As I Lay Dying

We wrote the following for the Game 4 edition of The Committed Indian.  It turned out to be a bit of a premature obituary but the overall theme still holds as true today as it did when we wrote it.  The only other thing that seems dated is that perhaps Games 4 and 6 have replaced the Banner ceremony as this year’s most memorable moments.

We also wanted to take the time to thank everyone for their kind words.  We truly appreciate it and without it, it would be very difficult to continue this labor of love.  

As for what’s in store for the Feather’s future, this summer will probably move a lot slower than the previous two.  If you miss us, you can always follow us on Twitter.  Once the draft concludes and free agency opens, things start to pick up steam.  At some point, the site will probably change aesthetically.  It’s looked the same for three years; it’s probably time we changed it up a bit and perhaps there will be some other new features. 

But that’s for another time.

Here lies the 2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks – so young; so very full of hope and promise; so dead. 

Today – maybe Thursday – marks the end of a journey gone awry; a team run astray; a season lost.  It is with the hope that future Blackhawks may avoid the pitfalls these Hawks leapt into that we reflect upon the road that led us here.  

What’s saddest about 2010-2011 is that it will ultimately be remembered for the one thing it could never be: the 2009-2010 season. 

Appropriately, then, its happiest moment likely came in early October when the accomplishments of the previous season were celebrated before the home opener against Detroit.  What’s more, the Hawks dropped a heartbreaker by starting a trend they would never break – getting nothing out of a game that was tied during the third period.  That night, six minutes into the third, Valtteri Filppula blew John Scott’s doors off on the power play, scoring the eventual game winner and breaking a tie.  It served as a harsh reality check: 2009-2010 was over, and the new, goofy-looking giant could barely move.

Four nights later, Nick Boynton flipped the puck into the stands with less than three minutes left in regulation during a 2-2 game against Nashville.  With 27 seconds left in regulation and on the power play, Joel Ward scored for the Predators, snatching a point from the Hawks’ grasp – a tie game just seconds from overtime, gone into the abyss of an NHL regular season. 

Late in October, with the Chicago hockey community waiting confidently for the season to begin its roll, the Columbus Blue Jackets left the Hawks with nothing, notwithstanding the Hawks 2-0 lead with a minute left in the second period.  With three goals in seven minutes, the Blue Jackets grabbed two points.

November started off on Broadway against the Rangers.  Patrick Kane tied the game six minutes into the third.  Twenty-eight seconds later, Erik Christenson scored for New York, and 15 minutes of game-play later, 3-2 was the final – another tied game in the third; another regulation loss.

Just two nights later at the United Center, the Hawks spotted the haplessNew JerseyDevils a 2-0 lead.  The Hawks battled back to tie the score at 2 with an early third period goal.  With less than four minutes left in regulation, the Devils scored to take the lead.  Another point pissed away.  It was this day the Hawks decided to send Ben Smith and Ryan Potulny back to Rockford, instead icing a fourth line that consisted of John Scott and Jordan Hendry.  In a combined six minutes of ice time, each somehow managed to be a -1.

A week later against the equally wretched Edmonton Oilers again at the United Center, the Hawks went into the third period with a 1-0 lead. Edmonton won 2-1.  The same team who had problems putting up two goals in a week’s worth of games this season put up two on the Hawks in 14 seconds of play.

In December, while there were wins sprinkled about, it was still more of the same.  In the first game of a home-and-home with the Colorado Avalanche, Troy Brouwer put the Hawks up 5-4 with less than 10 minutes to play on a power play goal.  The Avalanche scored three times in the final two and a half minutes to turn a sure Blackhawk point into absolutely nothing.  Two days later in Chicago, the Hawks lost once again, this time thanks to a Jordan Hendry double-minor early in the third.  The Avalanche scored twice on the power play to turn a 1-1 tie into a 4-3 win.  You may remember that the Avalanche are best known for being the worst second half team in the NHL this season.

