Hi all! Sorry Im late. Just finishing up watching and talking to hawks and canucks after their morning practices...
Its a rainy day in van, about 43 degrees...great enviornment here for hockey..looking forward to meeting number 33 between these clubs over last 3 yrs plus playoffs obviously...each team has won 16 games in the rivalry...news today: Bolland is in, Seabrook is out, Olesz is on waivers...fire away. Ill stay as long as I can to take your questions!
With Crawford giving up 15 goals and a save% in the .800s over the last 4 games, safe to say Crawford is slumping?
I think its a small slump, sure..nothing to be worried about..not going to be great every ngiht or every week...I dont worry about the goals over last 3 games cause the hawks have had nice, comfortable leads so unless it becomes glaring for an extended period, I wouldnt worry
Jesse - What kind of results do we need on this road trip to really prove that the Hawks are BACK and will legitimately be contending for the cup this year. The past 2 years we went 4-2 and 4-1-1, what kind of results are you expecting over these next couple of games?
Expecting good results, however, bolland is not 100 percent and seabrook is out so not going to be easy...I dont think this trip tells you their back or not, I think its already been told...hate to jinx things for you fans but the west is not the dominant place it once was...I think its a cakewalk to the playoffs for them..top 5 seed for sure, (being conservative) and then its about playoff hockey..BUT they do love these buildings they get to play in on this trip...all but Anaheim..so I still expect .500 or better
If Bolland is out, who lines up against the Sedin sisters?
Good question..Bolland is in and still might not get that assignment though I think Q will make the switch if he has to..right now, Kruger is centering Bickell and Frolik so he gets the chance first...huge role for him there...Q really likes kruger's abilities on defense..will be watching that closely.Bolland was skating w the 4th line this morn..further indication he's not 100 percent...plus watching him, he doesnt look like it
Remember last week when the sky was falling? Glad that's over, until the Hawks lose 2 games in a row again.
Right, however, savy fans know even when they were winning before the 2-3 in a row they lost, they were doing it a little bit with mirrors, the last 3 is how it should be done..with defense contributing, diverse scoring and special teams so even though people were a little bit panicing, it was based on some of the ugly wins combined with losses so was a little understanable
rusty on waivers, W T blank? he never got a chance...
Q addressed that some..and I agree with him..you have be given a chance, yes, but you have to earn it as well..the chance he got came with bolland out and he didnt do squat so yeah, it was only a few games but I recall b. smith or morin only getting a few games last yr and they took advantage..he really didnt ..this move was coming a mile away
Jesse, I don't understand why Carcillo remains on the 2nd line. I'm okay with how he has played so far, but he's not a Top 6 guy. Why wouldn't Q put someobody like Frolik on the 2nd line? He has more speed and skill than Carcillo and seems like he could make that line more dangerous playing with Sharp and Kane.
Not a bad point..there are diff ways to get the job done, my point being you might be right and Q might be right...They tried Frolik for like one game with toews and got nothing so I think they really believe they get the max out of him and bickell on that 3rd line..carcillo serves a role but they could make a trade or bring up ben smith in a heartbeat and replace him..my guess is come spring carcillo wont be there but again plenty of time to get there..right now, he's been decent enough..until they hit a rut again expect him to stay there
Recent power rankings have hawks at number 1, do you really think they are the best team in the league right now?
Ya know, its splitting hairs..do I think they are among the best? yes. The best? who knows but someone has to be ranked 1 in those polls
Besides his fighting ability, is John Scott one of the worst players in the NHL? I have zero confidence in him when he is on the ice.
Well then I guess you know more than Q but i know youre not alone in that thought.He's playing tonight and I did a one on one interview with him today..audio will be in my blog shortly..check out the rest of my stuff from Vancouver there as well...bieksa one on one yesterday, interviews fans on the street and several blogs including memories of game 7 which I thought was cool...but anyway, you're not going to get much offense from him but he's not getting burned on defense..I kind of like him but I understand how he frustrates pepople..bottom line I think he's Q's project and hes coming along..I know people hate to hear that..tonight, another test
So what happens with Rusty now that he is on waivers, I'm sure he will clear
More than likely he'll be sent to the minors...then he's eligible for re-entry waivers which means a team could pick him up for half his salary but I dont see it happening
Hey Jesse thanks for the time...Hows Seabrook feeling?
