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November 10, 1:30 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers

Jesse Rogers
  (1:33 PM)

Hi all, welcome to our weekly Hawks chat. Im in Columbus for Hawks and Jackets tonight at 6 pm chi time. Hawks just finished skating, the Jackets did not skate today. Bolland is out, Bickell is back in. rest of the lineup is the same as last game though the lines are diff without bolland, etc. Hawks are in a little rut, we'll see if jackets are what will cure them .Fire away with questions! Nothing is off limits here!

Chris (Valpo)

It seems to me that the Hawks power play unit does not move around enough and stands in one place until they are forced to move. Shouldn't they be forcing the defense to react to them instead of vice versa?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:34 PM)

Absolutely. Its the way to get open shooting lanes. They are indecisive right now..and the failures are getting inside thier heads causing it to get worse..so the situation is snowballing but it can and (probably) will break out at some point here.

Caplin (Algonquin)

Hey Jesse,Seemed like JT flipped when that reporter told him about the Hawks being last in the league on the power play. Was that you, who asked him that? If or if not would you be a little scared in that situation? I didn't expect an outburst like that from the captain.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:37 PM)

I did ask him that and only meant what that represents: very few goals on pp as compared to rest of the league. I knew what he was trying to say, 'who cares about a statistical ranking except for wins' was what he was saying cause everyone keeps talking about pp ranking. But again, its what it represents that matters...and no not scared. never scared. we're talking hockey not life and death. To be honest, I or other media dont ask questions JUST to get emotional responses but who doesnt like a little fire...point is I like the fact he got a little peeved..

JC (CA)

Brunette started the season on the top line. It is now the 16th game and he's on the 4th line...when will we see this guy in the press box? He's slower than a snail, skates like a fat kid who's never played before. I know he has 10+ consecutive seasons with over 15 goals but Benny Smith can put up those #s and skate! When do we see #28 back in the lineup?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:39 PM)

Again, its all a process...they are not losing the Cup in november and arent even scarmbling in the standings, etc. (yet). Point is, Brunette was given a chance while the Hawks were winning but now they need to adjust so he drops...the next step would be the pressbox but not there yet. Cant answer you on smith but that question will come up soon to Stan, etc. Like I said about the process, that's the next step if the slide really continues

Ryan (Indianapolis)

Jesse, It seems like just a few years ago that this team could use its raw talent to overcome personnel mistakes and a lack of effort. Now, we still have some amazing talent, but it looks like the team needs their effort level to be top-notch. Do you agree, and does the team realize this?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:42 PM)

I do agree..2009-2010 was simply one of those unique years where the team was just loaded...now it feels more like a "normal" good team but with an elite core so pretty much they have to bring that work ethic, etc. every night but once in a while they'll get away with it and still win

Jesse Rogers
  (1:42 PM)

I do agree..2009-2010 was simply one of those unique years where the team was just loaded...now it feels more like a "normal" good team but with an elite core so pretty much they have to bring that work ethic, etc. every night but once in a while they'll get away with it and still win

alex (chicago, IL)

It seems that the powerplay is missing brian campbells ability to bring the puck into the offensive zone, will they find anyone who can come close to his ability to do this?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:44 PM)

Hearing this point more and more. Dont have selective memory when it comes to campbell..YES, they miss some of what he brings, we knew they would BUT he never was on the first pp unit and that's the unit that had nearly all the success last yr. No Campbell isnt the problem on the pp..

