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March 10, 2:00 PM ET
Talk Hawks with Jesse Rogers

Jesse Rogers
  (2:02 PM)

Hi all. Welcome to our weekly chat. 17 games to go before the real stuff starts. Tonight will mark the first time this season Q has his whole team available cause 37 is back! Niemi in net. Fire away

Doug (Chicago)

Will Burish be in the lineup tonight and how will that change up the lines?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:04 PM)

Yes..dont quote me on this but think it will be burish, eager, and buff on the 4th...other lines stay the same...3rd is madden with steeg and ladd...means fraser and kopecky sit..

JK (Windy City)

Jesse, can you please talk people off the ledge? This team is in the Top 3 in the NHL in points, wins, goals for, goals against, etc, etc. Everyone got so quickly spoiled that they think a loss here or there is the end of the world. Jimmy Howard and the Wings blew a 2-1 third period lead at home to Calgary last night, but do you hear anyone freaking out? The Blackhawks will lose games, they will look bad in some periods, they are not perfect. But there is not a single team in the NHL that I would bet on to take 4-of-7 from this club, regardless of goaltender.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:06 PM)

Good points...and I have a blog that should be up soon. there is almost no experience at the goaltedner position in the western conference..and the ones that do, dont have a cup or anything close to it on their resume so all in same boat...only difference is the hawks are expected to do a lot, kings, for example are not, so pressure is on

John (Crystal Lake)

Jesse, if Antti Niemi plays well tonight, do you anticipate that Quenneville will play him as long as he stays hot?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:07 PM)

I do anticipate that. Its a tryout and while they're trying out they want to win games...so as long as you win or play very well in a loss i suspect that guy stays...

Frank (Plainfield)

What would your 4th line be come playoff time if everyone is healthy?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:09 PM)

depends a little on matchup...but, burish, fraser, buff is good for me...if steeg needs to drop down and move buff up, i can live with that...maybe u need some more size with eager so hes in instead of fraser..some combo like that

mk (bg)

Jesse- whats your take on the lack of production in the 2nd period?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:10 PM)

Mystyfing. Really is. As Ive written its not so much they have a bad period but its usually preceded by a great one...the contrast is amazing. the only thing i can think of is..at the end of a great 20...they relax in the dressing room and then come out and play a little more fance cause they have the lead...turnovers is what Q has said is the big thing and that can just be from lazy hockey...but it is very weird

Jesse Rogers
  (2:11 PM)

fancy was the word i was trying for

Jack (Chicago)

Some of the national hockey analysts have said Coach Q should just stick with Niemi at this point. The constant pulling and flipping has to be messing with their minds...whenever Huet gives up a goal, he (and the whole crowd) looks straight to the bench. How long can the Hawks wait?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:13 PM)

Again, I have a blog going up today with a little history. Q took most of march last year going back and forth and he did a similiar thing in colorado in his last year with budaij and theodore before sticking with one guy in april...really, all u need is 6 or 7 in a ro to feel ready so i think he'll do that...i mean niemi played his way into getting a chance and here it is...so a few more games for each guy isnt going to kill anything...i think within 5 or 6 or 7 games, we'll know who the guy is...and i think its going to be niemi

Alex Norlander (Elmhurst)

Do you really think Adam Burish is going to be more effective than the likes of Colin Fraser or Tomas Kopecky after not playing for the first 65 games?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:14 PM)

Yes...he'll be flying. hes faster than those guys..something Q pointed out yesterday...that energy rubs off. trust me, for what he brings, hes important

Imre (Missoula, MT)

So, I'm thinkin the over/under=10 goals scored this Sunday, what do ya take? Should be a fun one to watch, huh...potential Cup preview? Or do both teams fall short of th finals with goalie issues?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:15 PM)

Good point. And will be very interested to see how the goalie thing works this weekend. Niemi has played and played well agianst some of the very best teams. if he goes huet then niemi, i think its a further sign, he'll be the man...what a test that will be...the loser, for sure, will have its fans complaining about goaltending cause i think wash is worse than hawks!

Steve G (Northbrook)

Do you know if Q has really addressed the area of team defense since Sunday? I remember last year Q sitting Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp for taking unecessary penalties. Any chance Q starts to sit guys that are underperforming in the defensive zone like Seabrook, Campbell, Madden, and some other guys in an effort to get this guys working harder and smarter in the defensive zone?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:17 PM)

No, I dont think there will be any drastic measure with their main players. cant win every game. they are neck and neck with san jose. see what happens. 2 seed in confernce isnt bad and they are almost assured of that...

