Sorry for the delay. we're ready to talks some Hawks on our weekly chat. Welcome hockey fans...Just got out of the locker room where players talked about facing ladd and buff and odonnell talked about turning 40..been a long 3 days of practice..ready to get back to games! fire away
Hi jesse, Is there any end in sight for this Kane at center experiment? I know it hasn't been terrible, but in all reality we have only played the Stars so far. Its not like we played detroit, sjs, or the canucks yet. It is just a waste in my mind of what we could be getting out of kane, he is not nearly as deadly at center as he is at RW
I dont think there is an "end in sight." I was against the move but you have to call it like you see it and so far its worked...until it doesnt I see no problem in contiuing..all of a sudden their center situation "sounds" a little better. Toews/kane/Bolland/Kruger...thats not so bad...but you are right lets see what happens agianst the big boys...totally better than what I expected so give them some due, at least so far
Jesse, when do we expect Stalberg to be game ready? I think sending Saad back to his junior team and having Stalberg in the lineup makes us better/deeper. Do you agree?
Yeah, I think Saad's days are numbered...great little run..he's on the 4th line right now and as soon as stalberg and/or smith are ready i think he goes back..prob early next week. btw, have a cool "pop culture" piece with him and 40 year old odonnell going up in my blog later today so check it out!
Sharp was regularly getting worked over by a bunch of Stars after the whistle and got whacked in the back of the head by Ott. Why didn't our new "grit" guys (or Scott) take care of business? Seems no different than last year.
Right now I see Jamal Mayers as the one guy that will come to defense quickly..remember, carcillo wasnt in the lineup over the weekend..I'd like to se bickell get more aggressive in that dept but as long as mayers and/or carcillo are there, i think they will be ok..and of course scott when he plays
You've mentioned players like Bickell meeting with the "Mental Coach" a few times. It sounds intriguing and I'd like to learn more about it, where can we find out more information on this role?
I write about it every so often..check my blog back when D.Keith won the Norris Trophy...gave total credit to Jim Gary..their mental skills coach, i think he's called...Ive talked to him..its what you would imagine..visualizatin stuff and little techniques..Im fascinated by it as well..prob will do a blog on him at some point..but some guys are reluctant to see him but I think its becoming more commonplace
Hey JR,Carcillo with Kane/Hoss? Will this line play together come game time or is it Q's way of telling him he had better play hockey instead of being a goon? Love to hear your take.
They are playing together...there is no message..in fact Q made a point of telling media today he doesnt want him to change too much..I like the idea..give him some confidence and give that line some grit and see what happens..can always change as we know q or any coach will if not working...he'll still be "goonish" at times but not if that line and the team are rolling
Did crow ever say what was wrong if it wasn't his groin?
Not really..I (and rest of media) am so tired of reading the tea leaves when it comes to injuries..its like a state secret when a guy stubs his toe..I think its silly and uncalled for but the NHL has said you dont have to reveal anything and players are conditioned..half the time, teammates dont even know whats wrong...so no he was evasive
Is Coach Q not real high on Montador? Bowman seemed to really target him this offseason and through the first 2 games, he appears to be the 6th dman.
Yeah, his role defined by Q tells you all you need to know right now...he's behind a couple of others but doesnt mean he cant move up..still, doesnt justify the salary..Say it right now, with a doubt, i like Bowman, done a decent job, but that goes in the mistake column..talked to too many in the game that said he was overpaid and they said it back then..not the biggest mistake ever but a mistake nonetheless
I'm going to the game tomorrow and I'd really hope to see Crawford, what are those chances??? Will the Hawks play it safe with him even if the injury is minor?
Im thinking he plays but yes they will play it safe..practiced today and said he could play if game was today so assume no set back, he plays.
Jessie, what's the deal with calling up Salak? Because they're both on one way deals won't either he or Emery have to clear waivers to be sent back down now
No, Salak does not have to clear waiver cause of number of games played between here and europe, etc. Emery would but hes not going down
Hi Jessee,I know that Bolland has only played 1 game so far, but he looked great not only statistically. When he returned in the playoffs last year he provided a lot of spark and he did Saturday night too. Do you see him finally putting up better offensive numbers that he is capable of?
