Guys, Jesse's having a little Internet trouble in Nashville. He'll be with you shortly. Thanks for your patience.
Ok, sorry for the delay everyone. I was indexing predator hits last night...took 3 hours...kidding. it was an awful game and they know it. lets get to the questions
I've been wondering aloud since Game 1 why Adam Burish isn't playing. He's such an important part of this team. What's the deal?
He fell behind the other guys for whatever reason..that 4th line did produce some goals...maybe Q had a master plan all along and now will unleash him...i would guess he AND bickell could be in tomorrow
Jesse I know everyone is angry at the way this series has started and boy was it was tough listening to the radio this morning. But I think people need to step back for a minute and calm down. While there is certainly some urgency now for the hawks they aren't in trouble yet. This series reminds me a lot of the Vancouver series last year where they played the first 2 games pretty evenly but then the hawks for all intents and purposes were outplayed severely in games 3 and 4. They managed to steal game 4 in OT after tying the game late and made the adjustments to close the series in games 5 and 6. Yes the game last night was ugly and yes Nashville was the better team but I have to believe the hawks have a lot left in the tank and can't possibly play that badly in the remaining games this series. That being said if they lose game 4 they are in definite trouble. Your thoughts?
I absolutely agree things can change on a dime. no doubt. the diff in my mind between van game 3 and last night was they lost van game cause canucks shut it down and frustrated the hawks..they won on X and O's bascially...last night was about effort and thats unacceptable but is fixable
Why is kopecky getting more shots that Toews and Kane combined?
two words: shea weber....he and the other top D men are really good. kopecky doesnt see them as much..bottom line, who's better, their d-men or our guys making the huge money...so far they are
After watching the abomination of a hockey game played by the Hawks last night I was pretty much saying the same lineup changes need to be made that you mentioned in your blog. Big Buff at forward, Burish on the 3rd line, and Campbell back for his break out ability.Just like to know about your thoughts on these questions: What about Huet in net on Thursday? What about dressing Boynton a more veteran d-man?
No huet..lets not get nuts and by the way, though I stressed lineup changes the theme of my blog was SOMETHING has to change...we all know adam burish isnt going to go i nthere and score 3 goals..but maybe his energy can spur on other guys, etc. i love what barry trotz said yesterday...it sums up hockey..."the little details add up and matter." at the end of the day toews/hossa/sharp/kane, etc need to get it going or all the burish's of the world wont matter
Why doesn't this team get "it"? Meaning, it's the playoffs, there is one speed, balls to the wall, foot on the gas pedal until the clock reads 0:00 and the calendar reads June. It's one thing to give effort and lose, it's quite another to not show up or as Toews said (which was very concerning), they didn't expect the Preds to come out with that intensity? It's the playoffs!
In general, you get these kind of lapses from the elite teams or at least the faves etc. underdogs have it in their DNA they cant give minimmum effort...so it has happened to good teams...uf they dont respond or this game costs them in the end...then the end result is terrible...but i do agree with you..the top teams SHOULD give effort every night in april/may/june
They responded well to the pressure after game one and gave a great performance. Do you expect the same in game 4 or will the pressure of being on the road and going down 3-1 be too high?
Listen..I expected better last night..I would assume they have enough competitors in there they would respond but this is sports..who knows..i will say this, going back a month...everyone around htris club..media, team people, etc did not want to face Nash.
Is it just me or has Byfuglien not played well for these first three games? It looks like he's not able to keep up with the intensity of playoff games.
he's part of a long list....where the heck is troy brouwer? madden, maybe a couple of chance for him...bolland, awful turnover shorthanded last night...i dont like buff with hendry...minimizing his abilites there
Jesse, think of it like this...we could have an elite goaltender (Brodeur) and be down 3-1 in the series if a trade like that was made.
san jose is a whisker away from being swept, buffalo is going to lose, det. might lose...nobody is safe! doesnt excuse the effort, though. that first period was atrocious. and they dont have many like that...
Jesse, must be tough to be around the team right now. So, every media member from the east to west has labeled the Blackhawks as needing better goaltending, but Niemi I think has been solid. The defense needs Campbell back and Byfuglien needs to be in front of the opposing goalie. When will this happen? Any insight into Campbell's return?
campbell is day to day news...hes keeping it very close to the vest...practice is at 2 pm today...ill be able to tell a lot by line and defensive pairs..im on air at 2:25 on am 1000 and will be in my blog right away what changes there will be...niemi has been more than fine. who would have thought he'd be the strongest link right now...
