Toews, Blackhawks Comeback To Shock Oilers

After two high-scoring games, the Blackhawks took over control of… the Oilers’ dressing room in Edmonton. Wearing red as the “home” team in Game 3 of the qualifying series, Chicago looked to benefit from having the last change against the high-powered Oilers offense.

The two teams spent the first half of the first period feeling each other out. Olli Maatta got Chicago on the board first at 9:14 into the game.

Matthew Highmore and Patrick Kane picked up the helpers on the Maatta goal.

Leon Draisaitl tied the game less than 30 seconds later, however.

After the Draisaitl goal, a parade began to the penalty box. Josh Archibald went to the box first, but Dominik Kubalik ended Chicago’s advantage 16 seconds later.

Edmonton had two men in the box in the final minute of the period and Jonathan Toews gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead with five seconds left in the first.

With an assist on the Toews goal, Kirby Dach made history.

Corey Crawford was good enough in the first period, but the line to get into the penalty box had only just begun.

Seven penalties were called in the second period – three on the Oilers and four on the Blackhawks.

Draisaitl scored the tying goal for Edmonton at even strength, Matthew Highmore turned the puck over and, of course, it found Draisaitl on the doorstep.

Then Connor McDavid (surprise!) scored a power play goal with eight seconds left the second period to tie the game.

With 3:15 left in the second, Dach plowed into Tyler Ennis. The Oilers forward collapsed to the ice with an apparently ugly leg injury. He did not return.

After 40 minutes, the Oilers held a 20-17 shot advantage and a one-goal lead as the “visitors.” Chicago was 1-6 on the power play after two.

Chicago kept skating and chipping away, and Crawford did a good job keeping his team in the game. There were only three faceoffs in the first half of the third period and neither team sent a player to the box.

It took 14 minutes, but the Blackhawks were able to find the equalizer. Highmore was credited with the game-tying goal.

Highmore’s first career postseason goal made up for his turnover in the second period and gave Chicago some momentum. Slater Koekkoek and Maatta were credited with the assists on the tying marker.

In the final 90 seconds, Toews won a faceoff and then raced to the front of the net. Connor Murphy unloaded a shot that got a piece of Toews’ stick and into the back of the net. Suddenly, with 1:16 left in regulation, the Blackhawks were up one.

The Hawks withstood the pressure of the Oilers in the final minute and Crawford made a couple final saves to finish the deal. Chicago escaped with a 4-3 win and will play to eliminate the Oilers on Friday evening.

Crawford stopped 25 of 28 in the victory. The Blackhawks in front of him hit the post five times in the game, including one glorious opportunity for Toews.

Toews had another terrific game in spite of the post shot. He won 17 of 29 faceoffs and put three shots on net in 21:16. His performance moved him up the record books for Chicago’s Original Six franchise as well.

Maatta had one goal and one assist in 13:11. After getting beat by Draisaitl for a goal he made a big impact late. He was credited with two blocked shots and one hit.

Calvin de Haan led Chicago with four blocked shots in 20:55. Duncan Keith led Chicago skaters on the ice for 26:47 and blocked two shots.

The Blackhawks forward leader in ice time was Dach (23:21), who continues to show a maturation on the ice. He was credited with one assist, two hits and one blocked shot in the game. Dach also became the first Blackhawks rookie to score a point in his first three playoff games since Eddie Olczyk in 1985.

Edmonton had two defensemen – Caleb Jones and Matthew Benning – held under 10 minutes of ice time. And yet Benning (one assist) was the only Oilers defenseman with a point in the game. Chicago, on the other hand, got five points from the blue line.

Oscar Klefbom led the Oilers in ice time with 27:49.

McDavid skated 21:07 with one goal and won eight of only 13 faceoffs. Draisaitl led Edmonton forwards in ice time (24:25) and had three points while winning 12 of 25 faceoffs. Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins finished tied for the Oilers’ lead with six shots on net.

Zack Kassian only skated 6:20. Ennis, who left because of the injury, was limited to 6:12.

72 thoughts on “Toews, Blackhawks Comeback To Shock Oilers

  • August 6, 2020 at 12:44 am

    Wow. Just Wow. Nice to be the underdog. Just go play.
    Glad Dach is okay after a knee on thigh hit.
    Nylander haters stand down. He played really hard. Solid two way game. Excellent passing.
    I will say this. Crawford is shaky. Every chance that Edmonton has, seems to just trickle wide.
    All in all, very fun tournament to watch, even Colliton is getting some good experience under his belt.

  • August 6, 2020 at 12:46 am

    Toews was a Mofo all night long – I think he’ll get credit for the last goal but who cares if he doesn’t he was awesome the whole game, winning FOs, battling McDavid, hitting the post, PKing, being physical, getting into it with Neal, forechecking, backchecking, scoring, being a leader, doing it all – fantastic

    Strome sucked again – he can’t keep up plain and simple – he’s got skills but he can’t play at this pace, never has the puck – I honestly think Kurashev would contribute more but I certainly don’t expect (or even suggest) that it’ll happen

    The Hawks PP almost lost them the game as did Crow and Highmore on the 2nd EDM goal – that was absolutely brutal from both – although both redeemed themselves in the 3rd

    Loved the battle from the Hawks (except Strome -even Nylander was more engaged I thought)

    Nice to see them getting tip ins – it seems they’ve had more in this series than the whole regular season

  • August 6, 2020 at 1:26 am

    What a great finish to that game. The Hawks hit the post something like five times in that game, they could/should have been up by three going into the final period instead of down by one. This was looking like the classic game that got away, but they found a way to win it.

