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Forums :: Blog World :: Justin Lowe: Will They Make the Team: The Rest
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Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Sep 7 @ 8:19 AM ET
Justin Lowe: Will They Make the Team: The Rest First off, Happy Traverse City Prospects Tournament kick-off day!

Now, let's get into the last edition of the "Will He Make the Team?" series with quickly checking out "the rest" of the bubble players fighting for a roster spot on the Blackhawks this year.
Rota's Rooter
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 06.23.2017

Sep 7 @ 8:30 AM ET
Nice summary. I agree on Hayden. I think there is more to his game then being a bottom 6 banger.
HawkintheD
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Sick Bay, MI
Joined: 02.22.2012

Sep 7 @ 8:50 AM ET
Nice summary. I agree on Hayden. I think there is more to his game then being a bottom 6 banger.
- Rota's Rooter


Hope you’re both right and could see it. He’s got a decent shot and seems like a pretty smart player.

He’s got the body type to park in front of the net and make life tough for dmen and goalies and would love to see him add more of that wrinkle to his game this year.
weakglovehand
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: under-q's-stash, IL
Joined: 02.27.2007

Sep 7 @ 9:10 AM ET
Interesting that you have Toews at #2C, if AA gets moved(not sure why) then he'd be the ideal #3C. (and we all thought Krueger getting 3.3M was crazy for a #3/#4C)

Not sure Hayden has the wheels to be top 6 on a good team, but for this year's squad he just might make it.
Sikura needs a few months on the Rock to fill out his role and get used to the speed and size of NHL players.
The biggest unstated IF is, can Ward hold the fort until Crow returns? Nobody knows when that will be, if ever. I strongly doubt that he's effective for over 35 games, if that. Forsberg may surprise, as he'll never get a bigger chance to take the net than this year.
Way too many if's for this team to be taken seriously. Done correctly, the young ones should be given a taste of the NHL, but spend their time this year on the Rock to prepare for the future.
Quetzalcoatl
Location: Blackhawks/Flyers
Joined: 12.02.2009

Sep 7 @ 9:34 AM ET
Assuming Jokiharju doesn't make the team, the only change I would make is to flip-flop Rutta and Murphy. Having spent a lot of time watching Manning he needs to play with someone who is a little better at moving the puck than Murphy.
EbonyRaptor
Joined: 03.28.2013

Sep 7 @ 9:40 AM ET
Pretty much agree on all counts including the opening night lineup.
Taylorst1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 07.09.2018

Sep 7 @ 9:46 AM ET
nice blog Justin , however I have to disagree with Davidson making the team over Hillman and I don't think Hayden will be considered in the top 6 role, I think that open spot still remains to be seen as to who out of camp will challenge for that and show good chemistry . I do believe if Stan and coach Q don't see progress before the season starts Patches will be the option the hawks pursue.


As much as we are in a rebuild on the fly this is the time for that next generation to step up and show why they deserve to be here.
D2D
Joined: 05.27.2018

Sep 7 @ 9:48 AM ET
Nice summary. I agree on Hayden. I think there is more to his game then being a bottom 6 banger.
- Rota's Rooter


I will respectfully disagree and stick to my mantra of Hayden being a bottom 6 guy for couple of reasons: lack of experience to produce points as top 6, skating (both speed and edge work), hands are average (more suited for chip/chase), and finally maybe most important is decision-making. His game is hard, harder, and hardest going north to south. As a top 6 point-producer, it's about making plays with patience, re-grouping, giving up ice to get ice, etc.

