Blackhawks Confidential

Campbell Returns to Face Rangers

 

 

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Alot has been said about Brian Campbell over the past couple seasons.  He's overpaid, he's too soft, he doesn't produce enough...the list goes on and on.  But so far this season, more so than anything else, he's been missed.  "Soupy" will make his season debut tonight agains the Rangers as the Blackhawks look for their 4th win in 6 games away from the United Center.  

Niklas Hjalmarsson must feel like it's Christmas morning.  Much like Seabrook/Keith and peanut butter/jelly, Soupy and the Hammer are much better together than separate.  Maybe Hjalmarsson's defensive style will allow for Campbell to start racking up points right out of the gate.  Likewise, hopefully Campbell's speed and puck moving ability will make Hjalmarsson appear more like the 4 million dollar defensemen we signed him to be.

Say what you want about Campbell, but moving forward from tonight we will know his true value as a Blackhawk.  I was never convinced that he was the main reason we beat Nashville in last year's playoffs.  But if he returns tonight and the Hawks suddenly become the puck possession powerhouse we want them to be, it's hard to argue against his value on this roster.  Tonight is Campbell's chance to prove he's part of this team's core (even if it's by contract rather than by choice).  But that's enough about Campbell until we get a sample of his play.  It's been a few games since I've aired out my laundry on Blackhawks Confidential (I apologize for the absence) so let's get to that.

It's funny how watching a friend succeed can sometimes be the greatest motivator around.  If defending the Cup and making 6 million dollars isn't motivation enough, watching his former Knight's linemate Sam Gagner bury a goal at the UC on Friday may have been the smelling salt that Patrick Kane was looking for.  Kane scored shortly after, showing more emotion in his celebration than I've seen from him in a while.  Since that moment he seems to be finding his game (2 assists vs. Min) and playing harder than in the first 10 games of the year.

While we're focusing on the top line, welcome Troy Brouwer!  I've been saying since the preseason that the only way to get production out of Brouwer is to put him with Kane and Toews.  Q has heard my prayers and hopefully we will see a spike in Troy's production now that's he playing with the Dynamic Duo. 

Hossa and Bolland are out again tonight.  This will give Potulny (who I pleaded for in my last post) and Smith another chance to earn a spot on the depth chart.

That's all I got for now, enjoy the game! 

P.S. My prediction: Kane and Campbell lead the Hawks to victory.

P.P.S. Something I found funny: Patrick Sharp is on pace to score 63 goals and be -20 for the year...
    

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pilote3 said:

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Paul couple of ?s Why did it take Potulny so long to make the roster.Anybody who scores 31pts with a terrible Oilers team deserves a chance.@nd do you or other posters watch any Rockford games?Imo Taffe,Klinkhammer,O Connel,Leddy and or Lalonde should have been called up at least once.I dont know anything bout the cap,but any team team with Scott,Pisani,or Bickell could have afforded a look.I think this seasoning thing is BS! You want a big body to protect our stars call up Beach!! Cmon the future is now.Did Kane and Tows need seasoning NO! Not saying these guys i mentioned are in their leauge,but geez!Give em a chance.Ive seen 3 Rockford games so far and there is talent there!

VegasHawksFan said:

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Just for discussion sake, I think there is a strong case to be made for not bringing the youngsters up right away. First of all, with the team winning the cup last year I think it's hard to say "We must win now!". Tallon took the time to build through the draft and we finally have a solid core along with some solid looking prospects. Several youngsters showed some real promise but also showed their lack of experience. It's not just a matter of skills seasoning, but it's also a matter of physically maturing.

One other thing to consider is that the clock to free agency starts running as soon as they are officially NHL players. What happened with Hammer this past summer is an excellent example of how something can potentially go very badly. He was certainly due for a raise, but was he due for the jump he got? Maybe, but his raise arguably cost us Niemi and had the club been more cash strapped and let him walk like they did Niemi, what they would have gotten in return is SJ's first round pick which is extremely doubtful to produce a prospect remotely ready for the NHL. I'm long winded, so I'll stop there but I think it's something to consider.

