Lankinen, Blackhawks Handle Jackets

With five players on the COVID-19 Protocol list, the Blackhawks needed to made some lineup adjustments. Matthew Highmore was back in the lineup and another young player made his NHL debut.

Forward Reese Johnson was inserted into the lineup; the Hawks would go with the standard 12 forwards and six defensemen after rolling out seven defensemen in two straight games.

So what happens when you go back to “only” six defenseman?

Lucas Carlsson was stung by a shot just above the knee on his first shift. He struggled to get to the Hawks’ bench, tried to give it a go on a second shift but came back quickly and went straight to the room.

Johnson looked really good early in his first career NHL game, attacking the puck and making things difficult on the Jackets on each of his first two shifts.

Carlsson got some attention but was able to return to the lineup later in the first period.

In the middle stages of the period the Blachawks got a 3-on-2 rush. The puck found Philipp Kurashev on the doorstep and the rookie tapped it home for his third career NHL goal. Chicago led 1-0.

Mattias Janmark and Patrick Kane were credited with the assists on the Kurashev goal at 12:32 into the first.

With 2:32 lef tin the first, Columbus attacked the net. Jack Roslovic slammed the puck on net and Boone Jenner followed to slap home the rebound. We were tied at one.

At the end of 20 minutes the Jackets had a 11-7 shot advantage. Columbus carried the play in the final five minutes of the opening period.

With Carlsson limited in the first, Ian Mitchell skated 6:38 in the period. There were no penalties called so more open ice and even strength time opened up opportunity for Mitchell.

It took only 50 seconds in the second period for the arm to go up on the first penalty of the game. Chicago went to the power play as Zach Werenski took a seat for holding.

The Blackhawks had some terrific looks at the net in the first minute of the advantage but Elvis Merzlikins was able to keep the puck out of the net. Chicago did not score on their first power play of the night.

Both goaltenders continued to make big saves and the score remained tied. Chicago went back on the power play later in the period. Seth Jones was able to spend a couple minutes considering his actions starting at 12:30 into the second.

The second power play wasn’t nearly as active as the first but the Hawks have a couple good looks. Nothing happened and the game continued tied.

Johnson baited Dean Kukan into offsetting minors and the teams went to 4-on-4 with juts under four minutes left in the second period. Nothing happened here, either.

Dominik Kubalik went to the box at 18:30 into the second, giving Columbus their first power play of the evening. Lankinen made a few huge saves with heavy traffic in front of him in the final ten seconds of the period and Chicago was able to escape the period tied at one.

The Blackhawks out-shot the Jackets 16-10 in the period but neither team scored. Chicago was 0-2 on the power play; Columbus had 30 seconds remaining on their first power play to open the third period.

Duncan Keith had a team-high five shots on net in 16:54 through two periods. Mitchell was credited with one shot on net in 11:04 through two. Johnson had a team-leading six hits in 8:08 in the opening 40 minutes.

Pius Suter was replaced as the top line center by Kurashev to start the night after a couple quiet games. He was at a wing on the second line to open to the game, but Brandon Hagel got some run with Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik early in the third period. Suter found himself stapled to the bench.

So how does a younger player respond? Suter got on the ice seven minutes into the third and went after the puck. When Merzlikins screwed up his attempt at playing the puck, Suter shot it off the backside of Columbus’ netminder and into the net to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.

With his fourth goal of the season, Suter took the lead among NHL goalies. Kurashev, who also scored on Sunday evening, is tied for second with three.

Chicago wasn’t done. Once again Merzlikins had issues handling the puck and the turnover wound up behind him in the net. This time the goal came from the stick of Kane at 13:40 into the third.

Kurashev picked up the assist on Kane’s goal, giving him a two-point night.

With 4:09 left in regulation and Chicago leading by two, Andrew Shaw was sent off for a couple minutes for hooking. A less than ideal time to put your team short-handed.

Columbus emptied their goal with 43 seconds left on the power play after the Hawks cleared the puck the length of the ice. With the extra skater and the man advantage, the Jackets weren’t able to score. The penalty expired without a goal.

Columbus kept the extra skater on the ice but weren’t able to generate another quality scoring chance. Chicago picked up the regulation victory.

It was a good night for the youngsters in Chicago’s lineup.

Lankinen made 32 saves against 33 shots in another superb effort.

Kurashev won six of 10 faceoffs and had two points in 14:03 on the ice. He had a good night on the line with Kane.

Johnson finished his debut with seven hits and one shot on net in 10:56.

Mitchell was plus-three with two shots on net in 15:56.

82 thoughts on “Lankinen, Blackhawks Handle Jackets

  • January 31, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    Again the kids won the game for the Hawks ..Lank was solid ….Kurashsev …had a nice game also ..Johnson 7 hits …Suter another goal..what more can we ask from a bunch of kids who are coach the way Colliton is use the coach kids ( was doing the same thing in Rockford a few years ago (and add a great result ) )
    Great game from most of the players …hope Carlson is not in too bad shape

  • January 31, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    The work ethic is absolutely outstanding shift to shift. To have 5 guys in Covid and still beat a decent team structurally like Columbus is fantastic.

    Lankinen = Wow. You found him Stan, much like Panerin and to a lesser degree Kempny and Kubalik and Kahun. Now Do Not Trade Him.

    Was really liking Lucas Carlsson’s game tonight. Then he did not play one shift in the third period. Obviously hurting from the first period shot block. But zilch out of Pat and Eddie about the Hawks going with 5 D.