    Oilers look like they are annoyed they have to play these games. I mean it’s worse than disinterest, they appear genuinely mad that they have to play. I thought they were mad at the Hawks at first, but they just seem pissed to be out there.

    McDavid and Draisaitl must be wondering if they have to do it all themselves.

    Agree with @Wrap that outside of Kubalik (who I think has a pretty good net front game) I don’t think the Hawks have had this many tipped shots in front of the net, like, ever.

    @Craig It is going to take more than one game to quiet the Nylander naysayers I am afraid (myself included.) I am rooting for the guy, I really want him to succeed, but he simply doesn’t do enough consistently to warrant the attention. Yeah, he had a better effort tonight, I will concede that, Now do that for the next twenty games and then let’s talk.

    It’s really hard for me to tell how much this win was the Hawks causing the Oilers to play poorly or the Oilers simply wishing they were still on vacation.

    Hawks are playing in an elimination game for the first time in forever. they are not the team at risk for elimination and can close out the series on Friday. Holy shit! Say that again!

    Hawks can close out the series on Friday. Wow. Freaky Friday.

  • August 6, 2020 at 4:18 am

    I’m a life-long Hawks fan stuck in Alabama, so please afford me a pass on what I’m about to write:

    First – I have hope, even if it’s due to this one thing…they didn’t quit, I credit the core veteran players looking at the young guys and saying – these are the playoffs get your @$$ in gear! This is also invaluable experience for those same young players.

    Second – The Blackhawks were arguably outplayed tonight, and if they can’t bring some semblance of a Power Play to the rink Friday…they’ll be playing a fifth game…in Edmonton!

    The Blackhawks were 1-for-6 on the power play.

    I haven’t looked up the shots on goal difference, but I did watch Edmonton dominate in controlling the puck, so keeping it away from their top scorers didn’t pan out.

    One Edmonton defenseman sprawled out to take away the low, through the crease pass the Hawks had used all year prior to the stoppage in play. This resulted in the Hawks PP standing, looking at each other wondering what to do! Nice crisp passing back and forth – outside. For an analytical organization, they sure didn’t display much creativity in developing counter punches.

    On the flip side it looked like not one, but two Oilers were setting up office in the crease. Don’t get it twisted – our entire family are Hawks fans. We feel strongly that the longer they play, the sooner they develop their young talent and won’t be the last team in the playoffs.

  • August 6, 2020 at 7:20 am

    Turned it off after 2nd thinking prob get the top 5 skill draft player. Wake up and see we won. Now were not getting a top 5 skill draft player.

    If we can beat the 5 seed without being deep this young/inexperienced and not a really good group of 6 Defensemen.

    Cant wait until we get young wavers in and add a to pair Defensemen.

  • August 6, 2020 at 7:23 am

    Craig totally agree with you about Nylander-he has been playing harder, more engaged this series.
    Lots of posts, chances on both sides-Edmonton is one team that the Hawks can exploit at times.
    Looked at the one angle of the last goal a few times-it went off Bear’s stick–it was Keith’s goal.
    Glad next game is an earlier start out East.

  • August 6, 2020 at 7:24 am

    Sometimes you win games you don’t deserve to win. This was one of those nights. Coach knucklehead was badly out coached by Dave Tippet all night. Poor matchups all night long along with poor game management/communication. Heard they spent a lot of time on the penalty kill in practice. Hope they work on the power play today.
    We are 1 win away from moving on but that won’t last until we play better defense and get better coaching.

  • August 6, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Good game. I put the second goal on Greg Brady. He left the fourth line on the ice vs Drislatl.

    The Oil are the oil of today. No leadership ala Messier. If the Hawks boot them out should be some changes there. Especially if they win the LaFranchise sweepstakes. Wouldn’t mind seeing RNH in an Indian Head sweater. Maybe Kassian too.

  • August 6, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Watching that game last night, two things stuck out to me:

    One, Koekoek, Maata, and DeHaan have been our best defensemen! I know – crazy, huh? But, those guys have been matched against McDavid, RN-H, and Draisaitl all series, and they have done an exceptional job. I don’t think I have seen better, skilled, and more powerful forwards in a long time, and to keep them from dominating even more is a testament to their defensive effort. Plus, they are making the right outlet pass, and scoring the much needed goal. I wouldn’t look to get rid of either three guys.

    Two, I love the grit from our 3rd and 4th line last night. Highmore keeps getting better every night. It is nice to see the Rockford guys getting some meaningful minutes, and contributing.

    I don’t know if we win this series, especially if EDM decides to kick it in over-drive, but our guys know how to win that’s for sure, and that is a well earned skill.

  • August 6, 2020 at 8:37 am

    I’m pretty sure I was watching the same game as everyone else?….but I actually thought I saw MORE effort out of Strome last night. Not willing to give up on

    Nylander and Strome quite yet as we may have with players of the past. I don’t see either of them costing THAT much and they’re still effective, nearing their potential.

