USATSI_7565516_160885884_lowres

Some Will Die In Hot Pursuit: Hawks 1 – Avs 5

In a season where I’ve begged coach and players to look at the big picture and not react game to game, I’m going to try and take the same tack. Sure, some of us wanted this one a little more than we might for any other regular season game. That’s because A) it’s always satisfying to see a team getting too much hype get its market correction (and I saw nothing tonight that convinced me the Avs won’t, as weird as that sounds in a 5-1 dry heave) and B) because the Avs are a garbage organization that deserves that correction. But it didn’t happen, and I don’t want to kick things over games in November.

And that scoreline tells a story that I’m not sure the game follows. Credit to Colorado who were opportunistic and their goalie Drunky McPunchPunch was stellar (must be easy at home where it’s easier to imagine the puck as a woman’s face). Just because you present a team with most of its chances doesn’t mean they don’t have to convert them and the Avs did.

But the Hawks… well, it was there. Could have been so much different. If one very important player wasn’t huffing paint, it very well might have been. Let’s get to the bullets..

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-First, it’s not Q’s fault that he has to dress 7D tonight and then was left short when Bickell got hurt. Once Hossa wasn’t going to make the post, the Hawks had no margin of error. But there’s a question to be asked that why to start this trip there wasn’t an extra forward. The Hawks LTIR’d Handzus and Kostka for the specific reason to open up cap space to give them an extra player when they need it. I got why on Sunday against San Jose they didn’t, as the Hogs played both Friday and Saturday and any call-up would have been playing three games in three nights in three cities. But knowing that Hossa was at least possibly not going to play, someone should have been brought to Denver.

Now you’re up against it because both Khabby and Bickell are hurt but probably not long enough for LTIR. This was the jam that the Versteeg trade caused, and I feel like most of the beaters and a lot of fans (including myself) were in too much of a dizzy to notice. We notice now.

-Ok, on ice stuff that matters. Brent Seabrook was awful. One of the things I like about Q is that he rarely calls out a player in the press, except for maybe his goalies. I find it hard to remember a time when he’s mentioned a specific skater by name, in fact. But some kind of message needs to get to Seabrook (and that Maple Leaf-o-meter for his Olympic spot has less color than Lynyrd Skynyrd in his current state right now).

What do you do? I don’t want him playing centerfield for Leddy now either. Play him with Oduya and hope Bangkok Dangerous’s more stable game than Keith’s evens Seabs out? Get real liberal and scratch him for one game? Because Seabrook can blame a bounce all he wants or Eddie O can bend over backwards to absolve him, but that bank pass that went awry was lazy and off. You could see before it hit the boards that it was on a shallow angle, and the carom was true. And he wasn’t exactly beating it to the middle to make up for it.

Third Avs goal, Keith was chasing Talbot all over but then Seabrook went behind his net to leave Mitchell all alone from a foot and a half out. This isn’t InTelevision hockey and it’s Max fucking Talbot. What’s he going to do from back there?

Without those two goals, the Hawks are still very much in it after 1.

-And they may have gotten back into it even still, but I guess it’s everyone’s duty to make sure they take a megaphone out on the ice with them to make sure Bollig hears them, at least according to Olczyk. There’s no excuse for not getting that puck to the middle for a two-on-nuthin’, especially when you’re on the boards and looking at the whole ice.

Look, Bollig has had a good game here and there and I applaud his attempts to be a useful 4th liner. But he’s hardly crossed the threshold into indispensable. I know what meatballs would tell me, “HEY NO ONE HAD TAKEN ANY LIBRARIANS WIT’ KANE AND TAZE-MAN SO HE MUSTA BE DOIN’ HIS JOB, FELTS!” That fits squarely in the “This Rock Keeps Tigers Away” category. Especially against a team as fast as the Avs, there’s no reason he isn’t rotating pressobox duty with Morin or Nordstrom or name your forward. Though maybe he can’t now with the cap troubles, but again, LTIR solves that.

-One of the reasons the Avs give the Hawks so much trouble is that the it’s not in the Hawks DNA to go more conservative. They still pinch aggressively because against pretty much every other team the D-men are confident either they or their forwards can get back in time. But if you’re not starting in a position above the Avs, you’re not going to catch them. Goals four and five were off pinches, and the Hawks have to be aware of that in future contests.

-On the plus side, Smith and Pirri get better every game. That won’t continue forever, but it’s not far away from where I can say I feel safe with them taking some kind of role in the spring.

-Hard to get a reading on Raanta, as the two goals were breaks and the fifth was kind of unlucky. He looked nervous as you might expect. I hope that will even out on Thursday, when I hope he starts. But will Q feel he has to set things right immediately then and start Crow again?