Sean (Seattle,WA)

Being younger than Huet, Niemi has a chance to fix his problems before they become habits like with Huet and his butterfly style. However, Huet has become more aggressive at cutting down the angle, but he still has problems. What do you think that each goalie needs to work on the most?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:19 PM)

Huet has reverted, it seems, to going down too early and too often. That richard park goal, if you remember, in new york was brutal. he was down before park wound up. and if hes going to go down he needs to close up his legs. at least take that away. niemi has given up more rebounds in the 2nd half of his starts than earlier in the year...theyve been working with him on that..so thats one thing...

BJ (Chicago)

Our goalie situation has been front and center especially heading into the home stretch and playoffs but im honestly way more concerned about our second period woes. This isnt just a recent trend its been going on for a large portion of the season. We need to get this resolved asap!!!

Jesse Rogers
  (2:22 PM)

Im with you. I think thats more fixable than any goalie thing. is it me or does it seem like every time hes pulled a goalie, its been in the 2nd. i know that was the case last week. can they both go bad in the 2nd like that everytime? dont think so, its been the team in front of them.it changes tonight. the other day was the last straw in my opinion...unless its in thier heads now...hmmm

Chris (Evanston)

When are fans going to stop berating Huet? The same thing happened last season with Brian Campbell. He played poor defense and the fans jumped all over him because of the money he is making. Huet is getting the same treatment and it is unfair. Sure, he usually gives up a bad goal or two. At the same time, he faces tough shots more often than not and stops them. All these people clamor for Niemi because of his record. The problem is that no team in the NHL has seen enough of Niemi to prepare for him. Recently, we have seen teams be able to prepare for him and look at what he has done. Not too great. Isn't it time to cut Huet some slack?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:24 PM)

Maybe, but maybe not. Now, if you want to support your team the best you can cause he is one of your guiys and you need him at his best than u should be behind him and stop the boos..BUT, he has given up soft goals AND he hasnt bailed out his D, which every goalie has to do...so cant blame people for being emotional about it...hes not horrendous but will he be good enough for 4 rounds of playoffs? not sure

Jesse Rogers
  (2:24 PM)

Maybe, but maybe not. Now, if you want to support your team the best you can cause he is one of your guiys and you need him at his best than u should be behind him and stop the boos..BUT, he has given up soft goals AND he hasnt bailed out his D, which every goalie has to do...so cant blame people for being emotional about it...hes not horrendous but will he be good enough for 4 rounds of playoffs? not sure

Adam (San Diego)

Excited to catch the Hawks in Anaheim, LA, and Phoenix next week. If I see you at JT Schmid's across from the Honda Center next Wednesday green beer is on me! I'm expecting the Phoenix game to be a home game for the Hawks with spring training in town and the Cubs playing the Sox less than a mile from Jobing.com arena the day before the Hawks play the Coyotes.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:26 PM)

See u there...yeah, cubs/sox on march 19 then hawks/coyotes on the 20th..i can live with that

Adam (Skokie)

Jesse-All I saw Sunday was four white shirts on the blue line, and it seems like the teams with less speed are more than content to trap and make it a low scoring goaltending contest. Have the Hawks been emphasizing the dump and chase in practice? Or do they have another way to combat the trap?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:27 PM)

But in the first period, they played it right. dumped it in, with support...like that madden line which led to goal...or skated it in....u do what is available...then it changed in the 2nd...they practice it all...

Michael (Chicago)

Tonight is my FIRST Blackhawks game. What things should I make sure to pay attention to while at the UC?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:28 PM)

My tweets @espnchihawks. kidding. be there for the anthem and cheer as loud as possible. dont care what some blogger says in det. clueless. and watch for burish first shift. he might run through the boards.

ryan coli (mundelein)

Who do you fear the most in the first round of the playoffs and who scares you the most in the eastern conference if/when we make it to the cup?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:29 PM)

i know its obvious..but det. after that, LA if they ended up there...dont fear nashville but will give a good series...east a little tougher...i still fear pitt when its all said and done...

