Kirby Dach Leads Blackhawks Past Sabres

The game had all the hype you want for a Sunday night. Would it be the Henri Jokiharju Revenge Game? Or the Alex Nylander Revenge Game?

For his part, Jokiharju felt that the coaching change made in Chicago last year led to his eventual departure.

While the prospect of two young players chasing revenge was at least intriguing, the Sabres came in far from being as hot as the Hawks; Buffalo snapped a six-game losing streak as Jack Eichel scored four times against Ottawa on Saturday night.

The Hawks got off to a bit of a sluggish start in the first period. But Kirby Dach extended his personal point streak to four games with a nicely deflected backhand shot. Eichel did not pick up an assist on the goal.

Assists were credited to Andrew Shaw and Dominik Kubalik. Dach joined some elite company in Blackhawks history with the goal.

Dach’s goal was the only score of the opening 20 minutes. As has been the trend, Chicago was out-shot 13-10 in the first but had the lead.

Because his first goal was deflected, Dach came back and scored a clean backhanded goal in the second period.

Zack Smith and Olli Maatta were credited with the helpers on Dach’s second goal.

Shortly after Dach’s second goal the Sabres looked for a spark. So… Jimmy Vesey dropped the gloves with Erik Gustafsson. Vesey appeared to get in a few good shots and Gustafsson was bleeding when the two were separated.

After each team only took one penalty in Chicago’s win on Saturday night there was a steady line to the box at the United Center on Sunday. After two periods the Hawks were 0-4 on the power play and were getting out-shot 24-20 but led 2-0 on the scoreboard behind Dach’s two goals.

In the closing seconds of the second period Dach bulldozed Sam Reinhart. The huge hit led to Dach being whistled for interference and the customary conversation between skaters against the boards. The Hawks killed the penalty to open the third.

Jake McCabe went to the box early in the third period, giving the Blackhawks a fifth power play opportunity. This time the Hawks made the Sabres pay for their sins. Patrick Kane sniped home his 11th of the season to extend the lead to three.

Five minutes later, Brandon Saad attacked the net. Saad had a few opportunities during the game to get a good shot on net (including a breakaway later in the third) but couldn’t get his act together to unload. This time he was able to set up Jonathan Toews on the doorstep for the captain’s fourth of the season.

Suddenly Chicago had a four-goal lead on a Buffalo.

Unfortunately, Corey Crawford’s shutout bid ended 42 seconds after Toews’ goal when Eichel scored his 13th of the season. The Hawks lead was down to three.

In the final minute coach Jeremy Colliton sent Dach out with Kane and Alex DeBrincat and they tried their hardest to set the kid up for a hat trick but couldn’t pull it off.

The final horn sounded. Chicago was out-shot 34-27 but came away with a 4-1 win.

Crawford was terrific, stopping 33 of 34 in the win.

Duncan Keith (22:34) was the only Blackhawks defenseman over 20 minutes in the game. Calvin de Haan and Maatta were credited with six hits and three blocked shots each. In the second half of a back-to-back right off the injured list, Connor Murphy skated 17:59 and was credited with three hits, two takeaways and one blocked shot.

Saad led Blackhawks forwards in ice time (19:17) and shots on net (five). He picked up an assist in the game.

Toews won 14 of 21 faceoffs and scored a goal.

Kubalik led Chicago’s forwards with four hits.

DeBrincat and Dylan Strome were both held without a shot on net in the game. Neither had a point.

84 thoughts on “Kirby Dach Leads Blackhawks Past Sabres

  1. Goaltending again outstanding. Rinse and repeat. Have to give Bowman accolades on signing Lehner (well, it took him two lost seasons mostly of his own doing to figure it out).

    Bottom six 180 degree difference than the clowns Bowman had on the team the last two seasons. Rolling four lines is critical, and the bottom six all playing at a high level. Shaw discipline to be commended.

    What if the coach had used common sense from the beginning as to the line combinations? Nothing taken out of context when he said a few weeks ago that the line combos don’t matter; they matter critically. People are creatures of habit, especially when they are having success and happy.

    Anyway, keep the line (no pun) moving Tuesday. At this rate, we ll be planning for the 4th parade in June.

  2. Thought it was deHaan’s worst game-Maata plays a quiet game but effective and at least three times showed just how strong he is. Keith looks younger again.
    Smith, Carpenter, Kulabik and Kampf help the other lines with their effort and time in the other teams’ zone.

  3. Hoping for the kid to get his hat trick, couple of good chances to do it. Took half a period again to settle in and get their stride again playing with confidence showed again as everything came together for them. Perfect way to set the tone for 3rd period, win the first 5 minutes by killing off a penallty then scoring on pp. Traded goals in middle 10 and didn’t lose that part and set up the final 5 to close it out.

