• VerStig

    Love the new thread smell after 2/3 Bollig… thanks Joe

  • thepuckstopshere

    Thanks for the links, starved yesterday.
    As much as Pronger is a pud, glad to hear he is doing OK. But still a pud!

  • Lobster

    Firstly, you guys all do a great job with finding the morning links. My one recommendation would be to actually give a little bit of a subject to each article you post on the morning links. As opposed to just “Not worried”, maybe “Pronger return from concussion? Not worried”. I just think it would be helpful to know what the article is about in the morning links. Take this for what it’s worth.

    • zacked

      I agree with this, and have thought so for a long time.

      Especially with the TSN links, since the URLs for those are just numbers. At least with the other ones I can kind of tell what the subject will be. (Fraser on Toews is fine).

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        I used to think that way, too. But then I imagined the soul-sucking tedium that must accompany doing this chore day after day, week after week, year after year and never getting paid or even a simple “thank you”, so I cut Joe some slack for trying to at least have some aspect of it that doesn’t make him want to plunge into the eternal dark night of cunnilingus with his car’s tailpipe.

        BTW, thank you, Joe for at least putting up the links when you get a chance.

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

          Wouldn’t it be more effective, in this context, to fellate a tailpipe?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Not for me, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    • chichicagochi

      This.
      Also with Autoplay warnings

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    Slow day. What this day needs is a completely realistic car chase. You’re welcome.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8ucstLlIZY

    • M7

      Wicked. I’m buying most of that chase, including the part where the car blows up while going over the cliff right at the end of the clip. I cannot, however, endorse the physics behind his roller blading off of the wooden ramp and accelerating through the air (while being towed by a car) and landing on said car.

      #IndianChuckNorris

      • ChicagoNativeSon

        Was it his vector that ruined it for you?

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Ah! The summer of ’92 in Tehran. I remember it fondly. The usually stultifying heat was mitigated by unusually temperate breezes blowing off the mountaintops and the smell of jasmine lingering in the air. All was glorious and right with the world as Mohammed Hamedani and I meticulously laid out our vision for the grandest of all film sequences which worked not just on the visceral level, but on the metaphorical level as well: life is not confined by physics. It also proved an old adage that it is far easier the thwart and destroy than to create, (hence our eventual difficulty in realizing our dreams as you can see here. This old adage was eventually translated into English as, “It is easiest to stoppeth a goal than to scoreth one.”).

      But, oh for those summer days! Those halcyon days! The coriander and dill weed! The long droughts of fresh (and illegal!) wine! Lovely literate ladies lounging by our sides! Dreams of what might be! Silks draped across our beds! And yes… yes… rollerblading while attached to cars. I weep for you, summer of ’92. Come back to me…

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        How exquisite the memory, those spice-filled days of Tandoori and Jethimadh. My friend, you would not believe it if you saw it, but cars rained down then, literally cars and literally rained down, always dangerously and on fire. Those were the frontier days. Days when civilization butted against the harsh wild and any wrong turn could send one careening from paved technology over a precipice and into a jungle world untouched by humans since time began. Always over a cliff, always down and always, of course, on fire.

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          Oh my god, this exchange has single-handedly restored my faith in humanity. (And I realized halfway into my reverie that the film was Indian and was too lazy to revise).

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Indeed. I just appreciate that someone with money decided they were going to film that script. Or film that and then turn it into a script. That level of kitsch is almost an aesthetic.

  • cliffkoroll

    OT Wednesday:

    Offense is harder than defense. In life, trying to accomplish something is harder than trying to thwart someone.

    1. This explains why Patrick Kane is the 2nd most valuable player on the Blackhawks.

    2. This is also why the word ‘sheltered’ as commonly used in a hockey context, is the most misleading term out there. In general, a player who is ‘sheltered’ is being asked to do the hardest thing in the game.

    Many other insights derive from this simple fact.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Thank you. They certainly didn’t teach us this in carpetbagging school. Seems almost straight forward, but I do wonder by what authority or metric the following statement is made:

      “In life, trying to accomplish something is harder than trying to thwart someone.”

      • cliffkoroll

        I posit this. In hockey, it seems to me borne out in the fact that MVPs are almost universally, and correctly, drawn from the ranks of those proficient in offense (provided they’re not a complete shitshow in the easier defensive aspects of the game #ovechkin.)

        But I am willing to entertain any and all arguments of the form “tearing something down is harder than building something up.” You have the floor.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          “correctly” – again, by what authority? Would you like Hjammer more if he scored more to the cost of his defense? The only thing close to an absolute I would draw from this is that it’s easier to appreciate someone’s work when there is a recognizable metric to pin to the work, like goals and assists and Norris trophies.

          The law of conservation of energy handles this argument for us.

          • cliffkoroll

            Hjammer eh? Salary?

            But you may be correct, and the rest of the universe may be wrong.

            You could be the Billy Beane of hockey!

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Are you saying the universe does not more readily appreciate accomplishments which are easier to identify? Does this go beyond human consciousness in some manner?

          • cliffkoroll

            The universe is wrong sometimes. The onus, however, is on those who assert the universe is wrong to provde EVIDENCE. That’s what Billy Beane did- he built a winning team out of undervalued assets.

            Just yesterday, I made a “universe was wrong” argument about goalie salaries. As EVIDENCE, I now submit the names of Chris Osgood, Marc Andrew Fleury, Antti Niemi, and Corey Crawford- all Stanley Cup winning goaltenders in the past six years. This is not compelling, but it is suggestive.

            Now, you can continue to pick at my position in your abstract, navel-gazing way, or you can provide EVIDENCE that defensive skill is undervalued. You have the floor.

          • VerStig

            Conservation of momentum in the last thread, conservation of energy in this one. I think we have a (nuclear?) physicist in our midst! bhh, can you fix a toilet?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Sadly, yes.

        • raditzzzz

          i guess that all depends on how you define “harder”

          • laaarmer

            not soft

          • raditzzzz

            are we still talking about the same thing?

          • cliffkoroll

            I suppose one may seek refuge in a semantic rabbit hole like this: “Offense and defense are just these two different things, an apple and an orange, and it is impossible to compare them.”, but I disagree.

            I mean ‘harder’ as in ‘more difficult’ as in ‘calculus is harder than algebra’ (though the analogy is imperfect.)

          • raditzzzz

            unfortunately im more interested in debating your aphorism “tearing something down is harder than building something up” than anything actually relating to hockey.

          • 1benmenno

            Is it harder to make an argument than to refute it? If so, cliff wins by default.

          • raditzzzz

            to quote the spartans,

            “if.”

    • laaarmer

      Hey chico.
      Yesterday was not meant to be a dart thrown in your direction. Your points regarding Bollig a true and taken.

      Regarding the above statement.
      So, playing against Bollig and trying to score is harder than trying to Stop DDN and Sharp (when together)from scoring?

      • cliffkoroll

        No darts, just trying to move us all along the Path of Understanding.

        Regarding your question, the answer is obviously yes.

        • laaarmer

          Obviously yes?

          I don’t know, I’m going to have to think about that a bit.

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

        Wasn’t taken as such. And had it been taken as such I wouldn’t have been upset in the least. It has nothing to do with me if you’re all complete assholes.

        • laaarmer

          I’d rather be complete than a half ass asshole

    • Paul the Fossil

      I’m not about the “in life” part but the team sports offense/defense thing is true, and explains why the managements of teams in most pro sports behave as if elite offensive performance is in shorter supply than elite defensive performance. They’re right, it is; hence nobody ever uses a #1 pick on the best _defensive_ defenseman or _two_ way forward in a draft year.

