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Forums :: Blog World :: Justin Lowe: 5 Lessons Learned + STL Primer
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Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Oct 12 @ 3:26 PM ET
Justin Lowe: 5 Lessons Learned + STL Primer The loss last night, well "it hurt" according to Coach Q.

It was a game where, yes, the Hawks gave up some prime scoring chances (19 high danger scoring chances according to Natural Stat Trick), but overall the Blackhawks didn't play terribly.

Here are my 5 thoughts + St. Louis primer for tomorrow's game.
I Am The Breadman
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Richton Park, IL
Joined: 09.16.2018

Oct 12 @ 3:28 PM ET
First, haha, my one and only.

Being serious. I was leery of Kahun, he's forming good chemistry with Adb and the capt, at least we have one great line. I think Fortin and Kane will have great chemistry and form another scoring line. Third and fourth lines, please find the back of the net every now and then, that's all I ask.

Last night was painful, but I don't think we would have won the shootout. Kids, new faces, and people in slumps. We need more than Toews and Kane to score and definitely need Ward on those saves. I would have loved 2 pts and Minny none, but poor team effort in front of Ward. What can you do? We were only going to get 1 pt.

Looking forward to Davidson and no Rutta. Q saw that a pp with Joki and Gus was able to score. Drawback, they were scored on. Crapola.

I said a post ago, how does sending a message to Saad change the goal scoring situation? Less ice time, different mates, no chemistry, yeah, that will get him scoring again. He needs time to find himself again, but I just don't know how much. Hockey is ebbs and flows, sorry for the cliche. Saad, although an enigma, will find his flow again.

Hopefully a W Saturday. Looking forward to Stl. they will be hungry and I will be excited to talk hockey. Then another game not until Thursday. What the f-hey is that?

Edit: my manners, I like what you do, Justin. Great blog. Great pov.
pdx2ord
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 09.02.2015

Oct 12 @ 3:31 PM ET
While I want to believe Saad will view the demotion as a "kick in the pants" as you note, I'm fearful he does not (as posted at tail end of last thread):

https://www.nbcsports.com...gh-blackhawks-are-looking

Maybe he's putting a positive spin on it to save face, but sounds like Saad and Q are not on same page about why the line change.

I read this little bit and feel like Saad really doesn't think there is an issue. So hard to tell, though, when they are all media coached to within an inch of their lives:

For better or worse, Saad hasn't changed his mindset one way or the other and won't going forward, no matter what his role may be.

"Regardless of where you're at, you can't change your attitude or mindset," Saad said. "You've got to come to work every day and have that success.

"When we're winning, it's pretty easy to stay positive. But obviously with losing like last night, it's definitely tough and something you think about a little bit more. At the end of the day, it's just coming to work every day, improving every day and just keep doing what you're doing."
EnzoD
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02.19.2014

Oct 12 @ 3:36 PM ET
Thanks Justin! Ward had at least 5 Grade A saves last night and got the Hawks a point in a game MN could’ve won in regulation. Fortin has game changing speed and Kane’s 2nd line with the Hawks 2 best skaters in 8+84 should be a challenge for STL to contain. Hayden can throw a mean right hand, but he has been pretty ineffective.

Kunitz is like Sharp last year, smart plays but over the hill. Doesn’t hurt you, but doesn’t help much either.


Message sending time for Q with Saad after doing virtually nothing in both the Pre and Regular Season thus far.

Maybe Davidson can lock down the 6D spot. He looked good in preseason and laid a few good hits.
RickJ
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Burlington, ON
Joined: 01.12.2010

Oct 12 @ 3:49 PM ET
While I want to believe Saad will view the demotion as a "kick in the pants" as you note, I'm fearful he does not (as posted at tail end of last thread):

https://www.nbcsports.com...gh-blackhawks-are-looking

Maybe he's putting a positive spin on it to save face, but sounds like Saad and Q are not on same page about why the line change.

I read this little bit and feel like Saad really doesn't think there is an issue. So hard to tell, though, when they are all media coached to within an inch of their lives:

- pdx2ord


Next step for Q with Saad is 'healthy scratch'. That might change his mindset.
Savoy
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Spencer, NC
Joined: 01.15.2014

Oct 12 @ 3:57 PM ET
I would like to read about Saad working overtime at practice. Maybe trying some type of brain coach. At this point IMO he needs some positive extra thing in his routine to help get himself out of the prolonged slump.
tvetter
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Burkesville, KY
Joined: 12.16.2015

Oct 12 @ 4:07 PM ET
There were 2 reasons I was ok (not happy, but ok) with the Ward signing.
1. Crawford's injury was serious enough that he was going to miss significant time, and
2. While Ward's numbers were maybe a little worse than Forsberg's, he was better at making the timely save late in a period or game to keep the lead.

