The Blood Stays On The Blade

Just cleaning up after a series sweep, before we all adjourn for the weekend and reconvene… sometime. We don’t know when, really.

-McClure and I were talking about this today, and he was wondering if despite the adulation he does get, if Patrick Kane’s playoff performances are truly appreciated. Kane’s PPG is fourth among active players, behind Crosby, Malkin, and Giroux. And that’s over 103 games, so sample size is not a problem. All time for the Hawks, he’s behind Hull and Savard in points per game. But if you were to weigh it to compensate for how much tougher it is to score now than it was when Hull and Savard played, Kane’s PPG would probably come close to blowing them out of the water. Quite simply, Patrick Kane, right now, is the greatest postseason performer in Hawks history. I’m not even sure it’s close.

-I saw some of it being asked last night and that’s what happens now that Michal Rozsival’s ankle was left behind in St. Paul. None of the answers are terribly pleasing.

Whether Q chooses Rundblad or Cumiskey, the main issue is that neither has played in a month. That’s a fair amount of rust to knock off at a time of year where you don’t get time to knock off rust. The easy answer is Rundblad, as he’s right-handed and has played with Keith a lot during the season. Not only has Cumiskey not played in a month, he hasn’t played at an NHL pace since February. That’s a problem, and he’s left-handed and is more of a rush-type d-man which the Hawks didn’t lose last night.

Then again, Rundblad isn’t really a free safety either. It’s also going to depend on opponent, I think. If it’s Calgary, while they have some hellacious forecheckers they’re probably not going to opt to go up and down with the Hawks, and hence might back up a bit to give Rundblad more time. The Ducks only know one way so they would be chasing his Swedish ass down for the word go. Either one is not going to play much.

The real question is can the Hawks get 12-15 minutes from Timonen, which is really all they were getting out of Rozsival at this point. On the plus side, when in the offensive zone Timonen was more active than Rozsival and his pinches have all been timely and effective. An issue is that Kimmo is not going to get the safety net of Keith which Rozsival did, even when teams were focused on entering only on his side of the ice. I doubt they’d ask Timonen to flip to the right side at this point in the year. We’ll know more when they start practicing again.

-While watching the rest of the Pacific what-have-ya, you’ll probably be pulling for Calgary because that’s obviously the easier matchup. The Ducks do provide some problems, and if it’s them we’ll delve deeper into those of course. On the surface, they come with the star power on their first two lines the Wild and Predators just didn’t have, or at least not enough of. They have a power play that can at times be lethal, though at times can be awful with no in-between. Kesler has been a hinderance to Toews before. They’re big and can grind at the Hawks, especially if the Hawks can only sport four d-men.

But the Ducks blue line is nothing short of a joke, their coach has all the stability of an air-raid siren, and they tend to be dumb. Getzlaf usually curdles when in sight of Toews. This is still the same Ducks team that the Hawks clocked twice in Anaheim this season, and I recognize they also shut out the Hawks here in October. Whatever. You shouldn’t hold any fear.

  • Planck Hate

    Given the upcoming time off, might it make sense to send Cumiskey to play in a couple playoff games for Rockford? I don’t see how it could hurt.

    • harshboy

      With the badass back checking of the Hawks forwards, all you need is a d-man who won’t turn the puck over in the middle of the ice. Rundblad or Cumiskey can easily handle that assignment. I’m not worried the least bit whomever gets the call. Hawks top 4 are ridiculous. Better than the Rags who are a distant second.

  • ZigZags82

    The East is of a greater concern, but then again, off all the remaining playoff teams if the Rags are eliminated, the Hawks have the best top 4 in my mind, and no one relies on their 3rd pair, nor are any of them exclusively good.

    • Jim

      Tampa worries me. When the Hawks played them they were fast and their goalie was solid. And they do have a couple of talented superstars.

      • ZigZags82

        Their D corps is nothing to bring home about though. Outside of the top pair, it gets really iffy, not even a top 4 to rely on. And Hawks have plenty of two way forwards across their depth to limit them. Also. Experience counts here more. If Detroit can almost finish them, a better coached and more experienced Hawks team would actually finish the job.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Ducks, Flames, Flaming Ducks, Don’t care as long as it goes six or seven.