Good question..hard to know..on one hand hes still playing a def role on the third line HOWEVER, if that line clicks they will make some bad defensive top lines play in their own zone and clean up...in other words, make joe thornton play in sharks zone, and Bolland will get points..I still think they should give him a try with hossa again if Kane doesnt work out but 3rd lines can put up some numbers if they make other top lines try and play defense
Why in God'd name is Q playing Keith and Leddy together as opposed to matching them each up with a "stay at home D" partner?
More to it than that..Sometimes its better for two puck moving guys to play together..read off each other and move up the ice...I remember Camopli's agent telling me him playing with Brian Campbell would be best suited and not a stay at home guy so again not as simple..its what is most comfortable for D-man...plus, maybe they want a fast keith to be able to nake up for Leddy mistakes or something..again, more than just whats on the surface and makes "common sense"
What's with Q dressing 7 D-men on Friday and playing Montador at forward? I know Bolland, Stalberg, and Smith were hurt. But why not dress Kruger or another AHL call up? Could they not get to Dallas on time? I know it's only one game, but that lineup looked like it was picked with a dartboard.
Yeah, little goofy..They dressed 7 again Sat even with kruger..Q did say he wanted to get everyone in a game over the weekend which makes sense with so much time between and camp ending..kind of reward for making the team, etc..also, there could have been a roster issue..not sure they wanted to put Stalberg on IR maybe or Bolland...but dont diagree should have called Jimmy Hayes or Kruger up in my opinion..but again, wanting to get all his guys in over the weekend prob more than anything
Dont mean Stalberg. he was alredy on IR..meant only Bolland caus ewasnt sure if eligible to come off sat if he was ready I think...Q wasnt even sure..but anyway, thats some reasoning
About Saad, let's say the Hawks do send him back to his Junior team. Can they ever recall him from there or is he there for good until next season?
They cant unless there is an "emergency". At first I thought there was a drop dead date where they could but the answer is no, cannot come back this yr until junior season is over actually..think thats when he can or the emergency
Just out of curiousity but any chance Versteeg, Ladd, Buff, Burish, Madden in the near or distant future? Do you see that happening?
Here we go. havent had a "can we get the old hawks back" question in a while. I would love to say Burish..deal is up this yr and the hawks have so many grit guys on one year contracts but it always seemed Q wasnt the biggest of fans but that doesnt mean it cant happen..no on the others unless the hawks have a few injuries at center..madden told me recently was giving till november in regards to staying shape then prob hanging it up
What do you think about the NHL's possible realignment? I really hate the idea of Detroit not being a division rival anymore.
I think its just a reality of the situation..I really am not bothered by it..will still see det every yr and will make the rivalry a little more special with less games in my opinion..or at least in theory it could..bottom line: they deserve to be in the east. as long as Van doesnt go east we're good. lol
What are your thoughts on Olesz. For a 1st round 7th O/A draft pick, I would expect a lot more. Do you expect him to get back into the lineup for a full season, and be productive? Is he still nursing an injury (knee)?
I think hes been ok..still not sure where he fits in..hes great insurance if he wasnt making 3 mil a year..Have a feeling they try and send him down when everyone is healthy..maybe someone claims him though it is a lot to pay a guy to be in the minors..there is some game there but so hard to crack the hawks top 6 or even 9, just dont thin he can play a 4th line role...doesnt seem to be nursing the knee..hes had moments in camp but again behind others
What is up with the hawks sending down Pirri and bringing up Kruger? I thought Pirri looked really good against the Stars night one
Pirri more offense, Kruger more defense...4th line role more suited for kruger
Will Crow be in net on Thursday? Will the Hawks get the PP going? The defensive pairings have been struggling to start off with. I know some bad bounces have occured, but could we see the Hawks go back to Seabs and Keith to create a shut down duo? Or is Q trying to keep their minutes down?
2 and 7 will return at some point im sure..but this is prob about getting Leddy going in the right direction..why not play him with the best on the team to ensure he's going in the right direction? I dont have a prob with that..sat was much better than fri in terms of defense so lets see how this weekend plays out..and yes he would love to keep the minutes down..this way does spread it out
People are high on Hossa early this season.. Will he justify his paycheck this year? I'm hoping so after last year and all of his post-seasons tiring him out.
