You Talk About Things That Nobody Cares

Just some things to clean up after Game 3 before we turn toward what’s ahead in Game 4.

-This Hossa injury thing is just weird and I can’t believe it’s not getting the screws turned to Quenneville. Actually, I can totally believe it because it’s long been accepted in hockey circles that your coach can spill out pure drivel and everyone will just dismiss it as him simply being “hockey” or “Canadian.” Jesus, you’d think a lot of Canadians would take great offense at that, because though I don’t know that many I’m pretty sure an overwhelming amount of them are articulate and pretty intelligent.

If it was known well before that Hossa might not go, then not having Smith take the warm up when Mayers already was is just….well isn’t it ridiculous? Smith hasn’t played a game since the last game of the season. Doesn’t he need as much time on the ice as possible? You’re already hedging your Hossa bets by having Mayers skate in the warmup. I was under the impression that anyone who has the slightest chance of playing takes the warmup just for this exact purpose.

And today we get the nugget that no one wants to actually focus on, Q saying didn’t want to show his cards by having Smith in the warmup. Because Ben Smith is some secret weapon that the Bruins would have to adjust to? Hey, I like Ben Smith, but fucking come on. That’s just….I can’t even find the word. I wish I could. The only adjustment seeing Ben Smith in the lineup Claude Julien would have had to make is turning to an assistant and saying, “Who’s Ben Smith?”

And it’s all been a pattern that Quenneville has allowed to beat himself in the face with a big black marital aid all series and no one other than us and you dear reader seemingly wanting to question him. He blew up the lines that had produced seven goals in two games against Jonathan Quick at the end of the Kings series. He had to get Bollig back on the ice and we don’t need to revisit that. He blew up the lines again before Game 3 coming off two games that had both gone to overtime, so it couldn’t have been all that wrong. Of course, the power play.

And yet it could be solved by simply getting out of the way. In fact, that’s what eventually won both the Detroit and L.A. series. Here’s the best I got, you do something about it. I don’t think you can. But much like a shark has to keep swimming, Q just seems to have to keep doing shit or he chokes on his own saliva or something.

-The other story of course is Jonathan Toews. This is the third consecutive spring where we’ve had to speculate that he’s hurt. You know what? Someone do their fucking job and find out exactly what it is. If we can find out Nathan Horton has a shoulder that has all the stability of melted butter and when exactly it got that way, someone can get it out there from an unnamed source that Toews is dealing with this or that.

Or maybe he’s had three incredible defensive centers thrown at him in consecutive series. Or maybe he’s shooting 1.6%. Or maybe it’s not so much a shrinking from the spotlight but it simply meaning too much too him he’s pressing from the off. Though I know a lot of you will roll your eyes at another soccer analogy, it’s a label that used to be put on Christiano Ronaldo. For the majority of his Man United career, Ronaldo didn’t produce all that much in big games, because of the combination of being the entire focus of the other team and also simply wanting to do too much. He eventually shed that with time. Sadly Toews is running out that time this year.

But it’s funny, Patrice Bergeron put Sidney Crosby in the dark shadows and I didn’t see anyone running for an injury excuse for him. And Crosby didn’t have to deal with anyone in the Islanders or Ottawa series nearly the quality of Zetterberg or Kopitar or especially Bergeron.

-Maybe I’m not watching closely enough, and the Bruins are finishing all their checks when they’re there and winning the board battles, I don’t get this impression that every Hawk is being mauled by a fucking grizzly bear. The B’s aren’t running around nearly as much as they did two years ago against the Canucks to get in the Hawks face. Again, they’re taking the hits that are there. But the B’s know that if they get reckless the Hawks can exploit the space from any line. Back in 2011, with Kesler in pieces the Canucks only had one line. They could get away with it then.

It’s such an easy narrative to say, “Oh the B’s are beating up the Hawks,” instead of looking a little deeper and seeing it’s the defensive structure of the Bruins that are forcing the Hawks where they don’t want to go. I guess that’s what we’re here for.

-Patrick Kane is getting labeled too, but all that’s happening is all the warts we’ve been pointing out during the season — that his production was utterly incredible because his line almost never had the puck — is getting exposed now that he’s back with Handzus and Sharp. And now on the rare times he does have the puck, he’s facing an incredible defensive team. When he had possession driving linemates in Bickell and Toews…four goals. Hat trick. The whole thing. You know, it’s just not that fucking hard.

