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Forums :: Blog World :: Justin Lowe: Back to Life, Back to Reality
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Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Sep 28 @ 12:02 PM ET
Justin Lowe: Back to Life, Back to Reality Joel Quenneville foreshadowed last night's poor performance when he was heard screaming explicit obscenities at his players early in the day at practice.

Joel knows is crunch time and with the regular season around the corner, his team does not look ready in his eyes.
Roadrunner75
Toronto Maple Leafs
Location: ON
Joined: 03.01.2013

Sep 28 @ 12:13 PM ET
Honestly didnt think they were that bad. Mistakes killed them some like on the Duchene goal, but that bad bounce off the back boards just sucked.

Certainly need to tighten it up but they look poised to actually be rather dangerous.

Always hard to get a solid read on preseason games.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Sep 28 @ 12:16 PM ET
Great blob JL... even better Soul II Soul reference!
ObeseOprah
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 01.17.2014

Sep 28 @ 12:27 PM ET
This is going to be a long season. Trade Anisimov, he is way too slow and does not hustle.
I Am The Breadman
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Richton Park, IL
Joined: 09.16.2018

Sep 28 @ 12:32 PM ET
Great piece, Justin. There were times where Schmaltz embarrassed Duchene, blindly robbed him, and then there were puck races and board battles where he gave up. Outside of faceoffs, if he ever returns to the Centre position and the dot, I want his presence known by way of puck races and board battles. He has speed and he has skill, he should use them more.
PetterKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 07.12.2015

Sep 28 @ 12:34 PM ET
What has happened to Saad? One of the worst players this preseason.
Can't control the puck even if his life depended on it.
Return of the Roar
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Solidly grounded in reality, IL
Joined: 07.27.2009

Sep 28 @ 12:37 PM ET
We can only hope that these pre-season games are being played exclusively to put the wannabes in the best position to evaluate their talents, while not exposing the core and veteran guys to undue injuries at this time.

That could go a long way to explaining the seemingly universal lethargy out there from some of the NHL ready group.

If Manning brings his game from last night to the regular season every night that is something to be VERY happy about. Just to see a guy make forwards earn their spot in front of the crease was refreshing.

While Toews and ADB seem to have some chemistry, and Toews was "around the net" more, it is still hard to escape the fact that neither of them are board battlers, and as such, the lack of physical play on that line still resulted in short offensive zone time - unless they reverted to the perimeter game. Not having Toews be the unmoveable, low center of gravity, dirty area warrior changes the landscape of that line entirely. If he can;t be that guy then they need someone who can be, which sadly I do not see anywhere on the current roster.

Schmaltz's game has some positives to it (backchecking in particular), but again this theme of not being tough on the body or the puck comes back to haunt his line too. AA, while possessing the grit and willingness to go to the dirty areas, slows 8 and 88 down just enough to mitigate much of the speed advantage they can bring. Was hard to watch Duchene last night and not wish we had a guy with his toolbox to play on that line.

I really liked the Hayden Kruger Martinsen line. Drove possession and were a general PITA for OTT.

Kunitz. Done. Waste of a roster space.

Saad. WTF?

Defense will be Keith, Seabrook, Gustafsson, Manning, Ruuta and Davidson. Maybe Joki is the #7 that gets some spot starts. Just don't see Q loading up too much with rookies on the D.

Forsberg. A quandry I tell ya. Shows flashes of polish to his game and then loses the net and/or sight of the puck way too often. Let's hope that more games bring more improvement.
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Sep 28 @ 12:38 PM ET
Hawks definitely a different team than Vegas, who to me, had a roster of guys who are just well rounded athletically and used it to their advantage. I think they can take the chip on the shoulder approach, I think in some way similar to Kane when he had his big season after the offseason roller-coaster. The team doesn't have the same expectations and now really do have something to prove. Prove they don't belong out of the playoffs again. Prove that last year was the exception instead of the rule.

I don't think necessarily the Hawks need faster skaters to play with speed, they just need to keep the puck moving quickly. It was something they did well before, to push the pace of the game and keep the other team chasing. I think it really starts on that backend. The D need to make smart plays and good passes out. It is a fine line between puck support from the forwards and allow the forwards to be aggressive moving up the ice because the D can get the puck out of danger without so much support. Nothing I hate more than watching the D unable to move the puck or making weak little passes that put the next guy into a spot to have to rush and dump it before it is turned over. I think the coaches will beat the team into decent shape, if the legs can hold out on the back end.
Tatoo
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Montreal, QC
Joined: 12.17.2016

Sep 28 @ 12:42 PM ET
Who misses Hossa more,Saad or Toews?Saad has been awful so far.Put him back with Toews.I like to see Kahun with Johnson and Haydon.4th line of Kruger ,Kempf and Kuniz(sp)
EnzoD
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02.19.2014

Sep 28 @ 12:45 PM ET
What has happened to Saad? One of the worst players this preseason.
Can't control the puck even if his life depended on it.

