Hello for one final time from Vancouver! For all you supersitious fans out there Im at the same establishment I did last week's chat before Game 5 and we know how that turned out...Also ordered the same soup. :) Anyway, both teams done with practice in advance of Game 7. Ill answer a bunch of questions right away...Kopy is out...2 of 3 play..kruger, pisani, scott...more than likely browuer fills bickell role...I think scott is odd man out...fire away with questions!
Watching game 6 on Sunday, Seabrook still looked a little lost on the ice... how much did that hit early in the series mess him up?
Good observation..I asked him today about that..I think he used the word "sluggish" for his early game feel...said he felt better as game went along so will be interesting if hes with campoli or keith..prob do some mixing and matching
Will there be riots tonight in Vancouver after the Blackhawks win? What shakeups will there be in Vancouver after this happens with the coach and goalie?
Have to imagine Alain Vigneault is gone if they lose...and yes to the riots...or near riots
Would you predict Quenneville will play a shortened rotation tonight and mainly roll 3 lines, with Ryan Johnson mainly playing a PK role?Toews, Kane, Sharp, Hossa, Bolland, Stalberg, Smith, Brouwer, Frolik, Johnson... who fills in the last 2 spots and how do the line combinations look?
I dont thnk he'll shorten the bench too early..if kruger and pisani play with johnson, thats not a def liability line...they just played an OT game 2 nights earlier and took another long flight yesterday and you have to be ready for OT tonight maybe...but of course the game will dictate how he rolls the lines...up 1 or 2 is a lot diff then trailing
Alright, it is hands down the biggest game of the season, so what do the Blackhawks have to do to pull off upsetting the number 1 seed after being down 3 games??
Do not coast or take ANYTHING for granted..after 3 in a row, might think itll come easy (see vancouver in games 4 and 5) so play it like they;re down 3-0 again...and pepper luongo with traffic..have to, have to, have to
Why does the media heap so much praise on Seabrook? He had a mediocre regular season and his decision making as been questionable at best. 2 bad decisions w/in 30 seconds of each other in game 6 almost lead to Canuck goals and his passing was atrocious.
Agree about Game 6 but Like i wrote he was shaking off effects, etc...he and keith were underwhelming in reg season but seab had a decent second half esepcially on offense...
Is this game more about the Canucks than the Blackhawks? It seems that it is more about how they respond and play than it is about the Hawks. Either they come out fighting with their backs against the wall and show their President's Cup worth or grip the sticks too tightly and fold. Is that a fair assessment?
Yes and No. They will not fold early in this game..the Hawks will have to earn it early..I cant tell you what happend if they start trailing..they are building off game 6..outplayed the hawks late in that game and ot despite losing
How was Edler not suspended? Isn't that exactly the type of malicious elbow the league is trying to eliminate?
People have made WAY too much of the edler elbow..honestly, that was nothing..that IS NOT the type trying to get rid of..thats getting position and getting an elbow up a little high..should have been 2 min and thats it..not that big of a deal..they need to change the rules for the Bickell/Torres hits..those chould be illegal...league is dumb..you can target the head behind the net when a guy is looking down..dangerous
Series tied 3-3 and we have not seen Toews yet. Is he the difference tonight?
Just cause a guy doesnt score doesnt mean hes not playing well..I dont EVER have a big issue with toews..he and kesler have fought to a standstill..either one could be the diff but dont have to be
How does Bickell being out tonight, and the rest of the playoffs for that matter affect this team? does it hurt their chances tonight?
It hurts them more on offense then on defense...the bolland line can provide some O when they make the sedins play in thier own zone..bickell has turned into a better threat there than brouwer..thats who I expect to play in his place...browuer fine in his own end..needs to show same touch as bickell
Are you still the president of the Antti Niemi fan club after his series against the kings?
Yes but it was a shaky series!
Melrose says Hawks can't put 4 great games in a row....your thoughts?
That's a little simplistic though I would have agreed with that sentiment when they were down 3-0..first off, they didnt play GREAT last game so its not 4 in a row..its 3 out of 4...second, throw everything out...its game 7...its one game now...nothing to do with previous 3 or what not
Do you think the Canucks try the lock down Defensive strategy again, or do they go back to their regular game?
