USATSI_7936468_160885884_lowres

Exit Interviews: Michal Rozsival

Rolling right along into the bottom pairing. Oh, I’ve ignored David Rundblad because he played like three games so who knows? And Michael Kostka isn’t here anymore.

Regular Season: 42 games, 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points, +7, -0.53 Behind The Net, 17.83 Corsi/60 (+3.4 Corsi Relative)

Playoffs: 17 games, 1 goal, 5 assists, 6 points, -2, -0.32 Behind The Net, 5.62 Corsi/60 (+11.9 Corsi Relative)

What We Liked: You know what’s funny? Before we get too deep into the players, it’s odd what a small Corsi number in the playoffs ends up being a plus number in the relative category. It shows you just how much the Hawks struggled in the playoffs and maybe were a bit fortunate to get where they were. Anywho…

Rozie was the sneak signing of 2012. We thought he might be, and though he started the Cup-winning season behind Brookbank in the depth chart, it wasn’t too long before he had move ahead of him and then Leddy in the playoff when the Hawks basically went with five at the back. So we weren’t shocked when he got re-signed last summer, though getting two years was a little strange.

It wasn’t a huge shock when his level dropped off his season. Early it was a bit rough, but as the season he went on he eventually smoothed out. It wasn’t anything spectacular or even noticeable as it was at times last season, but it was solid enough. Certainly he had a hand in the penalty kill not being so rocky. That’s the thing about the bottom pairing. When it’s going well, you don’t notice it.

What We Didn’t Like: It was a rough start to the year for Rozie. Perhaps it was the short summer. He looked as slow as he actually is, which he didn’t much in the previous campaign. He was certainly outplayed early in the year by Brookbank. In the playoffs, Rozsival looked even slower, and there were some rocky damn moments in all three rounds. Once switched to Oduya in the very end it looked a little better. But that doesn’t mean it looked great. Culpable as any for the Hawks’ penalty kill getting inhaled by the Kings there for a hot minute.

What Is It, You Would Say, You Do Here: Rozie has one more year left, and unless he retires he’ll be around again. You could do worse for a #7 who plays about half the games. It’s just hard to figure out who he’ll play ahead of. Spot duty for Johns? Rundbland is going to get a serious look you’d have to imagine. As long as he isn’t asked too much, that’s all right with us.

  • TitanTransistor

    “It shows you just how much the Hawks struggled in the playoffs and maybe were a bit fortunate to get where they were.”

    I think anybody who watched the games can agree the Hawks were lucky to get as far as they did given the quality of their play. The dominant possession team that we saw through the first half of the season and intermittently in the second half, disappeared entirely, replaced with a team that relied far too much on unsustainable goal-tending and clutch performances from their elite players.

    Part of that is the result of horrific roster mismanagement, but a lot of it simply falls on many of the players failing to perform to their full potential.

    As far as Roszi is concerned, he seemed even slower than last year. As a veteran presence alongside a rookie on the bottom pairing, he could be useful. But if Leddy isn’t moving up the charts, then I don’t think Roszi should to be anything more than a #7 that comes in on account of injury or random Q line-juggling.

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

      “Part of that is the result of horrific roster mismanagement, but a lot of it simply falls on many of the players failing to perform to their full potential.”

      What about the part that of the three series we played two of them were against arguably the two best teams in the conference? Nothing? That had nothing to do with it? (And by “nothing” I of course mean almost all.)

      • TitanTransistor

        Eh. We have to remember that the Blues team that the Hawks played against was ripped apart by injuries, even prior to Backes getting knocked out. Hawks played 1.5 legit contenders, and made a non-contender look like one in the Wild.

        They simply did not play very well in the playoffs this year.

        That doesn’t mean they’re a bad team or anything. And certainly they showed how much character they have in that lockerroom battling back from being down 0-2 and 1-3.

        It just means they managed to get further than their play probably warranted.

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

          I don’t agree with you about the Blues, the Wild, or the 1.5, or that they didn’t play well.

          I think we didn’t hold leads well, and I think we had only 2.5 reliable lines, and I think we lacked centre depth against teams with either great speed or great centres.

