Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!
 
Forums :: Blog World :: Justin Lowe: What I Learned From Round #1
Author Message
Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Apr 27 @ 9:34 AM ET
Justin Lowe: What I Learned From Round #1 ound #2 in the NHL playoffs just kicked off last night with Vegas continuing their dominance with a decisive 7-0 win.

The Penguins were doing Penguin things with a come from behind 3-2 win over OV’s Capitals.

I wanted to pop in today to touch on a few things that I learned from Round #1 and how it relates to the Chicago Blackhawks (of course).
kwolf68
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Mt. Lebanon, PA
Joined: 12.18.2010

Apr 27 @ 9:45 AM ET
Good blog some nice points, but the Matthews/Toews thing is a bit premature. Matthews didn't play on a team with Keith and Seabrook and Soupy in their primes, a budding Hammer, nor does Matthews play with anyone remotely resembling Marian Hossa or Patrick Kane. Toronto doesn't have talented, young bruisers like Buff, Ladd. This Toronto team is not even in the same stratosphere as the 2010 Blackhawks. Toews only got going in the SCF in 2010 because Q broke up the lines so the other team couldn't key on him as much.

I am not saying Matthews is better/not better than Toews, just hate these type of arguments that suggests / infers 1 player won it all by himself. It's kinda like the QB thing in pro football. No sane thinking person would EVER say Trent Dilfer is better than Dan Fouts or Dan Marino, but there he is with a Super Bowl ring, while Marino and Fouts have none. The circumstances surrounding Fouts/Marino were beyond what they could overcome. Dilfer was on a team with one of the greatest defenses ever while Fouts/Marino played for some legendary bad defenses...sorta like Toews v Matthews and their surrounding talent.

Regarding Penguins, they are poised for a 3-peat and will erase the Blackhawks as the team of this generation sad to say. I am rooting badly against them, but I see no one who can beat them other than maybe Nashville. And Nashville winning would be great in that respect, but would bring in a whole new cache of issues (read, Rash Vopats other trolls). Not sold that anyone in the East can take them down.
35Tony0
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Springfield, IL
Joined: 05.10.2015

Apr 27 @ 9:54 AM ET
Put me in that group, however small, who is confident the 'Hawks are really just a couple pieces from being back in the thick of it. Those couple pieces, however, need to be good enough to allow the young'uns to continue to develop AND cover/protect the veteran core's play AND health.
Standing up to the BS cheapshot artists like Marchand is contagious. If these new pieces consistently do this, the young'uns will be learning a lesson at the NHL level they have not yet learned. Last couple of years, this team has had zero of that.
35Tony0
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Springfield, IL
Joined: 05.10.2015

Apr 27 @ 9:58 AM ET
Good blog some nice points, but the Matthews/Toews thing is a bit premature. Matthews didn't play on a team with Keith and Seabrook and Soupy in their primes, a budding Hammer, nor does Matthews play with anyone remotely resembling Marian Hossa or Patrick Kane. Toronto doesn't have talented, young bruisers like Buff, Ladd. This Toronto team is not even in the same stratosphere as the 2010 Blackhawks. Toews only got going in the SCF in 2010 because Q broke up the lines so the other team couldn't key on him as much.

I am not saying Matthews is better/not better than Toews, just hate these type of arguments that suggests / infers 1 player won it all by himself. It's kinda like the QB thing in pro football. No sane thinking person would EVER say Trent Dilfer is better than Dan Fouts or Dan Marino, but there he is with a Super Bowl ring, while Marino and Fouts have none. The circumstances surrounding Fouts/Marino were beyond what they could overcome. Dilfer was on a team with one of the greatest defenses ever while Fouts/Marino played for some legendary bad defenses...sorta like Toews v Matthews and their surrounding talent.

Regarding Penguins, they are poised for a 3-peat and will erase the Blackhawks as the team of this generation sad to say. I am rooting badly against them, but I see no one who can beat them other than maybe Nashville. And Nashville winning would be great in that respect, but would bring in a whole new cache of issues (read, Rash Vopats other trolls). Not sold that anyone in the East can take them down.

