Hi all, welcome to our weekly Blackhawks chat, soon enough we'll be doing a playoff edition. Just 12 games to go. Hawks just finished practice. No Bolland or Campbell for tomorrow. Really starting to worry about bolland...no change in his status and you know they will take precautions..such a useless hit by Kubina last week..anyway, I digress, lets talk some Hawks. Fire away!
Do you think that Chara should have been suspended for the vicious hit on Pacioretty which almost Paralyzed Him?
No. Ive weighed in on this a lot. I think the league did the right thing...the gm's have backed it as well. It was more flukish/freakish then illegal or cheap...now, Kubina....thats a diff story...throw the book at him
How was the White House trip? Did the secret service have a close eye on you? You can't be standing on the wrong part of the grass
It was just ok for me. On the white house grounds was cool of course. But not to go in when youre that close...And amazingly, they werent on you like glue, but Im sure they were watching. I minded my manners, just roamed around he backyard for a couple hours...it was freezing there too. But it was cool enough..Players didnt get in the oval office or anything but they saw the residence, etc.
what do you think the long term plans if any are for Frolik? i know Stan has expressed interest in keeping Campoli(which he should) but havent heard anything about Frolik.
Have not heard alot about frolik..hes the type they would like to keep but might not be able to is my guess...I say he's their type because hes versatile, Q likes that. Proven helpful big time with Bolland out but not sure how it will go down with him...cant keep/give everyone raises, just like last summer
Is it just me, or is having Campoli making not having Campbell a little more easier to take? Very similar styles of play. On that thought, we still need a hitting Dman. Any chance of seeing XLB up here?
Hes been a nice addition. I mentioned him and r.johnson and frolik in my 70 game review in my blog posted yesterday...Camploi has stepped right in filling in special teams, etc. Had a lot of media attention today...think about it..the two guys have stepped up with injuries to campbell and bolland
Jesse, do you know what Campbell hurt? Is it the same knee as earlier this year?
No, left foot...unclear exactly how but thats what it is..was in a walking boot at the white house
Did anyone talk/mess with Niemi or Eager at all before the game on Monday?
Def not before the game...they've played both those guys this yr already so not as intersting a storyline this time around
With Campbell hurting and Bolland out indefinitely, why haven't the Hawks brought up a player from Rockford to fill in?
As easy as a question that that is, I havent asked Q about it...Obviously, they like what they have...And to be honest, Scott has been ok. He knows his limitations...they dont need another forward...if Campbell is out much longer they will call someone up Im sure...doesnt sound like they are for this 2 game swing but that could change..bottom line, why call someone up if you dont feel you need them?
Goodness, how old is Adam Jahns?!? Every time I see him in the background of post-game videos, I swear he looks 16...
We make fun of him, especially when he orders chicken nuggetts and french fries on the road...b.hull even made a crack at him...he's 28..heck, I'd like to be again...
Hey Jesse, huge fan of yours. If Bolland is healthy and playing in time for the playoffs (assuming we get in), do you think the Hawks will be a dark horse candidate to win it all? If all 4 lines are rolling and the top line and Hossa dominating, it seems probable. Vancouver doesn't scare me at all, we always play well against them in the playoffs, and the East doesn't worry me either. Just the Red Wings I'm nervous about. What are your thoughts about the Hawks and making a deep playoff run?
I def think its possible...the 8 game win streak finally gave me that belief as Im sure it did a lot of people. They have as good a chance as anyone in my estimation...remember, the NHL playoffs are wild...throw the reg season out once you get in
It feels like every game is crucial for the hawks, creating a feeling of urgency in every game. Do you think playing with this pressure/mentality will help the hawks prepare for the playoffs, or will it wear them down (see: Detroit 2010)?
I dont think it matters one way or another...most of the key guys have the experience they need to go far. Rest for 2 and 7 is probably more important than "preparing." And when I say I rest i mean playing 20 minutes instead of 30
Who starts in net at Dallas tomorrow?
Crawford is in goal tomorrow
Whats Hammer ailing from? I heard he didn't skate at practice. We need to keep our D-men healthy!
