USATSI_7691780_160885884_lowres

Boredom Or Fatigue?

Well we have our first official blip of the season. Actually the whole month has been something of a blip. But this three game losing streak is clearly the nadir. While the Hawks lost some games earlier in the month due to luck or sterling goalie performances, these past three have certainly been “meh” performances. While the Hawks dominated possession for the first 40 last night, it’s not like Al Montoya had to perform cartwheels to keep the Hawks at bay.

So the question now is whether the Hawks are just bored, or the toll taken from playing until almost July is now coming due. The disheartening thing is that we really won’t have an answer until April.

I thought it would be useful to compare it to the last team to try and defend a Cup through a full season, which would be the Bruins. The B’s season was of a different patter in ’11-’12. They were definitely tripping over themselves in October, laced through November-January basically, were pretty bad for the first half of March, picked it up toward the end of the year slightly, finishing 7-1-2. They then spit it in the first round against Washington in seven games.

The Canucks were coming off the same strain that year, just not having a bauble to show for it. They thrashed about in ’11-’12′s first six weeks, caught absolute fire from there until March (helped by an awful division), stumbled a bit in March before also closing with a flourish before they themselves snuffed it in the first round.

So basically the Hawks aren’t suffering a blip that those teams didn’t, it’s just at a different time. The Hawks started much better than either of those two teams, and maybe just be catching their breath again. Or they could be drained. I kind of lean to the former, but again we won’t know until the season is over really.

It’s important to keep in mind that there’s a reason, or many reasons, that no team has repeated in 14 years (of silence, 14 years of pain…). It’s impossibly hard to do. It’s not the NBA where you can keep giving the ball to Lebron and have him solve most of your problems. Teams change too much, the road is so long, you can’t hide your weaknesses behind the brilliance of an individual or two for an entire season.

Other notes:

-I nearly flew off the handle last night on Twitter in a discussion about Bryan Bickell. I’m sure this isn’t Chicago-exclusive, but fans here really do have this belief that when a player signs a much richer contract than he had before that he’s suddenly going to transform into a different player.

Bicks is in his fourth full season here. He’s 27. We know what he is. To expect him to turn into John LeClair or Gary Roberts or something simply because he signed a contract he was offered is simply idiotic. Bickell is just a solid, not spectacular, checking winger who chips in goals here and there and is pretty good on the forecheck and on the wall. He’s not a banging crashing torpedo and he’s never going to be. That’s just not his game. It can be frustrating that he’s not at that size, but that doesn’t mean he’s not useful.

(We’re actually seeing the same things with Corey Crawford, whose extension hasn’t kicked in yet. But all Crow is proving is that he’s a second-tier goalie in this league, which means he’ll just be more up and down than the top-tier guys. And that’s fine. We already knew that thanks to the variances in his first three years in the league).

You can bash his contract as merely cashed in on one playoff performance, but the thing is Bickell has been pretty good in all three of the playoff runs he’s been a cog for. In 34 playoff games in the past three years, Bicks is 13-10-23. You’ll take that from a 3rd liner. And if we get it again this spring, is anyone going to remember this regular season?

There are things working against Bickell. One is that he’s had two knee injuries to deal with, including playing last year’s Final on a torn MCL (and damaged wrist) that really should have kept him out of the lineup (making the claims of the unwashed that Bicks “doesn’t want it” laughable). He’s clearly still working through that. Second, the Hawks desire to keep using stretch passes instead of building through the neutral zone does not suit Bicks at all. He needs to be hitting the line with speed, not standing still because he just doesn’t have the legs to get in on the forecheck from a standing start.

And is this season really so bad? He’s the second best possession forward on the team behind Toews. He has 7 goals in 39 games, which I’m pretty sure is a better rate than the 6 in 54 Working Class Hero Brandon Bollig has.

As The Chicago Homer wrote brilliantly today, Bickell is an easy scapegoat. Q can trash him in the press and scratch him and face no scrutiny because of the backlash against Bickell’s contract. He can assert himself without much consequence. If Q really wanted to send a message to the team he’d park Seabrook’s ass in the pressbox for a game. But that would raise questions he’d have to answer, and some of them might be coming from the players themselves. No such thing happens with Bickell.

As I’ve said for all of the six seasons I’ve done this, you can’t criticize a player for his paycheck. It doesn’t have anything to do with his performance. Bickell didn’t put a gun to Stan’s head to give him that deal, and he very well may have gotten more elsewhere. While people say Bickell is replaceable, the Hawks didn’t have anyone in the system to step in and do what Bickell does. The closest was Jimmy Hayes, and you saw how that went. They could let Frolik go because Smith was ready to be a 4th liner with the parent club. Stalberg could go because Morin was ready to…. oh, right. Well, it works in theory.

It just feels like Q is taking it out on Bickell simply to do so. I don’t think it’s fair. We know what he is. Why does he suddenly have to be something else?

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    We seem to hit a skid every year encompassing games 48-57. This was the 9 game losing streak in 2012. Last year it coincided with us losing three straight to Scum in the playoffs. Game 58 started the comeback.

    If there’s anything to this, we have three more games of this shit, then BOOM. Last year saw us go 11-3 starting in game 58 against Scum, LA, and Beaney.

    • lizmcneill

      what about 2011? I remember a skid in 2010 but thought that was after the Olympics.

      • Bullitt315

        Pretty sure the 2010 skid was in March

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        In 2010-11 we were 3-6 in games 48-57

        • laaarmer

          wrong season,eh?

          How’d they do in the playoffs in the year you speak of? Isn’t that when VAN won the cup?

          • lizmcneill

            I was so fucking happy when Boston won it.

  • laaarmer

    Bickell is obviously not at even 80%. I see no big deal here, unless Q decided last minute to scratch him and didn’t give Stan a heads up on the fact that Kostka was going to play.

    Yeah, put Seabrook up in the box along with Kane, Toews, and Hossa. No matter what your beloved stats say. They flat out suck.

    • DatGlovehandTho

      The stats show Seabrook plays with Duncan Keith. The games show Seabrook could use a sit-down.

      Won’t happen though, as Sam says.

      • Bullitt315

        My Corsi Confirmation Bias stat strikes again.
        Progression of stats.
        Step 1. Does Corsi agree with my eye test? If yes, post corsi, if no proceed to step 2.
        Step 2. Does Corsi Close agree with my eye test? If yes, post Corsi close, if no proceed to step 3
        Step 3. Does Corsi Rel Agree with my eye test? If yes, post CorsI rel, if no proceed to step 4
        Step 4. Do any stats agree with my eye test? If yes, post. If no, disregard stats and cite eye test.

        • Paul the Fossil

          Say when did you become one of the writers here? Congrats!

        • Waylon

          “Tell your statistics to shut up.” – Charlie Brown

        • Why

          It beats Pension Plan Puppets. It’s the same steps, only replace “agree with my eye test” with “make team I cheer for look bad.”

          • lizmcneill

            Toronto generally don’t need help to look bad (except when the Hawks play them at home)

      • laaarmer

        Excuse me, but you are full of feces

      • 10thMountainFire

        Your eye test needs lasik.

  • DatGlovehandTho

    It’s not fair. And it’s stupid. And all I can do is hope that this ‘more’ Q keeps referencing in regards to Bickell is spelled out clearer to the player himself than it is to us.

    Because if all Bickell is getting is ‘we need more from you’, what the fuck is he supposed to do with that information? That’s like being handed a D- on a paper, and instead of being told what you did wrong and what you need to improve to get an A, the teacher says ‘fuck you, you figure it out’.

    I thought Bickell was under-performing when the season started, not because of production, but because he stayed to the perimeter. He’s not the most physical guy, but when he’s actually using his size to create space and draw defenders, he naturally opens up more space for his line-mates, which results in goals for them, and twists up defenses so that he cashes in here or there as well. That’s what happened in the playoffs (along with a great shooting percentage).

    When he came back from being benched the first time, I saw an immediate change. He was going hard to the net, his possession numbers were going up, he was much more noticeable on every shift. His defensive game wasn’t great, unfortunately, but he was doing what he needed to do to create… and then he was given fewer minutes and ultimately scratched as a reward for his obvious improvements.

    Stupid.

    • 10thMountainFire

      You have an interesting signature. I would change that. Reputation and such…

      • DatGlovehandTho

        What signature?

        • laaarmer

          I’m with….

  • hauss

    @NHLBlackhawks: The #Blackhawks have recalled forward Brandon Pirri from Rockford

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      Neat. When didbhe return from injury?

      • mad-hatter

        Just this weekend. Had two assists his first night back, but yesterday he played and apparently did well. I think the Hawks might have been waiting for him to get healthy for a call up.

        Not like Pirri is the be-all end-all (nor would Morin, if there were roster space for him too), but it gives Q flexibility he didn’t have before. (Kostka and Brookbank do not count.)

    • activestick

      Hey all we had to do was wait untill the Hawks were really looking bad to get Q to bring up Pirri. How bad would it have to get to get Morin up?

      • Waylon

        I’m afraid we would have to be facing Armeggedon to have that reality occur.

  • Commit88

    I agree with the article, but seriously if you get more money at work you are expected to step it up.

  • VerStig

    82 games (+postseason)… I have to imagine 82 NHL games will take much more of a toll on a player’s body than 82 NBA games.

    • laaarmer

      There is a lot of sex during the NBA season. Fatigue is a factor.

      • birdhead

        I heard last year’s Blackhawks had a tremendous amount of sex …

        • laaarmer

          Yes, they did. Frolik’s eyebrows are hard to resist.

          Ilaughed last night when he tried to beat Seabrook wide. Nearly did, but Seabs stopped him. Frolik took the shot from the goal line. Classic Frolik.

