Blackhawks Blow Lead, Lose Season Finale in OT

For the final time in the 2021 season the Chicago Blackhawks took the ice on Monday night. Coach Jeremy Colliton rolled with seven defensemen again, opting to only change his goaltender to Collin Delia and swap Dylan Strome in for Adam Gaudette up front.

So how would the Blackhawks finish their regular season?

The start was terrific. Alex DeBrincat got a breakaway on his first shift and converted for his 32nd goal of the season just 53 seconds into the game.

Pius Suter was credited with the only assist. For DeBrincat, the goal was another great stat in a really good, bounce-back season.

DeBrincat and Suter weren’t done. In fact, they were just getting busy. Less than 30 seconds later DeBrincat returned the favor, setting up Suter’s 14th of the season.

Strome picked up an assist on Suter’s goal as well.

So two goals in 82 seconds to open the finale. Not bad.

Chicago didn’t keep a clean sheet for the full opening 20 minutes, however. Joe Pavelski cut the lead in half at 15:30 into the first, ending Delia’s shutout bid.

When 20 minutes were off the board, the Blackhawks were getting out-shot 14-5 but held a 2-1 lead. Delia was good, the Hawks’ passing was not but the score held.

The second period did not start as quickly as the first. Indeed, the Blackhawks struggled to generate much offense at all after their two early goals. It took more than 16 minutes for another goal to be scored, and it came from the Hawks again. Vinnie Hinostroza and Strome were off to the races and Hinostroza politely set up Strome for his ninth of the season.

Dominik Kubalik picked up the second helper on Strome’s goal.

It felt like the Hawks were going to take a two-goal lead to the room but Hinostroza took a penalty with six seconds left in the period. After the viewing audience at home spent about 60 seconds listening to Eddie Olczyk explain how the Stars were going to score, Dallas did almost precisely what Edzo warned about and cut the lead back to one.

Miro Heiskanen’s goal with two seconds left in the period took the wind out of what had been a period of survival for the Blackhawks. Dallas out-shot the Hawks 16-5 in the second, giving them a 30-10 shot advantage after 40 minutes. And yet Delia and his teammates were winning 3-2.

Mike Hardman was credited with eight hits in 8:08 in the first two periods.

The Hawks had 20 minutes (hopefully) left in their season. Would they hang onto their lead?

It took nearly eight minutes for the next goal, but (again) it came from the Blackhawks. Hinostroza made up for his penalty at the end of the second period, scoring his fourth of the season and the Hawks’ fourth of the night.

Hardman and David Kampf were credited with the assists.

Unfortunately, two minutes later Joel Kiviranta went 1-on-3 and somehow beat Delia. Nikita Zadorov had a great angle watching the play unfold in front of him and Ian Mitchell couldn’t decide which angle to take away. Meanwhile, Kiviranta walked in and cut the lead back to one.

Dallas’ next shot on net tied the game. Jason Dickinson scored less than two minutes after the Kiviranta score to bring the teams even.

MacKenzie Entwistle got caught tripping and went to the box 34 seconds after the Dickinson goal, and the wheels felt like they were close to coming off. Delia made a huge save in the opening ten seconds of the Dallas power play to keep the score tied.

Chicago killed the penalty but the shot totals continued to overwhelmingly favor the Stars. With 20 seconds left in regulation and the Hawks getting out-shot 47-15, Radek Faksa hit Connor Murphy in the mouth with a high stick and was sent off for four minutes.

The Hawks got a few great shots on net in the limited advantage at the end of regulation but couldn’t finish it. So the final game of the season would fittingly require overtime after the Blackhawks had a two-goal lead in the third period.

The 47 shots allowed by the Blackhawks are the most in the 2021 season. Delia stopped 43 in regulation. Chicago put 18 shots on net in 60 minutes.

Chicago sent out Suter, Kane, DeBrincat and Kubalik for the power play in overtime and that four stayed on the ice for almost the entire remaining 3:40 without success. Dallas was able to kill the double-minor and the two teams went back to 3-on-3 hockey for the final 73 seconds of OT.

With 30 seconds left in OT, a Dallas shot hit Delia high and he left a fat rebound for Robertson to tap in for the game-winning goal. It was an unfortunate end to a long night for Delia, who faced 50 shots and watched his teammates waste a four-minute power play to open overtime.

55 thoughts on “Blackhawks Blow Lead, Lose Season Finale in OT

  1. 2 games with 7 defenseman none named Duncan Keith: Only allowed 89 shots on goal!!!! He’s not going anywhere. What will StanBo do about that??? BS his way thru it. Adios Hawks fans too much fun and excitement for me. See ya next year!!!

