Chat with Jesse Rogers
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Jesse Rogers (2:01 PM)
Hey all. At the united center. Hawks just got done with practice at Johnny's Ice House and are headed to Boston..firing on all cylinders now. Lets talk some hockey!
Jesse, great job with the blog. There was some chatter during last night's game about Bolland maybe returning ahead of schedule. Possibly before the olympics. What have you heard about his status. Looking forward to him centering Hossa and Sharp.
Jesse Rogers (2:02 PM)
No one can say right now if he can return ahead of schedule because he hasnt started skating..im told that will happen soon...i would highly doubt it would be before the olympics..why rush?...im sure he'll play with hossa...not for sure who the other wing will be...long way to go
Sam Michel (Highland)
With the Hawks almost a lock to make the playoffs, where do you see them finishing?( STANLEY CUP?) Also, with the outstanding play of both goalies( not always Huet ) who do you see finishing the season and going forward to the playoffs. Or do they make a trade for a goalie ( J.S. Giguere or not enough $ ).
Jesse Rogers (2:04 PM)
More and more Im thinking they CAN win the cup this year. Obviously their record would indicate it but what I have been pleasatly surprised by and I think even Quenneville is they are winning in different ways..different styles...etc. that will come in handy in the playoffs...it'll be Huet unless there is a total meltdown
What are your thoughts on the Hawks trading for Ilya Kovalchuk?
Jesse Rogers (2:06 PM)
If available and the hawks "only" have to give up 2 off their roster, would be hard to pass up...have to be VERY careful with the chemistry issue...but chemistry usually gets worked out when you're putting in 5 a night as a team...
Steve (Downers Grove)
Wacked out thought...Hossa, Sharp, and Burish as a line. Sharp and Burish had some chemistry last year in the playoffs. Brouwer/Toews/KaneBurish/Sharp/HossaBuff/Madden/SteegerLadd/Bolland/Eager(Kop or Fras)Too much cold meds?
Jesse Rogers (2:06 PM)
Way too much..
Fitz (my cube)
Jesse, Besides Hossa do you see the Olympics hurting the rest of the players or helping? I know Hossa could use the work but I am worried about Keith and Seabrook in particular being worn down. Am I Crazy?
Jesse Rogers (2:08 PM)
Well, it cant help...either it does nothing or it hurts them...I agree, there is a scenario wehre they get worn down...they are geat athletes but the body can only take so much...i think joel will be very cognizant of their minutes AFTER the olympics..even if it costs them a seed at the end of the day...thats why building up a nice pt total now is good for any team with several olympic players...
Matt (Tucson, AZ)
any one going to make the all star team? I would have to say Kane is going...?
Jesse Rogers (2:08 PM)
No one will make the all-star team
Jesse Rogers (2:09 PM)
No all-star game this year
do you see Antti Neimi as taking over the starting role for the hawks in the near future?Is there anyway the hawks can afford to bring back Madden next year? i don't think we would be where we are now without him!
Jesse Rogers (2:09 PM)
Yes on Niemi..if he stays.he gest the job when Huet is up or moved...The madden question is a good one...this is one where he is going to have to play at the hawks price if he wants to stay...
Brandon (chi town)
who isn't playing right now? Huet, Campbell, even Kopecky seem to be playing well right now.
Jesse Rogers (2:11 PM)
I assume you meant who isnt playing well right now? Good question...steeg has picked it up..i love what that line has done with madden and buff...4th line as well...cant think of one player not contributing in some capacity...sopel and hendry playing well also
Let me be the first to say... regardless of tomorrow night's outcome, we here in Boston are getting jealous. Not only did your GM KEEP the scorers you need... ESPN gave you a hockey chat all its own. ESPN Boston has Pats and Sox only. Sux.
Jesse Rogers (2:11 PM)
For you it does. lol.
Mark (Schaumburg, IL)
What are your thoughts about the rumor surrounding the Blackhawks and Kovalchuk? Any substance to that rumor, and would you be in favor of bringing him to Chicago?
