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

Oct 20 @ 9:48 AM ET
Justin Lowe: 6 Thoughts Through 6 Games We are 6 games into this season and the Blackhawks finally suffered their first regulation loss vs. Arizona. This puts their record to 3-1-2.

The biggest news is that Corey Crawford returned on Thursday and looked good. While he did let in 3 goals, he was hung out to dry on a couple and didn't look out of place at all.

Well, he and the Hawks are going to ramp up in the next few weeks.
riozzo
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Cornwallis Island
Joined: 06.17.2014

Oct 20 @ 10:02 AM ET
Great job as usual Justin!

First...
D2D
Joined: 05.27.2018

Oct 20 @ 10:10 AM ET
Justin, great stuff as usual! I know this is going to sound redundant but here we go:

1. Crow is back; we forget he is only human and that's the most important thing...hockey is secondary. Make the comeback with Ward being capable back up

2. Although only 6 games, Toews looks like his old self, playing with more confidence and just having fun and doing what he does best.

3. Debrincat really looks good and Kahun just a notch below

4. Kane needs help; calling all Rick Nash. If not, Saad better get his act together to help out Kane

5. Outside of the Joker (very pleasant poise and production) and Keith, D zone team D is a mess. Manning and Rutta has struggled mightily

6. Lack of production of bottom 6; calling all Dylan Sikura
PatShart
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Vegas, NV
Joined: 06.25.2015

Oct 20 @ 10:27 AM ET
Saad needs to produce points

Q and company watched Toews the last few years, gave him his space to eat his weird food, and watched his production suck

I think it's good that they're telling Saad - you wanted 6mil, you need to play all aspects of the game, which includes point production.

Kunitz is a bottom 6 guy that isn't paid to or expected to put point up a 6mil dollar guy is expected to. Its his first 6 games in this system. Saad has been in it for years now.

Q cant take the old Toews excuse of "well, he does other things right that dont show up on the score sheet".

Well, he is expected and laid to do those things, AND show up on the score sheet.

That's the message. That's why there is dissatisfaction in his play.
I Am The Breadman
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Richton Park, IL
Joined: 09.16.2018

Oct 20 @ 10:29 AM ET
Justin Lowe: 6 Thoughts Through 6 Games
We are 6 games into this season and the Blackhawks finally suffered their first regulation loss vs. Arizona. This puts their record to 3-1-2.

The biggest news is that Corey Crawford returned on Thursday and looked good. While he did let in 3 goals, he was hung out to dry on a couple and didn't look out of place at all.

Well, he and the Hawks are going to ramp up in the next few weeks.

- Justin Lowe


Awesome job as usual, Justin. Arizona was a sting, but mentioned earlier, the hawks had too much time off and play down to the level of the team. I was disappointed by the lack of Peppa…

Crow coming back is huge!!! I hate that the schedule goes from so much time off to so many games in so little time. I'm not saying that Crow will be in all of them, but Crow definitely needs to be in top form for them. He might just be. When the guy says that he's ready, he's ready.

Q's handling of Saad isn't helping. I love the top line's production, but what if Saad were to be a beneficiary of that line? Let's say, Adb-Toews-Saad. Move Kahun with Kane and Schmaltz, was Kahun a centre? He's got to be better at the dot that Schmaltz. If I'm wrong correct me, but I really like Arty as the 3rd, he just needs better guys around him.

I think Fortin beat out Ejdsell because of his wheels, his shot would definitely be welcome. I liked Highmore a lot, especially when he was making a name for himself, and almost made the roster a few years back, but I didn't want him to be the first recall. I was hoping for Highmore. He's more complete than Fortin. I think if you give Fortin another year in Rockford he will be fine.

I'm dreading Panarin tonight, mainly because of how much I miss him in a hawk's sweater, but I think that tonight will be a good game. Tampa on the otherhand, I love seeing foes we beat in the final. Davidson, finally. He needs to take full advantage of this night. I hope Forsberg clears as you predicted, Justin. I don't want to lose him, but if we could have gotten a valuable piece for him, I would have rather of gone that route. Looking forward to the game tonight, and I look forward to talking through it and Justin your voice and comradery are always welcome through the games.
Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Oct 20 @ 10:48 AM ET
Thanks Breadman.

Kahun has played C most of his career but I don't think they are just going to move him just yet. That line is really playing well.

I think you see Schmaltz stay on the wing for a while. Putting AA back up there might not look the best but I think it's needed right now.