          • birdhead

            stop talking about Frolik. I miss him (and his precious eyebrows and penalty killing) too much already.

          • laaarmer

            He takes the wildest shots I have seen. It;s Crazy the shots he takes. Sharp is close, but he puts a few in.

          • birdhead

            rebounds man, rebounds. he has 10 goals and 17 assists this year. bicks has 7 and 3 but who’s counting (me ME I’M COUNTING)

            (also yes I know he gets to play in the Jets’ top 6 he wouldn’t be doing that if he was here but I still hate that trade with every damn fibre of my being)

          • laaarmer

            Bickell has had two knee surgeries and a wrist.

            Let’s scope Froliks knees and smash his wrist, pay him more money and have him just kill penalties. Come on now, you know it’s unfair. You would be screaming for more production from Frolik.

            Bickell will be back to form. But lets say he doesn’t ever. He helped them win a Stanley Cup and I will remember him. He was /is good at what he can do.

          • birdhead

            Well I think my point is that Frolik wasn’t due for a pay rise, is four years younger and didn’t have a known major injury when the organisation traded him away because they felt he was overpaid for his production. And if we’re going to be overpaying someone for their production, on the whole I’d rather it was one of my favourite players than one of your favourite players, basically.

            Anyway I do feel badly for Bicks and the criticism he’s getting. I didn’t mean to shit on him personally Inasmuch as anyone “deserves” to be paid what NHL players get paid, sure, he does. And Sam says accurately that it’s also not right to expect a guy in his late 20s to show something more than what he had been. But I question the roster decision that he represents.

            then again, in any other industry I would be revolted by the suggestion that you don’t rehire the guy who got injured working for your organisation … so never mind. MORALS!

          • Waylon

            Much as I love me some Fro – Fro, they really had no choice but to deal him and also our beloved Bolland. If they don’t manage the cap in this way, they’re hosed for the next few seasons. I don’t think anyone wants a repeat of the season after the first cup.

          • birdhead

            Versteeg is earning basically what Frolik was. Also, keep Frolik and let Bickell walk – no cap issues.

          • lizmcneill

            Fro’s contract is up this summer, though. He wouldn’t have needed as much of a raise with us as he’ll get from the Jets, but it probably would have been hard to get a good deal. It’s a better opportunity for him elsewhere (still sucks that he’s gone, though)

          • birdhead

            It wouldn’t have gone up to where Bickell’s is at now though, and it might not have gone up very much at all if his scoring had stayed where it was, which it probably would have with the Hawks.

          • Why

            Plus we have a potential man beast power forward for playoff time. It seems like it’s a bit early to give up on Bickell. Let’s not turn this benching into a lynching.

          • birdhead

            it’s not lynching (jesus, what a word to use to describe a multimillionaire getting criticised on a blog) to prefer Frolik to Bickell, come on.

          • Why

            It’s called hyperbole. I fully acknowledge that no one has literally considered getting a rope and hanging Bickell with it.

          • birdhead

            Even hyperbolically, it’s not what anyone’s doing to Bickell in this thread.

          • 1benmenno

            How about “this thread is administering a noogie” to Bickell?

          • birdhead

            I’ll allow it.

          • lizmcneill

            Sharpy operates on the “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” principle.

          • Preacher

            At our house we call Frolik “Eddie Munster.”

    • Bullitt315

      It depends on the player and I think basketball is rough enough where that isn’t obvious.

      • VerStig

        You’re right of course, some players can handle getting banged around better than others, whether it’s because of their style of play or their inherent durability.

        I did see this study a couple years ago ranking sports by how physically demanding they are — hockey comes in at #2, behind boxing: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sportSkills

        • Bullitt315

          I’m surprised it beat out football for #2.

          • Why

            You ever seen those studies on how little actual football is played? Training for football is hard. Football itself is not that demanding. Debilitating yes but not that demanding. Plus you have to factor in kickers and punters.

          • 1benmenno

            In the good old non-specialized days, guys like Bronco Nagurski, Lionel Conacher, and Jim Thorpe could play offense, defense, and kick.

          • 1benmenno

            Someone started to reply but stopped. I’m assuming my use of the Oxford comma was irritating.

        • 1benmenno

          According to stats derived from U.S. Consumer Produce Safety Commission, basketball causes more injuries than any other sport in America. I’ve also read that more fatalities result from basketball–from head injuries. (Ever jumped up for a rebound and been clipped at the knees? Hardwood is really hard. So is ice, but hockey lacks the leaping dimension.)

          • lizmcneill

            unless you’re Kaner celebrating a goal.

          • 1benmenno

            Hockey hugs have been known to hurt people.

          • lizmcneill

            Ryan O’Reilly this season.

    • 334Rules

      I just wanna know when you’re filing suit against Daft Punk, V/S. They have clearly infringed on your likeness, which itself was merely borrowed as an homage.

      • VerStig

        Some say…

    • chichicagochi

      Knees

  • Preacher

    3 things:
    With Q, we never know, but we also don’t know what he sees in practice (when he has them). He’s basing his decisions on SOMETHING. Clearly, it isn’t Corsi, possession stats, or even points. But he’s also won 8,000 games or something like that, so…he’s the boss.
    With Crow, I really do believe he is missing his former goalie coach. He loses his net more often and gives up that one bad goal a game. Last year, he commented that he needed to stay awake more. This year, that seems to be missing.
    With Bickell, while he is all that Sam said (and not much more), he also could use his size more and make things happen. He did it last playoffs and it worked pretty well. Injuries MUST be a part of what’s limiting him this year. And complacency.

    • Why

      You ever think that playoff time requires a different sort of player? That is, maybe a power forward is a little more valuable when the game gets a little bit closer checking?

      He hasn’t produced enough because of injury, recovering from injury or whatever reason. He got benched. No one has or should give up on him. He’s still got a shot, good hands and a big body.

      • Preacher

        I don’t believe I suggested giving up on him at all. I simply think he can play more like the guy we saw in last year’s playoffs. Though it should be noted that his linemates in the playoffs were a pretty skilled tandem. Could have something to do with his performance then.

        • Why

          I’m basically agreeing with you (although I think the playoff thing needs to be added). But Sam’s comments above make me think there are fans that have already decided the Bickell deal was terrible. I’m not aiming that comment at you.

          • Preacher

            All the talk during the playoffs (and I mean ALL the talk–it was mentioned on every broadcast by every announcer) was that Bicks was gone after the season because theethere was no way the Hawks could afford to keep him. When they signed him, it was called a bargain and hailed by most of us as a good thing. Now people want to see 10 goals in 20 games, just like in the playoffs. My guess is we will see it again, and it will be in the playoffs.

          • Why

            Remember when Edmonton was going to get Bickell and Stalberg? Edmonton could probably use Bickell and Stalberg.

          • birdhead

            Those guys play defense now?

          • Why

            Edmonton could use an actual power forward. Or a speed merchant. Or virtually anything.

            But yeah, D and Goalie are probably bigger concerns. Still though, they could use either one of those guys.

          • birdhead

            Edmonton has a shitload of big guys who bang the body and can’t score and plenty of their young superstars are good skaters. Bickell and Stalberg in particular would add nothing. Stalberg, specifically, is not the kind of guy who can change how his line plays.

          • lizmcneill

            They would totally trade for Bickell, though. (see cargo-cult acquisitions of Ference and Scrivens, attempts to lure in Clarkson who makes Bickell’s deal look fine). Problem is everyone they have is either Perron, one of the kids who’s been not-coached into an instant doghouse ticket, or Ben Eager types.

    • justforkicks

      I think he’s always been a bit eh in the regular season, and brings it in the playoffs. he’s been a bit worse this year though, likely due to his injury, so that does concern me about this post season.

  • laaarmer

    Have you all met the new cool guy? Try to get around to say hi.

    • 1benmenno

      There’s a new kid in town? I don’t want to hear about it

      • laaarmer

        Everybodys talkin

        • 1benmenno

          Nilssen Schmilssen. Everybody loves you, so don’t let them down

    • Accipiter

      No.

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

    This Seabrook fury, Sam … can you guys do a cover story? A few others have wondered, and Paul T. Fossil has asked … but the stats don’t bear out what you’re claiming about him, and because you guys often use the stats to commend/castigate others, it seems weird that you don’t in this case.

    I read the stats when posted here but don’t always hunt them down so I can’t say for certain just now … but is it your claim that Seabrook appears good statistically only because he’s paired with Keith? The complaints about him seem always to be really visceral, but I haven’t seen very many numbers alongside that bile.

    Yours sincerely,
    Keith Seabrook

    • Waylon

      maybe it’s from the hangover from last season, when Seabs “looked” less than himself for much of the season and the playoffs. I don’t care, he’s not going anywhere.

    • Z-man19

      And I’ve been calling you Chico all this time, what the hell?

    • Paul the Fossil

      And by the way “Paul T. Fossil” is going onto my next business cards, thank you sir.

    • VerStig

      Talking up your older brother?

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

        Not talking him up so much as I don’t like seeing him get picked on. You always look out for family. Our parents instilled that in us.

  • bennicksic

    I’m afraid the Crawford deal is going to cost us cups. No mobility, no glove, and no urgency to get him out of there. Raanta should be taking a lot more starts, not that he is a world beater, but the rest may do Crawford some good. Last year, emery got a good amount of starts and it helped keep both goalies fresh.

    It’s gotta be frustrating to put 20 shots on goal to the opponents 2 shots and then crow let’s a soft one in. It’s been the formula for many games this year. The defense tires out and can’t keep Crawfords glaring weaknesses unexposed like they did last year.