    I love all these stats about Toews when the replay clearly shows the last goal tipped in off the stick of Bear, not Toews haha.

    Surprised no one mentioned Koskinen getting his skate “repaired” to give Oilers top PP a breather. That was straight Maddening.

    The fact that every Oilers goal HAS to come off the stick of McDavid or Draisaitl is
    1-Annoying and 2-gives me hope that we can find a way to win this one. If the top line shows up again like game 1, we get some of the post shots deflecting in, and the defense continues to be involved, Hawks could pull off a shocker.

  • August 6, 2020 at 8:51 am

    On the last goal the puck is clearly deflected off Bear’s stick upwards but if you slow it down you can see that after that the puck grazes off Toews’ shin pad about knee high – at least that’s what I saw

  • August 6, 2020 at 8:56 am

    Something else worth mentioning is that Slater Kookoo is establishing himself as a top 6 D man on the Hawks – that’s been really pleasant to watch

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:04 am

    Be interesting to see Game 4. McDavid either proves he is a legitimate superstar who can put a team on his back, or he doesn’t. Young man is going to be feeling the weight of the world.

    Nylander had his best game ever for the Hawks. Strome was awful. Dach was impressive. Toews should the old glory. Crawford is tired and clearly far less than 100%.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Wrap you’re right-the angle that shows the tip doesn’t show it but the other angle does-good work

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Wrap – you beat me to two of my comments – 1) amazing to see the number of high quality tips and 2) Slater Koekkoek is one of the success stories of the year. He has developed into a solid d-man. Nice acquisition by SB.

    Dach was really good last night, his skating seems better after the break. He needs to be thinking shot a little more instead of always looking to pass. I really hope there is no lingering effect from the hip check he took late. Kind of interesting that both #5 seeds blew leads last night and are on the brink of elimination.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:23 am

    When was the last time a 19 year old led the Hawks’ forwards in ice time? Last night! Some other Hawks played well but Dach was all over the ice making an impact on almost every shift. This play-in series is his coming out party. His future looks bright.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Great to see some playoff grit in the 3rd to engineer the comeback.Dach looks like he is getting better in the faceoff circle.Would really like DeBrincat to get it going.Kubalik and Saad are due for another big game friday night.Its a shame that we cant get Nylander and Cagguila a quality Center that can keep up with them,I’m not going to mention his name,he is too soft and slow for playoff hockey.Even if Edmonton was interested and playing smart hockey,their penalties are ridiculous,they would never survive a full playoff season playing 4 D Men and 2 Lines.Koskinan is weak in the net and often is way out of position.I can see the Hawks unloading on him for Game 4.I thought playing Quenneville 4 minutes was stupid but playing Kassian 6 minutes is even worse.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Thought the Towes line did a number on the McDavid line all night. 68 has been good, really good. Good riddance 17 & 92. We need a 3rd line that can a) win some face offs, b) play some defense so that Towes line doesn’t always have to do it c) add some sandpaper to a skilled but light lineup d) contribute some offense here and there.

    Getting a dependable 3rd line should be priority 1 for our man Stan this offseason. Think it would make a world of difference and allow us to be more dangerous rather than always counting on 2 lines.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:55 am

    I am slowly coming to the realization that Strome needs to be moved for whatever we can get. There is no sense using up valuable cap space to sign him – I’m sure we can find a serviceable 3C if no one internally steps up. You just can’t overcome weak skating in this league anymore unless you can play a tough physical game.

  • August 6, 2020 at 10:19 am

    A few comments:

    1) Completely agree that deHaan, Maatta, and Koekkoek have been very good this series. Especially a healthy deHaan. He is the real deal. A top four dman. Got to keep him.

    2) Agree Strome is nothing special. A third line center at the very best. Yes, he has some skill, but looks like a minor leaguer out there.

    3) The scouting report on Dach prior to the draft was that he wasn’t a strong skater. If so, he has greatly improved. His speed is good and he has been staying on his skates much better than last fall (pun?). He will be the face of the team in a few years.

    4) Tell me again how Boqvist is supposed to be such a stud? His skill was supposed to offset his lack of physicality. Right now, he is the weak link on Hawks’ defense.

    5) Yes, the Hawks’ power play sucks. But you have to give the Oilers credit. Those guys have a great PK. They shut off all of the angles and block shots like crazy.

  • August 6, 2020 at 10:33 am

    The warriors of the night…Highmore, Toews ,Maatta .
    Glad to see the team having fun and getting more and more confidence.So now hawks have 2 games or more to play, hopefully Colliton will play other kids to replace some players with injuries or …..
    So nice to look at some h9ckey games finally
    Will we have a final between Hawks @ Habs .?
    Hahaha..that would be a really good one .

  • August 6, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Reg, I agree on Boqvist. I don’t get what is special about him. He is a liability on the blue line. So is he a poor man’s version of a “skilled” Nick Leddy? Not sure I get it. Like I said, a crap ton is riding on Ian Mitchell being very good in the future. Very good.

    Particularly with the salary cap crunch being exasperated by the pandemic, Strome has to go in the offseason. He’s very replaceable. I’m not a fan of his game at all. I would also see what DeBrinicat might bring back in trade. He’s a one-dimensional offense generator, but not built for playoff hockey. He can’t skate, do board work, dig out the puck or play any lick of defense. If the Hawks are going to continue to grow and get back to being a perennial powerhouse, then a player like DeBrinicat needs to have a diminished role. Or no role at all.

