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March 7, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Jesse Rogers

Jesse Rogers
  (1:02 PM)

Hi all. welcome to our weekly Hawks chat. We're down to 14 games left in the reg season and then the real fun begins...bad loss last night but that was preceded by two good wins and three overall...hawks are off today, back at prac tomorrow before taking on the rangers on friday...lots to talk about. Fire away!

Mike (Chicago)

Considering where we are at in the conference standings, and our inconsistent play, do you think we would be best suited to earn the 6 seed? that way we would get to play the winner of the pacific division who would automatically earn the 3 seed, even though they would have many fewer points than Det/Stl/Nash? Also, can we do anything without Toews coming back?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:03 PM)

Wrote a blog about some of that today that will be up soon but short answer is yes, no doubt pacific winner is simply not as strong as central teams or van. Could work out well for hawks in that sense..no one can do anything about toews coming back..not even doctors, bascially. anyone that come come up with a concussion "pill" will be a hero in the sports world...gotta wait it out

Jeff (Park City, UT)

Why don't the Hawks send Crawford to Rockford and let him work on his game? Then we could bring up a Rockford tender and see what we have in the system.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:04 PM)

Too many variables there..first, he has to clear waivers, second youre only going to make things worse...he needs the support up here, his goalie coach, etc. this isnt the time for that..and throwing a young goalie in the mix now can really blow things up..not the way to go

Tolly Tsiamas (Mokena, Il)

Every game, every single game, the Hawks come out flat in the first period. It's beyond frustrating, what gives?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:07 PM)

I dont think thats true. It might SEEM like its true...Ive seen them have some fast starts only to go flat cause of something that happens in the first period...thats frustrating as well...but honestly I think a lot of that evens out in te long run...if youre a good team you'll have less flat starts than bad teams..if youre a great team youll have even less...once in a while you get a team with a season long pattern..in fact, SJ comes to mind as a slow starter mroe than the hawks...but I know what you mean..would like to see more jump early in some games

Russ Kranz (Vermont)

SB's inability to bring in a real second line center will prevent the hawks from even coming close to a cup run tis year. DO YOU AGREE??

Jesse Rogers
  (1:08 PM)

I think its a problem, yes. I like Kruger a lot but he might not be ready and the trickle up and down effect is huge...more pressure on toews, more on bolland, more on defense..its the missing piece, no doubt

David E (Ridgefield, CT)

Having watched most Hawk games this season...the glaring issue facing the team night in and night out in my opinion,( and actually last year as well) , is we are just way too easy to play against. Always out hit, no push back physically....is this as obvious to you, Q, Bowman as it seems to me and other die hards out there. Very hard to watch our skill getting neutralized by being run at constantly all night long.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:10 PM)

Yes and no. I think its more complicated than that. Every team has a style, etc. Cant be perfect. Even in 2010 it was about puck posession though I liked the push back on that 4th line..problem is they arent completely built for puck posession anymore and they're not completely built for physicaltiy..little bit in between..they got slower but not much bigger, etc. so yes, to your question but if they had the puck like they used to it would be ok

Matthew Perri (Roscoe Villeage)

Jesse- What are your feelings on that last goal let in by Emery? Seems like he gave up on the game in the last minute. If I was a coach I would not be happy with that performance. Thanks!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:11 PM)

Least of their worries. 4-1 or 5-1 with seconds to go really matter? Im sure he was giving it all when the game was in doubt even if het let up there

Jake (Chicago)

I would like to see Ray Emery in net again this Friday to see how he responds, but who do you feel should be between the pipes against the Rangers?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:12 PM)

I think its should probably be emery..you cant go game by game now...that REALLY messes with goalies heads...now, if emery has a poor outing or two coming off last night, it IS NOT too late to go back to Craw...by april 1 at the latest you need to decide though...yes, it can be that late but no later..

