Brandon Hagel Caps Incredible Blackhawks Comeback Victory in OT

After a tough road loss in Nashville on Monday, Jeremy Colliton made a few roster changes before the Blackhawks hosted the Predators on Wednesday. Brandon Hagel was cleared of a false-positive COVID test and was able to return. Adam Boqvist also returned, clearing concussion protocol in time for this important game. Malcolm Subban was between the pipes for Colliton in this second of three consecutive games against the Preds.

Adam Gaudette and Dylan Strome were out of the lineup. Wyatt Kalynuk and Nikita Zadorov stayed in; Chicago opted to go with seven defensemen on home ice.

The Hawks needed to get off to a fast start but they were fighting it in the opening couple minutes. The second(?) line for Chicago created a turnover and made a play and Pius Suter gave the Hawks an early 1-0 lead. Hagel was credited with the assist; Vinnie Hinostroza created the turnover that turned into the scoring chance.

Now the Hawks would need to hang onto a lead against a Nashville team that has owned them all year.

Subban made a few big saves, but Brett Connolly made a huge save – for Nashville. A Kalynuk shot appeared to be on it’s way to the top left corner of the net but Connolly, whose stick was raised for a redirect, caught the entire puck flush on the stick blade and kept it out.

The Preds gave the Blackhawks the first power play of the night at 11:29 into the first period. Chicago put good pressure on Nashville for most of the advantage but weren’t able to get a clean shot on net.

After the penalty ended, Hagel attempted a drop pass that found the wrong color sweater. A cross-ice pass to Victor Arvidsson was on point and he out-worked Connor Murphy, absorbing contact and easily making his way around the net where he left a pass on the doorstep for a wide open Eeli Tolvanen, who returned to the Preds lineup after missing the previous seven games.

Neither side scored in the final five minutes of the first period and the two teams went to their respective rooms tied at one. Subban was a busy man; Nashville was credited with 16 shots on goal in the opening 20 minutes. The Hawks put 11 shots on net.

Calvin de Haan skated 3:40 in the first period with one hit, one blocked shot and one shot on net. His hip issue was a problem and the team announced he would not return for the remainder of the game. The fact that Colliton rolled with seven defensemen is understandable, but to do so with one who isn’t 100 percent going into the game is ridiculous – especially with Ian Mitchell and Nicolas Beaudin watching like the rest of us.

Chicago got another power play 36 seconds into the second period. This advantage wasn’t nearly as threatening as the Hawks’ first try; Chicago failed to get a shot on net over the two minutes.

The next power play went to Nashville as Ryan Carpenter took a seat seven minutes into the period. Chicago continued turning the puck over in their own zone, making killing a penalty a bigger struggle than trying to survive at even strength.

Zadorov hammered Erik Haula during the penalty kill and it took Haula a moment to get back to his feet. The Blackhawks were able to kill the penalty and Kirby Dach had a great scoring chance at the end of the kill. Unfortunately, Dach was at the end of a long shift and couldn’t elevate the puck to give the Hawks the lead.

Starting 12 minutes into the second period, Nashville was all over the Blackhawks – who couldn’t clear the zone to save their lives. Zadorov lost his stick at one point, Subban made a few enormous saves but couldn’t control the puck. Inevitably the puck found the back of the net; Colton Sissons appeared to settle down a puck above his shoulders with a high stick that wasn’t called and beat everyone to the net to give the Preds a 2-1 lead.

At the time of the Sissons goal, the shots in the period were 11-4 in favor of Nashville.

In the final second of the period, Mikael Granlund absolutely danced Connor Murphy and ripped a shot past Subban. The clock showed 0.7 left in the period and the Blackhawks were now chasing two goals – again.

After 40 minutes, Nashville had a 30-21 shot advantage. The Preds had 17 shots on net that came from the slot. Thirty shots in two periods in a must-win game in which the Blackhawks dressed seven defensemen. That’s ugly no matter how you want to spin it.

The Blackhawks had to start the third period well. They had to.

So Murphy lost his helmet, couldn’t get it back on straight and – of course – the puck went into the net. Again. Luke Kunin was all alone on the back side of the goal and easily added a fourth goal to the Nashville side of the scoreboard.

The score was 4-1 less than 60 seconds into the third period.

One minute later, Boqvist took a dumb cross-checking penalty to put the Blackhawks short-handed. The absolute worst case scenario was unfolding again.