I like him on the fourth line with whoever; early on last year because he was demoted to Rockford, Hayden was rock solid with Wingells and Bouma! It is my hope that he develops into that Tom Wilson kind of a guy!
walleyeb1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 09.25.2014

Sep 7 @ 9:59 AM ET
Nice job Justin, I like Martinsen as a fix to my Highmore making the team dilemma. I really didn’t want to see him being a scratch.
Ging72
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 06.13.2017

Sep 7 @ 10:20 AM ET
Unless there is a big surprise from some young guys here . without Crawford they will be a bottom 4 team in the league with good odd to win the draft pool next year
-Doh-
Location: VA
Joined: 10.05.2015

Sep 7 @ 10:30 AM ET
Saad - Toews - Schmaltz
Debrincat - Anisimov - Kane
Kahun - Kampf - Sikura
Kunitz - Kruger - Hayden
Martinsen

Keith-Murphy
Gustafsson-Seabrook
Manning/Davidson-Jokiharju/Rutta

Ward
Forsberg
Crawford (assuming he starts the season on the IR)
Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Sep 7 @ 10:35 AM ET
Assuming Jokiharju doesn't make the team, the only change I would make is to flip-flop Rutta and Murphy. Having spent a lot of time watching Manning he needs to play with someone who is a little better at moving the puck than Murphy.
- Quetzalcoatl


I think you are on to something there. I can see them trying Keith and Murphy again.
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Sep 7 @ 10:39 AM ET
Video with Seabs, his training and last season.

https://twitter.com/NHLBl...tatus/1038066939283759105

breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Sep 7 @ 10:40 AM ET
I think you are on to something there. I can see them trying Keith and Murphy again.
- Justin Lowe


My money is on them putting #2 and #7 together once again.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Sep 7 @ 10:55 AM ET
Saad - Toews - Schmaltz
Debrincat - Anisimov - Kane
Kahun - Kampf - Sikura
Kunitz - Kruger - Hayden
Martinsen

Keith-Murphy
Gustafsson-Seabrook
Manning/Davidson-Jokiharju/Rutta

Ward
Forsberg
Crawford (assuming he starts the season on the IR)

- -Doh-



Sikura - Toews - Kane
Saad - Schmaltz - DeBrincat
Kahun - Anisimov - Kampf
Johnson - Kruger - Hayden
Kunitz

Keith - Murphy
Gustafsson - Seabrook
Manning - Jokiharju
Rutta

Crawford (potentially on IR)
Ward
Forsberg
glennjpawlak22
Joined: 11.26.2013

Sep 7 @ 11:04 AM ET
Seabs working it:

https://twitter.com/NHLBl...tatus/1038066939283759105
hpk90
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: North Potomac, MD
Joined: 12.13.2011

Sep 7 @ 11:06 AM ET
I agree. This is a nice summary, and pretty much spot-on with what I am thinking about the forward group.

Defense? Who knows?
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Sep 7 @ 11:07 AM ET
Interesting that you have Toews at #2C, if AA gets moved(not sure why) then he'd be the ideal #3C. (and we all thought Krueger getting 3.3M was crazy for a #3/#4C)

Not sure Hayden has the wheels to be top 6 on a good team, but for this year's squad he just might make it.
Sikura needs a few months on the Rock to fill out his role and get used to the speed and size of NHL players.
The biggest unstated IF is, can Ward hold the fort until Crow returns? Nobody knows when that will be, if ever. I strongly doubt that he's effective for over 35 games, if that. Forsberg may surprise, as he'll never get a bigger chance to take the net than this year.
Way too many if's for this team to be taken seriously. Done correctly, the young ones should be given a taste of the NHL, but spend their time this year on the Rock to prepare for the future.

- weakglovehand



Out of sheer necessity, we will need to have at least 3 "young ones" on the team this year. In my opinion, you ice the ones that show they can responsibly play the system and show NHL skill/speed. I don't see any major advantage to sending young players to Rockford if they show the team they belong.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Sep 7 @ 11:13 AM ET
I think you are on to something there. I can see them trying Keith and Murphy again.
- Justin Lowe



That's quite possible...but let's be honest here (and I'm not being sarcastic), Q will most likely try almost every combination of defensemen with the first 10 games. At this point Q has to see who clicks with each other. These aren't the Keith-Seabrook and Oduya-Hjamarsson days anymore. Give the team 2-3 years and the defense will be stellar, but not just yet.
wonthecup10
Season Ticket Holder
Joined: 02.05.2008

