Jesse will be along shortly. Keep the questions coming ...
Sorry for delay! Had some computer problems
Welcome to our weekly hawks chat..no prac today after last nights tough loss...5 games to go..Hawks still in 6th..so much to talk about. Fire away!
With so many rookies in the lineup now, are there any that you think are honestly ready to spend the whole season up with the big club next year?
Sure..I think Kruger has proven himself and how can you not pencil Shaw in at least for a job to lose..Obviously Olsen and Hayes are possbily on the cusp but no sire things..so yes, at least two if not more should stick around
We need Toews back! How is he progressing?
Every day sounds better...last hurdle is contact..unless there is a setback I think that comes within a day or two..maybe even as soon as tomorrow..they'll still be cautious..look for those final 2 games on the road if all goes well..thats still a big IF
The dismal power play is on the coaches. Other than a accurate and heavy shot from the point the talent is there. Would you agree?
I mean, sure but that point you make makes the whole power play go so you cant say "other than..." Think about it..like 90% of goals come off shot points..either the shot itself or direct rebounds or the chaos they cause...now they are losing faceoffs and having trouble setting up in zone when they get the puck hence going further backwards
Any word on Montador? Has he suffered further concussion symptoms after his collision with Fayne last night?
Yes, I dont think its good news for him at all..my educated guess is hes back to square one. Prob wont see him for a while
Jesse,I'm sure that the coaching staff does not agree, but I find myself less than excited to see Steve Montador return (I obviously want him to be healthy and have no ill effects from his concussion though.) I feel that once Keith returns, that a defenseman who is better than Montador (Dylan Olsen) will be kept out of the lineup in favor of Steve Montador. Thoughts on that?
See above..or below..wherever. Prob won matter
Jesse, riddle me this....Why do the Hawks REFUSE to play a dump/chase game against teams that gum up the neutral zone? They have the speed to do it. Pat and Eddie were eluding to it last night and attributed some of the PP troubles to a lack of a quality entry into the O-zone because the D is stacked up. Is this something the coaches acknowledge they should do more of? can you ask for me? :-)
Sure. Ive occasionally asked that question and the answer I get is "yeah, we need to do that more sometimes" but then they dont and there is no explanation as to why...no doubt sharp, kane, stalberg, hossa could all get the puck back but of course we know thats not the "fun" way of playing..def should do more on PP but then you REALLY have to make sure you get it..Ill ask again
Jesse, silver lining on the Keith suspension is that he gets to rest his legs right before the playoffs and should be fresh going in. I also had no problem with the hit on Sedin...obviously dont want to see a guy get hurt but they were going after us all night trying to make a statement so we retaliated...the Canucks and Sedin sisters have nothing to cry about, they brought this on themselves. Thoughts?
I like your passion but you cant be throwing hits like that around...what happens when lapierre does it to keith...they lose a 4th line guy and the hawks lose a top D-man...itll never end..so no I dont agree a hit like that is warranted..as for the rest, def cant hurt..do want him sharp for postseason so its a fine line...
Assuming the Hawks make the playoffs, with the goaltending issues we have seen throughout the regular season, do you see Q possibly working a rotation between his netminders in the playoffs? Going with the hot hand until it cools and then switching back like he has all season.
Recipe for disaster..last thing he wants to do..looks like he'll go with craw but use emery as a safety measure meaning if craw falters halfway thru a round or what not he'll go to emery for the rest of the playoffs..back and forth is a mess most times
My wife also wants to know what happens if a player has to go to the bathroom during a period. I told her that they would hold it but I really don't know. Thanks.
That's what Im here for..The hard hitting stuff..Ive asked players that..go back to my blog and look for Q and A with Ray Emery. Goalies hold it.the others can go if they have to..might miss a shift but it doesnt happen too often Im told
Do you find it interesting that a Canuck player said that Daniel should 've been suspended, And Shannahan never addressed it, what are your thoughts on that?
Again, go back my blog that day..last saturday..I talked to league officials..they felt it didnt warrant it..was shoulder to high chest with keith's head whipped back as a result..they said at least
JR,Don't understand the organization keeping Hayes up to watch from the locker room. Last night's lineup was a joke, no way the team is better with OD on D and Montador on offense than putting Montador on D and Hayes on the 4th line. Gotta either let the kid play or send him down to the Hogs.