It took almost nine minutes for the next goal to be scored. Nashville had a few more long shifts in the Blackhawks’ zone, putting more pressure on Subban who did his best to keep the score 4-2. But the next good chance the Hawks had went in off the stick of Kalynuk, cutting the lead to two with 10 minutes left in regulation.

Patrick Kane made one of those special passes that maybe a half dozen players on the planet could conceive of – much less attempt – to set up Kalynuk for the goal.

Less than 80 seconds later, Dach made a gorgeous pass to Hinostroza who made the deposit and the Blackhawks were suddenly down one.

Nashville immediately called their timeout. For the first time this year, the Blackhawks had three goals on the board against the Predators.

Because the empty United Center wasn’t in need of fans enough, Dominik Kubalik scored 100 seconds after the Hinostroza goal and shockingly the game was tied.

With the flurry of three goals from the Blackhawks, the momentum was clearly wearing red. So when Arvidsson hacked Alex DeBrincat with a high stick right off the faceoff following the Kubalik goal sending the Hawks to a power play, the excitement outside the building was at a climax.

Arvidsson would sit for four minutes.

The Preds put on a penalty killing clinic over the full four minutes of the penalties. There wasn’t a single whistle on the power play, a credit to Nashville for keeping the puck alive and taking time off the clock.

Neither side scored in the final minutes of regulation and we headed to overtime.

Subban stopped 35 of 39 in regulation and made a series of enormous saves to keep his team alive. Duncan Keith (25:05) was the only defenseman over 21 minutes. And Kubalik had a team-leading five shots on net in 17 minutes of action before the session of free hockey.

With two minutes on the clock in overtime, Hagel ripped a shot home that found the back of the net. And the Chicago Blackhawks finished off a marvelous comeback with an overtime winner.

Hagel finished the night with the game-winning goal and two assists in another terrific performance. Hinostroza and Dach were credited with the assists on Hagel’s goal, giving Dach two helpers in the game and Hinostroza two points (one goal and one assist).

The unfortunate reality is that Nashville picking up one point for the game going overtime means this emotional win doesn’t help as much in the standings as it does the confidence on the bench.

55 thoughts on “Brandon Hagel Caps Incredible Blackhawks Comeback Victory in OT

  • April 21, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    See what happens when Kid Coach allows them to hit??? Debrincat is a animal. Can someone please get Murphy a helmet that fits?? Anybody notice that POS Cousins going after Keith on Monday but wanted no part of Stillman tonight??

  • April 21, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    A win and good report on Toews, i’ll take it.

  • April 21, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    Is the sky still falling, taking 2 of 3 from Nashville?

    I’m not sure whether I should be pissed at the world or enjoying a pleasant start to a rebuild.

    Thank you.

  • April 21, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    re: Aurora – Nashville has 3 points in 2 games. The Blackhawks have 2. They needed to make up ground this week, not lose it.

    Is the sky falling? No. But let’s not overreact to this victory like it clinches anything.

  • April 21, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    The Hawks are a different team with Brandon Hagel – can you imagine the comments if you wrote that at the beginning of the year! I was really impressed by Kalynuk as well. If the refs won’t let us decline power play opportunities then I would give Kalynuk a chance to lead pp1.

  • April 21, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    Most importantly,Great job by the Hawks to persist and not give up after going down by 3. Hinostroza,Hagel,skated hard every shift without fail. Dach was 100 percent better tonight and I get the feeling he knows what he has to do in the off-season to get to that top center level. Now to why we are here. Colliton,s choice to throw an injured DeHaan on the ice and go with 7 D Men was beyond stupid. Why is Gaudette sitting. Not having set lines in a must win game is dumb. Murphy was terrible all night. Boqvist was not much better coughing up the puck several times. Getting horsed in the circle and physically manhandled was the reason they were out hit outshot,and outscored for 2 and a half periods. Work to be done for sure but reason to feel much better than Monday night.

  • April 21, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    Mitchell and Beaudin aren’t ready to handle the relentless pressure Nashville puts on the Hawks so I applaud Colliton for making a smart coaching decision to play 7D because both Boqvist and Kalynuk were coming back from injury. DeHaan was not coming back from injury – he came back from injury on Monday when he played 21:55. But gotta blame Colliton for something, so …

    Speaking of Kalynuk – I love the guy, Yeah he had a bad turnover in the d-zone tonight but other than that he played very solid in the d-zone, skates well, moves the puck very well and has a real knack for making plays and getting shots on net in the o-zone. He would have had 2 goals tonight if Connolly had blocked his shot. Yeah, he only has a dozen games so it’s still too early to tell if he’s the real deal or if he’ll turn into a pumpkin – but so far so good. He looks like a keeper to me.

