Hawks Rally to Win….It’s Time for The Front Office to Admit a Mistake

The Blackhawk best players put together the required effort in the third period and stole a point from the Blues. The Hawks were able to overcome a two goal deficit and defeat St. Louis in overtime 3-2. 

After the first frame Chicago held a slight edge in play, but as the game progressed the Blues became more potent. Throughout much of the opening forty minutes the Blues were able to keep the Hawk attack on the perimeter.

Marty Turco was very good, but Jaroslav Halak was even better until the Hawks found a way to get to the St.Louis goal. Halak was not going to be scored on from long range.

The Hawks didn’t begin this game with a poor effort. Last night it was more a case of not being able to put forth an effective attack until late in the game. When the Hawks created a commotion in front of Halak, he cracked. 

With John Scott in their lineup the Hawks were spotting the Blues one player. Scott skated four shifts in the first period and accomplished nothing except to draw a careless penalty. During the 1:47 which Scott was on the ice in the opening frame, the Hawks were in essence shorthanded.

Scott playing in the NHL can be compared to an NBA player who can’t run or catch. If there was any question as to the purpose of inserting Scott into the lineup by supplanting a Jack Skille, Viktor Stalberg or whomever else, there should be no doubt now.

Seldom will Scott find a dance partner, but he will often draw an unnecessary penalty. The most important point is Scott did not deter the Blues from throwing their weight around. 

St. Louis still went out and played a tough, gritty game. The Blues managed to pound Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Jonathan Toews and any other Chicago player they could find. The Blues had no fear of any retribution from Scott. Actually St. Louis outhit the Hawks 20-17 and punished the Hawks near their net. 

The St. Louis bench knew full well that after the first period in a close game, Joel Quenneville could not afford to put Scott on the ice. During periods two and three, Scott played one shift in each frame. During the last 40 minutes of regulation the grand total of ice time for Scott was 42 seconds.

The Blackhawks put forth a great charge and proved when their top players bring a supreme effort they will be difficult to beat. But sooner or later games will have to be won by utilizing the entire team. The most talented lineup has to be iced because at some point Hossa and Patrick Sharp will cool off. 

If Scott can’t find a fight he won’t help the team in any other way. The Hawks front office made an error by signing Scott this past summer.

It’s time to realize Scott doesn’t make the team better and admit the mistake. 

Al’s Shots 

Audio link is from a XM interview with Jamie Shalley and Bruce Bolton last night during the second intermission. They were also interested in Scott’s role with the team.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

A healthy Hossa is a treat to watch.

Duncan Keith played over 31 minutes last night….The warning bells should be blaring on West Madison.

When Brian Campbell returns Keith’s workload will reduce…Somewhat.

Unless Quenneville and company finds a third pairing they can feel comfortable with….Keith will still play over 26-27 minutes on many nights.

After the Cup run and Olympics it is only a matter of time until Keith’s play suffers because of extended ice time.

Stan Bowman is probably trying to remedy the situation. But he will have to find a bargain as the Hawks don’t have much cap space left and those in Rockford aren’t ready.

Jack Skille had a nice game, especially considering he was on the ice with Scott in the opening period.

Stalberg and Skille need to be in the lineup.

Sharp should stay on a line with Kane as they have great chemistry.

Hossa can be best be utilized with a left handed center…Toews. 

A big problem with playing a very congested schedule is there is no time to practice. 

Quenneville will make a few points today as the Hawks will practice.


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  1. hockeynut says:


    Really agree with your take in this piece.

    Couple thoughts.

    Jordan Hendry is going to have to elevate his profile within this team or Keith will not make it through the season.

    Dunc is so valuable but they are treating him as an inexhaustable resource.

    I think Q is one of the elite Coches in the league, no doubt. However, with regards to Keith someone needs to introduce him to lose the battle/win the war/ live to fight another day…. whatever cliche fits.

    Q is leaning way to hard on Dunc this early in the season. Just my take.

    Is Scott gone yet?

    • shruew says:

      Just who’s idea was getting Scott anyway?

      • Al Cimaglia says:

        I have a feeling no will raise their hand at this point.

        • Eric says:


          I gotta think it’s Stan Bowman on this, after all Tallon isn’t around to pin this on him anymore.

          On a sidenote, I had no problem with the signing. They lost Eager, they haven’t had a true heavy in some time. You gotta carry someone on the roster just in case. I only have issue with how he’s being used.

          He doesn’t need to dress every game, and he certainly shouldn’t be on the d-corps playing meaningful minutes where he can get exposed.

          In a lot of ways it reminds me of…cringes…David Koci. Nevertheless, I think Scott is a capable fighter and if only he had better hands I’d say play him on that fourth line more. He doesn’t so I’d spot play him. He definitely doesn’t deserve ice time over Stalberg and Skille.

          Hendry might be playing tight, but he also hasn’t looked like the Hendry that had spot play in last season/playoffs. He’s looked indecisive and reluctant to join the offensive zone. In his own end he’s had problems getting the positioning he needs to be effective.

