Marc-André Fleury Delivers 500th Win With Shutout In Montreal

The Chicago Blackhawks were in Marc-André Fleury’s home town on Thursday night, hoping to help their future Hall of Fame netminder win his 500th career regular season game.

Desperately searching for offense, the Blackhawks opened the game with Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and… Henrik Borgström. Dylan Strome was a healthy scratch in favor of the recently recalled Mike Hardman and Philipp Kurashev. Reese Johnson got to start the game on the Hawks’ second line. So the blender was turned on before the opening puck dropped.

The Blackhawks and Habs are both struggling this season. Montreal came in losers of four straight; they had 15 points in 27 games before Thursday, putting them ahead of only the Arizona Coyotes in the cellar of the NHL.

Sadly, this was not the hyped Original Six matchup of years gone by. But hey, Andrew Shaw was in the stands supporting two of his former employers (note: his kids were wearing Hawks jerseys).

Chicago out-shot Montreal 13-12 in the first period but neither team scored. Jake Allen was marvelous in net for Montreal and Fleury was solid for the Blackhawks.

It took more than half of the game for either team to get on the board. The Blackhawks got a power play and, at 13:48 into the second, they scored.

More importantly, for the first time this season, Jonathan Toews scored a goal.

Seth Jones and Patrick Kane picked up the assists on Toews’ goal.

The look of relief on the face of the captain was noticeable from a mile away. The weight is off his back; he no longer has to answer questions about when he’ll score his first of the year. More importantly for the Blackhawks, Toews and Kirby Dach have now scored in back-to-back games. If the Hawks want to do anything this season, those two need to be big parts of the offense.

Chicago had a 21-18 advantage in the shots column and took a 1-0 lead to the third period. Allen stole a few more goals from the Hawks in the second period and Fleury continued to be strong.

Neither side scored for 12 minutes in the third period, but the shots were heavily favoring Montreal. In the middle of the period the two teams welcomed the Blackhawks’ trend of lengthy periods without a stoppage. That ended with Borgström scoring a huge goal — extending the Blackhawks’ lead to two with eight minutes left in regulation.

The goal was unassisted and Borgström’s second of the year.

Montreal pulled their goalie with 2:40 left in regulation. With two minutes left, Brandon Hagel took a shot at the empty net and it hit the right post, missing a huge third goal by inches and instead icing the puck.

The Montreal fans chanted Fleury’s name in the closing seconds as he posted his 69th career shutout and his 500th win.

Fleury is the third goaltender in NHL history to win 500 games, and he did it in just 901 games — the fewest in history to reach the number.

It was worth watching how a couple youngsters — Mike Hardman and Reese Johnson — played in light of the Hawks acquiring Kurtis Gabriel earlier on Thursday. Gabriel is clearly on the club to be a physical presence, a role Hardman and Johnson had been filling. Hardman was credited with a team-leading six hits in under nine minutes of ice time. Johnson was credited with four hits and a blocked shot in 12 minutes of ice time.

Let’s talk about the faceoff circle, shall we? It was another debacle at the dot for Chicago skaters not-named Jonathan Toews. Toews won 13 of 16 faceoffs in the game. Borgström won six of 16. Dach won none of his four. The Blackhawks won 47 percent as a team in spite of Toews’ dominance.

But on a night when the longest-serving captain in Blackhawks history finally scores his first goal of the season, there is no question who the hero of the night is.

62 thoughts on “Marc-André Fleury Delivers 500th Win With Shutout In Montreal

  • December 9, 2021 at 8:37 pm
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    Very classy by Montreal fans chanting his name and by some players tapping their sticks after the game. Hey maybe some positive Toews comments tonight!!!!

  • December 9, 2021 at 8:47 pm
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    Finally the captain breaks through! Maybe this will lead to a binge of goals for him. Rare regulation win, albeit against a team actually worse than the Hawks. Big ups to Flower and congrats on the milestone. Can’t really complain much about a road shutout regulation win, regardless of the opponent. Much bigger test Saturday against the Leafs. Probably gonna need more than 2 or 3 to win that one.

  • December 9, 2021 at 8:56 pm
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    Les Canadiens fielded an AHL team and still we can’t score more than 2 goals, with one being a total gift.

