Fireside Chat

After missing last week’s post, there’s a lot of things brewing on my stove here. Let’s try to keep all the pots and pans in order. Or something like that.

–Perhaps most topical right now is the Max Lapierre face-rubbing of Dan Boyle at full speed into the boards which resulted in Boyle leaving the ice on a stretcher. Lapierre will rightfully be suspended for his reckless hit. Dirty hit, blah, blah, blah. We know the drill by now.

The part I found so delicious was Todd McClellan’s quote after the game.

“It’s the player’s game. We just went through a lockout to try and fix things,” he said. “The players had huge input into how they want the game to be played. The respect factor is not where it needs to be. Hard and stupid are two different things.”

Coming from a coach that actively played a one Raffi Torres last year and claimed this hit on Jarret Stoll to not even be worth a penalty, the world isn’t exactly weeping right now for poor Todd McClellan.

–Another thing that’s getting very old very quick is this immediate rush to proclaim borderline playoff teams as “contenders.”  If you haven’t noticed by now, and chances are you probably haven’t, there’s a civil war taking place in Toronto due to their lack of puck possession.

Grizzled hockey people are more satisfied with the Leafs overall record after…wait for it…7 games. Proponents of advanced metrics, meanwhile, are pointing to the Leafs getting housed in every puck possession category and say a massive course correction is coming. Again, this is all after 7 games.

Of course, Toronto isn’t the only place where small sample sizes are being blown up to epic proportions. But it is probably the only place where blood and tears will be shed.

The aforementioned San Jose Sharks, who enjoy big starts and quick finishes more than Michael Bay movies, are 6-0. You would think after a decade of playoff disappointments, ranging from 1st round exits to Conference Final barfings, pundits and experts would know better. You would be an idiot for thinking so. In an upset of moderate proportions, Liam McHugh has already said “STATEMENT GAME” and “Sharks” in the same sentence more times than “Kiss my ass Milbury.”

The Colorado Avalanche are off to another hot start which is another delightful occurrence seeing as Patrick Roy is Lord of the Red Asses. Colorado’s first run-in with adversity cannot come soon enough.

The list goes on of other teams that are being anointed as “contenders” before they’ve faced more than two teams from their division. Minnesota is another team that comes to mind for the celebration of their “amazing” puck possession skills. Again, 7 games into their season.

I don’t know if last year’s 48 game regular season recalibrated everyone’s expectation levels for the season or if people have been hitting themselves over the head with shinny sticks all summer, but the NHL season is loooooooooooong. And with a two week break for the Olympics, it’s going to be even longer. Let’s wait until then before we start plugging teams into the playoffs who haven’t been there in awhile.

–I recently broke tradition, went ahead and purchased NHL ’14. The game is entertaining and I enjoy playing it. My only problem with it is the same problem I’ve had with EA Sports since they became the only game in town. There is no real innovation. Every year, they throw in a new wrinkle just to say they’ve changed (broken sticks, Be a Pro mode, the Hartford Whalers, etc.) but it’s essentially the exact same game as it has been for the past five or six years.

Gary Thorne and Bill Clement have the same script. Players have the same celebrations, same look, same feel. Nothing about the game feels different with the exception of the rosters.

There was a time when new sports games came with the promise of something new, different and exciting. Maybe it’s because I was younger or maybe it’s because technology was advancing at a far superior rate. I can certainly understand that. But I would like to see more attention to detail put into the stadiums, the lighting or other intricacies that would start to differentiate the game from year to year. Make me feel like I’m in the United Center or the Shark Tank. Those stadiums all have unique designs to them. Give those to me; rather than the same cookie cutter look from year to year.

Instead, they give us a new fighting engine which is absolutely pointless unless you want to see Patrick Kane drop the gloves with Barret Jackman because Jackman took a run at Toews. Because that’s how it normally goes down.

And the NHL ’94 Anniversary Mode is a farce. It’s not even worth wasting the space to discuss.

–The world waits for Brandon Pirri to get an extended look with the Hawks forwards and Joel Quenneville laughs manically as he rubs Michal Handzus’s beautiful head of hair.

All joking aside, the Hawks could definitely use contributions from their secondary scorers. Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger and Bryan Bickell are doing nothing to lighten the scoring load off Kane, Toews, Sharp and Hossa. And with Hossa looking like a shell of himself right now, let me quote the late, great Lt. Frank Drebin when I say “That’s no gouda.”

