Lankinen, Blackhawks Down Stars in Dallas

If I told you the Blackhawks were getting out-shot 22-8 after 40 minutes of hockey, the assumption would be that the score was similar to the ugly loss the Hawks suffered in Dallas on Tuesday, right?

How about if the Hawks were shooting 50 percent?

After the Blackhawks did the Stars a number of favors by heading to the penalty box on Tuesday night, Dallas returned the favor in this one. And the Blackhawks took full advantage of the Stars’ lack of composure.

Dominik Kubalik scored the game’s first goal 5:36 into the opening period.

That was one of the Blackhawks’ four shots on net in the first period. Dallas put 15 shots on Kevin Lankinen with zero getting past Chicago’s number one netminder.

Chicago killed two penalties in the first period but were unsuccessful on their only advantage of the opening 20 minutes.

The story was different in the second period.

Early in the second, Connor Murphy absolutely obliterated Andrew Cogliano after failing to clear the puck out of the zone. Cogliano struggled to get back on his feet and went straight to the room. He did not return until the start of the third period. No penalty was called on Murphy for the hit.

However, the next four penalties that were called in the game were on Dallas. And the Blackhawks made them pay.

Radek Faksa went to the box 85 seconds into the second period. The Hawks went to work and Carl Soderberg redirected an Adam Boqvist shot into the net to give Chicago a 2-0 lead.

Patrick Kane picked up the second assist on Soderberg’s fifth of the year.

Joel Kiviranta tripped Murphy less than 40 seconds after the Soderberg goal and served two full minutes in the box without the Blackhawks scoring.

Jason Robertson went to the box at 7:42 for tripping Philipp Kurashev. Dallas killed that penalty successfully as well.

The Blackhawks kept pressure on Dallas even though they weren’t generating shots on net. At 14:37 Duncan Keith slapped a shot on net that went in for his first of the year.

Miro Heiskanen then took a brutal penalty less than 70 seconds after the Keith goal. Alex DeBrincat sniped home his 15th of the season to give the Blackhawks a 4-0 lead while only being credited for eight shots on net.

At some point the whistle was going to favor the Stars and that happened twice in the closing minutes of the second period. Dallas was clearly frustrated and a number of their players, including Jamie Benn, were having extended conversations with Murphy after his hit on Cogliano.

One minute after the DeBrincat goal, Lucas Wallmark was sent off slashing. David Kampf joined him in the box 85 seconds into the kill after he tripped Heiskanen in the Hawks’ offensive zone. The Blackhawks had to kill 35 seconds of a two-man advantage in the final two minutes of the period.

They did just that.

And then killed off the final 50 seconds of the period short-handed as well. In total, the Blackhawks spent the final 2:50 of the period on the kill and survived.

After 40 minutes into the game, Chicago had a 4-0 lead with eight credited shots on net. Lankinen was doing well in net for the Hawks and the puck was finding holes for their shots to get in.

The Blackhawks had 35 seconds of penalty kill time carry over to start the third period. They would start the third period against Jake Oettinger; Dallas made a change in net to begin the third. Not a great night for Anton Khudobin, whose save percentage was an ugly 50 for the night.

Chicago handled the remaining penalty kill to open the third. With that penalty in the books, the last thing Chicago wanted to do was give the Stars an advantage. Just safely skate at even strength and maintain (if not build upon) the four-goal lead.

At 5:26 Boqvist went to the box. Thankfully the Hawks killed that penalty as well.

However, the Stars kept the pressure on and eventually ended Lankinen’s shutout bid. Roope Hintz parked himself all alone in front of the net and almost whiffed on the shot attempt but got enough to slide it past Lankinen. At the mid-point of the third period Chicago’s lead was down to three.

With 7:18 left in regulation, John Klingberg skated the puck up the middle of the ice and ripped a shot through Lankinen to cut the lead to two. The Blackhawks were flat offensively and Dallas was taking full advantage of it.

The Blackhawks’ third and fourth lines had a couple good shifts after the Klingberg goal to kill some clock and the Stars pulled Oettinger with 2:30 left in regulation.

Chicago iced the puck a couple times just trying to clear the puck with Dallas’ extra attacker on the ice. Chicago was able to kill the final two minutes and skate out of Dallas with a split to start the road trip.

Lankinen stopped 28 of 30 shots he faced in the game. The skaters in front of him put as many shots on net in the third period – eight – as they had in the first two periods to finish the night with 16 total.

Calvin de Haan and Murphy blocked five shots each to lead the Hawks. Boqvist and Soderberg were each credited with three blocks as well.

No Blackhawks skater was credited with more than two shots on net.

70 thoughts on “Lankinen, Blackhawks Down Stars in Dallas

  • March 11, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    Prime example grade A goaltending effort and hot powerplay leading offense, goid things can happen. Even getting outplayed for most of the game was still fun. Lankinen beong best penalty killer and pk becomes pretty good again, goalie has to your best pker.

  • March 11, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    Should we call that a goalie win for the Hawks or a goalie loss for the Stars? I’m going with goalie win for the Hawks. Lankinen was outstanding and he needed to be because Dallas outplayed the Hawks for several long stretches and couldn’t put one past Lanks.