Jesse Rogers (2:14 PM)
People are nuts...there is no rumor. SOmeone said it would be a good idea for the hawks to get involved if he becomes available..course it would...here, start this rumor...the ducks are bad..it would be a good idea for the hawks to go after teemu selanne and Scott niedermayer...there. i started one...seriously, i think i would be in favor of it. how could you not be. if kane, hossa, and kovy were on 3 seperate lines or even 2 together, how would other teams defend that? impossible...barker and one other is all i would give plus draft picks and prospects of course
Who goes when Bolland and Burish are ready?
Jesse Rogers (2:15 PM)
No one has to go. you can carry 23. the return of those two puts them at 23. i think burish with the current 4th line would rotate...bolland jumps in at 2nd line center..and guys move around accordingly...fraser, eager, kopecky would sit,etc.
What do you think are the chances of the Hawks having the best record in the NHL?
Jesse Rogers (2:17 PM)
Obviously, decent but with the olympics and the playing time i talked about after the games are over will be something to watch. its hard to predict. also, alot of division games left and i think they will lose some of those, etc. I just dont know but they are right there
Jesse - ticket prices on stubhub et al are getting ridiculous. Do you know if a cheaper ticket can be had outside the UC after the puck drops?
Jesse Rogers (2:18 PM)
I obviously cannot endorse scalping but as far as I know there are people outside the uc selling...
Ted (Elmwood Park)
JR where do you see the Red Wings landing up after they get healthy? I always think they are a deadly I think the Hawks can hold them off but with the Wings you just never know.
Jesse Rogers (2:18 PM)
I think the hawks will hold them off but they worry me come playoffs...they KNOW how to win in the spring and playing as an underdog could be the thing they need this time around
How many goals do you think Hossa can score this year? He wont be a 40 goal scorer again because of the injury but can he keep building on this hot streak?
Jesse Rogers (2:20 PM)
I think he can get to 25-30...i mean there is so much firepower and he's just coming into his own..maybe thats high but at least 25
Jesse, Can the Blackhawks/Will the blackhawks bring in a vet for the playoffs? If so who are some players they might pursue?
Jesse Rogers (2:23 PM)
I thought maybe if bolland doesnt return healthy they would look for a bigger type 2nd line center. if modano was a little faster, someone like that but i dont think he can keep up. a veteran d-man would make me feel a lot better as well..gotta be someone whos contract is up..i mentioend some big names already...if they have the money, how could u not look at Niedermayer?? but whats changed for me, is that i thought they HAD to do it...maybe they do have enough here to win it...hard to know if their play now translates to spring...thats the tough part
is your job like Coach Q's in that it's hard to find anything to write/complain about as this team truly seems to be firing on all cylinders? Any concern with the team peaking too early?
Jesse Rogers (2:25 PM)
Yeah but im not looking for things to complain about. if there is something there i write it or say it. for example, i thought versteeg wasnt playing his best but since missing 2 with the flu, hes picked it up...there's always a concern about peaking or overconfidence but what can you do? you'd rather be good than not and you just have to hope Q's veteran know how, gets it done
Hey Jesse, thanks for doing the chat. Last night it looked like the Hawks were being outplayed for the first period and half the 2nd period then just turned it on...obviously the Wild are an average team with little depth but a better team (WSH, PIT, NJ, SJ) has that depth. Do you think the Hawks can keep playing from behind and winning?
Jesse Rogers (2:27 PM)
No. They recognize they are getting away with a few games here or there....i mean huet had to make a few tough stops to keep them from getting down a couple or three goals...itll happen one time. they will play avg. get down one or two and NOT recover...chalk it up to a learning experience...
Fitz (my cubs)
Jesse, I know people have asked you about your favorite player but what is your favorite part of the game? Goaltending, PP, Defense, PK, ect... The hawks do so many things well it is tough for me to decide
Jesse Rogers (2:28 PM)
Puck possession in the offensive zone...5 on 5 looks like a power play sometimes...the toews line is like toying with opponents sometimes...thats whats fun and if it leads to a goal even better!
