USATSI_7274102_160885884_lowres

Panic In Detroit: Hawks 0 – Detroit 2 (Detroit leads 3-1)

So much to say when so confused and so shocked.

I don’t think anyone, whatever side you’re on, though we’d find ourselves here. While the temptation is to start pointing fingers and do the postmortem, we’re not there yet. Because after two very close games, the Hawks have come up on the wrong end for small reasons. Let’s try and parse out how they got here, who’s responsible, and why they’ll come back in this series (and they will).

Most arrows in the quiver are being aimed at Q. Most of them are justified, some aren’t. The rest are being aimed at Toews. Mostly fair too. But for the first time tonight in the 3rd with a 2-on-1, Toews deferred when he shouldn’t have. That’s discouraging. But it’s not the end of the tale.


-The Hawks had the game they wanted in the 1st period. The Wings defense was nothing short of awful, coughing up the puck like a radioactive hairball. The Hawks didn’t make them pay for it, which they should have. But they still controlled play. This is what we thought would happen for most of the series, and it will still happen if the Hawks are as determined to pressure them. Believe me, this blue line of Scum’s is not going to be flawless from here on out.

-To the 2nd and after Leddy hits a post (of course). This where all the debate starts. At this point, the Hawks have completely dry heaved on two power plays, and this is on the coaches. Taking your best PP QB off it entirely (Leddy) to give time to Rozsival just defies belief. And the entries were the problem. It doesn’t matter about your traffic in front or lack thereof if you can’t get set up. The entry is so predictable. A ring around the boards, where generally the Hawks get to first and then try and ring it around the other way. Of course, the Wings are waiting for that. The Hawks need more chipping into the corner on the same side they’re carrying it on or carry it in, which Leddy is the only one capable of. But he didn’t get out there until that fateful third power play.

-Toews’s three straight penalties also killed the flow the Hawks had. I don’t know what I can say here, and I don’t really know what his complaints are. They all seemed legit calls to me.

-Of course, Toews is a massive debate for those wanting to blame him and/or Q. You can go either way. Q doesn’t seem too fixated on getting him away from Zetterberg, though you’ll recall the hoops he jumped through in ’10 to get the matchups he wanted, even on the road. But back then he could A) trust Dave Bolland and B) had Sharp and Madden as backup. He doesn’t now. Say he gets Toews away from Z. Who’s taking Z on then? Who do you trust? At this point he has to find out, but you don’t feel comfortable.

-Yeah, nice save from Howard on Bolland in the 3rd, but Bolland has to get that puck up.

-We get to the 3rd, and the Wings fixate on that stretch pass that had given them issues in the 1st. And yet the Hawks keep trying it. The Wings were basically trapping. It’s got to be simpler than that. And the Hawks never adjusted. That’s on Q. It has to be.

Ok, so what next? Well, this will never happen but it’s time to listen to common sense. Sharp to center, Frolik up to on the other side of Bolland and either Bickell or Stalberg, with the other flanking Sharp and Kane/Hossa (doesn’t matter). Bring Ben Smith in.

But that’s the lower discussion. It’s dark. It’s confusing. It’s infuriating. But to suggest the Hawks are out of this is folly. They’re still the better team at even strength, and have been by some margin the past two games. They haven’t made Howard work hard enough to hold them out, but that won’t last. Maybe it’s too tall of a mountain. But I don’t think so.

At home, Toews can be gotten away from Z. The posts won’t come to the rescue again. The Wings D will keep making those turnovers. They will eventually pay.

It goes to a Game 6. I’ll go so far as to promise you that. Find a way to take that, you have a Game 7 on your turf. It’s what you played for.

It’s hard to see. But it’s there. And I firmly believe it will happen. Come with me, you have nothing else to lose.

 

  • Blackhawksarepathetic

    Story of the series. Blackhawks control play and get nothing done. Detroit controls play and capitalizes.

    It’s a difference of class. You’re out of your league. One day you might reach our very lowest level… if you reach as hard as possible and the stars align.

    Paint as many pretty pictures of possibilities as you like. Whatever helps you sleep at night. The fact remains, you’re relying on players who can’t elevate their output when everything is on the line, and coach that doesn’t even belong in the NHL.

    If Toews were as good at scoring goals as he was at deflecting questions with tired cliches in the post-game, you guys might have a chance.

    • Accipiter

      What are you talking about ?
      Go talk to a Montreal fan, they have the most class.

      • DJ

        As I said earlier, class is like cool. If you insist on saying you have it, you really don’t.

        • Bullitt315

          Bowties are cool

      • DesertHawk

        That was a fast turn around… banned and back that fast.

        • DJ

          Our troll from Detroit? Resourceful, isn’t he. When you live in a war zone you have to be.

          I saw this trailer for what I think is a documentary about Detroit. Perhaps Trollie can comment:

          http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/universal/thepurge/

        • ahnfire

          different troll. :| there were a lot yesterday.

    • BigCSouthside

      As much as I hate to even acknowledge you, you keep bringing up this concept of “class”. First, this is a goddamn children’s game played by a bunch of overpaid semi-adults. Its not like these boys are competing to see who can raise the most money within the best business model to assuage the pain caused by infant cancer or something equally as heartbreaking. Second is that you have precisely zero empirical data to support either the effect of “class” or even any data to support the existence of “class” from a statistical standpoint. Class is subjective.

      Also you say “you might reach our very lowest level”. didn’t realize you suited up tonight. Can I have an autograph?

      The bottom line is that this is a game of skill, strategy, and luck. The hawks have outskated Detroit, out played them, and put a silly amount of shots past them to no gain, and fucking “class” has zero to do with that.

    • The Doctor

      “My life is so sad. I have nothing going for me so I’m going to take solace in the fact that others are losing a sporting event to make myself feel great about my shitty life.”

      We get it kid. Just go to sleep. I’m sure your mommy and daddy wouldn’t be happy knowing you’re up so late on a school night.

      • Blackhawksarepathetic

        Just remember, when this is all over, the only reason the Hawks weren’t swept, is because Detroit was tired in Game 1 after a 7 game series. You owe the Ducks for your only win.

        After that, we were happy to reassert your position on the totem pole. Right near the bottom, well below the Wings. :)

  • DaveM36

    It took me a while to shake off the impending doom from that loss, but I’ve finally come around and have now reached the point where this thought is dominating my mind: If there isn’t a part of you, somewhere, that isn’t absolutely giddy about a 3-game comeback to send the Scum to the East then I’m not really sure why you follow sports in the first place.

    • Hags

      Agreed, that would be a very good feeling on the march to the Cup. Game 5 is there for the taking, as long as the Hakws make a few adjustments like breaking out of the D Zone as a unit to gain the O zone and win some board battles when forced to dump and chase, I will feel very good about their chances. As cliche as it sounds, they just have to take it one shift at a time to get back in this thing.

