Pre-Season Thoughts

The Blackhawks pre-season officially opened last night with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Hershey Bears, er, Washington Capitals.  Patrick Sharp and Jack Skille were the goal scorers for the Hawks.  A 2-0 lead became a 3-2 loss.  Whatever, everyone came out of it healthy with the exception of Kris Versteeg who suffered an upper body injury.  If it’s as minor as the Hawks claim, then this is all that matters.  Just get everyone on the roster out of the pre-season in one piece.

The biggest news of the night, though, didn’t involve the game.  It was when the Hawks announced that the November 15th game against the San Jose Sharks will now become Jeremy Roenick Heritage Night.  Something tells me the UC will be filled to capacity that night with a whole bunch of ratty, old, beer-stained Roenick CCM replica jerseys littering the stands.

Back to the game for a second.  If anyone could explain to me why Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, and Patrick Kane all saw over 20 minutes of ice time, I’m all ears.  Hopefully, none of them will be making the trip up to Minnesota for tonight’s game.

Sunday Night Update The Hawks dropped their second straight pre-season game 3-0 to the Minnesota Wild.  Antti Niemi played the entire game and stopped 14 of 17 shots.  Martin Havlat scored two goals for the Wild.  Oh yeah, and to continue the trend of the Hawks walking wounded, Adam Burish limped off the ice halfway through the first period and didn’t return to the game.

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13 Responses to Pre-Season Thoughts

  1. Lou says:

    Richard Petiot – Not a top 8 defensman.

  2. John says:

    So you’re saying a guy who could barely crack Tampa’s 34-man defensive rotation last year isn’t good enough to play regularly in the NHL? I’m shocked.

  3. Lou says:

    Cut him some slack he was ranked 35th.

  4. Lou says:

    did you guys see Eklunds newest Hawks rumor. A doosy

  5. Leel says:

    John

    After the Minny game do you still think the Hawks do not need a enforcer. five fights and the one Ii saw Aaron Johnson fighting some 6 ft 6 giant with no one around to help. Also note that most teams in the league except for Detroit which I add because if Ii did not you would, have that one enforcer. I am telling you Ii have been a fan since Bobby Hull’s days and that should tell you how old I am and we need that one enofrcer.

  6. dave anton says:

    Those players did not play Sunday Night. But since you asked:

    Saw the game at XCEL Sunday night:

    Jack Skille flat out WANTS this job. He flew around the ice with and with out the puck. Some good chances, and never (ever) out of position.

    Jake Dowell also has something to say. he pounded bodies and outworked everybody for every inch of ice. some nice passes and a pretty good bout with a big nate smith. Wild fns say Smith won; Hawk fans will say Dowell won type of fight.

    Speaking of guns, Shawn Lalonde absolutely RIPPED apart Heavyweight (featherweight?) Tyler Cuma. They couldn’t have lined up for the faceoff further from each other, but when the puck was dropped everyone stepped aside for the card, apparently aware of the looming fight (no one even flinched for the drop of the puck–it was THAT obvious. After skating a good 30 feet to meet each other (weird i know) Cuma got a fairly good pop, then lalonde just UnLOADED.

    Sopel was good. Good positioning. not at all the feared liability. but nothing flashy, which was a win win.

    Only 17 shots for the Wild, 18 for the Hawks. 1-0 from the start, all the way to the Third, when Cullen high sticked Pouliot(?) and like clock work, Aaron johnson took a BAD Holding penalty setting up the Wild for a 2 man advantage. it took Havlat a total of 15 seconds to tally his 2nd of night.

    Havlat was Havlat. A pretty first goal, and basically an open net tap in on the 5 on 3.

    Back to the Hawks, Beach was slow, awkward and at times uninterested. But he has some soft hands and succeeds when he wants to…what else is new.

    And of course what would be a hockey game for Beach with out a Game Misconduct with 20-something seconds left… text book Beach. but at least he showed fire…with 20-something seconds remaining…

    Niemi looked OK. 17 shots was all he faced, but there some good Saves, and a few Eye Popping Glove Saves. he is pretty quick too.