    Like the way they seem to be improving on high danger chances for the most part lately. Keeping alot of shots to the perimeter. Still improvement to be made but trending right, only the Kane line came out of tonight on negative side of high danger chances for and against tonight, thats about all you can ask for there . Coverage breakdowns in Dzone noticeably less, playing alot better there. Faceoffs still Jekyl and Hyde, Toews 14 and 7, Kampf 8 and 4 the good, Strome 3 and 7, Smith 2 and 5 not so good, Carpenter 3 and 3 held his own. Canes and Bolts be tough games hope they keep it going.

  4. With all the adjustement since game one now we can see clearly that it takes time to adjust and need to try many combinaison before new players and coaches get adapt to eachother .
    The result is there after past 4-6 games . The lehner signing was great and the timing was great …he was available for probably just a few hours or days and he accept Bowman offer and in no time he was a Hawks and planet hockey was in shock because nobody saw this coming .
    JC is a young coach and he will make mistake but listening to the Captain recomendation 3-4 weeks ago shows he is open mind and this make him getting more respect from players by listening to other idea. The Ego was not touch and he wants to Win …Win .( Q was never listening to Toews and others idea in the past 3 year ) … Timing is important in life and the timing to get Lenher was perfect
    Go Hawks Go

  5. Dach was a beast in this game. The best point made by the announcers was how fast and well he skates. Kane almost got him his HT but he airmailed another backhand. I did not understand his penalty at the end of the second. I would like to think it was an accident but it turned out not to matter. He wins puck battles and is smart with the puck. The organization made a good call by deciding to keep him with the Hawks the entire season.

    The Hawks goal tending is tremendous. Another great job by Crow. Hopefully, they just keep rotating them 1 game in and 1 game out.

    The bad news is that DeBrincat has disappeared. The good news is that he is making less turnovers. He is streaky. Hopefully he can wake up and start sniping against Carolina.

    Kubalik can be very impressive. He is difficult on opposing players and battles hard in addition to having a skill level. I think the Hawks will be very glad they have him.

    Nice to see stable lines that work well together.

    Eichel is tremendous. The patience he showed on his goal until he had Crow helpless was Kane like. Those were some awesome snipes they showed from the game last night as well.

    The boys are having some fun playing hockey. We will probably never know what went on behind the scenes to change it all, but whatever it was, it is a good thing that it happened.

  6. Just to clear up Colliton’s comment regarding line combos not mattering – he was talking about the lack of compete by the team and was asked if changing line combos would be the answer and he answered in an exasperated way saying that without better compete level line combos don’t matter. I agree with his answer – if the ship is sinking because the players are playing uninspired – rearranging the deck chairs isn’t going to matter.

  7. Getting Murphy back is a real shot in the arm – two solid games this weekend. So fun to watch Dach and think about what he will be like when he puts on 15 pounds. That second goal would be a highlight for any top goal scorer in the league. His postgame interview was also impressive, he is well spoken and sure seems like a very high character kid. Credit where credit is due to SB. By the way haven’t seen any recent posts from Hull LOL!

  8. Robs – in his interview Dach said the collision was an accident. His stick had broken, he was hustling to the bench and the Sabres player turned at the last second.

  9. I think Dach should have left that goal celebration in junior. He needs something more big league to match his prime time play. Nice hands. Nice wheels. Hockey player.

  10. Good job by the Hawks of keeping it simple when they were sluggish and not at their best.The passing was sloppy tonight but as the game wore on they took advantage of the Sabres pinching defense and slow back checking forwards.I get that the Sabres have some people out,Johannson,Okposo,etc but the 9 million dollar man Jeff Skinner mailed it in for them.They were a 1 line team tonight.For the Hawks it was not DeBrincats or deHaans best effort.A couple of solid teams coming in this week.It will be a good measuring stick.

  11. On both of Dach’s goals, Eichel was the victim. Some bad luck for him on the first, but Dach blew by him on the second like he was stuck in cement. The 18 year old with his head more in the game than the 23 year old star. Great stuff.

  12. deHaan had a couple bad plays tonight but on balance he has been pretty good. Getting Murphy back is a good thing and all of a sudden the d-corps looks a lot better than they did last season – kinda like we hoped they would when Stan acquired deHaan and Maatta.

  13. Rob, doesn’t matter if it was an accident or not. It wasn’t 2 players that turned into eachother. One was part of the play the other was going to the bench without a stick.

    I think a lot of guys here including myself owe Stan and company an apology on drafting Dach.

    Knox-“WTF”
    Okie- “Could have traded down”
    Bls2-“disappointed”
    Hawks2010- “I am in shock”
    Eddietheeagle – “Stan needs to go”
    Loags- “ticked off”
    Miroslav- “This is the curse of the third pick in a two pick draft can’t please everyone and someone will find fault with whom ever was chosen.”