At this time of year its about the hawks and not whats best for hayes or anyone else. He needs to be ready if/when they need him..that means listening to coaches here and practicing. He belongs here to be ready. I disagree with sending him down.Youre right about last night, I just think they wanted to ease him back in plus without keith the defense is a little weak so why not have 7 in case they want to bench someone, make a change...I have no prob for one game like that..anyway, the point is moot. he's prob out again for a while
Hey Jesse. How would you compare Marcus Kruger to the other 2nd line centers in the league? I'am very impressed with his play lately.
The only thing missing from his game is a scrong instinct..a good shot. That should come but otherwise I dont have a prob with his playmaking or defense or smarts...little more bulk and shooting more will help...its coming for him..and its not like they eased him into anything for very long this yr so give him credit for handling things well
What happened on that first score of the game with the shift change whos at fault for that one?
Pretty much anyone that continued to change when they should have seen the puck did not make it down the length of the ice..would have to go back and look at specific players but they should have stopped and turned back
How are the blues going to handle goal-tending duties in the playoffs? Has a team ever won a Stanley Cup while rotating goalies?
I dont know but my guess is they will pick one and stick with him as long as they can...their luxury is they have a 2nd solid guy if they need him..but again rotating gets you in trouble..the first time a guy gets a shutout, are you supposed to rotate or play him again?
Based on how the team has performed this year can the Hawks really be considered as contenders for the Cup.
Contender is a broad word..sure they are.. I mean compared to say Calgary if they snuck in, yes? Are they the favs like Pitt or a healthy Det? No. But there is such a fine line many times between winning and losing, you can make the case for the Hawks starting with Toews and Keith back, etc. Plus, think about it, who in the west is a REALLY bad matchup for them..Nash is about it and even they are no sure thing..So Ill still say yes.
Jesse, do you feel Hossa has been a bit off as of late? If so, what do you think the cause is?
No, I actually think he's been alright...He'll have his moments or bad nights but he's more on than off..His numbers show that and he mostly passes the eye test..Just have to hope he has 2 more good months in him..that body and legs go thru a lot when he plays at his pace..no big issue..though I would take him off the PK..but thats just me
First Jesse, you need to tell the mother ship that you need an assistant to keep you on time...second, LOVED the piece regarding the 6th seed. I was totally on board with it until I looked at the standings this morning and saw Neimi & the Sharks @ 3....thoughts???
Ha. I need an assistant for other reasons. I dont have laptop problems often but of course when I do I have something pressing like a chat..anyway, SJ is still a far superior matchup than nash or det thats for sure...Id take PHX over all of them..Listen, Niemi has struggled so he's beatable BUT he does scare me as a guy that can turn it on and steal a series or more SINCE HES DONE IT. We saw it firsthand but forget goaltending...SJ doesnt worry me in front of him..All the mental issues withthat team remain and they arent as good defensively as they thought they would be when they added Burns, etc. No issue with any of tose matchups but Lehtonen worries me as well..and L.A. has had hawks number so you can make a case for anyone at this time of yr right?
Any chance Seabs will keep the A for good if it wasn't for him we would not have gotten the point last night. <3 seabs and <3 Jesse
No, they dont take letters away from players midseason unless there are some major issues..you never know in the offseason but that can be awkward but again, you never know...he's playing great for about 2 weeks in my estimation..other than Nash game..
Earlier this week you responded to a comment on your twitter account that there's a good chance we may see Brandon Saad again this year..why bring him up with 6 left? And plus we have Frolik, Morrison on roster. Were u saying we might see him called up for playoffs of what? Thanks!
If his team didnt make the playoffs he'd be here or rockford for sure...he still might come..they like to give young guys a taste of the playoff atmosphere and sometimes if there is an injury they even jump in..he's ahead of the other draft picks in that he lasted into the season a coulple days but yeath this point would be an upset if he actually played..but weird things do happen..too bad his team made the playoffs..
With penalties called being down this year in the NHL, doesn't that work to the HAWKS advantage, since they have such a lousy power play and penalty kill?
Absolutely. 5 on 5 they are very good as we saw last night and in other games..When healthy they still have THREE lines that can do a lot..Def hawks advantage if they go thru a playoff game with few penalties called either way
If the Hawks are 1 and done, what changes do you think would happen?
