Come Jump in the Deep End of the Pool!

 

With the news that Michal Rozsival will miss some time with a KNEE injury, the Hawks have been called upon to test their depth on D. “Rozy” however might not be out for as long as originally anticipated as he’s been spotted back on the ice in recent practices. Still, this KNEE injury will allow Sheldon Brookbank to spread his wings and fly like the peacock he is.

With the loss of Rozsival to the backend, the Hawks have Brookbank skating with Nick Leddy on the 3rd pairing. Maybe it’s because we’re not quite sure who’s better yet, but an injury like this doesn’t appear to be a huge blow. Also, it was well documented (highlighted in RED actually) that Rozsival has a laundry list of injury issues throughout his 12 year career.

The Hawks hit their first in-season blip on the injury radar screen with Dan Carcillo’s KNEE injury as well. Wait, I thought these used to be called “lower-body” injuries; maybe coaches can’t be bothered due to the tightened schedule. This injury to the one they call “Car-bomb”, who was playing on the top line, would normally set the Hawks back a little but Brandon Saad has stepped in and done no harm. He’s not “lighting it up” as the kids would say, but he’s allowed Q to keep his lines balanced, thus creating an early set chemistry. A certain chemistry that has appeared to be missing for most of the past couple of seasons.

What? Are you confused why I haven’t mentioned the crushing shootout loss to Minnesota the other night that has ruined the Hawks perfect season? Well you and I both knew it wasn’t going to last forever and I’m sure you’re over it already. If not, I’m not sure what to tell you.

Back to the depth; maybe you’re not flinching at any of these injuries because of this 6-0-1 start. Or maybe it’s because you’re actually comfortable with the depth Mr. Stan Bowman has provided and accumulated in prospects? I’m not sure I’m “comfortable” per se, but I do feel better than forcing in a dear-in-headlights Dylan Olsen with these injuries. Also, remember Montador was supposed to be on this roster as well…  you haven’t forgot about Steve Montador yet, have you?

Yes, I’m sure you would love to be able to pick up the phone and have Stan Bowman on the other line so you can fill him in on your roster ideas in your master plan to win the mini Stanley Cup this year. If this was to come to fruition though, what would you actually say? You need to trade for a PK, faceoff winning centre or a grinder to help come playoff time? Good luck with that. The fact remains that until the Hawks start their downward spiral and even if they soak into mediocrity it still probably won’t trigger Bowman to do anything.

“Maybe Bowman doesn’t have to” says the fan who’s team is only down a poser of a first-liner and a 34 year old 5th-6th defenseman.  You might be singing a different tune if a core player goes down and you’re left with Martin St. Pierre or Klas Dalbeck on your lineup card. Aside from the fact I like both of these gents, I wouldn’t be thrilled to see them in an important role this year. Yes, I know there are players that would be called up a head of them, just trying to make a point.

Interested to hear your early season thoughts on how comfortable you are with this roster’s depth and please don’t tell me you want Stan to get that coveted #2 C or starting goalie you’ve been asking for – not gonna happen pal. Besides, I think the starting goaltender position won’t be an issue if that guy wearing Crawford’s jersey keeps it up!

In closing, if I can channel my inner Ron McLean, “if I’ve Saad it once, I’ll say it again; everything’s all fun and Rozy until someone sets off a Car-Bomb, leaving you licking your wounds down by the Brookbank for weeks on end.”

*Don Cherry somewhere shoots me a disapproved look*

 

Ty’s Tidbits

- Hawks take on Vancouver on Friday and it looks like Luongo is getting the nod. The goaltending situation is going to be a distraction (in the media’s eyes at least) until Loungo is dealt. The thing is, as long as the Canucks are winning games, nobody will be complaining.

- Saad is still getting his time on the top line and is without a point. I don’t feel like he’s hurting the Hawks’ top line in anyway but if the team as a whole continues to struggle to score, I for one wouldn’t mind seeing a change. How about giving Jeremy Morin or the revived Jimmy Hayes a look in the lineup (not necessarily on the top line).

- Crawford’s save *courtesy of NHLVideo*  in Minnesota really made me do a double take. This is not a Crawford-esque style save when looking at past clips. He almost looked like he was relying on… wait for it… instincts rather than technique.

 

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. Joanne says:

    Great post!

    Keep em coming! :)

  2. Walton says:

    A little bird told me you got a hate on for Crawford…dont agree with you there…you need to change your tune on the Crow…hes a rock just hate the little point shot deflections that the dirty teams do…ill take him all year if Emery doesn’t see the pipes again

    • New To Hockey says:

      I don’t think anyone hates Crawford. The Hawks just don’t stand much of a chance if the Crawford from 2011-2012 shows up. We all hope for the Crawford from 2010-2011 and it appears thus far that is who showed up this year.

      • No complaints on Crawford so far this year. I admit I won’t be the first to run to Vegas and bet the house on him to take the Hawks to the promise land though.

        Listen, some players eventually take the next step and elevate their game and others are what they are. Looking at Crawford’s track record in the AHL and his inconsistencies in the NHL I’m not a believer… yet.

  3. Steven says:

    The latest two FA signing, Michal Rozsival and Sheldon Brookbank are already starting to look like all the other Free Agents in the Bowman era, Broken down has been’s and never were’s found under the blue light at the local K-Mart.

    • New To Hockey says:

      Rozsival looked pretty good to me when he played. He and Leddy seemed to work very well together. Can he stay healthy in April and beyond would be the question I have.

    • Fair enough Steven. The time is going to come soon enough where Stan will actually have to make some more risky decisions rather than trying to glue to together the remnants of a Championship team with bubble gum and strawberry jam.

      Until then, he’ll sit up in his throne and brag about his world class players that he inherited.

  4. bigmacdiddy says:

    Great blog buddy. Keep em comin!

    My two cents… Chicagos start to the season should not come as a surprise to those who follow the team. On paper they ice some of the most gifted snipers in the league along with a balance of good leadership and strong two-way forwards. Teams have to plan around the fast pace offence and coach Quenville has them dedicated to playing in there own end. The big advantage Chicago will have is that a lot of their players played during the lockout either in the AHL or overseas so they are game ready and will catch teams still getting into the rhythm of the day to day grind of the NHL. With teams like Detroit, Vancouver, and LA off to average starts it represents an opportunity to be the team to beat. Although it’s early in the season this is one fan not shocked by the Hawks start.

  5. Very true about the quick start.

    They are starting to look pretty average in comparison to their explosive few starts. Scoring goals isn’t coming as easily anymore.

    With the potential loss to Bolland, Q might have a different look tonight in Calgary. They need a spark… maybe try to mustard up more than 6 hits as well.