-Put it in the trash and move on. That’s all you can do.

  • Patorioto

    I won’t start reacting too much unless they have another stinker like this in the near future. But… gotta tighten up. Seabrook is terrible right now. Bollig had a good start to the season but I no longer see any reason to dress him.

    The Avs are not a good team. The Hawks could have scored 4-5 goals in the second alone and it could have easily been a shootout but the bounces just seemed to all go the Avs way.

    Of course this is going to inflate them and their fanbase into thinking they are Cup contenders now. I expect them to fall back down to earth by end of the year.

    • 10thMountainFire

      I don’t see any reason to dress Bollig, either but that’s a dead horse that people get irritated when I hit it. Frankly, he doesn’t have the instincts you need skating with who he’s been paired up with. That play on the near side boards was pitiful. It wasn’t about not hearing them. He simply was not aware of where his teammates were because he’s simply not an above average hockey player. Many nights, like tonight, he’s not even an average player. When you can dress Morin and you don’t, it’s irreconcilable with logic. The point is, Scott was eons worse and Q dressed him for what seemed like a decade. Q will continue to dress Bollig. It’s a dead horse I no longer beat.

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        I wouldn’t and didn’t mind Q dressing Bollig when he wasn’t dressing Brookbank at forward, but when he dresses both he is essentially punting on 2 of his 12 forward slots. Q should only dress his security blanket (Bollig) when he dresses a real 12th forward (i.e.–one that can play more than 5 minutes a game and that has the wheels to actually keep up).

      • DesertHawk

        People get irritated when you hit it, because you sling dead horse bits all over the joint. Get a fresher dead horse and folks won’t mind as much.

    • Accipiter

      A team is as good as its record.

  • amontesawesome

    Re: The complaining about complaining about Brookbank at forward.

    Nassim Taleb has written extensively on risk and randomness and he provides a pretty good explanation as to why it’s not smart to habitually play 11 forwards. He writes a lot about how businesses and public policies have made themselves fragile in the face of randomness. ie They are structured in such a way that makes them ill prepared to deal with inevitable unexpected events.

    Dressing 11 forwards makes your team fragile. Is there a significant difference for that 12th forward spot? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not the point. It makes you less prepared to deal with randomness. Weird things happen in hockey games (like, say, losing a top 9 forward to an injury a few minutes into the first period) so don’t be fragile.

    • VerStig

      +1 for Nassim Taleb.. reference? Reference.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Yes, I’ve tried to make this point a couple times though without the elegance. If you play 11 forwards, what happens if one of them goes down with injury in a game? Now you’re down to 10 which means you are essentially down an entire line. When you factor in the fact that Bollig, while much improved, is not an offensive threat and not a lockdown defender (i.e.–pretty much a replacement level player) you really are down to 9 useable forwards. It seems totally bizarre to me that for a coach who loves to roll 4 lines as much as Q does, that he sometimes seems to put himself in the position where he can’t really do that effectively by dressing a Dman as a forward and then really can’t do it when another forward gets injured.

      It’s still just November and so I’m not suggesting mutiny or panic or over-reacting, but it’s just something that puzzles me and that someone as smart as Q seems to have a blind spot to. We aren’t always as in control of things as we like to think (randomness/noise) and so it makes sense to cover your ass by not putting yourself into the position of being really undermanned if just one player goes down (which is not a rare thing in a game like hockey).

      Nice post, amonte.

      • VerStig

        There are days when I agree with cliff that we beat too many dead horses around here, but this point especially I really really really wish the MSM or beats or whatever would bring up…

        Not that it would actually get Q to do anything about it, but still…

        • cliffkoroll

          Can I just say that I upboated that comment? It was, I thought, a thoughtful, well-put observation.

    • pstumba

      i agree with everything, however the problem is that in Q’s mind he dressed Brookbank as a forward…

    • cliffkoroll

      Good stuff, though at least they have the wherewithal to address this fragility.

      The 2010-11 team, now that was a fragile team — hard against the cap and usually in trouble when one of the top forwards went down, like Hossa is now. Stan’s moves in the summer of 2011 significantly reduced the team’s fragility.

      Here’s an interesting article from that time that nobody ever ever read (sniff):

      http://blackhawkup.com/2011/08/09/what-stan-bowman-did-on-his-summer-vacation-final-answer/

      Excerpt:
      “Regardless of what one thinks of last year’s team, everyone can agree that success required everything go according to plan, injury-wise. Dave Bolland, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, and Patrick Sharp each missed chunks of the season, and when one of these guys was out, the Hawks were a pretty average team. The Vancouver series, where Bolland missed the first three games, was a perfect illustration of the team’s vulnerability.

