Hi all. Welcome to our weekly hawks chat. Im at the united center as both the hawks and stars just finished up their morning practices. Corey Crawford starts against Turco's old team again. Turco will get a chance to start in Dallas Im sure. Boynton, Skille, and Dowell are the scratches tonight as the Hawks are completely healthy...2nd half start tonight..fire away with questions
Hey Jesse, great midway reviews and reports.The return of Toews certainly was a lift to the team and Hossa is getting back to his groove of production and playing 1 on 5 keep away. When will Patrick Kane start playing like the "1 pt per game guy" that you always say he is?
I think soon. Hes on a checking line kind of right now so I think thats Q's way of saying he needs to earn it..he's getting closer..great pass to sharp on pp goal other night so hes still having his moments..if he can at least keep it up on pp, thats huge..
do you think Dincan keith deserves to be one of the top defenseman on the All Star team?
Without doing a ton of research on how other d-men are playing, I would say no just based on his own play. Im sure most that have watched the hawks would agree...Im sure he got voted in based on last season as much as anything but he has not had an All-star first half
Jesse, The last episode of Caps/Pens will air tonight... The pens pass a shovel after every game and the Caps with the helmet...Do the Hawks do anything like this?
Yes, They have a championship type wrestling belt they picked up last season and when they win, the previous winner of the belt awards it to whoever he deems worthy
Defense aside, because we all know the defense NEEDS to play better; what forward needs to elevate their play to get this team into the playoffs? I'm looking at Bolland and/or Brouwer.
Bolland is a good call...Brouwer maybe...but Kane and Hossa need to be more consistent...if stalberg can get back to an earlier level that would help too...Id put Kane at the top of the list..and bolland
Do Morin and Leddy make the Hawks better and If the Hawks make the playoffs (I can't believe I have to start with "IF") will it be with Morin and Leddy playing?
Ill say yes on Leddy. I think he'll be here by Feb. if not sooner...If the hawks are healthy and the forwards are playing decent, may not be room for morin...I dont think they HAVE to have them both to make it but Leddy would sure help in my opinion..plus, there will be new injuries for sure..
Maybe I missed it, but why do the Blackhawks have no games scheduled Jan. 17-21? Also, do you think it's a good thing at this point?
Cause the schedule makers are goofy. No games, No reason. Not really a good thing because the all-star break comes right after that so they dont get to take full advantage in my opinion. As all these teams played a lighter schedule the hawks were busy..the hawks wont really be able to take full advantage of teams catching up so not good
What are the chances that Toews is chosen as one of the All-Star captains and he picks another Hawk forward to join him... Kane or Sharp? What Hawk player would you bring on board or do you think #2 and #19 are it?
Tough call. Toews not a glamour guy in nhl like crosby and ovechkin...lidstrom prob get some consideration...but maybe...sharp will be there, at least i think so..tough call on 88, probably not
Why are Dowell and Skille in Q's doghouse? Just a wakeup call mid-season?
Q hasnt really expounded on it..even dowell said Q told him he just wanted to "shake things up"..with those guys, the coaches wacth the tape very closely...its not about the obvious sometimes...they have to be doing the right things "energy" wise and defensive positioning, etc. what everyone has to remember, sometimes a "poor play" doesnt lead to a goal but the coaches notice...anyway,I dont think the doghuses are HUGE but someone has to sit...like u said just a mid-seaosn thing i think
Do you feel like the buzz around the Hawks is fading, given the poorer record? It seems like some of the bandwagon fans have jumped off.
A little bit. I think when the bears season is over it will pick up...also, last season's team was rock star special..they had a vibe to it that this team doesnt have..if they reel off 8 or 9, they will get it back but we havent seen them come close to that
Jesse I read your chat room from a couple weeks back and when asked if you thought Chelios would ever have his #7 retired by the Hawks you were quick to say "NO". My questions is this "WHY NOT"? Or better yet why is Magnuson more deserving than Chelios to be up there?
He didnt play his whole career here, didint win a championship here, and was a star in two other cities...magnuson was a little different..retired it in honor of pilote as well..and prob for more reasons than just on the ice...I dont know everything behind retiring 3 but I dont think 7 should be..
