May 21, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; The puck is shot wide by Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (not pictured) against Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen (31) during the third period in game three of the Western Conference Final of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Fated to Pretend: Ducks 2, Blackhawks 1 (Ducks lead series 2-1)

Box Score

Event Summary

War on Ice

Let’s take a trip in the way back machine to June 17, 2013. It was Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks or as it’s better known, the day Jonathan Toews centered the 4th line. The Hawks had 28 shots on goal in a 2-0 loss that gave the Bruins a 2-1 series lead.  Marian Hossa was a late scratch and the Hawks revealed prior to the game it was due to a upper body injury.

I mention this game because it marks the last time Joel Quenneville made roster decisions that defy any resemblance of logic.

Which takes us to today. With the Hawks and Ducks tied in the series at one game apiece and the Hawks looking to defend home ice, the decision was made to replace Teuvo Terravainen and Antoine Vermette with Kris Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom. After the game, Quenneville said it was for fresh legs. So take that to mean…whatever.

The Hawks self-neutered their two best lines from Anaheim and barring any injuries the public is not privy to, I cannot figure out the reasons for the life of me.

Allow me to talk things out in hopes that it may help us out.

Scratching Teuvo to get Versteeg in. I don’t agree with it but I sort of see why a case could be made. Versteeg has been out awhile and probably looked good during optional skates and what not. The Hawks were coming off a triple overtime game. So if your one that likes to play hunches or longshots, you could envision catching lightning in a bottle.

Again, I don’t agree and I think it’s a classic example of overthinking on an obvious situation but I can see why the thought may pop into Joel Quenneville’s head. Bryan Bickell may have been a better candidate but the series has been physical he probably didn’t want to make his team smaller than it is.

Scratching Vermette for Nordstrom….that’s a little tougher. Vermette doesn’t seem to be getting any air on his shots these days so maybe there’s some kind of shoulder injury we don’t know about. Even if he does have an injury, it hasn’t hindered his face-offs. And if Marcus Kruger is injured enough that he can’t take face-offs anymore, scratching guys who can take a face-off for players that can’t doesn’t make much sense.

Those two moves weren’t the reason the Hawks lost but it’s hard not to see past them. Especially with how it affected the rest of the lineup. And again, it completely tore apart the two best lines for the Hawks in Game 2.

It’s a bizarre move for sure. Perhaps the most bizarre of the Joel Quenneville era to the point that it’s almost a parody. I’m completely flabbergasted to the point that I’m one step away from being an old cartoon character that flaps his lips with fingers.

–And with all that, the Hawks still had the puck on the stick of their best offensive player in the slot with 5 seconds left and a chance to send the game to overtime. Hockey, everyone.

–Like I said above and Sam has mentioned multiple times, Marcus Kruger did not take one face-off tonight which is very out of character. He took a few monstrous hits in Game 2 and I seem to recall Desjardins taking draws during the overtimes but I was also delusional. He also saw the least amount of ice time than any other forward not named Joakim Nordstrom. Even in the third period, when you expected the lines set to blend and the bench shortened to 10 forwards, there was never even a hint of moving Shaw back to Kruger’s wing.

If he’s hurt to the point that he can’t take face-offs, then that’s a problem. Especially if the Hawks keep dressing guys that can’t take them in favor of ones that can.

And maybe it is Kruger’s injury that forced all these changes to the lineup but still, it’s hard to see the Hawks logic for that.

–The official scorer said the Hawks only had one shot during their five power plays. If I was a real masochist, I’d go back and re-watch the game because I don’t seem to recall it being that putrid.

The Hawks were predictable in their passing and movement but they were getting zone time and they did generate opportunities. So perhaps it’s just a matter of getting the puck through the right shooting lane which is really a matter of accuracy and puck luck more than anything else.

–I hesitate to say Frederik Andersen is in the Hawks head because that is just a stupid thing that dumb people like to believe. But they sure seem to be lacking confidence when they’re shooting on him. Kane, in particular, passed upon another shot 25 feet away from goal which is the second time he’s done that this series. Toews had a breakaway from 10 feet in. Each chose to try and deke him.

Maybe they’re not seeing shooting holes and are uncomfortable when they’re bearing down on him. It’s hard to say, really, because Silicon Valley still hasn’t mastered that technology where we can take over other people’s brains and eyes.