To wrap up the calendar year in which they won the Stanley Cup, the Hawks scored twice against Antti Niemi and the Sharks in the second period’s final 23 seconds to tie the game at 3.  You can probably guess what happened next; the entire article is devoted to points squandered in the third period.  Joe Thornton scored seven minutes into the third, and Ryan Clowe added an empty netter to ensure the Hawks put a cap on 2010 with a failed final frame.

2011 picked up right where 2010 left off.  After scoring twice in the second to tie the visiting Dallas Stars at 2, Hawk Killer Mike Ribeiro scored a power play goal half-way through the third to grab a lead the Stars never relinquished.

Ten days later, the Hawks entered the third period in Nashville with a comfortable two-goal lead.  Goals from Jerred Smithson and Shea Weber erased that during the final frame, and a Marcel Goc tally during the shootout snatched a second point from the Hawks’ hands.

February saw more of the same.  A 3-2 third period lead inVancouverwas erased by a couple goals from the brothers Sedin, and two points vanished as quickly as Marian Hossa’s offensive game in springtime.  You may remember the disallowed Dave Bolland goal.

A week later, a Brent Seabrook shot was pulled from an open net by Dallas Stars netminder Kari Lehtonen.  Three straight regulation goals tied the game for the Stars and three straight shootout conversions earned the Stars the coveted second point.  Call it another squandered point.

Then, late in March, with the Hawks chasing a playoff berth, they took a one-goal lead into the third against the Ducks, another squad chasing one of the few open spots.  Corey Perry scored his 43rd and his 44th during the third, and the Hawks left both points on the table.

If 2010-2011 gave us anything, it was an appreciation we lost somewhere between Jonathan Toews’ draft day and Patrick Kane’s goal in Game 6.  It’s a reminder that contending – and ultimately winning the Cup – is a privilege, not a right; it’s the exception, not the rule.  If it’s death that makes us truly appreciate life, 2010-2011 should make us all appreciate 2009-2010 that much more; it’s that appreciation that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up when the captain of this season’s Cup winner skates towards the table with the big silver chalice atop it; and it’s what will keep us crossing off the days until the start of 2011-2012.

You’ll all remember until the day you die exactly where you were when Patrick Kane ripped his helmet off while joyfully skipping over the Flyers’ blue line; you’ll remember who you called once the referees decided that his shot squirted past Michael Leighton; and you’ll remember on which corner of Michigan and Madison you stood while the raucous parade slowly passed. 

You’ll remember because 49 2010-2011’s preceded that one 2009-2010.

2010-2011, rest in peace.

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48 Responses to As I Lay Dying

  1. Cam says:

    Forget a eulogy. I want to send Barry Rozner flowers. You know this has to have the loud mouths in Vancouver apoplectic.

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110427/sports/704279814/

    Along these lines, can someone explain to me why the same hit that got Lucic ejected last night went unpenalized when done to Kane late in the game? Other than the refs deciding Vancouver could do whatever they wanted the last 5 minutes.

  2. nick says:

    The ending is the best piece of writing I’ve read in a long time.

  3. BobbyJet says:

    I don’t know. The entire rant … er … blog… sounds cynical to me. I could go on and on, like the above, with the glass half full version of this season but I will simply say this.

    Many times during this season, this Hawk team was given up for dead by fans and non fans alike, only to hang tough throughout and emerge looking pretty dam good. This rookie laden team came within a whisker of beating arguably the best team in the NHL in this years playoffs.

    The future is bright!

  4. Bark says:

    Excellent piece. I suggest a white background, aesthetically speaking of course.

  5. John says:

    If it sounds cynical, it’s because we wrote it at a time when the Hawks were down 0-3. It wasn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows at that time if I remember correctly.

  6. Jeff says:

    Future looks bright I may have to wear shades…I will be glad not to have to endure the agony of watching Pisani, Scott….and I hope the Hawks can move Hjamarson. It will be fun to watch Ben Smith and Micahel Frolik. Would be nice to see Bowman have balls enough to move Patrick Kane but I doubt it. He can be a young drunk in another city as far as I am concerned.

