Jimmy Hayes!...And Other Thursday Notes
That title is going to take some explaining. Anyway, one of my brother's favorite stories to tell is seeing Van Halen in high school, with DLR, and one of his friends throughout the entire duration of the show yelling, "Jimmy Page!", as if to discount anything Eddie Van Halen was doing on stage. So every time I hear Jimmy Hayes's name, I kind of have to yell it in that same Jimmy Page fashion.
Anyway, after that needless rambling, Jimmy Hayes has been called up. He's wearing #39 at practice. I didn't see much from Rockford that would indicate he was itching for a call. 18 points in 28 games, with five goals. We know he's a big kid, but he looked a step behind the pace in preseason, so how he fits in a normal game is open to question. Only 11 PIMs, so those who are looking for someone with a nasty disposition are going to have to look elsewhere.
All the baying for a new d-man, and yet the Hawks keep trying out new forwards. One was due to Marcus Kruger's injury, but I doubt Hayes and Morin got their looks because the Hawks think they miss Dan Carcillo so badly. Anyway, Pirri was sent down, and the Hawks needed a winger because....
-The line blender is out again, with Patrick Kane moving back to center. I'm not sure being shutout n a sterling performance from one of the best goaltenders in the league and an underwhelming performance from everyone against the worst team in the league after a four day break is a call to get out the beakers and lab coats again, but then I'm not Joel Quenneville. Anyway, Kane was centering Sharp and Stalberg at practice, which has a lot of potential on one side of the ice and a lot of potential disaster on the other. God help us if Zetterberg or Datsyuk gets a look at this one. The original checking line was reunited, after a pretty strong performance from Frolik last night (or at least I thought), and the top line was Toews, Hossa, and the coaches' never ending quest to prove that Dan Carcillo can be a top six winger --- which he can't. Hayes was with Bruno and Jammer on the 4th line, as probably everyone realized there's no way in hell you can throw Scott out there against Scum. Commence wailing.
I guess anything's worth a try when you have the cushion of being at the top of the Conference. I'd still like to see Brunette with Toews and Hossa, as that's the forecheckers for the game he provides. God knows they've tried everything else. But whatever.
-Let's add another question to the pile of "Ones That Will Never Get Asked". As I wrote about yesterday at NBC, it's really hard to look at the handling of Marcus Kruger and his concussion and conclude everything was done correctly. Maybe it's Kruger not being honest with the training staff, maybe it's something else, but someone should find out what's going on, as this is the buzz issue in the league right now. How was Kruger ever allowed to finish the Columbus game after being punched in the head six days after a concussion? Isn't protocol that he has to be checked out at the mere hint of another brain-bruising? And then he took some serious hits after that. Isn't that when the real damage is done?
But let's just say for now that Kruger passed all his tests, or that he wasn't totally clean with the training staff. If he passed all the tests, I'd like to think that a rough first period wouldn't put him back on the shelf. Then again, a stiff breeze put Crosby back in the dark after a year out, so maybe it's different for everybody. Still, coming so close on the heels of that Brent Seabrook thing, does anyone feel like the Hawks are handling these things correctly? Even if both players are claiming health, I just get the feeling the Hawks are taking that as enough to throw them back out there.
Then again, maybe both passed all the tests required with flying colors, and Seabrook was lucky to not get hit and Kruger wasn't.
The fear is that the Hawks may be without what had become a very useful Kruger for a while, for something that feels like it didn't necessarily have to happen.