(What I mean by shooting holes is that goal scorers see, what can best described, as holes when they’re getting ready to shoot on a goalie. It can be as wide as a canyon or it can be a few inches big but professional hockey players will find them. The best thing to compare it to would be like when a basketball player sees the hoop as really large or small depending on his feel.)

Of course, all of this can be rendered moot if the Hawks pop in a few quick goals on Saturday.

–All right, it was a weird night but all it changed was that Hawks have to win one more game in Anaheim if they want to win the West. It won’t be easy but no one said it would be.

  • TitanTransistor

    Huh. Joel Quenneville kneecapping his team with absolutely garbage roster management.

    Must be a day ending in Y.

    Also, the PP is fucking depressing to watch. If you get a chance, check out Tampa’s PP. Focus on the movement among the players. Contrast that to the Blackhawks who set up, and dare not move an inch from their prescribed positions. It’s so fucking pathetic.

    I will not be particularly sad when the sun finally sets on Joel Quenneville’s time with the Blackhawks. The talent pool he was lucky enough to hold the bench door open for have bailed him out of his own nonsense for long enough, thank you.

    NBC and other networks can harp all they want about the size difference between the teams or the Hawks defensive depth. The real mismatch in this series thus far has been behind the bench.

    • DJ

      It’s not a mismatch, actually. Boudreau hasn’t done anything to impress me; this isn’t Babcock, or even your favorite, Tippett, we’re facing. It’s purely self-inflicted.

      Unless you think it’s coaching brilliance to, when your opponent is committing suicide, merely get out of the way. I consider it luck rather than skill, but YMMV.

      • TitanTransistor

        That’s kind of the point.

        In a coaching matchup, I’ll take a coach that can stay out of his insanely talented roster’s way over one that actively kneecaps said roster.

        • DJ

          Hence the “YMMV.”

      • SAMCRO Outlaw

        Well yeah there it is, he hasn’t even needed to feed Q the rope. The dumbass is just taking it all by himself. FFS Boudreau is even mind fucking Q by complimenting them for how good they’ve been at getting traffic in front of the net. Something mostly lacking.

    • ZigZags82

      The PP is positively on the staff. I watch eager players and movement when watching Tampa. Nothing but passing around in a circle for the Hawks.

      • Jim

        Luckily we have Kane who can sometimes turn shit into sugar n the PP.

        • ZigZags82

          True that.

  • adamcat

    Could ultimately be a series-costing decision by Q on this one.. sacrificing the chemistry of essentially the entire offense for the “fresh legs” of two players who had a very slim chance of actually making an impact in the first place?? Talk about overthinking on a monumental scale……..

    • DJ

      It could, if we go down 3-1. Closely-matched series can turn on things like that. But Boudreau hasn’t figured out how to combat the 3rd and 4th lines he saw in Games 1 and 2.

      • JHVH

        DJ: You’re on to something here. Q thinks he has to prove that he can outthink Boudreau. B counters by not thinking Q thinks B might have an opportunity to figure out how to combat the Hawks 3rd and 4th lines. B counters by thinking about food. So Q messes with his 3&4, thinking he will outthink B. B thinks about pulling his neck out of his collar. with

      • JHVH

        DJ: You’re on to something here. Q thinks he has to prove that he can outthink Boudreau. B counters by not thinking. Q thinks B might have an opportunity to figure out how to combat the Hawks 3rd and 4th lines. B counters by thinking about food. So Q messes with his 3&4, thinking he will outthink B. B thinks about pulling his neck out of his collar. Q screams, “checkmate.” B thinks, “Good idea. I could go for a Baconzilla!®.”

    • ZigZags82

      Saw the split coming anyway. Not like this, but I thought we were going to lose one of these two in Chicago. Was never going to be easy.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        This, Win Saturday and we’re fine. Lose Saturday, start looking at tee times.

      • I sort of had that feeling, too…they were bound to get beat at the UC at some point. But I can’t help feel that this is one they simply gave away. There was an opportunity to grab this one and really put the Ducks back in a position in which they historically have begun to doubt themselves and implode. So frustrating to see that mess last night.

        Oh, and to the charming British woman in Section 314, the game was indeed over after the third period. I know you didn’t believe me, but that’s why the rest of us left the building at that point in time.