  • January 31, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    Anybody not like the energy Johnson brought to lineup, much needed physical play seem to get everybody playing a little more tougher to play against. Actually 3-1-3 in last 7 games, playing hard, team defense showing some promise as hoped, still work to do but trending in right direction. Lankinen looking like he could be for real. Regardless of wins and lots, alot going now you gotta like with youngsters. Love the hustle their showing.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    Not going to get worried yet though other then the first two games where we had how many? players playing for fist time in league and with each other/forst two games for those players. Since those first two games were .500 agasint midtier teams. 0-2 TB 2-0 DET might be an 0-8 8-0 kind of thing.

    So ifwe split/w l or t agasint the others/midteir teams thats not good thats 25-25-change. We need to be 20-30 to have a shot at the 3 spot. Because OTT and DET suck sooooo bad that even though its early no team in the league can match that.

    Were playing agasint the SJ ANA LA kind of teams for the 3 spot before ping pong balls.

    What scares me is without 20 50 77 19 and virus vacationers and 3 AHL goalies were splitting the 2 games with every midteir team. Only thing that will help us is getting games with DAL CAR. Once we cycaled through every team in division we should be near those bottom 5 record teams.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:06 pm

    Unless DET starts splitting every 2 games with division teams except TB then were 3 spot at best. And DET aint doing shit for a very looooooong time.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Once again. Janmark = way better than advertised. Excellent player.
    Zadorov = Enrico Ciccone.
    DeHaan will likely be moved at the deadline to a contender.

    Kurashev looks like he’s NHL-ready.
    I wish Hagel had hit the empty net. Would have been a nice reward.

    If Carlsson is out then it’s either Kalynuk or Lindblom at #6 until Beaudin is out of Covid protocol.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Lankenin is good thats good for future wave just donot be better then 15-15 or were screwed.

    Lankenin is 3-1-2 and the Blackhawks are undefeated in 6 of 7 games. Thats not the recipe for a top 5 draft player.

    Its early though and I like the good things weve seen/have with the young players.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:16 pm

    That was a fun game to watch, and that’s saying something when your opponent is Columbus because usually Columbus plays a boring taffy pull style.

    There’s a lot to like. starting with Lankinen. Keeping fingers crossed we’re seeing the real deal and not just some guy playing out of his mind for a couple week before he reverts back to being an up and down AHL goalie.

    Really like Kurashev too. I didn’t think he would play this well against NHL’ers. So far, I’m happy to have been wrong on that one. Columbus doesn’t have stud centers like some other teams do so we’ll have to see how he does against the best, but even if he struggles as a top-6 center he can play the wing pretty well. Looks like a keeper to me.

    I may have to stay up and watch the rerun of this game.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    Lankinen’s net to lose n9w.

    Let that Reese Johnson kid play.
    He brings grit on the forecheck and gets nose dirty.
    Typical Sutter coached kid.

    Kurashev doing well but needs to be better and smarter defensively in all zones.
    Fancy drop passes at the blue line late in the game when leading by a goal is hopefully something Coach Gilligan will beat into his head to not do.

    He tried to hard to get cute and it burns him a lot.

    All in all, doing slightly better than expected after 10 games.

    I expected 3-6-1.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Even more impressive than taking advantage of the Columbus goaltender’s puck handling troubles was the willingness of Suter and Kurashev to chase pucks below the goal line..neither are in a position to make the plays they did if they weren’t willing to go below and behind the goal line in an effort to win pucks..and I love the fact that it seems they each find a way to contribute no matter which line they’re on or who their linemates are..these are the types of players that can help you win a lot of hockey games once the Hawks are fully healthy..they win puck battles, they can find open teammates, and they have the ability to finish too..not sure what our top six will look like once everyone is healthy, but if Cat-Strome-Kurashev is our 3rd line, they will have a lot of success against other teams third pairings..maybe a lineup like this in the future:


  • January 31, 2021 at 9:27 pm

    love the enthusiasm for the forecheck. opposing keepers don’t cough up pucks twice without pressure. love the effort.

    these kids aren’t top six skill types, but the best teams have killer bottom six players and it looks like the hawks are developing several of those types who will be on the cheap cap wise.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    Ian, you have always had Johnsons back I like Barratt the same way. Let these guys be good players for quality deep 4th line/were they fit.

    Roll 4 lines once were deep again. Speed relentlesness.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    Our goalie was better than their goalie tonight.Jackets goalie looked like Delia with his adventures handling the puck.A couple more forwards like Reese Johnson would make life a lot easier and create some room.Zadorov is sloppy and a train wreck. Not many hits from him tonight either. Lanks keeps getting better.Kane and Janmark were active and sharp all night.Kalynuk might be next up.Dont know how he has looked since camp.

  • January 31, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    A little return karma from the hockey gods. Nice to see the young guys work hard and get rewarded. Saw Lankinen interviewed post-game, he sure sounds like a guy who believes in himself. Carolina will be the best team we played since Tampa so the next two games will be interesting. Janmark’s skating has been a pleasant surprise for a guy who was considered more of a defensive forward in Dallas. Sloppy is a good description of Zadorov’s play. His puck handling needs to be way better. Loved the soft hands Kurashev showed on both the goal and assist. Those were not simple plays. He may turn out to be a pretty good 4th round pick….

  • January 31, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    @ Morrison- you focus WAY too much on getting a top draft pick. That shouldn’t be the goal, especially this season without a lot of standout prospects and little to no game action in the juniors this season. Prospects aren’t always a sure thing anyway. The goal this season is the development of the kids. If they happen to play good hockey and win games along the way, good for them. They’re not going to make the playoffs, but they’re playing better than expected, especially with all the injuries and games missed to Covid protocol.

