Hi all, welcome to our weekly Hawks chat. Thanks for jumping on. Back at home after doing the last couple chats on the road and will stay for over an hour with you maybe 90 minutes if that's what it takes! Hawks played like their were still on the road last night. Just awful. They're off today to regroup before prac tomorrow and then back at it this weekend. Enough from me, fire away with questions!
the major difference I see since the cup team has been ability to posses the puck. do you agree? also it seems like davey bolland rarely wins @ the dot, what are his face off numbers?
I would agree...that was a special team in that regard as evidenced by their shot differential which was off the charts...those teams come along once in a great while and its too bad they couldnt keep them together for even just one more year...I think the hawks still want to be that team but dont have the same talent to do so..one im not concinvced carcillo or even stalberg (though he's been pretty darn good right now) are long term answeres for top 6 F so another guy that can skate and hold the puck would be nice...dont have bolland FO% in front of me but he's below 50% for his career...he did have a nice strecth recently but he's not reliable in that dept
Crawford has looked average the last couple of weeks, is it time to start worrying about him?
Not yet but I do think he needs to pick up his game...if for some reason he simply doesnt then that will point to the pressure of being the guy as a factor because he's still technically sound..it will be dissapointing if he ends up having a down yr and if it comes down to pressure/mental stuff then choosing him over niemi might come back to haunt...i havent been around a Hawks goaltender metnally tougher than niemi in quite some time...and I do think Craw has that but Im just giving you worst case scenarios..my opinion? just a little slump
Jesse,Seriously when is Bowman going to pull the trigger on the approxtimately 6 mil in cap space we have. We have look down right terrible a handful of games this year, and especially as of late. There are glaring holes in this line up that need to be addressed. I know Bowman has said he wants to be patient, but what, is he going to wait until the deadline or our upcoming 9 game road trip and we slump hard and find ourselves hoovering around 7th, 8th place again?
He might wait that long...doesnt mean its too late, right? how many major trades happen at this time of year...there might be 1 or 2 and maybe the hawks will be involved but my point is what's the rush? I can give you an easy scenario where they want to wait and see....they've played the most games in the NHL and on the road...they have similiar records as to most of the good teams...the next 2 months should be prime time for them to pick up points and IF THEY DONT then you really know your weaknesses...its a process...plus, in my oopinion, you dont spen 5 mil on bobby ryan then seabrook goes down for 2 months...so waiting is right for several reasons UNLESS the deal just is too good to pass up
So now we know the post-road trip hangover exists, too. Seems like this always happens in the first home game of a playoff series also. How much of the blame for not getting up for the first game of the home stand falls on the players/Coach Q? How do they prevent it from happening or is this just a lame excuse?
Not sure if there is a way to prevent it. Seriosuly. You do your best and go from there. They all are aware of it but sometimes the mind cant control the body. Read the quotes from Q in my blog from last night. "Reactionary" was slow he said...In other words, the mind is telling you to move but the legs and body cant. This is all subtle stuff. Listen, I talked to P.Sharp at length yesterday morning about this. He made a point of telling me in front of the home crowd he (and they) wanted to come out flying. Did you see him or anyone flying? Its not a menal thing, its a physical one and one that just hits or doesnt..not to say you cant win or have a great game but odds say at some point that stuff will catch up with you..PLUS the oppoennt was perfect to play into this notion as well...maybe if they Van its different
Im fed up with Hjamarlsson...he never checks anyone....he goes into the corners and takes a pounding....as an ex athlete I cannot imagine doing that night in and out....does he not realize a big hit changes momentum? It sends a message! It can lead to a rush up ice? What gives?? I dont get it
Boy, I wish I knew...he'll delive one once in a while but for a guy that provides no offense he's not exactly the shut down tough guy youd want back there...still like him enough but only cause there are no other options...too often I just think of him as a guy thats out there and nothing special..if thats the case, prob overpaid...maybe simply destined to be a 4/5...remember, some defensive D-men dont show up in boxscore as much as on tap afterwards but I dont think the hawks are thrilled with that investment to this point...like? maybe. love? no
Hi Jesse,There has been a lot of conversation regarding the Hawks potential need for a second line center and although the Hawks have been shut out 3 times already this year to go along with last night's near blanking by Phoenix, I'm much more concerned with the number of goals the Hawks have allowed thus far. I know keeping goals out of your net requires both the forwards and defense to help out, but what do you see going forward as the Hawks greatest area of need; the aforementioned center or a stay at home defense men? (Just recently, Joel Q. mentioned the 2-1 victory at Los Angeles as the team's possibly best and most complete game this year.) Thanks.