      The only thing to ask now is “What do we say to the God of Death?”

  • mad-hatter

    1. None of the Dmen were bad really, but Oduya, Hammer, and especially Keith had great games. Keith played thirty minutes including some shifts that were longer than 90 seconds, and one that was two and a half minutes. I’m sure he was tired, but he didn’t look dead on his feet for one second. Leddy, on the other hand, played just over 8 minutes.

    2. Frolik and Kruger have been amazing since game one against Minnesota, not just the PK. It was nice to see Q rewarding them with more ES minutes in the second despite their extensive SH time, and I might be in the minority but Bolland had a better game than two and three by quite a bit with the two. Can they handle seeing Zetterberg for some shifts on Saturday? Maybe not, but it should be worth trying.

    3. Kane only had three shifts in the final ten minutes in the third, one of which was after the EN goal. I don’t know what he did that made him get bounced down to Shaw’s line when Toews takes the three consecutive penalties and still gets more TOI.

    I’ll try being optimistic tomorrow.

    • The Doctor

      Regarding the Kane thing…Q is a moron. That sums it up. I said it before at the start of the series regarding the benching of Stals and got chewed out for it, but hey, there it is, right in front of our faces, like the ugly, smelly turd-of-a-coach that he is.

      He sits Stals, rewards Zeus, punishes Kaner, rewards Toews, yells at Crow, and all around rolls out a completely random line-ups 5-on-5 and on the PP in the hopes of “sparking” offense. That isn’t coaching. That’s reaching.

      • SAMCRO Outlaw

        In regards to the Kane thing, there is no way he should have been sitting when they absolutely had to have a goal. Even if he wasn’t engaging the play the way he needs to, he should have been lit up on the bench and put right back out there to go get his game squared away.

        Last game Saad was one of the better wingers and his reward was to start the game on the fourth line along with Stals who had a goal disallowed & a post last game, but go grab some fourth line pal. Oh and then in the third he’s skating on the top line.

        Q’s record against Babcock in the playoffs 2-11, kinda easy to see why. He lost his mind against them in 2009 and while his bench demeanor is better this time, his decision making has been highly questionable.

        • flahawkfan

          I was simply baffled by the decision to put Saad on the fourth line, and by Kane’s lack of playing time in the third. What the hell. I think you’re onto something with he Q/Babcock dynamic to this. It’s as if Q feels he needs to do weird things to show he’s in the same league as Babcock. Or something. But something’s wrong when Babcock, with lesser talent, is beating the hell of out Q.

          • cliffkoroll

            I dunno- the explanation might be more prosaic.

            It seems like Saad is running out of gas. Understandable. I was excited to see him get a chance to play against kids closer to his own age on the third line, rather than duking it out with NHL top-liners every night.

            The Hawks had scored two goals in the previous two games. Especially for a team like the Hawks, this is a drought. Under the circumstances, Q took a page from coaching 101 by mixing the lines up.

            As far as Kane, I don’t like to accuse players of not registering on the “give a shit” meter, but I thought his play last night was particularly uninspiring.

          • flahawkfan

            I see what you’re saying about Saad. He hasn’t looked great throughout the playoffs. I just thought he played perhaps his best game in Game 3, so I was surprised to see him put on the fourth line. That said, I loved what Bickell brought to the top line and I’m not sure where you put Saad, other than the fourth line, if you don’t have him on the top line.

            If I had the heart to do so, I would rewatch the game to see if I agree with you about Kane. I do remember him cherry-picking more than usual but I took that as part of the “hey, the stretch pass will work!” mentality. Other than that I don’t remember him doing much, which probably proves your point. I still think he has to get more than 3 minutes down a goal in the third, though.

      • mad-hatter

        I’ve been increasingly angry with his decisions all season. I regret trying to defend him yesterday. I’m hoping Keith’s comments about the PP changes “not working” doesn’t fall on deaf ears, or on ears that will bench him.

    • Jane Doe

      Wow. Just glancing at the box last night, I noticed Seabs only played 12 minutes, but completely missed Leddy’s 8 minutes. Maybe he isn’t shooting enough pucks into the opposition’s shins for Q’s liking.

      • neo1978

        Seabrook and Leddy are currently the Hawks third d-pair. Have been the entire Wings series.

  • StealingHappyHour

    Howard hasn’t had to work hard enough? He faced 40 shots in Game 3.

    • DJ

      With not much traffic in front of him, and not many people to take advantage of rebounds. It’s rather like Howard has said; he’s kept it simple and has not had to make too many difficult saves.

      • StealingHappyHour

        Going to agree to disagree here. He made a number of spectacular saves in Game 3. A few last night as well.

  • dennis

    The enthusiasm is much appreciated Sam. The hawks are beatable by smothering. Tippett and Babs are in the know. While the Hawks D is much improved, the offense remains rather 1 dimensional. Net front presence seems to be a necessity in the playoffs. Hawks simply don’t have it and certainly can’t sustain it. Howard had a good look at everything coming his way. That has to change.
    FWP soccer for life.

  • corbant

    As for Bolland’s “almost goal” it looked to me like he might have been trying to go five hole – where Howard did leave a good bit of space. It was just off target.

    • ‘hawks58

      Story of Bolland’s season. Since the injury he’s had about half a dozen A++++ chances and has mis-fired on every single one. Every one of them seem to be on the ice and into the bottom half of the pad; two this series.

  • roadhog

    I still believe!

  • High and Wide

    Everything feels bad in all of the places. :(
    In the neighbourhood bars I’d once dreamt I would drink, JONATHAN TOEWS, I LOVE YOU, BUT YOU’RE FREAKING ME OUT
    (although the CBC replays without sound seemed to indicate that only 1/3 were totally legit penalties, whatever “totally legit penalties” means at any point)

    Also, I just had to take the late night bus home with a guy wearing an electric skate-era Canucks Starter windbreaker and a backwards Red Wings hat (who was being questioned by his friend about why he rolled up on ladies “and said ‘You’re having sex with me tonight,’ because she told me you were fucking terrifying”). BIGGER :(

  • SAMCRO Outlaw

    While I haven’t entirely written them off. I’d be a hell of a lot more optimistic if they were playing the same brand of hockey they played all year, instead of this new Q mandated intense snarl hockey. If he tells them to stop worrying about playing physical and get back to physically dominating by skating & forcing teams into mistakes then they have a chance. He fucked the psyche of this team up heading into this series by asking them to be something they aren’t. Now he needs to let them go back to being what they are. Then it’s on the players to get to the net, make Howard work for the saves, and take advantage of the holes in his game that are there. We all know he isn’t anything special with traffic or if he has to move to make saves. When he’s moving there are wide open nets (BOLLAND!!!) and big juicy rebounds. Let any goalie drop into his butterfly and shoot it into his chest and this is what you get.

