Welcome to our weekly hawks chat. IM at the united center where the Hawks just finished practice. Oduya set to make hawk debut tonight, brandon bollig makes his nhl debut...he fills a 4th line tough guy role with scott gone..toews, hammer, montador out...craw in goal...trade deadline done. fire away!
What do you think the fallout would be if the Hawks don't make the playoffs?
Lets start with a doozy! Some heads will roll for sure..but will they be core players and coaches ot just ancillary people? Not sure...There will be some finger poiting for sure..think of fans..they seem pretty split on fault..Q, stan, players, etc. Im sure John M and Rocky are being told many things about where blame may lie..My guess is coaches take the hit first and foremost..
Is there any concern that Toews might be out an extended period of time or maybe even the year with his type of injury?
There has to be now..but reading between lines..it doesnt sound like he's bed ridden and cant be around bright lights if you know what I mean..Hes no diff than anyone..just have to wait it out but it certainly doesnt seem like he's in extreme distress or they are REALLY worried but it is longer than first thought...these things are so hard to predict..
Are we ever going to find out more about the circumstances surrounding Tazer's car accident?
I guess not until he talks about it publicly and that wont happen until he practices again
Oduya isn't by any means what Hawks fans were hoping for but he is fast. What player and pairing do you see with?
He will be with Seabrook which makes some sense...
JesseI am hearing a lot of talk that Rocky and John Mcdonough informed Stan that he was not to take on any payroll this year at the trade dead line. Have you heard anything to back up this information. If this information is true is this showing that the Hawks upper management is only interested in filling the UC rather than putting a winning product on the ice?Thanks
That is false...thats the short answer..now was he told dont take on a 7 mil player that ties up our cap again, I dont know..but the basic premise of not taking on money is false..100 percent
It seems like there are only two injuries you can sustain in the NHL, upper and lower body. In other sports it is knee, ankle, wrist etc. Why are NHL injury reports so vague?
I grilled bettman on this recently when hawks played in NY. Same old reason...so when the player comes back others arent targeting the injury..I still think everyoine pretty much knows where a guy is hurt.at least most of the time but they say why publicize it..bettman even brought up the gambling angle..in the sense that hockey sint a big gambling sport while the other sports are so more likely to be honest and open..that sort of thing
If the Blackhawks miss the playoffs or flame out early on, what kind of changes would you anticipate over the summer? Is the core still the same as it's always been, or is Toews pretty much the only one completely untouchable?
I think you have to look at everything including breaking up the core..its inexcusable not to make it and calls into question the hawks plan...maybe tieing big money up in 6-7 guys isnt the way to go..maybe need to be spread out more..so there isnt such a big drop off..I dont know..but everything should be examined including trading one if it makes sense
I am not saying that Q is perfect, but Stan knew of our weaknesses all season long at Center and #3 D pairing. Further, he knew we had no pilot on the power play after Campbell was traded (for nothing, mind you). IF the Hawks miss the playoffs this year, Stan will not fire Q, will he? It seems like it would be pretty gutless to fire the coach when the GM set him up for failure by not making a couple of key trades to push this team over the top.
Yes, but I'll turn it around on you...with this talent, shouldnt they make the playoffs? at least an 8 seed? c'mon. is phoenix really that much better..granted in easier division but still...so first blame lies on coach if they dont make it..then to stan..cause you are right..even if he tried..it didnt happen and now they are stuck short..
Hey Jesse How much more would it have cost the Hawks to get Big Buff back than Oduya? Do you know what were the asking prices for guys like Brassard and Roy? I feel like they could have greatly helped the Hawks this year.
Haha. If Wpg says we're not trading buff, there isnt much you can do..hes a pretty core guy..the other guys, prices were very high..1st round pick plus player, etc. I would have overpaid for a 2nd line center..not a d-man but yes on a center....could fix a slew a problems at once..or trade like SJ did for some PK guys...
Do you seem Emery getting much playing time down the stretch here? Would it depend on Crow's performances?
Of course it depends..nothing written in stone at this point with anyone's job..especillay goalies but i think its still craw's to lose..emery didnt really grab it when he had the chance either
Have you had the opportunity to see much of Bollig on the ice? Is he looking at about the same minutes as Scott?
No, he'll take a more reg shift I think, unless the hawks get down..remember, scott came up as a D-man..bollig is a true forward..good size..seems like he might forecheck but we'll find out tonight..they could use it
Watching the last handful of games, it appears that there is a lack of intensity and heart with Toews out, with nothing big coming at the deadline. Is there any spirit in the locker room? The Leafs are coming in tonight clawing for a playoff spot, do the Hawks seem poised to match or beat that intensity?