    And on the other side…

    Hull-DACH was rated in the TOP 5. Byram is not going to be in the NHL this season and only next season if Colorado trade Girard or Barrie

    Craig Nigrelli- “love it”
    JrRoman- “good pick”
    Aurora- “It appears he selected the #1 player on their board who offers the greatest upside in their estimation.”

    It seemed that everyone that complained about Dach wanted Byram…and those same people laughed at Detroit for taking Seider. Byram isnt having the offensive production he had in his draft year. Seider has 8 assists in 17 games as an 18 year old in the AHL. He’s 6’4. Byram is 6’0.

  14. I don’t mind saying I was on board with Dach pick from the start and have supported him staying in the NHL

    Tonight’s game was a preview of where he’s headed – finally JC is playing him a little more (almost 14 minutes tonight) and hopefully he gets some PP time – I say put him on PP1 instead of Shaw

    Loved that JC had him on at the end trying to get the hattie and he came so close twice – that was fun

    De Haan had a brutal 3rd period but that was an exception – overall he’s been very good – great trade

    You can see the difference Murphy makes to the overall D – had some great D plays tonight

    Every night the Hawks can roll out a #1 goalie – awesome!

  15. Think the main reason 12, 17 and 88 weren’t together earlier was Colliton wanted to be more defensively responsible, that line will never be strong in that area, but couldn’t sell his approach. Agree his lines don’t matter comment was meant if not playing good lines don’t change that. It seems he learned something himself that it did make a difference, not sure how far this style takes them but fun to watch.

    Yeah Rusty alot of people doubted the picking of Dach for sure. I said different times just hope they do their homewirk and just get it right for the future, looking good right now and should be fun to watch him grow.

  16. Rusty, it is a few years early to compare a forward to a d-man. That said, Dach is off to a great start and is looking like a great pick. Let’s hope we can say the same about Boqvist in a few years.

  17. Haven’t seen this level of compete in a long time. The GT has been extraordinary. If they stay healthy this could be an interesting year. The passing and push tempo has certainly caught me by surprise.

  18. I believe in “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it” so I wouldn’t make changes to the line combos right now … but at some point Dach should be moved up the lineup as well as moved from wing to center. Is that next week or next month or a couple months from now? I don’t know. I see some early chemistry between Dach and Kubalik – so maybe a 3rd line featuring those two.

  19. Big difference when both 44 and 5 play. 65 and 15 play as good as they really are, 15 was banged up early so maybe why he didn’t look good for awhile now does, every guy we got this summer, Bowman, is a good player. Good depth, full roster, now just need to get quality better with guys like 77 27 other young wavers.

    Having goalies at 11m is worth it. Yes yes.

  20. @Rusty, I think you misinterpreted my comment. It wasn’t about my not liking Dach, in fact I posted a comment earlier in that stream saying, “I like this pick a lot.”

    My comment about the curse of the third puck was that no matter who the Hawks picked, someone was going to complain. There was no consensus at three and a lot of people were voicing their displeasure regardless. I wasn’t voicing my displeasure.

  21. Should post everyone’s headline for that top 3 player. Hull was the one who was right the whole time.

    I like that our guys did homework and get the right player from those 5-7 players, who’s going to be the best of them. I d be fine if Dachis 3 rd best and be loving it if he’s 2nd or top player from the top 3 picks.

  22. Still people dumping on Colliton. We’ve got a lot of terrible fans who know nothing about what’s going on. Smh

  23. I flipped back and forth between Byram and Turcotte but once the selected Dach I was fine with it. Who knows how things will look 5 years down the road – maybe some guy taken in the back half of the 1st round will end up being the best player in the 2919 draft – but who cares because the benefit of hindsight was not available to Stan and the other GMs. The thing all Hawks fans should feel good about is that Dach looks to be a legit top of 1st round player who is doing as well as we could have hoped for through this first bunch of games. I’m very pleased with what he has shown.

  24. And just think that if Vancouver had not backed out the night before the draft Bowman was ready to roll dice and exchange picks with them if they took on the remainder of Seabrook,s contract.Canucks wanted Byram very badly so they could make a big splash.Hawks would have ended up with the 10th pick and missed DACH.All of the scouts and supposed experts loved Byram and said the Hawks made a big mistake.Anything can happen but so far so good.

  25. Miroslav, your comment was directed at everyone knocking the pick. The consensus was that it was a 2 pick draft. And Dach was in the second tier of 5 or 6 players. As of right now, there’s no reason to say Dach shouldn’t have been in the same category as Hughes and Kakko. That’s why I put that comment there. You weren’t knocking the pick. You just very accurately stated everyone’s opinion. 5 months later we find out the gap from Hughes to Each wasn’t really that great.