-Maybe I’m just drinking the Kool Aid while I float down Da Nile on my rose colored inner tube, but I feel like this is the best the Bruins have, as impressive as it is. But I also feel the Hawks have another half-gear or so to move through. They’ll have to red-line a bit more and take some risks they might not like. But they can pull it off. It’s not even that far away.

And of course, if the Hawks win Game 4 the whole narrative changes again. It’s not just here that happens. LeBron has gone from the worst player in the history of the Earth to next to Jordan at least six times in the NBA Finals, depending on the last result. That’s just how it goes now, I guess.

  • Alex

    “…but I feel like this is the best the Bruins have, as impressive as it
    is. But I also feel the Hawks have another half-gear or so to move
    through.”

    Couldn’t agree more…

    • Country_Bumpkin

      The question is, why does it take the Hawks to be put in a poor position before they find the next gear? This is a dangerous game to play with a team like the Bruins and if they are not careful, this will be over in 5 games.
      I also think Toews has a busted hand as evidenced by him icing it on the bench last night.

      • MattC86

        I think the effort has been there, with the usual dumb mistakes from time to time. The personnel have largely not been put in position to succeed. The line blender shit. . . how many times do you hear a guy in a post game interview say “I just knew ____ would be there”? That only happens when you play with guys forever and ever.

        I really don’t know why anybody thought what worked in Games 4 & 5 (LA HAD LIKE 18 GODDAMNED SHOTS IN GAME 4 ON HOME ICE WITH NO KEITH) wasn’t at least worth fucking TRYING in this series. What the hell.

        • Jim

          After Kane scores a hat trick against LA, Q breaks up the line. WTF?

          Then goes Bollig to goon it up. How did that work out for them?

          The line changes have also helped make Bickell disappear.

          • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ PowrFwd37

            Given the love of lyrics, music, and culture of similar vein, I will offer up this gem…

            “You better put all your eggs in one basket. You better count your chickens before they hatch. You better sell some wine before it’s time. You better find yourself an itch to scratch.”

            Q… Do it.

    • Jim

      I know it’s not politically correct, but the Hawks actually “won” Game 2 in regulation, 2-1, but the goal was waved off. Yes, we are not supposed to bitch and whine about it (but I will) but when the margins are this thin, that is the difference here. You knew the Hawks were going to have a tough time winning in Boston, especially the first game there.

      It seems like Boston is winning by playing defense, collapsing around their goalie when the puck is in their zone, and waiting to pounce on any mistake in the Hawks zone. Most of their goals have been the result of miscues, rather than rushes or pressure.

      The Bruins haven’t been setting the world on fire with their goal scoring either. They have problems in that area.

      This is close. I think the Hawks play best with their backs against the wall. When they are swarming with intensity, they do find that next gear, and they are tough to beat.

  • pstumba

    how much sense you make makes me very upset that this team getting to the finals means Blackhawks marketing is giving Q carte blanche for another year

    • Country_Bumpkin

      If the Hawks lose in the SCF, both asst. coaches must be released and Q put on a very short leash and not extended before his contract is up.
      If they win, both asst. coaches need to go.

      • HawkIPA

        Kompon, I agree with. Kitchen has done a great job with the PK, and shouldn’t be fired.

      • thefearlessfreep

        Kompon replaced Haviland to allegedly fix the power play – yeah, I know it was an excuse so that Q could get his own guy in the fold but it still sort of pisses me off that Kompon may get a free pass in this.

        • nextgame

          Over the last few seasons there have been several combinations of coaches that have attempted to fix the PP and failed.
          When do we start questioning the players lack of execution on the PP?
          I know I’ve started wondering if the players aren’t a big part of the problem.
          I mean it’s not possible that all the different coaches that have have handled the PP were all telling them to go out there and stand around like deer in the headlights, is it?

          • thefearlessfreep

            I agree with you to a point – however, when Kompon was hired, I remember reading a lot of comments out of LA that he didn’t do anything for their PP either. The talent is there, but I keep seeing the same back door play that every team in the league has seen and diagnosed. Seems to me the biggest problem is that the PP is too static. Not enough movement. With movement you open the shooting lanes and possible rebounds. That’s how you score goals against Rask. Nothing pretty.

