Quick 5 Thoughts: 'Hogs, DiDo & Crawford
Happy Memorial Day to all my friends in the USA.
I have 2 more articles coming out this week – one on possible Hossa destinations (if the Hawks do move his contract) and my final "Those Guys Are Good" edition featuring the Vegas Golden Knights. I have some very interesting stats to toss your way.
First though on this (holiday) Monday, I have a Quick 5 thoughts for you to chew on – enjoy:
1) Those Rockford IceHogs won't go quietly into the night. They are wearing down the Texas Stars with their physical and "relentless" play.
A big 3-1 win forces game #6 tonight which goes at 7pm CST.
Jeff Glass had 40 saves in game #5 so expect him back in the pipes. Cody Franson started the game off with another goal (standard), while Luke Johnson continues his clutch play with the game-winner off an outstanding pass from Victor Ejdsell. David Kampf, who has been praised for his play these playoffs (even though he didn't have a goal to date) picked a great time to get on the scoresheet with a 3rd-period insurance goal.
2) Speaking of Luke Johnson, I reposted a comment from him that came from the "must-follow" for IceHogs analysis, @ChrisBlock:
Luke Johnson on #IceHogs constant physical play vs @TexasStars in this AHL Conference Final: "It's no fun getting hit every shift, like that, by guys like Martinsen, Hayden and Bouma..... It's starting to pay off. For us to keep having success, we need to keep doing that."
The narrative that being physical in the playoffs doesn't matter is something I don't understand. I know, I know, the Hawks "appeared" to have won Stanley Cups without being "physical". Well, that's not entirely true. Also, being physical (as I've mentioned numerous times) doesn't necessarily mean that players are putting other players through the glass, it's more about having pushback and getting the odd timely hit in on an opponent which can make all the difference. Don't take my word on it… take Luke Johnson's… who is a professional hockey player in the Calder Cup semi-finals.
3) Add Chris DiDomenico to the list of possible bottom 6ers graduating from this current Rockford team.
I've mentioned the word "relentless" at the start of this blog and we all know it will be a theme for Q and the Blackhawks, especially as they all watch the Vegas Golden Knights in the Finals this week.
"DiDo" is 29-years old and a UFA this off-season. He hasn't taken the easiest of paths, but could he be effective in the NHL if given a shot?
He's been the property of the Blackhawks once, spent some time in Europe and played 24-games for the Ottawa Senators last year notching 6 goals, 4 assists.
He's lighting up the AHL playoffs right now 17 points in 12 games (1st in the league) and is a very versatile forward being able to play all 3 positions.
Maybe he opts to sign with a team offering a 1-way contract in the off-season but maybe that team should be the Blackhawks.
4) No – I haven't heard anything specific on Toews and/or Crawford rumours. I know there has been more trade chatter there.
Speaking on Crawford, if the rumours prove to be legit, it means the Hawks and Corey are maybe looking out for the player over business and given #50 a fresh start.
If the Hawks have health concerns, so would the inquiring team as no one has seen Crawford on the ice in game-action since late 2017.
To me, this would be more Corey accepting a trade to get a fresh start in his personal and professional life. And remember, he would have to accept a trade as he has a modified-NTC (where he has to submit a 10-team trade list).
5) Segueing from the point above, I have been told that Stan Bowman wasn't lying when he said there wouldn't be many changes in the off-season, however, after further review and the decision by committee is starting to sound like bigger changes may be coming.
Stan went big last year, and it didn't work out. Everyone will be watching you this year Stan… no pressure!
See ya out there!