Blackhawks Trade Leaves Me Underwhelmed

Pahlsson Trade Isn't What Hawks Needed

Pahlsson Trade Isn't What Hawks Needed (pic courtesy of http://www.chicagoblackhawks.com)

I can’t believe people think this move will put the Hawks in a run for the Cup.   Please! If I’m wrong I’ll admit it in June, but I think others, and myself, will be proven right by May.The Blackhawks need goal scoring. The problem is consistency and having people that are goal scoring machines. The Hawks don’t have that. They’ll be lucky to have a 40 goal scorer or an 80 point guy-heck even a 70 point guy.

The Hawks have problems scoring when they get into game situations like the playoffs breed. The young playmakers on the Hawks still don’t have enough to break open games on a regular basis.

I’d be the first to admit that great team chemistry and spirit can win anything in hockey-think the Miracle on Ice.

But I don’t think this team will be able to get past the second round with the roster they have. They need some serious goal scoring, a REAL first line goal scorer. This trade didn’t get them there.

If the even get to the finals this year-indeed, it will be a miracle.

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13 Comments on “Blackhawks Trade Leaves Me Underwhelmed”

  1. Sav Says:

    You do know the Blackhawks are 3rd in goals per game. And that’s despite Towes’ awful start, Kane’s disappearance for three weeks due to an ankle injury, and Patrick Sharp’s absence.

    • betweenthepipes Says:

      Actually, they’re second, but that isn’t comforting. If you look at the goals scored against Edmonton, Phoenix, Dallas and Colorado, that amounts to 66 goals! Almost half their total goal production is against 4 teams!!! If you cut the production against those four teams in half, the GPG drops to 2.79; 16th place! If you throw in a couple other laughers the Hawks had where they blew the other team away they’d fall further.

      Check this out: In games where the Hawks scored 3 goals or less, they’re 13-15-6. In games where they scored 2 goals or less, they’re 2-13-4; 13 out of the Hawks 17 losses they scored less than 2 goals!!

      The Hawks, my friend, suffer from the “all or nothing” syndrome. They have a tendency to score in bunches.

      Now, they get goals from across the roster- that’s a good thing. But I think history shows that teams need a ‘goto’ guy to win the Cup. Not that they can’t win without it but it’s not the best place to be.

      Toews (historically-albeit a short history) has not been a goal scorer. He can score and perhaps can be converted into a scorer, but his strength lies in being a set-up guy. Career wise, he averages a little over a point a game. In two NHL seasons he won’t even hit that rate of point production.

      Kane actually has greater potential as a goal scorer, but again, he’s been having a tough time being more than a point a game guy-and he’s great setting up as well!

      Sharp? Last year with the Hawks was a banner year and it’s not fair or realistic to expect him to be THE goal scorer on the Hawks or even A goal scorer. Heck, it was his BEST season and it still was only a 62 point year with 36 goals!

      This team has chemistry going for it. That’s it. That’s not bad though; teams have won on chemistry with primarily “B” and “C” players. Bottom line is they need to consistently score goals, this trade isn’t going to help them in that area.

      Thanks for commenting!!

  2. mark Says:

    How many goal scorers were traded…any..maybe Calgary got one, but everyone always could use goal scorers. If you take away the top goal scoring games for every team you would have the same kind of stats that you say the hawks have….I think your opinion doesn’t make much sence….

  3. Sav Says:

    “Almost half their total goal production is against 4 teams!!!”

    I haven’t done the research, but I’d assume you would come up with similar results for most teams. You generally score more against more porous teams and less against tighter ones.

    After not scoring a goal his first 12 games, Toews has 26 in his last 50, a 43-goal pace. Sharp has a 35-goal pace despite a slump before the injury. Take away the stretch in which he played injured, and Kane’ on a 104 point pace.

    *

    “This team has chemistry going for it. That’s it.”

    That’s it?

    The Hawks are 2nd in goals per game, 5th in goals against average, 5th in save percentage and 4th in goal differential, just behind San Jose and Detroit.

    Their only chink in the armor has been penalty killing, something Pahlsson should help with.

    • betweenthepipes Says:

      Mark(s),
      To some extent, you are correct, all teams have a couple they feast upon. But, the Hawks have padded their GF consistently against just a few teams.