Hey Jesse, now that everyone is healthy, what can Q do with the lines in order to get a max energy performance every night? Sometimes we look great, but other times the energy has been drained
Right now hes trying for balance but its not about the lines in terms of max energy. Thats an individual thing..chemistry is about the lines..last game worked better than I thought it would..especially after the first period so lets see how tonight goes but I dont imagine bolland and kane together long term
Do you feel Seabrook has become a liability rather than a reliable defender? He still refuses to play physical, consistently turns the puck over, and still cannot put forth a strong stretch of games.
Think youre being a little harsh...I believe he does play physical when called upon but hes been no worse than Keith..similiar numbers..as a tandem it was a bad first half
Do you think Big Dustin Byfuglien can keep up his impressive play all season? If so it would appear he would be a lock for the Norris. Your thoughts?
Stunned is all I can say. They have brought out the best in him in Atl on the blueline. Ill say yes on keeping it up. Its a contract yr, atl is hanging around the playoffs and he's kind of free to do what he wants...love it
If you had to predict a second half MVP for the Hawks who are you taking?
What are your views on Jack Skille and what he can bring to the table for the Hawks?
I wrote in my blog yesterday...north cand south energy guy..dont try to get fancy with the puck, dont try to do too much in general..if he accepts that instead of trying to live up to his draft status or something, he can be a good 3rd or 4th liner with more speed than most that play there...
Jesse, is there any chance that we might see another B'hawk in the all star game this year? Patrick Sharp has been on fire with hi 23 goals. Is he a possibility?
Like I wrote earlier, I think he gets in but if you look at the numbers and the sure things, there arent many open spots so maybe he needs a few more goals but I think he's in
Speaking of the goofy schedule, do you think a large part of their early problems can be attributed to having a busy schedule at the start of the season? Not enough practice time?
I would defintiely put some of it on that...but more than practice time, it was a short summer followed by a busy schedule...also the 1 game trips, home and road were an isssue
Jesse, I'm a huge Kane guy, but even I would say his game is lagging. Any ideas as to the reason? Too much partying? Also, what's the logic in playing him with the likes of Pasani or Dowell? I think his skill is wasted skating with the "energy" guys.
Q has done this to him before..little wakeup call..get him to think about his game more, make him play in his own end...defintely just getitng back to full strength with his ankle..there are up and down yrs, career yrs, etc. I would not call his yr bad but down so far..I wont blame partying unless I know for sure its taking away from his game..last time i checked he's liked to have a good time since enetering the league and hes donw pretty well
Sent you a tweet the other day after the Winter Classic...Caps are 17-0-1 when leading after 2 pds. Perfect timing to bring up, thanks to your blog post about the hawks 3rd period failures. What is the main reason for this? It would seem that they just let up. I notice Seabs/Keith rarely have their sticks on the ice and just stand around the net. Do you think it's fatigue or laziness?
Probably fatigue..they dont seem like lazy 3rd period players..doesnt make sense..goaltending also was avg when turco was playing more..they need a 2nd wind
Jesse, I was wondering what your assessment of Craw is so far this season. Do you feel that he has permanently taken over the no.1 spot thus far? Also, do you feel that his game will take-off the way that Niemi's did throughout the year? Thanks
Yes to your questions though its hard to know how he will react in the spring. could go either way..wears down with so much playing time or gets comfy in the job and excels? either way he plays BIG, bigger than niemi and hes a giant compared to turco..best part of his game in short
I was surprised the Campbell didn't garner any mention in MVP talk. You could certainly make an argument that he's right behind Sharp/Toews in his importance to this seasons team. His return early this yr stabilized Hammer, and his +13 is a lot prettier to look at the combined -11 of the Seabs/Dunc tandem.
Yeah, except not playing full time on PK, not playing against other team's best, missed a month (not his fault),and points have been a little slow to come by...like how he has been skating with puck lately..shooting could use some work..anyway, nice yr so far, not MVP or even 2nd or 3rd in my opinion
Jesse, are we rushing Nick Leddy if we bring him up in the 2nd half? You look at our recent D men and their success is because they've spent significant time in the minors.