  7. John says:

    Yeah, it would be nice to see Stan Bowman sell off his best offensive weapon for 60 cents on the dollar. I hear that’s how teams stay Stanley Cup contenders for a long time.

  8. Dominic says:

    Thank you FF, after digesting the game 7 loss, I am left with this. There is no doubt that the season was crazy and disappointing in many ways. Sure there were stretches and moments of good play, but the squandering of points is undeniable.

    Though I don’t like to live too far in the past or future, there was no denying that the loss of players from last year would hurt the team. So as the season came upon us my hope was to see us grow and build something positive, regardless of how far we went into the playoffs.

    The hangover, or whatever, was frustrating. There is no doubt that many players, and key ones, did not come prepared mentally for the season. To me that was most disappointing.

    However, the last 4 games in the playoffs made the whole year. While we all would like them to still be playing, I think the team is better served by losing. That is, when they all became engaged after Seabrook hit, we saw a lot of what we expected to see all year. And even as Toews scored short handed late in game 7 and victory almost seemed imminent, the loss served up what I believe to be a needed helping of humble pie. For them to be rewarded by turning it on in a 4 game stretch, would send the wrong message to many of our core guys. The sting of losing and the wonders of what could be can be great fuel for an off season of preparation and renewed determination.

    Like most things I write, I hope it comes across as coherent as it is in my mind.

  9. TC says:

    Thanks John and Bob for another great season – definitely the best Hawks blog on the internet. Can’t wait to see what kind of moves Bowman makes in the offseason. I think we are only a few deals away from being major contenders again.

    And I feel the need to remind the Kane haters out there – Patrick Kane is really, really good. He also happens to be the face of the franchise if you haven’t watched a TV since 2008. He isn’t going anywhere.

  10. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Bravo Bravo,….nicely done!!! I remember all those moments, in the end this was a Hawks team that lacked the closing mentality. They couldn’t close all season, couldn’t close when they needed to make the playoffs and couldn’t close out Vancouver when they had them on the ropes. Its a bit strange not seeing this team play this time of year. I thought they had another round in them this season after game 6′s win. The boys fought harder then I thought they would just wish they would have fought all season and closed teams out. For me “closing” is what made me so angry with this team. Now I can focus on whatelse makes me angry about this team Stan Bowman and his roster.

  11. BobbyJet says:

    Yes, we certainly got to see first hand what we always hear from past SC champions. I agree, the lack of mental preparation of our core players was difficult to witness and fathom. Starting the season without Campbell and the revolving injury door certainly proved difficult to overcome. And speaking of balls to move someone, I do think that Stan should consider shopping Keith to see if his worth is still high. I suspect it is and that window may not last much longer as I have my doubts that he will ever be the same Duncan Keith we saw in 2010…. but I doubt it will happen and I DO hope I’m wrong in that evaluation. Regardless, the grit we lost from 2010 needs to be replaced, one way or another. I’d like to see another Seabrook type in our back end to begin the process and I wouldn’t mind if Leddy spent some quality ice time in Rockford, where he could play in all situations, including on the PP.

  12. John says:

    How incompetent as an organization would the Hawks look if just 15 months after having a grand press conference to announce the signings of Keith, Kane, and Toews with the lyrics, “Today is the greatest day I’ve ever known” blasting in the background, they decide that one of those three needs to go?

    Teams don’t blow out their player evaluations based on one game, one month, one playoff series, or one season. I suggest simply browsing the rosters of any perennial playoff team. Plenty of ups and downs from season to season, yet somehow they don’t make rash decisions based on the downs.

  13. BobbyJet says:

    True enough but a decision (or non decision) like trading away a ‘core’ player hopefully would not be about saving face. Besides shopping, and actually doing are two separate animals. Unless a deal is actually made I doubt it would become public.

    I think everyone agrees that this team needs to be tougher and it certainly doesn’t look like that will come from within our system, as it is today.

  14. John says:

    Free agency, it exists.

  15. CT says:

    Wow, the Dump Kane brigade has caught me off guard. I expected a bit from the WSCR callers, but it’s really more widespread than I thought.

