Chat with Scott Powers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter Scott Powers stops by to chat.
Powers, who joined ESPNChicago.com in 2009, covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning reporter who has been reporting on sports of all levels, from preps to pros throughout the Midwest since 1997.
Send your questions now and join Powers Thursday at 1:30 p.m. CT/2:30 p.m. ET!
Scott Powers (2:32 PM)
Hello all, hope everyone is having a good day. I'm a little under the weather today and was thinking 30 or so minutes for the chat. Let's get started.
What are the changes you expect Coach Q to make in the playoffs? Who are the guys playing now who will be off the roster, or barely playing once the postseason starts? I'm thinking Brookbank will probably sit more, but what else do you foresee?
Scott Powers (2:35 PM)
Ben, yeah, Brookbank will be out unless Rozsival's injury is more severe. Rundlad would also be scratched as a defenseman. The forwards should be interesting. I would think Morin and Regin are scratches and then possibly Handzus or Teravainen. Teravainen has a chance to win himself a playoff forward spot down the stretch here, but Quenneville really likes Handzus.
John (Oak Park)
Is TT playing tonight?
Scott Powers (2:36 PM)
John, Teravainen is playing.
Luigi (Fort Lauderdale) [via mobile]
Hi Scott - great job this season! Do you feel the new playoff format could hurt the Hawks considering they most likely have to go through the Avs and Blues before conference finals?
Scott Powers (2:38 PM)
Luigi, I don't think it matters much. You have to play these teams at some point if you're going to win the Cup. If you were seeding the teams by the conference standings, the Blackhawks would be fourth right and have to play the Avalanche in the first round anyway.
Jason (Chicago) [via mobile]
Hi Scott, will coach Q be resting some of the guys like Toews and Dunc who have played i think every game this season before the playoffs start or will he wait until their playoff seeding is confirmed before resting anyone?
Scott Powers (2:39 PM)
Jason, I don't see any of those guys taking a game off until the playoff spots are determined. Quenneville has been holding less practices in the past few weeks. He's even taken a few morning skates off. He's certainly mindful of their rest.
Pat MyGroin (Itasca)
what have you thought of rundblad so far? do you think he is on the roster next year or down in rockford?
Scott Powers (2:42 PM)
Pat, I don't think I've seen enough of him to have a complete opinion. I know he's had a couple of defensive lapses that have led to opponents' chances. He has some offensive ability and can move with the puck. As for next season, he might fall into that seventh or eighth defenseman role. I don't think Bowman gives up a second-round pick if he didn't plan on playing him in the NHL.
jim burbank [via mobile]
Scott, Why does Q play some more than others: meaning newly aquired players or rookies ie morins, regins, pirris (when here) morin looks to have a bright future and understandably nhl is way different than minors. . But how is morin to show what he can do if he plays 1 game ten sits 3? Same for Regin - he doesn't give you tons of offense, but he does win board battles and will go to the net, something others consistenly dont
Scott Powers (2:46 PM)
Jim, it's hard to figure out sometimes. I thought Morin played well in the few games he got, but he still wasn't get much time from Quenneville. He certainly provides offense. Part of Quenneville's thought process depends on what line a player falls on. He'll play Regin on the fourth line because he's come to trust him more defensively, but he won't give Morin that spot. Quenneville has come to like Regin's game more than when he first arrived. Now Teravainen is basically taking Morin's minutes. I think ultimately Morin will have to somewhere to get a true chance.
Mike (Oak Lawn)
Do the Hawks have any interest in any college free agents who may be on the market soon? Or are they pretty much set?
Scott Powers (2:48 PM)
Mike, I haven't heard much, but I would assume they're done after signing the two college free agents in the past few weeks. Their attention will now turn to signing the college seniors when they're done. I talked to Norm Maciver today and he said they planned on signing Kevin Hayes and Stephen Johns. He wasn't sure about Justin Holl yet, and they won't be signing Kirill Gotovets.
Scott, any notion at all on the nature of Bickell's injury? He was just starting to come on and really started throwing his weight around. Did you see the hit? Did one of the Blues blow him up or was it something that happened when he went in for a hit? As long as its not the knee right?
Scott Powers (2:51 PM)
Alex, Bickell said the other day it wasn't one particular hit, but he could feel the impact of so many hits after the game. I would think he plays Friday or possibly Sunday. He's been skating with the team. I think with having more depth now at forward they can be cautious and make sure he's ready to go for the playoffs.
Michael D (Elgin)
Enjoy your Blackhawk columns Scott. It was a vey sad day Tuesday with the passing of the great Tim Sasson. Going to miss him. From watching number 86 over the last couple years in the Jr. Olympics, Youtube and the few games he played in Chicago, the Teuvo hype looks real and he is no Kenny Yaremchuk!
Scott Powers (2:53 PM)
Michael, yes, Tim will be greatly missed. I covered my first Blackhawks game almost a decade ago filling in for him at the Daily Herald. He helped me then and I continued to learn from him on this beat the past few seasons. ... As for Teuvo, I do think he's the real deal. He's just got some offensive gifts you don't see often.
moose (out west)
Hi Scott: Did you see the following tweet from Tracey Myers yesterday: "If you're talking Kevin Hayes I've heard the 'Hawks won't be signing him. Just what I've heard, tho." I'm pretty sure Hawks want to sign him, but maybe he doesn't like the logjam at wing. Have YOU heard anything?
Scott Powers (2:55 PM)
Moose, I brought up that rumor to Maciver today, and he said they fully anticipate signing Hayes when his season is done. He didn't expect a problem with signing him or Stephen Johns. Maciver was pretty open too because he said they were still evaluating whether to sign Justin Holl and said they wouldn't be signing Gotovets.
