Hello all. Welcome to our weekly chat coming to you from San JOse. sunny and aboyr 45 degrees here, which is cold for this time of year. Hawks and Sharks are done with morning practice. Vegas trip is in rear view mirror. Niemi is starting for sharks! Turco for Hawks. Fire away with questions
Jesse, what do you think our record would be this year if our goalie tandem was Huet and Niemi instead of Turco and Crawford? Or does it really just depend on the defense?
Yeah, so hard to predict but I will say its not hard to assume Niemi would be better if he had stayed just for the comfort factor alone...he put a lot of pressure on himself coming to a new team and hes struggled...If Niemi was the niemi of last yr I think the hawks record would be better because he was clutch in clutch moments...Turco has been just ok in those moments..all these close games the hawks have played, I think they win a few but thats ONLY if niemi was niemi of last yr. No way to know
Do you think the excitement of playing Niemi and the fact that San Jose is a better team will prevent a repeat of the letdown we saw in Calgary?
I cant tell you that for sure...Remember, they could play well and still lose..there is another team neding a win and some revenge as well...but I would hope they would continue the trend of Edm and vancouver...I think Q put the hammer down a little before vancouver and we saw the result...should carry over but this yr has been so up and down..plus a few days between games, tough to call
Do you think Coach Q has finally settled on lines for both the forwards and defense? The pairings seem to be working on D, and Bolland is much better suited for the 3rd line checking role.
I asked Q about that today..I think he would like Bolland in that role but he doesnt have the luxury long term to do it..I think Bolland is only there for Vancouver and SJ, considering his history with Sedins and Thornton...my guess is he moves back between hossa and sharp soon enough...It could be a rotation with him we see throughout the yr depending on matchup
Jesse, in an interview by Alexander Semin from the Washington Capitals, he really praises and vouches for Patrick Kane. With talks of him potentially being dealt, could the Hawks somehow come into play? A second line of Semin, Sharp, and Kane would be unbelievable.
Anything of course is possible but I just dont see how they could afford him...they're core forwards are set for a while...no big names gets added unless they lose a big name..thats my opinion..now they could trade seabrook for him but even that requires a big raise in the payroll so I doubt iginla or semin are coming...but again, there are ways to egt things done...takes some extreme measures though...i mean they got rid of 3 mil dollar guys....how can they afford 6 or 7
How many points do the Hawks need to come away with in the next 3 games?
At least 4..but 5 would be great...normally 3 would be acceptable but they cant afford to muddle along..need to gain especially against west teams
Hey Jesse, thanks for getting my question to Sharp! If the Hawks look bad tonight, how quick do you think we'll hear writers jump on the Vegas trip as a terrible idea? If they win, will people quickly start praising the trip as a great team chemistry idea?
You're probably right on both accounts...It would be hard for me to do that because its not like they've been real consistent all yr so how would we know if that was vegas or just the way this team has played..I suppose if it was the worst effort of the yr (which would take some doing at this point) then we could jump on it..but they played thier best and worst right before vegas so hard to say vegas has any short term impact
Any chance we see another 'Backup-overtakes-Starter' kind of thing like we did last year? Meaning what are the chances that Crawford outplays Turco and wins the starting job, just as Niemi did last year over Huet.
I give it a chance but not a likely scenario...turco hasnt come close to struggling like Huet..but to say it cant happen would be foolish..Q doesnt do these things quickly..would be later in yr if it were to happen...like I said, a chance
It looked like Stalberg's and Skille's TOI were a bit lower in Vancouver...any idea why?
Off the top of my head...lots of PP time that night which limits their minutes, though they got some special teams time in the 3rd..Q was not unhappy with either
Any chance Niemi signs with the Hawks next year or would you rule it out all together?
Again, anything can happen but I would give it 10% or less...probably more like 5%
Are we thinking the Hawks make some moves by the trade deadline? Do you think Brouwer or Kopecky are bait?
I think for sure Brouwer would be...if they could get a D-man to play ahead of Cullimore and provde insurance due to injury or if like Boynton is just ok, they would do that...Not sure kopy gets you much..plus what would hossa do!
Has Brouwer finally hit his stride after scoring the last two games?
I owuld not go that far...He is streaky with his game and confidence..have to see more
When is our defense going to turn it around and look like last year? Hammer, Keith, Seabrook are all looking bad, and Campbell still needs to recover.
Its coming but slowly...seabrook has been fine..keith starting to come..same with hammer..hes blocking shots at least...campbell not much offense yet but I like some moves hes making so yeah, now sounds about right to turn the corner back there
Why does Q keep going with Turco? Personally, I think Craw has looked pretty solid in net.
Lets slow down a little...Just like I used to say last yr. maybe Niemi had success because of the way they used him early..(though I think they gave him the job too late) so maybe bringing crawford along this way is a good thing...turco has been ok..not enough to lose the job..