      • pstumba

        they probably wont dump anyone and it will take a below .500 first half to put Q’s job on the line after taking the hawks to the playoffs 5 times in 5 seasons with 3 WCF’s and 2 SCF’s. with the talent he has one could argue they win in spite of him and losing in the finals is unacceptable, but the hawks always have PR in mind. the two first round losses came in the “pissing contest” years where Q tried to show Stan who’s boss, they gave him what he wanted and they made it to the SCF, if they take it away again might as well just fire Q.

        • Preacher

          I can’t imagine that any of this staff is going anywhere. PP failure or not, you’re not getting rid of a coaching staff that put up the best record in the league and got to the Cup Finals. (And besides, who do you replace them with?)

  • TheRealBBOX

    The thing that frustrates me so much about Q is that it’s almost like a compulsion for him to fight upstream instead of taking the easy and obvious answer. In the post-game presser he talked about putting DDN on the ice on a “need basis” or something like that. Let me tell you something homeboy, your team ain’t potted a goal in six period and looks pretty damn inept at this whole thing called offense, and right now there’s a big silver cup that is gonna go to Boston if your team loses two more games, if there’s any more of a “need basis” than that I’m not sure what it is.

    • Hags

      Couldn’t agree more, now is the time. Q has a .50 caliber machine gun in his arsenal (29/19/88) and its time to empty the damn chamber.

      • corbant

        The Browning Line!!!

      • red palace

        Yep, I’m for loading up the top lines

    • thefearlessfreep

      I sometimes get the sense that Q “over-coaches” to perhaps justify his position as head coach….maybe? Sounds a bit goofy I know, but Q has really pulled some goofy shit lately.

    • LAHawksFan

      Yep…and it’s not exactly like doing so completely destroys the rest of his lines. He still has Sharp and Saad with Zus/Kruger, then Bolland, Shaw, Stals, and Fro, Smith, Zus/Kruger. More pop on the top line, but it’s not like Sharp and Saad can’t score if not playing against the top D pairing. Either way, I still can’t figure out any logical reason that Fro and Kruger were on the top line with the Captain. Even if they appear to be the best forwards night in and night out, they are doing so in a limited role where they can effectively be bumslayers. Not trying to diminish what they have been doing, but they just aren’t doing it against the #1 pairing.

  • True Grit

    Well said. Funny how Q gets credit for all the adjustments in Detroit series, and no blame for effing it up on the front end. Ditto in finals.

    • Oregon_hawk

      It is because he won.

      If he hadn’t, different story.

      • Why

        It really is that simple. And I like Q.

    • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ PowrFwd37

      BOOM! This is why I love this site/blog… I saw it in game 2, in particular… Q is being seriously out-coached by Julien at the moment. That shouldn’t happen so plainly in your own building, when you have the last change. You should be able to control the matchups. Game 2, after the first period, it looked like Julien had all the options available to him, at all times.

      Q needs to pull his head out of his ass, and put the power lines back together… Bicks, Toews, Kaner for starters, and put the band back together yet again – GIVE US SHARPIE AND THE SLOVAKS! The bottom six… so long as #52 is eating nachos in the press box, those bottom six guys are nails in just about any configuration: Bolland, Shaw, Frolik, Kruger, Stalberg, and Saad… Mix and match them, but the top two should look like this.

      It isn’t rocket surgery, Q. Quit being cute with the lines, form fucking Voltron, and watch Chara, Seidenberg, Ferrence, Boychuck and company actually have to skate around a bit, rather than watch them all standing around the fucking blue line. MAKE THEM EARN IT. Playing Defense against the Hawks is looking way to fucking easy right now. Maybe they’re just that good, but I don’t buy that shit.

      • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ PowrFwd37

        Oh yeah… Is it even possible for the Blackhawks sticks to simply collectively be brittle all of a sudden? I’ve never seen so many broken, or lost sticks in my life.

      • laaarmer

        rocket surgery.

        • Accipiter

          brain science.

      • G Man

        And run the PP like regular offense while you are at it. This means 2 D men on the points, and run the forwards with speed into the zone and on the net. If it goes back to the point (to someone that can actually skate backwards), shoot it ON THE NET with traffic in front!!! Can we send Q a telegram to the locker room? Do telegrams still exist?

        • 1benmenno

          How about a candy gram? Does Q like candy?

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ciVBQixpU

          • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ PowrFwd37

            If Q doesn’t want the candy, it will be readily, and happily consumed by 2883 and myself.

            We like candy.

        • pepe_silvia

          Totally agree. Maybe don’t even put out “PP lines”, just keep playing as you would normally, except with a bigger bias towards getting the first and second lines out there.