  • Hack

    So, Q gave Dave Bolland and wingers Patrick Kane-Patrick Sharp-Jimmy Hayes the top defensive assignment all year, and now Bolland and some combination of Bickell-Shaw-Stalberg-Fro-Kruger are tasked with shutting down the Eaves, Nyquists, and Brunners of the world.

    Whether you’re on the side of ‘Bolland hasn’t been good enough to warrant the checking line assignment’ or ‘Q is just throwing shit at the wall at this point’, that seems odd no matter how you slice it.

    “I’m a reasonable guy; I’ve just experienced some very unreasonable things.”
    -Jack Burton

    • XxMJ20xX

      Infinite upboats for the Big Trouble In Little China reference.

      • 1benmenno

        How old are you?

        • XxMJ20xX

          29

      • Hack

        Quite possibly my favorite movie character of all time.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Defense is not the problem. 2 goals in three games for a team that led the conference in scoring, that’s the problem.

      • Hack

        I could understand how you would read that overall sentiment into my comment, but that wasn’t my intent.
        In the context of Q letting Babcock go strength against strength (& Babcock getting his top forwards to commit to defense rather than scoring in order to cover for his hot garbage Dcorps) Q’s letting Babcock reduce the talent gap and push this game into the margins. With a bad hawks PP and a solid goaltender like Jimmy Howard, the margins are not where we wanted this series to go.
        In that context, one asks, why isn’t Q working to get Toews away from Zetts and let Dave Bolland take some shifts in the capacity for which we’ve always appreciated him, thereby making Toews-Kane-Hossa-Sharp’s lives easier and having a positive impact (in theory) on even strength scoring (the sacrificial lamb point that I made yesterday)?
        If you would be kind enough to consider this a prequel to my first comment, I would appreciate it.

        • Accipiter

          That is how I understood it. Maybe Q will be more matchupy at the UC tomorrow, it could be worth a try.

  • Max

    Why isn’t Hayes in the lineup? Big guy with size and skill. He killed the Wings this year in his only game opportunity

    • mad-hatter

      Because he’s simply not good enough. I don’t think anyone would say that he “killed the Wings” this year considering his only point against them was an assist and it came off of Kindl scoring into his own net. Hayes may have size and good hands, but when he was playing at the NHL level it was apparent he didn’t have the speed to keep up with his linemates and more often than not fell on the ice. If there’s going to be any call ups for the rookies, it shouldn’t be him.

  • Curtain Jerker

    Long time listener first time caller…

    Love the optimism Sam I really truly do, but aren’t we watching the 2008 Cubs here?

    • 1benmenno

      Depends. You want crack or crackerjack??

    • Black JEM

      Oh god – I never thought of that. We’re doomed!

  • Spottie

    First of all, blaming the coach has become a habbit here, and it is neither nice nor reasonable nor justifiable. Q has a bazillion games coached in this league, has been successful far more often than not, has won a Cup in 2010 (which is never easy or a given, no matter how good the players are, as we are seeing this year) and simply knows what he is doing. He is the one seeing the players day in and day out. Calling him out and saying “it is so obvious that he makes ‘wrong’ choices” is insolent. <- Period.

    You may see things differentlly, and maybe you may even have a point. But in sports (or life in general) there is very seldom "right" and "wrong". There are different options and decisions that have to be weighed and I for my part much rather trust a man who is around this game as a professional longer than I have lived (or a good deal of the posters here for that matter) than some armchair coaches who are just pointing out undebatable "truths" ore "common sense". The coach we praise as god-like here right now (Babcock) has been all but lynched by a Detroit mob during the season for the same "obvious mistakes" this no-good has-been of a coach makes all the time. Well… go figure.

    This loss is on the players. To be exact, on the highest paid ones on this team.

    Keith played magnificent, as did the defence as a whole with only Seabrook (paid big bucks!) dropping off slightly. Everyone else was not god but really good to great.

    Kane (paid big bucks!) was far and away the worst forward on the ice for the Blackhawks, maybe even for both teams combined. He had no business being out there in the final minutes when all he did all game long was cruising and avoiding the puck.

    Toews was bad as well but he at least played his heart out, unfortunately letting his will to win and emotions getting the best of him. (Makes no difference in result to Kane, BUT this is why he was allowd to try and Kane was not.) The Captain was not particularly good in game 3 (despite the shots who are really meaningless if you just flip a puck at the net when it's your only option) but downright bad today. Lost his composure, which deflated the whole team. He let his team down big time, he lead by example, and by a very bad example this time.

    I think the lower lines were fairly even, the top lines were better for Detroit. And I don't agree that the Hawks are better 5 on 5. This series is very evenly matched with the Red Wings being able to punish the Hawks for mistakes on the scoresheet which the Hawks failed to do so. That's one major difference so far.

    In my opinion, there are two major reasons (despite the one mentioned above) why the Hawks are down in this seris: First: Detroit as a team wants it more. They seem to me to be more desperate and willing, thus handling the pressure in a positive way. The Hawks are playing discouraged and without confidence, afraid to lose what seems to be a golden chance at the Cup.

    And secondly: Since the playoffs have started, the Hawks play like some random goof team. Looking for big hits, being out of position, getting "everything to the net". They were sucessful all year long because they distributed the puck, were patient with it, played as cohesive units, didn't go for bodies but for pucks along the boards, thus keeping posession.

    When did we turn into St. Louis, shooting pucks in and rubbing along the boards? We drafted and developed long and hard to be able to play around goofs like that, but we are not even trying right now. (Not that Detroit mauls us. They forecheck, yes. They keep it simple offensively. But they are by no means looking to impose their will on us with continung big hits at every opportunity like Phoenix did last year. Take a look at San Jose vs. LA if you want to see a styles clash between a physical team and a skilled team.) The Blackhawks seem to think that crashing the crease is the holy grail of playof hockey. Well… I don't think so. And the Red Wings, Sharks, Penguins and even the Bruins are proving the point.

    And THIS is the only point I have with the coaches as this is a change in philosophy that I cannot understand. I know there is less space in the playoffs but what does that mean: More guys running out of position on both sides. Hold on to the puck, trust your teammates and distribute.

    The Wings are clearly in the Hawks' heads and will win the series because of it. The crowd at the UC, which has been downright pathetic the first two games, certainly will not make a difference this next game. If the players want to survive, they have to gut this out by themselves.