You name it, he's ailing..last one I heard was a hand injury but there could be a new one...hes playing fine so no worries about practice..hasnt practiced in at least a wekk btw
Jesse, Why is this team so Jekyll and Hydeish so late in the season???
I dont think they have been at all...not since about game 55 or so..you cant win them all..in my estimation, they;ve played one bad period in the last 11-12 games, the first one in Florida. Otherwise, pretty consistent...not GREAT in Tampa or Wash but good enough to get a point...
Jesse, I'm wondering how long you think Campbell and Bolland will be out. Almost like a repeat of last year with Soupy, we need him.
I think Campbell is back very soon...Bolland is another story...look at Crosby..I have no way of knowing and neither do the Hawks. When his symptoms subside and it doesnt look like they have...huge loss...could be a game change in playoffs if hes still out
Do you think the Hawks are over-working Crawford? He's clearly the number 1 guy at this point, but I'm surprised that he's playing in the backs-to-backs as well. I gotta think this is the most work he's ever had in his career considering in the AHL goalies generally split starts.
Good question and gives me a chance at a plug. I did a video with him that will be up on our website later today..asked him that very question...he's played 60 games in the minors before so not that different HOWEVER he pointed out there is more rest between games...he says he's ok but admits it can get to him...not much they can do...have to ride him to have any chance and hope for the best...man, would love to have seen a niemi/crawford combo...damn cap
Honestly where do you have us in seeding? I feel a 4th place finish for sure.
4-6 for sure...think 4 or 5...
I'm assuming Bolland will be out the remainder of the season. Now the league's biggest star (Crosby) and the second center and key defensive guy on the defending champs likely will miss the playoffs, all thanks to cheap shots. Why did the league just pass up the chance to cut head shots out of the game? The leadership in the NHL is completely inept.
I disagree, somewhat....a clean check that results in a head injury is going to happen but Kubina wasnt close to that...It sounds like they will get tougher on those...instead of 3 games, maybe closer to 10. then guys will think twice..thats all you have to do...make the penalties REALLY harsh and people will stop.
Hey Jesse. Do you seeing Crawford getting a rest in the next 12 games?
I think so...that final week is brutal..like 5 in 7 days...tampa bay is thrown in there so maybe turco gets that start...but yes, I would think he gets 1-2 games off..i think...depends on the standings
With the defense banged up as it is, why has the club been reluctant to put Jordan Hendry on the LTIR list? Wouldn't Jassen Cullimore be a better fit up here playing 15 minutes a night than the other five defensemen playing inflated minutes while covering for John Scott?
They dont need to put anyone on LTR right now...it doesnt help them...I can only tell you if they havent brought anyone up, they like what they have...I dont know if relying on Cullimore for more minutes than Scott is all that good..most teams play thier 6th guys limited minutes..I guess Im saying I dont mind how they are doing it...
Jesse,Looking back on the last stretch of games, I thought the Florida game was a sure thing and really was a bad loss for the Hawks, what would you say was the worse loss of the season, when you felt like it was not going to happen this year?
Either one of the losses in Calgary or that home loss to Columbus not too long ago...after the Blue Jackets game I just didnt think they could go on the run that was needed...and of course, they did.
Regardless of playoff position who in the potential top 8 would be the hardest challenge for the Hawks? Easiest?
Well, midseason, I thought it was Colorado so what do I know..of course thats when they were speed skating the Hawks off the ice..anyway, The Flames seem to know how to play the Hawks..hard forecheck on their D and neutralzie the transition so I guess I'd say them but they are nowhere near as talented as det or vancouver...easiest? hmm..well I think they are better than Dallas for sure...so Ill go that route
Everyone keeps talking about Toews potential for getting the nod for the Hart, but where's he ranking in terms of Selke talks? His +/- is second-best among forwards and he sees significant time on the PK, especially for a star offensive player, wins faceoffs, wins board battles, does everything. Shouldn't Toews be getting just as much attention for that too?
