Thoughts, Interview and Bolland Returns

Jeremy Morin has been recalled for tonight’s battle with Colorado.  After the game Morin will likely join the US World Junior team for their practice on Thursday. Morin is approaching the 10 game mark, tonight will be his ninth as a Hawk. If Morin plays in more than 10 NHL games he will use up a year on his entry level contract.

If Morin wasn’t one of the 12 best forwards in Chicago, the Hawks would be wise to send him back to Rockford and save a year on his entry level deal. For me it wouldn’t be a difficult decision. 

Morin can help the big club and should play in Chicago. Whether Morin skates on the first line or fourth line wouldn’t matter as long as he could contribute. Where I sit there is little doubt Morin would make a meaningful contribution and would help the Hawks gain a playoff birth. Before Morin can secure a lineup spot Stan Bowman may have to make a trade.

I wrote awhile ago the best Blackhawk defensive prospect might still be in college. That wasn’t my opinion but came from a NHL coach. Today it was announced, former first round selection Dylan Olsen has been chosen to represent Canada at the World Junior tournament. Congratulations go out to Dylan. 

Most likely Blackhawk prospects Nick Leddy and Morin will be selected to represent the US World Junior team. 

Another big game tonight…actually at this point they all are big games. 

It was mentioned Marian Hossa could be back to face the Av’s. I don’t see how that could be possible as Hossa has just begun to skate. If Hossa progresses maybe he can return this weekend. Dave Bolland will return tonight. 

Stan Bowman was interviewed today on NHL Live. There was not a single question about Morin. The only players discussed were Corey Crawford and Marty Turco.  Bowman mentioned Crawford has been groomed to be a NHL starter and he isn’t surprised at his progress. To no surprise Crawford will start in goal tonight.

Below is an Ice Cap audio link of an interview with Jamie Shalley from last night. 

We talked about the problems for Marty Turco and the rest of the team. Corey Crawford’s role as a starter and the emergence of Morin were also discussed.

ICE CAP-10-12-14-Uncle AL

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  1. Dave Morris says:

    Al, great interview…also like the thrash metal musical intro!

    As Jamie Shalley mentioned and you two discussed, Toews coming out and ripping into the guys is VERY significant.

    One has to wonder WHERE the problems really lie, including the various issues regarding the mental makeup of the team.

    Toews, like Sid Crosby, is one of those players who can, and does, carry an entire squad…so you have to wonder if JT is feeling like some guys are just along for the ride, and WHO they are.

    Your perspectives on fans’ expectations are well worth the listening.

    Great work!

  2. shruew says:

    One of these days Al you should have whoever runs the website install the podcast plugin for wordpress (

  3. vito says:

    Al, The Hawks simply need a good ass kicking in practice. Q has to consider putting these guys through some hard practices, specifically on defense, and if they don’t want to play defense and backcheck then scratch them. How do the Predators do it with low budget and bring up goalies and players from the minors and play solid defense and make the playoffs every year?

  4. Al Cimaglia says:

    The Preds play their structure to a tee…If they can score 2 goals they think they have a shot to win. When they score 3 goals they expect to win.

    As far as practices…There have been only a couple of times recently when Q. had a chance to practice without just playing a game or having to play the next night.

    If need be, when the schedule permits he will make his point.

  5. Living the Cup says:

    Tonight we’ll see something of the character of this team.

    I have been optimistic that the Hawks will improve over the course of the season, make the playoffs and show well but the whatever the problem is with Keith is giving me pause.

    I know one player does not a team make but his fall from Norris grace is the most significant attribute of the Hawks fall from grace.

    I think how he plays tonight will be very telling of not only what we can expect from him the rest of the year but how the Hawks fortunes will play out.

    …and I’m a bit nervous about it.

  6. Dave Morris says:

    Al, everyone, watching the Flyers-Pens match (currently the 2 top teams in the NHL), and seeing the differences between them and the Hawks–as the Hawks are now–support all the points Al and Jamie make in their podcast.

    BTW the Pens and Flyers have gone through some extremely rough patches in the last few seasons.

    But you can see how they now seem to know what they are about, and what they have to do, from a technical standpoint, as well as an emotional/intensity standpoint. *Knowing*, almost instinctively, where to be on the ice and when to be there, as well as knowing what *kind* of intensity and when to use it, is in many ways a function of experience.

    When you consider how young the Hawks are overall, and guys like Bickell, Skille, Dowell, Stalberg, Morin, Crawford, who really don’t have those years of experience yet, the fact that Hawks are at least keeping pace with the rest of the teams in the West is commendable.

    Add in the injuries and the dropoff in play of Brouwer, Kopecky and Hjalmarsson (and the evident drop off in quality from the Top 4 D to the 5/6 pairing), and it all adds up.

    Al and Jamie talked about how there was *so much* competition for ice time last year, everyone could push each other…it’s just not that way this year, with less depth.

    As Vito and LTC point out, character and hard work are important.

    But until the new Hawks all get more experience, especially playing together–to Jamie and Al’s point about the Hawks being “two different groups” this year–it’s going to be tough to watch on more than a few nights.

    • Sav says:

      “Keeping pace” with the rest of the West is a bit of a stretch, Dave. Look at games played. The Hawks are 13 out of 15 in point percentage.

  7. Living the Cup says:

    Post Col. game

    We miss Sopel and Madden on the PK. Getting Hoss and Pisani back will help but we need a D man who can play the PK and be on the 5/6 pairing.

    With Stalberg presumably out now it’ll be interesting to see what the Hawks do with Morin.

  8. RJF says:

    Well, Al, I guess your XM intro Metallica’s “Sad But True” is fitting: Stanley Cup Champs forced to trade half their roster, next year, don’t make the playoffs.

  9. CBH1619 says:

    rough night tonight. that call killed us. i really don’t know if this team makes the playoffs or not.

    it is a long season but with how tough the west is… and not having a full line-up, its gonna be tough to string some wins together. IMO this is the month to make some hay with 9 of the next 13 at the UC, so hopefully they get healthy and get everyone back next week.

    bickell has got a great release.

    the cullimore pairing was responsible for the fleishmann goal because they couldnt touch up in time.

    when the fowards are healthy, hendry needs to be on the third pairing. which sends one of cullimore or boynton to rockford, which one doesn’t really matter they both skate like their in cement.

  10. rock says:

    Dave, what do you think about the nightmare that is the 4th line. How much does it really help for one of them to fight and the rest to play 4 minutes…

    Do you think they would be better served with some guys who are “close to ready” filling in at Rockford that can play 8-12 minutes? With two depleted lines and a 4th that is a waste should we honestly expect anything other than a loss to a good NHL team who skates 3 or 4 lines of actual NHL players?

  11. Alisha says:

    what the hell man ! no one told me bout fernando torres arrival in singapore !! this is a conspiracy !