    • Why

      I get the fear (we don’t get to play so we have to worry) but Crawford has won cups so far. 2011 was capocalypse. 2012 was Smith. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until he doesn’t deserve it.

      There’s only a few world beaters in the league. And we’ve beat them. I’m happy to have “solid” in net.

      • bennicksic

        I put 2012 on Crawford more than smith. Too many softies against Phoenix. And really, I don’t think being in the bottom 20′s in gaa, sve percentage, as well as not having any shutouts despite real low shots on goal totals in almost every start is solid. The problem is getting worse and it doesn’t seem to have a solution.

        The part that sucks is there were just trades out there for scrivens, dubnyk, and one other whose name escapes me. Should have stuck with the philosophy of building from the defense out.

        • birdhead

          You want Dubnyk? You want basically untested Scrivens, whose best numbers came in front of the LA Kings, who – i don’t know if you’ve noticed – have a way of making goalies look really damn great?

          • bennicksic

            I put that out there to say there were options. Are they better? Who knows, emery did really well on this team and now look at him.

          • birdhead

            Players who are worse than Crawford (Dubnyk) or untested (Scrivens) aren’t really options though. This is like advocating trading Bickell for, IDK, John Scott. I’m sure you could do the trade but he wouldn’t actually be an improvement.

            (Although I wouldn’t mind Scrivens OR Bernier, although I think the Leafs trade Reimer first, don’t they? But it’s not going to happen. Look at the roster.)

          • lizmcneill

            We HAVE an untested goalie already. He’s Finnish and has a cheerful personality. I’m not ready to anoint him an NHL starter yet.

          • The_FFF

            Which seems like an oxymoron, but he seems like such a charming kid.

          • 1benmenno

            plus Raanta could win a James Reimer look-a-like contest

          • bennicksic

            Those trades would need to be looked at more than just looking at numbers. Skill set and ability mean lots more. Emery played damn well for the hawks statwise but isn’t getting exposed in Philly without a good defense in front of him. Crawford should be doing a lot better than he is on this team. He isn’t the only problem, don’t get me wrong, but he is a problem

          • birdhead

            You are the one advocating for a “TRADE SOMETHING” response to goaltending. You’re criticising Stan for not making a goaltending move. Fine. Suggest a move he should have made. Talk about the roster consequences of that decision. Don’t start with Dubnyk.

          • bennicksic

            Nah. I was saying in retrospect, these others guys could have been got. I’m thinking no trade will happen now that a $36 million deal has been signed. Hopefully, it won’t screw us for the window that’s open now.

          • birdhead

            Yes, they could have been got, but what would have happened to the Hawks roster and what exactly would Devan Freaking Dubnyk offer that Crawford-Raanta aren’t? I’ll hang up and listen

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

            Just to play devil’s advocate here, bird, I think it’s completely valid to lament Crawford’s contract. I lament that contract. I like him lots, but that extension was really questionable, I thought.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I like Crawford a lot. I also do not like his contract (mostly due to his age) but can see where it’s just about market value in 2-3 years. Further, he’s a tradeable commodity at that point should we desire to move him.

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

            Valid pointz. If he’s set to be traded, though, and costs someone 6 million to take him, the return would not be very grand. Wouldn’t be chump change, but it wouldn’t be drool-worthy either. Still, just don’t know why Stan put himself in the position to potentially be in that position.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Unless Uncle Dale is perusing Craigslist for a starting netminder, we’d likely have to provide some cash to ease the cap hit… but anyone looking for a 32-33 y/o Crow would likely be in a position where they had quite a bit of cap room and a young team. A Stanley Cup winning goaltender would be a big boon to the franchise.

            There’s always an Edmonton, a Isle, and a Calgary looking for a goaltender.

          • lizmcneill

            Note that it’s slightly front-loaded. A cap floor team might like 6,6 cap hit for 10M of Crow in goal for 2 years.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Great point.

          • birdhead

            I don’t like his deal and I’m pretty sure I said so when he signed it. But that’s a separate issue as to whether Stan has been idly standing by while Devan Dubnyk (!) was, you know, *snapped up*.

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

            Ahh. Yes, no, that’s true. Bryz was available?

          • birdhead

            he sure was. thanks for *not* signing Bryz, Stan.

          • lizmcneill

            Khabi though.

          • birdhead

            yyyeeeeeah. yeah. good point.

        • Why

          I’m guessing your other dude is (or should be) Bernier.But I know the Blackhawks can win a cup with Crawford. I’m against the trade and hope philosophy.

          • bennicksic

            Would have been tough to get bernier but man. We would be sitting pretty right now if they had

          • Why

            Fuck that. I’ve seen enough goalies struggle in new situations to not believe that they are just plug and play. We’ve got one. We didn’t have one before. Good enough for me.

          • mad-hatter

            Yeah we’d be in like first instead of second wow.

          • bennicksic

            And once st Louis wins one of the three games they have in hand, we will be second and lined up to play Colorado instead of Minnesota. Guess that’s not a big deal to you like it is to me.

          • lizmcneill

            Apparently we can’t beat Minnesota this year, so….

            I’m done picking playoff matches. Remember Phoenix was going to be easy? Remember we wanted Scum and they nearly did us in?

          • bennicksic

            That Minnesota series last year was barely playoff hockey. I’ll take that over an avs team that has handled us in many of the last meetings.

          • lizmcneill

            We’ve lost 3 times to Minnesota in regulation this year. We have no idea what the Avs will do in the playoffs because they haven’t been in the playoffs since MacKinnon was in kindergarten.

          • Accipiter

            MacKinnon was in kindergarten in 2008 ?

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

            He’s projected as a Calder candidate for 2021.

          • lizmcneill

            Exaggeration for effect.

          • Why

            It made playing hockey less stressful.

          • mad-hatter

            Honestly I’d still choose Scum again because I am crazy.

          • Why

            It would mean we’re in the finals. And somehow playing Detroit. I agree.

          • mad-hatter

            Well I just meant last year. But yeah I would do that match up too.

          • Why

            Last year was fun in retrospect. Here’s your Game 7 overtime loss and ticket to the other conference. Enjoy watching the parade.

          • mad-hatter

            it was just great playoff hockey, even if I felt like vomiting for a week straight, and then like setting things on fire after Hammer’s goal was waved off.

          • mad-hatter

            Yeah, it’s really not.

          • Why

            I think we’re being confused with soccer fans.

          • mad-hatter

            Being in the playoffs suck. And you know regular season records totally determine how teams do in the post season.

    • lizmcneill

      He’s been .918 during the January suckage. You’d think that would get him more than 2 wins.

      • bennicksic

        Doesn’t matter. The league is too competitive to give up a soft goal every single game. My point being that the signing was against all that the bowmans have stood for. All the people complaining that bickell should have had to prove himself in another season are also using words like “solid” to describe Crawford. He also should have had to prove himself in more than a 30 game (emery played 18) season.

        • lizmcneill

          Who’s saying Bickell should have had to prove himself for another season? He was a UFA, he’d have been gone.

          • Why

            I’m with you. You have to pay for potential in that league or never have any talent.

      • mad-hatter

        Wait I want to here more about how the defense tires out. I bet they like Raanta better and are more motivated to get up and score some goals when he’s in net.

        • mad-hatter

          yep it’s totally proven the team shoots 3% better with Raanta. It’s totally Crow’s fault no one but Bollig and Hossa can get a goal these days.

          • justforkicks

            You should have started your post with “THIS”

          • mad-hatter

            I am so angry I can’t upboat this more than once.

      • mad-hatter

        The weird thing is that Crawford has a .923 ES save percentage while Raanta is actually .910% but Crawford sucks I don’t understand!!!

  • birdhead

    Good news! the Hurricanes are down 2-0 to the Blue Jackets!

    • justforkicks

      Go Canes! They (and Semin particularly) have been doing much better as of late, right?

      • birdhead

        they’re on a three-game winning streak which just *happens* to coincide with another streak …

        • justforkicks

          ah got it. i don’t think they are too far out of the playoff race. be cool if they made it, along with the islanders.

          • birdhead

            idiotic superstitions aside, yeah I’d love to see them make the playoffs, and if they win today they’ll be third in the metro. they’re also not that far out of a wild-card spot. The metro is just so close at the moment that putting together a couple of wins in a row can move a team up pretty quickly.

          • justforkicks

            good to know. I check in on the rankings every now and then, but I really haven’t been paying attention to any team other then the hawks – not even the rangers.

            Hopefully with Semin and EStaal are both hoping right now and going forward – I’m assuming they are on the same line? I thought he had some injuries (that he was playing through), so was surprised to hear the coach (I think) talking about how he’s underperforming to the media.

    • DatGlovehandTho

      The Hurricanes have come back to lead 3-2 with very little time left.

      • birdhead

        And they hung on to win it, on goals by all the Staals. On the one hand: yay, Carolina’s in the playoffs, that’s pretty cool. on the other hand, now the Hawks are gonna lose tomorrow. That stinks.

        Oof. The GCL preview? “Flames host floundering Blackhawks.” Floundering? :(

        • Accipiter

          And if the Hawks win tomorrow ?

          • birdhead

            I just saw that the Canes also play tomorrow. So I’ll hold off on my prognosticating until that game’s over.

        • DatGlovehandTho

          3 in 20 is kinda floundering, no?

          At least we have hope. There are teams out there that can only shrug when their teams lose… we know our team can do much, much better.