I like Kampf back at C and his 53% faceoff (last year) is welcomed. Hope he, Saad and Kunitz can get a low-cycle game. Ultimately, I would love to see someone like Sikura on that line to drive more offence but for now, this is what the Hawks have.

Finally, Hayden and Martinsen played well last year together (between Tyler Sikura) in Rockford and think the Hawks could stand to be a little more physical. I like that 4th line with Kruger to be used as a spark plug, responsible line.

oldduffman
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 11.06.2013

Oct 20 @ 10:50 AM ET
Well interesting thoughts ,lot seem to focus on coaching decisions .I still believe it was a big mistake not to at least see what we have in Forsberg this year ,not like Ward was standing on his head(.879 SV %) through the 1st 5 games including a back to back. Losing him for nothing will be a mistake . I imagine Ward will get the start on the 2nd of the back to back .
I hope your right about Manning taking a seat tonight .Still believe losing Vinny was a mistake . Q Could not find a spot for him ,sound familiar .The jury is still out on Vinny but with a defined role I feel he will flourish in a top six role .
HAWKS need some finish on Kane line and Schmaltzis not the answer or is Fortin .Highmore seems to have some natural talent for scoring maybe he could help, and AA is there for some defensive presents .If they really want Schamaltz as center stick him on the wing and let Kruger work with him, let him learn the defensive side of the game . Just some of my thoughts ,thanks for the post Justin always a good read ..GO HAWKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
StLBravesFan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 07.03.2011

Oct 20 @ 11:01 AM ET
Thanks, Justin - good write up.

On Kunitz: I don’t think you need to sit (or press-box) vets like him for a mistake like his errant pass - I doubt you’re going to teach him anything. I would have NO problem white-shirting him because he doesn’t contribute anything in general.

Fortin, Johnson, Highmore, Ejdsell, Sikura the Elder, Sikura the Younger - there are only 12 on-ice slots available. Are ANY of these guys top-6/middle-6 skaters? I guess we won’t know until we play them - but I haven’t heard raves about any of them (except maybe Sikura the Younger). Good things, but not raves.

And I don’t think three or four game stints are going to prove much about their abilities or readiness.

They have three proven top-sixers, I think - and I put Kahun and Schmaltz (no matter how high the brass are on him) in the unproven category.

Goalie - seems like Delia is the hope of the future - need him to play in Rockfish, not Indy - leaves Forsberg in a bad situation. Even with Crawford’s uncertainty over the summer, picking up Ward didn’t do anything for the future competitiveness of this team.
I Am The Breadman
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Richton Park, IL
Joined: 09.16.2018

Oct 20 @ 11:01 AM ET
Thanks Breadman.

Kahun has played C most of his career but I don't think they are just going to move him just yet. That line is really playing well.

I think you see Schmaltz stay on the wing for a while. Putting AA back up there might not look the best but I think it's needed right now.

I like Kampf back at C and his 53% faceoff (last year) is welcomed. Hope he, Saad and Kunitz can get a low-cycle game. Ultimately, I would love to see someone like Sikura on that line to drive more offence but for now, this is what the Hawks have.

Finally, Hayden and Martinsen played well last year together (between Tyler Sikura) in Rockford and think the Hawks could stand to be a little more physical. I like that 4th line with Kruger to be used as a spark plug, responsible line.

- Justin Lowe


Yeah, I understand not breaking up a good thing, just thinking in terms of getting the old Saad back.

I like Kampf at C also, but that was just for faceoffs. I hope he takes that driving play he had during camp and brings it back to his game.

I remember Hayden and Martinsen having chemistry in Rock. Those 2 with Kruger were decent during camp also.
EbonyRaptor
Joined: 03.28.2013

Oct 20 @ 11:05 AM ET
I suppose trying Schmaltz at LW opposite Kane is worth a try, especially because there are no better options, but the 2LW job requirement is for "shooter" and Schmaltz is not a shooter. Can he be? I guess we'll see but up until now he has shown he is more reluctant to shoot than looking to shoot.

Fortin - probably blew his chance when he didn't score early in the AZ game when he was one on one with Raanta. I think he made the right choice to not go glove side and to go far side but Raanta was just in a zone and got a piece of it. Whether the kid just can't score or is snake bit doesn't matter - the puck either goes in or it doesn't.

