NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings

And So It Begins – The CI’s Season Preview: The Final Questions

Well, we’re about to embark on it all. Before we head into the dress rehearsal tomorrow (please Brandon Pirri, have like four assists), and before we roll out our Central Division special on Monday and then it all kicks off on Tuesday, there’s a few questions we should wrap up. So, let us away, friends.

Will Patrick Kane crack 100 points?

He’s going to make a run at it, that’s for sure. There’s something that happened to Kane last year. He seemed to thrive in cementing himself as a top five player in the league, at least offensively. There seems to be a new determination in him to do things he hasn’t done before. He wants an Art Ross, he wants to be in the Hart conversation, he seemingly wants to erase what he used to be known for. But, as good as he was last year, he was only on pace for only 95 points.

The obstacles are going to be heavier, at least for portions. Last year, even though he had to drag around Dave Bolland’s dead ass or Marcus Kruger’s conservative one, with Hossa and Toews on the top line, Kane didn’t always have to take on the opponent’s best d-pairing. Starting this year with Toews and Bickell, there will be no such shelter. While having better teammates might cancel this out, you know that teams are going to be keying on him. Of course, this will change throughout the season, and while the Hawks don’t have quite the bottom sixth strength of last year (yet), they still do in the top six. Kane will see games on a different line from Toews at times, too.

But the bigger concern is the length of the season combined with the Olympics. Kane has gone into the darkness for 5-10 games before, and that’s usually death in a pursuit of a Century. The legs might not just be there enough. I don’t see him being the drunken grin he was in 2010-2011, and more the I’ll-score-when-I-want Kaner. Just don’t think it’ll be enough to get into triple-digits though.

100? Probably not. 90? Sure.

Biggest Worry?

I don’t know if there’s anything on this Hawks team that bothers me so much to even be a “worry.” But what I will be watching is how the loss of the bevy of speed of the bottom six affects things. Whatever you thought of Frolik, Bolland, and Stalberg, they all could really move. The Hawks were constantly described as coming at teams in waves and never letting up, and I wonder if they’ll have the same ability this year.

None of Smith, Morin, Hayes, or whoever else fills in are bad skaters. Hayes has actually really improved. But that doesn’t make any of them as fast as those that have departed. The Hawks were able to scorch third pairing defensemen last year, which is why Stals and Bicks cleaned up for the most part. Can they do that this year? Moving Shaw to a wing may help, as well as….

Will Saad take a step back?

I don’t think so, because he’s going to get the Bickell-Bum-Slaying role on the 3rd line opposite Shaw (at least I think). It’s a nice hole for Saad to settle into in after a rookie year that would have had him on the radar. But now with the top six first through the walls, Saad is going to get those looks that eventually made Bickell rich. I don’t think a projection of 25 goals for Saad is out of left field, and from the third line that is most welcome indeed.

Who will we be screaming for at the Deadline?

Well, I kind of dream of Joe Thornton but that’s probably not going to happen as this looks to be the Sharks’ last hurrah. Paul Stastny is the name you’ll hear again, but you wonder if either or both of the Avs or Hawks want to now trade within the division. What I do know is that all of McNeill, Danault, Teravainen, Ross, Pirri, Morin, Hayes, and one or two other forwards are not going to be Hawks at the same time. Stan has collected all these assets, and has yet to trade one of his own picks (Frolik was the first pickup of any kind that he traded). He’s going to have to at some point, especially if a repeat looks on the cards but there are holes to fill. Steve Ott is another name we might bring up again.

Weekend Music Pick

We kind of stuck with a post-punk phase the past couple weeks, so let’s get out of that. Let’s call it a De La Soul weekend here at CI.

  • Bobby Otter

    Kaner getting to 100 probably depends on the power play as much as anything else imo. If the power play is even somewhat improved (20%), that’s about 8-10 points right there.

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      Big time, I was going to write the exact same thing. It’s next to impossible for any player to sniff 100 unless a productive power play is helping him out.

