Chat with Jesse Rogers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Wednesday. Chicago Blackhawks reporter Jesse Rogers stops by to chat.
Rogers covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Wednesday at 1 p.m. CT/2 p.m. ET!
More Jesse Rogers: Blog
Jesse Rogers (2:28 PM)
Hey all. Sorry for delay. Hawks just finished up practice for the day. Lets talk some finals hockey!
What will Hossa's impact be in the Finals?
ESPNChicago.com (2:28 PM)
Jesse was running a little late, he's joining us now. Thanks for your patience.
Jesse Rogers (2:29 PM)
He's due for some goals but either way, he'll have an impact. He always does and I think Philly will be a little more physical which Hossa can handle. He will have an impact it just might not show up as goals...but I think he will break out
Jesse - I love reading your columns, blogs, and chats but you do one thing that drives me crazy- I know chats are informal but for the love of god, spell out 'you' instead of just using 'u'. Thanks.
Jesse Rogers (2:30 PM)
U got it.
David (Oshkosh, WI)
Antti Niemi plays for the Chicago Blackhawks next season. Yes/No?
Jesse Rogers (2:32 PM)
3 months ago I would have said no. I cant see a scenario where he doesn't. My first thought is he signs a one year deal...BUT the team might try to get him thru a few UFA years and offer a modest raise knowing he might not have it better anywhere else. But he'll be here I believe
My simple black and white analysis- I think that if Chicago gets the pace they want, it's over quickly. If Philly can slow it down, well it's still over but not as quickly. Thoughts?
Jesse Rogers (2:33 PM)
Yeah, kind of. So hard to tell. Philly wins a game or two just based on how they are playing, I believe. A fast pace in every game helps the Hawks but if they get down Philly knows how to play D better, for example, than vancouver...tough call but you're not far off
Who has the better look right now: Kaner and his super fast-looking mullet or Tazer and his Elwood Blues sideburns?
Jesse Rogers (2:34 PM)
I'll take Kane any day. Toews has to try something else next year. Aint working
Steve (Downers Grove)
Is there a quiet thought in the locker room with these guys that this is the last time we're going to be together, let's get it done? Because it sure seems like as a team they're on a mission.
Jesse Rogers (2:35 PM)
There is. They dont talk about it much because everyonw knows its out there. Its more than the team being broken up, its that even really good teams might not get back for a long time or ever. I assume Crosby wins multiple titles but I thought they would repeat so you never know.
with all the talk of next years cap issues i have an idea. We have proved this year that we can win without Hossa. Yes he is a great player but has only been a role player and not a star. why not trade him fpr picks and young talent and keep Sharp, Steeg, Ladd and others. Our depth is what makes us great.
Jesse Rogers (2:38 PM)
First of all disagree with your assesment. You have no idea what trickle down affect he has.Just because he hasnt scored as much in the playoffs as some might like doesnt mean he doesnt have an impact. Maybe one Hossa equals all those guys. I dont know..but anyway, hard to trade that contract I would imagine but I suppose someone would be willing...plus, he's not playing with a real center..no offense to sharp but theres no doubt he'd have more goals with toews. no doubt
Jordon from Spokane, WA [via mobile]
With your away game dominance and your tremendous momentum, do you think you'll take the cup in merely four games?
Jesse Rogers (2:39 PM)
I doubt it but anything can happen. If there was going to be a sweep and I wasnt going to be totally shocked it came in the san jose series. This would be a shock to me.
I have 2 tickets 7th row for game 2 for the stanley cup so should go or sell the tickets and go to Vegas!
Jesse Rogers (2:39 PM)
To the game.
Mikko (Helsinki, FI)
Hey Jesse... why is there no talk or no love for Dale Tallon around the sports websites/radio waves? It's all "McDonough this, Bowman that" when in realty, Dale Tallon is responsible for this team's successes.
Jesse Rogers (2:40 PM)
He's gotten some. Dudley deserves it too. Obviously if you're gone you're a little out of people's thoughts but he deserves a lot.
Matt D (Phoenix)
any lineup changes for the Finals ?
Jesse Rogers (2:41 PM)
Doesnt look like it unless Ladd cant go in Game 1. Kopecky has been with Bolland and versteeg the last 2 days though Joel mentioned Bickell as an option. Ladd has a shoulder prob but not serious. No practice tomorrow so if he doesnt go friday then I say hes out for Game 1 but I think ht's back by game 2.
Jesse, be honest, as fans we're all FREAKING OUT. This is so unreal that this is actually happening. Do you get the freak out a little too?
Jesse Rogers (2:42 PM)
A little. Hard to believe for sure. Very hard to believe and when that Cup makes its entrance, will be surreal for sure
Have the Hawks commented much at all as to the specific nature of Ladd's injury or is that being closely guarded as per usual?
