USATSI_7930577_160885884_lowres

Forty-Six & 2 Ahead Of Me: Kings 4 – Hawks 5 2OT (Kings lead 3-2)

Box Score

Event Summary

Extra Skater

It’s funny. We’ve been doing this blog for six seasons, and I think if you asked all three of us if there was a game that was simply beyond us, we wouldn’t have an answer. We might have one, which was Game 6 against Vancouver in 2009. But other than that, I really don’t think I’ve seen anything like tonight. Sure, at points both Finals against Philly and Boston reached a ridiculous pace. But there was an element of control in those.

This? This was in-the-red, eyes-tearing, consciousness-erasing shit from just about the 2nd period on. If not the 1st. I can honestly say that at least from the 3rd period on I’ve never seen a hockey game played at that pace. This was going plaid. It felt like I was thrown on an untested roller coaster pumped full of coke and seated next to Ted Nugent. 

I’ll get into the minutiae in a minute. But honestly, last night isn’t about that. I don’t even know if last night will matter in the long run (my suspicion is that it won’t). But before the 3rd, I tweeted a reference to The Two Towers, “If this is to be the end, let it be such an end…”  you know the rest. And the Hawks did make it such an end.

Seriously. They went toe-to-toe with perhaps the deepest crop of forwards around all playing at the top of their game with at most nine forwards. Shaw got hurt, Sharp is suffering from something, Versteeg couldn’t have been more stapled to the bench if he was a fucking termite, and Bollig was Bollig. Handzus wasn’t even used.

And even with all that, they just went balls out and dared the Kings to come with them. The Kings did, probably should have won, and yet the Hawks refused to capitulate. We question so much around here, but we’ve never questioned their sack. If you’re new to all of this, tonight proves why.

Ok, guess I’d better attempt to do this:

DarylZero

The Two Obs

-I know everyone wants to make me wear it because of Zus’s winner. If I were you I would too. I could quote the ice times of every other forward other than Versteeg and Bollig. I could point out that Q only put him out there because he had to. I could point out that Saad and Kane made the whole play because everyone else was dead. But you know what? You all knew all of this before you read it here. Whatever. It just had to be this way.

-Since about last spring, we’ve begged for Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane to play together. They have sporadically, but it never really popped consistently. Tonight is what we dreamed of. If there’s a Hawks winger who has put on a more complete and gutsy performance that Saad tonight, I’d like to know what it would be. This was the very definition of “KNEEL!!” Oh, and both Saad and Kane led the Hawks in Corsi.

-The big move tonight was to change up the d-pairs, which hasn’t been done since… you know I don’t even remember. I can’t pretend to get in Q’s head, but if I had to guess I think it would be something along the lines of the Hawks needing one pairing that didn’t contain an unpredictability, which is what Oduya and Seabrook have become.

In some ways it worked. The highest Corsi among the d-men was Oduya and Rozsival (who may have had his best game of the year). They did it while not always seeing That 70′s Line but seeing them enough.

-I guess Leddy and Seabrook got housed. They were there for two goals against. But one came from Sharp staring at Stoll whacking away while Leds and Seabrook had guys tied up. The other was when Seabrook just staring at Dustin Brown scoring the 3rd after two Versteeg turnovers. Don’t know what else Leddy could do.

-Ha, Kris Versteeg. Tonight is what we laugh about after we never see him again. Because we shouldn’t.

-It’s a great thing the Hawks won because otherwise the conversation would have been about how bad Corey Crawford was while ignoring how bad Jonathan Quick was while playing behind the deeper team. Thankfully, at least for tonight we’ll just know both goalies were terrible.

-Considering how the Hawks had to play things tonight and the way time was distributed, a logical coach would just throw out Morin, Nordstrom and Regin for the simple fact they’ll have legs. Like a taxed bullpen, they need someone who can get you some innings. But that’s not coming. A couple of them might though, we know Versteeg is getting scratched. Likely Bollig too.