  • BestPredsForward

    This freakout is wonderful. I remember when I being 7 years old during the 2000-01 season being really happy when thought 3 game WINNING streaks by the Blackhawks (and the Bulls) were a big deal. Now 3 game losing streaks are a big freakout. And that’s amazing because the 7 years 1998-2005 were an eternity for a child. Now I finally have a team where even a small losing streak is unacceptable :)

    Bulls note: I was ages 2-4 during the 2nd 3-peat, and my only specific memory is the final ten seconds of 1998. While the other 4 Chicago organizations have finally entered the 21st century,the Bulls still play “That’s what I like about you” in the 4th quarter. I’m 20 years old and people around my age and younger are forgetting why they liked the Bulls in the first place. If they don’t turn it around, it could be a slow decline back to 1999.

    • Why

      I love visiting the board when I get nervous and then taking a step back. Here are the general complaints:

      1. I would like a different checking line winger.
      2. I would like young guys to get a larger chance.
      3. I wish our goalie was a Vezina candidate instead of just pretty good.

      We cheer for a good team.

      • birdhead

        how could you forget the interminable second-line centre woes.

        • Why

          I include that in 2 because that’s generally how it goes from my perspective. All hail our untested but highly skilled overlords, Pirri/Teuvo. Experience is for losers (except for all the times the Hawks have won with experienced guys).

      • Lobster

        Obviously stats don’t tell the complete story because shots have different quality and backup goalies play lesser quality teams, but take a look at the top 30 goalies in save percentage.

        That is why you don’t pay goalies 36 million over 6 years.

        • Why

          Remember when we let our goalie go and didn’t really have a viable option for two years? That wasn’t fun. I’d rather not have to do it again with Raanta (or Bernier or Scrivens, or Dubnyk).

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

            One of those options that wasn’t viable, though (if we disallow a post factum evaluation), did win us a Cup.

          • Lobster

            Trying to defend Crawford by saying he wasn’t a viable option for the Blackhawks for 2 years is a strange way of going about it.

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

            My own comment … I was referring to Niemi.

          • Accipiter

            The Hawks will never win a Cup with Niemi in net.

            – laaarmer

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

            Haaa.

          • laaarmer

            and they won’t

          • Why

            It’s the truth. But for two years he wasn’t a guy you could win a cup with. And I don’t want to give up two more years of Sharp, Toews, Hossa (hopefully) and Kane to start the process again.

          • 10thMountainFire

            The beauty of it is that if Raanta continues to develop at the pace the consensus here agrees is a sharp upward trajectory, we’ll have a great back-up/injury insurance policy in Crow by 2015.

          • 1benmenno

            Breaker 1-4: I’ve missed you, good buddy.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Copy all. I love your musk.

          • 1benmenno

            Looks like there’s gonna be a convoy–off a giant cliff.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I went back and read some things. ‘Wow’ is sufficient for most of it.

          • 1benmenno

            Copy that. The bears are thick in these woods.

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

            fingers crossed, yep

          • 1benmenno

            I’ll cross my legs, if it helps.

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

            Your sacrifice is duly noted.

          • Lobster

            Personally, I thought he was great in 2010-2011.

            I understand the Blackhawks logic, as they sort of wrote off his 2nd year as a sophomore slump. I again go back to the inconsistency of the position, though. As much as 6 mil is becoming a much less painful cap hit, it’s still tough to swallow given how goalies appear and disappear so quickly in this league.

          • Why

            I guess. But finding a goalie might be even harder than hoping a goalie stays good.

          • Lobster

            There’s certainly more risk, but imagine if they brought in a guy like Nielsen. You turn that 6 mil into a more uncertain 3 mil and you can afford to do something like that. There are pros and cons. I’m in favor of spending as little money as possible in net within reason.

          • Why

            If we were playing a video game, I’d totally be with you. But if Nielsen doesn’t work out, you’ve got a 3 million dollar back up. If it isn’t broke, don’t break it.

          • Lobster

            The difference being that we don’t know if it’s broke because of the inconsistency of the position. For all you know the Blackhawks may end up with a 6 million dollar backup.

            Ask the Penguins, ask the Coyotes, ask the Blues.

          • Lobster

            I remember that Crawford was the not viable option you’re talking about.

            Bernier has been a stud, by the way.

          • lizmcneill

            I remember we had Huet and Bulin 1.0. Erg.

          • Why

            That also sucked.

        • lizmcneill

          and how much are those kids going to ask for when they see Lundqvist getting 8M and guys like Howard and Crow and Lehtonen getting 5.5M-6M, and Steve Fucking Mason with 4M? (As a fucking RFA, why is Philly so utterly dumb).
          I’d prefer Crow’s contract as a couple years shorter, but I don’t think it’s a disaster.

          • Lobster

            Steve Mason was a UFA. I don’t think it’s a disaster; I just think the inconsistency of the position is such that the Blackhawks didn’t need to make a big commitment there. One year Craig Anderson and Sergei Bobrovsky are having vezina years, the next year it’s Jonathan Bernier and Ben Bishop.

            Corey is fine though. I’m not suggesting he isn’t a worthy starter or anything.

          • lizmcneill

            No, he was due to be RFA at the end of this season:

            http://capgeek.com/player/622

            Market value for a middle-of-the-pack starter does seem to be around 5-6M for about 5 years. Maybe you get him for 30M if you time it just right, but unless you roll the dice with a kid you keep Crow (or find yourself trading for someone older, on an expiring deal and looking for the same money, who you have to give up assets to get)

          • Lobster

            Entry status: RFA

            Expiry status: UFA

          • lizmcneill

            For the new deal. Look at this year’s one-year deal.

          • Lobster

            *facepalm*

            I really thought he was a UFA. You’re so dumb Holmgren!

          • lizmcneill

            Homer is probably part of the expensive-goalie problem. Talk about Crow getting paid for a small sample? Mason has had like 5 months of his career where he was above league average, and the rest way below.

    • 10thMountainFire

      The difference being Rose’s injury, should it happen to Toews or Kane, could do the same to us. It can all evaporate in an instant.

      Stan’s management of the cap, the farm’s development of talent like Saad, and Q’s adjustments to changing personnel has made the difference. The two organizations (Bulls and Hawks) are examples of how luck can truly alter the destiny of a franchise.

  • Lobster

    I haven’t been reading too much of you guys lately, but this was a great article.

    Couldn’t agree more about Bickell. I really think the constant forcing of the stretch pass hurts this team a lot at times. Especially against the Wings it was a real problem, and it seems to often be a problem against them.

    I’m fairly sure you guys here hate when Q mixes up the lines, but I think it’s time for a mix up. I’ve always been for trying different things in the regular season so when the playoffs roll around you have different options that you are comfortable with. I say it’s time to blend them up and see what comes out. Obviously within reason though. I don’t want to see Toews centering Bollig and Kruger or something like that.

  • BestPredsForward

    Was Brian Campbell also scapegoated by either Q or the media, or was it just the drunk guys in the 300 level who were screaming, “CAMPBELLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!” throughout the game. And were there scapegoats in the 90s too?

    • Fleshrifle

      Fans were the scapegoats in the 90s

  • 1benmenno

    OT: listen to some Brian Eno. Another Green World. Or Songs For Airports. It has a calming effect. Combine it with the pharmaceutical of your choice and you’ll have a comfortably numbing cocktail almost as good as Stacy’s koolaid.

  • Lobster

    Always nice chatting with you folks. I’m not a meat head, I swear! I want to save money for Toews and Kane’s monster extensions.

    • 1benmenno

      I heard they were not extraordinary in their endowments.

      • lizmcneill

        Kaner’s such a little dude it’s all in the proportions, you know?

        • Accipiter

          That ain’t how it works.

          • 1benmenno

            That would explain Bickell’s pickle.

          • mad-hatter

            slightly concerned you have information on Bickell’s pickle

          • 1benmenno

            Imagine how worried Bally b is.

          • Z-man19

            You should be concerned about ben in general anyway

          • 1benmenno

            If you’re so concerned, help me with my taxes. You all seem expert in matters budgetary.

          • Z-man19

            Yeah, I’ve got the cap down pat. I recommend Turbo Tax, Z’s tax service will land you in prison

          • mad-hatter

            He seems to have a lot of knowledge about the Thortoning machinery of the Hawks players and I really hope this is a consensual thing, okay.

          • 1benmenno

            I get Susanna Collins’ tweets. If you know what I mean.

          • 1benmenno

            Coz I don’t

          • mad-hatter

            Forget bally, ben, now I’m worryd.

          • 1benmenno

            One pill makes you larger, and the other makes you small. Pick the first one.

          • mad-hatter

            Do I get to choose where I get larger because that just sounds like a gamble.

          • 1benmenno

            You too raise a good point.

          • Z-man19

            That ^ is damn funny

          • Fleshrifle

            Thortoning requires no machinery…typically

          • 1benmenno

            Fleshrifle raises a point.

          • Fleshrifle

            I see what you did there…and it’s true

          • 1benmenno

            You seem to have good bead on things.

          • Z-man19

            Stop it right there

          • Fleshrifle

            Trying to shake things up?

          • mad-hatter

            Sometimes mutual Thortoning can be really fun with some added machinery.

          • Fleshrifle

            Sometimes?! 60% of the time it works everytime.

          • Z-man19

            So Kane is better than Toews you say?

          • mad-hatter

            MAYBE THEY’RE JUST BOTH REALLY GOOD AT DIFFERENT THINGS AND THAT WHEN TOGETHER THEY MAKE MAGIC.

            And everyone loves magic okay :(

          • Z-man19

            With or without machinery

          • mad-hatter

            If all parties are cool with it…

          • 1benmenno

            are you talking about “marital aids”? Because I’m against marriage.

          • mad-hatter

            Well then they can be non-marital aids.

          • 1benmenno

            Living-in-sin aids?

