Chat with Jesse Rogers
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! On Wednesday, Chicago Blackhawks reporter Jesse Rogers stops by to chat.
Rogers covers the Blackhawks for both ESPN Radio 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.
Send your questions now and join the chat Wednesday at 1:30 CT/2:30 p.m. ET!
Jesse Rogers (2:33 PM)
Hi all. welcome to our last reg season Hawks chat. Its flown by! I just got back from Hawks prac where Toews was declared out for tomorrow...he will go to minny and det so i think there is still a good chance at sat game but nothing for sure until he prac a couple more times...dont know who/when/where the hawks will open the playoffs but we know they're in. Tons to talk about. Fire away!
Kevin Burns (Chicago, IL)
If Towes does not come back for a few more games, shouldnt we keep Hayes on the top line instead of Bruno? He is more physical and has more energy.
Jesse Rogers (2:35 PM)
Q likes brunette's smarts and his hands...in other words everything but his skatin...could hayes get the job done? sure but they "trust" brunette more...It would be one thing if that line was struggling but its been pretty good...I have no prob with Brunette there SHORT term
Bryan (Westwood, California)
Jesse, As a huge blackhawks fan living in LA I selfishly hope they end up playing the Kings in the first round so I can see them. Realistically, which team from the Pacific Division, assuming the Hawks enter the playoffs as the 6 seed, do the Hawks match up the best against?
Jesse Rogers (2:36 PM)
Phoenix...then SJ then L.A.Phoenix doesnt have the firepower to keep up w hawks..and I dont think they can hold the hawks down for a 7 game series..If PHX got a lead in EVERY game, they might have a chance but thats about the only way..Tippett is a great reg season coach, i dont think he is for the postseason, in my opinion
Jesse, I think that the Kane, Toews, Hossa line is best for this team because the second and third lines seem to have great chemistry right now. Do you think that we will see that line on the ice tomorrow night?
Jesse Rogers (2:38 PM)
Wont be tomorrow obviously but its looking more and more like it might happen if Kruger's line stays hot..Kane talked about playing left wing today..he says hossa wont do it..so there is more and more chatter about it...in some ways, its a long way till next week when playoffs open...first thing is get toews back
Mark B (Chicago)
When Duncan Keith was serving his suspension, was he allowed to travel and practice with the team? Or did he have a mandatory vacation where he could not be around the team at all?
Jesse Rogers (2:38 PM)
He could everything but play in games...he didnt travel because there was really no point...if they went on a multiple game trip--like they;re doing now--he prob would have traveled but they were all one-gamers
Joe Williams (North side)
did i just hear Sarah say Toews is going to be in street clothes tomorrow??? Tell me I didn't here that. Please....
Jesse Rogers (2:39 PM)
He is. at least one more game..
How competitive will the game be this saturday against the wings? Does it depend on where the teams are in the standings?
Jesse Rogers (2:40 PM)
If either team can get the 4 seed, very competitive or even the 5...you never know when that home ice is going to help..teams truly believe that so they will be trying to move up
To put my mind at ease, there has been no set back with Toews? He is still on pace to play in the playoffs?
Jesse Rogers (2:41 PM)
Thats what it sounds like...setback is too strong..."not quite ready" seems better...just some lingering stuff from going hard...they are def at the point of playing it safe..my opinion? if playoffs were tomorrow, he plays...
Joe Koperski (Lisle)
Read your tweets about Tazer, he passed the NHL's test for concussions but still has some lingering symptioms, isn't that concerning that with lingering effects the NHL has cleared him to play?
Jesse Rogers (2:43 PM)
Not necessarily..think we might be splitting hairs..I mean you can pass a test and not be 100% ready...maybe he 98% and wants to wait..its tough to tell..prob tough for him to tell..unless there are major symptoms, then its easy...thats the way I look at it..such a fine line..there is a grey area here
This is Bolland's time of year. Should we be concerned he's not playing tonight?
Jesse Rogers (2:44 PM)
You mean tomorrow. Maybe a little. Dont know what this injury is..just came up...so need to find out more when we get to minny and see him..but again, better safe then sorry for this week
If the playoffs were to start tomorrow, do you think the hawks would fare better or worse than they have against the kings than they have earlier this year. I for one think they would do better, even though the kings offense has improved, so has the hawks team D. But trading blueliner Jack Johnson has to give the hawks more opportunities to put one behind Quick, no?