-There’s more to talk about. But this is getting long. I have no idea what the Hawks could possibly have left for Friday. They sold out tonight. They have three d-men who played over 29 minutes. They maxed out their forwards. The discouraging thing is the Hawks played as fast as they could and the Kings not only didn’t blink, but decided to go right with it. And they were right there.

But the heart and determination Q has instilled in this team once again was of greater measure than the silly lineup decision he’s made. I don’ t know how much longer he can ride that, but for one night…

But in the end the Hawks got it. I wouldn’t be shocked if they got totally blown out Friday. But then I never saw this amount of sheer balls coming either. It could be anything.

Go out on your shields.

 

  • SuperHawk27

    Kings had their turn of dominance….its the Hawks turn now. They are starting to click as the Kings were in games 2.5 through game 5. Ride the wave!

    • HawkIPA

      Most encouraging was Crawford. After that 4th goal, he turned it around, started making the saves we saw in St. Louis and Minnesota, looked confident.

    • fsd1

      would not be calling the game last night dominance on any level from either side, hard fought contest by both teams and if not for the post on Kopi’s shot we would have been watching handshakes. lots of hockey left.

      • Yachtsman

        Agreed. That game was like watching 2 heavyweight champions duking it out. Either team could have won that game.

  • John Nolan

    I get it, Sam. It’s after 11am and I’m still in a coma after sleeping past 9am. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game like that… and I’m in my 60s. Being up, being down, being tied, going into a 2nd goddamn overtime and then having Father Time winning it is almost too much to believe. And we (they) have to do it all over again tomorrow night. God help us all. GO HAWKS!!!

  • http://www.nosqldatabases.com Derek Stainer

    I’m banking on the fact that in these playoffs the Blackhawks have not won many on the road, however, they’ve gotten that one road victory that they needed. Obviously gm 5 against StL and 6 vs. the Wild. I’m hoping that trend continues and they get this back to the UC on Sunday.

  • PE-TER RE-GIN

    29-19-81
    20-65-88 (assuming Shaw is good enough to go)
    10-12-11
    26-16-28

    *shrug*

    • HawkIPA

      Morin, Regin, Sharp. I like that line. I’d also be cool with reuniting the red wedding line, and slotting Bickell on the third line. They were monstrous at the end of the regular season.

      • YoAdrienne

        Putting Sharpie back with Toews and Hossa might be just what the doctor ordered for him.

  • blackhawkski

    it dawned on me during OT that i was starting to get sad, not because the blackhawks season might end, but because *that* was going to end. it won’t be until next spring that we see another matchup like this. maybe it’s for the better. maybe we couldn’t handle it, making boring games vs. Nashville and the Panthers necessary.

    an absolutely perfect hockey game with nothing but incredible play and little to no silly bullshit. no head shots. no after whistle crap. just great hockey.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Speaking as the one guy on the board who has actually had a heart attack, yeah, bring on Nashville.

  • Hawkeytalk

    “It felt like I was thrown on an untested roller coaster pumped full of coke and seated next to Ted Nugent.” This is one reason why I read this blog, but the real reason is the rest of the analysis.

    I think there’s a better than a regular visitor chance the hawks lose tomorrow, but it’s going to be a trip.

    • Yachtsman

      I laughed out loud when I read that line. Not the first time and won’t be the last time from reading the great stuff here.

  • jordyhawk

    Going into the post-season, all I think we could ask was for the boys to put up a good defense of the Cup. As of last night I think we’ve gotten that. I was really proud of the way they scrapped. We’ll see if it translates to something more but if they lay it out again Friday night there should be no complaints.

  • Michael Scott

    Why do you say the Kings probably should have won?

    • HawkIPA

      The Kings’ second period was a fine one. Few were expecting that response from the Hawks in the 3rd. After that Smith goal, and the relentless pressure, I had a feeling we would get this game.

      • Michael Scott

        That’s what I had felt. Hawks took it to them in the third, and both teams were strong in OT, whereas maybe earlier in the series, the Hawks would buckle under the attack. They played hard and at the very least it’s 50/50. The team that should have won did.