This is the time in the season to let guys like Pirri, Ben Smith, (ahem) Jeremy Morin and hell even Brandon Bollig decide whether they’re worth giving an opportunity later in the season instead of letting Hossa and Handzus log big minutes on their aging bodies. Let’s see if Pirri can find chemistry with Sharp or if Ben Smith can stay healthy enough to give you consistent effort on the 4th line.

Getting guys like Shaw, Kruger and Bickell on the board will make Joel Quenneville a lot more comfortable in doing so. But right now, as he’s so desperate for goals and keeping scores down, he’s always going to trust the players that have done it for him before regardless of age, mobility or health, instead of those unproven rookies and younger players.

At least for right now.

 

 

  • Gozer the Traveler

    Disagree that Hoss “looks like a shell of himself.” leads the league in takeaways, has potted a couple recent goals, and still looks like a beast on the puck.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      He’s potted a recent goal, not a couple. He’s got 2 goals on the season thus far – the empty netter in game 1 vs Washington and the one he scored in Carolina on Tuesday. I’m with you in disagreeing that Hoss looks like a shell of himself, but he also doesn’t look particularly close to mid-season form yet

      • Z-man19

        IMHO he’s progressed the last two games. Seeing more of the Hossa we all love to watch. Another week or two and I think he’s back to full ‘I am Hossa and you ain’t’ mode.

        • Why

          I’m with you. He’s getting and creating chances.

    • Fleshrifle

      Point being more TOI in October against Eastern teams for Pirri, Morin, etc could pay dividends in April and May. Unless of course there are contract considerations involved.

    • Joe Banks

      Being “Hossa” is a magical thing. It is a standard that most can only dream of achieving. I have definitely seen a few “shell” moments, but I cannot help but feel I have commited sacrilege having said so. (you know, like using the Lord’s name in vain, or drawing a cartoon of Mohammed).
      I do feel he’s improving every game, and I have seen a few “Marian Hossa” moments. I think he’s a keeper.

    • cliffkoroll

      Yeah, but since he’s been with the Hawks, Hoss has a pattern of coming on like gangbusters when “fresh” – i.e. beginning of season or just returning from injury. Haven’t really seen that this year.

  • BestPredsForward

    I hope someone makes the photoshop thing of Q as Dr. Evil and Handzus’s face of the cat.

  • cliffkoroll

    Remember at the beginning of last year, when Kruger got sent down? I feel like Pirri must have done something to get up Q’s nose- maybe assuming he had a roster spot and not pushing this summer or something.

    Anyhoo, the sooner the better.

    • Joe Banks

      My problem with Pirri isn’t his talent, it’s his mouth. I’ve only seen him in person for 3 Icehog games, (very small sample size) and his “Bitchyness” was very noticable. Bitched at Refs, teammates, and Coaches.
      That being said, this past season, he seems to be learning not to do that. Hopefully, he gets it now. Give the boy some minutes, and maybe you’ll get a man in return.

      • laaarmer

        Pirri should be playing 4th line minutes. I think 4th line minutes in the NHL are better than 1st line minutes in the AHL. If he performs, he gets moved up the ladder. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t move up the ladder.
        I still feel that somebody is getting traded, I’m not sure who.

  • laaarmer

    Why is it that everybody dislikes Handzus? Is he as bad a player as you all say/think. It may be that Pirri can score more, but it’s not certain. It is certain that in 5 games, Handzus is a + player and has contributed offensively (3 points, which is 2 off the team lead). The team right now is not a juggernaut. I’m going to agree with Q here, God help me. Handzus gives the team a better chance to win right now.

    • Why

      I am upvoting this while acknowledging I haven’t see Pirri play a lot. I get that Handzus isn’t a burner (to put it mildly) but I’m still more confident with him than I am with a rookie that has played 8 NHL games.

      • laaarmer

        I haven’t seen him play either, but Q has, and so have the rest of The Hawks coaching team. Something is there, or to say it better, they think something is not there, yet. Hopefully Pirri works it out, whatever it is.

        • Why

          The thing is though, he’s up now. So the Hawks have seen enough from him to think that he’s worth giving a crack. I’m entirely with you on the point that “earning a couple games” does not equal “should replace Handzus” but I’m a little more excited than I was at the start of the season.