          • Fleshrifle

            I like to call them “The Will To WIn” Toys

          • 1benmenno

            I’d like to see the fancy stats on their efficacy. Keep your Corsi close; and keep your Fenwick closer.

          • Fleshrifle

            I usually start in the offensive zone….

          • 1benmenno

            Lucky man. I mean, PDO – guy.

          • lizmcneill

            Kaner would totally work any optical illusions he can get.

          • mad-hatter

            Are you implying that Kaner uses bronzer and highlighter

          • lizmcneill

            Well, maybe since Toews blew the gaff re his tanning bed habits (NO, Kaner. You are 80% Irish by weight, your genetic destiny is “slightly translucent”. Please do not give yourself skin cancer.)

          • 1benmenno

            He could be third member of “Pale Force”, starring Jim Gaffigan and Conan O’Brien.

          • mad-hatter

            If Kaner ever went tanning I’d have to say he should get his money back because I’ve never seen his skin tone past “maybe south of the arctic circle.”

          • lizmcneill

            Either it was a Toews/Sharpy trolling effort, or someone pulled the plug on the machine to save him from himself. So Irish, seriously.

          • mad-hatter

            He’s probably so Irish his skin probably repels all UV rays. As someone who could out pale the moon I kinda understand.

          • lizmcneill

            I’m like that. I don’t really burn because I’m not a redhead (Kaner is a little that way though), but I take forever to get any brown.

          • mad-hatter

            I get my SPF 70 on and stay outside for eight days straight, get a little tan, and people still think I could go outside. C’est la vie, man.

          • lizmcneill

            I am perfectly genetically adapted for a small island at the latitude of Newfoundland where it rains 300 days a year!

          • 1benmenno

            Are you from Newfoundland? Or from a small island latitudinally similar? Sorry liz, I forgot

          • lizmcneill

            Ireland’s 50+ degrees north. It’s warmer than equivalent Canada because of the Gulf Stream. Very damp though.

          • 1benmenno

            Ireland. Now I remember. I’ve been to Newfoundland but never to Ireland. I was amazed how relatively warm Newfoundland is in the winter. Summer, sunny as it was, never quite warmed up enough for me. June: icebergs in St. John’s harbour. Could be this is normal. Or maybe the Arctic ice is migrating south.

          • The_FFF

            You saw the sun in Newfoundland during the summer? Consider yourself lucky! Icebergs in June, though – much more normal. :)

          • 1benmenno

            Sunny but windy. Only teenagers were stupid enough to walk around jacketless.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Good seeing you around again. Don’t make it the exception.

    • lizmcneill

      That’s when we trade Bickell, of course. (get them signed first, then trade people.)

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

      That’s what ALL the meatheads say.

      • Lobster

        Trade Crawford and sign Hasek to play goal!!!

        • 1benmenno

          Tretiak’s still alive, isn’t he?

          • Z-man19

            Is he your age?

          • Lobster

            If he was, then I’d say we should definitely sign him. I’m 21.

          • Lobster

            I was joking about trading Crawford and signing Hasek, by the way.

          • 1benmenno

            I wasn’t kidding./Kidding.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Signing Hasek is a great move if it’s to coach Raanta.

          • 1benmenno

            I like it. Except how does one teach what Hasek does or did?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Raanta appears to be channeling Dominik Rinne or Pekka Hasek. It’s a gift.

          • 1benmenno

            Call me crazy, but I love Finnish goalies for some reason.

          • 1benmenno

            But Hasek is Czech?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Yes. He has good blood.

          • 1benmenno

            Let’s not forget the Slovaks. Together, Slovaks and Czechs, have done great things. Even if they end tragically. See Kubis and Gabcik and Operation Anthropoid.

          • 10thMountainFire

            My Bohemian blood praises you.

          • Fleshrifle

            YOU CRAZY….. And Finnish goalies rock. Remember, the 3 zones of great goaltending in no particular order…Montreal, Finland and LA

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m a big Rinne fan. Also Raanta. Also, Niemi.

          • Z-man19

            You sir, suck. I’m 40ish, ben is fossil-ish

          • 1benmenno

            I eat fossils for breakfast, boychik.

          • Z-man19

            Explains all the noise when you’re in the think tank

          • 1benmenno

            I have no idea what that means and yet I laugh.

          • Z-man19

            That makes two of us

          • 10thMountainFire

            ‘Think tank’ has an entirely different meaning in my field. But it’s got a filthy appeal in yours.

          • Z-man19

            There is nothing filthy about a properly executed BM and if you don’t have kids, you can’t fully appreciate the peace and serenity of 5-10 minutes alone in the think tank

          • 1benmenno

            How many bathrooms you got buddy? How many kids?

          • Z-man19

            4 tanks (I’ll only use 3 of them), 3 kids

          • 1benmenno

            No refuge off to the side of the master bedroom?

          • Z-man19

            Yes, but I generally use the one furthest from wherever the kids are

          • 1benmenno

            Your life sounds like a Louis CK routine.

          • Z-man19

            If that means a state of semi-chaos, yes

          • 1benmenno
  • wowwowweewoo

    With Pirri up again, I hope we get some shuffling. I would be in favor of
    Saad-Toews-Kane
    Sharp-Pirri-Hossa (with soft starts)
    Bicks-Zues-Steeg
    Shaw-Krugs-Smith

    • 10thMountainFire

      I would prefer Zus to 4th with Kruger and Shaw to third. I’m unsure as to how to keep Versteeg involved in that scenario, however.

      • Fleshrifle

        Shaw Zus Bicks (sandpaper line)

        Smith Kruger Steeg (bumslayer line)

        • Z-man19

          Flip that and I’m in

          • Fleshrifle

            sckib suz wahs

            geets regurk htims

            Don’t see how that helps!??

          • Z-man19

            Nice badgerdano

          • 1benmenno

            Brill.

          • Fleshrifle

            I’m not worthy to be in that discussion but thanks

        • 2883

          Oh cute, you guys are still pretending that Bollig isn’t going to be in the lineup… ;)

          • Fleshrifle

            My glue huffing problem hasn’t gone away yet

          • 2883

            Bastard! You’re doing glue again without me?

          • Fleshrifle

            But if Bicks needs a bit of a break during this 6 game stretch…our St.Louis sniper can take a few of the back to backs…

            And let’s be honest…you tend to bogart the glue pretty hard

          • 2883

            I do my rotations like Bryan Bickell with the puck on his stick from 40 ft. Fire away.

        • 10thMountainFire

          I love Kruger as the third line centerman. Zus’ legs get more rest on the fourth. Steeg and Shaw bookending Kruger is sexy. Smith on the third line is intriguing as well.

          • lizmcneill

            Can Q do without his checking line blanket though?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Good question. I am also intrigued by a Bickell/Smith bookending of Kruger on the third. If Versteeg is next in the box for nap time, I’d love to see Smith moved up and Bickell back in his natural position on the third.

            A rush to the Toews/Kane line for Travis could be great and it could be disastrous.

          • Fleshrifle

            I do like the thought of Steeg leading breakaways on the 4th line. Granted, the D will drive you nuts though.

  • 2883

    We needed depth at C, Pirri should help provide that. Zus to the box likely Pirri to the ice

  • 2883

    Lines IMO.
    10-19-81
    20-65-88
    29-37-23
    52-16-28

    Rinse wash Qpeat

    • Z-man19

      The 2nd line needs a new look, swap Shaw and Pirri

      • 2883

        Nah, Pirri’s more protected on the 3rd, it’ll benefit his development and actually add some scoring touch to a line that has badly needed a playmaker

        • 10thMountainFire

          Pirri is not a third line C in Q’s system. Ever.

          • 2883

            The 3rd is the bumslayer line in this case.
            The 4th your favorite line has been our shutdown line (52-16-28)

          • 10thMountainFire

            Sure, but down the stretch and in the post season? Zus back to 2C more than likely. That leaves Pirri on the fourth, not the third. Kruger is the third C.

          • 2883

            Zus might get Kim Johnsson’d if he doesn’t be careful

          • 10thMountainFire

            Not a chance.

          • 2883

            Kruger gets most of the D zone starts that 52.16.28 is all about the D-zone…

          • 10thMountainFire

            Sure, but given his offensive upside and his f/o dominance (!), I think he’s rotated to third for a series against Colorado, for example. You want Zus on the third line against that speed? No.

          • 2883

            The 3rd line is the most protected line, it’d be out there against guys like Cody McLeod and whatever the bumfuck Avshave on that line

          • 10thMountainFire

            In that case, Bicks/Kruger/Shaw

          • 2883

            Meh, which leaves Bollig whom and Smith on our shutdown line?

          • 10thMountainFire

            If Bollig is playing, we maximize his production on the fourth, obviously. Pairing him with Smith and Zus in the middle does not make me crazy. I could handle that.

          • 2883

            That line is too slow to shut anyone down. You do realize that the 4th line is playing more minutes than the 3rd line at this point right?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Yes, but that is unlikely to happen in the playoffs.

          • 2883

            I don’t see why. Top six might steal some of the shutdowns minutes but Q rolls all 4 lines in rotation…

          • 10thMountainFire

            This is true.

          • mad-hatter

            I don’t see why not. In 2013, when Q had Bolly with Frolik and Kruger, they were essentially the fourth checking line, while Saad/Shaw/Stalberg bum slayed but received less time. I don’t see Q changing this anytime soon unless Bickell/whoever/Versteeg start putting up large numbers.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I think Q has Zus back on the second in the back of his mind. This impacts how he slots Kruger but yes, I agree that recent Q-ovements indicate a bigger shutdown role for the fourth. How long until Parise glides past Bollig does that fourth line remain a thing in the post-season, though?

