Between the Circles
Posted by TimS on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 22:29
Adam Burish missed Wednesday's game against San Jose with an undisclosed injury, putting the Hawks down two forwards.
Joel Quenneville said before the game that Burish was hurt in practice on Tuesday.
With no Burish and no Dustin Byfuglien, Quenneville dressed seven defensemen against the Sharks, meaning Brent Sopel played for the first time in four games.
Byfuglien (upper body injury) looked sharp in a hard skate Wednesday morning and likely will return Friday at Anaheim.
If neither Burish nor Byfuglien can play Friday, the Hawks might need to recall a forward from Rockford.
Posted by TimS on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 20:09
Is it being a little too greedy to think the Hawks can go 6-0 on this road trip?
Wednesday's game in San Jose won't be easy, but the Sharks can be beat and the Hawks almost did it last week at the United Center. The Hawks led 5-4 going to the third period then took a couple dumb penalties and wound up losing 6-5.
It's on to Anaheim Friday and the Ducks aren't anywhere near as good as they were when they won the Stanley Cup.
The Hawks close the trip Saturday at Los Angeles against an improved, but nothing special Kings team.
The way Khabibulin is playing and the way the Hawks have shown they can score goals, there's not a game on the schedule they can't win.
Posted by TimS on Sun, 11/23/2008 - 00:48
The Hawks changed their travel plans following Saturday's 5-4 win over the Maple Leafs in overtime and will stay in Toronto until Sunday night.
They will practice in the morning then as a team attend the wake for GM Dale Tallon's father, Stanley Tallon, who passed away on Friday.
The Hawks will take Monday off, then practice Tuesday in Bensenville before heading to San Jose to continue the road trip.
Leafs angry with Eager
Toronto coach Ron Wilson thought Ben Eager should have been penalized and possibly ejected in the first period for hitting Mikhail Grabovski from behind. Eager got nothing and later scored the tying goal in the third period.
Joel Quenneville felt Grabovski was already falling when Eager hit him.
Posted by TimS on Sat, 11/22/2008 - 01:03
If the Hawks do trade for center Michael Nylander, Dustin Byfuglien won't be part of the deal.
"His name was never mentioned," GM Dale Tallon told the Daily Herald on Friday. "I have no idea how this started."
To get Nylander, who would bring with a $4.87 million cap hit, Tallon needs to shave about $4 million off his present payroll. Moving Sopel somewhere would account for $2.5 million.
Still can't figure out why the Hawks are so hot after Nylander. He's 36, signed through 2011 for that big cap hit and has a no-trade clause kicking in after this season.
Posted by TimS on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 23:43
The Hawks went 17 years between Calder Trophy winners between Ed Belfour in 1991 and Patrick Kane last season.
Now they could make it two in a row the way Kris Versteeg has played.
Versteeg has been a pleasant surprise in a season that is off to a great start. He put 3 more points on the board in Thursday's 6-3 win at Dallas including that highlight reel goal at the end of the second period that snapped a 3-3 tie.
My Calder vote, if I had to make it today, would go to Versteeg ahead of Columbus center Derick Brassard and Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty.
Versteeg has been a perfect fit skill-wise on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane with his emergence helping ease the fact the Hawks still need a second-line center.
Posted by TimS on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 01:30
According to a source close to the Washington Capitals, Michael Nylander is buried so deeply in coach Bruce Boudreau's doghouse, playing on the fourth line after being a healthy scratch the other night, that the team might be ready to part with the veteran center for a draft pick.
The Hawks remain very interested in Nylander, but even if they were able to get him for a draft pick they couldn't fit his $4.875 cap hit under their salary cap without clearing some big money.
The Caps are believed to have brought up Dustin Byfuglien and Cam Barker in discussions with the Hawks about Nylander, but it's hard to believe GM Dale Tallon would give up either young player in such a deal even if Byfuglien has been inconsistent and is way overpaid at $3 million a year.
Posted by TimS on Wed, 11/19/2008 - 00:55
If Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was waiting for the goaltending situation to sort itself out, which he has said a number of times, guess what?
It's obviously time for Quenneville to ride Khabibulin as long as possible - or at least until the back-to-back games at the end of this six-game road trip in Anaheim and Los Angeles.
Nik was great again in Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over the Coyotes, making 38 saves including both shots he faced in the shootout. Khabibulin has to start again Thursday in Dallas.
It's not a good scenario for Cristobal Huet, but so what?
Posted by TimS on Sun, 11/16/2008 - 19:55
Once again there are trade rumors all around the NHL involving the Hawks. Take or leave these:
Khabibulin to New Jersey.
Barker to Washington in a package for Nylander.
Barker to Ottawa.
Sopel going somewhere.
Peter Forsberg considering the Hawks as a free agent.
It's obvious that Dale Tallon is talking to people about doing something. Moving Barker might be a chance for him to free up at least some money ($2.7 million) without dealing Khabibulin just yet.
Are the Hawks having second thoughts about trading Khabibulin? Without a doubt, yes they are. If the Devils do want Khabibulin they might need to offer something significant back, perhaps center John Madden. I don't think the Hawks are just going to give Khabibulin away anymore.
Posted by TimS on Sat, 11/15/2008 - 17:24
Anyone can cover hockey, but few reporters in television, print or radio have a deep understanding of the sport. Kerry Sayers does, which makes her exit from Comcast SportsNet hard to understand at a time when the Hawks are such a big story around town.
Sayers' contract expired and Comcast decided not to renew it. The last game she covered for the station on Friday's overtime loss to the Blues.
I'll be the first to admit I don't understand the business of TV, where ratings rule and apparently there is a big difference between anchoring and reporting. What I do know is Sayers was good at what she did and had passion and a great knowledge of hockey and the inner workings of the Hawks.
Posted by TimS on Fri, 11/14/2008 - 17:24
Maybe this means nothing, but it is interesting to see that Capitals center Michael Nylander is a healthy scratch for Friday's game against New Jersey, according to the Washington Post.
Nylander's name has been linked in trade rumors with the Hawks dating back to training camp, and they have grown louder this week.
Nylander has just 1 assist in the last seven games and has played soft. Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters Friday morning that Nylander was being rested, which seems strange considering center Sergei Fedorov also is out of the lineup with an ankle injury.