  • TheRealBBOX

    Also, while I hate to talk about next year before this year’s fate is decided, if the Blackhawks flame out in the SCF, is it time for Bowman to consider significant changes to the organ-i-zation? Failing to win the Cup is going to, or at least should, open up a whole lot of philosophical questions about the way the team has been put together, in my book. It’s extremely easy to lay the blame all at Q’s feet and that may even be the right answer, but Bowman better be damn sure of it if that’s what he concludes.

    • HawkIPA

      Q’s job is safe. Kompon’s shouldn’t be. With an average power play, the Hawks are up at least 2-1 in this series.

      • Oregon_hawk

        The thing that is egregious is that the power play has been broken for … like 2 seasons now. It’s never been fixed. The hawks can literally ice a powerplay consisting entirely of All-Stars.

        Its inexcusable.

        • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ PowrFwd37

          I make the same point with anyone that cares to entertain this discussion.

          When you can put an entire PP Team of All-Stars (LITERALLY) on the ice, it SHOULD be productive.

          THAT, is coaching. That wasn’t the case early on this season. There PP wasn’t amazing or anything, but it was at least average, and the threat of them scoring a goal with the man advantage was a very real threat. Now, the mere thought of a PPG is a pipe dream.

          That’s the system, not the players. Too much talent to suck this bad.

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

          Justin Borne, who’s becoming the breakout guy of these playoffs, made an interesting point on their podcast yesterday… the Hawks issues on the PP shouldn’t be a problem, they’re too skilled, and what it looks like to him is that they’re playing too structured. His suggestion… let them go out there and freelance, the skill is there, they can do it 5 on 5, why force them into a rigid structure on the PP? Seeing how bad the PP has been for so long, that seems like a not bad idea really.
          http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/

          • Why

            Oh Bourne, you know the easy way to make me happy. Complimenting Hossa and noting that “I mean actual ability to maintain possession, not Corsi” in the same sentence is always going to bring a smile to my face.

    • birdhead

      If “making it to the SCF” is your criterion for “philosophical questions about the way the team has been put together” … I mean, you’re going to be firing your GM just about every year. I guess you could alternate GMs and coaches.

  • Noremorse

    At this rate, and out of no disrespect to him, he is an outstanding goalie and would be starting on all but two or three other teams in this position, I wonder if Q will start Emery in front of Crawford just to “change things up”.

    Q is a great coach, but he has his faults. It is has been said before… I will say it again. These are the lines he needs to setup for Game 4:

    Kane, Toews, Bickell
    Sharp, Handzus, Hossa
    Saad, Bolland, Shaw
    Frolik, Kruger, Stalberg

    • Northside Dan

      Agree with your lines, would like to blow up your goalie thought with a bazooka.

      • MattC86

        Seconded.

        • BTC

          Agreed

      • Noremorse

        Just for the record… I was being dramatic. I doubt he honestly benches Crawford. I was making reference to him making changes for the sake of making changes. Again, Emery would do a fantastic job… although he is about a month and change out of practice.

        I LIKE CRAWFORD. HE IS NICE GOALIE.

    • Hags

      I like the lines although I wouldn’t mind seeing 29/19/88, 10/16/81 (with sharp taking draws) 20/36/65 and 25/26/67.

      I will third the blowing up of the goalie thought with a bazooka

      • Northside Dan

        More than happy with the 16/26 swap. That could be somewhat fluid based on recent PK’s/how they are playing/overall ice time.

        • Hags

          Absolutely, 16 has been great, and with this arrangement they have 3 lines that won’t get absolutely housed at the dot and all 4 lines have guys who can get after the puck..

    • BigCSouthside

      Unless Q goes on a peyote bender and has a fucking spirit vision, Im thinking Crow gets the nod

      • laaarmer

        He gave up two goals. I say sit his ass.

        • BigCSouthside

          Crawford will skate on a line with Toews and Bolland, just because Q wants to make it as hard as fucking possible on his captian quote: Just for shits

          • laaarmer

            I would make him skate alone or with Bollig and Carcillo

          • jacquescloutier

            shhhh, you’re tipping his hand.

    • G Man

      perfect!

    • Skags

      Bolland needs to sit.

      Put Stalberg up with Saad and let Shaw center it. Call up Morin and put him on the 4th with Kruger and Frolik. Dave Bolland is a fucking boat anchor.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Bolland sitting is something I could get behind at this point. Sadly, but it seems like it’s time.

