Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1:30 CT/2:30 p.m. ET!
Scott Powers (2:31 PM)
Hi all, hope everyone is having a good Thursday. The Blackhawks just finished up their media availability at the United Center today. I'll be here for about an hour answering questions. Thanks
What is with all the late night and early (noon?) start times during the playoffs? Why is Bettman trying to run off all but the hard core hockey fans?
Scott Powers (2:32 PM)
Ryan, it's all dictated by television. The 8:30 p.m. starts were a bit much, but I don't have much of a problem with the noon games.
Ross (West Fulton st.)
Scott - Michael Handzus got walked around at least twice by Datsyuk last night. His faceoff acumen is very valuable to this puck possesion team, however, centering the Patricks doesn't have a shot at lasting through these playoffs. The Hawks won it all in 2009 with Sharp centering that 2nd line. How long can the Hawks survive the big slow Slovak between such skill and speed?
Scott Powers (2:35 PM)
Ross, I hear your complaints, but I just don't see Quenneville switching things up too much at this point. The lines could be mixed up again if Stalberg is put back into the mix, but I don't see that much shuffling. I know Q liked how Bolland played with that third line yesterday, too.
Michael (LaSalle, IL)
He didn't play much, but do you think Carcillo's nice assist on the Kruger goal has earned him another start? Or does Stalberg get back into the lineup?
Scott Powers (2:38 PM)
Michael, Quenneville wouldn't answer today whether Stalberg would play in Game 2, so I'm just as curious as you. I don't think Carcillo has been lighting it up in any way, but he's been solid enough in the minutes he's getting and his assist yesterday helped. I think Stalberg is an obvious upgrade over Carcillo, but that didn't seem to matter in Q's decision for Game 1.
Wings Fan (Detroit) [via mobile]
How can the Wings stop the Hawks? Seems like we should gracefully exit and get ready to compete in the East.
Scott Powers (2:41 PM)
I don't think this series is over by any stretch. The Wings looked tired in Game 1. I would expect they're a bit fresher in Game 2. The Blackhawks are certainly the better team, but stranger things have happened in the NHL playoffs. Good start for the Blackhawks, but let's not get too far away ahead.
Kyle (Ashland, Virginia) [via mobile]
If Bolland and Abdelkader don't go to the ice right away last night, who wins that fight?
Scott Powers (2:42 PM)
Kyle, I think I'd take Abdelkader, but Bolland is scrappy.
Justin (Clinton, Il)
Can Toews steal the Selke trophy away from Datsyuk with his play during this series?
Scott Powers (2:43 PM)
Justin, the award is based on their regular-season play, so none of this will change it. Both are very deserving, but I'd be surprised if Toews doesn't win it this season.
What is your guess on the probability that Stalberg plays at some point during the Red Wings series? How about Emery?
Scott Powers (2:45 PM)
Ryan, if I was betting, I'd say Stalberg returns at some point. This is the type of series he would excel in. As for Emery, I think he only plays if Crawford gets hurt or has a dramatic collapse. They're going to ride him as far as they can.
Kenny (Arlington Heights)
Roszival was our best defenseman yesterday. No question I need to ask, but that just needs to be put out there.
Scott Powers (2:46 PM)
Kenny, I thought most of the defensemen had a good game, but, yes, Rozsival played well. He nearly had himself a goal, too.
will we see more of a hawks third line (bolland, shaw, bick) vs wings zetterberg line going forward? I think anything we can do to keep both the datsyuk or zetterberg lines on the bench while our seond line is on ice would be advisable...
Scott Powers (2:49 PM)
Pamela, I thought the Blackhawks did a fine job of making Datsyuk's and Zetterberg's lines ineffective on Wednesday. Datsyuk didn't even have a shot on goal in the game. There was a stat thrown out today that the second line outshot the Red Wings 16-4 when on the ice yesterday. I think the Blackhawks will continue matching up as they did in Game 1.
mike from Chicago but in Tampa [via mobile]
I remember tazer and kane got bonuses when we won the cup. I imagine when we win it again this year they'll be due bonuses again since they are both under same contracts they had back then? Might make it a bit tougher once again to fit under the cap after winning it all.
Scott Powers (2:50 PM)
Mike, I need to look into this. Please feel free to email about it again.
Shaw is such a scrappy guy any chance he gets a look at second line center?
Scott Powers (2:51 PM)
Ryan, I don't see that happening. I think if anything Bolland would move back to the second line if Stalberg was placed again on that third line.
With Crawford playing so well, does Q ride him the rest of the way during the playoffs? Emery has been an amazing this year, but I don't see how he gets a start unless Crawford gets hurt.
Scott Powers (2:52 PM)
Brian, yeah, I don't think Emery will play again unless something happens to Crawford. Emery had a great regular season, but it's just not realistic to use two goaltenders in the playoffs.
Albert (Buffalo Grove)
Why is Handzus in the lineup? He isn't winning face-offs and just seems to slow down whichever line he plays on. It would be nice to see Stalberg on that line with Sharp in the middle.
Scott Powers (2:55 PM)
Albert, I think your gripes about Handzus are shared by many right now. That second line is continuing to produce, though, especially with Sharp finding his game again. It'll be interesting to see what Quenneville does if he bring Stalberg back. I would assume Carcillo gets bumped and then there are a lot of options available. I think Quenneville doesn't want to mess with success too much, though.
Scott, If Stalbergs being scratched had nothing to do with his reaction to reduced time on the PP can you speculate as to why he is in Q s doghouse?
