Mirror Mirror: Hawks at Penguins Preview/Pregame Thread/Smithereens Listening Party

oldschool vs. penguinblog2_440

FACEOFF: 6:30pm Central

TV/RADIO: NBCSN, WGN Radio

YINZER YAHOOS: Pensburgh, The Pensblog

Two darlings of the midseason that have started to cough and wheeze (well, “started” isn’t correct but you get it) meet up tonight near the confluence of the Monongahela River and the Allegheny that form the Ohio River (I’ve watched far too much baseball in my life). While the reasons for the loss of titan status for both, they’ll recognize the struggles of each other.

For the Penguins, as it always seemingly is, the reason for their crash out of the top spot in the East and out of the Presidents’ Trophy race is they’re incredibly beat up. Paul Martin and Kris Letang are still missing from the blue line and that may be the case the rest of the year. Now Geno Malkin and his short-temper and quick stick have joined Pascal Dupuis and Joe Vitale on the shelf. Chris Kunitz missed a couple games in there as well. Basically, the Penguins have been reduced to one line and James Neal (though that one line is anchored by the best player on the planet) and a bunch of kids on the bottom six. At the back, it’s whatever Olli Maatta and Matt Niskanen can get to, because you saw what happens when talented forwards get clean looks at Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi. It ends with  a need for bleach and rags, basically.

For the Hawks, Teuvo Teravainen will come back in for Matt Carey. He’ll apparently play with Kris Versteeg and Peter Regin but no one’s quite sure why or if that will be the case because Q has been mixing and matching lines even at morning skates because Major League Baseball continues to spy on him from space. Bryan Bickell won’t play again but is apparently close and should be back for Minnesota on Thursday. I hope it is true that Versteeg has been punted off the top line, because he hasn’t deserved to be there for weeks. What the rest of it looks like? I’ll find out with you.

The last time these two met was in the snow at Soldier Field in something that resembled a rugby 7′s match in a pysch ward. Because it was actually physically impossible to try a stretch pass through a couple inches of snow, the Hawks didn’t and torched the Pens’ D on the rush. No reason that shouldn’t work tonight, as once you get the Pens running around in their zone they tend to lose all structure and Marc-Andre Fleury is most certainly not enough to bail them out consistently.

Pittsburgh has the same 4-5-1 record in their last 10 that the Hawks do. They’ve been beat by the Kings, Blues, and Phoenix lately. There’s no reason that the Hawks can’t match that, especially if they keep Crosby’s line from going nuclear.

I said in the wrap on Friday that Quenneville teams generally turn it all on in April after a ho-hum March. In 2009 the Hawks went 6-0-1 in April. In 2010 it was 5-1. 2011 was the only blip with a 3-2-1 record when Hossa and Toews were playing about 40 minutes a night. 2012′s team closed out the year 3-0-3 without Toews. Last year’s team closed the season 9-2-1 and that was with nothing to play for.

I know the calendar says it’s still March. For me and the Hawks, it’s fucking April. Time to get everything in gear. I’m watching the Bruins right now, and watching the Bruins makes the “fatigue” excuse complete and utter bullshit. It’s time to stop taking the shortcuts and skate the puck up the ice and be close in support instead of trying to bypass with long passes. It’s time to get “above” your guy on the backcheck and be available for breakouts. It’s enough of trying to beat three guys at the blue line (looking at you, “Big Trade”) instead of just chipping it past and paying the price to go get it.

You’ve fucked about enough Hawks. Tonight marks the time to nevermind the bollocks.

  • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

    My Common Core Mathulator says Rangers win because Kings are flat.

  • 10thMountainFire

    From the Monongahela valley
    To the Mesabi iron range,
    To the coal mines of Appalachia
    The story’s always the same:
    Seven hundred tons of metal a day.
    Now sir you tell me the world’s changed.
    Once I made you rich enough-
    Rich enough to forget my name

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On1u4QhbkVA

  • 1benmenno

    Philly-Boston game is great

    • 10thMountainFire

      Watching it as well.

      • 1benmenno

        That Rask fellow is pretty good.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Yes, he is.

    • birdhead

      Holy crap, Philly outshooting the Bruisn 50-30?