      Also here is more-specific hockey example. For as long as I’ve been playing rec league hockey [which is roughly since dinosaurs wielding wooden Kohos stalked the neutral zone], on every team I’ve ever known, the guys who had played on high school varsities or whatever have gotten all worked up about why our power play sucks so badly. Which it invariably does, the typical rec-league power play unit only dreams of being as effective as pros wearing clown shoes would be. If such stats were kept I’m sure that the mean rec league PP scoring rate would be ten percent at best, and half that when the other team has a solid goalie. Some guys constantly want to know why we can’t ever pull off even a semblence of the basic PP setups that teams in organized leagues do.

      Part of the answer is that those teams, whether amateurs or pro, get to practice together and we don’t (or only very rarely). And the rest of the answer is that in general offense is harder than defense. Being reasonably effective at penalty-killing [form a box, stay home, avoid falling down, don't let the other team's best guy just dance through, make them complete some actual passes/plays] is much easier to pull off than is the actual PP passes/plays. PKing is mostly just getting in the way successfully and even an old grinder like me can manage _that_. PPing takes actual skills and a shared plan and stuff. Offense is harder.

      • laaarmer

        BUT
        “Defense wins championships”
        “Everybody knows that”
        /Geico’d

        • cliffkoroll

          You coach. How often are your best players put on D? Even if they are, they prolly go all Bobby Orr.

          • Accipiter

            Shea Weber.

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

            Trent Yawney.

          • cliffkoroll

            21 Goals and 50 points: leads his team in both.

          • Accipiter

            Yup.

          • neo1978

            Coaches often put their best players on D. They can control the game easier from there.

          • cliffkoroll

            Sometimes maybe, particularly for a big guy, but in my extensive experience watching youth hockey, these guys can run the offense too. Overwhelmingly, the best players play center. Laaarmer, any comment from the trenches?

          • laaarmer

            Center is a difficult position. They have to cover a lot of ground.
            I am not bragging in what I am about to write.
            My younger son is a center. This past season, he was leading the team in points and goals, but they were struggling to win games (we could have a discussion about whether winning games in youth sports matters, but it is OT). We decided to move him to defense and another weaker player up to forward. He was unhappy, but we explained the whole teammate/what’s good for the team. They struggled to score at first, but eventually they adjusted. They went on to win their last 14 games, their league playoffs, and their final tournament.

            Try playing defense and being good at it, not a cone, before you say forward is harder.

          • cliffkoroll

            Does your kid score much from D? One of the big advantages to playing top kids on D at younger ages is they spend a lot more time on the ice.

          • laaarmer

            He did score, but not as much as when he was a forward. Yes, they have more ice time and more time with the puck too. He was frustrated often, but I think it was good for him.

          • cliffkoroll

            Also, sounds like the coach sucks. Do you have a mustache?

          • laaarmer

            No, but I do get red/purple faced often and will at times drop the F bomb on the kids.

          • laaarmer

            The best players play defense too.

            Toews vs Ovechkin.

            And they win.

          • laaarmer

            Actually, at the younger levels, the best players are your D. I think you know this.

            Ever notice how a defenseman can move up to play forward, but a forward can RARELY move back to play defense?

            BUT

            I was not talking about the position of defense, I was talking about playing defensively. If you have a team of Ovechkins, Greenes, and Semins, you are not going to win championships

            If you have a team of Toews, Hossa, Keith, Kruger, you are going to win. Toews and Hossa are the rare ones that can do both at the highest level

          • cliffkoroll

            My son moved from center to wing to defense in high school. At U of I, he made the varsity team. His roommate, a high school centerman and every bit as good a player (maybe better), didn’t make the JV team.

            #anecdata

          • laaarmer

            Your son is a skilled playah then.

            It’s not easy to switch from F to D.

            Look at Buff and Burns as an example of what I am getting at. They provided offense from their respective defense positions, but are better suited as forwards and can make the adjustment easier than say Sharp or Saad moving to D.

            By younger levels, I meant like squirt and peewee.

          • laaarmer

            Also, look at what you have written.
            A proficient defenseman is in higher demand than a middling forward.

            Take a look at Brookbank and Pirri for a great example.

          • cliffkoroll

            /facepalm

            People, I may be wrong, but what I’m saying is easy to grasp. My point is that the best, most valuable players play offense because it’s harder.

            Try this: Who’s better, Patrick Kane or Niklas Hjalmarsson? No-brainer.

          • laaarmer

            Let Kane try to do what Hjammer does for a while. I guarantee you Hjammer can play F and do well at it.

          • cliffkoroll

            And a nuclear physicist doesn’t know how to install a toilet. Because plumbing is harder.

          • laaarmer

            Well, that is assinine

          • VerStig

            I will be bold enough to say that losing Niklas Hjalmarsson would be as big, if not a bigger blow, than losing Patrick Kane for a playoff run.

          • M7

            Supporting your view about the best players playing D (at a young age), I would also say that as the players mature, it is often your d-men that read the ice, the play and where to break down the opposition better than the forwards.

            In my experience with coaches, a greater number of them were defenseman, and even more of the best coaches I’ve ever had were defensemen as well. I’d draw a similarity to how good catchers (in baseball) make good coaches. They understand the game.

            EDIT: as pacey as the game of hockey is, d-men need to take a more cerebral approach to things out there.

        • Bullitt315

          Does anybody really argue that for hockey (or anything other than football for that matter)

          • laaarmer

            I do.

    • neo1978

      As in anything it isn’t what is harder that matters, it is simply what is available that matters. Everyone playing hockey plays offensively. It is those guys that play a two way game that are in short supply. And most coaches actually have a much shorter list of players on their checking line depth charts than they have on their top six depth charts.

      And I will argue that the defensive side of hockey is the least respected aspect of the game; at least concerning fans. I mean just look at all those “discussions” concerning the Canadian Olympic team. Where Patrice Bergeron was slotted by even hardcore hockey fans for that team was laughable.

      • lizmcneill

        Bergy has 56 points in 75 games, he’s not chopped liver offensively.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          He’s not winning any awards with those numbers. Maybe the Selke, but who hasn’t won that?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Hossa.

      • cliffkoroll

        “As in anything it isn’t what is harder that matters, it is simply what is available that matters.”

        What is harder is, be definition, scarcer. This applies at the level of the universe. Now a team may be “offense heavy” but that is an easier problem to solve than one that is “defense heavy”.

        What do you think of my assertion that Patrick Kane is the 2nd most valuable player on the Hawks?

        • Accipiter

          Crawford being the mvp, obviously.

          • raditzzzz

            no wonder goalies get the most criticism…they are nearly exclusively defense.

          • cliffkoroll

            I was thinking about this. Although it is obvious to me that offense is harder, defense is in some ways more psychologically difficult. D-men are supposed to cut off the rush. Goalies are supposed to make the save. Cornerbacks are supposed to stay in front of receivers.

            And they usually do. So, when it does happen, everybody’s like ‘wtf?’ That wasn’t supposed to happen.

            Scorers are not supposed to score every time they get the puck. They don’t face that pressure. But the psychology here can be tough too. Ask any salesman- it’s a numbers game, effort usually isn’t rewarded, you can run into long dry spells.

            Psychologically, things are tough all over.

