Hi folks. welcome to our weekle Hawks chat..thanks for joining. Im in snowy edmonton..temp 12 degrees as we speak. Both hawks and oilers have finished up their morning skates. Hawks going with same forward lines as last game which is good news...turco in net...scott/cullimore scratches..pisani first game back against old team..alright fire away! lets talk some hawks
Is it time Hawks fans just come to realize this team is just not that good and they may not make the playoffs?
Wow, lets just jump right into it, shall we? I dont think we are there yet..I tweeted out the other day (@espnchihawks) that I am buying what they are selling right now...and that is that they are close to breaking out. I really think they will have a decent trip .500 or better...tonight is HUGE...really is and I dont put a lot of stock into one game but if you want to go somewhere this year, you cant lose 3 times to edm this quickly AND start off a tough trip with a loss...but I do think they are close..sharp said it yesterday...they are just now figuring out their identity for this season...i could be wrong but I think a run is coming
Do you think all of Coach Q's line shuffling is hurting the team? The players never get any chemistry together because they are constantly being rotated.
Personally, I think it went on about a week to 10 days too long...Kane on the left side was just a waste of time...the key move was Q's decision that they cant afford Bolland to be just a checking line center as they firs thought going into the year..they dont have the depth..now that he's 2nd line...I think this lineup sticks for a while...
Jesse- Has Quenneville lost the team this year with all of his line changes and his playing of less-talented players, especially incrucial situations? Thanks.
No, those that have played at those times have deserved it..heck he proabbly should be playing stalberg and skille more..especially in OT. not like kane and toews are lighting it up every night..but the basic answer to your question is NO
Loved the Sharpy blog!....but seriously who is "stuck" with Seabs on this trip?
Thanks....and that would be dave bolland w/ seabs now...Ill go to him after a few nights and ask him how its going...BTW, joked with Sharp's new roomate, Jake Dowell, about their first night together last night..he said they watched seperate movies on their laptops and barely spoke...Also btw, sharp is going to take some reader question on this trip..we'll have a link for that at some point soon
Is it true the team is stopping in Vegas during the trip?
Yes, after Vancouver they are going to veagas for like 36 hours before San Jose...at least thats the plan!
3rd times a charm for beating Edmonton tonight?
I have to believe so..was talking to Kane today about the ice..Edm known as very good, Chicago not so good...he said even in morning skate you can tell everything is crisp..everything "feels" better...i think that line has a big game...they have to win this game. simple as that. at least my opinion
I have a hard time seeing the difference between Turco's and Niemi's game other than the fact that Niemi didnt give up a back-braking goal late in the 3rd (which is not all his fault, the D lets up as well). It still doesnt makes since to give up Niemi over a matter of $725,000.
I did like Niemi in the clutch that is for sure..I would say Turco has not been the problem though a big save late here or there could make the difference...hard to know if Niemi is here if he gets off to a better start than he is in San Jose...Turco has been ok...other issues are worse
Who are the key players that really need to produce to have a successful circus trip?
The top two lines...and the pp...simple as that..if bolland line is being checked by other team's best than Toews has to come thru and vice versa..course keith has to pick it up no matter when/where they play
Who do you think should captain the teams for the All-Star Game? Do you think Toews has a chance of being named one?
I think Toews deserves to. From a big market..biggest name in the Western conferne in my opinon or right there with biggest names...but people seem to think lidstrom...I go younger...
The circus trip is barely a couple of days old. Any scoop or news on pranks that may have been pulled by Sharpie?
I asked him this morning..he said hes starting slow..nothing yet
What is the biggest difference you see in this year's team playing at home versus playing on the road? Any keys to why they might play a little differently?
Tough question...pschological for sure..a little overconfident in close games..ya know, "we've been here before, we'll get it done" but its a diff team and getting it done, no matter the opponent, is about hard work not just saying it but doing it...
Now that the Hawks are moving into the 2nd quarter of the season...do you see the hangover wearing off, the team developing its identity, everyone getting their legs under them, roles developing?
Yes, kind of like what I posted on the first question..I see it BUT there is always a chance we THINK we're seeing it but really arent...this trip tells a lot for me...at least .500
Has coach Q gotten on Kane for not back-checking and being soft in the corners? I have noticed a bit of a pick up in these parts of his game in the past couple games, but still feel he is soft and lazy when it comes to going after the puck when he's not in the offensive zone. Thanks for your feedback.