Scott Powers (2:58 PM)
Bob, our source says it was the power play disagreement, but either way Stalberg has obviously done something to upset him. Stalberg is saying to talk to Quenneville, and Quenneville is, of course, not giving us much. I'd still be surprised if Stalberg sits the whole series. He just seems too valuable in a fast-paced series like this.
A.J. (Jackson, Wy) [via mobile]
Hi Scott.. I think your going a fine job this season. How is the ice at the U.C? It gets pretty bad this time of year.
Scott Powers (2:59 PM)
A.J., I haven't heard any complaints as of late. I know there were definitely some earlier in the year when the ice was really bad. It seems to be a bit better now.
Mike from chicago but in tampa's wrong, Toews and Kane were on the last year of their entry level contracts the year we won the cup.
Scott Powers (3:00 PM)
Rick, thanks for the clarification. It just wasn't something I had looked into yet. Thanks again
my concern is the defensive capabilities of our second line vs their second line, not offense.any chance we see bolland return to the second line soon or do you think q like him in that third line role for now?
Scott Powers (3:01 PM)
Pamela, I think Quenneville likes Bolland on that third line for now. That could all change if Stalberg comes back. But I thought Bolland was effective on both ends of the ice yesterday. He even had a positive faceoff percentage.
Random question, but to the Rockford call ups dress and skate in the pre-game warm ups like the rest of the healthy scratches?
Scott Powers (3:04 PM)
Rick, some of the players skate, but most don't. There's just not enough room for everyone. The call-ups also hold a separate practice on days the Blackhawks practice.
Kane and Toews were still on their rookie deals when they got the bonuses; their current deals started after the Cup. Moreover, the Hawks are (I believe) still $4 or so million under the cap this season, which means they could almost certainly absorb any bonuses they incur without dipping into next year's cap.
Scott Powers (3:07 PM)
STL, according to CapGeek, they're a little under $3 million this season, so they should be okay wiht that. Thanks for the help, too.
Hi Scott, Kruger had a key goal last night, but he went 0-for-11 from the dot. Any word from Q on this?
Scott Powers (3:09 PM)
Dan, yeah, Kruger and Quenneville addressed it today. Kruger said he knows he has to get better. Quenneville said he was aware of it, but wasn't too concerned. He expected Kruger to bounce back. I think Quenneville has to look at doing something different if Kruger is that bad again in Game 2.
Matt (North Center)
So if (when?) Stalberg comes back, where do you see him? Back on the third line? Or on the fourth? Gotta say, that's four pretty dangerous lines right there if you have Stalberg on the fourth one...
Scott Powers (3:12 PM)
Matt, I think there are a lot of options if everyone is healthy and Stalberg is back. Stalberg could back move to the third, Bolland to the second and Handzus to the fourth. That might work too if Kruger continues to struggle at faceoffs. Like you said, Stalberg could replace Carcillo, too. It'll be interesting if Stalberg is put back into the mix. They haven't had a full healthy roster much this season.
Toews and Kane are not under the same contract as the cup year. Those were their entry level contracts and the bonuses now are nothing like those.
Scott Powers (3:13 PM)
Nick, thanks for the help.
Looking two months into the future ... what do the 'Hawks do this off-season? Will they address their second line center? Will they add more grit to their third/fourth lines? I don't want to speculate, especially given how well we have played, but I am just curious.
Scott Powers (3:16 PM)
Steve, I don't expect a whole lot of moves in the offseason. I think Stalberg is gone, Bickell probably, too. I would assume they resign restricted free agents Kruger and Leddy. They'll probably need a replacement for Emery, too. I think there are some prospect guys like Ben Smith, Hayes, Morin, etc. who could earn a spot on that third or fourth line. It'll be interesting to see Bowman's thoughts on Bolland and the second-line center position going forward.
Hey Scott, great chat going! A couple questions....what does Detroit's defense depth look like because Brendan Smith looked like he wanted the hawks to win? Do you think he will get a second chance in game two? Secondly, what was with Kruger's 0 wins 11 losses in the faceoff dot yesterday? Is there anything to read into that?
Scott Powers (3:20 PM)
Chris, the Red Wings' depth isn't great there. Losing DeKeyser was a big blow to them. ... As for Kruger, he said he's going to fix it, and Quenneville didn't make a big deal out of it. I think it becomes an issue if he's that bad again in Game 2.
Scott, the third defensive pairing got a lot of playing time against the Wild. Is Q trying to save his top 4 guys for the later rounds, or was there something in the match-up that he liked?
Scott Powers (3:21 PM)
Dan, I don't think Quenneville is mindful of conserving guys for later rounds at this point. It had more to do with the matchups and what he saw working yesterday.
Has Q talked to Shaw (and a few others) about committing unnecessary penalties? The Hawks have been perfect on the PK but time spent killing penalties is time not spent getting shots at Howard. Sooner or later this will hurt them, no?
Scott Powers (3:24 PM)
Cameron, yeah, I would assume eventually the PK is going to give up a goal. The penalties added up early yesterday, but they seemed to be smarter about it as the game progressed. I think you can live with allowing three power plays. I know Quenneville does address his players about stupid penalties. I would guess Shaw heard about it after going to the box twice yesterday.
Mike (Stillwater, OK)
Hey Scott, why do you think Bickell will be gone next year? Just wondering if you expect more $$ for him or if he is unhappy with his spot in the lineup.
Scott Powers (3:26 PM)
Mike, I think it's a money issue. I think he's looking for a sizeable bump, and the Blackhawks likely won't be able to afford it. I think they also believe they have some guys ready to make the jump from the minors. It has nothing with Bickell being unhappy with the Blackhawks.
Scott Powers (3:26 PM)
Thanks again to everyone for your questoins. As always, feel free to email at email@example.com. We'll do it again next week.