USATSI_7814695_160885884_lowres

Mister, Would You Please Help My Pony? – Flyers 3, Hawks 2 (OT)

Box Score
Game Summary
Extra Skater

The vast majority of the games the Hawks have lost of late, there’s at least been some kind of mitigating circumstance. A bad bounce here, a hot goalie there, but for the most part, the Hawks by and large dictated the play even in spite of some curious play and lineup choices. Tonight was no such occurrence, even though the Hawks earned a point and drew “even” with the Avalanche as they lost in Montreal.

Despite putting two quick goals on Ray M. Murray where he looked wonky at best, the Hawks allowed the Flyers to control the tempo of the game and carry a serious edge in attempts on net, and Scott Hartnell pulled the Flyers even by the end of 20. His first, a bad bounce from behind the net that caromed behind Raanta, the second a wonderfully executed play thanks to Claude Giroux’s brilliance, Sheldon Brookbank’s flatfootedness, and Patrick Sharp’s disinterest in the high slot.

The latter 40 minutes contained mostly Blackhawks marching to the penalty box and Flyers hitting posts. In overtime the Hawks would get a few looks at the other end, but a lazy turnover in Philly’s zone by Kris Versteeg allowed Claude Giroux one last rush up the ice, and with 4.6 seconds left in OT, his shot deflected off of Keith’s flailing stick and in the top left corner over Raanta’s blocker as Sharp changed behind the play. Flyers 3, Hawks 2.

Observations

  • Even if the Hawks had smothered Giroux on the final rush or if Raanta made that save, there’s nothing in the Finn’s body of work to suggest that the result would have been any different had things gone to the skills competition, so that’s some kind of silver lining.
  • As Sam had stressed in the opener, Jonathan Toews was basically eaten alive by Sean Coutourier, with Toews carrying a -5 Corsi to Coots’ +9 in over 12 and a half minutes against one another.  With the rest of the lineup basically slapped together without much rhyme or reason, there’s the glaring reason right there why the team-wide possession numbers went as ass-up as they did.
  • It’s becoming pretty clear that Patrick Kane doesn’t trust much of anyone that Joel Quenneville throws out on the ice with him at even strength, and nor should he. He’s seeing shifts with Brandon Bollig for fuck’s sake. In a late-developing rush in the first, Kane chose to attempt a spin-o-rama into a backhand at the bottom of the right circle with defender draped on him rather than pass to a streaking Ben Smith down the slot, or at least shoot low for a rebound. He’s getting tunnel vision because he’s been forced to. It’s probably not wise to fuck with the internal clock of one of the best playmakers of a generation by saddling him with ill-fitting linemates, but TWO CUPS.
  • And on that note, it’s another game where not only Peter Regin’s aptitude at center is wasted on a wing, but he’s summarily sat for reasons that are only evident to the besuited men behind the bench. At 5:00 of ice time, what’s the point?
  • The stretch passes. Always with the stretch passes. Knock that shit off.
  • Of course Tim Sassone awakes from his coma when Bickell engages in a meaningless fight with Wayne Simmonds, even if Simmonds is a weapons-grade irritant.
  • It’s about time that Patrick Sharp awoke from his annual hibernation between January 1st and the end of March. Not being a defensive liability and being engaged in his own zone would be a decent start.
  • A Teuvo mention during the broadcast, and oh, look at that MORNING SKATE LIVE on Friday. But that’s just a coincidence, and the kid shouldn’t be saddled with too many expectations.
  • Basically, if the Hawks play with this lack of attention to detail tomorrow, the Blues are going to do unholy things to them. For all that Quenneville has worried about putting things on tape like some delusional, megalomaniacal football coach, the one thing that even this peanut gallery can see is that the Hawks are seemingly bereft of options when they’re not able to hit a forward in stride at the far blue line. Other teams see that, and sit on that, and counter accordingly. And none do it better than the Blues. Buckle the fuck up.

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    We’ll always have the first 5 minutes.

    • Arctic Ice

      Forever and always. Looks like I missed a meh game.

    • Accipiter

      Q had nothing to do with those minutes.

  • BestPredsForward

    I think at least the possibility of Teuvo it at least a reason for putting Morning Skate Live on Friday

  • shotsfired

    I’m beginning to get disinterested.

  • Arctic Ice

    He’s down and he ain’t gettin’ up

    He coughed up snot in the driveway

    And I think his lung’s fucked up

  • 1benmenno

    My feelings on the game: excitement; disappointment; apoplexy; astonishment; relief; more disappointment; ennui.