If hawks lose tomorrow is the series essentially over by game 6?
No..nothing is over when you have a 112 point team. it wont look good but i would say no
Whats wrong with Toews? He was voted the best forward among all the elite talent in the olympics so you know he can play great on a huge stage. I'm assuming the pressure of winning for Canada was far greater too.
yeah, i htink its a fine line...he and hossa arent THAT far from doing some damage but close isnt good enough right now..im making a point of talking to hossa today..hes the man...u can say toews, kane, ec are still developing thier spring game..whatever...hossa has to take charge..he was great in game 1 but has steadily been less noticeable or productive
Jesse, what do you think the ramifications will be if the Hawks lose in the first round? Also, with the Hawks being in the penalty box so often, does this series remind you at all of the 88-89 Hawks/North Stars series?
you're taking me back a ways..we're not quite at that level yet....if they lose in the first round...fans should be mighty mad. there is no excuse for last night...i think stan, joel, and players get heavy looks..thats the way it goes...they will have to take a long look at wha tthe core group is missing...but lets get to that after the season..im not saying firings are imminient or anything but its an outright failure if that happens...
What do you suppose Q is thinking of doing now? Or if that's too hard of a question to answer- what would you say needs to be done to become more productive? What should the lines look like? What needs to change/be worked on?
You're right some hard questions to answer..this just happened last night...if i was him, i would have been staring at the bottom of a bottle all night contemplating everything...kicking butt, lineup changes, doing nothing at all...i think it was a long night and morning for him and the coahces...most interesting practice and post practice of the season today
I was heartbroken last night and start to worry that the players are not seeing/feeling what the fans are during and after their games. Are the feelings of animosity and disapproval getting through to the team?
Again, it just happened..but i do intend on starting all my questions today with "there are a lot of pissed of people back home..please respond" or something of that nature...they werent as mad last ngiht as u might have wanted but maybe thats a good thing...maybe they have a "I got this" kind of mentality...we can only hope
How much of the teams lack of effort do you put on Coach Q? I mean he really hasn't had much playoff success in any of his stops.
I cant make an overiding jusgement on one game..As Q always says, "Im looking for a response." now, I'M or WE are looking for a response so lets see thur...even if they lose, give me more than last night. hell, give me game 1 if you're going to lose
The Hawks made a great run in the playoffs last year. They were hitting and hustling. This year they are not doing either. Is this the lack of preparation by the coaching or the players reading their own press clippings?
I think some of it is thier opponent and some of it is a diff mindset since they are the hunted but but they're just one game removed from playing at least decent in the first 2 games..for sure game 2...so again lets see the response
i have to slow down on my typing...awful. sorry
What are the chances we see Kane and Toews on the same line again?
It definitely has to be on the table. problem is hossa kind of needs toews too and they play the same position...the centers have been pretty awful in this series...4 bad centers=no offense
It seemed to me last night that the Hawks tried to make that extra pass instead of dumping in and going after the puck. They need to shoot more on net and create havoc in front of Rinne. Your thoughts?
Several of these kind of questions. Yeah, I cant disagree and neithr would Q..some sustained pressure like we're used to would be nice too. that would get what you're talking about going. again, weber, etc. are pretty good so its tough but they need to do it...
BTW, it would not surprise me if campbell is not back if seabrook and ketih are split up again...may have worked at home but u have matchup problems on the road and they may need to be apart
What lines can we expect to see on Thursday night?
tune in at 2:25 pm today on am 1000. i cannot predict it but if i did i would say burish AND bickell are in...brouwer and fraser are out...the brouwer call may be wrong but im going with it...cant tell u the lines though...could be anything at this point
So far the Hawks have played 1 good game, an ok game and really bad game. It reminds me a lot of March where discipline, effort, heart all were missing for big stretches. Do you get a sense of dejavu watching this series?
Yeah, a little bit and they righted the ship when they needed to...my guess is they will on thur. but that doesnt mean nash still cant win the series..112 pts vs. 100 pts...not much of an upset if nash wins
why is all of ESPN's coverage of this series from a Chicago perspective?
umm..because its called espnchicago.com for a reason....on espn.com, pierre lebrun wrote two columns over the weekend about preds...when espnnashville.com opens, you're all good. :)
Anyone with me that the Preds style of play puts you to sleep? Geez, they are a boring team to watch! Maybe the Hawks are getting lulled to sleep as well. Not an excuse for them but I'm yawning after the first few minutes. Not typical Hawks hockey
Agreed, part of the reason no one wanted to see them...even the preds had lapses in the season..look at the post-christmas games...game 2 was a little lapse for them but nothing like game 3 for the hawks...
