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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
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     Chicago Blackhawks Empty Chicago Blackhawks

    Post by jedi17 Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:49 am

    Is the corner turned?
    February 12, 2017, 11:01 AM ET [67 Comments]
    John Jaeckel
     Chicago Blackhawks Chi Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT
     



    "I liked our trip, it was very positive even in the first game in San Jose. I thought we did a lot of good things with consistency. That's probably the best four-line rotation we've had in any stretch all year long."

    —Joel Quenneville, 2/12/17


    The Blackhawk head coach was bang on, as usual, in his postgame comments following a 5-1 win in Edmonton last night. The Hawks surged to the win after a slightly rocky start, in the second of a road back to back, putting a nice exclamation point on what turned out to be a successful road trip.

    Paraphrasing Al C. for the send blog in a row: the Hawks are winning because their best players are playing like their best players—Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith in particular—creating a lot of room for the Richard Paniks and Ryan Hartmans to shine as well.

    Keith has started to look more of late like, well, Duncan Keith. Toews might be playing his best hockey since hoisting the Cup in 2015. Both players look now fully healthy. 

    And the AK-72 line has just been crazy good the last couple of games. 

    Getting Marcus Kruger back from injury has helped as well, enabling Quenneville to pair him with 2011-12 linemate Marian Hossa on what has become a pretty effective third line.

    Depth. It's all about quality depth, especially as the playoffs near.

    Now, before anyone starts getting all "One Goal"-y, it is important to note that there is a wide gulf between the likely first round out, that the Hawks have looked like for much of the season this year, and a Cup frontrunner. Just look at what a legitimately deep team, the Washington Capitals, who absolutely smoked the Hawks earlier this year in DC, are doing right now.

    To my eye, the Hawks' play of late is legitimate. But that doesn't mean they don't have some work to do in the trade market to really elevate the team to contention.

    Yesterday's rumor dump was important for a couple of reasons. First, the Hawks are pursuing a lot of avenues by which to improve the team. Second, it does seem the team is looking beyond the usual March 1 "overpay" for a player on an expiring contract. The three names I have heard the Hawks are most interested in acquiring are Matt Duchene, Tomas Tatar, and most recently, Ondrej Palat. All three are versatile young forwards with time left on their deals. All three can play left wing with Toews this year, and seriously upgrade the Hawk top 6.

    That doesn't mean the Hawks won't default to a player on an expiring contract, or even just make a minor move like a depth defenseman, or nothing at all. But it won't be from a lack of trying—an acceptance of the conventional wisdom that they're run is over, or that they need to hold on to uncertain future assets like Gustav Forsling.

    Another move I would note is one the Hawks have already made: acquiring in what looked like an afterthought move, Michael Latta for Cameron Schilling. Latta, I'm told, was acquired with an eye toward perhaps packaging Andrew Desjardins somehow—and again, that might be for nothing more than a depth defenseman—and I would not be surprised at all to see Latta in Chicago soon.

    Taken together, the amount of consistent rumors and the fact that the Hawks best players are starting to play like it, if anything, the Hawks will re-double their efforts to go all in this year. Because the potential payoff of a trade deadline "overpay" this year is now looking higher. 

    The rest of the pieces—the core that's carried the Hawks to three Stanley Cups and 5 conference finals since 2009—looks primed and ready. Now its up to the front office to add a missing piece or two.

    So on the ice, the Hawks come back to Chicago for almost a full week of rest before facing the Oilers again at the UC. 

    In the meantime, the trade market plot has definitely thickened. I'll update as I hear it.

      Current date/time is Sun Jun 16, 2024 6:23 am