Hey folks, welcome to our weekly chat...Im at the united center where the Hawks and Coyotes just finished up their respective practices...new looks for the hawks tonight: kane on left wing with hossa on right..kopy at center...seabs and ketih will be broken up for "stretches" tonight so should be interesting...fire away with questions
Since Q seems to be tinkering with the lines plenty here recently, do you suppose that we'll ever get to see Sharp-Toews-Hossa reunited? The line was just ridiculous at some points when they were together last year...
I would have to say yes, we will see that at some point..bolland has to come back..they are short centers so thats why you are seeing so much moving around...
What was the point of signing John Scott? Waste of a roster spot.
Disagree..i think he's been fine as a 4th line intimidator..not so much on defense..had a fine game on sunday...everybody was screaming for an enforcer, now they have one but no one likes him cause he cant skate...thats why he makes the min salary...he killed stortini in his fight sunday. coming off his best game, bad time to criticize him
I have two questions why and when will beech be up in the NHL, i think we can use his big body like someone else who was here last year big buff
Cant tell you when but I do know his game absolutely needed maturing...not enought to be a big body if you dont know what to do with it. I agreed with him starting in the minors.
Do you forsee Jeremy Morin being back in the line-up tonight?
No. He was not recalled
In your opinion which Hawk is performing the furthest below expectations? Bolland? Keith? Kane? Toews?
Probably Keith..Q acknowledged as much today..his minus-5 is legit unlike maybe sharp which is inflated...matter of fact I say its keith without hesitation
What are your thoughts on the new NHL All-Star game format with the 'fantasy draft'? I think it could be the fresh approach that's needed to regain some fan interest in the game.
I could go either way...how do you really promote any sort of compaetition..there is no east v west or world vs north america...guess it will be dubbed Tea, crosby against team toews or something...BTW, I think thats what it will be..toews and crosby the captains so should be interesting
Team Crosby that should say
What happens if a NHL Players hit an Opposing Player in the Head with his Head Gear?
Het gets in big trouble and feels much shame
Jesse, I thought Skille was one of more effective forwards the other night against the Oilers. Do you see him getting another chance at a top 6 spot or is his straight ahead game better suited to the 4th line?
Bottom 6...not enough moves or vision in my opinion
Jesse, you do great work. Whats the mood like in the locker room? Are the vets being leaders to the rooks?
Yeah, they are trying. I think Keith and Seabs know they have to be better before they can do any leading of the rooks etc. I think the mood is, its early but as seabrook told me today.."its about that time to get it going."
Sharpie seems to be struggling as of late. Product of line change or too much passing and not enough shooting when the opportunity presents itself?
I think prob the line changes and maybe even moving back and forth between center and wing...I would like to see him stick at wing for a long period of time...with bolland due back he should be able to
Hey Jesse,I know Coach Q is trying to get all the lines firing on all cylinders as much as will be possible by figuring out which line combos work. But do you agree that finding those right configurations takes more than one or two game samples and they need more time to adjust and get going? I would like to see a return to the Kopecky-Toews-Hossa and Bickell-Sharp-Kane lines and only make minor tweaks to the other lines. Thoughts?
I could live with that you are saying though I think Stalberg has earned the right to be in the top 6..certainly over Bickell and even Brouwer...Hes still searching..maybe when Bolland comes back they stick to something but there is always another injury around the corner
This may seem like an odd question, but why is sending an overpaid goalie down to the minors or overseas so acceptable, but shipping out an overpaid veteran winger or d-man is out of the question? No one ever talked about sending Campbell to play in the Swedish league this summer. I don't think it would have been wise, but why the double standard? Are goalies simply easier to replace?
Listen, Huet was utterly horrible for the most part last year, Campbell is not that. You only ship out guys that are pretty much useless...He might be overpaid but hes still a good player..in fact his stock rose those times hes been out of the lineup..I mean you save 7 mil but you have to replace him..and I dont think owners usually like to pay guys to place elsewhere just cause they might be underachieving compared to their salary..most people have changes their minds about him..not saying they didnt try in the summer..but that was only so they could keep others more than not liking him
St. Louis.....buy or sell as Cup Contenders?
Great question...I think they are playing over their skis but if that goalie keeps it up Ill buy but my initial thought was sell
How much of their problems come from them wanting to put a show on at home? Because they are a very good road team.
Maybe some of it. The showman himself, Kane, talks about that but I cant believe they are giving up crucial goals in the third cause they want to put on a show..now maybe they are not dominating earlier for that reason so its something to look at...I still think they've been overall inconsistent, not just at home...theyve just played more here so it looks worse
With Q acknowledging Keith's poor play, does he plan on playing him fewer minutes so he can be more effective?