Dean (Bloomington Indiana)

With the Power play being dead last in the entire league, Would you say the Hawks are feeling the pressure and the sense of urgency to change up their special teams line?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:46 PM)

Of course, they have swicthed it up..alot. Heck, Steve Montador is in the slot now on the 2nd unit...kruger is playing on it..theyve mixzed up the core guys..I think the prob is on the point..they cant get the right combos to click and no one is getting good shooting lanes

Mark M. (Shanghai, China)

Being around the team as you are almost daily, what is the general feeling you get from the vibes in the room. Does the team seem to be more "together" or do they seem to be struggling to find their chemistry in the middle of a small skid?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:49 PM)

They are together..this a small skid right now...and they believe just one aspect of their game (pp) needs fixing to help the while team..Q believes that as well..you cant think for a second 2 bad losses..TWO..is going to make for a panic...even IF previously they werent playing top notch...look at the "elite" teams in the west...det, van, Sj, all with struggles so far...ebb and flow baby..doesnt mean you dont look at long term, etc. i asked Q that yesterday and they are always evaluating short and long term

Mike (La Grange)

We could have Brian Campbell for Montador (who blows) Olesz (a 3.1 mil healthy scratch) and 1.1 million dollars. How come everyone praises Bowman for putting Kane at center but no one calls him out for moves like this. We don't beat Nashville 2 years ago without him coming back and we don't go on to win the cup without Campbell.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:51 PM)

Because you are looking short term...from the start they said this gives the Hawks flexibility for whatever they need come deadline and even into future seasons...yes, his loss hurts short term but as sharp and other said, you hopefully have improved in other areas and now they arent handcuffed in terms of whatever is needed in-season..it was still the right move.. 100 percent convinced of it

Josh M. (Deerfield, IL)

Is it just me, or do the Hawks always play poorly during and after the father/mother trips? And when Sharp looked up at the fathers after scoring in TB, I knew they were in trouble. Any talk of scrubbing these trips in the future?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:55 PM)

Man, it would be hard to find a correlation there..I just dont see how AFTER the trip it would matter...I just dont..Have no idea if they have talked about it...all I know, 2 yrs ago they had the first dad trip in team history and they went on to win the cup. i was at the team hotel with their dads in fla. think about it, there were no trips to s. beach, no late night, how could dinner with your dad the night before a game take you off your game..unless your dad just is berating you the whole trip or something..not buying it at all

Kevin (Sacramento)

JR, I know you keep saying "it's early", but the concerns seem to be growing. PP stinks, D have been borderline atrocious, 36 has been awful, 29 is back to being 29, there's been no increased toughness, etc. Now the PK is showing holes and worst of all 19 doesn't look right at all. Can we realistically expect the Hawks to rebound?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:00 PM)

Yes, because all the things you said werent all true like a week ago and might not be true a week from now. People wanted Bolland to marry their daughters when he was scoring the shorties, and Toews will be fine. c'mon. I dont disagree they got away with a few things despite winning but thats what happens early in the year. No way do I have the feel of last year here but nor RIGHT NOW do I feel the way I did 2 yrs ago..and so again here is the bottom line ive preached since summer: with this core, FOR THE NOST PART, you dont judge till spring..seeds are meaningless..finding out who should be in what role is important..now im not saying you throw games by putting kane on defense but within reasn you find things out about your team as the season moves along..i've used the word PROCESS a bunch, thats what it is WITH A GOOD, ESTABLISHED TEAM. diff if you are columbus or st. louis..then you coach it differntly...not saying dont care about reg season just dont panic (until we really need to!) phew

Craig (Joliet)

It seems like Jonathon Toews needs a linemate. Do you think Brunette is that guy or will the team make a trade for another player?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:03 PM)

Pretty sure its why Hossa was moved with him..Q liked Kane and Hossa but Toews has endured 25 and 15..that move was to get toews going, no doubt..but yes, they have the money for a trade and barring a smith or morin move, they have at least an opening for a top 6 guy, maybe two..I dont think a trade happens soon, I would smith gets a shot first but I also think Stan wont wait until the last minute

Sam (Rockford)

Be honest: how tired do you and some of the other beat writers get of some of the fans/bloggers on Twitter constantly trying to tell you what questions to ask and what stories to address?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:05 PM)

I dont get tired but what people should always understand is, if you dont like the answer Q or someone gives dont blame us!! I've asked straight out 'why scott over X or Y'. Not my fault if you dont like what he says and you can only push so far before you cross a line..anyway, I almost never mind anyone interested in it cause it means they care..and in chicago, we could use as many as we can get when it comes to hockey...fans are all good in my book!

