I didn't see a thread on here. Discuss away!
I didn't see a thread on here. Discuss away!
Great game today between my Blackhawks and the accursed Red Wings. The Western Conference is super tight, even the Blues were on top for a little while. The Central division is the best hockey out there in my opinion. Only the Blue Jackets are out of it, every one else, even the Predators, have a shot.
I would actually make the argument that the Western Conference in the NHL is the toughest conference in all North American sports. Earlier this week, the Blues were on top or tied for the top in the West. They have a day off and later that night they drop to 5th place. It's absolutely nuts how tight the Western Conference and the Central is. This sets up for some of the most exciting playoffs in a while. Chicago vs. Detroit vs. Blues.... I remember back in the day where when the Blues and Chicago matched up, you wouldn't be surprised if there were litterally players admitted to hospitals after games due to the physical craziness of those games. I still feel heartbreak from all those playoff series in the 90's where those stinking Red Wings would defeat my Blues in crushing fashion (thank you Stevie Y you $&%#!!).
I'd agree. Toughest in sports right now. Two games the Hawks go from best in hockey to 4th in the conference. Thats tight.
I know the Blues are in a wait and see approach to see if the Blues offense can improve once Steen and McDonald comes back. They do have the prospects to move for a top line scorer, I just don't know if they will give up Vladimir Tarasenko or Schwartz for someone that will help them right now.
I think the Hawks will add a defensive defensemen like a Hal Gill, Bryan Allen, Andy Sutton, etc. There isn't much out there right now with Gleasson and Beachemin off the market. Those guys aren't great, but would be upgrades over O'Donnell/Lepisto/Scott, and would allow Leddy to be moved out of a defensive spot in some situations.
I'm more interested in what they will do with the goaltending, which I see as their biggest issue. I'd like them to add Josh Harding for the remainder of the season to pair with Crawford and go with the hot hand.
I agree with Patrick, they will add someone. Leddy has a bright bright future, but right now he really needs to be on the 3rd pairing. Just the last game against Nashville he really gave up the two early goals that ultimately decided the game.
The Blues are really scary since Hitchcock took over. It's like they started really playing hockey, a light came on, whatever you want to say. Both teams [Hawks and Blues] could use another top 6 forward and a D-man.
The problem they have is scoring. Now that should improve with Steen and McDonald coming back but they desperately need it. The problem is that they are financially strapped for cash and their ownership is in limbo. They have the prospects to get a top 6 foward but I don't know if they will pull the trigger because of the salary of some of the forwards that are out there.
You know one thing that annoys me about hockey is how there aren't the same rumors as baseball. I mean you hear a little bit if you want to dig, but its not like MLB where you know there are a guys definitely getting traded.
I think part of it has to do with the lack of national media coverage. Even though the NHL is slowly becoming more popular and the line between the NHL and NBA popularity is blurring as time goes on, ESPN treats the NHL like a red headed step child. That is one of the reasons why I praise the NBC Sports network. They are objective in their coverage and do an excellent job (in my opinion) being balanced. Still, until NHL becomes as covered as the NBA or any other sport, random blogs are going to be in the front page of NHL coverage that we get, unfortunatelly.
I think you might be right. The few sites that discuss rumors at all do really seem to be speculative at best. I think everyone knows my Hawks need a goalie so its not really a stretch to say thats what they are looking for.
By the by, could you remove the anchor you've tied around their ankle so they stop this losing streak please?
This is a better summary than I would have analyzed as to the Hawks issues:
The summary is, that although the Blackhawks special teams have been laughably bad (teams are outshooting us on a 3 to 1 basis on special teams!), the Blackhawks are still such an elite even strength team that they would solidly be a playoff team with simply league average goaltending.
In total, the Hawks goaltending is issue #1, 2, and 3. Fix that and Chicago is alive again.
Fixing the PP and PK, will help, although, only marginally in comparison (which is saying a lot because the special teams have been realllllly bad). I think that essentially comes down to coaching, you would think the talent is in place. It's just a matter of playing the right strategies and putting the players in situations that fit their strengths.
I just hope the Hawks management is not as stubborn and adverse to change as they have appeared to date...
Penalty killing is another issue. That has to be lock down for any team to survive in my opinion. Looking at those numbers the past couple of games, it's almost unfathomable how many shots the Hawks give up on the PK. It's almost shocking that they gave up 17 shots against Calgary on the PK alone. To me, that tells me that the defense is not putting in the work effort (maybe a captain obvious moment for me,lol).
What goalies do you think the Hawks could go get? The Blues will not move their goalies because they have it really good right now. Halak, for example, has 5 shutouts in his last 10 games. I can't think of a lot of places where they were willing to give up goalies because goaltending is at a premium right now.
On another note, I have a question since you guys live in Ohio. How would a Winter Classic between Detroit and Columbus play out? I had a debate with someone the other day about this. I was basically of the opinion that the matchup would not move the dial from a national perspective. The person I was debating with said the NHL could market it like a Michigan/The Ohio State type game and that it would be a huge ratings success. I just don't see it but I could be wrong.
Special teams and puck control, aside from goalie the game revolves around those tenets.
It's a game that depends on mistakes to create opportunities, lame power plays are a death knell in the post season, you can't win if you don't take advantage of opportunities.
As for a winter classic with the Jackets I don't see it, the Jackets have no cache to the league, the Wings would lobby for a original six team for sure, that's how it would play out. The league needs big names in the biggest non title game they can boast of, the strike wasn't that long ago.
Oh and look the Wings just won their 21st game at home in a row, sweet... Doesn't excuse the Dead Wings era, but it lessens the sting