Im sure he has in his way..i know teamates will get on him or each other if soft play is going on..frankly I dont judge him on that..I need points out of Kane more than anything..I know hes not going to be toews in the corner so he needs to produce
do you think the hawks have a legit shot at making the playoffs this year? Also what defensive moves should we make to better are defense
Of course they have a legit shot but they do need a run before christmas..they need to clamp down around their goaltender, thats No.1..shore that up and they will start winning some close games
What do you think Bickell's ceiling is? Also, do you think Skille's line or him will be getting more time because of his play?
Bickell's ceiling might be what we are seeing right now..hes has gotten more physical over last few games..as soon as players stop thinking about scoring and just playing to their stengths things can come together...I like how skille is figuring out his role as a bottom 6 guy...both players might be starting to "get it". might. playing time changes from game to game..cant predict that
What do you think about Jack Skille's play so far? For years he was buried in the AHL and now is the NHL for him
Like I said...he's starting to accept being an energy that has some wheels and will score some if he's not thinking about scoing all the time..dont you love how that works..you'll score more in that role if you're not always trying to but energy guys have to it that way cause he cant get fancy..that wont work with skille or bickell for that matter
Jesse, huge fan, so what is your prediction on the circus trip?
I think 4 wins..and maybe in 5 games..call me crazy...
and maybe points in 5 games that should say
and maybe points in 5 games that should say
What's happening with contract extension talks for Seabs?
all quiet which means probabaly about to happen! seabs had dinner with his agent last night I believe here in Edm but I dont believe stan is town so not sure anything imminent...
Jesse- How would you grade out the play of the blackhawk's goalies this season?
I would say slightly above average for both..no issues with crawford..turco, like i said before wish he had a clutch save or two more in him in some games but hey, when they lose 2-1, hard to blame the goaltender
Can't believe everyone (so far) is so down...hey it's only been 20 out of 82 games....let them create the chemistry,it takes a little time...
Agreed, HOWEVER, they have played like 5 more games than some teams...it is hard to climb out of holes and .500 in the nhl is not really good..not with 3 poin nights..and really they are 9-11..thats pretty bad...but now is the time to get moving.. i said a while back I would judge after 30 games but that might be too many..
Heard you are doing a remote with Kopecki, do tell more about that
Yes, thanks for asking..first one is 6 pm on dec. 2 on espn 1000 at Binny's in Bolingbrook..here is a link with info..cmon on out and say hello: http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/radio/news/story?page=event101202
Worst case scenario the Hawks come back 1-5 or 2-4 on this trip. What kind of ramifications would that bring in terms of personnel?
Hard to know without seeing how they get to that 1-5 or 2-4 record..but that scenario is pretty bad...they might go to the minors before some blockbuster trade...
What was the value of having Seabrook take Keith's spot on the powerplay when Campbell was available and would seem like a more logical replacement?
Dont know the specific answer but the difference between the two is obvious, seabrook has the better shot, campbell can skate...maybe they have enough skaters on first unit with kane/sharp/toews so they want soup on other one..just not positive but those must be the reasons..or maybe they feel seabrook earned it
It would appear there are guys that are 'nice' players, but so far haven't gotten much done. I think Hammer is one of those players. It's hard to speculate, but if there were moves to be made...what could you see happening? Who is a prime trade candidate on the team? What position would they target in return?
I think the obvious answer would be Brouwer..other teams prob see soime upside and he's inly making a mil..skille could be in that category as well...target d or another centerman but neither grows on trees...if the seaosn really goes south and seabrook wants a huge contract, suppose he could get moved but thats just an obvious think to say based on that reality..anyway, Brouwer for sure would be bait
Jesse - Why aren't the Hawks more aggressive in the corners as they were last season? Is the desire to succeed and do whatever is necessary still there?
They dont have the same forechecking team they once had...burish, eager, and ladd were pretty good at it when they were in there...the hawks D isnt strong at getting that puck away from forwards in the corners so on both ends its not a great strength though Ill take hossa and toews any day for that
Yo Jesse, with the circus in town, is this the make or break road trip for the Hawks? I think that getting a win at home before we left was crucial, and how can we build on it to get ourselves back atop the conference?