Pat (Chicago)

What in your opinion is the driving force behind the mini funk that the team is in? If shuffling the lines doesn't generate the desired results, what else can they do to get back to their winning ways?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:07 PM)

Tough answer besides it just happens..I think most ardent observers would say they were getting away with some stuff despite winning and now its caught up to them so adjustments have to be made..again, look at det. wins their first 5 then loses 6, who can explain it? there is another team out there and as much as we want them to play spring hockey in the fall it just doesnt happen unless youre a complete jaugernaut...they'll get back to a higher level for sure.

Mark (Rockford)

Jesse, is Q juggling lines too much? Seems like if one line doesn't produce a goal or good chances for a period or two, they get split up. It seems like he has no patience. Is this possibly making our offensive struggles even worse?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:10 PM)

Get this all the time..I cant say for sure I know either way..alot of coaches do it..wouldnt you question him if he left things the same for a whole game and they got nothing out of it? Wouldnt people be saying "doesnt he see there is no chemistry there, why not change?" I fell he's kind of damned if he does and damned if he doesnt. Now, a case can be made he should leave as is cause more time together will get them out of a slump. Anyway, it can go either way

Brian (Hammond, IN)

Jesse, Is Crawford going through the sophomore slump?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:12 PM)

I would say a mini slump like the whole team is in but not a whole sophmore slump

Alex (EVanston)

Jesse, it was universally agreed after last season that what the Hawks were lacking most was grit, toughness, etc. They have been outhit by their opponents in all but one game this season. They play just like last year's team did. Is Q trying to get them be more aggressive? Is this a failure? If so, is it Q's fault?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:14 PM)

Im not defending anything but hits CAN be a misleading stat...they try to have the puck more than the oppoennt which means they are suscpetible to being hit more than delivering hits..and at 8-4-3, they proabbly have had it more..HOWEVER, when it comes to individuals and their roles (talking to you Bickell) their numbers need to be on par..so look at the guys that should be hitting not the overall number..

Greg (SW MO.)

Liking #16 more & more he has really come around since training camp. How about bring up Smith

Jesse Rogers
  (2:15 PM)

Any opoening I have to praise 16 I take..its coming for him and its cool to watch him mature..he's on the pp tonight so we'll see if he can do something..Smith is the next step, we'll see

Greg (SW MO.)

Your thoughts, whats the problem with #4 ? Yeah he blocks a shot now & then but, not physical, no offense, seems out of position on a regular basis. How long till he sits with Bickel

Jesse Rogers
  (2:17 PM)

Oops, two Greg questions in a row..I'l be yelled at soon. Lol.. I dont know about #4.no one does..not mentally tough enough? and I hate to put it that way but he just doesnt seem to have found the confidence but sometimes it seems that way for a bunch of D-men..tough call..like the kid, a guy you can root for, but now going on a 2nd season of underwhelming play

sparky12399 (Bensenville)

where does one go for a 'pop' in columbus?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:18 PM)

Tip Top cafe baby. Good food and sodas

Don (Great Lakes, IL)

What kind of shake-up might we see with the PP lines? Quite obvious the current lines aren't doing the job.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:19 PM)

Well the first unit is back to all the skill guys...Hossa, kane, toews, sharp, seabrook....why not ...2nd unit is the experiment...kruger, keith, leddy, brunette, montador...good luck. :)

Jesse Rogers
  (2:19 PM)

Well the first unit is back to all the skill guys...Hossa, kane, toews, sharp, seabrook....why not ...2nd unit is the experiment...kruger, keith, leddy, brunette, montador...good luck. :)

Wendy (Naperville)

Which coach(es) do you see as mostly to blame for the weak PP and PK? Kitchen might be a friend of Q's, but he seems pretty ineffective in my opinion.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:22 PM)