    I worry about Crawford. The end may be near for his career. Which leads me to really worry about goaltending moving forward.

  • August 6, 2020 at 11:39 am

    I would hold off on the criticism of Boqvist. He is only 19 and playing a position that usually takes 2-3 years in the minors and another 200 games at the NHL level to really assess. He fast tracked through the system because he has skill and the Hawks needed a player. He was also very young for his draft year due to his birthday so he needs some time to physically mature.

    Archibald went knee ligament hunting on Dach and I would love to see someone finish their check on him every single chance they get, without taking any penalties. That was a deliberate low hit with intent to injure in my book and Dach was lucky to jump at the last second because if his skate still had his weight on it and on the ice at the moment of impact he would have left on a stretcher.

    And if that was a response for his hit injuring Ennis, Ennis injured himself with that stupid twist at the last second before getting hit. Zero intent on Dach’s part, 100% intent on Archibald’s part.

  • August 6, 2020 at 11:45 am

    My favorite Dach moment during the regular season was when he stapled that weasel Roussel into the glass in Vancouver. The Ennis hit was different (and I hope he’s okay) but Dach has some snarl which you gotta love. If he’s thumping guys at 19 watch out.

    If we win this series and then get waxed in the next one, the sugar high will wear off fast. On the other hand, if we made anything of a run it could be galvanizing and pay dividends in years to come. No fan wants their team to lose, but it will be bittersweet as well if we don’t get the high pick. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

    It will never happen because the money is too high, but I wouldn’t be against trading DeCat and Strome as package. Neither looks like this is their time of year.

  • August 6, 2020 at 11:58 am

    By the way, what a pick that third overall has turned into. Dach might be better than Hughes and Kakko. And for all the consternation over Turcotte and Bowen Byram maybe going third to the Hawks, it’s time to give kudos to Mark Kelly, the scouting director who makes that call. I saw an interview with him weeks before the draft when everyone was speculating over who the Hawks would take 3rd, and he said the choice was clear and there was only one pick for them to make and nothing to worry about. It seemed that after the interviews and talking to the players Dach was their guy by a mile.

    If Bowman ever was on the hot seat, that pick certainly looks like it would have bought him some extra time.

  • August 6, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    Here is mike – you beat me to the Boquist comment – he is only 19
    Keith was still in the minors at 19 – just saying
    I’m not at all disappointed in Boq’s progress – in fact he’s ahead of schedule IMO
    Long term I still think he’ll be a difference maker

    You do have to wonder about Strome’s future – it’s amazing to me that he hasn’t addressed his lack of foot speed since he was drafted what 4 years ago – he can’t see his own shortcomings and that’s a problem

  • August 6, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Dach starting to remind me of a young Mark Messier, will be fun to watch. Agree too early to judge Boqvist, still trying to conentrate on the defensive end of things and sacrificing his offense to learn, lots of potential there.

    All 4 goals had in common, getting puck to net with net front presence, never a bad thing at all. Nice to see 4th line get the tying goal, Kampf dug it out behind the net, Carpenter moved it back to Maatta who made a heads up play to move it quickly to Koekkoek, who got rid it fast on the net and Highmore with good net front presence tipped it in. nice teamwork goal.

    Maybe try Dach and Kane, plus Debrincat with Strome to get them going, if they are leaving lineup as is and maybe Nylander with 77 and 88.

  • August 6, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    My big fear going into this was that the Hawks would get wiped out as the 12 seed and show they really didn’t belong. They have more than proved they can compete. Side note: kudos to the Habs for keeping #12 seed alive on the Eastern side.

    I’m really liking the young group coming into their own now. Looking forward to adding a few more next season. I agree, Strome has been awful. Nylander hasn’t been great, but it looks like he is trying at least. What happened to the line that dominated training camp? Seems like when the big lights turned on they disappeared.

    In case you haven’t noticed, it’s looking like the Hawks will be playing the Avalanche if they make the next round. If the Blues beat the Knights tonight, that will be locked in.

  • August 6, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    One thing that has become very clear is that I can now see why the Coyotes beat writers were so ecststic when they were able to get rid of Strome and Perlini at the same time.

  • August 6, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Yeah, I am really having a hard time looking at the Hawks blue line and seeing what is particularly good or special about it. I think we have some serviceable defenseman, but nothing that you would build a championship team around. Boqvist may eventually be one, but he isn’t there yet.

    @Wrap, I can’t figure out if the comment about KoekKoek establishing himself as a top 6 D man on the Hawks was said in earnest or jest. It made me chuckle out loud, so if you were being sarcastic, I got the joke…

    I don’t agree that there is a lot of upside to this roster getting a “taste of the playoffs.” By that logic, let’s pretend the Hawks brought up Toews in his rookie year out of imagined necessity and they crawled into the last playoff spot by some weird fluke. He gets a taste of what it is like to play in the NHL (when he is not physically ready,) for a team that has no business being in the playoffs, only to get drubbed in the first round. The Hawks end up not participating in the lottery and miss out on drafting Patrick Kane. They end up with the 15th pick instead of winning the lottery and select someone who is currently playing in the KHL and never made much of an impact in their NHL career…

    Does anyone think the experience of getting drubbed in the playoffs that year would have overcome the talent deficiency they would have experienced by NOT drafting Kane? It’s silly to even consider it, no, that experience would not have mattered. Talent usurps all. Or rather, talent gives you the best chance of success.