I kind of do think its make or break..at least it could break them if its devastating but a great trip would return some swagger and confidence
How come they don't play Skille more I think he would be the perfect 3rd liner for them with Pisani by the way I called it that he would start to break out?
I think they are using him the right way..havent looked at all his playing time but he is settling in there...not quite there but getting close to being comfortable in his role
Hey Jesse,Do you think that Q will continue to shuffle D men to reduce minutes for Keith and Seabs to keep them fresh for the long run? Also, who do you see stepping up as a shut down defensive forward line now that everyone is healthy?
Yes on the D question..its worked out pretty decent so far..Im sure in big situations youll see 2 and 7 together some as we move along...i think the pisani line, for now, has to do it..top 2 lines need to score though with bolland that line could get some top assignments as well
Do you think Hossa and Toews should be on a line together again? They get scoring chances every shift it seems like, plus I think it would help Hossa find the back of the net more, like the beginning of the year. What are your thoughts?
six, half a dozen of the other..I think toews and kane are best together...and I have no prob hoss with bolland or sharp as his center so i think the way Q has it now is slightly better
How much does Campbell contribute as a leader on the team? He strikes me as a type that even though he doesn't wear a letter, he's still a solid veteran presence with experience and a good work ethic.
Yes, I would agree with that..even if he's leading himself, hes involved in the leadership when issues need to be addressed
What's up with Toews avoiding the media after every tough loss? Based on your blog and what I've read in the Chicago media, it seems the Captain is nowhere to be found until the following day? It would be nice to hear his reaction the night of...a la Marty Turco and Campbell.
Everybody is different...hes there sometimes, and sometimes he's not..old school people would say the captain needs to be there after every game, especially losses except on rare occasions..If i had a complaint it would be after a few playoff losses last year he wasnt around for media but 8 out of 10 he is..and there are 20 other guys to potentially talk to...im sure hes just too upset sometimes but hey, part of the gig
I heard a rumor trade Kane for Crosby, is there anything to this rumor? I would make that trade in a NY Minute
Seriously? Would love to know where you heard that..no chance in hell. never read whoever wrote that again
To steal one from the south side who is your pick to click on this trip?...(player(s) or coach(es)
couple people have asked me that...tough question..I think Keith bottomed out recently and is on his way back up the ladder so I'll go with him
Hi Jesse-- Love the Wednesday live chats! Wondering if Toews is suffering any lingering effects from the MCL strain he had following the Cup Finals. What do you think?
He does wear a brace but I dont see a huge diff. in his game..he's missed finishing on some chances, cant imagine thats because of the brace so Ill say no
Jesse, I think Q should put Keith and Seabrook back together as well as hjalmarsson and campbell. not sure why he changed it up, but as long as scott isnt playing D im fine with boyton and cullimore. what do you think?
Listem that top 4 wasnt getting it done and its hard to spread the minutes with the 5,6 and 7 guys they have so I kind of liked what he did...not sure if it will be really long term but I oculd see it happeneing for a while..it was the right thing to so at the time..this isnt last yr, those pairs were not working all that great
Why does Eddie keep gushing about Turco when he keeps giving up soft goals, and the Hawks end up losing?Granted, the Hawks' scoring sucks, and the skaters have some bad defensive lapses, but Turco could keep them in games. It seems as though he's keeping opponents in games, though.
I go back and forth..Hes been alright just not as clutch as I would like..they are somewhere between soft goals and good goals..again, when you are giving up 1-2 goals a game,sometimes 3, I cant argue too much with his play but youre not wrong about some of those 3rd period ones
What do you think has contributed to Stalberg's recent success?
Old cliche..confidence..its not just confidence he can play at this level the bigger confidence comes from knowing you can make a mistake and not get benched or be down on yourself..that allows him to just go out and play so he's starting to feel it and understand it
The Atlanta game was Kane's best of the year. It looked like the Kane of last year where he looked like he could score anytime he had the puck. Why haven't we seen that Kane more often this year?