I dont see how you or anyone for that matter knows which coach to blame...I HAVE SEEN THEM ALL USE THE CHALKBOARD AND INSTRUCT so how do we blame kitchen over haviland or Q? Q said yesterday he would take the hit and he should...assistants arent allowed to be interviewed so we can't even read between the lines..and again, I tweeted this out the other day...the last practice day at home all pp guys were on the ice early and it was HAVILAND working it exclusively..Q watched and didnt say a word...in game we've seen kitchen with the chalk so its ALL OF THEM

Grant (Wheaton)

Which do you think will be the bigger need for Hawks to fill come deadline. Puck moving defenseman, center or top 6 forward?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:23 PM)

great, great question...right now, it has to be a d-man, top 6 guy, then center...and thats a shocker considering we all thought it would be a center first..but def a d-man..(right now)

Will (Chicago)

In your opinion why does John Scott get the sixth D spot rather than OD or Sami?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:27 PM)

The only thing I can tell you is Q likes Scott...I actually have less a problem with scott than most EXCEPT when he's on the ice there's that much less of a chance of a goal scoring..he just cant initiate or finish on offense but on D, his positioning (though slow!) is fine and of course the toughness factor..now, could they be showing him to other teams so he can be moved to clear a spot for smith or morin, maybe? If ever there was a scenario for that this might be it...Q said we want to "see if they can take a regular shift". maybe he meant see if other teams can but from day one ive told everyone Q wanted him on the team so if ALL things are equal iun his mind maybe Scott gets the nod..but if ever there was a showcasing thing possibility this could be it..

Jesse Rogers
  (2:27 PM)

not they but "he"

Paul (Chicago)

Jesse, with this team slumping (hopefully ending tonight), is this a good time for a nice long road trip? I think that it might be best for this team to hit the road for a bit and get away from things/bond with each other.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:30 PM)

Maybe but this month is brutal..they "should" have been hom this week..last week, road, this week, home, then circus..but 2 weeks in a row on road then circus trip is rough BUT they get the benefit of all that in dec and jan. so even they limp around here this month, the next two should be better..BUT I think they will NOT tank it on the circus trip..they get up for the canadian teams as well as the SoCal ones so at least a .500 trip is expected.

Cos (Louisville)

While I'm all for changing things up to upstart the PP, I'd like to see Q stick with the lines longer, seems to be overcoaching. Assuming they used the pre-season to form the lines with the new talent, go with it and let them work through the slump(s). Baseball players do it all the time.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:31 PM)

Again, little bit of a catch 22...and baseball managers dont always do it..they change the lineup when a team is slumping..its a tough call but I guess I would leave alone a little but longer than he's doing but I think people would be saying "doesnt he see this isnt working?"

Jim (Arlington heights)

Jesse. Just like in the playoffs it seems every win/loss is magnified beyond what is should be. After the 2 losses we just had are we over-analyzing things?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:35 PM)

Its probably ok to do in the playoffs but you are right, this is a little nuts, however I respect people that think there could be long term issues being masked and at least are making a case..thats better than a knee-jerk reaction about John Scott...just like last yr we tend to focus on the minituae instead of what important...Scott doesnt play on the pp..toews has one goal in 8 games, I could go on and on...ketih and seabrook 0 goals...those are the things that are important..but everyone does know that, just easier to vent about scott,etc.

Kathy K (Genoa)

Hey Jesse....My bf (Joe K) is probably reading your chat right now and I was mad at him, but be a hero for me, will you please? Tell him it's ok to call me now. BTW, we're both huge Hawks fans and JR fans!

Jesse Rogers
  (2:35 PM)

I cant believe I just did that but what the heck.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:35 PM)

I cant believe I just did that but what the heck.