          • laaarmer

            Let him play 4th line for a few games, if you want to see his work ethic. Can he focus and work for that time, or is he going to be a tool? If he can grind, he can contribute. Look at the team. They can all, with 1-2 exceptions grind it out when necessary.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            I would like to see this.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m good with this. Too bad Q isn’t.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            As a fan, I definitely want to see Pirri play just because I feel like he’s a total mystery. Here’s this guy who leads the AHL in points and he just can’t break in the lineup (not defensively responsible enough?).

            On the other hand, Handzus is a wily-veteran and makes so good/timely plays. He’s slow-footed, but has great vision and is a play-maker. I’m sure it’s hard for Q to take a guy who just helped you win a Cup and replace him with a guy you have questions about (better the devil you know type thing).

            It’s a bit of a quandry, though a good one. My main frustration is seeing Pirri get frustrated and talking about wanting to get traded if there’s no room for him, etc.

          • Why

            I get that, but Pirri’s going to get a few cracks at playing so long as he’s the 13th forward. It’s on him to a certain a degree (and to me, to a higher degree than Q).

          • Joe Banks

            Has Pirri said he wants to be traded?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Just wait a few weeks.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            No, he hasn’t demanded a trade. I overstated it a bit. But he’s clearly frustrated and chomping at the bit to get a chance to play at the NHL level: ““You can’t control where you are,” 22-year-old Pirri said of playing with the IceHogs. “You just have to do the best with the situation you have. Obviously getting into some games and getting back into a routine, that helps a lot. I just want to show well. Hopefully, I get that opportunity with the Blackhawks or somewhere else. ”

            http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/blackhawks/post/_/id/4677345/morin-pirri-working-through-disappointment

        • 10thMountainFire

          Yeah, laaarms, they also saw Hayes play and they let him take up a spot on the bench for the first few games so… there’s your ‘Q analysis’.

      • 10thMountainFire

        We’re not going to see Pirri play. This is the latest in Q’s stupid fuckin ‘Stan can’t tell me what to do’ game.

        • Joe Banks

          This just in: Q will not play Pirri unless they repeal Obamacare.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You win all the internets.

      • zacked

        You have to let the rookies play SOMETIME. What better time than in October against a soft schedule? Pirri is 22, he’s played 3 full seasons in the A. He’s not some 18 year old straight out of junior.

        • 10thMountainFire

          This and this and this.

          • Z-man19

            need a that in there somewhere

          • 10thMountainFire

            That.

        • Why

          He’s gotten one game out of two since being called up. How many games would people like Handzus to miss?

          • 10thMountainFire

            I don’t know. I don’t want him to miss any. But the fact that you have a guy that has to ‘managed’ like a netminder is not a good trend to rest your Cup hopes on.

          • raditzzzz

            stupid netminders and their needing days off…

            i hate those guys.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Terrorists.

          • raditzzzz

        • Bullitt315

          Would you take a 1-3-2 start so we could start the rookies instead? They’ll work the kids in and starting strong is a good thing.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Another strawman.

            So Pirri over Zus would have us at 1-3-2. Nicely done.

          • Bullitt315

            I have no idea what it would have done but starting rookies over veterans can have consequences. We’re 4-1-1 with what we’ve had so far which means I’m not particularly upset Pirri hasn’t gotten his time yet.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Then you probably shouldn’t have led with the 1-3-2 comment.

            And assuming Pirri would be a step down over that same span of games is a leap of logic that even faith healers would be averse to.

          • Bullitt315

            And Pirri did start against the weakest team we’ve faced so far. Washington, the Blues, and The Islanders aren’t week teams

          • 10thMountainFire

            Nine minutes is a great sample size, huh?

          • Bullitt315

            I wouldn’t mind Pirri playing. I think you’re going after the wrong guy to replace him with. Replacing a producing veteran for an unknown rookie doesn’t seem like the smart play to me. Put him on a bum slaying line to get him some NHL time but Pirri for Zus seems ridiculous to me until we know more about Pirri.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I have no issues slotting him at 4C. My issues remain the legitimacy of his ‘chance’. Q has done the same thing with Smith and Morin. Smith, specifically, had to play behind an obviously shitty Hayes for a few games before getting his chance… and immediately producing.