Jack (Chicago)

Is it just me or was the Blues PK unit dominant? They were so aggressive and gave no time/space for us to create plays.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:13 PM)

Yeah, it kind of fits their overall identity, doesnt it? Would like to see similiar aggressive but smart play from hawks on pk

Ollie (Chicago)

Coach "Q" is having the same problems he has had with all the other teams he has coached. He wants out star players to work as grinders. What are the chances he gets replaced before he ruins Toews, Kane and Hossa.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:16 PM)

Ha, well an early exit will certainly put everything under a microscope...if they lose in the first round in like 6 games...I say there is a chance it happens...but I havent heard those specific whispers just yet..its obvious scotty bowman is pulling some strings in terms of the coaching of this team..no doubt about that..barry smith's presecnce alone points to that...I think its a fluid situation for Q...yet to be determined..if they lose, how they lose, what kind of directioin they will force on him..like firing an asst or something...so lot of variables..but lets see how they do...a win in round 1 prob means hes safe

Paul (NJ)

Jesse, have the Hawks ever stated what is wrong with Toews? I assume it is concussion related. Did it have anything to do with the car accident?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:18 PM)

They have never speciafically said concussion cause they dont have to and they would rather keep it ambiguous...but from everything they HAVE said theyve bascially admitted it..No one can tell if the accident made things worse--its not obvious that it did-- except for maybe toews..Q said he didnt think so

skip (aurora)

The off-season moves were designed to add more "grit" to the team and I don't see where that has worked out. Hawks still don't move players out of their crease, get beat on the boards, always out hit and let their stars get abused. Seems like a wasted off-season for SB. This team still appears soft and not mentally tough - your thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:21 PM)

Short answer, yes. But here is a sneak peak at my postseason blog about this: what did you expect? no one save for brunette (and hes not a grit guy) was signed for much money...end of the road for 6 and getting there for 22..lepisto was cheap as well...carcillo cheap, coming off a bad year...so my point being, when you are wanting to spend little, many times you'll get little..now, should they have spent big? maybe? thats the debate..not whether their $750k guy is better or worse than another...

Don (Columbus, OH)

Is it safe to say Oduya was a move just to make a move and the Hawks are hoping to spend money on Weber and/or Suter in the offseason?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:22 PM)

No, Oduya was brought in cause he was needed. If they are spending money on those guys than someone from this blueline making money is leaving..talking big changes back there...not saying it wont happen but little too simple to say it like that...oduya has been fine...he helps..maybe not as much as youd like but he helps

Sonny (Clayboh, FL)

Since Stan didn't make a move for a Goaltender, we're pretty much stuck with what we got, right? Or are there any options in the minors, waivers, giant fat men walking the street...PLEASE tell me this isn't what we're going into battle with!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:23 PM)

This is it

DW (Chicago)

Jesse, how bout some inside info? Anyone talk to Toews? You guys are supposed to be blackhawk insiders, but never give us any inside information.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:27 PM)

Haha. It depends what your'e asking...you see crosby quotes outside his news confereces often if at all? They go into complete lockdown in these situations...hawks would come down on media for even asking teammates about toews condition..toews himself told not to talk to anyone..but more than that, it wouldnt matter..until he feels better he cant play...no doc can tell you when that will be and TOEWS himself cant tell you..there really is no inside info to be had when it comes to concussions..hes working out but not skating so that tells you about as much as he can do right now..

Mike (Cedar Rapids)

What was the deal with Hossa last night? I don't want to bury the guy, but how does such a good player have such a bad game? I understand having an off night, but he was fumbling pucks, losing board battles, making bad passes, etc. Wow, he was really tough to watch.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:28 PM)

I wrote that in my blog and on twitter last night..not sure, just a bad one I guess..it happens, they're human...maybe a bad day,m bad sleep or just not feeling it. I wasnt there to ask him but you are right, he was off

Kevin C. (Elmwood Park, IL)

Hey Jesse, Kevin C. of the Elmwood Park Village, does it ever seem to you like the Blackhawks work extremely hard to get out of these losing streaks, but the minute they gain their confidence back after a few wins they go back to the "Our confidence and talent will win us game" mode and ignore they have to outwork teams?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:29 PM)

Maybe a little bit..but maybe thats just what they are...a good team with a good record but yet to prove they are great..for whatever reason...maybe they will prove it in the playoffs. its not unheard of

David (Murrieta, CA)

What is the status of Hjalmarsson? Is Brandon Saad able to join the team after his junior league season is over? If so, is he expected to join the Hawks?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:30 PM)

Hammer has to be close..how many hard practices can you have? but again, if hes not feeling great afterwards then they wont let him play...and yes on Saad, he can come and prob will

Rob (Chicago)

Is it time to put a fork in 'em?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:30 PM)

Only if Toews is out...otherwise, no way

Ted Low (Switzerland)

With the much talked about need for a centerman. Why hasn't Sharp been slotted in for a bit? Correct me if I'm wrong but he has played center before has he not?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:32 PM)

yeah, it still might happen. I think Q wants to maximize his players..2010 had a diff roster and diff needs...maybe kruger is maxed out where he is and we know sharp is better on wing..anyway, I think all options are being exhausted..if he goes to center does it take away from other aspects, etc?