          • TitanTransistor

            Fair enough. Agree to disagree. I agree with Sam that the Hawks were fortunate to get as far as they did, playing as they were.

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

            Exactly the same thing could be said for LA. Exactly.

          • ToucanStubbs

            This is very true. Also, the Blues roster implosion happened to drop them down in the standings, they had all but 1 or 2 players back for our series. Minnesota, was not a non-contender. They had a great playoff build in that they could win low scoring games. They knew they couldn’t win in a shootout so they kept the scores down to a manageable level. Barring a few exceptions, thats how playoff hockey is. The Hawks were unlucky to only make it as far as they did. They seemed to suffer from terrible luck quite a bit and still powered through. I think they played poorly at points but the way they dug in and could be so clutch shows that they were anything but lucky. There is so much skill on that team and such a resiliant attitude that it took a game 7 and a lot of seriously bad bounces to finally kill them. I still think the Hawks are a better team than anyone they had to play.

          • TitanTransistor

            How is it ‘unlucky’ to lose the possession battle more often than not?

          • ToucanStubbs

            There were long stretches where the Hawks carried the play and out-possessed the Kings. Then we would block a shot, itd land right on a King stick and theres a goal. Thats just an unfortunate bounce that seemed to happen regularly. And we all know how hockey is, that bounce doesn’t happen and the entire course of the game is different. The games and 50/50 pucks were close enough that a little more luck in the Hawks favor and we’re the ones up 3-1 over the Rangers.

          • TitanTransistor

            No. The Blackhawks were frequently out-possessed over entire games this post-season. Occasionally by wide margins. By all three opponents.

            http://www.extraskater.com/team/chicago-blackhawks/2013p#performance-charts

          • lizmcneill

            I don’t think they’re better than the Kings, but they’re better than the other 2.

          • To Saad be the glory

            I agree with Chico. Also, St Louis is just like the Pens and has no playoff heart,I think the injury problem was blown out of proportion. The Wild are a hell of a lot better then people give them credit for. In other words we came up against some strong ass competition and I think we did quite well considering.

  • jordyhawk

    I hope Dahlbeck is the new guy at the back.

    I also still wonder if adding Runblad wasn’t done to add a PMD in the event that Leddy cannot step into the #4 slot.

    • TitanTransistor

      Yeah, I was thinking that too. I think Rundblad might be the backup plan if Oduya leaves. Either he takes Oduya’s place is Leddy can’t step up, of he takes Leddy’s place on the bottom pairing if one of the prospects doesn’t step up.

  • Research Analysis

    A salute to The Committed Indian http://huff.to/1knTBp0 via @HuffPostCanada

    • YoAdrienne

      Stan “Makita”? One would think that a “devotee of the Chicago Blackhawks for over 50 years” would know how to spell Stosh’s last name correctly.

      • Research Analysis

        Blame Spellcheque

        • YoAdrienne

          Nope. Can’t blame a spell-checker on this one.

      • jordyhawk

        Maybe he got him mixed up with his belt sander.

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

      Fine little article.I liked this (and it’s not a dig at anyone or anything): “But the most important thing the blogs do is to engage fans, allowing
      individual fans to comment and offer their suggestions and observations…”

      Also, it drives me nuts still that people argue the shortening of our bench this year caused fatigue on the top lines. Our top players skated about 2 more shifts per game–a minute, sometimes two, per 60. The minutes were absorbed by players who’d been skating between 10 and 15 minutes a game in the regular season … so if skating 18/19 minutes fatigues you when you’ve been skating 12/1, then you’re not in the shape you should be (and these guys are). They weren’t fatigued, they were outplayed when they had the lead, and couldn’t find the daggers. I realize that’s simplistic, but I’m on the internet.

      • ToucanStubbs

        I would say the shorter bench has a significant role to play but not exactly how people are claiming. This season, we got way fewer goals from our secondary scoring, we were relying on our stars to get the goals. If they’re scoring (and they were) thats all well and good. However, they were the only players scoring. Since the bench was shortened, someone has to eat that ice time and it really can’t go to the stars, they’re likely already at their limit for guys who league best and need to be playing every other night. So instead, we have to play guys who are slumping even more. Thats just not going to increase scoring enough to win. I think at the very least, if you aren’t getting the bottom 6 scoring a Cup team usually relies on then you have to try something else. Q didn’t do that, he just chose to play his already maxed out guys. So to me, the shortened bench is in a roundabout way both a cause and symptom of poor play and ultimately the loss.

