Hi from Edmonton. Getting ready to headto San Jose for the big one tommorow. Last night's game was dead and so were the Oilers for 2 periods. Its cold here...but u knew that. Lets get to it. Fire away.
What do you think the Chicago Blackhawks did wrong in last Saturday's game against the Canucks, that they manged to fix, and get the win over the Oilers last night, that they didn't do so well against the Canucks?
The opponents were much different. Im not sure we learned much from the game last night. Vancouver was weird. That first period looked like they were still playing the Flames. They didnt seem to "respect" the Canucks speed. I dont mean that literally...Niemi gave up a few rebounds which he normally doesnt do and that was the ballgame. Scoring on that early pp could have made the difference...just a tough place to play once you get down
I know he's young. I know he's in great shape. I know he's very good. But with all of the minutes Duncan Keith is playing (plus the olympics), what are the chances he'll have the legs to make it deep into the playoffs when the Hawks will need him most?
Its a question IM getting a lot. If anyone can handle it, its him. Stan Bowman put itin perspective, its only like 5 or 6 extar games if they go all the way..talking about the olympics but your point is stil a good one. I expect Q to dial down the minutes some in March. It will be hard in the heat of the moment in a game but I think he has to do it some.
With Dave Bolland set to return soon, who do you move out of the top 9 into the 4th line? Personally I think Big Buff is gonna be the victim of offensive depth in our lineup would like to hear your thoughts.
I agree with you. Ive thought about it a lot and I think BUff might be the guy. Hes more suited for the up an down game of a fourth line..more than even Ladd I think...it might move around but I think it could be hi to start and then either kopecky or eager rotating in and out...
Jodran Hendry looks better than Barker at least 60% of the time. what are the odds we see Hendry more in the playoffs even if Barker isn't moved?
I like this question a lot. And I dont have an answer but I intend to get one. Ive seen enough of Hendry to know he fits the skating style of the Hawks..not that BArker cant skate but sometimes he looks lost for lack of a better word..maybe passive would be better...i'll ask Q tomorrow hendry plans
Hey Jesse...yeah, how about that game last night? on TV it sounded like they were in a high school gym or something...dead quiet. Anyway, i've been meaning to ask a general hockey question: what gets a guy "kicked out" of a face-off? i see that happen from time to time and was never sure why. thanks.
It was dead last night. Vancouver was a great atmosphere..edm, exact opposite. im sure the team they have has something to do with it. ive wanted to ask madden that lately aboiut the faceoffs becuase it seems kind of random from the stands or tv doesnt it? to sum it up, when a guy "jumps the gun" in the circle they get tossed but theres more to it.
Jesse- What are the plans for the Hawks who are not going to the Olympics? Will they all stay in town and have some smaller practices or will the staff and players take some time off and stay off the ice for a bit?
NO practice allowed as a team. Most will go on vacation or back to their hometowns or whatever..but they aint skating 4 hours a day if thats what you're asking. Dont worry, no one in the league will be. Can u say Bahamas??
I think the hawks are a defenseman or goaltender away from being very unbeatable or at least win the stanley cup, what do you think?
On Bolland coming back, I think you move Sharp up with Toews and Kane. That puts Brouwer on the 4th line...or maybe on the 3rd with Buff going down to the 4th. I know a lot of people think Brouwer should stay on the top line, but I think Sharp is a better match with Toews and Kane.
Not a bad call but I dont think Brouwer goes to the fourth...I think you'd be wasting him there
Watching the 4th line last year, they seemed to be the energetic line that began all the hits to set the tempo of each game. This year with Burish out, it seems as tho the 4th does not create that spark. With Burish set to return soon, should he be the creative spark needed against the tougher squads?
Yes, thats why hes burish
Do the Hawks NEED to win the President's trophy in order to win the Cup? They have a great road record but the playoffs are a whole different monster when it comes to winning on the road
1991 is my answer. they won the trophy and got bounced early. you can win on the road in the playoffs in hockey. game 7 last year. dont worry about the trophy or even the #1 seed in the west..its nice but if you're going to win the cup..one seed shouldnt stop you
Jesse, do you think the Hawks can get Niedermeyer for Versteeg and Barker, or would such a deal require more from the Hawks? I'm convinced this team needs to shore up its defense going into the playoffs - not the offense.