    We go to 9-5 under King/Crawford and are still 8 points out of a PO position.

    Until you move DeHaan/Murphy/McCabe/Stillman or some combination thereof scoring will always be a struggle. In the modern day game of hockey teams need Dmen that can carry the puck. We have Jones and maybe Gus who can do that.

    Congrats on win 500 MAF.

  • December 9, 2021 at 9:01 pm
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    Well deserved congratulations for Fleury, agree classy of Montreal fans to recognise him. Guess this is as close to a rout as you get with this group. Toews finally a goal goid to see. After Borgstrom being in the bottom 2 or 3 for ice time last few games, was surprised to see King throw him between 12 and 88. Be nice if he can fill that void, worked well tonight against Habs, hard to get a handle from this game how they’ll do. A 4th line of Carpenter, Slavin with Gabriel playing a few shifts and 12 or 88 double shifting with them for a few work ok. Entwistle or Slavin shpuld be a better option with 19 and 38 if that stays as is.

    Gus not very visible tonight, different from last few games. Defense need to clean up their puck handling in own end. Leafs not playing great right now, so maybe Saturday night can pull one off.

  • December 9, 2021 at 9:03 pm
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    As one of his biggest critics let me say I too was relieved to see Toews score and look like he wanted to be there. I hope he loosens up,gets more creative,and goes on a tear. Given the relative simplicity of his Goal tonight it is absolutely mind-boggling how someone like him went over 25 games without any puck luck. Hopefully it’s a distant memory. The rest of the team was well positioned and responsible most of the night. Congrats to Fleury. Classy guy,great performance, and a classy crowd. Onto Toronto!

  • December 9, 2021 at 10:06 pm
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    The Montreal crowd chanting Fleury’s name sent chills down my spine and my eyes got a little moist around the edges. That was Cup finals level cool. I hope Fleury is as nice in real life as he comes across in the post game. I always respected him, now I absolutely love him. Love. Him.

    Off. The. Schneid. ’nuff said.

    The Kane scoring slump seems more complicated than simply poor play from the center position. My guess is that he doesn’t miss two great chances like that the next time. But I am starting to get concerned a little. Should I not be?

    Two goals. Again. Sigh. Is that the new marketing slogan for the Hawks?

    Kurashev looked about as useless as he did before. It’s criminal to put him in the lineup to generate offense over Strome. I really hope the Hawks find someone willing to give up anything for Strome so the Hawks can finally be rid of him. This is becoming Colliton level embarrassing justifying keeping him out of the lineup like this.

    It was nice to see Borgstrom bury that gift of a turnover, but I didn’t think he played a particularly noteworthy game outside of that. Not bad, just nothing to get excited about.

    Really happy to see Murphy and McCabe back in the lineup.

    I know this was against a Montreal team that is really struggling but it was nice to see the Hawks play a strong defensive game after the let down against the Rangers.

    Bring on Toronto.

  • December 9, 2021 at 10:22 pm
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    Are we sure that Crawford wasn’t in net tonight? Same old result. I love it! Congrats to MAF.

  • December 9, 2021 at 10:39 pm
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    Miroslav gotta wonder from Kings comments today on expecting more from Strome, if Borgstrom between 12 and 88 was a wake up call to him. His situation getting to be more of hindrance to the team than anything it appears.

    Dollar Bill, Mitchell looked better on right side behind S.Jones and Murphy. Has ability to carry the puck out of trouble and just better with the puck now he is playing with more confidence in his game, hope he gets a shot to fill that spot. Murphy and McCabe not going anywhere this year, they need to be better with the puck though. Stillman looking more like a 7th guy at best every game. C. Jones not his brother but better with the puck than the guys you mentioned. Gus if Kalynuk can’t force him out can switch from 3rd to top pair with C. Jones depending on game needs. Not ideal but would be an improvement and not giving up anything defensively to do it, gotta move Dehaan out too, not relevant anymore.

