Blackhawks

Hawks Talk Podcast: Connor Murphy interview and narrowing down potential draft candidates at No. 3 for Blackhawks

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Hawks Talk Podcast: Connor Murphy interview and narrowing down potential draft candidates at No. 3 for Blackhawks

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Connor Murphy joins the show to break down the Blackhawks' man-on-man defensive zone coverage, how the team stayed together during the long losing skids and do the young players have a strong voice in the locker room?

Pat Boyle is then joined by Slavko Bekovic and Charlie Roumeliotis to discuss what the Blackhawks may be thinking with the No. 3 overall pick and narrow the field to three potential candidates. Should the Blackhawks draft for need or best available player?

Plus, the guys provide an update on how the Blackhawks are performing at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

0:45 – Connor Murphy joins the podcast

2:00 – Murphy’s summer so far

2:35 – Murphy’s off-ice training regimen

3:35 – Murphy evaluates his season

5:05 – Murphy on comeback from injury

6:30 – Murphy explains the Hawks d-zone coverage

10:00 – Murphy’s conversations with father Gord Murphy

12:10 – Murphy on making it through tough times last season

13:10 – Murphy on unity between vets and youth

14:25 – Murphy’s goals for the future

17:00 – Hawks draft prospects one month out from NHL Draft

19:30 – Byram’s stock up while Podkolzin’s stock down

21:00 – Should Blackhawks draft for need and improve now?

26:25 – Future of the Blackhawks blue-line

33:15 – Blackhawks replenishing the prospect pipeline

35:45 – Our top 3 prospects for the No. 3 pick

41:05 – How the Blackhawks are doing at the IIHF World Championship

Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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NHL return to play: What is the plan for Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL Draft

NHL return to play: What is the plan for Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL Draft

The NHL has taken a historic first step towards sports resuming post-COVID-19 pandemic by unveiling their return to play plan. The NHL is the first of the four major U.S. sports leagues to announce a concrete proposal for how the sport will return.
But what exactly was in the plan? Here are the highlights.
First, there is no set date or location. The NHL didn't want to lock in those details in a fluid situation as local and state government regulations evolve. But Bettman suggested mid-July as the earliest possible return date.
The NHL will have two host cities host each conference’s side of the bracket. Bettman noted 10 cities are being considered, including Chicago.
Teams will be seeded by points percentage. Not total points accrued when the season shut down because not every team has played the same amount of games.
Each conference will have 12 teams in the playoff. The top four seeds will play in a Round Robin to determine seeding, with regular season overtime rules. The remaining eight teams will play a best-of-five series to advance to the first round, with playoff overtime rules.
The Blackhawks are the 12th seed in the Western Conference and will match up against the fifth seed, the Edmonton Oilers. The top four seeds in the West are, in order: St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas.
Overall seeding will determine how advancing teams will match up against the top four seeds. The first and second rounds will either be best-of-5 or best-of-7 series. The Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final will be Best-of-7 series.
They also outlined the NHL Draft details, which is a bit more complicated.
There could potentially be two phases, or just one.

Phase 1 of the NHL Draft will happen on June 26, before the qualifying round of the 24-team playoff bracket. In the draw will be the 7 teams that did not qualify for the 24-team tournament, with eight place holding spots for the teams that lose the qualifying round of the tournament.

Phase 1 will determine the top three picks, and if they’re all won by “non-resuming Clubs” than there is no need for a Phase 2.

If a place holder for teams playing in the qualifying round wins one of the first three picks, than there will be another lottery between the Qualifying Round and the First Round. The Phase 1 Draws won by a place holder will be awarded in a lottery of the eight losing teams from the qualifying round. Each team has a 1-in-8 shot at winning.

Got all that?

Bettman also noticed they could conceivably play into the fall which could impact the 20-21 season, though the league hopes to avoid it.

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Why Edmonton Oilers should fear Patrick Kane, Blackhawks in NHL 24-team playoff

Why Edmonton Oilers should fear Patrick Kane, Blackhawks in NHL 24-team playoff

For the first time since April 2017, the Chicago Blackhawks are back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And with the NHL announcing its new 24-team playoff format, it means Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks get to face Edmonton in a best-of-five play-in series...and that should terrify the Oilers.

Before we look ahead to the 2020 playoffs, let’s rewind to the 2017 playoffs.

The Blackhawks won the Central Division that year, amassing 109 points and claiming the top seed in the Western Conference. What did that get them? Swept out of the first round by the Nashville Predators. It was a wake-up call for an aging Chicago team trending in the wrong direction. A sweep at the hands of the eighth seed after losing in the first round in seven games to the rival Blues a year prior.

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews led the Blackhawks with two points apiece in that four-game series against Nashville in which they mustered just three goals. Kane and Toews were the only two Chicago skaters to tally more than a single point.

Since the loss to the Predators, the Blackhawks have been in a tailspin, trying to regain the form that made them NHL.com’s “Franchise of the Decade.” Major changes have been made - with the firing of head coach Joel Quenneville and the release of President/CEO John McDonough - and now uncertainty clouds an organization that has missed the playoffs every year since.

Until now.

The NHL’s new 24-team playoff format gives Kane and the Blackhawks new life. A 12th seed with a chance to upset the fifth-seeded Oilers. And there is reason for optimism with the Blackhawks.

It’s tough to find an NHL team that Patrick Kane struggles against, considering he’s nearly a point-per-game player (or better) against everyone. But facing Edmonton is especially good news for Kane.

In 43 career regular season games against the Oilers, Kane has put up a whopping 56 points, the fourth most against any opponent in his career. Kane also owns a career-best +17 rating against Edmonton. And all that comes in just 19:34 of average time on ice, the fourth lowest ATOI against any opponent in his career.

And when the lights are brightest in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kane is able to take his game to another level - putting up 123 points in 127 career playoff games, with a Conn Smythe Trophy to boot.

Facing impact players like Kane or Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was one of the main reasons why a best-of-3 play-in format was voted down. For the Edmonton Oilers, facing Kane as many as five times could be just as much of a nightmare.

RELATED: Will Blackhawks regret trading Robin Lehner with NHL's 24-team playoff?

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