Hard to know..I'm not as down on him as others..he has 17 points in 19 games and hes not playing that great. And he doesnt get cheap points..he earns them but you are right..last yr, especially when toews was hurt he was the best player on the ice for the hawks often in the first half..I wrote this 10 gamess ago, he needs the puck more which means he has to go get it..hes close..7 g 10 a is not horrendous
Can you keep bad-mouthing Skille so that he continues to prove you wrong
How have I bad mouthed him? Go back and look at my answers..I just said hes starting to "get" it. He would agree with that. He's an energy player with speed and some scoring ability..if he accepts it and he is starting to he could have a good career...and maybe move up..we've seen it before but hes not top 6 right now..and thats Q talking as much as me
when and where is this team going to find their grit and grind? Our grinders don't have the size and skill that Ladd, Byfuglien, and Eager gave us last year.
Understandble question..this is what IM referring to when it comes to skille nad bickell and even dowell, pisani..those guys need to accept those roles..dowell has but he's a minor player compared to some others..oh, include browuer too..he needs to accept it and that might be hard..contract year means wanting to score and it wont happen much on the bottom 6 but if he grinds and hits it will help the team
Jesse, is it me, or are the Hawks not playing with passion. I know it's early and they are a fairly new group out there, but I see no passion in their game. Your thoughts?
Ahhh, pasion is tough to judge..I interviewed Scott Niedermayer and Chris Chelios recently and they said no doubt about it..oct and nov games after wininng the cup not as to go nuts for..understandable to a certain extent but this isnt like they brought back the same team and can turn it on at any time so thats where the strangeness of this thing plays in...they are the defending champs but really they arent cause the team is half different..prob sums up the first 20 games right there
Sorry for missing words..not as EASY to go nuts for
do you think the blackhawks will make the playoffs
How much do you and the other media guys hang out on these trips? Or do you mostly keep to yourselves?
No, we hang..we are all kind of on the same scehdule so it works out..we're going to watch the bears game tomorrow from a bar in calgary hopefully
Have any of the guys expressed they feel they need to step up their game and take some more chances
I wouldnt say take chances but sure a few have said they have to be better starting with kane and keith..been very honest at times
Where is the Norris-winning Duncan Keith from last year? Is he on a milk carton somewhere? What do you think is wrong with him? Trying to hard to live up to the contract?
Basic answer yes but not just contract more like Norris Trophy...Niedermayer said it to me..its a diff mental state for the team and for him..hes getting there
Hey Jesse, (on vacation in Eleuthera) first I wish you were here on the beach with me doing the show. Do you think there is any chance that Ladd can come back to the Hawks by either a trade or FA?
Anything is possible..but I would say no..he is wearing a letter, off to a good start stat wise, and Atl didnt trade for him just to give back away unless there is a larger plan going on so its doubtful
I'm looking forward to seeing the Hawks when you're in town for the Sharkies. A culinary suggestion...go visit 'La Victoria Tacqueria' in SJ. It's on San Carlos Ave. Right by SJSU about a 1/2 mile from the stadium. Killer burritos and tacos. Get the orange sauce.
Does this team go after a legit number two center this off-season/trade deadline to get Sharp back on the wing?
No, cause he's back at wing now..Bolland was signed to a huge contract to be No. 2 center, its time for that to happen..i mentioned this before, look for swede Marcu Kruger to be their number 3 center next year..and that will be their 4 centers with dowell and toews..for now, I odnt mind pisani though I want to see him some more
Jesse..Will you be doing another chat on this trip?...love to compare as we progress through the west!
Every wed. so next week...um, where are we...oh, day before thanksgiving..in San JOse, the big matchup with Niemi who I assume will play in that game...so yeah chat next wed. not sure wha time..will take a few more today
Jesse, Am I the only one who seen the defense be not as aggressive as a whole this year? They aren't the same team as last year thats for sure. Especially being aggressive against movement to the middle with the puck. Big difference from last year. What do you think?
Here is my feeeling: they arent great when stuck in their own zone and chasing or retrieving the puck...since they arent this special puck posession team they were last year, they are in their own end more and more so this problem has come to the forefront..but they are getting better at it..
