Match-up Problems: Oilers 4, Blackhawks 3

The easy out for the latest Hawks loss is that Dan Carcillo took a bad penalty which changed the complexion of the game.  And that would be true.

But it was more than one guy’s fault for a singular regular season loss.  The Hawks special teams didn’t help the cause.  Their power play went for 0-5, including an 0-for-3 in the third period when the pressure was highest on the Oilers.  Their penalty kill let them down at the most inopportune time, during Carcillo’s 5-minute major.  Corey Crawford surely should have stopped Taylor Hall’s goal even if Niklas Hjalmarsson was high-sticked just moments before.

Then after the Hawks tied the game at 2, Viktor Stalberg completely forgot about any defensive back-check and let blue whale Andy Sutton float down the slot wide open for the Oilers third goal.

A tricky Ben Eager back-hander in the third gave the Oilers the cushion they would need to hold on to the win.

–When Dan Carcillo boarded Tom Gilbert for the 5 minute major, both players did not return to the game afterwards.  Gilbert was banged up on the play and even if Carcillo did not get a game misconduct, I highly doubt he would have returned.  Carcillo’s knee buckled after the hit and he needed half the team to carry him off the ice and into the locker room.  It didn’t look good and going by Carcillo’s reaction, it would be a minor miracle if Carcillo is seen in a Hawks jersey ever again.

–The Oilers have a terrific power play and a solid penalty kill.  The Hawks are inconsistent in both facets.  That is a huge advantage for the Oilers and it’s probably the main reason why they’ve given the Hawks such fits this season.

–I’m sure Sami Lepisto is ecstatic he took less money to come play every three weeks for the Hawks.

–For as good as Andrew Brunette is with the puck around the goal line, he’s equally horrible with the puck around the attacking blue line.  His fumble of the puck in the Edmonton zone helped trigger Ben Eager’s rush in the third.  That’s the second time this season his giveaway led to a back-breaking goal against.  The first came against Minnesota.  There may have been more but those are the two that stick out to me.

–This has really nothing to do with the game but on Friday’s Boers and Bernstein show, Barry Rozner filling in for Terry Boers was in a discussion with Bernstein about Dave Bolland.  Rozner, for all his faults, does have some solid sources within the Hawks.  He mentioned in passing about how some people within the Hawks felt like Bolland sort of milked his concussion last year and has become a bit gun shy since.

That was all they really discussed about it.  And I think that’s all pretty much anyone needs to know with how the Hawks handle their concussed players.  It seems like some within the Hawks would prefer their players simply learn to lie about how to pass concussion tests than worry about the health of their brains.

Meanwhile, Marcus Kruger is out for the foreseeable future because he rushed back from a concussion.  Spare me the next time Pat Foley goes on an extended rant about how forward thinking the Hawks are for letting the team surgeon and head doctor travel with the team on the road.  It’s obvious that the Hawks aren’t really too concerned with their medical opinion.  Or they’re quacks.  Either way, a lack of respect to concussed players is about 15 years behind the times.

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10 Responses to Match-up Problems: Oilers 4, Blackhawks 3

  1. Sam says:

    Couldn’t be more right about their handling of concussions. Something stinks to high heaven, and they may have cost themselves a promising center because of it.

  2. Grunfeld says:

    You think Barry Rozner has ‘solid’ sources and Marcus Kruger may have come back too soon. That is all your proof for the ‘obvious’ notion that the Hawks don’t care about concussion or their doctors are quacks?

    “That was all they really discussed about it. And I think that’s all pretty much anyone needs to know with how the Hawks handle their concussed players. It seems like some within the Hawks would prefer their players simply learn to lie about how to pass concussion tests than worry about the health of their brains.”

    If that is all anyone needs to know, you wouldn’t be using the word ‘seems’ in the next sentence.

    With all due respect, while you might be right on this subject, I don’t think you demonstrated it in this post.

  3. John says:

    My proof is that Marcus Kruger did come back too soon and that some people within the organization don’t respect concussed players based on what a reporter said. I highly doubt someone who’s been imbedded within the Hawks for that long would go on the air and blatantly make something like that up. That said, I’m not sure I’m trying to prove anything; all I was trying to say was that in this time when concussions and the treatment of them are all the rage, the Hawks are still behind the times. And they may have paid the price with a young promising center.

  4. Otter says:

    “The Oilers have a terrific power play and a solid penalty kill. The Hawks are inconsistent in both facets.”

    And now that we’re half way though the season, it might be time to fix those two issues so that the Hawks aren’t bounced in 6 games in the second round.

  5. Francis Roberts says:

    i think it is a reasonable question to ask about the Hawk’s handling of concussions. It seems like there should be a much more stringent protocol when dealing with these injuries.
    Other issues: I think Carcillo is running out of chances. I count at least three dumb, potentially game changing penalties on his part in just the last month. I believe it was a reasonable risk to sign him, but this one is not turning out for the good. Next, this season will go downhill fast if Q feels like he has to play just 4 Dmen 25 plus minutes every game. That is a recipe for disaster over the long haul. I don’t know if the answer is a trade or finding out if Dylan Olsen is ready, but something has to be done. On the Power Play I would simplify by splitting the “talent” among the first and second units, and inserting some net and corner presence. Call me old fashioned, but I think that often more PP goals are scored from basic plays like well screened shots from the point and cleaning up rebounds, than from highlight reel passing plays.

  6. Dmac says:

    I think your assumptions regarding the Hawk’s attitude regarding concussions is correct, regardless of whether Rozner’s sources are valid. Consider Seabrook’s rush to go back on the ice after having his head taken off by Torres against Vancouver in last year’s playoffs. When questioned about his extremely brief time on the bench before going back on the ice, Queenville stated something about Seabrook “being a big, tough kid from Western Canada.” WTF kind of meathead answer was that, I wonder? Couple that incident with Bolland’s and now Krugers, and any objective observer can spot a pattern here, and it’s not a good one.

  7. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    It will be interesting to see how long Carcillo is out for. I wouldnt mind seeing Rusty Oleaz or another IceHog getting added to the big club and picking up some additional minutes. Also I would like to see more Sammy Lepisto in the lineup and less John Scott. ODonnell is a nice additional but he skates like a guy in his 40’s.

  8. Grunfeld says:

    I don’t dispute that there is some reason to be suspicious of how the Hawks are handling concussions, but this post went beyond that to a more definitive statement and a very serious allegation.

    Perhaps Kruger did come back too soon, but the only proof is that he got whacked in the head a couple more times against Columbus. Crosby was out for many months and only played a handful of games before going back on the shelf with concussion-like symptoms.

  9. BobbyJet says:

    On the Sutton goal: It was Stalberg who came from deep in the Hawks zone and almost got to Sutton, who was Sharp’s man. Meanwhile Sharp abandoned his check, instead went wandering after the puck carrier in the corner even though he was already being checked. In fact both Kane and Sharp had a better chance to get back on the play, and Kane instead made an ill-advised line change.

  10. BobbyJet says:

    Of course, in the above I meant:

    “On the Sutton goal: It was Stalberg who came from deep in the Oilers zone. He was pretty much on their goal line when the Oilers started the transition.
    As for Kruger returning so quickly: I was shocked to see him in the line up so quickly and must agree that a kid like that needs to be reigned in by club doctors after the head shot that he took.

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