Explain to me why bolland and buff are qb'ing the top pp unit while keith and seabs sit on the bench? This decision is unbelievable.
Buff has the best shot of the bunch...frankly, i dont know who is one or two..whats the diff, they both get out there...now, if buff would blast it more, it might help...they havent found another point guy all season...every forward has been used and still the pp is avg..thoug thank god its come thru a couple times here
The Hawks keep saying they have to be patient and play Nashville's game. Why can't they make Nashville play their game? If the Hawks give the effort we all expect, their talent overrides Nashville and they should dictate the flow of the game.
Good question and one i can understand people wondering. I think the answer is between wide open and tight..you can always play tight..you cant always make the game wide open..you need the other team for that...i think thats kind of the feeling..but they can still play nash's game better than nash cause they do have mroe talent...if they're willing to WORK and COMPETE
Can't wait for the cocky hawks to tell you after practice today that nobody in that dressing room is worried. Quite the band of brothers they have in there. OK, three games in and we have set the tone for (and I'm be generous) 3 periods. What a disaster this has been. How are they not able to adjust their game when everyone and their brother knew what Nashville was going to do. Hardheaded players? Soft coaching? And the fact that nobody in the organization wanted to see them is not an excuse, it's an indictment.
to address your last point, they knew it would be a otugh series, nothig nwrong with knowing or feeling that. i agree, though, its an indictment because they didnt sneak up on you...they are doing EXACTLY what we knew the preds would do...i just didnt foresee a lack of compete like last night..thats why u can live with game 1, hard to live with game 3...and you're right they will close ranks and im fine with that..the proof is on the ice tomorrow..not what they say today
What happened with going hard to the net?
left it in warmups...i think they feel they havent had the puck enough or with sustained pressure to max all that..
At the end of the regular season, the Tribune made a big deal about the last game being the end of Pat and Eddie doing the play by play. They've been announcing everything so far. Do you know...did something change?
cool, a non hockey question...they do the first couple rounds then versus, or nbc or whoever takes over so thats the deal
Just hit me with it, are the Hawks going to come back and win this seris?
I cant pretend like i know it all...i honestly believe it could go either way...
When will we see the end of the Buff experiment on defense? It just doesn't seem like it's working out for the team anymore. He's getting caught out of position, and making some terrible turnovers.
yeah, maybe today, dont think they are getting the most out of him right now..maybe the matchup is bad..patience isnt buff's best virtue! what if i go to practice and every line and d pair is the same. people will be mad! but remember, those changes are used as a spark...not really for X's and O's so at the end of the day they just have to want it more than last night
I understand that N-ville plays a "dumbed down" hockey game. Simplistic, easy, and organized chaos. Why doesn't it play to the Hawks advantage when they try and open the game up a little? I understand Weber and Suter are their big guns, but aren't our guns bigger?
cause if they try to open it up while nash is playing it safe, turnovers will ensue..you just cant find open ice if its not there...BTW, trotz would call it smart hockey not dumbing it down...
Chicago media is getting a big ole slap in the face from Yahoo sports today for writing what we all think. Don't know if you checked it out but you got a mention on the Puck Daddy blog... question is- the team knows the pressure, they know how the fans feel and what they want... think any of the negativity is leaking into the locker room? As fans, (and I'm sure the media too) we know how good of a team this is. We just want them to play like it.
My heart is breaking that someone called Puck Daddy doesnt like what I or we wrote. heres my feeling. when a coach says im not changing things up cause we won, doesnt the converse hold true? again, changes are meant to spark..like i wrote, game 1 loss..you stay the course, game 3 loss, you change things up...but it has to spark something...I garauntee things will look diff at practice today..then what will ###k daddy say? just kididng. all in good fun. its just a game
SO are we sure to see Burish back in the lineup?????sorry if you already answered!!!!!
Im guessing yes..but i think bickell might be more of a lock..remember, he played in the season finale over burish but this situation seems to scream for him...ill say it again,though, dont get you Cup Finals tickets cause Bur is back...its a bigger picture thing than him...
Jesse - have you heard anything about Toews calling a special meeting or "chewing out" the players? Someone mentioned to me that they heard something on WGN about this. I would love it if he could step up and inspire this team right about now...
I mean, more than the usual stuff?? no. but of course they shut the doors last nite and talked (or yelled) but not a special meeting that I know of. im sure they didnt just go their merry ways..i still cant decide if it was good or bad that i didnt see a lot of anger in the room last night...only 3 players talked to just a small sample but if toews was really angry he kept it from the media..listen, we pass on a snippet and i mean a small snippett of what goes on with a team..
