Based on my completely unscientific table, the Hawks finishing 1-1-1 on the final leg of the Circus Trip makes it a good road trip. There, now you can all finally sleep. Though, collecting 9 out of a possible 12 points is surely bordering on orgasmic. The only reason they didn’t collect that precious tenth point was because of Jonathan Quick.
The Hawks had two chances early in Saturday night’s game to get on the board. John Madden fired a puck from the goal line; Quick stopped it but had no idea where it was. The puck laid along the post and Troy Brouwer came flying through the crease. He was unable to locate the puck, however, and Quick covered the puck before a melee ensued in front of him.
The second chance came shortly after when Ham Sandwich’s point shot trickled through Quick’s legs. Jonathan Toews stood at the crease and had it not been for Drew Doughty keeping Toews pre-occupied, he would have surely deposited it into the empty net.
After those two fortuitous bounces for Los Angeles, Quick settled in and that was that.
Regardless, it was still nice to see the Hawks play in the Staples Center and not look like a team who’s never played together before. Even if the result was less than desirable.
The Hawks finally return to the United Center with a couple of large divisional games on tap. They’ll get their first look at the Blue Jackets on Tuesday and then on Friday will take on Nashville for the fourth time. If you haven’t been paying attention, Nashville is only four points behind the Hawks in the standings and just as annoying as ever.
More extended thoughts on those two teams will be coming later in the week.
*On the Farm*
–The IceHogs took their recent goal scoring frustrations out on the Abbotsford Heat with a 5-1 win on Saturday night. Rockford scored early and often with two goals each in the first and second periods. They capped off the game with a goal a minute into the third. An Abbostsford goal just before the 8 minute mark of the third period was the only glitch on the scoresheet.
Mark Cullen started the scoring with his tenth goal of the year. Brian Connelly and Darryl Boyle got assists. Evan Brophey followed it up with his third goal of the year. Assists were given to Richard Petiot and Boyle.
In the second period, Ryan Flinn scored with an assist going to Jake Dowell. Flinn was playing in his fifth game of the year and Dowell’s assist was his first point in seven games. A minute later, Bracken Kearns scored with assists from Jack Skille and Kyle Greentree.
Skille closed out the scoring in the third with his linemates Kearns and Greentree getting the assists.
Joseph Fallon made 25 saves on 26 shots. Skille, Kearns, and Boyle were named the three stars of the game.
Following the game, Rockford sent goalie Alec Richards back to Toledo of the ECHL. Perhaps Corey Crawford is alive after all.
—Shawn Lalonde had an assist in Belleville’s 5-4 loss to the Owen Sound Attack on Saturday.
—Kyle Beach had an assist in Spokane’s 4-0 win over the Regina Pats.
—Byron Froese scored Everett’s final goal in a 6-1 win over the Tri-City Americans.
—Brandon Pirri scored for RPI but it wasn’t enough in their 5-4 overtime loss to Union in the RPI Holiday Tournament.
—Billy Sweatt did not score in Colorado College’s 3-2 overtime loss to Alaska-Anchorage. The loss kept Colorado College in a tie for first place in the WCHA with Denver. Next weekend, the two teams will meet in Colorado Springs for a two-game set.
A few, some or even several of us may be wondering if StanBow makes a move for a second line center before the December trade freeze…
Kiley The Younger offers his cogitations on this prickly matter today:
The Feather’s former flock fellows over at HockeeNight are postulating Weight, Cullen and Stajan.
..my own (admittedly blurry) radar screen identifies TommyPlex as a credible candidate. With his 2.75MM cap hit, Two-Way Tomas also fits the profile. Bob (Get Off My Lawn) Gainey is dangling re: contract talks and Montreal likes a Sharp Dressed Man.
Your thoughts and miscellaneous musings, Gentlemen (and Ladies, as may be appropriate) of the Hawkey Jury?
BTW it’s snowing here in Ottawa…we’ll out buildling the rink soon, eh.
@ Dave, you have been busy all over the net on the trade front.
If they can move $ and get Plec that would be a good situation. Bolland’s back is “repaired” but who knows what that really means for this season let alone the future. Kind of the same with Burish’s knee. Hopefully he is back and gets re-signed I like his energy and what he brings to the Hawks.
I am not a fan of Stajan’s don’t think he is anything more than a band-aid. The Cullen/Corvo scuttle is also out there. I am not sure Joe Corvo is going to thrive here. Cullen is a good rental.
I saw your Spezza scuttle on the Buzz interesting but I don’t think that will happen. Although Soup is your “PP QB” and he isn’t playing much on the PP. So who really knows
Doug Weight is a warrior and a leader how much do you think he has left in the tank? That is the big ? on Doug. He is affordable and if he can give you some quality minutes, I like him.