    I’ll be basking in the glow of this victory over the Trashville Hillrods until the puck drops on Friday. It’s kind of a new feeling and I like it.

  • April 21, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    The league needs to make ripping a player’s helmet off his head a 2 minute penalty. They did it to Dach after the play when he was hacking at the goalie (good for Kirby) and they did it to Murphy. If they aren’t going to let players play without a helmet, then it should be a penalty when it is ripped off, even if it is after the whistle. If a player helps it off trying to get a penalty, he should get 2 minutes for embellishment.

    The fact that Strome sat in a game this important is indicative of something.

    Kalynuk seems very poised and has good instincts for when to pinch and when to go to the net. 3 goals in 14 games (I think they said 14) is very good. Boqvist had some bad TOs tonight.

    Subban was excellent. It is always good to see him play well because he seems to be a great teammate and his play has improved a lot due to coaching. He looks much more controlled. The Hawks may have the goalie thing under control for the next 10 years if this continues. Lots of people savaged Bowman when he went this direction. He either was smart or lucky – at least so far.

    It was nice to see the Hawks figure out Saros by shooting high on him. Kubi and Hagel both exploited it.

    The 4 minute PP was a disaster. It was hard to be mad at them for it after the comeback, but it was still annoying.

    Keith still needs a haircut. 38 year old “rebels” don’t cut it.

    It doesn’t really feel like the best team won tonight, but it was marvelous anyway.

  • April 21, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    To Robs, I’m 61 and have hair 4-5 inches longer than Keith. I am a rebel.

  • April 21, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    Subban keeps stepping up when called, normally 4 goals allowed doesn’t look like a goalie win, but this one coulda been real ugly without repeated spectacular saves
    And wow! Hinostroza – fast, persistent, sneaky and a difference maker is not what I expected when that trade was announced

  • April 21, 2021 at 11:29 pm

    I think part of the reason JC played 7D is because he didn’t know if Zadorov would be a train wreck again (he played much better) or if Stillman would wilt under the pressure (he had some bad plays) but he also wanted forwards he knew could play a fast game and that he trusted

    Gaudette is one game back from what 2 – 3 weeks off and Strome has been a passenger lately and doesn’t really skate well enough to play the relentless way JC wants to play

    As a result the Hawks had a group of forwards who could all skate and I thought JC did good job throwing out different combos

    They still struggle to win an important FO but they skated hard all night which was refreshing although all the same bad habits with puck management were still there – Murphy was on for all 4 NSH goals and didn’t look good on any of them

    I’ll take a victory lap for supporting the decision to go with Subban – now Lanks Friday hopefully

    Best part was seeing the young guys never giving up and being rewarded with a monumental comeback – that’s does a lot for a team and individuals confidence – that’s why it’s important for these young guys to play in these playoff race games

    I’m sure they are thinking to themselves “Did we just do that?” – yes you did – well done

  • April 21, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    This game is just a cornucopia of good and bad. Let’s start with the bad. As Tab pointed out, Colliton started De Haan over Beaudin or Mitchell. Was Collition thinking “I”ll roll 7 defensemen in case De Haan doesn’t last”? Honestly, if that was the case, that is absolutely asinine and unworthy of any coach anywhere But, I am just speculating. Murphy and Keith were not on the good side of the +/- sheet. However, they were 4th and 1st the team in TOI. respectively. Kane and Debrincat were 2nd and 3rd with TOI…which is entirely too much. It is my opinion that both offensive guns are just physically tired. Colliton rides them too much. Overall, the team does not come out ready to play and they’re making really poor puck decisions. Is this player error or a bad system. An interesting sidenote. After the game, I believe it was Hagel, said that when the team just keeps it simple, like they did in the beginning, good things happen. Which leads me to the 1PP Unit. It just sucks. Break it up and keep it simple. Again, Collition, yeah, I am saying him a lot, likes to put all his eggs in one basket. Not a good idea…ever. Lastly, that demon FO%. Ugh!!! Kurashev was the best at 50%. The worst? Dach, statistically was the worst at 22%. However, Kampf only won 9 of 20 FO’s and Suter won 4 of 10. Which leads me to Strome. Colliton gave him the night off in the pressbox. I actually think that was a good move. Strome is not doing much of anything and is quickly playing himself right out of Chicago. I wanted the kid to have a breakout year but…he just hasn’t grabbed the brass ring…or even made a great effor to reach for it.
    Okay, the good. Let’s start with Subban. He looks very focused. He probably should, he got a lot of rest on the bench while Colliton rode Lankinen until he faltered. Sorry…POSITIVE. The kids played really well. Kalynuk. Apparently, that hip wasn’t so bad. The kid had a nice stat line. The most solid of all the defensemen. Zadorov is also playing himself out of Chicago with his overall play. Yes, he’s on the stat sheet for positive reasons, but his TOI play and decision making are sub par. Bowman swung and missed with that one…again. Gilbert was probably better than Zadorov. I know Saad is. Dang it!!! GOOD NEWS…sorry. Kubalik, Hagel, Hinostroza, Kane was solid as was Debrincat. Dach got 2 Assists but I’d like to see more physicality in his game. That’s one of the reasons he was drafted over Cozens. Lastly, I’m not sure about Kurashev. Was he good? Was he bad? Was he just there?
    I’m happy with the simplified play in the last 5 minutes. Clearly, that’s this teams bread and butter. Hopefully, they realize that and get back to what worked. Lunch Pail Hockey.