My main complaint about the AZ game is the same main complaint I have in most games and that's the Hawks inability to cleanly pull pucks off the boards and make a play before the opposing player gets there and ties them up. It seems to be the case where the whole team is deficient in this area. I don't know if it's a case where the players realize they're over matched physically and therefore rush the play but it seems to happen much more often throughout the game than it does with the opposing players. Watch the play when AZ scored their 2nd goal - it started with Manning getting to the puck on the left boards and it appeared he got control and looked for a play but hesitated a split second and by then the AZ player was on him and the puck never left the zone until after picking it out of our net. Maybe it's just the price to pay for having a smallish team that is over matched physically pretty much every game.
Slofire94
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: CA
Joined: 01.17.2016

Oct 20 @ 11:17 AM ET
I'll be traveling thru Chicago on Sunday, just in time to catch the Tampa game.
Is there a preferred website/method for getting tickets at a discount?
Stubhub/marks tickets/direct from the Blackhawks, whats the best way to avoid fees?
Z3Hawk
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 05.04.2017

Oct 20 @ 11:31 AM ET
Nice Blog. Have always said that one of the primary issues I have with Q is his inconsistency in his treatment of different players. I have wondered and posted about whether this drama surrounding Saad was necessary so insanely early in the season. It just doesn’t look or smell good. Toews tried to walk the fine company line but he basically said he thought Saad was doing well. I was shocked when Kunitz immedietely hit the ice after his huge turnover. I posted that if that had been Saad we wouldn’t see for games.
HawkintheD
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Sick Bay, MI
Joined: 02.22.2012

Oct 20 @ 11:42 AM ET
90UIoj
I'll be traveling thru Chicago on Sunday, just in time to catch the Tampa game.
Is there a preferred website/method for getting tickets at a discount?
Stubhub/marks tickets/direct from the Blackhawks, whats the best way to avoid fees?

- Slofire94


Watch on a friend's tv?

Great stuff as usual Justin. I keep wanting for Kunitz to take on the Jamaal Myers role when he was with the team, as in not dressing for games and more moral support, mentor whatever.

Not sure a current Ice Hog wouldn't be better at this point.
Hawkytalk
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Glen Ellyn, IL
Joined: 06.26.2012

Oct 20 @ 11:48 AM ET
Well interesting thoughts ,lot seem to focus on coaching decisions .I still believe it was a big mistake not to at least see what we have in Forsberg this year ,not like Ward was standing on his head(.879 SV %) through the 1st 5 games including a back to back. Losing him for nothing will be a mistake . I imagine Ward will get the start on the 2nd of the back to back .
I hope your right about Manning taking a seat tonight .Still believe losing Vinny was a mistake . Q Could not find a spot for him ,sound familiar .The jury is still out on Vinny but with a defined role I feel he will flourish in a top six role .
HAWKS need some finish on Kane line and Schmaltzis not the answer or is Fortin .Highmore seems to have some natural talent for scoring maybe he could help, and AA is there for some defensive presents .If they really want Schamaltz as center stick him on the wing and let Kruger work with him, let him learn the defensive side of the game . Just some of my thoughts ,thanks for the post Justin always a good read ..GO HAWKS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- oldduffman


I agree with you on Vinny, though not sure if a top 6 role was warranted but 3rd line for sure and better than what we have. Unfortunately, it was yet another case of Bowman's bad contracts that Vinny had to be included in the Hossa deal. That's
TT in the Bickell deal and Vinny in the Hossa deal. You think this team would be better today with those 2 guys ??? Absolutely. Mind boggling how this GM is still here !! As for Q........ I know your opinion on that.

VeryModernMan
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Munich
Joined: 06.06.2017

Oct 20 @ 11:50 AM ET
Good blog, Kahun's promation and performance is really surprising me.
I Am The Breadman
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Richton Park, IL
Joined: 09.16.2018

Oct 20 @ 11:56 AM ET
90UIoj

Watch on a friend's tv?

Great stuff as usual Justin. I keep wanting for Kunitz to take on the Jamaal Myers role when he was with the team, as in not dressing for games and more moral support, mentor whatever.

Not sure a current Ice Hog wouldn't be better at this point.