- kwolf68


Keith would have REALLY helped this year's version of the Leafs.
I can see the Lightning, Jets, Sharks, Preds beating Pitt.
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Apr 27 @ 10:01 AM ET
That’s a nice triple-A lineup - maybe even quad-A - that Rockford rolled out last nite.

Any of them really potential contributors to a future Hawks’ Cup run?

Maybe Forsberg, Hayden (bottom-6), Ejdsell (with lots of improvement), Kampf (again, bottom-6)....maybe.

Add in perhaps Jokiharju, perhaps the only potential top-2 blue liner.

And who of the youth on the parent club are potential Cup contributors - Schmaltz, AdB....who else is potentially more than “just a guy”.

And then the maybes in the remaining core - all (except Kane) are maybes, IMO....Toews, Seabrook, Keith - all on the decline, Crawford not a sure thing after this concussed season - all getting older.

Even gettin Dahlin, I think, doesn’t bring this team to the level of a Boston - or certainly not Nashville or Winnipeg.

Unless a lot of “maybes” become realities - this could be a much longer, much more start-and-stop rebuild than most of us would like.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Apr 27 @ 10:02 AM ET
Red...always go with red.
67hawks
Joined: 08.30.2012

Apr 27 @ 10:26 AM ET
The Hawks disappointing season for me is somewhat tempered by the success of the Icehogs (if only I could find a way to watch some of their games).
Winning one of the top 3 spots in the draft lottery would be icing on the cake.
powerenforcer
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Mt. Prospect, IL
Joined: 09.24.2009

Apr 27 @ 10:27 AM ET
Red...always go with red.
- DarthKane


Even if you are Gary, I doubt Chicago gets anywhere near #1.
67hawks
Joined: 08.30.2012

Apr 27 @ 10:34 AM ET
Looks like the Caps are doing their annual "fold up the tent" thing and giving the Pens a pass into the next round yet again. Even when they went up by 2 late in the game, I just had that feeling.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Apr 27 @ 11:13 AM ET
Even if you are Gary, I doubt Chicago gets anywhere near #1.
- powerenforcer



The NHL should want the Hawks to win the draft lottery (which they will) or at least move into the top 3. It's better for the league to have the top 3 guys play for Chicago, Montreal and New York vs Buffalo, Arizona and Ottawa.
Z3Hawk
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 05.04.2017

Apr 27 @ 11:19 AM ET
Just wanted to respond to fattybeef from previous blog. In the Olympics TOEWS was voted BEST FORWARD of all the forwards from every team in the Olympics. BEST FORWARD. I had also pointed out that not only was this true but it was also true that forwards who were really struggling were placed with Toews to straighten them out. Rick Nash was one of those players. I made these points to show how independently great Toews was. Fattybeef then said Toews wasn’t independently great as he got to play with Nash. Sorry Fattybeef you’re completely wrong here. That Toews has had some less than stellar seasons recently doesn’t change the fact that he was an independently dominant player from the moment he entered the NHL. Toews was named one of NHL’s Top 100 players for a reason.
jhawk59
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 02.15.2013

Apr 27 @ 11:22 AM ET
We need top end prospects.
We need push back.

We are not going far as long as you never know what you get either game to game or a stretch of games from Toews. He is not going to play just like he used to. Even if he changes his style again. Concussion and, possibly, an area of body such as back or shoulder MAY not be able to take the pounding he has endured prior to last season. So really you just wonder if his skill level decreases due to any of the aforementioned condition. Make no mistake about it Toews still will try to collect a large paycheck. His game would have to deteriorate much befo
re he is shamed into retirement. But a third line role might be in his future and his coin is to expensive for that role.

Just have to watch and see exactly what we get out of him next season.