  • December 9, 2021 at 11:39 pm
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    DeHaan with the puck in his own zone is a menace to his own team

    Happy for Toews

    Have to agree on the Strome sentiment- hopefully it’s a kick in the butt and he’s in vs the Leafs – I get that RJ will finish a check but there’s no way he’s a better option than Strome with 19 and 38

    I actually thought Kurashev with 77 and 8 was fine

    Borgstrom is pretty conscientious defensively and makes quicker players than Dach so maybe he can work with 88 and 12 -the Leafs will be a good test

    Get Strome and Gabriel in Saturday and RJ and Hardman out

    I’ve been also saying for a while that their D really hurts their transition game 5 6 61 and 44 are all verybsimilar players and none of them are good with the puck- don’t need that many – 2 could go

    Play Caleb over Stillman and when DeHaan gets moved bring up Mitchell

    I would consider moving Murphy if he brought back a first and he might – he’s got some term but a very affordable contract then there’s a spot for Stillman

    Good to get the win but MTL is brutal and the Hawks didn’t really outplay them

  • December 10, 2021 at 1:53 am
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    Yes, Montreal seems to have paid a very heavy price for their trip to the Finals last year. I think I recognized maybe 3 of their forwards and 2 Defensemen from last years team. They were bad and turned the puck over regularly. They even played the old Ottawa passive Trap with no forecheckers and still gave up way too many chances.

  • December 10, 2021 at 6:00 am
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    @Dollar Bill – you’re like a guy who gets a BJ and then complains it took too long. LMFAO!

  • December 10, 2021 at 6:25 am
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    Hopefully, Blackhawks fans were pleasantly surprised with what the evening provided, enjoyed it from the very beginning to the (happy) ending and feel very grateful for what transpired.

    No complaints here.

  • December 10, 2021 at 6:52 am
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    King stated after the game that Lankinen will start Saturday and that the lines will not stay the same. Looking for more chemistry on them and look like they are working. Wonder what we see Saturday for lines.

  • December 10, 2021 at 7:23 am
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    Congrats to Fleury, especially doing this in la belle province. It’s nice to see some wins in general.
    What has happened to Montreal-yes some injuries. Montreal looked really bad in their own end, with it seemed endless giveaways. So I looked it up in the stats and surprise, Chicago had even more of them than Montreal. 43 total for both teams, and looked up some of the other games- 25, 25, 24, 19, 9, 16, 11. It wasn’t an optical illusion.

  • December 10, 2021 at 8:07 am
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    I forgot to mention congrats to Fleury – a truly impressive careeer – 3rd overall in wins amongst goalies all time is awesome and he was on his game last night

    I know the stats show that the Hawks outchanced MTL significantly but given how poorly CHI finishes their chances Fleury needed to be on his game to get the win

    I’m beginning to think that Dach doesn’t yet want the responsibility of taking the shot – he passes way too often when he should shoot and even when he does shoot he usually waits too long trying to pass and the as a result the shot is less dangerous

    He’s definitely a pass first guy which is ok but he needs to take the shot when it’s the best option or he’s just taking himself out of the play as a threat – taking the shot now will also set up the pass next time – otherwise he’s too predictable – it’s hard enough to score in the NHL without also being predictable – last night again he passed up opportunities that say if Cat had could easily have been goals to force a pass that doesn’t work out

    The good news is that he continues to get chances and he’s only 20

  • December 10, 2021 at 9:00 am
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    Wrap, I have a different POV on Dach being a pass first guy:

    I think he has been able to stick handle and skate around guys all through his developmental years and still relies on that. Unfortunately, he cannot do that as easily in the NHL and what happens is he paints himself into a corner and ends up losing the puck or throwing it away.

    I think what we are seeing is that he is under direction to stop doing that and start being more of a team player (I am not implying he is selfish). So, perhaps now he is thinking pass first as he matures from a talented do-it-all-by-myself player to a team player.

    He does better in a structured situation like the power play where he knows exactly where to be and what to do. He still needs a lot of time and coaching to shed old habits and form new ones.

  • December 10, 2021 at 9:06 am
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    @John Galt – Now, that was funny! @Dollar Bill – I hope you laughed too! A win is a win and we’ll take it! Was that our Laurent Dauphin who we once traded for from AZ, and now played 16 mins for Les Habs? He looked better than Dylan Strome! I was just hoping that the Canadians would have brought up Alexandre Fortin to play against his old team!

    It was an entertaining, yet frustrating game all in one. Fleury was incredible last night and that made it so entertaining and getting the 500 wins, and the crowd, and the Habs players staying on ice. Class acts all around.

