Beavis+Butthead+library

Angry At Numbers 12/16

I know Mondays are usually reserved for Sugar Pile, but I feel like doing this today. Maybe I’m just feeling nerdy. Maybe I don’t like to be confined by rules (evidence: Kills and my latest Twitter fight over a DLR game), maybe I like to keep you all guessing. Anyway, let’s get to it.

24.3, 2.0

That’s Jeremy Morin’s Corsi/60 minutes, and penalties drawn per 60 minutes, and both lead the team. Obviously there are caveats here and it all seems silly now that he’s been sent down. But it’s worth discussing how this roster is being shaped. Morin’s rate is propped up by not playing all that much (especially the penalties drawn number), but it’s obvious that when Morin is out there he’s highly active. He is buoyed by playing mostly with Brandon Saad, who has been a possession-monster from the time he stepped on the ice last year. However, neither’s Corsi % change significantly when they’re apart, and hold right around 60%

Sending Morin down isn’t going to affect Saad’s game at all, that’s not the point. And I think the reason, or the underlying one, that people like me get in a rage about the handling of Morin or Pirri or anyone else is this: For the Hawks to stay on top for years to come, they’re going to have to plug holes from within. Even as the cap explodes, they can’t sign their way out of things that need fixing. At some point, players from within are going to have to be installed, and some of them are not going to do everything in the way that Q prefers. They’re going to have to learn to do what they don’t do well at the NHL-level. I’m sure Phillip Danault will be fine whenever he comes up, but will Clendening, Johns, McNeill, Ross, Teravainen, and whoever else? Some will have to be dealt. The fear is that they will all have to be because they can’t be mixed in.

Here last night, against another possession dominating team, we saw Q scratch the active Morin for four minutes of Brookbank. The lowest Corsi % last night? Brookbank (hardly his fault, he’s not a forward).

19.1%

This was discussed in the guest column in yesterday’s Indian by reader and friend Jake Berlin. But that’s the percentage of shifts that Brandon Bollig starts in the offensive zone. That’s lowest in the league. In case you are wondering, Kruger is 3rd and Ben Smith is 5th, as they all play on the same line.

And yet that line faces a very high quality of competition. Of players starting that much in their own zone, only Minnesota’s Matt Cooke and Torrey Mithcell, as well as Boyd Gordon, are seeing the level of competition the Hawks 4th line is. If we can even call it a 4th line anymore.

And yet it’s not costing the Hawks much. While that line certainly has had its moments, other than his linemates Bollig plays the most with Oduya and Hjalmarsson. While Keith gets the headlines, it’s still Elfenben ein Ebenholts who are taking the toughest defensive assignments (and mostly being flawless while doing so). Just last night, it was Oduya and Hammer who were out against Kopitar’s line last night. Is it that line that’s keeping those zone starts from becoming disaster or the excellence of our Bork! Bork! Bork! pairing?

And while I risk being accused of having an agenda and having blinders on because of it (partially true, admittedly), here are the Corsi%’s for Smith, Kruger, Oduya, and Hammer with Bollig, respectively: 47.0, 49.4, 44.0, 44.5.

Here are the same players’ Corsi% when away from Bollig: 55.9, 51.3, 56.1, 56.5.

That’s not totally fair, as when those players are away from Bollig they’re probably not playing as tough as competition as that line has been assigned. But still, only Kruger’s % doesn’t jump at least five percentage points.

60.8, 50.7

This one was a surprise. The first is Nick Leddy’s Corsi % with Michal Rozsival, the second with Sheldon Brookbank (it’s 54.7 with Kostka, but only in 50 minutes or so of time). From the eye-test, most would say that Brookbank (when on defense) has been slightly better than Rozsival, at least at the start of the year. But clearly Leddy’s game is better with Rozie, because Leddy’s game is pretty much all about driving chances and possession. It’s hard to know how much of the number with Brookbank comes when Brookbank is playing forward, because it doesn’t break down like that. But still.

3.55

This is one of my favorite stats of the season so far. That’s the amount of shots per game Marian Hossa is averaging. In his career, when he has averaged over 3.5 shots per game, these are his goal-totals: 39, 43, 40, and 26 (which came in only 60 games, and had he played 82 would have likely pierced 35 again). Hossa isn’t going to score 40 because he’s going to miss more games as the season goes on. If he played every game remaining on the schedule, at this rate he’d end up with 34-35. We always worry about Hossa’s health and age, and yet in some ways he’s as good as he’s ever been.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Re Morrin: Yeah, but Q, rings, gut feeling, rings, mustache… There, I’ve run circles round your logical argument.

    Aren’t the Hawks really running three scoring lines and a checking line?

    • lizmcneill

      Laz asked Q that and he said they were.

  • Paul the Fossil

    Hossa’s career goals per game is .43 and points per game is .92 and for this season (while about to turn 35) he is running at .45 and .94. He’s likely to collect his 1,000th career point late this season.

    Also here’s a giggly stat for whatever its worth: in 264 regular-season games with the Blackhawks Hoss is so far at plus-84 (adding in playoff games makes those running totals 318 and 102).

    Every young hockey player should want to be Marian Hossa when he grows up. I know I do.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I plain love Marian Hossa.

    • Preacher

      “Every young hockey player should want to be Marian Hossa when he grows up. ”
      I thought that’s what Saad was doing.

      • lizmcneill

        Kane and Toews too, they’ve mentioned learning from him.

        • 10thMountainFire

          ‘Toews is yelling at me for the puck and Kane is yelling at me for the puck but there is only one puck.’

          • Why

            And it’s my puck. You’ll get it when I’m good and ready. I sure like watching younger Jagr play.

    • Why

      +18 in four playoffs (two that included first round losses)? Am I doing that math right?

      • 10thMountainFire

        Holy awesomeness. And some of that was with freaking ATLANTA.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Yep, 54 playoff games total with the Hawks.

        His best-ever playoff year was with the Pens in ’08: 20 games, 26 points, plus-8. Had they won that 7th game the Conn Smythe voting would likely have been very tight between Hossa, Crosby (who had virtually identical playoff numbers) and Fleury (1.97 GAA, .933 save pct for the playoffs).

        But Hoss was also quite good in each of the Hawks’ winning years: plus-7 in 22 games in ’10 and plus-8 in 22 games last spring.

  • 1benmenno

    Ebenholts och Elfenben.