    • pepe_silvia

      Yeah I’m baffled by that statement too. I thought the Hawks carried play for a majority of the game (probably not the 2nd though). Kane/Shaw/Saad was unbelievable. If the D is a little more picky about their pinches/aggressiveness, I think the Hawks win last night in regulation. But overall I was very happy with their effort. It was nice to watch them and feel like they really wanted it.

      • Michael Scott

        Absolutely. I mean they were only down one goal when they were down, with an entire period to go. It’s not like the outcome had just been decided and they’d need a miracle to pull it off. They responded, kept it up for a whole extra period and won. Isn’t that what we want?

    • DJ

      “Should have” is a bit too strong. They easily could have, no doubt, with that second period gut shot they got us with. But quickly tying the game in the third was enormous. After that…I though our overall play was better. Not by a large margin, though. And Kopitar could have easily won it but for the post.

      • Michael Scott

        Absolutely they could have. But I definitely don’t anything was decided after period 2. I think we Hawks fans are familiar with how little a late one goal lead can mean.

  • HawkIPA

    I still can’t believe what we saw last night. The Hawks took the best the Kings could give, matched it, and exceeded it in spectacular fashion. Whatever happens on Friday, last night’s game, particularly from the 3rd period on, was as fine of a display of hockey as I’ve seen. What a game.

    As for Friday, I don’t think the Hawks get blown out. I think we’re going to see a Crawford that finally has his confidence back, a top 6 that can go toe-to-toe with LA’s, and maybe even a bottom six that makes sense. I expect to have the Tums next to my beer, and am looking forward to another thriller.

  • Eddie_The_Eagle50

    Hopefully Saad and Kane stay in “fuck you” mode for Friday. If they do I’m not sure the Kings have an answer.

    • DJ

      This. And even if they ultimately have an answer, they need to find it right now. If they don’t, they’ll be playing on Sunday.

      Back in 1985, Toronto and KC were in the ALCS; Toronto was winning because right-handed Al Oliver was crushing Dan Quisenberry. It took KC until Game 4, but they came up with a counter-move to offset that. They went to left-handed relievers in the sixth, and Bobby Cox (who was a strict platooner at that time) would yank his right-handed hitters, including Oliver. Comes the ninth, Quisenberry comes in, and Oliver can’t face him. Toronto didn’t have enough time to respond, and KC won the series and beat the Cards in 7 (sort of).

      By accident or design, Q has given LA a big problem to solve for Game 6. The clock is ticking.

      • Manson3

        Al Oliver was a LH hitter

        • Crash

          So the random 30 year old reference is not accurate?

        • DJ

          Right. The point was that Howser provoked Cox to replace Oliver in the sixth inning, so that he was unable to face Quisenberry in the ninth. To paraphrase Bill James, Bobby Cox was a great manager, probably better than Dick Howser, but Howser got one step ahead of Cox at the absolutely worst time for the Jays.

    • Hawkeytalk

      And if the kings focus on them, hopefully capt and Hossa will make them pay.

  • Dan D

    Not sure what will happen Friday, but Crow having a real bounce back game after the 3rd and OT last night and having Morin finally pot one in the playoffs would give me warm fuzzies.

    • jordyhawk

      Yeah, two things that must happen for us to have a chance on Friday are 1) CC playing well start to finish and 2) far fewer mistakes. We’re not going to win the same way as last night.

  • http://www.twitter.com/JohnnyMadhouse JohnnyMadhouse

    Unless we make some serious adjustments, I wouldn’t expect huge production from Kaner for the rest of this series other than a diversion. Shortly after the start of the 3rd the Kings started convening team meetings around Kane anytime the puck got within 3 feet of him. I can still hear a Sutter slur out “don’t let that damn kid beat us mmmrmrmrmrmmrr,” in my head.

    • HawkIPA

      Except that he was the catalyst on the Zus winner. Nice little pass to Saad to get that play going.