  • January 31, 2021 at 10:52 pm

    Okie Hawks
    Yes you are right Morrison is focus on a top3 draft pick that’s all .he is focus on loosing the maximum of game this year and next year also to get some draft pick hahaha.and it’s like this since the first game,he doesn’t want to see the kids in the playoff At all .He wants them last . Normally you see guys looking for a top 3 when the season is almost finish and they want to loose the last 10-12 games to get a top pick but Not Mo ,he is a funny guy who wants to loose them all from the start to be sure hahaha .
    He is not a bad guy he just want to get a Cam Barker or a Sydney Crosby ….

  • January 31, 2021 at 11:13 pm

    Slayer – I was fooling around with lines as well – those are the same top 9 as I had but these were my lines
    If Janmark stays he plays but if he’s traded Nylander could slot in there


  • January 31, 2021 at 11:18 pm

    As others mentioned Zadorov was very sloppy
    He seemed better in the first few games – maybe he needs to hit more to get mentally into the game
    Liking the development of 23 -that pass to Kane was top 6 quality skill
    This is the Lankinen I saw at Worlds 2019 -so glad that that performance doesn’t appear to be a fluke – all indicators are he’s legit -if so that’s a huge step forward for the team

  • January 31, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Love the effort. For a bunch of kids thrown into a season of low expectations, they are trying to make a point – don’t count us out. The last time we got a top 5 draft pick wasn’t because we finished there. Maybe history can repeat itself.

    Are we a bubble team? Are we better than that?

    Kudos to 88 for playing a much better all around game tonight. For a player with his skating and hands, his ability to create plays defensively is an addition this team sorely needs. Tonight he did that. And I enjoyed each moment of it. Thanks Kaner for being there tonight. That’s leadership.

    Awfully quiet on the JC bashing front… And it oddly appears that maybe we have assembled a bunch of kids through acquisitions, drafting and smart moves that could possibly create some NHL level quality too.

    I’m waiting for the Lankinen stinker game. Then I will carefully watch for the rebound game.

    I’m hoping to become impressed by Zadorov, but that is looking harder to happen than I had hoped.

    Wh’d a thunk we would be playing this well after the open trip to Florida?

  • February 1, 2021 at 12:28 am

    silent spot

    not criticizing you. what you praised kane for should be part of his game every game. sadly it is not. the fact you are praising him is an indication he doesn’t bring defensive hustle very often.

  • February 1, 2021 at 12:53 am

    Wrap/Slayer Reichel likely signs his elc for next year and after a little while in Rfd. he could be slotting in with say Dach and Kane by mid season too.

  • February 1, 2021 at 1:09 am

    We are on the same page. I’ve been critical of Kane for as long as I have posted here, much to the displeasure of many. Kane was fortunate enough to play with mates whose skills could cover for his defensive dissinterest, and he managed 3 Stanley Cups during those times. Yes, he was a major part of those championships, but if he wants another – he best play like he did Sunday night. The talent level of his supporting cast desperately needs his leadership and yes – his talents. All of them.

    Time to become a complete player, not just an offensive force.

  • February 1, 2021 at 1:38 am

    Nice game tonight, things are looking a bit more promising. Kurashev and Hagel are definite keepers, in my opinion. Hagel is always digging, relentless after the puck. He will begin to score. Suter, I like. I thought Reese Johnson was very good. We need to keep this kid playing, too. Looks like he’s got the potential to be a really nice surprise. Janmark, I’d keep. Walmart, Soderberg, Carpenter, to the draft list or deadline trades. And, please, will all of you who insist on including Nylander as an integral part of next year’s squad…STOP. He was a bad trade. And half the time looks like he has no interest in playing. Dump! Johnson looked a better fit after one game. And..Lankinen…there’s our goalie. By end of season, he’ll be even better. Experience will help.

  • February 1, 2021 at 1:41 am

    silent spot

    haven’t given kane a pass for his lazy ways defensively either and also have taken guff for it. doesn’t mean we are wrong.

    982 games
    1030 points
    5 of 14 seasons double digit +
    0 seasons +20 or more

    943 games
    815 points
    9 of 13 seasons double digit +
    5 seasons +20 or more

    no one expects or asks kane to dig in the corners or fight on the boards. just hustle back behind your blue line, get in a passing lane, and have a good stick. most nights that is more effort than he wants to put out.

    when he had all of those brilliant players covering his ass it wasn’t a problem. now it is. that mutt and jeff act with strome in the ovt loss last week was pathetic.

  • February 1, 2021 at 2:17 am
    Permalink mean the Nylander who will only be 23 next year, scored 26 points last year while only playing 12 min a night, who was positive corsi and fenwick while starting in the offensive zone only 46 percent of the time?? And who will only cost 1.5 or so to qualify since he’s rfa? Yes, he’s certainly not worth taking another look at next year. In the meantime, Jokiharju is a serviceable 4-5 defenseman playing 17 min a night. Granted, he is a year younger than Nylander, so I’m sure long term he’ll be fine. However, I don’t see the great loss in trading him, especially since the Hawks have a good number of blueliners that they’re developing. Can’t keep them all. You’re acting like the Hawks gave up a top pair defenseman playing 23 min a night and quarterbacking pp1 for Buffalo. It’s understandable to undervalue Nylander since you’re not a fan, but it’s inaccurate to overvalue who he was traded for. Jokiharju’s floor is a fourth or fifth defenseman. Nylander’s ceiling is a 45-50 point a year forward. All stan did was trade floor for ceiling. I don’t see the issue.

  • February 1, 2021 at 2:21 am

    Hawks29…you are right about that bonehead play with Strome and Kane the other night in OT. Very sloppy. But the Hawks have a number of other more glaring pieces of deadwood to jettison before they ever start to think about moving Patrick Kane. C’mon, he’s a forward Colliton has playing 27 minutes. You can’t expect him to skate full tilt up and back every time he’s on the ice.

