Can Trading Brian Campbell Really Save us Fifteen Percent on our Roster?

Actually, this has nothing to do with Brian Campbell or GEICO, but they showed the one GEICO commercial with the Buck that stops and looks at the camera and I'm kinda easily amused but stuff like that. So, we got a wrap out west and a fresh start out east. The Fat Lady done sung for the Wings, but Stevie Y's Bolts bested the Bruins in Beantown. I'm sure a wings fan somewhere has a comment that details how the Bolts are currently like the Wings just before the Wings catapulted themselves to greatness. Maybe Stevie stole the sacred bottle of wing mojo and left water in it's place? Maybe it's just global warming. Anyway..

Since I was a dummy, I forgot to tape today's game and texted my wife to tape it and erase one of the IIHF games I had saved. Well, it didn't quite work out as planned and the game seven got axed. I saw the entire first period and a litte of the second and all I can say is that I'm not surprised at all that the Sharks won this game. From the get go, they were moving the puck well, they were putting guys in front of Detroit's net and they scored two early goals. Granted, spotting goals is something Detroit seems to do for fun, but there would be no kick in the sack game steal for the octo flingers. Got to give them credit, they pushed it to seven games after going down three. But, then you have to give the Hawks more credit for going to seven and then going to OT. Actually, I think in the years to come, we are going to see more of this. Watching this series made me think of a lot of things the Hawks could do better, but then again, watching Hawks games makes me think the same thing. Kidding aside, we feel your pain Won Team and stick tap to the Wings for coming back to make it a series. 
For the Sharks V. Nucks, I have the Sharks in seven. Watching the Sharks against the Wings, I really liked how SJ worked the front of the net and I think this can be very effective against the Nucks. For the Nucks, their biggest enemy is their fan base followed by their arrogance after winning the President's cup. To beat the Sharks, who were eliminated in the WCF last year, Vancouver will have to bring it's best game. If they sit on leads and play that chip it out shit, they will lose. Vancouver's best game, in my opinion beats the Sharks best game. However, I just don't think Vancouver will bring it every night. Both teams let a recent Stanley Cup Champ nearly send them packing because they couldn't close out game four. Ironically, one of them is going to walk away from this series STILL being considered a loser team that chokes in the playoffs. 
Out East, the Bolts open up with a surprising win. At least I was surprised. Take away the empty netter and the bad softie that Thomas gave up, this was a close game. Take away the one horrible turnover that was forced by a strong forecheck from the Bolts, and it's even closer. But, it's playoffs and goals are goals and any win is one down, three to go. Comparatively, the Bolts looked prepared to play this team. They seemed to know who they wanted for matchups and steered away from the dreaded 1-3-1. One thing I really liked watching though was that they were engaged the entire game. When they got hit, they shut up, got up and went on with the play. As an example, at one point in the game, Stamkos got totally upended by the D against the boards, but as he came down he rolled forward with his momentum, got back up and beat the D into the corner to fight for the puck. I hate to say this, but there are some Hawks we will never likely see that out of. 
Much as I hate the trap, the teams that do it seem to have a knack for execution. Now that the Bolts are completely confident with their trap, it seems like they have the freedom to step out and do some new things; things that other teams are likely not prepared for. If it starts going  to south, they can fall back to their trap and slow the game to their benefit. Surprisingly, this game was pretty open to start. I had a feeling Boston would lose the first game, but with how the Bolts played tonight, I can see Boston dropping the first two if they can't adapt before the next game. For all Boston's grit, they could not stop TB's execution and I think they are going to have to get away from the ass kicking and work both smarter and harder to beat the Bolts. Though the game might have been closer then the score suggested, hats off to TB for their heart and their effort. 
On a closing note, I'm sure most of you have heard by now about the passing of Derek Boogard who was 28 years old. Reading what's been said about him and his off ice demeanor, it seems the world has lost a good man. 
And with that, comments are open. The more obnoxious and unsupported by fact, the better. 

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  • Thanks Vegas. I pretty much agree on all accounts. The score for game 1 in the East might surprise most people, but the game was won very early on with a couple of bad turnovers like you mentioned. It just shows the smarts with which Tampa plays. There are little mistakes that can be made against them and their game is built around making a team pay when it happens. No doubt, those 2 turnovers don't happen and the game easily swings in Boston's favor. With a lead like that going into the second, Tampa had it in the bag given their suffocating defense.

