Tomas Fleischmann, Dale Weise bring chemistry to Blackhawks


Tomas Fleischmann, Dale Weise bring chemistry to Blackhawks

Tomas Fleischmann wasn’t surprised when he was traded. With the Montreal Canadiens going nowhere this season, several players knew they were on their way out.

But heading to Chicago? That he didn’t foresee.

“I didn’t expect Chicago, because they took Laddy a couple days ago, so I didn’t really think it would happen here,” said Fleischmann, referring to the Blackhawks trading for Andrew Ladd on Thursday. “When I heard it, I was excited. Playing on a team with a good chance to win a Cup is always fun.”

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Dale Weise had the same reaction.

“When Marc [Bergevin, the Canadiens general manager] gave me the call last night I was absolutely blown away,” said Weise via conference call on Saturday evening. “I was thinking earlier in the day when Andrew got moved there, that cut Chicago off as a possibility. And then they come around and make the deal anyway, so that was pretty crazy.”

Weise and Fleischmann had pretty good individual seasons for a Canadiens team that started well, then faded. They also had great chemistry when they played together early in the season. Now the two forwards hope to be the addition the Blackhawks need to claim their fourth Stanley Cup in the past seven seasons.

Fleischmann is already in Chicago and is expected to play on the Blackhawks’ third line in Sunday’s game against the Washington Capitals. Weise, meanwhile, is in a holding pattern until immigration paperwork is complete. When Weise does get here, coach Joel Quenneville said he would probably put him with Fleischmann, at least to start – “we’re looking forward to getting them together, to see how that works,” Quenneville said. It sounds like the combination already has: Weise said he and Fleischmann clicked immediately when they were put together in Montreal to start the season.

[MORE: Trade benefits Teuvo Teravainen, Blackhawks' third and fourth lines]

“We played the first 25 games together; we were put together in camp on the second day and took off. The chemistry was unbelievable from the start with him,” Weise said. “He has a ton of skill, a ton of vision. If we play together again that would be amazing.”

Fleischmann figures it’ll take about a week to get used to the Blackhawks’ system. Weise will catch up as soon as he gets here. Both players figured they would be shipped out of Montreal as the trade deadline approached; neither thought they would end up with Chicago. But they did, and they’re ready to take advantage of a great chance.

“You look at the roster, adding Tomas, adding Andrew Ladd, the roster looks dangerous right now,” Weise said. “For me to get a chance to play on a contender and go deep in the playoffs, on an individual standpoint, it’s huge for me and it’s only going to benefit me.”

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?