Its the $64,000 question. Depends who you talk to in hockey and Ive talked to alot. My opinion is they need a D man slightly more than a center but they need both. The only reason I say D-man is becuse they are basically playing with a rotation of 5 and thats going to tax some guys...and that's with everyone healthy...the two kind of bad short strecthes the hawks have had were without keith and then seabrook so the depth isnt there...in Van ketih played 12:19 in the second cause scott was dressed but wasnt taking many shifts...HOWEVER, a center helps with the puck posession game overall and thats the better defense for them anyway. Ill say it again. they arent built to play D in their own zone...they are built for ouck possession so the better they are at it up front, the better their D will be...tough call but they need both!
With Bobby Ryan supposedly on the trade block would it make sense for the Hawks to go after him? A line of Ryan, Kane, and Hossa, would be as good as as any line out there.
Its enticing but I'll say no...didnt realize his cap hit was so much: 5.1 cause his actually salary this year is alot lower...and hes signed for a bunch of yrs. its kind of like trading campbell for ryan...not that, that's bad but if youre going to spend up to the cap they should have more on defense then they do so it would really hamstring them..plsu he's not a true center so strike two there...I say pass as crazy as that sounds
Dont think he makes up enough for other issues and to tie up the cap again...for yrs
Why hasn't Ben Smith been given more of a chance. Seems to me Stalberg and Carcillo have been given enough time on the top 2 lines and it is time to see what others can do. Smith? Maybe someone from Rockford? I like Stalberg's speed and good for 4th line, but doesnt have the hands or passing ability for top 6. My biggest positives: Love what Kruger and Leddy are showing and Mayers continues to be solid contributor
Good question and now that they played a bad one after 3 good ones I would expect smith back in unless he's not doing something we dont know about (bad prac habits, etc.) I've been saying Smith deserves a real chance to pick up where he left off last yr. Its not fair to criticize Stalberg right now, he's playing well enough so let that ride out...BUT I dont get why Smith doesnt go on that 2nd line with kane and hossa or whoever..Now, I think the next bigthing they can try is Kruger in the middle with hossa and whoever..worth a shot..I dont like kruger at wing at all..but smith has to be given a chance..will be a question for tomorrow at practice for sure
How are you liking Kane at center? Seems like his production lately has dropped a bit, what is he missing?
It has dropped and no coincidence it was on the road..his splits totally favor him at home suggesting the matchups on the road are hurting him..i joked on twitter last night, play him at wing on the road and center at home...talk about giving opponents a change-up..actually, not a bad idea..Even when he was going good, I never thought he would be in the middle in the spring and I still dont think so...I asked stan that straight out in canada the other day and he said he's a center and doesnt see why he wouldnt be there...but the day they trade for one will be the last day for kane in the middle
Jesse, some of this talk of comparing this team to the Stanley Cup season freaks me out a little bit. Can we get back to a championship roster, or are we destined to see a perennial playoff team that doesn't quite get over the hump?
I could tell you not to worry until spring..that for the next several years not to worry about this team until the playoffs...its probably the right thing to say to be honest but I understand you want to see more now..I dont think they will get back to that level but they can come close to enough that a run in the playoffs and a cup is def possible...I dont want to say it all year but dont judge until much later...let it play out..(unless they just totally tank it)
Generally speaking; what are your thoughts on the shootout? A Yay or nay?
Nay. hate it
Why doesn't lepisto get more playing time. If he's not better than Scott and Odonnel then why is he here.
I dont think they trust him...I guess cause scott and o'donnell are limited and they KNOW they are limited means they are less likely to be out of position, etc. Kind of weird way to think but thats the best I got..they simply dont trust his def positioning/judgement, etc.
If you're Q for a game (say Monday's upcoming rematch w Phoenix), what lines and D-pairings would you play?
I think I sort of indicated it..to be radical, I would go 25/19/88, 10/16/81, 67/36/28, 13/22/16.....or move 28 up and kane back at cneter...or even 25 down and 10 up...something like that...less radical would be just 28 for 13 on the 32nd line..bickell to bench and 13 to 4th line..
should be 15 on that 4th line, not 16...