  • fromheretoinfirmary

    Ya know, I get super annoyed as well with Pirri and Morin are sitting in favor of Brookbank and Handzus, but I can’t help but think that in the end it may not matter much. Right now, there aren’t “holes to fill” per se because the team is a success. Obviously we all agree that they could be in the stratosphere with the right personnel decisions, but I guess if this team is still sitting at the top of the league while a pair of 22 year olds with high potential are getting seasoning in Rockford, it’s not the worst thing in the world. Q is notorious for taking a while to take to young players, and maybe this up-and-down is just step one of these guys contributing to the roster full time (see: Saad in ’11-’12). This is, of course, ignoring the ice-time burden when brookbank et al play basically no minutes

    • SamFels

      You’re right. The team is so good that all of these things don’t matter now. But at some point, they might. The thing I worry about is the margins in getting out of the West are going to be so thin. A potential playoff course for the Hawks could really be Vancouver-St. Louis-L.A. In the spring coaching will matter. Look at how close Babcock clowning Q last spring came to ending everything.

      • derlemke

        I remember the series versus Detroit and you talking about Babcock simply out coaching Q. What was he exactly doing against the Hawks? This question simply comes from ignorance.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          If you don’t remember, Babs had convinced Q to separate Toews and Kane. And then Babs danced around Q like a sprightly Leprechaun. Finally, Q had a V8 before game 5 and the magic mist fell from his eyes and he saw he had been tricked. He then paired Toews with Kane and the Red Dragon composed entirely of Wings was slain. The End.

          • Roy Batty

            Not sure about the V8, believe he stayed at Holiday Inn actually

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            So many V8s gone…like tears in rain….

        • SamFels

          Also Q was unable to tell what defensive system Detroit was using and get his players to counteract it. Game 3 for the final half of it the Wings were essentially trapping, and yet the Hawks continued to try and stickhandle through four guys or try 100-foot passes. This happened all series.

          • putmeinthemadhouse

            Nevermind. Misread.

          • mad-hatter

            Genuine question for you and the rest of the writers here (or anyone else that would like to respond actually). Since I believe you and the others would not or at one point did not mind if Q were fired from the Hawks, who would you want to coach the Hawks instead?

          • SamFels

            You know this is where I always run up against a wall. I don’t really watch the AHL so if there’s a hot candidate there I really have no idea what they do down there, y’know? LIke I couldn’t have told you anything about Dallas Eakins before this year. Curt Fraser was the next big thing for so long that I wonder if he next big thing-ed himself out of a job. I always was kind of curious to see what would happen if Haviland got the job, but seeing as how he hasn’t gotten another NHL one I guess that would have been a mess. I like Pete DeBoer, and he’s basically had garbage in NJ and Florida for most of his career. Tippett is obviously a good coach. I’ve also always been curious what Barry Trotz would do with superior talent. But all are a risk and all have their faults, I’m sure.

          • Why

            It’s the fun question. A lot of guys that do well with lower level talent probably deserve a shot at some point. The question I always wonder about is whether coaching the real top end teams requires a different skill set. I’m going to a different sport here but was Phil Jackson equipped to coach a borderline playoff team?

            We’ve got a guy that has proven he can succeed with the talent he has. This rock might actually keep away tigers.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I think Q is the best coach Chicago has had in decades. That said, he frustrates me to no end with seemingly counterintuitive personnel decisions. I’m at a loss to explain that which frustrates me but as long as he keeps winning Cups, I’m content to whine about Bollig.

          • Preacher

            Can we whine about the atrocious PK too? And how it was so good last year and since they’ve changed their setup it doesn’t work as well and they won’t change it back? (Or are we still blaming the goaltending?)
            And I agree, Q is the best we’ve had in a long while. (Anyone remember Alpo?)

          • 10thMountainFire

            Those are all valid complaints. The PK problems seem to have replaced the PP problems we had in recent years. I don’t know what the answer is but the word ‘Alpo’ made me cringe.

          • mad-hatter

            I’ll whine right along with you, although I don’t want Q leaving because I’d rather take what I know about Q than what I don’t know about whoever would replace him.

            Because the current roster is so talented it leaves very little to discuss critically, so Q gets a lot of the flack. I don’t remember things being so vitriolic in 2011, or even in 2012 until after the Hawks’ nine-game losing streak. I wonder if that coupled with the first round playoff loss still leaves a lot of lingering resentment.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Maybe Q got a wider berth in 2011 after the purging?

          • mad-hatter

            Definitely, especially with the shortened off season and injuries to Hossa, Sharp, and Bolland. I wasn’t on SCH during 2010, or in 2009 which was when the site began, but were people as critical of Q then, before the cup? Or were expectations just lower?

          • 10thMountainFire

            They were playing well enough through the first half to be front-runners again. Crow was playing well. The injuries you mentioned destroyed us. Bolland was out for quite a while after the Tampa hit.

          • SamFels

            Actually, Phil did get one shot with one, sorta. THe year after Jordan “retired” and it was Pippen and Grant. I think the Bulls won 53 games and not for a terrible call on Pippen in Game 5 against the Knicks may have gone back to the Finals. Do I have that right?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Pippen should have been MVP that year and without the phantom call in NY, the Bulls could have gone to the Finals again.

          • Why

            It’s a fair response but was that Bulls team a borderline playoff team? You guys would probably know more basketball than me, but I would think a championship team without Jordan (and with Pippen, Grant and a reasonably solid supporting cast) would be a team most would expect to get in the playoffs and make some noise.

          • Matt

            On top of that, there are probably some intangibles that Q does well that we can’t see day to day. I’d say it’s impressive that after probably the shortest layover in the history of the Big 4 sports, this Hawks team is still full of effort and motivation and in first place in the whole league after winning the Stanley Cup. You also hear good things about days off of practice, and between the following two arguments I’d probably rather have players have to earn their roles too much or too little.

            Not saying Q doesn’t have his faults, but he’s won 2 Stanley Cups and is the 4th winningest coach of all time(!) for a reason.

          • mad-hatter

            I think I’d rather take bitching about Q. I wouldn’t be sad to see Kitch and Kompon go though.

          • derlemke

            Why thank you. I do remember that. So what did Q eventually do to counteract that and/or did he not have an answer?

          • Why

            The powerplay stopped sucking for a game.