    • Black JEM

      Q is reverting to his mean – which means in the playoffs he loses his mind. The third period last night was completely on him. His third period last night was complete panic – after he pulled the Stals BS to start the series. They have one bad minute in game three – hit three or four posts – get a good goal waved off – and Q does this? Total line juggles? Third period total wall splatter? Defend him all you want. The Hawks were one miracle against Nashville never making it past the second round in 2010. That he cannot address a simple thing Babcock is doing to take away our best all around player speaks to Q’s ability. Your own post notes why are we playing like goons, like St. Louis. Well duh – who do you think is telling them to do that? Q.
      I take no issue with the bad play of our players. They all have to be accountable.

      I hope McDonough is watching and taking notes. If Q can go back to being regular season Q – I have hope. If we get what we saw last night we won’t be going back to Detroit. He is completely out of his league. Oh – and that 2C problem. Apparently with this coaching staff that was a bigger problem than we thought. Stan – if Q is still the answer behind the bench – you need a true 2C.

      • Spottie

        well… I didn’t really defend Q… He deserves some criticism to be
        sure. The point is: I hate the know-it-all attitude toward the coach
        (this is a phenomenon of a lot of sports fans all over the world, no
        matter what sport…)

        I agree with you that the gameplan for the
        game in period 3 was questionable But: Hindsight is 20 / 20 as they say.
        I’m sure Q doesn’t put his team behind the 8-ball with purpose but is
        trying to do the opposite. He had a plan and that plan did not work.
        Well.. actually it game a squandered Bolland-opportunity and a passed of
        Toews-2on1 short of working.

        Let’s face it: Detroit is playing
        good hockey. It’s not like the Hawks suck all of a sudden. They got
        under our skin, they were better than us overall last night I’d say.

        If
        all goes well, it’s the great players. If all goes wrong, it’s the dumb
        coach. I just don’t buy that. That’s all I’m saying. I don’t know if Q
        is pushing the right buttons but in my opinion, we had to many
        passengers in the game. Hossa, Kane, Stalberg and Shaw were all but
        invisible. Toews tried but is outplayed, plain and simple. There is just
        no confidence in the forwards right now despite great play by the D and
        the Goalie.

        I’m not looking for scapegoats. The blame has to be
        shared by everyone involved, to varying extents. But implying Q doesn’t
        know what he is doing is just random talk out of frustration.

        And
        since you talk of 2010: Yes, Nashville was a close one. But how about
        Vancouver? What about the Sharks who came in ahead of the Hawks that
        year? All done despite the clueless Q? I don’t think so. The Cup is
        terribly hard to win, let alone win repeatedly because of the (too) long
        season. Q has done everything he could so far and has had great sucess.
        Right now, the team is struggling, yes. But that is not all on the
        coach, wouldn’t you say?

        • ahnfire

          Q may know what he’s doing but what he’s been doing is dogshit.

          I don’t have to be a NHL coach to think that, either.

          • Spottie

            and this dogshit manifests itself by what…?

            The outcome, I suppose?

            So, if Bolland would have scored and the Hawks would have won a very closely contested game which was perfectly possible… would it still be dogshit then?

          • Accipiter

            The PP would definitely still fall into that category.

          • ahnfire

            Not the outcome. I base it on what I’m watching and what I’m watching is a game where things that should be fixed by coaching – the PP, controlling the players, the match-ups, the style of play, the lines themselves – are all a bit of a clusterfuck.

        • Black JEM

          No its not. But it is a great deal of it. There are players not playing well. When Q pulled the Stals stunt at the beginning of this series – I got kind of worried. When I heard and read reports after game one that the players didn’t understand what was going on with Stals – I got panicked. The players need a coach to create the environment.
          There is a reason some coaches win all the time when it counts and others don’t. And in the playoffs it shows up. Yes the Cup is silly hard to win. But Q is making it harder.

    • XxMJ20xX

      Kane is one of the most offensively gifted players in Blackhawks history. He should be out there 100% of the time in the final minutes if we need a goal.

      • Spottie

        The first part is true. Absolutely. But the second part I disagree with. If you slump, you sit. Simple as that. It always goes beyond one game.

        • ‘hawks58

          How was he slumping? He’s the only player to score the last 2 games and has been a point per game (almost literally one point in every game) player this postseason. He also barely got to play in the 2nd because 1/3 of the period was spent on the PK.

          I actually thought he was playing a solid 2-way game in the first half of the game. There were a couple of times that he broke up rushes and good chances through solid back checks.

          • neo1978

            Posted at SCH:

            Q switched Kane and Stalberg at the start of the second.

            Hossa was out there at the 58 minute mark. The Toews line was Sharp and Stalberg.

            I noticed why Kane was skipped at the end. The second unit PP guys played past the end of the PP. This was Shaw Stalberg and Bickell, so Shaw was used up. There was a makeshift line of Toews and non PP guys, then second and first lines.

            I’m thinking Kane was going to play the last minute that turned out to be NOT important after the ENG.

    • justforkicks

      He had no business being out there except for being the only hawk to get goals in two games and being the most dangerous forward offensively? Fucking stupid, q. And toews may have played his heart out but his 3 fucking penalties in a row laid waste the the momentum the hawks had going. And if the hawks players have to finish this by themselves and get themselves out of the hole they are in, well then what the fuck do they even have coaches for. Throwing shit together, jumbling madly, not controlling your players, mismanaging toi, that is a sign of a coach losing his shit, not being effective.

      • Spottie

        when I said the players have to gut this one out on their own, I was refering to the fans. Who will sell out the building once again, and once again sit on their hands snooze. Every playoff building is rocking right now, except for the UC. Why is that? Well… everyone is expecting to win like its a birth-right with a great regular season under the belt. But guess what: The other team is comming to play, too.

        So, I was not saying that the guys don’t need the coach, they do of course. But they will need positive vibe from the stands as well and I very much doubt they will get it, unfortunately.

        • justforkicks

          I agree about the fans but they will most likely boo which I think is supremely fucked up but not much to do about it

      • Bullitt315

        Why the fuck does toews always get a break while people rip on kaner! Earth to everybody, the only player who has scored in the last three games is Patrick Kane. A 2-1 down late in the game and the best shooter on this team fucking passes it!?!??!?!? And he took 3 damn back to back to back penalties. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck

        • Black JEM

          I’m not giving him a break – and yes, Kane is the only goal scorer in the last three games.

    • Accipiter

      I disagree that the Hawks are trying for big hits, they have had many opportunities to hit the opposition, but focus on getting the puck. Detroit has not given up the puck easily and/or some of the bounces haven’t gone in the Hawks favour.

    • laaarmer

      TLDR
      Q is the coach that after having rolled through the season, the 1st round, winning the 1st game, and losing the 2nd, made major changes and he got face fucked by Babcock

  • 1benmenno

    No corpse, no autopsy.

  • HungryHungryPanda

    Really all you need to know about this game is that Michal Handzus took more shifts than Patrick Kane.