Jesse Rogers (2:43 PM)
GUarded but it is a shoulder...dont think he even had an MRI...guess would classify as a stinger maybe. I think he's back by Game 2 at latest
Doc (New Jersey)
If Kopecky plays for Ladd in Game 1, is it possible that Madden joins the third line? He was on the ice with Bolland a lot (granted it was due to the situation and for d-zone faceoff purposes). Just not really comfy with Kopy or Eager in that third line shutdown role.
Jesse Rogers (2:44 PM)
Not a bad question but I think Kopy starts there. can always change. Think they like that 4th line as constituted but Bur could center it with eager and kopy. Kopecky is not a bad defensive player so I think he starts there and they go form there
Joe (Joliet, IL)
Despite all the Pronger vs. Byfuglien talk, you really don't expect Pronger to use his attention to shadow Buff do you? Leaving Carle and a center to play Toews and Kane would be a win for the Hawks.
Jesse Rogers (2:45 PM)
Its not so much shadow..but on pp when Buff is in front, Pronger is the best and most experienced at dealing with it...and then when they are 5 on 5, a little of the same. Its not about shadow but when they do hook up, who wins the battle
JR - What's your sense of the mindset of this team having been around them for 2 days as they prepare for the Finals?
Jesse Rogers (2:48 PM)
Not a lot different than normal..I think partly because for 3 rounds, including one in canada, they've been through it all..yeah, theres more media and stuff but i think just like the superbowl for players...this is where friends and family start bugging them..If you can believe it not everyone's family has been at all the games...that changes now so they have to deal wiht that. Sharp said it all ends tomorrow. Its all business starting thur.
So since the franchise clearly isn't hurting financially, if it were up to you and Huet proves to be un-tradeable, should we just bury him in the AHL, despite his ridiculous salary? Cris could get himself a pretty nice house in the Rockford area for that kind of coin...
Jesse Rogers (2:49 PM)
If they are serious about continuing this thing than yes..if they just want to get by, than they will let that salary hurt them..once in a while you have to bbite the bullett and this is one of those times
With all the youth on the hawks, do you think there is a need for more vets for next year?
Jesse Rogers (2:50 PM)
Not necessarily. Good mix now. And they are becoming veterans. Theres enough
Jesse, With Big Buff doing everything possible to score in the playoffs, what are the chances he gets a contract extension before the 2010-2011 season? Also what about Eager coming back after this season?
Jesse Rogers (2:51 PM)
Probably no on eager...Doubt Buff wil get an extension. Seabrook would probably come first and I could see a contract year motivating Buff
Which player do you believe has improved the most this season? Considering Regular Post Season
Jesse Rogers (2:51 PM)
That's pretty easy because he had to come so far with the back injury but Bolland...Buff embracing his role is also an improvement
Jesse Rogers (2:52 PM)
And Campbell has had a resurgent year
Matt D (Phoenix, AZ)
It's tough to keep a goatender hot with a week layoff between games - how are the Hawks working with Niemi to keep him sharp ?
Jesse Rogers (2:53 PM)
Not much more you can do but take shots in practice. Hes out there with Huet and the goaltending coach before the rest of the team working on things...but hey Michael Leighton is going through the same thing
There were a few stories out at the start of the WCF regarding the Olympic teammates now having to compete against each other, so should we expect the same now with the SCF, especially since Toews and Richards were linemates even?
Jesse Rogers (2:54 PM)
Toews talked about him today a little. A lot of respect. That sort of thing...can do it all. Kind of like Toews!
Have they decided if they're going to open up the UC for the road games yet?
Jesse Rogers (2:55 PM)
I have not heard an official announcement. I know Rocky Wirtz said yesterday they were conidering it. My guess is they do. Would they pass up a chance to have TV flashing to the UC while the game is going on in Philly..As long as they workout security and building stuff Im sure it will happen
Hi Jesse,No doubt Philly has been impressive, however, I'm hearing a lot of drama from Flyers fans saying they had the tougher road to the Finals. No doubt they have overcome injuries, but would you please comment on who you feel had to tougher, i.e., more competitive-opponents road to the Finals?
Jesse Rogers (2:57 PM)
Hmmm..In hindsight I guess I would say Philly..but thats mostly because i was not impressed with vancouver at all and i knew San Jose would not be that bad of a matchup...its a close call..maybe the answer is neither..it was even
So when do we get your full, final preview and prediction?
Jesse Rogers (2:58 PM)
Sunday morning? Ok, friday or saturday. Flyers here tomorrow. So that side of the preview kind of begins then...
Should we expect the Bolland line to be checking against Richards?