Are you surprised that the 'Hawks will be giving Teuvo Teravainen another start, especially against a rugged Bruins team? What would you like to see Teravainen build upon from a pretty solid debut?
Scott Powers (2:57 PM)
Jon, he's not that fragile. He's played against grown men in Finland the past few years. He can take a hit. Like Kane, he'll be smart though where he goes with the puck or when going over the puck. Anyway, if he's going to contribute in the playoffs, there are the type of games that will prepare for that.
Mac (Askov, Mn)
Look forward to your chat every week. Noticed the Shea incident last week AND THE SCOREBOARD, is Simpson falling off a bit? There was several huge multi goals against in the past few games when he is net.
Scott Powers (3:00 PM)
Mac, yeah, Simpson's had a rough season. He's still young, so I wouldn't rush to judgement yet. It took Crawford awhile to figure it out. I think we'll get a better idea about Simpson next season.
What do you hear about Morin? Is he in Chicago for good? Will he be getting a bigger role? Or are his days numbered like Piri?
Scott Powers (3:01 PM)
Peter, I think he'll be in Chicago for the rest of the season. Whether he plays is another question. They're going to give Teravainen some ice time and then Bickell will return shortly and then Kane will come back. As for the future, I just don't know where Morin fits in with this team. I could see him being traded down the line.
What are the chances the Hawks avoiding drawing Colorado in the first round? They've had the Hawks number all year and are pretty hot right now.
Scott Powers (3:04 PM)
Cameron, I'd be surprised if it wasn't Colorado. The Avalanche actually haven't played great since beating the Blackhawks the last time. The key for the Blackhawks is figuring out Varlamov. The shots are there, but they can't finish. I saw one person talk about how they need to get more elevation on their shots because he's cleaning up everything on ground. I plan to go back and watch a few of those games before the series begins and attempt to get a better idea where their struggles have been.
Scott Powers (3:08 PM)
Jim, the safety of having two defensemen outweighs the risk for Quenneville. I get that. They also have some defensemen who possess some shooting ability, so I don't think all is lost on the power play. I get that might be frustrating, but you do all you can to protect late leads.
Brad (Barrington) [via mobile]
What are the Hawks off-season, needs and what kind of players will they be looking to bring in?
Scott Powers (3:10 PM)
Brad, I don't think there are going to be many moves this offseason. They'll likely resign Raanta, so they have their backup goaltender. They already have seven defensemen signed. Ben Smith probably gets a new deal, and that may take care of the forwards. They'll be adding Teravainen for all of next season, and they already resigned Bollig. The roster will be full.
How concerned should we be with Kane's injury? And can we assume Hossa is at full strength?
Scott Powers (3:12 PM)
Don, yeah, I haven't heard anything on Kane's injury being anything more severe than what they thought initially. They won't rush him back if he's not ready. As for Hossa, he's looked fine to me.
Hey Scott,Do you foresee the Hawks regretting trading away players like Hayes, Pirri, possibly Morin, and others in the future when players like Hossa and others retire/lose their game?
Scott Powers (3:15 PM)
Dustin, they had plenty of time to evaluate Hayes and Pirri. The Blackhawks knew what they were trading away. Pirri is a skilled offensive player, but he's not a tremendous skater. He may end up having a solid career, but he just didn't fit in with the Blackhawks at this time and he wasn't going to beat out Teravainen for a spot next year.
I'm not sure of the rules, but will Teravainen be eligible for the playoff roster?
Scott Powers (3:15 PM)
Don, he will be eligible.
Johnny "The Chief" Bucyk (Edmonton, Al)
Scott - It's the Chief! Do you think Stan ships off Bickell after the season to make room for Morin...We have a bunch of guys ready for spots in the NHL...Morin, McNeill, Danault, Hayes, Johns, Clendening, Teravainen, Dahlback, Ross, Hartman...Do you think FLA will trade the #1 overall for a slew of our guys?
Scott Powers (3:17 PM)
Chief, Bickell isn't going anywhere. Even if the Blackhawks wanted to trade him, no one is going to want to absorb his contract right now. He's got three more years at $4 million each.
ryan (san diego)
who do you see becoming the breakout player in the playoffs like bickell was last year?
Scott Powers (3:19 PM)
Ryan, the Blackhawks are certainly hopeful it's Bickell again. Playoff games are often slower and more physical, and Bickell has played well in the playoffs throughout his career. They could really use him to do that again this season.
moose (out west)
Hi Scott: What is the story with Rozy? He seems even more fragile than last year, and we're going to need him.
Scott Powers (3:20 PM)
Moose, I think his age is catching up with him. Playing in the Olympics certainly didn't help him either. He could have certainly used that time off. I'd be surprised if they played him much over the next few weeks prior to the playoffs.
Scott Powers (3:21 PM)
Dan, Quenneville is an old-school coach in that he likes having the physical presence out there. He's also come to depend on that line in the defensive zone. I get that people get frustrated by Bollig and Quenneville for playing him, but Bollig's there to stay for the years to come.
Why are people worried about our 6th defensemen playing for the playoffs? last year, leddy and his partner barely played in the 3rd period of some games and that seemed to go well.. keith, seabrook, hammer and oduya can play those minutes in playoff time
Scott Powers (3:22 PM)
Paul, that's a good point. I do think Rozsival will be that guy, though.
Stinky Feet (Skokie)
Hey Scott -- how many languages are regularly spoken in the locker room?
Scott Powers (3:23 PM)
English and Swedish for the most part. There might be more Finnish now with Raanta and Teravainen.
Scott Powers (3:24 PM)
Thanks for all the questions today. Feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have anything else. Have a good weekend.