  2. Good game to play the kid but too many shots on Delia who was there to save the game.
    DCat with 7 games scoring at least a goal to finish the season …what a nice comeback year for him .
    Now waiting for Calgary to win their last 4 games ,, ;)
    Thanks for a nice season with seing so many young players that we have in the system.
    Now many of those youngsters know what they need to work on for next season .
    Love my Hawks young wave .

  3. After watching what has to be described as a disaster of a game and a true indictment of where this organization is at,I had to sit back and take a deep breath as I pondered the distinct and separately different ways that 4 teams expose and dismantle this version of the Chicago Blackhawks. You really can break them down into pairs. The Stars and Canes just skate through Hawks checks and drive the net with skill as if no one is there. Their D Men crash the zone and make rushes at will. The Bolts and Panthers manhandle and push the Hawks around as they control the puck and just keep cycling for the inevitable gaping caverns in the high slot and net front. I have never seen a group of teams just thoroughly dominate a NHL team in the fashion that the Hawks have been outplayed. I did a double take in the last minute of the game as the Shots on Goal were 47-15 in favor of the Stars. It sometimes looked like the Russian national team from the 80,s playing a College team. I am sorry but this has to be torn down and redone from the top on down involving training,practicing,conditioning,skating,implementation of defensive systems and more. This entire coaching staff should be released tomorrow and some type of professional structure should be brought in as soon as possible. For Pat Foley to come out during a broadcast critiquing the lack of defensive structure and responsibility all season long is very telling. Something he usually doesn’t do as he did not soft soap it with the they are just kids thing. I wish I could be more positive but what I saw tonight involving lack of urgency and softness on the puck made me ill. The playoffs will be here for the weekend where we can all get a good look at hockey the way it is supposed to be played because tonight wasn’t it from the Hawks. Good for the Stars, loaded with veterans and a couple young guys that came here and played hard and worked both games. Wish we had that Robertson kid and a few of their Defensemen.

  4. But wait, there’s good news – the Hawks managed to hold on to the 12th draft position going into the ping pong ball lottery. It looked a little dicey for a while when NJ was up 2-1 half way through their game with PHI while the Hawks were leading DAL. But not to worry because the Flyers came back an won … and we all know how the Hawks game turned out. There’s a very remote chance the Hawks could move to the 11th position if Calgary can pick up 6 points in it’s last 4 games or Vancouver can pick up 10 points in it’s last 6 games. The 4 games remaining for Calgary are against Vancouver and the other 2 games for Vancouver are against Winnipeg and Edmonton.

    But keep waiting because there’s even more good news – we won’t have to listen to Pat Foley anymore for 4-5 months. Hallelujah!

  5. With the Hawks season over, I expect the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth will ramp up to a fever pitch. Oh the humanity! This place will be so much fun. The onslaught of genius acumen pointing out everything done wrong by Bowman and Colliton and myriad others caught up in the wash will be quite a thing to behold. If only the Hawks did what they thought was right perfection would be achieved and the Hawks would win the next 5 Stanley Cups … after which the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth would start again.

    Oh by the way – my hands are not wrung and my teeth are not gnashed and in fact I like what the Hawks did this season and I look forward to Colliton building upon that progress next season.

  6. More good news Arizona doesn’t pick in 1st round, so 11th overall pick is theirs is worst case.

    5 of the defensemen tonight had a combined 127 games, not enough to get a good gauge on 1 let alone 5 of them. Did it show yes it sure did, should be an interesting off season. Players who may have played last game tonight for Blackhawks, Strome, Hino, think Suter comes back, seem to like him with Kane. Zadorov possibly, maybe Kampf or Carpenter will see, Delia or Subban you would think one goes. Dehaan seems maybe on the way out, maybe somebody else.

  7. The young D men were abused all night -did Beaudin get hurt? – I didn’t see him in the third I don’t think and Z was back to over committing and being sloppy with puck

    Strome – I know he scored a goal but he’s pretty clueless defensively

    Best news besides not dropping a slot in the draft is that Delia played great

    The Hawks sure missed a real net front presence on that OT PP – Suter is small – that could have been a good time to use Strome – he might have won a FO as well

    I still like Entwistle – I think he makes the team in September however I don’t see Mitchell making the team to start the year and depending on other players like Toews Nylander and Borgstrom neither might Kurashev although I like his long term future

    I expect one of DeHaan or Z to still be here next season to start anyway – Mitchell probably get time in both NHL and AHL

    All and all a pretty good year but this team needs to get better defensively- now that a lot of new players have been introduced to the scheme there needs to be improvement in D system execution- there’ll be fewer excuses next year

    Going to be interesting off season I think

  8. Hawks have 3 backup goalies … Not going anywhere with them alone holding down the fort… Rebounds galore…strome gunna be a Kraken.