      Contrast this with the Boston Bruins, who overcame a huge injury to Marc Savard, and assorted other injuries, en route to the Cup. The Hawks last year were, in a word, fragile.”

      I’m a huge Taleb fan. FWIW, the guy is an irascible asshole who would probably despise most people here, myself included.

      • ChicagoNativeSon

        Was that a link to an article by the great Marty Hobe?

    • StealingHappyHour

      I’ll complain until I can’t talk anymore/my fingers fall off.

  • TheRealBBOX

    Fels, I would like to buy your rock.

  • QCBlackhawk

    Some will die in hot pursuit in fiery auto crashes
    Some will die in hot pursuit while sifting through my ashes
    Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain
    That is pouring like an avalanche comin’ down the mountain.

    Nice reference, sir.

    The mood tonight in the thread was pretty non-give-a-fuck-y for the most part by the end, as we were in first in the league going into this, and aren’t set too far back because of it.
    The Avs let a lot of chances in, and some flukes like the shot off of Toews’ ass in the crease could have had this game with some terrible plays a lot closer.
    It’s November and it’s the trip we dread for a reason. Move on and start Raanta.

  • Joe Banks

    Make sure to jiggle the handle.

  • mad-hatter

    Khabibulin was placed on LTIR Sunday morning before Raanta was brought up, so there’s some additional space to what you have up there. Plus the beats have made it out like Bickell’s going to be gone longer than day to day. If it’s an ankle fracture, then his $4mil could be taken off the books for a couple weeks too. Stan has plenty of room to get Morin’s $800k for at least the rest of the trip. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Hossa’s brought back early on Thursday and Brookbank remains at forward.

    And the Hawks haven’t won a game on Kaner’s birthday since 2009, which must be some really weird side effect of the birth of black magic.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Morin.

    • Why

      Q’s post game interview on the Blackhawks channel is a must watch. My view is he’s hinting at the idea that a trade is being discussed.

      • 10thMountainFire

        Or he’s signaling to Stan that he wants a trade to be discussed?

        • Why

          Maybe. If Bicks is hurt bad enough that he’d go on the LTIR, there’s around 7.3 million that isn’t being used right now. Unfortunately, the rules don’t seem to let you stack LTIR prices to pick up one player.

          • 10thMountainFire

            So this is where the hard questions come in and Q/Stan make their money.

            1. Who is available?
            2. Who is worth a few names in the Rock that we’d otherwise prefer to keep?
            3. How do we weave them in when Bicks, Kostka, and Zus return eventually?

          • Why

            A trade would kind of explain a lot. No one is in the press box. If you’re going to call a guy up from the system, I’d guess it would be before today’s game. If your expectation is that someone is coming from somewhere else and is coming relatively soon, why start shuttling guys up right now?

            But yeah. Those three questions are the big ones. And Khabbi might be coming back (in terms of cap hit if not as an actual contributing player).

            The LTIR thing is interesting. My bet is there’s a way to actually stack the salaries so that you could acquire a seven million dollar player in the last year of his contract (say by calling Versteeg and a couple of rookies Bickell’s replacement).

          • 10thMountainFire

            So what you’re saying is… call Dale.

            Seriously, though, the LITR thing is the most intriguing. There has to be some sort of hole whereby you can add salary like that example you listed in the last year of a deal. It’s sort of scary now to imagine that Khabibulin may be coming off of LTIR eventually. Even with his poor performance aside, that cap hit dings us significantly in trying to replace Bickell, specifically, if Bickell is out more than a few games.

            I agree with you on the shuttling. Doesn’t seem to make sense in this scenario. I do imagine we see #11, however… if only because of lack of short-term solution, especially if Hossa can’t go next game.

          • Why

            What’s Dale got that we’d want?

          • 10thMountainFire

            Absolutely nothing.

          • Why

            I’d take some of his untouchables (I’ve really enjoyed my brief exposure to Huberdeau) but he’s not going to trade his young, cheap talent.

          • 10thMountainFire

            He won’t deal his future core. And outside of that, unless there are people still pining for the return of Soupy (which really does nothing for us), they haven’t a thing. Tim Thomas? God, no.

          • VerStig

            Funny as it may sound, but Oduya makes me not miss Soupy right now. And I imagine Leds will do the same in the not-too-distant future.

          • 10thMountainFire

            This. Very much this.

          • Why

            Soupy is expensive.