          • houstonhawk

            Q was getting punked in that series, but he did get it to game 7, and I think what goes unappreciated is the influence that he has on his players. They don’t panic and when they’re getting smoked they don’t resort to cheap-shotting. They got a goal unjustly taken away from them in the final minutes of game 7, they didn’t panic they just went about their business and finished the Wings off. Ask Dusty how controversy in a late playoff game worked for him and his management style…

          • SamFels

            Agree with this 100%. I really do need to do a post on all the things I think Q does well, and there are more than a few.

      • Bullitt315

        Do you really think Q is going to put Brookbank at wing in a playoff game? Regular season is a time to give some guys ice time even if they’re not ideal.

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

          The answer to that is buried in the boxscore of this game, to pick just one example:

          http://espn.go.com/nhl/boxscore?gameId=310417004

          Scan our left wings. (He played up there in the wins of that series, too, and on the PP once, as I recall.)

          • 10thMountainFire

            OH MY GOD! Why did you just do that?!

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

            Heh. Just to hurt people.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You succeeded. I hadn’t planned on drinking tonight.

        • 10thMountainFire

          ‘Jordan Hendry’.

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

            Also that one. Aaron Johnson, too, I think played up there (but maybe not playoffs, I can’t remember). And Big Buff, of course, although that’s obviously a very different situation, because his play mattered, and benefited us, in that role.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I think one would characterize Buff as a forward who was a defenseman at that time, though, no? He had spent the majority of his career up front and had only recently, in 2010, gone back to the blue line.

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

            You’re mostly right, an oversight by me. He was drafted as a d-man but was moved up to wing by Q, then switched back to d when he was traded to Atlanta.

          • 10thMountainFire

            And grew incrementally…

    • Shooter

      I would love to be a fly on the wall to see how the other players react when Q announces the lineups….Such as the entire John Scott era…they see the guy can’t skate in practice, know he’s a liability all over the ice…yet your coach says he’s playing forward, and on your line. Is it a total team buyin? Do they believe it’s a good thing as well, or do they scratch their heads same as us?

      • SamFels

        Logic would tell you so but it obviously hasn’t mattered because the team overall still wins. No one has quit on Q (though it was close during that 9-game losing streak a couple years ago), which is why my arguments are never “Q is an idiot” but more “Q has his flaws and they could matter.”

    • 10thMountainFire

      It’s not going to matter much because both will be dealt this off-season.

      • Bullitt315

        Will your head explosion be bigger if Stan resigns Handzus or Bollig?

        • 10thMountainFire

          Bollig. Zus would be a great 4C, wouldn’t he?

          • Bullitt315

            Yeah, but you know Zus will spend significant time on the 2nd line.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Which will be tough for this board to reconcile with what we anticipate will be Teuvo’s role to lose, no?

          • Bullitt315

            Yes. It’s going to make the Pirri/Zus conversation seem tame.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Teuvo better come ready with some serious 2-way.

    • birdhead

      in the end it may not matter much.

      Not to speak for Fels or anything but isn’t the point that it’s not that it matters much for this year, but for next year and the year after? This year, I agree, it doesn’t matter that much. But people are getting older.

      • zacked

        And more expensive.

  • AirTrafficAJ

  • laaarmer

    You know what is a really interesting number?

    Leddy’s Corsi on a different team.

    • Preacher

      Your point?

      • 10thMountainFire

        Baby steps.

        • laaarmer

          Screw the baby steps crap.

          Look at Oduya. He sucked in Atlanta and Winnipeg, but he comes to the Hawks and he is better than Seabrook, right?

          Leddy, can’t seem to beat out Johnny Oduya to get on the 2nd pair on The Hawks. Why is this?

          • 10thMountainFire

            That’s an excellent question. I really don’t know. In fact, I stated prior to this season that if Leddy hadn’t supplanted Oduya by season’s end that we’d have to wonder what was going on. Is Leddy being mismanaged? Is the team failing to develop him? Is this a case of him not winning favoritism from the coaching staff? I really have no clue.

          • Why

            This has been an exceptionally fun season and Leddy’s got an awesome skill set. But he’s my Bollig.

            He’s still not great in his zone (from what I can tell) and his favourite move seems to be leading the rush. When Keith or Oduya jump into the play, I’m expecting an odd man rush. When Leddy jumps I’m expecting a 1 on something rush that ends in a harmless dump in. When I’m feeling particularly catty, I start thinking of him as hockey’s version of a punter. Can’t tackle, doesn’t really help you score, he just shifts the field a bit.

            With all that said, the skils are there and maybe I’m just missing something.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Fair enough. I feel Leddy is ready to jump to a second pairing but as Laaarmer was discussing, I can’t seem to put my finger on what it is that is preventing him from additional minutes. The post season sit he got was a bit mind-boggling as well. Such a mobile defenseman with great puckhandling skills is a premium. He does turn the puck over (so does Hammer) but I hardly think that’s empirically a reason for him to lack ice time.

          • Why

            It’s not the turnovers. He doesn’t throw the stretch pass much or head man the puck to our really slick forwards as much as the top four guys do either. He takes off skating in situations where he’s going to be outnumbered and never seems to be able to use his speed to create odd man chances. It’s breathtaking to watch him go through the neutral zone, but it’s not threatening.

          • 10thMountainFire

            So he’s not Campbell enough, essentially.

          • Why

            Kind of. I want my spots picked well, especially if I don’t trust you on the back end. I’m so low on Leddy’s current play (not his talent level) that I’d be leaning towards Kostka/Brookbank on the last pairing.

            Campbell really loves to get involved once the pucks in the offensive zone and I’m not sure we need that and Campbell didn’t seem to ever be in a hurry to get the puck to the forwards and let them go. But yeah, a little more Campbell wouldn’t hurt.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Then your point about the transition/stretch pass is well-received. The one thing Soupy did well through all of the stupid 300-level screaming was stretch the ice and skate into the offensive end. I don’t think we have that beyond the first pairing right now, although Oduya has at times resembled Campbell, maybe at a less successful level.

          • laaarmer

            I think Leddy should play more too. Do they think he will get abused by teams if he plays more minutes? He does not kill penalties either, right?

            Which is why I say, how would he do on another team (for all you smart ass blog writers). Is he a 1-4 D on another team? Is his offensive upside negated by his defensive inconsistency? I think this is why he is where he is. maybe it gets better, but also maybe this is ahat he is, which is still good for this team.

          • 10thMountainFire

            The odd part is that if any blue liner can play halfway adequate forward in Q’s ‘have to have a defensemen at forward’ scheme, Leddy would be a solid choice.

