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Why are the Blackhawks bad?


WillyGrips13

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So I don’t watch a lot of hockey these days. So I don’t really know what’s happening in the NHL. But I was surprised to learn that Chicago isn’t good. What is the issue? Don’t they still have their core stars? I know Crawford has had injuries based on what I’ve read on this forum. Is it all down to his absence? It seems when the team was good many believed Crawford benefitted from that. Now is it the other way around? Or is it something else?

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Cliffnotes: 

-Crawford's head has cost them a major reason they were winning. Dude was hella under-appreciated, and aside from his sophomore year and this year, was a rock in the GSAA department. Not quite elite, but upper echelon of above average.

-"Toews can score 85 points if he wanted to", yet has decided not to yet for some reason.

-Cap hell, pt. un

-Hollowed out d-core

-Hollowed out depth all around

-Trading a guy like Panarin for a used Saad

-Employing Brandon Manning 

-Lack of goaltending depth. Forsberg is medicore at best. Lankinen is still an unknown prospect. The other guy they have up now is basically a non-entity/NHL cryptid like JF Berube, who I still debate actually exists.

-Employing Cam Ward

-Cam Ward becoming your staring goalie

-Duncan Keith just got his first goal today. Also is 35 and done.

-So did Kunitz. Also old and done.

-Cap hell, pt. deux

-Firing a great coach for trying to pass off the pile of dung given to him as a bowl of chocolate ice cream.

Aside from being a piece of human garbage, Kane is still producing. So there's that.

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Pretty simple really. Bowman Jr. benefitted from Dale Tallon's drafting skills. The core of Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook and few others got 10 year huge deals with no movement clauses. Seemed like a good idea at the time and it worked out pretty well for 3 Cups. Last year and this year, the D has gotten old. Keith and Seabrook are no longer top D men esp if they have to play huge minutes and they don't have the players to replace them or gradually takeover from them. Nashville  exposed them and the team in the playoffs season before last; they couldn't keep up with the Preds.

Crawford's brain is a huge problem. He's an awesome goalie who came up the old way serving his time in the minors and earning his job. Lots of folks here in Chicago and superstar goalies on the Internet like to say he sucks or is this or is that. Nonsense!  He's a terrific goalie who should have won the Conn Smythe at their last Cup; just ask Kane. Don't be misled; when the Hawks won 50+ games season before last, it wasn't because of Patrick Sharp or the Man on the Moon. Before his brains exploded last year, he was having his best year. This year he came back and was carrying them again until about 450 lbs of hockey player moving at 15 mph crashed his head into the post. He's really a great goalie who does a lot of things really well. Ward and Delia are fine; they will play well but they aren't Crawford. Crawford is starting to get into Steve Young land: the concussions are going to come much easier and much quicker now. He might be done.

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31 minutes ago, Fullright said:

Pretty simple really. Bowman Jr. benefitted from Dale Tallon's drafting skills. The core of Toews, Kane, Keith, Seabrook and few others got 10 year huge deals with no movement clauses. Seemed like a good idea at the time and it worked out pretty well for 3 Cups. Last year and this year, the D has gotten old. Keith and Seabrook are no longer top D men esp if they have to play huge minutes and they don't have the players to replace them or gradually takeover from them. Nashville  exposed them and the team in the playoffs season before last; they couldn't keep up with the Preds.

Crawford's brain is a huge problem. He's an awesome goalie who came up the old way serving his time in the minors and earning his job. Lots of folks here in Chicago and superstar goalies on the Internet like to say he sucks or is this or is that. Nonsense!  He's a terrific goalie who should have won the Conn Smythe at their last Cup; just ask Kane. Don't be misled; when the Hawks won 50+ games season before last, it wasn't because of Patrick Sharp or the Man on the Moon. Before his brains exploded last year, he was having his best year. This year he came back and was carrying them again until about 450 lbs of hockey player moving at 15 mph crashed his head into the post. He's really a great goalie who does a lot of things really well. Ward and Delia are fine; they will play well but they aren't Crawford. Crawford is starting to get into Steve Young land: the concussions are going to come much easier and much quicker now. He might be done.

I am not a Hawks fan, but I live in Chicago and half follow the team. I think that gives me a more neutral perspective...

I feel like Bowman never gets enough credit... Tallon drafted the the right players, but they didn't win right away.

Bowman had the magic touch for a few years knowing who to resign and who to let go with cap hell constantly in their rear view. In today's NHL, that's as valuable of a skill as you can have. Imagine if he kept Niemi or they never signed Brad Richards?

To me it's the analogy of goalies... Best guy in the league's save percentage is only 10% better than an average guy. That 10% is the difference between good and great.