    Hold the presses, we have breaking news … Keith swung his stick, made contact with the puck and the puck sailed through the air and went in the net. Yes, you heard that right – Duncan Keith scored a goal tonight. Let that be a lesson for all you doubters out there – miracles can happen.

    I’m a little disappointed with Beaudin – he seemed tentative and a little deer in the headlights. Hopefully JC keeps him in for the next game and gives him a chance to get right back up on the horse.

  • March 11, 2021 at 11:00 pm

    We were better than the last game but not by much. Goaltending and special teams covered up a lot of weak efforts. The lack of competent centers really makes things tough both at the dot and in the defensive zone. Suter needs to ultimately move to wing. On the bright side Soderberg is a beast as the PP screen and I thought Murphy was very good and competed hard.

  • March 11, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    Doesn’t Scotty Bowman have a quote about give me good goaltending and a hot pp and I’ll take my chances..I’m paraphrasing at best, butchering at worst, but I think it applies to tonight’s win. The Hawks, especially the defensemen, were not sharp tonight..couldn’t clear pucks..felt indecisive with the puck..I didn’t like the pairings tonight either and maybe the players agreed with me since no one on the blue line looked comfortable all game..however, Lankinen was very good all game which made our pk look better. Couple that with the pp coming through and the Hawks get themselves two points. They will obviously need a much better effort on Saturday. I’m sure Q will make sure to mention to his players to stay out of the box and force the Hawks to score order to combat that, I would like to see the Hawks drive the net and get into the crease more..nothing wrong with scoring some greasy goals..and go back to Keith-Mitchell, DeHaan-Boqvist, Zadorov-Murphy..those are the best pairings right idea why Colliton drifted away from pairings that were working but Boqvist and Keith do not look good playing together and Zadorov with Beaudin on his off hand didn’t look great either..

  • March 11, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    Keith did score. Maybe it will come in bunches lol. Also went behind the net after someone when the other d was on him leaving the front open. Looked like he ole’d on the Klingberg shot too. I give him a pass for this game. Even veterans have a lapse once in awhile.

    28 games 33 points. 56 games 66 points looks like enough for playoffs. Think playing Florida is the only way we can make the second round, maybe.

  • March 11, 2021 at 11:16 pm

    @ms, I think Suter has been playing well all year..he was better at the dot tonight than Soderberg and Wallmark and even though he’s a smaller guy, he’s right in front of the net consistently and he battles hard for pucks..while he probably will move to the wing next year once the Hawks are healthy, he’s certainly been more than serviceable given that we’re down three centers right now..

    @ebonyraptor..I think a little of both is accurate..Lankinen was great and their goalie wasn’t great lol..otherwise, if Dallas had good goaltending tonight, we probably loss 2-1 or 2-0 since we generated so little offensively..

  • March 11, 2021 at 11:34 pm

    Improbable win. Give Zadorov tons of credit. He carried a very nervous Beaudin all night.
    Murphy starting to get a reputation as a ruthless thumper who hits to hurt. Love it.
    Great to see Lankinen have a stellar performance. We cannot have back to back poor performances by Lankinen and Subban. One must always shine for this team have a chance to lock down 4th.

    On the trade front. I was told last week that the Hawks hope to accrue either picks or prospects by taking on bad contracts that they can stash by using their LTIR room.
    Stan is in a good position on that front. Good chance to listen then pick and choose.

  • March 11, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    After the first the play wasn’t as lopsided as the first – definitely a better battle level from Hawks tonight although agree with Slayer on D pairs – I was Ok with changing them partly cause I thought Mitchell needed a game or two off but that’s over now so get Mitchell back in and go back the the regular pairings

    Keith has been a bit of an adventure lately – partly why Mitchell has struggled also

    Soderberg had a great game – I’ll say it again -Strome needs to go to school on this guy – Strome is probably faster than Soderberg but Soda uses his size to his advantage and his smarts to compensate for lack of foot speed whereas Strome trys to play the perimeter game where his lack of foot speed hampers him

    Lank showing #1 goalie form

    Wallmark also had his best game yet I think

    Good for them for finding a way to win – the formula ‘win special teams and have great goaltending = win’ – at least tonight

    Need to split with FLA

  • March 11, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    Craig – thanks for the info – I think we’d all like to see what you laid out on the trade front happen

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Craig, let’s hope your source is correct AND there are some willing trading partners for Stan to pick off a prospect or pick or two. The main thing is they are not in buy mode for the purpose of helping the team win this year where they would be willing to spend a future asset.

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:15 am

    Wrap,You can’t teach Strome what he doesn’t want to learn.He is a china doll who can not be transformed into a BULL.Murphy was solid,Boqvist is playing much more responsibly defensively.Kane has found his Panarin in DeBrincat.With 2 top line Centers this team would be more consistent offensively.Mitchell in for Beaudin and Johnson in for Highmore or Walmark Saturday night I hope.This team needs a couple of bigger physical forwards so they can control the play a little more with extended offensive zone cycles.

  • March 12, 2021 at 1:55 am

    Interesting Craig, Boychuk and Erikson the 2 that jump out as possibilities. Could bury a contract for rest of this season but need to account for it next season. Kessler could be an option too but Ducks not likely buying at tdl so no rush there to move him. Maybe end up one now, one in off season or something. Probably handle a bonus overage after next season ok if need be.

