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Forums :: Blog World :: Justin Lowe: What This Team Isn’t and What They Need To Be
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Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Mar 5 @ 8:57 AM ET
Justin Lowe: What This Team Isn’t and What They Need To Be None of us are surprised anymore with the type of weekend the Blackhawks just had. A comeback win vs. the Kings on Saturday showed that they had a little fight in them, only to be followed up by a poor performance vs. the Ducks yesterday. Their inconsistency has become… wait for it Q… “predictable”.
Cmonalready
Joined: 07.02.2012

Mar 5 @ 9:00 AM ET
firstest!
BlazinMike
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 05.08.2013

Mar 5 @ 9:10 AM ET
John Moore and Andre Sustr are the only FA d-men that are of any interest imo that wouldn't break the bank, or at least they shouldn't break the bank.

tvetter
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Burkesville, KY
Joined: 12.16.2015

Mar 5 @ 9:40 AM ET
John Moore and Andre Sustr are the only FA d-men that are of any interest imo that wouldn't break the bank, or at least they shouldn't break the bank.
- BlazinMike


The problem is that they may be the only top 4 d-men other teams are interested in too. That could mean a bidding war, which I think we lose.
BINGO!
Carolina Hurricanes
Location: Brian Boyle is better than Patrick Marleau - Dopps, SK
Joined: 09.21.2009

Mar 5 @ 9:51 AM ET
JT: 17 Goals, 26 Assists for 43 points in 66 Games.

TT: 19 Goals, 33 Assists for 52 points in 66 Games.


Is Toews done? Like, the guy has these short bursts of being productive, but it seems like he's super frustrated that he's not able to do it consistently and can't dig himself out of it.

He's a -11 since February 1st.
BINGO!
Carolina Hurricanes
Location: Brian Boyle is better than Patrick Marleau - Dopps, SK
Joined: 09.21.2009

Mar 5 @ 9:55 AM ET
John Moore and Andre Sustr are the only FA d-men that are of any interest imo that wouldn't break the bank, or at least they shouldn't break the bank.
- BlazinMike


Ian Cole would add some snarl, but probably wouldn't help your team speed. Same goes for Hickey.

Bad year to be looking for defense... The most productive UFA defenseman under the age of 30 (Other than John Carlson) is Jan Rutta.
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Mar 5 @ 10:17 AM ET
JT: 17 Goals, 26 Assists for 43 points in 66 Games.

TT: 19 Goals, 33 Assists for 52 points in 66 Games.


Is Toews done? Like, the guy has these short bursts of being productive, but it seems like he's super frustrated that he's not able to do it consistently and can't dig himself out of it.

He's a -11 since February 1st.

- BINGO!


What was it that Babcock said, when asked who was the best forward on the Olympic team - "Anyone who is playing with Toews" or something?

In addition to his drop in individual production (although his FO and possession stats may still be up there) is that he is not making anyone he plays with better: Panik, maybe, somewhat, last year, but not this year; Saad, certainly not; DuClair for the short time they were an item, no....
BlazinMike
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 05.08.2013

Mar 5 @ 10:18 AM ET
Ian Cole would add some snarl, but probably wouldn't help your team speed. Same goes for Hickey.

Bad year to be looking for defense... The most productive UFA defenseman under the age of 30 (Other than John Carlson) is Jan Rutta.

- BINGO!


Agree, when i looked at the list it was demoralizing. But, i don't get paid that Stan Bowman money to figure this stuff out.

BINGO!
Carolina Hurricanes
Location: Brian Boyle is better than Patrick Marleau - Dopps, SK
Joined: 09.21.2009

Mar 5 @ 10:22 AM ET
What was it that Babcock said, when asked who was the best forward on the Olympic team - "Anyone who is playing with Toews" or something?

In addition to his drop in individual production (although his FO and possession stats may still be up there) is that he is not making anyone he plays with better: Panik, maybe, somewhat, last year, but not this year; Saad, certainly not; DuClair for the short time they were an item, no....

- StLBravesFan



That was in 2010... 8 years is a long time in the hockey world. Toews is only 29 but it seems like he's burning out as the years go along.