          • Why

            Except it’s always a banger that gets moved up, ostensibly to make up for a lack of size. Leddy might be better suited as a forward but he’s not the prototype for what Q usually moves up.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Solid point.

          • Preacher

            “Is he a 1-4 D on another team?”
            Maybe on a team where the 1-4 aren’t playing as well as ours are.

          • 10thMountainFire

            On Calgary, he’s the #1 blue liner.

          • M7

            Disagree. Mark Giordano is a very good d-man. Other than that it gets a little thread bare. Wideman and Russell don’t give you much more defensively than Leddy.

          • VerStig

            If he is… is there a trade any GM would actually make for him? Would it get us a part that would even fit (or, is there some prospect good enough to be worth that trade)?

          • Z-man19

            Oduya now has a Swedish partner?

          • mad-hatter

            What’s the rush? He’s only twenty two. Maybe Leddy deserves time on the second pairing, but why split Oduya and Hammer with how well they’ve been doing overall? Leddy will get up there eventually.

          • laaarmer

            He’s played 212 games in the NHL. If he is going to be more, he needs to be more. LIke put him on the PK. How much worse can he be?

          • 10thMountainFire

            This.

          • mad-hatter

            I’d like him on the PK too, but I guess he’s on the bench for the same reason Sharp and Versteeg are. Well eventually Brookbank, Rozsival, and Oduya will be gone and we’ll finally see how he does next to Hammer.

          • zacked

            I think Leddy has some excellent defensive skills (he has a tremendous stick check, he’s probably almost as good as Keith backchecking), but not skills suited to the PK. He’s always going to have trouble clearing the crease just because of his size, for example.

      • laaarmer

        Exactly, my point. How would Leddy be doing on lets say, NYI?

    • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

      Your point, as usual, is well taken.

      • laaarmer

        Thanks for the response. Your response as usual is well taken

  • Preacher

    Lots of numbers. Do you think Q cares? Seriously. Do the coaches look at Corsi and Fenwick and all the rest of the math? You’d think there would be at least ONE guy in the scouting department/GM’s office/coaching staff who’s job it is to pay attention to this stuff. But I’m guessing all Q really focuses on is watching practice and who works harder than whom and who scores on the shootout drill and who’s the last to leave the ice and other stuff we don’t see. I’m sure that 1-1-2 setup works great when they work on the penalty kill in practice too. But then there’s the game and you just have to wonder what he’s seeing. Probably the 53 points that leads the league, so ….. everything is working just fine.

    • Why

      Here’s my question, and it’s always basically the same one. How should NHL coaching staffs be using Fenwick and Corsi?

      • mad-hatter

        A balanced line up for one, and removing players from situations they’re failing in.

        • Why

          I’m a little dense. What do you mean here? Toews should start more shifts in the defensive zone and Bollig should get more offensive zone opportunities?

          • Z-man19

            Bollig is NOT what Q has been selling him as. He should be the 5 min F and someone should take his checking role. That’s what my eye test says and these numbers support it

          • mad-hatter

            Well last year, for example. Toews, Hossa, and Saad feasting on anyone they were on the ice with. They spent so little time in the defensive zone. Then you have Bolland, Kane, and Sharp in the complete opposite situation, and nothing was done. It’s an old argument, but I would have liked to see Saad and Sharp or Hossa and Kane switched to spread the wealth.

            And yeah, maybe not having Bollig, Kruger, and Smith against top lines all the time might be a good idea.

          • Why

            The problem, as I understood it, is that if we’re using the numbered rating system to rate our centres, Toews would be something like a 92. Everybody else is the 70′s (numbers pulled directly out of Why’s ass). There’s a massive drop off there that we just don’t see anywhere else in the line up.

            But it’s not a Corsi thing. Toews (playing with the wingers Chicago has) feasts on everybody.

          • mad-hatter

            Yes, and I’m not expecting someone to perform just as well. I know that’s not going to happen. But does Toews really need the extra help with Hossa and Saad, the two players on the team who lead possession most consistently after him? Kane and Sharp weren’t getting the puck as much as two players like them needed it. Maybe it’s a bit top heavy having Toews and Kane on a line, but it’s not like Sharp and Hossa are slouches.

            Luckily Q plans on sticking with the Red Wedding line, and Saad and Kane this year have both been spectacular.

        • laaarmer

          Ovechkin, Sharp, and Kane should play on a line Fenwick and Corsi over the top right? Nothing but shots…….

          • mad-hatter

            Just Kane and Ovechkin on a line together would be terrifying for other goalies. Sharp is the cherry on top.

          • laaarmer

            But then, when the other team had the puck, you would be fucked.

          • mad-hatter

            Depends on if Sharpy plans on being one of the best two-way forwards in the league. Also Kane’s back checking has been pretty good this year.

          • Why

            You better get them Seabrook and Keith too, otherwise that might even be a minus line.

          • mad-hatter

            I’m talking their ability to just score goals. Best passer in the league with two of the best shooters?

          • Why

            Mr. Crosby would like a word there. And Ovie? Don’t look now, but 5 on 5 we might have to downgrade him from “Ovi or Stamkos” to “He’s pretty good?”

          • mad-hatter

            Nah, he’s still one of the best shots in the league. He has 16 ES goals, which is more than our own Kaner has 5v5, and ties Sharpy’s point totals for all situations. He may get a lot of PP points but that’s because he gets about five minutes of PP time a game, and it’s easy pickings for him.

          • 10thMountainFire

            When I think of how many stars we have and how Sharp is buried, I laugh. Dude is a superstar on many other teams. Here, he’s that guy that tortures Toews in hotels.

          • mad-hatter

            No kidding. Second on the team and twelfth in the league in points, tenth in the league for goals scored, and this is with him coming off a rough start to the season. He’s really, really good.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Babies and posts.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I remember a growing concern last year that he was ‘washed up’. I simply responded, ‘if he’s hitting tons of posts, he’s beating the goaltender.’

          • Accipiter

            You can also beat the goalie by shooting the puck wide of the net.

          • mad-hatter

            Yeah, I remember seeing that. And I can’t believe people still believe he’s currently trade material. He may be fourth but he’s still capable of putting up 70 points this season, and that’s not replaceable.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            The only reason he’s trade material is because we need something bad, like if Crawford goes down permanently.

