Blackhawks’ Second Comeback Comes Up Short, Panthers Win Again

Let’s spend some time talking about how the 2021 Chicago Blackhawks had a unique brand of crapping the bed. And Saturday night was a prime example of what makes this team entertaining and the future exciting… and the present so frustrating.

The Hawks got out-skated in the opening 20 minutes, giving up 17 shots on net in the first period. Chicago was credited with 14, but it felt like Florida had the puck for the majority of the period. The only goal of the period came off the stick of former Hawks forward Anthony Duclair.

Florida carried the action to begin the second period as well. Nikita Gusev extended the Panthers’ lead to two at 2:30 into the period and it felt like the visitors might be able to comfortably put this one out of reach relatively early.

The Blackhawks’ power plays were ugly and flat. Duclair sat for two minutes in the first period and Radko Gudas went off late in the second. For 1:55 of the second power play Chicago looked like the mediocre advantage they’ve shown far too often in the second half of the season. But a faceoff win inside the final seconds of the power play opened the door for a Connor Murphy blast that found the mark.

Brett Connolly and Adam Gaudette picked up the power play helpers on Murphy’s goal that came with one second remaining in the Gudas penalty.

Less than one minute later, Gaudette led a good rush with pace and dropped a pretty pass for Alex DeBrincat, who ripped home his team-leading 25th of the year to tie the game at two.

Gaudette picked up his second assist in 52 seconds. Ian Mitchell, who returned to the lineup finally, was credited with the second assist.

So, in review: the Blackhawks were outskated and outworked for most of the first 34 minutes of the game. Then, in 52 seconds, the Hawks show some backbone. The skill showed up and turned into exciting scoring opportunities that produced goals. And a two-goal deficit became an even match.

A glimmer of hope arose from what had been a turd. We’ve seen it all year, and this came in a game against one of the better teams in the entire NHL.

So how would the Blackhawks finish?

Aleksander Barkov scored with seven seconds left in the second period to give Florida a 3-2 lead heading to the room.

Duclair scored his second goal of the night 28 seconds into the third period to push the lead to two.

Owen Tippett scored 59 seconds into the third period to make the score 5-2 in favor of the Panthers.

That hope? Dead. Wheels: off. And the stink was once again rising from the corpse of the 2021 campaign.

The ever-stoic Jeremy Colliton did nothing. That one time he burned his timeout to slow down a run? Hasn’t happened since. At least he didn’t yank Kevin Lankinen once the game was out of reach again in this one. Lankinen would undoubtedly like to have a couple back but he was left on an island far too often once again.

Chicago desperately needed a power play if they were going to come back (again). And Frank Vatrano obliged, taking an incredibly dumb, worthless penalty at 10:42 into the third period with his team up three goals.

With 14 seconds left on the advantage, Kirby Dach tipped in his second goal of the season to cut the lead back to two.

Philipp Kurashev and Brandon Hagel picked up the assists on Dach’s goal. But Chicago was still chasing two with under eight minutes left in regulation.

Lankinen went to the bench for the extra attacker with 2:25 left in regulation. It took the Blackhawks until there were 18 seconds left in regulation to cut the lead to one. Dominik Kubalik scored to make it somewhat interesting. DeBrincat and Patrick Kane picked up the helpers.

When Chicago got a late power play with 7.8 left in regulation, there was another glimmer of hope. But a lost faceoff (surprise!) led to the ending that was expected.

The Blackhawks made it interesting twice. They looked awful for a lot of the game. And they wound up losing to a significantly better team by one.

The Panthers finish the 2021 season 6-2-0 against the Blackhawks.

Mitchell skated 15:16 with one assist, three blocked shots and one hit.

There’s a lot to like about what we’ve seen so far from Gaudette, who picked up two assists in 11:15 and once again flashed some good speed.

61 thoughts on “Blackhawks’ Second Comeback Comes Up Short, Panthers Win Again

  1. Obviously Florida as you say in your article was dominant in puck posession, the big theme of the night but the Blackhawks didn’t quit even after their usual of late disastrous last few seconds of 2nd and first minute of 3rd meltdown, they showed good effort in battling back in 2nd and 3rd. Lankinen played pretty well but agree without any help alot of times tough facing 40 plus shots. Gaudette stood out, like to see him playing the middle, coukd be a bottom 6C option. Hardman will compete for a spot next year for sure it looks like if keeps playing he knows his role. Hope they give Canes a good competitive 3 games.

  2. Young Hawks never Quit and really glad to see that .
    Young team are getting a lot of experience against really strong team with their Captain back.