If he stays healthy he will..its the usual thing. he does "look" great...the way he plays is a blessing and a curse but love seeing that motor going up ice..
Do you find it a little strange that Q seems to be high on "Carbomb" and enjoy his presence while Burish and Eager weren't high on Q's list? It seems that while Eager was a meathead, he could agitate and Burish brought some skill while antagonizing the others. Explanation?
First of all, Car bomb hasnt played a game yet so we'll see how high Q is if he is screwing things up..and when we or I say that about eager or burish it might really be splitting hairs..its not "love" or "hate" but maybe "annoyed" at times..again, maybe q would take burish back, its just little things that go on...I mean they brought carcillo in partly cause they missed those guys last yr so I dont think its that he hated them..gray area
Jesse, I was very troubled to see Carcillo practicing on a line with Kane and Hossa yesterday. Normally, this wouldn't bother me. But there is a precedent here of Q latching onto subpar players and playing them WAY more than they should and instead of superior players (Matt Walker.) Is Carcillo going to be this year's Tomas Kopecky as someone who is playing WAY more than he should, and dragging down Hossa by constantly playing on his other wing?
Lets give him a game and then decide...he does have skill, has played with to 6 guys before..you just dont know about chemistry until things are tried..and not just in practice..
What things have you seen from Kane that make it possible for him to stay at center for the entire season? The follow up is obviously what are the glaring weaknesses to that move?
I see a quick stick and a smartness to his game we dont talk enough about...weakness is if he gets caught on the ice against big centerman abnd has to defend for lenghty time in his own zone..that might be an issue but Hossa and Q explained it..first guy back has to play down low then switch,etc. so he still has freedom on offense and wont be on an island on defense..Im buying this whole experiment more and more though not sold on it completely by any means
Who can get sent down without going through waivers when Stalberg and Smith come back. I am guessing Kruger, but what about Scott and O'donnell or whoever else they are considering.
Kruger can..the others you mentioned cannot.. Ben Smith can
Why would the hawks recall Salak? I thought he had a one way contract? It would make sense if the injury to Crawford was serious but it can't be that bad if he practiced today. What gives? You do a great job by the way.
Just for those joining in...Emery was sick today. Salak does not have to clear waivers cause of the amount of games played including europe, he can go up and down...craw says hes ok but will test himself tomorrow..if he cant go, then emery plays, if emery is still sick then salak plays, if none can, then Ill be in goal
What do you expect out of the Car Bomb in terms of points this season? Also will Q ask him to tone it down a little in terms of not wanting to get penalties, we know he used to pull his stars off the ice after they would take a stupid penalty in the past
Like I said earlier it doesnt sound like Q is asking him to tone down much so we'll see..tough call on points..hmm..25?
If the Devils fall out of it this year and it looks like he cant be resigned, could you see a scenario where the Hawks make a trade for Zach Parise, even if its just for the short term run for the Cup? He would look good centering Hossa.
Sure, I think anyone--especially on the last yr of a deal--could be on the hawks radar..they have the money and if they somehow move olesz they could have more so yes for the first time in a long time they could be big name players at deadline
If Kane continues to play well as the second line center do you see the Hawks possibly going after another top-4 type D-man with their available space under the cap at midseason? Or is it more likely they still want to pick up another offensive weapon to really put them over the top?
Simply cant answer without watching many more games..If Leddy is up to the task and O'Donnell etc behind him are than less likely..but D-men usually are coveted at deadline so I could see them looking..def will look at center still, in my opinion
Is Duncan Keith a bit overrated? While he is a very solid and top 10 D-Man in the league, do you think he gets to much credit sometimes like being mentioned as a Norris Favorite? I see to many mistakes and not enough Lidstrom.
I can understand where you are coming from..I think one thing we should remember is the bar is set very high for him and if you look at D-men around the league there still arent a ton that are better..still, within the framework of the hawks he needs to return to how he played a couple years ago..less "fumbly" and simply solid on both ends..seems like he has the talent..lets see
Could you see any contract guys being traded during the season? I'm thinking a Hjalmarsson or Frolik or Montador type.
No on all 3...but not saying never just saying I dont see it. unless like frolik goes back in a bigger deal for a really good player
I'm in the minority, but what about the Hawks standing pat? You don't have to spend every dime you have. I like the roster as is.