          • 10thMountainFire

            This always makes me think of Dale and chuckle. Twice.

          • Accipiter

            Uncle Dale could eat some Campbells and only send half the bill to Stan.

          • Why

            Half priced Soupy is still expensive.

          • mad-hatter

            Leddy doesn’t make me miss anything, especially when an opposing forward follows him behind the net and he’s already at the center red line. God bless America.

          • lizmcneill

            Can’t Khabi LTIR > conditioning stint in the A > whoops he broke again > LTIR > repeat until July/retirement/if we have free space after the deadline?

          • Joe Banks

            Do you have access to StanBows flow charts?

      • mad-hatter

        You’re talking about his “decisions to be made” comment right? You’re right, it does sound like something else may happen beyond just a call up. Maybe it’s the smile. It’s obvious that something would need to happen once players returned from LTIR, guess I thought they’d wait until then to do so though.

        I wonder how much Q knows about these front office decisions beforehand, and what kind of input he may have.

        • Why

          Basically. Everything after “Do you have to make a move at this point?” screams trade to me. I could be totally wrong on this one.

          • 10thMountainFire

            No, I agree with you. I think that was his frustration betraying a usually pretty decent poker face. Q-speak is more obvious when speaking about players’ roles. In this case, it was a bit surprising that he addressed personnel management decisions.

          • mad-hatter

            Maybe Stan told Q he was working on something, and that’s why he wasn’t getting Morin or another player from Rockford for the circus trip. It makes sense, but things could fall through easily if true.

          • Why

            And then you snap up Morin or someone else at that point. If I understand the numbers correctly, we’re into LTIR exemption territory already (meaning we don’t save any cap room by leaving guys in the minors and not using the exemption).

            Or maybe I’m just overanalyzing a throwaway quote after a tough loss.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Another potential scenario: Morin isn’t coming because he’s part of a deal.

          • mad-hatter

            Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on the short list :(

          • 10thMountainFire

            The reason I lean to that is because just a tangential analysis of the situation sort of gives the impression that Stan has finally acquiesced to Q not warming to Morin, for whatever reason. He goes and brings Versteeg back to fill a similar role at a much higher contract, but one that is really manageable per the cap for the next few years. So Morin, admittedly as we discussed a valuable commodity at that cost with his talents/skill set as a future 3rd or 4th line stud, is someone that Stan has to assess as likely not going to get significant playing time under Q. So maybe he addresses the entire scenario en masse and deals for Versteeg, trades Morin to fill short-term holes, and kills two birds with one stone. Obviously, this is conjecture but it’s as likely a scenario as I can figure at the moment.

          • mad-hatter

            Agreed with everything you said, unfortunately. If true, I hope he goes to a good team. Brookbank could also be on the block because we eight defenseman seems unnecessary. Until Kostka comes back Stan could just bring up Clendening or Svedberg.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Are there any takers for Brookbank that aren’t named Dale?

          • mad-hatter

            You never know. Someone wanted Carcillo, someone wanted Scott. The Canucks picked up Stanton without any substantial NHL experience.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Maybe Scotty Bowman is the culprit here. He’s been around long enough to know where the bodies are buried. How else can we explain getting even mid-round picks for Carello and Fluffy?

          • mad-hatter

            He could have picked up a new hobby when he moved to Chicago. Bowman totally passes as an Italian mob boss name, right?

          • 10thMountainFire

            He resembles Momo. Maybe he wasn’t shot, after all.

          • Hags

            There would be more than just Dale if you package Morin with him.

            The question becomes what value Stan gets back in exchange for those two.

          • Joe Banks

            You give good conjecture!

          • Why

            Lot of moving parts here and there’s always guys to look at. Rentals like Ott could be grabbed relatively cheaply I think. It’s inside the division, but a guy like Whitney would also be available.

            And if you really want to wildly speculate, we’ve been lugging around a lot of defenceman and Kostka’s getting close to coming back.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Whitney is a bit interesting.

          • Why

            Very interesting. I remember thinking we were tiny after the Versteeg trade. Swapping Bicks for Whitney for the time being would potentially add some pop to the offence but you’d have to deal with being Team Midget.

          • 10thMountainFire

            What do you do with him when Bicks returns and potentially when Khabi’s money goes back on the books?

          • Why

            I don’t know. Whitney makes 4.5. You’d have to move at least one roster guy to make that trade work. And even then you’re still nowhere near the number you’d need to get to, even if you send another forward down to the minors.