        • cliffkoroll

          Good call…

      • cliffkoroll

        Good call.

    • ‘hawks58

      If Q starts Emery and Crawford is not injured, I will turn of the game and punt the nearest small animal.

      • Why

        My natural reaction is always to trust the coach (especially one who has been as successful as Q). The post you’re responding to also kind of feels like the “Q is stupid, he might try and microwave his fork” sort of bullshit that I typically ignore.

        But yes, if this happens my television would be in danger.

  • Frank Szewczyk

    I think we would all feel better if we were scoring a couple power play goals and Kane and Toews were scoring. The good news is that droughts do not last forever. If there is a time to catch a fire now is it!

  • putmeinthemadhouse

    How long have we been mentioning, commenting on, and ridiculing certain decisions by the coaching staff? It is so frustrating that so little has changed. There. Seems to be absolutely no accountability.

    • Oregon_hawk

      I suppose the argument against is “can’t argue with winning”, but that ices over a lot of problems.

  • laaarmer

    Toews. He’s a great player.

    • 1benmenno

      You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to arrive at that conclusion.

      • laaarmer

        I am rocket sturgeon

        • 1benmenno

          Well, that’s different then.

  • 1benmenno

    From Kuc:
    When pressed about Smith not warming up to play in his first game of the postseason, Quenneville said: “He would have taken warm-up if we wanted him to. He knew there was a chance he was going to play. He was getting himself ready. I just didn’t want to tip our hand that there’s something going on.”

    • 1benmenno

      Appears Q is playing poker.

      • BigCSouthside

        Except that whole play was like holding 7 deuce un-suited with nothing but paint sitting out on the table

  • BigCSouthside

    So whats the deal with Hossa

    • laaarmer

      He’s having some ambrosia. He’ll be fine.

  • Why

    I take Sam’s point on reporting on injuries and kind of understand where he’s coming from. His goal is to analyze and it’s pretty difficult to do that when the facts aren’t in the public domain.

    I still disagree entirely. The team knows what’s going on with the players. The coaches and players responsibility isn’t to inform the fans. The goal is to win hockey games, not help the media. If Toews has an injury and you can keep it from the Boston Herald, that’s what you do. If “playing dumb” about Hossa’s injury/sickness/malady whatever makes Julian’s job one iota harder, that’s exactly what you do.

    • Accipiter

      This is exactly what a team does if no one knows what the injury is. It’s quite simple. Horton’s injury was really obvious (when it occurred and why it is reoccurring), there is no point in hiding what everyone already knows. Someone did ask Q why he wouldn’t tell the world what was wrong with Hossa, “I think it’s self-explanatory” was his answer. I don’t understand what the big deal is.

  • BigCSouthside

    I would upboat this article for raw truthiness if I could

    • Hags

      I’ll upboat this comment for trying to upboat this article.

      • 1benmenno

        I’ll downboat this comment for not actually upboating the previous comment.

        • Hags

          so does that leave me with no boats now?

          • Fleshrifle

            Sunk

          • Hags

            Damn. Guess I’m gonna need a bigger boat.

          • 1benmenno

            No need. Downboat reversed.

          • Z-man19

            Re reversed

          • red palace

            This all makes sense. When I read it upside down. In a mirror.

  • LAHawksFan

    Just as an aside…I do enjoy that for all of the discussion about Q, Captain, the PP and any other noticeable problems, we have nothing to really complain about with Crawford. It appears as if he is taking that next step and I no longer worry as much that he can’t handle too many quality chances. He has been pretty stellar IMO and in this series I can’t really say that any of the goals were his fault. He is making the saves he should and many that he maybe shouldn’t and I’m pretty happy for the kid.

    • nextgame

      All the fawning over Rask is really starting to piss me off. While he’s been good, I feel like Crawford has been the better goalie in this series. He’s handled many more tough chances per game and, at times, single handedly kept his team in the game. Rask has done that for Boston in shorter spurts, but Crow has pretty much done it for the entire game, every game so far.

      • Preacher

        Rask only has to cover a little tiny bit of the net. There is ALWAYS a Bruins defender or two in the blue paint with him and in the shooting lanes as well. How many breakaways has Rask stopped? How many oddman rushes? Crow is doing both, usually several times a period.