  • August 6, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    A little context regarding Boqvist..he’s 19 and in the playoffs for the first time..anyone want to guess how old Keith and Seabrook were when they made the playoffs for the first time( I also had to look it up since it’s been awhile)? They were 25 and 23 respectively..not saying that they each hadn’t been performing well in the nhl by that time, but I am saying that I’m not sure even a 19 year old Keith or a 19 year old Seabrook would look much better than Boqvist is looking right now..and by 2008-2009, Keith and Seabrook had a much, much better team surrounding them..and sorry Duncs, but neither of them had a 37 year old on their pairing..let’s see how Boqvist looks at 23, 24, 25 years old before assuming we all already know where his ceiling is..

    Regarding the series itself, I couldn’t be happier..this Hawks team is showing some nice resilience vs the top two scorers in the NHL this year..if they win one of the next two, they’ll move on to face a deeper team, but they won’t be facing anymore pairs of 100 point producers(Boston comes close, but let’s cross our Stanley Cup Finals opponent bridge when we get there lol)..and if they lose the next two, then they have a shot at the first pick or maybe even the ninth pick depending on Mont/Pitt..the Hawks are playing with house money at this point..I’m excited to see what happens next..

  • August 6, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    HI Jordyhawk . I agree with your thoughts on Debrincat and Strome as well. I think it was several months ago I threw out an idea about investigating a trade with Detroit, trading those two players for Velano and Zadina. It was simply wishful thinking at the time but Detroit needs more NHL level players on their roster and might not be able to afford to wait for all their prospects to develop while I think the Hawks jumped the gun on signing Debrincat too early and in my opinion he`s now overpaid while still being valuable to the right team. I think you have to move the quality of Debrincat for Strome to be included in the trade ( his skating is an obvious issue to every GM ) however, they`re both still young enough to get the Hawks some good prospects. There might be better options out there but I really think you have to look at moving those two salaries this offseason, especially with a flat to lower cap going forward. I think the third year of Debrincat`s newly signed contract is really prohibitive as well.

  • August 6, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Jordy H
    D Cat and Strome was on my mind when I saw they didn’t make any offer to Strome.
    Max Domi will be available but I don’t know if it would be a good fit with the Hawks ??? .and their first choice this year
    Or Domi and Montreal first choice last year
    Maybe better offer with other teams.

  • August 6, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    No joke Miroslav Special KK is playing well and could well be a regular top 6 defender on next year’s Hawk’s blue line

    On the other matter of getting playoff experience I don’t remember any team ever not putting their best foot forward in the playoffs, trying the best within their limits to win

    Regardless what any of us think what’s best for the the long term future of the Hawks they’re not affected in the slightest by what we think and will continue to go out and play to win every game (as they should IMO) – you can cheer against them winning if you want so that they get a higher draft pick so that maybe they might be Cup contenders faster but it won’t make any difference to what they do so why not enjoy the wins when they come

  • August 6, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    @Wrap, I guess why I thought you were joking about KK is that while I agree he is playing better, i found it funny to be happy about literally the last spot on the d line when had rest of the defense needs so much more work.

    I don’t recall suggesting the Hawks do anything differently. Especially the players. Just pointing out how this is going to hurt them in the short and long term and as a fan who wants to see them win, it’s causing me conflict…

    I’m Mr happy sunny fun guy! Can’t you tell?

  • August 6, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    @ Tommy Ivan-
    What are you watching? Maata was absolutely atrocious. Sure, he scored a goal, but he was brutal once again in his own end.

  • August 6, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    @ Miroslav

    How is winning this series going to hurt them. Cuz they’ll miss out on a 12.5% shot at LaFreniere? Come on.

  • August 6, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Thinking we sit Strome, Caggs and Carpenter. Play Hagel, Entwistle and Kurashev. Maybe even Boq for Carlsson but I do not want to mess with Boq head and confidence. Hear me out. We have two games to play. By sitting these guys out:

    1) We make them super hungry and angry for the next game. What ever that game will be.

    2) It will give a taste of the playoffs to the others.

    3) Edmonton probably will make adjustments to what they have seen. They haven’t seen the others yet.

    Wanted to also do Barratt for Highmore and Regula for Maatta but they figured in the scoring.

  • August 6, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I will remain on the record that a pairing of 2 and 27 is the worst option for the Hawks. 2 gave up playing with structure years ago, and 27 doesn’t know what it is yet. Both are inclined to take chances (frequently REALLY BAD decisions) and they don’t complement each other – in fact they expose each other. Time to change 27 and 68 around. 68 has earned it, and so has 27. Not the best option, but it makes more sense than the current pairing. At least we might have one player near the net playing defense while the whistle hasn’t blown, instead of thinking his responsibility is to take the puck out of the net behind Crow after the whistle has blown. I believe that 5 and 44 should be the top pair (using the term lightly and under the current circumstances), but their skating inefficiencies would eventually be exposed, especially against Edmonton. Please splain to me what 2 can be teaching 27, because I don’t think it is traditional defenseman type play.