  • April 21, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    It wasn’t just CDH who was a game time decision it was him Boquist and Kalynuk as well

    JC said post game that he didn’t want to have to play with 5 D again and it proved to be a smart choice to dress 7

    Assuming CDH doesn’t go on Friday Gaudette will probably come in – Strome seems to be playing his way out of the line up currently

  • April 22, 2021 at 12:11 am

    Agree Kalynuk has impressed but like all rookie defensemen he has some areas he needs to work on. See what another year brings for him, he looks more comfortable on his off side than his normal. Seems to struggle more keeping wingers to the outside on his normal, doesn’t seem to get beat the same on his offside, maybe too early to tell too.

    Great game from Subban, gave them a chance and made some big saves, all you could ask of him. Wrap we all wanted him to win, but i still say if Lankinen is your no.1 goalie he gets the call in the most important game of the year, don’t like the call from that standpoint at all. Do agree with your take on Strome, part of why i think is moved this summer and likely part of why Saad may have been dealt for Zadorov was his lack of that drive every shift that we see from the youngsters. Hope Gaudette gets another chance Friday if back to 12 forwards.

  • April 22, 2021 at 1:07 am

    I agree that we all should get the playoffs out of our heads. I have thought that for the last month or so. This should be the time that the organization should be getting a good look at Beaudin,Regala,Mitchell,Johnson,Entwhistle,Hardman,etc. How about letting Kurashev play a regular shift on a line for an entire game. If he is healthy,lets get a long look at Gaudette playing with different players to see what he is. Spread the ice time out and stop skating Kane and DeBrincat over 21 minutes a game. Dach was much better tonight but hopefully his wrist is healed up to the point where he can live in the weight room in the off season and maybe squeeze in a trip to the summer power skating school. If it was good enough for Messier and Coffey back in the day I think its good enough for Dach and Boqvist.

  • April 22, 2021 at 1:19 am

    hawks with 8 goals in the previous 6 games against nashville. strome out tonight and, who would have guessed, hawks put up four in regulation and win in overtime.

    kalynuk three goals in twelve games. a very small sample size, but better to be impressive than bad.

    vinnie playing hard every night.

    if zadorov and strome switched positions they would both still be lazy, inconsistent bums. will bowman have the guts to admit he shit the bed on both trades and clean house of these losers?

  • April 22, 2021 at 2:11 am

    With the assumption that some number of experienced veteran d-men should be in the lineup to provide stability – what is the optimal number of inexperienced d-men to have in the lineup at one time that could provide the best learning and development experience? The Hawks had 3 inexperienced d-men in the lineup tonight – Boqvist, Kalynuk and Stillman – is that the optimal number or should there be a 4th or 5th inexperienced d-men playing in the game? My opinion is 3 is the max – more than 3 is too many and would not provide the stability to provide the best learning experience.

    We’ve got Mitchell and Beaudin and Regula and others who need to get “discovered” and/or developed but do they get put into the lineup at the cost of taking one of the other 3 inexperienced d-men out? It’s all well and good to say they need to get into the lineup but who comes out? If you say deHaan or Zadorov or both – do you really believe having 4 or 5 inexperienced d-men in the lineup will put them in the best position to succeed and gain confidence or will they be on their heels and in scramble mode for much of the game?

    Again, it’s easy to say this or that should be done or done differently – but follow it through and look at all the ramifications, especially in light of the big picture objective for this season.

