Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 25, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers

Jesse Rogers
  (1:02 PM)

Hi all. Welcome to our weekly Hawks chat, all-star break edition. 50 games in the books. 32 left. Trade deadline is in a month. Hawks 29-15-6. PLayers have scattered and will reconvene Monday in Vancouver while Kane and Hossa will play in the all-star game on sunday. Lets talk some hawks, fire away with questions

Dan (Chicago)

I'm picturing this team taking off with the return of Sharp and Toews during the 9 game road trip. What does the future hold for these hawks in terms of the end of the regular season and their standings in the division?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:05 PM)

First off, just cause they're back doesnt mean someone else doesnt get injured so its nice to think of a team near full strength but rarely does it happen or last long...not sure how you could predict great things on a 9 game trip..you have rookies that are going through it for the first time, you have a team that cant just hunker down and play a def game when its tired. And they have a .500 record on the road as it is. plus its NINE games. Dont get your hopes up but thats why they play the games..maybe they go nuts knowing the task is a hard one...I dont think they win the division. I do think they finish ahead of nash and st. louis

Jesse Rogers
  (1:05 PM)

First off, just cause they're back doesnt mean someone else doesnt get injured so its nice to think of a team near full strength but rarely does it happen or last long...not sure how you could predict great things on a 9 game trip..you have rookies that are going through it for the first time, you have a team that cant just hunker down and play a def game when its tired. And they have a .500 record on the road as it is. plus its NINE games. Dont get your hopes up but thats why they play the games..maybe they go nuts knowing the task is a hard one...I dont think they win the division. I do think they finish ahead of nash and st. louis

Paul (Chicago)

Jesse, although the Hawks are comfortably in at this point, sitting a full 10 points ahead of the 9th place team, do you have any concern that this road trip can turn them into a team fighting to make the playoffs rather than fighting for the Division? I personally think that they will turn this two game losing streak around post all star break, but that is assuming that Toews comes back next week and Sharp soon thereafter.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:07 PM)

They might linger mid-pack with a 4-5 trip or 3-5-1 or 5-4 but march should be fine for them...I wouldnt worry about sneaking in. the west is even weaker in my opinon. they'll be fine. its about seeding and frankly I dont even think thats a big deal. playing better defensive hockey is a big deal.

Paul (Chicago)

Jesse, what do you think are the percentage chances for Toews and Sharp to be back in our first game after the break? Hopefully over 50% at least for Toews, although we need Sharp back too if we are going to keep trying to outscore teams, rather than tighten up the D. Also, when both do come back, any chance that 15 sits and we keep some kids on the ice that can actually skate?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:08 PM)

I'd put Toews at 70% for the first game back...thats still not 100 but I think there is a good chance..I'd say no to sharp..more likely the 2nd leg of that trip but I could be wrong..Im not watching every day take shots and work the wrist so I cant tell you but I would say little chance for vancouver

Kevin (Valparaiso)

Sounds like panic is setting in with fans. But I think the Hawks are in a great position now: 1. Two stars will be back next week. 2. They have two rookies who are doing well and now have some valuable experience. 3. The trade deadline is coming up fast. 4. They are still within a few points of first place. All this is timed perfectly for the last part of the season/playoffs. Do you agree?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:10 PM)

In theory I agree with a lot of that, espcially the trade deadline stuff. BUT, you are what you are..and if they think they will win a cup solely on outscoring teams, Ive got some swamplan to sell..Q knows they cant win with the combo of defense/goaltending they are getting. Something has to get better...AS I wrote in my blog, they're the type of team that would be ripe for an upset because they simply dont win tight, low scoring games...last time I checked there are a bunch of those in the playoffs

Jesse Rogers
  (1:11 PM)

that was swampland....not plan. lol

Tom (pingree grove, illinois)

Hi, Jesse: Granted, Crawford did not have a stellar first half of the season, but don't you think that the bigger issues for the Hawks are simply getting the puck out of their own end more efficiently, and their defense avoiding the lazy or ill advised passes? Thank you.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:13 PM)

I mean sure..but no one is going to play a perfect game..ther are going ot be mistakes..hawks need to limit them..listen, we all think these coaches and gm have all these elaborate ways of analyzing players including goaltenders...you know how they do it? If he can see it he should stop it. Thats it. Screens and re-directs and obviously so open side goals are excusable most of the time...so judge using that criteria...but yes, a D-man that could move leddy down a notch has to be st the top of the list...and a veteran center that can play both ends