I think that would be more than enough for him. 2 young ready made players for a 2 month rental?? more than enough
Seabrook has been less than careful with the puck lately. Is he just in a funk, or does it appear that something is wrong?
Like to think funk..a lot of pressure on those guys and its only going to increase with olympics, etc. need to make the safe and easy play sometimes...i think the D might get caught up in moving that puck up for offense a little too much..just my opinion
Do you see any fall out from the pictures of Kane, Versteag and Madden that are on the internet today?
I'm guessing, though they didnt do anything "wrong", the Hawks wont love the image. Everything is fine till someone pulls out a camera and then hits the web so I suppose there could be some "fallout" but to what degree proabbly not that much
Jesse, that third line is an absolute roller coaster ride. Don't you think that madden needs to go back to skating with some checking line wingers once bolland and burish are back? I think the sedin twins laying it on us a couple night ago is proof that we need a true shut down line.
Good question .Its been stale lately. I think in general you're right. When bolland returns, it gives Q the chance to mix things up and it might just be the right time for it. toews, kane, brouwer will be hard to mess with but the other ones will look diff for sure...mayeb that one too. Q is not showing his hand. i asked him yesterday and it was still.."we'll see"
Jesse if you could out the GM hat on, if Neds was a tough trade to aquire, what other D man would you go out and get?
There arent that many out there.they have to be on the last year of their deal for consideration. I mentioned this guy yesterday...for depth only...Andy Sutton of NY. Maybe one of the Carolina guys...maybe toronto
Do you think there is a little too much criticism of Huet right now? For the most part he's been solid this year minus the recent troubles. With all the talk of trades and starting Neimi, don't you think it might weigh on his mind at all? Do you think the criticism is justified at this point?
If you had to pin me down, I do think its a little too much. His record is very good and his GAA is good. The save pct is not. Its been tough for him adjusting to seeing so few shots as crazy as that sounds. I just dont think they will lose the CUp because of goaltending. We see one bad game and get upset. Huet would need 2 or 3 in a series...might happen...but if the hawks play THEIR game, he should be ok. Niemi has a shot to be the guy...just let it keep playing out..usually the decision get made for you..
Jesse, going to try and make it to Canada next year for a hawks game, would you reccomend Calagary/Edmonton or Vancouver? thanks and keep up the good work!
Vancouver...and not just for the nightlife. Great atmosphere...everything they did in the building was top notch..then I guess calagry...not a bad city...edm (the team)is so bad its hard to rate right now..but def vancouver
Jesse, I have heard some columnist say that the Hawks may consider trading for Kovalchuk...However I don't think anyone from the Hawk's Organization has publicy expressed interest...Is this just a classic waste of thought rumor mill speculation??
For the most part its the rumor mill. There is no way the HAwks will come out and say who they are interested in. What GM would? The reason the rumor works is becasue atl would like to make a playoff run even without him and to do that they need ready made players..not prospects. the hawks have those to give up so adding it up, it makes sense...but i dont think its going to happen. hes going to l.a one way or another...plus i think the hawks use their resources for a d-man. ILL SAY RIGHT NOW, ILL BE SURPRISED IF THE DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN FOR A DEFENSEMAN. either they do nothing or get a blueliner
Hey Jesse, what are your 1 or 2 favorite cities you've traveled to, to cover the Hawks? Hope you have a great time again in San Jose!
Definitely Vancouver...ate a place called Glowbal with Sassone of the Herald and Kuc of the tribune. Great food and scenery. and probably San Jose. was there for the 7-2 game and going back today. great area to hang there...
With Bolland coming back next week, do you see Versteeg as the odd man out? I see the lines as follows: Brouwer-Toews-Kane; Sharp-Bolland-Hossa; Buff-Madden-Ladd; Kopecky-Fraser-Eager.
So u think Steeg sits instead of a fourth liner?? hmmm?? no.