  • Michael Scott

    This makes me so whatever.

  • birdhead

    Did we discuss this hilarious Pirri goal from tonight’s game yet? http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2013021037

    • The Doctor

      7 points in 8 games with the Panthers so far and a +3. Looking pretty solid.

      • TheFullAmonte

        All 7 have come in the last five games after a short adjustment period. I know he was never popular around here but Hayes has 7 in his last 6 playing on Pirri’s wing and is a +5

        • neo1978

          At the start of the season, I think it was Fels who asked the question “who would score more NHL goals, Jimmy Hayes or Jeremy Morin.” I picked Hayes. So what do I win?

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            I did too. But I think I meant for the Hawks.

      • Bob Lanz

        Yeah but he’s not good enough to play for the defending two time Stanley cup champions…. We have Brandon bollig and peter regin and moonpie

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          I know, right? Q has his own head stuck so far up his own ass that he can’t see that a little consistency and time on the ice was all Pirri needed. Pirri’s skated 8 complete games for the Panthers and he’s killing it. That’s the kind of time a guy needs to gel with his team mates. And workload, Q didn’t trust him for dookie. Pirri’s now skating a whole 13:35 minutes a game! Q practically wasted him at 12:15. And all that extra time allowed him to crank up his offense because he’s averaging 2.5 shots a game in FLA as opposed 1.21 under Q. If Quenville was a city, it be where talent goes to die, although talent would also go to the playoffs every year and win the championship a few times, but still: DEATH.

          • ballyb11

            You people, please read the threads surrounding the last several games Pirri played here. To a person, the comments were “where can we bury Pirri? His defense is horrible.”

            Oh, how quickly we forget.

          • 10thMountainFire

            ‘You people’? ‘You people’?

          • Accipiter

            I know, right ?

            I was busy saying that Crawford was playing below average earlier in the year and that he needed to be better.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Well… I was saying that I really think Raanta will remain the back-up for the post-season.

          • ballyb11

            Why did we get rid of Niemi?

  • Bob Lanz

    Glad to see some real emotion concerning the fucking losing and shit coaching! Thanks McClure!

    • ChicagoNativeSon

      Yeah, Q looked bad last night. If he would have fed Berube some knuckles, I might have thought otherwise.

  • Bob Lanz

    Yes I’m excited about the Dragon entering! There’s no pressure just play hockey the way he is able to. The kids got the goods. I expect growing pains but I also expect to be awed! Can’t wait kid we need a boost and kaner deserves a centerman

  • 10thMountainFire

    Relax. We still haven’t been at full strength since before the Olympics. Missing a Saad and a Hossa is big. It dings our depth… and our depth/bottom six has been a huge component of two championship teams. We’re going to be fine once everyone is in the line-up and healthy.

    Yeah, so The Hole of Bolland is a thing. But it’s not an impassable obstacle. Maybe not this season… but next. The issue with missing Bolland is that shutdown center, which Kruger could ostensibly be. While he doesn’t have the snarl (trademarked: Sam Fels) of a Bolland, he can win draws and eventually grow to be a legitimate mitigating factor in battling an opponent’s best centerman.

    If Teuvo is our 2C, Kruger is our 3/4C, and the Zus/anyone center position is less important. Down the middle, we look pretty good in this scenario. Very good, some might say. Excellent.

    Leddy is emerging before our eyes. This is a great sign. He’s taking a step and by next season dude could be a meme here. We take for granted that we have two all-world top d pairings. Seriously… all-world. Two top 10 Norris candidates? Not completely insane to say that.

    As for this season, we’re still the team no one wants to pull in the first, second, or any round. We’re the Dudes. Put the Hawks in as ‘underdog’? I’ll take that. One or two upsets and we’re the favorites, if we aren’t still among those top two. Anyone think Anaheim wants to face us if they don’t have to play us in a short series? San Jose? Even St. Louis? No.

    This is a long-term competitive franchise we have here. We’re not going to be Stanley Cup Champions every season, though we still could be in 2014. Maybe not. But maybe so.

    • Hawkeytalk

      Kruger has the smarts and the drive/compete to become that shutdown center. His turnaround with faceoffs are an example. He does lack a little in size though. But I think he’s well on the way.

      That Coutouier is a thing, no?

      • 10thMountainFire

        I think so as well.

        • lizmcneill

          Who will Homer trade him for in the offseason?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Bolland. Heh.