      • Why

        I’d agree that it’s likely he needs more PPP to crack 100 but I will say last year’s stats were weird in that regard and that, as bad as the PP was, Kane still had a pile of power play points. Here’s ESPN, who doesn’t sort by points but does give you power play goals and assists:

        http://espn.go.com/nhl/statistics/player/_/stat/points/sort/points/year/2013/seasontype/2

        Kane had 17 points on the power play last year in a shortened season. That’s not league leader level but it’s still a lot. And it’s a lot more than a lot of other top 10 scorers.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          That is a lot of power play points considering our overall productivity in that arena. Surprises me, I wasn’t remembering his season in that context.

          • Why

            Honestly, I didn’t either until a buddy and I were considering going in a hockey draft (points only). We were essentially doing the same thing as Sam was above, and my initial reaction was that Kane wouldn’t be a terrible pick in the 2-4 range because he’s gotta get more PP points than last year, when he must not have had many. Turns out he had many.

            EDIT: The guy who would actually go flying up the charts if he had more than a few on the PP? Toews.

          • High and Wide

            Someone took Toews 8th overall (1st round) in my fantasy draft (points + PIM/hits/blk). Obviously, I love him, but THAT SHIT’S CRAZY.

          • Why

            Maybe? I honestly don’t know quite how you guys are weighting things because I don’t get fantasy hockey lingo, but are points weighted the same as hits?

            I mean I barely participate in fantasy hockey to begin with but are PIM, hits and blocked shots all weighted equally? I know Sportsnet has him ranked at 15 and they include goalies:

            http://www.sportsnet.ca/fantasy/fantasy-nhl-top-200-player-rankings/

          • lizmcneill

            Why would PIMs be a good thing, unless you were playing the Hawks?
            Anything that ranks Toews so low is clearly a fail.

          • Why

            PIM’s generally aren’t a good thing. Fantasy hockey is weird because the stats are weird.

            But PIM’s aren’t necessarily a bad thing either, in the same way that beating a team in missed shots on net isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Guys that play solid defensively and take the body are generally going to pick up more penalty minutes than guys that don’t.

          • lizmcneill

            I think Murdersaurus would be better for fantasy hockey than Frogger by that rating, bwahahahaha.

          • Why

            In some leagues, that’s flat out true.

          • steeg of their own

            Depending on your league, that’s just true. I carried Carbomb on a fantasy team back when he was in Philly, because he’d reliably help me win the PIM category for my league every week. I didn’t give a crap about his scoring as long as he got sent to the box three times a game.

          • lizmcneill

            LOL, maybe Q plays fantasy hockey too and gets his wires crossed sometimes.

          • 1benmenno

            Are PIM supposed to measure toughness? Or heedless stupidity?

          • 1benmenno

            Fluffy vs. Frogger: The Fantasy Begins.

          • High and Wide

            I hope someone has just fired up the photoshop (or MS Paint)

          • 1benmenno

            Someone’s gonna get slashed. And Miller and Crawford will end up duking it out.

          • 1benmenno

            Sure, but there must be a cut-off point.

          • High and Wide

            Treating this as a serious question but may be misinterpreting tone so sorry if I sound like an asshole: basically people choose to use PIM in fantasy hockey leagues because you run out of elite offensive players pretty fast, it’s a commonly available stat, and it gives people another drafting strategy, especially in late rounds/big leagues (it’s hard to predict who will have an offensive breakout year but you kinda know who’s going to rack up a lot of fighting majors). Depending on what your league counts, a lot of the for-real-best players are undervalued (I would say especially solid two-way forwards and good shutdown D).

          • High and Wide

            1) We count goalies too (last year goalies would have been 8 of the top 10 point-getters) 2) There are 18 teams in my league (but we all refused to draft Dany Heatley), so if you don’t get a top 5ish F, D or G in the first round, you’re in trouble. Toews is an excellent actual hockey player but not a super-elite fantasy forward. (I’d be really excited to be wrong though!) 3) We don’t weigh them at all equally to points (and we use +/-, but that’s great for Tazer). But to give you an idea of how much they fog the offensive measure over the course of a season, the top 10 forwards last year would have included Getzlaf, Callahan, Evander Kane, and Ladd, all of whom scored fewer than 20 goals. Tazer would have been in there too, but no John Tavares (!).

