>head coach hierarchy where the president handles team issues, the gm exercises the vision of the type of team he wants to build, and the coach is on board with the gm and carries out his plan.
    the mc donough>bowman>quenneville management team has not functioned in this manner. there were strong egos on top and bottom of that chain, which i believe made bowman’s job very difficult.

    from what i have read mc donough was jealous of the props that bowman and quenneville were receiving and wanted in on the love and recognition. he wanted an imprint on personnel decisions. i believe he ordered bowman to resign bickell and seabrook. bickell might have been a gray area because he was coming off the best twenty games of his life and some might have rated his value based on that performance rather than his middle of the road career that preceded it. but he was a recent hero and mc donough loves promoting heroes as part of his seat selling efforts. seabrook as well was a hero that mc donough was not going to let go no matter what it cost.

    quenneville had in his back pocket the history of his career plus a cup win with the team tallon built. i believe this usurped what should have been bowman’s standing as the higher up in the management food chain. it is not unlikely bowman wanted terravainen, danault, jimmy hayes and others to have better opportunities and quenneville refused to play the kids in favor of veterans.

    so the possibility exists that bowman’s hand was forced in some/many of the decisions he made by pressure from on top and a lack of cooperation from his head coach. certainly possible that the moves made last off season were the result of mc donough threatening him with being fired if the hawks did not make the playoffs this year. that, of course, is no excuse for the futility of the moves bowman made last summer other than the brilliant drafting of dach. in retrospect he showed a big pair of balls making that move rather than the safer picks that would have placated the fans so props to him for sure.

    well the top part is now gone and no matter how much one loves or hates colliton he certainly is a coach who is going to follow bowman’s vision of what he wants in his team. without question this revamped management hierarchy is in line with what it should be and it appears bowman will be the man in charge of team roster management. should be no more interference from above or difficulty with his head coach. up to him to carry the ball now. the next “unsafe” move to make is see if toews and keith can be moved for assets to build for the future. kane as well if the bounty offered is substantial. if bowman continues on the band aid approach then the dismal future i spoke of will certainly be upon us. this team is not a couple of key parts away from competing for the cup and toews and keith will be even lesser shadows of themselves by the time the team can be rebuilt. letting their contracts run out and being left with nothing but cap space several years from now is not the answer for progress going forward. hoping for a great off season.

  • August 21, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Good Morning, I haven’t posted on the CI blog for a while, but after reading some of the comments I was inspired to participate. I read a lot of doom and gloom posts, that is understandable. We were spoiled for a long time with the Hawks success over the last decade. After a couple years out of the post season it was hard to watch a 4-1 lost series, but, a few folks were really hammering Toews, Kane, and Keith (the old farts) for less than stellar play.
    Let me ask this question, if all the oldsters were replaced by more young guys how do you think the series would have ended? My guess a 4-0 series loss with several blowout games (Note: See Az Coyotes). I think the gritty performance by the Hawks a against a playoff seasoned veteran team like Vegas that is 4 lines deep was made possible by the old farts.
    I know the Hawks are now challenged with finishing the rebuild and replacing the old codgers. I hope they can learn how to be a good team together.
    I will quickly digress, I don’t know all the details around Quenneville’s firing, but coaches don’t just get stupid all of a sudden. Was he supposed to play players that were no longer with the team? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • August 21, 2020 at 11:01 am

    George. If the Hawks would trade some of these old guys before they have no trade value Chicago would probably be able to get a lot better a lot sooner than if they keep these older guys and there trade value becomes zero.

    The Hawks got blown out by Vegas 4 games to 1. If Chicago would have gotten blown out 4 games to nothing, logically would it have changed the outlook of the team? The Hawks did not look good against Vegas they got destroyed.

    Quenneville’s time had expired in Chicago. Great teams will make coaches look great. As great a coach as Q supposidely is do you believe he will be able to coach Florida to a Stanley cup?
    Mark Crawford was a Stanley cup head coach in the past does it look like his coaching skills made much of a difference when he helped coach the last place senators or this current Hawks team.

    Coaches much like goalies look a lot better when they have great teams playing in front of them.

  • August 22, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Well, draft position #17 it is then. Thanks for nuttin Montreal. Bill Placzek at Draftsite has the Hawks taking Dylan Holloway – a 6’1″ 190lb LW from UofWisconsin. But, who knows how things shake out before it’s the Hawks turn. The Russian goalie Askarov will probably be off the board by #17 and all the position players after 11 or 12 are a notch below the top guys so the Hawks could get a real good player at #17 but he’s probably at least a year away from being ready to help the Hawks.

    But, with Pius Suter signing with the Hawks, it is essentially like getting a high draft pick who is ready to step in and play next season. One of the things Placzek said about Suter is he plays a more gritty game than Kahun or Kubalik which bodes well for making the Hawks harder to play against, which is something I think all of us can agree the Hawks need.

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