MikeP (Wrigleyville)

Do you think it was a mistake by the Hawks front office to not bring back a veteran like Brent Sopel who could have helped ALOT with this struggling defense and PP kill unit?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:37 PM)

Impossible for me to answer cause I dont know what Sopel has left in his game..Is Montador that much better? yikes, i dont know..anyway, the PK has struggled for 2 games so hard to say it misses sopel..anyway, he's small potatoes compared to the other issues

Matt (Cincinnati)

Is Q a players' coach? I feel like you don't hear much about the coach/player relationship in hockey like you do the other big sports.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:38 PM)

I think he's about the same as most coaches, most, not all. Down the middle..He does gives the team a few more days off than most..especially last yr coming off the cup and weird schedule they had..I would say he's neither a player's coach or the opposite..right down the middle

Frank (Naperville)

While Stan has done a good job keeping the core together, he has also had the Hjalmersson debacle, letting Campoli go who seemed like a good fit, and replaced him with the over priced Montador. Throw in Brunette who has been an utter disappointment. What kind of job do you think Stan is doing?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:42 PM)

Every Gm makes mistakes (and dont forget letting a S.Cup goalie walk for nothing) but I think he's had more hits than misses...Leddy, did ok when he had to purge, etc. hammer, niemi, montador are 3 mistakes..brunette is a tough one..who didnt like a 15-25 goal scorer? if that doesnt work out I just chalk it up to sometimes things dont work out..the other ones are true mistakes

Paul (Chicago)

Jesse, let's put the panic to rest. Every year we go through a streak where we are being beaten to loose pucks, and the puck is not finding the back of the net. The play is sloppy right now, but it will improve. This is a very talented group and they will right the ship.

Matt (Cincinnati)

Jesse, I'm no hockey expert but I'd imagine that one of the benefits of playing aggressive hockey is drawing penalties. Do you see any shift in the 'Hawks' aggressiveness as a result of the struggling power play?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:44 PM)

No, they have had their chances on the pp...just arent cashing in..had more chances than the blues but it was the blues that had a pp goal.. I do believe it will come soon enough

Tyson (Cincinnati)

Jesse, in your opinion, what is it that Hawks management saw in Montador that justifies his salary and playing time? Am I missing something?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:46 PM)

Tough one. I simply think they've liked him for so long they forgot why. Im kind of kidding but there seems to be a disconnect with scouting him and his play...the hting that gets me is hes not as gritty as I would have imagined nor big, etc. They even liked his potential offensive upside but havent seen much of that...maybe the pp tonight! we're both missing something on that one..at least at almost 3 mil a year

Jesse Rogers
  (2:46 PM)

Tough one. I simply think they've liked him for so long they forgot why. Im kind of kidding but there seems to be a disconnect with scouting him and his play...the hting that gets me is hes not as gritty as I would have imagined nor big, etc. They even liked his potential offensive upside but havent seen much of that...maybe the pp tonight! we're both missing something on that one..at least at almost 3 mil a year

Sean (Glen Ellyn)

What happened to Lepisto? You put him on your stock watch pointing up, and now he is getting scratched for the 2nd game in a row. Which def would you have sitting?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:47 PM)

Wish I could tell you..not really getting a great answer from Q on it excpet like I said before if all or most things are equal in Q's mind then Scott is getting the nod right now..maybe there is more going on but I think lepisto deserves a chance..Q hasnt given a great answer as to why lepisto is back sitting

Steve (Toronto)

Jesse, I think everyone is missing the major problem with the power play: they have a hard time entering the zone. Once they have possession, they look fine and goals will come. The problem is each unit spends the majority of their time trying to gain entry to the zone, then chasing the puck back in their end and starting again. I'd say their entry success level is about 20-25%. It's not about shooting the puck more or not using the backdoor play; its about entering the zone with posession.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:49 PM)

You bring up a good point though I think they are bad at both right now...how many great looks have they had inside the zone but you dont have to get there first...when Kane has the puck they seem to do fine but guess he cant always have it..seabrook/keith have been dissapointing in the pp pilot dept. I think thats thrown them off..im sure they though one of those 2 would emerge but it hasnt happened...when seabs was coming up years ago was totally though of as the guy for that but hasnt happened

Dave (Phoenix)

Any update on Bolland's injury? If Bolland, or anyone else for that matter, gets hurt long term, who do you see as ready to step up and fill the void?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:51 PM)

best guess is Bolland has a bad bruise on his right leg so thats the tupe of thing that should heal sooner rather than later...at least no break..so i think each day there is healing going on obviosuly...kruger gets a chance at that line and I think he can do it but Toews/Hossa would prob get major def matchups as well so I think there will be some mixing and matching

joe (chicago)

So if Hjalmersson's offer sheet wasn't matched, what other moves could have been done?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:53 PM)

Well, who knows , they keep niemi and they have craw and niemi as a one-two punch...some of that money then could go elsewhere..hard to say how it all goes down...