Jesse, going off of your response to the Semin question, what if the 'Hawks were to deal Campbell? He has a big contract himself, and the Caps could be looking for offensive defensemen to take pressure off of Green.
My guess is they would be looking at defensive defenseman..that been their weakness...plus, campbell's play prob doesnt warrant his contract though he's need here...so his value here is prob higher than for another team, especially wash
Do you see the Hawks extending Sharp's contract?
I do...always depends on what he wants but I think he wants to stay so my guess is he'll be reasonable..he had a good raise last time so a moderate one might do the trick..still ahs another yr after this one
Hawks seem to be missing some toughness and skill. Think we might see Beach and Morin soon?
I dont think so..I think they think if they play their best they should be ok..As long a guys are buying into their roles I dont think they believe its a major personnel issue
do you think that the struggles of the Hawks in this part of the season can be viewed as positive because if they start picking it up its better to learn from mistakes now rather then having a collapse in March or April?
I owuld agree to that to some extent..I was thinking about the same thing with SJ...maybe a diff route to the playoffs might do them good instead of coasting through a reg season..its not the way you want to draw it up but you can find positives in it..as long as you;re not climbing out of a major hole in the 2nd half..but yes, get that kinks out now so you can have a run later but not too much later!
Jesse, if you could make any realistic trade for the Hawks, what would it be? (Not something like Ovechkin for Brouwer). This trade would be off of needs of course.
I would look for D-man with an expiring contract..stay at home or puck mover and prob offer up brouwer at this point..have to so some research to give you some names but that would be my idea
Where is Kim Johnsson did hawks release him or what is his deal? That was a big trade for us last year and it seems as if he disappeared?
He never fully recovered from his concussion (apparently) and his contract was up so he became a free-agent.Not playing anywhere as far as I know
Thoughts on the improvement in Pisani over the last few games? Think he's finally buying into the role as a lower 6 forward...
Yeah, and I kind of liked him at center..Always thought he would be 3rd or 4th line but yes, seems more comfortable lately and contributing more
who has advantage, Niemi or the Hawks?
It was a question put to a lot of people over last 24 hours...most said the goalie and mclellan made a good point if you look at shootouts its usually the goalie so he used that as his measuring stick but I disagree...a shooter can have tendencies but they go where the holes are...and the hawks know where antti's holes are..no doubt..and its prob glove side and high so I say the shooters
Any memorable moments from Vegas that you're allowed to share?
I wasnt there...and the guys Ive talked to which is just a few say they spent most of the time watching football sunday or watching their teammates play blackjack...they only had one real night there...now, what went on from midnight to sunrise that night, I dont know the details!
Is the problem with Keith psychological? I thought that for 2008-2009 and 09-10 up until the olympics, he was the best D-Man in his own zone in the league with his acitve stick, speed and positioning...Is Q now basically trying to make him "earn" his way back to being paired with Seabs?
Tough call on the Q question..If he was playing better would they have ever been split up? I guess the answer is no but as much as its about keith I think its also about cullimore/hendry, etc. so I dont think its about earning his way back unless those other guys show more..I think it is mental for keith..hes starting to come around..and I think fatigue played a part hence splitting them up so minutes could be distributed evenly
For the most part I've believed the poor results on Marty Turco's losses have been due to overall poor team defense. Mind you, Marty hasn't helped himself by letting in the odd stinker, but at what point can we expect the defense to "gel" after all the changes made this past summer?
Like I wrote before, very soon..Im not seeing as many open chances for guys around the hawks net so that tells me communication getting better...
Hey Jesse. Last year the Hawks were among the league leaders in short handed goals and it seems like this year we have had very few (except for when Sharpie juked Khabby out of his skates). Last year when we got a shorty the hawks seemed to get a boost out of the goal and maintain leads. Have the Hawks been working on the breakout from the PK at all this year or they more focused on dumping it out of their zone? Thanks for taking my question.
Yeah, they dont work on shorthanded goal scoring too much..thats more about opportunity...the forward know that a d-man, epscially keith, can hit them with homerun pass...it differs from year to year...hossa/toews/sharp are great but they lost a little in SH chances in the summer.
Hawks win 5-2 tonight...Kaner gets the hat trick after learning where to shoot on Nemo last year in practice. When the Hawks are steamrolling teams in April we will look back on the west coast trip (again) as the turnaround point!
Maybe...but already is a little diff with that calgary stinker so tough to say...suppose these 3 games could make us forget about the flames...
so are people starting to see that neimi was great because of our solid defense and shot blocking. I always thought he was a good goalie but not as great as some fans in chicago make him out to be. Also is turco out performing him right now.
Anyone that has followed me knows I would prob disagree with your premise..ESPECIALLY in the playoffs where he was more than just a caretaker..turco is up for debate..some are really down on him, some really down on the defense..I would like to see him make the clutch save a little more often..overall, he prob has outplayed niemi but antti only has 7 games under his belt cause they have another goalie who has played well...anyway, I like niemi..think he will turn it around and kind of believe he wouldnt be struggling as much if he were still with the hawks but admit I could be wrong about that...