John (East Moline)

Jesse - In your story about the disallowed goal, you mention that goaltender interference can be called and negate a goal if it's made AT THE TIME the goal is scored. It was very evident that, if, indeed, Buff made any contact with Howard, it was a few seconds BEFORE the goal was scored. He wasn't near Howard AT THE TIME the goal was scored. Isn't that the way you saw it?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:30 PM)

I think the spirit of the rule applies. doesnt have to be exactly simultaneous...i mean if you knock the goalie down and the puck gos in 3 seconds later, they arent going to give it to you..this was more like 1 second...course he wasnt knocked down but thats another story

Curt (Chicago)

If you were Coach Q, which goalie would you be going with?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:33 PM)

Niemi...only because of what ive said for weeks now, he has bailed out the D in clutch situations more than huet...think about that last det game in det. zetterbeg ot breakaway, abdelkader 2 on 0 breakaway...all after bad turnovers...niemi came up big...hammer breaks his stick the other day trying to clear...tough break right? huet cant come up big...Q said it for the first time yesterday..his decision will include the confidecne of the skaters...thats huge

Michael (Chicago)

Lets assume the worst. Lets say neither Niemi or Huet step up between now and the playoffs. Does Coach Q just role the dice come April or do a rotation?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:35 PM)

Ive been thinking about that. actually asked him that in a way yesterday...dont think so..rotation just doesnt work...he'll have SOMEONE in mind and start that guy but that doesnt mean you cant change to the other guy...if youre going back and forth youre probably losing anyway cause no one is hot

Aaron (Aurora)

With Burish coming back, will anyone get sent to Rockford? Or is Q going to have two healthy scratches every game?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:36 PM)

pretty sure it'll be 2 healthy forward scracthes...and a D man as well..all the forwards are on one way contracts so no reason to send down

JZ (Buffalo Grove)

I think the real turning point in the detroit loss was the goal that Datzuk scored in the waning seconds of the second period when he stole the puck from Kane. If that turnover doesn't happen the outcome of the game could have been different. Do you think Kane will be able to learn something from that play?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:38 PM)

Not sure if that was the turning point. it stunk cause there were seconds remaning but they got killed that period before that. kane hasnt been bad with the turnovers especially compared to his first 2 years in the league..but yes, i think he learns from it

Chris (Chicago)

For the record, that time the stick broke on Ham Sandwich when he was trying to clear the zone came after a VERY CLEAR slash. Just an FYI...

Jesse Rogers
  (2:38 PM)

agreed...even tougher break..thats when you need your goalie the most

Adam (San Diego)

Do you think we ever see San Jose in the playoffs. It seems every year they're the best regular season team but can't win when it counts... I think we'll see it again this year if they get the 1 seed and Detroit gets the 8. Why can't they win in the playoffs?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:39 PM)

maybe a little something called heart and guts or whatever...i dont know but you would think that line with thorton, marleau, and heatly would have been the best for canada with all that chemistry..they werent...they dont come up big in big situations...just my opinion

Clint (Modesto, CA)

With the trade deadline behind us, if the goalie situation does not improve, is there any chance the Hawks can still nab a top rated goalie before play-offs begin?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:40 PM)

u answered your own question. hilarious

Curt (Chicago)

If you were in a brawl, who would you want backing you up? Buff, Burish, Eager or Versteeg.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:40 PM)

BUff

Adam (Chicago)

I'm keeping the faith that Nemi can get hot and play well in the playoffs. Do you have any insight as to any of the potential deals the Hawks were involved in at the trade deadline? Who was asking for what (and who is expendable in Bowman's eyes)?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:41 PM)

I can only tell you they wanted vokoun but fla would not take huet. im pretty sure a vokoun deal would have involved versteeg...dont know more than that

Stacy (Chicago)

Do you feel like any of the Olympic guys have been lagging since their return? It does seem like the scoring is coming from the more unlikely people since the break, but at the same time it's nice to see the depth of their offense.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:42 PM)

Not really. maybe a little. hossa had that great game against edmonton...seabs and ketih seem the same...same with toews and kane...hard to say..maybe keith a little

Ilija (Tucson, AZ)

With Evgeni Nabokov becoming a free agent this summer, do you see the Hawks being interested at all? Will they make him an offer?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:44 PM)

