Hello, hope everyone is having a good Wednesday. Just got finished covering the Blackhawks' practice at Johnny's IceHouse West and will be here for an hour to answer your questions.
What do you think of Saad moving down from the top line? I'm not sure I'm on board.
Matt, I don't foresee Saad moving from the top line. He's creating chances and seems to be getting more and more comfortable with Hossa and Toews. Quenneville has said he likes him there, too.
If the proposed Realignment is passed, How do you think it will effect the Blackhawks? NHL?
John, I think for one it will definitely affect their rivalry with the Red Wings. The Red Wings and Blue Jackets will head to the Eastern Conference under the new proposal, so the Blackhawks will only see them a few times a season. One player said today he thought teams from the Western Conference would have a statistial advantage to make the playoffs.
Do you think the Hawks will ever lose?
Kevin, yes, I'm pretty confident they're going to lose at some point. I think this next stretch will be difficult with upcoming games at St. Louis and Detroit.
has there been any discussion from Q on changes to the PP, from a personnel standpoint. It seems the only thing we hear is that the current groups need to shoot more
Skip, the power-play units appeared to be the same again during practice today. He likes those two groups together. The power play has shown slight improvement in the past few weeks and has scored five goals in the last seven games. Obviously, it's still not a strength. They did put a bunch of time into it today.
With the excess of forwards the hawks seem to have, is there any way they package a couple together and go for a bigger name?
Ryan, there hasn't been too much on the trade rumor front. This team's start has allowed them to be pretty comfortable with their roster and depth. If the Blackhawks do make a move, I wouldn't expect it to be until around the deadline.
What's the word on Bolland?
Mike, Bolland is said to be progressing. Quenneville thought he would be back on the ice in a few days. I would think he might be ready for Sunday's game against Detroit.
Montador and Olesz both skating again and/or returning to practice. Does Montador get back in the lineup if he's healthy? Does Olesz even get a shot at the big club?
Tim, I was just talking about this with someone. I don't know where Montador would fit in defensively. Rozsival has played well recently, and Brookbank has been conistent enough. Montador could end up on waivers. Whenever Olesz is ready, I'm pretty sure he'll head back to Rockford.
Hey Scott love the chats you do! My question is more of a statement, I know Kane scored the last game but have you been noticing as I have that he has started reverting back to his old ways a bit by not dumping the puck in and trying to just stick handle around everyone and getting stood up at the blue line resulting in a turn over and a chance for the other team. Maybe its just me but it seems to be happening a lot recently.
Michael, I have noticed Kane has been trying to do a lot with the puck and has been giving it up in recent games. I think the game is also less open than it was in the early weeks, too. He's still producing, so I guess you can't complain too much, though. That was a nice goal he had on Monday.
Will Saad be returned to the first line with Hossa and Toews, or did Carcillo get his old spot back?
Jasper, Saad is staying on the first line, and Carcillo is on the fourth.
My wife got Hawks tix for Friday night (through work, I can't go :( ). What are the chances she sees them get a point for the 21st straight game to start the season?
Jon, I think tomorrow night's game against the Blues will test them again. If they get a point out of that, I like their chances against Columbus again on Friday. The Blue Jackets are just so offensively challenged.
Have you seen progression with carcillo at all? As of right now I have not been all that impressed and am not sure what to expect given his injury status the last few years
Paul, it seems early to judge Carcillo after just three games, especially in a short span. Quenneville thought he would need a handful of games before he returns to the flow. Carcillo has tried to be a physical presence out there. He may have been trying too hard against the Oilers and just missed getting a penalty. I think that's what they're mainly paying him for.
Who's your unsung hero at the (almost) halfway point of the season???
Michael, I would say Kruger and Frolik because of their play on the penalty kill. Both have been vital to the PK's success this season.
Great article!!! All the Flying Farang here really enjoyed it!
Jesse, thanks. It was a fun article to write. Good luck to the Farangs in the future.
I know the team is firing on all cylinders and you don't want to mess up the chemistry or anything, but do you see any trades coming to make the team more physical? I'd love to see them get troy brouwer back from washington.
Matt, I don't see them adding a physical presence as of right now. I think they're happy with what Bickell, Carcillo and Bollig can give them there. They're going to be outhit in most games, but it doesn't seem to be a concern.
What moves do you see happening what the team is completely healthy? Will Bollig get sent back to Rockford?
Chris, I don't think the Blackhawks will move a forward down. I think likely it will be something with the defensemen. Montador could be put on waivers. When Bolland gets healthy, I just think it'll be harder for Mayers and Bollig to see consistent time.
Scott, I feel like Patrick Sharp is thisclose to breaking through for a hot streak. Even though he's been getting some very unlucky bounces, I like to see the way he keeps shooting the puck. What are your thoughts?
Lisa, I would agree. Sharp has been creating chances all season, but he's starting to finally find the net. He didn't score last game, but he nicely created that chance for Hossa in overtime. I would expect to see more goals from him coming up.
Any concern over 19 racking up more penalties than points lately?
Tim, I wouldn't think it would be a major concern. He has looked a bit tired in recent games and has picked up some odd penalties, at least for him. It'll be something to keep an eye on, though.
Assuming the Blues come out of the gate fired-up and looking to bang early in the game tomorrow, do you think Bollig will be in the lineup?
Jake, that's possible. But it's also been difficult for Quenneville to get Bollig in the lineup lately because of Bolland's injury. Mayers has been playing center on that fourth line with Kruger moving up to the second. I would proably only see Bollig playing if Frolik plays center and Mayers is scratched. They're trying to get Carcillo into a flow again.
Which team from the east do you think is the biggest competition for the Hawks?
Beth, I haven't had a chance to see a lot of the Eastern Conference, but I've been impressed with Boston whenever I've watched them. They seem to have a well-balanced game.
Hi, Scott: Do you think that Andrew Shaw will ever be a consistent force? He has flashes when he shows his talent and physical presence, but they are followed by moments when he is too reckless or otherwise not a factor. Thank you.
Tom, I think there's still a chance for Shaw to become a consistent player. He's still 21 and has taken some strides this year. I agree, though, with your thoughts on him being up and down. He certainly has some talent.
Do you think the players will be relieved in some sense when the streak is broken?
Matt, I don't sense it's a stressful issue for them. I do think they hate answering questions about the streak and would love to just enjoy it while ignoring it.
Do you think the hawks would have went on this run if it was not a truncated season?
Russ, I think the streak is more impressive because of the compact season. They're playing more games in a smaller span, and it would seem harder to have a point streak with that type of schedule. The Blackhawks' success on the road has also been surprising.
Thanks to everyone for their questions again. I'll be back next Wednesday. As always, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or on Twitter at @espnchihawks or @espnchipowers. Take care