          • Why

            Yeah, I’m very, very dumb when it comes to fantasy hockey but I’ve seen so many different scoring systems over the years that when I hear something like “Toews went 8th”, I’m not sure I can even give my usual stupid opinion without knowing more about the league.

            And wow, Ryan Callahan, as a top 10 forward. I’ve been in leagues where people end up cheering for 10 minute misconducts so I’m not casting shade, I actually like hearing this stuff. Blocked shots and hits really helped him?

          • High and Wide

            Yeah, they really did, plus a fair number of powerplay and game-winning goals.
            I had Keith last year in a league that counted PIM so sometimes it took the edge off when he did stupid things.

          • lizmcneill

            Maybe that’s what’s wrong with it – the hockey gods are punishing Toews for being so sickeningly good at everything else.
            (Seriously – heh- I’ve seen Kane move to take a PP shot sometimes, while it seems everyone else has forgotten how. His natural unpredictability is too great to be completely damped by the system!)

        • Korab22

          Toews with 6. Ouch. There’s nobody lower in the top 30. Kane’s ratio of PP points to overall was 31%, identical to the average of the top 30.

          • Why

            Didn’t run those numbers but they seem to make sense.

          • Korab22

            It supports your thesis. One would have thought Kane didn’t keep up due to the poor Hawks PP when in fact he did.

          • Why

            I’m actually not sure I have a thesis yet. Kane strikes me as the type of guy that could lead the league in PP points and maybe a better powerplay would mean that he would be doing something more along the lines of Sedin or Malkin’s 100 points seasons. Maybe a stagnant powerplay means that a guy who can sometimes hold onto the puck a little too long gets more points on a percentage basis. Or maybe he’s getting right around the expected number. I know what the numbers say but I’m not really sure what they mean.

          • mad-hatter

            That’s because Kane was the Hawks power play, really. Him and Leddy being on the same unit for the majority of the first half of the season was the only reason it was mildly competent at times.

          • 1benmenno

            It certainly does koraborrate his thesis.

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.htm?fetchKey=20132ALLSASALL&viewName=scoringLeaders&sort=evenStrengthPoints&pg=1

          Kane and Toews, #6 and #7.

          And look who’s at #26 in EV scoring. Half of Ovi’s goals on PP. MVP? MVP? MVP?

          • Why

            Thanks for the link.

            I honestly don’t know if you can discount any type of point though. I love any opportunity to run down Ovechkin but I’m just not sure what to do with these stats other than acknowledge that Toews is picking up more points even strength than most scorers in the league.

      • Paul the Fossil

        A quick look back at actual 100-point scorers over the last few full seasons confirms this: in almost every case they played for teams that were near the top of the league in PP%.

        • 1benmenno

          I love it when people do the research. People other than me

  • Waylon

    Thus the game of musical chairs begins – I’ll be pissed if Morin winds up getting dealt, as I feel they’ve never given the kid an equal break to really show what he can do. But if it means they get the right pick – up during the season, so be it. Branch Rickey always said that the reason you develop a great farm system is that sometimes you can deal prospects for proven players when the need arises.

    • 10thMountainFire

      If they don’t plan to play him, the least they can do is deal him where he can get a legitimate shot. For the life of me, if he’s sent down again I cannot figure out how in the world he remains on the outside.

      This goes for Pirri as well.

      • MoneyBoy

        Completely agree on both Morin and Pirri!!

        Course all this depends on Q not getting itchy about Bollig and Zus.

        • Joe Banks

          LOL – and we all know how THAT will play out…
          Quick! Somebody give Joel a Snickers bar!

      • Joe Banks

        This. – pretty much this. Deciding the final cuts will be AGONIZING.
        Pirri – Hayes – Morin… aiiiieeeee!!!!

        • 10thMountainFire

          I want Mirri and Porin on this roster…

          • Daze55

            Bastards, I was hoping Morin made the cut. In no ways official, but…

            Mark Lazerus
            ‏@MarkLazerus
            #Blackhawks roster coming into focus. Looks like Kostka will be the 8th D-man, and Nordstrom, Hayes and Smith will beat out Pirri and Morin.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Well… fuck.

            Johnnie Walker and his black attire are going to be my company this weekend.

          • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

            My friend, it is time you stepped up to single malt.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I am a blue collar former enlisted soldier slob. Single malt is like finally purchasing that Cadillac your family always dreamed about.

          • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

            Except that Cadillac’s suck.

          • 1benmenno

            I’m driving to your place in a Town Car so you can say it to the vehicle in person.

          • Z-man19

            That is not a Caddy

          • 1benmenno

            In 1940 it was.

          • Z-man19

            Old geezer

          • 10thMountainFire

            Terrorist.

          • Korab22

            I would imagine both Pirri’s and Morin’s agent will be getting a call today. Something along the lines of “Get me the Fuck Out of Here!”

          • lizmcneill

            They’re kids on their ELCs who aren’t everyday NHL players, they have zero leverage. Their options are go to Stan cap in hand to ask to be traded, or hang tight on the cusp of a Cup contending team, and hope to be next year’s Ben Smith:

            https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BVHHTe-CcAAD8eK.jpg

            I wonder if they’re having a few choice thoughts about Bollig (or maybe Nordstrom) right now, though…

          • Korab22

            I imagine they believe they have been hanging tight.

            Oh well, I’m not their Dad, and I’m not their agent (I just assume they have one), so why I’m so pissed off at this is fairly irrational. They found their way into Q’s doghouse and they’ll have to figure out how to get out of it. I wonder if they have Stal’s phone number?

          • lizmcneill

            I don’t understand why 8 dmen. Surely they’re more likely to need a spare forward? I get that it’s better to have a vet in the press box than a prospect, but is Mo in particular going to develop further in the A? (Pirri could practice his damn FOs. Or learn to play defense, that is the way to Q’s heart.)

          • Daze55

            I honestly think Morin is one injury away from significant playing time in the show. Same with Hayes. It’s a long season, they will get a look or two.

          • Why

            If Hayes is on the team and there’s only 13 forwards on the roster, he’s going to get a significant look. Wouldn’t our best guess still be he plays over Nordstrom?

          • Daze55

            I appreciate the comment. Thanks for the correction.

            Hopefully Pirri and Morin will get looks.

          • Why

            No worries. It’s still the 2 million in cap room that makes me wonder. If the 13 in the show struggle, is the team looking for another forward from the system or do they look to make a trade?

          • steeg of their own

            Maybe Stan’s got his eye on someone who’ll come up at the deadline?

          • Why

            Liz corrected me and she’s right on the 800k (as best I know). Picking up a player means that someone gets sent down or moved, so you’re going to have at least somewhere between 1.3 and 1.7 million to acquire a player at the start of the season (and they still might want to keep some cap room). Because it’s proportionally calculated, as the season goes on, you can afford a higher priced player (because you’ll only eat a proportion of his cap hit).

            So yeah, it’s possible that’s what is going on here.

          • Daze55

            I think we have enough depth in the system to try a few guys out. I’m thinking that cap space is for a potential deadline pickup. I don’t see Stan making any trades early on unless things are looking shitty.

          • lizmcneill

            what 2 million? We have 800K right now and swapping out assorted Swine will only be a couple of grand one way or the other

            Now, if Kostka proves to be a good option as 7th dman and Stan works his magic trade machine with Moonpie…..

          • 10thMountainFire

            Yeah, Morin has been ‘one injury away from significant playing time’ for about two years now.

          • neo1978

            Without injuries the Hawks usually start the season with 22 not 23 players. So really the 23rd spot is immaterial for the prospects. They need to be in the top 12 to make the big club.

            As for 8 D-men the most injured Hawk is Rosi. I think they intend to baby him and play him only occasionally at the start of the season. So I’m not all that surprised they want 7 D-men not including him.

            I also think they want more time to determine which of Brookbank or Kostka is going to be their 7th D-man. And again the 23rd spot isn’t really there for the prospects anyway. So they have some time to use it before they need it later in the season for a second forward.

          • Why

            Bang on with most of this and a lot of it is stuff I hadn’t thought of. You meant top 13 though, right? Maybe I’ve missed something I’d be pretty surprised if any team wouldn’t carry 13 forwards.