          • laaarmer

            We often say forwards can make a mistake 75-80% of the time, Defense can make a mistake 25% of the time and goalies can only make a mistake 10% of the time

          • raditzzzz

            10% eh? not if you want to cut it in this league!

          • laaarmer

            I coach bantams.
            90% is pretty damn good.

          • raditzzzz

            keep it up larms, you are doing a good thing.

          • raditzzzz

            btw, how is your defense below the goal line working out?

          • laaarmer

            Like I said below, they won their last 14 games, league playoffs and a final tournament.

            It worked OK, but not perfectly. Most of our goals allowed were down low plays, but I think that is normal. It is hockey after all.

        • neo1978

          What makes the Hawks different from so many other teams? There have been a lot of teams that are tops offensively that haven’t won anything.

          The two players that I think are irreplaceable are Toews and Keith. There just aren’t that many number one defensemen out there. And it doesn’t hurt that argument that teams with Keith, Doughty and Chara have won the last four cups.

          Hossa lets the team play without a third center while also letting the Hawks play Sharp and Kane in the top six. So I have Kane further down the list.

          • cliffkoroll

            I believe I have never been so delighted to hear a view I disagree with. You probably don’t know it, cuz I keep it pretty well under wraps, but my feelings toward Duncan Keith are…unhealthy.

            Yet even I don’t dare put him ahead of Kane. I prolly put a younger Hossa ahead of Kane, but that’s neither here nor there.

            Anyhoo, thanks for your thoughts. You can add Lidstrom to your list above (although he, and Chara, and Doughty, and Keith can bring some offense too.) Food for thought for me.

    • birdhead

      Justin Bourne had a good post on this very topic a while ago.

    • VerStig

      How about trying to thwart Patrick Kane?

      • cliffkoroll

        I assure you I would have a greater success rate here than trying to score on Anti Raanta.

  • neo1978

    OK, I’m going to troll today sorry. Here is my question. Will all you guys that were sticklers to the NHL rulebook on the Orpik hit stay that way when this guy joins the Hawks?

    http://d3j5vwomefv46c.cloudfront.net/photos/large/831822514.gif?1388888282

    • laaarmer

      I was actually writing something about him yesterday, but deleted it.
      I said Welcome to the Hawks pseudo Brooks Orpik.

    • guest

      Honestly, the commenters on this site have very little hesitation calling out dirty hawks plays as dirty. See the response to Kieth’s Flying Sedin Elbow–there was a lot of bitching about how the earlier elbow on Kieth wasn’t noticed, but nobody disputed it was a stupid, dirty play and pretty much everyone from the writers down to us in the peanut gallery were pissed at Kieth for taking himself out for multiple games, rather than at the refs or anyone else.

      Look at every time Shaw goes out of his way to lay a huge hit and takes a penalty–it’s never “and once again the refs jobbed us,” always “for all Shaw’s fearlessness is awesome in the corners and in front of the net, his boneheaded penalties are costing us.”

      Dollars to donuts that’s what people say when Johns lays a hit like that. He completely takes himself out of the play. The Hawks don’t have to play intimidation hockey, because they can win at real hockey. If they try to play intimidation hockey, they will lose. I think most people here know that.

      The fact that this is one of the few places on the internet where hits like that will be called out even if it’s a guy wearing your own sweater is why I keep coming back.

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        FTFY

        the commenters on this site have very little problem with *saying* that dirty hawks plays aren’t dirty.

        • guest

          My bad, I ninja-edited it to make it clearer. English, y u so hard?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            No problem. Humpdays are the hardest days to focus.*

            *quote from cliffkoroll’s toiletpaper roll calendar of everyday facts.

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

        His winger is covering, so he hasn’t effectively taken himself out of the play.

        Also, there’s a big difference between a team’s style of play and an individual on that team. I like the way the Hawks play as a team, love it, but they still need players who are going to hit other players hard. That’s not an antiquated, Cherry/Milburyish perspective, it’s the truth–unless and until the rules are changed.

        Every team in the NHL has these players, including the Hawks.

        • laaarmer

          Yeah, Brookbank Keith Seabrook Hjammer Shaw Bollig Saad
          They aren’t pussies

        • guest

          The hawks need, and have, players that will hit (to separate player from puck, get puck, score goals). Sometimes those hits are hard, sometimes they aren’t. In my opinion, the hawks don’t need (but still have a few, c.f. Brandon Bollig’s continued employment) players that will throw hits like the enclosed .gif (knock opposing player on ass, player is knocked on ass, ???, profit).

          Did I mention that the lively discussion also keeps me coming back?

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

            I’ll never wish for a player who has a tendency to seek a hit ahead of a play, but if the hit is there, make it a hard one that makes a player think twice about handling the puck the next time around. Nothing dirty, but nothing halfway.

            (I won’t address Bollig … I think I may have abused the forum yesterday on that topic.)

      • CozBullsFan

        Sack up and put a name beside your comment. You have no fucking clue what you are talking about. We all called him on it. Yes, we were pissed about the missed call on Sedin but it didn’t make what he did right. Secondly, look at last year and what Keith did. We all called him on it again.

        Get the fuck out about Shaw. All we do is complain about him taking stupid penalties. You obviously don’t spend any time here.

        You don’t have the slightest clue what we actually have said about those situations. Get lost troll.

        • laaarmer

          I think it’s a typo, cuz I was going to respond in like fashion, but re-read it and it doesn’t make any sense.
          bhh tried to fix, but he is slow.

          • CozBullsFan

            Disqus must be slow too cause it hasn’t been edited on my screen.

          • laaarmer

            Re read it.

            He says he likes us because we call them out. You, and I was, are hung up on the 1st sentence

            I think he’s like minded.

          • guest

            Sorry for the confusion, I definitely meant that the community can and will call a spade a spade, even if it’s wearing a hawks jersey when it bludgeons someone. Also, as an aside, my name is “guest” but it’s red because I tried to make a post as a guest when we made the switch from SCH to DISQUS… and inadvertently made it my username. You can click on it and track my posts and everything. I didn’t post a lot, but I was “english pig with no brain” back in the sbnation days.

          • laaarmer

            We got it, eventually.

            Put a picture on you profile, like an English pig”

          • CozBullsFan

            Now it’s fixed.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          Read again. Che messed up on the initial sentence. See heps reply to my comment below.

          • CozBullsFan

            Weird. It still isn’t fixed on my screen and I just got here.

          • VerStig

            Haven’t seen that word in a while. We’re not gender ambiguous enough here.

      • CozBullsFan

        Sorry, I take back what I said. For some reason it wasn’t fixed on my screen yet. Stupid disqus.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Fuck that guy. I don’t want Kronwall here, either. You don’t have to kill to win.

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

        I’m with you if he turns out to be hunting heads and seeking to take players out of games. If he’s hitting hard and regularly within the rules, I’m okay.

        • bigtreina

          Hopefully he’s hard to play against. Like Hammer, and Shaw when he’s not being a bonehead and is on his game. I never could stand Chris Pronger, nor would I have ever wanted him as a Hawk.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          I would like to see the predatory blow-up gone from the game. From all the bemoaning of other aspects I’ve seen here, from hockey fans thinking hockey is morally superior to legal hitters having to defend themselves, no one seems to mind how we are supporting the maiming of guys gladiator-style. Would you take 10x the pay for your current job if it meant you couldn’t concentrate or hold down a job 10 years from now?