          • Al Cimaglia says:

            Hey Eric,

            I didn’t have a problem with the signing although I never saw him play in person.

            As soon as I did…I knew it was a mistake although he is worse than I imagined.

            They have young guys that are always ready to drop the gloves becasue they are still trying to prove themselves…Dowell, Bickell, Skille…

            But to sign Scott for two years and to try to fit him in as even a quasi regular is a mistake.

    • Al Cimaglia says:

      Q. has Hendry on a very short leash and it has to be effecting him.

      I would like to see him play 6 or 8 games in a row.

      He has to be playing tight….I thought he would be able to contribute…and still do.

  2. Living the Cup says:

    Great comeback from the Hawks, however we are going to need contributions from the bottom two lines top 2 lines especially as you say when Hoss and Sharp cool off.
    Finding a duo to play with Bolland seems like it should be a priority.

    I expect Scott will be gone, probably sooner than later. You can’t fault Bowman for trying to add a legit tough guy who can play. At 500K for 2 years it was a small risk and we can’t expect every one of any GM’s moves to pan out. The fault would come if they don’t rectify the mistake. I think they will.

    I don’t know if the Hawks will add another D right away. Once Campbell’s back and Boynton is playing where he should on the 3rd pair I think things will settle down. Soupy will eat up some of Keith’s minutes. If there is a bargain puck moving D man out there to play with Boynton, great but I don’t know who. Cullimore continues to impress me in his role – how about his Sopel-from-the-playoffs dash around the net and a nice dish to Kane on the winning goal.

    I’d like to see Bickell and Stalberg tried with Bolland. Maybe if they can’t find the right line mates for him Morin will be called up to give it a try.

    BTW I’m lovin’ your mostly daily blogs. Keep up the great work Al!!

    • Al Cimaglia says:

      You can’t fault Bowman for trying to add a legit tough guy who can play. At 500K for 2 years it was a small risk…


      The two year term is a problem but the bigger concern is…WHO THOUGHT SCOTT COULD PLAY?

  3. Living the Cup says:

    I guess Stan and maybe Q too however in their defense;

    most if not all of the pre-season reports I read claimed to be pleasantly surprised by Scott’s abilities and thought he could at least play enough to stay on the roster and help out by being the enforcer. After all there seemed to a legit concern that teams would try to take even more liberties with Toews, Kane, Keith than previously. I don’t know if I agree with this theory but I understand it.

    Clearly now that the overall level of play in the NHL has picked up Scott is overmatched.

    He has been given his chance against the vengeful Sabres and brawling Blues, more to satisfy Bowman and Q that he doesn’t have much to offer I imagine than anything else.

    If he’s not gone by the time Campbell is back I’ll be surprised. Cullimore can replace some of Scott’s toughness and play a lot more D.

    • Al Cimaglia says:

      Take this with a grain of salt…Formulate your opinion of what is written by how much you trust the source of the writing.

      When you see something that is obviously contra to what has been written or spoken about….a red flag should go up.

      The message can be slanted in many ways.

  4. Brian says:

    Skille and Stalberg have to be on the ice, they’ll become dangerous with a center to compliment.
    Haven’t understood a lot of Q’s moves.I wonder how this team would perform under Trotz(just dreaming).
    Still seeing goonery against our guys. Jackmass tried to twist off Taze’s head as Hossa’s 2nd went in.
    It seems our opponents realize Scott is more valuable on the ice if you won’t fight him.

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scotty Hockey, Scotty Hockey. Scotty Hockey said: This was written about John Scott but it coulda been about Derek Boogaard: It’s Time to Admit a Mistake http://t.co/aGtHWSW via @wibiya [...]

  6. Mike Handy says:

    I am not concerned… Pronger has played over 20 mins a game for like 20 years and that guy hits… Keith isn’t a bruiser and he can handle big mins… Scott is a significant downgrade from the 1 player I thought the Hawks needed to keep, they may want to consider a trade…

  7. Al Cimaglia says:

    Welcome Mike…

    Well there is a big difference between how the two play and no one these days can last playing 30 mins. in the majority of games.

    Maybe the plan is to seek a trade….Who fits here. Skille and Stalberg or only one??

    The Hawks seem to be long forwards …Makarov, Morin, Beach…So I agree a trade could be coming.

    It would probably be best to not wait very long.

  8. Al Cimaglia says:

    A little late…

    But thanks to Phil Gallof the audio link from last night is posted in Al’s Shots.

  9. Eric says:


    Did you see this from J.Rogers post-game:

    Scott Tried

    At one point in the game, John Scott said he tried to pick a fight with Brad Winchester of the Blues, but Winchester would have none of it.
    “He is supposed to be their big heavyweight and he still said no,” Scott said. “But I tried.”

  10. Al Cimaglia says:


    I Didn’t hear but I saw him get in the face of a couple of Blues.

    There will be hardly anyone who will fight Scott..Which is another reason not to play him.

  11. [...] • Why the Chicago Blackhawks‘ signing of John Scott was a mistake. [HI] [...]