          • 2883

            Pirri is a scoring line or bust type player. He has to slot on the Hawks top 9 or find himself on a team where he can. He’s valuable for his offensive playmaking skills.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Did you really just say he has to play 1 or 2? He can slot 4th nicely for a few games. If he outplays Zus (which, despite all the hand-wringing here about some fantastical Zus v Pirri debate, is possible) then you give him a chance on the 2.

            If you’re saying he’s not capable of producing like Zus and he’s solely a first or second line guy, then what is the fuckin point of having him here?

          • 2883

            because Zus is better at what a 4th liner does. For Pirri to be successful (to get the most out of him, to make him useful, for Pirri to see icetime) he has to be an offensive playmaker. That is his role. His raison de etre. Take for instance his HF profile…

            Talent Analysis

            Pirri’s puckhandling and playmaking skills are by far his strongest attributes. His decision-making and feel for the offensive game continues to improve at the professional level and has helped him develop into an offensive leader at the AHL level. He is adept at finding the soft spots in the offensive zone and possesses a hard shot. Though his defensive game is a work in progress, Pirri is not quite a liability and has added enough strength to compete against larger forwards. A potential top six center, his main hurdle will be adjusting to the speed and tightened space at the NHL level.
            If you put him on your 4th line, you’re taking his BEST attributes and saying go be a playmaker for Brandon Bollig and Ben Smith. Good fucking luck…

          • 10thMountainFire

            Worked against Buffalo.

          • 2883

            Against what was possibly one of the easiest QoC he’ll ever face.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Again… ‘whatever’.

          • 2883

            Scouting reports psh who needs them.
            Stats, psh who needs them.
            He’s a good hockey player, he’ll fit anywhere.

          • 10thMountainFire

            How do you fuckin know after nine measly minutes? You can’t assess him at this level with nine fuckin minutes. Why is that hard for you to see?

          • 2883

            My argument isn’t whether he’d be successful as a hockey player. My argument is that if you put him on the 4th line, you’re negating his best qualities. I think he’s been in the AHL long enough for the Hawks to know what type of player he is. Do you disagree with any of that?

          • 10thMountainFire

            AHL does not equal NHL. There are plenty of players that blossomed in the NHL that had marginal stats and production in the AHL. My entire point is: no one can judge Pirri until he’s had time to prove or disprove that he’s ready with the big club.

          • Bullitt315

            Top 9 includes the 3rd line which is where I’d like to see him get time but he’d have to replace Smith.

          • 2883

            And break up the line that’s been one of your most consistent producers on many advanced metrics (Saad/Shaw/Nordstrom)?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Saad is likely going to see time with 19 and 88.

          • 2883

            Maybe, then you reshuffle your lines as need be. That said. I don’t think it changes my opinion. Pirri needs someone to distribute the puck to or else you’re wasting his best attributes.

          • 10thMountainFire

            The Bollig-Pirri-Smith line looked very good against Buffalo.

          • 2883

            See below. The matchups he faced were not tough matchups. Any number of players could have looked similarly good in that role.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Jesus fuckin H.

            You are going to long, long distances to even dismiss the very idea that the kid can play.

          • 2883

            I’m not. I’d like to see him in a much bigger role, sink or swim role playing with Sharp/Hossa or Bickell/Smith

          • 10thMountainFire

            Then you give him some time in Zus’s role.

          • 2883

            I agree. 10 G’s Give him a fair shake.

          • Bullitt315

            I agree I don’t think it’s going to happen for that reason which doesn’t bother me. Pirri is a victim of unfortunate circumstance. I agree with XMF if we’re going to have him up, he is going to have to get some ice time I’m just not as urgent about it. It’s a long season.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I also see us potentially losing Pirri for lack of development up with the big club all for Zus who will not be here after this season.

          • 2883

            We waived Stanton for that same reason to keep Michael Kostka.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Ok…

          • 2883

            Just pointing out that this type of player can sometimes get lost in the mix…

          • 10thMountainFire

            You really spend a ton of time equating players and situations with no logical connection.

          • 2883

            Sure.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Ok, this is where I respond ‘whatever’.

          • 2883

            Indeed.

          • Bullitt315

            I’ll agree with you on Hayes but our 4th line has looked really good and I see no reason to change it and Shaw and Saad aren’t going anywhere. We have too many third line players and not enough spots for them.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Decent problems to have, really.

          • Why

            Some of us don’t think that’s a strawman. 1-3-2 might be an overstatement, but there are some comments that suggest you have to play Pirri now to find out what you have. The counter argument is that you’ve got to play the guys that you think give you the best chance to win, and a guy who is relatively unknown at the NHL level may not be that guy.