Cody (LITH, IL)

I know this question may come to a suprise, but maybe some of the core guys aren't exactly as core as we had hoped they'd be. Keith still has yet to prove anything to me, Seabs is decent. I mean I love the Hawks and all but maybe there is too much "Core" going on and the Hawks could dump one of them. Can you see the Hawks making a drastic change to their core? It does take up the MAJORITY of the payroll for the core ( 2,8,88,19,88,10)

Jesse Rogers
  (2:55 PM)

That COULD, SOMEDAY be the million dollar question and there is nothing wrong in THINKING about that when it comes to the defense...not so much 19 or 88 but 2 and 7? are they weber? no, but are they better than most, yes, we think so...anyway, someday that could be somthing stan faces but most likely its what ive been saying..they KNOW they're good enough to make the playoffs with this core...could be #1 seed or 8 but doesnt matter as long as they tweak and manuever leading to spring..then its anyone's game as we know..in a year that had EVERYTHIG going against them they still almost pulled it off last season so dont fret too much...get to spring (then fret!)

Erik (SF, CA)

Man...i can't believe what this chat has become. Several of us ask insightful questions, and I read to find you playing Dr. Phil. What gives?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:58 PM)

ha, people care and it is hard to figure it out in your head. As a reporter I do the same thing..short term and long term thinking, etc. And its always hard to fig a team out...great one night, crappy the next but thats sports and there is another team out there..anyway, its all part of the process

Charlie (Illinois)

Hey Jesse! Great running into you in Tampa with Adam on the shuttle and the game. Lots of fun... But my question: I had mixed feelings about Coach Quenneville splitting up Kane/Hossa because they've been so dangerous on a line together, but kinda like the idea of Kane/Sharp on the second line. With Kane struggling at the dot, do you think the Blackhawks slide Sharp to center with Kane at wing for the first time this year? Gives em more options and a little different look. Worked for them last year.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:58 PM)

No, excpet Sharp could take some face-off and prob will but as far as who plays in the middle with the puck, its kane...

Kevin (Sacramento)

JR, just want to point out to some that is not over anyalyzing when the team looks as bad as they have in the last two games. There wasn't one bright spot in either game, including the goals.. or should I say goal. The comments abot 32 are over analyzing, but not the concerns about PP, 15, 29, 2, 7, 4, 36 and even 19. I know the guy isnt going to be in the Norris hunt anytime soon, but Scott has not been the worst Dman thus far. Especially considering the expectations. He's a 6/7 who can beat down anyone in the league and that's what you get. 2 & 7 are Offensive Dman who have no goals through 15...That's a genuine concern.

Jesse Rogers
  (3:00 PM)

Agree about the top end of the D, something to keep an eye on for sure...also a pp ranked 30th not 20 or 22 is a concern...for sure need 2 and 7 to contribute more on offense...alot riding on their shoulders and now reunited so no excuses

Jesse Rogers
  (3:03 PM)

Ok, thats it for today...click on my blog right now for all sorts of stuff..there is lineup stuff, funny John Scott stuff, more reader questions in my mailbag blog, pp numbers, etc. do it now and pass on the word about espnchicago.com follow me on twitter @espnchihawks for all the action tonight from nationwide arena (best pressbox in the game!) next week we'll chat from somehwere..Vancouver? I cant remember..darn circus..thanks for the questions. hope you enjoyed the conversation. enjoy the game tonight. I would guess a win but tough to know...