Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Wednesday, Chicago Blackhawks reporter Scott Powers stops by to chat.
Powers covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Wednesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Scott Powers (12:57 PM)
Hi all, hope everyone is having a good day. Looking forward to another chat. I'll be here for an hour, so fire away.
Ryan San Diego [via mobile]
What line do you think Carrillo will end up on when he returns given that Q really likes the way that saad has looked on the first line
Scott Powers (1:00 PM)
Ryan, I think Carcillo is likely bound for the third line and will probably replace Bickell there. I could see Bickell going to the fourth line and probably making it harder for Mayers and Bollig to see regular ice time. Bickell has played well enough, but they value Carcillo more than him.
Paul (Las Vegas)
Hey Scott....I realize it's difficult to want changes with this start. However, Bolland is terrible at the dot, and plays seem to die on his stick. He is NOT a 2nd line center. Are there any talks with the Hawks on looking to pick someone up that can compliment Kane and Sharp offensively?
Scott Powers (1:02 PM)
Paul, there haven't been many rumors of trades so far. It's probably too early for that still. Bolland has played okay beside Kane and Sharp. It doesn't help that Sharp isn't converting chances right now. Bolland's weakness this year has definitely been on faceoffs. He's never been dominant in that area in his career, but his percentage has dipped further than in past years. That has to be a concern going forward.
Do you think the drop off from Crawford to Emery will wind up hurting the Hawks? Crawford needs a day off sometimes and the Hawks cant score 6 goals to save Emery's skin every time he is in net.
Scott Powers (1:06 PM)
Sam, Emery hasn't been a drop off so far. He struggled in his first start, but he was strong in his past two. As of right now, Emery and Crawford have appeared to be one of the better goaltender tandems in the NHL. Emery's Calgary performance was remarkable. We'll see if Emery can consistently keep at this level, but the Blackhawks don't have any concerns about him backing up Crawford currently.
Looks like Bickell is playing more physical early and often, which I love. What's with the change? Have the coaches stressed this to him?
Scott Powers (1:08 PM)
Matt, I talked to Bickell yesterday about hitting, and he said it's something he wished he could do even more of. He said part of the problem was the Blackhawks have the puck so often that it's hard to find opportunities. He's improved his offensive game after playing overseas in the lockout, but he still prides himself on his physical ability. He also knows that is his role with this team.
Wondering what the atmosphere was in the locker after the SO loss last night.
Scott Powers (1:10 PM)
Leroy, it was like a ghostown in the locker room. They cleared out quick. The few guys who did stick around were frustrated coming away with just one point. They thought they should have won that in regulation or at least in overtime.
23 of 26 points. Businnes is booming in Chitown. If everyone can stay healthy how many points do you see the Hawks finishing with?
Scott Powers (1:12 PM)
Ryan, Detroit finished with 70 points to lead the NHL in the 1995 lockout season. You have to think the Blackhawks will make a push for that. If I was guessing, maybe somewhere around 75.
Seems like the powerplay would benefit if they simplified it and just got pucks to the net doesn't it?
Scott Powers (1:15 PM)
Mike, that seems like the biggest problem to me. Even last night, they just couldn't get it to the net. I think they had eight shots on six power play chances. They need to get more through.
After a pretty good start, Power Play is starting to look pretty ugly, probably cost them the game last night. Does Q have to try something different before it gets to costing them more games?
Scott Powers (1:16 PM)
Paul, Quenneville actually said he's fine with the power play yesterday. He said as long as it's creating chances and developing momentum it's okay. I don't know if I'd agree with that, though. At some point, they need to start capitalizing on those opportunities. It did cost them the game last night. I imagine it will be a focus in upcoming practices. They're at the UC practicing and will be curious to see what sort of work they're putting into that area.
Scott, can you please explain to me why Stahlberg is not a top-six forward and why he's always on the third line? I figured after his career year last year he'd be highly considered for top-6 minutes. Although I love Saad, I just don't think he's ready for top-6 nhl minutes, he looks like he could use at least half a season down in the AHL... thoughts???
Scott Powers (1:20 PM)
Niko, Quenneville just likes Stalberg on that third line. He gives them some offensive pop there. I think he could do well on the first line, too. Stalberg does need to finish on his chances. I thought he'd be scoring more than he has. Saad has proven he belongs at the NHL. He's been productive and consistent over the past few weeks. I don't see Quenneville messing with that line in the near future.
Tom (Pingree Grove, Illinois)
Hi, Scott: I realize that he is in his NHL infancy and playing on a line with two stars, but do you agree that Brandon Saad has the talent, work ethic, and focus that may eventually lead to he being recognized as an elite player in his own right? Thank you.
Scott Powers (1:23 PM)
Tom, it would appear to be that way. The one knock on him previously was his consistency. He's also shown to have the ability to be an elite player. Through his first 12 games, he's been consistent so far, but I think the sample size is still too small. I'm curious to see how he progresses this season. He's definitely gotten more comfortable in the first few weeks. His goal last night was something special, too. He has to excite fans with those sort of plays.
Will Patrick Kane get another shootout move? Every time he's called upon in the shootout he always goes forehand, backhand, 5-hole. It didn't pay off last night!
Scott Powers (1:27 PM)
Brandon, I'm not sure how critical you can be with Kane. He's been pretty good in shootouts throughout his career. I know he loves taking them too, so I would imagine he tries to fine-tune his move. I think the key for the Blackhawks is finding someone consistently for that third shooter. Toews and Kane are dependable enough there.