Again, the games will determine..Why are we talking about this before game 3? How do we know how anyone is going to play? You can make guesses but this pro sports and hman beings...have no idea..I doubted Kane could last a period at center now I have him ahead of Toews! lets give it some time
And that was a joke by the way..
Who do you think gets sent down in addition to Saad? I have Smith/Kruger, Olesz, and Scott as the possibilities, in that order. Smith appeared slated for the fourth line center role until he got injured; the easiest thing would be to send Kruger back down or to send Smith down while Kruger plays well. What do you think?
Yeah, tough call...if Kruger is playing well in that role, he might stay...wont be scott I dont think..I think its olesz or maybe smith..in both cases its for playing time, especially olesz..recovering from injury abd trying to find his game, he'll play big minutes in rockford..just a guess..easy answer is kruger though
Curveball...what do you think about guys who come in from Juniors leagues (e.g. OHL) versus in from NCAA? Do you see any patterns of difference?
Not really..Obviously, NCCA guys are usually older and more mature..but in terms of their game I dont see much but I havent studied it closely..again the mature thing is what I do notice
We all know the UC is usually electric, but I think Chicago Stadium was much more so. Did any of the current Hawks players ever go to a game in Chicago Stadium? With the potential exception of O'Donnell, none were old enough to ever play there. Just wondering if any of them ever experienced the old place.
Hmm. Not sure Ive ever asked..I dont think any have..o'donnell would be the one obviously..it was great there..cant duplicate that
read your blogs and chat every week Jesse, nice job. just curious, where did you grow up and who did you root for? Have you been a Hawks fan for life?
Grew up in Chicago area and yes was a hawks fan..Savvy, Roenick, etc. Now less of a "fan" cause its work (sort of) but always enjoyed the game. Best sport to play or watch..they can take basketball and sit out forever..did I say that out loud?
Do players around the league, including Hawks players, like/dislike the tradition of the UC cheering through the anthem?
Once in a blue moon you get a player saying its disrespectful but 9 out of ten times even they chaneg their tune when they hear what it grew out of, etc. and the fact that its honoring the flag and not the other way around
your POV on "best to partner Leddy with Team's best D."... that's been Seabrook for about a year now. Either put 2 and 7 back together, 4 with 5 and 8 with 6. Or go 8 and 7. 2 and 4. 5 and 6. This is currently nuts.
I wouldnt call it "nuts" just because you disagree with it..I gave you several reasons, main one being style of play...maybe they asked leddy who he prefers..actually doubt that but again a lot goes into it..I can ask more..I know Q will give kind of a cliche answer but until they falter its hard to come down on it.
HAHA. But actually I will be serious for a minute and say it sucks about the NBA for the workers here at the UC..I talk to them every game and they are missing half their pay checks, etc. so for that reason they should bring NBA back but I aint watching till playoffs!
With the Bulls locked out is it safe to say that the Hawks are practicing at the United Center more often? What decides whether they practice at Johnny's West or the UC?
Lady Gaga if you get my drift
Jesse,I know its early in the season, but are there any good nicknames for the newer guys around the locker room? I know Carcillo is Car Bomb and O'Donell is Odie. What about Brunette, Leddy, Frolik, Smith, Stalberg and Mayers
Bruno, Leds, Fro, Smitty, ?, Jammer
Why wouldn't the 'hawks take a chance on Madden ? Playing him on the checking line, and giving Bolland a chance to play on 2nd line, with Hossa ? That seems to offer a lot more flexibility.
Could be a few reasons.. His skating isnt up to par and actually dont think he's a Q guy either cause he's too much of a coach out there. Want to give young guys Pirri and Kruger an opening too..thats prob the main reason...I just dont think they think he's good enough anymore for reg checking line role..no one else has grabbed him so hard to argue I guess but i think its the PT more than anything
Thats going to do it for today..good stuff..cant wait for tomorrow's game..tons of storylines from Buff/Ladd to O'Donnell at 40 to who plays goal to first game against Jets here since like '95...thats for all the questions..check out my blog today/tonight/tomorrow...good stuff about o'donnell/saad generation diff plus stories about Buff, etc. spread the word and follow me on twitter @espnchihawks or email me if your question didnt get answered firstname.lastname@example.org agian, talk next week from the road..think denver..