Yes, thats the plan
Jesse, let's put the minds of the ledge-jumping fans at ease. True or false? The Hawks will make the playoffs.Also, who is centering Kane and Hossa tonight?
True..I cant go out on that limb just yet..I need 30-35 games...Kopecky in the middle
Do you think that the Hawks slow start is due to other teams knowing they are playing the Stanley Cup Champions? I think that every team put that more effort into games against the Hawks, where it is just another game for the Hawks.
I think part of it is that..def edmonton games and rangers...and even atl.
This years hawks team doesn't seem to have the same closeness that last years team did.... are the looses of guys like Versteeg and Burish even bigger to the locker room then actual play?
I would probably have to say yes...it does have a diff feel...now winning and a good road trip can change that...I think they need both coming up..circus trip was good last year for both..we'll see about this one
Weren't the Hawks at about the same record this time last year? Then the Circus Trip came and they rattled off 8? Are things just compounded because of the cup last year and that everybody in the Central is improved?
I would say yes to all of that..Dont know their record after 17 off the top of my head..but that 8 streak culminating with the huge win in SJ happened around now..we'll see
What did you think of Morrin's play and why was he sent down if Bolland is not back?
I liked Morin patience and his shot....I think they thought Bolland was going to play until late in practice yesterday..I guess they figured one more game they can get by instead of calling him back up...bolland should be back saturday
coach Q gotta stop moving players and let the lines stay together at least for 6 games or more give them time too gel,i know these player are paid to do what the coach whants.but this is causing more confusion.
I tend to agree with you..I just dont see kane playing left wing for rest of the season so I think its going to change again but I do understand that this is hockey and you never know where/when the spark is going to come so trying things now is fine...did same thing last year and eventually settled into those playoff roles just fine so I dont have a big issue with it now
Jesse - every "replacement" player has looked pretty bad the majority of the season. Is it a matter of patience and coaching or are they just bad?
Im not sure people would agree with that assesment. Stalberg has probably been as good as versteeg...turco decent enough...skille ok at times...yes, they miss a Ladd or a buff a times but its not a complete disappointment
The Hawks seem to be getting burned in quick spurts, falling asleep at the end of periods, and helping their opponents with sloppy passes towards the middle that end up being handoffs usually to an opposing team's forward. The first few games that happens, you chalk it up to rust. Is there a sense of urgency among the D-men to get this corrected or are the guys just shrugging it off?
I think there is a sense of urgency..in talking to seabrook today, I got that feeling
Do you have any thoughts on why this team doesn't have a dagger in the heart mentality as defending Champions? Meaning when they get a lead, albeit rare this season, they tend to sit back instead of continuing to push the pace and continue to score. As defending Champs shouldn't the mentality be to dominate?
I know what you're asking but wanting and doing are two diff things. I just think they havent found thier groove yet..Also, there has been SUCH a fine line..if ketih and seabs are a LITTLE bit better at end of games, they might have 2-3 more wins and their record looks better..I dont think they have jelled enough to dominate..just be in games right now..hopefully the dominating is coming
Why do the Hawks seem obsessed with making Hnedry fit somewhere? I just don't think he's a very good player, yet he's like the Corey Patterson of the Hawks. Sometimes you have to cut bait.
Well, they had to sign some minimum guys and he is a 6th or 7th d-man so what can you do..I agree hes about the same player he was a yr or two ago so progress would be nice..I think he's sitting tonight
LOL come on Scott isn't NHL material.
Tell that to Stortini
What is Q trying to do with moving Kaner to the left wing rather then the right?
I asked him that today...said "just trying something. visit with it for now. can always change back." I dont like it much either
Hey Jesse, while I like both Crawford and Turco, I dont feel great about Turco giving up 3+ everytime out there lately. I know the defense hasnt been spectacular, but is there a chance we will start to see more of a balance between Craw and Marty moving forward?
Dont think so. I think they are ok with turco..hes given up some untimely goals but his play has been good enough..guys in front of him arent playing like last year as evidenced by the increase in shots against
Who do you think is the best team in the West? Blues/Kings/Wings?
Tough to say only 10-17 games in. I kinf of had an ifinity for L.A. for last couple yrs. I like that team..Wings always dangerous..I think they Blues will hit the skids if their goalie cools off
It appeared the Kane-Toews-Stalberg line played well over the weekend. Why split it up?