- PetterKane


Would you rather have 4 years of Saad at 35 points or Panarin for 2 years at 80 points?


Would you rather have Saad for $6mil at 40 points, or Panarin for $9mil at 80 points?


ObeseOprah
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 01.17.2014

Sep 28 @ 12:49 PM ET
Would you rather have 4 years of Saad at 35 points or Panarin for 2 years at 80 points?


Would you rather have Saad for $6mil at 40 points, or Panarin for $9mil at 80 points?

- EnzoD


But Enzo, without that extra $3MM how will we sign Cam Ward? Or Rutta? Or Gustafson?
powerenforcer
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Mt. Prospect, IL
Joined: 09.24.2009

Sep 28 @ 12:50 PM ET
Would you rather have 4 years of Saad at 35 points or Panarin for 2 years at 80 points?


Would you rather have Saad for $6mil at 40 points, or Panarin for $9mil at 80 points?

- EnzoD


And have nothing in the playoffs? Does it matter if you win the regular season? How about neither?
ObeseOprah
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 01.17.2014

Sep 28 @ 12:53 PM ET
And have nothing in the playoffs? Does it matter if you win the regular season? How about neither?
- powerenforcer


Panarin was point per game in the 2016 playoffs, the whole team was anemic in 2017. That narrative is idiotic, especially after Panarin's playoffs last year for CBJ. Stan lost the Panarin-Saad trade so damn hard. We could have had both.
Scott1977
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Yorkville, IL
Joined: 08.30.2012

Sep 28 @ 12:57 PM ET
Does not matter hawkd will be a team picking in top 5 in next year's draft. Nothing in these first 5 preseason games have shown me they are any better than last year maybe even slightly worse. I know its preseason and cannot base the whole season on those games but its been very hard to watch. Goaltending is average at best defense is very poor and offense is the same shoot turn over the puck back the other way no sustainable pressure. PPand PK are ok so hopefully i am wrong and hawks have good season.
AEL_Fox
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: CA
Joined: 06.18.2016

Sep 28 @ 1:32 PM ET
Great blog, Justin. I find Sheng's blogs very insightful, too, and think he is one of the better bloggers on HockeyBuzz. Anyway, two of his points stand out to me:

"It was small plays that they kept repeating that help win me over. Defending fast. Being in position to fill attack lanes time after time. Rotating defensively."

This pretty defines attacking and defending in waves as well as relentlessness. Vegas did that to a T every shift. While I think the Hawks may have a fire lit under them to prove people wrong, I am not confident in the team being able to attack and defend in waves and play relentlessly. Some of that is on the players, some of that is on the coaches.

"Almost to a man, they played fast. Even the fourth line, led by Bellemare, while low on skill, was able to think and play fast. Chipping pucks forward, gaining territory. They didn't score a lot, but they won most of their battles, left the puck in a good place for the next line."

This is related to attacking and defending in waves. As part of a unit, you set up the next play so your teammate is in a good spot to do something productive with it, they in turn do the same for the next person.

It's like in baseball, even if the ball isn't hit to you or even your area of the field, every player needs to know where they need to be and what to do next if poop happens like an errant throw (i.e. a turnover in hockey) which means you need to be on your toes to activate and make a quick decision and play to neutralize the error.
vshun
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Joined: 06.04.2015

Sep 28 @ 1:34 PM ET
If Panarin would have been here and not in Columbus doubt he would have scored the same as in Columbus or as before. Players are quitting on the team or on the coach, and sparkle once they move out (like 2 defensemen shipped out as they were "bad" here and went to win SC somewhere else).
Core of the problem for this team is not one specific trade Saad for Panarin, it sits way deeper.
SimpleJack
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Chicago , IL
Joined: 05.23.2013

Sep 28 @ 1:38 PM ET
Loving the outlook for this season. It’s very important that we lose as many games as possible to maximize our chances at drafting an elite young talent to spark our rebuild. We look well on our way with this horsepoop roster.
HawkintheD
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Sick Bay, MI
Joined: 02.22.2012

Sep 28 @ 1:46 PM ET
Panarin was point per game in the 2016 playoffs, (2 goals and believe one was an empty netter).

the whole team was anemic in 2017. (True, but Panarin couldn't get anywhere close to the net and usually was nullified above the circles that entire series. So it was more the way he was anemic.)