    Boqvist tonight had 2A, 3 blocked shots, only Blackhawk skater on ice for all 4 of their goals, 1 takeaway and 2 giveaways. Not bad stats, couple of mistakes but what 20 yr old doesn’ t, getting alot more consistent in that regard. Much better defensively. Like how he tries to disrupt the play coming through center ice, something the Blackhawks don’t do enough of. Needs to pick his spots better sometimes though.

  • March 12, 2021 at 6:34 am

    ER: “Should we call that a goalie win for the Hawks or a goalie loss for the Stars?”

    I wondered the exact same thing.

    Going back to the Detroit series, every game has been decided by who had the better goalie. It doesn’t matter if its a bottom dweller like Detroit or a defending Stanley Cup champion in Tampa. The outcomes were determined by goaltending.

    Lankinen is solid, excellent mechanics and positioning. Subban is not. He looks like Tommy Boy fighting off killer bees. He has had his moments, fortunately.

  • March 12, 2021 at 7:14 am

    Tim W. – agreed- you can’t teach stones/toughness- you are born that way

    Hawks- love the energy- but need to add skill/strength in near future- to really be a threat going forward. They have some nice D size coming up to compliment the “PM” D guys that are playing now.

    Need a couple of forwards- so wise for Stan to add some Picks- and get lucky.
    Or find some more Janmarks out there. Altybarmakyan- really only guy in Rock that meets -speed/size/skill- needs to learn NA ice.

  • March 12, 2021 at 7:24 am

    It’s a win but only in the score, let’s be honest. Keith seems to be lost at times, and isn’t modelling well for the many younger guys.
    A goalie win and a Dallas goalie loss isn’t a great recipe for the playoffs.

    But this was a big loss for Dallas.
    JG loved the Tommy Boy reference.

  • March 12, 2021 at 8:04 am

    We have been seeing the changing of the guard on D for a while now but last night seemed to make it official

    In an important game with playoff implications (that the Hawks won) Murphy played over 25 minutes to Keith’s 20 minutes – DeHaan also had 20 minutes

    Murphy is JC’s go to D man now not Keith

  • March 12, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Lankinen was important but a couple little things helped too, forwards positioning themselves to give shorter pass options out of the zone, and more importantly a desire to win some puck battles—especially on PP, they returned to fighting for it at every opportunity instead of resigning themselves to watching the puck get cleared and regrouping
    On PP, Still feel like the gap between puck carrier and second wave is way too big and passes back are too erratic, but slightly improved last night

  • March 12, 2021 at 8:25 am

    *last comment = gap on push em back entry

  • March 12, 2021 at 8:44 am

    If we can get Boychuk and a pick can we get Ladd and Bellows and a pick from the Isles?

  • March 12, 2021 at 9:19 am

    Slayer – Suter has been put in a tough position for a first year player learning how to play on smaller ice. I have no issues with his effort. I just don’t know where he fits in the future. He clearly has some nice skills but he has gone long stretches (and games) where he has been unnoticeable. I don’t see him in the top 6, maybe a 3rd line winger. I see a much clearer long term path for Kurushev and Hagel.

  • March 12, 2021 at 9:30 am

    Jezzzzz 4 goals on 8 shots. 16 shots total? Good response to the short losing skid. Kieth and Murph on the ice a lot, over 20 minutes? Smart move. My dad said to me as a kid that when you don’t notice a defense men then he’s doing his job. Nicolas Beaudin did well last night, ( I’m a fan of his ) no big mistakes, pretty steady, his head is always up which yep my dad says is how you tell a great one from a pretended, not sure my dad made much sense. Florida and Q coming up, probably the biggest challenge but these kids can play.

    Lankinen seemed much calmer in net, his movements left to right under control. Plus loving how aggressive his stick is now, saved himself two goals tonight. Looked like he has reached a tipping point.

    Go Hawks

  • March 12, 2021 at 9:39 am

    JR yes that kinda of trade and alot of other possibilities are on the table. Possibly be a buyers market so to speak, where number of teams willing to take contracts are limited with cap staying flat.

    Suter being asked to do alot this year that normally wouldn’t be the case, has done pretty well. Centering top line all season as a rookie who has to adapt on and off the ice is tough. Think he will be a very good player for number of years.

  • March 12, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Owen Power being the next DMan must have how do you get him. Say Buffalo has the pick.

    Only and only if JT hangs them up like Seabs I would send JT’s and Seabs’ $$ for Skinner and #1? I would do all half salaries both ways so it’s easier to move Skinner at 4.5 later or 2.25. Ian, is it possible to move a player to be moved for half his salary to another team after you got him for half his salary.