    I also agree about the Shark's - Nuck's series. I'll call your Sharks in seven prediction. It might even come down to goaltending, which as you so rightly pointed out, Luongo has some problems dealing with traffic in front of him and the Sharks are very skilled at delivering on that. On the other hand, I think Niemi might be one of the better goaltenders at seeing through traffic, but second and third chances are his achilles heal. Let us not forget that Niemi has a perfect record in playoff series wins, while Luongo has had some concerns when dealing with pressure in that regard. Vancouver's physical game will not be so threatening against the Sharks which has helped give them an edge in past series. If they try and play that game it might be just shooting yourself in the foot.

    McLellan is much more balanced and composed than Vigneault and I think that might give his team the edge needed to win. I am a huge believer in coaching and McLellan is the real deal, while Vigneault just irritates me. Also, Vingneault (much like coach Q) likes to place a lot of pressure on his star players. With the Sedins having some concerns so far, it might just be the key element that decides this series. And then again, we are all well aware of Vancouver's depth and speed as a team. San Jose might need a healthy Ryane Clowe to take what is sure to be a tough series.

    And finally, Yes, I believe trading Campbell will lead to a better and more complete roster. There are many D-men on the Hawks that can do what he does, and be more of a physical presence while doing it. After what I saw of Campoli, I believe he could the guy to step up into a larger role. Campbell's loss would not be felt like so many believe it would and the removal of his contract would open up so many more possibilities. Fat chance that ever happens.

  • Well, the Sharks got caught running around and that is what Vancouver thrives on. After Vancouver's second goal, I was kinda thinkin the Sharks should call a TO because the Sharks were starting to look real sloppy. But, they let it go and got stung again. As usual, Luongo was good for giving up a bad goal, nice pass Roberto. Niemi made a similar boo boo, but at least his was up the boards. Agree totally on Nemo giving up the big rebounds. Still, when and if there is pressure on Vancouver, like if they drop two in a row, I have to give Nemo the edge. Thought it was kinda funny they mentioned that the goal Sedin scored was his first of the playoffs into an occupied net. I liked the way Thornton and Marleau played and they must continue to play that way if the Sharks hope to win the series. Oh yeah, and Heatley has gotta keep his shit together if he isn't going to contribute on the score sheet.

    Back to the east for minute. That was a game that solidifies my belief that you don't need to be the more physical team to win and that being physical has it's limitations. If the skill and level of execution is equal, the bigger bodies will probably win. But, what I was constantly frustrated with regarding the Hawks this past season was to see them lose to teams they had no business losing to simply because they could not consistently execute. For Tampa, they executed their asses off in that game. Simple, aggressive and constant. I like at St. Louis and what instantly comes to mind is Kane. SL plays like he is fearless to go in corners and on the occasion when he does get his bell rung, he gets up and looks to see where the puck is rather then where the ref is. TB has got some size in the back end, but up front, it doesn't seem to me like size is what's carrying them. But when it comes to executing a game plan and sticking with it, they were pretty much flawless. I see no valid reason why the Hawks can't be like that.

    I listened to the Blackhawks insider podcast today with Stan Bow and Sharp. SB made it clear there are going to be changes and that he plans to have different players on the ice next year. Of course he didn't say who was going to go, but he spoke very favorably of Campoli, Frolik, Smith and Leddy. What I liked hearing was that he said we didn't meet our goal with the team we had and that's why changes need to be made. It was encouraging to hear.

  • Hi guys,

    Vegas, StanbBow says a lot of things, I hope he means it this time. If I read between your lines of what he said, then Stalberg, Dowell and Kopecky could be goners and Hendry, Campbell (we wish), or Hammer on D.