Jesse Rogers
  (1:13 PM)

should say SOME open side goals..typing too fast. 3 diet cokes this morn

Frank (Naperville)

Does it matter what moves we make at the deadline, if we don't get better play out of the goalie position? In the playoffs you need your goalie to steal a game or two and that hasn't happened all year, so how can we expect it in the playoffs?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:16 PM)

Well, Im sure the Crawford defenders would say a better defense would not hang Crawford out to dry..Ive been arguing with a lot of people about this point over the last few days..This is far from all on crawford..he's no huet or turco but Im leaning to the side that says he has to be better, bail them out more or a change has to happen...MOST shutouts are goalie shutouts..once in a while you get a team defense shutout...hawks dont have any of any kind..think it says SOMETHING. has to

Tim (Naperville)

Jesse, it seems that our defense is where Stan needs to address in the trade market. Of course most teams are wanting defensemen, what do you think the Hawks will do

Jesse Rogers
  (1:17 PM)

They are going to have to overpay. Could be tim gleason from carolina, chris campoli (again), schultz from wash, the list goes on. but it will cost,especially if hes a true top 4. I still dont think one d-man solves all their problems but it will help obviously

Troy (Lyndon)

The Hawks are still comfortably in a playoff spot, but they cannot wait forever. The West is just too good. Do you see them making a move soon or a move right at the deadline?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:19 PM)

Really hard for me to answer. Here is the situation: the hawks would make a deal now if another team was more "reasonable" at least in the hawks mind. of course they could pull the trigger by offering the world but that isnt prudent and we all know it. they arent in 11th place and need all the help now...either the price has to come down or the hawks have to up it..so I cant tell you if thats tomorrow or feb .27..I do know the price should come down the longer you wait in theory

Kevin (Sacramento)

JR, any chance Stan makes one or two significant moves? I'm not talking about a bottom pair D or bottom 6 forward, I mean a real #2 C or top 4 D. Or maybe even a huge trade? Jack Johnson would look really good with the indian on his chest.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:23 PM)

Yes, there is a chance..Im not sure i would put it at more than 50/50. Hard to trade with another team in the playoff race...carolina seems like the best trade partner..im still thinking they are looking that way but NO team in the NHL is better at keeping things close to the vest than the hawks under the bowmans, McD, etc. Leddy deal, Boynton deal, etc came out of nowhere so there is always quiet talks going on..carolina might be too obvious. lol

Howie (Chicago)

I'm hearing that Gleason and Ruttu are on a lot of teams radar, so it looks like it will take a lot to get either one or both of them. I hope we don't give up the farm for them. Don't you agree the team is more than just those two away from the cup?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:24 PM)

Not necessarily...2 of those types of players could do it. but I still wouldnt way overpay or anything...but thats the kind of pieces they need

Steve (My Office)

While better than last year's "hangover" season, there is nothing standing out about this year that makes me think this team a a deep playoff run in them. Poor D, spotty goaltending, #88 in a coma. Your thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:27 PM)

well, they've been near the top of the conference all year so if you want to ignore a good record, I guess you can. I think the west is weak. I dont believe nash can win more than a round (they never have) I dont think st. louis is ready to go all the way..the hawks matchup well with van and det. but I dont disagree if they dont tighten up they're in trouble...when they have put their minds to it they have played some good D although they sacrificed offense in doing so...to me the 1-0 loss in san jose after 9-2 in edmonton said a lot about this team..they have to comiit to it but at the same time find some offense..the balanced games havent been there...need to find that..trade or trades will help

Ryan (Vegas)

Jr, Bolly is at 41% from the dot on the year and yesterday he wins 85%?? How do you explain that? Did he put more focus into it yesterday or is it just not one of the preds strengths?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:28 PM)

I think so. Ill take credit. I did a video interview with him yesterday morn for the blog and asked if he had to "step up" without toews. bascially he said yes. and he did. :)Why not every game, i dont know but it was amazing seeing win so many when he rarely does

Greg (SW MO.)