It seems Niemi gets the start over Huet against "tougher" opponents. Niemi started against CO, Van, Pit, Bos, Nash, and now looks like he'll be in net against Boston again on Thursday. Is there any credence to keeping Huet mentally sharp, or is just luck that when Huet needs a rest, a big game is next up.
Jesse Rogers (2:30 PM)
Q has been on record many times, that its the schedule in terms of when games are played and not who they are playing...i think it is more that they have confidence to put niemi in when they want rather than trying to "hold back" huet or anything...
Jesse, do you expect our 3rd and 4th line to stay as consistent as they've been so far, or a slight drop off? (Assuming this is the peak of how well they are playing). You have to figure right now our depth is basically able to win so many games for us because most teams can't put together 60 minutes of flawless hockey?
Jesse Rogers (2:31 PM)
Im really surprised how the madden line has jelled. they just dont seem like 3 complimentary players but they are..shows what i know...4ht line will be up and down..we'll see how it changes when burish comes back
Kevin Mores (New Lenox)
Why does anyone agree that it is a good idea to get rid of Kris Versteeg in order to to rent out Kovalchuk for less than half a season? I understand giving up either Barker or Sopel and maybe ever a player like Fraser, Kopecky, Eager. Would Bowman actually consider getting rid of an up and coming all-star caliber all-around player like Versteeg?
Jesse Rogers (2:32 PM)
Yes, BECAUSE HE HAS TO SOON ENOUGH. someone has to go, so why not get one of the most dynamic scorers in the league...again, im not saying they HAVE to have him but if the deal is right...
SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)
Would you be reluctant to include Versteeg in a deal for Kovalchuk?
Jesse Rogers (2:32 PM)
See last answer
I see alot of talk that Versteeg or Sharp will have to be moved... I wonder... why can't it be Bolland (when proven healthy). I know Sharp isn't a true C, but I don't think Bolland offers a ton more than Sharpie... thoughts?
Jesse Rogers (2:35 PM)
Bolland is a solid center. 2nd line. sharp is not. maybe all things being equal, there is not a lot of difference between the two but its you start your offense by identifying your four centers..especially the top 3...the position makes him important...not untradeable...remember, theres another team involved in all trades..they might make an offer for bolland thats that much better than for sharp...nothing is written in stone
Jesse, how do you think the Hawks will do on the 8 game road trip to end the month? Can they have a repeat of the success we had on the circus trip?
Jesse Rogers (2:36 PM)
Let's see..2 in eatersn time zone, 1 in moutain, 1 in pacific, 1 in mountain, 1 in pacific, 1 in east...4-4 is fine with me...proabbly win 5
I know it's just speculation but still... If Atlanta called and said "we'll do Kovalchuk for Versteeg/Sharp and Barker" do you make the deal? Add 4 months of offense for the risk of messing with depth and chemistry?
Jesse Rogers (2:38 PM)
I dont mind addressing this again..becasue its a fun and cool question. and also very difficult to answer but it has to be yes. u break even on that deal at the very least...hes one of the best in the league and thats on an avg team PLUS it helps u for the future...if there was a moment of doubt about the cup this year, i would not do it but i the deal probably helps you..think about him playing in the playoffs for a new contract..auditioning for 29 other teams...it would be a sick offense
Steve (The Park)
How close are Beach and Lalonde to NHL skill. I hear they are doing well. Any chance of the Hawks bringing them up later in the season when things look locked in order to spell current squad and look at them at this level?
Jesse Rogers (2:39 PM)
No, they are not coming...but good chances for next year when some spots open up
I can't seem to recall how physical the Olympics are. Do players hit as heavily as they do in the NHL? What type of rule changes are there in place to protect players? Would Keith put a big hit on the Kaner if they end up playing against each other?
Jesse Rogers (2:40 PM)
There will be no hitting. I dont keith would. havent asked him that yet, but i will. i just dont believe they will put a big hit on a teamate. they might say they will, but they wont. I mean a BIG hit. a willie mitchell hit on toews type. No way
I know you get asked alot about Bollands return. When he does get back, will he be centering the second line? Also do you see this being a problem in the future? The way guys who have bad backs never seem to be the same and always have problems in the future.