Getting a bunch of questions about the pics...Ill say thins to sun it up: The only questions WE should be asking are: Did this happen the night before a game? And, did they get busted for something? As far as I know the answer to both is no. Id be surprised if this happened friday night...the hawks may have other thingsto say to their players about image, etc. but folks, this stuff goes on all the time with teams on the road...pics dont make it any more real..well, maybe they do
Niklas Hjalmarsson hasn't been wearing a shield since coming back from a puck to the ear on New Year's Eve while sitting on the bench. Any idea why that is?
I dont know..I will ask
I understand the need for a defenseman, but do you worry that, considering how much this team seems to get along, any trade that gets rid of a key piece (Versteeg, Barker, etc.) would ruin chemistry?
Big Fat NO. Think about it, Are they that fragile that minus one or two players destroys a great year like this? No way Toews lets that happen. And remember they arent going to be trading for some stiff...
Which goaltender do you think is more suited to helping us make a deep playoff run? Is Niemi experienced enough to get the job done because for the most part first time playoff goalies have not done very well
Neither are experienced enough in the playoffs but at least HUet has some...Right now Id start Huet and go to Niemi if he falters..thats how its done iun the playoffs
With the past 4 games being in Canada, how happy do you think thqt the Blackhawks get to come back to the United States, and even so once their road trip is over, that they get to see the inside of the United Center again, and get to be the home team in a game, and for the first time since January 14th.
They'll just be happy to be home no matter where theyve been...probably nice to go to san jose and carolina where its warmer
Jesse, how important do you think it is for the hawks to get the #1 seed in the western conference come the playoffs? is there any extra motivation for the team to go for the Presidents' Trophy?
They want the numebr one seed of course but its not the end all be all. No one has talked about the most pts in the NHL. There is so much more going on, its no a topic. AT least not yet. Maybe the final week
Hey Jesse, is Coach Q as scary as he looks? What's his demeanor with the guys?
He can have a strict streak to him. No doubt. Im always careful with my questions, can only imagine being a player. lol. Seriously, I think hes tough on the D-men the most..thats what campbell has told me..hes tough but fair
Is it just me, or does it seem like the team gives up an awful lot of goals in the last minute or two of periods. It happened last night, in Vancouver, Ottawa and Detroit. Those goals are just plain momentum killers. Do we need a little change of plan at the end of periods?
I think its just happened lately...not a big trend
heyjesse, did you not think it was weird last night that the play by play camera was on the side as the players bench. I have never seen that before, have you?
I didnt know that until you just told me since I was there and not watching. Edm and Calgary are old buildings and have weird things about them. , dresing rooms, pres boxes, etc. just everything is a little different so doesnt surprise me.
What do you think the best and worst possible first-round match-up is for Hawks? Am I just paranoid or do I have a reason to be as scared of Detroit as I am? Is there any way the 2-seed is a better slot for the Hawks?
Det. is worrisome but i think the hawks win. L.A. would probably the scariest first round matchup along with det. if we can get calagry again, that would be the best...i cant see colorado winning in the playoffs but im sure they'll prove me wrong...
Ladd & Buff/versteeg along with a draft pick for Kovy, he slots in the top line, drop Brauwer to the checking line with madden, bolland's back on the 2nd line, and you only have to rotate the 4th line guys when Burrish comes back and you've made some space under the cap. Problem solved: your thoughts?
Doubt it would be LAdd to go. Hes up after this year so that doesnt do as much for the hawks as moving buff and versteeg lets say. i wouldnt turn Ilya down if they came calling but I still like a d-man
Has Q tried to get Versteeg to not to try to make the "great" or "amazing" play every time he touches the puck? I keep watching Versteeg try to make an amazing play when it isn't there and too often turn the puck over in the Hawks zone or neutral zone. Not everything needs to be a highlight.
Yes they have worked with him on making the north/south play instead of east/west, etc. he had a real good stretch there for about 10 games now back down to earth a little...didnt like the game in calgary..but played well last night..
I want to get a hammer jersey. Do you see him being around for years to come?
I do...not knowing for sure about the cap stuff. hes restricted this year and due for a raise but i would think they would keep him aorund if they can..get the jersey..i like him, hes a good kid
Jesse, i'll be at the UC March 5th for the Hawks Nucks game, i was going to wear a baby costume with a Kesler jersey, any suggestions?
HIs name on the back and Coward on the front? just a thought
Any ideas why the 3rd line had been stuggling so much before last night?