          • mad-hatter

            If Zus is back on the second than Hossa should be there too. We won the Cup with Kane back on Toews’ line, and that’s oft forgotten when people defend Zus’ being there.

            That’s my question too. Bollig may be fine now, but how will he be in the post season, when the third and fourth lines need to pick up the scoring because the first and second lines often cancel each other out? This is why I hope Morin and Pirri are here after the deadline and get as much time as possible so that Q has options, and that he learns to give the third line some more ice time.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Very well stated/typed.

          • justforkicks

            That was so great. But Bollig. Ugh seeing him on the ice in the final minutes of the game or in key situations gives me heartburn

          • lizmcneill

            Kruger has been the third C by TOI for a few games now. The erstwhile 3rd is a sheltered secondary scoring/bumslayer line, now composed of doghouse residents mostly.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Dogface line?

          • Z-man19

            We need to drop the 3rd line=checking line, it hasn’t been for some time now

          • 10thMountainFire

            See my comment below.

          • Z-man19

            Saw it, you may be correct, but we aren’t there yet

          • 10thMountainFire

            I think this is a bridge/band-aid solution and it likely gets some ice time but in the end, Zus is back to 2C. Saad was somewhat doghoused during the post season.

            /Leddy’d

        • Z-man19

          Swap 81 and 88, give Pirri more D, we’ve seen what Shaw can do at 2C, give Pirri a go, like 10 games and see what happens

    • DatGlovehandTho

      I get the notion of wanting to ease Pirri in slowly, but I feel like he’s not going to be able to make an impact on the bottom 6 because that’s not really his game. He’s an offensive guy, so pair him with offensive guys.

      I would put him with Kane and Saad and see what happens.

      • 2883

        Steeger and Bickell are both 20 G guys at their peaks.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Peaks? I think Bickell could find a season or two with 25+.

          • 2883

            Were you too huffing glue without me? I’m going to develop a complex.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Versteeg is definitely capable of potting 25 or more, if his injuries don’t inhibit it. His speed is diminished due to the knee injury and that has taken away large parts of his effectiveness, especially as a top six player. But he’s still able to hit 20. Or maybe he is turned into a PKer extraordinaire. Q seems to be able to do that with malleable guys.

        • DatGlovehandTho

          Yes, and if Pirri were joining them at a relative peak in their play, I would be more inclined to go this route.

          Honestly, putting Pirri on a line with Bickell just means he’s not going to play more than 10 minutes a game.

          • 10thMountainFire

            In what world is Pirri a third line centerman?

          • DatGlovehandTho

            I’m the one saying I wouldn’t put him on the 3rd line…

          • 2883

            In the one where the 3rd line has been the most protected line all season and he needs a bit of protection.

          • 2883

            That line needs a playmaker… someone to control the puck and allow Bickell to play below the net, I actually really think that Pirri would complement them well.. that said, All I have is an opinion and an asshole.. and no one probably wants to see either

          • DatGlovehandTho

            Your opinions and reasoning are solid. I’m just voicing my anxieties over that particular combination.

            Not like it matters. Anything that we brainstorm would be blended into irrelevance by the second period.

    • Fleshrifle

      And blend.

      • 2883

        You want blend?!? NO SOUP FOR YOU

  • laaarmer

    I thought I told you all what the lines would be. Don’t any of you pay attention?

    Here they are again.

    Kane Toews Sharp
    Hossa Pirri Saad
    Versteeg Kruger Smith
    Bollig Handzus Shaw

    When Bickell can play

    Kane Toews Sharp
    Hossa Pirri Saad
    Versteeg Kruger Bickell
    Smith Handzus Shaw

    Right. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

    /bradhamilton’d

    • 10thMountainFire

      Man, that’s sexy.

    • 2883

      other than the fact that you have the order going from right to left… it’s not unpossible that it ends up that way

      • laaarmer

        i never liked you.

        use a mirror.

        • 2883

          I tried, I look ugly in it and it hurts my feelings…. More than you saying you never liked me

          • laaarmer

            I broke out the Vodka and Tonic since these fucking kids will never have school again.

            They won the trophy in 2010 with the V and T. I’m all in now.

          • 2883

            I was on a Irish Whiskey – beer – Bourbon is for closers regimen

          • laaarmer

            Absolut Citron and Schweppes tonic with Lemon.

            It’s very refreshing, and Chi used to like it. Trixie too, I think.

          • 2883

            If I’m drinking vodka, it’s all about the Goose. And it’s Goose on the rocks with a lime twist.

          • laaarmer

            Nice.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You suck at drinking.

          • laaarmer

            DUCK!

          • 10thMountainFire

            His aim is terrible this time of night.

          • 2883

            It’s liquor you drink it… easy

          • Fleshrifle

            Only with a straw

          • Accipiter

            Straight Cîroc vodka for me.

          • laaarmer

            In small glasses or big glasses?

            Do you throw the glass at the fireplace?

          • Accipiter

            Medium glasses. And I don’t drink enough to throw things.

          • 1benmenno

            Was Trixie always the delicate flower she appeared to be?

          • laaarmer

            I doubt it

          • Bullitt315

            Almost got a downboat cause I read losers instead of closers 5 times. My brain couldn’t comprehend.

          • 2883

            Hah. No i was drinking a cheap bottle of single barrel though. Elmer T Lee?

    • DatGlovehandTho

      I doubt that Q is going to massive change to the second line AND the first line in the same game.

      I would like to see Saad Pirri and Hossa together, because Hossa provides some defensive awareness and Saad is a monster on the forecheck.

      But I think Hossa is staying on the top line with Sharp and Toews for at least a few more games.

      I think Saad – Pirri – Kane is the best case scenario out of the gate.

      • birdhead

        I think a lot of people doubt that Q is going to massive change to the second line AND the first line in the same game.

        Which is sort of silly. Surely the best way to replace players in the top 6 is with other top 6 players.

        • DatGlovehandTho

          It is, but I think the top line has to be cold for a longer period before he messes with it. It’s been the one constant all year, I see it being the last thing he touches.

          • 10thMountainFire

            What? Q has run DDN and Red Wedding to play hot hands.

          • DatGlovehandTho

            What’s DDN? Or red wedding… I mean, I guess it’s a Game of Thrones reference?

            Anyway, the ‘what?’ implies you disagree that the line has been a constant. I disagree. I think Q has played Toews with Kane for a shift or two here or there, but certainly nothing significant since the Sharp/Toews/Hossa combo was put together.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Yes, Game of Thrones. Though I’ve never seen it.

            And now you understand.

            /Laaarmer’d

          • DatGlovehandTho

            You should see it. Or read it.

            Just uh… the red wedding is not for the weak stomached.

          • 10thMountainFire

            My stomach is solid. But I only read Dr. Seuss.

          • Z-man19

            One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish

          • 2883

            I would not could not in a boat…

          • Z-man19

            Different book

          • 2883

            I know but I liked GE&H more than 1F2FRFBF

          • Z-man19

            my kids were split between the two. Mr Brown Can Moo, Can You? might be my favorite

          • 10thMountainFire

            2883 just got Seuss’d, yo.

          • 2883

            A hoo isn’t all Horton hears XMF

          • 10thMountainFire

            My world just asploded.

          • 1benmenno

            your life is more like Hop on Pop

          • Accipiter

            You could have read it.

          • laaarmer

            DDN
            Havlat Bolland Ladd
            Eh?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Havlat is whining, Bolland is trolling, Ladd is rolling.

    • Z-man19

      I have little faith that Bollig rides pine, I would LOVE to be wrong

      • laaarmer

        OK Handzus then. Let Shaw play center if it makes Q feel like he’s in control

        • 10thMountainFire

          Which is what has led us to Pirri rising like a Phoenix.

          • 2883

            Put on your war paint

          • 10thMountainFire

            It’s always on.

          • 2883

            Are you going to change Pirri like a remix? Then raise him like a phoenix?

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m just going to enjoy his seven minutes.

          • 2883

            TWSS?

          • laaarmer

            Now I have Rush 2112 i my head thanks.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Neal Peart is a…

          • 1benmenno

            . . . what? My favorite drummer as a teen? Lyricist influenced by Ayn Rand?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Ayn Rand sucks.

          • 1benmenno

            I know. But Peart supposedly read her when he was young. “The Trees”, I think, reflects it

          • 10thMountainFire

            Maybe it angered him. If it did, good.

            Copeland, Peart, Carey, Moon, Bonham, Grohl.

          • laaarmer

            Carpenter.

            she could really sing

          • 10thMountainFire

            /Phil Collins’d

          • 1benmenno

            why do birds suddenly disappear everytime you are near?

          • 2883

            I once read an article where Grohl said he’s not even the best drummer in the Foo Fighters.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Hawkins is solid.

          • laaarmer

            He doesn’t play drums in the foo fighters

          • 2883

            I know, but he plays the drums.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Grohl was being nice.

          • 2883

            I don’t know, I actually like the drums in Foo’s music, Grohl really wasn’t given much of an opportunity to shine in Nirvana

          • 10thMountainFire

            He played on the first Foo album.

          • 2883

            Which is where most of my Foo love comes from… Everlong… Monkeywrench… Big Me (jk)

          • laaarmer

            But not as good as the guy in the foo fighters

          • 1benmenno

            When asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world, Lennon said: “He’s not even the best drummer in the Beatles.” Maybe that’s an injoke.

          • 2883

            I think he was being serious…

          • 1benmenno

            Maybe. But anyone who thinks Ringo wasn’t doing his job . . . well, imagine someone else playing “Don’t Let Me Down”.