I think it will be pretty wide open early..both teams trying to get the first goal..if canucks they could shut it down after that or as it moves along but I think its a skating game early..high intensity
Uncle Jesse, did the rotten ice help Vancouver even more with their neutral zone trap on Sunday? Will Vancouver incorporate the exact same strategy tonight?
I think the ice did play to vancouver's favor..I think a slick ice tonight helps the hawks...
The Canucks were saying the Blackhawks look tired. Does it seem like that to you?
Bolland said they were gassed in OT...they did look that way but that doesnt mean they will be tonight
What's the attitude in the locker room? I get the sense they have let up a bit now that they've got the series where they want it. Do they have the same focus today that they had a week ago, down 0-3?
Yes, they are focused and loose..i know its a cliche for the moment but I def sensed some anxiety in canucks room this morn...Bieksa seemed pretty tight..Toews loose...that is the exact opposite of normal for those 2 guys! who knows...prob, maybe, possibly means nothing...or does it!?
Luongo looked irritated answering questions after the game Sunday. Are the Sedins and the rest of the players on edge as much as he is?
No, sedins always pretty cool and calm..handle it all better than LU
Ok JR, all ur money is on the line, who would you pick to win this game!?
The Hawks for sure based on that question..I aint losing my money going against a Toews led team no matter if he has a goal or not!
Scott seems most valuable in games where the score is a bit lopsided. In a close game, there are fewer liberties taken and less reason for the looming presence of JS. Would you dress him in game 7 or replace him with a 4th liner like Dowell or Pisani who can play 8-10 minutes if needed?
I like where you are going...this is crunch time..intimidation is over..they could use a 4th line that can skate and possibly do some damage..I think Q made a mistake last game not playing kruger..and maybe he acknowledged as much playing scott only 1 min...I say its kruger and pisani in tonight
In Game 6, you didn't see Hossa a lot in 3rd period and OT and Sharp and Kane were double shifted a lot. Was Q unhappy with Hossa's play?
I asked Hossa and then Q that...sounds like he was MORE HAPPY with the other guys rather than unhappy with hossa but def was coach's decision type thing...funny thing was Hossa had some jump on that winning shift cause he hadnt played much in OT so worked out
If kopecky can get healthy for the next series do you see him playing with Bolland/Frolik or still like Brower better?
WAY too early to tell..lets see how brouwer does and if they win..its a possibility but kopy not the def player browuer or bickell are...course its a diff matchup so you never know
Is Corey available tonight to relieve Luongo if needed? Or if the floodgates open again, will Vancouver have no way to close them?
He's available..IM sure they would swicth if they had to..its do or die..dont leave anything un-tried
Nobody talked about the play Leddy made in OT on the bad line change that saved a 4-2 and minutes later the Hawks won.... Should we even consider splitting he and Keith up at this point?
Good point..Like I said they will mix and match..seabs will see some of the sedins as long as he;s looking and feeling up to it
So do you think the lines are:Stalberg/Toews/KaneSmith/Sharp/HossaBrouwer/Bolland/FrolikPisani/Johnson/Kruger
I do..or else scott for pisani...that would be the only change
Jesse... Whats up with the ice at the United center. It has not been that warm in Chicago... why so bad? It only hurts the Hawks.
Its always been bad...absolutely will address that with Bowman after the season...its been below avg for yrs
Does this game get dirty and physical quick or do you think both teams will play it safe and disciplined?
the latter for sure...no room for stupidity in a game 7...unless Shane O'Brien returns...oh, snap!
Kidding. I like the guy actually
You mentioned Bolland not on the ice? that still the case?
Bolland did not practice this morn, neither did keith..both are playing..
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you think Corey Crawford has had an influence on this series?
in the 7-8.5 range
What are your thoughts about Mike Gillis's comments...seems like sour grapes to me!
Yep...all just a ploy...Q was asked today and said what I said on the radio this morn..hawks were 2nd least penalized teams for minor penalties in the reg season...van was 24th...why shouldnt they get more pp's based on that...doesnt mean they should absolutely but Gillis cant just recite numbers...the hawks can too. :)
Corey Crawford has been playing very well and very calm for a rookie in the playoffs... Could he be the key for tonight's game?