Stan Bowman talked about this a while ago. He used Hammer as an example..they brought him up kind of late in the season his first yr after getting him a ton of time in the minors and it worked out...think the same blueprint is for leddy..most think he should have been here by now..I kind of like the Bowman way..kind of
I'm confused on this all-star draft. How are the remaining 36 players picked by the NHL? Is it based on their current season performance along with how the remaining votes were cast? Is the captain chosen from the starters, or all all 42 selections? I'd love a Toews/Crosby matchup of captains!
It is goofy..the remaining players are picked by the league and then the captains are chosen and THEN the captains pick the teams from the pool of players..captains dont have to be among the 6 top vote getters they annoucned yesterday
Do you think its Skille's wreckless style and Dowell's lack of offensive fire power that is keeping the two of them out of the lineup respectively? I do believe Q is trying to prove a point to Skille but I'm not sure exactly what he has against Dowell right now. Both are a huge upgrade on the ice compared to John Scott.
Scott provides a role. A diff one than the other two. dont have a prob with a little rotation here and there to motivate guys...Johnson better in faceoffs and better on defense...dowell has shown pretty good offense for him...dont read too much into it..no prob with dowell's game but whether he plays or not isnt going to determine the end game here..maybe on a smaller basis..anyway, he'll get back in
Other than the Wings what team scares you the most in the Central Division?
I know the answer should be st. louis but its nashville. trotz is the man. they always scare me. sort of
Jesse, Isn't it time to do something drastic with this team or at least shake things up. I would like to see Skille sent down and maybe finally give somebody like Beach a chance and waive Boyton and give Hendry a chance. What do you think..
No reason to waive boynton..hendry is playing right now. I dont think we need to look at the role players as issues..2 and 7...88...81..all just ok...hossa great start but a little bit of a fade at times
Ladd signed a 1 yea contract with Atlanta. Do you see the Hawks trying to get him back in a sweater or are we still going to be tight for the cap space?
I dont see him coming back. Hes their captain. They are trying to build something there..hes part of that, I believe
How many points do you think the hawks will need to secure a playoff spot?
JR, what was Tazer so hot about after that penalty was called? Don't get me wrong it was great to see but it looked like a penalty to me? thanks!
Didnt ask him but Im guessing he thought it could have been called the other way before his high stick..he was behing held?? maybe?
What do you see as the biggest hole to fill on this team heading towards the trade deadline?
No doubt its a top 4 d-man if they can get...or even a 5 or 6
Saw James "The Wiz" Wisniewski was dealt to Montreal last week, was he on the Hawks radar as a potential trade target?
Dont think so..they didnt love him here and he costs way too much
You can take Sharp or the field to finish as the GOAL leader on the Hawks who are you taking?
Sharp..no reason to think he slows down that much..point on the power play gets him great chances and if he ever moves back to wing, he'll get even more
What is the latest on Kyle Beach? His name seemed to be out there alot in the offseason / preseason as a guy who might fill one of those 3rd or 4th line vacancies. Is he close to seeing same action at the NHL level?
When there are more injuires i think he'll get a chance...right now, no room
Are you surprised w/ Duncan's All Star nomination considering his mediocre 1st half performance, especially the glaring -7 plus / minus stat?
Fan voting. Nothing surprises me
Hey Jesse,After watching the weekend games at Anaheim and LA, is it not obvious that Brent Seabrook is not the same player he was last season? Last year I watched him break up almost every 2 on 1 thrown at him. This year, he can barely get the puck out of the zone. Two of the goals scored by the Kings were off of terrible clearing passes by Seabrook (and mostly on the PK). Do you know what is going on with him, and is Quenville taking any action to curb these issues? I mean, Jake Dowell got benched for a couple bad shifts, wouldn't benching Seabrook send a message to the rest of the team?