          • mad-hatter

            That’s a pretty big if though, and I still think Stan would shop others around before Sharp.

          • Accipiter

            The Hawks will be fine sans CC.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You’re wrong. But don’t let me stop you from repeating it.

          • Accipiter

            I have been wrong before, but how do you know (with so much certitude) that I am wrong ?

          • 10thMountainFire

            So you think we’ll be fine with Raanta in a stretch run and into the post-season? You implied no real reduction in effectiveness. I’m saying that’s horribly wrong if that’s what you are asserting.

          • Accipiter

            CC’s SV% isn’t so remarkable that it can’t be replaced. I’m not saying to get rid of him, but he hasn’t impressed much this season.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I really don’t know how you state that Crawford is replaceable by Raanta to the extent of our capacity to defend the Cup in May-June.

          • Accipiter

            I might be wrong. I hope I am, but Crow may not take this Hawks team to May-June.

          • 10thMountainFire

            They don’t win the Cup last year with Emery in net.

            Bold statement or true statement?

          • Accipiter

            Don’t know. He never played a playoff game, so it’s true to that extent.

          • 10thMountainFire

            And I truly don’t know. My point in asking that is:

            To what extent was Crow an instrumental and possibly irreplaceable part of the team that won the Cup? You can’t simply dismiss his post-season stats. They were astounding in some cases.

          • Accipiter

            I’m not referring to his play last year. I’m not overly impressed this year, but I am repeating myself.

          • 10thMountainFire

            So why are we worried with him out?

          • Accipiter

            I’m not worryd.

          • 10thMountainFire

            So you’re comfortable going up against Colorado, St. Louis, and San Jose with a netminder who was in the AHL a few weeks ago?

          • Accipiter

            Even LA, sure.

          • 10thMountainFire

            LA is not St. Louis, San Jose, or Colorado right now.

          • Accipiter

            Ok.

          • 10thMountainFire

            So, in summary: goaltending is not important on the 2013-2014 Chicago Blackhawks.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Pretty sure this board has reached its pathos saturation point.

          • DesertHawk

            He also only played 4 games against playoff quality teams… Crow played 19.

          • laaarmer

            We will never win a cup with Niemi as our goalie.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Nemo came out smoking. He took the back-up job from Crow, then smoked through shutout after shutout in a limited season. Raanta is neither as technically tight as Niemi nor is he as polished. Niemi has turned into a top five quality in the league. Raanta remains athletic, exceptionally gifted physically, but unpolished and often out of position. Sorry, Raanta does not win us a Cup this season.

          • laaarmer

            What were Niemi’s numbers again for that season
            ,912 / 2.25 with 7 shutouts in 39 games.

            He got the job done.

          • 10thMountainFire

            The alternative to Niemi was much worse than the alternative to Raanta.

          • laaarmer

            Only you understand what you are saying.

            Both answers could be the same guy!

          • 10thMountainFire

            Huet.

          • laaarmer

            Crawford

          • 10thMountainFire

            2009-2010 Crawford is not 2013-2014 Crawford.

          • laaarmer

            Bored.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I hate you.

          • Accipiter

            2012-13 Crawford(whatever you want to call that season) is not 2013-14 Crawford.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I truly don’t know why you go to such great lengths in attempting to prove the irrelevance of Crow and the bane of his future contract.

          • DesertHawk

            Boo hiss, and also you’re a poopy head.

          • Z-man19

            ‘cip has a point, however Crow has proven he can win the chalice so I’ll take him over Raanta

          • 10thMountainFire

            Losing Sharp would be a huge, huge dent to this team. Gigantic.

          • laaarmer

            There would be a Sharp decrease in production

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            take my wife, please

          • 10thMountainFire

            Well done.

          • Bullitt315

            Would love to see Ovi with Kane on the PP

          • 10thMountainFire

            Nuclear.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I’d rather have someone like Holstrom. Someone big and in the crease that just feasts on all the rebounds Kane and any other forward with a stick should produce on the PP with a good screen in there draped over the goalie. That’d never happen, though…

          • Why

            How about Bickell-Toews-Kane?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I was alluding to Buffnuggets in 2010. A few dirty goals came from a team able to put the puck on net and him gobbling up the rebounds or deflections.

          • laaarmer

            Well, of course you would, but they also have to play 5 on 5, and they, in words used toward me recently, are not entirely helpful in those situations. I will say that Kane is better d wise than Ovechkin. Ovechkin has 11PP goals out of his 26 and is -11. That is not a good trend.

          • mad-hatter

            Only six players on the Caps are in positives, three break even, everyone else is negative. The Caps in general are not a good trend.

          • laaarmer

            No they are not, but he is the leader and he is part of the problem.

      • Oregon_hawk

        These are, coarsely, read-out metrics.

        Coaches watch the games, and they have their hockey-eyes that they’ve developed over decades of watching. These eyes can lie, as good as they are.

        These metrics are just additional tools, additional threads of evidence that are nothing more than better +/-. They have a purpose, they have flaws, and they can be used to evaluate player performance.

        In this case, you can argue that Bollig might be dragging down the 4th line. Or, you can argue that the 4th line is playing quite well, and Bollig is just a part of that.

        In my opinion, coaches shouldn’t take the three best corsi producers on the team and stick them together. Obviously it doesn’t work like that. These are just metrics.

        • Why

          See that’s the thing. If we think teams should be using these metrics, I want to know how. Not what I could argue, what you’d argue. No disrespect here, I just don’t see how you would use these tools to properly evaluate players.

          • Oregon_hawk

            You would use them by experimenting. Put Morin, Smith, Bollig together for 10 games, and see what the stats say. Then replace Bollig with Morin. Does the line improve? Does it suck?

            These are just additives to the eye-test, or confirmation thereof.

          • Why

            I see your point but this is where I start developing an eye tick. The team is coming off a cup win, playing pretty well and it’s a chance to get some chemistry with some groupings. I want my experiments to take place in the AHL or with a going nowhere team.

          • Oregon_hawk

            Oh, i totally disagree with you there. You’ve always got to be pushing for more efficiency. There are some things you don’t need to try, but tinkering in the regular season is almost always a good idea.

          • Why

            If we can turn a true grouping of bottom line players (and that’s what Kruger, Bollig and Brookbank are) into an effective line that can neutralize other teams top scoring lines, I don’t see many teams being able to beat the Hawks in a best of 7.

          • lizmcneill

            Uh, Q experiments with lines all the damn time.