  9. Ian, Arizona’s 1st round forfeit and Seattle’s first draft wash each other out – Hawks still at #12 unless they move to #11 via either Calgary or Vancouver passing them in points.

  10. Continually getting outchanced and outshot thrown onto the fire night after night, is that really what’s best for the young defenseman. Knowing at some point a no.1 defenseman needs to be acquired, wonder if the opportunity is there Bowman pulls the trigger sooner rather than later and improves the blueline while the deserving youngsters play and develop with a little more support to help them. Put these young defense and goalies in a more competitive situation night after night with future leader on blueline,could go a long way to helping them develop. With some bigger forwards like Hardman, Entwistle and Gaudette likely in the lineup next year with Borgstrom and a bulked up Dach and hopefully a healthy Toews, getting more competitive on blueline may be the goal this summer.

  11. Despite the incorrect notion that Colliton’s defensive scheme is an outlier in the NHL and no successful teams play man defense – I think it’s fair to ask the question if Colliton’s scheme should be used at this time with this many inexperienced players? The assumption is that any defensive scheme requires the players to execute at a high level but that zone defense is easier to play for several reasons and therefore inexperienced players would be more effective playing zone than playing man.

    So the question becomes – is it better to change the system to match the proficiency level of the inexperienced players for a quicker turnaround in the rebuild – OR – is it better to install the system and take the short term lumps while the inexperienced players learn and master the system? It seems the Hawks management team believes the latter is the best way to go. So do I.

  12. If they master his system great but to do that you have to learn to walk before you run, and haven’t seen a whole lot of either yet. That’s why i say maybe leveling the playing field a bit first helps that process with acquiring an established no.1 D sooner than later.

    Forgot about Seattle so their 2nd and 3rd picks are 45th and 64th now.

  13. Ian, I understand your argument and acknowledge the route they seem to be taking will require a longer commitment to simultaneously grow the d-men and install the man defense system but they more or less have a fairly long road to go before the young d-men have played the requisite 200+ games and gained physical maturity so the bet is they can install the system at the same time, at at least not extend the learning curve that much longer. I’d say the main challenge is keeping the fanbase bought in (and buying tickets) while they got through this rebuild process without bailing on the plan for financial reasons. Patience is not a virtue in large supply, certainly not if hockey blogs are a good representation of the general fanbase.

  14. One more swat at this tonight – I’m in favor of trying to install a man defense because a well executed man defense is better than a well executed zone defense. The primary reason for using a zone defense (in most sports) is because it’s easier to play and therefore less error prone. I applaud the Hawks for taking on the more difficult challenge to install the man defense system with the hope to be better for it in the long run – AND – for having the vision that grooming the young players in this new system may actually be easier than trying to retrain veterans who have played a different system for many years.

    Will it all work out as they hope? I don’t know but I think it’s pretty ballsy and cool that they’re going for it.

  15. EB an established no. 1 defenseman needs to learn this system too and if one is needed at some point to make blueline complete, why not sooner than later so they can grow together with it. Don’t see putting the young players in a situation to fail for another year or 2 as positive. Having a chance to be successful doing it builds confidence and trust in what their doing.

  16. Ebony- You might not ever have to listen to Pat Foley again.

    The ” I would have put a Bullet in my head” comment- might be his last on Hawk’s TV- when you consider today’s cancel culture.

    Time to watch/follow the Hawk’s Euro prospects in their soon to be played Tourney.

    All Year I wanted/expected Hawks to be drafting Center/Forward. After last few games- D Man?

  17. If this team chooses to stay with Colliton and his Man on Man system you can not have smaller soft forwards that are not strong on their skates and you will definitely need bigger and athletic Defensemen that are capable of clearing their man from the front of the net and slots on their own. This system they employ currently makes Suter,Kubalik,Kane,Hynostroza,and pretty much all of their forwards not named Hagel,Hardman, DeBrincat or Entwistle vulnerable to being overmatched and out of position. On the Defense that would include everyone not named Murphy or Stillman currently and maybe Kalynuk next year. There is a much easier and faster way to success. Play a normal system so that any player that arrives here hits the ice ready to go.