    Until we get 2 Dmen capable of being a top pair – we go nowhere. I don’t know if we have a Dman in the system who can eventually be a top pair player, but right now it isn’t 27. Please make this a 5 game series and we lose. Nothing to gain by getting our asses kicked in the next round. We need more quality draft picks, and this appears to be the year that can happen. I think Maata is far more serviceable than people give him. At least he can take a hit – something our “top” pair can’t do.

    Dcat doesn’t have any interest in playing without the puck, or at the defensive end. Give the time to Kneelander or Highmore, or about any other kid (except Sikura) – at least they act like they understand the game. Dcat needs to have a coming to hockey player moment. Put a camera on him the entire game and make him watch it. Also put a camera on an NHL forward, and make him watch it. If he can’t see the difference……… His answer will be what? Kane doesn’t have to do it? Does he have talent? Yes. One dimensional player? UH, let me think about it.

    Crow looks old. I feel for him. Sucks to be the last one out there defensively- on an island. May work in Survivor, but it’s tough in hockey.

    I’ve thought long enough. The answer is HELL YES.

  • August 6, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    I wouldn’t mind Kurashev in for Strome in a theoretical world but in the practical world it would seem like a panic move and there’s no reason for the Hawks to panic

    Next year I’d like to see Kurashev have a shot at the 3C role but putting him into an elimination playoff game as his first playoff experience seems unfair to him and the team

    Same for Carp and Caggs – this is the team until there’s an injury or they get blown out in game 4

  • August 6, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    Comments on Dach is exactly what ER said is a win win win win for us. The experience is one thing but to get to see the pace and kind of play at this level is huge for the young wavers. This is bug for BoQ as well. Dach just has the size and he aint even close to how stronger he is going to be.

    27 and 77. Beauty and the Beast.

    August 6, 2020 at 9:22 am
    Wrap – you beat me to two of my comments – 1) amazing to see the number of high quality tips and 2) Slater Koekkoek is one of the success stories of the year. He has developed into a solid d-man. Nice acquisition by SB.

    Dach was really good last night, his skating seems better after the break. He needs to be thinking shot a little more instead of always looking to pass. I really hope there is no lingering effect from the hip check he took late. Kind of interesting that both #5 seeds blew leads last night and are on the brink of elimination.

    August 6, 2020 at 9:23 am
    When was the last time a 19 year old led the Hawks’ forwards in ice time? Last night! Some other Hawks played well but Dach was all over the ice making an impact on almost every shift. This play-in series is his coming out party. His future looks bright.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    Reg, yea I really like Haan would like him to be hrealthy longterm wise and not always getting hurt at some point. He is good to be aprt of group of 6/

    I with Miro I think the top 3 pick or 9/10th pick is a much better player then 16-24th. I know crapshoot but top 10 aint no crap. To have a other player like Dach is huge even if he is not as good as him but closer to him.

    The other reason why I think that is mainly because we only get a shot a top 5/10 skill draft players every so oftern. After this yr were prob not picking top 10 until another 10 yrs.

    Now is the time to load young wave and if that means trade 17 12 I am good with that. We need HHNL quality deep.

    18-24th pick could be good player prob is but were better getting an elite player like Aho then a very good player like Teravainen.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    Just a heads up..the following is a post that consists of me literally just daydreaming..but what if the Hawks were to lose the next two games..and what if they did end up winning the number one pick in the it a certainty that they would take Lafreniere? I keep thinking about Byfield’s potential ceiling..I think about it even more as I watch Dach already showing a lot of positive attributes that are instrumental to playoff success as a 19 year old..Byfield is still 17, already had an 82 point season in the WHL-doesn’t even turn 18 until mid August..I just keep thinking about the advantage a team would have if they were able to have two massive centers on their team in this era of smaller, faster pace nhl hockey..imagine in five years, Dach at 24-Byfield at 22, Toews at 36..they would be so incredibly tough down the middle come playoff time and a nightmare to play against..Toews would essentially be Vermette in 2015 but with more to offer offensively..would it be that crazy to construct a team like that? Anyhoo, just thinking out loud..I’m still hoping for a victory tomorrow night..

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Stape, it is whats best for us and we need it. Another top 5 skill draft player and add a top pair Defensemen this summer or next summer ufa wise.

    We can still add the top pair guy even if we win but its better to add that top pair defensemen and another top 5 skill draft player instead of a 24th pick like Hartman.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    OKIE If the hawks lose they end up with a 12 percent chance of getting the top prospect in the draft. If the don’t get the first pick they are guaranteed picking 9th or 10th.
    Chicago is not a good team…they need a top pick much more than getting past Edmonton.
    Seriously is there anyone on this forum besides Ian and Jim Rutherford that actually think the hawks can win the cup?
    Remember the goal is to win the cup. Not win one round and think that you have actually accomplished something.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Another thing is were sort of like the 2008 team right now not the 2009. The 2008 team only had 1/2 a roster similiar to where we are now. It was the 2009 team that got the other half of the roster when those guys were NHL ready. Sort of like our young wave thats coming.

    We still though need to add some ufa wise like we did with 51 11 81 27. This time with top pair Defensemen. We have a lot of good players coming and playoff style type players like Barratt and others.

