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Old
10-15-2011, 11:18 PM
  #1
zac
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Hawk fan with an honest question for you guys

I want to preface what I'm about to say by stating you guys have the best sub-board on HF. Every time I've ever been here I've seen nothing but logical, sound hockey chatter and a noticeable lack of homer idiocism. As a "call it as I see it type of guy" I really appreciate that.

Onto my question. As a Hawk fan I have never been a big Q fan since the day he's got here. Many of my peers think otherwise as this team has had it's best stretch of hockey (record and playoff success wise) since the early 90s and the 60s. With that said, I like to judge a coach by the things I think he can control and always try to discern the real factors that I perceive to have led to the team's success. With a stable of Kane, Toews, Keith, Hossa, Sharp, Bolland, et al there might not be a team with as much proven young talent as the Hawks have/had. Add in the like of past players like Ladd, Versteeg, Byfuglien, and Campbell and this team had talent few teams could match; during our Cup year I would say no one could match it.

But tonight showed a glaring problem that consistently rears it's head over the course of the season. We can play great hockey for 2 periods, even dominate (I thought we played a little better through 2 tonight but it was pretty even out there), but when we play teams that play hard with cohesion we struggle in the third period. There seems to be little cohesion, scant tactical strategy in gaining the offensive zone, and horrid communication in our own end. I'd often swear this team practices very little in the way of awareness, communication, and being on the same page. Moreover, we have highly paid players, namely Keith and Seabrook, who continually take plays off or make inexcusable mental errors that kill this team. Tonight a Seabrook, who can't hit the broadside of the barn, takes a ridiculous shot from horrid angle, in other words an odd-man rush waiting to happen (the tough carrom for Frolik is irrelevant IMO) while Keith lazily nonchalants it to the boards on the game-tying goal. Not what I expect to see from guys making 5+ million a season.

What really stings is that there seems to be no recourse for inconsistent play from these guys, while others get absurdly demoted even when they play well. Additionally Q endlessly shuffles lines to stifle cohesion and raport, while also misusing players (or in John Scott's case wasting playing time on guys who shouldnt' even be on the roster). Case in point, look at our PP. While Seabrook racked up the points last year, it was simply a byproduct of being on an elite PP1 unit. One of the few good things Q's done is put Sharp on one of the points on the top unit. On a team with a dearth of accurate point-shooting defensemen, this made a world of difference. Keith played his way off the unit and deservedly so with his equally errant shot, but despite Seabrook's hard shot he sucks at most everything else offensely. He accuracy is woeful, he can't keep pucks in the zone to save his life, he struggles at cycling the puck, and his long-ice passing ability is ill-suited for the PP. While Campbell's shot wasn't the greatest, he was infinitely better at everything else and the unit was much more in-sync when he was (rarely) put on the first unit. Even Leddy, though young and ill-experienced, showed he was probably a better option than Seabrook (he defintely is this year and far and away is our best offensive dman). Yet Q refused and put him out there.

Tonight Q's idiocy was in full force at the end of the game. Toews is a no-brainer for the SO as he's easily one of the best in the game at them. Kane has an ookkaaayy record overall, but he's been a beast (and was the best player on the ice tonight period) and you have to put them out there as well. The third spot is the only decision to make and Frolik, Bolland, and a healthy Hossa have ALL been infinitely better at SOs and 1-on-1 situations than Sharp (who's a sniper). In a pretty good sample size, Sharp's an abysmal 10% (if that's wrong it's not far off) yet Q continually puts him out there. It's indefensible, inexcusable, and it may have cost us a point. Lord knows his ridiculous decisions cost us several last year.

Granted, tonight's game WAS just one game, but it perfectly illustrates the EXACT problems that have plagued this team during Q's tenure. Players playing that shouldn't be (Scott), others who are put on STs despite better options for the role (Seabs), and above all glaring tactical errors team play and decision making. There may not be another coach in NHL history that has walked into as many ready-made situations as Q and he has often failed in those opportunities. And the one time he succeeded was with a supremely talented team, one that would have been considered a (coaching) failure if they didn't win.