Not happy with #6 or especially #8. Both have cost us games ( ALL YEAR ) with consistent same type ( OVER & OVER AGAIN ) of mistakes

Jesse Rogers
  (1:29 PM)

my answer is 40 and 20. thats their ages. the hawks will get a d-man..is it one that just pushes o'donnell out or one that moved leddy and everyone else down? thats the question

Jason (NY)

Jesse, the time is NOW! The 9 game road trip is all but upon us now AND we have slipped to 4th in the divison heading into our franchise long 9 game road trip. We can't afford to sink further on that long road trip without Bowman making a move or else guess what, we are battling for an 8th place spot again like last year burning too much energy into the playoffs. Tell me your hand is hoovering over the panic button like mine is

Jesse Rogers
  (1:31 PM)

No, NO, No. you thinking 1-8? They wont slip that far in my opinion...just hang in there..remember, there are 20 guys on the ice, one player eve na good one doesnt change all your fortunes instantly...no panic now. too much talent when 10 and 29 are healthy..the panic comes if the defense doesnt get better for final 32...

Sean (Wheaton)

When the Hawks pick up a top 4 defenseman, who do you as third defensive pairing?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:32 PM)

MOntador and Leddy

the ox (northwest side)

hey jesse another gift wrapped present from the hawk dmen last night;i wish people would stop blaming the goaltending; nough said if we dont go out and change the face of the defense(some bigger stronger men!!) that can clear out the front of the net forget about this year. please comment.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:33 PM)

How are you going to change the face of the defense between now and end of season? you'll add one real part, maybe a minor one as well if you trade for two..thats why i almost think getting the right forward or two helps your D as much as getting the right D man or two. Get the puck out and stay in the other end. thats going to help the defense as much as anything.

Nikki (Crete)

Any ideas on why we haven't seen more of Emery in net? He's been pretty solid, has the better win %, save %, and goals against. He's earned 24 of a possible 32 points in his 16 starts, and been close to a couple shutouts. I know Crow is signed as the #1, and tightening up the D is the biggest problem right now, but I'm hoping to see a little more Razor on the 9 game trip.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:35 PM)

Its all a process. the starter gets the longer leash in general..Q didnt really make a call on his tenders last two seasons till pretty late though we kind of knew where it was going....march will simply determine who plays in the playoffs. no way we know that answer yet.at least not in my opinion

Janice (Naperville)

Jesse, what's your take on the Lepisto situation? (He's only played in 11 games.)

Jesse Rogers
  (1:38 PM)

I see what Q doesnt love..some of the decision making..but I wouldnt mind 5-10 games in a row to assess. hard to do in such limited time..I trust the coaches somewhat on this one...and I see O'Donnell and Scott more "sound" if that makes sense but he does have good wheels. Im just not sure they "trust" him. We can make cases for an against all those bottom 6-8 guys..Im just telling you what I thnk and hear though Q might be missing the boat not giving him an EXTENDED look at least..at this point you dont have much to lose in that 6th spot..o"donnell had a few good ones in a row but that was short lived.

Brad (Denver)

Any thoughts on Jimmy Hayes and putting him on the Hossa line in front of the net.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:40 PM)

It could happen but I think they like the chemistry of shaw, kruger, and hossa right now

Michael (Hawthorn Woods)

What has changed with our defense since the 2010 Cup Year? We still have our core couple players (Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson), but added equal quality players for those we lost. Leddy, Montador, O'D/Lepisto for Campbell, Sopel, Boynton, and Hendry. Is this a fatigue, chemistry, or work ethic issue?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:42 PM)

Well first of all, as much as we all got on campbell at times, it was mostly cause he was overpaid. hes still a vrey good d-man who fits he hawks style, get the puck up and out. so it was better than just for him...it does seem for whatever reason keith, seabrook, and hammer stalled out a little in terms of progress so thats one issue...goalie and team defense as in forwards helping out or BLOCKING some shots alos not as good. so a bunch of things at work

Nino (Gurnee)

Hello Jesse..I see a lot the same questions weekly because things aren't changing. Why won't the Hawks ever take the simple play? Enough of the "putting on a show for the fans" line. What gives?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:45 PM)

Its a good question. They're top forwards arent always the most grittiest. And when they put up big numbers it only emboldens them..but they have to realize on some nights like when fatigue has set in or their playing a tough def opponent or for whatever the reason the puck isnt going in they need to grind it out..how many times have they done that this yr? not many

