• raditzzzz

    commence gnashing of teeth…

  • bigtreina

    It is not Meatball to:
    A) Wish the Hawks had a physical response / intensity increase post Toews injury.
    B) Wish there was more grit up and down the lineup (I’m looking at you Shaw, all 5’9″ of you – could you stand up a little taller please).
    C) Blame the coaching staff for not picking the best lineup on a given night – if you are going to play an Eastern team that likes to hit (e.g., Boston, Pitt, Phi) play a roster that you don’t mind getting knicked up – especially if you are not chasing points (see the subtle Q knock here). Now, in fairness, the Hawks are banged up – but Morin should’ve had a spot last night.

    Hockey can’t be played at 50%. If the Hawks could give a crap about their seeding finish – then we should be playing more Ice Hogs and resting Hossa, Sharp, Hammer, Keith, etc., at least periodically. Not only did we lose Toews last night, we almost lost Sharp, and something is wrong with Handzus corpse again. Hockey at 50% = injuries.

    • Paul the Fossil

      Actually I saw a distinct intensity increase last night after Toews left.

      Agree with you about Morin though, no good reason he isn’t in the lineup right now.

      • bigtreina

        This is the kind of intensity we needed last night though:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UP_XD1mvxvc

        • Hawkeytalk

          Big ups just for posting that.

        • 10thMountainFire

          His big hits always counted. Always.

          /Math’d

        • VerStig

          Yeah we lost one “big hitter” with the loss of Fabulous Weapon. We probably don’t want D2K going into anger mismanagement mode either.

          Also, post-suspension Hjammer doesn’t hit like that anymore either (skip to ~0:51):
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuMWYINKA40

    • TheFullAmonte

      I agree with you about Morin, but A and B are pretty much the definition of meatball, especially around here. I would also say that the Hawks did pick up their intensity/level of play after Toews went off without feeling the need to fight anyone.

      • bigtreina

        Yes – I enjoy this site but its complete disdain for ‘meatball’ gets on my nerves.
        It’s almost pretentious.

        Look, I love clean olympic style hockey. In today’s NHL, it ain’t gonna happen – too many teams, too many players, washed down talent on 3rd / 4th lines and salary cap restrictions pretty much guarantee Bollig type players get extensions.

        But to deny my inner masculine need too enjoy watching physical revenge for the sake of political correctness is to dethrone my childhood memories of its biggest heroes – you know…Rambo, Conan, Rocky.

        • bigtreina

          In other words, hockey is part meatball whether we want it to be, or not. Its a gladiator sport. The plot lines of drama, betrayal, violence, and revenge all play out in 60 minute frames. It can be high art. It can also be splattered with spaghetti sauce and meatballs.

  • Paul the Fossil

    So browsing Puck Daddy this morning, I gather that Milbury was in full knucklehead mode last night after the hit on Toews? [I never watch the intermission nonsense.] Had forgotten that it was Orpik who was the target of Sean Thornton’s special goonery earlier this season, for which if I was in charge Thornton would still be sitting in press boxes right now.

    Watched the replay again just now in slo-mo and yea the hit was clean. He leaves his feet _after_ contact, hands/stick are down, and he was clearly aiming for shoulder not head. That his shoulder ends up connecting with Tazer’s head wasn’t due to anything Orpik did, and the fact that it was the shoulder that sustained an injury strongly suggests that most of the impact landed there not at the head.

    Put it this way, if that’s a dirty hit then we really are taking serious physical play out of the sport. (And the idea that a clean hit on a star player requires retaliation remains too stupid to even respond to.)

    • bigtreina

      Milbury suggested Orpik intends to hurt people when he hits. The point of checking is to separate man from puck, not man from his bones. But come on, if you have the other team’s best guy lined up, you take a shot don’t you? Back in the day, there would be a physical response – and Orpik would’ve had Probert bash his face in. Today we are more civilized. We’re above this right? The game is safer now right?

      • Paul the Fossil

        “Back in the day, there would be a physical response” — depends which day we’re talking about. The first expansion era is the source of the idea that a clean hit on a star should lead to heavyweights bashing in the face of the hitter. During the Original Six era there were no professional heavyweights, and the league’s stars were expected to be able to take clean hits because hitting was considered to be part of the game for everybody.

        • bigtreina

          Great point. I’ve dated myself. I grew up watching hockey during the Savard, Gretzky, and Lemieux era. I remember my aunt trying to explain to me why Dave Manson bit some guy’s ear. Things weren’t ‘better’ back then – but the rule changes (head shot rules, etc) haven’t made the game safer IMO.

          No, I’m an advocate of the physical response in the video I posted below. I just don’t think the Hawks are as tough to play against this year as they were last year.