Just wants to shake it up..they arent scoring that much 5 on 5..Q says its all interchangeable
Why is Bryan Bickell not in the minors? He's a big body but he can't skate to hit anyone, has no hands, and is always out of position. Don't the Hawks have someone in the minors that would better suit their team?
Well, yeah, Morin would prob be better...but money has to play a part...bickell on a way deal making 500k, morin much higher...plus they want to make sure morin gets the minutes..he wont playing bickell's role so does he deserve top 6? Maybe..Im not sure right now..
Do you feel Crawford's ceiling is as a backup and not as a future #1?
Jury still out...no one could tell you...who thought craig anderson would emerge like he did years later...and niemi so quickly, at least for last year..need more evidence
Maybe he's a fine intimidator, but remind me who the intimidator was last season. No one. That seemed to work out pretty good for them. Four lines of skilled players is what won a Cup, not three lines and a goon.
Diff ways to skin a cat...they could not afford a great 4th line so instead of major skill or speed there, they have size...as long as he's not taking penalties or his line is consistently getting scored on, I have no prob with scott...in fact, his line has had some off. zone shifts lately and thats a good sign.
Do you think playing almost 30 minutes a game is finally catching up to Duncan Keith? Do you expect anybody to pick up the slack or are they going to solely lie the responsibility on Keith? Do you expect anybody to come out of nowhere and spice things up?
I do think its catching up..I also think hes trying to do too much..Hammer and Campbell have to pick it up and I think they will
Any rumors or chat about Seabs (hopeful) contract extension? I'd really like to know if I should buy his jersey for Christmas or not.
Very quiet which means its prob getting done..Im serious..i would say he'll be here
In regards to all the offseason moves why didn't the Hawks do more to keep Ladd? I consider a guy that has won 2 Cups quite valuable.. Maybe Brouwer could have been worked into the Atlanta deal instead?
Browuer makes less than ladd and ladd was a RFA..browuer was under contract..def came down to the math
Jesse, missed you there buddy. I am getting fustrated with the lack of heart from the Hawks. They are getting beaten by bad teams, Oil, Devils. Why do they seem to come out so flat when the UC is rocking? What do they have to do to turn it around?
Short answer: they have to play like its 2 years ago or even last year before they won anything..fight and claw, etc. Not easy when you've reaches the mountain top as a team and individuals..lets give it a little more time...I think they will have a good road trip, if healthy of course
Hey Jesse, feeling any effects from the MSG asbestos? Wondering your take on Kane playing left wing tonight and Stalberg on the top line.
I would love to SUE msg. cant be many more deeper pockets. lol Dont like Kane on Left side..Dont think it lasts long..I do like stalberg up there..getting better and better.
The problem with the Hawks so far is that the "core" outside of Sharpie and Hossa has played well below par. The fourth line has outplayed the top 2 lines in more than a few games already. Thoughts?
100% agreed..lets not focus on john scott, etc...its top 4 d-men more than anyone..then the stars on offense
Could the lose of the locker room presence of Burish and Versteeg be hurting hawks even more then losing talent on the actual ice. Team doesn't seem to be as loose and enjoy playing the game this year?
Was asked similiar earlier and its such a tough answer cause how do you measure that, HOWEVER, being around this team as much as I am, I would at leas leave open the possibility...lets see the circus trip..
Will it be a good thing for this team to hit the road and get a little bit of off the ice chemistry going, which seemed to really benefit last year's team?
In relation to last question, Im going to say yes, for sure...I scheduled some time with sharp on friday at practice to discuss upcoming trip..we'll see if some bonding is in order..damn its already cold in edmonton
What are th chances that the Hawks go after Ladd and/or Buff next off season? I personally think the loss of Ladd has hurt us more than anyone else.
I cant see Atlanta letting either go..you dont trade prospects like morin, etc so you can have those core guys for a year
Is there any way to trade Bolland? No production for a guy making 3.3 mil.
Im sure there is always a way..but, lets not forget the playoffs..one of the great defensive performances of all time and they are short on centers, however, that contract, for me, was dale's worst cause he went to 5 years a that money AFTER they knew he had a bad back..and though they are kind of saying current injury is not related to back surgery, they are only KIND OF saying it..but, hes still valuable as evidenced by those playoffs
at that money it should say
With everyone focusing on the defensive lapses, I think the lackluster offense is getting overlooked. Why are they having such a hard time scoring goals?
I think that 5 on 5 its just a bad stretch..kane and toews are getting their looks, just not always finishing..it will come i think
Any trade rumors emerging as of late?
