About Sunday Night

As promised, here are some thoughts bouncing around about Sunday night’s tilt and a little bit more:

–Still no word on Patrick Kane.  After seeing the replay for the 203rd time, it certainly appeared to me that his ankle twisted the same way it did a couple years ago against Detroit.  He suffered a high ankle sprain then and only missed a couple games but was hardly the same player.  He went through a prolonged scoring drought, notching two assists in an 11 game span.  He scored just one goal in 18 games and it took him 19 games to have a multi-point game.  

That stretch covered a span of two months.  Of course, it probably took a lot longer for him to heal as he never sat out for an extended period and rushed back.

If he’s out for two months now (or even if he plays and is not the same player for the next two months) , you can pretty much kiss the playoffs goodbye.  As the Hawks sit in the midst of the Western Conference blob, they can ill afford to be without their most consistent scorer for that long.

–The Hawks sent Jeremy Morin down today and then announced later in the evening, he would be returning on Wednesday.  Clearly this was done to save cap space for down the road.  It was also leaked today that Morin and Nick Leddy have been given permission by the Blackhawks to participate in the World Junior Championships.

Morin’s game total now sits at five games.  Should he end up playing in the World Juniors, he’ll be unavailable to the Hawks for about a month.  While I’m still fairly impressed with Morin, the difference between him, Ben Smith, and Ryan Potulny is miniscule.  Has Morin really done anything that outstanding in his 12 minutes of ice time per game that the other two couldn’t?  Is it really worth burning a year off his entry-level deal?  These questions look like they’re going to have to be answered sooner rather than later.   

Not only that, Morin carries the highest cap hit.    

To me, they should make a committment one way or the other.  Either keep him here, get the most out of the first year of his contract, and be done with these silly cap games or just let him spend the rest of the season in Rockford and get someone else up here. 

–Dave Bolland doubled his goal output on Sunday night by cashing in on (essentially) two empty-net goals.  Again, though, I found what he didn’t do to be so much more insulting.  In the second period, he carried the puck out from behind the net and had a golden opportunity to get something to the net.  He took way too long to make his decision and ended up losing the puck.

In the third period and just moments after Jarome Iginla’s rocket launcher hit the post, Bolland and Toews came in on a 2-on-1.  Toews saucered a pass to Bolland that he should have been able to control.  He didn’t and the Flames immediately came back down the other way.

Then on his empty net goal and with the Hawks on the power play, he shot the puck from behind the red line.  If he misses the net there, the Flames get a face-off in the Hawks zone and an easy opportunity to pull their goalie.  Not the type of play you like to see from someone who is lauded for his hockey IQ.

–It’s about time Jonathan Toews becomes a true point-per-game player in the regular season.  With Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane now out for the unforseen future, it’s time Toews starts playing like the Gold Medal or Stanley Cup is on the line on a nightly basis.  The only way I see the Hawks coming out of this month rosy (and it’s going to be a real tough one now) is if Toews steps up his game the way we’ve seen during tournaments. 

Save us Toews-wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope.

–Adding into my Sunday evening depression of trying to imagine my life without Patrick Kane was the season finale of “The Walking Dead”.  It’s hard to believe we have to wait another ten months to look forward to our Sunday evenings.  The finale didn’t disappoint and I was especially thankful there wasn’t any major cliffhanger (minus the whispering between Jenner and Grimes). 

At some point, though, the show needs to let some time elapse.  Rick has gone from waking out of a coma, travelling to Atlanta via car and horseback, escaping from a mass of zombies, covering himself in zombie guts, walking amongst a mass of zombies, escaping from Atlanta, re-uniting with his family, leaving his family to go back to Atlanta, returning back to the camp during a zombie invasion, leading the group to the CDC in Atlanta, thinking they were safe for the forseeable future, waking up the next morning to realize they only had another hour to stay there, and then breaking out just before it turned into a mushroom cloud…….

in 5 days!!!!  Maybe it’s time we take a deep breath and let some kind of routine get established.