            Again, I’m hoping Pirri busts through and gets 70, but I get why he was sent down (for a whopping three games) after someone else had a better training camp and why he’s only played one of two so far.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I just don’t by the ‘Pirri = not 4-1-1′. That, to me, is a non-starter for a rational debate.

          • Why

            I agree with you that it`s probably an overstatement. But I get the point there.

          • Preacher

            I thought you said “national” debate and I thought you’d confused your blog threads.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Well played, Padre.

    • Beth

      My stance on Handzus is 3 things:

      1. I want him ready for playoffs. He’s aging, coming off some pretty serious injuries and the shortest offseason in years. I want him playing fewer minutes and fewer games. Get him as much rest as needed to be 100% and keep him there. (I basically feel this way about Hossa’s back).

      2. He’s pretty slow. I’d like to see what the 2nd line looks like with a faster center.

      3. I just don’t see what the Hawks will do if Toews gets hurt. Zus isn’t a first line center. Neither is Shaw or Kreuger. Can you really throw a guy getting 4th line minutes some games into that role? Toews is one big hit away from missing a lot of games. And if the last week has shown anything, its that there are plenty of players out there ready to give that hit. If only as a desperate contingency plan I want Pirri getting more, consistent minutes.

      • laaarmer

        They are all one big hit away.

        Look out for that bus!
        Lions!
        Fox News!
        Olbermann!

        • 10thMountainFire

          What does Ndamukong Suh have to do with this?

      • lizmcneill

        Sharpy or Kaner to 1C. Of course then the 2nd line becomes a black hole of suckage with one dude trying to drag Zus and a rookie around the ice..

    • 10thMountainFire

      Stop with the strawman. It’s not that we don’t like Zus. He’s simply going to get his gears stripped at 2C and we’re relying too heavily on a guy who needs ‘rest days’. Your fuckin 2C shouldn’t need ‘rest days’. Simply, you cannot rely on him over the long-haul. He has a history of injuries that severely impact our ability to project power from that second line when his body is not able to go every night.

      Put him on the 4th and let Pirri get a shot. Otherwise, why fuckin bother with Pirri at all? Just fuckin send him back to the Pigs or deal him. This game is fuckin old.

      • laaarmer

        God, you are boring.

        Read some more before you get your Pirri tits in an uproar.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Fuck you!

          Can I have a hug?

          • laaarmer

            There is not any room between you and Pirri for hugs.

            Also, look up strawman before you use it. It’s not a catch all for people who disagree with you, which in itself could be construed as a strawman argument.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Your comment about me not knowing what a strawman is is a strawman.

            And I’m like, 30 seconds from setting you on fire with a butane lighter and a gallon of accelerant.

          • laaarmer

            That is a strawman argument if I’ve ever seen one.

            Fucking Strawman with your straw hat and straw in your mouth.

      • Bullitt315

        “He has a history of injuries that severely impact our ability to project power from that second line when his body is not able to go every night.” Look at his games played. Dude is basically a horse. I’m much more worried about Hossa.

        • 10thMountainFire

          I agree. I love Zus, truly. But my argument is strictly how we plan over the largesse of an entire campaign. We can’t rely on Zus being an everyday player, which may be the problem we run into with Rozy eventually as well. In this, I propose Pirri start getting some substantial time to demonstrate what he can do. Because, injuries always possible, he may be our only real shot at replacing an injured Zus at some point. I’d rather not have Pirri go in cold.

          • Bullitt315

            You might get your wish tonight with Pirri. Hopefully he does well because this is a stronger team if he can play 2nd or 3rd line center.

          • 2883

            Absolutely. A successful Pirri makes the 2nd line especially much more competitive.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I hope so. It would be nice to see him paired with Hoss and Sharp. That line intrigues me quite a bit.

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

            Largesse? Whatsit?

  • Bannerman

    Since no one really believes that Handzus can play all 82 and still have anything left for the playoffs, the Hawks will need someone to fill in there. I’d rather find out sooner than later if Pirri can really be that guy.

    But Pirri’s Ice time doesn’t have to come at the expense of Handzus. It should come at the expense of Bollig with Kruger or Shaw lining up at wing

  • Joe Banks
    • Why

      I haven’t been enamoured with Yakupov but are the Oilers really talking about trading the #1 overall pick (“and more”) to Buffalo in exchange for a 33 year old goaltender who is in the last year of his contract? I’m not sure I believe this one.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Does seems hard to believe.