  • February 1, 2021 at 2:32 am

    Slayerforever…re: Nylander-Jokiharyu. I could be wrong. You make a lot of good points there. Some I didn’t give enough thought to…like the Numbers. But with the influx of all these new kids who are looking pretty good, you have to let go of someone. And I wouldn’t be happy if that were Hagel, Kurashev, Suter, or Johnson. Just my opinion, but thanks for your info.

  • February 1, 2021 at 5:30 am

    Seems like Hagel and Kampf and Kurashev are always hounding the Puck.

    Anyone know the top 5 Hawks Corsi numbers this year?

  • February 1, 2021 at 7:06 am

    Bluto, the Kampf 60.8%, Carpenter 57.6%, Highmore 56.7% cf, with about 80% Dzone starts to boot along with Hagel 58.4% on 66% D zone starts are leading fwds in corsi. Janmark 41% cf with 54% O zone starts, plus Soderberg 37.8% cf, Shaw 45.3% cf, both with 54% D zone starts, are worst. On D Mitchell, Boqvist and Beaudin all with 54% O zone starts are Mitch 52.5% cf, Boq 49.1% cf, Beaudin 43.3% cf. Carlsson 44.4% cf on 53% D zone starts. Dehaan, Murphy and Zadorov taking most of D zone starts are Deh 52.5% cf, Murphy 46.5 cf, and Zadorov 49.2% cf. Keith with about 52 % O zone starts is 48 % cf, all other fwds are in the 48 -52 % cf range with more or as many Ozone starts.

  • February 1, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Silent if a 10+ million player at the age of 32 after 13 seasons and 3 Cups becomes a complete player I’ll eat my hat. That would have been like asking Rembrandt to become a good plumber and a great artist. lol
    (heh maybe he was both?- and there is a chance)

    Enjoy what he is, there are lot’s of plumbers. And both are important.

  • February 1, 2021 at 7:37 am

    Since that OT debacle inNSH Kane has been trying at least defensively- I’ll take it and don’t think the other players don’t notice
    For this team I think it’s important he continue to show leadership in that way by doing what’s necessary even if it’s out of his comfort zone

  • February 1, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Wrap and Noonan agree, aporeciate Kane is trying to help these youngsters and not whining, wanting out.

  • February 1, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Last few games have been a joy to watch. No matter the score, the Hawks looked IN the game. Empty better would have been nice, further return to form. Zadarov needs work on his pick handling.
    Safe to say the kids will be alright, and can’t wait for the Colliton haters to eat their crow. Things look they are working. But let’s not win too much… Draft picks are go!

  • February 1, 2021 at 9:23 am

    We’re 10 games in. We’ve played better in 5 of the last 6 games after giving up 5 goals in each of the first 4 games. In the last 6 games we’ve gone 3-1-2 and given up only 10 real goals and 1 shootout “goal”. Much improved after stinking it up against TB/FLA, but it was against one of the worst teams (DET) and 2 bubble teams (NSH/CLB). We couldn’t handle TB/FLA – let’s see how we do against the other 2 contenders in our division (DAL/CAR) before we start entertaining thoughts about the possibility of making the playoffs.

    We’ve played better than I thought we would, mainly because Lankinen has played like a legit NHL goalie, but also because some of the young players have done well and been positive contributors instead of deer in headlights. Both of those factors are exactly what we want this season and we’re thrilled about it. However, it really doesn’t change the objective for 2021 which is to sort out the young players and give the keepers as much game time experience as possible. The draft position will take care of itself and no matter where the Hawks draft they will get a player who should be part of the new core group within 2-3 years.

    I’ve let my optimistic emotions get away from me in the past when the Hawks run off a 6 game winning streak only to have them dashed when it’s followed by a 9 game losing streak. I’m trying to avoid falling for what could be fools gold. Even with their better play recently, they’re no where near good enough to beat the best teams so the objective and timeline remain the same – get good enough to beat the best teams 2-3 years from now and then get even better after that to be a legitimate Cup contender.

  • February 1, 2021 at 9:28 am

    We’ve all heard of goalies stealing a game but last night we had one losing a game. Two brutal plays by Elvis that led directly to goals. Kudos to the Hawks for taking advantage of the sour notes.

  • February 1, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Noonan, I’ll join you eating a hat if Kane goes all Selke on us. He has had a few good defensive moments over the years but those are dwarfed by the number of times we shake our heads at his lack of hustle and effort on defense. He is what he is and on the whole we’ve been very VERY fortunate he’s played for our team. Especially when you think back to when it seemed his off ice issues were going to derail his career and many in Chicago wanted to keep him on the rail only long enough to run him out of town on it. He’s grown up right before our eyes and isn’t it marvelous.

    I’m a fan of Kane and he has been and still is the biggest “fun factor” of watching the Hawks play. However, I’m an even bigger fan of the Hawks and would be willing to end the Kane era by trading him in order to expedite a new era of trying to get back to the SCF.

  • February 1, 2021 at 9:43 am

    I still think you keep Kane form the short term at least and maybe even the long term

    His game could age very well – he’s always learning and could be very effective into latter 30’s IMO

  • February 1, 2021 at 9:46 am

    If he wants out then of course that’s different but I think genuinely likes playing with the young guys and so far has given no indication he’s unhappy

    The fact that he’s putting in an effort on defense would seem to suggest he wants to be part of the future

    As his contract nears expiration we’ll have a better sense of the way forward with him

  • February 1, 2021 at 10:14 am

    For me, I am not always a puck watcher during the game. I like to see if a forward is covering for a Dman in on a pinch. Who is it? Who is the Dman allowing his guy to have inside position, screening our goalie while the Dman is eating a hot dog or going for a skate? Who is helping out on face-offs and who is watching?