  18. Bluto, I thought the same thing. Three reasons Foley may not be back:

    1. Edzo is moving to Turner Sports next year. No more tickle-fests with Pat
    2. He will not be able to pronounce Andrei Altybarmakian when he comes up.
    3. Gaffs: “Ortega, who sounds like he ought to be a shortstop.” October 2019 / “Had I been traveling with the team this year, I might have put a bullet in my head,” May 2021

  19. Having the Center Ice package in Canada allows you to hear all the announcers-now many of them are annoying because they can’t stop being extreme ‘homers’ to the point it gets cringeworthy.
    They make me want to hear Pat and Eddie, although I get how they get annoying too.

    To everyone take a breath and enjoy the summer.

  20. Except for when a goal gets scored and I want Eddie O’s breakdown I’ve been watching without the sound and it’s a way better experience at least for me than to constantly be at the mercy of a random drivel outbreak from Foley which literally can happen at any moment even when a goal is about to be scored – Eddie O makes some good points but they go on forever often while the action is taking place – no thanks to both!

  21. Seems we’re happy with mediocrity hence we continue with that insane fire drill coverage system in our end that gasses the players and creates confusion for our players. Colliton apparently is a genius so let’s give him another extension. What’s the definition of insanity? Keep doing the same thing hoping for a different outcome. How fitting tonight, a near 50 shot embarrassment.

  22. The Blackhawks don’t have overwhelming talent, but enough, I believe, to finish better than 20th place in the league standings. I watched every game this season and my takeaway is that Colliton doesn’t have a system. Sometimes it looks like a mash up between rat hockey, shinney and a pickup game. So, with the same coach and same players why should we expect anything different next season?

  23. Ian/ER – interesting discussion on D system – I know from interview that JC feels the short term pain of learning the system will be worth the long term gain

    I basically agree with that attitude but there needs to be tangible improvement next year in executing the system or players will start to lose the buy in and the team will lose confidence in the system and the losses will be ugly (like last night)

    I like that they’ve given a lot of young players a fair run this year and I have no real complaints about this year but next year with more players coming in and competition higher for playing time JC and us fans should expect a higher level of execution defensively – if that doesn’t happen then the system or the coach should be accountable – it doesn’t have to be perfect but it has to be better

    I’m dreaming of Seth Jones – my first scenario is that he tells CBL he’s going to test free agency and the Jackets deal him in the summer for some of CHI’s prospects and a 22 first rounder and then the Hawks sign him to an extension – second scenario is that he gets to UFA status and the Hawks sign him (albiet to a huge contract) – I like the first option better

  24. Well, well, a shortened season, a season of covid a season of low expectations and the Hawks finish 1 game below 500. Just a reminder to the overly exuberant bloggers here that in the 2017-2018 they finished 33 and 39. In 2018-2019 they finished 36 and 34. in 2019 -2020 they finished 32 0 31. Today they finished 24 -25. So just as expected. Things I think i learned.

    1-Kevin Lankinen is not a starting goal tender for a top Stanley Contending team. He is a solid back up. He seemed to weaken towards the end in a shortened season. He’ll do for now, this rebuild will take a decade for them to get near the finals. Being competitive is easy, making the playoffs is easy, just finish 3 or 4 games over 500. But getting to the final 4? Yikes?

    2- This years bright side was fueled by a number of third and fourth line players. But the Hawks need help on the top two lines. Third and fourth line players are easy to find and the Hawks have a bunch of them, Good news is that if these “youngsters” are everything the bloggers rave about, they’ll have value in the trade-o-sphere in the off season.

    3- Our defense is just too young and too inexperienced. Remember most good teams have 2 great defense men and 2 pretty good ones, that’s four. With all the “banter” about Boo-Quit he’s not a top two and might not be a top three or four. Only young defense men i see with potential to crack the top 4 are – Keep Wyatt Kalynuk and Keep Riley Stillman. I really like Stillman’s game and the way he leads on the ice, the same for Wyatt. I still think Dunk is done, but maybe he has one last farewell season? Connor Murphy is a solid top four defense men, that’s one.

    The front line players that impressed? Kane who played a lot of minutes and who seemed to be a bit bored near the end of the season. Teams sort of kind of just realized to beat the Hawks ya to stopped Kane, put a body on him, check him and he’ll go away. Kane to me unfortunately sets the “tone” for the type of game the Hawks team plays, way too much perimeter play, way too much over passing, way to many risky passes, weak fore check, looking for the set up instead of taking it to the net, getting shots to the net, getting greasy goals, tip ins, deflections, and get in front of the net. The younger players are trying to play that style and there is only one Kane.