    Well, I just finished watching the 'nucks mount their comeback. Clearly the Sharks were sucking wind in the last period and a bit. They are beginning to remind me of the 'hawks with all their third period meltdowns of late. The last four against Detroit and now tonight. I expect they'll be better on Wednesday. Well, at least I hope so

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    Thanks for the post ff, it get's so lonely in the Pacific Time Zone. Yeah, you named the guys I could see going. For Kopecky, he's like that pet you like despite the fact it bites you from time to time and pees on the rug. I believe he is a guy who will work his ass off and who will do what you tell him to do. He just won't do it with a ton of skill. He'll get greasy though and park his ass in front of the goal if that's what you want, and I think it's what the Hawks need. On a team with the top skill set the Hawks have, he's probably just a touch short of being good enough to be a top six guy though I think he definitely would fit into a lot of top six's around the league.

    Hendry, for whatever reason, just seems to be a guy that Q does not have a use for. Stalberg showed "flashes" and skates very fast but I can't decide if he is a project worth keeping. Dowell, seemed like he could be servicable and I like that he stands up for teammates. I see Pisani moving on, possibly Ryan and with that in mind there is probably a spot for Dowell. I like Hendry's work ethic and his attitude to stay positive and patient while waiting to get his short turns in the lineup. But he is probably gone one way or the other.

    You are correct though, SB says a lot of things. I think he's got a little more room to trade for players he genuinely wants, so that will be great if he and the scouting staff can latch onto a journeyman or two who can really help.

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    Pacific Time Zone Group Hug!!!!

    BW

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    Vegas, I forgot all about, Pisani and Johnson. Pisani won't be back and there's a chance Johnson could be if he accepts a minimum contract. I'm a huge Kopecky fan, careless as he can be, your analysis is bang on. I'd like to see him stay but dollars will out him and a new contract I think. Hendry, agreed here as well, but he's not tough enough along the boards and Q just doesn't like him, or so it seems.

    All-in-all, I'm in the we need to get more size camp. One addition on D and a couple of bruisers with some skill for the fourth line and I'm a happy camper.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    I think the only thing that keeps Kopecky here is the Hossa BFF factor and the fact Chicago is going to be seriously considered a contender for the next few years until they prove otherwise. I tend to think most fans would not be happy with the money it would take to keep him.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    Wow was that a game last night! Unlike the first game, Boston was able to pull TB into a game they do not want to play; Open and Fast. Tyler Seguin was on fire and the Bruins scored some outstanding goals. Giving credit where due, TB scored some nice, smart goals themselves and flat out gritted some in. If TB can slow it back down to choke mode, they will take the next game. As disciplined as The Bolts are, they got sucked into a run and gun game several times tonight and it cost them. Be curious to see what Guy has in store for his team next.

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    I really thought that all the PP time the Bruins had in the first tipped the scales in the Bruins favor. The Bolts had no flow to their game and never seemed to get on track. The constant pressure from the PP seemed to stoke the Bruins and they took over from there despite the fact they were trailing after one period.

    Just me, or do you think Thomas looks shakey in net? The Bolts despite being heavily outplayed still managed to put 5 by him. That in itself must say something about his play. Get an early goal on him and he seems to get rattled?

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    How about a scouting report on the Ice Hogs from someone back east before we get into who's going and staying in Chicago? It would help us west coast types make rational decisions...

    BW

  • In reply to nklhd12:

    Ouch. That was ugly. Gonna start a new post right now.

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    I really think Chicago would have made it farther than they did had they had a better goalie, instead they are either playing golf or on the soccer field in their Adidas Predator cleats playing soccer. I don't like the Sharks since they beat Chicago, but feel they will give the Canucks a run for their money. I'm pretty much out now thou with Chicago done for the year. Maybe next year!!

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    Clearly my eyes need checking. I somehow read percent as players, duh!

  • In reply to fourfeather:

    FF, don't feel too bad -- I read the title the same way! The joys of aging...

  • In reply to iplagitr:

    LOL! Sorry for messing with your heads guys, I pulled an Orwellian edit on that this morning. For some side discussion, I am reading Kerry Fraser's book right now, Final Call and just finished the chapter where he talks about the Blackhawks. He mentioned the infamous Tom Lysiak suspension for tripping an official which I had entirely forgotten about, but he also had some cool stuff to say about Toews. He said that the way he played and the way he carried himself on the ice eerily reminded him of Steve Yzerman. While I think Toews has already ensured himself a permanent place in Blackhawks history, how cool would it be to see the parallels continue and see Toews hoist at least two more cups while it's still HIS team?

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