    Things I’ve noticed – Kane covering on the point (and also helping out below the goal line). Hey, by not flying the zone with every pass he IS helping the TEAM. Yes he got beat badly for a goal after helping out at the point, but we take that play. He was positionally sound. I notice a lot less free and easy post ups by enemy forwards in front of our net. By now you know my motto – safest 6 feet on the ice is the 6 feet in front of our goalie. I’m glad to say that isn’t the case as much any more. I won’t say it doesn’t happen, but baby steps are good things. I don’t hear Pat (when he isn’t laughing about something irrelevant) talking about our young Dmen getting caught out of position or turning the puck over on most shifts. We still struggle at times to clear our zone, but we get a lot more clean and quick outs than we used to. Face-offs are better – and without our best center. Compete level is clearly better. Chinese fire drills are not an every shift image of our defensive play. We are tightening up. Yes ER, we have seen this before with JC coached teams, and then… a disastrous run. Maybe the disaster will last for fewer games?

    And who saw the PP being so good this year? Be honest now. Without it, we would be in a lot hotter water than we are now.

    So far – so good. Development. And now some leadership from guys that we need leading. I love the ‘A’ on Shaw. Work ethic means as much to me as raw ability. Why did Vegas almost win their first season? It surely wasn’t skill level.

    I like what I see. But I am not a fool and I don’t expect Kane to be in the Selke talks, or Lankinen in the Vezina. But give me 4 or 5 major improvements in kids (and we MUST have young Dmen grow this year) as we saw with Dach and Kubalik last year and we will have an outstanding year. Developing consistency in our kids and in veteran leadership will allow buy-in for a coaching system. He/they too can then get evaluated fairly. Then, maybe the lottery balls fall for us and we end top 3 at draft time.

    Slap Strome on the back. Slap Zadorov on the head.

  • February 1, 2021 at 10:17 am

    I like how the team responded to the physicality from Columbus. Johnson 7 hits, Zadorov 6 hits. Goalie is playing well. Good effort.

  • February 1, 2021 at 10:23 am

    Ian- thanks for the interesting Corsi stats

    Wow- Hagel and Kampf lead the team- hope they continue.

    Nice to see JC reward him by moving up the lineup, as well as Kurashev- who looks pretty composed considering age/experience.

  • February 1, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Before the season started there were several things I hoped to see, but none of them involved goaltending because I really didn’t think there was a prince among the 3 frogs wearing Hawks goalie masks. I figured they would battle for the dubious title of least of the worst and the Hawks would address the long term goalie solution a year or two down the road when the rebuild had made enough progress where they were only a goalie away from being a very good team.

    But out of nowhere one of the frogs jumped out of the pond, got a big smooch from Lady Luck and turned into a prince. At least it seems that way right now. Will it last? That’s what we all want to know and are going to find out. Kind of exciting, isn’t it? Almost fairy tale like.

  • February 1, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Looks like Lankinen is getting close to locking up the starting job. So it’s between Subban and Delia for the backup and right now I think Subban has the lead in that. I do have to say the kids are playing pretty well and that’s with them shorthanded due to covid. They’re getting to be interesting to watch.

  • February 1, 2021 at 10:49 am

    You know, if Lankinen continues to prove he’s a legit #1 goalie, it’s going to result in more points in the standings than the Hawks would get with subpar goaltending – no doubt. And, more more points in the standings will result in a lower probability of getting to select a difference maker at the top of the draft. However, this is not bad news because if Lankinen is a legit #1 goalie (the premise of this narrative), then he is a difference maker AND we still get a very good player in the draft – even if it’s not in the top-5. Seems like a win-win to me.

  • February 1, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Even though the draft position will take care of itself/and other ways to think about it.

    It is all about the draft pick because were only going to be bad record wise/off yrs for a couple yrs here. Which means we only have a chance at top 3 gems a few times then thats it were on our way.

    Now do people want to be on our way and not be deep enough to win like a top 6-15 team I donot. I want to be a top 5 team again roster wise and that take draft players from top 5 picks. Thats whee the gems come from like 77. YEs some come from a got lucky spot anywhere 11-30 but you have to hit the number on the wheel for that.

    We only have last two yrs and this yr and maybe next yr drafts and that is it. So I want as many top 3 gems and top 10 draft players as we can get. Its important we get 2 or 3 elites from 19-22 drafts because they are prob the only drafts well be have that high of picks.

    I want whats best for the team longterm wise and that is it. I want to be the better team/roster wise when were a top 5 team again not just be atop 5 team and be there and get blown out like ND does everytime whats the point of that.

  • February 1, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Things that were said in my house while watching last night:

    “This is fun, I wish we were there, like olden days. COVID sucks”
    -my 8 year old daughter

    “that guy (Zadarov) hits hard for someone who has a man bun. Seabs better kick his butt when he’s back. NO MAN BUNS!”
    -my 12 year old daughter

    “At this point, Seabs will score again before Duncan does”. -Me

    “That Suter kid looks like the real deal. So does *KEVIN!!!!* (Home alone voice)
    -My Pops

    “Kaner! stop passing the puck so much, just shoot sometimes.
    -8 year old

    Gosh I love Sunday night winners and this board. Happy Monday, sun is shining;
    Cheers, friends.

  • February 1, 2021 at 11:27 am

    I like this post.

