Chat with Scott Powers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Wednesday, Chicago Blackhawks reporter Scott Powers stops by to chat.
Powers covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Wednesday at noon CT/1 p.m. ET!
Scott Powers (2:09 PM)
Hi all, sorry for being a few minutes late. Practice and interviews ran a little longer at Johnny's IceHouse today. I'll be here for about an hour to answer your questions.
John (Arlington Heights)
Is the conditioning stint in the minors for Montador really that or do the Hawks think that Rozsival and Brookbank are better? If the latter, is the Montador contract Bowman's worst deal with $2.75 million this year AND two more years?
Scott Powers (2:11 PM)
John, I think it's hard to say where Montador is as a player right now. He's barely played in the last year. Rozsival and Brookbank have played consistently as the team's sixth defenseman, and I think they will remain getting that nod. Whether or not Montador comes back up, I think it's safe to say he's been overpaid at $2.75 million.
After stellar starts from both Crawford and Emery in the net, are we about to see the return of 2012 performance?
Scott Powers (2:15 PM)
Tim, I don't think so. Crawford and Emery were good for a substanital sample size. If they showed that ability for just a few games, I'd say possibly, but I think over 24 games they both showed they can be consistent enough to lead the Blackhawks. That being said, confidence is obviously important for goaltenders, so I think the next few games are important for them to bounce back.
Hi Scott, what's the latest on Sharpie? Any chance he'll play this week?
Scott Powers (2:16 PM)
Dan, nothing new. Quenneville said recently Sharp had been progressing. He's still at least a few weeks from coming back.
Shaun (Nashville, TN)
It's Stanley cup or bust now, right?
Scott Powers (2:18 PM)
Shaun, I would say so. This season, especialliy the points sterak, would mean nothing without another Stanley Cup.
Hayes has been playing Centre in Rockford, where do the Hawks expect he will be playing for them?
Scott Powers (2:19 PM)
Andrew, Quenneville said he could use Hayes at center, but he expected him mostly to play on the wing. Quenneville said he liked how Hayes balanced the line with Bolland and Kane.
Andrew VT (PA) [via mobile]
With Sharpie out for a few weeks will Q put out the super line of Kane, Hossa and Toews?
Scott Powers (2:20 PM)
Andrew, the lines today were Hossa-Toews-Saad; Hayes-Bolland-Kane; Stalberg-Shaw-Bickell; Frolik-Kruger-Carcillo. I expect that's what you will see tomorrow.
With the moves of Mantador and Olesz to the minors, does that remove their salaries from the cap? If so, are there any moves Bowman has up his sleeve in the near future?
Scott Powers (2:23 PM)
Matt, their salaries remains part of the Blackhawks' cap under the new rules of the CBA.
Drew(nj) [via mobile]
Is there a goalie controversy? Both have got shelled recently, does Q still have Crawford no. 1?
Scott Powers (2:24 PM)
Drew, I don't think there's a controversey as of right now. Crawford is still the No. 1.
Scott (Iowa City, IA)
Where and who with, do you think Jimmy Hayes will play on the ice?
Scott Powers (2:25 PM)
Scott, he's on the second line with Bolland and Kane.
What will the D pairings be for the Blue Jackets?
Scott Powers (2:27 PM)
Billy, it'll be the usual - Keith and Seabrook, Oduya and Hjalmarsson and Leddy with either Rozsival or Brookbank. Quenneville doesn't reveal beforehand who will be scratched.
Does Hayes' call up signal the team finally giving up on Mayers and Bollig? I dont think you can have either of those guys dressed at the same time as Carcillo and be the type of high powered 4 line attack they want to be.
Scott Powers (2:30 PM)
Jimbo, I think Hayes' call-up fit their need on the second line. They needed someone more offensive-minded to play alongside Kane and Bolland. I think it'll be difficult for Mayers and Bollig to see the ice if everyone remains healhty.