Hmm..An asst coach could be moved out..seems like the likely scenario..if craw struggles, maybe even goalie coach..but you would think with Barry Smith helping out that doesnt bode well for someone on the staff..not saying he's going to be hired full time as an asst but it is an indictment in some respects..anyway, personnell..I think if defense proves to be the problem it has been most of the year..they need to seriously look at that blue line and decide on some changes...up front they are ok..good pipeline,etc. so defense, coaching, goalie stuff..all depends how they lose too
Agree Bollig is an upgrade over Scott? 23 mil on the top 7 blue-liners is a bit much, especially based on their overall body of work. D is much improved since JO arrival. Will/can they afford to keep him (I think he's desperately needed)? Ty for what you do JR.
People will fight Bollig. That helpes..Q liked Scott's versatility..little D, little 4th line, little intimidation...but no huge loss there. It is a lot of money in the blue line and thats why I say they need to relly reconsider if it falters in playoffs..I never liked the money montador got but now they can call a reset on him but yes there could be a place for Oduya..still that situation seems to be in flux depending on how they finish..
What is the Blackhawks' magic number for clinching a playoff spot?
Think its like 4 pts but dont quote me..youre not worried are you? If they cant beat Minny at least once..in the home finale even, then maybe they dont deserve it...those pacific teams are beating each other up so im calling it...hawks are in!
Any chance Saad is in the lineup Thursday, or even called up at any point? They're down 3-0 with the 4th game tonight, if they lose he's done this year....correct? Unless the Hawks were to bring him up...Wouldn't mind seeing him for the remaining games and perhaps the playoffs, definitely would rather see him out there than Bollig, Frolik, etc...
Dont think he would play tomorrow..but yes, I think he comes here..and now that I think about it, the fact that his contract wont kick in combined with the idea that the hawks ARE on the verge of clinchuing, I actually do see him playing if his team is eliminated..so maybe no "upset"..maybe last game or two..all depends on standings..we'll see
From what you've seen from Morrison in practice and the few games he's played here, does he still have anything to offer an NHL team, or do you think he's done after this year?
Yes. I would say so
Wirtz made a public statement saying Q is safe for next year. Given their powerplay, does that make Kitchen and CO expendable?
Yes. maybe him. Maybe haviland..we dont know who gets the chopping block if this ends "early" but prob not Q
Are faceoffs something the team practices? It seems like we always lose draws at critical times of the games (ie last night on the 5 on 3) and seemed to get punished for it
Yeah, they practice it. But so does the opposition..hawks have been losing KEY draws lately as much as the overall game percentage..that 5 on 3 didnt help
As good of a season as Hossa is having, he looks reckless a lot, could he be better/smarter at times or is this what we're going to get?
I dont know about reckless..the worst Id say is hes been "lazy" a few times..especiaslly on the pk but I wouldnt call him reckless
What's going to happen with Frolik in the offseason, it hasn't been too good of a year for him.
I have no idea
Jesse,Are suspended players allowed to partake in team practices? Or do they have to stay away?
They can practice
What do you think the Hawks will do in the offseason about the goalie position? Will they keep Crawford and Emery? One of them? Neither? Will they trade? Sign?
Unless something really strange happens I think Craw is back next season for sure..cant say about Emery..Im sure he wants a chance at a No. 1 job and maybe this is the place but we have no idea if some other team comes in and makes him an offer he cant refuse
Jesse, as a fan I like hearing about the hatred between Chicago and Vancouver. I'm curious -- how do other teams around the league feel about us or them? Are one of the teams well known as being dislikable? I hear the Bruins are dislikable.
Its pretty commonly known that Van is not very liked..hawks def have a better reputation, in my opinion..
Forgive me if I've missed this in a blog of yours, but in your opinion, what has kept the Blackhawks afloat during Toews' absence? I don't think many would have blinked an eye if they started to struggle -- but they didn't.
Combination of things starting with 2: Kane getitng real serious about his game...and Oduya helping settle things down on back end..that allowed keith and seabrook to get back together which has led to Seabrook's best stretch and ketih was decent enough unitl the hit..hammer back on the 3rd pair was nice as well..I would put a nice run by blue line at top of list
You mentioned perhaps needing changes on defense, and I don't disagree... but won't that be tough? I feel like we have tons of money locked up on defense already.
