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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


Neno

I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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    Chicago Blackhawks

    jedi17
    jedi17
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    Chicago Blackhawks  Empty Chicago Blackhawks

    Post by jedi17 Thu 09 Feb 2017, 7:40 pm

    Minnesota win/Hanzal rumor
    February 9, 2017, 9:52 AM ET [154 Comments]
    John Jaeckel
    Chicago Blackhawks  Chi Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
     


    Last night's Blackhawk OT win versus Minnesota, not to mention the comments of the talking heads on NBCSN, were revealing in several ways.

    Make no mistake, the Hawks won their biggest game of the year thus far, on the road against a very good team—but for one reason—an absolutely unreal performance in the last 30-40 minutes of the game by their goaltender.

    Corey Crawford started strong, then gave up a soft goal before settling in and carrying his team, which was outshot 32-27, with a long series of brilliant saves late in the third period and in 3-on-3.

    Crawford has become that kind of goalie, and now has the ability to turn it on when his team needs him. That's huge for the playoff hopes of a team that is otherwise glaringly imperfect.

    A few other Hawks had big games last night: Jonathan Toews, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane gave huge effort up and down the ice. Schmaltz? This is a guy who I've been hard on, and maybe he deserved it early on. But I was highly impressed with his sheer competitiveness and growing confidence last night. 

    Ryan Hartman and a few others had games that were more up than down last night too.

    But the game seemed to come down to this: the Wild knifed through the Hawk defense, or caught them way too far up the ice, also keeping the Hawks pinned in their end the way the Hawks used to do to other teams, all night long, and Crawford delivered.

    2 points and something to build on. and anyone who wants to spend a lot of time on the officiating, the bad calls cut both ways last night. The most egregious part is that the bonehead NHL needed 12 minutes to make what was clearly the wrong call. That's not just bad officiating, but bad entertainment. And it's nothing new.

    As for the talking heads:

    There is growing chatter around a rumor first reported on my message board thread a week or so ago, and in my blog five days ago. The Hawks are deep in discussion this year, yet again, with the Arizona Coyotes. Two years ago (as first reported here) it was around Antoine Vermette, last year (ditto) it was a deal that was never consummated for Mikkel Boedker. 

    This year, it appears the Hawks are zeroing in on, at least, pending UFA C/W Martin Hanzal. I have been told there have also been discussions around depth defensemen Kevin Connauton and Luke Schenn. While it's been reported elsewhere, my sources have not said anything about Michael Stone. In fact, one went as far a saying they believed the Stone rumor to be a deliberate diversion to mask the Hawks' real target(s).

    The player in this I would watch is Hanzal, who potentially checks a lot of boxes for Chicago. He's skilled, he's big, and is approaching 56% in the dot this year. And even if the Hawks only see him as a center, it gives them the flexibility of moving another center out to left wing.

    Which leads back to the talking heads. It was confirmed last night on NBCSN that Arizona GM John Chayka is scouting the Hawks. This was also reported earlier yesterday on ESPN and conformed separately by one of my sources. However, in the broadcast, one studio analyst (Bob Mckenzie) said there is no way that Stan Bowman is dealing one of his "prized rookies," while another (Mike Milbury) said he may have to.

    Well, as much as we like to pile on Milbury, he's right—he may have to. Along with a roster player like, say, Marcus Kruger.

    The Hawks won a big road game last night, but they did it through opportunistic scoring and goaltending—when they were otherwise pretty much outplayed by a very deep, fast, talented team—the kind they are going to see round after round in the playoffs, if they even get out of the first round.

    I also can't fault the effort of any Hawk player last night. They laid it out on the ice—but still someone had a horseshoe in his pants—and definitely their goalie did.

    So "standing pat" at the deadline, as Milbury adroitly pointed out through his thick Boston accent, is really not a choice for Bowman. Milbury has been in Bowman's shoes as an NHL GM—albeit not a great one. But he gets it.

    Fact: the Hawk core, salary structure and (do not discount this last part) balance sheet are built for long playoff runs. 

    The Hawks as constructed, especially with a lack of experience upfront, are going to struggle big-time versus legitimate playoff teams (like the Wild) in 7-game series.

    So sure, Bowman might end up accomplishing nothing or very little at the deadline, but it won't be for a lack of effort. And that's not just opinion, it's what I'm hearing from more than one good source.

    Conversely, as we have seen the last two deadlines, any meaningful deal Bowman makes is going to have the feel of an "overpay." Because that's the position he's in. 

    And I will remind all readers that the 2015 Vermette trade and the Andrew Ladd trade last year were widely panned as "overpayment."

    Yet, who really misses Klas Dahlbeck or Marko Dano right now? Right.

    I'll have a Winnipeg preview tomorrow and any rumor news before then.

      Current date/time is Mon 20 May 2024, 10:01 am