Fighting Kesler was just weird. He's clearly frustrated.
kwolf68
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Mt. Lebanon, PA
Joined: 12.18.2010

Mar 5 @ 10:26 AM ET
If altering "the system" was an easy fix for making crappy players play good then other crappy teams would do it. The Hawks lack talent on Defense. Pure and simple. Keith is our best and he's gonna be what...35 soon? After him, it's complete junk. Forsling and Murphy have potential, but right now are still bottom pairing guys. Osterle and Gus are AHL fodder, Dahlstrom is soft as poo and Seabrook is abysmal at this point. Few teams are weaker on the blue line than the Hawks. Talent must be upgraded or next year is no different.
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Mar 5 @ 10:29 AM ET
Agree, when i looked at the list it was demoralizing. But, i don't get paid that Stan Bowman money to figure this stuff out.
- BlazinMike


Don't overspend for a player or 2 - either in cap hit or in players/prospects.

This team (just IMO, of course) is more than a quality blue liner away from competing for a Cup - especially if (as is my guess) the likes of Toews, Seabrook, Keith don't rebound to near-past glory.

Build on the likes of Jokiharju, Forsling, maybe Murphy, get a couple of big fast defensemen with the two first round picks (or move the picks for an NHL ready defenseman).

I would hate to have them move one or both of Schmaltz and AdB - unless I'm missing someone, the only two young high-potential top-6ers in the system - especially since I don't see any realistic combination of moves that would make the Hawks Cup-contenders next season.
kwolf68
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Mt. Lebanon, PA
Joined: 12.18.2010

Mar 5 @ 10:34 AM ET
That was in 2010... 8 years is a long time in the hockey world. Toews is only 29 but it seems like he's burning out as the years go along.

Fighting Kesler was just weird. He's clearly frustrated
.

- BINGO!


It was another dumb staged fight that keeps hockey as a niche sport many people mock instead of talking about the superior talent and skill of these guys. It also places two important players to their teams at risk. IDI-ODIC...TOALLY foolish. The sport itself is risky enough without adding doing dumb poop to the mix. Its like the Steelers told Big Ben to wear your damn helmet when you ride your motorcycle. Even though PA has no law requiring it the Steelers told him to be smart and protect yourself...thats the Steelers protecting their own investment. If someone is paying me millions of dollars to play a game for them YEA I'll wear a goddamn helmet. Moreover I won't do dumb poop on the ice that also forces unnecessary risk to my livlihood and to the organization that invests so much in me.

DUMB DUMB DUMB fight...Maybe Toews did the fight so maybe he could get hurt and just end this season for himself already
BINGO!
Carolina Hurricanes
Location: Brian Boyle is better than Patrick Marleau - Dopps, SK
Joined: 09.21.2009

Mar 5 @ 10:35 AM ET
Don't overspend for a player or 2 - either in cap hit or in players/prospects.

This team (just IMO, of course) is more than a quality blue liner away from competing for a Cup - especially if (as is my guess) the likes of Toews, Seabrook, Keith don't rebound to near-past glory.

Build on the likes of Jokiharju, Forsling, maybe Murphy, get a couple of big fast defensemen with the two first round picks (or move the picks for an NHL ready defenseman).

I would hate to have them move one or both of Schmaltz and AdB - unless I'm missing someone, the only two young high-potential top-6ers in the system - especially since I don't see any realistic combination of moves that would make the Hawks Cup-contenders next season.

- StLBravesFan


Minimum 3 years until the Hawks are legit contenders again unless something drastic happens.
dirt4949
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: lombard, IL
Joined: 01.27.2009

Mar 5 @ 10:37 AM ET
Nice write up Justin.
I said this a few months ago that this team was done and gave up on the coach or there was a locker room cancer Burish might have clued in on something here.
z1990z
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: NW USA
Joined: 02.09.2012

Mar 5 @ 10:38 AM ET
It was another dumb staged fight that keeps hockey as a niche sport many people mock instead of talking about the superior talent and skill of these guys. It also places two important players to their teams at risk. IDI-ODIC...TOALLY foolish. The sport itself is risky enough without adding doing dumb poop to the mix. Its like the Steelers told Big Ben to wear your damn helmet when you ride your motorcycle. Even though PA has no law requiring it the Steelers told him to be smart and protect yourself...thats the Steelers protecting their own investment. If someone is paying me millions of dollars to play a game for them YEA I'll wear a goddamn helmet. Moreover I won't do dumb poop on the ice that also forces unnecessary risk to my livlihood and to the organization that invests so much in me.