Not a bad point thought I think Kesler and Datsuyk finish ahead of him again...finalist? possibly
What do you see as the biggest concern WHEN the hawks make the playoffs....depth? toughness? goaltending? fatigue from last year and the run to make the playoffs this year? or something else, possibly nothing?
Fatigue on 2 and 7 is near the top...maybe a little lack of grindiness...could use an ugly win here and there, can they get it? Im ok with depth, goalie, etc.
Jesse, I need some help with my hockey math. How does the 2nd most goals in the league (232) + the 4th best goal differential ( 36) = a team that is is fighting to make the playoffs? Is the struggle on PK that damaging, or is it a combination issues?
Pk has some to do with it BUT the stats are misleading because they dont describe the untimely nature of a bunch of goals...lets say the Hawks lost a tight one 4-3 early in the season..A lot of the time that 4th goal was coming late...too late to respond...4-3 after half the game is doable...4-3 with 3 min left, less so...so lack of the clutch play late in games makes up for the numbers you speak of...
What's the ceiling on what Toews is capable of? If he were to actually get off to a hot start like he did his rookie season, could he conceivably be a 50 goal scorer or rack up 100 pts in a year? What's your thoughts on what he could do?
Its a good question. Will always be tough for him to REALLY rack up the points becuase they ask him to do so much (because he can). That takes a lot out of a player...if he could just be a permiter guy like Kane i would say more likely...But for one season, if he was rested and felt strong the whole way, I could see a BIG number but not year in and year out...thats my opinion. could be wrong.
JR, What was up with Eager in the last game? Seemed like he had something to prove to the Hawks/bad blood this time around.
He admitted he made some bad plays..Not sure whats up with him...Wish i could tell you what scott called him in the dressing room afterwards....spelled like touche but change a letter.
Why hasn't the national (I read the props you gave him in your 10 game summary) media given more props to Hossa about this Hawks run they are on. Everything is Toews and Sharp, no doubt Toews and Sharp deserve the credit, but Hossa is on a tear and now will 11 seasons of atleast 20 goals is a ridiculous stat. Why no national love for Hossa?
Not sure. Toews is Toews. He will overshadow all. and Sharp has blue eyes. No, i dont know. Hes done it kind of quietly..I mean there were a couple of empty netters in there..the other night was kind of dynamic..maybe thats it, it hasnt happend with a lot of flair
Did you learn anything concerning Hossa's 'stick-gate' from practice this morning?
Yes, though not the exact details...players are very particualr, they just dont order sticks, they are made specifically for them..his "mold" wasnt right for a while so he wasnt getting the sticks he wanted...its not that un-heard of...personally i think he's a more "sensitive" player than most..and I dont mean that in a bad way but he needs things just right,etc. Anyway, I was told it was a "mold" problem...
Jesse- If Campbell missing substantial time, do the Hawks continue to go with Scott or call someone up? What are the options in Rockford?
As stated a couple of times, for now its scott...if hes out 3 weeks, diff story possibly...Cullimore is first up for sure...he knows the system and spent time here this yr. Garnet exelby for experience will join as well..thin after that in my opinion
If you're going to rest Crawford, I think the best game to play Turco during the last 12, except for a back-to-back (for payback reasons) would be against Dallas. Your thoughts?
Nope. That whole Dallas thing is over...Huge games tomorrow and Sunday...you win both you're practically in barring craziness in final 10 games...Craw for sure...against the east or maybe one against det if you think you wont catch them
Who do you see as a tougher first-round matchup for the Hawks, LA or Phoenix?
Tough call only cause PHX outworks everyone seemingly..but Ill say L.A. Like a lot of people have liked them sicne day 1 and penner only helps...
With the tight race for last playoff spots in the Hawks conference, are the Hawks at a disadvantage with schedule they have left including 3 games against Red Wings?
yes and no. they play det well. They play bad against the floridas and Columbus' of the world..thats their only 2 reg losses in last 17 games. think about that. and they match up well with det. Now their opponents winnig pct the rest of the way is very tough so it wouldnt gurt to play a team thinking about their golf game but I think it doesnt matter..arguements both ways..this keeps them focused...whats more likely a let up against Dallas or Edmonton?