    I give up, who or what do Hawks fans want to get in return for Patrick Kane?

  16. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    I’d really like a big physically D-man, Power Forward to hold down that 1st line and a skilled 2nd line player to skate with Big Boss Hoss. That my offseason wish list. Just lock up Crow and let Campoli skate out of town. Is Dylan Olsen that guy? Beach should be that PF but he is clearly not, so its time to look outside the organization.

  17. Chris says:

    @Jeff

    Wait. Did I understand your comment right – trade Kane – arguably the Hawks best and most consistent player, because, er, he’s a 21 year old who likes to drink? Maybe you yourself were drunk when writing that.

    I don’t understand the vitriol leveled at a 21 year old young professional because – newsflash – he enjoys going out to bars to drink with his friends. It’s ridiculous. The minute somebody starts some rumor about him drinking it starts and the bone headed Chicago media makes a story of it.

    Perhaps you don’t see many games in person. If you did you would see how Kane is the best puck handler and passer on the ice – consistently weaving in, around, and through opposing players to create scoring opportunities for his more flat footed teammates in the offensive zone. He has great vision on the ice and some of the passes he makes are remarkable. Many times the players he passes to can’t react quick enough to do something constructive with the puck because they were caught off guard.

    So trade him because, er, he drinks? Well, I don’t care if he boozes it up like Cabrera as long as he keeps playing like he has been these last couple of years. Sure, he can back check better I guess.

    He averaged a point a game these last two years. This year he had 73 in 73 games. Extrapolating that total to 82 games and he’s 8th (!) in the entire league just behind Ovechkin, Stamkos, H. Sedin, Perry, and a couple others. That’s rarefied company and he is the youngest in that group.

    Come on, man.

  18. Chris says:

    I really can’t believe Blackhawks fans would want to trade Kane or there are some Hawks fans who would dislike him. They need their heads examined.

    Do they know him personally? Have they spent time with the young man to find something to dislike? Or are they basing their opinion on second and third hand histrionic media reports and diatribes from blowhard sports radio talk show hosts?

    Listen to his teammates like Sharp talk about him – they all think he is a great teammate. That tells it all. Enough of this nonsense about trading Kane. If the Hawks do that then the whiners in Vancouver were right – there is some sort of NHL conspiracy afoot!

  19. Cam says:

    Bowman said today that re-signing Crawford is the top priority. He also more than hinted that they’ll try to get a Sharp extension done relatively soon.

  20. Jeff says:

    REGULAR SEASON 73 27 46 73
    Great stats for your “Premier” offensive player…tell me I was wrong when this guy is 26 and still acting like an 18 yr old and you wished you could of moved him when he was at peak value. You need maturity such as Toews, Sharp and Hossa. Bobby Hull was the face of the franchise…remember what happened there? There is no loyality in sports anymore so I say shop him around see what you get.

  21. Jeff says:

    When was the last time we had a 50 goal scorer or 100 point player?

  22. BobbyJet says:

    Kane is of a handful of NHL’ers who can play essentially a one-way game and get away with it….. because he is so ggod at it. Having said that however, I think his defensive presence has improved quite drastically but his creativity is his greatest asset and you don’t want to squelch that and I think Patrick Sharp will agree )who could have had 45 or more goals this year barring injury).

  23. BobbyJet says:

    Seems many would like Kane to remain in this organization, however not a comment about Keith, and the prospect of shopping him. I waited this past season for him to return to form and it didn’t happen, cept for the game after Seabrook was assaulted by Torres, however that form vanished as quickly as it appeared…. just sayin’

  24. John says:

    The funny/aggravating thing about this ‘Dump Kane’ brigade is they’ve been around since his rookie year and literally wait for any opportune moment to pounce on him. I recall a couple years ago people were advocating dumping him for ‘peak value’ and now it’s still the same pointless and ridiculous argument. After they got eliminated by Detroit two years ago, I still recall this push to ‘get what you can for him while you can’. Then he came back and finished 8th in the league in scoring and was, most likely, the runner-up in the Conn Smythe voting.

