Hi all. Welcome to our weekly Hawks chat. Im at the United Center where the Hawks will take on the Panthers tonight with Marcus Kruger making his debut. Ive talked about him before in these chats. The Hawks are high on him. Hell skate with Bickell and Brouwer. Campbell is likely to play...fire away with questions...
Any talk about adding Exelby or Cullimore from Rockford for defensive security in case someone get injured?
Not yet...by seasons end they will be for playoff security but they like how scott has filled in and I dont blame them...for a 6-10 min guy hes been fine...now that campbell is back, scott is back to being thier insurance up front and on the back end
Why are they being so secretive about Sharp? To me this makes it seem like its a pretty serious injury. What about The Rat too, when's he coming back?
The Hawks dont like to announce things until they have to and the team had the day off on Monday. Actually since ist not real serious, it made sense they waited to update until tues. if he was out for the yr with surgery we would have heard about it. No one knows, including the hawks, when bolland will be back .Simple as that. There is no timetable on concussions
What can we expect from Kruger? Defensive minded? Offense a little of both.. or not much from the start?
A little of both but I think being aware defensively will be first and foremost...Its not like he, Bickell and Brouwer are going to be like toews or frolik's line so I think they want him to start slow and just not get scored on or schooled all over the ice but play instinctually...
Which two Western Conference teams on the playoff bubble will not reach the playoffs?
I think calgary does not make it...Tough call between dallas and Anaheim...both have hung around longer than I thought they would...Ill say Dallas makes it
Who do you feel has been the best pickup for the Hawks during this year? Michael Frolik, Ryan Johnson or Chris Campoli?
Its close between Johnson and campoli...Campoli could end up being the best but right now Ill go with johnson..things really solidified when he started going on all cylinders..huge
Is it an advantage or disadvantage for the Hawks to have all the days off in between games lately?
Advantage...rest is big at this time of yr. Have to get the points now because last week of season will be hellish
One more nerdy question: Can you give us your projection for the hawks projected lines during the bolland/sharp injuries? Thanks.
Not nerdy..now that ive seen kruger skate, this is what it look like:Stalberg/Toews/KaneKopy/Frolik/HossaBickell/Kruger/BrouwerPisani/Johnson/Dowell
Why not bring Morin up in Sharp's absence?
Morin is hurt..believe concussion type thing..no timetable..hate the word concussion
Curious if you can comment on Hammer...It seems when he decides to play physical he can inflict some hits, hes big and strong and knows how to position his body for a hit...but he does not seem comfortable being known as a physical defenseman...any idea why? Do his teammates encourage or discourage that type of play? Was thinking maybe playing that way encourages other teams to go after him...and that leads to a shorter career??
No, I think youre reading too much into it..I thinnk he's physical when it presents itself..now, he has been banged up so maybe you see him backing off, if thats what he's doing, but I dont think there is a consious decision either way really...def nothing from his teammates
Have you heard anymore about Kruger than we have already?
Not sure what you've heard...captain type of guy..really took charge of his team in sweden...smart..toews like...little things well..will be thier 2nd line center maybe as soon as next yr IF he progresses the right way..
Should the Hawks finish in the 7th or 8th seed they would likely face Vancouver or Detroit in the first round... Which matchup do you like better?
Im going to say Vancouver...Malhotra loss is big and they simply love to play up there and have no intimidation factor at all..Id like it better with Bolland on Sedin but det. is too much like the hawks in terms of style..plus history has to mean something..and I dont care about the 110 points they will amass. means nothing come playoffs
How come we haven't seen Beach called up this year? He is supposeto be one of our top prospects.
Simple. Hes not ready
How does the hawks schedule match up against the other playoff hopefuls?
Its one of the tougher ones,esecpailly with that last week and 3 of final 8 against det. BUT they have 4 against the east so little easier to amass points that way by getting to overtime, etc. I Would be very surprised if they dont get in
JR - Even with the injuries, the hawks have been playing well of late, whereas the Wings have not. Can the hawks catch them to secure a spot in the top 3?
It seems like ever since Frolik switched to center he has been playing much better/confident, does that have to do with the confidence in the position or just getting used to his surroundings and the line he is playing on?
Surroundings for sure..I think he'd prefer wing and he'll find his way back there I believe.
What is the latest on Patrick Sharp?
Nothing new from yesterday..hes looking at a couple to three week recovery..obviously if they get real close to shoring up a playoff spot they prob hold him back some
With Toews playing the best hockey of just about any player in the league this 2nd half, is there a chance he could be the favorite to win MVP?