  • April 22, 2021 at 6:16 am

    Observations and Opinions:
    1. After a loss Colliton usually talks about what the players have to do – battle harder, play a full 60 minutes, ya da ya da f-ing ya da… It’s always the players fault. Well then, give ALL the credit to the players for last night’s performance. Subban stepped up big time. Vinnie Hinnie, Hagel and others played their hearts out. Give THEM all the credit for this one.
    2. I wonder what Nylander and Strome think of when they watch Hinostroza and Hagel. Do they take note of their work ethic, grit, fierceness and how they never stop fighting? Does it inspire them to do the same? Or, are they merely threatened by them and see them as stealing their jobs? Or, do they feel as former 1st Rounders they are golden?
    3. I cannot remember a Blackhawk defenseman having a worse night than Murphy. He was embarrassed 4 times. Someone needs to tell him he can hit the player trying to go around him. Instead, he acts like a greeter at Walmart directing old ladies to the shopping carts. Maybe he can sign up for a checking clinic at one of the local rinks.
    4. I do not believe the reports on Toews. I do find it hypocritical that people are not allowed to speculate on his condition but they are allowed to speculate on his return. Again, the word is ‘speculation’ – no facts, all hearsay. It all comes down to A Little Speculation (if you get my drift)
    5. Dallas.

  • April 22, 2021 at 6:42 am

    TimW as long as the coaches and players are talking playoffs, unless you want bury your head in the sand and pretend they aren’t, it’ll be there. I never based success this year on making playoffs but if it keeps the players bringing it every night and growing as a team then so be it. Same as last nights win, one big period doesn’t turn the season around. Full credit to the guys for playing hard and taking advantage of their opprtunities last night.

    Realize also that they didn’t suddenly become better than Preds, Preds about 5 mins in to the 3rd got away from their pressure game, center ice opened up and they made thwm pay for it greta to see. Game before in 3rd Preds smothered them whole 3rd and never gave them that room to push back. Same with Subban took his opportunity, player great and gave them a chance. The goal at the end of 2nd and Murphy losing his helmet causing a goal first minute of 3rd was very similar situation to the other night when he pulled Lankinen but didn’t. Fine line at this level between success and failure.

    WIJG what said about Toews return in posts last few days was from Bowmans comments not speculation.

  • April 22, 2021 at 6:44 am

    April 21, 2021 at 9:52 pm
    Even when we get beat DET and last NAs we still find way to win other game and are still there at 2. I would rather make the roster Cup worthy and lose 3 or 4 in a row and get to -2 and a top 8/12 pick then win 3 in a row and have NAS DAL lose a couple and get blown by top teams again/when were not ready yet.

    Give these guys credit still playing to win games and meaningful games right after we lose a meaningful game. No quit. Though this is a good yr to lose a few more then win so we can get the horses we need to complete roster.

    DAL 5
    NAS 4
    CHI 2
    CLB -9
    DET -9

  • April 22, 2021 at 6:54 am

    Ian, I do not believe anything Bowman says. Nor do I trust the Dickie Dunns like Darren Dreger that buy the stories he plants.

    BTW, did you hear the Charleston Chiefs are moving to St. Petersburgh, F-L-A?

  • April 22, 2021 at 7:00 am

    What a difference a day makes. Now, that was a playoff team last night. I loved how My Cousin Vinnie easily skates behind defenders to retrieve the puck, but once they get their body on him he loses is. But, still his speed is Fortin-ish!! I enjoyed watching Pius Suter last night, that guy has to be the most underrated player on the team. Boqvist and Kalynuk were outstanding! Zadarov, not so much! Hagel – what a find! Ratings:
    Subban (9)
    Hagel (9)

  • April 22, 2021 at 7:04 am

    It was fun to see them battle (although the 4 minute advantage was cringe worthy, but hey 4 minutes went off the clock). Toews could have both a serious condition and the ability to come back and play-if that is his will-great on him. (I believe this reporter wouldn’t speculate, he’s got a lot of cred.)
    At least this game will allow people to take a breath-that’s good too. And JG-you’re bang on about the two H’s providing a great lens for other players. (throw in 12 as well)

    Enjoy the playoff like atmosphere this late in the season, I for one didn’t believe it would be happening.

  • April 22, 2021 at 7:05 am

    1 More Hinostroza .
    2 Less Zadorov ,seriously send him to the minors .
    3 Murphy needs to grow some testies .
    4 Package Strome ,Nylander and Zadorov this summer and the team will be better.