Jesse Rogers (2:42 PM)
Yes, 2nd line center...good question about the back..it was "minor" surgery if you can have such a thing but ive seen too many guys break down with chronic problems to just assume he'll be ok...he seems confident about it
If the hawks decide against a possible Kovalchuk type rental this year, do you think they could entice a team to take Huet by throwing in a Versteeg or a Barker?
Jesse Rogers (2:44 PM)
I think the answer is in the money...how may teams that need or want those guys have like 9 mil available unless they are sending back 9 mil which the hawks dont want. i dont htink huet is going anywhere...are u guys crazy...u want to throw your stanley cup chances at a rookie whos started like 10 games? he might be great but lets keep some depth htere. huet has been good enough.keep them both, you might need 'em.
What does Rockford's defence pool look like? Henry has filled in far beyond my expectations when called upon but do we have others to draw from in event of injury to two or more D-men at the same time?
Jesse Rogers (2:45 PM)
Without getting into specifics..not real deep..hendry has been just fine.
Can you remember the last time the hawks were this good? Im 33 and can't remember in my life the hawks being this good.
Jesse Rogers (2:46 PM)
well they went to the cup in '92. its early right now that team is better until the hawks at least do what the did..
why does everyone want to get rid of Barker? He is evolving into a very solid defender. Versteeg, on the other hand, is a me first player who rarely passes when he has the puck and is more easily replaced than Barker from the system.
Jesse Rogers (2:48 PM)
Wrong time to criticize steeg. did you see his pass in dallas (i think it was dallas). between the legs..and then last night whipping around to find madden in the slot. hes playing his best hockey right now. think madden has had a good affect on him. when he is east/west different story but thats not the case right now. barker is expendable. simple as that. and hes still a work in progress on D
Paul (Longmont, CO)
Do you think Marian Hossa is worth his 12 year, 62.8 million contract with how well he has played since his return from injury?
Jesse Rogers (2:49 PM)
Yes. Anyone that tells u he hasnt played well doesnt know hockey. that simple. im going to do a story on his stick soon. that thing is like an extra player out there. the guys is SO smart. understands the game. doesnt panic. plays defense. has skill. is a finisher. knows what he needs to do to get better. should I keep going? hes been more than fine in my opinion despite fighting the luck a little (which is expected after missing time)
Jesse Rogers (2:50 PM)
fighting the puck not luck! sorry about mis-spelling. I say that every week!
Fitz (my cube)
Jesse, I know you can't wear it while covering the game but do you own a jersey? If so who and what color? I like Red but my buddy C always says the whites are better. thanks
Jesse Rogers (2:51 PM)
I have a white Kyle Calder jersey. the only one I own. cue the laughter
do you think the hawks should trade for Kovalchuk (just kidding, i know you've answered that enough). I keep hearing everyone talk about Bolland's time frame, but haven't heard much about Burish...update please.
Jesse Rogers (2:52 PM)
Hes skating..saw him doing some twisting and turning on the ice yesterday so coming along...still, after the olympics is the time frame..think its his b-day today. will be in studio on am 1000 at 5:25 i think
Jesse, can you comment on Brent Sopels play of late, esp. on the PK? Thanks.
Jesse Rogers (2:54 PM)
Very solid. Without him there would be a hole in the pk. there is always a guy that takes the abuse on block shots...hate him or love him alexander karpotsev used to do it for the hawks (course thats all he did) and sopel is it for them now...also hammer too. just cane rely on sopel for much more than those minutes a few more 5 on 5...matchup has to be right when he is out there
SCHATZ (CHCIAGO, IL)
A lot has been made about the hawks puck possession and defense so far this year. To me, however it seems when they have to actually defend their own zone they have struggled at time and given up what seems to be like a lot of good scoring opportunities. Do you think their defense is really as good as the numbers suggest?
Jesse Rogers (2:56 PM)
I think you are right..when they are stuck in their own zone--and thats just not happened much--they can have some issues...even seabrook and keith have had a few scary moments in their own end..it might not matter cause it rarely stays in there for long but if you're looking for something...