    BobbyJet–Re-read my previous comment. Teams do not decide to hand a lifetime contract out one year and then change their mind the next. That is simply not how professional sports teams operate.

  25. Chris says:

    That’s why people in that brigade aren’t GMs in the NHL. Kane is the least of the Hawks’ worries. It makes no sense (at least not to me) to move a player that brings so much value to one’s team. Why? And for what? Comparable value? So who would that be? Actually, who cares. Thankfully it won’t happen.

    Personally I think the Hawks should:

    - resign Crawford
    - move Hammer for a more physical D-man (who doesn’t turn the puck over and can play in position) or big second line center

    We might not like to admit this but the Hawks were pushed around a bit by Vancouver. I saw a similar trend in games against bigger teams like Anaheim and San Jose. Perhaps Byfuglein and Eager were more important than most realized last year.

    Keith, Seabrook and Hossa need to show up next year too. They took the year off this year and/or undisclosed injuries inhibited their play. Seabrook looked befuddled out there those last two games.

  26. Jeff says:

    I am ok with them shopping Keith too…and maybe Atlanta or Florida would take Campbell’s salary too. I am sure it will come out Hossa was playing with a major injury again. Seabrook I think has too many concussions…

  27. CT says:

    So, Kane has peaked at the age of 22. With 303 points in 4 seasons, plus 48 more in 45 playoff games. The haters come out because he was apparently neutralized by the physicality of the Canucks, although he was tied for the team lead in points with 6 in 7 games.

    I guess it’s a good thing Kaner never faced a physical team during the Stanley Cup run last year. I mean, do we really think he would have scored the Cup clinching goal if the Hawks hadn’t been playing that bunch of ballerinas from Philadelphia?

    Fuck it, it’s all academic at this point. Armchair GMs can make all the trades they want, the truth is, Kane, Campbell, Keith and Toews all have no-trade clauses. They aren’t going anywhere.

  28. Steve from Rockford says:

    Excellent write up. Some people seem to have problems separating legit criticism from “hating” or “negativity”. This team simply did not play very well this season, one of the reasons being they were not all that great. They were inconsistent. They could not string together wins and they were really bad at home. If not for the surprisingly good play of Crawford this year would have been a disaster.

    This team has some flaws that were very exploitable and were exposed early. Chiefly being, they are full of small and medium guys and can be beat on the boards. Dump the puck into the zone and the Hawks will struggle to get it out. That is a recipe for disaster in the third, when players are tired, double that for a team who’s “core” played the entire playoffs to the point of winning the cup the year before.

    I do think that some of these guys party/partied too much. The focus wasn’t there. The attitude was pompous and smug for a majority of the season. “Don’t you see how good we are! We won the cup last year! We will get hot soon!” That then segued into panics with shocked players dropping must win games to bad teams. Remember the look after the last game of the regular season. Remember how we got into the playoffs?

    We played four good games in the playoffs, but of course Vancouver totally sucked for two of them. We couldn’t do a damn thing against the Canucks trap in game 6 and they used it again in seven. The “core” failed to show up. If we have players like who are very focused and do not feel like playing then that is a major issue. Keith is not the only one who felt this way I can guarantee you that. He just is the only one who said it.

    I really think this team will be very good next year if the right moves are made. I do think some of these younger guys need to pull their heads out of their butts and realize what is truly important. At the end of your career nobody cares how much time you spent in Wrigleyville. They don’t care how much you partied. They care about team contributions and results.

    This offseason may sting, you have to trade quality to get quality. You do not keep someone only because he is a fan favorite. If it improves the team you pull the trigger plain and simple.

    The ball is now in Bowman’s court. This is his first test. This entire year needs to be used as a learning experience from the top down. This is serious and this league is competitive… the line between contending and not is very thin.

  29. Steve from Rockford says:

    “We might not like to admit this but the Hawks were pushed around a bit by Vancouver.”

    Not just Vancouver and not just a little bit. This was all season. Hell, the Ducks did it to us last year as well. The really big and physical teams had our number all year. I mean you look at a team like the Blues, who are not all that great, but they were able to knock us off the puck the entire game. Dallas did the same thing and they aren’t even the most physical team, but look at what those loses almost cost us.

