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EbonyRaptor last won the day on February 6 2016

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  1. What has it been now - 10 games since Schmaltz-Toews-Panik have been together on a line? Ten games is probably not a large enough sample size to make a firm assessment of a rookie, so I hesitate somewhat to declare Schmaltz is the answer to the question of Toews LW ever since Saad left. But he keeps making plays and he hasn't done anything to suggest otherwise with the exception of being a rookie. I'm not sure when it's safe to assume he is the guy, but I think we keep getting closer to it. I feel fairly confident is declaring Schmaltz is a better long term fit on Toews LW than Panik is on his RW. Panik is having a very nice year and getting him for Jeremy Morin was a master stroke of genius or luck or both, but I still think Panik is better suited in the bottom-6 playing with a guy like Hartman wreaking havoc and popping in opportunistic goals. It was nice to see the boys give a good effort for 60 mins against the Blues but the d-zone Chinese fire drills are becoming a trend and that needs to be addressed. Yes, it's a 5-man unit out there so it's not on the d-men alone, but usually it's a d-man that causes the fire drill to start with a bad pass or momentary hesitancy. It was made worse the last 2 games because Hammer wasn't playing so all 3 of Campbell, TvR and Rozsival played and those 3 guys more than the rest seem to get pinned against the wall with a fair amount of regularity and that's when the trouble starts. Hopefully Hammer is back to 100% soon and Stan acquires a 4/5 d-man who doesn't do a deer in the headlights act several times a game.
  2. There's 21 games left and as far as chemistry it's no different than other TDL acquisitions - there's an adjustment period for the new player to learn the system and his team mates. The KHL to NHL adjustment is a big question but there is enough games left in the regular season to make that determination.
  3. I like TvR and think he is fine as a 3rd-pairing guy, but Hartman >>>> TvR. This shouldn't even be debatable.
  4. That's another good point.
  5. I like the Hossa-Jurco Slovak connection ... maybe it doesn't mean much but anything to help it work. We know Q will mix and match so I doubt it matters much where he plays his first game
  6. I have no problem with the acquisition of Jurco. I see it as a low cost move for a potential high reward, albeit implausible, and if nothing else he can serve as one of the forwards exposed to the expansion draft. A 3rd rounder sounds a bit overpayment but with the 2017 draft projected to be a very shallow draft, by the time that 3rd round pick comes around the draft will have already moved into crap shoot mode and the Hawks still have 9 picks in the draft even after trading away their 3rd rounder. Jurco-Kruger-Hossa at practice today. I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes.
  7. I'm pretty sure they don't have to sign him before March 1st for him to be eligible for the playoffs this season. The key point is that he is already in the team's system, therefore it doesn't break the spirit of the rule that a team can't acquire a player after the TDL and have that player eligible for the playoffs. The Hawks wouldn't be acquiring Shalunov because they already own his rights - they would just need to sign him to a contract. I believe the contract would be an ELC that would extend through next season, regardless if he plays this season or not. So I don't think there is a Cap or contract dynamic in signing him before the playoffs or after the season - it ends up being the same. Now, would he be able to step in and contribute this season? Who knows.
  8. I've got nothing against Iginla. He's had a great career and it would be kinda neat to see him raise the Cup. But I've seen the Avs play a handful of times this season and I don't recall seeing Iginla do anything resembling a player who can be a better player than anyone playing on our roster.
  9. I hate to show up late and be Mr. Opinionated ... but what would Iginla be good for other than the ole geezer Toews hands the Cup to? There has to be better rentals than Iginla.
  10. Ha. Yeah, ole Winston could turn a phrase.
  11. Hey Gig - how ya doin? I've been following the Hawks with as much passion as ever, just kinda took a bit of hiatus from the blog. Hawks trending up which is nice to see. Played a tremendous game against the Wild. Hopefully that level of play will become more consistent down the stretch and into the playoffs.
  12. If only we could count on a rookie (Schmaltz) playing like that through the playoffs. Maybe he will but rookies tend to be inconsistent. Even then though, Schmaltz is giving us a look see at what he will be, if not now than at least in the near future.
  13. I prefer to think of it as therapeutic.
  14. I have not read through this thread so if this has already been posted, I apologize for the repeat. To the question posed in the title "Is this the beginning of the end?", I think Churchill answers the question nicely. “This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, this is just perhaps the end of the beginning.” Thank you Winston, you may sit down.
  15. So the question is: How does Hayden affect overall roster next year? Well, not to be Captain Obvious but that all depends on Hayden. If he's good enough to be a starter, he'll be a relatively low cost replacement for Desjardins or Panik (if he skips town). If he isn't good enough he'll go to Rockford and have essentially no roster impact. If he makes the Hawks roster he'll probably play RW so it's an easier transition from the NCAA than it would be if he had to play center. If he goes to Rockford, maybe they try to groom him at the center position. I'm more excited about DeBrincat as a prospect, or even Fortin, than I am about Hayden. Hopefully he has improved his skating and quickness since the last time I saw him play, which was in World Jrs 2 or 3 years ago, because based on that memory he seems closer to Mark McNeill than a legit NHLer.