So far neither has been the case. I agree that his D has not been doing him any favors, but the OT goal against Toronto, and the timing of the last three goals last night...🤮
35Tony0
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Springfield, IL
Joined: 05.10.2015

Oct 12 @ 4:08 PM ET
Silver lining?
With Kruger and Saad on line 4, the PK should improve, fresh legs-wise.
Also, Saad spent some time on line 4 early in his Columbus tenure, here's hoping he bounces back again here. Too much talent to not produce, IMHO.
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Oct 12 @ 4:17 PM ET
Saad will get going, but the main issue people have with his production, a big root cause of that is his inability to fit into the Powerplay or for the coaches to put him in the right role on the Powerplay.

He did not score enough last year, but it wasn't for lack of chances and at even strength he wasn't far off the team leaders in goals.

Even Strength Goals.
DeBrincat 22
Kane 22
Toews 18
Schmaltz 17
Saad 17
Sharp 10
AA 8

Considering he didn't get any empty net goals (Debrincat had 3, Kane 2, Toews 2), his putting the puck in the net really lagged behind on the Powerplay. I think they've struggled to fit him in or find him any PP chemistry. When he was on the ice for the PP, I don't think the puck was on his stick very often.

Maybe they will figure it out for him to get some PP production, but last year, he was playing on line that wasn't clicking, but still lead the team in game winning goals. He will make an impact, but 4 games in he has been in a funk. I hope they get him some confidence and see if he can get on a roll.

He is in a slump, but it is a long season. Way too early to say he won't get going. He might not find his legs on that 4th line. I didn't like that 2nd line Saad-Schmaltz-Kane. They didn't click as a unit last year, and they didn't as a unit so far this year. I would put him 3rd line with AA and Fortin for the time being if it were me.
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Oct 12 @ 4:20 PM ET
I get what they are trying to do with PP1, but I don't really like/agree with it. Everyone knows that the Hawks needs some net front presence on the PP. None of those forwards are going to do it, unless they expect Fortin to do it (which is quite a bit to expect).

bhawks2241
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 09.17.2013

Oct 12 @ 4:25 PM ET
I don't like those comparing Fortin to Hino.

Yes both are fast but Hino didn't really use his speed to disrupt on the forecheck or to change the game. I hope that is something that Fortin can do. He looked like he was willing to do so last night.
Chunk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Orange, CA
Joined: 11.06.2015

Oct 12 @ 4:27 PM ET
Saad will get going, but the main issue people have with his production, a big root cause of that is his inability to fit into the Powerplay or for the coaches to put him in the right role on the Powerplay.

He did not score enough last year, but it wasn't for lack of chances and at even strength he wasn't far off the team leaders in goals.

Even Strength Goals.
DeBrincat 22
Kane 22
Toews 18
Schmaltz 17
Saad 17
Sharp 10
AA 8

Considering he didn't get any empty net goals (Debrincat had 3, Kane 2, Toews 2), his putting the puck in the net really lagged behind on the Powerplay. I think they've struggled to fit him in or find him any PP chemistry. When he was on the ice for the PP, I don't think the puck was on his stick very often.

Maybe they will figure it out for him to get some PP production, but last year, he was playing on line that wasn't clicking, but still lead the team in game winning goals. He will make an impact, but 4 games in he has been in a funk. I hope they get him some confidence and see if he can get on a roll.

He is in a slump, but it is a long season. Way too early to say he won't get going. He might not find his legs on that 4th line. I didn't like that 2nd line Saad-Schmaltz-Kane. They didn't click as a unit last year, and they didn't as a unit so far this year. I would put him 3rd line with AA and Fortin for the time being if it were me.

- breadbag


I wouldn't really be at all surprised to see Saad start putting a few in the net playing with Kruger and Kampf. They play a tougher style that could create more close/rebound type chances where Saad can use his strength.
DarthKane
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I love sarcasm.
Joined: 02.23.2012

Oct 12 @ 4:40 PM ET
I don't like those comparing Fortin to Hino.

Yes both are fast but Hino didn't really use his speed to disrupt on the forecheck or to change the game. I hope that is something that Fortin can do. He looked like he was willing to do so last night.

- bhawks2241



This isn't directed at you...

While I'm not writing off Fortin, it takes more than speed to be effective, just ask Viktor Stalberg. I'm all for giving Fortin a chance and I am intrigued to see what he can do with Schmaltz and Kane, but it's too early to have any realistic expectations.
ObeseOprah
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 01.17.2014

Oct 12 @ 4:40 PM ET
Bonehead move putting Anisimov and a down Saad out there by Quenneville.

Saad will be fine, it's four games everyone, chill out. He's not playing well right now, maybe he's nursing a nagging injury or something. We've seen what normal Saad looks like, he'll return to 50-point, dominant cycling, dangerous speed... soon enough.

Trading him at a low point after four games is just idiotic, when you share the same opinion as the hammered guy at the bar... you're on the same level.