          • laaarmer

            I imagine Ginger Baker

          • 1benmenno

            Now that you mention him, yeah. He would’ve fit in. Mitch Mitchell? He fit in with Hendrix, but too busy for The Beatles.

          • 1benmenno

            Only a stupid Canadian would buy into Objectivism, given how much we benefit from a social democratic system.
            Copeland, Peart, Moon, Bonham. Grohl too. Haven’t heard enough Tool. But I would add Steve Gadd, Charlie Watts, and Jim Keltner. And Ringo is underrated.

          • laaarmer

            /peace signs

          • 2883

            “Ringo wasn’t the best drummer in the Beatles”

          • 1benmenno

            Lennon said that, and it’s funny. And Paul McCartney plays great drums on the Ballad of John and Yoko.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Listening to Danny Carey play on Aenima and Lateralus is something you’ll thanks us for. Check it out. Knowing your tastes, you’ll love it.

          • 1benmenno

            I will check it out. And I should add: any drummer who plays for Frank Zappa is tremendous. So, Bozzio and Colaiuta.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Josh Freese: also a great under-appreciated drummer.

          • 1benmenno

            Will check him out. I appreciate the under appreciated. Stan Lynch, who played on Tom Petty’s first couple of albums, is someone I love. Shit: Max Weinberg. Those guys knew how to work within the structure of the song. Seamlessly.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I loved Tom Petty’s ‘Mojo’, too. Dude never grows old.

          • 1benmenno

            I am thanking you now. listening to the whole aenima album

          • 1benmenno

            stone roses. reni

          • 1benmenno

            and the Rheostatics drummer. The first one.

          • 1benmenno

            Bill Bruford. Ok, I’m done.

          • Waylon

            all good musicians, but all of them worshiped at the feet of the mad but hellaciously talented Ginger Baker. Peart, Moon and Watts all were in awe of his playing, and the best jazz drummers of his era felt the same way.

          • 1benmenno

            agreed. egregious oversight on my part

          • birdhead

            a lot of people think ayn rand is really cool when they’re young. usually they’re disaffected dudes overly burdened by a sense of their own intelligence, but the ones who are actually smart get over it.

          • 1benmenno

            Yes. Young folks do eventually understand how connected everything is.

          • 10thMountainFire

            It’s a codification of selfishness through pseudo-philosophy. It’s L Ron Hubbard for the quasi-intellectual set. I hate her and objectivism. It’s stupid.

          • 2883

            L Ron Hubbard is just about that dollar dollar billz y’all

          • birdhead

            I agree, but turn over a rock on the internet and you run into objectivists.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Usually they’re bemoaning that they’re not taken seriously because they didn’t attend college. Also, they’re looking for ways to justify selfishness, they reference ‘boot straps’, and they have an uncomfortable obsession with John Wayne and rugged individualism.

            The Marlboro Man is dead. Long live the Marlboro Man!

          • 2883

            Lung cancer, who could’ve guessed.

          • 2883

            You know why you’re sad… Aliens dude, they give you all the bad feels. And for a price, I can turn that bad feels into good feels.. Pay me now por favor?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Who is John Galt?

          • 1benmenno

            you’re riddled with engrams. Seek Travolta

          • DatGlovehandTho

            I find her work interesting in that it’s essentially a reaction to communism and socialism from somebody that witnessed the damage those systems can have first hand before escaping to the west.

            I wouldn’t recommend any of her philosophies be put into action, cause they’re not workable, but as a personal response to the evils and failings of systems that redistribute and undercut personal excellence and achievement, it’s interesting.

            It would be totally different if the same work came from some Western trust-fund baby author. Cause then it would just sound like the ‘pull up your socks’ bullshit that the GOP shouts to the poor. But coming from somebody whose family actually suffered, it has some weight, at least IMO.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You just associated Rand with philosophy without irony or hyperbole. I threw up in my mouth.

          • DatGlovehandTho

            Objectivism is a philosophy, is it not?

          • 10thMountainFire

            No.

          • DatGlovehandTho

            Disagree. It’s not one I agree with, but it is a philosophy.

            Anyway, brush your teeth. Vomit eats away at enamel.

          • 1benmenno

            they have a club. they go to universities and prey on undergraduates. must be a philosophy.

          • 10thMountainFire

            John Birchers with new t-shirts, that’s all. Losers, malcontents, morons all.

          • 1benmenno

            Pretty much. I can understand the appeal of Rand’s philosophy in America. Ironically, though, those who gravitate that way are also prone to quoting the Bible. And she was a vociferous atheist.

          • 10thMountainFire

            The re-branding of Objectivism has spawned a new generation of pseudo-intellectuals that value blunt power (even violence) over interdependence and cooperation. It’s infested economics, philosophy, and politics. It’s mostly among the uneducated who are frustrated with a system they see as a conspiratorial enemy. They find a bizarre alliance with the fundamentalist right in American politics. Counterintuitive but their malleable logic makes it work. In the modern world, the ends justify the means. And so we get Huet and Uncle Dale.

          • 1benmenno

            I was nodding silently in agreement until the last line. Then I chortled. Malleable logic, indeed.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m not one to talk. Me and TMFF once ran the ‘sign Tim Thomas’ crusade over at SCH before Thomas put all his assets in gold and ran for the bunker.

          • Accipiter

            Ballyb has a bunker. Did you know this ?

          • 10thMountainFire

            No. But if it’s a missile silo reborn as a home, bally has my respect. Those things are awesome.

          • Bullitt315

            Oh man, I read an article on those a few years ago and really wanted to buy one.

          • 10thMountainFire

            They’re incredible. And for sale, apparently.

          • Bullitt315

            If I recall they aren’t too expensive, just old and in the middle of nowhere. May have to look into one again. Old missile silo does give Montana ranch a run for the money

          • 10thMountainFire
          • Bullitt315

            Kansas is terrible.

          • Accipiter

            It was constructed for the playoffs.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I think bally is gonna need a bigger bunker.

          • 1benmenno

            Archie was a Bunker.

          • Z-man19

            I see what you did there, that’s old school

          • 1benmenno

            I eat old schools for breakfast, motherfucker.

          • Z-man19

            I forgot, you’re older than old school

          • 1benmenno

            I had rocks as tutors. My principal was a granite-faced piece of granite.

          • Bullitt315

            Yeah, Nuts. He should have bought ammo.

          • birdhead

            Ayn Rand, the person, may well be interesting, but the majority of people who are fans of her work are not Communist refugees.

          • DatGlovehandTho

            Well yeah, but every work has fans that are douchebags and/or self-obsessed professional victims.

            I mean just from personal experience, have you ever met a fan of the Handmaiden’s tale, for example? Wow. Just wow.

            That doesn’t mean the work itself is bad, but sometimes work worth discussing attracts insufferable people.

          • birdhead

            I’m a fan of the Handmaid’s Tale.

          • Accipiter

            Allow me to introduce you to yourself.

          • birdhead

            I am nothing if not utterly predictable, although actually, I haven’t read it since high school and was just being a dick (also predictable)

          • 1benmenno

            I enjoy your dickishness, if that means anything.

          • Z-man19

            you’re a glutton though

          • 1benmenno

            for pun-ishment.

          • birdhead

            everything I do I do for you(r entertainment)

          • mad-hatter

            …her name is Hov?

          • mad-hatter

            NOT ENOUGH RAP APPRECIATION ON THIS BLOG. Not like Jay is, y’know, in the upper echelons but whatever.

          • Accipiter

            H to the O-V.

            I used to move snowflakes by the O-Z.
            (I never really did that)

          • mad-hatter

            I mean, if you had to do it to get by I wouldn’t judge.

          • 1benmenno

            This Canadian knows how to rap. He’s not Drake. Just an Everyday Normal Guy:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PsnxDQvQpw

          • mad-hatter

            “I’m pretty good at making paper planes.”

            That’s deep.

          • 1benmenno

            I’m awkward in social situations, mother fucker.

          • 2883

            At the same time reintroduce my wealth

          • 1benmenno

            Notice how your reply was met with misdirection? I did.

          • birdhead

            yeah, that’s why I didn’t give it a serious answer.

          • 1benmenno

            Respect. Fucktonnes.

          • DatGlovehandTho

            There was no misdirection.

            If anything, responding to the idea that the author’s experience can inform the work and make it more weighty as a result, with ‘well fans aren’t communist refugees’ is misdirection. Honestly, that’s like a hockey player responding to a reporter with a ‘who are you to criticize, you’ve never played the game’. The notion that a fan of something need share the experiences of the author to appreciate the work of the author is silly.

            In any case, I responded to the implication that the people who enjoy the books are unintelligent or pretentious douchebags by pointing out the fact that ALL works have fans that are unintelligent or pretentious douchebags. So discrediting a work purely on the basis of dislike of the audience it resonates with is preeeeeeeeeetty stupid.

            In any case, the people attacking the books in this thread aren’t sounding too much better than the people that hold it up as the greatest thing ever. So I’ll let you get back to the wank-fest.

          • 1benmenno

            Wank-fest. Heroic individualists should aim for a higher bar than the alone-at-the-orgy kind of resentment you reveal in that post.

          • DatGlovehandTho

            Wank on, dude. Wank on.

          • 1benmenno

            Lovin’ every minute.

          • DatGlovehandTho

            I’m sure you are. I’ll be you have forearms like pop-eye by now.

          • 1benmenno

            Lay off Olive Oyl or I’ll knock you senseless.

          • DatGlovehandTho

            Not worried. You’re too busy wanking.

            Anyway, I’ll leave you to wank in privacy.