Do you think Rick Nash could be traded for from a bad team that needs alot of things? Draft picks and players for Nash?
Doubt it. Think they want to give that thing one more shot next yr..plus in the division? maybe but just doubt it..
Jesse:Hasn't Ben Smith been out because he has had a concussion relapse? The recent boxscores haven't listed him as scratched, but listed him as "concussion."
I havent seen any boscore indicating concussion and Q usually is honest if a guy is a healthy scratch or not and from all indications, its been healthy...plus, no boxscore would say concussion cause they dont even like to use that word...would be upper body I think
Is is me or does Craw give up alot of soft goals down low? Seems like he loses track of the puck when its around the goal line area. Hawks in general are giving up alot of goals in tight/down low. We need a solid d-man at the deadline cuz we're giving up way to many goals.
Lately he has. Its not been his usual style...and yes, the goals around the net have been too many and really hang their goaltender out there
jesse, the central division is looking very competitive as always with CHI, STL and DET occupying three of the top spots in the west. how do you think the hawks stack up against the other central division teams?
I think they stack up well..the blues have gotten a boost from the coaching change..prob will be in it most of the way but not at this pace i dont think...the hawks have matched up well with det over the years..they mirror each other some..wings are up and down as well at times so long way to go but they're right there with those teams
I don't think the Hawks can win the cup with Crawford, thoughts?
I would say I disagree...not sure how you can make that assesment based on 20 games in oct and nov with a defense that has been very shaky...his 7 game playoff series proved he has the mettle I think...at the very least, jury is out. At the very least
With the exception of Leddy and arguably Frolik, Bowman has had more flops than successes in the additions dept. How hot is his seat right now?
Not very hot. Its nov. this team will make the playoffs. Let things play out...plus now he has money to spend so judge him more critically now than before..dumping campbell's deal will turn out to be smart in long run...
While I think almost all players seemed to lack the intensity against the Coyotes, it seems to me that Bickell has been lacking the intensity the past couple weeks. He rarely makes good contact on a hit and also rarely wins a board battle lately. Is it time for Q to sit him down for a couple games and if so, who replaces him at LW?
Yes it is time. Ben Smith.
So, if the Hawks might be shopping for a new D man (or two), who do you see as trade bait?
Could be any prospect cause you just dont know what other team like/want. Mcneil, Saad, Morin, even Smith, Hayes, Olsen, etc. Any of those top guys and more...
Do u think it would make sense for the Hawks to trade Bolland for a D man, and have Kruger handle checking line duties? If so which D man would make the most sense for the Hawks?
No, the way Bolland has played in the playoffs is way too valuable...unfortunately, its the same thing Ive been saying...jusge in playoffs...who cares what seed, really. and IM guessing they wont be 8 or need the last day of the year to get in..maybe Im misjuding this team but dont think so..I saw proper response from edm game...they can play D and be explosive when they need/want..last night was a whole diff thing.
Any idea why WGN games are only available in the Chicago area and not national?
i dont know exactly why..im guessing so it doesnt intefere with teams in other markets..
Jesse:The boxscores on ESPN's own website list Smith with a concussion:http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=400047832http://scores.espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=400047712So either ESPN's boxscores are wrong, or Smith has been reported as out due to concussion.
Youre right it does say that..has to be a mistake. has to be...maybe left over from preseason..very weird...but not official for sure..and since im the espn reporter that would indicate that to whoever, Im guessing whoever made a mistake or typo or something..
Jesse in some of these recent ugly losses I have really started to question the teams effort and concentration. The Cup winning team was so stacked with talent that they seemed to be able to overcome those kind of issues by just flipping a switch. Do you think that without the depth to lean on this team is just showing some of what you would expect from a mostly young team? I know a lot of the young guys have experience, but with average role players maybe this team is just a year or two away from real cup contention? Maybe some guys really still have a lot to learn?
I think they are showing that they arent a complete jaugernat right now...the next two months will really tell alot. plenty of home games..more normal scehdule..rest, etc. I still think they will have a very good reg season..we can look at glass half full too ya know..they have a decent record with playing mostly avg hockey save a few games...but they arent good enough to overcome a letdown or trip hangover,etc.