          • neo1978

            Q, like most coaches, wants to use veterans in reserve roles. So most rookies have to start. I have Bollig (special case) as the 13th forward, so they need to be in the top 12 to make the team.

            Actually, it will be interesting to see who sits when Bollig plays.

          • nextgame

            We could have them if Q would only carry 7 D on the roster and send Bollig’s ass to Rockford where he belongs.
            The problem is Q would be twitching like an alcoholic with DT’s if he had to ice that many youngsters at one time.

          • Z-man19

            I feel like I’ve heard this before

          • 10thMountainFire

            When? Never… me?

    • jhb

      I think it’s more like the revolving door has begun to spin. They have that little bit of luxury this season since all the four forwards in question are on ELCs. Not having to pass through waivers (if I’m correct about it that this is the case) makes it easier to tailor the lineup and finally get these guys NHL games. Right now, it’s obvious that Q wants so badly to find out that Handzus is the 1998 version. So, he keeps Nordstrom because he slots better as a defensive forward. But Bowman made a very obvious statement that he wants Pirri to get his chance. I don’t think he likes hearing Q say he “hopes” Handzus will play 2C when he has the leading AHL scorer waiting. But it’s a long season and he can let this little experiment run its course. Pirri, Morin, Hayes will all get decent shots. Maybe Nordstrom too, but he only has 11 games in NA in his career.

  • rhodes

    Biggest worry is keeping Hossa healthy. I’m really hoping he starts the season firing on all cylinders.

    • MoneyBoy

      It bothers me a great deal that he’s hurt in the preseason. 81 not being there leaves gaping holes in a bunch of areas.

      I made a prediction with a good friend… if the plug is going to be pulled on Hoss, it’s likely to be done by mid-Nov at the latest.

      • 10thMountainFire

        My love for Hoss knows no limits. Get the dude on the ice and let him do his thing, Hockey Gods.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          By “no limits” do you mean “no limits”?

          • 10thMountainFire

            No.

            Yes.

            Strawberry Jell-o.

            Eleventy.

      • lizmcneill

        What do you mean, pull the plug?

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      All of the core. Hoss, Cap’n Marvel, Sharpie, Crow… All have had health issues in the past. All were (relatively) healthy for the playoffs.

    • Z-man19

      I’ll take the end of the season instead

      • 1benmenno

        It’s the time of the season…

  • 10thMountainFire

    Biggest worry for me is the chance we see dramatically-reduced production and capability from Zus and Rozsival and whether Hoss remains healthy.

    I don’t like relying on Zus as much as we appear to be.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      This. Our core stayed healthy and a LOT of role players stepped up and had career years. This is what has to happen for a team to hoist the Chalice. It happened for the Hawks last year, it will happen to someone else this year. That means this year will be even harder.

      Favorites to repeat? Bull shit. No one knows who the favorite is yet. Did anyone really pick the Hawks as THE Favorite at the beginning of last season? A favorite, sure, but THE favorite? Say it with a straight face if you can.

      My plan is to not worry. We’ve had two parties. We are better positioned than any other franchise to have another party in our future. Maybe it will be this year, but probably not. Oh, sure I WANT another party next summer, but I’m not going to stress over it. The Indianhead no longer has anything to prove.

      The pessimist in me say maybe THAT will be the real obstacle, but the pessimist in me said we couldn’t come back from 3-1 against Detroit. The pessimist in me didn’t think we could beat the Kings, or beat the Bruins in a 7th game, which the pessimist in me still can’t believe didn’t happen.

      The pessimist in me is just going to have another scotch, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

      Is it October yet? Drop the fucking puck already.

      • 10thMountainFire

        I love you.

        • 1benmenno

          I also love Sparky. But I play hard to get. You, XMF, are what my mom would call a slattern.

          • 10thMountainFire

            It’s true. At this point, no sense in pretending.

          • Accipiter

            You aren’t fooling anyone.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Was it the revealing tops I prefer to wear? Because I don’t have to apologize for what I wear.

          • Accipiter

            No, the tops show just the right amount of midriff and the mesh material leaves enough for the imagination.

          • 1benmenno

            He’s like Cheryl Tiegs in camouflage.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Let it be said that this is the first time I have ever been compared to Cheryl Tiegs.