          • lizmcneill

            Last in the league for both total and road hits both years.

          • bigtreina

            I’m not a big believer in the hits stat = team toughness. Hitting smart, grinding out battles on the boards, appropriate physical responses when liberties are taken during the right times of the game, not getting phased when the other team loses its mind (e.g., St. Louis) – this is team toughness. No stat for that.

          • lizmcneill

            isn’t hitting smart kind of like clutch goals? And they don’t lose their minds – in St Louis or this time. They get more frustrated when they aren’t scoring than when they get hit.

          • bigtreina

            You misread my comment. St. Louis flies off the handle emotionally during games and loses their focus. Hawks – when playing their game – don’t respond to Blues shenanigans. Instead, they hit clean, take advantage on the PP, and score goals. I think its a mix of smart hitting, tough board play, puck control, mental toughness, and skill that won Hawks 2 cups.

          • lizmcneill

            They also hit more to get the puck rather than take themselves out of position to finish the check (in the regular season). Laying hits can get you hurt too (see Bicks).

          • bigtreina

            Basically the definition of body checking… “hit more to get the puck rather than take themselves out of position to finish the check”

          • bigtreina

            But, at the same time, it help to have some snarl in your lineup. The guy that ‘pisses the other team off’. Bolland used to be that guy for the Hawks. Shaw does his best, but Bolland was ‘troll-yer’. The guy the other team hates playing against. Just one reason the Hawks aren’t as tough to play against this year.

          • lizmcneill

            Bolly was more of a pest than a physical force. I think going about other teams’ blogs, Shaw is hated more than Bolly was, except Vancouver.

    • 10thMountainFire

      He was droning on and on about exactly retribution, waxing nostalgic for the old days, and generally bemoaning the state of modern skill hockey.

      I tuned him out by chewing pretzels loudly.

  • Paul the Fossil

    A bright note this morning: both the Canucks and Maple Leafs are now pretty conclusively heading for April golf dates. Sadly the Flyers are in. But in terms of the franchises and fanbases who I most want to see seething with bitter jealousy this spring, two out of three ain’t bad.

    In fact the only major suspense remaining as far as who makes the playoffs in either conference is Coyotes vs Stars for the last Western spot. (The Capitals still have a small chance to wake up and catch Columbus but are showing no signs of giving any shits about it.)

    • lizmcneill

      Columbus have 3 back-to-backs left and Bob has had flu (?concussion?). They have a bit of a rough road.

    • Fleshrifle

      At least the Flyers get to hand the Penguins their walking papers in round 2. Yippee!!!

  • 10thMountainFire

    We were near 1/4 Bollig on the previous thread. Started to creak and moan.

  • birdhead

    are we in this thread or the next thread?

    Apparently even with Toews out the Hawks still aren’t the underdog: http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2014/03/31/why-the-colorado-avalanche-are-going-to-get-smoked-by-chicago-in-playoffs/

    • VerStig

      Don’t mind giving this thread some love. And I love that article… if the ‘Hawks play anything like they did after the injury, no reason to believe they won’t be proven right.

      • birdhead

        I hope you’re right. They *can* do it, in bursts at least, but all playoffs long? Please come back healthy, 19 and 88.

        • YoAdrienne

          Having 29 and 32 back would help, as well. It sounds like Bickell might be close…

          • VerStig

            Yeah I think with 4 days off he’ll be back for sure. Q said if it was the playoffs, he’d be playing already.

            (if not, the only choice for my 4th line above would be 52-86-25 and since 25 isn’t eligible for the playoffs and we aren’t burning TT’s ELC… we’d have to put Brookbank and Rundblad on it or something… or recall Nordstrom)

          • birdhead

            25 is Carey? That’s gonna be Stalberg for me for a while yet.

          • VerStig

            Yep

          • Accipiter

            25 is Dave Christian.

        • VerStig

          I don’t think anybody’s saying we can win the cup without them. But we can still field a passable top 9, with some defensive responsibility on each line and enough talent to score:

          10-16-81
          23-12-20
          11-65-28

          And (knock on wood) our 1-5 D are all healthy. If well coached, there’s no reason to believe we couldn’t steal a game or two before we start getting guys back (19, 88, 26, 29, 32) to set the world on fire.

          • lizmcneill

            But Seabrook sucks. (it does seem like every mistake he or Keith make is going in the net right now)

    • lizmcneill

      that seems somewhat optimistic.

  • 10thMountainFire

    I cannot recall if it was CNS or TMFF that had the photoshop of Kaner and Toews at the bar with Toews demanding another drink but… today would be a good day to re-post that.