  • March 12, 2021 at 9:45 am

    It seems like comments aren’t updating if I’m on my iphone and now, I’m not seeing comments on my desktop either..what’s going on Tab? I know it’s not just me since I’ve seen random comments mentioning this over the last couple of weeks from other posters…

  • March 12, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Two players stood out to me last night, Lankinen and Soderberg! There were a couple of other stellar performances. For instance, deHaan and Murphy valiantly held off the on-slaught in the closing minutes. Kane, DeBrincat, Kubalik, and Hagel were constant threats, and Pius Suter was solid. I thought Beaudin and Boqvist were poised, but did get tossed around a bit. Zadarov was solid, while Keith scored, he was a defensive liability at times last night. Honestly, I would not be disappointed if we traded Keith and let Lucas Carlsson and Ian Mitchell play more minutes. While Keith still has some value, trade him!!
    Soderberg (9)
    Lankinen (9)

    Highmore (4) – bring back Reese Johnson – please!

  • March 12, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Good win for the boys
    Nice bounce back by lanks and the pk

  • March 12, 2021 at 10:34 am

    YEa right it doesnt ever even out it only gets closer to the mean average.

    March 11, 2021 at 11:06 pm
    Keith did score. Maybe it will come in bunches lol.

  • March 12, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Carl “the lunar eclipse” Soderberg does goalie screening as well as anyone I can recall in recent memory, at least on past Hawks teams. It’s like he has one of those rearview cameras implanted in his backside that allows him to track the goalie’s position and lean to stay dead center coordinate to goalie and puck. It was textbook goalie screening on DCat’s goal and textbook deflection on Boqvist’s shot. Too bad he’s a geezer and can’t be one of the rebuilt core group.

  • March 12, 2021 at 10:38 am

    JR nobody is going to take a couple of ltir caphits and give up a lotto pick to do it.

    If what Craig says is right and i believe it likely is, then i would say a playoff team that has no tdl capspace and wants some to acquire help is most likely. Nyi with Boychuk and/or Ladd is in there as are Canucks with Erikson, Oilers would like to move Neal and acquire a tdl forward, Leafs maybe move a Kerfoot to have some space, too many possibilities to think of them all. Asking them to retain salary would defeat their purpose to create capspace most likely at tdl. That could happen in an off season move, yes players with retained can be traded again with team retaining up to 50% of the cap they acquired with him.

  • March 12, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Strangest game I’ve seen in a while. Getting out shot and losing most of the faceoffs in a game is not normally a recipe for success. Lankinen was the difference, as has been stated by many here. The kid is for real. If nothing else, this season has given us our goaltending future.

    Overall, we looked tight – the passing was not crisp..the board battles…the turnovers…and yet we shot 50% and our goalie stood on his head. I’ll take it.

    And the previous comment about Beaudin – yes, he did look very tentative, but it’s that reason why he should be kept in the lineup. Confidence can be a fragile thing for young players, and he seems like one of those guys that needs to build his momentum and his confidence. Keep him in! And for goodness sake, put Mitchell back in, too!

  • March 12, 2021 at 10:48 am

    EB, Reese Johnson is someone who can fill that net front role for Soderberg. Whether his ceiling is 3C, middle 6 power winger or 4th line physical checker, he already has what it takes to be a right shot fo specialist, as Colliton referred to, plus loves playing in greasy areas and can be that net front guy.

    Gotta wonder what role Zadorovs 3.2m qualifying offer will play in his resigning. Does Bowman want to Qualify him for that much? Is Zadorov looking for a raise? If he doesn’t resign before then, he becomes ufa if not qualified and how does that affect expansion draft thinking ?

  • March 12, 2021 at 11:49 am

    Ian, I haven’t seen Johnson play that role so I hope your assessment is correct. The player has to be willing and has to be good at it to be effective. Soderberg is both – hopefully Johnson is willing AND able to play that role. He’s supposed to be good on faceoffs too which would be a big plus for the powerplay. He can slot into a 4th line role and play on the PP.

    I wasn’t too keen on having both Soderberg and Carpenter on PP#1 but I’ve warmed up to it and with Kane, DCat and Boqvist there is enough offensive firepower to make it work … I was proven wrong, yet again. :-)

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    EB you don’t need to take my assessment, look up what his juniors coach Brent Sutter had to say about Johnson. He should know a thing or 2 about playing in the greasy areas and what it takes.

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:26 pm


    like johnson as well and highmore has played 68 nhl games. what are your thoughts about why highmore dresses every night, johnson rarely does, and when he does he never plays double digit minutes? highmore just turned 25 and johnson not 23 until the summer. it would seem to me that the highmore we see now is the best he will be. johnson should still have some upside, no?

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    So, 28 games in the books with 28 games to go – the midway point of the season.

    Keeping in mind the primary objective of this season is to discover and develop players who could be part of the rebuilt core group a couple years down the road – what midterm grade would you give them? One possible and probably appropriate grade would be incomplete, but let’s focus more on what we’ve seen in these 28 games than projections for what might be if things go well.

    Using the A/B/C/D/F grading scale, I will quickly eliminate “F” as they certainly haven’t failed the midterm exam, and I will also eliminate “A” as there have been enough miscues and missteps to not rise to the “A” level.

    The young players grading the highest are Lankinen (A-) and Hagel (A-) who have both shown they could be productive members of the rebuilt core group in their respective roles already. The other prominent rookies are Suter (B-), Kurashev (B-), Boqvist (C+), Mitchell (C) and Beaudin (C-).

    However, it’s not only the rookies, it’s also the other young players who could play prominent roles in the rebuilt team. Those players either needed to show their first year wasn’t a fluke – Kubalik (B), or they rebound with improved play – DCat (A+), and Strome (D).