Chris (Madison)

JR, if there is one bright spot from last night is it Oduya? +/- of 0 in a 4 goal loss with 2 blocked shots, 2 SOG and 20 minutes of ice time. Isn't that what we want from him? With Toews back could this whole thing start to come together?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:33 PM)

Def possible to come together..it practically did after a crappy year last season so why not? 6-8 seeds win often enough in the NHL...oduya helps without a doubt..need those others for sure

Evgeni Mirmisnki (Vodka)

Jesse, I really like Dylan Olsen's game but it seems he's hit that "rookie wall" you often talk about. I could see him being the odd man out when Hjalmarsson returns. Thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:35 PM)

Well either when hammer is back or montador assuming thats coming. Lepisto hurting now so maybe olsen stays in for the moment..but when all are healthy I thnink hes depth for sure

Evgeni Mirmisnki (Vodka)

Jesse, both you and you're boy Roenick were very critical of Bowman only adding Oduya, saying it essentially wouldn't make much difference. Ready to apologize? P.S. tell Roenick to lay off the Hawks!

Jesse Rogers
  (1:36 PM)

Made a difference but is it enough to win a cup? prob not...never said it wouldnt make a differnce..needed more and you know it! lol

Janice (Naperville)

John Scott on Friday. I'm shocked that the Rangers are playing him....4 games in a row...one game with an 8:02 TOI....just shocked. Any comments?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:36 PM)

Not following the Rangers closely but they are a physical team, forchecking team..maybe a little less skating so maybe he fits the need there..I dont know...8:02? yeah, surprised

Erik (SF, CA)

Jesse, isn't this team than a perennial 6-8 seed in the post season? Maybe the hot start to the season was fools good, but it's pretty remarkable how the tone change from 'Hawks can be a 1-2 seed and Cup contender' to 'just get in and maybe win a series'. This team has far too much talent to be okay with that second comment, of which I see far too often anymore.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:38 PM)

Yeah and it could still change..they reel off a streak here to finish and people will be on the bandwagon..bottom line, they have teased with some great play but not enough to be real confident..still think a toews led team in the postseason is always scary but they need that goaltending to be big..and for a while series or playoffs...unsure based on this year

Tom O (Work)

How come its so hard for the Hawks to have a player stand in front of the goalie? For the last two years all you here from Q is we need more traffic in front of the goalie. They do for two games and then nothing for long stretches.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:39 PM)

I actually think in most games he's there but they dont get the point shots through to notice..I can only recall a few where traffic was the issue...even on the pp, they have been there..the shot havent. thats the problem, in my opinion

Mike (Boston)

JR,why is the pp so inept? basically same personnel. who runs it in practice? Q or asst coach?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:41 PM)

Lately, its been the director of player development, barry smith. lol. Thats how desperate its gotten..assts mostly run it but Q is right there offering stuff up...seen them all on the chalkboard..

Cary (Boulder, Co)

I'm not convinced the Hawks are even going to make the playoffs. They have a tough 14 games left, with very few if any gimmes. They are only 5 pts above LA, SJC, and Colorado for the 8th slot....If they miss the playoffs will they fire Q, and dump the dead weight?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:42 PM)

Heads will roll and yes I could see a coaching change though it might be kitchen or the goalie coach thats sacrificed..again, fluid with Q..might depend on the conversations they have with them after the season..but in short I do see a bowmans v Q situation shaping up..the prescence of Smith is a sign

Mike (CHI)

Whats with Keiths accuracy. I feel like hes been missing the net way too often. Those are some juicy rebounds he could be creating.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:43 PM)

Sometimes they try for that shot/pass or shoot for a rebound off end boards but yeah, shooting from the point is not his strong suit

Paul (Toronto)

Hockey Central in Toronto is reporting today at noon that Towes is likely out for ther rest of the year. Not getting better. Any insight to this report?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:46 PM)

Have not seen that but if its true he must have taken a BIG step back..cause what if wakes up tomorrow and he's feeling better? basically what happened with bolland..thought he was done then boom starts to get better and he's back..HOWEVER< if you do the math..he needs to be symptom free for 3-7 days before he can skate..thats usually the timeframe..so lets say thats today..another week..then needs a week of practice cause his conditioning is shot...so they/you can make that claim for the reg season that way but I doubt the hawks are thinking that UNLESS he had a major setback and is feeling really bad...so I think its more conjecture based on math than anything..no reason to say shut down..he already is shut down...until further notice..we'll see

Jesse Rogers
  (1:48 PM)

Im just going to post two questions here back to back cause it cracks me up

Chris (Chicago)

Unfortunately, I feel the blame lies in JQ. Our opponents coaches know this, "finish checks" "play the body" and not the puck and you take the Hawks out of their game. On the PP, agressively check the posession player and their PP falls apart. The Hawks play exactly the opposite strategy. Opponents easily get out of their zone and on the PK Hawks players sit back in their box.