DUMB DUMB DUMB fight...Maybe Toews did the fight so maybe he could get hurt and just end this season for himself already

- kwolf68


This team is like kids on the playground with no supervision. Running around doing dumb schit. Perfect time to clean sweep come April 8th and show Q and Stan the door. Then start make sweeping changes to this roster.
Mr Ricochet
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Joliet, IL
Joined: 04.19.2009

Mar 5 @ 10:39 AM ET
Well said, Justin. Let me copy and paste a few things from your blog all of which I agree with:

Adam Burish, Jamal Mayers, Steve Konroyd and Pat Boyle were not holding anything back during intermissions yesterday, which included a “locker room issue” line by former-Hawk, Burish.

Bowman wanted this team to be “tougher to play against” which, to me, meant a little more aggressiveness on the body and a lot more on the forecheck. So, why the change of heart, Stan? Those guys were effective in their roles and it wasn’t their fault that the team was mediocre.

This toughness needs to be improved on mental side as well.

“This group doesn’t give up. The belief in this room is unbelievable” <- does this sound familiar? Well, this is what newcomers used to say about the Hawks and their leadership.

They could get away with playing a high-tempo, run-and-gun style for years because they had the horses to do so. Now, they need to adjust and play smarter.



Simply said all of the above are true including personnel at the NHL level and depth, systems, locker room issues, physical and mental toughness lacking, a plan with a process to change up with a 4th line that would add that toughness that was ditched in season, handcuffed contractually.

The GM and coach were at the helm that got then to this point of the above problems. Numerous as they are none are small. ......... Do you trust that GM and coach to fix these problems, problems that evolved on their watch? A GM and coach who have shown most every yr they are rarely on the same page?

Like a millionaire and his account who didn't budget his money and is now broke. There is no longer overwhelming talent to over come questionable coaching and horrid contracts. I don't want that millionaire and accountant to overlook my bankruptcy plan to get out of debt.
kwolf68
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Mt. Lebanon, PA
Joined: 12.18.2010

Mar 5 @ 10:41 AM ET
This team is like kids on the playground with no supervision. Running around doing dumb schit. Perfect time to clean sweep come April 8th and show Q and Stan the door. Then start make sweeping changes to this roster.
- z1990z


I agree with you as I think it's pretty dire. Center depth is terrible, Hawks have ONE legit Top 4 D-man and he's an aging player who has always relied on his skating speed so when does he drop off (don't answer that, may already be happening), the backup goalie situation is a crock, they have poor performing/aging players eating up so much cap space adding improvements is not possible, the minor league system is mostly barren, they have literally NO ONE who will throw a solid body check...not only do they stink, but they are boring to watch anymore. It gets somewhat interesting when Kane has the puck, but this team is FAR behind teams like Nashville...FAR behind.
Z3Hawk
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 05.04.2017

Mar 5 @ 10:46 AM ET
It has been a Square Peg, Round Hole sort of season. While stubornness has always played a role in Q’s coaching, this year has been mind numbing. Moving from goalie on out Q stuck with Glass when it had become obvious that whatever magic that existed had gone. Forsberg same coin different side - wishing he would take the net and make the needed key saves and not let in softies is not enough. He actually has to do it. Game after game after game Forsberg has failed. I understand that Crow left the team swimming a bit in goal but you simply cannot stick with what is obviously not working - that is not the answer. Move on to the next plan.

Similar points can be made about the use of the D-Men and Forwards this year.