          • 1benmenno

            But, my mom says, it won’t be the last.

          • 1benmenno

            Slattern.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I guess I should just accept that this is what I have done to myself. Maybe I could pay penance… like, maybe travel to Vancouver and punch a Bieksa.

          • 1benmenno

            He might like it. Plus I’d rather hear your revenge fantasies visited upon Raffi.
            Trollop.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Oh, Raffi couldn’t handle this. I would skull-smash that baboon.

          • 1benmenno

            What I meant to say: I think my mom likes you.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Well your mom is a good judge of character.

          • 1benmenno

            That she is. And BTW my mom is Farrah Fawcett.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Well uh… yeah. You’re mom was awesome.

          • 1benmenno

            See above.

          • 1benmenno

            Rumours of her demise are greatly exaggerated

          • 10thMountainFire

            Rumors of her awesomeness are greatly understated.

          • 1benmenno

            You scrumptious strumpet, you.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Slattern.

          • 1benmenno

            TWSS

          • 1benmenno

            Well said, my friend. Well said. Is it hockey season yet?

          • 10thMountainFire

            It’s a science.

        • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

          I know // Han Solo

      • Why

        Upvote because I agree with 99% of this. Small semantic quibble because the Indianhead always has something to prove.

  • 10thMountainFire

    …and I should add ‘thanks’ for the De La Soul, Sam. Great choice.

    • 1benmenno

      It’s like Steely Dan meeting Mr. Wendel.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Steely Development.

        • 1benmenno

          I love you.

          • 10thMountainFire

            No, I love YOU. I’m a slattern.

          • 1benmenno

            Own it, baby.

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    Ott? yes, please. You can have Bollig in addition to whatever else the trade included.

    • 10thMountainFire

      If you’re giving them Bollig you have to include some hockey skills or no one will take him.

      • lizmcneill

        isn’t Ott in Buffalo? Bollig’s hockey skills will look just fine next to Murdersaurus’s.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Buffalo has a history of bangers and face-punchers: Brad May, Matthew Barnaby, Rob Ray…

        • rkeign

          That nickname(Murdersaurus) has stuck in Buffalo. They love it, while giving credit for its origination here!
          To quote: “Also props to PPP for coining Scott as the “Mudersaurus.”
          The reply: “I was reading through that post and apparently it was the Chicago blog that started Murdersaurus, so they get no credit from me.”
          Okay, who wants to take credit/blame around here?

          • justforkicks

            personally, i’ve always loved Fluffy more

          • lizmcneill

            Is that after the dog in Harry Potter?

      • rkeign

        I think everyone should be singing Bollig’s praises (that is, if you hope to market him as a serviceable NHL forward).
        So yeah….. He’s the second coming of Phil Esposito and we’re so lucky to have him as a member of the 2013-2014 Chicago Blackhawks team roster (instead of one of the “untested unknowns” possibly coming up that another team might think attractive). In matter of fact, Q should hide him away and limit his exposure lest somebody makes us an offer for him we can’t refuse and then who would we have left to play his unique role on the team.

        • lizmcneill

          I like this plan. Stan, please start praising Bollig to the press and see what you can get for him!

      • putmeinthemadhouse

        bollig isnt a talentless goon…he can play a bit of hockey.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Nope. Not going here again.

    • Why

      Cap hit is 2.95 million. I like Ott but which one of the regulars, aside from Bollig, do you stop playing or give up in that trade?

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        This will get me Joan-of-arc’d around here but I don’t think Bicks is worth $4M and Ott could replace much of his output.

        • lizmcneill

          Isn’t Ott in his 30s? and kind a smallish pest? More Bolly than Bicks.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            31 and $3.2/year. Maybe a couple of years left in the tank? I probably wouldn’t do Bicks for Ott in reality, but I do think Bicks was more a receiver of favorable circumstances as opposed to skill.

          • lizmcneill

            Yeah, like I said I don’t think Ott really fills Bicks’ role and we don’t have anyone in the system who can either (which is another factor meaning more $$ for Bicks). Oh well.