Just curious -- any idea on how Campoli is doing? I'm wondering if we should chalk that up as a mistake by Bowman or not.
He's been hurt but I do chalk that up as a mistake..maybe on bowman, maybe on campoli, maybe on both..even if Campoli was asking for too much, isnt it Bowman's job to convince him otherwise? When Hossa called them cause he wanted to play here so badly and they say other free agents want the same how come it didnt apply to campoli..point is there are always several sides to a story and now that ive seen enough games, Im more convincedthan ever they do miss him...lepisto is on this roster instead of him so make that trade..hawks are better off with some less money of course
When would our d prospects get the call up,I really would like to see Hammer and Bickell for true center.
I dont think they are trading d-men that arent named scott or odonnell or lepisto...how thin do you want to be there?
What's with the inconsistency of Crawford? Is it now, the Hawks have to score 3 to 4 to have to win every game?
Not all on him but he has been leaky..just recently in my opinion..too early to say he cant recover or anything.
Jesse, are you worried about the way they are playing?
Not really.The recent "blowouts" arent good cause sometimes you can sneak a point in there if you just hang in there some games..but I look at other "good" teams and they have ALL had their problems...I mean I here what a coach Byslma is and crosby is back and Pitts record is about the same as hawks or close enough...i hate to keep saying it but its nov and starting tomorrow Ill say its dec..AND they are playing one player or two short compared to last couple seasons..they spent up to the cap then..not now..so there is a good player not on this team yet and prob will be ..at least one...but to answer you, not really..scheudle little hectic and Im a schedule guy..next 2 months..watch and we'll see....did you just want a yes or no? LOL
And what they did in SJ proved to me they have the personnell to play good D though a little help woudlnt hurt.
During cup run, Hawks held opposing team shot totals down and were near top in the league. Seems as though Hawks giving up more shots and chances. Back check from forwards does not seem as agressive. Thoughts?
It goes to overall puck posession game..it's better than it was the first 15 games but theyve had some relapses..its forwards and D....just need the puck more
Do the Hawks have anyone on the blueline who can consistently put the puck on net? Seems like whenever there is traffic in front waiting for rebounds, the point shot doesn't get through and the opposition takes it the other way for a good chance.
It might seem that way but Keith wouldnt have 13 assists and seabrook's shot mostly gets through...and leddy is better, etc. It's just glaring when it does happen cause an odd man break the other way sticks out but i dont know if its more than other teams...keith better this yr than last getting it through
Jesse, during practice while working on the PK, do the coaches make it a priority to work on clearing guys from the front of the net. I know that you cannot interfere, but bump the screener, box him out, do something. So many goals this year have come on the pk because Craw cannot see the puck.
Tough one...I dont really see that part of it "worked" on in practice..maybe it should be...Im not going to say never but I think its just part of the normal PK stuff they do..I dont disagree with you though..seems too many guys there not just for screens but easy put-backs..but in SJ the hawks did everything right so it can be done
I don't think Bowman has done bad at all with the problem he was given salary cap wise. People act like every move a GM makes has to improve the team immediately, and that doesn't always happen in any sport or the same team would win the championship every year.
I would agree with that overall assesment...lot to judge moving forward with the money they now have so he had to re-work alot there for a while..overall jury still out on Bowman as GM but I think he's smart and smart enough to ask around like his dad, Q, etc.
do you think that Q has become too close to the players? last year when sharp and kane messed up against Phx Q benched them in the 3rd period. This year several blow-outs and players not bringing even their C game yet no benching..........
No i dont think thats the problem at all..I said on radio today, Q knows this team, obviously, VERY well. He's working towards spring not winter. And I think he benched those guys 2 yrs ago , right..? after bad penalties...keith got benched once or twice already this yr so it happens
People at the game last night are suggesting that the Hawks trade Hammer, Stalsburg, and another player for Bobby Ryan. What do you think about that trade becoming a possibility
Very little unless a great d-man comes in another trade...no way. Too many things working against it as I discussed earlier...contract, not a true center, etc. Still very good player so worth exploring but doubt ir
Does the team ever bus to any road games or do they fly for everything? Also, do you get to ride on the team bus?
Fly everywhere and once in a blue moon when weather is bad media gets to ride the bus or what not
Do you think Leddy can keep things up?