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

            Can’t say I disagree. Finding a happy medium, or defining that predatory hit, especially when the opponent is handling the puck, might be hard. Can’t say I’d be upset with a rule that said any hit is illegal if at any point you didn’t have one foot fully planted on the ice. Or something like that,
            I haven’t really thought hard about it.

          • Bullitt315

            10 times the pay, no. 100 times the pay, I’d think about. it. Especially if the odds were “May or may not” Every single hockey player can make that choice by themselves. They’re big boys. Even the kids are adults.

          • roadhog

            I’d totally agree with the feet on the ice being policed properly, but I think the ref’s are already fully focused on the contact to the head. The play is so fast, getting a quality on-ice call at the time of the infraction is going to be tough.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I am a fan of the post-game review and fine/punishment when necessary. And not just for hits. Embellishments as well. It seems to me like pro sports are on the threshold of a revolution in governance. Technologically, we know its possible so its more infuriating when it is not happening.

          • roadhog

            I’m with you, and I’m totally ok with Toronto making the call on the feet and the on ice refs focusing on the targeting of the head. I don’t trust the post game stuff as much . . .

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Well, not at the moment on post game stuff for sure. It seems utterly ambiguous as currently practiced.

          • Waylon

            their was an independent survey outfit that actually performed a large sampling of athletes at the high school and collegiate level, and they asked them one simple question. If you took a supplement that you knew would take ten years off your life but that it also would ensure that you make it the major leagues, would you still take it? The vast majority of respondents said yes.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Give that survey to 10,000 former, non-HOF pro athletes.

      • roadhog

        We’ve proven twice you don’t have to kill to win. I like the Hawks style of play, and I’m not longing for big hits. The only thing I think the Hawks could do more of is pinch to the boards on even man breaks a bit more, we seem to concede the corner to the puck carrier all the time. I know it’s fundamentally better defense to own the middle of the ice, the fact we don’t often challenge wide with the body gives the opponents a seam. Teams like Colorado exploit it repeatedly with speed to gain the zone and get the puck deep – with possession.

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

          Mostly agree. Keeping to the outside generally works great, though. But only if F2 in our system keeps his head on a swivel, which we’ve had lots of trouble with, and if F1 has the jets to cover the puck handler, which on a very fast team like the Avs isn’t simple either.

          • roadhog

            To me . . . the pinch along the boards is kind of like a football blitz. It’s an aggressive defensive move early in the “play” and comes with a high risk/reward. Risk is the forward dances to the middle and your Dman is out of position. Reward is you can gain the puck early with most of your forwards still pretty high in the neutral zone, and most of the opponents are in an offensive posture (or headed to the bench.) Our transition is our strength, so I’d have the D looking for occasional opportunities more often.

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

            I like the pinch, too, and we do a pretty effective job of it when we play from behind. But ya, I’d meant my comment more from a backchecking and dzone perspective. I was thinking your original comment was sort of split into two parts, I didn’t really clarify why I was writing what I did.

          • Accipiter

            You never do.

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

            One of my favourite words is spoon, no kidding.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            cellar door

          • M7

            The thing with pinching, and this is kind of a counter intuitive thought process, but pinching on a puck that is much deeper in the zone (e.g. below the top of the circles) is usually safer then one just inside the blue.

            Part of this is because it isn’t really a last minute decision by the d-man, and even if the pinch isn’t successful, the opposing forward has much more ice to make up to get free of the zone. It also gives the weak forward ample time to get into defensive posture.

          • roadhog

            The risk is lower down low in your own zone for sure. I think the occasional pinch up high, above the circles with support can be effective if used on certain players in certain circumstances. We don’t seem to pinch with the D man up there very often. Opponents love to cut Kane off above the circles at the boards whenever they get a chance.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            If Gretzky’s Office was below the goal line, I put Kane’s Office at the top of the circles at the boards. He’s sees all the space from there. They rarely cut him off there. My confirmation biased memory tells me Kane most often loses it on entry between the circles when heavily outnumbered.

          • roadhog

            I’m talking on the rush, zone entry. Once he’s in, Kane owns the circles. Seems like forward support against Kane takes the middle and the Dmen go out to meet him at the boards on the rush. I was just informed I’ve been drinking Decaf all morning . . . so . . .

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I…I’m so sorry…are you okay? You better sit down and drink a double espresso until you feel better.

    • roadhog

      It’s a dirty hit . . . regardless of the sweater/league. Sad part, it could have been totally clean if he’d have turned and led with the hip. Really, that’s the sad part of all dirty hits, they could be clean (except maybe the knee to knee thing.)

      • M7

        I’m probably misinterpreting your comment regarding “leading with the hip”, but that’s not allowed anymore. The hip can only come into play if you’re moving backwards and rotate laterally into a player. Applying the hip, while in forward motion, is low-bridging and against the rules.

        • roadhog

          I was suggesting he rotate to backwards and lead with the hip, but you’re right it wouldn’t have been lateral.

          • M7

            You know, the silly thing here is that it’s obvious his mind was made to obliterate that BC player (I think it’s BC, excuse if wrong), but he had a relatively easy opportunity to keep the play alive in the offensive zone, he still could’ve caught a piece of the player and the trailing ND guy could’ve picked the puck up along the wall. And, as we all know, turning the puck over at your own blueline (BC in this case) is often fatal.

            Reading the play is important.

          • roadhog

            Agreed, if he goes for the puck and initiates contact he likely gets two birds.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            It comes down to whether you want to see a goal or you want to see carnage. The younger me liked carnage. The older me understands the difficulty of living past 20 years old.

          • 1benmenno

            I hear you. Metaphorically. I can’t find my ear trumpet.

          • M7

            Yep. Exactly. Approach the puck with the intent of initiating a little “blocking” type of contact and the BC guy is effetively, out of the play and creates the dangerous turnover with the other BC forwards flying the zone, leaving their defensemen with, likely, no gap control on the turned over puck.

          • roadhog

            Regardless, his focus should have been on gaining puck possession first. We go to the same school on this one.

    • Waylon

      this clip was posted awhile back, and the majority of commenters here thought it was dirty and that he had to be coached to know that crap off if he wanted to make it to the bigs.

      • Waylon

        “Knock.”

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          I don’t remember that being the case. I remember stating that *I* think he is dirty and am not a fan of the way this kid plays, but I don’t recall anyone agreeing.

          Unless it was one of the other 5 times he made a borderline/dirty hit this season?

          Meatheads are gonna love this guy. Wiz 2.0.

          • laaarmer

            I agreed, but you never pay any attention to me anyore

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

            I feel comfortable reserving judgment till I see him play. There are two or three “Crazy Johns” gifs out there. Same collection could be gathered for Duncs. Obviously not equating the two, but how many people here know anything about his play other than that he’s big and he likes hitting?

          • laaarmer

            One strike against for being a “domer”
            One strike for being a head hunter
            One more for not signing a contract, yet.

            Fuck him

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

            In hockey you get five strikes. I wish someone in the know would talk about his contract situation, I’d like to know more about it.

          • laaarmer

            then he’s 3/5 there.

            Why wouldn’t an NCAA hockey player want to sign a contract with the Blackhawks, especially if they wanted him?

            Has to be something there.

          • VerStig

            Brian Campbell on R.J. Umberger. I don’t think Soupy ever had that reputation right? But he does have a gif.

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

            Boy, was that ever a hit.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Weirdly, though, he didn’t pop up off the ice a foot after the hit and he didn’t have to follow through so that his elbow ended above above his head. I guess Orpik is just a more technical hitter.

