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Time to start the thread that only myself, bman, thelostverse, Steve8 and sunnylea57 will post in regularly. 

The Blackhawks have plenty of scoring punch. I’m hopeful that the addition of some defensive-leaning blueliners will help what was a pitiful defense the last couple of seasons. Maybe Brent Seabrook will follow whatever regimen that brought Jonathan Toews back from the dead last year. Lehner is a great addition at goal. Hopefully he can maintain his performance level of last year; this obviously depends a bit on the team improving on the back end. If so, I can see the team extending him with Crawford hopefully deciding to retire after this campaign. I’d hate to see him risk any more concussions. The return of Andrew Shaw adds some grit that has been missing, but at the risk/expense of a lot of dumb penalties. 

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I'm ignoring this post.

 

But seriously, I am cautiously optimistic about this season.  I believe the top two lines will score, but will there be any depth scoring from the 3rd or 4th lines?  The potential is there certainly for the third line. but only time will tell.

As Bill said, the defense is the key.  I think Lehner was a huge pick-up based on injury history with Crawford.  de Haan and Murphy are supposed to be the shutdown pair, but I don't think they've even played a game together yet.  If they work out, and that is a big but, that would allow Keith and Seabrook to be slotted properly in the 2nd and 3rd pairings. 

Finally, I'm hoping we see Kirby Dach get into a few games before they ultimately send him back to his Junior team.  I think the concussion in the prospects tournament made the decision easier as he wasn't able to get on the ice and possibly explode onto the scene.  Give him a few games, send him back to Juniors to grow, and then see what he can do next year after another year of experience.  Keeping his contract for an additional year is an added bonus.

I'm going out on a limb here and saying the Hawks get back into the playoffs this season.  It would help if they played in just about any other division, but there is just too many excellent pieces up front and in net to miss.  Of course, I say that every year...

Drop the puck.

Go, Canucks!

 The odds makers don’t seem to have very much faith in the Canucks’ ability to win the 2020 Stanley Cup. Under the circumstances, I think the smart thing for me to do would be to invest all of my bitcoin money in a huge bet on this wonderfully unpredictable team. I bet on them back in ‘82 and lost, but I think I will get my money back after this season. 🙏

billhike posted:
billhike posted:

The two “star” defensemen of the teal guppies are -11 and -13. At -5, I’m hating Brent Seabrook and his contract a little less. EK makes over $4 mil more per year. For a lot longer. 

Of course then the Blackhawks shit the bed against them.

The Hawks had a lot of bad puck luck last night defensively, and they compounded that with an offense that looked inept and disinterested for 57 minutes.  Then they scored two goals in a 1:08 span and are surprised the last three minutes of the game weren't enough. 

I'm still cautiously optimistic at this point, but I'd be leaning on Lehner more than Crawford right now.  Although, Crawford looked really good after he came back from the concussion protocol evaluation in the game against the Kings Saturday night. 

My son was home from Africa for Christmas and we finally got to watch a Hawks game together for the first time in a couple of years.  We watched the Islander game and it was a good Hawks win. 

It was a nice win against the Blue Jackets yesterday as well (at least the third period anyway), and I think Lehner is showing that he should be the goalie the Hawks keep going forward next season.  I'm a huge Crawford fan, but his injury history is too big a liability for future. 

steve8 posted:

The Bruins lost an OT/shootout for the 12th time already this season the other night.  That's 4 more than the next most of Columbus with 8. Marchand decided to just  kiss lick the puck with his stick as he skated by to take his penalty shot putting the cap on a Flyer comeback. WTF? Too many dropped points.

FIFY 

thelostverse posted:

What's up with the Golden Knights firing Gerard Gallant?  There must be more to this story - Vegas is only three points out of the division lead and tied for the second wild card spot.  And to hire DeBoer, who was himself just fired by San Jose last month?  Somebody pissed someone higher up on the food chain in Vegas...

I’m very surprised as well. If there doesn’t end up being any dirt/stink behind the move, I wouldn’t mind the Blackhawks considering him. But I don’t think they would. Stan doesn’t want anyone around that could beat him up without breaking a sweat.

billhike posted:
thelostverse posted:

What's up with the Golden Knights firing Gerard Gallant?  There must be more to this story - Vegas is only three points out of the division lead and tied for the second wild card spot.  And to hire DeBoer, who was himself just fired by San Jose last month?  Somebody pissed someone higher up on the food chain in Vegas...

I’m very surprised as well. If there doesn’t end up being any dirt/stink behind the move, I wouldn’t mind the Blackhawks considering him. But I don’t think they would. Stan doesn’t want anyone around that could beat him up without breaking a sweat.

I like what Coliton is doing with the Hawks right now and have no interest in Gallant. 

I'll admit I'm never keen on a playoff match-up with them, but this year should be pretty safe. There was a pretty big difference between the two this season and even an in-form Price probably couldn't compensate for that. That said, they won't even make it past Pittsburgh.

I'm happy the Red Wings didn't make it because that is a team the B's had trouble with this season.

Congrats to Marian Hossa on being elected to the HOF first ballot. That doesn’t happen without the three championships IMO. The team really seemed to lose a lot of focus once he stopped playing.

I was surprised to see Doug Wilson get in after all these years, but happy for him. He and Bob Murray were the top d-men on the Blackhawks when I first got into the sport. The video shown on TSN of Lanny McDonald calling him with the news was cool to watch.