            If I’m reading capgeek right, cap payroll is $800,000 over the limit right now (we’ve got LTIR exemptions for Khabby, Handzus and Kostka). When Khabby comes back, that number drops to right around the cap (because we won’t carry three goaltenders). Move Brookbank or Roszival in the deal for cap purposes and you get to 1.2-2.25 in cap room. But it doesn’t really work without a radical shake up and I can’t see the Hawks doing it.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Wow. First impression on Whitney’s salary is: too big. Especially at 41 y/o.

            Rozsival is living out my fear… we would be too reliant on him and Zus after catching lightning in a bottle with both in the stretch of the post-season. Now, his value is depleted enough to make him a toss-in on a deal just to free-up room to hit the cap. I also can’t see a radical shake-up. I find it difficult to believe anyone takes Brookbank or Rozsival without serious incentive, ie young Rock talent.

          • Why

            Yep. I actually think you’d find a taker for Rozsival that would return more than a salary dump but he wouldn’t, on his own, actually net you the type of forward you need. And he has an NMC.

          • Why

            You could do Jagr but I don’t know how much better that even makes a team.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Ehhhh. No thanks. Not impressed with him in the Finals and seemed to drag ass a bit too much. Not as responsible as Q likes in his own end for a third/fourth liner, either.

          • Accipiter

            Jagr was a couple posts/crossbars away from helping the Bruins win.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Are you being serious right now or not? I can’t tell. I was not impressed with him at all.

          • Accipiter

            He wasn’t amazing, but he came pretty close to sending the Hawks packing.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Even granting that, does he have the wheels for our bottom six, would he play there without whining, and how does Q reconcile the fact that he can’t expect him to do anything in his own end at all?

          • Why

            Yes to 2, according to all reports on Jagr in the last couple of years. I mean he kept his mouth shut in Boston. He’s still got ok wheels (unless he’s banged up) but not as good as I’d like. It’s the third one that I have some serious questions about.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Do you then maximize his playmaking and possession numbers by fitting him right into Bickell’s role aside Versteeg and Shaw/Kruger?

          • Why

            Me personally, assuming we had already made the decision to take him? I’d want to see what he could do with Pirri and Kane. Or I’d want to go to the line blender to see what works with two new forwards in the line up.

          • 10thMountainFire

            So I assume you drop Saad back to the third for the period that Bicks is out. Then what do we do once Bickell returns? Do you keep Jagr with Kane and Pirri and leave Saad with Bicks and Shaw/Kruger, leaving Versteeg on the fourth?

          • Why

            From what I’ve seen, he’s like a really poor man’s Hossa in terms of puck possession skills (translation: still pretty good).

          • lizmcneill

            Anyone been to hockeybuzz or hf boards lately? Who are they yelling to be dealt:
            1) Kaner
            2) Crow
            3) the entire d corps
            4) all of the above

          • flahawkfan

            Haven’t been there in a while but I’m certain they’re yelling for Keith to be dealt. He’s the one who seems to bear the brunt of their ire nowadays.

          • Joe Banks

            Honestly, I don’t think there’s a chance in hell Khabby goes back on the books

          • lizmcneill

            No thank you to Ott. I’d rather someone younger (potential for growth) and less dirty.

          • Joe Banks

            They do seem to be “showcasing” Brookbank and Bollig… hmmmm?

          • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

            If true, we’ve been ‘showcasing’ Bollig for years and haven’t found a taker.

          • Z-man19

            he showcased Fluffy for a while before someone bit

          • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

            I find this to be very likely, given Morrin’s long term lease in Q’s dog house, a.k.a. the press box.

          • mad-hatter

            Overanalyzing shit is what we do here. And then complaining about it until we run out of alcohol.

          • Accipiter

            You cannot let your alcohol supply get depleted, that is paramount.

          • 10thMountainFire

            We’re not talking about films here. Stay on topic.

          • mad-hatter

            The Hawks make it really difficult to keep a constant supply sometimes.

          • Accipiter

            I find they help keep me well stocked.

          • mad-hatter

            They certainly keep me in touch with my local alcohol store clerk.

          • 10thMountainFire

            You run out of alcohol???

          • Accipiter

            Shut up.

          • 10thMountainFire

            Apparently YOU ran out of alcohol.

          • mad-hatter

            Never!!! But sometimes there must be breaks between bitching about Bollig and bitching about Brookbank to restock.

          • 10thMountainFire

            I just mumble on the way to the emergency mini-fridge.

        • 10thMountainFire

          That’s why I got the impression that maybe he was signaling. I imagine Stan responded with something like, ‘Yeah… I know.’

      • Fleshrifle

        “…we have business decisions along with economic decisions and you have hockey decisions and the right fit so we’ll see what’s available…” [mumble mumble adjust belt]..