In the fall after next is when i am.most excited to see maturation of our top prospects. I mean, the prospects whom have yet to pkay, have played very little, or are drafted first round this upcoming draft. At that time a new CBA may hindet or delay the start of a season. At that time i wonder how much Toews and Seabrook have left. Both are capable next year, just not as good as they once were. Two years down the road....who knows
glennjpawlak22
Joined: 11.26.2013

Apr 27 @ 11:25 AM ET
Cody Franson: Any chance he would want to try out for the parent club next season? Any chance the Hawks would offer him a chance? Could he be an effective 3rd pairing guy or 7/8 guy? He is obviously invested in the Hogs team and maybe some of the sting of being sent down has worn off - curious what everyone thinks.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Apr 27 @ 11:28 AM ET
Cody Franson: Any chance he would want to try out for the parent club next season? Any chance the Hawks would offer him a chance? Could he be an effective 3rd pairing guy or 7/8 guy? He is obviously invested in the Hogs team and maybe some of the sting of being sent down has worn off - curious what everyone thinks.
- glennjpawlak22



Ya...I don't see that happening. Maybe he gets a PTO somewhere else but I'd guess he plays in Europe next year. Remember, he passed through waivers unclaimed so it's not like he's in high demand.

But to your point, I wonder what the Hawks will do with Clendening. He's still young enough (25) and he's been stellar since returning to Rockford. Clendenign is an RFA, I'd expect the Hawks to sign him but he'll likely play in Rockford again.
z1990z
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: NW USA
Joined: 02.09.2012

Apr 27 @ 11:30 AM ET
Cody Franson: Any chance he would want to try out for the parent club next season? Any chance the Hawks would offer him a chance? Could he be an effective 3rd pairing guy or 7/8 guy? He is obviously invested in the Hogs team and maybe some of the sting of being sent down has worn off - curious what everyone thinks.
- glennjpawlak22



Franson could have helped this year. Total friggin mystery why he got sent to Rockford. Yes he is not that fast, but he was really good on the PP and knows where to be on the ice. Oh wait Q and Stan know what they are doing.

Franson be gone.... new team this summer.
glennjpawlak22
Joined: 11.26.2013

Apr 27 @ 11:35 AM ET
Ya...I don't see that happening. Maybe he gets a PTO somewhere else but I'd guess he plays in Europe next year. Remember, he passed through waivers unclaimed so it's not like he's in high demand.

But to your point, I wonder what the Hawks will do with Clendening. He's still young enough (25) and he's been stellar since returning to Rockford. Clendenign is an RFA, I'd expect the Hawks to sign him but he'll likely play in Rockford again.

- DarthKane


With the D-Corp crap we put on the ice this year, all options seem to be open.
jhawk59
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 02.15.2013

Apr 27 @ 11:35 AM ET
That’s a nice triple-A lineup - maybe even quad-A - that Rockford rolled out last nite.

Any of them really potential contributors to a future Hawks’ Cup run?

Maybe Forsberg, Hayden (bottom-6), Ejdsell (with lots of improvement), Kampf (again, bottom-6)....maybe.

Add in perhaps Jokiharju, perhaps the only potential top-2 blue liner.

And who of the youth on the parent club are potential Cup contributors - Schmaltz, AdB....who else is potentially more than “just a guy”.

And then the maybes in the remaining core - all (except Kane) are maybes, IMO....Toews, Seabrook, Keith - all on the decline, Crawford not a sure thing after this concussed season - all getting older.

Even gettin Dahlin, I think, doesn’t bring this team to the level of a Boston - or certainly not Nashville or Winnipeg.

Unless a lot of “maybes” become realities - this could be a much longer, much more start-and-stop rebuild than most of us would like.

- StLBravesFan


I am in agreement with your read more than Justin's optimistic picture he paints. But this is sort of an unknown which we get a far better read upon AFTER taking note whom we come away with in the draft AND if Bowman truly adds push back in the top two lines plus even just one or two defenders whom have at least some push back.

I am going to guess Bowman does not add enough grit. He will hang his job on his mismanagement. And Q cannot stay. He should not be at odds with a GM. And Q needs to use what he is given, not force Bowman to dump them. The team is trying to bring in youth but Q js more concerned with victories. Not that winning is less important because too few victories and both Q and Bowman hard pressed to keep their job. But development of young pkayers has never been a strength of Q. And his systems and coaching strategies are too often not the best choice nowadays.