Much better...I could see him playing friday
Never been to, but what's wrong with The Pond?
No energy. Place is dead.Looks exactly like the UC inside but no energy at all
Besides Olesz being put on waivers due to the fact that he looks like a kid chasing butterflies on the ice, was the move made in order to clear up more salary cap for an additional transaction?
I dont think so..it was made cause he's not very good and others are more deserving..the extra money doesnt hurt but I dont see a major trade happening tomorrow...
Great man on the street interviews JR, I know he is out tonight but why is Seabrook so tentative to shoot on the PP? I mean 1 PPP in 18 games? he should at least stumble into a couple assists
I think he's still learning..he's never been THE shooter on the pp..there wsa Buff and sharp, etc but now its him...He knows he needs to so maybe needs more time
alot has been made of the Blackhawks hot start. Are they a lock for the top three spot in the conference by the end of the year? If not what moves can be made to win a cup this season?
I would say top 4 seed for sure..just to be safe...I think there is a spot (carcillo's) on the top 6 maybe 2 when you consider stalberg there now...so def a top 6, could be winger or center...and with all that money I def can see them going for a d-man...either one would help..prob d-man more
Are the Hawks deep enough on defense? It seems our last slump occurred during Keith's absence. Should we expect another slump with Seabrook out?
Its possible they could slump without him...IM not sure they are deep enough so again if they could get a good d-man, pp guy or stay at home, will get them that much closer to what they want to be
So when do you see Ben Smith coming up? It's been a while, I know he was injured in the preseason. Is he fully recovered from that now?
He is fully recovered and IM looking into who will take Olesz's spot..The obvious guess is smith but the Hawks do reward on current play and not name recognition or last year's play or what not so this news just happened today..should know more in next day or so..but smith seems logical choice
I'd just like to say to all the Duncan Keith haters....get a clue!!! Maybe he'll never win another Norris trophy but he is so extremely talented defensively. When he returned for the Blues game, he was the only Hawk that I thought had a decent night. Many of us grow up playing, baseball, basketball, and football but not too many play hockey. Therefore, it seems that all we focus on is how many points or hits a defense man has because that's about all we understand. There is so much that Keith does well denying time and space to opponents as well as other subtleties that I think he gets a raw deal from a lot of "fans". Sure, he makes mistakes, who doesn't? Btw, Jesse, last row level one and second level seats rule. Thanks for the advice.
I'll say this, he's looked more like the old Keith since coming back from injury so some of that criticism was ok, but I always said he set the bar so high its been hard for him to stay there..even at 75 percent he's still better than most, just not better than some of the elite...but he's getting back to that form
Kaner and Toews both become Free Agents at the the same time 4 years from now...do you see both of them resigning? Or is one of them going to be out of the Hawks price range? Who stays?
Um, little premature..so hard to know the landscape...would guess both stay, epscially toews but you never know with the CBA , etc
Who's the Hawks all-star representatives this year? Just Kaner and Toews?
Hossa..maybe not sharp just because they wont take too many..d-men have a chance but those 3 for sure as of today
Do you think Bickell has been the biggest disappointment so far? If Ben Smith is called up, is Bickell the odd man out? Seems like the worst thing for Bickell's game is when he scores, because then he starts playing like a finesse player.
yeah, since opening week hes been very avg. i said on the radio today that if smith or morin is called up the competition for playing time really heats up..so yes bickell could be on notice..
Jesse- Why does Sharp often take faceoffs for Kane? I thought Kane had a pretty good win percentage?
Right hand vs. left hand based on where they are on ice..its not like kane is heads and away better so they switch for strategic reasons as well as the "play" that is set up, etc.
J-Dog, now that Olesz seems to have had his day with the big club. Why not look at picking up a player like Gagner from the Oilers to play with Kaner. He's not that high of price tag at a little over 2M. I noticed in the Hawks Oilers game, the comentators mention that when Kane and Gagner played together with the London Knights, they were 1, 2 in scoring in the OHL respectively. Gagner seems to be the odd man out with the Oilers currently. Your Thoughts??