I mean they should win tonight regardless..toronto played last night ,etc. Its hard to read a room but being in there the last few yrs Im not overly excited..its that thing where they are "trying" or think they are but results continue to be mixed..in other words at some point there are no answers..just hope..thats the sense I get.."we were good at one time, we can get it back, right?" that sort of thing
With all of the issues at the center position and Toews being out indefinitely, why have we not seen more of Pirri? He seems to have been doing well in the "A" and looked pretty good in the few games he was up earlier.
My guess is simply cause Q is focusing on defense..and pirri is offensive minded..I wouldnt rule it out though..changes can happen at anytime..in fact if they continue in a offensive slump I do see it happenieng..course they are playing 5 rookies right now..
How would you liken Johnny's game to? Who can he best be compared to?
Better version of Campoli??
Hi Jesse, Great job! I think the 'Hawks made a nice pick-up in getting Johnny Oduya, but I would have liked to see them add a center as well. Do you know if Stan made a serious run at Derek Roy and what the Sabres were asking for in return?
Yes they did..dont know exactly what they were asking but it was pretty high..course thats all relative...but def first round pick and more..I would have done it I think..REAL chance to save the season
What are the cause of Kanes scoring problems stemming from this season, in your opinion.
Def not enough on the pp for one...looking to pass more than shoot..maybe wrist at beginning of yr had him in that mode? Also, every yr diff so when youre not getting easy scoresm get some dirty ones but he goes through streaks of not going to the net so permiter play only going to get you so much
Now that the trade deadline has come and gone, I hope the players realize they're going to need to bring a playoff-like effort just to make the playoffs (again). I know they say the right things about the onus being on them, but do you really think it's window dressing or they feel the urgency? Only 3 pts up on a playoff spot with teams chasing them having games in hand. This could be hairy.
Like I wrote before..I dont get the greatest sense in there...of course they want and will try hard, etc. but i dont know..as the losses and streaks pile up seems confidence is shot and the whole thing feeds itself..BUT things can look bleak in hockey and then boom a month from now it all changes..happen a lot..so not all is lost..would help to get 19 back for sure
Rate Bowman on what he did or didn't do because of his so called faith in the current group: C, D, or F??
I give it a D...but thats purely based on the results..meaning maybe he just couldnt get a deal done and it was out of his hands...I mean no 2nd line centers moved..but regardless...i think the long term needs they have combined with this drastic fall in the standings called for some thing big and bold..overpay for someone..shake it up..I will say, unlike on the ice and stuff, where we see prac and games and can talk to players..when it comes to GM talks we know 1% of what goes on..all behind the scenes so I cant say how bowman messed up or if he didnt everything right..all i see are hte results..thats the business we are in, right? so that's my take
What do you have against Q? You seem to go out of your way to discredit him. It seems his track record speaks for itself.
Dont go out of my way at all. I have no agenda.. I didnt start the yr thinking Id be critical of Q. But its plain as day he's made some major mistakes and the team isnt responding to him the way it has in the past during adversity and he's not getting the best out of players...all the things coaches are rated on, I think he's come up short on a bunch..simple as that..strategy, personnell, etc. And of course this is an educated opinion, talking to people in the game, etc. NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THE PK ISSUES ARE ON HIM..lets start with that
On a lighter note, my bro-in law gets upset when you pronounce Hjalmarsson's name as JAR-MAL-SSON instead of JAL-MAR-SSON. Any reason for that?
Cause im concussed.
Looking at all the youngsters-Hayes, Saad, Smith, etc.-is this really more a team built for the next few years at a sacrifice of this season?
I guess its possible but how we can ever say its a team built for the future when kane, toews, keith ,seabrook, sharp,etc. are in their prime..so when those guys are really ready to contribute Hossa will be out of his prime and we'll be using that as well..so no. this team is built to win now and should be for a while...
JR, So Stan got owned by Dave Piole at the deadline, okay. No blockbuster to shake up the team, ok. What irks me is that why even make a freaking trade if it's not going to vastly improve the team. And to compound the problem, he adds payroll for a 5/6 Dman. What the hell? How long of a leash is Stan going to get??
Cmon, dont go over the top..they needed a d-man. oduya is fine. no issues..2nd and 3rd in 2013? call me in 2016/17 when those players are lighting it up..they have enough prosepcts to give up a few we dont even have names on...I mean you complain he didint do more and then complain he at least did one? oduya is better than what they had plus they have injuries so no issue there
You refer to the attitude in the locker room and sounds to me like you are unimpressed with the "chemistry". Seems to me the real issue is on the ice. I have noticed a decided lack of hustle and desire, the kind of desire that shows itself as going to the ice to block shots, hits in the corners, forechecking etc. This team needs a heart transplant, too many players think talent without the sacrafice will lead them back to the cup.