    Subban made some stellar saves …Hagel with a beauty in o.t

  • April 22, 2021 at 7:33 am

    Only saw highlights and looks like Murph had a rough night. Needed the Magic Tones to pull out the win. A win is a win but this one seems like half of a win. From the highlights the Hawks looked faster and like the better skating team. Need a regulation win tomorrow and Dallas to trip up in Detroit to still have a shot at the playoffs.

    Once the before and after comments appear I hope to get more of a feel of the game.

  • April 22, 2021 at 7:42 am

    Come on TOMMY,You’re my guy but Boqvist was a pez dispenser all night. I was hoping with the rest and recovery he would be much better. The Hawks were a playoff team for about 6 minutes of the 3rd and the overtime. Before that they were again pushed around and out battled by a bigger and stronger team. I believe that the large predator Defense became a little worn down in the 3rd, after all those rushes into the offensive zone for the 1st 2 and a half periods, and the Hawks speed(Hagel and Hinistroza) were able to take advantage. If we had some physical forwards that took the body,it would negate and prevent the repeated rushes by the Preds D Men.

  • April 22, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Who is John Galt, I am with you. I thought that the Dreger piece at the 1st period intermission was generic and really had no specific new information. I think we all knew that Toews was definitely not returning this year. And he really went out on a limb stating that if he progresses he could be back next year. We all will see in late August.

  • April 22, 2021 at 8:01 am

    I’m shocked!!!! Nobody ripping on Keith tonight??? Only when we lose

  • April 22, 2021 at 8:06 am

    Can we resign Hinostroza already?

  • April 22, 2021 at 8:21 am

    Hinnie-n-Hagel– More please

    Reichel- coming next year

    Like to see Altybarmakyan and Hardman get some Games–ASAP

    Subban- has out played Lanks last few games- Lanks needs some mental rest-imo
    Lanks still has better rebound control
    Subban- is improving weekly-imo

  • April 22, 2021 at 8:58 am

    I’ll suggest that part of the reason things opened up favorably late in the 3rd was the cumulative effect of finishing forechecks all game – Carpenter, Hagel, Hinostroza, and Debrincat come to mind – not highlight reel hits, just making NSH D pay a little price every time and wearing them down + Kalynuk’s big check on Ellis along the boards
    By the 3rd Ellis and even Josi didn’t look like they were at peak performance and even made a few mistakes

  • April 22, 2021 at 9:18 am

    @ galt

    1 – throw zadorov into the nylander/strome mix. i am okay with giving nylander another shot although i do not believe at his age he will grow a pair. however, he has had an opportunity to watch hagel and vinnie, two guys with much less skill than he has, exemplify what hustle every night means and how that leads to success. zadorov and strome have played with hagel and vinnie all season and still refuse to play hard. out the door with both of them. nylander gets the shot to see if he will be inspired by what he has seen from the hustle brothers.

    2 – murphy a bad night to be sure. everyone has them, but not often as bad as he was last night. not nearly as upset as others who champion him. he might be the best of the defensive d-men on this current roster, but that is damning with the faintest of praise. on any of the cup teams he would have been third pairing and lucky to get double digits toi a night. i am not as eager to see him moved as i am with zadorov and de haan, but if i am bowman i am putting a high price tag on him over the summer and see if someone bites.

    3 – toews. “should be ready….if he continues to improve.” that statement says nothing other than it is not bad news. i am continuing to hope for the best, but until the statement from the doctor says he will be back bowman should be planning on toews never coming back.

    games left – nashville 1, tampa 1, florida 2, carolina 3, dallas 2. this team isn’t going to the playoffs. time to give some more young guys an opportunity for some nhl experience. really no reason to see carpenter, connolly, de haan, zadorov, or strome on the ice any more. hopefully forever.

  • April 22, 2021 at 9:48 am

    HAWKS 29 – Nylander had plenty of time to work with Toews who epitomizes those qualities I mentioned in H & H and that Nylander lacks. I would trust that Toews probably pointed out a few things and made clear what was expected and how his team does things.

    As Pat Foley said after Nylander didn’t go to the corner for a puck: “he wasn’t very interested” in doing so.

  • April 22, 2021 at 9:52 am

    I’ll try to keep this short. What YOU saw last night was a team that refused to be knocked out and knocked down, I left them for dead but hung around to see how bloody it would get. Pred’s where rope a doping Hawks all night, pounding them at will. What this games shows is only one thing. Pred’s ran out of gas? Nope . . .

    1. Does this make Jermey Colliton a brilliant strategic coach? NO
    2. Does this show that Jeremy Colliton is a great motivator? YES YES YES
    3. Does it show he can lead? Yes . . . But in what direction? Hummmm?

