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Forums :: Blog World :: Justin Lowe: Exploratory Season
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glennjpawlak22
Joined: 11.26.2013

Jan 23 @ 1:10 PM ET
Holy turds....the Gus dog Whistle ground hog day is in full effect.

The obsession is confounding.

It would really be funny if everyone watched every other defender with the same scrutiny. Will never happen. Echoes of the 4 years of hand wringing over the fact that Q not having 15 olympic players on the team as some justification of the core being pouting babies.

We have waited 10 years for a PP, and now that we have one, after a month, many geniuses are anxious to experiment with other PP QB.

You know who is happy Gus plays....? Kane. And do not think he does not have some pull at this point in his career. For every bad looking d play Gus makes, he makes effective breakout passes that no other player can. Honestly watch the tape and resist the pavlov dog urge to blame the worlds ills on Gus.

I will be the first to say he struggles at times, but outside of the board pycologists who believe they can read what is in a players heart and mind, at this point, there is no doubt to me he is a net positive.

On the PP, Gus has had more entries and keep ins in 1 month then Keith had in 5 years.

They urgency which many fans are anxious and willing to part ways with players is really a head scratcher.

- TrueGrit


i like Gus and wish like Hell he would just not make the same glaring mistake over and over again. dishing up Pizzas in the slot all season long is just frustrating. the fact that he put #2 on the bench to QB the PP is a HUGE win in my books - how many slapper from Keith into the boards on the PP can we watch. and has anyone noticed that Gus dont do no push em back...but last night when Keith was out there at the end of the 2 man PP (they scored already) he was almost lost what to do with the Push em back was sniffed out
bogiedoc
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: VA
Joined: 09.27.2011

Jan 23 @ 1:12 PM ET
Holy turds....the Gus dog Whistle ground hog day is in full effect.

The obsession is confounding.

It would really be funny if everyone watched every other defender with the same scrutiny. Will never happen. Echoes of the 4 years of hand wringing over the fact that Q not having 15 olympic players on the team as some justification of the core being pouting babies.

We have waited 10 years for a PP, and now that we have one, after a month, many geniuses are anxious to experiment with other PP QB.

You know who is happy Gus plays....? Kane. And do not think he does not have some pull at this point in his career. For every bad looking d play Gus makes, he makes effective breakout passes that no other player can. Honestly watch the tape and resist the pavlov dog urge to blame the worlds ills on Gus.

I will be the first to say he struggles at times, but outside of the board pycologists who believe they can read what is in a players heart and mind, at this point, there is no doubt to me he is a net positive.

On the PP, Gus has had more entries and keep ins in 1 month then Keith had in 5 years.

They urgency which many fans are anxious and willing to part ways with players is really a head scratcher.

- TrueGrit


don't want to trade him...but improve the blueline...and keep him as a 4-5-6 guy and pp @ about 14-15 per night. He is 27...never going to improve or become defensive minded or aware...that's not who he is and never will be. He is sloppy, unengaged and has no idea at times where the puck is going off his stick. He will cost you dangers chances against, increase def zone time and GA. that's what he has done over and over. You need to protect him defensively and try to take adv of his offensive abilities.
paulr
Chicago Blackhawks
Location:
Joined: 06.26.2011

Jan 23 @ 1:13 PM ET
Panarin, Stone, Dzingel, Nelson, Lee, Myers just to name a few UFAs in their prime. But you’re right guy, let’s have a $10 mil 4th line with a $7mil 6th Dman in Seabrook instead!
- EnzoD

The biggest issue the Hawks have is defense, they really don't have one. Any cap room has to factor that in or they're wasting their money.

Also the base of any team has to be set from building through the draft, trades etc., before adding an RFA or two to round out the roster. The Hawks are not 2 players away from being a cup contender. Signing UFAs at this point will lead to more years of mediocrity and cap hell.
EnzoD
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02.19.2014

Jan 23 @ 1:15 PM ET
Don't look now but the 21 year old Strome is on pace for a 64 pt season since joining the Hawks. 21 pts in 27 games.

Thanks you AZ. Where are the posters that said this was a horrible trade? And that Bowman got fleeced? Strome can't play hockey and is a bust because he isn't a pretty figure skater!

- bhawks2241


I love his game. Poised, skilled, goes to the dirty areas, and he can finish. StanBo deserves credit for this trade and Caggiula too.
Justin Lowe
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Toronto, ON
Joined: 10.31.2017

Jan 23 @ 1:15 PM ET
If I remember correctly Brian Campbell was defensively very mistake prone too, difference was the team in its entirety was much stronger defensively, and there was angst about his defensive play before the 2010 playoffs.
- LAHawk


Correct, the team overall (specifically the commiotment to defence from the forwards) during that time was much better.