Evgeni Mirmisnki (Vodka)

Jesse, I'm sick of everyone using coach Q as a scapegoat. I'm not saying he's exempt from criticism, but come on. There's a ton of talent on this team and they need to compete. EVERY coach wants their players to win board battles, it's not Q trying to change/ruin the stars. Thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:51 PM)

Im more inclined to agree with the other guy..people dont watch closely..pk and pp is at leas partly on the coaches..especially the pk..god awful this yr and he was slow to change to the point they hadto bring in an outsider!! you know how often that happens without an asst being fired?!?! almost never...unheard of for barry smith to be on the ice coachng while the paid staff is there...so the hawks themselves feel like they havent gotten the most out of them...but to your point, of course the players need to do it...however, isnt one of the jobs of a good coach to BRING THE BEST OUT? thats the intangibles of coaching...im sorry ,if they dont "want" to play-according to you--thats on the coach as well as them..

Kevin (La Grange)

Oduya has actually been a really nice fit. Do you think they will consider signing him before July 1? Or do you think Oduya is strictly a rent-a-player (obviously then either Montador or Hjammer would have to be moved)?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:52 PM)

Very early to say..if they plan on trading one of those guys then yes..its all fluid but I wouldnt rule it out..gave up a decent amount to get him so maybe...bt way too early..however, prob need some mroe size back there and he doesnt fit that role...

Mike (Chicago)

Does it get annoying for you after everytime they lose, fans act like their season is over?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:55 PM)

Not so much this year...i understand it..they have really been hard to fig out...but yeah, I dont think last night means much, I really dont..mostly cause ive seen them play st. louis pretty good this yr until last night..u cant tell me you know for sure the hawks dont win a playoff series against them..but with the standard they set in 2010, it would be nice to know the hawks WOULD Win a playoff series against somebody..and right now, thats unsure..so its the uncertianty that this team just isnt special that ticks people off...they havent shown "special" in a while...like june 2010

Tom O (Work)

Isn't the problem with the PP is that the Hawks defensman are so slow to shoot the puck, instead of shooting or one timing they wait, wait and wait then dont even shoot on net. Its always pass first mentality.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:55 PM)

In a word: Yup

bryan (naperville)

I cant find anything reporting Toews is done for the year...I have no idea what troll is seeing.

Jesse Rogers
  (1:57 PM)

Yeah, again, that would be surprsing..they never even said that about crosby last yr. its not a comment you make unless its REALLY severe as in Pronger..now that became obvous, guy could not see straight,etc. thats not the case here

Neil Gershon (Buffalo Grove)

Other than Toews...who do you feel is truly, TRULY untradable on this team? Keith? Seabs? Sharpie? Hoss? Kaner? Pirri?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:58 PM)

Probably none...in a way seabrook might be next cause then you have no size, but in pure talent not comparing positions he's not no.2, .but prob none to answer you

Patrick (Valparaiso)

WHY has Q not even considered putting Hossa on the point for the pp? He did it for a short stint a couple of years ago to get the pp going?

Jesse Rogers
  (1:59 PM)

Dont know...Ive asked and have not gotten a good answer.. I like the idea

Ken (Chicago)

Do you think they blew it in not firning Q and bringing in Carlyle who is a strict enforcer and DEMANDS effort every second? Seems the Hawks need to wake up with some boot camp style coaching.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:01 PM)

I dont know..that would have been drastic..now that they have somewhat come out of it going 7-3 last ten until last night...its ok to let him finish..I mean they are in 6th not 9th or 10th..my prob was at the time...they did so LITTLE to respond to the losing streak..listen they could not have been more than 5 losses away form doing it..at most...as I wrote at the time, there has to be a number of losses in a row it would take...10-15 right? i would think so...man.

Doug (Wilton, CT)

What is your take on Brunette. I know he is a "Q" guy, but do you see anything in his game that warrants him deserving a spot in our lineup, let alone our top 6? I don't know if its his lack of speed or fear of being bit, but there have been a lot of games where I feel like he doesn't even touch the puck. If it were up to me, I would call Smith up to play with Hossa/Kane and see if there is a local men's league with an open spot for "Bruno".