    February 1, 2021 at 1:38 am
    Nice game tonight, things are looking a bit more promising. Kurashev and Hagel are definite keepers, in my opinion. Hagel is always digging, relentless after the puck. He will begin to score. Suter, I like. I thought Reese Johnson was very good. We need to keep this kid playing, too. Looks like he’s got the potential to be a really nice surprise. Janmark, I’d keep. Walmart, Soderberg, Carpenter, to the draft list or deadline trades. And, please, will all of you who insist on including Nylander as an integral part of next year’s squad…STOP. He was a bad trade. And half the time looks like he has no interest in playing. Dump! Johnson looked a better fit after one game. And..Lankinen…there’s our goalie. By end of season, he’ll be even better. Experience will help.

  • February 1, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Slayer I appreciate your analysis of the Nylander/Jokiharu deal. I completely agree this was a shot at a player with a higher ceiling. Maybe watching all these young guys compete hard will be a good learning experience for Nylander.

    Regarding the PP success, I saw Kane asked about it the other day. He gave some credit to JC for allowing the players more freedom of movement throughout the play rather than sticking to more defined areas.

    For the players on the COVID list are they all out for 14 days regardless of the reason they are on the list? Seems a bit surprising how little information is available.

  • February 1, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Mo i think next years team by seasons end will be alot better team than you and some others are thinking. If goalie situation works out, forwards get healthy with development we are watching and over the course of next 2 seasons the defense core improves from influx of youth, then being a playoff team is likely very possible. As EB mentioned a no.1 future goalie and good solid 1st rounder plus maybe some potentiall late 1st or 2nd rd hopefuls isn’t a bad consolation, especially with the unknown surrounding this draft.

    As far as those hollering for Power, besides a short year last season, he played last 2 in Ushl rather than Chl last 2 seasons to play Ncaa, which is playing against younger and lessor developed competition further from Nhl. His offense hasn’t shown yet at Ncaa level save for 1st game rout. Some things scouts saying about him, he is vulnerable to heavy forecheck, good to average skater who won’t drive the tempo by himself but is very good in all areas of the game. Not really typical stuff you hear about possible 1st overall picks. Just saying what this team get obtain from on ice performance is far greater to me than losing and hoping for something may very well not work out to expectations.

  • February 1, 2021 at 11:32 am

    Building the young wave/keepers that we know of for now.


    vet keepers

  • February 1, 2021 at 11:37 am

    MS glad to here those comnents on PP from Kane I been saying that for a couple of years, looked too much like robots out there, they need to be able create and let it happen naturally.

  • February 1, 2021 at 12:04 pm

    Good effort by the entire team. We have seen most games where this group looks hungry and that is positive with so many young guys trying to gel on different line combos. The Swiss kids are doing just fine and are adapting to the speed of the NHL quickly. So is Mitchell. Kurashev and Kaner seem to be be finding some chemistry. Hagel plays pesky hard on the forecheck and along with Johnson, Carpenter and Janmark are making it more difficult for opposing teams to get clean zone exits. I liked Janmarks game with Dallas. I thought he was a good pickup and his versatility is a bonus. Strome appears to have worked on his faceoffs in the off season and to my eyes via tv he looks a bit quicker. Kubalik, just keep shooting the puck.

    Special teams have had a positive start and have improved greatly compared with recent seasons. Can they keep it up? Some regression seems likely, but so far so good.

    Speaking of regression when will this happen with Lankinen? So far he IS the big positive surprise for me to start this season. Goaltending really looked thin before the season started. Subban even put in a good game while Delia now seems odd man out. Remember way back to last season and how fantastic Lehner and Crow were? Had they not played at such a high level Hawks would have been 5-10 games worse in the win column. So far Lankinen is getting the job done most impressively. SB gets a nod for sticking with this guy. I for one was not so optimistic, but I’m happy to admit I was wrong!

    Considering that Toews and Dach are missing significant action this current group is holding its own. Canes will be a good marker tomorrow. I hope Johnson stays in the lineup. I really liked what he brought last night. The toughness element is one thing this lineup has been lacking. Speaking of which, Zadorov played last night like he was sick or something. That guy needs to hit hard every game. That’s why he is here.

    Keep up the effort boys!

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  • February 1, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    I want to keep Kaner because when the young wave is ready its going to be good and I would rather have him then not.

    February 1, 2021 at 9:43 am
    I still think you keep Kane form the short term at least and maybe even the long term

    His game could age very well – he’s always learning and could be very effective into latter 30’s IMO

  • February 1, 2021 at 1:19 pm

    Mo, I agree this season is the best chance to “earn” a top-3/top-5 draft pick without the luck of ping pong balls and I agree it would be an important thing for expediting the rebuild – but it has to happen or not happen naturally. The dilemma is we want the players to play well but at the same time not get points in the standings for a better draft position. Before Lankinen started resembling a legit NHL goalie – that seemed feasible because we could hope for position players to play well and improve throughout the season but still lose games because of poor goalie play. But now, we can’t really root against Lankinen because he could be our goalie of the future so we want him to succeed but by doing so it is becoming less probable the Hawks draft at the top of the draft.

    It’s a dilemma – so maybe we don’t get a high draft pick. What can we do but make the best of it.

  • February 1, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Lots of good comments on the forecheck, which is good. We’ll have to see how it looks against top-tier teams.
    I’ve also noticed a better job protecting around the crease – more tied-up sticks at the right times, and even one or two opponents knocked on their keisters (gasp!) even if they may have gotten in one or two more whacks at the goalie than they should have.
    And I’ve taken note that when Pat says “The pucks tied up…who’s gonna get it?,” the answer is frequently “the Blackhawks” these days…used to be a rhetorical question with the answer always being the opponent.