  26. Tim, the proposed deal to Vancouver was a swap of picks 3 and 10. The only way the Hawks were going to do it was if Vancouver took Seabrook. And Vancouver said no. There was no backing out on Vancouver’s part. They ended up with Podkolzin. In 11 khl games he has 0 points. In 12 VHL (essentially minor leagues) he has 7 points. With that hindsight, maybe they go through with it. Then again, with hindsight maybe they take someone other than Byram.

  27. In all fairness players are rated on what scouts feel they can become, not what they are. Dachs future looks bright but way to soon to say who”s a bust yet. Blackhawks were definitely right on him being Nhl ready now, one of the advantages of drafting high, less guessing on where he will be in 3 or 4 years and closer to Nhl ready, as Bownan mentioned on few occasions leading up to draft.

    In last 3 games Blackhawks have scored 15 goals in 5 on 5 situations.

    Kane 2g plus a pp goal
    Strome 1g
    Nylander 2g
    Toews 1g
    Dach 3g
    Kubalik 1g
    Kampf 1g
    Gus 2g
    Dehaan 1g
    Seabrook 1g

    That’s a pretty balanced attack, Dach scored 1 of his on a shift with 8 and 65 after a pk in which 64 just came off. When all 4 lines and defense are all contributing to offense on a regular basis they are going to be tough to play against.

  28. There’s a long way to go and much can happen, but the Hawks seem to have had an excellent offseason, including the recent trade of Perlini.

    -Rebuilding the blue line with toughness And skill with Maatta, DeHaan and Murphy emerging as a top-pairing kind of guy
    -The youth movement has been incredibly encouraging: Kubalik, Dach And Boqvist in spurts. The Dach pick is a winner.
    -The Nylander trade appears to have been smart and well calculated. Nylander’s upside far exceeds Joki’s, as much as Joki is a nice player. It’s a lottery ticket that remains TBD.
    -Lehner. Lehner. Lehner. An Inspired (and lucky) move.
    -Carpenter. A stud.
    -Shaw has been as-advertised.
    -I like the Perlini for Regula trade. I think this will eventually become a massive win.

    I’m sure someone will pull together a retrospective of all the off-season moves, but they appear in totality to have been very well executed and constructed.

    Final thought regarding JC. He deserves every criticism for the start to this season. He deserves every credit for the turnaround taking inputs and feedback from players and the front-office, to make the redirect. That’s what good coaches do. The idea of a defense first team probably was the right idea, just the wrong roster for it. Good for JC to redirect. This is a very good team.

  29. Everything Eichel touches is going in the net, eh? Grin. After the first goal I told my wife they should change his name to ERKEL. “Did I do thaaaaaat?”

    And Dach sure did catch him taking a nap from checking duties on goal #2.

  30. Well last night their 34 SOG against was below their league worst average of 36.8 so that’s a start

    Now that they’re scoring goals and winning games the compete in the D zone has improved as well – all goes with the increased confidence from winning

    Agreed Aurora and I’ve said so myself that JC deserves credit for listening and adjusting – hopefully lesson learnt with him, he could still turn out alright

  31. Dare I say that we drafted the replacement for Hossa? Obviously it’s too early to say but I think Dach’s size, strength and skill has me feeling that he has potential to be that type of player. We have never been able to replace Hossa in the lineup and I’m excited to watch Dach progress.

  32. Does the “#15” on the sweater weigh like a hundred pounds???

    I thought Anisamov was back out there…..

    Just something I’ve noticed…

  33. @ Rusty-

    I likely did say they probably could’ve traded down to draft Dach, but I didn’t bash the pick. In fact, I’m pretty sure I defended taking him on several other occasions. Could they have traded down a spot or two, or even more and still taken him? Maybe, maybe not. Matbe he was on some other team’s radars too who were drafting right below the Hawks. Whatever the case, I was happy we got him, even more so now.

  34. I think Hossa’s greatest skill (underrated) was his ability to hold on to the puck (blocking out opponents sticks with his free hand, using his body to lean into the opponent, etc). Toews also is quite good at this, but I’m seeing it A LOT from Kubalik. I could personally see him being the Hossa replacement. Good vision, smart with the puck and positioning.

  35. It’s amazing that when EVERYONE plays good TEAM defense, the forwards back check hard and everyone finishes their checks, suddenly Seabrook and Keith look a lot more “engaged” on the ice.

    Playing the game the right way and doing the little things that win games makes everybody, including the coach, better.