Also, Brian Campbell was a lot better in all areas of the game than Gus.
EnzoD
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Denver, CO
Joined: 02.19.2014

Jan 23 @ 1:17 PM ET
The biggest issue the Hawks have is defense, they really don't have one. Any cap room has to factor that in or they're wasting their money.

Also the base of any team has to be set from building through the draft, trades etc., before adding an RFA or two to round out the roster. The Hawks are not 2 players away from being a cup contender. Signing UFAs at this point will lead to more years of mediocrity and cap hell.

- paulr


Disagree 100%. The NHL is so even with the Cap that 1-2 key players added, with continued growth from Cat, Strome, Joki, Murphy and the emergence of Mitchell and Boquist....they are a playoff contender. Not a powerhouse, but a wild card team. Anything can happen once you make the tournament
Taylorst1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 07.09.2018

Jan 23 @ 1:17 PM ET
I would not be in a hurry to move a top 6 forward (Saad) or top 4 defender (Keith/Murphy). I also would not be in a hurry to move Gus. Of course if the deal was right you would have to consider it. This team is not that far away from being a playoff contender, with a 2 major additions (#1 Pick and 1 FA stud) and few tweaks in the depth category (3rd line center). If a few of their prospects (Boqvist, Beaudin, Entwistle, Kusrashev or others) turn into really good NHL'ers the turn around could be 2 years.

Now if you could move AA for a 3rd line center that is cost controlled for a couple of years it is a no brainer. If you could move Kruger or Kunitz for draft picks or prospects that would be great.

Saad - Toews - #1 pick or FA
ADB - Strome - Kane
There is a need for a 3rd line center. I like Kampf. He could be a 3C, but probably more like a 4C.
The bottom 6 would include Caggiula, Kahun, and maybe Perlini. Perlini has started slow, but remember Patrick Sharp did not score his first goal as a Hawk until his 25th game.

On D you need a stud. Then slot Joki, Keith, Murphy properly.
Joki - Stud Dman
Murphy - Keith
Seabs - Gus
That would be a decent top 4. Gus would be a 3rd pairing and PP specialist. Seabs is impossible to move. So there is room for one more defender. Maybe Dahlstrom / Forsling / Koekkoek or one of the other guys at the Rock right now.

I would not be surprised for this team to have a strong finish to the season. Of course if they do they will be back picking 7th or later. You can still get a pretty good player with the 5th to 10th pick.

How different would this season have been if the PP was effective in the first 30 games of the season?

- -Doh-


I'm not sure how a team in last place with aging high paid players not playing to the value of their contracts should be kept?
Rockford doesn't have the depth now or next year and a few draft picks are not going to fix the depth issues and cap problems this team has.

You have to move , Saad , keith, Seabrook, anismov in order to accomplish 3 things , cap relief, picks, and nhl ready prospects to build depth here and in Rockford.



breadbag
Location: Edmonton, AB
Joined: 11.30.2015

Jan 23 @ 1:18 PM ET
The biggest issue the Hawks have is defense, they really don't have one. Any cap room has to factor that in or they're wasting their money.

Also the base of any team has to be set from building through the draft, trades etc., before adding an RFA or two to round out the roster. The Hawks are not 2 players away from being a cup contender. Signing UFAs at this point will lead to more years of mediocrity and cap hell.

- paulr


The Hawks are bad on D, but that doesn't mean they don't lack of a top 6 forward. It all depends on the $$$ and term. If they can sign a guy to a reasonable contract, it doesn't waste money. What they can't do is go out and overpay to fill the hole. If they can sign a forward that can play top 6 wing and is average or better defensively, then they should do it. As long as they don't break the bank on a bad contract, then they've just added an asset that they can keep or move later.
Taylorst1
Chicago Blackhawks
Joined: 07.09.2018

Jan 23 @ 1:20 PM ET
Correct, the team overall (specifically the commiotment to defence from the forwards) during that time was much better.

Also, Brian Campbell was a lot better in all areas of the game than Gus.

- Justin Lowe



They also had more depth , bite, skill and a younger more skilled defensive unit .

Elbows15
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I was going to do the math on this but I don't think it will help., IL
Joined: 08.04.2013

Jan 23 @ 1:20 PM ET
Anisimov playing 4th line minutes at $4.5mil is not good for him or the team. It’s clear that Kampf has passed Anisimov on Colliton’s center depth chart.

Also, it’s not good that Saad cannot lock down a top 6 forward spot on a last place team.

Hawks lose Kruger’s $3mil and if Anisimov is not at least the 3C on this team, he should be moved for whatever they can get. That’s another almost $8mil to play with next summer....