Sure...prob will be no matter what.
Why isn't Dowell playing? True, he hasn't been producing but what's he lacking that, say, Pisani apparently isn't?
If its pisani or dowell...pisani brings the experience..thats about it...its a flip of the coin..dowell is just behind those guys..simple as that
Better atomosphere for a playoff game: Van or Madhouse?
Madhouse but not like by 100 percent...van very good...
With respect to Toews you said "Just cause a guy doesnt score doesnt mean hes not playing well". Agreed but last years series with Vancouver there wasn't a single game he didn't show up on the score sheet. Basically I think if he decides he wants round 2, he gets it.
Ok, but Kesler had 41 goals and he hasnt scored either..and hes a Selke candidate type player kind of like toews..they are canceling each other out this time around...
Any thoughts about that ESPN article from last week about the missing Game 6 finals puck?
I always thought that a ref or off ice guy grabbed it OR no one did and its just where former puck go..wherever that is...I didnt think a player was holding onto it...off-ice guy seems like best bet
If the Hawks do pull off this comeback and win this game tonight, do you think they will be mentally drained or to tired to go and compete against another good team in possible another long series?
Will be difficult..not many 7 game 1st rounders go on to win the cup..and Sj is a good team..staying out here after the game and going home (like they did last year) will help..so will next series starting friday which I assume would happen..
What's the atmosphere like up in Vancouver for the game? Sense of nervousness? Excited?
Nervousness for sure
Hossa seems to play really great or invinsible. There's no middle with him. Same way with Kane. Hopefully they decide tonight to be great. Why do you think this is?
Best guess has to do with both guys needing the puck to look dynamic...especailly kane...and some nights either by luck they dont get it or more likely they arent working hard enough to get it..
Do you think that Campoli will be back next year?
Yes I do..
Jesse... how about Frolik. Huge back check in game 6 to break up a pass on a 2 on 1. Seems like he is coming into his own in Chicago what is your take. What do we have him for contract wise?
Hes restricted...Think about Q has challenged these third line guys...2 yrs ago it was havlat, last yr versteeg, and now frolik...thats what Q likes, his def game...seems like a guy to keep
Do you think if Chicago get an early lead, the crowd could turn on Vancouver a bit and end up benefitting the hawks
Sure, it could happen...need 2 or more goals though..one wont do it
I am fearing a big game out of Kessler tonight. 40-goal scorer who really hasnt done much statistically this series. What do you think? Vancouver fans though could be saying the same of Toews.
I have no idea..theyve canceled each other out all series so why should tonight change..plus I'd have mroe faith in toews than kesler any day of the week. :)
How many goals do you think it will take before AV pulls Luongo? If it becomes 3-1 Hawks lead early on does he get pulled in favor of Cory?
All depends on how it happens..3-1 is not a HUGE hole..but if its 3 crappy goals then maybe..my feeling is hes going down with the ship..would take a lot to make that change but you never know
So how cool is it that Crawford can say he has played in 6 playoff games, and he's already won 3 elimination games? It'll be even better if he wins his fourth!
He is def becoming the man..very cool/calm
Jesse, What would have happened in game 6 if Luongo went down? Meaning what is the 3rd goalie option for a team? Is there even one?
A player on the bench would have to put on the gear...what else is there?
Did you go to the vancouver streets today for the fan video like you did after game 5?
No time...maybe later...def after tonight/tomorrow if they lose..sure will be hilarious
JR I know you've been working like a dog lately but tell me you are not ready for a vacation yet!
Its the weird thing about my job or better yet about an athlete's job...the sooner they fail the sooner vacation comes..prob why you see fans sometimes care more than players...they dont even get paid during the playoffs...but I love my job so no issue moving on..there are a few joints in SJ I like!
Would you call this year with Turco a waste? Something no one ever talks about is if he mentored Crawford at all. Do you know if that was going on at all during the year or here in the playoffs? Or was he more like a Brett Favre where he wasn't there to coach, he wanted to play?