    As for Kane, he is a very good player. However, people defend the guy like mom’s who believe their kids can do no wrong. He did not really show up in these playoffs especially in game seven, he does sometimes not forecheck or defend very well, he is small and yes his off ice issues should be accounted for. He is an adult. He has gotten himself in several situations in which alcohol always seemed to play a role. Furthermore, it is constantly hinted at by many different people in the blogosphere and in the media that there are lots of things going on with him that we do not hear about.

    Do I want him gone? Only if it improves the team. But I find it so odd that people get so upset over any type of criticism of the guy. He is nowhere near infallible. As a hockey player, he is very good offensively, but he does have faults. It is okay to criticize him.

  30. John says:

    There’s a difference between actual criticism and disliking him for no good reason. Generally I’ve noticed the people who want Kane gone either say “he parties too much” or “he’s too small” or “he doesn’t work hard enough” as their reasoning for why they don’t like him. None of those are substantial reasons for getting rid of the best offensive player on the team. First of all, if he parties too much, that’s for the team to decide and to handle. If they think it’s a problem, I promise you, it’s already been taken care of. Whatever we say or think about that is completely irrelevant and quite frankly, not in the least bit important.

    Also, if he didn’t show up in the playoffs than neither did Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, or Patrick Sharp.

    You think it’s being overprotective; the rest of us realize how good he is and truly dumb it is to sell off Kane at 60 cents on the dollar. Quite frankly, the horse is already dead and beaten just two days after the season has ended plus he’s not going anywhere so the discussion is moot. Like I said yesterday, he’s become the Scottie Pippen to Toews’ Michael Jordan. Just like Pippen did, Kane takes the brunt of criticism because he’s not Toews which really isn’t fair.

  31. Marts says:

    Moving assets like Keith and Kane is nuts. I don’t even care to elaborate on the matter. It’s crazy talk…

    I’ll discuss Hjammer but he was pretty damned good in the tournament. Good enough to warrant another go after a poor season (IMO). If a good offer comes calling – have a look.

  32. IXFE says:

    Wow! Some people are nuts. Lets not forget the following!
    1) We won the cup in 2010!
    2) It was an olympic year, so our top players played even more games.

    So now because they had a down year (makes sense given the above) we want to shop them and replace them with whom? Do you really expect these same guys to have a down year again? I am by no means a hockey expert, but I do watch every game. No Stanley cup winning team dumps the guy that scored the clinching goal one season later. Please!

  33. alpo says:

    One thing I will be very interested in seeing next year is Hossa’s performance. Since the day he’s been signed Hossa has experienced some type of malaise. Be it exhaustion, a shoulder injury or Boynton he has not lived up to his billing as a consistent Top-20 NHL player. I hope a summer off after participating in the Olympics and 3 deep Cup runs will have him refreshed and ready to roll next year.

  34. Lee says:

    Bowman says this morning on The Score that he’s looking for more production from Scott next year. Like I said I love his fights but other than that what kind of production could Bowman possibly been talking about or is he just as much an idiot as I think he is

  35. CT says:

    I think that when Scott sits in the press box he knits Chicago Blackhawks sweaters for the gift shop and they’ve become a hot item so they’re looking for a bit more output there.

  36. Bob in EP says:

    “I mean you look at a team like the Blues, who are not all that great, but they were able to knock us off the puck the entire game. ”

    BFD, Hawks beat the Blues 5 out of 6 games in 2010-11.

  37. Steve from Rockford says:

    ““I mean you look at a team like the Blues, who are not all that great, but they were able to knock us off the puck the entire game. ”

    “BFD, Hawks beat the Blues 5 out of 6 games in 2010-11.”

    Right and they are not a very good team. If they were able to actually score the number of wins would have been different. How did we fare against other bigger teams? Again, this team lost lots of games to bad teams. We only got into the playoffs because of a fluke win by the Wild.

