Thoughts on Vegas game, de Haan injured + trade rumours
Well, this blog has gone through about 3 different iterations.
Apologies for the delay, however, due to what happened last night in the Vegas game, I've had to revise and re-confirm a few things.
I was originally planning to release part two of my "What If" series but pushed it as I wanted to recap Tuesday night's game vs. the Golden Knights, chat about the recent roster moves, as well as discuss trade rumours that have surfaced.
On Friday, I will have my "What if" the Blackhawks flame out? blog which will analyze how the team could look come February and March if they are out of the playoff picture.
This blog will surely create some great conversations on the board.
Well, this WAS the plan until Calvin de Haan got hurt.
Let me explain; there has been some scuttlebutt going around that the Hawks and Canadiens have been chatting. I have looked into it and while my contact didn't have specific details, he confirmed that there was fire to that smoke.
It's been rumoured that the Habs are looking for a left-handed defenceman… enter Erik Gustafsson or Olli Maatta.
I know Gustafsson has been the more popular fantasy trade target for obvious reasons; the Hawks aren't going to pay the impending UFA + he's terrible defensively.
I have reason to believe that the Hawks would have moved Olli Maatta as well if there was a taker due to the stellar play of Calvin de Haan and the potential emergence of Dennis Gilbert and/or Adam Boqvist at some point in the second half of the season.
Now, with the injury to Calvin de Haan, which Coach Colliton stated "it's not good" when referring to de Haan's immediate diagnosis, I don't think the Blackhawks can afford to move Gustafsson or Maatta.
De Haan is already back in Chicago getting his right shoulder looked at. It's the same shoulder he injured and had surgically repaired this summer.
The second it happened, when I saw his reaction, I knew it was bad.
With Keith out week-to-week and de Haan potentially out long-term, the Hawks are in bad shape. De Haan was playing great hockey and was essentially the #1 D on this team.
So who is the "next man up?" Well before we get into that, let's recap the recent roster moves and what some of those could mean.
OUT: Duncan Keith (LTIR – still week-to-week), Andrew Shaw (LTIR – week-to-week), Drake Caggiula (IR – day-to-day), Olli Maatta (unhealthy scratch – day-to-day), Calvin de Haan (TBD – but "not good").
IN: Dennis Gilbert, Dylan Sikura, Matthew Highmore, Adam Boqvist (all players recalled from Rockford in the last week).
On the backend, the Hawks really need Maatta to get over this nasty cold/flu that he's been battling. The way he spoke about the loss of energy, it sounded like mono but that wasn't confirmed and he's surely been tested for everything. He needs to be back ASAP.
From there, you have:
Maatta - Murphy
Koekkeok – Seabrook
Gilbert – Boqvist
So who gets the next call to join the Hawks on the road trip? Maybe no one yet or possible Highmore gets sent down with a dman coming back up. It's always safer to have an extra D over a forward.
My guess would be it'll be either 28-year old Philip Holm or newcomer Ian McCoshen.
Stan Bowman will obviously wait to assess the team after he gets the final diagnosis on de Haan, however, at this point, I would not be in favour of him going out and trading for a defenceman at this point.
My vote is to let the kids play for now. Maybe keep an eye on the waiver wire (Madison Bowey was there this week) and see if there would be anyone that could help this team.
I'm sure we'll hear more and I will keep you updated if I get any further updates regarding injuries or trades.
I will just say this about Tuesday night's 5-1 loss to the Golden Knights; good for Corey Crawford getting so publically upset on the bench after the 2nd period. He deserves to be pissed off!
All year long, the Hawks have been hanging their goalies out to dry.
The Hawks were terrible last night and it just didn't look like the effort was there. I don't have much else to say.
Lastly, let's end on a positive note; Kevin Lankinen made 55(!) saves last night in a 2-1 OT win over the Milwaukee Admirals!
Lankinen has been great for most of the year in the AHL. Currently, I would say he's put himself above Collin Delia on the depth chart.
I still like Delia, but he's battling to find his game right now. He's a dedicated guy and will come out of it I'm sure. It's a great problem to have with actual goaltending depth for a change in Delia, Lankinen, Tompkins (also playing well in RFD) and Alexis Gravel.
More as I have it.
See ya out there!