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 Powers (2:31 PM)
Hello all, hope everyone is having a good Thursday. I'm still over the United Center after the morning skate. Just finished up a story on Teravainen and should have it posted shortly. I plan to be here about 45 minutes.
I've heard Hawks may not sign Hayes why is that, have you heard the same??
Scott Powers (2:33 PM)
Hi Scott, from what I heard, the Blackhawks do expect to sign Hayes. I asked Norm Maciver about the rumors the other day, and he said that wasn't true.
Will Teuvo be on the post season roster?
Scott Powers (2:34 PM)
Brian, I still would assume so. But Quenneville has made it sound like Teravainen won't get consistent playing time down the stretch. I still think he'll be on the roster. Just don't expect him to play much at this point.
Scott, so do you agree with the choice to sit Teuvo Teravainen? I would understand if everyone was healthy and he wasn't needed or if our first playoff round wasn't already set, but with our 2 top scorers out and with virtually no chance of not getting Colorado without home ice in the first round, why not play him these next 6 games so he can get some chemistry going with the team prior to the playoffs? Seems like there is nothing to lose by playing him these final game... Thanks keep up the good work Scott!
Scott Powers (2:36 PM)
Justin, I thought Teravainen played well enough in his first three games. I see plenty of positives in playing him the rest of the way, especially since this team is struggling offensively and that's his strength. Quenneville obviously sees otherwise. I know the Blackhawks have said his contract isn't a factor, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Hey Scott, with the Hawks looking destined for a first round match up with the Avs how important do you think it is to leapfrog ahead and get home ice in the first round, especially considering the way the Avs have handled the Hawks the last couple of years?
Scott Powers (2:38 PM)
Jon, I believe home ice will matter in the first round. But it'll be pretty difficult for the Blackhawks to catch the Avalanche at this point. The Avs are three points ahead and have a game in hand. The Blackhawks will obviousliy have to turn their game around quickly. They're playing some of their worst hockey at the worst time. I just don't see them bypassing Colorado.
Jordan (South Florida)
How much will Toews' and Kane's injuries effect the Blackhawks seeding in the playoffs?
Scott Powers (2:39 PM)
Jordan, their abscence likely won't affect the seeding. With or without them, the Blackhawks would likely finish third in the Central behind St. Louis and Colorado and ahead of Minnesota.
Charles in Rockford [via mobile]
What chances do you think Q/Stan Bowman sends Teuvo to Rockford and how do you think the Johns signing alters the depth chart for D between Chicago and Rockford?
Scott Powers (2:42 PM)
Charles, I'm waiting to hear back from some people on Teravainen possibly going to Rockford, but I would doubt it at this point. I think he'll still play a few games in Chicago. As for Johns, I'm not sure it'll affect the depth in the near future. The Blackhawks have Keith, Seabrook, Oduya, Hjalmarsson, Leddy, Rozsival and Rundblad signed for next season. I could see Johns and Clendening getting a small taste next season in Chicago and even more so the following season.
moose (out west)
Hi Scott: Zus is either being rested or has become the latest resident of Chateau Bow Wow. Which is it, and what's the scoop?
Scott Powers (2:44 PM)
Moose, Quenneville doesn't seem to trust Handzus right now. Quenneville touted Handzus' PK play today, but I think it's everything else that hans't been up to par lately. It was telling that even without Toews on Sunday Quenneville still wasn't playing Handzus.
Brian (Chicago, IL)
With everyone healthy can we assume the lines will look like this come playoff time?: 81-19,10, 88-86-23, 20-65-29 and 28-16-52?
Scott Powers (2:45 PM)
Brian, I don't think Teravainen is there right now. It could be something like Sharp-Toews-Hossa, Bickell-Smith-Kane, Versteeg-Shaw-Saad, Bollig-Kruger-Regin. Handzus and Morin could be in the mix as well.
Brandon F. (Tucson, AZ)
Hey Scott, rest is the best thing for our stars right now. Would we like to have home ice advantage? Of course! But the Hawks are having hard enough times against Central division opponents, we need our team at their best, home or away. Your thoughts?
Scott Powers (2:48 PM)
Brandon, the Blackhawks certainly are looking big picture now. They want Kane and Toews to be as healthy as can be. The question is can those guys turn it on immediately once the playoffs come? It often takes guys a few games to get going. The Blackhawks can't afford that in the playoffs.