@vinoevelo posted:

It was great seeing Iggy get in.  One of the greatest leaders in hockey on any team he played for.  He and Vinny LeCav duking it out in the cup finals is the stuff of legend.  Even in spite of Mrs. VeV reminding me I was her third pick behind him and Eddie Vedder I still love him.

Yeah, he’s worthy for sure. I’d have loved to see him hoist the Cup, and kept hoping the Hawks would get him at the trade deadline when he was moving around at the end of his career.

Last edited by billhike

Time to revive this thread as the "playoffs" start tomorrow. I hope they manage to get it done safely unlike the MLB, which is in danger of turning into a clusterfuck. 24 teams in the playoffs is a joke. Great idea Bettman, you tool.

The Bruins were looking really good in the regular season but all bets are off now. Doesn't help that Marchand left the game yesterday with a possible injury.

This thread is dead if neither Billhike or TLV are going to post with their Hawks on the verge of eliminating the Oilers.

Hard to know what to read into the "seeding" games other than the fact it screws the Bruins who played 70 regular season games for 100 pts and the President's Cup only to have the top seed spot taken away. Have I mentioned before that I think Bettman is a fucken clown?

Tampa Bay looks pretty good.

Here Come the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks
Take the attack, Yeah, and we'll back you Blackhawks
You're flyin' high now, so let's wrap it up
Let's go you Hawks, move off
Now all look out, Here Come the Hawks,
Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here come the Hawks

Here they come movin', weavin', flyin' high and throwin' spray,
Blades flashin' sticks crashin' tryin' for the play,
And the Blackhawks, take control,
There's a shot, AND A GOAL!

Here Come the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks
Take the attack, Yeah, and we'll back you Blackhawks
You're flying high now, so let's wrap it up
Let's go you Hawks, move off
Now all look out, Here Come the Hawks
Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here come the Hawks

(instrumental)

Here Come the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks
Take the attack, Yeah, and we'll back you Blackhawks
You're flying high now, so let's wrap it up
Let's go you Hawks, move off
Now all look out, Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks,
Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks,
Here Come the Hawks, Here Come the Hawks, Here (trails off)

I see it was a mistake to revive this thread.

Both #12 seeds advance to the "real" playoffs. Pittsburgh looked poor and Carey Price was solid. There is a part of me that is happy the Bruins will not be the #1 seed. Irrational fears never really go away I guess.

I couldn't believe the Blue Jackets folded like that in the last 4 minutes of the game. I wonder what Tortorella's mood was like in the dressing room after the game?

The Blackhawks played really well on Thursday but still came up short in OT against a team missing one of their better players. It’s obviously not looking good down 2-0 but I’m still looking forward to watching tonight. I’m a fan of VGK so assuming they advance, I’ll be rooting for them in the West and CBJ in the East.

Mixed feelings. If his heart isn't in it, better to leave and I thought he was poor in game 2. The Canes clearly decided to go up high on him and all three goals were over his shoulders. He barely waved at the 3rd goal after it was past him.

I hope they have a back-up in the bubble. Longer term, what does a team do with a player who walks out like this?

@steve8 posted:

Crawford was in great form.

The game between the Flyers and Habs was so boring. About 20 shots on goal for each team and a 1-0 final from a deflected goal. Yuck.

The Islanders are going to sweep the Caps? I didn't see that coming.

Tavares who?

The Blackhawks are in salary cap he’ll after rewarding players who produced three championships. The Leafs are there without a whiff of playoff success. Scary for their fans.

Last edited by billhike

Could and should be the last game for the Bruins tonight. Defensively they have been atrocious and I'm not just picking on the 6 guys playing those positions. Forwards have not helped at all. Stupid penalties have cost them, but what to expect if you have a piece of shit on skates like Ritchie out there?

I wouldn't blame Halak but he has allowed at least one poor goal per game, which won't win the Stanley Cup. I know the Bruins have publicly said they supported Rask and his leaving the playoffs, but I'm not in agreement. These guys get paid big dollars to play, so walking away just because you're not feeling the playoff vibe is weak imo. I'm sure none of the players are enjoying life in the bubble. If I was Sweeney and Neely I'd be looking to trade him in the off-season.

The Islanders do not have the goalkeeping required to win the cup. 8 goals on 34 shots just will not cut it. Similar story in game 6 against the Flyers with 5 goals on 31 shots. Too bad because I'd rather see them win than Tampa. Normally I would go for the team who beat the Bruins but TB has horseshoes up their asses with the deflected goals.

@irwin posted:

I am not really a hockey fan, but in this weird world of 2020, we have a team from Florida winning the Stanley Cup (over a team from Texas)?  I thought hockey was for folks up north.

It’s Tampa Bay’s second Cup. Dallas has also won it. Carolina, too. 

Congrats to the Bolts and their fans. The quality of hockey was stellar throughout the playoffs. I really didn’t know what to expect from this strange postseason. Hedman getting the Conn Smythe was a no-brainer; his version of beast mode was similar to Ovechkin two years ago.

I was hoping just for fun they would pipe in some recorded booing while Bettman was making the presentations. 

Yep, congrats to Tampa Bay. As superb as I thought Hedman was in the playoffs, I wouldn't have been disappointed had given the Conn Smythe jointly to him and Point. 14 goals and 19 assists and the center of the line with Kucherov and Palat, the 3 of them combining for 85 points.

Tyler Seguin goes AWOL in another playoff season. Maybe Chiarelli wasn't so stupid after all.

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