Jesse Rogers
  (2:03 PM)

Well, remember when/if Toews comes back brunette will fall..as for now, hey he brings some hands..how many rookies can u go with...Im not a fan though I thought he was moiney in the bank when they signed him but not meant to be..he cant be in the top 6 when playoffs start in my opinion

Ken (Chicago)

Jesse, please correct me if I'm wrong. I beleive the '85 Bears were a dynasty about to take shape- and Ditka et all screwed it up. Likewise, I think the Hawks could have been the same and better moves could have been made to meet the cap, and Bowman et all screwed it up. Two different situations - same result. Thoughts?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:05 PM)

Well the cap makes the difference...decisions had to be made...he had a chance of losing good players no matter what...niemi/hammer, buff/sharp...could go on and on...bears had no cap to deal with...results matter though and maybe they made a bunch of wrong decisions or maybe there were no right ones to make..but yeah ,think they could have done better for sure..no center help, no real D help, etc

KEVIN (PALATINE)

Instead of Q, is there any chance of the Bowman duo getting the boot...Honestly, what has Scotty done for the Hawks, and clearly Stan is not a very good hockey mind

Jesse Rogers
  (2:06 PM)

It was Scotty who identified a coaching change was needed in the first place with Savy. "They" hired Q so he knew enough there..anyway, no they arent getting the boot. no way, no how

Evgeni Mirmisnki (Vodka)

Agreed with Mike (Chicago). If this chat happened before the Blues game everyone would be talking about how great the PP is and how they've finally turned the corner. The Blues are in first for a reason, they don't give time or space to anyone, not just the Hawks.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:07 PM)

Good points..but the hawks imposed thier will in ottawa and even some in det...not last night...but they can against st. louis..they have in the past..throw it out..what were the chances they would win all 3 without toews..I thought they would lose all 3 so it was a fine trip

matt (chicago)

Jesse, if Toews isn't back for postseason does Kane stay at Center? He's listed at 181 Lbs, and Bolland is 185... is his size an issue at the position? Doesn't seem to be for Bolland...

Jesse Rogers
  (2:08 PM)

Stop after your first line...does the rest matter?

Ollie (Chicago)

Are the Hawks trying to keep quite the fact that Barry Smith is helping the team in practice? Unless you read blogs its not in any of the papers. Although those beat writers are terrible.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:11 PM)

Haha. had to use this one to rip on my boy adam jahns. I agree. They are not trying to keep it quiet per se..Ive asked Q several times about it but he doesnt say much more than "he's helping us out". So they arent exactly advertising it either..I think its a big deal in a small way if that makes sense...maybe in a big way...and it is a departure from the norm so i think that newsworthy...maybe others dont see it that way...TOTAL CONJECUTURE ON MY PART but i think it was 'take smith or say goodbye to kitchen.'...educated guess

Kevin (Peotone)

Any chance you can explain the rule regarding fights and visors again? I thought it was that if you got into a fight, and had a visor, it was 2 additional minutes - period. Must the visor guy be the instigator to get those 2 additional minutes? I've seen two Hawks fight visor guys in the last 2 weeks, and they got nothing additional.

Jesse Rogers
  (2:13 PM)

Yes, if an instigator is given out and that guys is wearing a visor he gets 2 more min...in your cases neither player was given an instigator

Eric (Chicago)

Was paying attention to the whole Toronto Leafs situation with coaching change. Then thought to myself, this looks awfully similar to the Hawks' situations. Poor goal tending, lack of consistent effort from the players, players not responding to the coach, etc. But just trying to figure out what is the difference between the Hawks and the Leafs in terms of changing coaching. Is it because the Hawks have won a cup under Q and still in playoff position? Do you think Q is still under fire?

Jesse Rogers
  (2:14 PM)

Yes, won a cup AND in 6th not 9th or lower..and yes, I think he's "under fire" but that could mean a variety of things..

Jesse Rogers
  (2:16 PM)

Thats going to do it for today..Thanks for all the questions..sorry dont have new news on toews..this one in his hands and the hawks..there are just no good answers....if he stops working out completely thats a set back..we'll see tomorrow when the hawks get back on the ice...follow me on twitter for all the latest @espnchihawks..and check out my blog..new post up today on toews and their place in the standings..etc. talk to you next wed. for our chat..thanks again...