    • XxMJ20xX

      Woof.

    • Accipiter

      He did hit the post.

      • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

        Did you start wearing pants all of a sudden?

        • Accipiter

          No.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    To my less than experienced and slightly emotional eye it comes down to a few small things and one big thing: Zone Entry. This is most notable on the PP of course, but it was a game wide epidemic last night. After Game 1 Babcock made some adjustments defensively to deny us clean sailing through center ice.

    Not only have the Hawks had no answer, but last night they changed philosophy, perhaps hoping to avoid the problem all together. They went for the dreaded stretch pass. It appeared to be working, the Hawks were so close to those wonderful breakaway goals. But Howard’s glove was too good and Detroit’s forwards too good a back checking (read Hooking). And since we were springing one forward, there was no support to bang home a rebound.

    I’m sure I’m wrong, looking at the world through blood spattered glasses (as opposed to rose colored), but I don’t recall one extended jaunt in the O zone with our standard offense. Sure there were plenty of takeaways in the first, but that again was transition, not sustained offense.

    Perhaps blaming Q is wrong, if not emotionally childish, but there is not doubt that Babcock came up with the answers he had to, and so far, Q has not. Not much shame in being out coached by Babs, but not much profit, either.

    • Country_Bumpkin

      I don’t think blaming Q is wrong at all. He is not the singular problem, but his hiring and firing of assistants is questionable, and the fact Babcock has completely outcoached him makes we wonder the the 2010 cup win was in spite of Q and not because of him.
      This meme about the PP or lack thereof, is the one thing I can 100% blame on Q.
      When the Bears were really good was when their special teams was in the top 5 of the NFL and the PP is no different with regards to adding a another scoring dimension to your team.

  • Preacher

    Remember when Scum was the one opponent we knew we wanted in the playoffs? Oh, for the good old days.
    The thing I don’t get in this series is why the Hawks have pretty much stopped doing everything they did in the regular season that was so successful. Yeah, I know it’s the playoffs. And Scum deserve a tiny bit of credit. But that doesn’t mean you lose your team speed. It doesn’t mean you totally change all your personnel combinations. Most of this is on the coaches. (And someone light a fire under Kane’s little butt.) Trying to be optimistic, but right now, I’m just feeling frustrated.

    • Bullitt315

      The refs aren’t calling interference (like the power play would help us anyways) and I think it’s slowing us down quite a bit. I’d keep interfering too if I was Detroit

      • Preacher

        Good point, but I look at the Sharks having success against the same methods from the Kings. (Yeah, I know Kings won last night, but Sharks have generated offense against clutch and grab and a good goalie. )

        • Bullitt315

          The Sha-ark! actually have a power play. We really should try getting one of those.

    • ‘hawks58

      Yeah, someone light a fire under Kane please. 3 points in the first 3 games is utter horseshit! …….

      • Preacher

        He has scored a few points (OK the ONLY points!) but he isn’t engaged as much as he’s been when he’s in FU mode. Which is the Kane we saw most of the season.

  • OMFS88

    “Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit” – Senator Clay Davis

  • Andrew Heitman

    I want to believe you, I really do. But Im losing faith. Its very hard for a team to dominate (sporadically as it was) and to come away with nothing and sustain it. There is almost always a sense of “here we go again”.
    I will keep re-reading this column to soothe both my hangover and the sense of doom….but I am struggling to believe.

    Obvious adjustments are not made, stars dont show up, they make Detroit look like a better team than they will ever be…and the worst part is that we have to listen to the laughing hyenas of Detroit telling us that this shit squad is the second coming of the glory years…well fuck that.

  • So Did We

    Few observations:
    -Leddy getting only 8 1/2 minutes of ice time is stupid as fuck when we’re having a hard time getting into the zone.
    -Our presence in front of the net (or complete lack thereof) is killing us. Howard isn’t giving rebounds because he’s seeing every shot and our centering passes from the corners are going to to the Wings because we have no one there.
    -The Wings are playing better than anyone thought they would and have played near perfect games (minus the D turnovers in the 1st last night, which still didn’t hurt them) and Howard is confident as fuck. We have to change something up to get them off their game like they have us off ours. The 60 ft cross ice and home run passes up the middle have to stop.

    • http://twitter.com/Bobby_Otter Bobby Otter

      Agree on all points. The Wings are playing much better than anyone thought and are still getting beaten pretty badly.

      The Hawks major problem (other than luck), like it’s been for years and everyone is rightly pointing out, is this power play.

  • ahnfire

    I’d like to apologize to the community for leaving yesterday to go drink scotch, because apparently all the trolls came out in force. Seriously guys, sorry.

    As for the most recent troll running around this thread, just ignore mhsilver- I mean, blackhawksarepathetic. He’s been banned anyway, so I don’t know if you’ll be able to directly reply to him anymore.

    • Bullitt315

      It’s worse when you know these people in real life. I don’t think I know the actual Mhsilver but the amount of texts I got about the wings “wanting it more”, this team is “soft” or “built for the regular season” were infuriating. A bunch of basketball fans switch to hockey and don’t understand sometimes the bounces don’t always go your way. And losing a game 1+empty netter-0 isn’t getting worked. The only legit complaint I heard from all of them is how bad our pp is and by golly it’s awful.

      • ahnfire

        ughh I’m sorry. luckily no one with my phone number is stupid enough to text me things like that. I only have to deal with that kind of idiocy on the internet and well, that’s to be expected. :|

        • Bullitt315

          I just wish all the people who say “it’s over” would stop fucking watching so I wouldn’t have to listen to them. I don’t exactly think are odds of coming back are great but this is hockey. 3-1 comebacks seem to have a way of happening.

          • laaarmer

            Luck.
            It’s the fucking faceoffs.

    • Accipiter

      What kind of scotch ?

      • ahnfire

        I tried a Glenmorangie 12yr yesterday. Very mild. Interesting but nowhere near replacing Macallan 18 as my favorite.

        • Accipiter

          Macallan 18 is very good, but my favourite is Laphroaig 10yr old. Scotch is delicious !

          • ahnfire

            Haven’t tried Laphroaig yet. I was debating trying that yesterday but I went with the Glenmorangie

          • Accipiter

            I like the peat/smokey flavours best, and for my palate the 10 yr Laphroaig has a very nice combination of those.

          • ahnfire

            I will definitely try Laphroaig next time.