  • WookRN

    First, nice title to follow up on the title to yesterday’s link to the Wild blog. Or I’m reading too far into it.
    regardless, while I’m tired of Rosie, my first thought was “shit, now who?” I had been hoping we cycle a 7th d man in for a while if for no other reason than rest tired old man legs, and I guess now we deal with someone that hasn’t played in a good while, not promising. Not they’ll see much TOI. Still
    Also, you pointed out that we clocked Anaheim twice in their town, they were both sound 4-1 wins. And we’ve faced two teams that I feel have been better than either of their series, which should instill some level of confidence.

  • Matt

    I feel like if the latter statement is true, then the “neither has played in a month” fears are muted by the “neither Pacific team is that scary”. Assuming that the Hawks are able to beat the Pacific, then at that point whoever slides in for Roszival will have gotten his playoff legs going.

  • TitanTransistor

    Is their Dcorps still a joke? I thought they completely overhauled it at the deadline? Didn’t really keep track of went in and out, but the narrative seems to be it’s vastly improved…. anybody care to educate me?

    • ZigZags82

      Stephen Wisniewski is not overhauling your Dcorps……

  • ItNeverEnds

    Historically, I think the Hawks have handled the Ducks quite well. They do tend to be dumb, and I’d like nothing better than to see somebody clean Perry’s clock, because Ijust think he’s a giant douche.

    • Jim

      You don’t just think Perry is a giant douche, he actually *is* one. Minnesota didn’t really have any douches. Well, Matt Cooke, but he was relatively quiet. Last year the Wild had Clutterbuck and Clayton Stoner. Now Stoner is on Anaheim , an he’s a real turd.

  • jordyhawk

    I love being first through to the conference finals. Over the next few days the boys can change some diapers, walk the dog, bag some extra z’s, maybe watch some film and get in a few light skates. Take the WAGs out too. It’s a great time of year for us.

  • Icdws

    Hey I was constantly on Rozival thus year. Couldn’t stand to see him on the ice. But he played his best the last 6 games. Certainly didn’t want him leg less. But this is exactly why so many were bitching about him lighting so much time in regular season, now who do you play? And it national not gave been simply his injury. A few more games like game#1 v Preds and he would need to be replaced. With who? No one was given time to develop in regular season. I liked Cumiskey but didn’t see enuff. Wanted Rundblad to play mired but he is not overly impressive. Nice heavy shot but trouble keeping the puck in. Hopefully he can keep faming duck to the outside.

    One more thing, the core of this team is seriously good. I hated together idea the turn it on and off because I think that insults their craft. I prefer that the absorb the intensity of the playoffs and strive to exhibit their skill. They are a talented confident and, consequently, impressive bunch.

    • WookRN

      That’s what I’ve been bitching about. We needed to play ANYONE else occasionally in case of injury… like now…

  • I think this sets the stage for Kimmo that is, if Q will trust him and if Kimmo has truly anything left in his body and soul for a chance to put a cherry on top of his career. Outside of that, Rundblad gotta be the dude!
    It’s gonna be a long week!

  • Bob Lanz

    8 damn that’s nice. Ok we lost Rozy, I’m not happy as much as I detested his play and Q playing him this season. However I appreciate and acknowledge his contributions to the 2013 cup team, with that said he should not of been resigned and Leddy would still be a Hawk, yeah fucking horrible trade regret it more than ever right now. With all that said he is replaceable and will be. I’m not going to fret over the 3rd pair d-man who although improved recently was still a liability with 2 as his partner. On to the WCF and let the flaming ducks burn!

    • Taqyia2Me

      The thing with Rozy this year, imho, was that he got zero days off in the regular season. At 36 years old, I think that made a difference.
      I remember a few years back when he was with Phoenix, he was integral to the Coyotes series victory against the ‘Hawks.

    • bmarlowe

      Leddy could not play defense down low along the boards against strong forwards – that’s why he sat during big games. Check out Ward’s goal in game 7 for the Caps. Q was right.

      • Jim

        Leddy did get an assist in the game winner vs. Kings in Game 7 WCF.