Nah, little early...
Do you think it would be smart to trade Patrick Kane at this point in his career? It would open a lot of space and we could get a lot for him.
Big fan Jesse. Appreciate all the insight. I have noticed the off. zone shifts for the 4th line and its been commented on by foley and edzo but where is the follow up shift right after them? they seem to lose momentum after that?
Good point..other than in NY against the rangers, we havent seen sustained pressure from one line to the next--for the most part. There are spurts but nothing like last year..Cant tell u why or Id be coaching
Long-term question here, but how bad will the Keith / Hossa (especially Hossa) contracts look in about six years?
Prob bad as far as Hossa is concerned...especially if hes banged up...keith maybe not so much..his cap hit isnt that bad
Why do the Hawks have so much faith in Corey Crawford and Nick Boynton? While Boynton has impressed at times, he still has no hands and can not skate; and Crawford, he has no clue what he is doing out there. Why not bring Huet back or what about Hannu Toinoven?
Did they legalize something out there in Cali I didnt know about? lol. just kidding. Crawford has been fine..I assume youre joking about huet..Boynton is the best they have right now for the money he is making...min salary guys play like it for the most part
Jesse I am actually wondering if Bolland has an issue with his back? He has not seemed like the same player we have seen last year. Do you think his back is bothering him and do you see him getting back to the old Rat we knew
Like I answered before...I would have to say yes..VERY hard to get specific info on injuries..there are new rules..even teammates dont know the whole story all the time...but there is some smoke there for sure, hopefully not a fire
why does the hawks consistently give up 2 goals in less than 2 minute spans??
I wrote the other day I think their confidence as a team is working against them in the sense that yeah, you want to know you can always come back and win but thinking that when you get scored upon instead of doing it is where the problem lies. Its crazy but I think there has actually been a LET UP when a goal is scored...counterintuitive but if we're looking for reasons...
Ok Scott had 1 fight he won, and yeah he beat the crap out of the guy. What else has Scott brought to the table? He is slow, can't shoot the puck, and other games when our skilled players were getting hit, Scott was no where to be found
Dont disagree with some of that..especailly the other game comment...Q said something interesting today.."Hes learning that 4th line role". hasnt played it that much..maybe hes unsure when to "go after" a guy, etc. I do know when he does fight--and most dont want to fight him--he wont lose many..
I thought if Brower could have won the SO for the hawks in ATL it would have done wonders for his game, but right now do you ever see him coming back to how most think he can play? I mean he is bad out there at times
Issue, unfortunately keeps coming up, and at this point Im out of answers...Its the same old thing..if he can catch that spark with top 6 guys he can be a factor, hes not very noticeable in bottom 6 so its kind of a catch 22 for Q..I would keep playing with top 6...but Im stubborn cause I liek the guy..just dont know..at this moment, I would say hes not back next year but I guess for a minimal raise he might be worth it..just not sure Q likes his makeup...I still do. holding out hope..thats my personal bias interjecting
Why is there a lack of crashing the net?
Not sure if thats true..Kopy goes there, toews, brouwer...I dont see that as a problem and I dont hear Q talk about it
Where has the Patrick Kane we saw Saturday been the whole year?
Could say the same about toews...they are putting a lot of pressure on themselves..they need to relax and just play..maybe the road is and will be better for them...hmm
couple more questions
Hi Jesse, So the Hawks record last year after 17 games was 10-5-2. This year, they're 8-8-1. We all know there were several games we lost in the end that we could have just as easily won. Do you think that a lot of people are panicking prematurely, or do you feel this team truly is lacking too much skill, depth, or heart to be a contender?
I dont think thet are lacking that stuff to be a contender but it depends on what you define as contender...they might be lacking some of it to go all the way...I mean after 49 yrs what are the chances of back to back anyway..I need the 30 game mark..
If you were the coach what would your ideal line combos be?
Again, being stubborn about Browuer...I would go kane, toews, brouwer (or stalberg)...sharp, hossa, kopy...etc...the reason I go with kopy and browuer there is to MAXMIZE what they can do...if kopy needs hossa, fine. If brouwer needs kane and toews, fine...otherwise thats two players that dont bring much..then u fill in 3rd and fourth...bolland, skille, stalberg...
Thats going to do it this week. great conversation. seriously, grear questions. Should be real interesting tonight. I think they will start to get it together cause the schedule is somewhat normal for a while...email me at email@example.com and follow me on twitter @espnchihawks and check out my blog after the game..thanks again...talk to you next week from edmonton! the circus trip begins there. enjoy tonight