        Lots of speculation in the thread here. I don’t see this more than anything but finding room for a backup goalie. They may be moving a skater around for a BuG but that’s all I read into it.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Normally I’d be worried about having to make a trade from weakness, but Stan has really fleeced some guys in the past when dumping salary, so we’ll see how it plays out.

    • ChicagoNativeSon

      Ya know what this team is lacking? The Stan and Q signature (and apparent joint love of) “at the end of his career but still possibly serviceable veteran, who really belongs on the 4th line but probably ends up on the 2nd.”

      • cliffkoroll

        Zus?

        • ChicagoNativeSon

          And Morrison, Brunette, R Johnson (I think he filled in at 2C a few times). O’Donnell and Boynton on D could be included in that list.

          • VerStig

            Heck, even Ben Eager ended up on the 2nd line during the SCF

    • 2883

      He was placed on the IR not the LTIR. We have no cap room to make a move.

      LTIR you have to miss 10 G or 24 days (whichever comes first) before being placed on that list and giving the team the salary cap flexibility.
      I was skeptical when we made the trade why we didn’t have enough money/cap to keep Fro but did have enough to get Versteeg, people thought hey, we have the room that Zus and Kostka freed up in cap room and they were right, but we used up any cushion we had by making that trade and now that we have serious injuries to 2 more top players we’re incredibly thin up front. I don’t know what the Hawks will do but its looking iffy for the circus trip.

      • 2883

        Nevermind maybe I don’t understand LTIR

      • Z-man19

        That’s not what capgeek has or at least what I’m getting from it

        • 2883

          See below. I guess it’s one of those things that you have to miss so much time if you’re put on the LTIR. but there was something there about the amount of overage you were allowed, does that apply? 3 MM in savings? Or am I misreading that too?

          • Z-man19

            I’m seeing 2.1 mil in cap space today. More learned folk will have to confirm or deny whether that is correct

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

    From Friedman’s 30 Thoughts yesterday. I admit it, I drooled:

    “In doing some research on Dylan Olsen, acquired by Florida in the Versteeg trade, I heard an interesting story, although its accuracy is in question. The story goes that, a couple of years ago, the Blackhawks and New York Islanders discussed a deal involving Olsen and Frans Nielsen, only to have it fall apart over the inclusion of draft picks. Both teams claim the story is “a total fabrication” and normally I wouldn’t include it. But I decided to only because I got to thinking, could you imagine Chicago with Nielsen on the roster, too? Yikes.”

    Also, last night’s game seemed like a classic, “ahhh, we’re back” feeling crept in after the Sharks game, “We can relax, Nashville was just a blip.” I know the players don’t actually think that, just, I think it’s human nature to have gone into this game with feelings of relief … and we all know what happens when you become relieved or complacent in pro sports.

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      They skated hard, they just didn’t skate smart. Bad (or lazy) decisions all night with the puck in both zones, and no patience in waiting for a team mate to get to the net (Remember Kaner’s pretty goal a couple games back where he held, held, held, until Saad got in the Goalie’s face?

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

        Exactly … case of the brains being elsewhere, anywhere but on the first period of hockey they were playing.

        • lizmcneill

          They never seem to do well in Denver lately, I blame the lack of oxygen.

          • Country_Bumpkin

            I just /Blame it on the Rain/

    • 2883

      Nielsen is having a career campaign for the Isles, unless this was like 2-3 years ago, there’s not a chance the Isles would do anything with that trade now..

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

        Was a while ago, certainly. Of course the deal couldn’t have been discussed recently.

        • 2883

          We’ve always been interested in Nielsen according to many sources that I’ve seen. But yeah.. .would’ve been a good trade, he’d be a good fit.

    • Accipiter
      • flahawkfan

        I love Paul Maurice’s smoker’s voice . . .

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Av’s took advantage of every opportunity we gave them while chasing the puck instead of bodies. On the first goal, yes, bad bad Seabrook, but Crow deserves some blame for playing the puck to the covered guy. He was tentative, and any goalie who is still trying to make up his mind what to do when he reaches the puck that far from his net should just ice the mother fucker.

    Agreed it’s not Q’s fault for dressing 7 D last night, but it is his fault for coming on the road trip with only 12 F’s, or does he not choose the roster?

    Bollig wasn’t the only one. We had 37 SOG, but we really weren’t working hard enough to get the puck in front of the net.

    • M7

      I agree with your assessment of the first goal. Not a very good attempt by Seabrook but Crow definitely handcuffed him with that pass. The ideal play for Seabs in that situation would’ve been a sharp turn up-ice (towards the boards to shelter the puck) but that would’ve been easier to execute if he were a left-handed shot.