  3. Fact of matter is they lost and are under .500. Going nowhere until they get a real coach. GL to Q in this year’s run.

  4. Nice to see them get a couple late in third to make it interesting- it showed good effort and as others said Gaudette was all over the place in a good way – if he turns out to be another find from this year all the better

    The defense was brutal tonight – Keith was the only one IMO who had a good game – the others were varying degrees of bad – personally I miss Boquist

    I wonder if Beaudin will be back in – Mitchell was again a deer in the headlights

    Kalynuk’s worse game as a Hawk – Z was Z mostly ok but that with one play that lead to a FLA goal that was horrendous

    Murphy couldn’t handle the puck all night despite scoring a goal – Stillman the least worst of the bad

    Dach another solid game and Hardman too and Lank

    Not sure if Kurashev will fit long term – too early to tell for sure but I wonder

    In 2 years a lot of the rough edges will be gone off some of these players- they’ll make better and quicker decisions and they will have gained enough strength to buy an extra second of time before executing the decision

  5. For the most part, save a couple of minutes of the game,it was a very focused and intense effort by a quality Panther team. The Hawks looked totally lost in the defensive zone with crater like gaps in their coverage leaving all Panthers clear unobstructed paths to the net. A very polite effort by the Hawks physically as the Panthers had an easy stress free skate as they laughed and giggled at the Hawks for most of the night. After the DuClair goal the 5 Panther players on the ice stood at the Hawks net laughing and chuckling away for an extended period of time. A few minutes later the cameras focused on the Panther bench where Coach Q was laughing his ass off mid to late game,which I have never seen before from him during a game. So much for those late season stressful and intense tilts against a division rival huh? Playing this soft team is a gift and free skate night for its division opponents. Good thing they are just in step 1 of their development or as a Hawks fan I might be a little worried about the direction and future of this team. Due to all of the defensive mishaps its really kind of difficult to throw bouquets to anyone for tonights game. Wasn’t crazy about Lankinen either. Oh well,pending disasters waiting in Carolina for the developing Hawks.

  6. Like what I’m seeing from Gaudette. He looks like the player I saw when I watched Northeastern games to keep tabs on Sikura a few years ago. Haven’t been able to assess his d-zone and neutral zone play yet but he has some offensive ability. Interesting story that he had a digestive tract problem that went undiagnosed for a while and consequently he couldn’t keep weight on, Now that they figured out what is was and he’s able to gain weight again – I hope he packs on some muscle and comes into training camp rearing and ready to go.

    Hopefully Dach is able to add some muscle and weight this offseason because he looks more like he did at the beginning of last season than he did in the playoff bubble last season. His ability to power through checks is for the most part missing – let’s hope he finds it this offseason.

  7. Where have all the Blackhawks defensemen gone? The Panthers looked like they were taking warm-up shots on Lankinen. Since they have committed to go with Colliton they need to hire a genius defensive assistant coach. There’s talent on the blue line but they are out of position. I’m giving Bowman one more season to improve or I’m done. With all the talent the Blackhawks have obtained it’s unbelievable that they are not a playoff team. The Wirtzs need to step in and make some adjustments.

  8. The future is exciting. Glimpse of talent is there. Next will be better. Each coming year will be better than the previous one. Ladies and gentlemen the 2025 Stanley Cup Champions your Chicago Blackhawks!

    2025 Champions
    2028 Champions
    2030 Champions

    What do you know. Another 3 Cups in 6yrs,
    Dynasty!

    From the game:
    Must have a table setter for Kubalik. Man does hit shot look good. Same for DCat. Don’t know if anyone remembers my comparison to Theron Fluery. Doesn’t have his agitation but does have fiestyness and is better than Fluery when he drops them. Now to have a 50 goal season. Now if we can find a table setter for each. Weren’t Janey and Oates on the same team twice Bos & Stl setting up people?

    Gotta catch a nap. Up this early cuz Golf League starts tomorrow.

  9. I am glad to see the comments so far have been somewhat positive because I think we all need to be more sensitive and politically correct. Maybe Tab needs to be more Woke and exert more control over people by censoring negative comments.

    Here are some things we could all benefit from:

    1. Setting Boundaries – Unless you are part of the Blackhawks or other NHL organization, you are NOT qualified to criticize, second-guess or dispute decisions by said organizations. Many have said so here.

    No more questioning line ups, line combinations, playing time, player’s work ethic or anything else involving the team. It just leads to controversy, bickering and name calling. Positive comments only!