          • Why

            Yeah, but we’re actually talking about a philosophy shift. For a team whose philosophy is working.

          • mad-hatter

            Who’s talking about a philosophy shift? The Hawks put a lot of shots on net; we’re wondering if there are other combinations that lead to more shots on net.

          • lizmcneill

            It’s a philosophy shift to suggest that swapping Bollig out for someone with more hockey skills sometimes would be a bad thing? Oh, if he hadn’t spent all that time in the playoffs in the press box last year, we could have won the Stanley Cup!

          • birdhead

            If trying to play forwards at F rather than playing defenseman at F is a philosophy shift then, well, I guess I’m in favour of a philosophy shift.

            What really gets me about this discussion is that there is a lot of evidence that the Hawks really do care about possession numbers, because they have consistently had excellent possession stats over the last several years. It’s not like the Hawks are out there Toronto Maple Leafing it. The Hawks’ philosophy is *already* a philosophy that it’s more important to outpossess the other team than outhit them, that it’s OK to try to carry the puck in rather than dump it and chase it, that good defensemen should drive the play forward. You think Corsi and Fenwick are so fucking stupid, but you also think the Hawks are so perfect nobody should criticise them. I bet it kills you that the Hawks have such good possession stats and are stats darlings.

          • Accipiter

            Re: Dump and chase. Before the Hawks turned the corner and became a contending hockey team Mike Babcock was quoted as saying, “that is for the Chicago’s of the league”.

          • birdhead

            But I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that the Hawks’ record has improved along with their attitude to possession, right?

          • birdhead

            The same way you use, say, points.

            Toews has many fewer points than Kane. Is Toews a worse player than Kane? I think we would say that points don’t cover everything, wouldn’t we? We know that there are other aspects to play. But, on the other hand, Kane has a lot more points than Morin. Is Kane a better player than Morin?

            No number is everything but, just like assists and goals represent something real about play, I think Corsi and Fenwick represent something real about play (the direction the play is driving towards with a player on the ice), and I would like to see what would happen if coaches incorporated that number into their decisions. In the vast majority of cases, it’s not saying anything new. Toews is good, what a shock. Saad is good, what a shock. We would know that they were good players even if we didn’t know what their points totals are or that they have good possession stats. Where it really becomes interesting is at the margins. We know Kane is good, but is he better with Bolland, Toews, Kruger, Handzus? We know Kruger is reliable defensively, but is Bollig helping him or is Kruger covering up for Bollig? Those are the kinds of questions numbers can help answer if we keep an open mind. And to a certain degree, experiment.

          • Why

            And do those numbers provide you with answers on the margins? You’re shot counting with small sample sizes.

          • birdhead

            Yes, I think they do provide me with evidence. Obviously. Why would I bother thinking about these things and investing my time and energy if I didn’t think there was something there?

          • Why

            I have no idea why people devote so much energy to a number that may equal 3 shots a game (once defensive zone time and teammates are adjusted for).

          • lizmcneill

            Which is why you look at it over multiple games.

          • Why

            And it will still be about 3 shots per game. If you’re lucky. For guys that play between 10 and 15 minutes.

          • lizmcneill

            So? They play only one game in a season now?

          • Why

            3 shots a game at max? Both ways? In a league where goalie that stops 9 out of 10 even strength is having a bad year? And it’s the top line guys that put up the higher shot percentages? And I’m supposed to believe that NHL teams should be hiring people to look at that stat?

          • mad-hatter
          • lizmcneill

            Every 3 or 4 games, one of those is a goal. Every 20 games or so, that’s enough for a win. A third or 4th line that can consistently get 3 more shots than the opposition isn’t something we should be looking for?

          • birdhead

            three shots a game for one guy is a lot. didn’t you read up there where Marian Freaking Hossa is averaging 3.4 a game and that’s a good thing?

          • mad-hatter

            Three shots per game is a bigger sample size than goals and assists. Should we not talk about points then?

          • Why

            When the puck goes in, players have accomplished what they’ve set out to do. When it doesn’t, maybe we shouldn’t be worried about how many times we managed to bounce it off of a guys kneepad.

          • mad-hatter

            But a player has to make the shot to score a goal. More shots typically means more goals. So coaches would want to find the best line combinations that get the most shots off and will lead to more goals. It’s that simple.

          • lizmcneill

            You know Corsi events include goals as well? They’re shooting because they’re trying to score. The line that consistently does that at 60% rather than 40% is going to score more over a season.

          • birdhead

            Actually I have a different way to attack this question than the one I used below.

            San Jose is averaging the most shots per game in the league, 36.5. New Jersey has the least, 25.4. That’s a difference of basically 11 shots per game. Assuming it’s distributed evenly up and down the lineup (probably not), over a 20-minute shift, that’s about 3.6 shots – i.e. an extra Marian Hossa’s worth of shot differential. That’s the three extra shots a game you’re talking about.

            Now, maybe you don’t think that having 36 shots per game instead of 25 shots per game is important for a team, you’re entitled to think that, but I think it’s objectively wrong to say that it’s not a *large* difference; it’s the difference between being at the top of the league in shots for and the bottom.

          • birdhead

            Well, you have apparently infinite time to troll people about what that number could possibly be used for and why anyone possibly thinks about hockey in any other way than your personal eyetest … different strokes for different folks.

          • Why

            Troll? I think you’re wrong, Corsi is terrible and generally a waste of time. I think people who get paid to find the slightest edge have been informed of this stat and generally find it to be a waste of time. I disagree vehemently with you, but I don’t constantly attack the stat because I’ve missed something. If I wanted to troll I’d go after Hossa.
            I’ll ask about it on the off chance someone has put enough thought into it to actually provide a reason why I should pay attention to it but I haven’t noticed a valid one yet.

          • birdhead

            Trolling is what you do when you have already made up your mind about something and ask apparently sincere questions about it, then respond in incredibly reductive ways when people do go to the trouble to answer your question.

            You wanted to know how people who use possession statistics would like them to be used. I told you. Then you asked if I thought that was worthwhile. You know I think it’s worthwhile. Fine, you don’t think it’s worthwhile. Why ask the question and then complain about the fact that I waste my time by answering it? Worry about your own time.

          • Why

            Nice high horse but I get the feeling I’m not the only one who has made up their mind on this one. And there’s nothing reductive about actually looking at what the facts are. And I want to make sure that other people that read the page know exactly what we’re talking about (I think counting three shots is worthwhile and an important part of player evaluation) when people start complaining that NHL teams don’t put enough emphasis on those numbers.