      • 1benmenno

        I know. Nuts

        • birdhead

          How often does any team put 50 shots on the Bruins? Gosh the Flyers have had an amazing turnaround since their horrible start.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Lacavalier got his 400th.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            They stole our button!

  • VerStig

    Q said something about putting Versteeg “on the back end last game”… does he mean on D??

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      I’m guessing bottom six.

    • Preacher

      I think it means he’s putting Steeger on his own “back end”—as in, sitting his butt down!!

  • ToewsCheatCode

    “It’s time to stop taking the shortcuts and skate the puck up the ice and be close in support instead of trying to bypass with long passes. It’s time to get “above” your guy on the backcheck and be available for breakouts. It’s enough of trying to beat three guys at the blue line (looking at you, “Big Trade”) instead of just chipping it past and paying the price to go get it.”

    Very, very well said. Enough of this sloppy, borderline lazy BS that we’ve been seeing on and off throughout the season. Time to tighten up and start playing like we know this roster can.

  • Waylon

    It’s time to push past those five man forechecks.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      It seems so easy. When you’re forwards are behind all five opponents, its shouldn’t take much.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Maybe if they didn’t blast out of the zone before the puck the Hawks might lead the league in scoring…

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          I know and it happens, alot.

  • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

    A DLR knight (night or nite) would be really cool tonight!

    • ballyb11

      A win would be really, really cool tonight.

  • ballyb11

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

    • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

      A fall of a thousand feet can begin with one trip

      • ballyb11

        That started 12/31. Hope it’s been a thousand feet.

        • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

          According to my maths, we have not hit 1000 feet yet, shit we may not even have hit terminal velocity for a pipe position yet!

          • Accipiter

            Bally jumped a while ago, he’s free falling at terminal velocity.

          • ballyb11

            Scary coming down.

  • wowwowweewoo

    To me it’s still mental fatigue, which the bruins shouldn’t have because they didn’t win the cup. Shaws yeoman work? disappears because what’s he have to prove at present, Kruger going splat? Why bother in March? Oduya paying the price to get the puck out? Even our top guys are guilty at times. This is why they look so inconsistent night in night out, and the team as a whole can’t get to that “next gear”. I don’t blame them, they’re the defending champs. The question isn’t whether this roster is capable, it’s whether they can get all oars rowing in sync. Is that as simple as flipping a switch? We’ll see…

  • birdhead

    Here’s a Fun Fact from @bhawksfanjen on twitter: Patrick Kane has scored six goals at 5v5 while the Blackhawks trail. Four other players on the team have five goals at 5v5 while the Blackhawks trail: Hossa, Toews, Saad, and Ben Smith. Ben Smith!

    • 10thMountainFire

      Hossa, Toews, Saad, and Smith. Huh.

      • birdhead

        I’m surprised Sharp isn’t in there just by virtue of leading the team in goals. But I guess it’s pretty much a random fluctuation in the numbers – still, it’s fun.

        • 10thMountainFire

          Based on his play the last two games, I think Saad is about to bust-out.

          • birdhead

            He has 40 friends and family members in the stands tonight apparently, so fingers crossed it’s today.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m sort of disappointed I didn’t get an invite but whatever.

          • birdhead

            I said friends and family, not enthusiastic stalkers …

          • 10thMountainFire

            Are there unenthusiastic stalkers?

          • birdhead

            Creepy fucked-up ones.

            (DISCLAIMER all actual stalkers are creepy and fucked-up and dangerous and obvs XMF isn’t one. I hope.)

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m not. When it comes to stalking, I’m Kane.

          • wowwowweewoo

            Hoping for red wedding line, neigh, demanding.

        • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

          Yeah, about that “randomness/luck” thing. I think we both have room to give on this one, neither of us were correct perhaps. I can generate both at once right now, there appears to be significant statistical correlation with both being relevant and one is not always stronger than the other. If anything is “luck/random” it is which one dominates any given set.
          .
          However, this is still preliminary and not “final” at all.