I could not say better things about turco and I was worried..he has mentored corey, especially on handling the puck, etc. he's been a real good guy as far as I could tell..he wanted to play but he's been cool
Jesse: I did not hear or missed it..I know Kopy traveled to Vancouver with the team..What is his status???
How sure are you of your lines from your previous post? Because I really do not like those lines...Stallberg on 1st line..ugh, non-existent Brower on Bolland's line, Hossa and Sharp still playing together with no fluidity. You could be wrong...right? Like, what is the percentage your right on your lines...100%...50%?
Funny stuff...I would say I'm 90% right..they have won 3 games with those lines save the bickell situation..Q wont mess with that..browuer can handle himself on defense..thats what is important
Why is everyone in vancouver crying about the hit on Bieksa? They're calling the hit identical to Torres' hit, yet Seabs didnt have the puck while Bieksa did. There's a major difference in hockey in hitting someone with the puck and without.
Agree...they are the same hit which the league says is legal..in which case the refs called it right both times...2 min int. and nothing...was not a charge on bickell...was not
Do you think Hawks will be more sharp tonight then Sunday?
I think so...that bad ice continues to stick out..I know its bad for both teams but seems to affect the hawks more...too hard to explain but I like them on this ice better
Gillis making noise in the press about unfair officiating. He quotes stats that indicate CHI has had 75% more power plays "when it counts" in the past four games. What are your views on the officiating? Balanced or not?
There are always a few that could be called or not called but other than the normal amount I dont see huge favoritism towards hawks...one of the sedins got slashed and it wasnt called last game..there is one
The players not withstanding, how much credit does Coach Q get for this amazing run?
he gets some for sure..2 things..keeping them in aone game mentality which is difficult down 3-0 and like I wrote before challenging that 3rd line like frolik to shut down sedins and they have since bolland returned
What was it about Bickell's wrist injury that forced him out? He appeared to be fine the past 2-3 games. Was he in pain or was it one of those things where he really risked permanent damage if he kept playing
Dont know too many details but obviously there was a point where he just couldnt play any longer..maybe slowly he wa sdoing more damage and the docs said enough is enough..something to follow up on later
To back up your point on Turco helping with Craw's puck handling... see his 2A in the PLAYOFFS alone!!! Nice!
Its a good point. Craw told me the other day he and turco were talking about being more agressive..1 or both of those helpers was a direct result
Whatd you think of the 5 min major call on SJ last night. And how will Chicago be any more tired? SJ went three OT games.
Those calls are tough..guy kind of ducked his head..its like when a guy turns his back at last minute and the guy hitting gets a boarding call..5 might have been too much...SJ to L.A.= no time difference, 1 hr flight, 6 games instead of 7...way more tired in this series...
Jesse... I read your Blog daily. Thank you for bringing me a little closer to my beloved Blackhawks.
You're my guy! Spread the word!
Devorski as Ref tonight?
yes, he;s the guy that helped screw up the Wiz hit on seabrook last yr AND missed the most obvious call on a hit against sopel, etc. IN the next 2 games he officiated agianst the Hawks the refs didnt call a single penalty agains them so either they are even or he owes them one more. :)
Bobby Lu out of Vancouver with a loss tonight? Or impossible to trade?
Vigneault gone..not Lu i dont think...like u said too hard to trade though I think they would try...
Why is everyone acting like a Hawks win is a foregone conclusion? I understand the optimism, but this series is far from over.
I dont disagree...just the inertia of whats gone on..
How healthy would you consider Sharpie? He's just been quieter than normal so that just makes me think he's not 100% (not that any of those guys actually are 100%)
Less than 100 for sure...80-90??
Who is your Hawk's player of the serious so far?
series? Bolland for sure, hands down, no question about it..then craw...then frolik
Do you anticipate Coach Q doing anything different to throw off the Canucks or does he stick to the game plan?
Ok, thats going to do it..tune in right now to espn 1000 going on live..or listen at www.espnchicago.com..thats where you can find my blog..will have a little preview in there later..follow me on twitter tonight @espnchihawks..if they win..more chats from SJ! Thanks everyone..and dont forget the blog late tonight..will have all the reaction of the most historic comeback you will ever see or else a wrap up of season..take care