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

            I don’t know how I became a spokesperson for enjoying injurious hits. But you don’t see the Campbell-Umberger and the Orpik-Toews hits as equally predatory?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Oh, for sure. But the differences is that Campbell didn’t leap into him. There’s a reason they put the ‘jump’ portion into the ruling. Not sure what the reason is for not enforcing it. Campbell’s hit is as legal as it gets. They’d have to put in an ‘absolutely no head hits’ rule to make that one illegal.

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

            Holy, I don’t see tons of diffrence between these two particular hits. If anything, Cambell seems worse in terms of the charging definition you’ve interpreted re vectors. Now I don’t understand exactly. Both of Campbell’s feet leave the ice. At least for Orpik it was just one? In both cases, though, the feet-leaving comes as part of the extension upward of the hit, not a jumping into before the hit, which is why I think it’s tough to penalize them in the quarter-second the ref has to judge them, or perhaps even as supplemental discipline.

            [And I'm sorry for re-hashing this ... we don't have to do this anymore.]

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Both of Orpiks feet leave the ice. You can see this by watching his lower foot stretching for the ice for some time after the hit. If you were to plot a trajectory on Orpik (which I may do) his keeps increasing after the hit. His trailing foot begins his transfer of momentum upwards and leaves the ice just as he is contacting Toews, his plant foot supplies the bulk of the upward force to elevate as he hits Toews. Because he is moving upward and basically hitting something about his size, he rises even further. There is just no way in physics for him to go up unless he or Toews propels him up.

            http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc500/mictest12/Orprick.gif?t=1396471202

            Both of Campbell’s feet leave the ice. His trailing leg comes off the ice well before the hit (so not providing any leverage or force into the hit). His planted foot does come off the ice because it should if he wants to stay upright. He has to re-position his foot or go sprawling. But notice how Campbell immediately returns to ice after the hit. In fact, his general level never actually even goes up or changes, which is what you would expect if there isn’t an altitude component of his vector.

            http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc500/mictest12/Campbell-Hits-Umberger.gif?t=1396471185

          • cliffkoroll

            This isn’t working. We need a demonstration. BHH, go stand over there by the boards.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Ok. When I get there, you turn around and start talking to the redhead in the stands you’ve been ogling. Don’t worry about what’s going on behind you. We’ll take video.

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

            These are great images. I’m looking at the Orpik hit quite a bit differently now. Two things worth (my) while to mention yet:

            I think you can “jump” into someone’s chest, like Campbell, even though it’s more of a horizontal motion. And I think there is a distinction to be made between feet leaving the ice as a result of extending your upper body into a check, and jumping into someone with your legs.

            Glad you posted these, though.

          • VerStig

            Horizontal jump = lunge?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I agree on that and you might be able to convince me 51Phantom does actually jump into RJ. But I don’t see it anywhere as conclusive as the Orpik hit where all the mechanisms of a jump, including leg spring and trajectory, are clearly visible.

          • ahnfire

            Internet law: all decisions will be based on gifs.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Putting the hit to Coldplay music should earn that person a mouthy reprimand.

    • CozBullsFan

      Arms up, blindsided the guy, jumped to make the hit. That deserves a suspension. Rules are rules.

    • birdhead

      plenty of us have no problem criticising Duncan Keith for what he did to Daniel so sure.

      • cliffkoroll

        C’mon, this is about the diapers, isn’t it?

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          Boom. Nailed it.

        • birdhead

          so funny I forgot to laugh

          • cliffkoroll

            Actually, I’m surprised you bit on this lame trolling effort of mine.

            Seriously, though, Keith has played in 756 NHL games. As far as I know, his badass red-ass has come out exactly three times, and in every case it was in retaliation for uncalled for douchery: Cooke, Sedin, and Carter.

            Sedin’s provocation was mildest, but infuriating in that it was a cheap, late hit from a guy who amasses single digit hit totals annually and whose game is predicated on the idea that this is bullshit neanderthal hockey.

            The comparison with Johns is obnoxious.

          • birdhead

            Equally seriously, I think the fact that Duncan Keith – who is an incredibly important part of the Blackhawks – does get criticised for that shit demonstrates that Johns, who is going to be brand new and presumably not exactly Norris material, is not going to get a free pass around here just because he puts on a Blackhawks sweater.

          • cliffkoroll

            Of course. I appreciate the lack of tinfoil here. Sometimes, though, it feels like people go way too far the other way, like endless dredging up of three isolated incidents from Keith’s career.

            No one talks about the Kaner cabbie thing anymore. This is a good thing. Moveon.org. Let go of the Keith hate.

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

            Johns has played for Notre Dame for four years. I’ve seen three plays by him, all hits.

            If it turns out this is all he his, then fuck him and goodbye, but geez, I don’t see why this defines him before he’s even signed a contract, let alone worn an NHL sweater.

          • cliffkoroll

            I hear ya- I know next to nothing about Johns and haven’t written him off by a long shot. Based on size alone, I’m intrigued.

            #spicymeatball

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

            I think we should start calling him Seth Johns.

          • birdhead

            It’s just that we don’t have that many obviously dirty plays to give as examples. I suppose we didn’t get on Andrew Shaw’s case about Mike Smith …

          • ballyb11

            Driving through Buffalo right now.

  • lizmcneill

    Tweeted news from practice, can’t be bothered embedding:
    Nordstrom recalled from Vegas.
    Sharpy, Zus, Odie and DDN not at practice. Lines are terribad.
    And someone broke the glass with a slapshot and Bicks swept it up.

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

      Shaw’s hit on Sharp last game, already with Toews’s gone, made me want to cry. Hope the short rest helps the remedy.

    • Michael Scott

      Time 4 hogs

    • 10thMountainFire

      Q’s role for Bickell has gotten even more difficult to figure out…

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        nice

        • 10thMountainFire

          I wonder if he was wearing an Ice Girls outfit.

          • 10thMountainFire

            WARNING TO TMFF AND CNS: NO PHOTOSHOP NECESSARY.

          • VerStig

            STERNER WARNING TO TMFF AND CNS: PHOTOSHOP WILL BE PUNISHABLE BY DEATH.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Yeah. Besides, Ice girls don’t pick up glass. They shovel snow.

            http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc500/mictest12/bicks1.jpg

          • VerStig

            That… is strangely not as disturbing as I thought it would be…

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Dang it. I got impatient and posted it again.

          • 1benmenno

            Impatient for what?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Sometimes, BHH is a bit… early.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I kind of re-posted it again….

          • 10thMountainFire

            That was totally unnecessary. And oddly I can’t look away.

          • cliffkoroll

            With the uniform on, you don’t notice that Bickell has a nice rack.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            But does he change diapers?

          • cliffkoroll

            Heh. You guys are practically BEGGING for this. May you be rewarded.

      • Oldfarthawkfan

        My hope is that DDN and Bickell come back all rested and healthy for the the first game of the playoffs, Q puts them together, and we can party like it is 2013 again

      • ChicagoNativeSon

        Bicks is THE CLEANER!

        • 10thMountainFire

          (Insert photo of Bickell pummeling Simmonds here)

    • ahnfire

      Hjalmarsson broke the glass.

      • M7

        Hjalmarsson’s a hammer.