- HawkintheD


From the last blog on hbo. That's honestly the station to go to for prime tv shows. GOT is going to be awesome. I was so excited for WW, I loved the movie, got to read the book, and the show blew my huge expectations away. There was a miniseries just on over the summer, Sharp Objects, a book by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) the show was amazing. I need to read the book of that also. Then you got a shows like Curb and Silicon Valley which is just fall off your ass funny. I pissed my brother off when I compared Silicon Valley to Gilligan's Island.
oldduffman
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 11.06.2013

Oct 20 @ 12:14 PM ET
Re Hawkytalk I believe Stan was the victim of circumstances in the Bickel and Hossa contracts .. MS and Allergic . Stan has made mistakes ,all GM do . I think Stan is on the right track by building up a very good young stock of Defenseman . I believe Stan trying to make the right deals ,but must walk on egg shells trying not to infuriate coach Q . Ward Manning and Kunutz seem to me anyway to be signed to appease Q. Well Kahun seems more of a Stan pickup, well thankfully Q has seen fit to use for now .. But you new I would go there right
HawkintheD
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Sick Bay, MI
Joined: 02.22.2012

Oct 20 @ 12:17 PM ET
From the last blog on hbo. That's honestly the station to go to for prime tv shows. GOT is going to be awesome. I was so excited for WW, I loved the movie, got to read the book, and the show blew my huge expectations away. There was a miniseries just on over the summer, Sharp Objects, a book by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) the show was amazing. I need to read the book of that also. Then you got a shows like Curb and Silicon Valley which is just fall off your ass funny. I pissed my brother off when I compared Silicon Valley to Gilligan's Island.
- I Am The Breadman


Yeah those are fantastic. Pretty much anything Mike Judge touches is gold. So who are the women characters on Silicon Valley and which one's Gilligan? Richard?

Or is it more like they never get off the island kind of like Pied Piper never quite makes it?
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Oct 20 @ 12:17 PM ET
Awesome job as usual, Justin. Arizona was a sting, but mentioned earlier, the hawks had too much time off and play down to the level of the team. I was disappointed by the lack of Peppa…

Crow coming back is huge!!! I hate that the schedule goes from so much time off to so many games in so little time. I'm not saying that Crow will be in all of them, but Crow definitely needs to be in top form for them. He might just be. When the guy says that he's ready, he's ready.

Q's handling of Saad isn't helping. I love the top line's production, but what if Saad were to be a beneficiary of that line? Let's say, Adb-Toews-Saad. Move Kahun with Kane and Schmaltz, was Kahun a centre? He's got to be better at the dot that Schmaltz. If I'm wrong correct me, but I really like Arty as the 3rd, he just needs better guys around him.

I think Fortin beat out Ejdsell because of his wheels, his shot would definitely be welcome. I liked Highmore a lot, especially when he was making a name for himself, and almost made the roster a few years back, but I didn't want him to be the first recall. I was hoping for Highmore. He's more complete than Fortin. I think if you give Fortin another year in Rockford he will be fine.

I'm dreading Panarin tonight, mainly because of how much I miss him in a hawk's sweater, but I think that tonight will be a good game. Tampa on the otherhand, I love seeing foes we beat in the final. Davidson, finally. He needs to take full advantage of this night. I hope Forsberg clears as you predicted, Justin. I don't want to lose him, but if we could have gotten a valuable piece for him, I would have rather of gone that route. Looking forward to the game tonight, and I look forward to talking through it and Justin your voice and comradery are always welcome through the games.

- I Am The Breadman


I've had similar thoughts lately that Saad might end up back with Toews. Kahun has been good, but it really is Toews/DeBrincat driving the top line. Kahun might do well on the second line or he might possible do well on 3rd line where he won't face as much tight checking opposition. Nothing against Kahun, but I think they might need to give Saad a shot in the arm after sending him the message. Not a prediction, but they could go even farther out there and try to boost the 3rd line while giving guys a chance to get back into the top 6.

DeBrincat - Toews - Saad
Fortin/Highmore - AA - Kane
Schmaltz - Kampf - Kahun
Kunitz - Kruger - Hayden

The thing that seems clear...we still miss Hossa...what a difference it would make if you could put vintage Hossa into this lineup.
bogiedoc
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: VA
Joined: 09.27.2011

Oct 20 @ 12:21 PM ET
>>>AA is not fast, we know this. However, he looks solid to start the year though primarily playing at 3C, plus he knows how to play with Kane. I know the Hawks were(/are) banking on Schmaltz being a future top 6 C on this team for the long-term future, but I'm wondering if that is still the case. He's beyond terrible on the draws, which young players typically need a lot of reps in that area to improve at this level, but it's becoming a problem.<<<

finally end this smaltz at center BS...he doesn't have the tools, skill or mentality for that...he is winger...