  36. Considering it was a back to back game I was not too surprised that the level of play last night overall was not that sharp. Passing nowhere near the quality what we saw in the Vegas and Preds games. Some guys were dragging a little, and perhaps the concentration not as dialed in. Last nights game to me was a good sign in that they found a way to win while not firing on all cylinders. Earlier, let’s say before “the change” occurred these guys might have just packed it in had they fallen behind. When the goaltending is on this level, it can cover up a boat load of mistakes. You know a team is feeling good collectively when guys are chuckling among themselves on the ice and on the bench. This was apparent the Preds game and last night too.

    Good for Kirby Dach! That 2nd goal was particularly sweet. The trend is up.

    While Saad has been on the score sheet recently, he could have multiple goal games given the quality chances he either has had , or the chances he has botched by fumbling a pass. Inability to get some lift on shots seems to be there for whatever reason. Of course, easy for me to say as a spectator, but maybe he has a hand injury that lets him play but leaves him less than 100%.

    Some double blinks from me watching Hawks defenders actually playing more physical in their own end. Gus drops em last night. Murphy, de Haan, Gus??, Keith??, Seabs starting to drill some guys more often especially around the crease. I am especially impressed with the progress this year from Murphy. He isn’t going to win many skating contests, but he is an improved player that is making strong hockey plays that are making a difference. Considering what Hawks lost when Hammer left it is encouraging to see a younger guy come in that is starting to make a difference. He ain’t no #4 but it’s on the up and up imo.

    Reg I think you are right about Keith and Seabrook. They have some extra jump, and they look more engaged the past 2 weeks. Duncs in particular. It says this team is now on the same page.

    Some quality opponents this week, and actually if one looks at the schedule moving forward well into December, the Hawks have their hands full. If our keepers stay on a roll this season this could end up being very, very interesting. I still cringe every game watching opponents bring the barrage of quality chances, but just remember this is entertainment!

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  37. Reg to me it comes dowm to playing a system the players have confidence in being able to get the job done. First part they were playing unsure and looked like a beaten team every game. Now even when pressure is put on them they believe in themselves to be successful. It just seems their belief on themselves is making good puck management is more natural for them. Colliton showing the ability to adapt his system for his players and making it work deserves alot of credit too.

    Good call on Dach at number 3 Tab, and Hull too who beat the drum for him last spring. As i’ve said when picked he is a big skilled forward that the team needs with a chance to be a future no. 1 center. All good.

  38. Just read a brutal article from the Toronto Star regarding the Leafs woes. If they changed a few names it looks exactly like a Hawks article from a few weeks ago. I was particularly taken by this comment:

    “The disconnect goes far deeper than coach and team. Babcock’s conservative inclinations have rubbed raw against the lineup as constituted. They want to fly, he wants them to grind. Emphasizing defensive vigilance, to no apparent effect, has suffocated offence on a team that should score by the bushelful.”

    Kudos to JC for whatever caused him to make the changes that have resulted in the turnaround.

  39. In regards to Dach, he is supposed to be the next #1 center to replace Toews, does anybody see that ? He is horrible at center, he will end up a top six winger….but you all need to pump your brakes before you elect him as a Calder trophy winner and Hall of famer. Time will tell on this kids development…let’s all pray it works out….otherwise…..he will be another Cam Barker, Kyle Beach, Mark McNeil…..etc.

  40. Days, I’ve gone on record numerous times that his faceoffs are an issue. Everyone knows it. But to say he could end up like Kyle Beach and Mark McNeil is just plain dense. Those 2 have 2 NHL games and 0 points between them. Dach already has them beat. Dach’s defensive game is already pretty sound.

  41. Bravo Tab.

    Okie, you did in fact support and defend the pick to others. With that said, Dach wasn’t lasting to 10. The Canucks were the only team interested about trading.

  42. Phil, with 4 games against Avs, 2 in each rink, 2 against Blues, Stars and Coyotes plus another against Jets, Wild and Vgk before Christmas break. Could have huge implications in the standings. 5 games against east in there too.

  43. Yes Ian it will be a big marker for the season and show us what this team is made of. Hawks have been a little bit lucky to catch Vegas and Preds on recent downswing. Throw Sabres in that too.

    In my mind it now feels like Hawks have a real shot to beat just about any team right now. I didn’t feel this way to start the year. They have to build on this recent string of success and hope the goalies keep that good mojo working.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  44. It’s too early to tell if dach’s best position in the NHL is centre or wing – he gets it defensively as a centre which is a huge factor although his FOs suck at the moment – I’ve noticed others taking draws for him at times

    However s he gets stronger and more expereienced I don’t see any reason why he won’t become good at it – he’s a quick study, has a high hockey IQ, is keen to learn and he’ll definitely gain in strength

    I was impressed with his post game interview in which he seemed very confident about being #1 star of the game as though it were something he was expecting to happen sooner than later – no big deal to him – that says a lot IMO

    Chances are good he’ll not only a great player but a leader as well

  45. Ian, Rusty, MS and few of the loyal Hawk followers……… I have read articles that say that it was our Captain who sat down with Colliton and basically told him what needed to be done to fix this mess. Remember, the CORE group on this team is of championship pedigree, they are NOT idiots. These guys have won the CUP many times, they know the game, they know their limitations and most of all, they know every system on the ice that anyone can design. Right?