            So far I’ve tried:

            Macallan 10/12/15/18, Highland Park 12/15, Glenmorangie 12, Balvenie 14 Caribbean Cask, Talisker, Glenlivet 15yr French Oak, JWalker Green, Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye & Compass Box’s Great King St (a cold press whisky)

  • Andrew Heitman

    The key has to be getting the PP going. Several chances were just hooked/dragged down because, why the fuck not? Why not drag Toews down on a rush? Can the Hawks gain the zone let alone produce chances on the PP? Nope. So equalize them 5 v 5 with slash and grab- Hawks cant make you pay for it…

    • ‘hawks58

      EXACTLY!! The lack of a PP threat is the biggest factor in this series. The Hawks have been better 5-on-5 (though the 5v5 goal totals don’t bear this out, the Hawks have definitely had the better of the possession game), and that is with absolutely no space to work in.

      If you were a threat to score 1 in every 5 opportunities, Scum would have to back off of their tight checking/grabbing/hooking because they wouldn’t want to take the chance of having to kill off a penalty. Instead, they are free to push the rules because they have no fear of being called. If they aren’t whistled, great; if they are, they think “oh well, we’ll just kill this one off like all the rest”

      Success on the PP will equal more time and space 5-on-5, will equal Hawks wins every time.

  • Jane Doe

    If the boys make game 7, I’m just hoping Q doesn’t decide to dress Campoli.

  • Jane Doe

    I really liked the idea of Bickell on the first w/Tazer and Kane in the first period. Coincidentally, that seemed to be the only period the Hawks had any semblance of control in the game. So it totally makes sense that Q didn’t keep rolling that out.

    • putmeinthemadhouse

      that really peeved me off, because that line was dangerous

      • laaarmer

        How could they roll out that line? Toews was in the box for 6 minutes o the 2nd period

        • Accipiter

          5 min 59 seconds.

          • laaarmer

            I thought they got a 1 second shift before TV time out. Nice catch.

    • cliffkoroll

      I thought Bickell had a great game.

  • DunkDropsa2

    I said it before game 1 and I’ll say it again, Q’s benching of Stalberg was an unnecessary and unwarranted distraction for a team that had great chemistry all year.

    Yes, the stars on this team are not shining right now, but if the Hawks bow out I’m putting this directly on Q’s shoulders, for his decisions off the ice and for not making adjustments during games…aside from double-shifting Kane, of course.

    • Bullitt315

      Games we’ve won without Stalberg-1
      Games we’ve won with Stalberg-0

      • DunkDropsa2

        My argument is not about which games Stals sat or played in, or how many the Hawks won/lost because of it.

        I’m merely pointing toward Q’s creation of a distraction for no valid reason. Even if Stalberg took an angry, steamy dump on Q’s desk, he should have recognized that his value in the lineup superseded whatever angst he showed toward him, especially with a team like the Wings who have such difficulty with speed.

        Continuity in the locker room is an intangible asset that cannot be understated.

        • Bullitt315

          Such a distraction, they won game 1 4-1. Torts sat Brad Richards in an elimination game and Brad Richards is a lot better than Stalberg.

          • DunkDropsa2

            Apples and oranges, friend.

            Richards is mired in a slump of slumps and Torts is, well, Torts. He did it as a wake-up call to his squad on the brink of elimination.

            Q removed one his most consistent forecheckers and the team questioned his decision, even if it didn’t bite them in game 1 (probably due to the Wings’ extended series with the Ducks and the Hawks rested/pumped).

          • Bullitt315

            Stals has one point in 7 games. One beat guy said one player asked why stals isn’t playing. That does not a broken locker room make.

          • DunkDropsa2

            Again, I’m not talking about points. The 3rd line has arguably been the most consistent line all year. He removed his fastest forward and it stalled the momentum. And don’t even get me started on Bolland.

            Don’t think for a second that the Hawks PR didn’t have involvement on how this was released to the media and what they told the players to say because they absolutely did.

    • Black JEM

      Management matters – in fact it usually matters most of all. The dynamics in the room changed with that. Q is a players coach – that is his strength. Then he started game playing and wasn’t honest as to why. Guys pick that up. He hasn’t lost the room. But he has allowed something to get in the way of the ultimate goal. Guys start pressing – and of course now down 3-1 they are pressing like hell.

  • Gabble Ratchet

    Chip the puck behind the Detroit D, make them turn and chase or risk interference penalties (which they will EVENTUALLY start calling)…instead of the 100-foot passes. I don’t know why this isn’t plain to Q.

    • Bullitt315

      “(which they will EVENTUALLY start calling)” hahahahaha, good one.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Detroit has been brilliant at making Toews chip in, and then making immediate contact that lasts just long enough to rub him into the boards, but not long enough to get a call.

  • laaarmer

    It’s all on Q. He has been outcoached.

    • Accipiter

      Can we blame Kitchen and Kompon too ?

      • laaarmer

        If you want to, but they work for Q.

        • Accipiter

          I just want people to have options.

          • laaarmer

            Apparently If Toews doesn’t score, he is not effective, even though Zetterberg and Datsyuk are not scoring either.
            I opt for Q being outcoached. The only adjustment he seems able to make is to change a line or sit somebody.

          • Accipiter

            I agree. The most ineffective line combos IMO were the ones he went with for the PP. Also, Zus on the 1st line, not a good idea.

    • cliffkoroll

      Q should win more board battles.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Essentially correct. The adjustments Babs made after his team got ‘skated into the ice’ in game one have worked, barely, but good enough to be up 3-1. The adjustments Q has made since game 2 have not worked, barely, but just bad enough to be down 1-3.

      • http://twitter.com/Bobby_Otter Bobby Otter

        I’m not saying that Babcock hasn’t been the better coach in the series, but I don’t see Q getting his pants coached off either. Babcock has a goalie who has stopped 98% of the shots he’s faced since Game 1. Meanwhile, Q’s team has hit five posts in the last two games and had a legit goal disallowed, while out-shooting and out-chancing the Wings in both games. And in one of the games, his captain loses his shit, collecting three straight penalties and completely changing the game (and game plan) in the process.

        Yes, Babcock made a smart move going to a Preds style, everyone stay back, fuck it… let’s play the trap, game plan. It helps that the refs call the game differently in the playoffs. And yes, Q gets 90% of the blame for this dreadful PP.

        I can’t kill Q for bad luck and super human goaltending. The adjustments Q made for Game 4 were kind of working in the first period. I can kill Q for for the PP. But we’ve been doing that for years here.

  • Pingback: When Faith Is Your Reason To Believe. |

  • laaarmer

    Has Toews really been outplayed by Zetterberg?

    How effective has Zetterberg been while Toews is on the ice, other than being playoff Bolland? He is not on the scoresheet. Datsyuk is not on the scoresheet. It is not Toews. Shaw, Kruger, Hossa, KANE, Bickell, Stalberg (but he’s so fast!), Sharp. They are off the scoresheet too. Toews cannot do everything. He is shutting down a great player and it’s costing his offense. Where are Kane, Sharp, and Hossa to pick up his offensive slack?