    Load the wave.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    I was surprised to hear the Hawks have the youngest team in the playoffs. Says something vs an Oilers team who has had 4 #1 and 8 top 10 picks in the past 10 years.

  • August 6, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Wrap, tomorrow is not elimination for Hawks. That is why I say play the kids tomorrow and bring back the vets for the elimination game with piss and vinegar in them if they lose tomorrow.

    Thinking Maatta and Strome for Ghost and Pitlick.

    Strome for Lemieux and the brothers can play together

  • August 6, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    I dont chime in on here often . Exciting finish ! I dont skate , and never played hockey . I dont want to sound like im dumping on a guy thats feisty and seems to stick up for himself , but ….DCat is not effective as a playoff player . He is just too small . There is only one Martian , and thats Kaner . Its fine and and dandy when they can set him up in the slot , but space is tight in the playoffs !

  • August 6, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    DeBrincat has played a total of 3 playoff games in the NHL – THREE. He has 3 assists and has battled every time he’s on the ice. Where is the evidence he is not a playoff performer. Is it just because he’s small? He doesn’t play small.

    Granted, the sample size of NHL playoff games is too small to really draw any solid conclusions. So, let’s take a look at his playoff performances in Juniors where he was still the smallest guy on the ice. He played for Erie in the OHL and his team went to the playoffs all 3 years.

    As a 16 year old, he scored 16 points in 20 games.
    As a 17 year old, he scored 19 points in 13 games.
    As a 18 year old, he scored 38 points in 22 games.

  • August 6, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    Stape, i’ve said often what EB posted a few posts back, whatever happens is a win win, chips fall where they may and you know that. Just defend your own comments if you believe in them, you don’t need to lie about mine.

    A top pick is not a bad thing, but as Mike R pointed out 4 1st overalls and 8 top 10 picks in last decade and Oilers still look like little more than a 2 man team. Leafs with their hugh picks on the brink against CBJ. Last 13 first overall picks since Kane have zero cups. From mid 80s to 2002 the first overall picks had zero cups. So while I would love Lafreniere and the void he might potentially fill if a stroke of luck happens it isn’t any sort of guarantee by a long stretch as some seem to believe it is. What i do believe is respecting the players going out giving there all by giving them best chance to win is much better than hanging them out to dry and tanking their morale as well by the franchise but not doing that.

  • August 7, 2020 at 12:09 am

    I think it’s almost painfully obvious the Strome is playing his way off of next years team. Dach has passed him as the number 2 Center. The minutes and the trust that Colliton puts in Dach is so very telling.
    If Buffalo truly is interested in Strome, the draft is the time to strike a deal.
    Add to that Maatta might be a good left handed partner for Jokiharju and is not a fit in Chicago and a lot of this could make sense.

    Hard to believe the 2015 draft went McDavid, Eichel, Dylan Strome. HUGE drop off in talent and ability.

  • August 7, 2020 at 12:55 am

    The one positive from this playoff run so far is that STROME is playing himself out of a contract and off this team.Hopefully Bowman and company will now go out and get a true center who can skate,win faceoffs,and defend.Its a shame we could not get a look at Hagel,Kurashev,or Carllson yet.Maybe if they can get to the next series these guys could make an appearance or 2.

  • August 7, 2020 at 2:42 am

    Kurachev is coming on enough. Who knows who the 3rd line center will be in a yr. He looks like it but we could have another for center/good at faceoff and defense and Kura might be wing. When Kurachev Barratt others are ready that’s when we’re looking deep because those guys are going to be good. They have that snarl like 65 and 86 do. Playoff type players.

    We do draft good and usually find gems in first half of 2nd/30-45 th so I expect the same.

  • August 7, 2020 at 2:45 am

    Think about it having 6 buzzing players for 3rd 4th lines with relentless energy. We’re looking stacked for those lines in a yr.

    Got to get that 6 group Defensemen filled out.

  • August 7, 2020 at 5:52 am

    Miroslav. Agree with your assessment on the young guys getting their feet wet and gaining experience in playoff hockey. No one knows what next year brings. What changes will be made, what injuries will occur, what family issues will players have to deal with?
    The Hawks need to procure more talent. The best way to do that is through the draft. Need a top 10 pick in this draft.

  • August 7, 2020 at 6:09 am

    Suter, small but plays with grit, plus also plays center and thought i read he was decent fo guy, so another possibility for 3c next year.

    Speculation is Tampa will struggle to sign Sergachev and may let teams try to offer sheet him. There’s a top pair future guy for the taking, have to get their 3rd rder back from Habs maybe Strome. Really think finding a way to move Seabrook may happen to make both sides happy could happen, might help to create the needed cap space. Also likely be looking at a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks to offer sheet him.

  • August 7, 2020 at 7:15 am

    @Okie – I like Maata, I think he’s effective and I think is a solid defensemen. Just remember, that he is always out there against two of the best power forwards that I have seen in a long time, McDavid and Draisaitl. That is not an easy task. He’s not Scott Stevens or Larry Robinson, but he’s a lot better than what we’ve thrown out there the last few years. Plus, he and Koekoek have played well together.

