Chat with Scott Powers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Thursday, Chicago Blackhawks beat reporter Scott Powers stops by to chat.
Powers, who joined ESPNChicago.com in 2009, covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning reporter who has been reporting on sports of all levels, from preps to pros throughout the Midwest since 1997.
Send your questions now and join Powers Thursday at 1:30 p.m. CT/2:30 p.m. ET!
Scott Powres (2:31 PM)
Hello, hope everyone is having a good Thursday. With it being a game day, I have to cut the chat short because I have a few others things to do. I'll be here for about 30 minutes.
Scott,Is there anyway you see Hossa on the roster when Toews and Kane both get new contracts after next season?
Scott Powres (2:33 PM)
Brian, I don't foresee Hossa going anywhere. The Blackhawks are committed to him and his contract. Even if they did want to deal him in the future, I don't think there would be any takers with the amount of years he has left. The Blackhawks are just praying he remains healthy for a while longer.
Scott, hawks been getting it done lately, but one thing that im worried about is backup goaltending. khabibulin is not a suitable backup--At this point. Has Q alluded to anything in particular to bringing Raanta up for a stint?
Scott Powres (2:35 PM)
Jim, Quenneville continues to say he's sticking with Khabibulin. At the same time, he isn't exactly showing much confidence in him by not playing him. I think Khabibulin will play either this weekend or sometime next week. If he performs poorly again, I think the Blackhawks will have to look into calling up Raanta.
moose (out west)
Caoch Q seems to have a very short leash these days (e.g. Brookbank for Morin/sitting Khabby in back-to-backs/shortening bench). Why is this...is he chasing maximum points or being the stern taskmaster?
Scott Powres (2:38 PM)
Moose, I think with Morin he was trying to teach something and show that he won't put up with poor decision-making and defensive play. Morin seems to have gotten the message. As for Khabibulin, there's just not much faith in him. I also think the Blackhawks realize if he has another bad game, then they have to figure out a Plan B. They're trying to avoid that by not playing him.
Hi Scott, Appreciate the Chats! I have asked this in the past and not sure I have received a clear answer. In your opinion Is Tuevo on the playoff roster this season. Yes or No? Thank you sir!
Scott Powres (2:41 PM)
Tim, there's not really a Yes or No to the question. There are a bunch of factors involved. I was told he could be invited to the World Championships and may opt to play there instead of coming to Chicago. I think it also depends on if the Blackhawks need him. If the four lines are rolling, there's no reason to insert him into the lineup. The thing is he's also still young and learning, and I'm not sure the playoffs are a good training ground for a rookie even as skilled as he is. Sorry, I can't be more definitive.
I never hear anything about Denault on the Rockford Ice Hogs. How is he doing?
Scott Powres (2:42 PM)
Doc, Danault is doing okay from what I can tell. He's been reliable defensively and has had a few good offensive games. He and McNeil have been adjusting to the AHL just fine.
hey scott blackhawks have been kinda getting by lately but i think they need to shore up there backup goalie pk and second line center do you think the blackhawks will be able to address any of these through trades would love to see razor back backing up crow any way that could happen with philly going nowhere
Scott Powres (2:45 PM)
D, Emery isn't coming back. If Khabibulin doesn't pan out, I think Raanta gets the next crack at backing up Crawford. As for the second-line center, Pirri has been fine there. His defensive play is improving, and the second line has been creating more offensively. I don't foresee the Blackhawks making a move there.
jacob (cedar rapids )
any word on the seriousness of kostka's injury? i liked what he brought when he made the short appearance into the rotation. expected time of return?
Scott Powres (2:47 PM)
Jacob, Kostka is doing better. He's out of the walking boot. It sounds like a few more weeks until he's back on the ice, but he is gradually getting there. I would expect he's back in the lineup in December.
Paul (Morton Grove)
With Shaw on board for 2 more years, do you think he could be the answer for the second line center?
Scott Powres (2:49 PM)
Paul, no, I think Shaw remains on the third line. I think Teravainen is the guy they're shooting for as the second-line center in the future. Shaw is just so dependable on both sides of the ice on that third line. I don't think they want to mess with that.