    But something was missing. Something was not right and thank god our captain sat down with his coach and told him how to fix this mess. Hopefully, as we move forward things will become less stressful for our goalies and our D men.

    Dehaan and Murphy look solid on the back end and Olli Maatta is as smooth as they get peeling the puck off the boards and moving it up the ice. Our most solid position, however, is in the net. So let Crow and Lehner face 35-40 shots a game until our young forwards can learn to back check and play in our own zone. As long as Toews can keep Collitons ego(every coach has an ego, boys) in check, we may get into the playoffs.

  46. Really encouraging prospect news. Forward Niklas Nordgren played in the under-20 league in Finland, on Sunday. His first game action since last December.
    He had hip surgery.

  47. Eventually would love to see a Kassian/Tom WILSON type to skate on a line with DACH as he gets use to the physical part of the game and grows into his frame.Yea I know,guys like those don’t grow on trees anymore but I am sure Bowman can find a couple somewhere.

  48. I love Chicago fans.

    Kid has back-to-back multi-point games for the first time in his career (note: it’s still mid-November) and we get the jagoffs who are throwing around the names of Barker, Beach and McNeil.

    He’s taken 33 faceoffs in the NHL. This isn’t Anisimov closing on 30 years old at 47% at the dot.

    Nobody with a half a brain is giving anyone the Calder right now (except Avs fans who are rightfully falling in love with Makar). And nobody has said the kid’s a hall of famer.

    He’s off to a good start. He’s got a high hockey IQ, is a good skater and has size. Those are 3 things that you either can’t teach or are damn near impossible to improve on. Let’s enjoy the fact that it appears the Blackhawks made a smart choice with a critical pick in the franchise’s history – and that they didn’t trade up to #2 and waste it on a quarterback. (too soon?)

  49. So many great things about this kid. His attitude and composure as an 18 year old rookie has my respect. The fact that Dach has been able to produce as well as he has while playing fourth line minutes is a huge indicator for me that we have something special here. I’m so looking forward to his maturation. I also like keeping his minutes down for a while until he really gets his bearings in this league.

  50. Did anyone read about the interview Dach had with Yzerman before the draft? Yzerman says he’s heard from some of his teammates that Dach smokes weed. Yzerman then admits to messing with him. Was rather funny. But he’s very well spoken for being a kid.

  51. Kudos to Tab for calling the Dach pick just before the draft. I was pushing the hell out of Byram but right away defended the Dach pick when others were beside themselves. Dach was not rated the best in any one thing but very good at many things. You may remember: 1. high hockey IQ, 2. very good skater for his size, 3. hard to knock off the puck, 4. excellent playmaker. Am very pleased with his development. Is going to be core fixture for a long time (if Stan doesn’t do what he’s done with other 1st round picks).

    Just my 2 cents: Wish they would send Dach to WHL for more development, particularly at the dot. I think he will improve more than keeping him here.

  52. @Original – are you trolling us with that last comment?

    First you’re pleased with his development and then you want to send him back? To work on his FOs?

    He’s already ahead of both Kaakko and Hughes in Points per game playing less minutes than both of them

    Sounds like a troll job to me

  53. So I would agree I freaked out about the Dach pick. I was wrong he looks pretty damn good. Bowman you did a pretty good job this off-season. The team is better on paper than last year, I don’t have to see where we stand at the end of the year to make that decision. The knock on Bowman is we needed defense and the fact we don’t have any Draft Picks(Defemsmen) in the Bowman era that are playing for the Blackhawks is concerning. Bowman did pick up Dahann and Mattaa and the defense does look improved. Lehner also has looked like a stud, we already new Crawford was… I’m not sure what Colliton did to get the Veterans on the same page as him but whatever it is, it seems to be working. I’m going to make a statement, here.

    This team will go as far as the Veterans want to take it and as well as Colliton can coach them this year. If the Veterans(Crawford, Toews, Saad, Kane, Shaw, Seabrook, Keith) don’t respond to Colliton we will see the problems we have seen this year. Manage the Veterans and Coach the Rookies and put the Hawks in a position to win.

    I’m excited for the first time in awhile to see where things go this year.

    GO HAWKS!!!!!

  54. Dach should make a fine center, Mcdavid and MacKinnon struggled to stay above 40% on faceoffs in their careers to date, nobody suggested to send them down to improve there. He will develop and improve in all areas including there as he does. Young players often don’t spend alot of time working on fos until they get to pros, some are natural in faceoff circle others like Dach need some time and become decent in that area as they develop.