  • 10thMountainFire
  • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

    @Bird,
    Here is a fun fact for you.
    The Hawks win >95% of game in which Toews-Sharp-Hossa-Kane-Sadd-Keith-Seabrook-Hjalmarsson-Leddy-Smith-Oduya-Shaw-Kruger-Bickell-Bollig-Handzus combined score more goals then their opponents.

    • 10thMountainFire

      What is the percentage when Hypothetical Keith plays?

    • birdhead

      That is indeed a fun fact!

  • 10thMountainFire
    • birdhead

      At work, I demand a transcript

      • 10thMountainFire

        Captain giving the game puck to Q after his 700th career win. It was awesome. You should see it.

        • birdhead

          Awww. Maybe I’ll sneak off to the loos and see if my phone will play it.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Zus’s 1000th game video is up there, too. That is awesome as well.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          And then Toews said that if Q doesn’t figure out how to make the boys play more consistently, that might be his last win and game puck. Q then pulled out of his pocket a gleaming metal switch. After brandishing it for a few moments, he then said “not yet.”

          • cliffkoroll

            First I thought you were being ironic with this shtick, like pining for Bylsma the other day. I mean, who the fuck pines for Bylsma anymore?

            Now it’s down to (a) straight up trolling, or (b) you really are that stupid. Based on your history, I’m leaning toward (a) for now.

          • Z-man19

            unquestionably (a)

          • laaarmer

            maybe it’s passive aggressive trolling you are noticing. I’m positive you know what that is.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            No. I’m stupid. I paid a lot of money to make it official.

  • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

    Whatever happened to the TCI page on terms-abbreviations and shit? Last I heard it was about to be posted.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Coz proofed it and handed it off to the TCI Gods. Pending post, I believe.

  • Hi, I’m Bob LeDonne

    WHO LET THE DOGS OUT

    • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

      According to “whose line is it anyway”, “The Who” let the Dogs out!

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Pen-gu-ins is prac-tic-cally chickens.

  • adelfiacco

    I sometimes feel like American English got screwed by losing phrases like “nevermind the bollocks.”

    • Accipiter

      You lost me at, “I sometimes feel.”

    • Arctic Ice

      I sometimes feel like listening to The Pistols when I hear that phrase.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bucVwI0RfEg

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        The Pistols have pretty much monopolized that phrase.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      It’s perfectly ordinary banter, Squiffy.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rKYL0tW-Ek#aid=P4Zlw7etJAA

      • Arctic Ice

        I’m just not understanding banter all that well today.

    • MattC86

      Of course, we also dispensed with a lot of other, less amusing and even less-sensical British English terminology. . . .

  • laaarmer

    I told you all I went to the GR Griffins game last night. Guess who they played?
    Rockford.
    Brutal team. Absolutely awful.
    Their PP is Clown shoes for a Titan.
    McNeil needs at least 2 years before he can play in the NHL, if ever.
    LeBlanc – No.
    There are two good D, but the rest……look poopy
    Coaching looks bad.
    Mashinter?
    Danault?
    Mills?
    Dont be looking for any call ups to help the Hawks during the playoffs

    • lizmcneill

      Are any of the D apart from Dahlbeck and Clendening even prospects? I don’t think they are.

      • laaarmer

        They are the only two you can even notice. They are going to be good some day.
        The one brother is an OK player too, but that Peckham guy. I hope he’s not being paid by the big club, cuz that is a bottom 7 AHL player.

        • lizmcneill

          Think both of them are second-year pros. Danault and McNeill are first years, along with Brisebois and the college FAs. I forget whether this is Nordstrom’s first or second year, but like Frogger he had a couple of years in the SEL first.

          Peckham and Connolly have contracts with the Blackhawks, but not for much longer I should imagine. Peckham actually has 160 NHL games, but it was with the Oilers so I’m not sure that counts.

          • laaarmer

            Peckham also looks like he is heavy, as in fat.

            Conolly, jesus he was terrible

            Birsbois – yeah, he tried at least 10 times to 1 on 3 at the blue line – ON TH PP! Wait, maybe he does fit right in

            What are the two brothers names?

          • lizmcneill

            Terry and Alex Broadhurst. Terry was a FA, Alex a 6th or 7th rounder IIRC.

          • laaarmer

            One was an OK player. Not sure if it was T or A.