I think every team that wins 2-3 Stanley Cups in this era will face this same fate. Tampa, TO, and WPG have won jack diddly poo poo and are about to have the same problems...

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2 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

I think every team that wins 2-3 Stanley Cups in this era will face this same fate. Tampa, TO, and WPG have won jack diddly poo poo and are about to have the same problems...

Yup, at least Kane and Toews got paid for what they already accomplished. As a Chicago fan I imagine it'd be hard to be upset. I'd take some dark years if it meant I got three cups. 

Compare that to Nylander, Marner and Matthews (as well as Gardiner and Kapanen) who will be getting paid for the hope of accomplishing something. That's not even necessarily a Leafs problem either, I just think Chicago was probably the end of an era as far as guys getting paid AFTER they win. Look at the Eichel contract. Yikes. 

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Loose language on my part. I don't blame Bowman. He just got a good deck of cards. Coaches and GMs don't play, and you're right, TGN, he added some key pieces as the decade rolled on for which he gets zero credit typically. If the skaters I mentioned hadn't got 10 yr deals with no movement, Hosers probably would have won only one and they'd have gotten those deals elsewhere. Cap reality, I suppose. Crawford, however, smoothed over lots of rough spots and his absence shows how truly rare stud goalies are. Not all is lost. The new coach is doing a good job and rolling a roster over is always going to be messy.  The overlooked thing about Bowman Jr is that this is his first real job as a big shot and 3 in 10 yrs is pretty darn fine. Either way I still have to go to work tomorrow. :).

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3 hours ago, TheGoalNet said:

I think every team that wins 2-3 Stanley Cups in this era will face this same fate. Tampa, TO, and WPG have won jack diddly poo poo and are about to have the same problems...

No worries, the lockout will free them from Cap Hell soon enough.

Tampa is closest to winning at least 1. 

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45 minutes ago, Fullright said:

Loose language on my part. I don't blame Bowman. He just got a good deck of cards. Coaches and GMs don't play, and you're right, TGN, he added some key pieces as the decade rolled on for which he gets zero credit typically. If the skaters I mentioned hadn't got 10 yr deals with no movement, Hosers probably would have won only one and they'd have gotten those deals elsewhere. Cap reality, I suppose. Crawford, however, smoothed over lots of rough spots and his absence shows how truly rare stud goalies are. Not all is lost. The new coach is doing a good job and rolling a roster over is always going to be messy.  The overlooked thing about Bowman Jr is that this is his first real job as a big shot and 3 in 10 yrs is pretty darn fine. Either way I still have to go to work tomorrow. :).

Agreed, when I first started watching Hawks and moved here it was the Crawford era. People here were harsh on him at first, but I always thought it was legit. I’m glad people came around on him. 

I listened to Bowman on Spittin Chicklets. He got an MBA and then was a consultant before getting to hockey. Maybe a consultant background was the perfect mentality for evaluating who comes and goes

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1 hour ago, IPv6Freely said:

Yup, at least Kane and Toews got paid for what they already accomplished. As a Chicago fan I imagine it'd be hard to be upset. I'd take some dark years if it meant I got three cups. 

Compare that to Nylander, Marner and Matthews (as well as Gardiner and Kapanen) who will be getting paid for the hope of accomplishing something. That's not even necessarily a Leafs problem either, I just think Chicago was probably the end of an era as far as guys getting paid AFTER they win. Look at the Eichel contract. Yikes. 

NHL Radio is always referencing subtle things Matthews does differently and they he’s the first “next generation” next generation superstar. Sort of like how Ovi didn’t fit the typical boring Canadian susperstar mentality when he came into the league. 

Seeing how Nylander held out and that’s not a very “NHL” move, I’d be curious if Matthews does something similar and acts more like an NFL Star 

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3 minutes ago, TheGoalNet said:

NHL Radio is always referencing subtle things Matthews does differently and they he’s the first “next generation” next generation superstar. Sort of like how Ovi didn’t fit the typical boring Canadian susperstar mentality when he came into the league. 

Seeing how Nylander held out and that’s not a very “NHL” move, I’d be curious if Matthews does something similar and acts more like an NFL Star 

Matthews was bred differently. Spending time in the NLA gave him an edge most Canadian/America kids don't get in the CHL. He was basically playing around the NHL level already. His biggest downfall is that he's always getting hurt. Laine is similar - playing pro in Finland turned him into something better than if a team drafted him and had him come play CHL. The thing I love about Matthews is his use of deception. He honors that goalies stop a shot they can see and read, so he screws with his release like a pitcher almost.

That Nylander thing was embarrassing looking at his 3 points right now..

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