In theory yes but it can do as much damage as help...Plus, things could be worse depending on who replaces him..Reduced minutes is the answer..let soup and hammer get more and keith and seabrook less...and hope they get that 2nd wind..I dont know what is going on with him, specifically...i think the minutes have caught up
Will Turco finally get the start over his old club in the Stars tonight?
People are reporting Dowell and Boynton are the scratches. If so, who do you think skates with Kane and Bolland? You reported Pisani was standing around-did he skate more later in the practice? How did he look? (sick?)
Pisani was an equipment problem..waiting for a new glove...hes in and dowell, skille, and boynton are out
From your perspective, when it comes down to team meetings or Q and Toews "talking" to the team, do individuals ever get called out or is it more of a "we" approach? I've heard there is no issue calling people out who aren't playing up to their ability within the locker room, obviously not to the media.
Its pretty honest in there..I dont think there is a lot of embarassing one guy in front of the team kind of thing going on but there is a polite honesty..more times than not it is a "we" thing..not sure Toews is the type to single out a player or two
How do you think the Hawks will play in the second half of the season (better, worse, about the same)?
I would say better....lighter scheudle in terms of games and days, plus crawford in there full-time, plus urgency and cup hangover is over!
Jesse, I know all year that talk of last years team keeps coming up, but I think the biggest thing the Hawks are missing this year is a consistent 4th line. This year we are often playing dfenders on that line and really not getting much from them. Last year, Burish, Frasor, and Eager were key, especially after goals. What are your thoughts on this topic?
They do miss some of that nastiness and forecheck but the bigger problems have been elsewhere..2 and 7 on Pk..Turco in 3rd periods...those issues have been more important
A top four D man?? Seabrook, Keith, Hammer and Campbell. Four well-paid D men and they need to add another one? Then someone is not spending wisely.
Dont disagree..Hammer too much, campbell too much. Ill stop there..
Hey JR, do you play Fantasy Hockey? If so, how is ur team doing and who are ur top guys? Sleeper picks?
I do not. I live it everyday!lol
I am not an NHL coach by any stretch so I guess I can't really question Q's decisions but why are Dowell and Skille not playing again tonight? I like all of what Dowell brings as a fourth line center, he's strong on the boards, smart defensively, will stick up for teamates and is a solid body checker. Add in Skille's speed with Stalburg and it's a fourth line that can create problems and draw penalties. What am I missing?
Johnson's faceoffs? Scott's size? I dont disagree with you but like you said coaches have reasons..this time all hes been told is to "shake things up". Like I said earlier, players like these could come down to little things coaches see on tape and dont forget about matchups..I dont think its the biggest deal
No I dont. Unless Luongo grows a pair..i mean gets tough in the playoffs
Hey Jesse,With Big Buff having a MONSTER year in Hot Lanta, do you think the Hawks dropped the ball by letting him go? Was there discussion that you are aware about within the Hawks organization in which they considered keeping Big Buff Biscuit instead of 'Hammer, Bolland, and/or Seabs?
No there was none of that. They simply identified a core and he wasnt part of it
What Defensemen can you see the hawks targeting via trade and will it be soon or closer to the deadline?
Like last yr look for free-agents to be...carolina has a couple, NY isles maybe, guys like that...Ill have some name for you soon enough..closer to deadline i think but Im open to sooner...
Jesse, why did Seabs get the A when Toews was out? To me and others that sit by me at the games Seabs has been way off this year. Plus no one seemed to step it up when Toews was out, you could tell that Toews was not out there, what are your thoughts?
Out of respect..hes been here the longest of the guys without a letter..yes, they werent as good without toews..not a surprise..great player and great leader..
I agree with your Skille comments above...really like his speed and energy, seems like he could be one to make things happen. Does he remind anyone else of Steeger last year? Great at getting the puck in the offensive zone, but unable to finish.
Little bit but Steeg can stickhandle and finish better than Skille...I think Skille is faster
Thats going to do it for me today. Thanks all. Appreciate the interest. Email me at email@example.com and follow me on twitter @espnchihawks for all the news..check out my blog postgame tonight...Ill be on espn 1000 at about 4:45 today. tlak to you next week..sorry i didnt get to all the questions!