For these reasons, ones which I've seen repeatedly over his 3+ year tenure, I think Q is vastly overrated as a coach and is easily a bottom 1/2 -1/3 coach in the NHL. Often one's perceptions of their own team can be skewed so I'd like to get your guy's take. Especially those (and I'm sure there are quite a few) who have seen us player semi-regularly over the last few seasons.

Thanks for any replies in advance and congrats on the win. I love to see 3rd period effort...I'd just prefer it being from my own team.

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Old
10-15-2011, 11:21 PM
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A good number of fans got on Julien for the opposite problem of never changing tactics, players, lines, or underwear, and I still think a significant portion still doubt his bona fides as a coach, so I'm not sure you'll find a particularly good sounding board

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10-15-2011, 11:22 PM
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I guess I really didn't ask a "question" per say, but you should get idea.

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10-15-2011, 11:24 PM
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Your concerns literally sounds like everyone here when it comes to shootout lineups.

My opinion is that it's hard to have an actual opinion since none of us are on the bench. Perhaps your coach saw something in Sharp tonight, perhaps he saw something in practice that led him to believe he could beat Thomas. It's nigh impossible to know what goes through a coach's mind when they choose shoot out candidates.

Sure won't stop all of us from groaning when we see someone we don't think should be shooting in the shootout list though

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10-15-2011, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banalpie View Post
A good number of fans got on Julien for the opposite problem of never changing tactics, players, lines, or underwear, and I still think a significant portion still doubt his bona fides as a coach, so I'm not sure you'll find a particularly good sounding board
Q has a penchant for rarely rolling (if everyone's healthy) the same top three lines for anything more than 2-3 games. EVERY team struggles for a stretch during the season, but with Q if it's anything over 2 games he changes lines. Often times the don't make sense, or if they do (miraculously) work he'll change them back anyway. It really pisses me off.

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10-15-2011, 11:28 PM
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Honestly I think as a Bruins fan I have had some of the same problems with Julien. He often makes decisions that leave me scratching my head wondering what he was thinking.

I do think tonight the Hawks had the edge to pure domination in the first two periods. I know at the end of the 2nd I told my daughter I didn't think the Bruins were going to pull it off, because they couldn't maintain possession of the puck when and where it counted and couldn't finish off their scoring chances.

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10-15-2011, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SerenityRick View Post
Your concerns literally sounds like everyone here when it comes to shootout lineups.

My opinion is that it's hard to have an actual opinion since none of us are on the bench. Perhaps your coach saw something in Sharp tonight, perhaps he saw something in practice that led him to believe he could beat Thomas. It's nigh impossible to know what goes through a coach's mind when they choose shoot out candidates.

Sure won't stop all of us from groaning when we see someone we don't think should be shooting in the shootout list though
This would be a valid argument if it didn't result in repeated failure. He has never shot better than 25% in a season despite repeated opportunity. Even in games where he's played great, he rarely scores in them. It's all about options and Frolik, Hossa, and Bolland have all done better in limited chances. The reaosn why they are limited is because Q limits them.

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10-15-2011, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCL40 View Post
Honestly I think as a Bruins fan I have had some of the same problems with Julien. He often makes decisions that leave me scratching my head wondering what he was thinking.

I do think tonight the Hawks had the edge to pure domination in the first two periods. I know at the end of the 2nd I told my daughter I didn't think the Bruins were going to pull it off, because they couldn't maintain possession of the puck when and where it counted and couldn't finish off their scoring chances.
You must not have seen us play much last year.

We had one of the worst records in holding third period leads, as well as winning tied games after 2 periods. The Hawks were near the top of the league in goal differntial over the first 2 (+ 47 or 48) but were an inexcusable - FIFTEEN in the third. Horrendous effort, horrible team play, and Marty Turco lost us many winnable (as in should have won) games. So far we've had issues with the exact same things this year. It's usually against teams like yours that don't quit and play team hockey when it matters. I almost think this team just doesn't know how, and it reflects poorly on our coach.