Why call up Joakim Nordstrom when the team is light on true top line center talent? Wouldn't PM Bouchard be a better fit?
Scott Powers (2:51 PM)
Dave, I thought it might be a cap situation, but Bouchard's cap hit of $2 million would fit under. I know Quenneville does like Nordstrom's game and is familiar with it. I do expect Bouchard to be called up for the playoffs and give them some forward insurance. He's played well in Rockford.
Hey Scott. Love your chats.How do you think the lines will shape up with Toews out now? Will we finally get to see Morin get some consistent ice time, especially with how the Hawks are struggling with scoring as of late?
Scott Powers (2:53 PM)
Dustin, the lines today were Sharp-Shaw-Hossa, Versteeg-Nordstrom-Saad, Bickell-Regin-Morin, Bollig-Kruger-Smith.
jim burbank [via mobile]
Hey Scott, Have 2 questions. 1st. I can understand hawks signing all these players of late if they intended on using them.. but with so many signed next yr and Q rarely plays them anyway what's the point? Yes depth but seems q has to really like your game from day 1 to see minutes. 2 question, I think Saad is a very good player but do you think he's playing to full potential? I heard eddie O last yr say he's gonna be a 30 -40 goal scorer... seems bit high imo.. he has frame of a power forward but doesn't consistently play in dirty areas that allow you to get those greasy goals. Your opinion Thanks for great work
Scott Powers (2:57 PM)
Jim, not positive which players you mean by signing late. If you mean Carey, Johns, etc., all those guys are college players they needed to sign now for the future. I was surprised Carey got a chance in an important game the other day. ... As for Saad, I thought he's taken a step in his game this season. It's hard to say now whether he'll be a 30-40 goal scorer, but he'll be a good one for years to come. I think part of it is he's bouncing around from the top line to the third line. His role and even where he even plays on the ice often chances. Plus, he's still only 21. There's still some developing to do.
Don (Mount Prospect, IL)
Scott, Do you see the Hawks signing Kevin Hayes to a contract soon?Thanks,Don
Scott Powers (2:58 PM)
Don, Hayes plays next week in the Frozen Four, so it would be after that.
GREG (MO./ARK. STATE LINE)
Scott: If you are familiar with some of these names ( NOT BEFORE YOUR TIME ) tell me how you think they would have reacted to the hit on #19,Dave Manson - Keith Magnuson - Jerry Korab - Phil Russel Stu Grimson - Bob Probart - Dan Maloney - Bob Mc Gill
Scott Powers (2:58 PM)
Greg, I get your point, but I do think the game has changed. Quenneville said as much yesterday. The way those past guys would have treated that situatoin is different than now.
jim, burbank [via mobile]
Hey Scott, Just a curious question - do you think coach Q plays young talent right way? I look at some other teams like Red Wings in particular who hawks try to mimic with keeping young talent in minors to develope. They seem to keep them in lineup giving them a chance to shine or fail..
Scott Powers (3:01 PM)
Jim, it really seems to vary with the Blackhawks. Players like Pirri, Smith and Morin were kept in the minors for a number of years to develop. Even Bickell and Crawford spent a lot of time in the AHL. But then with players like Saad, Shaw, Kruger and likely Teravainen, they've played almost immediately in the NHL. The Blackhawks seem to play guys when they feel they're ready.
Any idea on the lineups tonight? Who's the top line center? Kruger?
Scott Powers (3:01 PM)
Shaw is the top center.
Hey Scott,Why are Matt Carey and (last year) Drew LeBlanc kept on the roster? Its clear that LeBlanc is nowhere near ready and Carey looks much the same. Are the minor affiliates overcrowded?
Scott Powers (3:03 PM)
Loags, college free agents who are signed after the trade deadline can't be assigned to the AHL. It's not about the IceHogs' roster.
Scott, I know it was a one goal game but Toews getting hit like that and nothing happening is unacceptable. I know the game is different now and all that nonsense but it's not that different. I can't think of one other team that would stand for that. Is this a coach issue or do we just really have a bunch of cowards? For the life of me; I can't figure out why Bollig is even in the league. 5 fights for an entire year does not make an enforcer and he certainly cannot skate. If I were Toews, there is no chance I would sign a new deal with the team. It's pathetic and I'm actually embarrassed to be a Hawks fan right now. Orpik won't fight, I get that, but playing the way he does and with the hit he delivered....if he won't drop the gloves then Crosby should've had his head taken off. Old school thinking, absolutely. True though, absolutely. Any insight on how the team can even look Toews in the eyes for doing nothing?? Thanks as always!