      • http://www.twitter.com/JohnnyMadhouse JohnnyMadhouse

        This is fact, but outside of that he was pretty well contained for the second half of the game, as opposed to the first half where he was everywhere at once and probably should have had a cape on.

    • Hags

      not a news flash, Sutter’s been saying that all series and has been able to get away with it because Kane had to lug around the Slovakian boat anchor. He can’t play it that way any more, otherwise Brandon Saad is going to continue to slaughter everything standing in his way.

      With the new 2nd line, Q was finally able to get after the bottom 2 defensive pairings, which is the soft under belly of this Kings team. Now Sutter has to decide if he wants to let the Toews line battle Kopitar’s line without the aid of Doughty on the back end, or let the KiSS line run wild on Voynov/Mitchell.

      • Jim

        Does Q know this?

        • Hags

          I think he does now since the result was so obvious. The sad part is that it took him this long to figure out Zus can’t play 2C next to Kane

  • VanDorp’sMullet

    Lots of people saying that Versteeg will be benched and he should be. Probably permanently. He hasn’t really brought anything to the team since his acquisition and he seems to have regressed since his last stint with the team. However, Q’s lineup choices can be so mysterious and aggravating that I’m not counting Steeg out for the next game even. I mean, Q chose to skate Bollig for 82 regular season games. 82. Not once did he think, “Maybe I should try another guy there and see what happens.”

    We know the mantra (and for good reason): Q knows more about hockey than all of us put together. He’s… what? 3rd all time in wins? Has 2 Cups. The dude knows hockey, but I’m beyond understanding his lines sometimes and I don’t think anyone should be certain about any of those guys getting benched… esp. for Morin (who he clearly doesn’t trust).

    • Peter Turner

      Q has been trying Pirri for 28 of our regular season games. He was the one to break out like Saad did last season. Sadly, we must have owed Dale Tallon something big to trade him and Jimmy Hayes for Steeger.

      I agree with you on 82. I would rather have Kopecky #82 back instead of Steeg.

      • Crash

        Versteeg was a separate trade than Pirri. Steeg came in November and Pirri was filliped in March for picks.

    • Yachtsman

      I heard everyone’s favorite analyst Edzo on Kap & Haugh yesterday, and he said that he felt Versteeg would still be in the line up tonight. I laughed considering it was Edzo, but then I thought, hmmm…knowing Q anything is possible. We shall see what we shall see.

  • Bobby Otter

    Reminder: Just because Zus scored, doesn’t mean it was the right decision to play him.

    (That said, of the three not-used-Hawk-forwards, I think Zus is of least concern as he doesn’t eff up and you can kind of hide him, if you know, Q tried to hide him).

  • duncans peace pipe

    all of the pressure is on the Kings now. Hawks will benefit with a “nothing to lose” attitude. i expect a similar game to what we saw tonight. .

    • DJ

      Not all the pressure; if the Kings lose, there’s still a Game 7. It is increased pressure, though; if the Kings lose, they’ll have blown a 3-1 lead, and the team they’ve blown it to is definitely NOT the Sharks or the Ducks.

    • ballyb11

      Wrong.

  • Bobby Otter

    That was such a fantastic hockey game.

    On to tomorrow… agree with it all. Regin for Versteeg. Whoever for Bollig. It’s a shame Morin wasn’t brought along this year so he could be contributing ala Pearson. But it’s too late now.

    I’m not so quick to write off the Hawks tomorrow. Best hope is Crawford comes out and plays great (ala Game 3 vs Blues). Of course, Toews could just decide that he’s gonna send this back to Chicago. Kane and Saad can come out with their hair on fire again. Also the Kings should be nearly as tired, they had three Dmen over 30 minutes (and four over 29); 8 forwards over 20 minutes (Hawks had 7. however 3 guys over 25 to the Kings only 1).

  • The Other One

    This was going plaid.

    Love that line… Funny movie

  • Peter Turner

    Watching Handzus pot the game winning goal last night was probably I witnessed several old retirees tossing away their walking stick and trying to start a riot at 2am.