    2. Self-Identifying – Everyone has their own ‘orientation’ and they all need to be respected. We should welcome diversity and not attack others for being different. We can start by putting an LGBTQ designation after our name to help others understand our orientation.

    • Lampooner of the Blackhawks, especially Bowman and Colliton
    • Gone to the Other Team (anti-Blackhawk)
    • Blackhawks (or Boqvist) Can Do No Wrong
    • Takes Time to Rebuild (in transition)
    • Queenneville Loyalist

    No more calling people names like Nitpickers, Pollyannas, Naysayers, etc…

    3. Renaming – Many of the names we use are politically incorrect and need to be changed to be more Woke. For example:

    Committed Indians – Needs to be changed to ‘Institutionalized Native Americans’.
    JR Roman – ‘Roman’ has to go. The Romans were slave owners and imperialists.
    Herman – Her and Man are terms that are no longer acceptable in today’s culture.
    Wraparound – Just another name for a ‘reach-around’ – which can be a form of sexual assault.
    Knucklehead – There is nothing funny about mental disabilities. Perhaps ‘IQ Impaired’ would be better.
    Bluto – This may be offensive to calorically challenged individuals.

    We should all sing Kumbaya to promote social harmony and unity.

    Respectfully,
    What Would John Galt Do? (L)

  10. HAWKS 2015 – My apologies. I meant to say: ‘teach your friend how to read’

  11. Well, this game started like the majority of games, under Colliton. More often than not, the team comes out flat and plays catch up. I am questioning their conditioning and I am questioning their mental preparation. How often do you have to tell a team to play strong for the whole game? That goal, at 7 seconds left in the 2nd, was absolutely avoidable. But, they quit playing. The smallish defensemen that SB drafted got pushed around. Colliton is a nice guy, but he won’t take this team to the next step. That’s just my opinion. SB blew up the team because he traded Saad for crap. Again, the team showed a spurt of spirit. But, 5 goals is way too much. Florida is an elite team, as is Tampa. This team is a slightly better than average. Gaudette reminds me of a young John Madden. He has good skills and is tenacious. I’d like to see how he does at the dot while playing at Center. What will the off season and the draft bring this team?
    Lastly, I don’t know if this team has one a single game with these uniforms. Let’s put them out to pasture and, if a 3rd jersey is required, bring back the black jersey from the 90’s to early 2k. WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK THE BLACKHAWKS WILL DRAFT? DEFENSE? A CENTER? LW? RW? That would be a fun conversation rather than this game and the next game. Who do you keep? Who do you trade?

  12. WIJG, why ask the question nobody knows the answer to?

    There is alot to be excited about what we see on the ice. Everybody obviously knows or should by now realize this team has to get tougher to play against, that will happen when they figure out which of the current group are keepers. There will be alot competition next season for spots, Hardman and a Gaudette are a couple who can bring an element that helps roster that way by adding a little size and grit next year. Who knows maybe see in a year or 2, Hardman, Borgstrom and Reichel as a top 6 line waiting to happen. Lots of possibilities there in next year or 2. What the defense will look like is still very much a work in progress, when the dust settles likely look alright. One group of guys Boqvist, Kalynuk, Mitchell, Beaudin and likely Kaiser will compete for a few spots. Then guys like Murphy, Zadorov, Stillman, Regula, Vlassic, Philips will compete for a few other spots. Quite possibly an outside add of impact ability as well.

  13. Ian – It is a sign of despair and hopelessness, that answers don’t exist to problems that plague America (or the Blackhawks).

  14. NEGATIVITY ALERT!

    Pat Foley.

    The old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” is probably a factor but Foley stroking his partner is cringe worthy. Whether it’s the all to familiar Pat & Eddie Guffaw Show or he’s stroking Kendall Coyne or Sharpie – it makes watching the game much less enjoyable than it would be if Foley would stick to calling the action on the ice and discussing said action during stoppages. Setting up his partner for an occasional personal anecdote would be fine but he seems to think the audience actually is more interested Coyne’s Gold Medal exploits or Sharpie hijinks. Reminiscing is fine in moderation but he goes out of his way to the point of it being mere stroking his partner’s ego right in the middle of the broadcast.

    Enough already!

    /negative rant

  15. ER – I usually can’t hear the announcers when watching the games because I usually watch them at a noisy public setting. But, last night I did and really enjoyed the Sharpie stories – especially the pranks they pulled on each other – and was glad that Foley kept teeing them up.

    Overall, I was very impressed with Sharpie’s observations and insights.