Not sure but if they come up short this season...there very well could be 2 new goalies here next because of a varitey of reasons, including, obviosuly money...they need to shed a lot to bring in a guy like that so cant see a big money coming but who knows..this offseaosn will be crazy

Michael (Chicago)

Purely hypothetical but lets say Huet stinks it up the rest of the year. What are the chances the Blackhawks buy him out of his contract? Also how would that affect the salary cap?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:47 PM)

I think it could happen...in short the cap hit gets spread out but it does count against them..it just would not be 5.6 for 2 years

Dan (St. Charles )

Don't you think it's time for Joel to let Niemi start consistently, and not rotate Huet in after a bad game. There's no question where this is headed, no way does Joel trust Huet for four rounds of the playoffs. I understand that Joel is waiting for someone to take the reins, but I'd like to see how Niemi responds to a poor outing. Even the four in a row before the break were solid, and once he was pulled, Huet started the next game. Isn't it time we let Niemi roll?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:49 PM)

We are just abot there. I think he wanted to start from scratch so to speak after the break..and give each guy a shot..however he parsed out the time...each guy is getting a shot..and soon enough it will be one...might already be niemi...i thought he would go back to huet tonight to be honest so to me its a little telling

Chris (Elgin)

Jesse,Any chance they move Huet down to the minors next year if they decide not to buy him out or trade him? Is that something that's out of question because of the cost?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:50 PM)

Who knows...they have to pay him 5.6 million to play in rockford. quite a bit...and i think there would be some other issues regarding tagging rights that might apply...regarding his final year so might limit who they could bring in but not sure..its conceivable but doubtful..at the very least he could be an expensive back up in the nhl...not that bad

Nick (Chicago)

JR, What's the talk around bringing Boynton and/or Richmond up before the playoffs? I know we really don't need much help at D but it would nice to at least have Boynton on the team down the stretch?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:51 PM)

i could only see it if sopel continues to hop around with a bad leg...but hes been practicing..im sure they will be here for playoffs in case of injury but doesnt look like they need them before

BJ (Chicago)

#1 priority in the offseason...resigning hammer?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:53 PM)

hard to say...might be niemi if he gets you close or wins the cup...but hammer is in the team photo for sure

Adam (San Diego)

Please remind the Cubs fans in here that we're talking about the Blackhawks... All this talk about next year is loser Cub talk!

Jesse Rogers
  (2:53 PM)

u just did

Jay (Chicago)

Is it fair to say that what you need out of a goalie is for them to make the routine saves and maybe 2 or 3 great saves per game. It seems to me Huet makes that 2 or 3 great saves but doesn't make the routine saves that he needs to.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:54 PM)

probably more like 3 out of 4 or 4 out of 5...huet has made some big ones..but those soft goals cant happen

Steve G (Northbrook)

Jesse...what do you think about Hendry being the 6th defenseman over Sopel? I think Hendry is grittier and adds a ton more mobility back there for the Hawks.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:55 PM)

Sopel is pretty gritty. more dependable on PK...i could go either way but im with you, hendry has some wheels and plays pretty smart...

John S (Chicago)

Lines tonight: Sharp-Toews-Kane; Brouwer-Bolland-Hossa; Ladd-Madden-Versteeg; Buff-Kopecky-Burish?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:56 PM)

mentioned earlier...think eager is in there for kopecky but not 100% on that

Dave Tumpach (La Grange Park)

Jesse, It seems like as soon as Bolland came back it disrupted the Hawks mojo. Especially with Brouwer. He was doing great on first line and now is back to nobody on 4th line. Has Q talked about putting him back up and maybe moving Boll back down until he gets his feet back?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:57 PM)

brouwer is on the 2nd line with hossa and bolland. i tend to agree with the people that liked him with kane/toews...i think sharp, hossa, bolland would be a great line..we might see that switch soon

Jesse Rogers
  (2:57 PM)

brouwer is on the 2nd line with hossa and bolland. i tend to agree with the people that liked him with kane/toews...i think sharp, hossa, bolland would be a great line..we might see that switch soon

John (Aurora, IL)

Hey Jesse, any chance that the Blackhawks will call up Corey Crawford if the goaltending merry-go-round continues?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:58 PM)

No, slow down people...2 are confusing enough. u think this guy is going to come up in march and win it all..c'mon.