  • bigtreina

    Assumption of Risk – My troll of the day
    All of this endless talk of how to make the game safer and (re)enforce rules annoys the piss out of me. These players, like anyone who has played the game, know that douchebaggery is part of the equation. They are compensated heavily for dealing with it and for dishing it out. Its time we called out hockey, football, rugby, la crosse, and any other contact sport you can think of for what it is – inherently dangerous. Players must assume risks when playing (and signing their contracts) including those of long-term injury and premature death – just like MMA fighters and boxers. Hockey has a track record of this. We didn’t need scientists / doctors to point it out. There was a reason they called cigarettes ‘death sticks’ long before the formal medical condemnation.

    Stop trying to fix hockey. It won’t work unless you make it non-contact. A perfect check is almost impossible to pull off – even for pros. This is why most rec-leagues are non-check for adults. And even then, if you’ve ever played in one, the douchebaggery is off the charts. I’m going back under my bridge now. Thanks.

    • chichicagochi

      They called them deathsticks because you smoked one before you got shot. The scientific data is necessary because time and time again the league has shown it will not self-enforce player safety to protect the product on the ice. As the players evolve, so should the rules of the league. I have a hard time figuring out what it is that people even are arguing against.

      • bigtreina

        I should clarify that I think the rules that are on the books today should remain and be enforced as best they can. Its an imperfect system, but better than no system at all – whose endgame is primarily to protect the product.

        I am arguing against further changing the game under the ruse of improving player safety; And for a population of the fan base to get off their high pretentious horse in thinking that the game as its played today can be made safer simply by eliminating ‘head shots’ or ‘dirty hits’. Its a slippery slope that leads to the elimination of all contact in the game.

        Eliminating contact will have the effect of increasing the speed of the game – this will lead to more accidental collisions – catastrophic knee on knee hits, concussions, etc. I base this on common sense, not established facts.

        • raditzzzz

          i guess i would question how one deciphers a “ruse” of attempting to improve player safety between a genuine attempt.

          i wouldn’t argue that hockey is an inherently dangerous sport, however, i would not equate patrick kane’s knee getting fubar’d accidentally by a player falling down, and raffi torres attempting to destroy brent seabrooks head within the same category. i can link both videos, and i think it would become quickly apparent that one of those behaviors can and should be severely discouraged.

          • bigtreina

            Maybe I’m not using “ruse” well here. Every new rule against contact to the head creates an increasingly large grey area for interpretation. As soon as you introduce ‘intent’ into the equation you make the refs mind readers. The league knows this – and they also know that fans pay good money to see Kane and Hossa play hockey. So, every year, they look at the rule to see how they could make it better, to placate the fan base even though they know their impact will have little meaningful effect on player safety. They tweak the rule every year – has the game really become safer?

          • raditzzzz

            we are considering several situations with this, first is that every rule change can and will create more confusion for ref enforcement. i don’t believe this has to be the case. the other is that the league would be interested in creating rules simply to create the guise of attempting to make the league safer. thats a rather pessimistic view, and one i personally find dubious, but without being gary bettman, i cannot know for sure.

            i believe that attempting to create rules that increase player safety shouldn’t be abandoned simply because its effect has been found to be negligible, even counter to what you are attempting to produce. those instances must be tested and scrutinized, taking into account what you are and aren’t doing, so that perhaps you can get to a time where a rule change has a clear and positive impact. the genuineness, execution and effectiveness can be questioned, sure, but imo trying to improve the elimination of plays that can be detrimental to player safety shouldn’t be discarded.

          • bigtreina

            Mucking with the game for muckings sake doesn’t help. It reduces the credibility of those running it. So does unequal enforcement of the rules – such as reducing Torres’ suspension. The league has a track record of this. You must be a true believer in the democratic system – keep trying till we get it “right”. Instead of taking a step back and thinking about what it is that we are trying to fix.

            You can’t fix the nature of a physical game without taking the physicality out of it. As long as you allow more than incidental contact, there will be terrible injuries – even accidental/unintentional terrible injuries. And players will always find a way to cheat. Imagine a hockey league reffed like a soccer match. You think the diving and faking is bad now? Wait till you outlaw checking. Ah man, the terrorists are winning.

          • 1benmenno

            Yeah. You wonder why there’s any rules at all.

          • raditzzzz

            its ok, im not trying to win the internet. i believe we should create and enforce rules that eliminate dangerous plays. we could easily swap out a debate of head hits for catastrophic injuries sustained during a chase to prevent icing. i don’t have the statistics in front of me, but i have not seen the type of injury soupy took from ovechkin occur since hybrid icing was enforced. i don’t know, is there a large contingent who think this rule should be abolished?

            don’t think i believe the league couldn’t do things better, or that they are 100% altruistic. that isn’t the case. but you seem to jump from attempting to eliminate head hits to all physicality in the game must be eliminated. thats a big jump.

          • bigtreina

            yeah, its kind of an extreme viewpoint I guess. None of those around here though, right? :)

          • Bullitt315

            I made someone a bet we’d be talking about eliminating hitting from hockey in 20 years. I don’t remember who I offered it to. It’s a $1 bet if you’re interested.

          • raditzzzz

            aren’t we talking about it right now? haven’t you already won?

          • laaarmer

            The hitting that goes on now is not what was intended.
            I posted the 1975 Flyers Game 6 SCF bid the other day. It’s not the same game

          • raditzzzz

            that was a sweet post. really a great snapshot. there isn’t a time when i don’t like analyzing classic hockey.

          • ballyb11

            Weight training.
            Speed.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            TWTH

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            We might see hitting in hockey eliminated in 20 years. Done. Bet won. Should have been in Bitcoin$.

          • raditzzzz

            but what about when they reach their encoded production limit?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Each unit just keeps getting more valuable.

          • ballyb11

            “Gray area”? Like that for goalie interference, hooking, off sides,………

            Inherent in refereeing.

      • 10thMountainFire

        …such as reducing Torres’ suspension after he very nearly retired Hossa.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      As an ex-indoctrinated Texas footballaholic, I don’t support the notion that players understand their choices and consequences well enough to make the risk/reward decision for most of their peak competitive days, which would be 10 years old to late 20′s for most athletes. I had two concussions by the time I was 16 and my decision to quit football pretty much got me excommunicated from my social group and pissed of my family for a good year or so. And I wasn’t even that good.

      • roadhog

        And now you have us.

      • bigtreina

        Yeah, that’s what I call parenting. I played youth hockey until college, got my body battered. I have a reconstructed knee to show for it – the result of a cheap shot. Now that the link is well established between hits and long-term injury, I’m having serious thoughts against letting my kids enroll in contact sports. I think your point regarding kids’ capacity to make a good decision is very valid.

        • 10thMountainFire

          I agree.

          • The Other One

            Yes, parenting is the key here. As a parent, and a former HS football player (could have played in college but chose not to – I wasn’t that good), I won’t let my kids play. I have them do individual/team sports like running, golf and skiing.
            Now, you may say that skiing could be more dangerous, and that’s true, but I teach my kids to ski within their ability and make choices as to what they can/should do (IE – trees can suck, but they’re also so much fun if skied correctly – I teach them to control their speed and “bail” correctly), but the odds of getting a concussion while skiing are so much lower than with contact sports, where you’re always at the mercy of your opponent, and some of those douchebags would rather hurt someone than play the game.
            Knees (and other limb injuries) on the other hand – knock on wood…

          • laaarmer

            I have found that at the higher levels of youth hockey, the hitting is less than at the house/rec level.

            Add to this that USA hockey does not allow checking until Bantam now, and it’s fairly safe as compared to football. Even soccer, kids are running full speed and often smash into each other – basketball too.