    It was frustrating because the defense was sloppy all night, the forwards missed some easy chances, and there wasn’t any cohesion on the lines, except I did like Borgstrom centering Kane and DeBrincat. Now, just leave him in there for a couple of games and let’s see what they can bring. We are weak down the middle, and as soon as Reichel recovers, he has a spot centering one of the first two lines.

  • December 10, 2021 at 9:13 am
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    @John Galt, thanks for the classy comment

    maybe you can now start to contribute something about hockey besides your love for Toews

  • December 10, 2021 at 9:18 am
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    Wrap when Colton Dach was askec to compare himself to Kirby, he said that he was a more of a shoot first goal scorer type of player, where Kirby is more the playmaker pass first type of player. Said they could make good linemates, maybe in a year or 2 of we are lucky. Wonder how Dach with 38 and 19 would look together. Borgstrom and Strome as 1 and 3 Cs.

    Tommy, Fortin hasn’t signed an Nhl contract since leaving Blackhawks, became a career Ahl player it seems.

  • December 10, 2021 at 10:00 am
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    !

  • December 10, 2021 at 11:26 am
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    @Ian – I know! It appears that Fortin is a career AHL’r, but he does have some top end speed and would be great as a 4th liner and PK. But, I digress. We need a bona-fide #1 center. We have 3 3rd line centers and about 6 4th line centers. Unless Reichel shows that he is legit #1 or #2 line center, we are going to have to trade for one or sign one if the off-season. We are just wasting Patrick Kane!!!

  • December 10, 2021 at 12:24 pm
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    Tommy the C spot can be a fairly easy fix, sign one and development of one is all you need. Dach, Reichel or even Borgstrom are far too early to judge what they will be in 2 or 3 years. This year is likely pretty much what you see is what you get. Some improvement from current options, maybe TJ back after olympics break or Reichel callup be what it is. Don’t see any big acquisitions during this season, maybe a veteran who can play there but not really top 6 C or something but thats about it. As much as i like MAF, hope he agrees to a tdl move for a chance at a cup run. Then bring up Soderblom and get first look at what a tandem with him and Lankinen looks like for next year. Delia as insurance in Rfd. with Morris.

  • December 10, 2021 at 1:10 pm
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    First, very classy Montreal fans. MAF has been outstanding. Gus has been playing well. Have the young centers study F/O’s and positioning . Let them study Mikita and Phil Esposito for positioning and get Toews to work with them on face-offs.

  • December 10, 2021 at 3:15 pm
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    Also, I hope that Dylan Strome told the Coach Clown King to “bite me!”. The last few games, Strome has played really well, and he gets benched while Dach, Toews, Kurashev, and even Borgstrom have been playing much worse than Strome, and he gets benched. In the words of the great American philosopher with a limited vocabulary, ‘C’mon Man!’.

  • December 10, 2021 at 4:05 pm
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    Iff we reach the playoff…it will be largely because we have MAF on the ream
    And who knows what can hapend sometimes in playoff.

  • December 10, 2021 at 4:21 pm
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    What’s w/the Strome man crush here, he’s a one trick pony and he’s not very good at that one trick either. 5 points in 16 games isn’t exactly a trick, but I digress.

    Well King finally read my messages here and put Borg in on the 1st line and Toews lower down. Maybe he’ll get the real message and put Johnny on the wing, it helped Giroux, I don’t see it not helping him.

  • December 10, 2021 at 4:25 pm
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    On another note, if Kane asked, I’d do this trade in a heartbeat

    https://thehockeywriters.com/nhl-rumors-december-10-2021/

    A Patrick Kane to Rangers Trade Scenario

    Larry Brooks of the New York Post wondered if the Rangers and Blackhawks would be open to talking about the possibility of a blockbuster trade that would include Patrick Kane going to the Rangers and something like Kaapo Kakko, Nils Lundqvist, Vitali Kravtsov, and a 2022 first-round pick going back to Chicago. He wonders if new Rangers’ GM Chris Drury would go for it knowing the Rangers would have a “super-line” that featured Kane, Artemi Panarin and Ryan Strome.