I think something along those lines is definitely possible..not saying Gagne in particular but the hawks are in a great position money wise and have prospects to move...what about ignila? though he's signed past this year for big money..still think big and small...I just cant tell you yet..still early
But Gagne and Kane are still tight
Steve Montador has 3 goals in as many games, is he a realistic threat and a key to getting the power play going or does every squirrel find a nut eventually.
I think he is hot right now and teams might figure him out but it was as much a strategic thing as anything, getting a right hander in the slot to change things up but I do like his hands...thats not something that will just go away but he has to have the chances...lets see how it plays out over time
Has Leddy surprised you with his offense so far this year or did you expect him to be this good offensively?
He has surprised me in the sense I didnt think he'd be so bold with the puck..they must have said just play your game and dont worry about making mistakes and he's doing it
Would you say that Hossa has been the best player on the team right now? Outside of the awesome +/-, every line he's on seems to be extremely productive. Can we make sure nobody pulls another Nick Boynton at practice?
Haha. I lvoe Hossa. Maybe my fav player to talk to in locker room..was shooting the %$%$ with him today..joked with him he could take a 3 min shift and not get tired..he says "really?" like I know the answer better than him...just a beast..I asked him why some nights he looks like the best player in the world and some he looks like the 7th best..he got my drift and said "dont know. some nights the legs get going and you feel better." no surprise toews takes off when hossa joins his line
Jesse, can you confirm that Olesz was waived today?
Q confirmed it today. We'll know more in next day or so about what they want to do with that roster spot...I asked Q if they intend on going back to 23 players and he basically said yes.
Prediction for tonight? Smoked us last time eh. Toews has a couple, Sharpie a couple. Keith with a ppg asst. Revenge.
Tough, tough, tough...does bolly play the sedins and is healthy enough? can kruger handle it? no seabrook..montador might score but might give up 5..kind of wish Lu was playing if you're a hawk fan..tough call with those injuries..really tough.
Jesse you are the man when it comes to Blackhawks hockey. Lots of rumors that the Wings are going to go to the east next year. Would the Hawks stay in the west then? What do you see happening
Yes, thats what I see happening..just means someday it will be a heck of a stanley cup finals
I really feel like the hawks need one more peice, or one upgrade to really put us over the top. Our team is solid but with the Western conference being sooo deep and likey very tight (standings wise) just like last year, what do you feel would put us " Over the top"
I agree with your premise and I think Hawks brass would as well..A great D-man would do it for sure, maybe just a top 6 forward but I would bet they would pick up at least one d-man at some point here...just a matter of whether its their big pick up or a minor one
Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't there something like 18 goalies on the all-star ballot? How the hell does Crawford not make the top 18?
Q addressed that some...young goalie, still earning his stripes..guess it makes sense but the whole ballot thing is stupid..just make everyone avail and vote online and add them up...shouldnt even be a "ballott"
Hey Jesse, but what about a trade for Iginla come trade deadline? Assuming Calgary tanks of course. Big cap hit, but contact expires after next season I think. Or would Calgary only send him to the East if/when they decide to move him?
yeah, one more yr at 7 mil. I think Calgary would trade him to wherever they got the best package..its a deal they cant miss on...but they arent really bright up there...so concerned about PR in places like that so not sure they would do it but they 100 percent should..we'll see
Can we expect Emery in net for a couple games on the road trip, especially with the back-to-backs? I've been impressed with his solid play this season, taking 7 of 8 points, after such a horrible showing in pre-season and camp. Hope he keeps it going.
Sure. I would guess this weekend for sure...we'll see about L.A/Anaheim but I would guess there too..no major issues with his game..he said he would get better and he has...right now, perfect back up
Am I understanding this right? With Olesz on waivers, his entire salary is off the cap hit?
As soon as he is sent down it comes off the books
I know you're a big twitter guy, of the Hawks whose the biggest twitter personality?
Probably Stalberg or Carcillo...