Are we going to see that drop pass starting the rush up ice from our blue line. Is the same old stuff on pp again. Listen, McDonough, you need to blame someone on that and demand changes.
Z3Hawk
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 05.04.2017

Apr 27 @ 11:38 AM ET
Good blog some nice points, but the Matthews/Toews thing is a bit premature. Matthews didn't play on a team with Keith and Seabrook and Soupy in their primes, a budding Hammer, nor does Matthews play with anyone remotely resembling Marian Hossa or Patrick Kane. Toronto doesn't have talented, young bruisers like Buff, Ladd. This Toronto team is not even in the same stratosphere as the 2010 Blackhawks. Toews only got going in the SCF in 2010 because Q broke up the lines so the other team couldn't key on him as much.

I am not saying Matthews is better/not better than Toews, just hate these type of arguments that suggests / infers 1 player won it all by himself. It's kinda like the QB thing in pro football. No sane thinking person would EVER say Trent Dilfer is better than Dan Fouts or Dan Marino, but there he is with a Super Bowl ring, while Marino and Fouts have none. The circumstances surrounding Fouts/Marino were beyond what they could overcome. Dilfer was on a team with one of the greatest defenses ever while Fouts/Marino played for some legendary bad defenses...sorta like Toews v Matthews and their surrounding talent.

Regarding Penguins, they are poised for a 3-peat and will erase the Blackhawks as the team of this generation sad to say. I am rooting badly against them, but I see no one who can beat them other than maybe Nashville. And Nashville winning would be great in that respect, but would bring in a whole new cache of issues (read, Rash Vopats other trolls). Not sold that anyone in the East can take them down.

- kwolf68


I’m sorry but Matthews was simply awful both this year and last year. He is supposed to be one of the flood of recent “generational” talents. Well for two straight play-offs Matthews has not been “generational” he’s been invisible. Also, there are no excuses - the pressure ate him alive both years. Canadian TV coverage noted it too. He was bugging before the games started. Forget being a Leader he arguably should’ve been a healthy scratch. It is true that Matthews should not be compared to Toews, early in their careers, as Matthews would actually have had to accomplish something, anything to even trigger a comparison.

Now rumours are suggesting Matthews is blaming Babcock for not using him properly. This is actually true - if Babcock had actually used Matthews properly Matthews would have been a healthy scratch. Makes a fan appreciate how Toews and Kane not only welcomed the pressure but absolutely thrived in it. Can’t state this any more clearly - Matthews was simply awful.
-Doh-
Location: VA
Joined: 10.05.2015

Apr 27 @ 11:46 AM ET
Put me in the group that the Hawks are not that far away from being Cup contenders, with the caveat being there are a lot of teams in the middle of the pack and very very few of them make that jump to being a legit cup contender. The odds are against them, but it could happen.

Crow needs to be healthy and his old self.
Toews needs a RW that can snipe/finish.
The Dmen need to get better fast (or they need to trade for 1 or 2 quality Dmen).
They need to develop physicality up and down the line up, small guys (other than Kane) and big guys.
glennjpawlak22
Joined: 11.26.2013

Apr 27 @ 11:52 AM ET
Im in Colorado - so I am curious what the buzz is around town for the Bears 1st round pick....appears to be a solid pick
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Apr 27 @ 11:54 AM ET
With the D-Corp crap we put on the ice this year, all options seem to be open.
- glennjpawlak22



Ideally there's a complete overhaul of the defense. Keith will back and likely Seabrook too (because of his contract). I'd imagine Murphy would be back too, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if he was dealt. Other than that I'm not too set on anyone on the defense. Gus could be a good 3rd pairing d-man, playing protected minutes. I'm not overly fond of Rutta and Oesterle, they both can go. Hillman had a good few games but it might be a lot to expect him to play in the NHL next season. I doubt we see Jokiharju in Chicago either, he shouldn't be rushed. Forsling is a big question mark to me, he's still young but he should be sticking in the NHL soon.