    All good signs of progress

  • February 1, 2021 at 5:17 pm

    @ebonyraptor..also keep in mind that the top 8-9 picks in this draft have the potential to be difference while Power, Hughes, Clarke, Lambos, and Edvinsson(all the defenseman) may be taken early, that would still leave Johnson, Beniers, Raty, etc..and with Arizona forfeiting their pick, the 9th overall would be the as long as the Hawks pick in the top 10, I think they’ll still get an exceptional prospect..a team can never have too many centers..if Beniers and his 200 ft game fell to the Hawks, I’d be happy.

  • February 1, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    ER/Ian, I know that could be good and work just as good by winning the Cup with that goalie being a #1 and another very good 1st draft player. I just want 2 or 3 gems like 77 and they most of the time come from those kind of picks. Which ever happens well still get back to a top team I just want to be one of the two best teams roster wise when we do. Thats why I want this.

  • February 1, 2021 at 6:04 pm

    Another thing I want to see is the jersey go back to normal collars. These collars are not good for us.

    When is the next brand jersey contract? Anybody other the addiass.

  • February 1, 2021 at 6:44 pm

    I am now encouraged by the way things are progressing. Now that we’ve given this batch of young players a Serious opportunity to play, and stick with the NHL roster. They are looking very good. Add Toews, Dach and DeBrincat to this lineup and I’m excited. We have to remember about the draft…it basically depends on ping pong balls with that first tier. We’ve seen some of the worst teams get screwed and drop back many slots because of bad luck. So, where we draft is where we draft, just scout well and do a good job of it and hopefully we’ll be alright.

  • February 1, 2021 at 7:24 pm

    Thats why I am not really wanting the 1 spot before ping pong balls. I like the 2 3 4 5 are spot. Just make sure we get in there.

  • February 1, 2021 at 9:29 pm

    Mo & Slayer – I get what both of you are saying and even though you’re kind of taking opposite sides in the debate … strangely enough I agree with both of you. :=)

    Slayer is right that as long as long as we pick in the top-10 we should get a player that can be a big time contributor to the rebuilt team, but – and here’s where I agree with Mo – unless our pick is in the top-5 we probably won’t get a player to answer our biggest need which is a #1 d-man. Maybe one of the 5 top d-man drop to the 7/8/9 slot because there are some very good forwards that teams my prefer over a d-man, but the one or two or three highest graded d-men won’t fall out of the top-5/6.

    But, to my earlier post – there’s nothing we, as fans, can do about it except root for the young players to play well, improve and gain experience – including Lankinen.

    Getting the 7th or 8th position and ending up with a Beniers or a Guenther wouldn’t be such as bad thing.

  • February 2, 2021 at 1:28 am

    … and another thing – would someone please tell Duncan Keith to stop shooting. Watching him shoot the last few years has been maddening because he has a shooting percentage close to negative numbers but this year it’s even worse because for some reason he’s convinced himself to be the guy taking the shot with even more frequency than in past seasons. … and that’s with Kane, Kubalik, DCat, Strome, Shaw and a few other guys on the ice who have actual NHL caliber shots. And yet – there’s Keith with his pop gun shot killing o-zone possessions with greater frequency than anyone else. Does he have no self awareness? It was one thing when he was still good enough defensively to be considered for the Norris proving he could get enough points on the PP – but those days are long gone – now he’s just a possession killer.

  • February 2, 2021 at 1:37 am

    tell keith to waive his nmc.

  • February 2, 2021 at 7:31 am

    Keith may opt to waive his nmc this year so he can take another run at a cup but somehow I don’t think he will

    Teams you’d think will call regarding his availability and the Hawks I think would trade him if he waived so it is possible but I’m not holding my breath

    It’ll be up to Keith in the end – remember Sundin in TOR refused to waive his nmc near the end of his career

  • February 2, 2021 at 7:47 am

    Keith’s son is about 7 yrs old, i imagine playing hockey where he can stay close to him next few seasons would possibly mean he doesn’t want waive his nmc. EB the coach puts him out there and seems fine with him shooting especially on pp. As was mentioned during one of the broadcasts, if that shot is being given, more players getting to front of net would make it more effective with screens and deflections.

  • February 2, 2021 at 8:23 am

    If Keith can get his shot through that’s fine because it can create rebounds or deflections and the eye test seems to suggest he is getting it through a little more often

    I actually don’t mind him shooting as long as his shot does get through with some frequency even though he’s not going to blow the puck past a goalie

  • February 2, 2021 at 9:05 am

    I realize this is probably preaching to the choir, but here it goes anyway. :=)

    Keith’s shooting percentage for the last bunch of seasons:
    2021: 0.0%
    2020: 2.7%
    2019: 4.3%
    2018: 1.1%
    2017: 3.3%
    2016: 6.9%
    2015: 3.8%
    2014: 5.0% (Norris)
    2013: 3.3%
    2012: 2.5%
    2011: 4.0%
    2010: 6.6% (Norris)

    D-men usually have a lower shooting percentage than forwards because most of their shots come from distance more so than close to the net. An average shooting percentage for a #1 d-man, meaning a d-man that get’s lot’s of PP time, is in the 5% – 8% range year over year with career average around 6.5%.

    Keith’s career average shooting percentage is 3.2%. (it’s 2.0% over the last 5 years)

    But, Keith has never had a plus shot in velocity or accuracy – this is not new news. What’s new through the first 10 games of the season is the number of shots he’s taking. Only 2 players have taken more shots than Keith – Kane and Kubalik – and those are official Shots-On-Goal meaning the shots taken that weren’t on goal aren’t counted in that statistic. I’m pretty sure Keith has taken many more shots than his official SOG total indicates.

    That’s what’s new – he’s unleashing that pop gun shot of his with more frequency this season. The mantra that no shot is a bad shot stops with Duncan Keith. Please – someone make him stop.