    Part of the midterm grade must include a team assessment that affects young player discovery and development. Considering all things that go into the “hard to play against” category I will give the overall team grade of C+ where there is buy-in to the team game at a level we haven’t seen over the last few years but there’s still a long way to go to become the well oiled machine necessary to win the Cup. Obviously the inexperience of the young players affect the effectiveness but this midterm grade is given for where they are as a group right now.

    I will give the overall midterm grade B-.

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    I think the main reason Carpy is on the PP is because he’s a RH shot and that makes it easier to get a shot off from his bumper role when Kane is handling the puck on the right side as he usually does – secondarily he can also retrieve pucks

    On the surface Kubalik seems a better choice but he’s LH so not in a good spot to catch and shoot a pass from Kane – DCat would need to be the one feeding Kub from the left side but you want Kane handling the puck most often – so there’s the dilemma – not enough RH shooters

    When Dach (a RH shot) comes back I imagine he takes Carpy’s role on PP

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:47 pm

    Ian, I knew about Sutter’s praise of Johnson and that certainly is high praise indeed. I don’t question his willingness to play in front of the net – I question whether or not he is good at it. Doing it in Jrs is one thing – doing it when large angry NHL d-men are trying to prevent you from doing it is still to be determined. There’s a knack to shadowing the puck relative to the goalie’s eyes and not all willing participants have that knack. It would be great if Johnson can play that role effectively.

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:50 pm

    You’re a hard marker ER although it depends how you’re basing the marks – on how close they are to A level teams or how they’ve done relative to how well they could be expected to do

    Obviously they’re not an A team but if we’re looking at this year as a development year then I think it’s reasonable to mark based on how that development has gone

    In that case Lank gets an A+, Hagel an A, Boquist a B, Mitchell, Beaudin B-
    Suter a B, Kurashev a B, Kub a B+, Strome a D (no arguement there), DCat an A+

    Overall lots of mistakes and room for improvement but they’re much better than expected and the development is going very well – an A or B+

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    From last thread ipad phone not posting a half day later.

    March 12, 2021 at 9:19 am
    I am for getting a higher draft pick as anyone because that is the very best thing to stack young wave with better players.

    Thing right now is we’re 3-1 abasing DAL and until they get better then they have recently/like how good they really are like they’ve been recent yrs. we’re going to stay ahead of them.

    We have split every series basically/except a few since first few games. Which means even though TB CAR FLR are top 10 teams we hold our own and still split. That’s means until we donot do that looks like we will whole 55 games because we have for 28 games now. That puts us in a unique spot for regular season.

    Maybe when closer to playoffs the better teams will force play and we get 0-2 to those better teams and we go to where it would be a 8-12 pick and be around .500. This is the yr to not make the playoffs/like last year but bettman has to bettman and have 12 seeds in the playoffs which has us at 17th pick instead of 9th.

    Wow still can’t believe a 9th pick team picks 17th and a playoff team picks 1st. Way to go bettman

    March 12, 2021 at 9:25 am
    Much much get a higher pick with a .500 area record these 55 games and make team better mid long term then next two yrs when we’re really not ready yet.

    Seeing how good a lot of the better/the ones we’ve been waiting for not the fillings/others people said cupboard weak/dry sure that was those players.

    We know we have been waiting for the Mitch Barrett Kurachevs of the world not those others/Morins.

    Solder berg is good in front of net like 65 was for to have players like that.

    Anyways these are good ideas just want to load young wave the most ideal way and that is 8-12 pick not another 17 kind of player because the 8-12 quality player comes with a free 30-40 player and there is where it makes a big difference. We have by fact drafted three gems or more so far last decade from 1st half of 2 nd rounds. 20 12 to name a few.

    March 12, 2021 at 10:12 am
    Don’t spend picks on acquiring either of these centers. Consider Dach a internal trade acquisition and a long shot would be Toews. Keep Soderberg and Janmark unless the offer is good enough.

  • March 12, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Hawks29, I’m with you on Highmore/Johnson. The only reason I can think of is trying to build off the success Highmore had in the Bubble playoff where he played pretty well – as in there might be something there and we don’t want to close that door prematurely. But I’d rather give the ice time to Johnson who has a higher ceiling and this season is perfect for discovering what they have in Johnson. If he is able to be good at faceoffs at the NHL level I would consider him a better player than Highmore on that alone. We know he also plays a good physical game which is more than Highmore provides … so yeah … play Johnson over Highmore already.

  • March 12, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Wrap – you’re an easy touch. :-)

    Actually, you’re right that it is very subjective, not only on perspective but also on syllabus. I think the majority of Hawks would give what they feel is a good grade, even if they don’t wade too deep into the weeds on specifics. The bottom line is the first half of the season is a positive building block, and really there is very little we could have wanted or expected more.

  • March 12, 2021 at 1:17 pm


    grades on:

    zadorov (not a rookie, but new to the team)

  • March 12, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    Hawks29 could be trying to build some interest in Highmore for tdl too. Collitons comnent on Johnson was pretty much , he’s pretty good at fos, when he gets more comfortable on the ice we will be seeing him taking fos. Sounded like there os a role for him at some point to me. Where as with Highmore he seems more of place keeper rather fixture. Another thing with Johnson is he has taken a bit to find his game at every level, injuries part of the reason for that too.