      • Research Analysis

        In 2010 and 2013 Q was able to deploy a 4th line. The 4th line kept the top six fresh, especially for power plays. The odds are increased that your top power play will be rested when you get one, increasing their effectiveness. This is especially true if your 3rd and 4th line can draw penalties. They may not be finishers but they cause penalties, if they have speed and can cause turnovers.

    • Hawkeytalk

      So, I wonder…. Does Barry post here? Come on out lurker!

      • Research Analysis

        Yes, I post as Research Analysis. I would post under my name but I kept losing posts and finally used a Google id of mine. I have asked Huffington Post to correct the spelling mistake in my article.

        Looking forward to next season. Hawks should be very motivated.

        • Hawkeytalk

          Duh, I should have known! Did you just add your pic?

          Very nice article BTW.

  • birdhead

    “You know what’s funny? Before we get too deep into the players, it’s odd what a small Corsi number in the playoffs ends up being a plus number in the relative category. It shows you just how much the Hawks struggled in the playoffs and maybe were a bit fortunate to get where they were.”

    In Rozsival’s case what you’re saying is true because if +5 is a +11 relative that indicates the team was at a -6 overall (weeping). But generally speaking you would expect raw Corsi numbers to be smaller in the playoffs because it’s over a smaller sample of games. A guy who is a +1 in Corsi every game will be a +82 at the end of the regular season, but a +17 after 17 playoff games. If his team’s average Corsi number is +0.5, a +17 would be a -24 after 82 games, but a +8.5 after 17 games.

    And then there’s that wrinkle where when you’re playing a series of playoff teams you probably expect everyone’s Corsi to be worse relative to the regular season.

    This actually relates to something I’ve been wondering, which is why you guys use Corsi +/- rather than Corsi for percentage. Rozsival’s CF% in the playoffs was 52.9%, which would have been something like a -4% Corsi Rel in the regular season but constituted a +5.9% Corsi Rel in the playoffs. I mean, yes that’s a big jump and if you compare it to last year’s playoffs it also doesn’t look good, but 52.9% isn’t a terrible CF%. IDK. I just feel like the percentages are more illuminating.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Weren’t we hovering right around 500 for most of 2014?

    • ToucanStubbs

      Just to make sure I get it right, if a player has 59.1% Corsi, would that be the same as saying that, while he is on the ice, 59.1% of all shots taken come from his team?

      • birdhead

        That’s right. The definition of “all shots taken” differs a little bit in the two frequently used shot-based fancystats. Corsi (% or otherwise) measures all shots taken – so including ones that miss the net or hit the post or get blocked. Fenwick includes missed shots but excludes blocked shots.

        Oh, and both of them are typically used mostly 5v5 (excluding powerplays and penalty kills).

  • To Saad be the glory

    “America’s luckiest team” had two left sitting on the goal line tonight,maybe the luck has finally run out.

    • Hawkeytalk

      Doubtful. Winning the cup in front of fans = WINNING.

      Hope the hawks can do that sometime (weeps). But I gotta say, winning on the road has its charm too.

      • ‘hawks58

        For the fans, winning at home would be great; but watching the season recap videos, I think the plane ride home is something special for the players.

    • YoAdrienne

      That’s what I was thinking when I saw the replay of one of them. I guess will find out next game. But, I think the Rags may be too deep in the hole at this point. The Kings are still a better team.

      • DJ

        But the Kings are due for a hell of a correction. It might not come so as to deny them the Cup. But they will not repeat. And they won’t “defend the Cup” as “well” as the Blackhawks did. In other words, next year, they’ll be eliminated well before a Game 7 lucky bounce goes against them.

        • To Saad be the glory

          Thats funny,cause thats what I was telling people at work the other day,almost word for word. And as far as the Kings saying ” we are built for the playoffs” I read between the lines and think “no,you guys werent that good during the season and got hot at the right time.