  • February 2, 2021 at 9:23 am

    The players that I would like to see leave the Hawks Now

    Next year iff nothing positive come out
    Toews is really one of my favourite players ever for the Hawks but I have a feeling that he doesn’t want to be part of the team anymore,maybe I am wrong but I think he needs to move on .
    Maybe Florida would be a great place for him .for 1-2 prospect and a first round ;)

  • February 2, 2021 at 9:47 am

    Hawks2010, I was reading another Hawks blog and someone brought up Pittsburgh have several key d-men injured and could possibly be looking for a d-man. They are tight against the cap so for them to acquire a d-man it would have to be cap neutral. Also, they are short on 2021 draft picks having only their 2nd round pick from the first 4 rounds so they are unlikely to trade their 2nd round pick.

    So, how about this proposal:

    Hawks trade deHaan with $3.2M retained, plus their 3rd round pick to Pens for Kasperi Kapanen ($3.2M). Both deHaan and Kapanen have 2 years remaining on their contracts and with the salary retention it is cap neutral. (disclaimer: I’ve had the hots for acquiring Kapanen for the last couple years).

  • February 2, 2021 at 10:05 am

    IMO candidates most likely to move at TDL

    Keith (if he wants)

  • February 2, 2021 at 10:20 am

    Same here I agree with you/Ian on those players could be just as good. I just in vision gems coming from those top 3/5 spot area. Still like Ian said if could work out the same and we win the Cup with what I want or with those from the 6 7 8 area. I do really want whats best for us and tahts why I say these things.

    I do route for Lankenin just not better then 15-15 this yr please. He could kick ass like Crow did last yr and still have a 15-15. Then let those other goalies play 20 games combined and go 5-15 total please.

  • February 2, 2021 at 10:29 am

    I know what you guys are saying about Dunks PP shot/shooting if its part of a new syaytem that works even though his shots still donot then its fine because its part of the plan and having shots come from all 5 positions mix up variety and that is better way because they donot know where its coming from. Predicatble in good way for us.

    When it was stand in a 3 ft box and donot move pass around for perfect shot and always always yea.

  • February 2, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Debrincat and Beaudin removed from the covid list

  • February 2, 2021 at 11:09 am

    ER, tahts why I said 5 yrs ago that when PIT is done they are done for good like DET. ON the other hand we have a nice new young wave of elite and very good and normal good players coming even though we traded for tradeline players in 15 and 16. When people praised PIT/other teams for trading away there future and only goalie interfernec otherwise NAS won that yr. Now they are screwed. and 87 91 can eat it like 13 and 40 did for DET.

    Where 19 88 have to wait if they do even though not prime prime yrs anymore in 3 yrs from now could still be good and enjoy winning the Cup with the young wave and go out like Crow did on top.

    Chicago Blackhawks 2025 Stanley Cup Champions.


  • February 2, 2021 at 11:09 am

    EB max caphit retained is 50% or 2.255m in Dehasns case. They do have 4m in ltir space available and a full slate of 2022 picks available too.
    Canes coming in with Mzarek out long term and a very inexperienced backup, maybe something there for a mid round pick with Delia.
    Apparently Drbrincat or Beaudin never had a positive test for covid, just placed in protocol.

  • February 2, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Players I’d like to see moved at the deadline. Of course, my choices hardly ever coincide with Stan Bowmans. But I’m hoping…Carpenter, Wallmark, Soderberg, Subban or Delia, Highmore, Seabrook (though it hurts a bit to put him here), maybe Zadarov, if he doesn’t learn how to cover better. DeHaan, I don’t know, maybe we’d better try to hang on to him for just a little while. We need to see what Kalynuk has.

  • February 2, 2021 at 11:19 am


    Seabrook isn’t going anywhere with that contract

  • February 2, 2021 at 11:27 am

    Trade who we can for gigantic/good/fair trade otherwise just keep until runs out on own. Where not HHNL quality deep again until young wave is fully ready and we add several ufa adds like we did in 2009 2010 and 2012 with some trades to. So no need for everyone until then anyways.

    Point is donot let any good prospect go other then making a tradeup/or getting something good in a trade. No more strangleholds other then us doing it.

    Then it will take care of itself/he caphit stuff. A full reset is happening anyways.

  • February 2, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    MrFenn…I know Seabrook a contract is a killer. Just wishful thinking. I read an article just now over at Blackhawk Up about the Saad trade being another crappy move. He already has 5 goals, 3 A. Zadarov proving a disappointment. Lynch is right. We should have kept Saad, 28 years old. Bowman apologists, please quit trying to spin how brilliant he is. He’s a shitty GM and most of you know it. I only fear what he might do to this new lineup now, all these kids with potential will be such a temptation for the genius to make more silly trades.

  • February 2, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    WIth OTT DET in different divisions they automatically are going to be the 1 2 spot before ping pong balls. I mean they are the two worst teams no challenge. When in normal divisions they would have 8 free wins against each other combined add subtract that to possible -8 for both teams agasint other teams instead and your talking a 16 over .500 difference or 12 or 8. That alone sets them at -16 -12 or -8 no team could touch that even in a 82 games.

    Every team in league is playing for 3 spot before ping pong balls to be honest.

  • February 2, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    Nothing agasint ER with Duncks shooting pertcentage. Those goals agasint NAS in game 1 with Darls thats ok.

    Thats ok.

  • February 3, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Maybe we should have a practice or two concentrating on OT. Get some of these younger guys in there to give it a try. Couldn’t be much worse. Also, the SO lineups aren’t working. Does anyone have a move besides Kane? Can’t JC let Kurashev or Hagel or even Suter a shot. Can’t hurt. Although, I think the coach is losing enthusiasm for Suter. Benched basically last night.

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