      ” After not scoring a goal his first 12 games, Toews has 26 in his last 50, a 43-goal pace. Sharp has a 35-goal pace despite a slump before the injury. Take away the stretch in which he played injured, and Kane’ on a 104 point pace. ”

      These hypotheticals are stretching it. Toews might be a 40 goal scorer in a good season. Sharp? Again, look at his career stats. Players have a tendency to play around their averages. Last year was a GREAT year for Sharp. This year he’s closer to normal. Kane? All players play injured. It’s not fair to expect Kane to be a 100 point producer-if he is, great! Kane is right where his career thus far says he should be. I’m happy he’s playing well but I don’t think it’s realistic based upon what he’s done in his career thus far to say he’s a 100 point guy.

      The stats you point out for GAA, Save percentage and Goal differential are great, but mediocre teams can have good stats there. Now, the Hawks aren’t mediocre by any stretch, they’re good. But they’re not Stanley Cup material with the trade that transpired and that’s what this discussion is about.

      Another interesting stat:
      When the Hawks score first? An awesome 25-5-3. When they get scored upon? 11-12-6. Couple this with what I pointed out before:

      In games where the Hawks scored 3 goals or less, they’re 13-15-6. In games where they scored 2 goals or less, they’re 2-13-4; 13 out of the Hawks 17 losses they scored less than 2 goals!!

      and note that the Hawks and Bruins are the only teams in the top 8 that have a below .500 percentage in 1 goal games, and it’s more proof that unless the Hawks score big and jump on the opposition, they’re in trouble. In fact, they’re a .500 team at best. Jumping out to big leads and having that type of explosive offense is difficult to do in the playoffs.

      If there’s any positive to the Pahlsson acquisition it’s that perhaps his grinding stabilizes an all or nothing offense and steadies the ship. I would have been happier with someone who can score more when in the “grinding mode” of the playoffs, but this could pan out…

      Bottom line?

      It won’t get the Hawks a Cup this year.

  4. Sav Says:

    “These hypotheticals are stretching it. Toews might be a 40 goal scorer in a good season.”

    He’s going to be a 30 goal scorer this year as a 20-year-old despite a terrible start. He’s better offensively than you’re giving him credit for.

    .

    “Last year was a GREAT year for Sharp. This year he’s closer to normal.”

    He has 23 goals in 54 games. That’s a 35 goal pace. How’s that different from last year’s 36?

    .

    “It’s not fair to expect Kane to be a 100 point producer”

    Why not? He had 41 points in 32 games before hurting his ankle in Detroit.

    .

    “But they’re not Stanley Cup material with the trade that transpired and that’s what this discussion is about.”

    I’m not sure why they can’t be labeled a contender if not a favorite. But the thing I took some issue with was the idea that the Hawks can’t score. They’re biggest problem, as you sort of alluded to in the last post, is a struggle to win 1-goal games. Some of that has been shootout related, something that won’t be a problem in the playoffs.

    • betweenthepipes Says:

      I’ll be happy if Toews does better, but looking at hockey as a business, you have to look at what he’s done. Toews can stretch and become more-I hope he does Toews has amazing composure for a 20 year old. I like the kid. I’m not dissing his capability. 30 goals is great! But still, I prefer looking at points per game in addition to goal scoring. More would be better.

      Again, I’m looking at points per game with Sharp. He started hot and cooled down (see explanation next paragraph). I don’t think he’ll get 35 this year-I’ll be happy if he gets 30.

      Sure we can expect Kane to be more, but again, his point run was when the team was rolling. The league had to readjust to the new coach and new system. The drop in productivity in many of the players (including Sharp) has alot to do with teams readjusting to the Hawks.

      I agree about the shootout side of things. I think the Hawks will be better when they have to win during play.

      It’s not that I think the Hawks can’t score-they do-in explosive fashion! What I have issue with is how they score goals. It’s not just one goal games, it’s goal production in grinding situations. If the Hawks don’t score first and score more than 3 goals-they have a tough time winning. They need to score in bunches to win.

      I’m not sure a system like that can go all the way in the playoffs.

      Thanks again for the stimulating discussion, bro!!

  5. Sav Says:

    “I don’t think he’ll get 35 this year-I’ll be happy if he gets 30.”