You always wonder if Edmonton is in the wings. I think Cogliano is a good fit here.
Now to my speculation on timing…with the Dec trade freeza and the Holidays no upon us, McD loves the big show. It would not surprise me if they make a move to get the big three signed and use that to intensify the holiday hype and bring it into 2010. And since ticket prices weren;t raised last year, one can wonder on timing related to that as well.
@Lou> ha ha…you’re watching me,are you?
re: Cogliano, I like his play, but I doubt Tambellini lets such a promising young player go….unless he’s part of a major package like the deceased Heatley deal.
Ottawa and Bryan Murray doing a Spezza for Campbell swap is probably a 10 on the DHTM (DelusionalHockeyTradeMeter)…but hey, ya NEVER know.
I see Plekanec as being a fit at center. Gainey would take Sharp in heartbeat I think.
I also wonder about Chris Higgins, who hasn’t managed get on Tortorella’s good side. Sather might be willing to let him go cheap…like Sopel cheap ‘cos the Rangers have injuries on D…or maybe cheaper.
Lyle Richardson (SpectorsHockey, FoxSports) thinks Barker’s a Hawk through the playoffs…his thoughts here:
Interesting times ahead…maybe.
I think the New York/Sopel connection is a good one. Even when their back line is healthy, they’re well short on the defensive side of the ledger. Staal, Girardi, Del Zotto, Redden, Gilroy and Rozival don’t exactly scream “responsibility.”
Though I’m not a huge trade rumor guy, I’d bet Bowman will take the next few weeks – minus the holiday roster freeze, of course – to do everything he can to find a dancing partner for Sopel. If that doesn’t work out, it’s on to Plan B, whatever that may be.
Sopel’s certainly helping this plan, too, as he was very good on the trip.
Gentlemen, just when we thought we had it all figured out, along comes a curve ball…or maybe not such a curve ball.
Al Cimaglia, who has covered the Hawks for NHL Radio, and has good contacts with the Hawks organization, writes at Hockey Independent that Cam Barker may be the Hawk on the move.
To Carolina, no less.
“Is Cam Barker Being Phased out?” is a well-thought out piece by Al, which may raise a few eyebrows…more here:
@ Dave, Al’s blog makes a lot of sense and Barker’s lack of ice time is noticeably obivous. To sign the big three something has to happen and if McD wants sooner than later party well then…
Now back to Cogliano if he makes his way to to NYR…
@Dave, thanks for the link.
If in fact the hawks have to move salary to commence the signing of the big 3 and desire to complete that signing before season’s end I believe Barker is better trade bait then Sopel given his offensive talents tend to make more of an impression then hard to quantify defensive skills. I don’t think we’ll see any major movement from the hawks until the few days between the Olympic trade freeze and the trade deadline though.
I also don’t see any extension for Sandwich coming until next year’s cap situation is cleared up this summer unless he decides to take a big home team discount for short term. That’s unfortunate because if StanBow decides to go the qualifying offer route with him, that typically results in a short term deal and hurt feelings. Everybody here seems to appreciate Sandwich, and you can include me in that group.
@Feyer> Ham Sandwich will be part of the Hawkey Menu long term, if the emanations from The Family Bowman are any indication. I mean, the kid’s mebbe the best d-man as many nights as SlamDunc.
PS GREAT TV spot with Hjammer from Hawks TV here:
What about Vinny Prospal? Have heard that he might be on his way out for the NYR – perhaps the Carolina deal goes through and then Sopel goes to the Rangers for Prospal? Is he any good? Just a thought…
@Patrick> with 26 points in 27 games, not sure why Mr Prospal would be ‘on his way out’. At 1Mil and change, he’s a bargain for the Blueshirts, and if I am not mistaken, he has been centering for Gaborik. He got another assist tonight on Gabby’s 20th goal.
But perhaps you have heard something different?
Yesterday, ESPN was suggesting that he may be someone they’d move (see immediately below)…
Vinny Prospal might be the New York Rangers only trade asset.
Ranger Rants made a list of unmoveable players, which included: Sean Avery, Chris Drury, Michal Rozsival, Wade Redden, Donald Brashear, Aaron Voros and Ales Kotalik. Also, they won’t deal Marian Gaborik, Michael Del Zotto, Matt Gilroy, Marc Staal or Artem Anisimov.
So that leaves Prospal and his one-year $1.1 million contract as the lone trade asset, if they want to change things up.
Yes, the source is ESPN (suspect), but it’s also the Rangers and they’re very unpredictable (and dumb) sometimes…