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10-15-2011, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zac View Post
This would be a valid argument if it didn't result in repeated failure. He has never shot better than 25% in a season despite repeated opportunity. Even in games where he's played great, he rarely scores in them. It's all about options and Frolik, Hossa, and Bolland have all done better in limited chances. The reaosn why they are limited is because Q limits them.
Limited chances also shrink the sample size, so it's easier for statistical anomalies to present themselves. Yes I'm kind of playing devil's advocate, because I really know sweet ****-all about the Blackhawks' players and their shootout records. Just throwing it out there.

On another point, you mention the Hawks have a trend of dominating for two periods and then a late collapse. The trend our side is to sleepwalk through 1-2 periods and then finally find the gas pedal in the third. I guess when you combine those two trends, the way tonight's game went should probably come as a surprise to nobody.

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10-15-2011, 11:46 PM
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Everybody sees it as their team that stopped playing, their team that made the mistakes, etc. From our perspective, the energy level was pretty good until Ference made a bad turnover for the 1st Chicago goal. And after Kane's goal, the Bruins seemed to coast for a while until Boychuk made that hustle play and setup the Horton goal, that really seemed to energize them.

Its never really just a case of one team deciding to bring it or another team deciding not to, its a combination of both. But again, from our perspective the Bruins have been pretty lethargic for most of the season so far and for much of the game tonight.

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10-16-2011, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by dafoomie View Post
Everybody sees it as their team that stopped playing, their team that made the mistakes, etc. From our perspective, the energy level was pretty good until Ference made a bad turnover for the 1st Chicago goal. And after Kane's goal, the Bruins seemed to coast for a while until Boychuk made that hustle play and setup the Horton goal, that really seemed to energize them.

Its never really just a case of one team deciding to bring it or another team deciding not to, its a combination of both. But again, from our perspective the Bruins have been pretty lethargic for most of the season so far and for much of the game tonight.
I can agree with that...to a point. The problem is this is the exact SAME thing we saw last year where we managed a -15 GD in the third period. That's not to take credit away from the way you guy's played the third, rather that this is an alarming trend that doesn't seem to be going away. To have +20 GDs in the first 2 periods yet fall off by 35 goals for the third illustrates the problem lies with the Hawks themselves. The lack of tactical adjustments outside of line changes is hurting this team. At some point the coaches have to see the problem and be willing to take the proper steps to fix it. I just haven't ever seen that happening.

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10-16-2011, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by cursednumber6 View Post
From what I can gather you are unhappy with the Qunenville, the Hawks free flow style of play, their lack of a an all star pp qb (Keith won the Norris but I wouldn't call him that either...
First don't see a lot of the Hawks so I cant say too much about Q except both here and in his other stops, he does a pretty good job of adjusting system to personnel. He coached a very structured game with mediocre talent in St Louis, a more free-flowing game in Col and an even more free flowing style in Chicago. I see what you mean about some careless breakdowns but that is endemic to what Quenville is trying to do. Create flow and quick transition.
As for the breaking down in the third period, this is the Bruins mode of operation, they always have good third periods. Part of that is fitness, part of that is countering their opponent through their board work and breakouts.

It doesn't suprise me that Chicago has some cohesion problems in third periods as more systematic teams can adjust their pace and forechecking patterns to Chicago's style. They forecheck harder, but still drop a man back to avoid the stretch pass for instance.
The lack of s truly elite point man is a personnel hole and the Bruins have the same one....Still Keith can do a lot of damage by using his quickness to get into better scoring areas than the point.

Long story short, the Hawks need an offensive d man. They are bottom-heavy with defensive d/ They also need some better two-wingers to work the board and give them a more varied style.
We haven't had the best PP options since Keith's shot went errant, but the fact is Q refuses to use his best options. I think Leddy already displays an above-average eptitude on the offensive end, and this would only be fostered more by seeing the appriately deserved PP time it warrants. Instead he continues to use lesser options in his stead. Hell, Q repeatedly put Twoy Bwowa on the PK2 unit and he was a horrendous defensive hockey player. Check that, IS a horrendous defensive hockey player.

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10-16-2011, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zac View Post
I want to preface what I'm about to say by stating you guys have the best sub-board on HF. Every time I've ever been here I've seen nothing but logical, sound hockey chatter and a noticeable lack of homer idiocism. As a "call it as I see it type of guy" I really appreciate that.
Yes, most of our posters a "logical" and lack "homerism" and never flame. lol

Obviously you dont visit much.