  • 1benmenno

    If we’re making predictions:
    Kane will hit 92 points.
    Toews, 86.
    Hossa, 81.
    Sharp, 76.
    The Hawks will win 51 games in regulation, lose 16 in regulation. The rest is up to tiddly winks.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      I would take those point totals for sure. I have a feeling Horsa’s numbers will be lower as I expect him to be rested now and again. I’d guess around 65 points for him.

      • 1benmenno

        Hossa rested for the postseason; I like it

      • 10thMountainFire

        That works for me. That’s what he needs to hit 1000 for his HoF career.

  • 10thMountainFire

    It is not fun reading pre-season prediction articles calling Pirri a ‘dark horse’ and then not seeing him on the roster…

  • ChiCityKyle

    Well I predicted it last season with kane hittin’ 55 pts, right on the money i might add. (means jack shit, i just got lucky) But I’m going to say a 102 point campaign from crazy eights this year. Simply because the hawks power play will be better this year. (It just has to be) Either from better execution, strategy, or the fact that this new division is going to be i don’t know how to put it but, “easy as pie”? I mean, can it really stay this bad for the cores entire duration with the team? The yearly line chart needs to sprout up at some point you’d think.

    As Sam has mentioned, Mr. 88 is permanently (hopefully) in fuck you mode. I’m going with 39 goals 63 assists.

    This team has veteran core players, young stars in the making trying to make a name for themselves, stellar defensive pairings, and above average goaltending.

    It also wouldn’t surprise me that if Toews n Kane stay healthy that perhaps they are both fighting for the 100 pt spot like a lil Mantle vs Maris action. (61*)

    • 10thMountainFire

      I would like to believe that Captain pushes 100 points but I think his natural state is somewhere between 80-90 per campaign.

    • rkeign

      Mantle would have gotten more than 61 HRs and eclipsed Maris but an injury basically derailed his season. Let’s not use that comparison, please.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Also, the Soviets would have been the first country to land on the moon if they were America.

      • Why

        Nothing wrong with guys supporting each other and using each other as motivation to play better. I could do without the injury but I’d be very happy with that title.

    • Why

      100 is a lot though, especially for a guy who is as good at the two way game as Toews is.

    • Lobster

      Jonathan toews has been over a point per game once, and it was in a shortened season last year. I can’t see him knocking down 100.

      As for kane, in an 82 game season he would have had 95 points last year. His shooting percentage last year was a little high, so I’m going with 90 points for him this year.

      • Lobster

        80 for toews

      • Why

        I mean, I guess, but if that’s the standard, Kane’s only done it twice (I suppose three if you want to count 73 in 73).

        But 100 would be a lot for Toews to contribute.

  • rkeign

    “…..Bolland’s dead ass………….could really move.” Huh? Is that a contradiction or is it that maybe a dead ass doesn’t necessarily slow one down?

  • Lobster

    No morin tonight. bickell-toews-kane, sharp-kruger-smith, saad-shaw-hayes, bollig-pirri-nordstrom

    • Why

      That Nordstrom over Morin thing from Lazerus looks more likely with that info.

      • Lobster

        Nordstrom has looked really good from what I’ve seen. Smith has been the weak horse in my opinion though, and pirri has been too injured for me to form much of an opinion on him.

        Q gets paid the big bucks to make these decisions though.

        • Why

          You catching the games or any of the practice time?

          I just can’t put too much emphasis on preaseason hockey. I’m assuming these decisions have as much to do with how guys look in practice and drills as game action. And Smith seems to have been the Rockford guy they trusted the most last year and if my memory’s correct, his cap hit is super low, even for a guy on a ELC. I would guess he would have had to been much worse than Morin or Pirri for either of those two guys to get his spot.

          But completely agree with the last part. Given all the stuff I’d consider if I was in that position (and don’t even watch now), I’d agree the coach is in the best position to make that call. And the Blackhawks have one of the better coaches in hockey. If he goes Pirri-Morin, I’ll be ok with it.

          • Lobster

            I totally agree that just watching preseason games is not a good enough assessment. I’ve got my opinions, but I totally accept that stan and Q know the game better and know more about these players.

            That said, I still feel morin has a higher upside than smith. He’s got more of an ability to play in a more offensive role.