    • http://twitter.com/Bobby_Otter Bobby Otter

      No. Zetterberg is a -41 Corsi this series, -30-something Fenwick. If anything, Toews has shut down Zetterberg and the Wings are winning right now because of Nyquist and Howard.

      That said… Howard is playing out of his mind. He’s saved 86 of 88 shots… that won’t continue. The Hawks are losing because of Jimmy Howard and bad luck, not bad play.

      Yes, the Wings have done a great job keeping the Hawks out of the middle. But the Wings also have almost no offensive pressure unless the Nyquist line is on the ice (and sometimes Datsyuk, but Hossa’s sort of taken him out of the game). This is the Phoenix series only it’s against the Wings and the Wings have a little more of a punch. But it’s the same series, the Hawks direct play but can’t get it past Smith/Howard for whatever reason.

      • laaarmer

        It might continue for another game, and that will be bad for Toews and his buddies. Bickell needs to eat some Burritos and coffee and hit the Circle for some cheese fries before puck drop. Let loose on the Howard.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          We need Bicknuggets!

      • Hack

        This Toews-shutting-down-Zetterberg line of thinking really has to stop.

        Zetterberg isn’t being asked to be Zetterberg, he’s being asked to be a more physical version of 09-10 Dave Bolland because that’s probably the only way that Detroit can overcome the hawks talent gap.

  • rhodes

    I like to think I give Q the benefit of the doubt more often than not, but I put last night’s loss on him. I don’t believe anything we saw in the first 3 games of the series warranted the line changes he put in place last night. Crawford played a great game. D played great. Offense was inept. PP was simply awful.

    The Hawks have to go back to the lines that worked well for them all year. Problem is, I think Q has trouble admitting mistakes. If he throws Zeus back out there on the 1st line and continues to ask Bickel to play like Bollig to protect Toews, it’s going to be a tough road back.

    • Bullitt315

      Let’s put the loss on the coach and not the guy who took 3 straight penalties in a game we lost 1-0 from a power play goal.

      • rhodes

        Wings should need more than one stinking goal to beat the Hawks. All of Q’s deep thought given to his line up resulted in exactly 0 goals and a PP that was nothing short of embarrassing. That’s why we lost.

  • cliffkoroll

    Detroit is better than I gave them credit for. The Hawks are better, but the Wings are playing a good team game.

    • Accipiter

      Never underestimate the opponent. I find that happens a lot around here.

      (not directed at you)

      • cliffkoroll

        To be clear, I got no problem with any over-or-under estimating done by anybody not actually involved in the game.

        For anyone connected with the game, though, yes, the Lou Holtz mentality is a good idea.

  • cliffkoroll

    Can the Hawks win three straight in a playoff series?

    Well, this team has done it in 5 series: against San Jose (4 straight), Nashville, and all three series against the Cannots.

  • cliffkoroll

    Dept. of karma. First PP goal allowed in the playoffs. It comes after killing off 1:59. And it’s the only goal of the game. God in heaven, you just can’t resist, can you?

  • cliffkoroll

    Nothing is over, of course. Certainly not the barbecuing of Quenneville- an ongoing past time.

    But let’s talk GM. You know, the guy who walked into a straight-flush. What’s he done?

    Shaw
    Oduya
    Kruger
    Frolik
    Handzus
    Leddy
    Saad
    Stalberg
    Carcillo
    Rosival
    Bollig

    File most of these under ‘guys’. The big coup, Leddy, has had a lousy playoff. #2 in the list is Saad- maybe a bit snake-bit and tired, but not a great playoff there either.

    Oduya, ok. But under the hot lights of the playoffs, the Hawks depth guys have been getting beat. By Detroit. Not the deepest team int he league.

    Stan hasn’t done anything in net either, but I think Q is fine with this, and this has not been the problem this year anyway.

    Having watched the time in adversity for the first time, is there one screaming issue? Is it ‘second line center’? Is this a revelation?

    • nextgame

      Let’s play a little fantasy hockey and trade coaches. Babcock behind the Hawks bench with Stan’s roster full of ‘guys’, and Q behind Detroit’s bench.
      How do you think this series stands in that scenario?
      Not like it does now is my bet.
      I think this team’s playoff failures (with this core and the ‘guys’ that have filled in the cast the last three seasons) are on the coaching primarily. Certainly the players bear some of the blame, but I would love to see what a Babcock or Bylsma could do with this roster.

    • Hack

      Cliff, what’s happening with you right now, my man?
      Before this series, would you have said that Detroit has a better roster than the chicago Blackhawks?
      And I refuse to hear any nonsense about how Michael Handzus being terrible is all on Stan Bowman. Yes, at face value, he made the trade and that decision is on him ultimately. Let me ask it this way…..
      Is Q acting like a coach who had a complete turd unwillingly thrust upon him? I mean fucking A, Q’s made him a 2nd line center. It’s obvious that Q wanted a michal handzus; todd McClellan’s trash was his treasure.
      If you would have gone to any San Jose Sha-arks fan in the middle of Handzus 6 game healthy scratch run, and told him that said fan that Zus would start an opening shift of a 2nd round playoff game, you would have needed defibrillator to revive that person. Sure Zus had 4 shots last night, but Hoss and Sharp had a combined 2. That’s not how you draw it up……..
      I’ll listen to people tear into Toews, Kane, Seabs, etc, but a Stan Bowman bash doesn’t resonate with me on any level. I’m not saying Bowman is a great GM, or that he’ll build cup team after cup team, but fault assigned in this series is some % of luck, coaching, players not being better than the guy across from them, and a very very small % about the roster. You know, the one where everyone and their brother loved to talk about Q’s ability to “Roll 4 lines”. Rolling 4 lines points to a deep and talented roster, no? Q is rolling 4 now, and as I state above, I think he’s letting babcock push this series into the margins.
      (As we all know) I could go on and on and on……..
      I respect your hockey opinions, but I can’t get on board here.

      • cliffkoroll

        Why does Stan get credit for basically standing pat and playing with the talent and draft picks he was dealt? It’s been four years now- no catastrophic missteps, but only a couple of bright shiny things, and those haven’t performed in the post-season.

        As far as I’m concerned, Stan still gets an ‘incomplete’, but since the shortcomings we are seeing are the same shortcomings we’ve known about for years, recent events do not flatter his resume.

        The larger point is all the Q-bashing. The PP is fair game, but this is a classic “if it works, he’s a button-pusher” no-win for Q. I think our veteran players bear at least as much responsibility here as Q. (The same is true of the PK: the staff gets some credit, but it’s mostly the players.)

        Other than that, it’s a bunch of Monday-morning quarterbacking about line combinations that amounts to rearranging deck chairs unless the boys play better. Much less relevant than the Hawks inability to win draws or board battles lately.