Jesse Rogers (2:45 PM)
I think the hawks would fare better against the Kings and Predators...I dont know if they would win each series--i think they would--but I see better games...
Nick S (Long Island, NY)
On the Hawks PP....I noticed that there seems to be a lot of standing around once they finally get over the blueline. When I watch other team's PP....I see a lot of movement by the forwards, which opens up other lanes and rebounds. I don't really see the Hawks forwards moving on their PP. Also, on the PP, the Hawks point men, hardly ever seem to have a good lane to shoot. I believe they are standing around without movement and its easy to block their shots from the blueline. Ask Q to get some movement on their PP and light the lamp more often!
Jesse Rogers (2:47 PM)
They had movement the last couple games..much better... but you are generally right, and without the movement it creates no shooting lanes..hence no shots nor goals..thats what was happening previous to last couple games
who do you see as the 'go to' 6th defenseman come the playoffs? montador, o'donnell, lepisto, olsen
Jesse Rogers (2:48 PM)
Monty is out for now..wont be O'Donnell..I think It's olsen's job to lose..if he's making some rookie mistakes I think we'd see lepisto in there..
Greg (Oak Forest)
Any idea when the Hawks' first playoff game would be? I'm trying to plan my life around the next two months of beard growing and hockey watching.
Jesse Rogers (2:49 PM)
If its on the road more likely thur then wed. bucnh of road bulidings have committments on wed...nash might be wed...SJ, L.A, PHX I think will be next thurs but dont quote me
Crawford has been looking good as of late (knock on wood). I am wondering what it is with him? I know the defense is better but he just seems to be playing better. How can he be so inconsistent at this level? It baffles me!
Jesse Rogers (2:50 PM)
Im sure it baffles his goaltending coach and prob himself..he's been simply reacting more lately instead of anticipating if that makes sense..its kept him in position..he was so good at "making himself big" last year..like see more of that..where the puck just hits him even through screens, etc.
If I take away the option of "fighting/enforcer" as an answer, what makes Bollig a good hockey player?
Jesse Rogers (2:51 PM)
Right now, not a whole lot..he doesnt hurt you in the def zone but yeah, he doesnt bring a lot ot the table in the off zone either...I actually see him coming out of the lineup or at least in and out in the playoffs..his role is less needed and it wouldnt hurt to have a fourth line that can pot a goal once in a while..since he's joined the prodcution there has dried up
Steve (Downers Grove)
I was just thinking back to all the times that Patrick Sharp was snake bit in scoring after we had brought him over in a trade from Philly. Remember how we used to groan everytime he'd be stopped, hit a post, shank a shot? Flash forward to now with Victor Stalberg. Maybe he needed this time to get his speed up. Hope he keeps trending like Sharpie!
Jesse Rogers (2:54 PM)
Good memory..I bring that up to Sharp to humble every so often..he went his first 24-25 games as a Hawk without scoring..he thinks im the only one that remembers it but so do you! You might be right, sometimes its just experience...I do kind of wish Stalberg showed a little more outward desire..I saw that from sharp from day one but everyone is different..we'll see how he keeps it going..
Dan R (Vail, co)
straight up, how deep into the playoffs do you think the hawks will go?
Jesse Rogers (2:55 PM)
No idea..really. no one does..if you can predict the west youre a genius...the crawford thing is hard to figure..do we see the craw of last playoffs or this reg season when he was shaky..if its last playoffs, the hawks could go real far
JK (St. Louis, MO)
I think this was mentioned in one of your blog posts recently, but what will the top lines look like when Toews comes back? Sharp and Stalberg really seem to play well together... so does Hossa go down with Bolland?
Jesse Rogers (2:57 PM)
At the moment...10/16/25 will stay together...Hossa will not go with bolland...they're honestly talking about 88/19/81 on the same line..I still have my doubts but they run around the ice so much, youre only on the left or right side for the faceoff and the break out..maybe not a big deal...but there is a diff between the wings as small as it might be...who knows, 10/16/25 arent exactly gretzky, kurri, messier...if its best for the team they can break that up
Have you been impressed with Olsen?
Jesse Rogers (2:57 PM)
Sure..but i wouldnt give him any more responsiblity than he has now..
Burrows is a sissy (Naperville)
which teams in the West scare you in a playoff situation from your Hawks perspective
Jesse Rogers (2:59 PM)
The ones that really have goalies that can steal a series cause its pretty evident the hawks cant steal one purely with defense...so Rinne (nash) at the top of that list, Quick (L.A)a little but still not sure bout him in playoffs, and Niemi, of course
Who's your mvp this season for the Hawks?