Dobut it...not enough points but one of the finalists is a real possiblity..wont be the fav
Did you see Kruger skate today? What can you tell us about him?
Slick and pretty quick is what I got. Nifty with the puck. Smallish. Hard to tell more than that. Supposed to be real smart..High IQ. We'll see. Getting a lot of Kruger questions..thats what I know...
What'd you think of the atmosphere at the game on Sunday night? I thought I was in West Chicago...
That was pretty amazing...Phoenix and Tampa bay just recently (or was it fla) can remember were two of the louder hawk crowds Ive ever seen on the road...the singers during the anthem must be shocked..Ive got to interview one of them some time..sunday was the best Ive seen...
How realistic is home ice for the Blackhawks right now?
I think the schedule is going to be too tough for that..phoenix playing well...long homestand going...5 or 6 seed is my guess for hawks
Not to overlook another Stanley Cup run, but how about a look at these lines for next year. Thoughts? Sharp/Toews/Kane....Morin/Kruger/Hossa.....Bickell/Bolland/Brouwer.....Stalberg/Dowell/Beach
Since Sharp went down with the injury have you noticed any difference in the team in regards to being worried after losing their top scorer? Obviously they will tell the media "other guys need to step up" but wasn't sure if you noticed any let down in the team.
No. They are conditioned to move on except in extreme situations..they can survive sharp..he's a streaky scorer so just pretend he's on a bad streak. lol. But they can. Bolland is more difficult come playoffs especially. Plsu, they know sharp is back sooner rather than later
What are the chances of Marty Turco getting any action before the Playoffs?
Maybe a game...2 at most..maybe none...there is no plan..day by day
With Sharp out, can we expect Brouwer to fill in on the top line?
No, it will be Stalberg. Read my blogs from yesterday! everything you need to know in there!
By bringing Kruger to Chicago, have they burned a year off his entry level deal, or was it already in effect?
It was burned off no matter what..he would be in his second yr next year no matter what
Who will wear the A in place of Sharpie?
Not a bad question...dont know..but Seabrook did last time
What do you think Turco's plans are after this season? Free agency or retirement?
He wants to play as far as last time I talked to him about it
If you were the NHL disciplinarian what's the length of suspension you would have given Pavel Kubina for his hit on Bolland? 3 games seems pretty paltry when Bolland is out indefinitely.
Stan Bowman talked about this..its a very difficult situation..easy to say he's out as long as Bolland but that becomes sticky..what if its accidental..what if he hi-sticks him and takes out an eye. then they have to start deciding whats on purpose and what accidental even more...bowman said he was ok with 3 games..things arent always fair but its a tough spot for league.
This is for the future but what do you see with our goalie situation for next year. I believe crow is a FA and turco's deal is up. resign crow and bring up hannu? or salak?
Ive said before I think they will re-sign crow for longterm and have a big, 500k back-up..not sure from within..might be from outside..too early to tell
How hard of an adjustment will it be for Kruger to come from the playing style in Sweden to the NHL?
Smaller rink will be the biggest adjustment..not as much room to maneuver..boards come up quickly so he has to be ready...will be intereseting
In watching Corey Crawford develop, it seems like he is unusually strong positionally for a young goalie, which seems to be borne out by his excellent save percentage and goal against average. However, it seems that he tends to give up more than his share of bad rebounds, which puts pressure on the Hawks defense. Is this something coaching and experience will cure?
That can happen to any goaltender..I think he's ok in that dept. Fatigue can do that to a guy but generally I think hes pretty good about rebounds
I really like what Kopy brings to the team even though there are so many people that hate on him. Do you see any chance of him being around next year?
That is a tough, tough call..My inital thought is no he wont be around...but there are variables..so Id just say less than 40 percent
What is the protocol of wingers and defenseman switching sides? You mentioned in a article recently that Hossa maybe should move to left wing as the veteran on a Hossa/Toews/Kane line, but it seems rookie Nick Leddy moves to whatever side is needed to match is defensive partner.
They dont like Leddy having to do that but you have to do what you have to do...people do it but its not ideal, especially the longer youve played on one side hence hossa and kane not really loving it..
When I was younger i was the goalie for Krugers youth team, he would make the most amazing passes, just when you thaught you outplayed him he would make a blind pass out of nowhere and get a assist, in waht lineup do you expect him to be in?
Nice. Thanks for the report. Ive heard that many times about him...hes between bickell and brouwer
Is it possible for the Hawks to not make the playoffs?