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11 Responses to About Sunday Night

  1. talkendo says:

    As regards Morin’s contract, I tend to agree. Either he’s up and to stay, or send him back down and let someone else ride the shuttle whose contract isn’t going to burn a year. I suppose they DO need to see what he can do against NHL-level competition at some point, before they hand him a roster spot next year (hopefully Kopecky’s)

    As I tweeted yesterday, Morin, Paradis, Pirri and Leddy are the only ones who slide. At this point, they shouldn’t be long-term injury replacements (even if they are the better players) unless they’re staying up. I don’t think leaving Leddy up as long as they did will turn out to be a bad thing. They were lower-intensity early regular season games. He’s seen the level of competition he has to match and hopefully any instruction from the coaching staff will get in there.

    But playing the shuttle with Morin is just not good sense. It’s the sort of thing that leads to a difficult cap decision down the road. 37.5 million to 7 skaters in 2013-14 and we’re talking about burning a year off a team-friendly contract when there are better player?

    Ugh, I’ve said too much about this already. I hope Hossa is back soon, as I don’t expect to see Kane this month.

  2. AirTrafficAJ says:

    Yeah, they couldn’t really end on a cliffhanger because when they filmed they had no idea if the show would be picked up or not. It was cool to see the last episode step out of the box as far as comic storylines go. Next season, look for 2 really cool characters to show up. A samurai sword-wielding chick named Michonne, and a one-eyed villain named “The Governor.”

  3. John says:

    I’ve heard rumblings that the Governor is actually going to be one-armed and it’s going to turn out to be Michael Rooker’s character who was left on the roof. Haven’t heard anything about the samurai princess.

  4. Francis Roberts says:

    Nice article, John. Certainly turning into an interesting season. I agree with you and talkendo that the Hawks need to make a decision on Morin. Either he stays up and plays top six minutes, or he stays down and saves a cap friendly contract year. Depending on how badly Kane is hurt the best course of action for the Hawks may be for them to become much more of a grinder team for the next 6-8 weeks while everybody gets healthy. Toews and Sharp will have to carry the scoring load, but everybody will have to chip in. Rotate the best defensive forwards you can from Rfd (Smith, etc) and dig in. As one of you astutely pointed out, the Hawks cap problems do not go away over the next few years. Having longer cap friendly contracts for the Leddys, Morins and Pirris, etc can be a big help.

  5. Patrick says:

    On Walking Dead – I’ve heard the same thing about the one armed guy being the Governor, and Entertainment Weekly had a great article about the show (it’s my wife’s subscription… really…). The only minor hitch I saw was in the four minutes they supposedly had to get their stuff and bust out of the CDC – in reality, it would have taken them way longer than that to do that. Anyway, damn good show and they ended their short season well.

    On Morin, don’t burn a season – have him play in the World Juniors and just play the I-pass for his maximum allotment of games and then play him in the playoffs (and IMO, even with the Kane injury, the Hawks will make the playoffs and will be scary when they do). This was a transitional year with heavy cap implications, and better days are ahead, including this season.

  6. Otter says:

    Somewhere in Chicago, Patrick Sharp is reading this going… um, what about me and all the goals I’ve been scoring this year? Losing Kane hurts, but I don’t think it kills the Hawks season.

    However, we can kiss the Central good bye. The Wings hold a five point lead with four games in hand… so the Wings hold a 10 point lead in the division. Hawks are looking at a 4 seed at best.

    I also read that the Cap is expected to increase $3 million next year thanks mainly to the strong Canadian dollar. Is it safe to say Seabrook will be back?

  7. talkendo says:

    Mark my words: Unless Kane’s injury is far worse than the month we’ve been told, requiring Seabs to be dealt for depth; Brent Seabrook will wear a Hawks sweater next year. He’ll probably get a deal like Hjammer’s and then we’ll start hearing stories about a Brian Campbell trade. Like maybe to Toronto for Phil Kessel.

  8. John says:

    Sharp is an incredibly streaky scorer. When you compare him with the consistency that Kane provides, it’s really no contest. Losing Kane hurts a ton especially with all Western Conference opponents the rest of this month. Toews is really the only one who can match Kane’s production on a game-to-game basis.

    It’s not impossible, but the Hawks are going to need increased and consistent production from guys who don’t really do that.

  9. Rebecca says:

    I love the Walking Dead so much. I know people complain about the writing and the characters being rushed and not well though out, but I love the fantastic zombie kills, awesome end shots (Merle’s hand) and Daryl. I loved his line about the door being able to withstand a rocket launcher “well your head ain’t!!!” can’t wait until freakin’ October

  10. Big Tony says:

    John, was that your text/email that was read on B&B today on the Score?

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