Thoughts on the Chicago Blackhawks?

Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by Czarchuk, Aug 21, 2017.

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  1. Czarchuk

    Czarchuk Go Flames Go!

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    :hawks

    Thoughts on them?

    They got swept by the Press... Did not score a lot in that series... That can be concerning.

    Personally, I think they are the team that I felt made some weird changes... And not for the better. First off, they trade Hjalmarsson for some youth, wasn't that bad of a trade. But afterwards, they trade Panarin for Saad. Maybe a lateral move at best but if Panarin was always to be moved a team could have offered a lot more than what Columbus gave. They gave away Darling but received Forsberg in return.

    I expect them to be a playoff team, but I feel that there are better Central teams than them. And yes, I am aware they won the division last year.
     
  2. Los Patos de Anaheim

    Los Patos de Anaheim Registered User

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    Still legitimate cup contenders. Crawford should have a bounce back year.
     
  3. OvermanKingGainer

    OvermanKingGainer #FreeBennett #CurseofTheSpulll

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    I'm skeptical. They've been very PDO-Dependant in the Panarin era, and their forward group has mostly been filled with youth. This was their forward group the last time they won the cup, I've bolded the players who are still with them:

    Saad-Toews-Hossa
    (Saad/Bickell/Versteeg)-Richards-Kane
    Teravainen-Vermette-Sharp
    Desjardins-Kruger-Shaw

    That's a lot of talent to bleed, especially Marian Hossa who is a star player and was still dominant last year. Kruger was also a big part in what made them a contender with his defensive play taking some heat off Toews' line to focus on offense. Sharp has to prove he can still be what he once was, the newer younger players like Schmaltz and Hartman have to truly establish themselves.
     
  4. the_fan

    the_fan Registered User

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    Playoff team but wont go far. I'd say 2nd round exit
     
  5. thesaadfather

    thesaadfather Kneel Before Saad!

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    Brought in a lot of young forwards last year. Bring in a lot of young D this year. Seems like a two year retool to me. I'm optimistic about this year, but I think next year will be the one that shows where they'll be as a team for the next five seasons or so.
     
  6. DominicBoltsFan

    DominicBoltsFan Advanced stats are good!

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  7. Goldeneye

    Goldeneye Winnipeg Jets

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    I've never ever thought about the Hawks not making the playoffs, no matter what changes they've made.

    But assuming the Stars bounce back and the Jets keep on getting better, i think it's a real possibility next season. Central will be good next season, with the Wild, Preds and Blues being better than ever (as a trio). Minnesota had a franchise-best season and IMO they didn't really get much worse as Scandella was a #5 and Foligno is the type of player they needed more than Pominville IMO, BB is also a monster coach in the regular season. Preds figured out their identity and gained chemistry as the year progressed, Blues got better with a coaching change and Schenn trade (+ Fabbri will be back), and at the end of the day i can't see both of those teams struggling as bad as they did at times for 2 years in a row.

    They'll still be able to score goals. I think Saad is a good player for them right now, to replace some of what Hossa brought, and get some more offense out of Toews. Kane produces with pretty much anyone, i think Sharp still has game left in him despite a tough year and all of their kids should be able to produce some.

    But im really wondering how they'll look defensively. Hossa was still unique player for them, Hammer one of the best defensive d-man out there and Darling a solid backup. With Seabrook looking like he's declining, their back-end don't look that hot.

    Keith
    Seabrook
    Murphy
    Kempny
    Rutta
    Forsling
    Roszival

    This is arguably the worst defense in the Central not counting Colorado. It's very much at the same level as Dallas (Stars probably still slightly worse) but IMO the Stars have better offense for next season.

    Honestly, the only thing the Hawks have going for them is the experience and pedigree. But at the end of the day, like we've seen with other teams (like the Kings for example) it does not guarantee anything. And let's not forget Hossa and Hammer was a big part of their winning culture.

    Im very curious to see how the Hawks do next season, but this is the first time i legitimately think they could miss. Especially their depth on the blue line is scary thin if one of their top 3 guys gets injured.

    Last season i remember they were able to win a lot of tight games, come back late and win in OT's. In fact they had the 3rd most OT wins in the entire NHL.

    They were one of the 4 playoff teams that had more than 20 OT games during the season. Why i think this is relevant is that obviously to win those games the margin is very small. And they are very important. Not only because of the points, but for your team's morale. The difference between winning a game in OT and losing is significant moving forward, loss in OT can lead to another loss, win in OT and suddenly you win 2 in a row.