Don (Columbus, OH)
Ben Eager back to the Hawks?
Scott Powers (2:31 PM)
Don, I don't see it happening.
Sean (Glen Ellyn)
Do you see the Hawks making any deals before the deadlines? Is 2nd line center still an area of concern?
Scott Powers (2:34 PM)
I know Bowman is looking at players, but nothing has really leaked out yet. I asked Pierre LeBrun recently too if he had heard anything, but he said he hadn't. I think if the right second-line center came about that the Blackhawks would be interested.
Hayes has been lighting it up in Rockford. He's a big body and has great hands. Any chance we see him on the PP and sit in front of the net? And if he performs like he should, does he stick when Sharp comes back?
Scott Powers (2:37 PM)
Mike, it'll be hard for Hayes to find a spot on this team when Sharp comes back. The lines are pretty set. I'm not sure who he would replace. I think the Blackhawks are happy with Shaw and Stalberg in front of the net, but I could see why Hayes would be effective there.
Does Bollig still have a place on this team or does he end up back in Rockford once the injuries are over?
Scott Powers (2:38 PM)
Ryan, I believe Bollig will end up back in Rockford. There's just not a space for him when everyone is healthy.
Matt (Lincoln Park)
The 'Hawks gave up a lot of goals in their last two games. In your opinion, name the biggest culprit -- the goaltending, the defense, or fatigue?
Scott Powers (2:48 PM)
Matt, I think fatigue was definitely a factor that led to the defense and the penalty kill struggling. I didn't think a lot of the goals were soft and the offense still produced.
any trade rumors?
Scott Powers (2:49 PM)
Leroy, sorry, there hasn't been much out there.
Scott,As a native Chicagoan transplanted in Boston, all I hear from Bruins fans is how badly their team will beat the Hawks due to the lack of physical play on the part of the Hawks. My response is always the same: "How are they supposed to hit anyone when they have the puck the entire game?" In all reality, do you see the lack of physicality being an issue come playoff time?
Scott Powers (2:52 PM)
Joe, I think the Blackhawks have enough physical players (Bickell, Carcillo) to compete. They're not going to outhit many teams, but I don't think that's what's going to decide games. I think what will ultimately determine the Blackhawks' fate is whether they can continue to get consistent goaltending. Everything else is in place to win.
Why don't they just send Bollig back to Rockford?! We have Carcillo and Mayers if need be, and wouldn't it be more beneficial for him to play rather than just being a healthy scratch?
Scott Powers (2:54 PM)
Amy, it would be beneficial for Bollig to play in Rockford, but they need someone to fill that spot right now.
Think the Hawks will sign Rozsival to another contract? He is clearly a difference maker and that's an impressive thing to say about a third pair defenseman.
Scott Powers (2:56 PM)
TC, it's something to explore, but it probably depends on how much they trust Montador at the end of the season and/or if they feel any of the younger guys are ready for the move. Rozsival has played well, but you'r still talking about a sixth or seventh defenseman. He may also get more money elsewhere.
Do you think the Hawks' youth was a big reason they were able to put up such a spectacular point streak? And do you think their youth will be a major factor in the playoffs? Thanks Scott.
Scott Powers (2:58 PM)
Austin, the young guys definitely played a role in the streak. Saad, Shaw, Kruger, etc. have all progressed this season, and it's made the Blackhawks a deeper team. I think they will remain key components in the playoffs.
Sean (Glen Ellyn)
When everyone is healthy, who starts on the 4th line? Seems like the last couple of games, we weren't getting many minutes from that line.
Scott Powers (2:59 PM)
Sean, I think Queneville would like Frolik, Kruger and Carcillo to be his regular fourth line.
Scott Powers (3:01 PM)
Thanks again for all the questions. Sorry, I can't be more helpful with the trade scenarios. There just doesn't seem to be much out there right now. I'll be back here next Wednesday. As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at @espnchihawks or @espnchipowers.