        • Oregon_hawk

          Odd-man rushes don’t happen because Boston feels in control. They don’t have to press or take risks because they lead… basically the whole series.

          • Preacher

            Agree totally, but I’m talking about Rask vs. Crawford and their goaltending. Rask hasn’t faced nearly the high quality chances that Crow has.

  • Preacher

    Can we send this article to Q? Maybe to one of the radio guys that interviews Q before the games and have him ask these questions (in a very nice way, of course)?

  • Preacher

    And how is it that a guy who has won more playoff games than any active coach, won a Cup, played the game himself, and (insert a bunch of other “hockey cred” items)–be SO BLIND to doing what works? Especially when the decisions seem so obvious? You did it before, Q, it’s OK to do smart things again!

    • Oregon_hawk

      He’s playing seven dimensional chess, and prepping the hawks for a successful cup run in the lockout lengthed season of 2017.

  • 07GreyDigger

    Not saying anyone here has, but if I have to hear one more time some noob say the Hawks lost because of Corey Crawford I’m going to scream. If they end up winning this series and he DOESN’T win the Conn Smythe, heads are going to roll.

    • yinkadoubledare

      The only way Crow doesn’t get the Smythe for a Hawks win is if one of Sharp or Kane or Hossa just go completely ham for the rest of the series and lead to a couple of blowout wins.

  • Preacher

    Could someone maybe put this in Tazer’s hands before the next game? Wysh beating up on the Captain:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/chicago-blackhawks-talk-no-results-vs-boston-bruins-145607640.html

  • jacquescloutier

    the problem with the power play is that the coaching staff is trying to teach it with x’s and o’s, when they should be using mario kart characters. [chip the puck over bowser and donkey kong instead of trying to skate through them]

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=674439&navid=nhl:topheads

  • Black JEM

    Thanks for writing this – when I saw a line of Toews, Kruger, Frolik out there – I almost lost my mind. I am one of the resident Q haters. The more he tries to coach in game, the worse he does. Increasingly, when they are forced to just play the better they do. The PP is one giant fuck up of overthinking it.
    I was listening to NHL radio and a Bruins fan called in to say the Bruins would win in five because Q was already adjusting his lines to deal with Boston and Boston was just rolling. I thought it prophetic but let it pass.
    Here are the lines – Toews and Kane – with either Bicks or Saad – I pick Saad. Handzus with Sharp and Hossa, the old third line back together and Bolland with Frolik and Kruger.
    Simple – and effective.
    AS to toews, he got whacked real hard by Koivu I think in the Wild series and it really stung him. Looks like he cannot turn his hands. His corsi has been extreme, so the defensive pressure – while certainly intense – hasn’t succeeded in shutting him down – I am just afraid he physically cannot finish as he would like.

  • quennevillesucks

    Disagree as it regards how close the Hawks were to winning.

    I don’t think there was a moment in Game 3 where the Hawks looked threatening at all. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Bruins were laughing to themselves on the bench at how easy the game was for them. That may as well have been a day off.

    That was as easy a shutout as any goalie will ever have.

    The Hawks have showed zero resolve to fight for the middle of the ice and get in front of Rask since the middle of Game 2. Maybe the rough stuff really is wearing them down physically and wearing down their will to fight through some discomfort to make a play, who knows…

    Agree as it regards Quenneville. Despite how obvious it seems to every human being with functioning eyeballs, I wouldn’t be shocked if we STILL did not see Toews and Kane together next game.

    EDIT: Sorry, this was meant as a reply to your Game 3 wrap. But I guess it could apply equally here.

  • Andrew Kushner

    Not interested in making excuses for Toews, but when did it become acceptable for every guy who gets to the puck a step later than him to crosscheck the shit out of him, usually followed by a buddy dry humping him for a 2nd/3rd shot as he gets up? I believe that the great players play thru contact and infractions, but the man’s back must look like Kunta Kinte’s by now. I agree that taking almost every big draw against Z/Kopitar/Bergeron has worn him and his numbers down, but the meat tenderizer routine that has followed him thru the playoffs for 4 years also contributes. That said, he does still find a way to get the puck toward the net with some regularity, even when not scoring, which makes Bickell useful (when he is allowed to play with him). Also, it was a long 2 years ago, but Smith was at his lightning-in-a-bottle-best when he found the puck on his way to the net…if the lines are being fed into a blender, why not give him a couple shifts late in periods/games with the captain when he is relatively fresh-legged?
    Winning a faceoff (perhaps even cleanly) would go a long way toward helping the PP, and the lack of a legit 2C and/or a big shot from the point certainly shows. However, there is no reason — other than those that appear to have crept into the minds of the 5 Olympians manning the PP — why that combo of speed and skill can’t do a fucking thing other than slow itself to a crawl.