      • Accipiter

        Or he could have rung it around the boards instead of trying a bank shot.

        • M7

          I actually thought about that too but being a right-handed shot, and where he was positioned on the ice, I don’t think it would’ve been very instinctual or easy to do. He would’ve had to shoot across his body and gauge the angle correctly or it may have banked off the boards strangely.

        • M7

          Ignore my other comment, you’re right… the ring was the easy play. My memory had Seabs further from the boards. My bad.

        • M7

          I tried to respond yesterday but disqus kept bouncing it. Anyways… yeah – you’re right. The ring was a dead easy play. I thought Seabs was much further from the boards and when I saw the replay I realised he was practically touching them.

  • cliffkoroll

    Maybe I’m just the anti-McClure, but I really enjoyed the last 40 minutes of last night’s game. You can’t call it domination when your team is trailing by at least three goals, but there were a ton of chances and lots of good…’pace’ (h/t Q) to the game. Not like the garbage time the other night in Smashville.

    Apart from the outcome, it was a hockey showcase.

    Also, good move gettin’ Crow out early. Some nights, the b’ar gets you.

    /pollyanna
    /greengrassandhightidesforever

    • rhodes

      Agreed. I thought the Hawks looked dominant in the 2nd/3rd and were moving the puck as well as I’ve seen all year. Part of it probably because the Avs fell into a bit of a defensive shell. Still, fun to watch. But not the scoring chances to match. Credit the Avs D, I guess. And Drunky McPunch (too funny).

      Strange how Eddie O goes to great lengths to forgive certain players. His comment that Bollig didn’t pass the puck to either of his two wide open line mates because they weren’t “calling for the puck” was beyond belief. I always though NHL players skated with their heads up.

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        Imagine if that were Stalberg.

        • Z-man19

          Edzo would’ve carved him up like Thanksgiving turkey

          • Accipiter

            Eh, Pardner ?

      • cliffkoroll

        Yes, playing favorites is annoying, even when applied to my favorites, like Keith, who Pat and Eddie gush over all the time.

        The Bollig excuse-making was lame, as Sam pointed out. The guy has suited up for every single game this year — mind-bottling. And the novelty of “Hey! Bollig Can Play a Little Hockey.” has given way to “Yeah, But Just a Little.”

        • VerStig

          My mind is bottled.

          • laaarmer

            Mind Boggling – having a very powerful or overwhelming effect on the mind: amazingly or confusingly large, great, etc.

            Mind Bottling – yes, I know, hipster doofus time, eh?

      • flahawkfan

        I’m convinced that Bollig is getting a pass because of the marketing stuff he’s doing, like the funny puck-handling parody. Maybe I’m too cynical for my own good, though.

        • lizmcneill

          That, and that he’s visibly working hard to even be a passable 4th liner.
          And the thing about goons and grinders being such nice guys and great in the room – they have to be. They’re fungible. If you have Toews or Kaner-level hockey skills and are an asshole, chances are your organization keeps you because players like you don’t grow on trees. If you’re Bollig or Brookbank and an asshole, enjoy the ECHL while the team call up the next in line from the A.

    • flahawkfan

      Agreed. I loved the fact that the Hawks kept playing hard and didn’t give up. It was fun to watch, apart from the score.

      And I didn’t know anyone else on earth knew the Outlaws any more . . .

  • 2883

    I wonder if anyone would take Moonpie for a cheap 4th line F and we could call up Morin or McNeill wiht the cap savings. that might be our only hope (then we’re anorexically thin on the blueline and praying that the other shoe won’t drop there..

  • Korab22

    In the plus column for Seabs, his sprawling poke-check early in the 1st to bail out his D partner’s bad pinch was pretty special.

    • laaarmer

      He sucks and needs to be gone. He is the reason the team is not undefeated.

      • Fleshrifle

        Great point. TWTW is low. He needs to hit people and start a fight.

    • DJ

      This. It showed hustle to get back and excellent timing to go down so as to break up the pass. Statsny might have frozen a bit.

      Great play such as this makes it maddening when Seabs screws up as he did on the first goal. Still, I think the good far outweighs the bad with Seabrook.

      • laaarmer

        You are correct.
        I think at one time that Seabrook was a Norris guy and that he had/has as much to do with Keith’s Norris as Keith does. That player, for whatever reason, is gone or hiding behind the wear and tear of his style of play.
        The bigger issue with the defense is Roz. That guy is very crafty with the puck, but holy sheepdip he makes Handzus look like Pavel Bure. It seemed like that pair could not get the puck out of the zone for extended periods last night, but I’ll admit to turning off the game during the 3rd.