    I watched Kurashev play just before Covid hit. And, while he has immense potential, he is not ready for the NHL yet. It’s the small things that he has to do, like back check, and be responsible in the defensive end. However, on the flip-side, he is extremely quick, like a silver bullet, and has fast hands. Plus, he’s built like a pit-bull and plays like one too. I think a half season in Rockford will help get him ready to stay in the NHL. I also think that he’s a better player than Hagel, who I think is an excellent player for a bottom 6 role, while Kurashev is top tier.

    I don’t think that we will re-sign Strome, because we have to sign Kubalik. I also think that we will trade Saad for the same reason. And this will make @Okie happy, we will probably trade Maata because of the glut of defensemen that we have coming up, and he is making $4M/per. But, after this series, Stan does not need to buy him out, he can actually package him and Strome to get younger, better, and cheaper assets.

  • August 7, 2020 at 7:15 am

    Didnt kmnow Suter was center thats cool.

  • August 7, 2020 at 7:17 am

    Yeah I like Kurachev a lot same with Barratt and Mitch.

  • August 7, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Finally got through all the comments after two loooong days at work.
    Today is gonna feel the same till game time. Good to have that feeling again! Appreciate all of the insight and perspectives. Here’s my take:

    –Cappy is showing the kids “this is the way”. He’s been a beast, he’s hungry and it shows. When you do those things and the puck bounces your way–you smile and give a head nod to Blackhawk angel Stosh and move onto the next. ;)
    –KD77–holy hell on wheels! Once he gets completely past the baby giraffe stage: LOOK OUT. Whomever compared him to Getzlaf during the draft process–I saw those Getzlaf flashes in Game 3. With a little more weight & time–he’s gonna be a freight train. Kid Kirby! I know for certain “billet dad” Seabs is smiling like a proud papa from Kelowna. :)
    –I’ve been a known Koekkoek basher forever, but stick taps to him. Impressed with his effort this series. Strome on the other hand, can shove it as far as I’m concerned.
    –@ Gander I echo you: WTF w/EDM goalie “skate issue”?!!! I was so pissed I was SCREAMING at the tv, and glad Edzo pointed it out. Nice breather if you can get it. Grrrrrr.

  • August 7, 2020 at 11:09 am

    EbonyRaptor, have to disagree on Debrinicat. As the Hawks progress over the next year or two (hopefully) then Debrinicat has to be less and less of a role, if not be gone completely…especially given his cap hit and the stark realities of the pandemic era salary cap. His limitations on the ice are stark. He’s the type of player who generates some offensive buzz on a bad team. We aren’t that sort of team anymore.

  • August 7, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Watching some of the other action there are many teams playing disciplined, structurally sound hockey (Canes look really good in this respect). Unfortunately, we’re not one of those team and I think it will quickly catch up with us if we make it to round 2. You just can’t flip a switch and become a tight team (which we haven’t been in a long time).

    If we do advance (and the odds of having to win one of two put us at about 75%) then maybe the way to look at it is we got super lucky last year moving up to #3, so if we’re a unlucky dropping out of the top 10 this year it evens out. As well, I would rather have the #3 and #17 picks in consecutive years than the #10 pick both years because the franchise/generational players (like 19, 88, and hopefully 77) mostly come at the very top of the draft.

    @Stefanie: good comments on 77. One thing I noticed about him very early on is how often he is exactly where he needs to be at both ends. In the O zone he is always either around the net or in front of the tender (no assists given for screens but if they were he’d have a bunch). In the D zone he covers the slot, supports the defenseman, and is very reliable. I was all in on Byrum like a lot of us, but really happy with our lad and excited to see him every shift. You can the twinkle is his eye when the camera pans in on him sometimes. He’s into it. Hockey player.

  • August 7, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    @JR – permit me to be a nerdy nit picker for just a moment

    An elimination game is a game where either of the two teams can be eliminated so today’s game vs EDM is in fact an elimination game because EDM can be eliminated

    That said I understand your POV is based on the Hawks not facing elimination tonight – I get it but I still don’t agree

  • August 7, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Jordy re: Dach – I believe that JC was asked about Kirby getting PK time and his response was that he is “one of our best defensive players”. That is quite a mouthful for a 19 year old. I would just like to see him get a little more selfish with the puck and shoot more as he has an excellent shot as well.

  • August 7, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Tallon apparently going to be let go by Panthers.

  • August 7, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    If that’s the case Ian, the Tallon – Q thing didn’t last long

  • August 7, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    @LFTBBOTWS, That may or may not be – I was responding to a previous post that stated DCat was not a good playoff performer – after a grand total of 3 games where is averaging a point per game.

  • August 7, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Hammer going to continue on after he couldn’t clear in regulation to let Nashville tie it at :31 left.

  • August 7, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    We sucked in the regular season record wise and should be picking top 3 or 9/10th. Every single time I want the 3rd and 1st/9th/10th when we have the record to do so. Were only going to be this bad record wise for a couple yrs and thats it for top 5 skill draft players. Its just plain stupid to not get a top 10 pick when we earned that.

    Now were stuck with another 24th pick in Hartman.

  • August 7, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    I am as positive as anyone can be with Blackhawks. You have to see we need more top 5 players not just 24th pick quality players. Need those to its just that you only get a few yrs where you can even get top 5 quality.

    We were lucky to get top 3 player in Dach like Toews will be the best player of that draft. You donot stop and say well we got kucky.

    F that I want moar.

  • August 7, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    Mo, with Hartman we got a good return when we traded him….

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