    Wrap think Carpenter is on pp for right shot puck retriever as you said, but also because it’s good to have another fo guy out there. 88 and 12 don’t do fos so he gives option there for certain draws and if Soderberg gets thrown out.

  • March 12, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    Hawks29, Yep, missed a couple guys but I kind of feel Carlsson and Zadorov are not big pieces for the Hawks relative to the players I mentioned. I suppose I would give both C’s, but again, I don’t think either play prominent roles for the Hawks a few years down the road – they both could but I think it’s more doubtful than the other young players.

  • March 12, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Agree that Highmore is being showcased at this time. I don’t see him long term a Hawk, and that Johnson is the heir apparent.

    Murphy being looked at as the go to guy on the PK I think is not the replacement of Keith on the PK, but more an indication of where he is in his career. He’s come a long way, and is only 27. Zadorov being paired with Murphy on the PK speaks more to Keith’s replacement, or at least giving Z a chance to earn a home in Chicago. Management needs to make a decision on Z and I suspect he will be given ample opportunity to make a strong impression, or earn a bus ticket out. Cutting Keith’s time on ice is necessary to get more time for development and evaluation of a bunch of kids. That includes a look at Z on the PK. This pairing brings a different dynamic to our PK, from a stand away from the net and play the puck to a get around the net and play the man attitude. A more physical presence than we have seen in years on the PK.

    The next step will be to get kids completely running the PP in place of Keith. So far they haven’t stepped up to show they can, with Boqvist currently in the spotlight for the job.

    It would seem unlikely Keith would be around after next year, so we need to see his TOI reduced this half season to reflect the players that need evaluation.

    Can Zadorov develop further? Right now, it’s a mixed bag for me. He needs more consistency and at times, more effort. I guess that’s part of the consistency!!

  • March 12, 2021 at 6:58 pm

    Z could use better puck skills but I really don’t think the effort is really an issue – at least no more than anyone else – big guys can look like they’re not putting out an effort – even Lemieux was criticized at times for that but better puck skills would alleviate a lot of his misplays

  • March 12, 2021 at 6:58 pm


    if you guys are correct about 36 being showcased i don’t get it. my thought is get whatever the market will bear for 36, probably not much no matter how much they showcase him, and play johnson 12/14 minutes a night somewhere in the bottom six and on the second pp unit. i can’t believe there is anything highmore can do between now and the tdl that will elevate him trade value to a point it is better to leave johnson on the bench until and if that trade is made.

  • March 12, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    Let’s also keep in mind that while Highmore and Johnson have each been o.k. while playing limited minutes, there’s a good chance that neither of them even play much for the Hawks next year..or if they do, they’re a 13th/14th forward type. The Hawks are believers in Entwhistle and Barratt..each is centering one of the top two forward lines at Rockford and the Hawks believe each of them can potentially provide more offense than Highmore or Johnson, neither of which have shown any scoring touch. Add in a healthy Nylander, possibly Reichel making the roster next year, plus I’m sure the Hawks will add another European free agent that I’ve never heard of lmao and the Hawks will have a lot of choices to make at the forward’s how the Hawks, in my opinion, are trying to build the forward lines..they know that there are only four forwards for their top six..if Cat, Kane, Reichel, and Kubalik are in the top six, then they just have to try and develop two way forwards with some scoring touch for their bottom six..In essence, high floor forwards..I think they’re trying to get the Hawks back to where they can roll out four true lines in order to create mismatches..remember, when the Hawks were winning cups, it was our bottom six that was loaded much so, that plenty of our bottom six forwards could have played higher up in a lineup..the Hawks want to get to that point again..they’re not interested in having a 12th forward who can’t produce any offense at all (unless it’s Kampf playing the Kruger role)..but on the wings, they want scoring..a sample is below..I have Reichel beginning on the third line, but eventually, he and Suter will probably swap positions..if you take a look at our wingers, you can see that having a Suter or a Reichel on the third line can help create mismatches in the same way that having Kurashev on the third line can do the same..then having Hagel on the fourth line can do the same..provide some depth scoring but still be sound defensively..what’s also really exciting for our bottom six is the progression of Altybarmakyan (who has some real bite to his game) and Slaggert, who is having a tremendous first season at ND..throw them into the bottom six mix in a year or two and our bottom six could be as tough to deal with as our top one day a third line of Suter-Kurashev-Altybarmakyan/Slaggert..yes please!


    or if Toews is out into next year..


    or, if Toews is out into next year and the Hawks want to add size to the bottom six..

    Reichel-Lowry-Kurashev (can I be in love with a fictitious hockey line?)
    Hagel-Kampf-Nylander (usually I wouldn’t have Nylander on a defensive line, but I like Hagel and Kampf’s ability to forecheck enough that Nylander on the fourth line could provide some sneaky scoring)


    So, do Highmore and Johnson have roles on this team even by next season? If Reichel spends another year in the DEL and/or Nylander isn’t ready by next year, then probably. But otherwise, I think they’re jumped over by wingers with higher ceilings. One last point..Kurashev, Entwhistle, Barratt, and Slaggert all play center as well as wing so in case the Hawks do move on from Strome, the Hawks can adjust their bottom six accordingly..