Yes, love how he carries the puck into the off zone..totaly sets up a sequence in ther and puck posession. like it alot. want him tougher in his own zone but this is why they targeted him...he fits their style but he's not built for "in own zone' play.
Any bad blood in Chicago from having the AHL Chicago Wolves affiliated with Vancouver? Wondering if the social hockey circles are small enough that coaches/players from the two organizations run into each other?
No they dont and they dont care. Hasnt come up even once...Q and McTavish are prob friends..
Hi Jesse, I believe consistency; on offense, on defense, in goal, on special teams and in the areas of DESIRE and MOTIVATION, are the keys to a true Stanley Cup run. Yup, a few breaks here and there along the way as well. Based on this, I'm not seeing the consistency in any of those areas. How are they going to all of a sudden get that. Is the blame squarely on the coaching staff, or is it that the players just think they are that good with all the skill set on the ice, and can/will just turn it on when they really have to as they did after the third playoff game last year?
This will sound weird but in the wins I see it, not so much in the losses...and they have more wins than losses...and again, pretty similiar record to most other good teams though they've played 3 more than det., etc. too early to say they cant do this or that...not too early to say they are flawed but that's what the next 55 games is for plus a trade or two
Which team(s) in the west scare you and/or the Hawks
San Jose seems most complete but even now I think the hawks would give any team a run for its money in the playoffs...
6 games in the next two weeks NYI, @STL, PHX, @NYI, SJ, @MIN. Some tough matchups in there, with the exception of the two against New York. The Hawks have had an easier schedule to this point. Are you expecting the next two weeks to show what this team is made of?
No, more like the next two months...lets get to the all-star break
If Bolland is playing through something, why not rest him while it's early? He is clearly not adding depth to this team right now.
They could...he wasnt great before his injury...I dont think its a big deal to play him through a bone bruise or whatever it is from the block shot..he seems like your classic playoff player so rest him or not he might not have a great reg season..prob not the hardest worker on the team...he's a guy I def judge come playoff time..
Jesse, when are the Hawks going to work something out with JR to bring him back with some capacity with the Hawks. He is such a huge fan favorite I wish they would bring him back, even if it was for the convention
He works in the media so doubt he'll be an ambassador,etc. unless he quits that...he's working in hockey so too awkward to do anything official
And I dont think they would do it anyway...he's a great former player...and that's it for now
Jesse I am wondering why Kitchen still has a job with the Hawks. He is not good with the team on the PP and I am sick of it, what are your thoughts
AS Ive stated in the past since asst coaches arent allowed to be interviewed and Q wont reveal how much input each of them has I dont think I can make an assesment. Maybe he wants to do things one way and Q overules him...Ive seen all 3 coaches with the clipboard working special teams and Q says its all 3 doing it collaborative and he also says he will take the hit so give it to him...if Pk is bad again for the yr thats a on Q as far as Im concerned
Jesse, What are you first quarter grades for offense, defense, special teams and goaltending? First quarter MVP, most improved, and biggest "room to improve"?
Ok...lets see, offense..B+, Defense, C-, goaltending B, special teams, C-/D , Kane was first quarter MVP..(take away last 5 games cause im talking first 20..he looks better) ...bolland has biggest room to improve and prob kruger for most improved during this yr though from last yr to this, leddy is most improved...off the top of my head
I was at the Kings game Saturday rooting for the Hawks. Lots of Hawks jerseys in the crowd and out in the LA Live area around Staples Center. Does that have any impact on the Hawks players when they come out on the ice and see Hawks fans out in force or do the players just block out the crowd on the road?
I think they get some energy off of it, yeah, Have no idea how that translates. they also like hostile enviornments like Vancouver cause you get that all vs them thing going..so minimal affect
What about Madden, he is still available for a NHL contract right, would be a great fit (plus I still have his jersey). Do you see the Hawks going after him>?
No.Prob a reason no NHL team has signed him..fit/speed isnt there I dont think
Thats going to do it for today. Thanks everyone..great questions..its too early for trades (for the most part) so hold off on that stuff...let this play out some more..I really think dec and jan will be moths to rack up some points..Maybe Im wrong but trust Q some, he's been through this many times...not saying he cant make mistakes, he does. but 2 months is no time for major crziness with a 14-8-3 team. follow me on twitter @espnchihawks. I tweet a lot from prac and games trying to keep you updated and read the blog often! you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need something else answered. talk to you next week and thanks again