use a player to his strenghts and ability...i understand Q luvs flexibility with his players but center is NOT for smaltz...
Garn.
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Nellie Lake, ON
Joined: 06.11.2011

Oct 20 @ 12:22 PM ET
Anyone who thinks 9 games in the AHL will allow Dylan Sikura to evolve into an NHL top 6 player is lost in fantasy land and they really need to buy a Powerball ticket.
Saad - well there is something really wrong there. It's not a funk - there is something seriously wrong. Since his return to the Hawks last year his numbers have been absolutely terrible and he is on pace for an even worse year. Is it him? Or is it ......?
Unfortunately the team's start this year was smoke and mirrors just like the shellacking of Pittsburgh in game 1 was last year that led to early false hope. We could easily be 0 & 6 right now. I prefer not to live in a fantasy world. Right now this team is nowhere and at best will end up in the middle of the pack and just out of the playoffs with a so so draft pick as a result that will end up relating to a hopeful top 6 forward in 5 years, or another small D man after a long development period. Let's hope come April we can end up in the bottom of the league where we really do belong. Perhaps then the Jack Hughes Powerball lottery might just happen.
Go Hawks. Yes i am a fan, a down to earth one.
breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Oct 20 @ 12:22 PM ET
To me, this time right now is where Stan Bowman and Coach Q need to do well. I think they need to try to patch the hole or two in the middle 6 if they can align on who to keep and who to deal. We have extra dmen (none that will get a good forward on their own) and some cap space.

Edit: just to add, I suppose it is possible they deal Forsberg as well. Many people expected him to be exposed to waivers, but maybe if there is interest in dealing him they want to do that instead of losing him for nothing.
bogiedoc
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: VA
Joined: 09.27.2011

Oct 20 @ 12:24 PM ET
Thanks, Justin - good write up.

On Kunitz: I don’t think you need to sit (or press-box) vets like him for a mistake like his errant pass - I doubt you’re going to teach him anything. I would have NO problem white-shirting him because he doesn’t contribute anything in general.

Fortin, Johnson, Highmore, Ejdsell, Sikura the Elder, Sikura the Younger - there are only 12 on-ice slots available. Are ANY of these guys top-6/middle-6 skaters? I guess we won’t know until we play them - but I haven’t heard raves about any of them (except maybe Sikura the Younger). Good things, but not raves.

And I don’t think three or four game stints are going to prove much about their abilities or readiness.

They have three proven top-sixers, I think - and I put Kahun and Schmaltz (no matter how high the brass are on him) in the unproven category.

Goalie - seems like Delia is the hope of the future - need him to play in Rockfish, not Indy - leaves Forsberg in a bad situation. Even with Crawford’s uncertainty over the summer, picking up Ward didn’t do anything for the future competitiveness of this team.

- StLBravesFan


on kunitz...you re right but its about messaging to the younger guys...he needed to sit the the last 6 minutes after game killing cross ice grenade...hell hayden, fortin or any of the youn wingers make that mistake they sit....

i have and continue to state delia will be the hawks starter sometime around the 2020 season.
I Am The Breadman
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Richton Park, IL
Joined: 09.16.2018

Oct 20 @ 12:24 PM ET
Yeah those are fantastic. Pretty much anything Mike Judge touches is gold. So who are the women characters on Silicon Valley and which one's Gilligan? Richard?

Or is it more like they never get off the island kind of like Pied Piper never quite makes it?

- HawkintheD


Agree on Mike Judge!

There are women characters, the CEO's, Gilfoyle's gf (the hot AT&T girl). I was saying SV is like GI based on the 7 deadly sins premise. Each character is one. GI would have ended if they left the island like if SV found a way to change the internet, both heavy orders to fill, so badically your second point. Erlich yells Jin Yang, Skipper yells Gilligan. I know I had another point, can't remember at the moment.
CTblackhawkfan
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Hamden, CT
Joined: 06.14.2013

Oct 20 @ 12:25 PM ET
Great article ! Like the idea of Highmore as LW with Kane but lets hope Saad turns it around!
I wish Chris K and B Manning would sit (Why did he get 2 years??)
I do like Alex Fortin game, energy , speed and forechecking which we lacked last year
maybe he is not a top 6 forward long term but NHL is a speed game these days, Hopefully we get some answers tonight !
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