  • ZigZags82

    Yeah I was confused by Kane and Toews too. Why not take the straight shot when your wide open but opt to make it more difficult? Have to think they throw more pucks at the net Saturday night and think less.

    • Pierre Wolfthing

      I have no problem believing in the players, it’s Q that I’m wavering on. Bringing home the cup is the only thing that’s going to make up for his fuckery with the lines.

  • D_Smith

    The million dollar question has always been, has the the Hawks success been because of Q or in spite of him? Especially this year, there are moves he’s made that have been so questionable that they defy logic. Maybe there is something to the rumblings of conflicts between him and the players and he is ready to move on. Most of the time I write it off that he must know better than the rest of us. But then there are days like today that make me second guess that.

    • ZigZags82

      Yes he’s an idiot at times, and he deserves all of the criticism, but I hear nothing but the opposite about him and the players. They love that he treats them like veterans where they barely practice because he trusts them for example. He’s a players coach apparently. Not always in the best position to succeed but they do like him I guess.

      • HawkIPA

        Until last night, he’d been doing a decent job with the lineups (really since he started scratching Versteeg) and handled the Crawford-Darling issue as well as he could. Hopefully he swallows his pride like he did in the Boston series and rights the ship.

  • Bob Lanz

    “None said it would be easy”. Actually you guys kinda made it seem like it might be. Stupid me for believing everything I read, fuck I know better. Anderson shit waiting the regression still, like the Hawks PP did tonight. Regression to the mean. Possession stats waiting…

    • SAMCRO Outlaw

      I agree that there is a regression coming. There is a lot of room up top, the Hawks just have to start hitting those spots.

    • ZigZags82

      Hawks haven’t played like they’ve proven capable. (Lineup didn’t help tonight). Not enough support to take advantage of that D. Hard regression is coming from them along with adjustments from the Hawks, you can count on that.

    • Jim

      I was going by the analysis I was reading on various sites. And the book on Anaheim was that their defense was weak. But that doesn’t seem to be the case against the Blackhawks.

      But what I’m observing is that they allow zone entries easier than other teams the Hawks have played, but they are good at collapsing and boxing out the goalie. And most scoring chances occur near the net. Plus, I’m seeing their defense is big and aggressive at sweeping out rebounds and clearing the puck.

      Anderson has also done a good job for them, he’s big and wide, and he handles the puck well. So props to the Ducks.

      Plus, yesterday the margin of winning was narrow. It was on the Hossa penalty, which was only really a half penalty. Their guy was wide open in the corner, and he buried it. The other goal just sneaked through the 5 hole, looked like Perry might have tipped it down a little and changed the trajectory on Crow, chit happens.

      I won’t even get into the lines, because the mad scientist stuff is so much bullshit, and it doesn’t make sense unless there are injuries we aren’t aware of.

      • DJ

        In terms of injuries the issue would be Kruger; why else would he not take a single face off?

        In terms of the lineup shifts, as I thought in the other thread, you could argue it’s a roster management thing. Broadly speaking, you’d like to have fourteen forwards you can rely on for production in a long series like this might be, and if you win, a long series against New York or Tampa Bay. Accordingly, you need to get Versteeg and Nordstrom some playing time. All this is well and good, but Nordstrom played poorly and the consequent line changes took away the advantage that you had in the first two games (four lines thT were all threats). So whatever good you hoped from the switch is outweighed by the bad.

        So going forward, your first issue is Kruger. If he’s healthy, get him some more fucking face offs. If he’s not…Vermette has to come back in. Nordstrom has to sit for TT. If you really want Versteeg in the lineup, consider sitting Bickell for a game.

        • HawkIPA

          I thought Bickell looked better last night. Second line was our best line. There really isn’t a place for Versteeg, unless Desjardins needs a rest.

      • HawkIPA

        I know of a player who has been getting through the Ducks defense, and he was eating popcorn last night. Kane was able to get through a few times too, and almost sent it to OT.

        The Ducks’ gameplan reminds me of Detroit’s back in 2013. It can be beaten with sustained pressure. Icing 4 great lines would do the trick.

    • HawkIPA

      Without boneheaded Q moves, it’s a W last night, and a 5 game series wouldn’t have been out of the question. Even with all our unforced errors, the Ducks haven’t looked any more dominant than Nashville did in the first round.