        • Joe Banks

          It is literally Kane for Miller all over again, except ridiculous instead of ludicrous.

          • Bullitt315

            Kane for Miller wasn’t in a contract year for Miller. So I’m going with both being ludicrous.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Doesn’t ring a bell.

    • Preacher

      You mean trade the back-checking, defensively responsible, it’s-my-puck-and-you-can’t-take-it-away-from-me Patrick Kane? No, haven’t heard that one.

  • Paul the Fossil

    So while killing time at a newstand I’m flipping through Bobby Orr’s new autobiography, and there’s a section where he talks about how as a player he was never much interested in adjusting his tactics based on who he was up against. He explains that he always found that more distracting than helpful, that he thought he was more effective if he just played his game regardless of which individual players might be on the ice even great ones.

    (Which makes some sense given that he was, you know, BOBBY ORR. That would certainly be my advice to him as his coach: “You’re faster and more skilled than anybody else on the ice kid, hell anybody else who’s _ever_ been on this ice, so make them adjust to you!”)

    The cool part was that he names, out of all the great players he went up against in his career, exactly two exceptions to the above approach. Two individual players who he found to be so dangerous that he did decide to keep special track of them whenever they were on the ice against the Bruins.

    Those two exceptions named and described by Orr are: Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita.

    • 1benmenno

      That is cool.

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

      Thanks for posting that. My friends will tell you, they just don’t hear enough “Blackhawks Are Best” stories from me yet.

  • 10thMountainFire

    Gary Thorne fucking sucks.

  • 2883

    it’s not that I believe that Pirri can’t be successful, it’s that I feel like everyone assumes he will be. Yeah he lead the Rockford Hogs in scoring the past year or so. But in 2010-2011 (the last year a non Pirri lead the team in scoring) do you know who it was? If you guessed Jeff Taffe (67 P in 74 G) pat yourself on the back, you’re a winner. If you answered Brian Connolley you’d be close (52 pts in 80 G). If you find yourself asking who? Then you’re a winner regardless.

    AHL success is great. If you want him to get a fair chance in the NHL, that’s fine too, I think we all do. But he’s 22 not 30. He can take another year, and have a chance in the next year or two to either prove he can stay in the NHL or not. It doesn’t need to happen now. Whether he’s an upgrade to the already existing centers remains to be seen, but I feel like people assume he is the answer. There’s a difference between, wanting to get a measure of someone’s potential and believing that he’ll produce if Q will just skate him. I think the meter has swayed to the latter.. not the former.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Is someone selling strawmen at a discount today?

      How do you make the logic leap of Pirri equating possibly to Taffe? How in any way do you dismiss the assessment of skill and how that applied skill benefits the big team’s needs?

      Obviously Pirri was good enough for Stan to go public with the 2C statement. Q immediately walked that back and even went so far as to push Saad to the middle as an idea, which exponentially increased the fuckery and stupidity. Then he kept Hayes.

      Q’s track record on this is that he gives few chances to guys he doesn’t like: Smith, Morin, Pirri among them.

      • 2883

        Yeah at the dollar store. I wasn’t equating them, merely pointing out that Pirri’s offensive contributions which by his scouting reports on any number of sites is his strongest attribute, is not unlike other AHL players who fizzled out. Pirri has to be able to play on a top 9 line or he is not going to play at all.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Then keep your receipt because yours burned quickly.

          You’re referencing points figures and then demanding we engage the debate as to why those with superior points totals don’t get a chance. My response, which is above. reminded you that point totals are not all-encompassing of the capabilities of a player.

          Then, below, I addressed why your idea of him not being capable of playing 4th is a non-starter: if he needs minutes to prove himself (whatever the fuck that means) and if he can’t dislodge the immortal Zus, what the fuck do you do with him?

          At some point, most young future stars play on the fourth line. I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that a skilled player isn’t a fourth liner.

          • 2883

            With the way the Hawks are playing now… here are their lines.
            Bickell Toews Kane
            Sharp Zus Hossa
            Saad Shaw Nordstrom
            Bollig Kruger Smith
            He has to beat out Zus and play with Sharp and Hossa to get minutes. And I wouldn’t mind that. He’s a playmaker. I wonder how his puck possession skills and faceoffs are.. because that’s what that line needs someone who can win faceoffs and distribute to Sharp and Hossa…
            He can’t slot on the 4th line as currently constructed, Bollig and Smith would not be good fits for Pirri as his best attributes are his stickhandling and his playmaking/vision.