  • March 12, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    @hawks29, I’m not ebonyraptor, but I’ll certainly provide grades for Carlsson and Zadorov..

    Carlsson-C. You can’t get an A or B in my opinion if you don’t provide any offense on the blueline. However, I never notice Carlsson, which is a pretty big compliment for a shut down defenseman. He quietly does his job, and if Colliton wouldn’t sabotage him by only playing him on his backhand, he would probably get a C+ from me. Unfortunately, we’re probably losing him to the expansion draft.

    Zadorov-C-. Again, my A and B grades can’t be reached by defensemen who don’t contribute offensively. I could go as high as a B- for Zadorov if he was playing up to his strengths, but I don’t he’s done that know, it’s unfortunate, because when Zadorov finishes his checks, the puck immediately comes off the stick of whoever has it. But you only get an engaged game from him every once in awhile and he still looks like it takes him too long to process what he wants to do with the puck once he has it..on the positive side, I thought that when he was paired with Murphy, they both looked better and showed glimpses of what a shutdown, physical pairing they could be. So he’s been below average for me this year, but I remain optimistic..I also need to remind myself that he’s only a year older than Murphy was when we traded for him..and Murphy was not very good for his first couple years with the Hawks.. last year I thought Murphy really started to show that he could play quality top four minutes and this year he’s been our best for the Hawks, I think they’re still very high on Zadorov and I can see them giving him a contract in the offseason in the $3.5 – 3.75 mil a year range..

  • March 12, 2021 at 8:16 pm

    When you think about it, this almost a perfect scenario for Stan to be in as we are one month until the trade deadline. The Hawks are pretty much locked in fourth, they are not likely to jump Tampa, Florida or Carolina. So it almost makes no sense to add.

    The Hawks will spend the second half of the season trying to fend off Columbus, Dallas and Nashville. To this point there is evidence and strong reason to believe this team will do just that as the kids mature and improve and Dach returns at some point.

    So it makes total sense that Stan will let this group finish what it started. Teams like Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia and others like Vegas and Montreal are going for it now and will need cap space to acquire the player they specifically want. If Bowman can be shrewd, he might be able the nab a few draft picks for the rebuild, without jeopardizing what current team has put together.

  • March 12, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    Sorry, no disrespect but I got a nice chuckle from the “showcasing Highmore” comment. If someone sends us a draft pick for Highmore drinks are on me!

  • March 12, 2021 at 9:33 pm

    LOL I get your point MS. My point was that he is being given a chance to be noticed, should he play to a level another team wants. A 4th or 5th would make me happy. I don’t think he sees much ice after TDL if he is still her.

    Been in our system working hard. This is his chance to have a future somewhere. Bowman has been known to be loyal to people loyal to the organization. See Seabrook contract, Krueger returning contract, Oduya and Rozi.

  • March 12, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    So does Lank start both games against FLA!
    I think so

    Subban has trouble putting multiple quality starts together although he has played some great individual games

    We needs points in on this difficult section of the schedule- time to ride Lankinen

  • March 12, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    MS remember Beaudin and Kurashev picks for Hartman, a 3rd for Tommy Wingels. Don’t sell short how teams value adding depth at tdl, especially in a year where it’s considered a pretty weak draft and lower round picks may not have alot of value.

  • March 12, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    Wrap agree Lankinen likely starts in Florida, if ge plays solid likely stays in.

    Craig VGK interesting, not alot of bad contracts on other teams mentioned there, be more of a hockey trade with them as they have tdl caproom except Leafs.
    If Lehner back healthy, moving Fleury caphit be about only contract they would want to move likely to give them room. Fleury with Devils 2nd rder they own and they get Subban back for a backup. Fleury likely exposed in expansion draft and maybe Seattle take him if lucky. Would do that kinda deal.

  • March 12, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    @ian..really good call on Wingels..forgot all about him..we turned that pick into Antti Saarela, who may end up not being much but the point is, it’s another young player who can develop overseas and whose rights we have..probably not a bad idea to focus on those Eastern Conference teams..they all like to play a heavy game especially come playoff time..guys like Soderberg or even Wallmark and Carpenter could appeal to teams like Washington and Boston..

    @wrap..100 percent correct regarding why Carpenter is on pp1..if the bumper is right handed, that’s the shortest path to Kane’s’s also why the backdoor play continues to work even though every team knows it’s having Kane, a left handed shot, set up at the right dot, and Cat, a right handed shot, set up on the left dot, the distance between their two sticks is, they’re both already in position for one timers without having to settle pucks..the Hawks are unique in the fact that they have two snipers who set up on their opposite’s also why the Kane-Panarin pp worked so well, since Panarin was also a right handed shot who liked to set up on the left dot..adding Dach back to the pp1 will be pretty great too since he also has the ability the take a quick pass from Kane and rifle pucks at the net or just drive the net and stuff pucks at the goalie’s pads..

  • March 12, 2021 at 11:33 pm

    So now it’s back to Florida to play 2+2 against Florida and Tampa, hopefully with better results this time around.