Of course but i dont see it happeneing
Campoli seems to jump in to the offensive action which has led to a lot of goals, why dont we see guys like Hammer and Keith do it more often?
Keith will...hammer rarely..its just the makeup of each individual..thats campoli's game..hammer isnt there yet and may never be
Can you describe the perameters of being 'on loan' to another team? I read where Kruger was on loan to his Swedish team. I also saw where Seabs brother is on loan to the Vancouver farm team, even though he played most of the year in the Flames organization. Does the team who holds rights still pay salary? In Kruger's case, had he stayed in SWE, would the year count as a year against the entry level deal?
Too long and complicated to go into it all..but Kruger was/is under contract to the Hawks..there are loan agreements with ech league..he didnt want to come play here so they "loaned" him to sweden..they paid his salary (whatever he negotiated with him) now the hawks will pay him. and yes, the yr counts.
Could we see Igor Makarov or Jermey Morin on the team next season?
Yes, very well could
This may be dumb but, do nhl teams get to expand playoff rosters like other sports do, if so who do you see as possible contributers to the big club..
Yes, roster expanded now in fact but in playoffs there is no salary cap so can bring up a bunch..If morin is healthy, I can see him here..exelby and cullimore on D or maybe cullimore and one other...another forward on offense..maybe a center like pirri or winger like ben smith...last yr. skille, cullimore, and a few others were here but didnt play
Would'nt Kru be more suited for a second line role than playing on the third line. I know its a tough second line to break up right now but what are your thoughts on a frolik-kru-hossa line. Lets go KRU
It will happen at some point..hes fine as a 3rd line guy..no issue breaking him in there..if he shows something he moves up, otherwise next yr..between him and bolland, there are 2 and 3 centers
Froelik seems to be better at wing. What do you think of a move back to Center for him?
I think if Kruger is decent it will happen...maybe even sooner...johnson and dowell are both on the same line now so one could always move but neither is suited to be a top 6 centerman
Any chance we can re-sign RJ next year? He's been a great asset for the 4th line. So nice to someone else strong in the FOs.
Maybe..depends on $$
The hawks are to______like the ice girls are to______
vancouver canucks.....Me....no respect..make sense?
chris campoli really seems to fit on this team what are the odds he comes back next year?
I think pretty good but the cap might have a say in that..stan made a point of saying he wasnt just a rental..didnt have to say anything about that so the fact that he brough it up means mnaybe he is here but they are paying their blueline a ton...if one gets traded then hes here for sure
If Kruger is as good as advertised, does that make Bolland expendable next year?
On paper yes but you can never have enough centers and man is bolly valuable for shutdown purposes BUT it might be a luxury they cant keep...again, have to see how offseason plays out
I'm just curious, when a player such as Sharp is injuered, what do they do with their time - are they still at practices, etc, or are they on their own?
They are around the team going through rehab sessions etc. But not around game time...they're here but arent in on the meetings and stuff..if they can workout, most get a workout in during the game..otherwise they watch like the rest of us but they are around the team
Is the salary cap going up next year, or is that something I'm making up?
Suppose to go up a little..but thats just a rumor...but think it will
Who will be gritty Burish-Eager-Ladd guy on this team? I don't see anyone like that on the roster.
They dont have as much in that dept for sure..Kopy comes close when he plays edgy..stalberg was coming around to that role but both those guys are top 6 now...dowell should be the guy to play more edgy, espceially now that hes at wing
From what I'm reading the cap will be going up a bit next year because the NHL is in line to sign a new television deal. What are the chances of ESPN some how getting more involved in the NHL again? Other than you there isn't a lot of good hockey reporting going on in these parts.
Well thanks but I dont think its going to happen. bettman likes being a big fish in a small pond (versus) rather than the other way around on ESPN.
Kope has been in the back ground lately when it comes to scoring, is there any simple explanation to it or is it just a slump?
He was on the 4th line there for a while so its going to be harder..but now back with hossa, etc. he needs to produce some more
I have to say, I'm a big fan of the Eastern European line we currently have with Kopy/Frolik/Hoss. With Kruger coming in now, do you think we'll see that line stick around? Or will Kopy go back down to 3rd/4th line?
If kruger progresses...I think he moves up..kopy is a short term 2nd line guy in my opinion
Why is everyone assuming a playoff spot? Their leading goal scorer is out, best defensive center is out, they're a point out of 9th and their schedule to close out is tough.