      I still say Hawks in 6, provided Q has learned his lesson.

  • SAMCRO Outlaw

    A) WTF does Veersteeg probably looked good during optional skates mean? I’m not bashing you Fifth, but the damn coach. There is not one thing happening in those that equates to anything close to even a fucking preseason game, & the genius coach plays one of his hunches? FUCK HIM, he isn’t there to play hunches, he’s there to put the best players in the best position to win. Period, THE FUCKING END! His hunches do nothing but dig holes for this team. Sometimes they overcome his idiocy when he just decides to amuse himself by playing with his dick instead of with the roster, other times, like last year, he costs them a Cup.

    B)They need to support the puck better and get themselves of of the boards. Playing their is just playing into Anaheim’s hands. Boudreau could be drunk on the bench eating a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s for all that he’s had to do in this series. If memory serves, this is what the stl series looked like down 0-2 last year and the Hawks figured out how to get the puck into the middle of the ice and support each other with numbers to take advantage of their D. They can do it again to this team, it’s just a matter of will.

    C) Can someone get Nordstrom a tour of the corn field where the Spilatros are “vacationing”? That ends that hunch

    D) I’m not sure what they thought Vermette was when they traded for him. But if Q thought he was going to give him a big scoring punch then he hasn’t been paying attention. You can’t give up what they did for him and punish him by not playing him when he’s doing what it is he does, win draws, play pretty good defense & give a little size up the middle. Stanbo has to livid over this. If he isn’t he shouldn’t be the GM.

    E) Someone above needs to step in and stop Q now before he has them down 3-1 again.

  • Preacher

    I was guessing the Versteeg/Nordstrom moves were to add “toughness” to the lineup. After all, we’re getting pounded out there. And Q still likes his John Scott/Bollig/Carcillo types. But really, I have no clue why you make these changes.
    As for the actual play of the Hawks, how many odd man rushes have we had this series? I don’t remember many. Or, well, ANY. Given how hard the Ducks attack, you’d think there should be chances a plenty to go the other way for the Hawks. And you’d think they’d know how to figure that out.
    I gotta admit: I’m getting much closer to the ledge.

    • ZigZags82

      Stay off, stay off. Keep it calm and collected, you know damn well the Hawks are!

    • Jim

      I’m guessing a combination of:
      1) Q is frustrated by the lack of scoring and wants to shake things up
      2) There are injuries we are not aware of

      • HawkIPA

        How is Nordstrom the answer to Question 1? There are few certainties in hockey, but one of them is that Nordstrom will not score a goal. If he wanted to shake things up, there were better options available. Hartman could have brought more to the forecheck, hell, even Gorilla Salad has been known to get a dirty goal here and there.

  • WookRN

    Good news.
    I don’t have to work until Sunday. so tonight was full of local Iowa Bourbon (while picking up the shards of the lawn chair I MAY have smashed against the fence….)

    seriously. This thing was so disappointing top to bottom that’s the highlight. Not because we were that bad, but because despite it all, they were that close. Despite a horrid looking PP (that has looked good, on both the first and second units), a game we never looked in control of, dropping two centers for reasons unknown, etc etc….this thing was in reach until the end….


  • HawkIPA

    Usually the question is how the Hawks will respond after a loss, and almost always, they bring their best and win. Saturday, the real question will be how Q responds to this loss. His presser defied common sense. Why do you want to “get Versteeg in there”? What has he brought to the table since 2010? What advantages has Nordstrom ever provided, especially to a team that’s having trouble scoring? If 23 or 42 remains in the lineup on Saturday and beyond, the Hawks are going to have a tough time winning this series.

    • Pierre Wolfthing

      You’re right about Q’s response. I guess we’ll see how big his ego and pride is on Saturday. I was feeling so good about the Hawks after game 2 and now… who the fuck knows. Gotta win game 4, time for the boys to impose their fucking will on the Ducks. Coaching decisions be damned…

      • HawkIPA

        Had the same feeling. I thought with the matchups in our favor, the Ducks wouldn’t be able to withstand a 4 line attack. They barely withstood a 2 line attack last night. Imagine if Vermette and TT were driving possession, and Shaw was wreaking havoc on 4th line wing last night. Desjardins takes Nordstrom’s place on the kill. My guess is the Hawks win, maybe by more than a goal.