    Getting “players” to play for you is the hardest thing about coaching in the NHL. Playing for you means playing your way, your system on every shift. Colliton has done that with an assortment of “players” he’d trade away in a heart beat. You don’t have 1 or 2 lines that reflect that style you must roll four.

    Anyway last night shows GM and Hawks management that this team likes COLLITON and will play for him, no matter what. It in many way it proof and shows they want him around and back next year. That game sent a message, a big one, and it’s nothing to do with weak run at the playoffs. Do Hawks build around Colliton or switch and rebuild around another? The team has spoken.

    Go Hawks

  • April 22, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Invasion of the body snatchers during the 2nd intermission….as for Toews, my opinion, he went awol from his teammates this year, interesting that he had a huge disagreement with mgt about off season moves, cried about not being consulted, then has a mysterious illness and takes the year off, no word on what is wrong with him….only illness….I call bullshit. JMO

  • April 22, 2021 at 10:13 am

    Beer League- I have wondered same about JT. NOT saying 100% true- but perhaps a
    variable. Plus the fact that his play has declined over the years- while Kane seems to stay “Hossa-like” in his aging/play. So perhaps- his “Mind/heart” were NOT 100% in on this team/management/etc. Certainly could be a factor.

    Is it a 1% or 50% factor in his not being able to play..? we will never know- But even if there is some major- illness/health concern- the “Mind /attitude” is always involved.

  • April 22, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Galt, I know a good bar down there. The Palm Isle!

  • April 22, 2021 at 10:39 am


    with you 100% on nylander. normally i would throw a guy like him, the baby, zadorov, and strome out with the bath water. however……. he is a skilled guy. holding out hope for the very unlikely result that watching someone play as he should rather than being lectured about it might flip the switch. i doubt it, but if he doesn’t go balls out in camp next year send him to rockford or dump him for a bag of practice pucks. and if he finds a pair then a big addition. the hawks have a lot of candidates for middle six and bottom six forwards. not so much top six and nylander has the skills to play at top six level.

  • April 22, 2021 at 10:54 am

    WIJG it’s your choice what to believe what you want, all i know os when everybody wrote Crawford off, Bowman said he was coming back and he did. Last year despite all the inside info here to the contrary, he said Dehaan, Shaw and Seabrook were coming back, Dehaan and Shaw did, Seabrook attempted to but other issues prevented it. Then Bowman said he had serious concern whether Seabrook could play again and little while after Seabrook announced his retirement. Same with players like Mitchell and Sikura who many here had scoops on them signing elsewhere, Bowman kept assuring they would sign when Ncaa career ended and they did. So I go by his track record on those type of issues when he says Toews will be back with no reason to think the intention is otherwise.

  • April 22, 2021 at 10:55 am

    Scott Powers has confirmed Dreger’s story on the expected return of Toews for next season with another source

    Obviously we’ll all believe it when we see it but it does seem the reporting is legit so that good news

  • April 22, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Didnt get to watch again since it was on a channel I dont get but some one mentioned getting murphy a new helmet and last game it came off and someone said it wasn’t his fault. In my opinion, it is 100% his fault. I’ve noticed many players helmets are loose. Not sure about pro helmets, but mine is adjustable as is the strap.

  • April 22, 2021 at 11:48 am

    I believe exactly what Bowman said. Nothing.

    He should not even be commenting on Toews. He should respond to any and all inquiries by saying ‘Out of respect for Jonathan Toews’ privacy, the Blackhawks have no comment’.


    Here’s what we still don’t know (justifiably):
    1. The Diagnosis – What he has or what has been ruled out
    2. The Prognosis – What the medical teams say about his treatment, rehab, therapy, surgery or whatever he has undergone and where he is at in his recovery.

    Bowman should have just kept his mouth shut. But by saying something – actually nothing – he made headlines. Now, everyone is talking about it, which means everyone is speculating and feeding the rumor mill.

    Why? Why now?

  • April 22, 2021 at 11:58 am

    As great as the Hawks comeback was (and it was) it felt more like Nashville let the foot off the gas more than the Hawks taking it to the Preds. On the Hinostroza goal, he was able to get by two or three defenseman who each had a chance to cover him. On the Kubalik goal, how does the Nashville D allow the Hawks best pure shooter to be uncovered 12 feet in front of the goalie? Don’t get me wrong, the Hawks took advantage of what Nashville gave them. But, IMO the Nashville goals were about them team overmatching the Hawks, while the Hawks goals were about the Preds not caring/trying that hard… The better team lost.