            When players get older the idea is that they are ready mentally to understand the situation. You are never going to be able to eliminate the bonehead. They are in every sport, but hockey is not contact on every play, so I let mine play, even though one did get a concussion as a peewee before the checking rule went into effect.

            I played football and will not encourage my kids to play and neither does. That is a game of brutal contact on every play.

          • The Other One

            And that’s a very fair point, laaarmer. Two things: 1 – it sounds like organizationally, USA hockey is trying to get out in front of problems, and 2 – you understand hockey, the risks and the rewards, and I believe you even coach your kids to play the game the right way, and to give them the tools to play as they get older. Not everyone does that though (looking at all of the meathead parents). Folks are either engaged parents, or disengaged custodians. Sadly, there are too many that fall in the latter category.
            As for football, I wonder when the upward arc in fan-interest eventually bends down due to realization that the game is ultimately killing those kids/players/etc. It’s brutal! I still watch it, but I’m wondering if I should – I kind of feel dirty when I do (and not in the good way).

          • 1benmenno

            I didn’t really appreciate the dangers of head injuries until I sustained a concussion. Now my enthusiasm for football and boxing has waned.

          • bigtreina

            When I watch football – I equate it to taking in an MMA or boxing match. I enjoy vices while I do it (drinking and smoking) and think of it as a gladiator match. I’m always very glad I’m watching it – not playing it!

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        No wonder you grew out a hair helmet, bizarre or not. I grew out the mullet for my constant spells of ledge-jumping… great as a parachute as we’ve already discussed.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Back in my day, we drank some water and rubbed dirt on our heads. Concussions were no big deal. Tell these guys to walk it off.

    • The Other One

      To add to this – I agree on assumption of risk in this day-and-age. Some pro players are paying for their high-dollar contracts with years off of their lives, and they have to realize this by now.

      • ballyb11

        If that’s the case, since it’s relatively recent that the “years off their lives” data has surfaced, they either need to modify the rules accordingly or ban the sport. Same for football. These guys are getting millions and millions of $$$s thrown at them, most can’t digest the import of the consequences at a young age.

        Ban the fighting and change the checking rule so that if you touch the head, you’re out for 5 games. They’ll change their approach.

        If it doesn’t happen internally w the NHL, the govt will eventually get involved. Mark my words.

        • The Other One

          I don’t disagree with you on this. I love hockey, but it’s amazing what humans will do to each other… and tolerate. People and players have to respect each other, and as we’ve seen, that’s no a 100% given in the NHL. Something like MMA should be outlawed, but it’s celebrated….

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      There is only one solution: Consistency from the officials on ice, and from the Department of Player Safety.

      Good luck with that.

      • bigtreina

        Well…they are consistently inconsistent.

    • Paul the Fossil

      “if you’ve ever played in one, the douchebaggery is off the charts.” I’ve played in several and found this factor to be actually highly variable from league to league. In particular I recently joined the Buffalo Grove league and am pleasantly surprised at how low the douchebaggery factor is. The primary difference between that league and others (at least around here) is that the BG league is _much_ more overtly centrally administered than any other rec league I’ve ever played in. The correlation between that large difference and how the league plays out on the ice is thought-provoking.

  • 10thMountainFire

    OT: Two others and I will be attending the Hawks-Caps game on April 11 in DC. If you’re around, let me know. There will be hockey and beer.

    • Bannerman

      Would love to go but can’t due to an obligation at work.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Sounds like your work is not a friend of America.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      I am attending that game as well to celebrate my 30th birthday. Meeting people at Rocket Bar before the game for drinks

      • 10thMountainFire

        Might be able to swing that prior to the game. Happy early birthday. We’re up in the 400 seats. Because poor, that’s why.

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          Late actually, birthday was a week and a half ago. Just celebrating a bit late ‘cuz that’s when the ‘Hawks are here. We usually sit up in the 400′s too, but my wife wanted to spring for good seats since it’s my 30th so we’re sitting in the 200 section near the faceoff circle in the zone that the ‘Hawks shoot in twice.

          You’ve got my gmail address, shoot me an email sometime on Friday if you think you’ll swing by Rocket Bar. I’ll be the guy in a white Patrick Kane sweater with a 2013 Stanley Cup Champs patch throwing back approximately 1 million beers.

          • ahnfire

            no more Dewars?

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            Well yes, I will likely consume as much (or more) scotch than beer, a million scotches doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as nicely as a million beers.

          • ahnfire

            heh noted. happy belated, spoon :)

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            Thanks ahn! If you ever make it down to DC, there seem to be a handful of us here so we should make a happy hour or something out of it.

          • ahnfire

            Definitely! I’m racking up OT hours at work right now, so maybe once it slows I’ll take a trip down to DC.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Do we need a designated ledge dweller?

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            In general or specifically for next Friday’s Caps-’Hawks game? Because if we’re just talking about next week’s game one of the people I’m going with is a Caps fan whose team has already pushed him over said ledge…

          • 10thMountainFire

            Sounds good. If my sweater comes in, I’ll be easy to spot in a Saad sweater. Or my Hossa. Or my Toews. Drinking all the beer you’re not drinking.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            I have 3 sweaters, and none of them have the name and number of someone who will actually be playing in that game. I’ve got a winter classic Toews, a red Bolland, and a white Kane sweater. I’m gonna go with the Kane sweater because it’s the newest, and because I don’t want to join the sea of Caps fans in red or black sweaters. Though considering how their season is wrapping up, the sea will probably be more like a pond but still…

    • VerStig

      I’ll be in Philly that weekend… so close, yet so far.

      • 10thMountainFire

        I’m sorry… that you’ll be in Philadelphia. You could stay free at my place. Two others are.

        • VerStig

          You might have to get used to feeling sorry for me. There’s a chance I end up moving there for a bit.

  • 10thMountainFire
    • Hawkeytalk

      Ugh. Only good thing is that he can’t get injured further before the playoffs start.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Looks like he’s going to be back at full Toewstrength for the post season, too. Angry Kane, angry Toews…

        • Hawkeytalk

          I’m calling it: Hawks in 6.

          split the two games in COL, win two at home, lose game 5 in COL, then win at home in game 6. On to round 2.

          • ChicagoNativeSon

            Hawks in 5 if AngryCrow© and InterestedKeith™ show up for the series too.

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

            But back up to 7 if Can’tTieMyOwnSkatesBollig plays?

          • laaarmer

            He will light up the Avs with all his speed and puck handling prowess, eh?

            It must be really hard to play forward
            /seebelowe’d

          • cliffkoroll

            Dis!

          • cliffkoroll

            Touché.
            Douché!
            Duchene?

          • Hawkeytalk

            What about CompetentSeabs(sm)?

          • 10thMountainFire

            I’m calling it that you’re calling it.

          • ballyb11

            Colorado in 7.

      • VerStig

        Let’s make sure he doesn’t drive anywhere.

        • 10thMountainFire

          It now looks like that’s why Morin is in Chicago.

          Get the keys, kid. Toews said he needs to go to Jewel.

    • HossBoss

      3 seed is all but certain now, correct?

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      one word: brown brain

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        Are you sure it was just the 2 concussions, BHH?

      • birdhead

        oh please no

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          I really don’t think so. Toews got up from the hit right away and didn’t look dazed at all, but was certainly holding his arm. Yes it’s certainly possible for the symptoms of a concussion to not present immediately, but just judging how he reacted I don’t think that’s the case. I think he dislocated (or possibly separated) his shoulder.