- EnzoD

Yeah but Kampf isn't better than AA offensively or even defensively at this point.
Boisy12
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Plainfield, IL
Joined: 05.01.2009

Jan 23 @ 1:20 PM ET
On Gus:

You just can't get rid of the guy. Play him as a 5/6 when the game is on the line, and as a 1/2 when we need a goal.
Regardless, you have to keep the guy for the PP. Gus and Kane are the QB's of the PP and having a great PP makes all the difference most times.

I get that he is a defensive liability, but he can fix that and you can't teach the skills he has on offense and no moving him to forward is not a good solution.
Elbows15
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I was going to do the math on this but I don't think it will help., IL
Joined: 08.04.2013

Jan 23 @ 1:22 PM ET
The biggest issue the Hawks have is defense, they really don't have one. Any cap room has to factor that in or they're wasting their money.

Also the base of any team has to be set from building through the draft, trades etc., before adding an RFA or two to round out the roster. The Hawks are not 2 players away from being a cup contender. Signing UFAs at this point will lead to more years of mediocrity and cap hell.

- paulr

Team defense. Their forwards blow coverage all over the ice. Its has gotten a bit better but it is far from consistent.
Savetheembers33
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Chicago, IL
Joined: 01.23.2017

Jan 23 @ 1:22 PM ET
Disagree 100%. The NHL is so even with the Cap that 1-2 key players added, with continued growth from Cat, Strome, Joki, Murphy and the emergence of Mitchell and Boquist....they are a playoff contender. Not a powerhouse, but a wild card team. Anything can happen once you make the tournament
- EnzoD


Been saying this for a LONG time. A few key moves and development of some of our young guys and you're in the Playoff picture. Hell they're a five game win streak right now from being in the Playoff picture. Adding better players and continued growth will only get them there faster.

We were spoiled with greatness this past decade and will likely never see that type of dominance again. That was a once in a lifetime situation that several pieces fell into place at the right time to build up a Dynasty. Now, it's about building a solid 23 man roster than can at least fight for a Playoff spot and then see where it goes from there cuz when you have an elite talent like Kane and several talented pieces to go with him you can go on a run and win a cup.
Elbows15
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I was going to do the math on this but I don't think it will help., IL
Joined: 08.04.2013

Jan 23 @ 1:24 PM ET
On Gus:

You just can't get rid of the guy. Play him as a 5/6 when the game is on the line, and as a 1/2 when we need a goal.
Regardless, you have to keep the guy for the PP. Gus and Kane are the QB's of the PP and having a great PP makes all the difference most times.

I get that he is a defensive liability, but he can fix that and you can't teach the skills he has on offense and no moving him to forward is not a good solution.

- Boisy12

He's about to be 27. Shouldn't he have figured out how to play some defense by now?
Elbows15
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I was going to do the math on this but I don't think it will help., IL
Joined: 08.04.2013

Jan 23 @ 1:32 PM ET
Panarin, Stone, Dzingel, Nelson, Lee, Myers just to name a few UFAs in their prime. But you’re right guy, let’s have a $10 mil 4th line with a $7mil 6th Dman in Seabrook instead!
- EnzoD


You willing to pay Myers 6+M into his 30's? I wouldn't. He is about to be 29. Has played a full season twice in his career. He barely breaks even in CF% with heavy O-zone starts and has 13 points in 46 games this season being put in a sheltered role considering he start are at 60% in the O-zone.
paulr
Chicago Blackhawks
Location:
Joined: 06.26.2011

Jan 23 @ 1:32 PM ET
Team defense. Their forwards blow coverage all over the ice. Its has gotten a bit better but it is far from consistent.
- Elbows15

Won't disagree but do you think the current defensemen are cup contending caliber? No, neither do I.
Elbows15
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I was going to do the math on this but I don't think it will help., IL
Joined: 08.04.2013

Jan 23 @ 1:33 PM ET
Won't disagree but do you think the current defensemen are cup contending caliber? No, neither do I.
- paulr

No. But neither are the forwards. And blowing cap space and having a bad team makes you Edmonton or Buffalo.
paulr
Chicago Blackhawks
Location:
Joined: 06.26.2011

Jan 23 @ 1:34 PM ET
Disagree 100%. The NHL is so even with the Cap that 1-2 key players added, with continued growth from Cat, Strome, Joki, Murphy and the emergence of Mitchell and Boquist....they are a playoff contender. Not a powerhouse, but a wild card team. Anything can happen once you make the tournament
- EnzoD


Not really, once in a while maybe. You'd be the first to complain if the Hawks were built in this fashion. Build from the bottom through the draft and trades and add a UFA or two to fill holes.
paulr
Chicago Blackhawks
Location:
Joined: 06.26.2011