    What I did like about this game was how the Hawks speed was able to factor in the comeback so prominently. Hagel and Hinostroza were noticeable in a good way. Suter got rewarded for his forechecking. Stromes absence was also noticeable, in a not so good way. If Strome had Hinostrozas wheels and motor he would be compared to Connor McDavid rather than being a healthy scratch in a must win game. The NHL is about elite skating, Bowman needs to stop with the big centers who can’t keep up with the modern pace. Unless Borgstrom can skate a lot better than Strome, I have little hope that he will amount to anything more than a waste of a roster spot. I am still holding out hope that Strome can adjust, but that hope is fading fast. Speed Kills, the Hawks need to accept that and fill the roster accordingly.

  • April 22, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    T-Dub! I was watching Boqvist’s eyes and body language and he looked so much more comfortable than early in the year. Plus, he was moving the puck well on the PP. Of course you are my fave on this site, but we don’t have to always agree as I am seeing growth with this kid. I speak from experience, because when I was 20 and playing with men, I was nervous as all F. But, my game and confidence grew, and I am seeing some of that with Boqvist. But, he does need to play with a big-boy! I do like Stillman, much more than Zadarov. I just wish that we could have kept Carlsson. But, Connelly is a legit pro!

  • April 22, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    After each of Subban’s shutouts Colliton played Lanks and he got bombed. Why not reward Subban by letting him play those games ?

  • April 22, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Nice one J R. I might book a flight on Braniff and go see for myself.

  • April 22, 2021 at 2:43 pm

    WIJG really all that Bowman said was Toews would be part of roster next year. If he was asked about next years roster and didn’t mention Toews being part of it when he thought he would be, that would create alot more rumours and speculation.

  • April 22, 2021 at 2:57 pm


  • April 22, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    IAN – You raise a good point about Bowman.

    But, either someone in the Blackhawks organization fed Dickie Dunn a ‘progress report’ on Toews or he just took Bowman’s vagaries and used them as ‘click bait’. Either way, it worked.

    We will just have wait for training camp in September to get the truth.

  • April 22, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    Miro – There is no question speed is important but speed without size isn’t enough these days. As bad as we are getting beat up by Nashville I cringe to think how we would have fared against teams like Vegas, Colorado, Washington this year.

    The Toews reporting is very strange. I have seen multiple stories headlined “Toews not expected back this year.” What a scoop! Dreger is a respected reporter so he isn’t going to put out a “story” about one of the top players for clicks but as WIJG said – why put out this report now if Toews is still not comfortable saying anything.

  • April 22, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Hagel, Suter, Hinostroza, Kalynuk And Lankinen, The five “finds” of the year. Keepers. Great to see.
    Honorable mention : Boqvist. He’s close to being a really fantastic offensive defenseman. He needs to trust his shot and fire it more often instead of just giving it to Kane then watching but you can see the ability, potential and confidence growing step-by-step.

    So that’s 6 players who have really bright futures based on their performances in this shortened season. Remarkable. Fantastic news for the rebuild.

  • April 22, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    I’m glad Strome was sitting last night. Against Nashville he just isn’t a good fit. Even though the Trashville Hillrods (kudos on that one EBONYRAPTOR, I can never get enough of that) aren’t as talented as the team that went to the Cup finals, they still kind of play the same way as when Trotz was around. They skate hard, forecheck hard, and battle. None of those are exactly Strome’s consistently strong traits, so he’s just always gonna be on the outside, figuratively and literally, when playing against a team like that. He’s just a lot better player against teams that aren’t so “in your face”. Unfortunately for him and his teammates a lot of teams are like that.

    He’s an enigma because at times he does show that he can play that way. I’ve always been a little surprised that he hasn’t put on more size. He’s tall but slight. You hear about guys like Boqvist really getting into the training room and trying to mature physically. I’m not trying to sell Strome too short but it seems like getting sturdier would help his game, and not hinder his skating (which he can do if he needs to) or his hands.

    Except for one game left, Nashville and Dallas are done playing each other. Looks like the Blackhawks, Dallas and Nashville are mostly all done with Columbus and Detroit, and mostly get a diet of the Florida teams and Carolina down the stretch. Last two games of the season for the Blackhawks are against Dallas. While Chicago is still on the outside, it’s gonna be pretty interesting for that last spot. A lot of things could happen.

  • April 22, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Dont Taaaaz me bro.

    April 22, 2021 at 4:29 pm
    They say the waiting is the hardest part….

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