Jesse, We're any of the players complaining about the ice surface last night? It appeared that a few of our guys kept falling. Especially Byfuglien in front of our net when he turned it over.
...no, ice didnt come out..same for both teams but i suppose a faster team would be penalized more than a smaller one...cmon, no excuse...
ice didnt come up...i meant
Watching last nights game it looked to me like the Hawks lacked heart. Its almost like they feel that they are a better team than the Preds and will win it. What is it going to take for them to play like they did in the first half of the season, 60 minutes of complete hockey
I think there is something to that. again, look at the rest of the playoffs. all sorts of tough series going on..maybe every few games an elite type team needs a splash of water in the face..that was a bucket last night
Are you going to catch Bon Jovi in Nashville tonight?
No. i dont want to be in that building 3 straight nights...as hes singing ill be picturing erat penalty shot
I keep hearing that the Hawks have so much more talent and speed. Have not seen in that in any of the first 3 games. In your opinion, are the "stars" burned out? Where is the physical play from guys like Eager and Fraser?
Again, this is more about Nash. here it is in a nutshell: If they match preds work ethic, they're talent will come out more...if they win more battles, they will have the puck more and be able to create and maybe wear down D and goalie...little things add up...and that 4th line is part of it...no one is burned out
Maybe I am the only one who thinks this but the Hawks seem distracted. I think the appearance on the Tonight show, doing commercials, ect. is distracting them and they seem to act like rock stars, how do you feel about all the off ice attention the team is getting when in reality they haven't won anything, to me olympic medals mean NOTHING!
I can understand how someone might feel that way...its hard for me in the middle of it to see that..no one this week has talked about jay leno or medals or anything but playoff hockey...pierre lebrun wrote it over the weekend...its a whole other thing when you're not the underdog anymore..you play different when you HAVE to win as opposed to frosting to a season...thats all part of it more than rock star stuff
Seriously, though Jack's BBQ across from the stadium is really good. Check it out while you are in town.
Jesse, surprised that the Blackhawks are not playing a physical game, last year in the playoffs they changed to the style play of their opponent. When is that going to happen? I am sick of screaming at my TV watching the Hawks. and I am still a huge fan of yours.
Thats the thing. I thought they did in game 2. I thought they accepted what this series was about. they pout hit them 32-28, i believe in game 2. kane said it in the morning skate yesterday. its why game 3 was so baffling.
take a few more than im going to head to practice early..usaly campbell is out there so want to see what is up...
I like and understand your point about Hossa. We already knew we were a playoff team before we signed him. We brought him here to win in the playoffs. That said, Toews has been really disappointing in his play and maybe more so in his choice of words last night. I have thought nothing but great things since he arrived here, but I'm shocked at how bad he's been. I thought he was a Messier type that would drag a team across the finish line, now I'm not so sure.
Dont be too hard. Still learning and developing. hes got a whole career to go..i know that doesnt do anyone thats been waiting 49 yrs any good but lets just see...again, the preds will make a lot of offensive players look avg. hes had some chances. he needs to finish and he knows that. hes not ducking from anything
Does Tazer ever get vocal with the team when they put in a performance like last night? He's always low-key on camera but I'd like to see him get ticked off once and a while and start calling guys (including himself) out.
yes, he does. he does call himself out but he wont do it with teamates in the media. no captain would unless his name is Avery. there are def beind the scenes things going on just like there are in san jose and det. and buffalo...
To follow up on Chinsky's question, can you ask Toews this question based on his comments last night, "the fans want to know why wouldn't you expect Nashville to come out with the kind of energy they did?"
he will say, "we did expect it" the better question is, "why didnt you match it" and the answer will be " I dont know" and none of us will be satisfied but sometimes you just dont know..or care afte the fact..fixing it is what matters.
If the Hawks manage to blow this thing in the first round does this rank as the number 1 let down in Chicago sports history or is the Bartman game going to always have that claim?
Not quite there...cmon nash is a 100 pt team..its bad though..only 2-1 folks, lets let it play out..panic on friday!
Thats going to do it for today. Hope we have a chat next week..would mean either game 7 that night or on to the next round...or i dont want to think of the alternative..anyway, thanks all...hang in there..thur is HUGE. again, will be on the radio in an hour from practice...email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and i will answer questions later today if i didnt get to you...u can follow me on twitter @espnchihawks and check out my blog of course. hang in there...not over yet!