          • birdhead

            But Corsi and Fenwick don’t measure shot differential.

          • laaarmer

            Are you bringing the dreaded shot quality argument in?

          • Accipiter

            #isitreal

          • laaarmer

            #mrchow

          • birdhead

            No. That’s legitimately not what they measure. They measure total shots directed towards the net, for and against. That might ultimately be equivalent to a difference of three shots on net for a given player (which is not the only way the statistic is used anyway), but it’s not what the statistic actually measures. It’s like the time Why described Corsi as measuring blocked shots. Yes, that’s in there, but it’s not the only thing, and the cumulative nature of Corsi is very important because Corsi specifically seeks a large measure that is least biased by sample size. He apparently sees himself as some defender of the truth, striking out for innocent people who might be tricked into thinking Corsi’s useful, which is fine I guess, but lying about what Corsi measures is a very peculiar way to go about it.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Can we just agree that all the equines in this place are Clydesdales? And also that when one of these equines dies, it’s in everybody’s best interest to make sure the beast of burden is thoroughly deceased?

          • birdhead

            I need a bigger stick.

          • mad-hatter

            We’re not gonna be happy until that horse has been turned to glue.

          • Z-man19

            I upboated

          • cliffkoroll

            palomino.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        When thinking… “I’m not sure if I should trust this guy starting his shift in the defensive zone.”

    • laaarmer

      I think that there is more than the working hard thing, although that probably has a lot to do with it. The thing is the Hawksa, according to Pat and Eddie don’t practice, so Q is only seeing the games and the “skate around” and a few practices here and there.
      Q sees, or doesn’t see something in these two guys, but it’s probably more to do with money as to why they are in Rockford, don’t you think?

      • 10thMountainFire

        ‘Skate around’? Never heard of it.

        • Hags

          I think it’s “Skateround” the hockey version of the Hoverround. Michal Handzus uses it to get up and down the ice.

        • laaarmer

          Moaning sk8

          • 10thMountainFire

            Almost.

      • Z-man19

        Lets hope so

  • 10thMountainFire

    So my eye test wasn’t wrong: Hossa is playing Hossa-like.

    • Accipiter

      In other news ….

      Water continues to be wet.

      • Why

        There was a time when I was worried that the water was getting old and kind of banged up. Everyone back in the pool, the water’s fine.

  • Why

    I really shouldn’t enjoy it when people are taking shots at Vancouver’s hockey culture, but I have to admit I do. Follow up from the morning links:

    “I have no reason left to try and defend my city, and the people of my city,” Lucic told reporters in Boston on Monday. “Other than being at Rogers Arena, no one will ever see me in downtown Vancouver ever again.”

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=439149

    • 10thMountainFire

      I saw his Tweet earlier. I was grinning. We’re not all crazy. Vancouver is full of trash.

      • Accipiter

        It’s really nice there.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Enjoy taunting NHL players, do you?

          • Why

            That’s not fair. There’s more to do in downtown Vancouver than taunt NHL players. Downtown Vancouver also has heroin and riots.

    • DesertHawk

      That’s really sad…

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      “Lucic has had problems in his hometown before. Last year, a Serbian Orthodox church in Burnaby connected to Lucic’s family was vandalized. Lucic also claims his grandparents have been harassed at Rogers Arena.”

      I’ve changed my mind. Put a team in Seattle. Bankrupt the Nucks and make them move to Atlanta.

  • CozBullsFan

    Hidey ho neighbors

    • 10thMountainFire

      Coz.

      • CozBullsFan

        XMF

    • 1benmenno

      stupid sexy Flanders.

  • AMR

    Off topic a bit but I hope Bickell is ready to play against Nashville because I do not want to see Brookbank at forward again for a very, very long time

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

    To take this argument in another direction (and I admit, it’s a bit of a straw man), there were days when we played Detroit that infuriated me, because they’d almost seamlessly incorporate bodies from their AHL team into their NHL roster, but it was never a case of rushing a player, they often let someone play down there well past their “seasoning” period.

    I recall lots of opinions about how well organized that system was, how well it served the team long-term, even just for 3rd line checkers and 4th line grinders, because you had players coming into the NHL already well-groomed.

    It’s not an identical situation here, mostly because injuries have required that we bring people up now and again and because Handzus, in no one’s eyes, not even Q’s, is a perfect fit for 2C.

    But here we are in that Detroit-ish situation, with a team that’s playing so good that we don’t NEED to fit anyone in if they’re not completely ready for our system. I’m not claiming that’s entirely why Morin and Pirri aren’t here, but it may have something to do with it, just more minutes down in the AHL getting their game up to par.

    Could they play on this team? Yes. Could they play better? Also yes.

    • VerStig

      Yeah, given the minutes they’re getting here, it really doesn’t make sense. I know we don’t like who’s playing in their place, but I guess in some ways (back-to-backs notwithstanding) maybe Q doesn’t want to take ice time away from our stars.

      Also, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I really haven’t been that impressed with Morin’s play lately. Nothing really bad, but I don’t know if I’ve missed anything worth writing home about. If Keith is propping up Seabs’s possession stats, is it that wrong to say that Saad might have propped up Morin’s?

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

        He goes in spurts, eh? He looks really good when he’s forechecking and on the puck (or with it) in the offensive zone, and he’s getting chances off his shot, but the numbers aren’t there, and I’ve not been overly impressed with him in the defensive zone–he’s not outright horrible there, just not strong.

        • Z-man19

          I doubt I need to repeat this to you but I fail to see how Bollig is a defensive stalwart. Q uses him on the checking line and that’s the only proof that he’s actually any good at it. I see Smith and Kruger do a lot of the heavy lifting there, plus they usually have one of the top D pairings with them. I say throw Morin out there for 15 games and see what happens. Maybe having some actual offensive fire power might help that line

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

            I don’t really disagree, not strongly anyway. I wouldn’t be upset in the least to see Morin up for an extended time (ahead of Bollig, I mean) … but I think the last thing we need on this team is offensive firepower. We lead the league in just about every offensive category.

            There might not be many differences between Morin and Bollig defensively in the main, but Bollig is a bigger body and can use his weight in board battles much more effectively. Case could be made that he’s more consistent and reliable than Morin, too. Which is all Q wants down there.