  • eyemon

    A gutsy performance by the champs. I thought they were done after the fourth goal but they again proved my innate Cub-fan dread wrong.

    The Kings have two game sevens under their belts so far and have played almost as much hockey as the Hawks over the last two seasons and have a fair number of Olympians. Fatigue goes both ways.

    They’ve played the comeback artists the previous two series as elimination is a great motivator. Now they’re in a position where they have a lot of pressure to take out the Hawks or face a game 7 more than a bus ride away…

    Our boys are a tough out. Let’s go Hawks!

  • bigtreina

    I’ve had so many unflattering things to say about Handzus in these comments sections over the past year I can’t count. I have something to say to the hockey gods that control everything…I’m sorry I’ve forsaken you. I will watch the rest of the series with open eyes and without judgement.

    • Jim

      Nobody said Handzus had bad hands. The problem with Handzus is when he centers Kane, and is too slow getting up the ice.

      • wanker751

        Which in reality is why he was where he was for the GWG…. behind the play..

  • Hockey

    Perhaps that was the Kings last gasp, and this series redirects?

    • Hags

      don’t count on this being their “last gasp”. That suggests LA is going to go quietly into the night. that is not going to happening. If the Hawks somehow pull this out, it’ll be because they were able to withstand the kings onslaught and fire back.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      No last gasp, at best this was the battle of Midway. A tremendous struggle still lies ahead.

  • Jim

    Pressure is on the Kings now. They are the ones with the pucker factor. The Hawks can play loose, because they aren’t supposed to be there, the Kings have already been coronated.

    • fsd1

      keep dreaming, I really think the pressure is on the Hawks still, but what a great hockey game

    • TitanTransistor

      Honestly, I don’t think either of these teams are feeling much pressure at the moment. Both lineups are stacked with so many winners, I think both teams feel comfortable right where they are.

      • Black JEM

        Very much agree. Momentum, pressure are words used by media hacks looking for a hook. Was on Madision when the WLS 7 cameras came rolling – talking about passion and effort. Phhishhh!
        Both good teams – Hawks with a better record of going for the kill and getting it. If anything that is their only advantage now. LA can roll four lines – if Bollig is in the lineup we can’t even consider it. They are getting scoring from everyone and I think lead in scoring in the playoffs. Their PP has been rolling (none last night) and in the series Quick has been better than Crawford – and was again last night.
        Both of these teams can make you pay for a mistake in a second, leaving you wondering how the knife got in your back before you knew it was even there.
        Perhaps one more thing – LA knows they have to win tomorrow – because history suggests you more than likely will not beat Chicago in a game seven when they know they can send you home. That is where Toews, Hossa, Kaner, Keith and Seebs have made their mark. LA doesn’t have that. On that our hopes rest.

        • Yachtsman

          The trump card is Crow. With the D now jumping in and getting them back to the type of puck possession we’re used to seeing, it’s up to Crow to defend those possible odd man rushes.

    • Hags

      I don’t think that really plays with either team at this point. Neither team played last night with the pressure of expectation weighing them down. That game last night was different, because this series is different than most.
      The best way i can describe it is using a basketball reference. This series is like Celtics/Lakers in the 80s. They are equals of each other, with rosters packed with superstars who are at the peak of their powers, and have championship pedigrees to boot.

  • SaadBuster

    Whatever happens now, this game was epic. If it wasn’t obvious before, Brandon Saad has arrived and he is one mean motherfucker. He was great all game, but I think some women in the stands might be pregnant after that pass to Zus.

  • hatebothparties

    The game was so exciting and stressful, is spilled my backwash beer on at least ten LA King fans, by accident of course.

    • thepuckstopshere

      I hate when that happens!

    • Special Agent Dale Cooper

      That was very Wong of you

  • Special Agent Dale Cooper

    TOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • fsd1

      one of your best posts ever I’m sure……

      • Special Agent Dale Cooper

        I agree

  • TitanTransistor

    Yeah, a few hours after the elation of the win wore of, I started having similar thoughts.