    Reg never saw that anywhere but if Colliton needed input from the team Toews is the right guy to talk sit down with. His leadership skills are still 2nd to none.

    Rusty agree Dach comes across as very mature for an eightteen year old and a point streak to start your career that puts you company with Kane, Hull and Eddie O is pretty impressive.

  55. The Hawks are on a nice roll right now but all good things come to an end and I’m sure they have a few stinkers coming our way. All teams have ups and downs and the Hawks will have them too. The Hawks are not a great team – not one of the elite teams but they’re better than last season, they have excellent goaltending, and they have some young player breaking into the league and doing pretty well. Isn’t that what we hope for before the season started. Hopefully they can get on a few good streaks and make the playoffs and get the young player some playoff experience. Then we add a couple more young next season and see what happens.

    Dach isn’t a center? What? He is absolutely a center that is only playing wing as he gets used to the league. He should improve on faceoffs but even if he never getgreat at taking faceoffs – so what, there are plenty of very good centers in the NHL that aren’t good at faceoffs.

  56. MacKinnon is currently 42.7%. if Dach gives the Hawks 80% of MacKinnon’s offensive production it’s a win.

  57. Dach also needs to add weight and strength. Some more time in the WHL will make him a better player next year and beyond.

  58. Excellent post, this is what I have thought.

    AURORA HAWK
    November 18, 2019 at 7:42 am
    There’s a long way to go and much can happen, but the Hawks seem to have had an excellent offseason, including the recent trade of Perlini.

    -Rebuilding the blue line with toughness And skill with Maatta, DeHaan and Murphy emerging as a top-pairing kind of guy
    -The youth movement has been incredibly encouraging: Kubalik, Dach And Boqvist in spurts. The Dach pick is a winner.
    -The Nylander trade appears to have been smart and well calculated. Nylander’s upside far exceeds Joki’s, as much as Joki is a nice player. It’s a lottery ticket that remains TBD.
    -Lehner. Lehner. Lehner. An Inspired (and lucky) move.
    -Carpenter. A stud.
    -Shaw has been as-advertised.
    -I like the Perlini for Regula trade. I think this will eventually become a massive win.

    I’m sure someone will pull together a retrospective of all the off-season moves, but they appear in totality to have been very well executed and constructed.

    Final thought regarding JC. He deserves every criticism for the start to this season. He deserves every credit for the turnaround taking inputs and feedback from players and the front-office, to make the redirect. That’s what good coaches do. The idea of a defense first team probably was the right idea, just the wrong roster for it. Good for JC to redirect. This is a very good team.

  59. Original-the days of Dach going back are over. He’s made enough of an impression of both the team and the fans. I think the chances of him being loaned to Team Canada have shrunk a lot as well. Are they in contention and is he contributing? At this point-yes.

    They have been on quite a nice roll to get back into contention. Is it real, and sustainable? The next 5 or 6 games will be telling. This type of goal tending has been way above average-what happens here will have a huge say on just how serious this team will be.

  60. @Tab, Thank you for succinctly saying what I have been thinking since reading the post comparing Dach to the likes of Barker and Beach…

    I hope he continues to play consistently and continues to develop. I personally like him in the bottom six right now. It gives him sheltered minutes but brings scoring to lines that haven’t had it in recent years. Clearly he isn’t going to be a bottom six player forever, but for now it is a good place for him to get used to the NHL grind. I expect he hits a rookie wall at some point. Hopefully playing this role will allow him to work through it easier than if he was on the top six.

  61. Goalies get hot for stretchs and teams do to. For the goalie, not buying it, these guys are both top 5 goalies in the league and they will play this good the whole 82 games, with a few bad ones, like 5 or so, along the way.

    For the team, we do not have a system for the first 10 or so games and we didnt look good. Now we adjusted the system to a system that works better for the players we have and we are a good team. These are not fluke wins, saying VEG was playing 4 games in 6 days. Sure they were and we were playing 5 in 7 days when we sucked as well as 2 in 11 and then 2 in 7 days and then 5 in 7 and then 5 days off.

    Point is sometimes it depends, when, you play the team and not the teams themselves. NAS got us in that shitty part of sch when they whipped us and that was when we were playing the system that doesnt work for us. Then we beat them by a better score, when were playing a normal kind of sch to be able to be in rythem and we adjsuted the system for the players we have.

    So bottom line is this is how good of a team we have, with 44 and 5 playing. % was out for a lot o that shiity stuff, but we were also doing that wrong system.