    Florida is kind of a mystery team in that it seems the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. Yeah they have Huberdeau and Barkov and Hornqvist is having a renaissance season but … they’re a better team on the ice than they are on paper. I’m not suggesting they are doing it with mirrors but I’m not sure how they’re doing it. I guess I’ll get a close up look Saturday night. Hopefully the Hawks effort dial is set to maximum AND they manage to make more tape to tape passes than not.

  • March 13, 2021 at 7:45 am

    Ekblad seems to be quietly fulfilling some of the promise touted a few years ago.

  • March 13, 2021 at 8:40 am

    Florida is being rewarded for sticking it out with Ekblad. While he was certainly above average, he wasn’t number 1 overall good from the start. Another reason to be careful about young Dmen – even some of the best don’t develop as quickly as we would like. It will take a few years to shake out who is talented on this team. We likely won’t get it right on all of them.

  • March 13, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Entwhistle/Barratt centering top lines? There are no top lines in Rock

    Whistle has size- not good enough skater-imo
    Barratt- not seeing it yet. But Maybe

    Altybarmakyan and Morrison – are the 2 I am watching

    Reichel- is a lock- talent/desire/IQ – should be a more skilled version of Hagel.

  • March 13, 2021 at 10:35 am


    How much are you expecting a defenseman to contribute offensively when they are playing their off side? You just mention playing with your backhand so that means also trying to clear your zone. It’s not just the stick it’s how you go to block shots. You play the left side you go down on your left knee right leg extended and vis a versa. You don’t just change that.

    Now Carlsson,Beaudin and Zadorov have been playing the right side it’s hard enough for seasoned vets to cover that much less rookies. You grade the defense based on their offense so do you grade the forwards by their defense?

  • March 13, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Mitchell in Beaudin out,Lankinen starting.

    Bluto almost every player coming up from Dach on down has been labelled not good enough skater, somebody must be doing something right with them to change that.

  • March 13, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Silent, that’s why I want as many as possible more the you 5ink needed. Stack the prospects and keep everyone that way we get every good player we drafted/elsewhere have so we have most of what we need. The add ufa wise and if that a top pair D guy at high cap hit so what. That’s what we need then.

    The goal big picture perspective none of this stinking make playoffs get blown out abasing top teams in first or second round root beer.

  • March 13, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Noonan, I forgot Ekblad was a 1OA pick, and yes he has grown into more of a #1 after a few years of less than expected. It got me thinking about Florida draft pick because I knew Huberdeau and Barkov were top-5 picks too, so I checked their draft history and found they had (4) top-3 picks in 5 years:

    Gudbranson (2010 #3)
    Huberdeau (2011 #3)
    Barkov (2013 #2)
    Ekblad (2014 #1)

    I know a top-5 draft pick isn’t a guarantee but Florida hit very well on 3 of those 4.

  • March 13, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    I’ll just put this here: Reichel got a goal and assist today and now has 21 points in 24 games.

  • March 13, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    Thats my favorite cupboard filler so far. headhunter Hartman for Beau and Kurachev.

    More of thaaaat please!

    March 12, 2021 at 10:04 pm
    MS remember Beaudin and Kurashev picks for Hartman, a 3rd for Tommy Wingels. Don’t sell short how teams value adding depth at tdl, especially in a year where it’s considered a pretty weak draft and lower round picks may not have alot of value.

  • March 13, 2021 at 3:16 pm

    @nameless..none of the defensemen you mentioned are on their backhand once they’re in the offensive zone so that isn’t any excuse for them to disappear offensively..Carlsson hasn’t shown any offensive skills yet(doesn’t shot the puck, doesn’t pinch, doesn’t get pucks on net, doesn’t cycle the puck, etc.)..2 pts in 18 games played..a C is fine for him..I won’t grade a defenseman as an A or B unless they can show that they’re a true, two way defenseman which would mean they’re capable of playing on a top pair. All of the above points are also true for Zadorov so a C- is also fine for him.

    And yes, part of a forwards grade would be determined by their defensive effort but I don’t feel like grading all of our forwards..what I will say is that forwards like Kane, Cat, and Kubalik have each done a great job of trying to be more well rounded, 200 ft players..they have each shown improvement over last year with regards to their willingness to forecheck, backcheck, and support our dmen when clearing our zone..

  • March 13, 2021 at 3:21 pm
    Permalink, lack of overall Rockford talent aside, they do have a top six and Entwhistle/Barratt center those two lines..

    My only point in bringing them up was to illustrate that if the Hawks are looking for bottom six options, they could easily have three by the beginning of next year in Entwhistle, Barratt and Altybarmakyan..not assuming any will be ready for the NHL by next season, but they’re potential options..

    Agreed on Reichel..has a chance to take a top 9 role and never leave the NHL..

  • March 13, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    Slay7, be funny to see 4 righgt hand shots and 88 on PP eh. The other team wont know what hit them.

    77 22 88
    12 27

  • March 14, 2021 at 11:56 am

    @Slayer. How do you think Mitchell or Boqvist would do playing the left side? Think their offensive numbers would be the same? And to me a C is pretty damn good for 3 players new to the league or the system playing a position they don’t play. Also how often have you seen Carlsson play the left side in his 20 short games?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *