Lankinen, Blackhawks Hang On Late To End Losing Streak

The Blackhawks finally returned to the United Center after a brutal road trip that ended with four consecutive losses. Chicago needed to bounce back, but the visitors waiting for them weren’t going to do them any favors.

Joel Quenneville and his Florida Panthers were in town, which worked out incredibly well for the pregame ceremony. Patrick Kane started the road trip with his 1,000th career regular season game and the Blackhawks had a brief ceremony with his family, girlfriend and son. The only member of the Panthers on the bench for the moment was Quenneville, whose first game back in Chicago happened to be after Kane’s 1,000th career point.

Chicago made one roster change for the game. MacKenzie Entwistle made his NHL debut in place of Reese Johnson. Florida was without Alexsander Barkov, who tried to warm up but couldn’t go because of a lower body issue.

When the puck dropped, the Hawks needed to go to work. Their early passing wasn’t pretty and they struggled to exit the zone effectively, but the defense held up its end of the bargain.

A little more than six minutes into the game, Brandon Hagel took the puck away in the neutral zone and attacked. He left a beautiful feed for Dominik Kubalik who tapped in his 11th of the season.

Hagel and Connor Murphy picked up the assists.

The Blackhawks failed to score on their first power play of the night but kept holding their own against a Panthers team that put it on them pretty well not too long ago. Inside the final two minutes of the period, Pius Suter parked himself in front of the net and was able to redirect a Nikita Zadorov shot into the net to extend the Hawks’ lead to two.

Kane picked up an assist with Zadorov.

When the horn sounded at the end of one, the Hawks had done a few things they hadn’t done much/at all on the road trip. The Hawks were over 50 percent at the dot and out-shot the Panthers 11-7 in the period.

Now could they hold onto a multi-goal lead?

Owen Tippett took a terrible penalty three minutes into the second period and the Blackhawks took advantage. Carl Soderberg scored his sixth of the year on the power play to give Chicago a 3-0 lead.

Kane and Alex DeBrincat were credited with the assists on the Soderberg goal. The two assists for Kane were significant historically.

Florida got on the board four minutes later when Noel Acciari made a really nice pass through traffic to set up Anton Stralman.

Any nerves fans had about a 3-0 lead evaporating into a blowout loss were calmed by the next ten minutes from the Hawks. Shift after shift, the Hawks attacked in waves. They killed a penalty easily in the middle of the period and had extended zone time on a couple occasions. The Blackhawks dominated the final 11 minutes of the second period so much there were nine individual shifts by Florida Panthers skaters that lasted more than two minutes in the period.

After 40 minutes, Chicago held a 3-1 lead on the scoreboard and a 25-21 shot advantage. Lankinen was solid, the defense in front of him was improved and the offense was much more aggressive.

Late in the period, a couple Panthers took a few physical liberties with Hawks skaters. Zadorov and others didn’t leave those hits without at least letting the opponents know they saw them, if not a few shoves around officials after a whistle. The Hawks showed more push-back from physical play in those moments than they had in the previous two weeks.

Eight days ago in Florida, the Blackhawks had a 3-1 lead on the Panthers. They gave up two quick goals late in the second period to tie the game and Florida then scored three unanswered in the third period to make a close game into a blowout. Would the Hawks continue their strong play for 20 more minutes in this game?

Almost seven minutes into the third period, Lankinen made a series of ridiculous saves to keep the lead at two. Aaron Ekblad could have easily scored once, if not twice, during the sequence. Chicago was able to clear the puck but while the two teams were changing Zadorov crosschecked Acciari in the lower back. No penalty was called but Acciari needed assistance getting off the ice and appeared to be favoring his back.

Florida cranked up the pressure in the middle of the period but Lankinen continued making good saves. Chicago was spending more time in the wrong zone and were fortunate their netminder was on point.

Zadorov went to the box at 14:26 and Quenneville was surprisingly desperate. He pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker while on a power play with more than five minutes left in regulation. Less than 60 seconds into the advantage it paid off. Alex Wennberg made an impressive play to kick the puck to his stick by the side of the net and beat Lankinen around the post to cut the lead to one.

With 2:39 left in regulation, Quenneville pulled his goaltender again – this time at even strength. Chicago won the faceoff and was able to get the puck up the ice. Mattias Janmark got a step on Eklbad who slashed him to protect the empty cage. So with 2:29 left on the clock, the Blackhawks got a power play.

The Blackhawks were happy to pass the puck around the perimeter. Adam Boqvist made one terrific pass to Soderberg who almost scored, but beyond that one opportunity the Hawks made more effort to control the puck than score.

Inside the final ten seconds of regulation, Calvin de Haan had a brutal turnover that turned into a 2-on-1. Murphy laid out and broke up a potential scoring chance for Wennberg and Lankinen was able to freeze the puck with 4.9 seconds left.

The Hawks were able to keep the puck from ever leaving the dot after the final faceoff and the clock expired with Chicago ahead.

After the Hawks were credited with only four blocked shots as a team in the final game of the road trip, Chicago had 19 blocked shots in this game. Duncan Keith led the Hawks with four blocked shots.

Lankinen was superb behind the skaters. He stopped 33 of 35 on the night to preserve the victory and get Chicago back in the win column after four ugly losses. Florida out-shot the Hawks 14-7 in the third period.

Entwistle skated only 6:03 on 12 shifts but was credited with three hits and two shots on net in his NHL debut.

Ryan Carpenter won eight of nine at the dot. Dylan Strome won six of nine and Carl Soderberg won seven of 12. Of course it helped that Barkov wasn’t on the ice, but the Hawks were better in the faceoff circle.

Hagel led the Hawks with five shots on net in 13:22 on the ice.

72 thoughts on “Lankinen, Blackhawks Hang On Late To End Losing Streak

  • March 23, 2021 at 10:28 pm

    It is interesting that the league lets players sit on the bench and breathe and sweat all over each other during the game, but won’t let them come out and watch pre-game ceremonies.

    Hagel was the best non-goalie on the Hawks tonight.

    The PP was good which is helpful. Lankinen was great. The Hawks still need great goaltending and PP goals to win.

    Physical play is good. Zadorov’s cross check was bush league. It is not that uncommon of a play in the league, but it’s nonsense every time it’s done. That said, the physical response tonight was helpful. We need more of that.

    It gets annoying when the Hawks miss the net with shots, but it is getting to the point where it would be OK if they missed some over the crossbar. In today’s NHL with goalies down all the time, more elevation means more scoring and failure to elevate costs teams a lot of goals. Florida could have made Lankinen pay tonight with some elevation as well. It is good to see the Hawks re-directing pucks on point shots. Strome almost had a goal that way and Suter did.

    I hope playing 6 minutes did not tire Entwistle out. What’s the point? Someone on another thread on this site today predicted that would happen.

  • March 23, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    Played very well and got the results they deserved. Best 60 minute effort in quite a while. Course it helped the Hawks that Barkov didn’t play but the Hawks know the feeling missing their best center.

    Entwistle didn’t play much but I like what I saw. Hope he gets in some more games.

    Keith played well – had some big plays in the d-zone.

    Nice that Kane got off the 2-game pointless streak.

    Hagel-Kubalik continues to be a “thing”. Would love to see Dach center them but he’s probably needed more between DCat-Kane.

    Also nice to see Lankinen play so well.

    All in all a very entertaining game with the desired outcome.

  • March 23, 2021 at 11:03 pm

    It definitely helped not having to face Barkov tonight. Faceoffs were just about even on the night, Verhaeghe/Duclair looked very normal without him on their line, and Q couldn’t hit the line blender since he had to stick to Acciari as C1 for the game. It was also illustrative of just how much different a team looks when they don’t have a center like Barkov available. Makes what the Hawks have done this season so far without Toews/Dach even more impressive. Where would Florida be this season if they didn’t have Barkov for 33 games instead of 1?

    Hagel has earned his way into the top six next year..he and Kubalik were very noticeable tonight and they have developed some really nice chemistry. I’m still not as high on others when it comes to Hagel’s ceiling as a scorer, but he does everything else you would want as a 2nd line winger and appears to complement Kubalik perfectly.

    It was also nice to see Suter and Soderberg get rewarded for going into the crease..more of that on Thursday against Bob..gonna need to score a few greasy ones..

    And 15 hits from our blueline tonight..Zadorov, Murphy, and DeHaan were looking to take the body repeatedly along the boards tonight..good to see!!

    Barely saw Entwhistle, but baby least finishing his checks doesn’t seem to be an issue..

  • March 23, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Also liked what J saw from Enwhisle – only 1 game and 6 minutes but I think he’s earned another look – so far he looks like he could have a higher ceiling than Highmore, Johnson, Wallmark

    That last sequence that resulted in Murphy’s diving stuck check was a complete train wreck – Kampf gave it away twice before DeHaan had seen enough and said here’s how you do it – it’s easy to forget that even though 64 and 44 have been in the league awhile they haven’t really been in a lot of high leverage situations – others would do more of that – they’re being asked to play up from where they really should be slotted

    What a difference it would make adding a Hedman to the D Corp – he’s so used to those situations there wouldn’t be issues like that and everyone calms down – the Hawks will eventually need someone to take that role – who that will be I don’t know

    Lank awesome as I thought he would be – he’s a gamer

    If Janmark goes at TXL (he better) and we get Dach back that’s a net positive – I wouldn’t hold my breath on CDH being traded because GMs are being leery of taking on term

    A FLA sweep would get us back on the right track

  • March 24, 2021 at 12:43 am

    Tab, I did not get to see or hear the game. I saw Entwistle’s name and was thrilled that the kid got his chance and made a good impression. His size is really needed. I think it may be wise to start Carpenter as the 3rd line Center. If he can give a better showing, that may be his ticket to staying. Johnson, Entwistle, Hagel, Suter, etcetera. These kids are all making their case to stick with this team and if not with the Blackhawks, perhaps with another team and SB has interesting trade possibilities. I’m thinking about Eichel. Yes, he’s banged up, but, I would like him in an Indian Head Sweater.
    I’m glad the boys won and really took it to Florida. It shows resilience and growth. Okay. On to the next game.

  • March 24, 2021 at 12:44 am

    hagel third star of game despite eight forwards having more estoi than hagel tonight. hagel had 11.5 minutes estoi, kurashev 8 minutes, and entwhistle 6 minutes. experience is gained by playing…. not dressing and watching.

    strome and janmark total 29 minutes estoi & pptoi netting 4 sog. hagel & kubalik total 27 minutes estoi & pptoi and net 7 sog. going into tonight strome and janmark-21 for the season. hagel and kubalik -1. shouldn’t that toi have been 31/25 in favor of h & k?

  • March 24, 2021 at 12:52 am

    It is amazing that when a bunch of us point out the obvious in poor lackluster performances that this team does what they are supposed to do to win a hockey game against a good team. I know they caught a break with Barkov being a late scratch but being the home team the Hawks performed much better at the dot. They actually got into the passing and shooting lanes and sacrificed their bodies blocking about 17 more shots than they did over any of the last 4 games. When the game became physical they actually pushed back and stood up for themselves and other teammates. Lankinen came up huge at critical times. And at least 1 of my targets for poor play did play much better for an entire game! Nice job Dylan Strome. Now lets go out and do it again Thursday night. My other guy wasn’t as good tonight. Boqvist has to get better on defending the rushes. I counted 4 separate times when he was beaten wide on the rush by panther forwards. He has to work on his footwork. No D Man should continually get beat wide like that. If you are going to give a young guy a game at the NHL level,please give him a regular shift. Entwhistle was playing well and there was no reason to only give him 6 to 7 minutes. You might as well leave him down in Rockford to play full games.

  • March 24, 2021 at 1:41 am

    @edman68, the Hawks can’t afford Eichel..they’re going to have Seabrook’s cap hit languishing for a year or two at least. Best bet for the Hawks is to draft wisely and try to find an Eichel in the draft the same way we found Cat in the second round, Keith in the second round, Saad in the second round, etc..there will be first round talents that fall into the second round this year simply based on the fact that the scouting for a lot of these players will be incomplete, which will lead to a wide range of discrepancies between team’s draft boards. If anything, I’d be looking to add a pick or two, not trade away assets for a player that, unfortunately, we can’t afford.

  • March 24, 2021 at 1:53 am

    @timw..Boqvist does tend to get beat wide, but I also think he recovers well in most of those cases..he’ll be fine..I believe, along with Bowen Byram, they’re both the youngest blueliners in the NHL this year. Improvement with blueliners isn’t linear, there’s no straight line up and in two seasons he’s automatically a top pair’s what we know regarding Boqvist..he looks better defensively now then he did during the first week of this season..and he looks better defensively now then he did during the playoffs last year..there won’t be any sweeping changes from game to game..but over 25-35 game stretches, I’ve seen improvement..can’t expect him to clean up every aspect of his game before he even turns 21..I’ve also noticed that as he’s gotten more comfortable defensively, he’s started to activate more offensively, which is a good sign that he’s beginning to play instinctually more and more..he’s on an 82 game pace for 42 points..I’ll take that all day from a 20 year old.

  • March 24, 2021 at 4:16 am

    This one I watched. I guess you can say Hagel and Kubalik work well together. When JT comes back only logical thing to do is put him in the middle. By default then you have Dach between DCat and Kane. Which leaves Strome between Suter and Kurashev. Kampf would have a mixture of Nylander Riechel Highmore Entwistle Wallmark Johnson…..
    Only problem for me is still no muscle. I being one of the biggest advocate for some beefy sandpaper. The above lines are with each person back and let’s hope everyone comes back 110% . Anticipating Soderberg and Janmark gone for assets. Stan can address the problem for next year.

    Passing was better but not great. A few passes to short or too close to a covered recipient to make.

    Our D had ill advised passes in front of the net that we got away with. Some(most) coming from veterans. Few times having trouble getting out of the zone with the puck on our stick and with room. Watching tape will help fix that.

    All in all good game. Lank played well could turn out to be our 1 or 2 of the future.

    Q showed his class with him being out there to celebrate Kane’s 1K. A players coach if there ever is one. I would go through brick walls for him.

    Let’s do the same Thursday.

  • March 24, 2021 at 7:00 am

    Nice move by coach Q to have an empty net and skate the extra player while on the PP, knowing the Hawks are just about the worst in the league in clearing the puck,
    Even when they have control it seems more often than not one to many passes and they lose control.
    Clearing the puck and learning how to play with a lead are two big down falls for this team.
    Just takes time to learn.
    Great energy every night / enjoyable hockey to watch

  • March 24, 2021 at 7:03 am

    The Hawks looked much more focused on the task at hand and they actually applied some physicality to Florida that I think caught Q’s team a little bit by surprise. Hawks 1st Period was very good. I thought faceoffs were much improved, excellent quality scoring chances were created. Kubalik scored a beauty. Zone exits seemed more crisp and urgent. The Hawks clearly had more jump than Florida.

    Hawks forwards and d-men all put bodies on Panthers last night. In their own end Hawks d-men took the body much of the game. Zadorov was very noticeable in this regard, which we need to see more of as the regular season winds down. Z needs to play with an edge. Murphy and deHaan also seemed more intent with clearing the front of the crease and sealing off Panthers on the boards. Boqvist is really improving and looks so much more comfortable and confident. I think Mitchell will be fine. Lankinen controlled rebounds, and yes he played one helluva great game. One could say this leaned towards a goalie win because Florida certainly had some golden scoring opportunities.

    I just liked the overall push from the Hawks. They need to play this way given the roster more often than not. I was happy to see the sharp increase in quality of play by this team after a pretty dreadful end to the road trip. They were able to close the game out as Florida was applying some pressure late. Well done.

    Pre-game tribute to Kane for a 1,000 games was stirring and I thinks it’s cool the Hawks will do it up again when the fans return to the UC. Also classy to see Q out there on his bench while his team remained in the locker room for the festivities. Joel looked like a proud father, and you just know he loves Kaner to death. Such a pity the Cpt is still MIA.

    Build on this one.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  • March 24, 2021 at 7:06 am

    3-D does it again-
    Digs (that was a Great stick lift/steal)

    If kid had a shot- he would be a Point per game guy -Shot couldn’t tear a paper bag.
    But- Hagel is my current favorite Hawk! Always engaged.

    Thought Mitchell had a very solid game-looked better/stronger on D side

    Strome/Janmark- I like them together- and I LIKE Strome on Wing -NOT as Center
    He is not strong enough or quick enough -and Motor is NOT there to Play Center.

    Barkov–is a BEAST- totally. Very Hossa -like. Difference maker

  • March 24, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Everybody happier now? lol
    The way they kept possession at the end of the 2nd was really fun to watch. As Edzo pointed out, you could hear FLA yelling “icing”!! to try & get their guys some rest. The UC would’ve been rocking, if they’d ever let us in…..
    Zadarov finally used his body correctlyish but I still hate his man bun.
    Murph gave some shoves too.

    Q really does not like to lose in that building–could’ve done without the drama at the end, but hey–that’s hockey baby.
    See ya Thursday.

  • March 24, 2021 at 8:20 am

    Kubalik is showing that has more than a wicked one-timer. That was a goal scorers goal, going through the legs with a soft shot while making the goalie sell out to the right to protect that side of the net. He has a lot of touch with the puck around the net.

    It was nice to see Kane get a couple of points, I was getting tired hearing how he hasn’t factored into the scoring for a couple of games.

    Lankinen had a nice bounce back game.

    I thought Strome looked good despite not figuring in the scoring, he seemed more active and noticeable in good way. I hope this continues.

    It was reassuring to see the Hawks respond to the physical play, no need to drop the gloves but it was nice to see FLA get knocked around in response to their cheap shots.

    As nice as this win was, I really would like to see the Hawks move some players for assets sooner rather than later. Janmark and Soderberg stocks seem to be rising with each game. I think de Haan would make a nice addition to a team looking to add depth on the blue line. Personally, I would like to see one or both of Beaudin or Kalynuck in the lineup with more regularity to close the season.

    Getting assets and opening up some playing time for the young blue liners should be a priority for Bowman right now. I really don’t see what more the Hawks youngsters are going to learn if they make the playoffs this year that they didn’t learn the first three weeks of March. Getting beaten up by Tampa (again) does not sound appealing or valuable to me. Get some prospects/draft picks to restock the system with young top end talent.

    It was a nice win and a real fun game to watch as a Hawks fan. Despite a shortage of talent, the Hawks are still a lot of fun to watch.

  • March 24, 2021 at 8:50 am

    From the couch . . . very good win, see what happens on the rebound.

    1- It was Lankinens best game of the year by far. Great rebound control, bigger jersey or great positioning. Came out to challenge shots and had confidence that the defense would clean up any rebounds and the defense did. Defense kept traffic infront of him to a minimum giving Lankinen clear sight lines. Just has to put a bungee cord on his goalie stick.
    2- Strome and Janmark have “real chemistry” They where the most notable pair out there, great passing, anticipation and role playing off each other. Not a Big Strome fan but Janmark is bring out the better of him. Loved Janmark on the power play when he just skated the puck into the zone by himself, easy peasy. Like Hossa,very very strong on the puck.
    3- Hagel continues to grind and has shown a definite skill set on the offensive end. A intense grinder with offensive zone scoring and passing skills is worth keeping.
    4- Adam Boqvist has shown and is showing his skills on the offensive side of the slippery tilt. He looks so much more comfortable on the offensive end than defense. After making a few sweet moves with puck on offense he is still plagues with weak errant passes, turnovers and continues to reach in with stick and avoiding any body contact. Players read this and just walk around him, he needs to beef up and get physical.

    Go hawks

  • March 24, 2021 at 9:10 am

    The team with the better goaltending won (as per usual).

  • March 24, 2021 at 9:26 am

    Regarding Boquist – I don’t understand why some here are so obsessed with his every mistake – yes he got beat wide a couple of times – that can happen to any D man although it did happen to him more than once last night but you have to consider to overall picture

    Virtually every game he’s above 50% in Corsi at 5 on 5 (as he was last night – Mitchell by the way was about 40% in Corsi and that is also a pretty regular occurrence) plus he’s the leading scorer amongst D men on the Hawks, his exit passes are usually right on the money, it’s obvious his defensive game is improving and he’s still only 20! What am I missing here that he should come in for such constant criticism

    If Boquist had been made to look silly like Mitchell was by Accairi on the first Panthers goal there’d be people here saying he needs to go to Rockford – unbelievable – yet there has not been one comment on Mitchell getting undressed on that play only about Boquist’s mistakes

    Let’s look at these players objectively

  • March 24, 2021 at 9:48 am

    Stefanie, good news – when all the Hawks came out before the game wearing 88 jerseys, I’m pretty sure I saw Zadorov got a hair cut – no more man bun. :-)

  • March 24, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Very entertaining game to watch, maybe Panthers realize now how much a break they caught with Dach and Toews being out in other meetings this year. WIJG agree best goalie won, also not losing the special teams and faceoff battles and putting themselves in a hole there played a big role too. Hagel a big plus out there, if he can find a little offense look out. Definitely showed alot of positive energy last night. Nice 3rd period, survived early push, played middle part even, penalty made putting game away in last 5 mins a little bit interesting.
    Tribute to Kane and victory to celebrate topped things off.

    The Panthers obviously again tried to put test as much as possible the young D on rightside. Both Mitchell and Boqvist struggled at times and looked overwhelmed and both responded very positively too, that’s why it’s called development. Telling to me on Boqvist was that 60% of his starts last night were in the defensive zone without the sky falling lol and 3 shot blocks, while the team produced more shots and scoring attempts 5 on 5 too boot than Panthers with him on the ice . The coaches confidence in his improving defensive play is obvious.

    Janmark and Soderberg continue to build their tdl stock. If they are moved with Dach returning. Him and Suter be 1-2 Cs likely with either Cat and Kane or Kub and Hagel as wingers. On other 2 lines, keep Carpenter and Strome together, working well on fos and as linemates. Kampf with Kurashev and have a spot on either line to get different players playing time or wanted type of player in from roster, taxi squad or Rfd. Kane double shifting or Strome and Kurashev shifting on same line with one of 22 or 64 available options there too if game dictates it.

    Hope Thursday bring simlilar effort and disciplined play with the needed physical response too shows something.

  • March 24, 2021 at 10:09 am

    @Wrap I think a lot of the Boq dislike is because of how high he was drafted? And people forget how young he is?
    Boq reminds me of Hammer with his growing pains. Granted, Hjalmarsson was drafted somewhere in the 100s (forgive me for not remembering exact number).
    Ian wasn’t as high of a pick.
    I don’t know. Anyone?

  • March 24, 2021 at 10:14 am

    There was a play last night that led to the first Florida goal that I’ve seen several times recently and I wonder if it’s just a lapse in judgement or something systemic that was poorly executed.

    The play was where Janmark was about 10′ inside the d-zone with the puck along the boards. He was the closest player to the puck and could have gotten to it first and been able to attempt to clear the puck. But he saw there was a teammate (not sure who – maybe Mitchell?) that could get the the puck if he shielded the Florida player from getting to it. The resultant play was the puck didn’t get cleared, the Florida player got the puck and drove the net and dished to a wide open d-man busting in for an easy goal. In retrospect (at least) the better play would have been for Janmark to jump the puck and try to clear it or make some active play with it rather than passively deferring to a teammate.

    The play looked like Janmark made the decision to let the teammate get to the puck – it didn’t look like a “you get it – no, you get it” communication breakdown. The play itself wasn’t necessarily bad because in theory the second Hawks player had a forehand play he could have made versus more of a backhand play by Janmark – but the play requires both Hawks players to neutralize the Florida players and the Hawks players couldn’t do it well enough for the play to work in their favor. In other words, that deferral play may work for a bigger/stronger team but it doesn’t work for The Hawks who too often get out-muscled.

    They won the game so I’m probably nit-picking but the team has to play to their strengths and within their means and any play that requires winning a physical battle in the d-zone should not be the first choice of available plays to make. The inability to get the puck out when it’s within a few feet of the blue line is maddening and the physical inability to plow through opposing players to push puck and player out of the zone is probably the main reason the puck doesn’t get cleared so often when it seems like just a little more oomph would do it.

  • March 24, 2021 at 10:15 am

    hjalmarsson 108th overall in 2005.

  • March 24, 2021 at 10:33 am

    Stefanie – I think you’re probably right about Boquist’s high draft position

    So what some are saying is that ‘You’re not meeting my personal expectations so I’m going to pick out every bad play and overlook the good plays until you do meet my personal expectations”

    The truth is that Boquist has been a bright spot for this team since returning from Covid – let’s acknowledge that he’s an important and a good part of the future in CHI

    Whether he’s a top pair guy or a lower is still up in the air but an objective observer could see there’s a high ceiling there

  • March 24, 2021 at 10:39 am

    I’ve been leading the cheers for Hagel but the kid is the real deal. It is very unusual for a player with his draft pedigree to be playing both PK and PP 30 games into his career. He almost had a shorty again last night and his work on the first goal was like a crafty veteran. Miro – agree re: Kubalik’s goal, he is a more talented scorer than just having a big one-timer. ER – I agree regarding the board play that led to the first goal. I have no idea why Janmark didn’t chip it out. Sometimes I think they try to make a tougher play in order to maintain possession but that tends to cause more problems. Lankinen looked really confident last night. I have to say I did not expect much from him entering the season but watching his play and his interviews he is growing on me. In his interviews he really comes across as a guy who knows he will be successful without any arrogance.

  • March 24, 2021 at 10:40 am

    Come on everyone,nobody is particularly picking on Boqvist. I like him offensively and hands wise but I am sorry,it is not normal for any NHL defenseman to continually be beaten by different forwards in the same game. There is nothing wrong with pointing out the obvious and where work is needed. They can stop sheltering him and as fans we can ween him off the pacifier. He’s a big boy and can handle the scrutiny. Nothing positive comes from ignoring easily fixable problems.

  • March 24, 2021 at 10:50 am

    yeah, boqvist has looked much better post-covid. My biggest problem is he’s just not super fast. but he’s been successfully breaking up a lot of 2 0n 1 chances lately. has been smarter with the puck and seems to have at least a bit more confidence.

    you can kind of tell towards the beginning of a game, who has the puck luck. seemed like every bouncing puck landed on a hawk stick in the first. glad they could keep the lead through the end this time.

    in other news, looks like Dach is almost ready to come back….
    12, 77, 88 anyone?

  • March 24, 2021 at 11:09 am

    Tim W – glad to see you’re coming around on Boquist – at least you like his offensive game now – IIRC you didn’t like anything about his game for a long time

    I’ll be looking forward to you pointing out the easily fixable problems of Mitchell and others next

  • March 24, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    The old saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say – don’t say anything at all” certainly doesn’t apply when critiquing players on a hockey message board where it’s normal for comments to run from Pollyanna to “get off my lawn” – but it’s also fair to point out when comments are at the extreme ends of being objective and fair. Doesn’t mean the unfair criticisms shouldn’t be made because it’s all part of the stew we enjoy – but so is critiquing the critiquers.

  • March 24, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    Wrap,my analysis of Boqvist has been consistent from the start. From his 1st game in the NHL I complimented his hands and offensive ability to get his shot to the net. On the flip side I have been critical of his skating speed and ability to close along with his physicality.

  • March 24, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Tim, I’ll take your word on that (without going through the archives) but there have been plenty here who claimed not to see the ‘upside’ to Boquist or even thought he would ever be an NHLer and cried out for him to be shipped to Rockford or even traded declaring him a bust

    I do respect your opinion and am glad to hear that you weren’t one of those

  • March 24, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    In the great to see category – on Charlie Roumeliotis’ twitter feed – a 17 second vid of Kirby Dach working on faceoffs with Yannick Perreault. Looks pretty good. Another milestone in his recovery. YAY!

  • March 24, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    From last thread du to half day delays.

    For timeouts in hockeys games and long games are. Sure donot want games to be boxing matxhes and go to 1045 atnight. Also though donot want games to be turned into 3 on 3 garbage or SO garbage thats not real hockey. If they really want SO then call Fing penalty shots more often. Like if you run other teams goalie over they get a penalty shot and if they donot score then its a 2 min penalty.

    So donot shorted games just so they are not going to 1045 or timeouts to long them. Do not change the game itself to short or long it. Keep game as its always been since 1926. Do anything else like have games start at 6 not 730 if your worried about 1045 thing. Donot not call peanltys because it makes ganme longer donot not do instant replay because it slows game or longers game. You have to review every play/all plays reviewable. Just play old time hockey without gang tackleing piles cluster Fs.

    Phil, yea the 2009 and 2010 roster would have won the 4 in a row thing like ISL did prob won 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016. So really could have won 7 Cups in 7 yrs instead of our 4 Cup in 6 yrs.

    March 23, 2021 at 12:51 pm
    Tab agree can’t have guys dropping them 1st but 6 guys to respect that they will. Clarke Gillis perfect example of a good player no one wanted mess with. Buff too. Benn Getzlaf Weber are a few in there prime and still you don’t want to mess with. JT not in that mode and didn’t need to be. He had other better talents and others to do that. We all cringed when he would go with Jumbo Joe and Backes. The Mitchell hit he was blindsided and the Boychuk closeline should have been called. (One reason I rather take Ladd and assets from NYI than Boychuk)

    I like the reports some of you post about the size we have coming. Alty Barrett Slaggert Entwistle Regula Vlasic could be those players. I haven’t seen the but like reading about them.

  • March 24, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    Boqvist and Mitchell are both average at best. Boqvist is no HAMMER, not even close, Hammer was a lock down d-zone stud. Used his body and well as his stick and more often than not in great position between player, puck and his own net. Hammer could close hard in the corners and is 6 foot 3 inches tall and about 200 pounds, the word sturdy comes to mind. Boqvist is like 5″11? Boqvist size can lead to him to being a more poke check type of dude where they try to weakly ride a 6 foot 6 power forward off the puck – not going to happen – Boqvist offensive upside is big, and in this day and age of the NHL a d-man has to play both ways hard as a defense men and the offensive side of the pond . .. . Hammer is sort of an old school prototype.

    He’s young but I’m not seeing any exceptional hockey IQ on the defensive end. Maybe just maybe its the Hawks coaching staff?

    Ya’d think with Dunkin locked in a room with Boqvist watching game film would rub off or maybe Dunk is not involved? Coaches?

  • March 24, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Seabrook is long term injured reserve. I thought this does not count against cap. Why is it so many places people talking about getting rid of his cap hit….hes long term injured reserve….there is no cap hit. What am i missing? I vaguely recall lomg term ir may count in the off season but even still the Blackhawks have cap room. Anyone care to explain?

    Dont know why so many people here act surprised the team is challenging for a playoff spot ,many people thought they would. I guess some people never bothered to look at the schedule or the roster. Speaking of rosters lots of teams are open for business regarding trades. Chemistry can be hard to come by and tough to predict.

    Barkov by some is considered to be the most underrated player in thr league. Blackhawks got a bit of luck,no doubt barkov is a difference maker. toews is too, i know. Blackhawks also lucky to not have to face a ten million dollar goalie.

  • March 24, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    Honest, Seabrooks caphit has to be accounted for in daily caphit. Either put him on ltir day before season opens, in which case that allows ability to exceed cap limit by amount of Seabrooks caphit and try to build an opening day roster as close to that as possible and have very little wiggle room for the rest of year to make moves. One other option is put him on ltir after season opens with his caphit counting against getting under 81.5 for opening day, then they can go over cap limit by amount of his caphit all season as much as they want. Drawback is tdl accruable cap space isn’t given on ltir. Also with Seabrook retired off season ltir is an option, which allows them to exceed 10% over the cap off season limit by players salary then use his space during season by his caphit, actually formula used but if close to 81.5m, almost all caphit available, the more your under the 81.5m opening day is calculated and they lose some of the caphit.

    If say taking bad contracts in off season, could place one player on season opening ltir and another after season starts to get ability to go over cap opening day by amount of one caphit and have space of other to operate roster during season.

  • March 24, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    I saw an expected lineup for Reichel’s German team that shows him starting as the 1st line Center. I thought he was strictly a winger – anyone have info on this?

  • March 24, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    MS Reichel been playing top C for his German team all winter, a switch for him from the wing, may project there in pros who knows. He looks top 6 potential wing or C.

  • March 24, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    So among our highly regarded young blue liners, Boqvist is playing the best given both performance, TOI, and metrics. How strange for a guy who most here wanted to send to Rockford.

  • March 24, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    The Hawks played well. Barkov being out is a huge factor why they won. He is out again tonight. Let’s get two in a row boys. People still can’t spell his name: BUSTvist.

  • March 24, 2021 at 4:31 pm

    Thanks Ian, I wasn’t aware of that. It would be great if both Kurashev and Reichel have the ability to play both center and wing.

  • March 24, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    Tim W – excellent point re Boqvist consistently getting beat wide. This is commonplace. This goes to the below average coaching he receives and whatever he does receive isn’t addressing the issue or he can’t translate it during the games.

  • March 24, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    Some people have really short memories and/or lack reading comprehension skills.
    When I referred to Hammer, I was making a reference to growing pains (and another Swedish D-man).
    I also said I think some people have a short leash on Boq because of his high draft spot AS OPPOSED TO Hammer & Ian Mitchell, who were not 1st rounders.
    I never said Boq is the next Hammer.
    It would be nice if he turned out to be though, wouldn’t it?
    I’ve seen improvement in his game since his Covid break and I’m willing to give Boq the benefit of the doubt.
    I do love when he does the Seabs “belly flop”–it really works for him like it did for Seabs.
    Cheers fellas.

  • March 24, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Ice,It is just going to be very difficult for him given his size if he continually gets beat by speed to the outside on top of being run over by bigger forwards. My opinion is with some extra work with the right coaches he can overcome the getting beat to the outside issue. It is not trashing the kid to recommend that he work on his footwork and maybe some powerskating. His path into the NHL has been a little different than Mitchell,s. Boqvist was immediately tossed into the fire as the lone D Man on the 1st powerplay unit and was thrown into a top pairing roll with a roaming Duncan Keith. If that wasn’t enough they threw him to the wolves in the playoffs having him go man to man against a very large and heavy Golden Knight team. Mitchell for the most part has had the leash kept on him as far as showing his offensive side and has had his ice time carefully orchestrated for the most part. I believe the path that they have Mitchell on is the better way to break in a young D Man. At this point though I would like to see both of them get regular minutes and learn from their mistakes. As a matter of fact I would have both of them on the powerplay units. Also get Beaudin and Kalynuk out there for some heavy minutes in a string of games. Lets see what they have . And for gods sake stop playing Johnson and Entwhistle 6 minutes a game. They are not china dolls and they are definitely not liabilities on the ice. They are men that can play regular minutes.

  • March 24, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    I feel like every game that Johnson’s played, he’s taken a boneheaded penalty (in just 6 minutes ice time per). Except for his willingness to use the body, I have yet to see any of the great promise some people have hyped … but counterpoint taken, hard to see much in 6-7 minutes ice time.

  • March 24, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    49 years,you must be confusing Reese Johnson with someone else. He has a Grand total of 9 penalty minutes this season and 5 of those minutes were a fighting major. I just don’t recall his bone headed penalties. I like him and would like to see him at 3rd line Center playing with Hagel.

  • March 24, 2021 at 7:37 pm

    I know Barkov is good and see what difference it makes. Every team must think same for us without 19 77.

    Prob couldnt have a better practice season for these 55 games not having STL COL MIN in division and having more speedy less sized teams in TB CAR FLR for this greyhorn rookie 55 game yr. Same for 19 77 getting full healthy for 22 season and on helps more playing time for young wavers and trickle up effect to get competition min.

    Then for 22 season we have 19 77 and more experience/games under belt and we see the trickle and some of these very good FW get to do what 29 65 25 and 20 80 86 did on 3rd line.

  • March 24, 2021 at 8:37 pm

    Good post.

    Ian has said several times Entwhislte is an overall better player then them. I also put Barratt with Hagel being Shaw type/quality players overall about same as 65.

    Adding a top pair Defensemen will have to come by ufa now. Even if we add a top pair D guy in this draft with a top 8 pick because we need two. We are going to have lots and lots of cap space to use to add an elite top pair Defensemen like when BOS lost there top Defensemen to ufa. We ll be adding one in a couple yrs when were ready.

    So who is 27 28 in a couple yrs thats a top pair D guy on a shit team that would want out like that did in BOS.

    March 23, 2021 at 11:21 pm
    Also liked what J saw from Enwhisle – only 1 game and 6 minutes but I think he’s earned another look – so far he looks like he could have a higher ceiling than Highmore, Johnson, Wallmark

    What a difference it would make adding a Hedman to the D Corp – he’s so used to those situations there wouldn’t be issues like that and everyone calms down – the Hawks will eventually need someone to take that role – who that will be I don’t know

    Lank awesome as I thought he would be – he’s a gamer

  • March 24, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    We ll I guess it could be on a top 5 team because BOS lost there top Defensemen because they low ball thee players.

    Who is 27 28 in a couple yrs from now that we could add.

    When were ready were going out there and getting our Soupy and Hoss for young wave.

  • March 24, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    Tim, what will be nice is in a yr from now when were startig the 2nd 40 games in the 22 season these guys Hagel Johnson Entwhislte Barratt other should be playing full time and we ll have a lot more players that play nasty/in the right way in the 12 FW. Also 19 77. So really half of the FW are prob different/for the better in terms of lots of things.

    Were getting closer to a good lineup/bout a yr from now.

  • March 24, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Wouldnt that be something for Reichel to be the 2nd line center.

  • March 24, 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Tim – As far as I can tell Boquist is already playing regular minutes – last game on a par with CDH and Z and that’s been the pattern lately

    I have little problem with the allocation of minutes by the coaching staff – if you think Boquist was thrown into the fire too quickly why are you advocating for Entwistle and Iohnson to also be thrown into the fire?

    Bring them along slowly – I think JC has a good track record with Dach and Boquist and you can add Hagel to that list

    He’s now playing Hagel more than at the start because to quote JC “he’s earned it”

    I have no problem with that and when Entwistle and Johnson have earned it they’ll get more minutes


  • March 24, 2021 at 9:03 pm

    MS, I have liked Lankenin from the start/world juniors. Didn know expect him to be good right off the bat and then normal greenhorn ups and downs until he really settles in. That he can be very good goalie/top 15 inleague once he gets there. Just didnt know think he would be good like this until a yr or two.

    Cant wait to get 19 77 Reichel Barratt and add top pair D guy ufa wise and draft another this draft/top 8 pick could get us one of those D guys.

    Really looking good then. Bout 1-1.5 yrs from now were coming.

  • March 24, 2021 at 9:40 pm

    Mo one guy to watch to see what happens is Morgan Reilly, with cap staying flat Leafs gonna have tough time resigning him after next season.

  • March 25, 2021 at 10:07 am

    Guess what day iiiit is? No, not hump day … it’s another day closer to “Dach returns day”. And, it’s another day to be excited about our young Hawks and how this season has gone.

    When the season started and I knew the Hawks would be without Toews and Dach and their goalies were a trio of unproven AHL’ers and the word rebuild was more than just a hope in a dream. I resigned myself to the necessity to be bad before they could be good and I rallied behind that and got excited about watching the kids play.

    Well, it’s been a whole lot of fun and now it looks like Dach will be back soon which will just add to this better than hoped for fun season.

    Yeah baby!

  • March 25, 2021 at 10:50 am

    Ebony,I share in your excitement. It will be refreshing to see a quality center drive the play and set up dangerous forwards . Now let’s take the leashes off of Boqvist,Mitchell,and even Beaudin and let them join the rush and put some pressure on.

  • March 25, 2021 at 11:16 am

    Mo, had some time on my hands so I decided to give you some names, ages they are now and time they will be UFAs. Also what I think would be fair to sign them for.

    This coming year
    Iafallo 27 4mil x 3
    Wennberg 26 4mil x 3
    Laughton 26 4mil x 3

    Hamilton 27 7mil x 3
    Montour 26 4mil x 3

    Hopefully we would know what is up with the Captain then these signings might work cuz we are gonna need to hit the window hard.
    After next season

    Barkov 25 9+mil x 5-7
    Hertl 27 7mil x 3

    Jones 26 7mil x 4
    Nurse 26 7mil x4

    After 2 seasons
    Pasternok 24 9+mil x 5-7
    Compher 25 5mil x 3

    Graves 25 4mil x 3

    Couldn’t give anyone more than Kaner but it probably is going to happen in order to sign a few.

  • March 25, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Is there some interesting young players on the Flyers team …because they want to get salary cap Down .
    Maybe the Hawks can get a draft pick or a young prospect…how about another move like when they trade for Patrick Sharp ..hahaha
    Hawks have a nice opportunity now to make a move and get a good prospect …a few teams are looking for cap space ..
    Probably end of next week or beginning of the other week we will see who really need the Hawks cap

  • March 25, 2021 at 11:41 am

    How do you visualize Beaudin, Carlsson and Kalynuk getting ice time. Doesn’t look like a ton of opportunities the rest of this year short of injuries, maube a trade. Next year right now it appears that Murphy, Boqvist and Mitchell will be on rightside, on left Zadorov likely back, Keith only way he can be moved without waiving his nmc is buyout, which at this point would work but neither is very likely to happen. Are those young guys ready to fill his void of 20 to 25 mins a night, playing both pk and pp, plus 5 on 5 against top lines. Maybe Keith not what he used to be but that’s a big ask to expect Carlsson, Beaudin or Kalynuk to fill at this stage of their development. Plus imagine Keith is given and earned the opportunity to retire as Blackhawk. Don’t want ruin the youngsters by pushing them too fast either. Finding ice time when everyone healthy could be a challenge next season as well even if Dehaan goes to Seattle.

    Zadorov and Carlsson rfas who are arbitration eligible along with Kampf, Suter and Wallmark. How does that play in to things. Zadorov only one with a qualifying offer of any significance to decide on, can’t imagine he isn’t resigned right now though. Carlsson and Wallmark won’t see much if any raise not likely but other 3 could be arbitration options which Bowman has disliked to do in past. See what upcoming tdl adds to ir takes away from the scenario.

  • March 25, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    People cannot spell his name… Once again, I’ll simplify it.

  • March 25, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    @ Tim – took a walk after my post about Reese Johnson and regretted not looking up actual stats before submitting + my use of “boneheaded” – I’ll also confess that I probably missed one of his games where he didn’t get a penalty (still a minor in 40% of the games he’s played)
    I was disappointed when he took ‘sloppy’ penalties (tripping on one, maybe both?, but I don’t remember either being “smart” or “good”) – based on the positive things I’d seen here, I was hoping for more.
    My thought when he got those penalties was something like “oof, that’s gonna hurt his chances of staying in the lineup” – young’uns will make mistakes, but every coach has to find that balance between game time/exposure and accountability
    Here’s hoping he lives up to the positive expectations – but with less than 40 minutes TOI sample size, I just haven’t seen much to make him stand out in a crowded bottom-6 team

  • March 25, 2021 at 2:53 pm

    49 Years,Unfortunately none of us has seen him be able to actually get comfortable and play his best position. I don’t think a few games with the same wingers and maybe 12 to 14 minutes of ice time would be asking too much. But Colliton has seen him up close and is not going to give him or Entwistle or any forward much ice time. That’s a tough way to try and earn a spot.

  • March 25, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    my foremost hope is someone infinitely more in tune with how to manage the cap than bowman is will be involved in all contract decisions going forward.

    not likely anyone commenting on this site has enough info on free agents the hawks are looking at, available european players, or prospects from other teams they are targeting. got to give bowman his props for this group of young guys currently performing better than we could have expected.

    but all of us with any sense realize bowman has crapped his pants egregiously managing the cap. i hope he doesn’t put the hawks up against it as cap space frees up in the coming years.

  • March 25, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Johnson has to earn his ice time like everyone else – Hagel and even Kubalik get roughly 14 minutes I don’t think Johnson should be getting the same ice time as them – what has he shown at the NHL level to warrant that and Hagel didn’t start out at that amount of ice time either – he had to earn it

    What makes Johnson so special that he should be granted that amount of ice time and what would the other players think if JC were to suddenly decide to give Johnson 14 minutes of ice time taking away time from some others?

    Maybe if the Hawks didn’t have other options he would get more TOI but they do thankfully so he can earn his minutes

    JC gets to see him in practice we don’t – I’m sure that plays heavily into it

  • March 25, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    The re-litigation of Stan’s General Managership is never ending and it’s usually done against abstract perfection rather than objectively against his peers. Ho-hum, just another day on a Hawks message board.

  • March 25, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    @jr roman..if Barkov hits free agency in two years he’ll get Tavares money..$11-12 mil a year for eight years..but Florida will never allow that to happen..they’ll pay him..same with Pastrnak..his next contract will be in Panarin territory..$10 mil a year or so..and Boston will pay him..there really aren’t any free agents over the next couple of years that can help the Hawks…most of our cap space is going to go towards retaining our own players..if the Hawks really want to compete for a cup again, they’re going to have to develop their roster from within..then add a complimentary piece or two when they’re close..but there won’t be any huge free agent signings happening within the next couple years..I will however, provide one name to look at for the future..Werenski..he’s RFA for guess is he will take a one year QO so he can test free agency in 23-24..the same year Keith’s contract comes off the books..not saying Keith wouldn’t resign, but if he does, it will probably be one year deals going forward..most of his cap space will free up..that’s who I would make a push for..a 26 year old Werenski to anchor the top pair..

    @ted’s literally impossible to be a bust in the nhl at 20 years old since the majority of players are in their third year of college or still in the ahl..maybe no more whiskey in the morning lol..a little oatmeal with blueberries instead perhaps?

  • March 25, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    I suppose we all have a tendency to give deference to our favorite players and are quick to throw other players under the bus … well I have moved Highmore into the under the bus dweller category – I’ve seen enough of him and every time I see he’s in the lineup I wonder why. He had a brief day in the sunshine in the playoff bubble last season but … before that and since then … what? I suppose I’m being impatient but he seems to be the epitome of “just a guy”. Don’t understand the logic of playing just a guy over other guys who could be more than just a guy if they got more playing time.

  • March 25, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Slayer was looking at Werenski too, Lindholm another possibility.

    TimW, Johnson never played C in any games with Blackhawks, most of his games with Rfd. were on the wing it seemed. Even in juniors in Red Deer he took fos and playedright wing mostly, with Hagel who isn’t a C playing there to fit Sutters system. Need awhile in Rfd. playing C to be ready to play there in Nhl, no where near ready to play C between Hagel and Kibalik who are playing very well together as wingers right now.

  • March 25, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    ER – I’m also disappointed in the Highmore thing

    I’d rather see Entwistle or Johnson but Highmore knows the defensive system better by now and I think JC is really hoping to pull off the sweep of FLA

  • March 25, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    Highmore struggled since playoff bubble, not sure what his future is with Blackhawks. Seems like that spot is pretty much a very limited minutes roster spot regardless of who is in lineup.

  • March 25, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    Wrap,That’s the exact point. How does he earn more ice time when he plays 5 to 6 minutes a game every 6th game or so? He is not special,just a normal hockey player that actually can skate and manages to deliver a body check each shift on the ice. What made Nylander so special to warrant the 1st line and tons of ice time sight unseen? He did absolutely nothing to warrant that ice time and did little more to keep it for a season. What did Boqvist or Suter do to warrant the immediate ice time that they received? This team is so loaded that it can not give a young forward with size a regular shift for a few games? Who knows,maybe they will bust into the lineup also. I like all of these players but it seems to me that physical forwards do not warrant much of an opportunity with Colliton. Hagel is a great combo of speed and physicality when needed and kicked the door down for his ice time. He played so well that Colliton had no choice but to keep him and elevate him to do more than play 6 minutes a night on the 4th line. Kirby Dach had a non spectacular start to his career also but was continually given ice time and used it to improve incrementally. I just think that these other guys should be afforded the same opportunities. If it is at the expense of Walmark,Highmore,Carpenter,etc. Then so be it.

  • March 26, 2021 at 10:32 am

    SLAYERSE7EN – It’s not hard to project a 20 year old #8 pick in the FIRST round as a bust while sipping whiskey in the morning. Give it a try. Why you feel the need to disparage my opinion by suggesting I am a drunk is rather depressing. You probably think Boqvist just needs more time… Like a good whiskey.

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