Mike (Oak Forest)

How do you feel about Frolik being a healthy scratch last night? With Toews being out, I think it was pretty clear we missed his good defensive play he's had.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:47 PM)

I was a little surprised. But maybe sending a message foe frolik to think about during the break or what not. Its one game but I was surpised all the rookies played in front of him. of course most of them have better numbers. :)

Michael (Coach Q's office)

Seems like Hawks have had some struggles with defensive minded teams Nashville, Detroit etc. Reason being because you can't always outscore teams. 2010 we were able to win every which way. Thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:49 PM)

Thats bascially what Ive been saying and writing about in my blog. They are winning only one way, with offense..Now, i dont think they are "having trouble" with det per se. 3 games, 2 in ot, all ended 3-2 and they played great in the one win..pretty poor in the 2nd loss...they matchup well..and they will beat nash in a seven agme series I believe UNLESS goaltending is an issue for hawks cause it wont be for preds unless they play rinne into the ground which they might

Matt (Libertyville)

How's the chemistry this year? Is it as improved as predicted it would be?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:51 PM)

Eh, I cant fully judge of course...better than last year, yes? as good as Cup year? probably not. personally, i think the defense would like some help from the forwards and that would help all chemistry issues not that there are any...but I do think they feel like they are getting "blamed" anytime there are bad losses. not saying they're right..prob not diff than a lot of teams..no one (media wise) talks to the defense in a 6-2 or 6-1 win, its all the forwards

Mike (Highland)

Speaking of overpaid, why don't the hawks trade Frolik?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:54 PM)

You think its that easy? I mean if he's overpaid here why would someone take him. Hes a throw in at this point if the hawks take a lot of money back or something...I mean you answer your own question

Jay (Chicago)

You have a long road trip coming. Which will be your favorite city to take in a game?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:55 PM)

for viewing purposes actually I like calagry and edmonton the best..for atmosphere vancouver, San jose, and NY....

Tim (The Loop)

Jesse, let me first say I'm not too worried about the Hawks. But I'm tired of seeing these games and quotes/articles the next day about 1 and a half or 2 lack luster periods then a flurry I've great play. Why is this happening so much? Doesn't seem to be low energy, they just don't seem to click for half the game which is frustrating.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:57 PM)

I cant answer that. Offense so good they think they can always come back? games arent that meaningful to them at this time of year? Still have a good record..this is about the spring so dont worry about a period or two here or there..we know they'll bring it in tghe playoffs but bad habits are hard to get out of. thats my concern.

Mike (Highland)

Couldn't the hawks have let Frolik walk prior to this year and just payed Campoli what he was asking?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:59 PM)

Maybe but thats all hindsight thinking..I know a lot of people that were loving frolik coming out of last postseason...people were predicting 20 goals etc. so I dont remember anyone saying let him walk..and btw no one and I mean no one liked campoli after that turnover...I hate to say I felt the opposite about both players but I did. never was convinced about frolik and I said as much at the beginning of the seasn

Mike (Chicago)

Jesse, Youve said all year that don't be too worried - look at their record. Yet, do you not agree this could be a house of mirrors, as i think everyone sees a lot of holes the could mean a quick exit like last year?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:01 PM)

yeah, heres the deal...that key game in san jose that i mentioned earlier is becoming more of a distant memory..my point has been we KNOW they put their minds to playing defense in that game cause it came after the 9-2 loss so I thought we'd see more of those type of games when they needed them...again, fatigue, tough opponent, whatever..but we havent seen many...so I think they can do it but now I wonder if they cando it for an entire series..cause again, bad habits creep back the longer you have them

Matt (Gurnee)

Jesse, would Bickell and a prospect get the job done for Ruutu? Bickell just doesn't play enough like a big man.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:03 PM)

good prospect and a pick with bickell should I would think...maybe not the hawks best one but a good one...

Jesse Rogers
  (2:05 PM)

That's it for today. Great questions. Enjoy the all-star break and game. You can follow me on twitter @espnchihawks. And please check out the blog. Ill have a 50 game review up in next 24 hours..postgame from last night is up now. WE'll do it again next week from edmonton I believe..hawks prac on monday in vancouver and Ill be there so stay close to the blog! you can alwways email me at jrogers@espnchicago.com Thanks again.