I dont think everyone is...I kind of am..I think they are in a good position..I dont think that last week will kill them..I think they will be in a positin to go basically .500 in that last week and be ok...give or take..next 2 games are HUGE..cant trip against tongiht for sure..and then anaheim obviosu reasons..win these 2 and you have a little leeway..a little
You reported that Burish was injured with a broken foot, which the Stars have shot down. What's up with that?
Thats what he was telling people..i thought it was common knowledge..he blocked a shot..played like 2 games on it and then got an x-ray and found a crack so maybe splitting hairs but thats what happened
Because we have Toews.
That's the answer to the playoff question I assume. i agree
Jesse, If Kruger can do a job as either a 2nd/3rd line center I feel the Hawks will be set down the middle for the next 3-4 years with Toews and Bolland. The question then becomes what are we going to do with our wingers this Summer? Brouwer and Kopecky are both in line for raises of at least double what they are making now and I don't see how, with Crawford being the priority to sign we can fit both of these wingers in? If you had to chose which one would you keep? I keep Kopy because of his versatility but equally as important Brouwer is an RFA so you can get something in a trade for him where if we lose Kopy it's for nothing.
Thats the thing..kopy can walk, browuer cannot..so I just envision brouwer here one way or another since he'll have less options or leverage
Jesse, I'm tired of hearing the "repeat offender" cliche used to determine how many games a player should be penalized for blatent illegal hits. Am I the only one who saw the suspension for the Kubina hit on Bolland a light one? Was that not a blatent blow to the head of an unsuspecting player and isn't that what the NHL has said is unacceptable? What is your take on it?
I absolutely agree with your first thought..Its like the league is saying you get a "free pass" on your first one..no matter how severe or dirty they will lighten for lack of history..dont really like that..as for kubina, ya know I talked to sharp and he is one guy that says you cant put all blame on each player..the game is fast and kubina kind of missed the real hit and went by and got his arms up..sharp almost defended the accidental nature of the severity...I dont agree but the point is there is a grey area..tough call..3 games is pretty good but bottom line 10 games would send stronger messgaes..repeat offender or not
Are there any plans to give Crawford a bit of a break before the playoffs begin?
No "plans". if he needs it he gets it or if they clinch etc.
Jesse, what can Hawks fans expect from Kruger? If you could compare his play to that of another player, who would it be?
I wrote yesterday "baby toews" just in the fact that he does everything "right". angles to pucks, board battles, etc. not sure if we'll see it tonight but thats his game
Who's decision is it to keep all the injury info so limited, with all the "upper body", "lower body" hullaballoo? Is that just something Q prefers to do or does that come from farther up in management with Bowman or McDonough, even?
Dont get me started. The league allows it and the Hawks hold to it pretty strict...MOST teams do but not all..Most of it is silly if you ask me..Like we dont know what happened to sharp and Bolland..the hawks rule is we cant interivew these guys unless they practice which is also silly..but thats just my opinion.
Jesse, I have tried to figure out how LTIR affects the cap both this and year and next and just can't get my head around it. It would seem that there is no penalties for going over the cap if you are eating up LTIR replacement money so why is Stan the only GM with a cap limit team to not use this function? Calgary, Vancouver, Boston, Phily are all using it but Stan won't? Is there method behind this madness?
Yes...he doesnt need to. You dont save anything. Its not about that..Its about replacing the injured player with another one...if they are at the cap and they have a 3.5 mil player sitting arond somehwere, they can put bolland on IR and replace him...but they dont have anyone like that..they have what they want/need a the NHL level...YOU DONT SAVE A DIME PUTTING A GUY ON IR OR LTIR...and trust me-and im not being a homer--stan and his staff know how to use that cap just as well as thosae other guys...
Without the services of Sharp and Bolland for the season, who do u think will step up and generate offense Stalberg, Brouwer or Bickell or combination of the three, looks like Campbell will be back today that helps the back end
Obviously Stalberg should get something playing with Kane and Toews...but he wont last long there id he isnt working hard..should be interesting..both Q and Stan say hes improved his game enough to deserve another shot there
Do you think Mike Haviland gets a HC job next year?
Hmm..tough call..getting very close but Ill say not yet...but very close
What number is Kruger gonna wear?
Thats going to do it for today...Thanks for all the questions...if I missed yours email me at firstname.lastname@example.org..follow me on twitter for the stretch run @espnchihawks. make sure you check out my blog after games. will detail kruger;s debut..real interesing..this doesnt happen everyday in NHL..dropping a guy into the mix from europe with 10 games to go..thanks again. talk to you tongiht on twitter and next week on our Hawks chat