            There are small differences in Morin’s game, too, that might edge him out–quicker, possibly faster in transition. Still, I don’t think there are enough significant skill differences between the two of them (right now) to warrant the “Bollig is Useless” marches we read so often.

    • jordyhawk

      Neither Morin nor Pirri have done enough to win a job outright; not even close. I’d like see Pirri back up and Zus resting more, but if playoffs started tomorrow Zus would be the guy. Morin is a shooter and when Versteeg came back his window pretty much closed. Maybe the best option with Morin is to move him for a LW/C who could provide depth/challenge Bollig. I still keep coming back to Bollig only getting 5 playoff games last year and game 2 vs. Bruins ending badly. Does Q really intend to go with him in the playoffs?

      One other comment on Morin, I don’t know how much these guys learn in Rockford; he still seems to force the play too much (although Versteeg does same).

      • 10thMountainFire

        Re whether Q will use Bollig in the post season, see downthread to I am not Chico’s comments.

        • jordyhawk

          Couldn’t find it. D’oh!

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

        I still think Morin is worth keeping, I just think he needs some more defensive work.

        One of the Trio mentioned they’d heard someone else, Feather or Block, say that Q doesn’t like guys who can’t do everything, and there’s a grain of truth in that, but truth of the matter is, our system is predicated on transition–to offense and back to defense, and if you can’t do both of those within the scope of the role you’re playing, you’re not going to get played.

        Of course, then why Brookbank at wing, why Bollig as defensive specialist? I don’t know … the evil you know?

        • jordyhawk

          Problem I see with keeping Morin is fit. We are set in top 9 at both LW and RW. That leaves Bollig’s spot and Morin is not a checker (nor has he been groomed for it; Rockford coaching is a big question mark). Next year Morin will not be waiver exempt and we will lose him if he is exposed.

          As for Brookbank, I agree he shouldn’t have gotten all the minutes at RW but he is responsible and I guess that’s what Q wants.

          • lizmcneill

            I feel the dman at F may have come back to bite if Q didn’t have Kaner available to skate 20+ minutes (against softer competition) instead.

          • jordyhawk

            IIRC, Kostka got games at RW before Brookbank, so guessing he is Q’s first choice to fill in. That said, I too would have liked to see Morin get more of a chance earlier in the year, but adding Versteeg has changed the math.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Someone probably posted this earlier, but the search feature on Disqus sucks. Bickel has been reactivated. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/blackhawks-activate-f-bickell-194257709–nhl.html

    • lizmcneill

      Unleash the Bickell

      • Joe Banks

        Hey… you guys!!!

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

      Good for Bicks. Let’s hope he comes back refreshed and better.

    • justforkicks

      musta been eating sushi

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    As good as this team is, I would trade everyone away if that would make it a little bit better.
    /booo-urns’d

    • Accipiter

      Like, say, Team Canada ?

      • Z-man19

        Serious question, you get to pick Toews or Kane, can’t have both, who you taking? I’ve always said Toews, not so easy any more

        • Accipiter

          Toews.

          • Z-man19

            No question?

          • Accipiter

            For me, not really. I love Kane, but overall I take Toews.

          • Z-man19

            That has always been my answer but I’m not so sure now. Kane might make the answer different in the next 2-3 years if he keeps getting better.

          • Accipiter

            You could be right. Is Toews getting better (not his play in the last while, but overall) ?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Kaner probably has a longer shelf-life because he rarely gets hit. Plus, speed is not is primary weapon so he’ll likely stay capable of his best skills for a while. Kaner is hard to vote against.

          • Z-man19

            Toews has better line mates but clearly gets tougher assignments. Kane still produces points while having anyone on his line and the space teams give him is insane. You don’t see many guys get the puck and the other team backs off 5 feet

          • birdhead

            talking about choosing between them is making me really, really sad.

          • Z-man19

            Lets just keep it hypothetical. I hope and feel they’ll both be hawks for a long time

          • lizmcneill

            Make it so, Stan.

          • Joe Banks

            Thank you. Screw this Kobiashi Maru shit.
            The answwer is BOTH.
            Ebony/Ivory
            Peanut Butter/Chocolate
            Ying/Yang
            Toews/Kane
            So it is, so it shall always be… amen.

          • justforkicks

            (this year, not always the case last year – and def not so a lot of the regular season) – in terms of the assignments.

        • justforkicks

          guess

        • laaarmer

          It’s very easy.

          Toews.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        Here’s hoping Q doesn’t get any ideas at the Olympics, like trying Toews at wing.

  • Joe Banks

    Ass Tripping?
    Help me out, young whipper snappers… you’re my only hope!
    Back in my day, tripping meant you applied your stick to your opponent’s skates, he fall down go boom, you sit for 2 minutes, and feel shame.
    Hawks vs Kings, first period, Johnny Oduya throws his ASS into Kopitar, who possessed the puck, and got called for tripping. I am soooo confused (besides just being old)… Was that really a penalty? Can you trip somebody with your ass? Or were the refs just making it up as they go again?
    Thanks in advance.

    • birdhead

      In my admittedly-still-limited short time watching the game, I’ve seen tripping called when players hurl themselves in front of other players and make them trip.

      I kind of agree with you though, it looked like a hit to me.

    • laaarmer

      I thought that was a bad call

      • Paul the Fossil

        It was a silly call, no idea what that ref thought he was seeing.

  • steeg of their own

    Schlepping off to Nashville for tonight’s game. I’ll be in the arena, so I won’t be on the GDTs. But I’ll post back with live observations. Since I only get to see them a few times a year, I hope the Hawks come out and crush the Preds.

    LET’S GO BLACKHAWKS. I pre-emptively raise my second-period Scotch to you.

    • CozBullsFan

      Have fun!

    • Accipiter

      Are you smuggling in your sps ?

  • laaarmer

    So the NHL coaches and asst coaches don’t want to use the “advanced stats”. Rather they determine who is getting the offensive and defensive zone starts and who plays against who. We think they need to look at the “numbers” regarding player a’s defensive zone starts and his Corsi (or possession stats), but the guys running the show can already see it and they are driving the numbers, eh? Chicken egg, egg chicken.

  • laaarmer

    Backes sustains upper body injury, like he didn’t already have one

    • Toews still makes funny faces!

      Backes gives me an UBI (spoken Migrane) everytime I hear the River SCUM Meat Heads speak about how he is the greatest, bestest Captain ever!