            She my little rock and roll ah ah ah.

        • VerStig
      • MattC86

        Was hearing good things about Svedberg before he got hurt. Clendening I have to think is doomed at the moment with the Rundblad acquisition and Johns on his way.

    • MattC86

      Interesting. Block and others have been saying Leblanc has been terrible, but there was a lot of chatter about McNeill being “close” over the last year or so.

      • laaarmer

        I don’t think so. He looks lost.

        They are the least physical professional team I have ever seen

        • MattC86

          Yikes. Nordstrom?

          • laaarmer

            Actually, I did notice Nordstrom. He was not bad. He may be able to help. I forgot about him.

          • MattC86

            Scary cause he has a whole season less AHL experience than most of the rest of them.

          • lizmcneill

            He played with men in the SEL before he came over.

          • MattC86

            Ah yes, true.

            The point about coaching is interesting. The Hawks are pretty notorious for having Ted Dent as coach but then have Barry Smith in his role as player development guru go around whispering sweet nothings in everybody’s ear. Probably not helpful to young players.

          • lizmcneill

            You wonder if things might not go more smoothly if Rocky owned the AHL franchise and the Hawks had full control over who plays and coaches down there.

            The Rock has historically been somewhere in the middle between the Wolves and Griffins in terms of successfully producing NHLers. It would be interesting to get actual numbers across the league, but B-level prospects move around so much it would likely be a giant PITA. I’m slightly surprised the Griffins didn’t look equally terrible, because the way Scum’s season has gone, everyone with an NHL contract is in Detroit not Grand Rapids.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Does any team do that?

          • lizmcneill

            Own the farm team? Lemieux owns the WB-S Penguins, Chiarelli is GM of the P-Bruins, Hextall is GM of the Phantoms (though that’s possibly more spreading the rot), MLSE owns the Marlies and the Leafs (same), I think the Sharks and Kings owners also own the Worcester Sharks and the Monarchs, True North owns the bbJets but in those cases I’m not sure how much involvement there is.

          • laaarmer

            TooToo and Emmerton were playing for GR

            Mrazek in goal

    • 2883

      Wait so you watched one game and you got the sense of everyone’s future based on one game? If you can do that, I have some lottery #’s you might be interested in… (Not that you’re wrong just that 1 game isn’t enough to really draw a good sample from). McNeill might have just had a bad game.

      • laaarmer

        Yep, You can tell a player.

        Like Pirri. Good player. Didn’t “fit”

        Rockford is awful.

  • cliffkoroll

    This is an important game for the Hawks to win, if you judge importance by the stupidity of post-game comments.

    • Hawkeytalk

      What about the pre-game ones?

      • Z-man19

        they are less stupid

        • 1benmenno

          derp derp derp

          • Z-man19

            there are some exceptions

    • laaarmer

      The season hangs in the balance.

    • ballyb11

      Most important game of the year. By far.

  • birdhead

    This is an incredible goal by Nyquist: http://twitpic.com/dzutle just wow

    • 1benmenno

      That is wow.

  • Research Analysis

    Had the pleasure of attending Friday’s game, although the outcome was obviously disappointing. The Sens always get up for the Hawks. When was the last time the Hawks won here? Ottawa’s win has almost made up for their disappointing season and restored civic pride in the team, which gives you an idea of how teams get up for the Hawks day in and day out.

  • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

    Losing AND shitty play Sucks. I get enough of that being a Cubs fan. The Hawks were my Yin to the Cubs Yang but not lately. Please unfuck this Hawks!

  • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

    Every year the Hawks have won a Stanley Cup there has been a Lunar Eclipse. Well their is another one on 15APR2014, so there is that!!!

  • laaarmer

    Who’s playing center?
    Toews
    Kruger
    Handzus
    TT
    Smith
    Shaw
    Sharp

    But there is a shortage of centers on The Hawks roster.

    • birdhead

      All the 3Cs, none of the 2Cs.

      • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

        I think Toews may work for a 2C, could be a tough fit though. I also do see some 4C and 5-16C in there too.

        • laaarmer

          Kruger,Smith, Shaw, Handzus all 3-4
          Toews 1-2
          TT – I don’t know 1C in Rockford?
          Sharp 2C all the way.

          • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

            Toews is a 1-4C and 1-4 LW and 1-4 RW and 2-3 Pair RD and 3 Pair LD, #3 Goalie and Assistant Head Coach and alternate GM.
            .
            Get with the program

          • laaarmer

            He is a terrible goalie.

          • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

            What is his GAA? Try 0.00!!!!

          • laaarmer

            The D in front of him has not allowed any shots. Anybody could have the GAA facing 0 shots

          • http://www.our-founding.com/ Toews makes funny faces

            So picky!

          • laaarmer

            Seabrook

      • laaarmer

        I’d like to see Ben Smith have a go at 2C. Put Between IQ and Saad

        • birdhead

          what”s your problem with IQ at C? (IQ is TT, right?)

          • laaarmer

            None.
            BUT
            Smith is already showing defensive capabilities and can handle, at times, a top 6 player. Let IQ play wing on a scoring line with Saad and Smith doing the heavy lifting and him using his giant hockey head to generate goals.

            I don’t know, it can’t be any worse.

          • birdhead

            I’d rather develop him as a C in the hopes that he eventually turns into the genuine 2C the Hawks really need. If necessary stick him on the 3rd line, which is getting plenty sheltered anyway – maybe with Saad and Bicks? Saad and Shaw? – and see how that goes.

          • laaarmer

            I think he should play C long term, but I give a shit about long term right now. Need to figure something out to generate sustained offense and he is an offensive player. Obviously good at draws so far, and that hockey IQ is fantastic, but since he is raw and in need of help, why not take the pressure off and see what he can generate offensively now.

          • birdhead

            I worry he would never get moved back to C if he started scoring at wing, but fair enough.

          • laaarmer

            Whatever it takes. Goals are goals.

            If he does it at center. Not scoring, but generating, I don’t care.

          • birdhead

            If he’s not going to stick around for the duration of the playoffs, which he’s probably not, I’m more interested in his development than the team’s immediate success.

          • laaarmer

            Send him away now then. Rockford needs help anyway

          • birdhead

            but I wanna see him. (I thought he’d get some time in Rockford before coming up actually.)

          • lizmcneill

            He probably would have if Brookbank hadn’t knocked a Blue over onto Kaner’s leg.

          • VerStig

            They tried Kaner at C last year (or was it the year before?)… then Saad and Versteeg at various times this year. Also, Shaw all the time. I don’t think you need to worry about them trying anybody back at C.

          • birdhead

            Seems like they’ll try it once but once they’ve given up they seem to give up comprehensively. e.g. Kaner and Sharpy. (Which was 11-12 btw)

  • MattC86

    Howdy all. I’m gonna try to keep my shit together. I suppose if I’m preaching patience, saying nothing is nearly half so bad as certain people want to say, I should probably show patience to those I would otherwise seek to mock.

    Yes, I’m on a lot of goddamned valium today.

    • Bruno_the_Blackhawk_Cat
    • laaarmer

      fuck you

      • MattC86

        Suck it, Laaarmer.

        • laaarmer

          You are so negative!

          • MattC86

            Why does that have to be considered negative?

          • laaarmer

            You are a glass half negative type aren’t you?

          • MattC86

            I’ve I’m being examined for half a glass, yes, I hope it comes back negative.

          • MattC86

            Or double negative.

          • laaarmer

            Double down?

          • MattC86

            Are you speaking to me in the negative?

  • neo1978

    Three goals of a head coach in sports. First, get your team through the season intact. If you play every game like it is the last game of the world series, you witness a season like Durocher’s 69 Cubs.

    Second goal is to win games. Third goal is to develop your players for the future. Those three goals are obviously often mutually exclusive. In fact you have to be sometimes willing to lose a game for the greater good in one of those other two areas.

    I can’t get over how much the Hawks are working towards the future. They brought in Versteeg with the full knowledge that he wouldn’t be healthy until next year. Then they are playing TT and giving Carey an NHL game just to get him to sign with the Hawks. And I mean Carey is like a third round pick type talent.

