Between the Circles
Posted by TimS on Wed, 02/11/2009 - 12:50
I just have one question for those of you out there who still want to trade Khabibulin and Havlat before the March 4 deadline: What are you going to get?
The teams that need Khabibulin are Stanley Cup contenders, so its unlikely they are going to give up a top player in return. The Capitals might love to have Khabibulin for the playoffs, but they want to win a Cup, so who would they give up? Nylander? You make that call. I'd pass.
All of a sudden it looks as if Montreal might need a goalie. Do the Red Wings feel confident with Chris Osgood? But no way I deal Nik to Detroit, unless they want to give up Franzen.
Khabibulin might sign with the Wings in the off-season, though.
Posted by TimS on Sat, 02/07/2009 - 11:29
There's a reason why we haven't been hearing the Hawks mentioned in trade rumors with the March 4 deadline fast approaching.
It's because GM Dale Tallon and his staff still aren't sure they want to mess with the special chemistry in the dressing room, and can you blame them?
The Hawks might be good enough as is to get out of the Western Conference, and anyone that thinks I've been drinking too much Canadian beer isn't paying attention to what's happening.
The Hawks have great goaltending with Nikolai Khabibulin already owning a Stanley Cup.
They have a mobile and deep defense that gets the puck out of trouble quicker than any team in the league.
They have three lines that can score and a fourth line that is as good or better than any fourth line in the NHL.
Size? There's enough.
Posted by TimS on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 20:23
CALGARY, Alberta - Patrick Kane is showing he's human after all. Or at least he's showing he's a 20-year-old, second-year player in the NHL.
Kane has 1 goal in his last 16 games. Who would have thought this could happen after the way he started?
Can it all be related to the high right ankle sprain he suffered on Dec. 30 in Detroit? Or is Kane getting gun shy from being targeted by the opposition every night?
Maybe gun shy is too strong an indictment. But there was another instance in Tuesday's 3-1 win at Edmonton where Kane had a lane to the net on a rush and instead went to the left side and tried to pass.
Kane earlier in the season would have taken it to the net and likely shot. Now he's looking pass first. He even admitted that a few weeks ago.
Posted by TimS on Sat, 01/31/2009 - 01:59
In Joel Quenneville, the Hawks probably have their best coach behind the bench since Darryl Sutter.
While Quenneville offers little insight to the media about what he really thinks, you can rest assured he sees the same things the rest of us do and eventually will address the issues sooner than later if the Hawks begin sliding down in the standings.
Quenneville knows the Hawks need another center. Hopefully he'll lobby his GM hard for one ahead of the March 4 trade deadline.
What else do I think Quenneville recognizes?
How about the need to start playing Nikolai Khabibulin more and begin going away from this alternating business.
Playing Toews, Kane and Sharp together from here on out as well as Bolland, Havlat and Ladd.
He knows he is getting very little out of Dustin Byfuglien.
Posted by TimS on Thu, 01/29/2009 - 01:25
ANAHEIM, Calif. - How good was Nikolai Khabibulin in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Ducks.
Good enough to start again Thursday night against the Kings down the 110 at Staples Center.
Why not go for two quick wins to start the eight-game road trip and play Cristobal Huet on Saturday in San Jose in a game the Hawks might have trouble winning anyway?
Just a thought, but Coach Q might be thinking the same thing because after Wednesday's win he said Huet "probably" would start against the Kings.
There's definitely some wiggle room there.
This isn't to say Huet has played poorly. He actually has played very well. But Khabibulin has been better and wins big games like the one Wednesday.
Posted by TimS on Mon, 01/26/2009 - 16:44
The fact the Hawks recalled forward Pascal Pelletier from Rockford on Monday was a pretty good indication that Kris Versteeg won't play at least Wednesday at Anaheim.
Versteeg suffered an injury to his pinky finger in last week's game against St. Louis when he was slashed by Keith Tkachuk. It's not known if the finger is broken.
Pelletier had 22 goals and 41 points at Rockford and likely will skate on the fourth line with Ben Eager moving up to top-nine duty.
Duncan Keith practiced Monday and is expected to play against the Ducks after missing the last four games with an apparent concussion.
Posted by TimS on Wed, 01/21/2009 - 22:11
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said before Wednesday's game against St. Louis that the club has not considered asking Patrick Kane not to participate in this weekend's skills competition or All-Star Game.
It's clear that Kane has not been the same explosive player he was before suffering a high right ankle sprain Dec. 30 in Detroit. He played in the Winter Classic two days later when he probably shouldn't have, and now he's going to all-star weekend.
At least the Winter Classic was a regular season game.
Posted by TimS on Mon, 01/19/2009 - 12:53
Duncan Keith participated in Monday's morning skate but won't play against the Wild and is doubtful for Wednesday against St. Louis.
Keith said he felt better but not ready to return to game action. He suffered an apparent concussion last Wednesday when elbowed to the head by Buffalo's Drew Stafford.
Keith did blame himself for having his head down and not Stafford for the hit.
Keith wouldn't discuss the injury or the NHL-mandated concussion tests he must pass before being cleared medically to play again.
The best bet is we won't see Keith back on defense for the Hawks until at least Jan. 28 at Anaheim following the all-star break.
Posted by TimS on Sun, 01/18/2009 - 23:27
I know we've been around the block before on this, but I'll repeat myself: I don't see how the Hawks could trade either Havlat or Khabibulin before the March 4 deadline.
Just when you think maybe Havlat could be moved, he wins a game like in St. Louis on the kind of play few forwards can make.
If the Hawks do move Havlat, they MUST get a top-six forward in return.
As for Khabibulin, this two-goalie system is the strength of the team and offers great security for the playoffs. Granted, Huet is playing well, but what if he were to get hurt after Khabibulin was traded? Then everything is shot.
Posted by TimS on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 19:34
They would sit Duncan Keith until after the all-star break.
Keith wasn't in the lineup Friday against the Rangers and won't play Saturday at St. Louis because of the elbow to the head he took from Buffalo's Drew Stafford on Wednesday.
The Hawks play Monday against Minnesota and Wednesday against the Blues with Keith questionable for both games.
Why not just let him sit through the all-star break, which would give him almost two weeks of rest before the first game out of the break on Jan. 28 at Anaheim.
The Hawks won't say if Keith has a concussion. But they haven't said he doesn't.