          • 10thMountainFire

            No. Bickell is now moving to third and Gaad to first.

          • 2883

            Maybe, the last game I watched (vs. Car) he was on the top line.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Bicks is likely moving to third. He’s not a natural first liner in any way and, further, that was simply a late post-season ‘catch fire’ situation. Gaad will be a first or second liner with more regularity this season.

          • laaarmer

            Tell us how you are setting up the PK?

  • 2883

    FWIW, 4 players are tied atop the PPG standings for the Icehogs after a miniscule # of G’s.
    W Brad Mills 1.00 (4 GP 2 G 2 A 4 P)
    D Adam Clendening 1.00 (4 GP 2 G 2 A 4 P)
    W Alex Broadhurst 1.00 (4 GP 1G 3A 4 P)
    C Brandon Pirri 1.00 (3 GP 0 G 3 A 3 P)

    Their ages: 30-20-20-22.

    Where’s the clamouring for Clendening who perhaps is the Hawks best defensive prospect?

    • 10thMountainFire

      Stop equating things. You have to include what the team requires, skill, and many other variables. It’s not strictly based on points. No one ever said that. At least not anyone with a brain.

      • 2883

        What do we have other than numbers, Pirri’s contributions ARE strictly offensive in nature? that’s where his skillset lies is his offensive playmaking. We’re not talking about an Andrew Shaw here… Brandon Pirri wouldn’t succeed as that type of player… If Pirri isn’t offensively creating opportunities, he’s not a successful NHL hockey player. And he’s not going to create opportunities playing with Brandon Bollig or Ben Smith imo.

        • 10thMountainFire

          We. Don’t. Fucking. Know. Because. Pirri. Hasn’t. Played. Yet. Aside. From. His. Nine. Minutes.

          It’s like you’re demanding to know why we won’t just go ahead and acquiesce to the ‘Pirri won’t work on the fourth or other’ idea while concurrently stating that there are others that can. That lack of logic has unbalanced my yin and yang.

          • 2883

            I give up. You’re either not seeing or I’m not explaining what I mean well enough to make it worthwhile.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Bottom fuckin line:

            I take issue with you saying ‘Pirri cant _____’ when the guy has had all of nine fuckin minutes to prove himself. You jumping to say ‘no’ on him is a non-starter.

          • 2883

            I’m saying you’re not utilizing his skill set putting him with crummy linemates. The End.

          • 10thMountainFire

            ‘His skill set doesn’t fit but I’m going to say he can’t anyway even though he hasn’t gotten a chance’.

          • 2883

            It’s not as if you need to see him play in the NHL to know what he’s good at and not good at in hockey. I’m sure the Hawks have a pretty good idea what his skillset is and is not.

          • 10thMountainFire

            That first sentence made me laugh. Loudly.

          • 2883

            Sweet. I was being bitingly sarcastic.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            LOUD NOISES!!!! It is distressing to see 2 of my favs argue. I love you guys. Now let’s hug this bitch out.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Not arguing. Hugging excitedly.

          • laaarmer

            But Pirri is in the way of you hugging.

    • nextgame

      From what I saw of Clendening in the pre-season (and, yeah, I know that doesn’t count for a lot) he really doesn’t defend well at all. I think right now he’d get torched in the big leagues.

  • VanDorp’sMullet

    Hold on, NHL 14 has an NHL 94 mode and it sucks? What is up with that? No bleeding skulls?

  • birdhead

    Instead, they give us a new fighting engine which is absolutely pointless unless you want to see Patrick Kane drop the gloves with Barret Jackman because Jackman took a run at Toews.

    Um, who *doesn’t* want to see that? (In a video game where there’s no chance Jackman does any actual damage, obviously.)

    • DesertHawk

      Almost every game has like 2 or 3 fights… it gets old fast.

      • birdhead

        oh yeah, I’m sure generally speaking it’s annoying as hell, just that specific scenario would make me laugh so hard (again, strictly in the game).

        • DesertHawk

          It does lead to some funny circumstances. I’ve had Toews skate to my rescue a few times. Which is preposterous.