        I’m not heading to the ledge yet, but if the Game 2 lineup is not back in action on Saturday, being down 3-1 is pretty easy to see.

  • ChiCityKyle

    What Would Babcock Do?

    • Mambo Man

      BabCOCK would fluff his hair and scowl.

      Q. opts to stoke his cop stache and scowl.

  • T.M.

    and Garry Bettman denied any link between hockey and CTE in light of Steve Montador’s autopsy. Mr. Bettman made these comments between drags on his cigarette.

    • HawkIPA

      They’ve really learned nothing from what’s been happening in the NFL. I’m sure a lawsuit is brewing, and rightly so. What a disgrace.

      • T.M.

        Already filed. Corboy & Demetrio, the big Chicago personal injury firm is handling it

  • DestinyandBalance

    This assessment is dead-on. I screamed early when I saw that Vermette ad TT had been scratched. I screamed through-out, “Stop being cute and shoot the puck!”

    One other thing: did it appear to anyone else that Hammer is hurt?

    • Pierre Wolfthing

      I was so pissed at the line change I could barely focus on the game. I picture Hammers body to look like a giant bruised banana – I think he’s always in some kind of pain.

      • DestinyandBalance

        I guess I meant “more than hurt than us usual”. His strides looked much less powerful than normal.

    • Mambo Man

      Hammer is always hurt. It doesn’t seem to affect him much. If anything, he was out of position last night because he was out of position while trying to snipe from the blue line.

  • seabsrat

    Something I’ve never quite understood.. What’s the rule on disclosing injuries?

    • DJ

      They don’t have a rule like the NFL, where you have to use a specific term that conveys the rough probability that the player will play. It resorts to a custom of describing injuries broadly (upper body or lower body) unless the injuries are obvious, but not detrimental to playing (cuts, lost teeth) or if the player is done (Rozival’s ankle).

  • Just the Facts

    The PP is a joke. Rarely does anyone skate into the box to pull defenders out of position. All of the passing is on the perimeter. Pass, wait, no shooting lane, pass, wait, no shooting lane. It is though they are waiting for the earth to open up and swallow a defender. They neither move quickly nor pass quickly so the defenders have the chance to get in position. They are more concerned with maintaining possession than getting pucks on net.
    They need the forward on the wall to drive toward the net causing the defending forward to collapse from the point. Then pass to the point and there will be some space. Or send someone skating through the box to draw some attention.
    The PP is so predicable that it is easy for the Ducks to clog the shooting lanes.
    And for the love of God, no more Versteeg. If wishes came true, Teuvo on the PP (assuming he’s allowed to do anything creative on the PP).

  • Colbeagle

    I missed the game due to a preexisting commitment but saw the lineup before I had to leave and knew I wouldn’t miss much. Leave it to Q to completely dismantle his team’s biggest advantage.

    I shouldn’t have let the Wild series get my confidence up so high – should have known the streak of non-baffling decisions wouldn’t last. Gut-churning, impotent fury isn’t pleasant but at least it’s familiar.