I mean, that is all possible..I dont know why Q doesnt have a more "desperate" mix of playres on the PK..cause thats where you need that heart, etc. but yeah ,the core wants it wasy it seems..to put it simply..the forwards, not so much the D..extended core.not just 3-4 guys...I dont know. Ive always thought in crunch time they would show up..this is it right?
Doesn't it seem like Mike Kitchen is just weird. When I see him talking to players after shifts, he gets all close to them and really animated. He just seems like guy who doesn't really mesh with the Hawks young players. I loved Torch and think we should bring him back. What do you think of Kitchen?
I wish we were allowed to interview him or any other asst coach..think thats a bogus rule..so based on little I know, I would agree, for example, haviland is more a reg guy with the players than Kitchen
Jesse, I think the Hawks have a 0% chance of making the playoffs if Toews misses half the remaining games. Do you agree?
No cause 0 is a little strong but if Dallas stays in it, the hawks and kings will switch spots, IMO..its up to dallas..amazing, its come to this...unless they go on a run of course. i dont have a crystal ball..bt yeah no toews means trouble..if he doesnt play on upcoing 3 game road trip they are in big trouble..5 rookies on the road with no toews..ottawa, det. st. louis..yikes!
Can you address the Hawks scouting? I keep hearing more and more they are the weakest in the league.
Its obvious their pro scouting leaves something to be desired..I mean who was watching Morrison? amaetur scouting led by mark kelley is strong..no doubt..
Is it still looking like a Bollig, Mayers, Hayes 4th line tonight. I know that's a lot of youthfull inexperience on the ice at once on the wings, but don't you think it might be nice to have at least one group on the ice with SOME toughness and push-back?
Yes, i want to see a forecheck.maybe they get it..
With Scott now... I have a feeling we are going to get man handled on the boards. Scott always was a threat to protect the guys. Can mayers, bickell, and maybe hayes step it up enough to cover for what toughness we lost in scott?
Mayers and Bollig for sure...Im not too worried about that..they need to score and keep the puck out..
Jesse, do you think fans are sort of stuck in the cup year in terms of such high expectations? Don't get me wrong I think the hawks are an elite team but do you think we except SO much from them and maybe they're just not as elite as we thought they were. Should fans lower expectations or does this team have a legit chance to hold the cup again in June?
You might be on to something..anyone that thought the defense might be overated had a legi arguement..they arent built to play tough minutes in thier own zone..and if the forwards arent as special anymore it feels more like a normal team with an undersized defense..if that makes any sense..but they should be better than this..they won a cup with this core, why wouldnt you expect a lot after a year of rest etc
I feel like the rookies are going to turn this season around. They will be playing with so much heart and determination in order to keep their roster spot. What are your thoughts on the rookies?
Too up and down..look at shaw..its just too tough..they are human..bodies havent gone through it and they dont have the NHL experience to back up thier enthusiasm..its a short term thing unless youre just a stud..none of these guys are that..maybe they can carry the day but wouldnt count on it
If a core member were to be moved, who goes? I assume Toews is truly the only "untouchable".
That makes sense..you could see a scenario where any others are moved in a HUGE deal to shake it up if it comes to that..again, you dont make hte playoffs, you cnat go status quo..i think they will make it..i think!
Any idea what the lines are looking like for tonight even though I'm positive they will be thrown out the window during the game.
sure...15/88/81, 10/16/25, 29/36/65, 52 (bollig)/22/39
Do you hink Emery should be starting? It only takes one soft goal to change the team's composure and I feel Craw has been letting at least one in each game.
Emery hasnt been much better..craw was in there for that nice little run they had..I dont have a prob with craw in there right now
If we could rewind the clock and take back on Campbell's salary, would we? I think you called this one spot on...you immediately expressed concern when lost him, didn't retain Campoli, and never replaced.Yes it was a bad contract, but didn't they on ice performance justify it?
No, you have it wrong. I had no problem with moving campbell..for how Q was using him, it wasnt worth the salary tie up..I still believe it was the right thing to do..now what theyve done with that money or havent done..thats a diff story..but as ive said before..a 7 mil guy who doesnt play at end of games, who doesnt kill penalties, was just OK on the pp (2nd unit), not a big shot, etc. I thought wa too much..I mean he wasnt even on the top pair..Im not sure if he saw the ice against the sedins in 3 yrs and when he did they scored...now, hes a good player..no doubt..but 7 mil for how q was using him..nope.
Jesse, do you see the Hawks using Saad (if allowed) at the end of the season and into the playoffs? From what I hear, he's been a monster down in Juniors this year.