    Best players were Skille by far Ham Sandwich, and Dowell, with lalonde, brouwer, and Ladd after about the halfway mark ( he looked slow and rusty to start but came on).

    one last thing. Pouliot took the feet out from Burish and bowled over the top of him from behind, then head first into the boards. it easily could have been a Trip, boarding or both. No Call. Burish never returned.

    Five Fights all told, most were either Draws or Punch for Punch equals…although John-six-EIGHT? whatareyoufucknkiddingme-Scott absolutely NAILED Dan Bois with a haymaker, but Bois recovered to stay respectable.

    Sloppy Game. Lots of Blowouts (probably 12 or 13) on the ice (both teams) and some pretty embarrassing “tripping over the blue line” falls…

    There ya go.
    hope that wasn’t too winded

    .dave.anton
    “wirtzGMnomore”

  7. Leel says:

    It also looks to me that we lost all of the fights to what has been the least agressive team in the NHL

  8. John says:

    Dave, thanks for the thoughts and the recap.

    Lee, I take it you’re not familiar with preseason hockey but the best way for a lot of minor leaguers to get the attention of the front office brass is to drop the gloves. If you want to decry the lack of an enforcer all year, that’s your perogative. However, the Hawks essentially dressed their Rockford squad and I would venture that the Hawks were the ones instigating the majority of the fights.

  9. Leel says:

    John, I am very familar with preseason hockey, about 40 years worth, and i know who was on the ice. What I am saying is when the regular season starts we need a Walker looka like(one who can also play) to do the fighting and let the scorers score

  10. Lou says:

    The enforcer debate is getting as old a Chelios. We may need another bruiser defenseman that can move people out of the way not a goon on skates.

    Ask this:

    Can the enforcer contribute a regular shift and play value added minutes on a regular shift? If no, then we don’t need him. Need to roll 4 lines and 3 D pairs.

    What impact does this person have beyond fighting? If nothing, then we don’t need him. Our 4th line had a 10 goal scorer last year.

    What effect does it have on the team night in and night out if they are in the box and put us short handed, or serving a misconduct or serving a game misconduct? What does that do to our legs later in the year? If it weakens us because of fatigue, then we don’t need him.

    Everything leads to increased muscle not more fights. Yes, I absolutely loved the days of Secord, O’C, Probie and Fraser v. Plett or Jocelyn Lemieux v. Snepsts but this is not that age. You can’t have someone skate around trying to kill the modern day Dino Ciccarelli.

    There is a huge difference between being an “enforcer” and being a physical presence. Yes Probert and Secord were unbelieveable and huge deterrants. Who is like them today that can score 30+ with 300 PIM? I can’t think of anyone. The other extreme is Stu and Van Dorp who didn’t bring much to the table in other aspects of the game. This team doens’t need that. The role of fighting in the game is not what it used to be. There is no badge of honor to beat Tie Domi or Probert.

    So, if we look at current players who are “enforcers”, you have Carcillo, Parros, Booregard. Are they gonna get a regular shift in game 7? No. Hawks aren’t gonna put that person as a forward so it logically switches to defenseman.

    What it really comes down to is physical presence, Pronger, Dion Phaneouf, Chara, Iginla, Lucic, Some F and some D with a common theme. These guys have more to their game than their ability to drop the gloves. They are physical and strong. We have plenty of guys who will fight already. We need to let this team develop and you might find the surprise is we have the physical presence we need in Buff and Brouwer or someone else as well besides the wee lad.

  11. Leel says:

    I totally agree with everything you said but the one thing we dont have is that physical force that you are speaking about. In my opinion neither Buff or Brouer fit the mold. Lucic and Chara are perfect examples of what I am referring to!

  12. John says:

    If Lucic and Chara are perfect examples of what you’re referring to, then you should say that instead of calling for enforcers. It would help to clear any confusion the word causes.

  13. Leel says:

    yes, i was not talking about a Dave koci or Wayne Van Dope

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