  • Brandon Murray

    One thing I would like to see on Saturday is more shots at Andersen’s stick side and a few more low placed 5 hole shots. Andersen is not a top 5 goalie, but he is playing like one. The Hawks seem intent on shooting high and at his glove hand (which I think he has proven to be his stronger side) instead of firing towards stick side and maybe below the waist. Crow got beat twice last night because he couldn’t see shit on goal #1 that was delfected by another Duck out a few feet in front of Perry who was in front of Crow. that’s a double screen and even then it just slipped between his pads.
    Goal #2 there was mucho traffic in front of Crow and again he couldn’t see shit. The defense lost Depres (who looks like he may wear black eyeliner in a goth sort of way–no kidding) and by the time Crow saw it, he was a few inches and a few seconds to late to stop it. Our goalie play has been solid EXCEPT THE ONES HE CAN’T SEE.
    Which brings me back to Andersen. Take just last night. Kaner’s goal was a whirly bird reverse backhand to the………STICK SIDE. With the game on his stick and time wasting away, Kaner (while being checked) released a hurried shot to the stick side of Andersen and missed wide by inches but Andersen’s reaction time was slow and almost non-exisitent.
    The Hawks need to employ the philosphy they did with Dubnyk in round 2, just fire pucks at the net from anywhere, even bad angles and start generating their own puck luck. Twice last night I looked at my son and asked him why they seemed intent on deeking instead of just pulling the trigger. The one that stood out the most was the drive by Toews after the steal right in front of the net, he should of just ripped it and then stuffed the rebound home if the intitial shot doesn’t go in but he seemed intent on trying to fake him out which gave Andersen time to pick it up and track it.
    Again, the effort has been great, and these are small complaints, but easy fixes. Just let it rip. Saad, Toews, Hossa, Sharp, Kane, just start peppering Andersen with shots and he will buckle. Right now he is playing out of his mind but he is also seeing 97% of what is being thrown at him.
    Like many have said, no said it would be easy. Ducks are a quality team, but not the juggernaut NBC seems intent on making them out to be. If the Ducks were to win the series, they will crumple in the SCF because every year they shit themselves and fall apart in a series. I was (and still am) hoping it happens in this series. Get it back to 2-2 and put the doubt back in their head.

  • SuperHawk27

    I’m picturing Q as a child, with a glass jar, trying to catch TB Lightning players as they float around the open ice like lightning bugs in an open grassy field at dusk. He can reach them, but he is too uncoordinated to catch them without smashing them around the lip of the jar. Even though he is smashing each one that he catches, you can tell he is having a great time.

  • wanker751

    Not much to add… good wrap.. except this.. sorry I am very punchy this morning so this is off topic.

    I just learned a moot point, in English means two things and both of those are the opposite of each other. It can mean 1. a Debatable question or a point that is irrelevant not open to debate.

  • rm

    Just a frustrating game to watch as a Blackhawks fan. Too many turnovers, too many times watching the Ducks with clear shots on Crawford within 15 feet of the net. Very little aggressiveness on our part. If your going to put in Versteeg and Nordstrom and not really counting on them to score for you (I mean who really in their right mind is going to bank on that?) Then use them to get into Perry, Getzlaf and others heads. Make it their mission to absolutely blow them up and have them go off and get sent to the penalty box just like St.Louis was so fond of doing. I’ll take double minors/majors all day long trading Versteeg/Nordstrom for Perry/Getzlaf.

  • David Mac

    Several posts, Crawford heroics and a fortunate bounce Tuesday night from being down 3-0. We’ve seen these lads recover before but hard to envision beating the Ducks 3 of 4 unless there’s much more coming from whomever gets inserted in the lineup and a “powerplay” that consistently sucks the momentum and energy out of the team.

    • HawkIPA

      Well, puck luck is a funny thing. Under that logic, we should’ve won Game 1. These things tend to even out in a series.

      • ZigZags82

        This. Regression or the opposite tends to help you out.

    • ZigZags82

      Well if you win Game 4, it’s best of 3. Not really hard to envision at all…

      • David Mac

        I guess my point is I don’t think (other than the goaltending), the Ducks are playing to potential yet either. That said I hope your “envision” is better than mine. I do have a feeling that the only team capable of eliminating the Hawks are themselves (iffin you follow me). Cheers to you and hopefully the team.

        • ZigZags82

          Yeah. The Hawks are playing to how they’re capable with adjustments, then no one will beat them. I hope they do. Seeing ANA’s cycle game in work last night though, makes me think they can’t get much better (goaltending too). Hawks will find a way and it will be cheers to us all lol.

  • Dan Ehlert

    – I thought 10/80/86 was arguably the strongest line in OT game 2, but lets changed 2/3rds of that, makes sense.
    – Shoot the puck.
    – Maybe Q will trust his gut and play Carcillo game 4. Need that energy.. uhh…
    – If Vermette even had a slight thought of re-signing for a “hometown discount, in hopes of winning a cup with the Hawks” next year, those thoughts are completely out the window.

    – Shoot the puck.

    • juniorgilb

      The Blackhawks were never going to sign Vermette. Way too expensive.

  • Lionel Hutz

    I usually bounce back pretty quickly but this is a tough pill to swallow. I was salivating all day at the possibilities with this lineup and Q blows it up to put a guy who hasn’t played in a month and some surgically repaired fresh legs out there that haven’t been effective in 5 years. If there are injuries so be it, but you can’t tell me this is the best lineup the organization can put out there. This was entirely self inflicted.