    I’m pretty stoked by how things are going with this club and I can’t believe how much hand ringing is going on in these blogs…

    • laaarmer

      Did I mention I watched the Ice Hogs last night?

      • MattC86

        In fairness to the Hogs, at the start of the season their four best players were Pirri, Morin, Olsen, and Mattress Hayes. They were doing well in spurts this season. I don’t follow them but I’m guessing they’re a disorganized bunch with a lot of people filling roles beyond their experience at this point.

        Still, that can’t be a particularly good referendum on Danault, McNeill, et. al.’s burgeoning professional careers.

        • laaarmer

          As a team, they are awful, especially last night.

          Clendening, Dahlbeck (Dilbert) and Nordstrom were OK/good players.

          • MattC86

            Are you saying Pierre-Marc Bouchard is not going to come to our rescue in the playoffs?!

          • laaarmer

            I am.

          • MattC86

            I consider this shocking and I want somebody fired immediately.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’ll see myself out.

          • MattC86

            Laaarmer said special teams, XMF. Not special ed.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m going to get a beer.

          • MattC86

            What is this, amateur hour? I’ve got a case, settled here in the bunker waiting for the apocalypse that will follow if God forbid the Hawks at some point in this game are not winning by eleventy billion.

          • laaarmer

            Who the fuck said you could come in?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Then I’m staying.

          • laaarmer

            I believe it will be Rockford’s guy in charge of special teams

          • 2883

            I’m not going to judge Danault as a 20 year old playing in a men’s league either…

  • DuHawk

    Hello friends.

    • 1benmenno

      Do the Du

      • DuHawk

        Menno.

    • Z-man19

      Do the Du Du

    • MattC86

      Hello, and welcome to yet another attempt to prove that Satre was mostly right – Hell is other people on the internet (but not you personally)!

      Let’s go Hawks!

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        Camu can Du, but Satre is smartre

        • 1benmenno

          Hell is other people’s music.

          • MattC86

            Primarily yours. Assuming it’s not mine.

          • Z-man19

            you like my music

          • 1benmenno

            I like Richard Hell’s music

        • MattC86

          Bravo, bravo, BRAVO.

        • cliffkoroll

          * Camus

          • MattC86

            Also, yes.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Camus can Dus

          • 1benmenno

            He was being Satrerical.

  • lizmcneill

    The Bruins had their slump in the fall, but luckily for them, Tuukka had been pumping milk-crates over the summer and was standing on his head in that stretch.
    Also, they maybe aren’t as fatigued because they weren’t all there for the “lot of hockey”. Most of their big guns were, but not all the depth. They swapped Horton, Seguin and Peverley for Iggy, Eriksson and Reilly Smith, and on the backend only Chara and Boychuk have been regulars through the whole 2 compressed seasons and playoff run. Plus they had only 5 Olympians, not 10.

    • MattC86

      Also, in a shocking development, they’re letting their kids play. Soderberg, Krug, Bartkowksi, Dougie Hamilton (whose ass was stapled to the bench last year in the SCF) and Reilly Smith have all been big contributors.

      • lizmcneill

        Yup. That’s a bunch of fresh young legs (Kevan Miller also on the blue line), although Julien has started benching the kids now they picked up Mezaros (he, Miller and Bart can be interchangeable 3rd-pairing guys, but no way Dougie should sit for a Flyers’ cast-off).

        Reilly’s going to hit a wall either in the playoffs or next season, as he’s been riding a high sh% for half the season, but he’ll be good eventually. Soderberg is solid – also versatile as he plays wing and center :-P, and Dougie can handle second-pairing duties at 20.

        In fairness, the Hawks were younger to start with, but they only added Steeg and Ben since the Cup.

        • MattC86

          Which, not to beat a dead horse (or at least a horse that has been traded to Florida), but this is why I didn’t understand not letting Morin and Pirri do their thing in October. You saved wear and tear on the big guys and you could always shorten up the leash come springtime.

          • lizmcneill

            Unless Q figured on a post-Olympic slump/injuries and was going all out for points while the core was healthy and scoring. Whether that tactic precipitated the slump rather than just prepared for is probably impossible to say.

  • 2883

    Hawks hockey, finally I get to watch.