    I won’t go so far as to say the Kings should have won. I think the Hawks deserved the win. But it does feel as though the enemy just took our best shot …and it was one Kopitar goal-post away from not being enough.

    The Hawks played their game to arguably the best of the ability of this line-up. They were fast, their transition game was great, their PK did it’s job… and the Kings still were a goalpost away from ending their season.

    Crawford didn’t get enough credit for getting this Hawks team to the WCF. But he needs to be better for this team to complete the come back. The Kings possession game is just too strong for the Hawks to protect him, and their shooting percentage is just insane right now (save their dreadful 4th line):

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/kopitar-driving-bus-with-few-kings-passengers/

    Ideal lines for next game:

    29-19-81
    20-65-88
    10-12-11
    26-16-28

    Even with those lines, there’s a good chance they lose without a standout performance from Crow. But if they do, at least they went down fighting like the champions they are.

    • wowwowweewoo

      Can only dream that Regin and Morin would draw in, and somehow I think their puck posession and battling would spark Sharp.

      • Joe Banks

        The 10 11 12 line…

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    I was also thinking of the line from The Two Towers last night (along with two lines from Game Of Thrones….). Great minds think alike, I guess, and so do ours….

    Glad to see the push back. Now however this ends, we can hold our heads high in the halls of our fathers. If we fall, we fall on the bridge of Khazad Dum, not slaughtered by Worgs in the barrow lands. Tell them it took a Balrog to bring us down.

    Nothing is unfucked. We still trail 3-2, and now we head back to the shadow lands for game six. Should we survive…

    No, we won’t go there. First things first. Game 6.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Which 2 Game of Thrones lines? “Those are brave men out there: Let’s go kill them!”?

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        What do we say to the god of death? – Syrio
        Not Today. – Arya

        If any man dies with a clean sword, I’ll rape his fucking corpse – The Hound.

    • Jim

      Nothing like playoff hockey at this level.

  • bigtreina

    About the hockey gods…there is a natural order to the way of hockey. Players and coaches are governed by it – the coach in particular channels the way (the force?) and wills his players into congruence with his interpretation of the game. As fans, we can only watch, and never question what we see, lest we upset the hockey gods. No, we just have to take it all in with wonderment and awe.

    I’m coining this phrase right now with the help of one of my coworkers. “Q’s Law”. It doesn’t make sense to hockey bloggers, fans, media folk. But when interpreted and played out – the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    These games are kind of enjoyable. Being in such a deep hole, victory being so distant, I am less concerned with the score than I am with the level of compete. Of course that changes IF you get to that next odd numbered game.

  • wowwowweewoo

    One addition to the analysis. It looks like Q’s realized we need a little more push to generate offense, thereby activating his defensemen for the entire game. Our D were pinching real low and regularly joining the rush. Prior to this game, the D have been playing relatively conservatively – not anymore. I fully expect the D to continue having the green light to be aggressive when seen fit, and in turn expect to see a torrid pace on Friday. I also think if the Hawks are smart about it, that plays in their favor. Other than Doughty, the Hawks defensemen are far more offensively gifted than the Kings group.

    • TitanTransistor

      This is true, but the D-men need to be smarter. I distinctly remember thinking ‘fuck, the kings are going get an odd-man rush’ 5 seconds before they got one (and gaborik scored) because Keith was almost in Quick’s crease when the puck got turned the other way. That’s way too deep, even for him.

  • eyemon

    My daughter told me Handzus reminds her of “Snuffleupagus”
    They’re both big, hairy, and Slo(vak). Zus, however, does have a better backhand…

    • eyemon

      Forgot the comparison shot…

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        Snuffles is faster on his skates, though.

      • raditzzzz

        nah, its a fact that handzus is a sad hobo clown

  • Special Agent Dale Cooper

    Is Shaw ok?