Has Nick Leddy's progression been a surprise within the organization? His confidence seems to be skyrocketing right now.
Not a surprise..think this exactly what they saw when they scouted him..not sure they knew how quick but they saw it
Jesse: 3 wins in a row are nice...but convince me the Hawks are really an elite team right now. Columbus and Calgary are terrible, and Edmonton is still Edmonton, despite their decent start. Montador isn't going to score a PP goal every game. Are the Hawks defensively sound enough to stay at the top of the conference?
The problem is other teams have flaws as well..who is really elite in the west? not vancouver in my opinion..SJ very good we know..is dallas for real? watch them drop..the east is better but we can worry about that later...montador might not score but someone else will..thats why the hawks are good, they are showing to be pretty deep...agree about Defense..still something to watch but love the progression these last 3 games forgettng the opponent..again, seeing the old keith back, etc. plus money to spend
Do players care much about the 3 star selection? If so, I imagine Ray Emery wasn't pleased on Friday. I would have put him as number one star.
Players dont care too much unless its contract time I suppose...I think there was a mix up there..should have been
I think John Scott hasn't looked to bad on D! While he hasn't done anything great he hasn't made any huge mistakes. Could he possibly be that permanent sixth defender? Not to mention if we needed some additional toughness he would already be dressed!
Wow, a scott fan?!?! Who knows about game in and game out but I think they want to know if he deserves anything at this point and he hasnt been bad like you say...so you let it run its course and then go from there
How many points earned would constitute a successful circus trip?
I would say 8
Can't say I am happy with the play of #4 #15 #29. No one in Rockford that can fill these spots ?
Well, sure but how much do you think Rocky wants to pay guys to not play? That's 6 mil right there and youre now going to be paying 3.1 for olesz not to play along with huet 5.6 not to play...plus hammer isnt worse than rockford players..hes just not living up to his big money..still decent enough compared to what it could be back there..bickell is the one in jeopardy..bruno gets a long leash on the 4th line
What happened to John Madden I don't see him on the wolvas roster. Someone said he's not property of Vancouver. How does this happen? Hate to see him face us.
He went to practice for a few days and then left..never signed a contract but not sure what happened..maybe just not the right fit..and he was not going to be property of van anyway unless they signed him to a deal..any team can sign him now or even if he played for the wolves..
I know this ship has sailed, but in last week's chat you mentioned the hawks could use another top 6 guy, how would Versteeg look in that role the way he is playing now? 20 pts in 17 games. Would they have tried harder to keep him if he was playing like that couple years ago?
Who knows..so hard to go back and think that way..its pretty obvious unless you were in the "core" you were elgible to be moved..dont think steeg would have been in the core no matter what and he probably needed to mature to get where he is now so its kind of a moot point, just too hard to analyze now
What is Q's gameplan for tonight?
Well I just got out of the coaches meeting so...i think since they are on the road anyway, toews, bolland and kruger will all see the sedins..Q even mentioned kane's line which isnt that crazy if he wants to keep him away from kesler..if kane has the puck and not the sedins that line can do some damage..plus kesler might check toews now that hossa is there...lots of possibilites
Will Hammer ever develop into the player the Hawks expect him to be?
Boy, it doesnt look like it right..no steps offensively..I will say this, the Hawks arent stocked with stay at home great defenders so maybe he feels he has to excel at that.and sometimes he does but right now, there is little doubt he hasnt progressed as much as he could have...d-men sometimes slow down with that progression and then pick it up again so best I can say it jury is still out
Do you think Leddy's offense is worth his spotty play on defense?
At this point, yes. I wish his spotty D came from being caught up ice or something but he's just not as strong or aware as he needs to be in his own end..but as long as he's improving I think its ok..and he is, still learning..thats why I def think its worth it..will pay off in the end i believe
I loved your comments about Hossa ... everytime I have been to a game... he appears to be a man against boys. How long do you think he will be able to continue at this level?
Next injury? Or those legs dont show up for some reason?? just cant do it every night for 82 but he does it more than most
Jesse, what grade would you give Kruger so far? And what do you think his ceiling is? Do you think can be a Bolland-type both in terms of offensive production and defense?