Say if we have all our D-men back for the playoffs.Do you think Leddy will continue to play with Keith? Or will Q put the big guns back together? (Keith and Seabs)
Im going to say he'll leave it the way it is UNLESS something prompts him to change as in a couple bad losses in a row or Leddy really looks overmatched...for some reason I think he WANTS to keep it this way though a game might dictate differently
Not to look to far down the road but how crucial is the last week on the schedule. Not to exaggerate but do you think it's out of the question they catch Detroit I mean they do face them three times in their last eight?
I dont think its realistic..just too tough..and do we really think the hawks will win all 3? if you do, then it becomes very realistic
JR, can Exelby offer ANYTHING that the 'hawks don't already have in Scott? If he is even a little quicker, hits more often without getting a penalty, get's in a few scraps and makes the safe play then why not call him up to get him a few games look before Playoffs get here (and yes, they will make the playoffs).
I get these questions and Id be lying if I could answer for sure..Ive seen a couple of highlights of Exelby whereas I see Scott everyday so bad to make a jusgement on that...same with you I assume..So on these I defer to the team..You dont think they are watching their players closely at all levels? If they havent called him up to replace scott its for a reason..they might be wrong but they'll know a lot better than me...how many times has scott been burned in the last couple games? None. I think they will take that...even if it is in 5-7 min of time
Jesse, Chicago i believe is near the top in goals for average, why do people keep saying they don't have depth?
Because Dowell is no Byfuglien, but who is? But good point...they are ok there...Who isnt liking that fourth line..love kopy there, johnosn been great and stalberg accepting that role...
Any rumblings about signing Brouwer?
No. Nothing and I mean nothing in the way of contracts or free-agent or next yr gets discussed at this time of year...not even much internally..this is money time..appearances are over, partying subsides, money talk as well...and thats just for me. think of the players. :)
BY money time I meant playoff time
Nothing could ever be worse than Edmonton pantsing the Hawks in the UC way back in October. Boston College can beat Edmonton.
Yeah, but the question was when did i have my doubts..I knew with roster issues and hangover (literal and figurative)they would have probs early so games like that didnt concern me as much as annoy!
Should Campoli replace Keith on the second PP unit to cut down on Duncs' minutes? He's had too many 30-minute games and it's hindering his play (see OT in Washington)
Until campbell comes back both campoli and keith are on the pp so moot point right now...im sure if there is a chance to rest him Q will but not yet..though keeping him under 30 would be nice
Favorite sweater: red, white or alternate?
Prob red...def not alternate
How does the cap work in the playoffs...can they bring Morin or anybody else for the playoffs even if they are at the cap?
yes, they can bring them up..last yr there were like 5-6 guys that traveled with them in playoffs including crawford, skille, etc.
Can you shed any light on what's so special about Hossa's stick and why he didn't have enough of the "right" ones earlier in the season?
I mentioned it earlier..scroll down...its not just his stick but he is more particular than most in my opinion
Just wanted to say I switched over to hear the last 2 weeks all other Hawks blogs have been trashy and filled with complainers. I just wanna say thanks for running a good ship
Appreciate it..tough to complain when you get a point in 15 of 17...eariler in the season, i was right there with them..now tell more people to switch. :)
Do you like the D-pairings Q has us rolling with?
I do. At first I wasnt sure but its worked out..really like campoli with campbell..that was the right call...and for whatever reason, the other two have worked though there are some moments with 2 and 8 (wash) that make you cringe but its a nice mix right now...I cant put my finger on why I like it...not going to be perfect every game but more nights than not, its been good enough
Jesse, be honest: who's hair are you most jealous of on the Hawks?
Thanks all, appreciate the questions. Thats going to do it for today...follow me on twitter @espnchihawks..I leave for dallas later today but not before taping a segment with Lou Canelis for fox news...airs tonight on 9 pm news. so tune in..check out my blog...long piece on first 70 games of the season...video with crawford should be up in a bit...talk to ya from dallas...going to solve the JFK thing between morning practice and the game..that should be enough time...email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. sorry i didnt get to them all! Thanks again. Talk next wed.