    What im trying to say is, Hawks were already winning a lot of games last year that they could've easily lost and because of that were able to hold on to the momentum, if they lose a lot more of those or don't even get the games to OT's it could be a way different story. And by the way Hossa led the team with 7 GWG's and 3 OT goals. In terms of regulation wins they were middle of the pack for playoff teams at #9. All of this with a somewhat better team than what they will have in 17-18.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  8. Eazy for Kuzy

    Eazy for Kuzy Moderator

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    The Hawks are now a fringe playoff team. Their players outside of their top 6 are horrendous, except Keith and Crawford.
     
  9. DominikBokkFan

    DominikBokkFan Unlike Chiarelli, at least Chia seeds benefit you.

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    Crawford had a poor playoffs, but he wasn't poor in the regular season by any means. Sure his stats weren't as good as 2014-2015, and 2015-2016, but his defense was far better those 2 seasons.
     
  10. The Note

    The Note Pietrangelo Apologist

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    Well said. This is pretty much exactly how I feel as well. Ultimately I think they'll make the postseason in a wild card spot, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if they miss.
     
  11. BHD

    BHD secondary scoring

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    I can them making it and (maybe) doing something, but yeah... fringe playoff team.
     
  12. KaseMeOutside

    KaseMeOutside Based

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    What was the logic for trading Panarin
     
  13. axecrew

    axecrew Registered User

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    Having seen that young "talent" ,you speak of, play in the minors..there is really not a lot there to get excited about, especially regarding the defense and goaltending groups. And truthfully there forward prospect group is very suspect as well...they are in for a world of hurt in the very near future as the cupboard is very bare with respects to upcoming talent.
     
  14. SotasicA

    SotasicA Registered User

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    Defense is mediocre. Can't win without Hjalmarsson.

    Offense is thin.

    Goalie is an average starter.

    They still finished 1st in Central last season, so it's hard to predict them suddenly missing the playoffs completely. But maybe with a key injury (Keith/Toews/Kane), they could finish just outside the bubble.
     
  15. Goldeneye

    Goldeneye Winnipeg Jets

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    Cap reasons + shaking things up.

    I think they want to get more out of Toews, and with Panarin they've lost in the 1st round for 2 consecutive seasons (not that it's his fault, but maybe they think Saad is better for this team in the playoffs).

    At the end of the day Panarin is due for a raise from the 6M that he makes now after 2 seasons. They likely cannot afford that. Saad is signed for 4 more years at 6M and i can't imagine him getting a lot more than that when his deal is done, so he could potentially stay in Chicago for a long time.

    I personally think it was a move that made sense for them. Murphy as well when you look at his age and contract. No way they get players like that next summer for Panarin & Hammer when they have 1 yrs left in their contracts. Bowman did a good job looking ahead and acquiring players that fit their current team, even if it makes them a bit worse now.
     
  16. Goldeneye

    Goldeneye Winnipeg Jets

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    That's how it usually happens though, as in it's always a surprise. Kings were a 100 pts team and won the cup before they missed the following year.

    Bruins had 117 pts and lost in the 2nd round, missed the playoffs the year after.

    Blues had 107 pts in 15-16 and were dangerously close to missing this year, luckily the Stars were bad, Jets crashed and burned when they had to push and Preds struggled all year, otherwise even a late hot run might've not been enough.

    It's a new season, can't really look at the previous year that much.
     
  17. Luigi Lemieux

    Luigi Lemieux Registered User

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    They need a new influx of impact players to replace Hossa, an aging Seabrook, and Hjalmarsson. Depth is too poor to be a serious threat to win the cup at the moment, but same was said about Pittsburgh in 2015. Then Sheary, Rust, Guentzel, Dumoulin, Murray, etc seemingly came out of nowhere.
     
  18. thesaadfather

    thesaadfather Kneel Before Saad!

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    The minors usually means AHL, in which case I would like to point out that pretty much none of the Hawks' high-end prospects played for Rockford last year. For forwards, Schmaltz and Hartman were in the NHL, Debrincat was in the CHL, and Hayden was at Yale. On D, Kempny was in the NHL, Forsling split half the year between the NHL/AHL (which is cool, he's 20), and Rutta was in Europe. Murphy was brought in via trade. In goal, the Hawks didn't have any serious prospects on this continent. Peeters and Nalimov are in the KHL, plus they brought in Forsberg and Berube this offseason.