  • Jim

    Blues contributor for the Hockey Writers fired for basically accusing Stanbo of gaming the system with the Kane injury. Article was deleted but can be found here.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/hockey/comments/35b7vy/reporter_for_the_hockey_writers_fired_for_story/

    • WookRN

      Weren’t the Wild expecting Zucker’s clavicle, which also required surgery, to be 12 weeks? And he made it back in 8. No trashing talk there?
      Marian Gaborik missed 9 and a half weeks last season, which ends up being about what Kane missed, and even if he missed this, we would have gotten the same signings.

      This is just complete garbage.

  • T.M.

    Unless you saw Hull play, I don’t know how you can compare his playoff performance to Kane’s. I’ve seen both play, and I would take Hull any day of the week.

    • RMM

      I have seen both play too T M . They were different times and it was a different game back then. I think Hull was more dominant in the 60s style game than Kane is in today game . Both were prime time players .And both struck fear in the hearts of goalies when they had the puck.

      It has truely been awesome to be able to watch and be entertained by 9 and 21 back then and by 19 and 88 now . All Hawks fans should realize how seldom guys like these come along.

      • jordyhawk

        For the benefit of those who never saw Bobby play, back then every team assigned him a shadow (i.e. a guy whose only job was to deny him any open ice or the puck). Claude Provost (Habs), Eddie Westfall (Bruins) were the best, but really all they did was slow him down a bit. I don’t know of any other player (maybe the Rocket but that was before my time) who got that treatment. That was one thing Orr being a defenseman didn’t have to deal with (but he would still be the best ever IMO).

        • RMM

          Good point Jordy . Don’t forget Bugsy Watson from the Wings too. 🙂

          • Mike O`Regan

            The Big M in Toronto

      • Dan Treadwell

        Hull also struck fear in all his wives.

    • Jim

      I heard on the radio yesterday a former player (forgot which one) who says Kane is second only to Pavel Datsuk in stick handling wizardry (among current players). Hull had to fight and take hits, a guy like Kane might not have survived the game of the 50’s and 60’s. He would have been targeted and boarded until he was too injured to play. Plus, he’s lazy.

      • ZigZags82

        Lazy lol

      • seabsrat

        Lazy!?!

      • WookRN

        Lazy? I can see you making this case with some guys (Keith has admitted before he doesn’t always go 100%), but Kane… yeah… sorry dude, I think you’re in the minority on that one.

        • Jim

          yea, lazy. And they could have traded him for Ryan Miller.

      • T.M.

        hull got hacked and cheap-shotted more than any player i’ve ever seen.

        • Dan Treadwell

          Still not as much as his wives.

          • Jim

            oh snap!

    • DJ

      Different players altogether. Take Saad, add about a half-to-three quarters of a step of speed, and about 20 mph on his slap shot, and you’re talking Hull. Kane is more like Savard, but with freakish hands and a freakish ability to score.

      It makes for an interesting discussion. For me (I saw all three play), it might be Kane by a narrow margin. If he wins a third Cup, the margin widens.

      • T.M.

        Hull could work the boards and he was better defensively. he was a regular on the penalty kill. In ’72 the “father of Russian hockey” Tarasov said the best Canadian players were Orr and Hull (Neither played in the series). The best current Hawk player (even in the playoffs) is Toews. He plays a complete game. If he continues to play the way he is, he will be better than Hull, careerwise.

  • HawksRule

    The Blackhawks should call up Stephen Johns. Yes – he’s never played in the NHL and is a raw rookie, but he has been playing well in the AHL playoffs – so is not rusty. He is big and a defensive defenceman. We just need someone who will keep it simple. Rundblad has low hockey IQ – he makes some really bad mistakes. Johns size is a plus too.

    • TitanTransistor

      Q is not going to play a guy that hasn’t played a single game for him in the NHL. Not as his first option, anyway.

      Rundblad will get the call, and if he stuggles badly, MAYBE they try Johns.

    • WookRN

      Well, I think that “he’s never played in the NHL” means he doesn’t get the nod.

      I think Rundblad, then Cumiskey, then by that point, we’re pretty much too deep to even look at Johns.
      Hope Johns gets the look next year.

      • DJ

        Johns gets a long look next year. He may not make the team. If he doesn’t next season, he will in 2016-17.

    • Dangles-a-Plenty

      Just imagine if TVR hadn’t broken his kneecap. Scary ass 5 Dmen…

  • HawksRule