Blackhawks' Kopecky finding success on the ice


Blackhawks' Kopecky finding success on the ice

Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010
4:11 PM

By Tracey Myers

Tomas Kopecky doesnt dwell on his outings very long, good or bad. The Chicago Blackhawks winger said he usually takes about five minutes to think about it then moves on.

Still, even he had to revel in his career-best, four-point night on Tuesday a little longer.

Its always nice. You get a little bit more energy and it feels good, Kopecky said. On the other hand its only one game and you have to keep it for 82 games. I just try not to get too high or low and just stay right in the middle.

Kopeckys Tuesday was definitely a high after a couple low games earlier this season. Four-point games aside, the Blackhawks, missing Marian Hossa for a few more games, need Kopecky to get that steady offensive output he had at the start of the season, when he and linematefellow Slovak Hossa were surging.

Tuesday was stellar, and his teammates were impressed.

They made the announcement that he had a goal and three assists and I thought, Wow, he had that? Awesome, Patrick Kane said. He made some great plays on pretty much every goal hes been on, so thats good to see out of him. Hopefully that gives him some confidence. Especially with Hossa out of the lineup, were going to need a guy like him.

Kopecky was successful in setting up goals on Tuesday; he was strong there early this season, when he recorded assists in six of his first seven games. He had a sizeable lull after that, however, recording just one goal over a months span. The Blackhawks were struggling as a team, and Hossa missed five games with an upper-body injury.

The two do have an obvious report on the ice, and Kopecky may have missed that.

Maybe a little, he said. You play with a guy for 15 games you get the feel for each other and you know what to expect. Somebody else comes in and you have to adjust. The sooner you do the better you are. Its all about making changes.

Change was good on Tuesday, when Kopecky was with Patrick Sharp and recent Rockford call-up Jeremy Morin. The three clicked instantly and collected seven points against the Blues.

Kopecky has a plus-5 rating over his last three games. Hes also one assist off his career high of 13 set with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008-09. Kopeckys big task is crashing the net and creating traffic, but his teammates said theyd like to see him shoot more.

Id like to see him shoot more unless Im open and then I want him to pass to me, Sharp joked. Hes got a great shot. Hes got a great release and that thing just pops off the stick. He usually does the dirty work and hes good at it. But when hes got an opportunity to fire one wed all like to see him do it.

Said Kane, hes got one of the best shots Ive ever seen. You saw his goal the other night; it kind of overpowers the goalie and gets right through him. Id love to see him do it more. We were talking about some of the goals he had last year when he just ripped shots and beat the goalie. Hopefully he keeps doing that.

Tracey Myers is's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

NHL Draft Profile: D Evan Bouchard

NHL Draft Profile: D Evan Bouchard

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Evan Bouchard

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 193 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A highly intelligent defenseman with exceptional vision and offensive instincts. He reads the play very well and his passing ability allows him to be a constant threat in his team's transition game. He's one of the top offensive-defenseman in the Canadian Hockey League and magician-like when quarterbacking the power play."

NHL player comparable: John Carlson/Alex Pietrangelo

Fit for Blackhawks:

At 6-foot-2, 193 pounds, Bouchard is one of the most NHL-ready defensemen in this year's draft and that could be appetizing for a team like the Blackhawks, who are looking for immediate help on the blue line. But Bouchard is a right-handed shot, and drafting him would add a third high-end right-handed shot defenseman to the organization, along with prospects Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell.

You can never have enough of them, but there's only room for three before somebody would have to play on their off hand and that would mean the third would be playing on the bottom pairing. All three of these players have Top 4 potential.

Still, that may not even come into play here. The Blackhawks will seek to take the best available player, like they always have. And if they feel it's Bouchard, they'll do it.

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

NHL Draft Profile: F Brady Tkachuk

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Brady Tkachuk

Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 196 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"I know Tkachuk isn't a center, but Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks) is another player who comes to mind with his combination of size, strength, skill and nastiness. Tkachuk has impressive hand skills and his upside has only begun because I think there's lots of maturity and growth to come. I've seen his speed and skating improve each of the past three years and I think he'll still get stronger and his balance will get better. His man strength will come and it'll be like, 'Oh boy, look out.'"

NHL player comparable: Matthew Tkachuk/Wayne Simmonds

Fit for Blackhawks:

If you're looking for a player that checks all the boxes in this year's draft, it's Tkachuk. And man could the Blackhawks use a player like him.

He's got offensive skill, willingly goes to the greasy areas, can provide net-front presence while playing a top-six role, and perhaps the most important part for the Blackhawks: he's very close to NHL ready. The Blackhawks will be patient with whoever they draft, but there's also some urgency to turn things around in 2018-19.

If they can draft a player like Tkachuk who can potentially jump into the lineup as early as this upcoming season, that would be ideal. Because he's the type of player that can make an impact, not just get by.