Jessse, you can email me this if you want but can we get an autograph if we go to the remote? firstname.lastname@example.org
Dont quote me but Im fairly sure Kopecky will sign some but we are doing a radio show and not an autograph session so it wont be a huge signing or anything...come out either way..have to support hockey talk in chicago!
Jesse there is a kid playing over in Europe (Sweeden I think) that is high on the Hawks radar, he is a center. Any chance he can come over and play in the states this year? Maybe have a chance to make the team?
That's Kruger..he was hurt but ok now I believe...not this yr..next
It seems to me that the most glaring need on this year's team is a #2 centerman so Bolland can move back to a checking role. Do you agree?
In a perfect world..thats why they started out with him there and sharp at No. 2 center but they dont have enough depth to afford to do that plus as I said Bolland is making a good buck..if he cant get it done on both ends with sharp and hossa than hes overpaid
Victor Stalsberg is in his entry level contract, do you see the Hawks getting him signed long term soon? By the way my dad texted me to say Hi
Maybe in the 2nd half id he proves himself but there is no rush, prob after the season
if he proves himself
Is Kruger supposed to be good enough potentially that he could come over next season and actually play with the pro team? Or would he still need seasoning in Rockford?
I think Hawks but you never know until they come over
Jesse,Take away the Anaheim game, and the Hawks just aren't doing the dirty work. They lose battles in the corner, they aren't drawing enough penalties, and worst of all probably to a coach, they aren't difficult to play against. I don't know if that is a switch that can just be switched on, but is this just who they are this year?
No, I think they are closer to getting there now than 2 weeks ago..look back at the things I said about bickell, skille, and brouwer accepting roles and ketih turning it around..identity is coming..and they had 4 pp in a row against nash to extend lead and could not do it so they had chances that night
Who do you think will pose the toughest test for the hawks on the circus trip?
Prob the L.A./Anaheim combo..back to back..that Honda center is dead...day game after thanksgiving will only add to the funeral like atmosphere...and that L.A. team I like a lot..that atmosphere is GREAT at staples..one of my fav games last yr on the road 2-1 shootout loss..intense game
hey Jesse i have been saying all year long that Toews needs to shoot more, it seems more good things happen when he does, what do you think?
I dont disagree but I think hes just missing on finishing some chances...can only shoot more if youre in position to get the shot off..hes fought the puck some before shot can get off...he's close as well I think..lvoed that Atl game..need more of that
I am a huge fan of the Rockford line, Skille, Bickel and Dowell. Do you agree with me that they should get more playing time?
Depends on the game..they have been good but they have to prove it every night..they get no benefit of the doubt
Hello Jesse, do you think that Hossa is still a little hurt? I don't see him playing as hard as he did before the injury. By the way is Hossa married?
Believe he just got married this offseason. People ask me about him being hurt..I would say no more than usual..hes a big guy that takes a beating..He said he needed a few games to get back going..he had g,a last game so maybe hes getting there
This road trip needs to see Kane and Toews step up, we are on the road letting the guys simplify things dump the puck, check, get shots on net w/traffic......thats the team that I remember hosting Lord Stanleys Cup do you agree?
Yes, now that K and T and together with stalberg, time to get it going
Will Scott v. Stortini round 2 happen tonight?
No, scott not playing
jesse, are you or have you been a prank victim?
No, but funny you ask..I started to tell sharp if he needs help with a seabrook prank im there for him but then I remembered how that would probably come back to haunt me so staying away from that stuff
Hi Jesse, if you were the GM of the Hawks would you do anything different at this point?
Hmm, we will end on this one...tough one..I might go down to rockford and bring morin back up but only after seeing how these lines perform..I like these lines a lot right now...rather see morin in the top 6 but right now they have their top 6 set...at this very moment i would wait until after the trip at least..6 games with same lineup essentially...but thats about all I would consider right now..unless a D-man falls from the trees
Thanks all, great questions as usual...email me at email@example.com if I missed yours...follow me on twitter..@espnchihawks..I take pics and send those out and give lineup info and fight on there with some as well! I am not usually one for dramatics but I think they HAVE to win this game..oilers feel confident cause they have beaten hawks twice but have played poor otherwise so they feel it too..this should be a good game but I think Hawks def win...and dont forget to read my blog after the game and/or tomorrow morn! have a good one. talk to you tonight on twitter