What was highly annoying was the arrogance exhibited by the Hawks this year. You could clearly tell that everyone associated with the Hawks just assumed that when it was needed the Hawks would make a successful play-off push. The Hawks actually believed they had as much time as they wanted to throw numerous games away with their great D experiments. How many games were lost as Ulf and Q pushed Forsling and Rutta game after game. It has continued with the continued use of Oesterle. Again you cannot simply stick with what is obviously not working.

Same for the use of forwards - all year, game after game, dressing players who are not productive, sitting out ones who could be and refusing to play certain players together who would appear to have chemistry. Again you cannot simply stick with what is obviously not working.

Square Peg, Round Hole thinking has never worked.
z1990z
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: NW USA
Joined: 02.09.2012

Mar 5 @ 10:46 AM ET
I agree with you as I think it's pretty dire. Center depth is terrible, Hawks have ONE legit Top 4 D-man and he's an aging player who has always relied on his skating speed so when does he drop off (don't answer that, may already be happening), the backup goalie situation is a crock, they have poor performing/aging players eating up so much cap space adding improvements is not possible, the minor league system is mostly barren, they have literally NO ONE who will throw a solid body check...not only do they stink, but they are boring to watch anymore. It gets somewhat interesting when Kane has the puck, but this team is FAR behind teams like Nashville...FAR behind.
- kwolf68



Or will this turn into a Lovie Smith/Jerry Angelo set up where they go back to back to save their jobs. At the bare minimum Q needs to go. Dont know if Stan gets kicked out. This is awful. This team is just awful.
BlazinMike
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 05.08.2013

Mar 5 @ 10:49 AM ET
I agree with you as I think it's pretty dire. Center depth is terrible, Hawks have ONE legit Top 4 D-man and he's an aging player who has always relied on his skating speed so when does he drop off (don't answer that, may already be happening), the backup goalie situation is a crock, they have poor performing/aging players eating up so much cap space adding improvements is not possible, the minor league system is mostly barren, they have literally NO ONE who will throw a solid body check...not only do they stink, but they are boring to watch anymore. It gets somewhat interesting when Kane has the puck, but this team is FAR behind teams like Nashville...FAR behind.
- kwolf68


Kane stopped being interesting back in January along with the rest of the team.

The guy can perform miracles with the puck, but its hard when you have literally no one moving to get into a position to receive a pass
dirt4949
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: lombard, IL
Joined: 01.27.2009

Mar 5 @ 10:50 AM ET
Was this a planned throw away year? i think after crow went down the plan was put in motion for next year get picks open up cap space and shop.
jhawk59
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 02.15.2013

Mar 5 @ 10:51 AM ET
I don't trust Bowman to make the smarter, better trades.

I can count on some regulars on this board - and they are knowledgable and usually are bang on correct with their analysis -- yes i know they have this pissed off no way i will ever see it differently attitude on certain points.

Bowman, Queeneville, and Hartman suffice for the topics.

I am sure everyone agrees there has been some mismanagement. Some coaching issues -- duh. It is a popular refrain to say, both are coming back despite much grievious errors pointed out.

Well you have to get someone better if they are replaced. One suggestion made was Sheldon Keefe, but the blogger suggested this coach would never be hired here. Not the correct flavor, although often we hear how the organization "really likes Colliton." While i do not and will not peruse the myriad of coaches who might wind up here one day, i do pause and just do not know what the odds are that Al MacIsaac could be PERHAPS a transition administrator.

Of course you should have a GM and a coach on the same page. While sometimes they may apoear in greater unison than other moments, after all these years who will accept responsibility for the players (who are miscast, at least Keith as the qb who has problems with his shot) and their schematic (Kane and Panarin try the sane old same old).

You go through how many assistant coaches. Maybe miscast players and some players overrule the coaches? Whatever, it is bs to see lethargic effort and the other team has mental telepathy which pretty much negates our man advantage. And btw why no one ever consistently parks in front of the crease.

Now i mentioned how some have a permanent hard hatred and despise the GM and coach. Your reasoning often reasonates with me. But sometimes you are hard on your points, and you conveniently ignore certain things.