  16. ER – I am looking forward to Pat Foley trying to pronounce Andrei Altybarmakyan’s name when he comes up.

  17. WIJG – hence my disclaimer “familiarity breeds contempt is probably a factor”.

    I’ll admit I’m a stickler for wanting the play by play announcer to call the play during game action regardless whether the game is compelling or not and Foley decides (for his audience) they would rather be entertained by something else than the game they tuned in to see. I don’t mind those types of stories during stoppages in play (unless it’s excessive slavering by Foley) but not during game action. Foley sees himself as a major part of the entertainment more than he should.

  18. Foley has become so annoying with his gab fest that the last two games I watched without the sound and enjoyed it far more

    I occasionally put it on for an explanation of a play from Sharp (who I like as an analyst) but without hearing Foley act like he’s the star of the show the viewing experience is greatly enhanced

  19. WIJG our ability to reason is our only means to knowledge, to think is a choice.

  20. Best thing that could have happened to us the DET 1-2 NAS FLR not going to get top 7 pick 8-12 area is better/way then 19th.

    Nobodys routing for tank from start/other then everybody saying were going to suck bad and just thought with 3 AHL goalies we wouldnt be better then top 3 pick so thats why that thought from the start. With Lankenin and 11-2-5 stretch then yea had some buzz with all rookie team. Then not reality just development season and its going to plan like a T.

    When I looked at sch after 5 games after the 11-2-5 and guess what it could be I saw maybe -3 -2 -1 0 area and it didnt look like we would get to 0 even but we did and its best thing for us.

    We go to play meaningfull games to make playoffs agasint 5? playoff calibur teams and almost split all the games so did ok/good.

    Lets see if we can get the 8-12 pick and select a better draft player at 9th then 19th. Because this draft player can be really good/better then Reichel good and we need the horses elites and regulars. Have to have enough elites to win.

  21. My only comment is why…why would they wear those awful uniforms 2 games in a row??

  22. Roamn, what I like about winning the Stanley Cup on those yrs again is that Dunks would get 4th and Batman and Robin will have another three.

    For the second time.

  23. The good news for the year is that we found a lot of new guys who can play some and maybe a couple of skaters (Hagel and Kalynuk in particular) who can act as catalysts.

    The bad news is that it is still hard to see an emergent core. Up front Dach is a good prospect and DeCat has redeemed himself big time. If Reichel pans out that would be great although we still need a power forward. The bigger issue is that we still do not have any potential top pairing defenders (despite the three firsts and a second Stan spent on them in 2017 and 2018) and the hole there remains. Some will (still) argue that Boqvist has top pairing potential but IMO core defenders are guys who can play in any and all situations and despite some improvement this year, I just don’t see Boqvist ever filling that role.

    There have been some nice surprises but we still are missing some big pieces.

  24. Carson Lambos is someone who the Hawks could draft – seems like an all rounder on defense – has 1st pairing potential?

    Generally he’s considered 5th amongst available D men in the draft – the other 4 likely to go ahead of the Hawks unless they win the ping pong off

  25. Edman, everyone always says best available so prob that. We do need a to pair Defensemen two of them and another Hoss and Hammer. We might already have tha Hammer/but in a OFF way D guy. So to me if there is one of the five top pair Defensemen in draft top 10 pick the Defensemen otherwise best available.

    I see us getting one if not both top pair guys ufa and the elite player liks Hoss ufa. SOme have to come from ufa because we cant draft that many elites with 15-30 picks they only come from top 10 picks/usually most of the time % wise.

    Thats why I want top 10 draft player this draft/since the start of season. Then I want us to get better each yr record wise and roster wise until were back to top 5 roster.

  26. I been a big fan of Lambos, just reminds me of Scott Stevens in a small sample of watching him. Whether he has that kind of impact or not is a big ask, but he has potential. Obviously who they consider best player available factors in there big time but the success of finding top 6 forwards in Europe makes drafting a defenseman a decent option, unless they see a real gem at forward that other teams may have overlooked this draft. Going to be a tough draft to hit a homerun on this year for sure.

  27. Looking ahead to next year I don’t see how you can have 2 more players in addition to DCat and Kane who are under 5’10” in Suter and Hinostroza-that would be almost half of your top 9 as small players

    Assuming Suter doesn’t price himself out of CHI unfortunately I don’t think there’s room for Vinnie based on age and upside – maybe they trade Suter and Hino stays but I can’t see both of them back

    The Hawks have to get bigger and keep the youth movement going – I love what Vinnie has done here in his return but he’ll be in his 30s by the time the Hawks are any good so he’ll also be blocking a younger player such as Reichel Borgstrom Kurashev

    Vinnie best chance to stay is for Suter to want too much on his next contract which could happen

  28. Enjoyed Pat Foley and Patrick Sharp calling the game. Mostly listened but most every time i looked at the screen the puck was in the Blackhawks zone. Its impossible for me to evaluate wothout knowledge of what the coaching staff wants players to do. It is easy as a fan to say whats is going well whem a team is winning…bit harder when a team is losing and…and you dont know what they are being asked to do in the first place.