          • 1benmenno

            I can type with one hand. Look, you said Ayn Rand’s thought was worthy of note because of her experience as a refugee from Communism. But then you said something more. That her experience should somehow resonate beyond that. Which is it? Is it one or the other? Or both? Should I feel sorry for her oppression and then extrapolate from it–like she did–to conclude that all government is tantamount to totalitarianism?
            Tea Party types quote her but quote the Bible, as I said above. This happens in Canada too. You know, Rob Ford recently found Jesus, in between his drunken stupors and crack binges. But it’s hardly rational or consistent as a philosophy, as practiced. It’s opportunistic selfishness dressed up as “serious thought”.

          • DatGlovehandTho

            Her experience need not resonate beyond that, it should just inform the response. Both to those that love the book and those that hate it.

            Individualism, personal achievement, self-sufficiency are not inherently terrible things, and it’s understandable why many would gravitate towards those ideas. Likewise, empathy, compassion, practicality are not evil things, and there’s plenty of good reason to be repelled by the ideas in the book. But they don’t exist in a vaccum and holding the book up as some great guide-book to civilization now, decades later, in a completely different sociopolitical context than when the book was written is just as silly to me as writing it off completely along with the many themes and messages in the book that have universal appeal across a great deal of fiction. Because the books have themes and messages beyond simply ‘government = bad’ that are worthwhile and resonate.

            Absolutely, there are dumbfucks and douchebags without a strong enough grasp of context and nuance to appreciate that it’s possible to respond possitively to a theme like ‘the strength of individualism’ without also saying ‘every single thing in this book that reinforces that theme is accurate and should be applied today in our society’. But I’m not going to generalize the entire audience of a book or villify an author that wrote it in a specific context just because a portion of the population can’t separate the universal themes from the context-specific ideas, and the personal experience that led that mind to putting them to paper..

            Likewise, the fact that the bible is held up by bigots, opportunists and other bad people does not render the entire book (or religion) as devoid of worth in my eyes, even as an atheist. Because I know for a fact, even as an atheist, that there are strong messages in there that great people gravitate towards and live by, and are used by many people to guide how they live in a positive way. I’m not going to demonize the book or the people who read it based on the fact that some morons are willing to claim everything in the book is god’s word, so no gays, even as they conveniently ignore the 2000 other petty crimes that you were supposed to be stoned for.

            Personally speaking, I look at the book as something of a cautionary tale, because it’s an immortalized example of how major sociopolitical events and shifts can create collateral damage and create zealots and enemies who view the world in extremes (me = victim, you = oppressor). Every action has a reaction, the larger and more intense the action, the more intense the reaction…so sociopolitical actions, events and shifts tend to create intense reactions. Writing a book that vilifies the ideals of the political movement that fucked up their lives is one response, and I’d argue given the current climate we live in, it’s one of the healthier, more productive, and less violent cautionary examples of how these events can create extremists.

          • 1benmenno

            Well said. But there are better books and more nuanced thinkers. Rand herself ended up a sad parody of the Authoritarian personality she despised in Stalin. People should know that when they read her books

          • 1benmenno

            Now excuse me. I have to wack off

          • BestPredsForward

            You nailed it. Because of Bush and Cheney, everyone around my age (20) is now distrustful of an establishment Republican. However, being a Liberal has become too mainstream for hipsters and other sorts of contrarians so they embrace “the new thing”. Ayn Rand is also becoming popular among the people who would have been Republican, but are too scared to be associated with Bush and Cheney.

          • 2883

            There’s no superlative good enough to describe his work on the drums

          • 1benmenno

            I saw Rush just to see him in Minneapolis in 1980. Tom Sawyer tour. Fourth of July. Crazy good fun.

          • Z-man19

            you and I might be the only two here right now that were alive in 1980

          • Accipiter

            Nope.

          • 1benmenno

            we weren’t alive?

          • Z-man19

            I’ll bet ‘cip wasn’t wearing pants then either

          • 1benmenno

            I eat pants for brunch

            Sent from Samsung Mobile

            ——– Original message ——–

          • Z-man19

            ben and Beiber hitting the town

          • 1benmenno

            Monkeys galore!

            Sent from Samsung Mobile

            ——– Original message ——–

          • Z-man19

            Pussy Galore?

          • 1benmenno

            You heard me the first time

            Sent from Samsung Mobile

            ——– Original message ——–

          • Z-man19

            it’s a circus either way

          • 1benmenno

            I stand by my statement

            Sent from Samsung Mobile

            ——– Original message ——–

          • laaarmer

            Sansung Mobile

            Fuck off

            ( I just watched life of Brian with my kids.)

          • 1benmenno

            always look on the bright side of life

          • Z-man19

            laaarmer is a beacon of the bright side

          • 1benmenno

            bacon och bright eyes

          • 1benmenno

            what were you doing that year?

          • The_FFF

            Also nope.

          • Z-man19

            you just got here, you don’t count

          • The_FFF

            Wrong. I’ve been “here” (including the SCH days) for a few years now.

          • Z-man19

            I know that, I meant last night in particular. I did not know your age though

          • The_FFF

            It’s a large enough number as to possibly be unknowable.

          • Z-man19

            I feel the same about my age, I quit keeping track several years ago

          • 1benmenno

            any 1980 musical recollections?

          • The_FFF

            Here’s a combined music and movie recollection: Xanadu.

          • The_FFF

            (It’s not a very good one, I know, but boy was the hype leading up to it exciting!)

          • 1benmenno

            Olivia Newton-John was a crush of mine. But that movie . . . couldn’t drag myself to go see it.

          • 2883

            Better than having FOB stuck in your head

        • Z-man19

          Would Smith-Kruger-Shaw work as a checking line? Steeg-Zus-Bicks is your bumslayer line and let Shaw, Pirri and Kruger double shift for Zus if necessary

          • 2883

            Can Smith play the left side? can Steeger play the left side?

          • laaarmer

            Ben Smith – He never makes mistakes and he can play bothe sides and centre

          • 10thMountainFire

            Steeger is this/close to playing the press box. All of it.

          • 2883

            Agreed.

          • mad-hatter

            I think Smith played the left side when he was up here in 2011. Don’t quote me on it though.

            And Steeger was on Kane’s left for a few games, and they did pretty well I thought.

          • lizmcneill

            Think they can both play all forward positions in a pinch. #versatile

          • Fleshrifle

            Don’t know if I want to burden Steeg with Zus.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Don’t know I want to burden Zus with Steeg right now.

      • justforkicks

        I will do cartwheels in the street if Stan packages him to someone in a trade, and doesn’t pick up someone of his caliber in return.

        • Z-man19

          IF that happens, I just hope I’m not at work. I don’t know what I’ll do but I’m pretty sure it might get me fired

    • laaarmer

      So, now lets look at these lines and the reasoning behind my moves.

      First, Q called and asked.
      1st line – send out your best and try to stop them
      2nd line – send out your next best and try to stop them
      3rd line – send out your next best and try to stop them
      4th line – send out your next best and try to stop them

      When you put out your top line, we don’t care, because most of the time, they can’t play D.

      Have a nice summer.

    • flahawkfan

      I’ve been thinking for a while that I would love to see Bickell with Kruger. Your third line with Versteeg would make me ever so happy.

  • 2883

    Top six in no order.
    Saad
    Kane
    Hossa
    Sharp
    Toews
    Shaw

    Bumslayers: Bickell Pirri Steeger
    Shutdown: Bollig Kruger Smith

    Buried in a shallow grave: Zus

    • laaarmer

      Shaw is NOT a top 6 playah

      • 2883

        He has to be…., he’s not been bad with Saad and Kane thus far

        • laaarmer

          They are terrible that last 10 games or so. I spent the entire day on this. Where the fuck were you? Oh, and the new guy says Kane is useless compared to Toews

          • 2883

            Work… workout… massive pains … then here

          • laaarmer

            Well the new guy made a big splash. he’s all in with Kane being useless unless he scores.

            I think he should only to be used on the PP.

          • 2883

            Um… yeah… about that

          • 10thMountainFire

            Don’t.

          • 2883

            Don’t what…

          • 10thMountainFire

            Don’t touch it. It’s still hot and laaarmer will swing it at you. And I’ll help him.

          • 2883

            Can’t touch this … STOP Hammer time

          • Fleshrifle

            Laaarmer time?!!?

          • laaarmer

            break it down.

          • 2883

            Too hype… can’t touch this

          • 2883

            Only time Kane’s useless is when he’s going towards his own net.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Bickell is more top six than Shaw.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Shaw? Negative.

    • justforkicks

      Ye gods, if shaw is top 6, we in trouble. Which we have been

    • VerStig

      I don’t know if Shaw is so much top six as he is “not in Q’s doghouse now so he can play with the big boys and score 20+ goals”

  • laaarmer

    I still can’t get over Dan Girardi

    Dan Fucking Girardi.

    • 2883

      Did the Hawks acquire Girardi or something? WTF IS WITH THIS DAN GIRARDI BULLSHIT

      • Fleshrifle

        Dan got a free Yankees jersey. Fuck him.

        • 2883

          GOOD FUCK DAN GIRARDI

      • laaarmer

        He’s Keiths new partner

        • 2883

          I’m going to google this and if you’re not fucking with me, I’m going to be irate..

        • Fleshrifle

          Oh Canada!

        • flahawkfan

          I adore you, laaarmer. Truly.

  • Fleshrifle

    Pirri comes up and we all (we’ll most of us) start our Mental Thortoning. It’s great to be a fan of this team.

    Night all.

    • 1benmenno

      Night, rifler of flesh.

      • Accipiter

        You talkin’ to Zed ?

        • Z-man19

          I’m not here