    – CAT had an MVP season, solid 200 foot game. Amazing improvement from the past season, shows what a lazy dude like “Strome” could do if he wanted, but he won’t.
    -Brandon Hagel played his heart out every night, not just a great fore checker but has a good amount of offensive skills.
    – Keep Vinnie Hinostroza always love his game and one of the best passers in the game. good puck handling skills, holds the puck and doesn’t turn it over. He can play on any line. Plays hard and bigger than he is.
    – Keep Dominik Kubalik but he has to finish his checks a play a little harder in the corners. He needs to be a picture perfect line.
    – Keep Kirby Dach for one more year. With another injury he might play even more tentative than he did this year. If doesn’t play bigger, and learn to stay on his skates then trade him. He doesn’t use his size and length to his advantage. He slower than he looks, Can’t teach speed. Never seen him out skate anyone? You?
    – Keep Mike Hardman. I’m really liking this Kid a lot. As I said when I first saw him he reminded me a lot of BICKELL, just finished his checks, strong on his skates, has a good offensive IQ, great positioning on the ice. Good accurate slap shot. Physical but under control Not like Shaw, out of control, running at people, taking dumb penalties, BUT Hardman is under CONTROL, i see a big upside coming.

    Everyone else you could trade’m. This youth movement was and is over rated. No real break out players ( expect for above) and they all really had a lot of ice time. I not one to count goals as to access VALUE but i look to who as a GM. I could build a team or a line around. What role do they play? All the other Hawks can be found cheaper. Plus the REAL GAME is identifying the players YOU WILL BUILD AROUND. Most good NHL teams can parade 4 or 5 top prospects on the ice, the “cattle call” but who are the 3, that you build on, invest in?

    Coach Jeremy Colliton will be here next year maybe two more. This teams, long, sloppy and tedious rebuild is not ready for a prime time coach just yet. BOWMAN will let Colliton drift and hang himself in a way. Colliton has no VOICE in who BOWMAN peruses or trades. BOWMAN has had this team hanging around 500 for years now. Pretty sad, I say Fire Bowman first.

    go hawks until next year

  25. Tim W. – The smartest post of the year. Thank You! Man to Man defense is easy, it’s not as complicated as some say. You are on point – It is the size of the wingers and centers and even the size /slill of the defense men. So YES – Our wingers and center are to put it simply over matched almost every night. So being physical is even more important in your own end. Our Front liners are very easy to skate around, they don’t have the size to slow the play down or “rub off” the player into the boards. Lots of reaching, holding and poke checking. Fortunately our wingers and centers are pretty good at getting back, but that is only because they are so WEAK in the offensive zone on the fore check, they don’t get trapped below the net or in the corners. So of course they get back but it’s not speed or Hockey IQ it’s just them giving up on puck possession way to soon. ( expect for Hagel)

    Even our defense men with big size sort of play weak, The traffic in front our net for years is insane. Last night I counted four stars in front of the net, hacking and whacking for ever, like weed whackers. Hawks looking around like “who’s got who?”

    Man to man is easy, it is the greatest most obvious indicator of how good your Players really are. They match up, and it’s one on one, mano on mano, you switch, you TALK on the ice, you support. Simple. But do you have the skills to hang with Connor McDavid for 45 seconds? That’s way line changes and match up dominate the game. D-men pairings too . . . Dunk & Sebs got a few cups .

  26. Knucklehead – Great post!

    Your points should be very sobering for the ‘wait til next year’ crowd who are intoxicated with the ‘rebuild’ elixir.

  27. Based on some comments you’d think the Hawks got blown out last night. They lost in OT and took 3 of 4 points from the Stars to end the season.

    As much as I agree that the defense needs seasoning I think the biggest hole is at center ice. Looking at their leading goal scorers, Suter (a rookie) is the top scoring center on the team and Janmark is second! Starting without the puck most of the time because the existing centers can’t win a faceoff leads to a lot of shots against and exposes the young D. Let’s hope there is a good center available when it’s their turn to pick in the draft.

  28. Borgstrom signed elc, a big C for next year. Wrap I was cool on Jones trade because only a year left on his contract. But if the opportunity is there, that is where the first impact player is needed to move forward. This team isn’t trying to bottom out next couple of years, so don’t see them acting like it with capspace flexibility available now, there trying to get back to respectability again. Goalies especially Lankinen were put in a position to fail this year, says theres more than just a backup there for sure, consistency Lankinens biggest hurdle to how good he can be. Still stick to what i said before this season, it’s where there at at the end of this season but hiw things look in a year.