That narrative is idiotic, (Not really a narrative when his playoff greatness/or lack of hasn't extended beyond a round.)

especially after Panarin's playoffs last year for CBJ. (games 1-3 were great. what happened in games 4-6)

Stan lost the Panarin-Saad trade so damn hard. We could have had both. (Yes, so far the trade hasn't looked good. I don't really care how good or bad he's looked in preseason...starting next week, I'll care. Also, if he sucks so bad and Stan lost that deal what do you or anyone care about having both players?)

- ObeseOprah
I Am The Breadman
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Richton Park, IL
Joined: 09.16.2018

Sep 28 @ 1:53 PM ET
The thing that I really liked about Vegas is they way they were coached. It shouldn't be new or shocking, but guys who weren't regular players on the roster had to go to practice and work on every drill in every situation. In the case of injury, there would be no gap and the same workload, expectations, and results would be equal weight on all players shoulders. Stars, bottom lines, call ups, and fringe players.
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Sep 28 @ 2:01 PM ET
Panarin was point per game in the 2016 playoffs, the whole team was anemic in 2017. That narrative is idiotic, especially after Panarin's playoffs last year for CBJ. Stan lost the Panarin-Saad trade so damn hard. We could have had both.
- ObeseOprah


Yeah - 7 points against St. Louis.

2017 was a mess for the whole team - but Panarin - only one point (an assist in game 4) against Nashville.

And - after 7 points in three good games against Washington - nothing in the 3 final games that closed CBJ out.

A major player for Chicago - team leader in Columbus - still has not won a single playoff series - and pretty much disappeared when the chips were down.

Team game and all that - teammates weren’t any better - but I think he still needs to prove his leadership qualities and that he can be a winner in this league when it counts the most.
chuckdahammer
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 11.01.2016

Sep 28 @ 2:09 PM ET
I think that the Hawks need to work on their breakout with their defensemen. A team that wants to play fast, usually has their defense "push the pace" throughout the game. There were times in the Ottawa game, and the Detroit game also, that the defensemen had a hard time with the opposition's fore check. Moving the puck quickly and head manning the puck are crucial if you want to "play fast". Beat the forecheck and move the puck up quickly to the forwards moving in the neutral zone. I saw too many times where the Hawks were either "dilly dalling" with the puck in the defensive zone or needed more than one attempt to move the puck out of there. Maybe Saad should move up to first line or second. He and Kunitz do not have anything going. Kunitz would be an ideal 13th forward .... sit in the press box but he is able to move up and down the line up when he is in. Preferably in a bottom six role
Z3Hawk
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 05.04.2017

Sep 28 @ 2:16 PM ET
OO - with Anisimov I have just tired. I have not understood for years now why he has not been moved. A slow Center who is poor at face-offs and always seems to miss a big chunk of games - games that the Hawks seem to play better and faster in.

He is just pencilled in. Does he really look better than other younger, faster options? I don’t enjoy criticizing him but I’m becoming just resigned.
Z3Hawk
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 05.04.2017

Sep 28 @ 2:23 PM ET
What has happened to Saad? One of the worst players this preseason.
Can't control the puck even if his life depended on it.

- PetterKane


Obviously holding his stick really tight. Worked hard in the off-season. On a line with Schmaltz and Kane - writers writing how this might be one of the best lines in hockey this year. Q freaks out. Schmaltz a wing, Saad demoted to 3rd line. Interviewers very blunt - ask him how it feels to be demoted out of top 6. Saad’s confidence now crushed. Maybe Schmaltz too. Great start Q.
fattybeef
Joined: 05.04.2010

Sep 28 @ 2:26 PM ET
Panarin was the best player on the ice in that Washington Jackets series. By far the best player on the ice. His movement through the neutral zone to the attacking zone. Just about every moment was electric when the puck was on his blade.

Incredible player and greatly missed by the Hawks. He'd be missed by any team he left quite frankly and make whatever team he joined significantly better.

Z3Hawk
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 05.04.2017

Sep 28 @ 2:27 PM ET
Panarin was point per game in the 2016 playoffs, the whole team was anemic in 2017. That narrative is idiotic, especially after Panarin's playoffs last year for CBJ. Stan lost the Panarin-Saad trade so damn hard. We could have had both.
- ObeseOprah


OO Panarin was actually effective in the play-offs for the first 2 wins. Not much in the 4 straight losses.
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