  • December 10, 2021 at 5:07 pm
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    Dollar – that’s the sort of trade that would kickstart the Hawks rebuild – of course Kane would have to agree to waive his NMC and he might to reunite with the Breadman

  • December 10, 2021 at 5:46 pm
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    I don’t think Rocky would ever allow Kane or Toews to be traded. They have so much bad P.R. going,I don’t think they want to deal with the uproar of the old 1 Goal crowd over a movement of the multi Stanley Cup heroes. They are seeing alot of empty seats as is. You move Kane and or Toews and the U.C will be a ghost town for the near future.

  • December 10, 2021 at 6:29 pm
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    Dollar Bill not convincec if it would ever come to be or not, be hard to say no to that kind of offer though.

  • December 10, 2021 at 7:39 pm
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    many fans, if not most, who comment on this site have been hawks fans for decades.

    to me kane and toews mean no more than do hull, hall, mikita, larmer, roenick, stapleton, white, and dozens of other blackhawks players who i have watched over the years. kane and toews were merely fortunate to have played on hawks teams that had superior talent, which allowed them to be part of stanley cup victories.

    legendary hawks players have been traded in the past. i am a chicago blackhawks fan and will be thrilled when/if the next stanley cup is won whether or not there is a player named kane or toews on the team. if that next cup victory will be sooner than later by trading toews, kane, or both then make the move/moves.

    there will never, ever be a concern of selling out seats at the uc when the blackhawks are a winning team.

  • December 10, 2021 at 10:04 pm
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    Just wondering what would we rather have:

    19-20 season 40 games 9g 8a @3mil
    20-21 season 16 games 2g 3a @3mil arbitration next season

    19-20 season 52 games 10g 22a @ 5.8mil
    20-21 season 6 games 0g 1a @ 5.8mill
    Next 4 seasons @ 5.8mil

    First guy you guessed it Strome
    Second guy Schmaltz

  • December 10, 2021 at 11:39 pm
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    Yeah JR ,crap plus crap equals crap .
    Statistically the Crap Brothers are running neck and neck down crap lane . Pitty the Hawks kept Crap 2.0 and let Pius Suter walk and Kamph walk ….both of those players showed coach ability , defensive responsibility and competitive edge .

    Eyes to the future friends .

  • December 10, 2021 at 11:42 pm
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    JR Roman, Damn, Bowman was a genius after all. Actually, Hawks probably win this trade if they just waive Strome. His trade value declines with every scratch, so the Hawks might as well waive him. The whole thing has to be a distraction to the team at this point.

    I think Strome’s passing is close to elite, more than enough to make up for his skating and other shortcomings, but obviously I’m in the minority on that. Hopefully, he’ll find a good landing spot with a team in need of his skillset that can live with his shortcomings. If I’m his agent, I might make a public trade request.

  • December 11, 2021 at 3:05 am
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    A Hawk fan for 60 years here and I agree with Hawks29.

    The Kane trade proposal in a heartbeat. Time to realize reality and rebuild. The Hawks get a total of 4 young (1.2, 1.9, 1.28 and 1.? in the 2022 draft.

    Will have to eat some of Kane’s CAP $2 to 4M? to make it work.

  • December 11, 2021 at 5:34 am
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    Hey a little silver lining we have Regula that might become something.

    I do not want to trade Kane but…gentlemen and Stephanie Gretzky got traded. In return Carson, Gelinas, Rucinsky and two others plus cash. Messier let go as a free agent. Zero in return. Only had 107 points the following year.

    So if it’s attractive must do it.

  • December 11, 2021 at 6:31 am
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    Dollar Bill that would give you a top 6 of:
    Kakko. Dach. Cat
    Hagel Reichel Kravtsov
    With Maybe C.Dach and Slaggert coming on a 3rd line, bring in a top C and Hagel or Krav could be 3rd as well. Potential there but Kakko who like Dach, both need a 2nd contract in summer is still finding his Nhl game, doing so in a big way would be the key in that deal being a success. Kravatsov could be a very good secondary player and the 1st pick by giving up Kane your saying you expect it to be the 32nd pick, crap shoot range. Can Lunqvist is another undersized puck moving defenseman in his 1st year of an elc be a top pair guy, put up decent numbers in Sweden but is he any better than the youngsters currently in Rfd. Hard to gauge if that deal puts the team on a better path or just the frustration being younger brings. Anyways seems more like a fan created trade than a behind doors one the teams might do.