    If Sharp gets 30 goals despite missing 20 games, that would be very impressive.

    *

    “Sure we can expect Kane to be more, but again, his point run was when the team was rolling.”

    I’m not sure what you’re point is here. That Kane doesn’t produce when the team loses, or that the team loses, in part, when Kane doesn’t produce? Regardless, Kane’s pretty much rolled all year but for the stretch in which he played with a high ankle sprain. Since that has healed, he’s got 12 points in 10 games, a 98-point pace.

    *

    What you’re basically saying is that the Hawks have struggled to win when scoring 2 or fewer goals. Well who doesn’t? The Red Wings are 2-14 when scoring 2 or fewer. The Sharks are 8-15. The Bruins 7-16.

    • betweenthepipes Says:

      It’s everything together, bro. It’s HOW the Hawks win and HOW they lose.

      Three goals or less, two goals or less, one goal games, they need to score first-all these point to the fact that the Hawks have to score first to win and they have to score big. Look at today’s game against Boston! Perfect example of all of the above! Thank goodness for the powerplay (which is finally scoring goals-if it weren’t for them things would be much rockier now!)

      If you watch this team and look at how they win, there are certain patterns. Likewise with losing. I don’t like the patterns I see and the Pahlsson acquisition probably won’t change this pattern. A better goal scorer, a game breaker, might do better at changing things.

      That’s ultimately what I’m saying.

  6. Sav Says:

    “Look at today’s game against Boston! Perfect example of all of the above!”

    They lost on the road to the best team in the league. They came from three down and nearly tied it several times. What does that prove other than both teams are good and the Bruins were better that day?

    *

    “if it weren’t for them things would be much rockier now!)”

    The Hawks are statistically the best team in the league 5 on 5. Being better on the PP is only going to make them better.

    *

    “If you watch this team and look at how they win, there are certain patterns.”

    I can’t see where this pattern is any different from every other team.

  7. betweenthepipes Says:

    I could point out again what happened yesterday and even quote Colin Fraser: “It seems like when we get down one or two, we just try to do too much, we’ve got to stick with the system. It’s hard to come from behind all the time.”

    A valid question to ask is, if the Hawks are the best in this and the best in that, why aren’t they the best team in the league?

    People who watch hockey see different things. I’ve been watching the Hawks for 40+ years and seen alot good and bad. I’ve played for 30+ on good and bad teams.

    What I can say is this: The Hawks are fun to watch; they’ve got chemistry (which is HUGE!), they are a character bunch of kids (emphasize “kids”). There is nothing I’d love more than for the Hawks to win it all, that’s why I’m passionate about this post.

    But I don’t get a championship vibe from this team-not yet.

    I’d love to be optimistic and join hands with Dale and yourself and hundereds of other fans and sing “Here Come The Hawks” followed by “Kumbaya” as the Stanley Cup sits proudly by a smoldering campfire.

    Bottom line-I don’t see it this year. I don’t see Pahlsson being the magic that will make it happen. There’s still a dysfunctional aspect to the Hawks’ offense, and maybe, according to Fraser, it’s just that they get away from their game.

    That could be it. But I think that game changing goal scorer is needed, not just more goals, more key goals in crunch situations.

  8. Sav Says:

    Yesterday was an aberration—an awful effort. But in reality, the Blackhawks have come from behind many times this year. They didn’t always win the game, but they’ve shown they can come back.

    *

    “A valid question to ask is, if the Hawks are the best in this and the best in that, why aren’t they the best team in the league?”

    I said they were best 5 on 5, and that may have changed after yesterday. The Hawks have the 3rd-worst record in 1-goal games. Some of that is OT’s and shootouts, some is close regulation games. If that stat was, say, 5th best instead of 3rd worst, they’d be right there with the Wings and Sharks point-wise.

    I don’t know if they’re Cup quality yet either. They are the youngest team in the league, so it may take a year or two.

  9. betweenthepipes Says:

    I’d agree that we’re a year or two out for a Cup.

    I also agree with you that if their toughness in one goal games improved they’d be right up there. In fact, I think Pahlsson will help in preserving one goal leads. Don’t think he’ll be the one to push them over the top to come from behind in one goal games.


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