    • 2883

      I don’t think any news has come out, he skated but how much of that was grit and determination over actually being OK to do so

      • Special Agent Dale Cooper

        Just read it on twitter…Q said he was fine,both he and Kruger

  • pastapuck

    What the hell has happened to Versteeg? It doesn’t seem like that long ago the guy was playing alongside Toews and Kane on our top line. He was also a Calder finalist. Now, it looks like the guy is seriously in need of a brain transplant (or just in need of a brain). I thought that since we picked him up for cheap, things could work out. Now the only word that comes to mind is BUYOUT.

    • DJ

      You still have him cheap for one more year. Maybe he’s still recovering from surgery. Maybe he’s snakebit such that the only thing that’ll help him is the reset of a new season. But, yeah…he shouldn’t play anymore this season.

      • jordyhawk

        The knee excuse is past it’s shelf date. His problem is largely his head. The politics of (possibly, hopefully) getting rid of him will be interesting. For Stanbo it would mean dumping his prize
        acquisition of this year. For Q it would likely mean committing to Morin in a much bigger way. We’ll see.

      • ‘hawks58

        He’s under contract for 2 more years.

        I could see Bowman moving him, but I don’t think the Hawks buy him out. I’m not sure exactly how the buyout process works with regards to the retained salary, but if the Hawks have to pay 2/3 of his whole contract over the next 4; you don’t save very much over the $2.2 they are on the hook for the next 2 years; and they have to pay over $1.5M the two after that.

        Kris Versteeg buyout from CapGeek.com
        2014-15: $1,266,667
        2015-16: $1,266,667
        2016-17: $1,566,667
        2017-18: $1,566,667

    • 2883

      We used both of our buyouts if I am not mistaken. Steve Montador was one, I’m not sure who the other one was… a Forward… It’ll come to me

      • jordyhawk

        Rusty was other buyout. Versteeg for a 5th would be fine (or anything for that matter).

        • 2883

          not sure you could even get that for him righ tnow

      • The Other One

        Those were Compliance Buyouts that were a result from the new CBA. Versteeg would fall under a Standard Buyout this offseason, which ‘hawks58 outlines below – you can do those at anytime. As you’ll see, the savings isn’t that much, which is why he won’t be bought out. Sorry to dash your hopes…

        • BrandonPirri

          The Versteeg deal is an RSA. So Florida takes half of the cap hit. So we can take these cap hit numbers:

          2014-15: $1,266,667
          2015-16: $1,266,667
          2016-17: $1,566,667
          2017-18: $1,566,667

          and cut them in half.

          Basically, is getting rid of Versteeg worth a $750k cap hit per year. Furthermore, would it be more worthwhile to retain a percentage of his salary and get a 2nd rounder out of him to a team who thinks he may have something left in the tank. Time will tell.

      • mightymikeD

        Rusty

    • TitanTransistor

      I hate saying this about players, because there’s know way to know what’s going on in their heads….

      ….but he honestly looks like he couldn’t give a shit. Which was the exact complaint people had of him in Florida.

      I think the fact that he was on 3 different teams in 3 years might have been a red flag that Stan Bowman chose to ignore or hope wouldn’t apply.

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

        The main part of this comment is “… there’s know [sic] way to know what’s going on in their heads.”

        He sucked horribly last game, but I think it’s silly to suggest he sucked because he doesn’t care.

        • birdhead

          I agree. I totally understand the impulse because I’m pretty sure I said something similar during game 4, but ultimately, these guys all give a shit, and the ones that can’t we aren’t able to detect it from their play. Projecting that kind of thing is a waste of time and energy.

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

            “I agree.” I can tell you don’t really mean that.

          • birdhead

            you got me. I never agree with anyone :(

          • Yachtsman

            I agree, I think he just tries to do more than he’s physically capable of.

    • Prgeno

      He plays like he thinks he’s good, but he just isn’t.

      He was also a turnover waiting to happen in 2010 too. He wanted so much to be Kane but….., well,… that is difficult because he sucks.

      He was the least concerning of the post 1st cup purge as far as I was concerned at the time. I was shocked to see Stan bring him back, especially after how awful he played against the Hawks in the game in Florida right before the trade.

  • cza

    I do not share Sam’s hedging sensibility: this series is coming back to Chicago.