Ive asked each one of them and they werent really sure.Maybe road matchups being diff casue the slump happened when they hit the road..maybe that line combo maxed out..im not sure and neither is Q casue ive asked him as well..maybe just a tough stretch.they were going so well for quite a while...
Great work jesse. What do the Hawks need to do differently in the last 2 minutes of a period? It seems they give up an awful lot of 'late' goals. It has happend 4 times this trip (Edm, Van, Ott, Det).
Answered that before..i really think its a fluke or coincidence
Niemi has definitely played well enough to deserve more playing time, but Huet seems to play better the more he is in net. It will be interesting to see how this gets resolved.
It will be interesting..the biggest thing is to let it play out..they are still winning games by he boat load...Q knows what hes doing. im not saying anyone is winning the Vezina..but if this is bad goaltending and they are 1 or 2 in the conferecne ill take it..hard to be much better
I think I'd be a great fit- maybe 'the missing piece' if you will- whata think?
Too much money
I like how they are using big Buff on power plays by putting him at the point with him massive slap shot do you see more post play out of him or do you think he will continue his role as the monster in front of the net providing those big screens?
He hasnt been in front of the net in a while. He needs to get that shot off more from the point..thats where he belongs
if the Oilers offered Sourey to the Hawks for Steeger and Barker would you take it?
No. Signed for past this year. end of story
If the Hawks do happen to win the President's trophy..Do you see it nearly improbable for them to lose a playoff serious with their outstanding home record and being able to squeek out wins on the road also? If i were San Jose, i would see taking the #1 seed as one of the few advantages they would have against the Hawks cause they may score at will just like the Windy City boys, but they arent as deep and skilled on the 3rd and 4th lines
Slow down. they could lose in the first round. happen a lot. not just a little but a lot. home ice or not..be careful. playoffs are different. we could be sitting here wondering where they're puck posessin game went and why did kane disappear. nothing is guranteed in april/may/june
Scott Niedermayer and Jonas Hiller for Niemi, Barker and Steeger... would you do it?
IF the hawks were to try and trade for Niedermeyer, do you think verstudd and maybe a prospect/pick will be enough to get him? Trading barker would make the d some what short again and by not trading barker, sopel becomes a perfect 7th defenseman
Thats the 64,000 dollar question..how much would it take. i'd like to think steeg and a decent prospect or even draft pick would do it. i mean he could retire or they could sign him back so its like getting free players.i cant say for sure..what if there is a bidding war for him, then price goes up but on paper that sounds like enough
I've heard lately that next year the Hawks will have to cut cap, who do you think may be in danger of no longer being a Hawk?
They have cap problems? Really? Ill look into it
Bryan, im just kidding. Totally legit questions..its just been something brewing since last summer..barker, steeg, buff, all candidates to go...
Barker i think is gone for sure
Jesse, will we see Bolland in the game versus Carolina or is it safe to say we see him the first game back in Chicago?I was able to catch Bolland
Chi town next wed. Maybe he;ll fight Backes. I hate st. louis with a passion
Couple more..have to get to san jose. Maybe this district nine movie on the flite?? think its playing.
Troy Murray is an absolute champion!!!! Does he spend time with the boys and maybe shell out few words of wisdom?
He's ok. and yeah i think he does on occasion. he and eddie, i think, are respectful of the coaches so if they are asked they'll help but they dont go around offering up advice...to me they do, not the players!
Follow up on the first question- Scott Niedermayer and Jonas Hiller for Niemi, Barker and Steeger... best guess- would THEY do it?..if so, how much better is Hiller over Niemi in your opinion?
Hmm. The Ducks?? I think so. The Hawks?? Ill go with yes...hard to say about hiller/niemi. hiller has a little more experience but not much...niemi could be hasek for all we know. tough call there
Do you think Kane has a shot at leading the NHL is points this year?
Not this year...not sure if he ever will but top 10 guy year in and year out for sure..
Thanks folks. Really good questions. Talk at you via my blog from San Jose. Cant wait for this game. U can follow me on twitter @espnchihawks and u can email me at email@example.com and of course listen ot my reports on am 1000 whenever they have me on! see u in chicago soon.