Sep 7 @ 11:21 AM ET
Nice write up Justin at all the prospects, and but sad to say going into next year, if that is the lineup that they put on the ice, the good thing is we have a real good shot at Jack Hughes!
Slofire94
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: CA
Joined: 01.17.2016

Sep 7 @ 11:25 AM ET
That's quite possible...but let's be honest here (and I'm not being sarcastic), Q will most likely try almost every combination of defensemen with the first 10 games. At this point Q has to see who clicks with each other. These aren't the Keith-Seabrook and Oduya-Hjamarsson days anymore. Give the team 2-3 years and the defense will be stellar, but not just yet.
- DarthKane



Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Sep 7 @ 11:26 AM ET

One thing to note (and this will be broken down again in my upcoming "Interesting Line Combo" series) that just because someone is on the top 6, doesn't necessarily mean they are sure-fire top 6 quality.

Maybe the player, in John Hayden's case could be used there as a complimentary player to his line mates - like doing some heavy lifting to help Toews, create space and protection Debrincat - for example.

Or... maybe the team lacks overall depth and need to use a player there out of necessity.

Also, there is no difference between line 1 vs. line 2 on 5-on-5 (and one some teams the top 3 lines play similar minutes at even strength). The top players usually slot in there, but their impact (and additional time) is earned on special teams.

Finally, for those who hate line combination posts, first off, you'll hate my next series (:lol, but I personally do it to paint a picture of overall depth and how the team looks overall in terms of balance, skill, toughness and how they would match up vs. their opponents.

DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Sep 7 @ 11:31 AM ET
One thing to note (and this will be broken down again in my upcoming "Interesting Line Combo" series) that just because someone is on the top 6, doesn't necessarily mean they are sure-fire top 6 quality.

Maybe the player, in John Hayden's case could be used there as a complimentary player to his line mates - like doing some heavy lifting to help Toews, create space and protection Debrincat - for example.

Or... maybe the team lacks overall depth and need to use a player there out of necessity.

Also, there is no difference between line 1 vs. line 2 on 5-on-5 (and one some teams the top 3 lines play similar minutes at even strength). The top players usually slot in there, but their impact (and additional time) is earned on special teams.

Finally, for those who hate line combination posts, first off, you'll hate my next series (:lol, but I personally do it to paint a picture of overall depth and how the team looks overall in terms of balance, skill, toughness and how they would match up vs. their opponents.

- Justin Lowe


I understand why some people don't like line combo posts, but during the off season there's not much else to talk about. We all know Q will shuffle up the lines consistently throughout the season too.

I am becoming more and more intrigued with Hayden's situation. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hayden make the team out of camp, but where does he play and can he stick with the big club?
SoftServe
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Bensenville, IL
Joined: 01.19.2016

Sep 7 @ 11:35 AM ET
Sikura - Toews - Kane
Saad - Schmaltz - DeBrincat
Kahun - Anisimov - Kampf
Johnson - Kruger - Hayden
Kunitz

Keith - Murphy
Gustafsson - Seabrook
Manning - Jokiharju
Rutta

Crawford (potentially on IR)
Ward
Forsberg

- DarthKane



walleyeb1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 09.25.2014

Sep 7 @ 11:43 AM ET
I understand why some people don't like line combo posts, but during the off season there's not much else to talk about. We all know Q will shuffle up the lines consistently throughout the season too.

I am becoming more and more intrigued with Hayden's situation. I wouldn't be surprised to see Hayden make the team out of camp, but where does he play and can he stick with the big club?

- DarthKane


I plugged Hayden in on the 2nd line slot too. Mainly because I think he might be able to compliment Debrincat and Toews. Although I definitely have some misgivings with the slotting.

The troubling thing on Hayden for me is that he was mostly non existent (at least on the scoresheet) with the Hogs in the playoffs.

Bottom line is we’re short a top six right winger, but you have to plug someone into the slot.
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