    And getting knocked off the puck is a BFD. Its a major of the reason we could never keep it in the opposing zone and get it out of ours. Plays against the boards are a major part of any hockey game. Especially with the game going back towards traps and dump and chase.

    Almost everyone, including the players and management have talked about needing to add size. So I really do not understand why you do not think it matters.

  38. Grunfeld says:

    “Bowman says this morning on The Score that he’s looking for more production from Scott next year.”

    I couldn’t believe it until I heard it. The exact quote:

    “John Scott, he came in this year and wasn’t utilized an awful lot,” Bowman said. “But we talked about it, briefly, with the coaches after the season, that we want to try and find a way to get him more ice time. He’s certainly an intimidating force and I think he did progress as the year went on. We played him in the playoffs and he was actually pretty effective in the minutes he got, [we'd] like to get him some more minutes.”

    Wow.

  39. BobbyJet says:

    Wow indeed. What are Q and Stan thinking? The entire league chuckles when Scott plays.

    The issue we have is described well by Steve from Rockford. We simply have too many players who regularly get outmuscled and we’re especially weak in our board play .. Losing those battles along the boards is chronic when the play gets intense and that must be addressed. Surely this is obvious to Hawks management.

  40. Adam F says:

    There’s never any in-between anymore. If you have any criticism of a guy, you’re a hater and if you defend a guy you’re an apologist. The answer is almost always somewhere in between. I think Patrick Kane might be the most talented forward the Hawks have had since…..well since. Maybe since Savard. But I can still be disappointed by his play. I’m sorry. His measuring sticks are people like St. Louis, Perry, Stamkos, hell maybe even Ovie. He can be THAT good.

    To me the two biggest questions for the Hawks are 1) Do the Hawks want to pay Patrick Sharp for years in his mid-thirties and how much. Because Different Dominoes fall pending on those answers. and 2) Exactly how many minutes a night can we expect Q to give Nick Leddy next year Because over playing our top 3 D is well…we just don’t want to go there. I remember the eather saying they were going to write a column about How Nick Leddy had turned a corner in their minds. Never read that column. Look forward to it.

    Oh yeah, thanks for the year, Long live the feather, all that….

  41. Cam says:

    Via the Toronto Sun:

    “The Chicago Blackhawks have identified rookie goalie Corey Crawford as their top priority to re-sign past next season, and Crawford is amenable to it. His agent, Gilles Lupien, said they spoke three weeks ago and agreed they’ll hammer out a deal face-to-face at the draft where he’ll table three possible deals ranging from two to four years in length.

  42. Cam says:

    The refs just handed the Canucks yet another win.

    I guess the scripted farce by Gillies is working like a charm.

  43. nick says:

    So it looks like Mike Gillies might whine and cry his way to the cup. If Van wins the cup, I will guarantee you that I will start a boycott of the NHL and I will try my best to amass a large group of supporters. This will be the biggest farce in the NHL since the Brett Hull crease goal.

  44. Steve from Rockford says:

    What are you talking about Nick? A Farce? Talent wise the Canucks are a very good team, this has been very obvious all year. If they win (which they probably will) it will be because they are a very talented team. Just like the Hawks last year.

    It is okay to separate the way you feel about a team and still admit that they are very talented. The Canucks organization is as douchy as they come, but they are very good. The fact that the Hawks pushed it to seven surprised most of us.

  45. BobbyJet says:

    Well that’s all fine and good Steve, but it is a fact that Canucks live and die by the power play and since Gillis’ rant they have benn getting plenty of help from the officials. Last night was no exception. It disgusts me to see talented players like Kesler, Luongo and Lapierre, to name a few, diving like they’ve been shot. The team, like their management has no class.

  46. Cam says:

    Canucks got 7 of the 9 PP’s tonight in Game 2.

    Maybe Doug Wilson should hold a presser.

  47. Patrick says:

    CRAWFORD RESIGNED! Oh, me so happy…

  48. Jim says:

    I said with the Hawks/Vancouver we may have been looking at the Cup Final. Although the Hawks were just plain tired. They were a whisker away from eliminating Vancouver.

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