Do you know what the team has planned for Thanksgiving?
Dinner at their hotel in Los Angeles after a practice...im sure it will be a good meal!
Any chance we see 3 lines play most of the time tonight- kinda like playoff hockey- instead of the 4th line in rotation?
I dont see why we would..every game is different but the normal rotation will apply unless circumstances dictate otherwise
Jesse - is Cullimore's supposed veteran stability really that much more valuable than what Leddy could bring to the table - rookie mistakes and all? I understand Q wanted to get some stability to start the year but now that hopefully the ship has balanced wouldn't it be a good time to introduce the kid's energy?
Well, there is more to it...they arent sure he would get the playing time he needs to improve the right way but Im sure money has a role as well..if the hawks toip 4 are healthy he wouldnt get much in terms of special teams so its about his growth but if youre asking if Q thinks cullimore is better than leddy even right now...I doubt that he does..maybe that comes into play later in the season and we see leddy
Was the game the other night against Vancouver reminiscent of the game in San Jose last year when we crushed them at the Shark Tank? Both games have a lot of similarities as far as a team trying to find itself at the time and after that San Jose game the Hawks took off. Can you see that happening again this year?
I would say yes but that seems to have happened a bunch already this season..they look like they are about to takeoff and then they stumble..need more evidence
Where is the consistancy in this team? Shout out - blow out - near shut out. Does that mean we expect a blow out tonight?
By which team..who knows what we'll see. Niether team has played since sat..both need wins..I do know this..last yr this was a GREAT matchup for the hawks hence thier domination..the sharks did not have an answer for their quickness..if that discrepancy still exists than the hawks should win
Jesse, any rumors swirling around about a potential 'Hawks acquisition? Financially, we're handicapped because of the salary cap, but if we could somehow dump a contract like Campbell and get a guy like Brad Richards or Alex Semin, that would really benefit our squad, and give us another lethal offensive weapon.
Again, dumping campbell for more offense seems risky for this season since the hawks are thin on the blueline..dont like it...if the hawks pp stays pretty good, which it should, they should be ok on offense..I worry about an overtaxed and thing defense
thin defense not thing
It just seemed that neimi never really could take a team out of the game if he wanted with his goaltending. I guess a better question would be how good would have turco been if he was with the hawks last season, when they had an extremely solid defense and offense.
Again, I disagree.. he had like 4 shutouts in his first 9 starts...was fantastic against nashville and SJ, more than good against vancouver...and certianly good enough against Philly...the hawks gave up 5 more shots per game in the playoffs than reg season...played in their end more athan they had all season nd he rose to the challenge...
I will be at game tonight sitting directly behind Hawks bench. I have never had this opportunity & would like to know what interesting things happen that you may not see on TV or other seats when watching the Hawks? Line Changes, etc. What can I expect?
The line changes are interesting especially in a game like this (just like vancouver) because Q will try to get Bolland out there as much as he can when Thornton is on the ice..so watch for a faceoff with one line and then all 3 or even 5 guys change to get the right matchup..you might hear Q screaming at an official or his team if things arent going well but there isnt a ton of action on the bench...
Jesse, my family and I will be at both the Ducks and Kings games. Any way to get a shout out from Foley and Olczyk?
You wont be able to hear it but Ill tell him!
Which Arena do you like Better United Center or Chicago Stadium?
Did you see the ESPN goalie rankings? Turco in 34 or 36. Whats up with that?
I had not seen that...that low huh? Not sure, dont think he deserves that. Lets put it this way, anyone that has watched the hawks would say, compareitively, the defense in front of him has been worse than him so if he's 34 than what's keith, 120? lol
i feel our struggles this year have been because of a soft 3rd line and poor transition game, what do you think will be done to improve these areas
Tranisition game starts with hard work, communication, and chemistry....3rd line has been better..guys like bickell and skille buying their roles more..
Will we ever see a Female Coach in the NHL?
I'll say no.
Mr. Rogers, how does this possible trade scenario look: 'Hawks get: Vokoun and Booth, Florida gets: Campbell, Crawford, Lalonde, 2nd rounder
Not horrendous but again, giving up on defense prob not a good thing...plus you are adding booth's contract..too much for sure...after this yr you get relief cause vokoun is up but you cant do it money wise for rest of yr without another move is my guess
whos in goal tonight for hawks??
Turco for hawks..niemi for sharks..seems weird to write that
Thats going to do it for today. Thanks for all the great questions. Looking forward to this one..SJ reminds me of Van..missing a piece to the puzzle plus hawks are just quicker...but the niemi angle makes for a great storyline...follow me on twitter @espnchihawks and check out my blog after the game for coverage..plus this aft/evening. should be a video with eddie o. previewing the game in there...chat next week from chicago!! wed. have a good holiday. talk to ya tonight on twitter