    Lots of rookies trying to earn a roster spot. As always sometimes it takes years ans change of scenery and yes physical development to find a oneself a spot. Just my opinion but to me kubalik stans out as someone who may have a long successful career and im not just talking about his goal scoring.

    Looking back at comments frim previous posts regarding people posting about trading debrincat. Well why not conpare it to the constant posts about trading kane? At least the cat doesnt have a nmc and can be traded anywhere…oh and there is that few million dolar difference. Also looking backat people mocking the idea of trading the goalie…well hows his stock look now? Lets say hes hot mext year and decides he wants big bucks..you gonna toss five plus million at him? It is a lot to manage and a lot to evaluate

    . I imagine much evaluation takes place in practice as much as in game.

    Bottom line no GM had much control of another GMs or teams interest in acquiring a player or assett such as a draft pick. Sorry to be a wet blanket. Its easy to say trade so and so.

    Hey trade keith who is one of the lowest paid players on the team…..or how about not.

    But while im raining on the parade its nice stan picked up some draft picka this year but its possible the draft will be pretty muddy as far as long term predictions go maybe even onto the first round…in other words this year the second round pick might end up being worse than the fourth…course we will not know until about eight or nine years from now so dont hold your breath. Either way obviously draft picks onstead of walking free agents. Is an easy choice.

    The fact of the matter is there are open roster spots here for those willing to fught for it. Maybe some agants will be contacting thw blackhawks this summer getting their player a shot to play with kane debirncet and kubalik. Janmark comes to mind.

    Regarding those who wanted bennet yeah i did too but the Seattle draft is an issue there. Not to mentiom Florida may habe some cap issues soon…lot rides on seattle.also two swicnd round picks for him? Easy to say hes done well in Florida would he have here? Im sure playing with kane he would. Whatver.

  29. Yeah Wrap ,Stan wouldn’t want to keep a guy who is hard working and hustles his ass off every shift like Vinny does . Stan will keep Strome and Nylander though .

  30. Wrap, Scott Powers has an article in TheAthletic today that addresses the Hawks forwards heading into next season:

    https://theathletic.com/2561035/2021/05/02/which-of-these-20-forwards-will-be-in-the-blackhawks-lineup-next-season/?source=emp_shared_article

    He breaks it down like this:

    Locks to be on the roster (5): Kane, DCat, Dach, Hagel, Kubalik
    Most likely to be on the roster (4): Toews, Strome, Kurashev, Connolly
    Somewhat likely to be on the roster (4): Gaudette, Borgstrom, Nylander, Carpenter
    Unknown (7): Suter, Kampf, Hinostroza, Reichal, Shalunov, Hardman, Rockford?

    He gives reasons why he slots the players in those categories and for the most part I agree with his reasoning. Here’s his rationale for having Suter in the Unknown category was due to him being arbitration eligible and the Hawks may not want to pay him what an arbitrator determines he’s worth. They may treat him the same as they did Kahun in a similar circumstance.

    I agree with you the Hawks need more size in the lineup and with Kane and DCat having two of the small guy slots spoken for – Hinostroza may not make the cut.

    If there’s a way to trade Connolly – I do it because I don’t see him being part of the rebuild. He’s already 28 and is just a middling player. I’m much more hopeful Gaudette and Borgstrom can grab a couple spots because they have youth, size and skills that could enable them to be key middle-6 guys in the rebuild.

    Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if Reichal needs a year in Rockford. He played well enough in the DEL but his scoring has tailed off down the stretch. I don’t know much about the DEL but playing in the AHL would probably be a step up and the right move for him.

    As it stands right now, here is my 2021/22 forward roster: Kane, DCat, Dach, Hagel, Kubalik, Toews, Kurashev, Gaudette, Borgstrom, Nylander, Kampf and either Suter or Hinostroza but not both. That leaves 2 roster spots for surprises.