          • Accipiter

            Vanucks wanted him in a possible Kesler deal.
            Holmgren didn’t fall for that, yet.

      • M7

        Yep Coutourier is good. I recall Jagr saying (in 2011-12) something to the effect of, “… he reminds me of Ron Francis.”

        To which a reporter responded, “a young Ron Francis?”.

        “No, I never played with Ron Francis when he was young.”

    • chichicagochi

      I was with you until:
      “Two top 10 Norris candidates? Not completely insane to say that”

      • 10thMountainFire

        Niklas Hjalmarsson is not very far outside the top 10.

        • chichicagochi

          Maybe top 25… maybe

          • Jim A

            Ask Hitchcock what he thinks of Hjalmarsson. He sang his praises when Pierre asked him what the problem was.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Seems pretty clear now, based on their actual results on the ice, that both Keith and Seabrook belong in the Norris discussion this season. (Though Seabrook won’t get any actual votes just because he doesn’t _look_ like a Norris winner, the same eye test that has led the writers here to become so meatballish about him.)

        And while I’d personally also put Hammer into that conversation the Norris voters won’t because his excellence is obscured by being out there against first lines all the time.

        • Accipiter

          Norris voters won’t consider him (if they should or not is another question) because he doesn’t have enough points.

          • Paul the Fossil

            Yea that’s part of the obscuring. It seems likely that if Hammer was getting the matchups and PP time that say Keith does he’d have more points. Not as many as Keith, but more.

            At this point I’d take either Keith or Seabrook ahead of Hammer if we were choosing up sides for a game or a playoff series, because while Hammer is now probably the best defender on the team the position of defenseman is not in NHL play a one-way position. But it’s close now, maybe very close, and Hammer is younger than either of the other two. It wouldn’t be shocking for him to keep sharpening his game with the puck and in a season or two become a truly elite all-around D-man who gets picked for All-Star teams.

            For those old enough to remember him, Hammer now strikes me as a young Bill White but with a bit more offensive potential than White ever had.

    • Peter Turner

      You all are looking at the wrong end. What’s killing us isn’t the lack of offense but our defense. This is the same crap the Bears just went through last season. Something’s lacking in our shutdown defense which used to be what we’re all about. That’s what worries me. The offense is fine because we know what is happening – we lose games because our forwards are trying to be cute rather than trying to score. It’s been like that for years. Our shakiness in defense is something new and potentially scary.

  • cliffkoroll

    Things that bug me.

    1. People who don’t know what ‘disinterested’ means, or at least what it used to mean before the illiterati got a hold of it.

    2. Kris Versteeg’s anti-Hossa backcheck with seven seconds left in OT.

    3. People moaning about Patrick Sharp who, while being moved around the roster has managed to continue to find the scoresheet.

    4. People making excuses for Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell. Kane is an elite player who shouldn’t need to be positioned ‘just so’ in order to produce. For a large swath of the year, he did produce regardless, but the past 15 games or so… And Bickell still hasn’t found his give-a-shit button. However, you try to dress up Bickell’s season, he’s a minus 7 on a team where no one else is a minus. The sight of the two of them ‘backchecking’ in their own zone in the first half of the first period last night was a big ole facepalm.

    • 1benmenno

      who, while being moved around the roster, has managed . . .
      /parenthetic commas

    • 10thMountainFire

      Yeah but Bickell grit.

      Seriously, though… I think Bickell is going to be fine. I’m happy with what he’s done even if it doesn’t meet contract expectations.

      • Bullitt315

        You think Simmonds is going to mess with him again. It’s like beating up the bully on the playground. “They aren’t bullying us so why do we have these guys” says the grassfed organic meatball.

        They’re not doing it anymore because last time they got their teeth kicked in. Nuance is lost on the Meatball (Hit everybody!) and the Grassfed Meatball (Hits don’t matter! I don’t understand what deterrence means!)

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          I totally agree with your appeal to nuance in understanding physical play, however, I don’t for a minute believe that Bickell’s thrashing of Simmonds is really going to deter Simmonds for messing with Bickell in the future. Go to hockeyfights.com and you’ll see about a million and two examples of guys getting their asses handed to them by someone only to come back for more (often in the same game). I really don’t think that these fights deter anyone. (Other than the obvious non-fighters like Herp and Derp not wanting to mix it up with John Scott or something). The only thing they establish (IMHO) is that it sends the message that they aren’t going to back down.

