In addition to our weekly chat, I will try to answer some questions that come via my e-mail, so send them in when you feel the urge.
I get really anxious when I see the lesser skilled Hawks players take a puck from the neutral zone back into their own end just for the sake of puck possession ... this will and has led to some unnecessary turnovers and scoring chances against. Is [coach Joel Quenneville] just so obsessed with a puck possession game that he feels everyone is suited for it? There are maybe three or four defenders and five or six forwards that you feel comfortable with doing this, but not the whole line-up! Especially against good forechecking and/or defensive teams. I think you need to change things up at times to keep the other teams honest. Maybe save puck possession for the first two D-pairings and top two lines only. What do you think?
Joe (Charlottesville, Va.)
I disagree. It’s the style of the whole team. You can’t have one style for two lines and another for the other two. The defense would be as confused as anyone. They have not had an inordinate amount of turnovers playing this way. It’s been the whole key to their success so I would not mess with it. Plus, I don’t see Ben Eager going back into the Hawks zone, spinning around with the puck. Each guy knows what to do and they are doing it at a level not seen here in a long, long time.
If the Hawks get a chance to pick up a guy like Jean-Sébastien Giguère do they? I've also heard that New York Rangers were possibly going to look for a new home for Henrik Lundqvist. Would that be an option if they can move Huet's contract?
Brent Zartler (Tinley Park, Ill.)
One hundred percent no -- for two reasons. You are already the No. 1 or No. 2 defensive team in the NHL, so you don’t “waste” your resources trying to get better than that. I don’t think the Hawks will lose a playoff series because their goaltender wasn’t good -- maybe a game or two but not a series. If that happens, it means the Hawks hung their goalie out to dry anyway. More importantly, Giguere is signed through next year. They don’t need that headache. And if the Rangers trade Lunqvuist, then Glen Sather needs to see a doctor more than he does now. I think it would be hard to trade Huet right now, but not impossible. I say stay with the status quo.
With Adam Burish coming back soon, who will be the odd man out on the fourth line?
Jeff (McHenry, Ill.)
There won’t be just one odd man out. I think there will be a rotation based on who is playing well. All three guys there now may sit some -- as well as Burish -- just to keep that knee healthy. The more interesting question is when Dave Bolland returns, who drops down to play on the fourth line. For another day, I guess.