  • BestPredsForward

    Anyone think Keith is injured?

    • Prgeno

      He certainly hasn’t looked himself in this series, all jumpy and hesitant.

    • To Saad be the glory

      I think whatever has been bothering Keith suddenly started bothering Leddy last night.

    • JB from PA

      Aye. Seems a step slower. I think Sharpie has something too.

  • lahockeyfan

    Sam, great article. I have been following you since I spent a few hours with you at The Monte Carlo in Vegas watching USA vs Russia at 4am. As a life long Kings fan and 20 year season ticket holder, I have never seen anything like last night’s game, the first OT was exhausting with both teams playing their heart out. Like Doughty said today after playing 40 minutes last night…Your heart doesn’t get tired!….Well played Chicago, well played. See you in LA tomorrow at Staples Center section 217.

  • birdhead

    Did someone post this yet? Stan Bowman in this gif is me after every Hawks OT win. https://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/854839433.gif?1401335053

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Any idea what game this was?

    • wowwowweewoo

      What strikes me is how nobody goes to immediately congratulate him or say “alright, high five”. My guess is he’s incredibly intense and basically doesn’t want to be talked to by anyone during play. I like that intensity.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      I know the post is for StanBo, but I can’t take my eyes off Scotty.

      • birdhead

        I wouldn’t recognise him tbh (yeah yeah shame on me). Is he right in front of StanBo, the natty dresser?

        • 1benmenno

          Yes

          • birdhead

            they share a family resemblance.

          • 1benmenno

            Same barber

  • birdhead

    I was bored and thinking about a comment in the morning links thread about Shaw-Saad and Kane-Shaw having not looked good in the regular season and I was kind of curious about those combos so I went and looked up some numbers and this is what I came up with – I looked at the three most common wingers and centres for Kane and Saad, and the six most common wingers for Shaw. (I ended up doing four centres for Kane just because I wanted to get Shaw in.) The names are all ordered by TOI with.

    • birdhead

      The columns are corsi for percent, goals for per twenty minutes, and goals for percent (i.e. goals for/goals against). the Kane-Shaw numbers are pretty spectacular but so are the Saad-Versteeg(!) numbers. But, still, it seems like Kane, Shaw and Saad played pretty well together during the season. Kane and Saad were Shaw’s best wingers, Shaw and Saad were Kane’s best centre and winger respectively. Shaw wasn’t as good as Toews with Saad but we only have one of Toews to go around anyway. Pirri and Shaw’s GF numbers are pretty similar and Saad played a LOT more with Shaw than he did with Pirri, so … I’m going to blame that on PDO.

      • BrandonPirri

        Good work. Interesting stuff. Thanks.

        • birdhead

          I’m not sure “looking at the numbers” rly counts as work but you’re welcome! :)

    • birdhead

      I should say that what I find really interesting is not just the fancystat but the GF% numbers. Not because I think GF% is always a better indicator than Corsi for % (for example, look at Bicks’ CF% vs his GF% with Shaw – that’s just unlucky) but because you’d kind of expect the GF% numbers to be the intuitive/obvious ‘feeling’ about a combo, right? Like, if you watch a couple of games and a line scores a lot of goals you’re going to feel like they’re a good line even if they’re actually not playing too well and they just happened to be facing a string of back-up goalies. But, actually, I had no *idea* that Kane and Shaw had a goals for percentage of 73.9. I certainly wouldn’t have picked Shaw as Kane’s most productive centre.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Canadiens have trailed the entire third and only have three shots on goal for the period… But Oh, My, the Chaos….

  • 1benmenno

    Carcillo in the SCF again

    • PE-TER RE-GIN

      Vigneault too

      • CozBullsFan

        At least the coach swap worked for one team. HAHA CANNUCKS!

    • To Saad be the glory

      I suppose I would rather have Carcillo in the finals again then have Rene Bourque in the finals and in the running for the Conn Smythe trophy.That would be sad to say the least

      • mojitousa

        What’s wrong with Bourque?