  31. Nice write up ER – I see you don’t have Strome on your roster

    He’s an issue because his trade value is low – would they expose with in the draft? Or trade him and get what they can or try to hold on until Toews is for sure back and then trade him and what if Shalunov signs? So many questions around him- I suspect they hold on to him until they know for sure they are covered for centres going forward but if a decent trade materializes before hand I think they take it anyway

    It should be an interesting off season

  32. One comment, it looks like good teams like Florida can score at will against the Hawks. From what I saw when they wanted to hold the puck and control the game they did it with ease. Puck possession 101. They get a 2 or 3 goal lead and then pull back, let up and let the Hawks back in the game. This has happened a lot, not that the Hawks did not earn the comeback but these games reveal very little.

    If this was a first round of the playoffs Florida might have won 9 to 3.

    Anyway so hard to smartly judge or react to this team, such short season, late games with little meaning, mixing up ljnes, bad trades, draft pick frenzy, hire and fire . . yaddda yaddda.

  33. Bowman hates arbitration no doubt about that. So Suter and Kampf likely too are arbitration eligible then, I thought they were but cap friendly doesn’t show them as such so assumed they weren’t as it they indicate it normally. Thing on that until a team knows how much their caphits will be, acquiring either be tough for some teams with limited cap space. Who plays center next year the most interesting spot on the roster for sure. Also gotta wonder if Gaudette is somebody who is protected or does Bowman as is expected, makes a deal to persuade Seattle to pick a certain player( Dehaan you’d think).

  34. My opinion after watching the young Defensemen play this season is that only 1 of the group of Beaudin, Boqvist,and Mitchell will be in the starting group of 6 next season.

  35. @ebonyraptor..agree regarding Connolly..the Hawks already have him on the fourth line..there are certainly better uses for his salary. However, I don’t think the Hawks can trade him..as a matter of fact, the reason we got Borgstrom and Stillman from FL was because they were having difficulty moving him. So he’s probably on our roster for one more year, then his last year will be bought out if there still isn’t any trade market for him. As for Strome, I tend to think the Hawks will try to move him in the offseason. He does have value despite having a down year for us because he’s at a very reasonable cost for one more year. That will appeal to teams looking to find an inexpensive center who is still young. Perhaps the Oilers if they can’t re-sign(happy Tab?) RNH…Hope for a 2nd/3rd pick or a B prospect in return. But I see the Hawks moving on from him regardless of Toew’s status..the Hawks know that Strome can’t play center for 82 games next year. He couldn’t handle center in a shortened season this year with Toews and Dach out of the lineup. The Hawks are ready to move on. If he’s protected in the expansion draft and on this roster next season, it’s only because they didn’t like the offers they were hearing..in which case, they’ll move him at next year’s tdl. Here’s an example of how the lines could look next year(I do agree that DeHaan will be drafted by Seattle):

    Cat-Dach-Kane
    Suter-Toews-Kubalik
    Reichel-Shalunov-Hagel
    Vinnie-Kampf-Connolly
    Carpenter
    Nylander
    Gaudette

    Hardman and Kurashev in the Ahl for the time being. If the Hawks actually do sign Reichel and Shalunov for next season, then this is how I would expect the lines could look. Perhaps Reichel starts in the AHL..if so, Vinnie would slot up to the third line perfectly and then Carpenter or Gaudette could move to the fourth line. Lots of options. As for the blueline, the pairings below are how I hope the blueline shakes out, not necessarily how they will:

    Keith-Murphy
    Beaudin-Kalynuk
    Stillman-Mitchell

    and once Boqvist is healthy:

    Keith-Murphy
    Kalynuk-Boqvist
    Stillman-Mitchell

    So, in both examples, I see the Hawks moving on from DeHaan and Zadorov this offseason. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hawks don’t even qualify Zadorov..I really don’t think they’re enamored with him anymore. Kalynuk and Stillman have provided the Hawks with some nice depth on the left side of the blueline for next season. And it’s depth that wasn’t there at the beginning of the year..but between Kalynuk, Stillman, and Beaudin, I think the Hawks have to like how they’re looking on the left side moving forward..especially with Kaiser and Vlasic maybe only a couple seasons away. Obviously, if the Hawks can get an asset back for Zadorov, then that would be great, but I don’t think whether they do or don’t will stop them from moving on. He really is the type of player you pick up when you’re just about ready to compete for a cup and you maybe just want to find one or two spots on your roster for some size and a bit of physicality..but he doesn’t fit long term on a roster like the Hawks, who aren’t ready to make that leap yet. If the Hawks re-signed Zadorov for three-four years, we would be essentially paying him to play until he’s 30 while we lose games..his cap space is better spent to help preserve and/or add young pieces to this roster that will help us win over a longer period of time.