        • cliffkoroll

          “I think at one time that Seabrook was a Norris guy and that he had/has as much to do with Keith’s Norris as Keith does.”

          Understand that most people are unaware of this, because it mostly took place inside your head.

          • laaarmer

            No, I don’t think it did just occur in my head. I think it was pretty unanimous regarding the Norris talk early in his career. Keith’s success is up for debate, but I don;’t hear too much DK for Norris talk either, unless it’s resonating form your bulging mass.
            As you correctly point out, Seabrook is in the upper level of “standard statistics” this season. Last nights game, he was -1. Many players were awful last night – Roz and Hjammer in particular, but no mention of them, except for me.

          • cliffkoroll

            Seabrook’s fine. Keith’s fine. Seabrook’s not as good as Keith — never has been. Everyone understands this. Look at their salaries — Seabrook signed after Keith, for less. Look at the Olympics (the only time they’ve been separated for any length) — Keith was Canada’s best defensemen, Seabrook made sure the bench didn’t levitate.

            My bulging mass hasn’t peeped about Keith for Norris this year, though I can count on a couple of fingers the d-men I’d take over him.

          • laaarmer

            I agree with your 1st two sentences, but not the 2nd. Seabrook is not as good as Keith the last 3-4 years.

            Yeah Olympics.

            I woudn’t take any D men not named Suter over Keith, but I would take Weber and his -10 over Seabrook, even for the $.

  • laaarmer

    I think you waive Seabrook and bring up McNeill and Morin and Danault. I mean they’re new so they have to be better than what we have. Just send Seabrook on his way and be done with it. He sucks and maybe should retire.

    • cliffkoroll

      With 12 points in 22 games, Seabrook is #12 in the league among defensemen in scoring.

      Don’t get me wrong- I enjoy seeing you get all butthurt over your boy.

      • laaarmer

        I thought you were shown the door yesterday!
        I so wanted to pile in with you, but my stance on fighting your won battles (see I’m talking hockey) would not let me do so.

        • cliffkoroll

          No third man in — I get that.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Seabass played a bad game yesterday as he sometimes does, but I do get your point here. I think sometimes people are a little too critical of him.

      I *do* think, however, that it does make sense (cap permitting) to have a player like McNeill or Morin up here and learning the ropes now instead of a known entity like Brookbank (or even Bollig). We know what they bring and we also know their ceilings aren’t very high. The other guys we know have higher ceilings even if they may not be as defensively responsible… yet. This is the time to get them experience though. Not March or April.

  • putmeinthemadhouse

    We are looking at some sort of trade, sooner or later. Hawks have 3 players on LTIR that arent going to be eligible forever (~3.3 mil). Somethings gotta give, no? What are we realistically looking at for what might happen?

    • lizmcneill

      Someone has to get traded or waived. Steeg puts them about 250K over the cap if everyone was back off LTIR and Antti2 was in the Rock (sadly not all of Khabi would stay buried if they sent him down. Dammit, Stan.)

  • Fleshrifle

    Let’s see…the entire League has seen the Versteeg deal (steal?) and know that the wheels have fallen off Khabi. And goalies seem to be dropping like flies this year (Nabokov, Lehtonen, Andersen, Harding, along with some other bumps bruises). Stanbo is in a tough tough market for backup goalies since the demand is high. He’s not one to cave in and make the easy trade for the sake of the short term. You had to think he knew the risk with Khabi and new in a tough situation he’d go with Raanta riding pine instead of getting seasoning at the Rock. So despite what Q said..I’m still not entirely convinced that we’ll see anything but some cap room work (LTIR, releases, etc.)

    • lizmcneill

      Let-one-in is broken AGAIN?

  • Matt

    Anyone else think that Seabrook could actually be traded this offseason? I like the guy, and this isn’t about yesterday’s game, but it almost seems like he’s a little overpaid and I could see some team valuing his size, playoff experience, and reputation and give us a boatload of young players for him.

    • Accipiter

      Yes, laaarmer thinks so.

      • laaarmer

        If there is anything this team needs it’s a ton of young inexperienced players. You can never have too many of them.

        • lizmcneill

          Our coach loves having them, too!

    • cliffkoroll

      We like our people.

    • Bobby Otter

      No.

    • flahawkfan

      I don’t see it. He’s been uneven but he still has it in him to play the way he did from the latter part of last year’s Detroit series forward, and his salary isn’t that huge when you consider how other d-men have broken the bank the last two summers.