Jan 23 @ 1:35 PM ET
No. But neither are the forwards. And blowing cap space and having a bad team makes you Edmonton or Buffalo.
- Elbows15

Thanks for making my point.
nickmo2699
Season Ticket Holder
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 01.06.2012

Jan 23 @ 1:38 PM ET
Not really, once in a while maybe. You'd be the first to complain if the Hawks were built in this fashion. Build from the bottom through the draft and trades and add a UFA or two to fill holes.
- paulr


I'm sorry but with continued development and a solid FA add, you wouldn't put our roster up against, say the Vegas Golden Knights? A team of depth not necessarily star power. Winning a round with the plan above listed is not blasphemous by any means. What about beating a Nashville team? They do have the playoff mental midget between the pipes....
phantasmo
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 01.13.2016

Jan 23 @ 1:38 PM ET
Would Murphy to Toronto be a good long-term play? Maybe you get a young F on ELC, pick or prospect and salary garbage that expires? Murphy is playing well, multiple years left (affordable) and Toronto has dropped 7 of 10.

I thought Keith to TOR was a given with Babcock's love for #2 but now I think Murphy would pique a lot of interest....
Elbows15
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: I was going to do the math on this but I don't think it will help., IL
Joined: 08.04.2013

Jan 23 @ 1:46 PM ET
Thanks for making my point.
- paulr

I am here for you.
glennjpawlak22
Joined: 11.26.2013

Jan 23 @ 1:49 PM ET
He's about to be 27. Shouldn't he have figured out how to play some defense by now?
- Elbows15

RickJ
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: Burlington, ON
Joined: 01.12.2010

Jan 23 @ 1:50 PM ET
AA is a skating ghost. He is not part of the future plan. That seems very obvious.

Respectfully, I believe the idea of talking top 6 to be an antiquated topic. Saad playing on third line, I do not see as punishment, but as a way to assemble 3 lines with the ability to skate, cycle and score. He is part of the long term plan. Has the requisite skills.

Kruger, God Bless his heart and soul, but had he come into the NHL in circumstances other than a Stanley cup team, he would be back in europe or working at IKEA. Great support and role player, but he, nor Keith, could break a pane of glass with their shots.

I want to emphasize something. What Las Vegas did last year has changed everything regarding timetables etc. Its not so much they made the cup final, but it was their style of play and make up of roster. If you want to compete in NHL, you have to have players that can skate. Yes the style of play may open up opponents chances, but by pressing, you put even more pressure on your opponent.

The Hawks will shed AA and likely Kunitz and a few others to that end.

- TrueGrit


Valid points about Vegas. They really only have 2 Dmen that any other team would want (Theodore and Schmidt) but they play team defence in packs of 5. They also have a probable HOF goaltender who plays every night. If he goes down, things might not be so pretty.
BetweenTheDots
Chicago Blackhawks
Location: IL
Joined: 06.13.2015

Jan 23 @ 1:54 PM ET
Gus has become such a whipping boy. He makes mistakes, but he does make some positive plays. It does kind of balance out. He doesn't have a bad contract. His offensive numbers are comparable to Brian Campbell the year he came over on that monster contract. He has some chemistry with Kane with is benefiting both players offensively.

He needs to do better in the Dzone. Mostly needing to simply his game and try to do less individual play to move the puck. Let the coaching staff work with him and see what happens, unless you get a good offer for a trade. He will have trade value. There are plenty of offensive dman that are bad in their own end, but teams still want them and pay them. As Hawks fans, we've been spoiled in the past because we had some really high end 2 way players, but that type of blue line isn't easy to put together. Beggars can't be choosers and we don't have much real offensive push on the back end.

Gus needs to stay as the fixture on the PP, because he is the best option for it. Jokiharju is 19 year old and playing his first Pro season. He has had a great start to his career, but he is a rookie and there have been signs of him showing some of those rookie mistakes. The Hawks know they don't need to lump even more responsibility on his shoulders until he is ready. Let him get his feet wet this season. Confidence is important for young guys and they don't want to put him in over his head.

Realistically, Boqvist, Beaudin, Mitchell, Krys, etc.. aren't likely to step in and save the team next season. 1 or 2 of those guys might start playing NHL minutes, but it is going to take time (if they pan out).

Just getting back to it...Gus makes mistakes, but he also actually drives some offense. Some of our other guys make a lot of mistakes too but don't provide the offensive support and they are paid to be the top guys.

- breadbag


Great as a #5 Dman for now, Campbell would take a hit to make a play and understood the game of hockey, one of my favorite things about him was how he would use his speed along the blue line to keep the puck in and just throw it in deep along the boards, simple fundamental hockey, Gus has a ways to go in kiss.
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