Yes, hes about at a point per game there..I do think he'll be here for sure (or pretty sure) ..and maybe on playoffs...cant come until after juniors season ends..reg season ends march 17
Since Oduya is wearing #27 now, what happens if Morin gets called up again?
He gets a new number :)
Hey Jesse, with the trade deadline now done, do you think we will see some guys (ie. Frolik and Bickell) step up now that they don't have the pressure of being traded?
I suppose its possible..but benchings and watching in street clothes should have been enough right? bickell as been alright lately..frolik isnt even playing much
JR, 2 glaring problems I see: 1. Puck control has beeh horrible this year. Especially with that losing streak. You just can't keep chasing the puck around the Ice. 2. Too many extra passes. They keep looking for the pretty scoring chance or goal, versus of just put the puck on net. Especially on the PP. What do you think?
Thats what I meant by a more "normal" set of forwards..some slow, some fast...built more like normal so will be in thier own end as much as the other which exposes the hawks D..and yes on pretty plays..way too much
Jesse, what's the "x-factor" for the Hawks going into the final stretch of the season and hopefully into the playoffs?
simple: special teams and goaltending. that alone will tell a lot
In your opinion, should 36 be playing with 81. I know Q likes to juggle the lines, and he has tried everyone with Hossa. Boland may be the only one on the team now to play with enough offensive skill, to sustain more offensive pressure. We seem to be leaving everything up to the 1st line.
Well, I thought that at the beginning of the yr and though Kruger shuld start at no. 3 But im not overly impressed with bolland in that role..simply think he does his role prett well come playoffs and thats where he might belong..but desperate times call for desperate measures..I could see him moving up if things stall out on offense some more..frankly, at this point I dont know where bolland fits but we do know come playoffs he'll be in that 3rd line role..if they get there
Jesse, I wasn't shocked that Bowman wasn't able to bring in a no. 2 center. But I am surprised he didn't bring in a bottom 6 energy guy. Burish would have been great, but if not him someone with similar attributes. I would think a type of player like this could have been had, but perhaps not?
You would think so..maybe they think they have it shaw or bollig,etc. rather have a vet but yeah should have gotten one..
To Jeff (BG's) point, it's all hindsight and I have no problem getting rid of Campbell's contract; but given the team's lack of toughness wouldn't you rather see Ladd retained as part of the core than say maybe Sharp or Bolland?
Boy, this is all hindsight stuff..sharp is basically a 30/30-40 guy..they dont grow on trees but I see your point..this is what I said before..have ot examine this after the season..maybe the allocation of money to the core is not the right way to go..its possible what you are saying is right but so hard to see that at the time
In some sense, did Bowman give up on going for it this year? Can we expect some shake up in the summer?
people ask me this..he certianly did not on purpose. no way..next yr hossa is a yr older and keith has more minutes on his legs, etc. still have to rpelace mayersand brunette, etc. so no, he went for it and came up short..the strategy for this season of trading campbell and using hte money to help down the stretch simply failed...FOR THIS SEASON..as he rightly pointed out in press conference the other day..they have the campbell savings for a bunch of yrs..
Jesse, random hockey ? Does it have a different affect on a team if a player wins or loses the fight? Or is the fight itself enough to sway some momentum?
It can for sure..especially if a player gets pummeled..but if its fairly close as most are then no dont think so..
If the Hawks lose at home tonight to the Maple leafs I am putting my hawks jersey away for good and gearing up for baseball season...seriously if they lose this game, to a team who have lost 9 of 10, I'm done...% chance the hawks actually win tonight?
I can see why you would say that..this is must win..we are in that phase where you have to pencil some in and this is one of them..cause I have little confidence this weekend if toews doenst play etc.
With all the juggling lines, no existent PP and PK, lack of defensive system, etc... please rate Q and staff's coaching this year?
Really? in my chat here? look back at some of my blogs! Im kidding. I dont think they have done a good job reacting to the situation at hand..very below avg. and people cant look at it in a vaccum, meaning just because he won a cup he can do no wrong...what if winning the cup made him more stubborn to his ways? thats possible right? I did it this way, and won. I will push the same buttons and it will happen again..but every sitaution is diff..maybe the core was hungrier that yr, maybe his button pushing was more "fresh" and players reacted..maybe his pk or pp strategy worked for that yr with that personnel but not this year..anyway, something has to be wrong cause its not working..just a matter of debate what it is
That's it for today folks. Thanks for the questions. Follow me on twitter @espnchihawks for all the latest. 18 games to go..we'll see if they get their mojo back..check out my blog daily..you can hear a one on one interview I did with johnny oduys this morn plau a vid of bollig before his first game should be up soon..enjoy tonight..talk to ya next week