    Shaw and Desjardins won 9 of 27 draws last night. That is the story to me. That shouldn’t happen at home.

  • Shooter

    If I had to sum up the game in one word, it would be “tired” That’s how they all looked. Powerplay, forecheck, etc. They all looked exhausted and just going through the motions. I could see Tuevo taking a seat due to “conditioning” He didn’t play all that much in the regular season, and enough overtime games, he may have been gassed..but that’s the only excuse I can think of. Nothing short of a serious injury would warrant nordstrom coming into a game. Hopefully this was all due to fatigue, and Q’s experimentation, and never happens again…but suppose we’ll see tomorrow.

  • Bobby Otter

    There’s some major regression coming for Andersen, question is, will the Hawks be around to see it? Andersen is playing at a level that’s unsustainable right now, 0.935 save percentage in the playoffs and in the last five games, his save percentage is .945; highest it’s been since he’s come back from an injury in early March.

    His five game rolling average since March is .919; in the playoffs it’s been .931 (only playoff games) and dropped to .920 once. Like Jimmy Howard and Rask in 2013, the guys eventually fell back to who they were.

    But it’s always a race against time with these things. Getting pucks on net is the best solution to correcting Andersen’s play. And playing your best players is the best way to get more pucks on net.

    • Jim

      Blocked shots in close are keeping his save % up. His saves are coming from outside which are low percentage.

      • rhodes

        Exactly this.

  • Bleed Red&Black

    I thought we were fine after games 1 & 2 cuz of our puck possession. Last night I noticed that the ducks are stacking the center of the ice and letting us possess the puck on the outside. This is leading to ONE shot, not hard to stop and that’s it!!! no second chances, It was obvious last night. When they can corral the puck (in front of their own net) after our ONE shot and have time to look up ice for an outlet pass rather than pressured to sweep it to the corner, It got me saying where in the F is Bickell! isn’t that his job? Shaw & Toews are the ONLY guys to get in there and with the line changes last night it took Shaw out too. We gotta get Bick in front of the net for some loose change or it’s going to be tough.

  • juniorgilb

    My only belated purpose here is beating the dead horse called Q. The Game 3 lineup changes were complete bullshit and I said so before the fact. Q is generally a very good coach, but he has blatant blind spots about certain players, e.g. Handzus, Bollig, Versteeg, Carcillo, Timonen, any young player who makes a second mistake. It is his achilles heel, and it cost the Blackhawks in 2014. The idea that he wanted to ‘give another chance’ to Versteeg who is so overwhelmingly inferior to Vermette as a 200-foot player is mind-blowing and unacceptable. Versteeg must have photos of Q in a compromising position. Same comments, slightly dialed down, for Tuevo v. Nordy. Timonen can barely skate, and Q knows this because he barely plays him. Dressing a 5-minute D-man is idiotic.

  • Preacher

    I’ve been going over these personnel decisions in my head all day long and getting angrier throughout the day. There HAS to be injuries. Just HAS to be. It is beyond comprehension that Q is stupid enough to neuter his best possession lines in order to play Steeger and Nordstrom. “Fresh legs”???? Nordstrom played 7 minutes. And what could he have seen in Steeger that made him think it was a good idea to put Mr. Turnover in the lineup? They don’t even practice during the playoffs. Why is Q hellbent on keeping Versteeg on the ice? We did this last year. It didn’t turn out well. Q can’t be as big of a fool as this looks. There HAS to be more to the story. It is just infuriating.
    Rant over.
    For now. (I’m dreading Saturday.)

  • To Saad be the glory

    Hawks recalled TVR from Rockford today. He has been physically cleared to play. Q was going to look at him at Fridays skate and see how far along he is as far as being able to play maybe later in this series.”

    Disclaimer: I am merely reporting facts. Anyone who insinuates that i think he could play or thinks that he will be able to play is as delusional as Q’s lineup changes last night.”

  • juniorgilb

    Q blind spot and favoritism, this time for Versteeg. 2 bad decisions that compound the chronically bad decision to dress a 5-minute D-man (Timmo). As with the Kings and Red Wings (almost) the past 2 seasons, Q seems determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.