It took a couple of weeks, but I finally have enough questions from enough people to run a Mailbox Monday.
Of course, most of these are from one person — thanks, Shannon! — but that’s neither here nor there. (I’m going to split her questions and spread them out over the next couple of weeks, since they’re really good questions.)
Let’s jump into the this, shall we?
How do you think Salak will fit into the 2011-12 Blackhawks? Will he be a good backup, and have you seen him play? – Shannon
Salak is most likely going to be the backup goalie for the 2011-12 Blackhawks.
I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing him play a complete game, but from people who have, he’s been described as fiery — he’s more of a Tim Thomas type of goalie as opposed to Crawford’s more controlled style. He’ll be a good backup, but he’s going to struggle to get into a groove with Q’s style of coaching (which is usually “ride a goalie until he loses a game, then throw them aside until the other goalie loses, repeat ad nauseum”), so don’t be surprised if he’s streaky.
Of course, this won’t stop the meatheads from screaming that he should be put in every time Crawford loses a game. This is going to be fun.
Where the heck will Marty Turco end up at the end of this summer? – Shannon
Oh, Marty. I wish you would just pack it in and be on the NHL Network full-time (he’s really good as an analyst), but he’s not ready to do that yet.
Right now, I’d bet that he’d end up with the Coyotes. They’ve just let Bryzgalov go to Philadelphia, and it’s unknown if LaBarbera is ready to be a starting goaltender (probably not). He’s familiar with the Coyotes, having played them for years in Dallas. Phoenix is going to be looking for a goalie who will be willing to take a paycut, which Turco has already done. Of course, all this could change during the summer, but Phoenix is his best bet as of now.
Do you think it is necessary or helpful for the Blackhawks to have a goon on their team (i.e. John Scott)? – Shannon
Not in today’s NHL. What’s more important Â in this day and age is a physical presence on the ice. I think players would be more afraid of someone like Kronwall or even Brouwer — players who will not hesitate to throw themselves at other players. Someone like Scott can be out-skated and out-shot nearly every night, so the only people who usually deal with goons are, well, other goons.
I’m wondering what Patrick Sharp’s fate will be once his contract is up. Do you think he’s gonna move or will he stay a Blackhawk and get resigned? – Dana
Barring a complete collapse in contract talks or play, Sharp will be a Blackhawk come next year. He’s considered a core guy, and as Bowman has proven before — once you’re in the core, he will make sure you stay that way for as long as possible. So, sorry Rangers and Leafs fans — you probably won’t see Sharpy suiting up for you any time soon.
Who do you think is the most hated NHL player out there? – Natalie
I took a quick poll on Twitter, and while Lapierre and Burrows have popped up thanks to their play during the Stanley Cup Finals, there was one name that kept appearing in everyone’s answers — Matt Cooke. While Cooke can be a talented hockey player when he tries, he’s also reckless and lazy. He would rather put up his elbow than either take an extra stride to hit a player legally or whiff on his check and try again. It’s completely selfish play, which is why it’s understandable that he would still be the most hated player after all these months.
And now, for the Silly Question Of The Week…
You’re on the train coming into the city, and you are so pleased that no one took the seat next to you… Until the next stop, that is. You’re busy tweeting, and someone takes that empty seat next to you, bumping into you. So you’re getting ticked off, and suddenly, you realize it’s none other than Seabs. What do you do? – Kim
Probably just make some snarky “rude” comment and then discreetly take a picture of him to tweet out to everybody. Yes, I’m that person.
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