How is Hossa not in the top 3 for shootouts? Toews, Kane, & Hossa....period. Does Crawford/Emery own Hossa when they practice the shootout at the end of practice so Q decides that Hossa is not in his top 3? It seems crazy to me.
Scott Powers (1:29 PM)
Patrick, Hossa had some success in shootouts earlier in his career, but he hasn't been that effective in recent years. I think Saad may get some more chances there. Stalberg has converted before there, too.
Justin H (Fort Myers, FL) [via mobile]
Considering the hawks are one of the less physical teams in the league (cant remember a game we out-hit the other team), why doesn't Bollig get more starts? He always provides a spark, and fills in as a more traditional enforcer . As much as mayers tries to fill that void, bollig is better at it. I feel we have enough offense to make up for bolligs lack of.
Scott Powers (1:32 PM)
Justin, Quenneville simply likes rotating Mayers and Bollig there. He wants to give both some ice time. That time will likely be affected when Carcillo returns, too. Bollig does provide a noticeably larger physical presence when out there. That lack of physical play doesn't seem to worry Quenneville.
Are the '72 Dolphins getting nervous, or do shootout losses count?
Scott Powers (1:33 PM)
Reggie, technically the Blackhawks aren't undefeated. They do hold the distinction of not losing in regulation or overtime so far. That's pretty impressive through 13 games.
Gergs (The Thrill)
Will the Hawks rest some players down the stretch?
Scott Powers (1:35 PM)
Gergs, I don't see that happening. Quenneville has pretty mindful of everyone's time this year and has cut back on the top players. That should help as the season progresses.
Why doesn't Brandon bollig play more?
Scott Powers (1:37 PM)
Marc, Quenneville prefers to rotate him and Mayers. He likes what both players provide to that fourth line and has tries to keep both of them fresh. It'll be interesting to see what happens to their ice time when Carcillo returns, which could be in the next week or two.
Scott - Is it just me or has Shaw been a bit disappointing? Not playing the smartest hockey. Is it a sophomore slump or was he playing over his head last year?
Scott Powers (1:41 PM)
Tony, Shaw has been okay. I don't think he's been awful, but he certainly hasn't stood out either. I think they were hoping he'd provide more of a front-net presence on the power play. Quenneville did say yesterday he was pleased with Shaw's play so far.
Rozsival's grade so far? Do you like he and Brookbank back there in the sixth spot? Is a call up possible or is Montador still around?
Scott Powers (1:43 PM)
Dave, it's hard to grade Rozisval. He hasn't been out there enough. He's played in five games. Brookbank has been a bit inconsistent, too. Montador did skate yesterday and Quenneville said he was progressing. Let's see if he can get back to form and then evaluate that spot.
Anybody in Rockford right now performing well enough to get a shot if not for the Hawks depth?
Scott Powers (1:46 PM)
Mike, I don't see anyone coming up unless there's an injury at this point. I know Jimmy Hayes was playing pretty well in recent weeks. Even now, they're about to add Carcillo back, so there's one fewer spot.
Sean (Saint Louis)
It is so good to be able to read articles about the Blackhawks when I go to school down here. Anyways, who do you think is the top contender with the Hawks in the Western Confernece?
Scott Powers (1:49 PM)
Sean, I think last night's opponent could be one. The Ducks have played well to start the season, and last night was further proof. Vancouver is right there again and aren't that far off the Hawks. Detroit has played good hockey in the past few weeks. Overall, the top of the Western Conference is pretty solid. While the Blackhawks have proven to be the premier team so far, there are a lot of teams who can compete with them.
As a follow up, who would you like to see back there until Motador possibly returns? Rozsival has a better +/- then Brookbank, but Brookbank is probably more positionally sound.
Scott Powers (1:56 PM)
Dave, I'd like to see more of Rozsival before making a judgement. He's been pretty solid in the past and reliable. I'd like to see if he's still at that level.
Justin H (Fort Myers, FL) [via mobile]
Any trade rumors youre hearing? Maybe a 2nd line center?
Scott Powers (1:57 PM)
Justin, it's pretty quiet with the trade rumors. I would imagine that picks up in the next month. Most teams are still trying to figure out whether they'll be in the playoff hunt yet. I'll keep you updated.
Carcillo over Bickell? What has DC ever done to earn that? Bickell has proven in two straight postseasons that he's a heck of a 3rd liner. Why does Carcillo keep earning such prime assignments over competent alternatives when all he's proven good at is getting hurt?
Scott Powers (1:59 PM)
Pauline, the Hawks invested a two-year deal in Carcillo last year even when he was hurt. They certainly like him and his game. Quenneville has said as much, too. I do think Bickell has been consistently solid this year, but I get the feeling that's where Quenneville would like to move Carcillo. There's a chance Carcillo could go to that fourth line, too. We should know more in the coming week or two.
Dan (Elk Grove Village)
Scott, last night was a prime spot for a let down game and they played really well. Looking at the next four games, it looks like an awfully tough stretch. How do you see them fairing in the next four games at home?
Scott Powers (2:01 PM)
Dan, I keep on thinking they're bound to lose in regulation at some point, but have been proven wrong every game. I would think they step up their play at least Friday after Tuesday's disappointing finish.
Scott Powers (2:03 PM)
Everyone, thanks for your questions. I've been trying to do an hour and a half in recent weeks, but I have to cut it short today to interview someone. As always, feel free to email me (email@example.com) or tweet me at @espnchipowers or @espnchihawks. Hope everyone has a good day. We'll be back here next week at the same time.