  29. The last 2 games were ….well….horrible, yes the Hawks scored, to me it was like watching Italian soccer, where the offense comes from simply waiting for the other team to make a turn over, then surprise with a breakout. Giving up that many shots and being out shot 3 to 1 is pretty much telling your goalie…sorry it your on your own tonight. Delia deserves better, heck any goalie deserves better than that and have a team that actually will try to defend. Hawks look like children playing against men….and it wasn’t only Strome…..the entire D and 99% of the forwards simply sucked at defending their own zone….painful to watch and ya know what….next year will be the same, just be prepared for some good games and alot of not so good games. Colliton will have the same expression too….you know that deer in the headlights look….ya that him.

  30. Totally agree Ian that where they are in April 2022 that’s important – it’s another year of growth hopefully and things should look better by this time next year – if they don’t then that spells trouble however I remain optimistic

    Bowman seems to have his eyes set on adding some impact players – I expect at some point between this summer and September 22 he makes a move or two to address that – the Hawks will have a lot of young players to parlay into an impact player or two – here’s hoping

  31. puck logic

    did you not notice the 47-18 sog stat after three periods in favor of the stars? does that not say blowout to you.

  32. This game was kind of a microcosm of the season, got hot early, not very good on defense, goalies under siege, lacking consistent offensive possession and fell just short at the end.

    DeBrincat came into his own this season, really established himself as a star with the Hawks and in the League. He is a reason to watch Blackhawk hockey.

    Goalies were better than expected, but still have some questions there.

    Defense is not a playoff level defense yet, not sure how high the ceilings are going to be on the kids, saw some good things for sure. My hope is that the experience this year translates into tangible growth going into next season.

    I wish Strome had done more to establish himself as the #2C this year. In a perfect world, Dach could be allowed a full year to develop his offense in a less pressure role as the #3C with (again ideally) Toews returning happy and healthy as the #1C and Strome as the #2C. It’s too bad. that Strome did not cooperate with that plan.

    Thanks again Tab for keeping this site up and running despite the Hawks being less than excellent. I am looking forward to the post season moves and the draft as well as the appropriate updates and discussion here.

  33. IAN
    May 10, 2021 at 8:34 pm
    Philly wins, worst Blackhawks can do is 11th overall pick. A1

    MORRISON
    May 11, 2021 at 2:18 am
    9 worst teams
    10th CAL -3
    11th ARI -2
    12th CHI -1
    PHI 2
    MTL 3
    NYR 4
    DAL 4
    WIN 5

    With ARI cheating and it getting called and exspansion team were 12th?

    So mocks has us in for the same three players that someone listed recently and they are good players. Center that are 200 in soze and Lobos the 5th highest Defensemen in draft/is he good enough to be top pair or do we get that from ufa and add a large center.

  34. The good news this year for me was that we were again able to scrounge up some guys who can actually play. Last year it was Kube. This year there was Hagel, Kalynuk, Stillman, Hardman, Suter and a couple of lower round picks in Kurashev and Lankinen.

    The bad news was the the much-heralded defensive crop from the 2017 and 2018 drafts still looks sketchy with big question marks surrounding all of them and Boqvist’s concussion issues (which were known before he was picked) an ongoing concern. What does it say about our ability to procure top-level talent when by year’s end the best looking defensive prospects are two guys – Kalynuk and Stillman – who were scraped from other organizations?

    All in all though it was a fun year. You can both enjoy it and be skeptical – they’re not mutually exclusive,

  35. The Man Versus Zone argument-

    Basically- neither is “better or worse” as a system.
    The Key- (to Tim W’s Point)
    Zone allows you to hide weaker/slower/undersized/ and or Lazy players- in the system. You still have to have IQ and be responsible.

    Man- Much harder to Hide weak/slow/or lazy players. The more players like that… the harder it is to hide them.

    Offensively- verse man — you need to attack the weak players
    Verse zone- you need to attack the weak/gaps.

    Best/easiest recent example– to compare Hawk’s Man to man system.
    Illinois mens B-ball– getting destroyed by Loyola.
    I watched several minutes- and quickly told my son- the Illini Coach should be FIRED- he was unwilling to Change to zone or change his philosophy while that WIDE Loyola center set High screens/rubs on the guards at top of key… Basically- NO way for guards to thru that Mountain of a man. NO way to stop Loyola- unless they changed their D to zone /or change way of playing that screen,,, Announcer said Illini Coach would NOT play zone!

    then he will NOT beat Loyola

    Next game Loyola- plays weaker team out West– that Played ZONE!!!!
    Guess what– Loyola could NOT score, had 16 points at half. Lost.

  36. Wow…the doom and gloom on here is crazy. I get the frustration and Some valid points but way too early to judge some of these players.