  • December 11, 2021 at 10:03 am
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    JR, I completely agree with you about moving Kane and or Toews but I factored Rocky and the hesitation to bring in any real hockey people to run the organization yet. I have been wrong many times before but I just don’t get that feeling that he is prepared to truly let go and move on. I would move Kane,Toews,Fleury,Dehaan,Kubalik,Strome, Nylander, tomorrow for a haul of strong prospects with a combo of size and fast twitch to them to be led by a hard ass behind the bench and in the G.M,s office.

  • December 11, 2021 at 10:09 am
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    I love Torts. A Mike Keenan type is exactly what is needed here. Look no further than Calgary hiring Darryl Sutter. It took him a few games at the end of last year,an off season to get a few of his guys,and a training camp to beat a lethargic team into a relentless in shape nightmare to play against.

  • December 11, 2021 at 10:21 am
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    @Ian have a watch to see how Lunqvuist plays. He’s got the hockey smart to be real good and so far
    has avoided getting pummeled by the big boys. Having McCabe as a partner might do the trick also. Not every Dman needs to be 6’4 220 pounds. Plus Lundqvist wasn’t drafted by Stan.

    That top 6 might become pretty good don’t you think

    @Hawk 29, nice comment

    @Wrap, I think Kane might want another chance at a Cup and playing w/his soulmate they might
    accomplish it

  • December 11, 2021 at 10:26 am
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    @Tim….Rocky is no different than Bill but nothing lasts forever. As each game passes by Kane is looking more lackadaisical in his play. Maybe his injury isn’t fully healed and he’s feeling the effects?

    And again I don’t trust KD making any trades, while he might have garnished some insight on how a hockey team runs he did it under Stan’s guidance which has brought us to this, mediocrity.

  • December 11, 2021 at 10:54 am
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    Dollar Bill if the top 6 became elite it could be very good with a potentially very good 3rd line , if it struggled to be above average, hoping the 3rd line masked their struggles, then as we see now, your mediocre.

    Agree and said same often about not needing to be a 6’4″ 220 lbder to play D, just saying Lundqvist is a small sample, need a year or 2 to know for sure what he becomes.

    Please Daryl Sutter forgot more about coaching than Torts ever knew. Plus has more class in his little finger than Torts. Comparing them is an insult to Sutter. Torts is a chronic whiner who wants to blame his players for everything. Sutter justbknows how to get it done. No thanks.

  • December 11, 2021 at 10:57 am
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    For those thinking Gaudette being waived was a mistake, looks like he is being healthy scratched for the 4th game in a row after dressing for his 1st game. So far nothing has changed.

  • December 11, 2021 at 11:09 am
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    Borgstrom out tonight. Predicting Gabriel’s 1st fight within 1 minute of dropping the puck.

  • December 11, 2021 at 11:13 am
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    Birgstrom covid related, Dach with 12?and 88, Strome with Kub and Kur. RJ still with 19 and 38. 86 36 22 the 4th in practice. C. Jones on ice too. Gabriel on ice wearing 34.

  • December 11, 2021 at 11:47 am
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    DollarBill, I was just thinking about your observation on Kane a few games ago. He does not look engaged at all and his stats are starting to show it. Now may be the time to approach him about waiving that No Trade clause. Would love to get some enthusiastic hard working players in here even if it means they take a step back in winning a few 2 to 1 overtime games.

  • December 11, 2021 at 11:54 am
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    @Ian I think you got confused addressing me about Torts/Sutter.

    One way or another it will be interesting to watch Lundkvist progress, from all accounts it looks as if he’ll be a good one.

    I guess getting vaccinated doesn’t matter, I would love to know the protocols as far as treatment goes.

    @Hammer…. Gabriel on the 1st or 2nd line then?

  • December 11, 2021 at 12:09 pm
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    @Tim W……I 100% in agreement with that being the way to go, hopefully though it won’t be KD
    making those trade decisions.

  • December 11, 2021 at 12:18 pm
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    Dollar Bill sorry about that, just see Flames with all those personalties like Gaudreau, Tkachuk etc. looking like a strong contender under Sutter, leading most defensive categories with the most aggressive forechecking system in the league to create offense. Back to the old if we got the puck they can’t score theory you used to hear Q talking about. If Torts had that team be a sideshow on a downward spiral with him blaming everybody but himself.