Jesse Rogers (3:00 PM)
Was going to write about this at some point..Im leaning more and more towards sharp when you take into consideration he missed traning camp and had a serious hand injury and stll thrived..Slightly ahead of hossa...of course thats with toews missing a quarter of the season
Not that it will matter in two games since playoffs don't have shootouts but why are Sharpie and Bolland in as our top 3 when both are historically bad at it?
Jesse Rogers (3:03 PM)
Cause they are goal scoreres...and youre taking a chance with whoever so why not go with guys who "know" hot to put the puck in the net...having said that, Im sort of with you..I dont like Bolland even though he scored recently..dont love sharp either but you have to choose someone and prob better than stalberg and a few others...after toews and kane its a tough call
Who on the team that is playing and plans on playing seems like they have the most "wear and tear" on them from this season. My guess would have to be Seabrook?
Jesse Rogers (3:04 PM)
Boy, thats a tough question..considering his style, Seabrook is probabaly not a bad answer..O'Donnell? Half-kidding..Its hard for me to tell.I mean they all look tired after a prac or game
In your opinion was Toews having an MVP like season before the injury?
Jesse Rogers (3:05 PM)
I dont know..he would have been in the conversation but malkin is in it for sure, stamkos might be...he would be on the cusp for sure if he kept on putting up numbers..but no one is beating malkin
JK (St. Louis, MO)
Since it's fairly clear that picking a team to win the Cup is far too difficult, I'll make it easier for you. Which conference gets the cup?
Jesse Rogers (3:06 PM)
I would probably say the east if I to pick right now
I know that the Hawks would like to get Toews in a game before the playoffs, but at this point if they are being cautious, shouldn't they keep him out until next week, which would give his brain another 5 days or so to heal? The last thing anyone wants to see is him playing detroit in what could be a meaningless game and getting a high hit that costs him the playoffs.
Jesse Rogers (3:07 PM)
True, but having your first game action in the postseason after missing 22 could be a recipe to take a bad hit too...sort of forget the pacem especially in the postseason..so there is something to be said to get the cobwebs out on saturday...prob needed more than sat so its a tough call...play when you're ready..you live by that, prob cant go wrong.. and I asked Q today if tomorrow had anything to do with the chippy Wild and he emphatically said no
What are the chances that Kane erupts in the playoffs? He has a history of scoring huge goals, and if the hawks draw the kings in round 1, we will need our stars to beat Quick.
Jesse Rogers (3:08 PM)
Well he loves the spotlight and this time of year but who knows. he had a bad series againast Van last year so its up to him if he goes full throttle, etc.
John (West Loop)
Hey JR, do you expect to see Frolik centering the 3rd line wth 36 out? Any idea how long Bolly will be out? He is so key in the playoffs to the Hawks success.
Jesse Rogers (3:09 PM)
Not sure how long but Q said it wasnt serious and he is traveling..he wouldnt if it was "bad". Morrison was in there today so it looks like he will center the third line
Why doesn't Stalberg get more pp time?
Jesse Rogers (3:10 PM)
Q never gives a good reason..was asked that again today and said he has "consideration". In the past Q has said its tough taking someone else out..never a real good reason
JK (St. Louis, MO)
Any special plans for the playoff beard this year? Kane doing a mullet again? Mustaches? Handlebars?
Jesse Rogers (3:11 PM)
Think Kane said he wasnt going to do the mullett.
The Hawks seem very loose at practice. I really thought Jimmy Hayes looks great in practice. Is it going to take an injury to get him into the Bruno role? I just dont trust those old legs under Andrew Brunette.
Jesse Rogers (3:12 PM)
Brunette wont be there once toews returns but if toews isnt back for game 1..brunette will be in there until the line stalls..
At an optional skate do the players who don't skate have the day off or are they there working out, participating in meetings, etc.
Jesse Rogers (3:12 PM)
No day off..they are there doing what youre saying
Mike (St. Louis)
What would be the key for the hawks to win a series with St. Louis?
Jesse Rogers (3:13 PM)
Play at the Hawks tempo..make the blues chase them instead of standing around and letting st. louis dictate..skate, skate, skate...
To reiterate, your gut feeling is that Toews will be playing in game 1 of the playoffs?