    Two summers ago I happened to run into the father of a young NHL defencemen that I knew from minor hockey. And asked him how his son thought his year went. Two things stuck out…

    1. He said that overall the forwards as compared to the OHL are so much stronger and so much faster and took him a while to figure out how to adjust to that. He went from playing against 16-18 year olds to 20-30 year olds

    2. Every shift brought high level intensity and you can’t take a shift off. Again, in the the OHL, there were shifts where you could get away with not being at your best if you were playing against the second, third or fourth line. That doesn’t happen in the NHL

    He said playing D in the NHL was a huge adjustment

    Food for thought on our young D-Men

  37. 150-200 games. That’s the mark. It has been for quite a while, and likely will remain that way. Dmen take time.

    Zadorov – wildly inconsistent. Still time to develop, but running out quickly.
    Mitchell and Beaudin – look young and play young. Lots of time to develop.
    Boqvist – still young and inconsistent. Health and skating stick out as needs help
    Stillman – more consistent and yes – more physical. Looks to be a more ready player
    Kalynuk – I like what I see here. Mature. Thinks. Still developing but further along. Can play point on PP and is clearly gaining favor with JC

    Yes, we need more physicality on defense. That comes with maturity too for those of a slighter build right now.

    My gosh people – have a little patience. I’m glad I wasn’t raised in your house to be cutting the grass at 3 years old!!

    Lankinen has done about all I could hope for this year. Yes ,he had a few bad patches. Geez people. You sure expect a lot from a first year NHL player. Think of Crawford against Arizona (Phoenix at the time) in the playoffs when he was still green in 2012. 27 years old and he couldn’t stop a shot from goal line extended. 4 or 5 times. AWFUL!!! He killed us and we lost 4 games to 2. Should have given up on him then. What a HORRIBLE mistake by BLOWMAN. (sarcasm sign flashing here). It takes time for goalies too, and frequently longer than Dmen. Geez people. Have a little more patience. Having more than just Murphy playing DEFENSE every night will likely help any goalie on this team.

    Suter had what – 14 goals this year? That’s about 21 or so for a regular schedule. Yes, he needs to get better at coverage and face offs (as does the entire group of centers on this team not named Toews or Kampf). Kubalik can score but needs a grinder to help him. Hagel is, well, Hagel. All the fear initially of his not scoring is gone. We have offensive talent coming, and as Ian has pointed out numerous times we are looking at the development of that group of players to assess who stays and who goes, and the replacements likely will be the role players like Bolland or Krueger, or Bickell. Yes we need them, but they are easier to find. Any arguments about Dcat being the real thing? He just set a pretty high bar for himself. Development frequently comes with time!!!

    And remember – If Toews comes back and Dach is healthy and not timid, then the entire offense gets moved back 2 slots in placement, making all of them be in better slots for their current talent levels.

    We need a more balanced team, one where Kane plays less minutes on average and can find in his heart to play like the Kane possessed to carry the team he was in February and early March. That guy was a monster! Enough of the coasting around and cherry picking. Participate at both ends please – you are extremely good at both end when you actually try to be. Model yourself off of Dcat!! Keith can’t play 25 minutes every night, and shouldn’t. Time to let him be a 3rd pairing guy with 15 minutes. Less or no PP and PK too. Time for others to learn the trade. DeHaan can’t be here to start the season. We need an opening on the left side. Perhaps Keith doesn’t return, by choice or by injury (and no – I don’t wish bad health on him).

    Let’s get 2 or 3 new keys to our future. Yes, holes to fill like top pairing (not a new need). Next wave of prospects deserve a look too – means another messy year, but a year when the so-called 4 horsemen start growing out of their stage as colts.

    Patience.

    I can handle another year of development and decision making. Then maybe a year of filling holes where we see ourselves climbing the mountain. Heck – we don’t have enough gear for the first day of the climb yet. Still comparing products on what we want to buy!!

    Patience please.

  38. Next year we get rid of the Dunce… Then they speed game can be played Every night.
    Great analogy by KNUCKLEHEAD…
    Need a 1st string goalie, and more Bigger Dmen to clear the slot area…
    Also, we need to designate one person on each off. Line to stand in opponents slot area since players can’t do this on their own. Brookbank needs to go. Strome should enjoy his career in Seattle.

  39. This is the way.

    Guys put your stereos on 5.1 surround sound and unplug the center speaker to the stereo in the back. That should mute the announcers/words and sill have every sound effect.

    BLUTO
    May 11, 2021 at 6:31 am
    Ebony- You might not ever have to listen to Pat Foley again.

  40. I wonder if ER get’s paid to write, “wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth.” Could be a good drinking game for future posts.

