There’s No Way That Happens… Hawks ’13 Predictions

The Blackhawks take the ice on Saturday in L.A. for the first time in 272 days (almost 9 months) and for some, it probably felt like running errands at the DMV on a daily basis. Corey Crawford is dying for some redemption, Marian Hossa is looking for revenge and most importantly the fans who are hoping for a result better than last year’s first round loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Hawks are playing a scrimmage game at the UC on Wednesday night to try to simulate a game scenario; they were even instructed to wear ties… hmmm you fancy huh? This was closed to the public but the team did offer invites to local minor hockey players. A nice gesture but will go without notice from angry fans who just want to see Patrick Kane undress Nick Leddy for a goal ending with a Chelsea Dagger tribute.

This week showed Q’s cards in terms of lines which I want to comment on, as well as my Top 5 “No Way That Happens… Predictions” concerning the Hawks. I’m sure you’re sick of prediction blogs by now but I’m sure you were sick of not being able to watch hockey for 3 months… so stop complaining about everything already.

Quenneville has finally read one of my 423 hand written letters I’ve sent him over the last couple of years and is giving Bolland a shot at the #2 centre position. I followed Bolland before he was even a Hawk when he played for the London Knights in the OHL and the skill was always evident. The funny thing was he was awful defensively until he asked his coach Dale Hunter to show him the Hunter way – which of course means being the ultimate pest. I like him as the 3rd line pivot but it’s time to see what he can do in an offensive role as these next two years will define him as a his contract is up in 2014.

Here’s what we could see come Saturday afternoon:

Carcillo – Toews – Hossa <- I have no problem with Carcillo on this line to keep people honest

Sharp – Bolland – Kane    <-  I like the chemistry & I’m not as worried about their defence as some

Bickell – Shaw – Stalberg <-  X-factor line, can they resemble a shutdown line while contributing?

Bollig – Kruger – Frolik     <- Not your typical 4th line but gives Q balance; Frolik could be the key


Keith – Seabrook
      <- ‘nuff said but their minutes should be watched
Hammer – Oduya      <- I’m a big fan of Oduya’s game & this pairing
Leddy – Brookbank  <- Don’t sleep on Brookbank’s role; good enough for PK mins under Carlyle in ANH who were 16th in PK%

… but as we know these won’t last long under Q so no need to analyze any further.

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for… my Top 5 “No Way That Happens… Predictions” for your 2013 Chicago Blackhawks:

5) There’s no way Bolland remains at number #2 centre role, not because he can’t handle it but Coach Q wastes no time and breaks out his “I like our options with Bolly as our shutdown guy” game day speech.

4) There’s no way Keith and Seabrook will end up decreasing their TOI, even with a deeper defense; it’s just science at this point… in Q’s books.

3) There’s no way Frolik returns even close to the 20-goal scorer he once was in Florida. I actually have a theory that he’s got a more talented, hockey-playing identical twin brother that traded lives after that season in return for a simpler Czech life as a potato farmer.

2) There’s no way Carcillo makes it through this 48 game season without a suspension and/or fine… it’s just meant to be. We can all hope the opposing person he performs this illegal act on rhymes with Smaffi Florres.

1) There’s no way the Blackhawks make it past the 1st round unless Stan Bowman takes some risks and parts with some of his prized prospects to upgrade this roster (preferably in net).

 

Let me know if you have any of your own “THERE’S NO WAY THAT HAPPENS… predictions” of your own for the Hawks or for any other teams.

The season is almost upon us and I will be back with another blog post game #1.

 

Ty Cam out!

@tycam

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About the Author: I am a rare Chicago Blackhawks fan from Canada, one might describe me as a hockey connoisseur and a solid checking line centre to your local rec hockey team. I once lived in a town of 500 people and now work in the hockey mecca that is Toronto. I work in the wonderful world of Advertising and these opinions are one of my own and not of my company - don't get it twisted.

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  1. Steven says:

    There’s no way Stalberg stays a Hawk if he’s banished to the 3rd line.

  2. Walton says:

    Stalberg is more likely to stay with the Hawks on the 3rd line cause his year end production wonn’t warrent a bigger contract tehn the Haawks are willing to give him.