So whom among you, or other GM's, would have identified and kept the core together....you know, working around the salary cap . You have a tirade over Sharp and Leddy deals. Well, well it was a case of Stan waited too long/maybe he gambled and lost getting an earlier, better return. That is my guess. Doesn't excuse a poor return, though

Keep in mind it was the right time to unload Sharp due to age and huge contract. Diminishing returns type of player and i think his shot has been not quite as good since he left. Hard to say for sure on that because he sustained several bad injuries/concussion. We sure could use both Leddy and Johns over the past few years, true enough. But neither will ever be stars. Both are overall fair second pair, can be good for a third pair.

It was pointed out that at the time of the Leddy trade, Pokka was rated as a solid prospect. So those who make up the general consensus of rating prospects were also wrong too.

Oo, to be sure both have an attribute our current group of third pair guys are lacking. Or in Leddy's case his nhl time has allowed him to display while the current guys cannot handle even routine things sometimes -- right...complicated by not a solid partner in their pairing and they have not jived in their pairing thanks in part to Q matches, Samuelson system which they are not adept (enough), as well as not enough support from forwards.

Oh btw they have weaknesses too, the most glaring is that each is closer to a creampuff than anything else. Each one!

On the Hartman trade: i blame each party involved: namely, GM, coach, player. Hartman will be forced to play a role and better control his anger, else no games played by coach and GM as Hartman will be in pressbox , or back in the AHL as a message

What irks me most about Hartman's trade, however, is trading him while his value is lowest. We will never know if we could have used him to move up in the draft
BINGO!
Carolina Hurricanes
Location: Brian Boyle is better than Patrick Marleau - Dopps, SK
Joined: 09.21.2009

Mar 5 @ 10:51 AM ET
Or will this turn into a Lovie Smith/Jerry Angelo set up where they go back to back to save their jobs. At the bare minimum Q needs to go. Dont know if Stan gets kicked out. This is awful. This team is just awful.
- z1990z


Trade ya coaches.

Peters is a brilliant tactical guy but can't seem to get anything extra out of his guys.
67hawks
Joined: 08.30.2012

Mar 5 @ 10:51 AM ET
Don't overspend for a player or 2 - either in cap hit or in players/prospects.

This team (just IMO, of course) is more than a quality blue liner away from competing for a Cup - especially if (as is my guess) the likes of Toews, Seabrook, Keith don't rebound to near-past glory.

Build on the likes of Jokiharju, Forsling, maybe Murphy, get a couple of big fast defensemen with the two first round picks (or move the picks for an NHL ready defenseman).

I would hate to have them move one or both of Schmaltz and AdB - unless I'm missing someone, the only two young high-potential top-6ers in the system - especially since I don't see any realistic combination of moves that would make the Hawks Cup-contenders next season.

- StLBravesFan


This would be sound strategy for this team. This is not a 1 or 2 player quick fix. I would sign Ian Cole or Roman Polak type defencemen if you can get them for one year and continue developing our own. This type of defenceman has trade value at the TDL. I am talking TDL because I do not see this team in the playoffs next year either. Stay away from Franson types. They have no value for us or anyone else. At the TDL teams are looking for tough D for the playoff haul when the going gets tough and the rules slacken.
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Mar 5 @ 10:56 AM ET
It was another dumb staged fight that keeps hockey as a niche sport many people mock instead of talking about the superior talent and skill of these guys. It also places two important players to their teams at risk. IDI-ODIC...TOALLY foolish. The sport itself is risky enough without adding doing dumb poop to the mix. Its like the Steelers told Big Ben to wear your damn helmet when you ride your motorcycle. Even though PA has no law requiring it the Steelers told him to be smart and protect yourself...thats the Steelers protecting their own investment. If someone is paying me millions of dollars to play a game for them YEA I'll wear a goddamn helmet. Moreover I won't do dumb poop on the ice that also forces unnecessary risk to my livlihood and to the organization that invests so much in me.

DUMB DUMB DUMB fight...Maybe Toews did the fight so maybe he could get hurt and just end this season for himself already

- kwolf68


A dumb fight ESPECIALLY for a guy (Toews) who has had several (I think) concussion issues in the past - which means the present.
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