    Said covid related so could be just a contact and precaution, hopefully not more. Hope Gabriel gets in, actually in RJ’s spot on 19, 38 line and some double shifting 88 or 12 involved in that move too, works pretty good too.

  • December 11, 2021 at 1:52 pm
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    Ian – according to beat writers Borgstrom’s absence is due to a non-COVID related illness

    King saying not sure if Hardman or Gabriel will be 12th FW- so RJ would seem to be in making Toews’ line purely a checking line

    I hope Gabriel gets in his first game vs his old team

    King’s comments on Strome were in line with what I was hoping – says he wanted to see some emotion from him for being scratched and he has – also wants him to not accept defeat in his battles

    Both comments are bang on so perhaps if Strome has a good game and he stays in the line up and with Borgstrom back soon we can have RJ out of the top 9!! – wouldn’t that be nice

  • December 11, 2021 at 2:00 pm
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    Wrap wouldn’t mind seeing Slavin get a chance in RJ’s spot as 4th line may not see alot of 5 on 5 shifts if Leafs get a lead anyways. Thought it was covid related, thats good maybe nothing too serious.

  • December 11, 2021 at 3:31 pm
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    The NHL has been waiting for some type of consistency from Strome for over 5 years now. I think that after each year when he was told his skating and intensity had to improve and he makes no improvements there comes a time where you have to just move on. He just is not that interested.

  • December 11, 2021 at 3:39 pm
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    “If anybody thinks this guy can coach an NHL team,they are nuts”. “I had him as a player and he was Iaconic and lazy”. Mike Milbury when asked about Chicago Blackhawks Head Coach Derek King.

  • December 11, 2021 at 3:45 pm
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    Laconic means a person of few words

    King doesn’t seem to be that person – seems in fact he talks a lot and what difference would it make to someone’s ability to coach an NHL team if they were laconic – Suter in fact is more laconic than King and he’s done more than ok

    I think we can assume Milbury is full of shit as usual

  • December 11, 2021 at 3:49 pm
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    TW – I hear ya regarding Strome – I’m not optimistic but I appreciate the fact that King stated it publicly exactly what he wants from Strome so at least we know that the coaches know the same as us

    We’ll see – I hold out a sliver of hope that Strome might realize his career is hanging by a thread and change his game although maybe he’s just incapable of changing his game

  • December 11, 2021 at 4:12 pm
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    It’s beginning to look more and more like it’s Davidson as GM and King as HC

    King asked for an enforcer and Davidson delivered, damn if the boy can’t play hockey

    https://www.bleachernation.com/blackhawks/2021/12/11/derek-king-asked-for-an-enforcer-so-the-blackhawks-traded-for-kurtis-gabriel/

    “Derek King on Kurtis Gabriel:

    “He’s a big presence. He’s going to finish his checks… If guys are going to start taking liberties on his players, he’s the type of guy I know is going to defend them.”

    Said he’d requested Hawks bring in an enforcer.”

  • December 11, 2021 at 5:49 pm
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    Who has the best plus minus in the NHL?

    Former Blackhawk!

  • December 11, 2021 at 5:58 pm
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    Tell you what,Kurtis Gabriel will probably not be backing down from anyone in the league. His list of fights in the last year or so include all the heavy weights. He seems like a very interesting character. Exactly what this team has needed for a long time. Hope he still has the edge in him. We will see,but I like our chances. At least it looks like he has had some fight training. Keeps his hands up from the start and throws bombs when the opening presents itself. A big boy. Looks about 6 ft 4 225 or so. Google his fights , its fun entertaining stuff.

  • December 11, 2021 at 8:50 pm
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    So looks like we can officially close book on 32.

    Methinks after that Toronto game where he looked awful on 4, count em 4, of the 5 goals Toronto got, including GWG, his time had expired in the NHL.

    He cost his hardworking teammates a point, maybe 2, and has been mediocre at best, behind 29 this year.

    After a year when he wilted down the stretch?

    Rockford is calling his name.
    Time to give another goalie a look for the #2 slot.

  • December 11, 2021 at 9:12 pm
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    Look up laconic coach and a picture of Bellichuk there, won a little bit in his time.

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