    They traded Rockford's leading scorer at the deadline and fired the coach this summer. It was a dumpster fire last year because pretty much no one playing there had a future in the organization. The team is going to be almost completely different next year, they had the team full of vets and nothing prospects because all their good players were in college, juniors, or Europe until next season. It's foolish to judge their prospects off of an AHL squad that didn't have any significant prospect play the majority of the season for them.
     
  19. TheMalkinEra

    TheMalkinEra Registered User

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    Toews need to start earning his contract and start scoring more like all fanboys say he can like a 40 goal 100 point season. If you the highest player in the NHL then you better produce like it.

    It would be like the highest paid QB in the NFL and your throwing for 3500 yards and 22 TD and other QB are putting up 4500-5000 yards and 35 to 40 tds passes.
     
  20. Sidney the Kidney

    Sidney the Kidney 3-Peat + 1

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    Said it before, but Chicago reminds me of the Penguins circa 2010-2015, when the Pens had 3 or 4 talented guys, but not much overall depth. Chicago's still got its core (Toews, Kane, Keith, Crawford), but no longer has the depth and complimentary pieces that helped it win 3 Cups.

    Like the Pens from 2010-2015, Chicago's top end is talented enough to guarantee a playoff spot (barring injury). But also like those Pens teams, they likely don't have the depth to go deep in the playoffs.
     
  21. hagelin1381

    hagelin1381 Registered User

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    They're gonna be in the playoffs.. Top heavy team though. Could definitely do some damage but I doubt it. Losing Hossa is going to hurt a lot methinks
     
  22. Getz2perry

    Getz2perry Registered User

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    Still a good team... I think they will still make playoffs... and I think they could take advantage of some of those young teams come playoff time.

    Cant see them getting past Nashville tho.
     
  23. thesaadfather

    thesaadfather Kneel Before Saad!

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    Really, I think these are Chicago's goals for the upcoming year:
    -Missing one top 9 forward, find it in one of Debrincat, Hinostroza, Dauphin, etc
    -Put together a decent 4th line. They have several pieces, just find a combo that works.
    -Let Murphy and Kempny grow into top 4ish roles. I'm actually not that worried about this one, have a good feeling about these guys.
    -Develop Forsling into a full-time NHLer. Very calm in sheltered minutes last year, if he can catch up to the game and play with more urgency I feel good about him. Mature player for a guy so young.
    - Find D depth. See which of Gustafson, Pokka, and Rutta can play.
    -Let one of Forsberg or Berube grow into the backup role.
     
  24. Machinehead

    Machinehead Ferrari Crew

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    They should sign Jagr
     
  25. CallMeShaft

    CallMeShaft Best HF Hawks Poster

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    I've said this in other threads, but I'll repeat it here.

    Hawks were a talented team last year. However, Nashville was able to skate circles around them in the playoffs. Preds would constantly have a dman skate the puck up ice, and still be able to quickly have two men back if needed. Quite simply, Hawks, as talented as they were, needed to get faster and Bowman has addressed that.

    Murphy isn't nearly as good as Hammer at closing the gap or shot blocking, but he is faster than Hammer. He's also a righty, which will make for quicker and more accurate outlet passes than Hammer (lefty playing on the right) throwing a backhand pass up ice. Also, Murphy is young and will hopefully improve.

    Saad is a faster player than Panarin. Panarin can skate through the neutral ice with ease, however he hardly ever needed to because he'd start the large majority (80%) of his shifts in the offensive zone. Saad is a beast at moving the puck up ice and against tougher opposition. Saad is a better even strength player for us, however we do lose an awful lot on the powerplay (where the big difference in points starts to occur).

    Hawks may have lost Hossa, but did bring back Sharpie. Sharp is still a very good skater and will help with this teams speed. Some Stars fans have said his hands have gotten worse, so I don't expect he'll be the same player as he was two years ago, but he can still put up 30-40pts and be a veteran presence.

    Hawks also signed Tommy Wingels. Wingels has struggled the last two years, but he's fast, playing for cheap, and is a Chicagoland native.

    I also think the young kids from last year will take another step forward. Hartman and Schmaltz were great last season, but struggled playing their first playoff series. That won't be the case this season. I also expect good things from Forsling (21yo defensemen) who played nearly half the season last year and showed high skill in preseason. Hayden and Hinostroza could also be real hidden gems (like solid secondary scorers, not like 30goal guys).


    What I'm trying to say is this team got faster. Being faster doesn't necessarily mean we're better (Avs are a fast team and look how good they are), but it's what this team was lacking in that series against the Preds. I'm okay with trying this route.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017

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