Then of course there's Dahlin who should play top 4 minutes.
-Doh-
Location: VA
Joined: 10.05.2015

Apr 27 @ 11:56 AM ET
Put Toews' and Eric Staal's career stats side by side. You will see some good years and then some down years for Staal before his two bounce back years. I am not saying it will happen with Toews, but it could.

Centers, left handed, with decent size, play a 200' game, decent hands and offensive skills, ok at the dot, plays in all situations. How the team plays and their linemates play make a big difference. Also nagging injuries were factors in down years.
-Doh-
Location: VA
Joined: 10.05.2015

Apr 27 @ 12:01 PM ET
Ideally there's a complete overhaul of the defense. Keith will back and likely Seabrook too (because of his contract). I'd imagine Murphy would be back too, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if he was dealt. Other than that I'm not too set on anyone on the defense. Gus could be a good 3rd pairing d-man, playing protected minutes. I'm not overly fond of Rutta and Oesterle, they both can go. Hillman had a good few games but it might be a lot to expect him to play in the NHL next season. I doubt we see Jokiharju in Chicago either, he shouldn't be rushed. Forsling is a big question mark to me, he's still young but he should be sticking in the NHL soon.

Then of course there's Dahlin who should play top 4 minutes.

- DarthKane


I think Rutta, Murphy, Gus could improve next season. I have my doubts about Oesterle. He shies away from the puck, loses board battles, floats in all 3 zones, is not great at gap control. I hope they have him try left wing in Rockford next year. He reminds me a lot of Leddy who I also thought/think does not have the mental makeup to play D, but would be a fine winger.
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Apr 27 @ 12:05 PM ET
I am in agreement with your read more than Justin's optimistic picture he paints. But this is sort of an unknown which we get a far better read upon AFTER taking note whom we come away with in the draft AND if Bowman truly adds push back in the top two lines plus even just one or two defenders whom have at least some push back.

I am going to guess Bowman does not add enough grit. He will hang his job on his mismanagement. And Q cannot stay. He should not be at odds with a GM. And Q needs to use what he is given, not force Bowman to dump them. The team is trying to bring in youth but Q js more concerned with victories. Not that winning is less important because too few victories and both Q and Bowman hard pressed to keep their job. But development of young pkayers has never been a strength of Q. And his systems and coaching strategies are too often not the best choice nowadays.

Are we going to see that drop pass starting the rush up ice from our blue line. Is the same old stuff on pp again. Listen, McDonough, you need to blame someone on that and demand changes.

- jhawk59


The possible roster next year (without adding any non-system players):

Centers:
Toews
Schmaltz (or left wing)
Kampf
Anisimov
Ejdsell

Left Wings:
Saad
DuClair
Martinsen
Jurco
Hinostroza
AdB

Right Wings:
Kane
Hayden
D. Dikura

Defense:
Keith
Seabrook
Rutta
Murphy
Gustafsson
Forsling
Oesterle
Rutta
Jokiharju

Special players out of that group - meaning contributors to a potential Cup at some point?
Toews (maybe, altho he hasn't been for 3 years - a trend, not an anomaly)
Schmaltz (maybe)
Saad (maybe, but I think he'll come back strong)
AdB (best bet of the young players, I think)
Kane (certainly)
Keith (probably, altho not Norris-level)
Jokiharju (but probably not next year)

If they all come through - and they get better than expected play from the rest - perhaps a playoff team - I fear not a Cup contender.

Of course, Stan may be able to add to the above this summe.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Apr 27 @ 12:09 PM ET
I think Rutta, Murphy, Gus could improve next season. I have my doubts about Oesterle. He shies away from the puck, loses board battles, floats in all 3 zones, is not great at gap control. I hope they have him try left wing in Rockford next year. He reminds me a lot of Leddy who I also thought/think does not have the mental makeup to play D, but would be a fine winger.
- -Doh-



It's not very often d-men at the NHL level switch to forward. I'd trade Oesterle for a mid to late round pick if possible. Rutta, Murphy and Gus have all been "good enough" at points during the season but that's not what the team needs if they want to contend. Hoping to see an improvement from one young d-man is fine, but putting your hopes on 3-4 d-men to significantly improve is risky and not a recipe for success.
Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12  Next