#20 will come around, give him time.
Tanuki
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 05.27.2010

Oct 12 @ 4:42 PM ET
"It looks to be a real kick in the pants for Brandon Saad. The guy just flat out needs to produce. He's not Artemi Panarin"

No he's not and he looks slow. However, when it comes to post season production, Panarin is no Saad.

Hawks don't win the cup in 2015 without Saad. And Panarin has yet to show up for an entire playoff series.
tim62b
Joined: 04.20.2016

Oct 12 @ 4:46 PM ET
Having Seabrook and Gustaffson on the point on the power play is a definite improvement. You want your hardest shot on the point, a la Bobby Hull. However, Quueneville needs to watch about two minutes of a Phil Esposito highlight film to figure out what really ails the power play: a big body, with a big rear end parked right in front of the net. Also, Kruger, Saad and Kampf could turn into an incredible checking line.
333inthe3rd
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 02.04.2015

Oct 12 @ 4:56 PM ET
I talked a bit about Saad at the end of the previous thread. I'll reiterate some here...

I think part of it could be the breakup with the Hawks, and being brought back, and he wasn't quite as enthused when interviewed about it. He had said he thought maybe he comes back at the end of his career, how he had built his dream home in Columbus, and basically had moved on.

His first season back was a tough one for the Hawks as well as for him. Toews struggled and Hossa was gone, so he had to be wondering why he was there. Kane was a bit vocal about his disappointment in losing Panarin, and Saad had no chance of matching that production. It appeared to be a team going downhill fast, and he had just been in Columbus, a team that seemed to be going in the right direction.

I mentioned Torts shock, also. Someone posted a youtube about how Torts felt it was all behind him, but I wonder how players perform after playing for Torts, if there is a burnout factor there, given how he runs a team, and the first year post-Torts has some kind of dropoff. Would be an interesting study, anyway. I know the Rangers got to the Cup finals the year after he was fired, but they only had 96 points in the regular season, also.

Saad got his money, and that makes it a lot harder for him to ask for a trade and have it happen. I want to think he will be what he was here for that three year period, but I have to wonder what is going through his head since he was traded from here and then traded back here. It's a business, they say, but that doesn't mean players aren't affected by the vagaries of this business. If he gets dealt, I would think that he has a good chance to bounce back in the right situation. I have to wonder if all the baggage could be weighing him down here.
walleyeb1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 09.25.2014

Oct 12 @ 5:08 PM ET
Montreal Canadiens Open For Business

Bob McKenzie said during TSN Insider Trading that the Montreal Canadiens are “open for business” when it comes to shopping some of their forward corps. He notes that the team feels things are about to get crowded.
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Oct 12 @ 5:08 PM ET
No games today at all?
Hawkster
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Ottawa, ON
Joined: 06.13.2008

Oct 12 @ 5:08 PM ET
I hope Saad gets going, so far it's been very disappointing
Hopefully it's short term otherwise he might not be worth the investment and would end up being a bad trade....honestly did not see this one coming, thought it was a somewhat decent trade, so far not looking so good.
MnGump
Season Ticket Holder
Minnesota Wild
Location: Columbus, MN
Joined: 06.21.2012

Oct 12 @ 5:09 PM ET
Wild got lucky. Dubnyk helped steal that game, but neither team looked all that impressive. That said, Chicago still superior system wise and talent wise to Minnesota.

BTW, Shout out to Mohel and MartiniMan if they're still around?
Hawkster
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Ottawa, ON
Joined: 06.13.2008

Oct 12 @ 5:10 PM ET
Montreal Canadiens Open For Business

Bob McKenzie said during TSN Insider Trading that the Montreal Canadiens are “open for business” when it comes to shopping some of their forward corps. He notes that the team feels things are about to get crowded.

- walleyeb1


Package Saad and some picks for Drouin, Danault?
Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Oct 12 @ 5:18 PM ET
No games today at all?
- StLBravesFan


Nope. The schedule has been quite strange so far.
ObeseOprah
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 01.17.2014

Oct 12 @ 5:24 PM ET
Montreal Canadiens Open For Business

Bob McKenzie said during TSN Insider Trading that the Montreal Canadiens are “open for business” when it comes to shopping some of their forward corps. He notes that the team feels things are about to get crowded.

- walleyeb1


Shaw with half retained for Hillman, Anisimov, and a 3rd.

Brings some depth scoring, some energy, and a guy who can play any forward position decently.
EbonyRaptor
Joined: 03.28.2013

Oct 12 @ 5:27 PM ET
This isn't directed at you...

While I'm not writing off Fortin, it takes more than speed to be effective, just ask Viktor Stalberg. I'm all for giving Fortin a chance and I am intrigued to see what he can do with Schmaltz and Kane, but it's too early to have any realistic expectations.

- DarthKane


Viktor Stalberg is used as the poster child for unproductive fast guy but back in 2011/12 he tallied 22 goals and 43 points playing for the Beloved. I would be very pleased if Fortin can do as well.
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