PJ Gross (Midlothian)
Why wouldn't Bowman try to get rid of more expendable players like Sopel, Bickell, and an up and coming prospect or two like Aliu, Beach, Lalonde, Dowell, etc. as opposed to getting rid of a proven top 5 forward? This way the team could easily dump the same amount of salary.
Jesse Rogers (2:57 PM)
Of those players sopel is theo nly one that makes good money...and there proabbly arent a lot of takers...t oreally dump money you have to go to a top 6 or 9 forward
Love the chat, but hate the way that all types of questions aren't answered. Some of those questions are awfully good also.
Jesse Rogers (2:57 PM)
What arent I answering?
One more question on Kovalchuk. I read somewhere that the sharks might make a run for him. Do you see him possibly going to San Jose?
Jesse Rogers (2:58 PM)
Sharks are always aggressive. I could see it happeneing if d.wilson thinks it'll put them over...they need something to get them deeper..why not..
Matt (Iowa City, IA)
Hey Jesse. In a perfect world the Blackhawks will just stick with their core of players that they have now and keep the team intact through the trade deadline. But how likely do you think that really is? I'm afraid they might trade Versteeg or Byfuglien to get another big name.
Jesse Rogers (3:01 PM)
I think its 40/60 against them making a trade unless its for an elite veteran..i know this..John M. will not sacrifice this year in any way to help solve problems for the future..if versteeg and buff get you kovy..thats not a bad trade...take your emotion away...no likes buff more than me but its kovalchuk
Steve (The Park)
A lot of talk on the Kovalchuk trade topic. The thought there being we dump salary and get a bonafide star rental to bring the cup this year. Sounds great as we all want the cup...but last time I checked the Hawks had the best record in the NHL. How do you make a move with the possibility of upsetting chemistry when you are the best team right now. What is the thought there?
Jesse Rogers (3:03 PM)
The only thing I can tell you...is just becasue you like things now, doesnt mean they will work in the spring...you have to project..playoffs are a diff animal..but i do agree there is no desperation to make a move
Jesse,After the big win against NJ, could the Hawks handle 'em in a 7 game series? I worry Brodeur can turn it on like a switch, and shut down one of the best offenses in the NHL.
Jesse Rogers (3:04 PM)
Its a great question. They kind of have a no name D thats plying great..brodeur obviusly makes that work..but i do think the hawks can wear them down..hey any goalie can steal a series so cant worry about that but the more youre in his face the better your chances
Hi Jesse,As you noted in your blog, the 4th line is starting to come alive. Do you attribute the uptick in Kopecky's game to Hossa's return to the ice? Also...how do you envision the 4th line looking once Bolland and Burish come back? Does Ladd join Burish and Eager assuming the first 3 shake out like below?Toews/Kane/BrouwerBolland/Hossa/SharpMadden/Buff/Steeg
Jesse Rogers (3:06 PM)
No not Hossa...probably more like the other guys you mentioned getting closer..it'll be a dogfight to see who dresses when all healthy...i guess ladd would have to drop down..or buff if he slows up..or brouwer..ya know where im going..it all depends on how each individual is playing at the time...right now, i guess ladd drops down with burish and fraser or eager or kopecky...good problem to have, right? man, they are stacked
Jesse Rogers (3:07 PM)
Take a few more before we wrap up
Can you comment on Brian Campbell? I think he's played better this year than last.
Jesse Rogers (3:09 PM)
Absolutely..but Im not sure why. gives me a chance to mention, i hope to sit down with him in minnesota on friday...and have a heart to heart interview up on the site that day...i love his story..much maligned but has turned it around..i get to go to minny but not boston! thats not fun. well, it is, but you know what i mean
Jesse Rogers (3:12 PM)
Thats going to do it for this week...email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to. follow me on twitter @espnchihawks...sign up now! ill give u injury updates and starting goalies and runninng into vince vaughn type stuff. ok ,less vaughn and more hockey.. also, we are going to start a hockey show on the radio I think next week on am 1000 so look for that. might be wed. night..enjoy the weekend games...finally a break for them after sunday...love the dialogue. what a year. be well and happy new year
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