Pat Hurley ( mom's basement)

I know everybody is quick to convict our goalie situation, and it does need work. But is anybody in the organization worried about the disappearance of the supporting cast that made the Hawks good at the end of last year and early this year. I am talking about Versteeg, Sharp, Madden, Buff... Nowhere to be found offensively.

Jesse Rogers
  (3:00 PM)

Thats not true sharp is contributing...the other guysare on 3rdand 4th lines so they will have less chances...anyone playing with madden isnt playing with a playmaking center...have to look at the whole picture..they;re fine.

JK (Windy City)

Why is everyone so enamored with Burish? Because he's good on the radio? He's a fourth line player, not going to make or break this team either way. Energy only goes so far, and nobody on the other bench is scared when he comes over the boards.

Jesse Rogers
  (3:00 PM)

People know that. Hes going to jump over the boards and skate like hell and mix it up..whats not to like?

BJ (Chicago)

Im making it a priority to go to all hawks games scheduled for NBC just to avoid having to listen to P.M. on the telecast. That guys a joke. Doc and Eddies long periods of silence after he speaks does give me a good laugh though...

Jesse Rogers
  (3:01 PM)

Well said.

Greg (St. Charles)

Anything to say about Otto's views on the National Anthem in Chicago?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:02 PM)

idiot

Curt (Chicago)

How long will it be for players like Corey Crawford, Skille, Dowell and Hendry to get consistent playing time at an NHL level? There's a lot of talent in Rockford... how long will it take for the logjam at the pro level to clear up for those guys?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:02 PM)

Next year

Stacy (Chicago)

Out of all the names floating out there as potential cap casualties next year (Buff, Steeg, Sharp, Madden, etc.) who would you like to see stay and why? For me, it's Sharp not only for his versatility on the ice (can play center or forward), but also seems like a great guy to have in the locker room.

Jesse Rogers
  (3:03 PM)

Yes, sharp would be the guy...see how madden is in the playoffs...then maybe him

Milan (Serbia)

Hello Jesse!I was wondering if the playoffs started today, who would your starting 4 lines be, your defensive pairings, and your goalie?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:04 PM)

I think i gave an idea already...brouwer/kane/toews...bolland/hossa/sharp...madden/ladd/buff...burish/steeg/ fraser or eagersame Dniemi

Brock (Chicago)

Kyle Beach just scored his 52nd goal to lead the WHL... when do you think he makes the jump?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:05 PM)

Next season

Ramsen (In my Tow Truck)

Hello Jesse, I have question about the offseason. Will and Can the Hawks make any moves to improve the goaltending situation if we dont win the Cup this year?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:06 PM)

They can but they will have to get creative...niemi will be one year older...nothing to say he cant be the man if they keep him

John (Chicago)

This year, i think the hawks team is good enough to win with huet or niemi in net. But isn't the worst part of this huet debacle that it will affect the future and the hawks will have to part ways with average to above average players like possibly ladd, buff, sharp, versteeg, seabrook, etc.?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:07 PM)

Good point. I have no idea why dale went 4 years at that kind of money..

BJ (Chicago)

Hits to the head... What would you like to see done?

Jesse Rogers
  (3:09 PM)

Yeah, they are discussin that now at GM meeitngs..i wish i had some great answer. cant take away guys ability to deliver clean hits...i think you need to look at the bigger picture..why is this an issue now? hockey has been around a longtime...why are legal hits to the head an issue now? not sure. my advice is for players to keep their heads up more..if u want to get fancy with the puck you're going to get drilled...protecting yourself is part of the game so im against major legislation

Madison (Dallas)

Should Crosby take heat for refusing appearances on Letterman and other national shows? I know he has a busy schedule but the Pens were already in NYC and had an off night. Seems like he owes it to the league to maximize publicity.

Jesse Rogers
  (3:10 PM)

Yes. enough with their routines. make it happen. hockey needs it. i say that without knowing the specifics of that situation

Jesse Rogers
  (3:13 PM)

Thats going to do it for this week. sorry i didnt get to all the questions. email me at jrogers@espnchicago.com if u want. thanks for joining in. next week same day...ill be in L.A. so not sure what time yet...follow me on twitter @espnchihawks. sign up now. and of course check out my blog. will be on the afternoon show at 5:25 today. enjoy the game tonight! lets go NIEMI!