Jesse Rogers (2:59 PM)
I joked with Toews about that today..asked him if he was going to play Richards or "padd him off to bolland." he laughed but gotta love the guy..said he wants to play agains the best...they cant avoid each other the whole series but I doubt it will be every shift
Jesse Rogers (2:59 PM)
should say pass him off
Speaking of Huet, how's he handling all of this? He must know his time is coming to an end one way or another. Despite his play towards the end of the season, he did win some big games prior to the olympics, which shouldn't be discounted as it kept the team up in the standings.
Jesse Rogers (3:00 PM)
He's aware. Disappointed it didnt work out. You never know, at any moment he could be called upon here. I think he knows he'll probably need a fresh start or whatever..He's been a pro.
Hi Jesse, Heard your interview on ESPN1000 online and you mentioned the game plan being put in. If you were the coach, what would your game plan be?
Jesse Rogers (3:03 PM)
I need more time on that one but I owuld start with finding Pronger etc weakness and exploiting it. If he cant handle the speed ,then send top line out against him..if you want to wear him down then maybe Hossa and brouwer, etc. Or bang him with 4ht line...he plays 30 min so he is key but I think he doesnt want to skate so I'd wear him down as best you can...Bolland did it against sedin and thornton...none better than those two so stick him on richards and let him go until if and when it doesnt work then Id go with toews head to head...Im no expert when it comes to this stuff but those are initial thoughts
Bolland has been great as a pest/checking center and thrown in enough offense, but the guy was signed to a contract to be a 2nd line center. Do you see his weakness in the faceoff circle and not clicking with Hossa as factors that make him a darkhorse to be dealt?
Jesse Rogers (3:05 PM)
No, I think it was rounding back into form after the injury. If you ask me, next year I'd put him back as 2nd line center with Hossa again and se what happend from the get go. I'd give Frase a shot at 3rd line just to have a cheap option. If you dont care about offense i think He could be a decent defensive player...might be wrong but worth a look
Leighton has be great, but lets be honest he has not faced a team near the caliber of the Hawks offensively. I don't think any of the teams he faced finished in the top 15 offensively. How do you think he'll perform against the Hawks attack?
Jesse Rogers (3:06 PM)
I would agree. I think he's in for a rude awakening. The Hawks had trouble in Game 1 against vancouver cause they were used to a slow down in nashville...same thing could happen to Leighton coming off montreal..I say hawks get to 4 goals in game 1
Brent (Tinley Park)
JR- honestly how do we really match up with these guys you were excited to get san jose you said mid round agianst Vancouver that san jose would be a great match up how do you feel about Philly?
Jesse Rogers (3:07 PM)
No doubt tougher matchup...more a mirror image but without the complete depth..the nasty angle is an interesitng one...see how that plays out because one hing San Jose wasnt, was nasty...
No answer to my game plan question : (
Jesse Rogers (3:08 PM)
I gave you a bit of an answer...c'mon. coaches are still thinking about it for god sakes!. :) lol
How many games do you anticipate the Finals going? Everyone is picking the Hawks and I am too, what is your pick?
Jesse Rogers (3:09 PM)
I dont see a sweep in Philly so at least 5..but 6 is an easy answer. I'll go that route. Even harder to predcit because one lousy game against each other doesnt give you much to go on.
Any talk of the Hawks staying in a hotel Friday night?
Jesse Rogers (3:10 PM)
Yeah, some. Prob for sure sat afternoon. Not sure about fri night
Lafayette B (Sanwich, IL)
How does the media feel about interviewing Niemi and how does Niemi feel about being interviewed? Most of his interviews feel really awkward on both sides.
Jesse Rogers (3:11 PM)
They are because he's from finland and we are not so its bound to be a little awkward but he doesnt mind it. Away from thre rink hes a lot more comfortable. Not much you can do.
That's why I asked what your game plan would be and not theirs ;)
Jesse Rogers (3:12 PM)
And i gave you an answer. what more do you want. :)
Have you heard if Doc and Eddie O are going to announce every game on NBC/VS?
Jesse Rogers (3:12 PM)
Unless Im mistaken, yes.
So do you think Bolland could be dealt?
Jesse Rogers (3:14 PM)
As I say to anyone and everyone...anyone that is not the nucleus of toews,kane, hossa, campbell, keith can be dealt...not to say the Hawks are looking to deal them but it takes two to tango and if the other side wants player X and its the only way to get something done, than you never know
All of this Hossa talk really starts to separate the "hockey" fans from the "BlackHawk" fans, Hossa has been killing it on Offense and Defense and is a 8 without scoring a lot of goals. He is the man and is feared by the opposition every time he takes the ice!
Jesse Rogers (3:14 PM)
Agreed, for the most part.
Jesse Rogers (3:17 PM)
Hey folks thats it for today. Think we'll do another one on friday. Hope I answered some of your questions..email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want something else answered. follow me on twitter @espnchihawks. and check out my blog later today. new stuff including a video interview I did with burish and of course updates from practice. Cant wait for Saturday!