Jesse Rogers (3:14 PM)
Yes. My gut feeling..if hes been cleared by docs its all up to him..no way he sits out if hes "very close". right or wrong
Michael G. (Villa Park)
I'm sorry but...Kane...keep him at Center...he's on fire and it always happens when he's exclusively at Center...Yes...I know...When Toews comes back, back to wing he goes...but...Cmon...Think about it...
Jesse Rogers (3:15 PM)
Hes been getting killed in the faceoff circle until last game and this isnt playoff hockey..no way should he play center, say, agianst the kings...so I say no...looks good now but if Torews back..you can always go to kane in the middle if you need to..start him at wing..
How about the top two lines like this-- Brunette/Toews/Hossa, Sharp/Kane/Stalberg? Keep the third line intact and move Kruger down to the fourth line with Mayers and Hayes?
Jesse Rogers (3:17 PM)
Nope. Would not "waste" kruger there and waste the first line with Bruntte. lol. Thats a joke..but we know the top 6 until further notice..toews goes in for brunette..mix and match from there...I actually thought a little whiile back that Shaw and Stalberg should switch but this way is prob better.
david e (ridgefield ct)
We are always told what great shape Duncan Keith is...it seems on the other end of the spectrum would be Leddy...how is his conditioning? He's young and seems if he could get in as good as physical shape as Keith it would really help his play
Jesse Rogers (3:18 PM)
Keith is a little more bulked up but by no means is Leddy out of shape..not that i can tell at least
How often do the players take advantage of skating individually with Kevin Delaney their Skills and Skating coach?
Jesse Rogers (3:18 PM)
Hes out there at prac every day so he does stuff with them..when toews was skating alone it was with him alot
Concerning MVP for the Blackhawks this season, I would at least mention Shaw too. His presence/contributions have come at a crucial time. I guess I expect "the core" to play well and step up. He was such an unexpected surprise. Along that train of thought do you think Shaw has a chance at the Calder? 22 pts in 35 games is impressive.
Jesse Rogers (3:19 PM)
hes been amazing but sharps production is off the charts comparetively but he deserves a lot of credit..
Steve Foxhall (Naperville)
Was the morrison trade a bad move? he really doesn't play and is not that good imo
Jesse Rogers (3:21 PM)
Its depth right now...but counting on him for anything was a mistake..at least its a body that can play center but yeah, seems like not a great move though it didint cost much..which is what was said at the time...so if it was a "no lose" then, you cant complain now...I mean, you can, cause he hasnt been good, but thats about it
Dave G (Laporte IN)
I Feel like the playoffs brings the best out of Frolik...his play style is frantic with some grit so i think that works against him during the first 3/4ths of the season, but pays off at the end in the playoffs. Do you think he will turn it on?
Jesse Rogers (3:22 PM)
I think its possible..hes just completely inside his head when it comes to scoring..he was out on the ice a LONG time yesterday after practice..just taking shots..you never know..I like his def either way
Joe Koperski (Lisle)
can you clarify one of your tweets, "just want to say whoever said that winter classic thing is a dummy" what am I mising?
Jesse Rogers (3:24 PM)
Someone tweeted out or something that the Hawks had announced they had the winter classic for like 2014, 2017, and 2020 or something..when I asked a Hawks official how absurd that was they said "they forgot 2034". so that's what that was about..just someone making up something or playing a joke and my people at the radio statin asked me about it..
Other than Crosby, is there anyone out there that you'd trade Toews for?
Jesse Rogers (3:25 PM)
You always have to consider a franchise d-man like shea weber..guy has 20 goals and plays great D with a wicked shot..but, NO.
if saturdays game with detroit is meaningless, will we still see toews and keith get some reps?
Jesse Rogers (3:25 PM)
Hard to imagine it would be meaningles..but keith will play for sure..again, if toews is ready he will play..wont matter the consequence of the game in my opinion..thats small potatoes to gettting him a game or sitting him out one more..
Jesse Rogers (3:28 PM)
Thats going to do it for today..Hope I got to your question..if not, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org follow me on twitter and pass it along to hawks fans..@espnchihawks..will be with the team home and road , rest of the way..and will have all sorts of coverage in my blog as we head to the playoffs..audio, video, and of course stories..check it out every day and night for that matter, after the games...we'll have a special long hawks chat next week in advcance of the playoffs..maybe even a couple next week...tlak to ya from minny tomorrow. thanks again