  36. One thing about icing a roster that gives up puck possession in most games this year, the coaching staff gets to see which of these youngsters wants it the most. Knowing that is against them almost every night and seeing guys like Hagel step up and battle every shift, allowed him and others show what there made of or in some cases not made of. If the end results is a roster of players who will pay the price and can handle the pace then that’s a good thing.

  37. Slayer, Colliton already said Boqvist would be ready for next year, no surgery, inconvenience to his off season training but nothing that keep from be able to start the season. Kalynuk is a well rounded player, i’m sure last nights struggles become a learning experience for him and he will play a big role next couple of years likely or maybe he really is a late bloomer and is a fixture. When you look at the ages of Boqvist, Mitchell and Beaudin though and how much further ahead in their development than Kalynuk was at their age, the potential for those players in next 2 or 3 years to create a much bigger upgrade on the blueline is what i see. Be interesting to see how much this conversation changes next year.

    Connelly if he isn’t injured and only blocking a younger player next season, can be buried in Rfd along with 1.25m of his caphit, enough to recall somebody from Rfd. with whats buried. Agree unlikely anybody wants his caphit.

  38. Wrap & S7 – I think Strome could be a productive middle-6 guy that could score 40-50 points – in the right circumstances – which would be with a solid team around him. Unfortunately the Hawks are unable to provide the right circumstances for Strome to thrive at this time. Maybe if Toews comes back and can return to the same level of play as last season AND Dach can develop into a top-6 center – then maybe Strome can fit into the top-9 and play to his strengths which are considerable with the puck on his stick in the 0-zone. But, even if Toews and Dach play at a high level next season – Strome still may not be the best option available to the Hawks with the plethora of forwards listed in the previous post. So I guess if I had to put odds on Strome being in the rebuild plans going forward I would have to say less than 50/50.

    As for trading Connolly – it will be difficult because his cap hit is higher than his value. If Stan can’t trade him, then the best case scenario would be to hope he plays well enough to be an attractive TDL pickup for a team.

  39. EA Sports NHL has the option to mute announcers and keep ice sound effects/refs/bench. That would be nice.

    There might be a way if you have a good stereo to put it on surround sound and unplug the center speaker which is where the words come from?

  40. Tankathon has us taking Sillinger with Lambos and McTavish available. I’ll be happy with any of those 3.

  41. All these potential lineups for next season have the same “LITTLE TRAIN THAT COULD” feel to them. Your small forwards are Kane and DeBrincat. You can begin to play with the big boys when you employ some type of puck control and to do that effectively you need some heavy athletic bodies that can cycle the puck and hang on to it. Kubalik is your powerplay sniper/specialist. This team needs the Hardmans,Johnsons,Entwhistles,to fill in on your top 3 lines along with a couple of Centers that can win faceoffs and control the play by holding onto the puck. I personally don’t think Toews is coming back,if he does and he can play a hard game,GREAT! Until he appears, this organization better hope that Dach makes a huge transformation in the offseason so that he looks like a top 2 line center. If not,you have to get 2 top Centers. I would be done with Suter,Kamph,Carpenter,Nylander,Strome. This team needs a massive facelift and culture change. I would hang on to Gaudette,Hagel,Connolly,and Hinostroza unless something strong and hard becomes available over the summer in free agency or trade. I would give Borgstrom,Shalunov,and Reichel every opportunity to win forward spots. On defense it would be Murphy/Keith/Stillman/Mitchell and go out and get a couple of #2 D Men,I just do not see that true #1 guy yet but I am searching. Seth Jones and Zach Werenski would be a nice start. Lankinen at best is a #2 Goalie but they should address the mess in front of their net 1st before getting to that. If you play the right system of puck control and D Zone coverage you can sneak by without a goalie standing on his head. Stan has to sit down with Colliton and discuss his system and assistant coaches. When you are undersized and can’t control the puck without quality centers you do not play man on man coverage. Back off with a left wing lock into a 1-2-2 or 1-3-1 and drop back into zone coverage making it difficult to find any open ice in the high slot or net front. Ask yourselves how is it that a rag tag Redwing team can frustrate the Hell out of the Bolts and Canes playing 1- 0 or 2-1 games with them. Can any of us ever envision this Hawks team playing a 1-0 or 2-1 game with the Bolts or Panthers Etc?? Finally,all of your forwards backcheck or they sit. These gaping caverns of open ice in the D Zone should never happen if you are coming back hard. I know many on this site will think this is a bunch of trash,and maybe it is but it is my opinion on how to move in the right direction. Flame away!