Scott Powers (3:06 PM)
Kevin, I can't tell you exactly what Toews is thinking obviously, but I don't think he would have a problem with the way they handled it. He's all about winning first, and that was the Blackhawks' focus. I believe he knows they have his back and have proven that before. Versteeg said yesterday that they actually tried to fight Orpik, but he wouldn't take the bait. ... Don't get me wrong. I do understand why people are upset with the way it was handled. I also think the Blackhawks will seek revenge when they play the Penguins next season.
Will Raanta be wearing Blackhawks Jersey next season?
Scott Powers (3:07 PM)
Kuzyn, I would think so. He's a restricted free agent, and I assume they'll re-sign him.
Scott Powers (3:09 PM)
Moose, from what I've heard, the Blackhawks are happy with his progress and consistency. Playing with a different defenseman (Rozsival, Brookbank, Kostka, Rundblad) throughout the season isn't easy, and Leddy has held his own. As for doing more, it's hard to get more ice time when Quenneville is going to throw out Keith-Seabrook and Oduya-Hjalmarsson as much as he does.
Scott Powers (3:10 PM)
Ninos, interesting question. Saad wasn't great in the playoffs last season, so maybe him. He's certainly more confident now. I think someone like Ben Smith could be a surprise again. He can really sneak up on his team with his ability.
What's really going on with Kane and Toews? Bickell and Hossa talk about their injuries and recovery but with 88 & 19 its silence. Should fans be concerned or is it a matter of their personality's being different?
Scott Powers (3:11 PM)
Brian, Kane and Toews haven't been available since their injuries and they won't be until they start practicing with the team. I would imagine they'll talk again sometimes in the week leading up to the playoffs. That's the only difference. Bickell and Hossa talked about their injuries after they began practicing again.
Shaune Princeton il [via mobile]
Do you think the Hawks are missing a physical presents on the ice
Scott Powers (3:12 PM)
Shaune, no, I don't think so. This team won the Stanley Cup with nearly the same roster last season. I don't think the Blackhawks need more a physical presence to be successful. Their skill can win out.
Once the playoffs start do you think coach will put Sharp back on the first line or move him to the third line again? Also why did the coach put him down on the third line, isn't that for the players that are considered not as good as the top players?
Scott Powers (3:14 PM)
Andy, Quenneville was really toying with the lines there for a bit. I didn't see it as a demotion for Sharp. He just wanted to get more consistency throughout the lines again. As for the playoffs, I could see Sharp-Toews-Hossa again. I was surprised he went away from that when Hossa returned from his injury.
Shane (Coal City)
Scott....It seems like the team has hit a little bit of a wall physically, just seems like a lack of mojo, jump, something....Do you get that sense, and could it hopefully be just a funk they are in right now? They seem like they can hit the switch when they need to, as per the last St. Louis game. Thoughts???
Scott Powers (3:15 PM)
Shane, Quenneville was saying today he doesn't think it's easy just to flip a switch once the playoffs come. Even without Kane and Toews, the Blackhawks need to start playing better hockey going into the playoffs. I don't see the Blackhawks making a playoff run if they continue to stumble over the next six games.
Mark (Dyer, IN.)
Scott, do you think coach Q should try to reduce some of the ice time for a few of the guys down the stretch so they a little rested for the playoffs? Thanks.
Scott Powers (3:16 PM)
Mark, I think it depends on where they are in the standings. If Colorado has the second seed clinched with a game or two to go, I could see Sharp, Hossa, Keith, etc. getting a game off. Quenneville did that last season as well.
Mark (San Diego)
Scott, many fans may conclude the Hawks troubles stem from Kaner and Taser being out, but truth is they were not playing winning hockey before the injuries. Do you sense a lack of urgency, what is crippling this team from performing at a high level consistently?
Scott Powers (3:20 PM)
Mark, you're right. This team hasn't been consistently good for some time now. They've been noticeably different since the Olympic break. I don't know if it's an urgency problem. They understand they need to play well. I think it's more of a physical factor. They just aren't capable of doing it right now. The're not executing as they were earlier in the season. You can definitely see that as they try to get the puck up the ice from their own zone. It's not very smooth right now.
Scott Powers (3:20 PM)
Thanks again for all the questions. As always, feel free to email me at email@example.com if I missed anyone's question or if you have something else. I'll talk to you again next week.