  • Skags

    Toews doesn’t register a point and the Hawks in general were shut out, you say?

    Hmmm… Your top line was Toews, Kruger, and Frolik? Through two periods Brian Bickell had less than 6:00 TOI? You put Kane back out there with Zues? So your plan was to get shut out then?

    I remember doing something similar. Back in the day, playing NHL93 with my little brother loading up my lines with the worst players, just to give him a chance.

    Q doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing. Tomorrow night I predict we see something resembling the lines during the game 5 of the King series, as Q attempts to “dumb back down” to line combinations that work.

  • Accipiter

    5 changes the Hawks could make. http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=674404&navid=DL|CHI|home
    (nothing really new here, but I figured I’d post it anyway)

    • Why

      Actually, that quote from Quenneville is interesting and I hadn’t seen it before (might have just missed it in other articles). We’ll see if the boys make a more concerted effort to get to Rask when they don’t have the puck.

  • SAMCRO Outlaw

    There is a reference to Bourne’s work at Backhand Shelf regarding the PP. Here’s another gem regarding Q’s moronic use of Toews as a fourth liner last night. http://blogs.thescore.com/nhl/2013/06/18/we-should-talk-about-joel-quennevilles-use-of-jonathan-toews-last-night/

  • laaarmer

    RUN DMC or the original?

    • Accipiter

      I mix them.

      • laaarmer

        It’s like soup

  • Accipiter
    • red palace

      To be savored with a chilled Verdicchio

  • red palace

    Title reminds me of (and I paraphrase):
    Coach is talkin’ to us
    Tell us what to know
    But I don’t listen to him
    ‘Cause my head’s about to ‘splode

  • Joe Banks

    Let me make this crystal clear:
    I believe… I believe…

  • Stockroom Snail

    I’m with Fels, I’ve got my ‘Hawks swagger back. The way people are talking it’s like the Red Wings series is happening again….2 OT games and another that was a few biffed chances away from being another OT game. The ‘Hawks played the best period in this series and are a line adjustment away from instant offense (probably).

    Yep. I’m fine. Ready for game 4.

  • hauss

    Voynov 6 for $25m. What’s Leddy’s price range? SNES money?

  • cliffkoroll

    Y’all- all of you- have the wrong end of the stick. As long as Dave Bolland is getting horsed by fourth liners, none of the rest of this shit matters.

    Jesus Dave, I think I’m the last guy in your corner, and you’re just about out of rope.

    • Accipiter

      Nope, not the last guy.

    • justforkicks

      Not the last person, but one of the few.

    • bizarrohairhelmet

      Like an old dog, I am waiting for Odysseus Bolland to come home.

  • Say what again

    Totally agree Sam. And about this whole thing about the Hawks not able to take the pounding. They have been playing hockey since about age 4 and hitting/checking since about the age of 10 (and actually later in Canada.) They may not enjoy it and it may force them off “their game,” but it’s certainly nothing new. People (not here so much) need to stop this meatball crap and realize that Hawks simply need to find a way to score. Q has not helped that much but it’s time for the players to perform. Maybe they’re good enough….I still think so. But if they aren’t then they get beat. There’s no shame in losing to a team that happens to be playing better. Fucking sad, though.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    The Sports media: It’s all about what you did in your last game.

    I like Q, I really do. he’s gotten us to two finals, ended the 49 year chalice-less drought, and taken a team with some obvious issues (no 2C for instance) and taken them far.

    But I agree with what you say, and I would hope that Rocky would be asking some of these questions, too. Problem is, if he doesn’t like the answers, what does he do? Who is is available that is better?

    Re the Powerplay. I said it before, I like Q, but I would feel better if he would take that first of the seven steps in the program and admit that there is a problem, if only to himself.

  • StealingHappyHour

    “Because the B’s are so good defensively, even when the play is even the Hawks aren’t creating chance after chance (even though the B’s actually aren’t creating that much either).” – From the Game 2 recap

    “I feel like this is the best the Bruins have” – This piece

    So, the Bruins offense just *really* sucks then? Not sure we can say they’re playing their best when the offense isn’t doing all that much.