    We need him though and his speed, his backchecking has imporvoed as well.

    I might be one of the only ones that likes frolik but I think hes a great player and always steps it up in the playoffs

    I think the Hawks get a raw deal playing all their games against central team but the Wings look much weaker this year then in the past.

    We get Mike Smtih on TSN on Sunday at 10 let’s hope #shawfacts runs him for real this time.

  3. Ty Cam says:

    Stalberg is an enigma to me. If he has an equal year in terms of production he’s gone as far as I’m concerned because his price tag will be too high.

    This could be concerning because if he ever puts it all together he could be an elite player.

    Walton – I’m with you on Frolik, I have a bit of a soft spot for him as well. I feel like the guy might benefit to playing overseas during this lockout and might find himself higher than the 4th line.

  4. Taylor C says:

    “3) There’s no way Frolik returns even close to the 20-goal scorer he once was in Florida. I actually have a theory that he’s got a more talented, hockey-playing identical twin brother that traded lives after that season in return for a simpler Czech life as a potato farmer” – that’s hilarious. And there’s a 64% chance it’s true. “It’s only a sweet-potatah.”

    Great post man. I’m thinking that Kane and Sharp will shoot enough pucks in off Bolland to keep him on that 2nd line. Of course, that all depends on what he’s been doing this off season. Q keeps him on a short leash, but Kane/Sharp are better as wing scorers and I don’t see anyone on that depth chart capable of replacing Bolland in the 2 hole at this point.

    The real call here is that Carcillo will eventually wear himself thin on that 1st line – I bet his leash is shorter than Bollands. In today’s game, I don’t think you need (or can afford) to have a policeman on the ice playing 18 mins a night – Toews and Hossa need a capable playmaker with them, not a distracting mouth-piece trolling for a suspension. If you can’t tell, I’m not sold on Carcillo with this team. They’re Detroit-esque – skilled, fast, and capable of scoring 5 a game in their sleep. I can see Stalberg/Frolik taking Dan’s spot up there by game 5-10. Put Carcillo on the 3rd line and let him get a guy back if something actually happens – that should be enough of a deterrent.

    Rolling Stalberg/Toews/Hossa and Sharp/Bolland/Kane for 75% of a game is a tough group to beat. Shaw will own that 3rd line spot and the Hawks will make it back to their former selves. I still don’t count that loss to Pheonix as a real loss – the Hawks are a better team, period.

    Hawks should do real well; those guys are too proud to get pushed around by St.Louis, Detroit and Nashville again. Hopefully Crawford figures his life out before he finds himself canned this summer.

  5. New To Hockey says:

    The key to TOI for Keith and Seabs will be: How much does Q trust Leddy and BB/Rosi? All they need to do is eat up 12-14 minutes a night. If that happens and Oduya and Hammer can handle around 21, the top pair is in the 25 range, where they belong.

  6. Taylor – you’re not alone in not loving Carcillo on that line. All I know is that he was looking like he wanted to play hockey more than run around and pick fights. Consider this:
    - 9 games before his first fight as a Hawks
    - 5 fights total
    - +10 so didn’t prove to be a defensive liability

    He played a lot in the top 6 and his teammates seemed to appreciate his presence. He seems to be a great locker room guy as well.

    Like I said, I still think he can’t escape his reputation and you won’t find me sticking up for him when he gets suspended next but I feel like he has the wheels and hockey IQ to stick it in the top 6.

  7. New to Hockey “How much does Q trust Leddy and BB/Rosi?” You mean SB/Rosi (Sheldon Brookbank and Roszival) right?

    The best part being I think Q will the amount of trust in them that might actually see Keith/Seab’s minutes dip a little as they are “Q” guys. Strong, steady, non-flashy defenders that know their role. Matt Walker anyone?

  8. Joanne says:

    Great post! It’s quite the astute prediction from what I can tell.
    It’s going to be great to see the boys back on the ice with Carcillo back in the line up. I missed him last year.
    It would obviously be awesome to see the team snag a playoff spot but the question remains, will young Marcus be able to grow his beard in time??
    Keep em coming! I’ll keep reading!