    • nextgame

      From dictionary.com…

      Usage note:
      Disinterested and uninterested share a confused and confusing history. Disinterested was originally used to mean “not interested, indifferent”; uninterested in its earliest use meant “impartial.” By various developmental twists, disinterested is now used in both senses. Uninterested is used mainly in the sense “not interested, indifferent.” It is occasionally used to mean “not having a personal or property interest.”
      Many object to the use of disinterested to mean “not interested, indifferent.” They insist that disinterested can mean only “impartial”: ‘A disinterested observer is the best judge of behavior’. However, both senses are well established in all varieties of English, and the sense intended is almost always clear from the context.

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        Yes. Agreed.

      • neo1978

        Does this beg the question?

        • 1benmenno

          Iswydt

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          It does bottle the mind.

    • lizmcneill

      On-ice sh%, 6.0. On-ice sv%, .888. Team low for both. Unless you say that Bicks is so terrible that he single-handedly tanks the goaltending, defense and offense when he sets foot on the ice, that -7 isn’t all on him.
      The fact the the 3rd/doghouse/Shaw line has never really succeeded this season is a major issue, but you can’t blame it all on one part of it.

    • ChicagoNativeSon
      • red palace

        Hilarity reins. Get well soon cliff.

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

    I am not on the ledge, or even moving in its direction. The Hawks are still a playoff team with time to unfuck what is totally fucked up. BUT I am concerned. The Special team trends are good, but EV are not good, fuck they are bad. This is a team built to win 5v5. They have not been above 2.5GF at EV over a 10 game stretch since January 14 (They have been as high as 3.50+ and over 2.5 nearly every game before 1-14).
    .
    If the PP and PK stay were they are playing, and the Hawks improve EV. All is well in Oz. But if the EV scoring is not righted, well…………….

    • lizmcneill

      Do you have rolling sh% and SF over the slump?

  • Guest

    So at this point in the season, kane has played with 7 centers – toews, Kruger, shaw, Pirri, regin, handzus, and smith. And four wingers on the second line I believe (because he’s played with everyone really due to double shifting) bickell, saad, versteeg, and sharp. Kinda ridiculous really.

    • ChicagoNativeSon

      You could say that about most of the players on the team.

      • birdhead

        I’m sorry but I don’t think this is true, actually. Not among forward linemates, anyway.

        Kane’s most common linemate (Saad) has shared about 34% of his 5v5 time.

        Toews’ has shared 77% (Sharp)
        Hossa’s has shared 84% (Toews)
        Sharp’s has 77% also (Toews)
        Shaw’s 52% (Saad)
        Saad 47% (Shaw)
        Kruger 71% (Bollig)
        Bollig 79% (Kruger)
        Smith 79% (Bollig)
        Handzus 60% Kane
        Versteeg hasn’t even been on the Blackhawks for the whole season and he still has 41% of his ice time with Kane
        Bickell 58% (Shaw)

        Versteeg is an instructive comparable: Kane has had less time with his most common linemate than a guy who actually switched teams half-way through the season. Saad is the closest comparable, because Saad has also been bounced around the lines, and even he’s at 47%. Far from being normal, it is very unusual on the 13-14 Hawks to have less than 50% of your ice time with your most common forward linemate. Six regular Hawks forwards share more than three-quarters of their ice time with their most common linemate. Kane shares just over a quarter.

  • ballyb11

    Love this

    “The vast majority of the games the Hawks have lost of late, there’s at least been some kind of mitigating circumstance. A bad bounce here, a hot goalie there, but for the most part, the Hawks by and large dictated the play even in spite of some curious play and lineup choices.”

  • ballyb11

    Read through the posts and it seems like reality is setting in with many of you. Maybe it will be that way with the Hawks, too. Maybe they we’re resting on their laurels a bit too much, thinking they’d flip the switch.

    Not to late. Way, way too much talent for that.

    Let’s go Hawks!!

  • ballyb11

    More “food for thought”.

    Have the Hawks been the healthiest team in the Nhl this year?

  • roadhog

    I don’t like where we are at since the break. If Q thought our worst game of the year was Nashville, he can reset that to Philly IMO. I’m struggling to find the genius in our game time rosters, transactions and the Q line blender. Maybe it’s there, but I’m not seeing it. I refuse to put any stock in the Dragon being an answer to anything, as it just seems unfair and unrealistic in terms of expectations. I believe we are absolutely the best team in all of hockey . . . but our recent play/results leave me wondering about what Q is doing . . . He’s using up slack that you only earn with two cups . . . with me anyway. Time will tell, but I’m starting to see a glimpse of what they see at the ledge . . .