Yes and no...Someone else might see Keith (just using an example) and say a 5 mil cap hit for a #2 or great #3 d-man is perfect for them...or they may have tons of cap space and take hammer as a 5 or something..point being there is always ways to make changes..especvially with teams that have cap space...even BC could be moved at 7 mil a year anyone can be
Season ticket holders are not happy. On top of having to pay for the first two rounds up front, with a series win, you pay for the next two rounds as if every series goes 7 games. Fine. BUT McD and Wirtz sent out next years invoice that's due on May 5th! Seat prices increased 17% too...sorry non-season ticket holders, the Hawks ticket prices are going to be unaffordable pretty soon. Early invoice on account of the potential lockout??
I know. Its a pretty penny. Other than the obvious--they want their money and seats are in high demand--i dont know if there is more to it. Its a committment no doubt..
Will the Hawks bring in a second-line center during the offseason? What about Brendan Morrison, Andrew Brunette and Sean O'Donnell? Will they all retire?
I think Morrison and O'Donnell are done for near sure..dont know Brunette's plans..If they win it all, I could see him saying thats it..highly doubt he'd be signed back either way
With such a miserable power play the past few games, and Towes and Keith out... why isn't Stalberg getting some PP time? Yeah, that's a "cool" stat that he is NHL points leader with no PP points, but also seems like a stupid stat on behalf of the Hawks. What gives?
Dont know..now he was on the ice at rthe end of pp against Nash before he scored after it expired..Q never gives a good reason for it..ask again tomorrow
Jesse, with Toews in the line-up are the hawks as dangerous as anyone in the playoffs?
Not sure i would go that far..simply put, barring everything else, there are plenty of goalies that had much better years than crawford so the good teams with great goaltending are ahead of the hawks..think pitt, st louis, det if howard is healthy...doesnt mean they will beat chicago but right now the hawks are not as 'dangerous' as some other teams..still pretty darn good
Q and Stan on the same page? Has the up and down season taken its toll on how they view this team and its future?
Prob not completely on the same page but how much is 'normal' and how much is not so normal? It wasnt Q's idea to bring in Barry Smith so again, they cant be completely on the same page..dont know how big a deal it is just yet..lots of voices there and thats fine for coexisting but when times get tough it can be problematic..I mean the Sr. advisor is arguably the greatest coach to ever get behind a bench and happens to be the dad of teh GM..how do you think his thinking will be skewed so a lot of layers there but diff voices arent bad as long as it t=doesnt turn into every man for himself :)
Where will all the rookies like Dylan Olsen, Jimmy Hayes and Andrew Shaw fit in the lineup next year?
I think youre seeing where they fit in..Olsen could hold down #6 and move up from there..shaw might simply be locked into a 3rd line role with some top 6 minutes...Hayes is still a work in progress...showed great flashes then faded some..maybe 4th line guy or maybe better or maybe not at all..always competition coming..all I know is its hard to score in this league and Shaw is doing it so he gets first dibs on whatever.
It seems pretty obvious that Toews concussion is the result of the Thornton sucker punch....do the Hawks feel the same way and will they try to exact revenge?
They didnt exact any then so i doubt it..more than anything, next time to see them would be in the playoffs and that not the time..plus they wont anyway
In the absence of Toews and Keith, which player do you feel is currently setting the tone in the locker room and/or on ice?
Its only been a couple games without Keith..setting the tone? kind of hard to say but no doubt sharp is a bigger voice in there..and seabs..
Is it me or do the Hawks give up a ton redirected goals off sticks, skates, legs etc...? Its crazy thinking about games they have lost because of bounces like that.
Part of the game..Shaw has about 7 goals off body parts..Thats how you score if not off a pretty rush or simply a weak one given up by goalie..The Hawks might give up more cause they cimply GIVE up more goals in general
Just pointing out that if the Hawks win the Cup, they'd be the first 6-seed ever to win it....
Thats not a big deal. Edm got there as an 8th seed but lost right?
Thats going to do it for today..great stuff...next week is our final reg seaosn chat then we will pick up the pace for the playoffs! check out my blog for all the latest on a daily basis and follow me on twitter @espnchihawks. Will have radio reports on espn 1000 etc increase as well..Should be a fun finish...tlak to ya tomorrow night for hawks/blues. Thanks again