Do you see Quenneville going back to using Handzus as the 2nd line center when he's healthy? Or does Pirri's overall play push Handzus to the 3rd or 4th line?
Scott Powres (2:51 PM)
Ryan, Quenneville will likely stick with Pirri. That line is just so much better offensively with Pirri there. His speed especially makes a big difference and allows him to get into plays with Saad and Kane. I think Handzus goes to the fourth line and Kruger bumps to the wing.
Raj (Durham, NC)
Hey Scott! I hope you've been well. As big of a fan as I am of depth, I just am not a fan of Brookbank as a forward, especially on the third line. Why don't the Hawks use this set:Sharp-Toews-Hossa; Saad-Pirri-Kane; Bickell-Shaw-Morin; Bollig-Kruger-Smith/anyone else really
Scott Powres (2:53 PM)
Raj, I would be surprised if Brookbank plays forward again. It was more of a message to Morin. It also had to with the fact that Mills and Handzus have been hurt. It's nothing Quenneville plans to continue to do in the future. I think the lines you have will be the way it is tonight and in the future. Morin does have to play better, though.
Mary Beth (Skokie)
Coach Q, indicated that they might call someone up for the upcoming road games. Who do you think is next man up?
Scott Powres (2:54 PM)
Mary Beth, I think it would be a forward and likely Hayes coming up again.
Still too early to say we overpaid Bickell? I've forgotten that he was on our team during some stretches this year. What's going to get him going?
Scott Powres (2:57 PM)
Michael, Bickell has looked good at times this season, but yeah I would agree he hasn't been consistent enough. I'm not sure what gets him going. He's often been an up-and-down player in the regular season and then turned on in the playoffs. They obviously would like him to bring that scoring punch earlier this season. Maybe if Morin gets going offensively that will help Bickell with more chances.
John (Bloomington IL)
Scott, do you think Kane ever gets frustrated that's he's not on the powerhouse line of Towes, Hossa, and Sharp? His scoring is fine at this point but I'd want at least one of those guys on my line if I was him.
Scott Powres (2:58 PM)
John, I'm sure at some level he would like to be with those guys, but he just deals with it. Playing with Saad and Pirri isn't so bad, though. Kane has been getting more even-strength chances with that line.
Robert (San Antonio)
I know it's early, but has there been any buzz about Hammer possibly in the running for the Norris trophy? He's been awesome shutting down the top line of the other team, and his vision offensively has really improved as well. Also, you should snag me one of those replica rings they're handing out tonight....
Scott Powres (3:00 PM)
Robert, it's a little too early for Norris buzz, but you're right about Hjalmarsson. He talked the other day how he's looked to be more offensive. He said he's learned with age that you can be a little more risky on the offensive end. He's played well on both ends.
Hey Scott, Out of your prospect updates, who's got your attention the most?
Scott Powres (3:01 PM)
Loags, I've been surprised at how well Vinnie Hinostroza has played as a freshman at Notre Dame. He's been producing nearly a point a game for a really good program.
What's the organizations plan for Clendening? I imagine he is at least a year away, but he seems like a great talent.
Scott Powres (3:03 PM)
Kmel, I would think Clendening would see some time in Chicago at some point this season and get more of a shot to be a full-time guy next season. It's just a hard defensive group to crack. Even next season, nearly everyone is back.
Last year Handzus was a quiet but great pickup. Do the Hawks make a move like that again this year if yes then who?
Scott Powres (3:05 PM)
Izzy, I think it's too early to tell. Right now, the concern has to be goaltending. If Khabibulin doesn't shape up quickly, Raanta gets that next shot, but there's no guarantee wit him either. He's still a rookie. Obviously Crawford will be the main guy come playoff time, but you want to be able to confidently give him time off.
Is Neil Yakupov a potential trade for the Hawks to make. Lots of young talent in the organization to get him and a change of scenery from Edmonton could be what he needs.
Scott Powres (3:07 PM)
Eric, that's not happening. The Blackhawks have too much young talent coming up and so few roster spots openings already.
Scott Powres (3:08 PM)
Sorry have to run. I promise a full chat next week. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I missed your question or you want to discuss anything else. Enjoy the game tonight and have a good weekend.