You put this one on a platter for me..I love the kid..and yes I think he can be a poor man's bolland..maybe even better offensively but still has a long way to go to be even mentioned with 36..I would not be shocked if there is an injury to toews or kane (god forbid i know) he took a top 6 center role..at least as a trial..think about his progression..cut, 4th line, pk, now 3rd line, pp...he's mocing in the right direction..make no mistake, he's a very smart player for his age and that can go along way
Main problem with Iginla is that he has a no trade clause and has stated multiple times that he doesn't want to leave Calgary. But with the way they are playing i think he might finally change his tune.
Yes, he is too "comfortable" there and that concerns me..you can make a case that columbus could make a rebound next yr with a goalie change and health..no way for calgary, they are (or should be) rebuilding and ignila should be chomping to go to a winner..but word is he might noe be...of course that can change
Is acquiring a player late in the season ever an issue from a chemistry standpoint? i would think it might be better to get players we like earlier on so that they have time to jell with the current players before the playoffs.
Not really...if you're getting a good player, they'll know how to fit in and if youre getting a good player from a bad team, he'll be psyched to fit in and if youre just getting a role player, toews will make you fit it. :)
The Hawks are off to a great start, but still seem to lack size compared to other teams. Bickell is a big body, but hasn't been dishing out hits like expected. Carbomb had a good start, but seemed to taper off. I would love to see a big winger creating chaos in front of the goalie, especially on the PP. Do you think they might address lack of size and being outnumbered in hits this season?
Yes, but not because of that hits number...misleading stat but for general "go hit someone and get the puck" it could be something they address..but the buff's of the world (winger version) dont grow on trees
What is the general feeling of other western conference teams fanbases towards the hawks? Obviously STL, VAN and DET dont like us, but what about the others?
even those cities/teams at least RESPECT the hawks..go watch my interviews with fans on the street here in vanocuver..I did word association using kane and toews and got positive responses..so again, at least there is respect if not like...but Toews is like Yzerman or sakic..whats not to like?
What are the chances we see Rostislav again this year? Hawks do not seem to get and stay down on a player. If playing in the top six in Rockford brings out his #7 overall pick qualities, I can see him as an injury call-up later in the year. I can also see never seeing him in a Hawks jersey again. What say you?
Based on what I saw, I dont think we would see him again BUT they reward good play down there and if there are injuries,etc. and he's playing well, sure there is a chance..its not personal or anything. seemed liked a good kid...
Hi from Cleveland, Scott seems to be playing more and Lipisto isn't, why is that?
Same answer Ive given a 100 times, Q likes Scott better..his size, his reach, his positioning..maybe they have enough moving D-men in the lineup and he likes scott for other things...maybe he went to bat for scott when they signed him and wants to be proven right...Q likes him, thats all i can tell you
Kane and Carcillo seem to have nice chemistry. Would that explain keeping Carcillo on the second line?
Sure, its not going to hurt but chemistry without prodcution isnt really chemistry so we'll see.
I love the way Frolik plays in his own end. He seem's to be the best defensive forward the Hawks have outside of Bolland. People were predicting a 30 goal season for him, but if he plays in his own end this well all year, who cares.
Dont disagree and I never thought he would get to 30..not enough pp time with the forwards the hawks have..
Is it safe to say that signing Bruenette was a mistake?
That is a very good question...it appears that way...seems like they are finding others to do his job and still have guys in the minors that seem to be better...if he dumps 15 or sometihng on the pp then its a success but at 3 goals with no 5 on 5 success, for 2 mil, maybe not..i thought he'd wake up in the morn and score 20 on this team..maybe not
That's going to do it for today. Great questions. Sorry if I didnt get to yours..email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want something answered. follow me on twitter @espnchihawks...top 5 place to watch a game tonight with a great rivalry..should be fun as it always is..remember last time in this building..they almost pulled it off..anyway, check out my blog, tons of stuff from here in vancouver..of course postgame late tonight as welll...tomorrow on to calgary, etc. nect week's chat I believe is in SJ. darn circus. thanks again everyone