  42. I think we can, I think we can, I think we can. Hey Eeyore – get off our tracks.

  43. TW – well if you want all that before you’re happy with the Hawks then you’ll never be happy with the Hawks

    You do raise some valid issues though and sure Werenski and Jones would definitely be a good start but a tad unrealistic – Jones will be UFA after next year but it’s hard to imagine that CBL first of all won’t re-sign him and secondly if they don’t then he would sign with the Hawks – if that unlikely scenario happens though I’m all in

    Werenski won’t be UFA for a few years yet and why would CBL trade him anyway

    I see that your low opinion of Boquist extends to putting Mitchell on your team but not Boquist – IMO Mitchell is way behind Boquist in terms of development and is almost 2 years older – Mitchell may yet be a good D man but the only thing he has proven thus far is that he’s not handling the NHL game very well so I’m following your reasoning there

  44. Scott Powers on his Twitter feed has a nice highlight of Borgstrom taking it to the net and scoring – he’s got good size

    A fella can dream can’t he…

  45. wijg- Re: Foley pronouncing Andrei Altybarmakyan- will most likely be AA

    A place Foley is probably very familiar with, Judging by his slurring.

  46. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iviLY1RvNc

    Foley is awesome and he can do no wrong. I do enjoy the broadcast despite the outcome. I honestly love hearing the stories from behind the scenes or recalling events of years past, things I had forgotten or don’t think about much anymore. It’s a homer call, it is what it is. This feels like complaining that you can’t get a Neapolitan style pizza at Lou Malnati’s. It’s freaking Malnati’s! Deal with it.

    The alternate jerseys, however? They suck…

  47. Pat Foley sounds more and more like Harry Caray. Sometimes, an inebriated Harry Caray.

    ‘Altybarmakyan spelled backwards would be…

  48. Tonight

    Subban starts Delia back up

    Beaudin and Suter in for Stillman and Connelly

    No complaints with any of that

  49. WIJG it would Nay-kam-ra-byt-la

    Ok with those lineup changes, good to see Beaudin again.

    See some good wingers for next year, Kane/Cat Kubalik/ Reichel eventuallytop 6, others at first Nylander for one likely. Bottom 6 wouldn’t mind the bash brothers and maybe Gaudette/Hardman. Connelly and/ or Carpenter depth. Figure the Center position out a enigma right now, likely top 6 Dach and Toews who last summer wasn’t a 100% and played pretty high level, he said he wanted to a 100% again was why went on ir to start this year. I would assume he would expect to play that level to if going to play as it appears now he will. If not more of Strome, Borgstrom obviously a hope to develop into middle 6 C and Kampf, Kurashev, plus other options in Rfd, Europe around for bottom 6.

    TimW, not trying knock Kalynuk, just mean he is 24 yr old former 7th rd pick who and kudos to him, proven his critics wrong, has overachieved to become a well rounded Nhl defenseman. Hope he becomes a very good defenseman for a number of years, i just see these younger guys who are just starting to tap into their potential having an opportunity to make a much bigger impact over the next few years, if they reach their ceilings. Will all or none of them do it, maybe only 1 or 2 do, time will tell.

  50. I like hearing the stories – just not to the exclusion of calling live game action and not with the compliments Foley slavers all over his broadcast partner. The stories would work just as well without Foley recalling how great Sharp was at scoring on feeds from Kane several times during the broadcast. Maybe it’s just me but it seems too much like pandering to not evoke a cringe.

  51. I know it’s too soon to make any long term projections, but I think Kalynuk may end up being the best of the bunch of young d-men. He’s bigger than Boqvist, Beaudin and Mitchell and he skates as well or better than any of them. He reminds me of Klingberg with the way he skates and his offensive instincts and skills. Yes, he’s 2 years older than Mitchell but he doesn’t have any more experience having come right from 3 years in the college game. I’m very optimistic he can become a very good d-man and be long term piece of the rebuild.

  52. If Lankanin is the goalie of the future ….why in the crap is Subban in net tonight ?

  53. Roamn, yea the 5 D guys that might be top pair quality Lambos is the 5th on drafts so I like getting him.

    We know we can add elite top pair Defensemen ufa wise in a couple yrs and were going to have to get one maybe two and also another elite player like Hoss ufa wise. We will have the cap space and the need. So for now lets add a high end draft player in the top 8-12.

  54. I am going with all of the Four Horsemen are going to be good maybe they are all 2-5s thats ok were going to add a elite top pair from ufa anyways.

    Kalynuk is in the Buckaroo spot now.

    Those draft players are big centers.

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