          • birdhead

            I hope you’re right! Not that we will likely ever know.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Concussions don’t usually hurt, right? Pretty sure your brain goes into a numb-protect mode so you can do whatever you need to get the hell out of where you are.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            Never said concussions don’t hurt. I’ve had a few of them myself, they are quite painful and suck a lot. Merely saying that given how he reacted and how he looked, he wasn’t displaying any telltale concussion signs. He wasn’t wobbly on his skates, he didn’t have that glossed over look or thousand yard stare in his eyes. He just looked pissed off an in pain, which leads me to believe this is about his arm not his head. I could be wrong, it happens more frequently than I’d like to admit, but based on what I saw I don’t think it’s more than an arm / shoulder injury. Add in the fact that I highly doubt that the team would guarantee Toews is ready for the playoffs that start in 2 weeks (let alone will be 100% as per Q) if he were concussed and it just doesn’t seem likely.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            His expression to me looked like the “uh oh I messed” expression of someone not thinking right, because he didn’t exactly do something so wrong as to throw him into mental confusion. If it was just a shoulder injury, I would expect more anger and grimacing. That’s just my unqualified read based upon what I’ve seen from Toews before.

          • VerStig

            Hmm you might be right… he does tend to get pretty angry.

      • YoAdrienne

        This article says it’s his arm: http://tiny.cc/xddpdx

        He was holding his elbow when he was leaving the ice, so this makes sense to me. That’s not to say he wasn’t concussed, as well.

  • 10thMountainFire

    Bickell in tomorrow v Wild.

  • Accipiter

    Nordstrom called up by Hawks.

    • 1benmenno

      Interesting

      • The Other One

        Let’s turn on the Line-Blender-o’Matic 3000!

    • laaarmer

      Let’s hope he ain’t on the PP.

      • laaarmer

        check that.
        I meant PK

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

          Q said in his presser that he could help there, yep.

          • laaarmer

            He must have improved greatly from earlier. I guess we’ll see.

            Personally, I think
            Kruger Smith
            Sharp Hossa
            Saad

            Should be able to kill most penalties.

          • VerStig

            Voluntary 3-on-5 when Saad’s out there?

          • laaarmer

            Well, yeah.

  • VanDorp’sMullet

    I know I can find this on Google, but I prefer to look like a moron anyway and bother you guys. How do the playoff match-ups differ this year from the past?

    • Z-man19

      this year is 2014, last year was 2013

      • laaarmer

        BOOM!

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        Counting was never my strong suit.

    • Accipiter

      We don’t know who wins, yet.

      • laaarmer

        BA BOOM!

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        There is a lot of wisdom in this, Cip. Now get back to the pivot.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Last year, the Blackhawks definitely won the cup. This year, it is still uncertain.

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        Google, here I come!

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      They differ completely. In the past playoffs were conference based, now they’re division based.

      Last year, when there were 3 divisions in each conference, the division winners were seeds 1-3 while seeds 5-8 were the non-division winners with the best records. 1 played 8, 2 played 7, etc. regardless of their division, winners advanced and were re-seeded in the next round.

      This year, the first 2 rounds of the playoffs are entirely within the division (except for the wild card weirdness). Now the top 3 teams from each of the 4 divisions plus a wild card team form their own playoff brackets. The division winner plays the wild card team and the 2 seed plays the 3 seed, and the winners play each other in the next round with no need for re-seeding. Aside from possibly the wild card team, you won’t play against a team from the other division within your conference until you get to the conference final.

      It’d be much easier without the wild card. If we ignore that, you can think about as a purely divisional playoff format – 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 in the first round, winners play each other in the 2nd round, and then the central division winner would play the pacific division winner for the western conference crown while the atlantic division winner plays the metro division winner in the eastern conference final.

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        Thanks for the clarification. I knew about the 1st round, not the 2nd round. It’s sort of madness, isn’t it? Some teams will have a cake walk and others, not so much. Can we request a move into the Leastern Conference a la the Red Wings when we start to decline from dominance too?

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          It is definitely madness. The Penguins would have to massively step on their own dicks to miss out on getting spanked by the Bruins again in the conference final (1st round vs an EC wild card, 2nd vs the winner of PHI and NYR?) whereas Scum Jr. could win the president’s trophy and still have go through first a much tougher wild card opponent and then the winner of the ‘Hawks vs Avs series to get to the WCF

          • laaarmer

            Malkin looks like a dick stepper, eh?

          • birdhead

            How much would seeding 1-8 (which I do prefer) fix that though? Then matchups are STL-Dal, Anaheim-Minny, Hawks-Avs and LA-Sharks; then the Blues play … who? LA’s probably your best chance for a first-round upset but they’re no particular improvement over Hawks-Avs – who are also options. I *guess* the Blues could maybe see Minnesota though. The gaps between the teams at the top of the east and the teams in the 2-4 seeds are just way bigger than the same in the west.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            Seeding 1-8 probably wouldn’t change much of anything, the problem this year isn’t the divisional playoffs format so much as it’s that there are only 2 teams worth a damn in the eastern conference.

          • lizmcneill

            Who’s the other one? I don’t think the Pens are a strong contender.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            I agree, I don’t think they’re a particularly strong contender either, but they’re. Better than the rest of the garbage in their division / conference at least…

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Morin, eh? Coach sitting you out for Bollig on tomorrow’s GDT?

  • bizarrohairhelmet

    If I wanted to waste 15 minutes without generating outrage, I’d post my actual thoughts.

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

      Bickell’s got a thigh gap?

      • ChicagoNativeSon

        Camel Toews

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

          BAM! And it’s in here where no one’s watching anymore!

  • YoAdrienne

    So, it’s quite possible that the Hawks might be facing a 43-year-old “emergency” goalie tomorrow night: http://tiny.cc/jidpdx

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Hopefully we don’t see him. He’d probably stand on his head, shut us out and Stan would give him $2M to back up Crow next year.

      • YoAdrienne

        Sssshhhh!!! Don’t give Stan any ideas. From the sound of things, we’ll be seeing him tomorrow. And, yeah, you KNOW he’ll be doing his best Henrik Lundqvist imitation. It never fails.

  • laaarmer

    More from the aforementioned unsigned little orpik

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ibWQbUQAnM

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Don’t you love how he extends his elbow? If he’s going to insist on doing that, I hope Hawks get a good trade out of him.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Let him do some corner drills with Hypothetical Keith?

      • M7

        Gotta love how the guy he hit gets to his feet and back in the play before Johns.

  • 10thMountainFire
  • VerStig

    To the ledge!

    Quenneville said forward Andrew Shaw likely would replace Toews at center on the top line.

    http://espn.go.com/chicago/nhl/story/_/id/10715838/jonathan-toews-chicago-blackhawks-sit-rest-regular-season-return-playoffs-due-upper-body-injury

    • 10thMountainFire

      Upboated for all the laughs.

    • roadhog

      This is what happens when we curse game time roster decisions (Bollig/Versteeg/Brookbank/Runblad/Morin/etc.) The hockey gods take away our best players.

      • VerStig

        If the hockey gods seek to smite us, and our (XMF’s) holy trinity defies them… will this playoffs be our Ragnarök?

        As I pondered that line of reasoning I also game across this gem:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regin

        • roadhog

          Great Odin’s Raven!!!

        • Joe Banks

          The Hawks playoffs will begin on the road in… “Thermopylae”… sounds like a nice place.

    • Joe Banks

      You know, someday we’ll look back at this and just laugh and laugh….