        Bottom line: it’s largely on the players (top to bottom), with a slug of tough luck, and unaddressed (and for the most part this year unseen) personnel issues vying with coaching for third place.

        • Hack

          In your hastiness to defend Q from the blogging piranhas, I think you misrepresented your opinion on the matter of Stan Bowman. I didn’t read “incomplete” in your initial comment.
          I’m ok with an incomplete grade for Stan Bowman. I’m not trying to throw bouqets his way, but despite what everyone over at hockey buzz will try to tell us, a loss in this series won’t be on Bowman, IMO.
          I just get frustrated with logical questions being met with (he’s a hockey coach and you’re just a dude). It’s very “you’ve never played mr reporter guy.” You’re not incorrect in saying it, but you (person who brings up that sentiment) also completely avoided the question. In the same way that I’ve never coached, you’ve never been an NHL GM-talent evaluator, right? It’s just a trump card, and if we continue on with the logic of that trump card, then we can’t criticize Toews for not overcoming his frustration because we can’t possibly understand what he’s going through, and if we can’t criticize anyone (or the amiable version – surmize potential solutions), then we should really just watch the games and accept the results without feeling the need to talk about them.
          It’s all monday morning QB’ing, man. All of it. Any further logic from there is going to eventually lead down to….So, why am I even watching sports? I hope not to be forced into that question.

          • cliffkoroll

            I feel like you’re responding to a different argument.

            In the present case, my position is not that people aren’t qualified to criticize Q. I’m saying Q’s responsibility for the current situation is about on a par with Stan’s. Both of these impacts have been less than the impact of dumb.fucking.luck, which, frankly, has not gone the Hawks way in this series.

            But even luck pales in explanatory power in comparison with putting this on the players, where it belongs, and what I said in my last comment.

            To read these comments, you’d think it was all or mostly Q’s fault, which is ridiculous, IMO.

          • Hack

            Fair enough. I supoose in the back of my mind I read too much into the monday morning QB’ing line, probably because I never got to address your finger wagging at people for being critical of Q’s handling of the Stalberg situation.
            I think where we’re both at is that the players need to play better. I think there’s more that Q (and crew) can do tactically to facilitate that, you disagree (for the most part).

          • cliffkoroll

            Fair enough. On the “you never played the game” argument, I gotta tell ya, my kid, he plays college hockey. Set me back 20 grand over the years, all so he can tell me I have no idea what I’m talking about.

            Sometimes, as regards some aspects of the game, he’s 100% correct. Of course I remind him that the same thing applies wrt Mike Milbury vs. him too. Always a bigger fish.

          • Hack

            While I might not act like it sometimes, I’m humble enough (or have become humble enough) to know that I don’t understand everything about the game because I haven’t experienced all of the nuances that come to light by experiencing it, and that those nuances might be a controlling factor in something that I don’t understand.
            He’s my point. If you’re going to pull that card on me and humble me further (which might be warranted in many situations), I have an easier time accepting it if you can articulate why I’m wrong, otherwise I’m geared to assume that I’ve hit a nerve and might be right, but that you just want to shut me up. Savy?
            And on those aspects which he’s educated you, I’m sure you’re a better hockey fan because of it. no? That’s really all I’m looking for.

          • cliffkoroll

            I generally don’t pull the “played the game” card to play rank like my kid does- I can’t, I stopped playing organized hockey at age 12, so I’m near the bottom rung of “you never played the game” myself. So, if and when I have invoked that argument (and it wasn’t in this thread), it was not as a trump card (“I’m right and you’re wrong”), but more of a “We’re all at the frontier of our knowledge here, so anything anyone, including me, says on the subject is pure guesswork.” Check the record if you don’t believe me.

            Understand too that the “played the game” crowd try to expand their expertise inappropriately, which is annoying. I have a 16 year old daughter, never played hockey. She wanted to go to Hawks games with me, but I patiently explained to to her that, if she were to be sitting in that seat rather than a real hockey fan, there would be an aggregate societal welfare loss, so…

            In the past year, she has developed quite a good hockey IQ, and now she gets to go to games. For the most part, it’s not rocket science.

    • Black JEM

      I’m with Hack here. Yeah a real 2C would have been nice and you can blame Stanbo maybe for refusing to part with his young talent for what was the glaring weakness. But Q’s decision to ride Handzus like a real 2C is appalling. And Babcock is determining the flow of the series with Q trying to catch up.

      • Hack

        Q doesn’t have a 2C; he has some young options that might bring more spark, but no clear cut 2C.
        Mike Babcock has a 2nd D pairing masqurading as a 1st, and he has some 5s, 6s, and 7s (depending on who you ask) filling in the rest of the gaps. Two hawks goals in the last three games……..let that marinate.
        Detroit’s garbage Dmen continue to handle the puck like a hand grenade, and that’s a big part of the reason why the Hawks are out-shooting and out-CORSI’ing them. The Hawks quality looks have hit iron, and after that, it’s one-and-done-low-quality chances, great rebound control by howard, and a bad Hawks PP.
        CORSI is a useful stat because it’s a performance metric that creates a much larger sample size (for statistical conclusions) than plus minus or goals or shots, but with that said, does anyone think that Babcock and Zetts give a fuck that Zetts was a -11 last night? After the game, they probably sat down over a couple glasses of tatical nuclear penguin and had a hearty laugh at Jonathan Toews’ (out of character) parade to the box destroying the Hawks strong start. The subtle (and geniously coached & applied) interferences and annoyances; holding Toews’ stick (after the whistle) to annoy him and then laughing at Toews when he’s hacking Zetts’ ankle right in front of the official. It was all so beautiful.
        Remember when Hawks nation LOL’d at Dave Bolland doing this stuff to the Sedins and Joe Thornton, and then we threw barbs their way about them being regular season studs-playoff duds and crybabies…………. Talk about “wearing it”.
        Talent might still win out, but it could use a nudge in the right direction.

        • cliffkoroll

          So much win here. You should flesh this out into an article.

          • Hack

            Thanks, I might have to work on that.

  • Country_Bumpkin

    Goddamn you Fels. Last night I was ready to put the season to bed and move on to bad White Sox baseball and look forward to the Bears season but no, you had to write this post and make me think there is still a chance. Your like the hot girl that dumps a guy, but then keeps calling him back only to scissor-kick him in the face.

    I wish I knew how to quit you.

    • flahawkfan

      Hah. I know what you mean. I read Sam’s post and instantly thought, “I love you, SamFels.” Then I thought about it a couple of minutes and thought, “Damn you, SamFels. I had comfortably given up hope and now I can’t!”

  • http://twitter.com/Bobby_Otter Bobby Otter

    Another horrible part about being down 3-1 to the Wings? Their fans know they’re the underdog and playing with house money and they’re just loving the ride. I somehow miss Canuck fans.