But correct me if i'm wrong didnt the Q'man bring you guys a visit from lord stanley? I dont think there is no such thing as a stacked team (see 2009-10 Canucks) that guarentees victory. Ultimately Coaching plays a huge part in that. So if he did it once whos to say his style of coaching cant achieve it again?

Its the same problem some logical bruins fans have. Like tonight, screaming for Julians head and its only been 5 games since the cup. lol. My take on it, is when a coach helps brings home the cup. He automatically gets 3 years grace. Sure we crab but we are glad we have him and I think likewise for Chicago and Mr.Q.

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10-16-2011, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zac View Post
I can agree with that...to a point. The problem is this is the exact SAME thing we saw last year where we managed a -15 GD in the third period. That's not to take credit away from the way you guy's played the third, rather that this is an alarming trend that doesn't seem to be going away. To have +20 GDs in the first 2 periods yet fall off by 35 goals for the third illustrates the problem lies with the Hawks themselves. The lack of tactical adjustments outside of line changes is hurting this team. At some point the coaches have to see the problem and be willing to take the proper steps to fix it. I just haven't ever seen that happening.
And the Bruins scored the 2nd most 3rd period goals and gave up the fewest 3rd period goals in the NHL last year.

I don't think the tide really turned in terms of play until after the Horton goal, almost halfway through the 3rd. There was a turnover by Toews but Chicago was still in decent shape, Keith just didn't expect a defenseman to chase his own dump and he got beat to the puck. When the pass to Horton was made, the Bruins had 4 guys below the faceoff dots and all of the Chicago forwards were still out high above the hashmarks, they had ample time to get back into the play but they had been on the ice for over a minute with most of that time in their own end.

I don't really blame the coach for that play, thats on Toews for the bad drop pass and skating into the Bruins zone before getting back, and on the other guys for not recognizing what was happening or for not hustling back when they might've been tired. But thats also how the Bruins like to attack teams, they put offensive pressure on top lines that don't want to expend energy in their own end.


Last edited by dafoomie: 10-16-2011 at 12:50 AM.
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10-17-2011, 08:21 AM
  #15
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The NHL season is a marathon and experienced coaches use individual games to influence results down the road - even if it leaves fans scratching their heads about decisions made in an individual game. Chicago has a talented line-up - fairly young and still improving - similar to the Bruins forward core. Q is a good coach - probably top 5, he sees things off the ice, in practice that requires correction - the most powerful message is icetime. Some guy need coddling - some a kick in the a$$. If you ever become a leader you will find out that you can't treat everybody equally if you want maximum performance - it isn't fair but it's reality.

Sometimes the decisions lead to less than optimal results in the short term - I can't remember how many Bruins fans were calling for Julien's head when he rolled out the 4th line late in games - but when the chips were down, that 4th line contributed to a cup win.

Long story short - the coaches see all of the potential and warts up close. These are young men that they are dealing with and a dose of discipline is sometime the best tonic to avoid bad habits.

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10-17-2011, 08:32 AM
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not having keith on the powerplay is stupid. putting seabrook over him is even worse.

last year against the canucks quenville said they would have scored 5 goals on a 5 minute major but the refs missed it. despite not scoring on a 5 on 3 for over a minute earlier that game.

in short, i don't like qball much either.

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Old
10-17-2011, 04:26 PM
  #17
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You are right, teams can live or die by their third periods.
I remember first joining this board, the amount of third period let downs was devastating. I considered myself lucky to have found a place to share my pain with others.
Fast forward to the last two to three years, the B's can now go into the extra gear or have the oomph to get through the third periods. Without that, there was no way last year would have happened.
What changed? I'm just not sure myself. Physical conditioning of the players would have something to do with it I'm sure. Coaching? CJ does have his system and by sticking with it might wear the other team down, or exploit weaknesses towards the end of the game when guys are tired. Could also be a player's will to win? I don't know if it's one thing or another, the coach or the players, but a culmination of things.
CJ gets a lot of eye rolls in here by putting out the 4th line constantly towards the end of games, haha!

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