Five Things from Blackhawks-Islanders: Ryan Hartman helps momentum shift

Five Things from Blackhawks-Islanders: Ryan Hartman helps momentum shift

NEW YORK – Well, that was fun, wasn’t it?

Seriously, every now and then you need a topsy-turvy game. Coach Joel Quenneville wasn’t to thrilled at the start of that one but he’ll take the end, as the Blackhawks got past a 2-0 deficit to beat the New York Islanders 5-4 on Thursday night.

That wraps up another New York trip. While we lament leaving this fabulous city, let’s look at Five Things to take away from the Blackhawks’ latest victory.

1. Defense optional. Six goals in the first period? What parallel universe is this? Scott Darling and the Blackhawks had allowed three goals in the last three games. They gave up that many in the first period on Thursday night. Granted, the Blackhawks were in as much of a receiving mood as a giving one through the first 20 minutes. But in light of the Blackhawks’ recent games, what they gave up was surprising.

2. The power play is potent again. You wonder if the Islanders winced when Josh Bailey headed to the penalty box with 1:32 remaining in the second period. The Blackhawks had two power-play goals on the night heading into that advantage. A little more than a minute later, they made it 3-for-3. Artemi Panarin had two of those goals with that patented rocket from the left circle.

3. Ryan Hartman’s momentum shifter. The Blackhawks were struggling and down 2-0 when Hartman landed a big open-ice hit on Casey Cizikas in the first period. Cizikas took exception to it and went after Hartman. The Blackhawks rookie let him, drawing a roughing penalty. Less than two minutes later the Blackhawks scored the first of their three power-play goals of the night. Quenneville pointed to that moment as a critical one, giving the Blackhawks much-needed momentum – or at least taking it away from the Islanders. Indeed, the shift was on after that.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

4. Second line finding its rhythm again? I asked Artem Anisimov that after he, Panarin and Patrick Kane connected on some beautiful passing that led to Anisimov’s power-play goal in the first period. Kane has struggled as of late but Anisimov now has 14 goals and Panarin has 13. Anisimov said the line is better, but still not where it needs to be. “In the power play, yeah, but we still need to do better at the 5-on-5 games,” he said.

5. Winning no matter what. The Blackhawks are winning the defensive-minded games. On Thursday they won the wide-open game. As Quenneville said, “we’ve been fortunate with a lot of games this year.” Sure. But despite all the concerns the Blackhawks had entering this season, the injuries they’ve faced, they’re atop the Western Conference. Most of the time it’s been goaltending. Thursday, it was an offensive outburst. Good teams just find ways.

Stan Bowman: Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford 'progressing like he normally would'

Stan Bowman: Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford 'progressing like he normally would'

Stan Bowman likes where Corey Crawford is at this state of the offseason, he said Friday prior to the NHL Draft.

Speaking with NBC Sports Chicago's Pat Boyle, Bowman noted that while Crawford hasn't begun doing any on-ice work, that isn't unusual for players this early.

"We’ve been in contact with Corey and I think he’s been progressing like he normally would," Bowman said. "Most guys don’t do a lot of on-ice work the first couple of months of the offseason.

"Typically they get back on the ice sometime in July, some guys don’t skate until August. I think that’s sort of the plan for Corey as we go along here. I would say he’s right on the normal schedule for the offseason and we’ll just see how that goes."

That's good news for the Blackhawks, who sorely missed Crawford a year ago. The three-time Stanley Cup champion appeared in just 28 games, earning a 16-9-2 record and a 2.27 GAA.

NHL Draft 2018: Preview, start time, pick order, live stream and how to watch Round 1


NHL Draft 2018: Preview, start time, pick order, live stream and how to watch Round 1

The Chicago Blackhawks missed the playoffs for the first time in 10 seasons and are looking towards the 2018 NHL Draft to right the ship. The Blackhawks are picking inside the top 10 of the NHL Draft for the first time since selecting Patrick Kane first overall in 2007.

The Blackhawks are in a transitional period, with the era of talent that won three Stanley Cups on the back half of the bell curve in their careers. Rocky Wirtz already acknowledged changes could be coming and noted "nothing lasts forever."

Promising young talent from the 2018-19 season, like Alex DeBrincat, are keeping hopes of extending this era of hockey dominance alive. Armed with two first round picks in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks could help solidify the franchise's chances of competing for Stanley Cups for years to come if they land a top talent.

There were rumors that the Blackhawks could explore draft day trades, but general manager Stan Bowman said the team wasn't actively looking to make a trade but wouldn't pass up a great offer or opportunity. The Blackhawks hope to find a future star at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, home of the Stars.

NHL Draft Information

When: June 22-23
Where: American Airlines Center (Dallas)
Network: NBCSN
Live stream: NBCSports
Social media: @NBCSBlackhawks 
On-Site Reporters: Pat Boyle (@BoyleNBCS), Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis)

Round 1 Information

Start Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
TV Network: NBCSN
Live stream: NBCSports

Round 2-7 Information

Start Time: 10:00 a.m. CT
TV Network: NHL Network

2018 NHL Draft Order

1. Buffalo Sabres
2. Carolina Hurricanes
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Ottawa Senators
5. Arizona Coyotes
6. Detroit Red Wings
7. Vancouver Canucks
8. Chicago Blackhawks
9. New York Rangers
10. Edmonton Oilers
11. New York Islanders
12. New York Islanders
13. Dallas Stars
14. Philadelphia Flyers
15. Florida Panthers
16. Colorado Avalanche
17. New Jersey Devils
18. Columbus Blue Jackets
19. Philadelphia Flyers
20. Los Angeles Kings
21. San Jose Sharks
22. Ottawa Senators
23. Anaheim Ducks
24. Minnesota Wild
25. Toronto Maple Leafs
26. New York Rangers
27. Chicago Blackhawks*
28. New York Rangers
29. St. Louis Blues
30. Detroit Red Wings
31. Washington Capitals

*-Acquired from Nashville in Ryan Hartman Trade

Blackhawks' 2018 NHL Draft Picks

The Blackhawks have eight overall picks in the NHL Draft, two in the first round. Chicago's second pick in the first round, at 27th overall, came from the Nashville Predators in the Ryan Hartman trade. The Blackhawks have two third-round picks, one from Nashville and one from the Washington Capitals (from Toronto) in the Michael Kempny trade.

Chicago doesn't have a second round pick because they traded it to the Montreal Canadiens in February 2016 alongside Phillip Danault for Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise. The Blackhawks traded a fourth-round pick to Dallas with Mark McNeill in February 2017 for Johnny Oduya, and added a fourth-round pick from Nashville in the Hartman deal. 

The Blackhawks' fifth-round pick comes from the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Artemi Panarin trade, that also brought Brandon Saad to Chicago. Panarin has told Columbus he is not ready to consider an extension, putting Panarin back on the trade block.

Rd. 1: No. 8

Rd. 1: No. 27 via Nashville

Rd. 3: No. 69 overall

Rd. 3: No. 87 overall via Washington from Toronto

Rd. 4: No. 120 overall via Nashville

Rd. 5: No. 142 overall via Columbus

Rd. 6: No. 163 overall

Rd. 7: No. 193 overall

NHL Draft Preview

Hawks Talk Podcast: NHL Draft preview with VP of scouting Mark Kelley

Hawks Talk Podcast: Bold predictions for Blackhawks offseason

What should the Blackhawks do with the No. 8 overall pick?

NHL Draft Profiles

We examined the top 10 projected picks and how they would fit in with the Blackhawks.