Paul said:

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Yea I can definitely see your point nklhd but I'm just a fan who wants to win now. I'm not a big fan of schemeing to set up the next 10 years of Hawks hockey. In my eyes the cap already ruined a potential dynasty and the odds of Bowman rebuilding a team like last years are very slim. If bringing up Beach to play with Kane and Toews now is our best shot at repeating I say do it. I don't think it's right to say "well we might lose him in 2013 as opposed to 2014" or whatever. If they're truly not ready to play from a physical standpoint I'm fine with them staying down. But if the sole reasoning is planning out the future cap and contracts 3 years from now I don't support that.

Jerry Kayne said:

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I wen to the Ice Hogs vs Wolves last Saturday night. If I can base my entire judgement of the Ice Hogs from 1 game I'd say this.

Standouts: Pirri, Leddy (should be on the big team), Brophy, Klinkhammer, & Richards in goal

Stand downs: everyone else. More development.

If the 1 game was a display of Beach's talent, he needs to be released. Not only does he not belong on the Hawks, he was a wasted roster spot on the Hogs. Doesn't even look like he wants to be a hockey player. I don't know why everyone's so high on him. Everyone was better than him on the ice. There was a cotton candy vendor better than Beach.

By the way, the Wolves beat the Hogs in a squeaker. Nice pace but not NHL caliber to be sure.

pilote3 said:

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Agree except i also liked Taffe.I btought Beach for this reasoning.If you need somebody to get in somebodys face,id take Beach over Scott.

Jerry Kayne said:

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Either Beach isn't ready or he never will be.

How about the Hawks jettison the aforementioned defensmen and snatch up Souray? Anyone? Oops, I couldn't make that statement without looking up the salary. research has found this tidbit: "Souray has two years left on his deal paying him $4.5 million this year and next although his cap hit in the NHL is $5.4 million per season."

iplagitr said:

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I hear Morin is being called up for Saturday?

Paul said:

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I agree. I haven't seen any Icehogs games but I believe you that there is talent there. I think Pisani's roster spot should be an open door to Rockford so that we can get a look at these youngsters and see if they can click right away and help the Blackhawks win now.

iplagitr said:

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Why is it that every season the Blackhawks find a way to lose to the last place teams in the league?! Here we go again - two of their last three losses have been against dismal, sinking teams in 28th and 30th place, and these were losses on home ice as well! It never fails. I would have bet $1,000,000 they were gonna lose tonight. The Devils absolutely SUCK this year, and yet they come in and beat the Hawks at the UC. That should never happen to a team of this supposed caliber. What a joke. Speaking of jokes, when is Scott going to be permanently removed from the roster? OK, I'd better stop typing now before it's too late...

VegasHawksFan said:

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Not as bad tonight as the oilers loss, but I see some similarities. Putting aside for one second the desire to see Scott and Boynton and now Cullimore blasted into outer space I had a couple of observations. When the Hawks start making frequent stretch passes, bad things start to happen, like goals against. After getting schooled by the Oiller's, the Hawks came back with two solid games of tight breakouts, short passes and good movement through the neutral zone. When they played that way, I seldom saw a neutral zone trap. Is this a coincidence? Sharp -5, Keith -4, Kopecky -3, Toews -2, Kane -1 and Nick Boynton +1. Where is Q in this? The Pisani's, the Scott's, the Boynton's, etc, these are not top line players and I have a hard time getting on them when the above players look the way they do. The time to me to ditch the journeymen role players in favor of the young guns is when you have a team that is starting to catch a groove and needs just a little more spark to really start getting in the action. So far, we have seen the Hawks play a tight defensive game of forecheck, backcheck and short pass and they have looked competitive even when they have lost. Conversely, we have seen numerous games where they play the stretch pass, fly the zone early and cough up the puck over and over. When NJ scored the go ahead goal, the Hawks looked beaten and the Devils absolutely shut down the neutral zone and just waited for the Hawks desperate passes. That's my .02 anyway.

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