  41. Good news with Borgstrom signing … I hope. I saw him play in college a couple times and he was the best player on the ice both times – dynamic. But, I don’t know if he skates well enough to translate his game to the NHL. Does anyone have a report on his skating?

  42. Paid to write? Yeah right. There’s probably some posters here who would pony up money to pay me not to write. :-)

  43. Besides the signing of Borgstrom they really need to get a quality ready to play real Center that plays a complete game as insurance for when the Toews/Dach train does not arrive at the station ready to go from puck drop next season. I would draft the Chaz kid at #11 or #12 just in case all of those 4 to 5 top Defensemen are gone. Mock drafts have a couple of goalies going in the top 10. Its tough to develop young physical forwards when Kamph is centering them. I know he wins faceoffs,not last night with 5 seconds in the 2nd,but he is where offense goes to die. He just is very rough handling and passing the puck. Hopefully Gaudette putting on weight and finally healthy will fill out a Center spot. The Colliton system is going to be very porous with 3 to 4 young Defensemen in the lineup. You need physicality that is going to clear out net front and slot areas. Suter is only going to be viable in the defensive end if you play a zone system. I would say the same about Dach if he does not obtain some weight and skating help. Kubalik has to take the DeBrincat leap with his all around play next season. I get being patient and positive but nights like last night can not happen to a team. We have all said this before but just to say it 1 more time,when things are going bad and you are being dominated,a thundering clean check changes that in a hurry. That was not present last night. Late in the 3rd Zadorov had a whole 1 HIT. He can be invited to leave now from what I have seen from him. He is going to get forwards and his partners killed with those hand grenade passes of his landing behind and at the feet of everyone,.

  44. It was nice to watch these kids learn and play this season on the job but learning takes place at the farm league level and these “kids” need to be ready to play in colitons system when they get here. We’ve missed the playoffs for what now 3 seasons?
    NO EXCUSES next season it’s time to get back to winning and playoff form if this team and coaching staff cannot accomplish that then it’s time to start over,again! There were moments of greatness but the rest of it was just a bunch of kids skating around not knowing where to go or what to do. Many times they looked like spectators out there being mesmerized by the puck. Goaltending is a plus Debrincat Kaner hopefully Toews is back, so there are some pluses but the rest need to step it up next season.

  45. Zadorov has been here just ONE SEASON.. GET RID of all the other one season players then also who screw up… He adds thinks to the team thats been lacking for a long time.. Next year , he needs to clean up few miscues and he’ll be fine…
    He wouldn’t be the FIRST ONE I get rid of…lol

  46. Is anyone else concerned with Kane being thrown out there with a known injury for 25 minutes a game most of the season including in games that did not involve playoff implications? Seems unwise to me.

  47. Tim W. If Z doesn’t want to sign a team friendly contract them take a run at Oleksiak from Dallas. Would actually be an improvement.

  48. tim w

    a big fan of your opinions. take a deep breath. this is only the first year of what should have been the third year of the rebuilding plan. too much to be accomplished to get upset about it. i believe there is solid evidence of ample candidates for bottom six forwards and bottom four dmen being in place in a couple of years. i also feel de brincat and kubalik have stepped up this year and made a solid case for being regarded as top six forwards rather than middle six. lankinen at least a capable back up and maybe a solid number one keeper in a couple of years. now two top six centers and two first pairing dmen away from a solid team in a couple of years. not ideal, but a much better place than on 1-1-21. hopefully next year at this time we are talking about dach and borstrom having made the progress that de brincat and kubalik made this year.

  49. HAWKS29, Believe me brother,I had to take a real deep breath and calm down after witnessing that disaster last night. I don’t mind enduring slow rebuilding hockey but I think last nights performance was asking alot of all of us to be patient,but hey,you’re right,its over and we have a few months to agonize over the draft and free agency conducted by Bowman and Colliton. JR ROMAN, OLEKSIAK is a good call and a monster improvement over ZADOROV. Could you imagine picking up Seth JONES,Zach WERENSKI,and OLEKSIAK in the off season. How different would this team look with those 3 manning your backend?

  50. Next years back line pairings would be-JONES-WERENSKI OLEKSIAK-KALYNUK and MURPHY-STILLMAN.

  51. With Tortorella gone from the Jackets they could unload all of their softer forwards and maybe a young Defenseman to them in trade. Maybe Strome,Nylander,Beaudin and a 2022 Draft pick.

  52. Then we could sneak Tortorella behind the bench about 5 games into next season. Its nice to have dreams.

  53. TW – sounds like you’re having fun again – that’s good

    Any move that nets Seth Jones as I’ve said before I’m all in on

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