  62. When were one of the two best teams, then yea we should be able to have nice 13 games stretches like this. Were not top 2 yet, so this 8 games or more stretchs is good for us and shouldnt expect pressure or say were not good just because we do not go 13 games with it. I want to but realize a bunch of 8-10 good stretchs is good for us and were getting better.

    Remember we wouldnt be this good if we didnt add, Bowman, several good players in summer. Full roster.

    Now we jsut need to get Defense better, team wise, because with both goalies being top 5ish goalies we could be really good once we get our act together and have a Defense that has this #1 Defensemen everybody says we have to have to win in the coming yrs.

  63. Not trying to go agasint what your saying just think 8 or more games is good for us and not to expect 13 games as a must or were not good if we do not. I would take 5 good 8 or more games stretchs then a few 13 games ones.

    We just need to limit the bad stretchs and I think we can with a system that works well for our players.

    We havnt even seen how good this team can be or is, until we get rolling in the 2nd 40 games.

  64. Miro, yea we have had good 3rd lines when we were good before. 36 29 65 86 80 10 and 20. Good to have a stacked stout young skilled and coming 3rd line of players with a little good vet in there.

  65. Okie, I am sure LA said they were picking Dach and thought they could because of ‘how’ good Bryram is.

    The look on Byram face when the Blackhawks selected 3rd pick in draft, was priceless. Must have felt like Rinne when Seabs scored that change up on him.

  66. It’s interesting how some guys learn to become better in the dot (Kruger) while others stay stuck under 50% forever. AA was one of the latter (he never looks like he is completely ready for the draws or that he is going to win them).

    In Dach’s case, getting stronger could help (although he wasn’t very good in junior either so who knows). It would be nice if he can improve, but if he can do everything else well then he will be far move valuable to the club at center than on wing. His defensive awareness is already good and that is far more important to his playing center than his ability in the dot.

  67. Like the Aurua post, I with this as well.

    Tab, called the Dach 3rd pick and Hull did. They were the only ones.

    IAN
    November 18, 2019 at 12:00 pm
    Reg to me it comes dowm to playing a system the players have confidence in being able to get the job done. First part they were playing unsure and looked like a beaten team every game. Now even when pressure is put on them they believe in themselves to be successful. It just seems their belief on themselves is making good puck management is more natural for them. Colliton showing the ability to adapt his system for his players and making it work deserves alot of credit too.

    Good call on Dach at number 3 Tab, and Hull too who beat the drum for him last spring. As i’ve said when picked he is a big skilled forward that the team needs with a chance to be a future no. 1 center. All good.

  68. I am realistic here.I know the team needs work.But that being said,if they play the game the right way with their forechecking backchecking and coverage,I will be good with what happens.With the talent and experience that they have there is no excuse for not being dangerous and competitive on a nightly basis.The schedule is now correcting itself and those early top teams are sinking I.E. Toronto,Calgary,Buffalo,Anaheim,Nashville,although Toronto people will tell you they have been a disaster all year.The 4 games next week against Dallas and Colorado will be very interesting and a good measuring stick.

  69. re: “Dach also needs to add weight and strength. Some more time in the WHL will make him a better player next year and beyond.”

    The WHL ship has sailed. He’s staying. That’s a week old news.

    And I’ll continue to remind folks that Dach is 18. He’ll gain weight and strength as he matures. Everyone does. On Patrick Kane’s 31st birthday it bears repeating that Kirby Dach is 18.

  70. re: the team needing work – they do. They also need some substantive time healthy. We are just now seeing a blue line with healthy Maatta, de Haan and Murphy together. And look, the shots against were under 40! Surprise!

    If they can keep this group of 6 defensemen healthy together they’ll be solid. And if they keep pushing the tempo up front the way they are – the the speed they now have – the Blackhawks will give plenty of teams headaches.

  71. MS, yea I am relly glad Collitan finetuned the system because that one wasnt working and I didnt have anything agasint the guy just wanted a system that worked and didnt know he could do that, in terms of finetune it not be able to. So I thought F we need another system. Would like him to do well so we can find that sweet spot system wise and we have a deep roster with young wavers coming that are going to make us a top team again in coming yrs.

  72. Phil, even though we were lucky to play VEG and NAS in their downswings, there were just as much when they played us first time. Doesnt always even out, that did.

    Tony, been thinking taht about Dach min as well. I like it better actually unitl hes just needs more.

    Bucking Bronco.

  73. Outshot but it was a bounce that gives them a breakaway.

    Would have been good to get out of first tied. Felt like we were coming for the 2nd after not playing with puck in first.

  74. Well we had some games where we didnt do good in during the 6-1-1 stretch. Need to do the same thing in the next 8 games. Have some that arnt good but do really good overall.

  75. Nice cross check they let them get away with with 1 min left.

    Interference? he didnt even have the puck yet.

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