Five Things: Overtime doesn’t go the Blackhawks’ way


Five Things: Overtime doesn’t go the Blackhawks’ way

When you score five goals in 20 the first minutes, you should probably win that game.

The Blackhawks looked on their way to doing that on Wednesday night against a Blues team that lost on Tuesday and had some hellacious travel overnight. But the Blues apparently got great naps and the Blackhawks and Corey Crawford had some forgettable moments in St. Louis’ comeback victory. The Blackhawks weren’t happy with the outcome, especially considering the start, but there it is nonetheless.

[MORE: Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, lose to Blues in OT]

So before we call it a night, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ 6-5 loss to the Blues.

1. Not one of Corey Crawford’s finest. Crawford already has two shutouts this season and was great, especially in the third period, against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. But he was not at his best on Wednesday. There were some fluky goals, for sure — Alex Steen’s first one, which took one heck of a bounce over Crawford, was one. But there were stops Crawford should have made and tonight, he didn’t. Crawford said, “it felt like one of those nights. Tried to battle through it but when your team scores five goals you have to find a way and it’s just a tough one I guess.”

2. Marko Dano scores his first with his new team. Dano, who was recalled on Monday, scored off a Blues turnover to give the Blackhawks an early 1-0 lead. Dano had a big smile on his face not long after scoring that goal. But given the game outcome, his post-game euphoria was tempered. “It’s a good feeling for me,” he said. “But I would rather take the win for the team.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

3. Blues battle fatigue and win. St. Louis had to be a tired group heading into Chicago. Their flight, following their home game on Tuesday night, was diverted to Milwaukee due to heavy fog here. The Blues bused to Chicago, getting in around 4 a.m. But the Blues had the necessary energy in the second period when they came back to tie a game they looked out of after the first period.

4. Teuvo Teravainen fitting in on the second line. Teravainen seems to be working well with new linemates Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane. Teravainen had four shots on goal, one becoming his fourth goal of the season when he capitalized on a Trevor Daley rebound. Said Joel Quenneville of Teravainen getting to the net on that one, “I think against that team, it’s kind of comparable to [playing against] L.A., traffic, second opportunities and the finish was there. You have to get there to get rewarded.”

5. OT doesn’t go the Blackhawks’ way. The Blackhawks were 3-0 in 3-on-3 entering Wednesday night’s game. Pretty sure they played more 3-on-3 against the Blues tonight than they did the previous three overtimes this season. Defending, knowing when to change and perhaps fighting fatigue during a long shift are going to be critical in this new format. “Clearly there are situations that, instead of changing and giving your team a 3-on-2 look in your own zone, it’s something that you have to fight and hang in there and even if they have the puck for another minute,” Jonathan Toews said. “You’ve got to stick it out and obviously not let them have an easy chance the way they had there, so obviously a mistake on my part there.”



Corey Crawford Keeps 2018-19 Mask Design

USA Today

Corey Crawford Keeps 2018-19 Mask Design

Corey Crawford is a man who knows what he likes. Hockey By Design on Twitter shared a photo of Crawford’s mask for the 2019-20 season and it looks like he will be rocking the same airbrush mask he did last season. The design, by Stephane Bergeron of Griff Airbrush, features the Blackhawks logos and feathers backed a by a sleek black mask. What can we say, Crawford keeps it classic.

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Blackhawks mailbag: Could more trades be coming before 2019-20 season opener?


Blackhawks mailbag: Could more trades be coming before 2019-20 season opener?

Charlie Roumeliotis answers your Blackhawks and hockey-related questions. Be sure to chime in using the hashtag #HawksMailbag on Twitter for a chance to have your question answered in the next edition. 

Is there any chance we see the Hawks make a trade before the season starts?

The Blackhawks had as active a summer as any team, revamping their roster and filling out their depth through trades and free agency. And because of that, it's going to be an extremely competitive training camp.

While the organization acknowledged that it's important to be 26, 27 players deep throughout the course of an 82-game season, the Blackhawks have a handful of players fighting for the same spot or two: Drake Caggiula, Dominik Kubalik, Alex Nylander, Brendan Perlini, Dylan Sikura and Anton Wedin. Heck, even Kirby Dach.

August is always the dead period around the NHL. But come September, it wouldn't be surprising to see some movement around the league when teams figure out what they have on the ice. Training camp and preseason games are a time for GMs to evaluate who may be getting squeezed out, whether there's a breakout prospect emerging and it's also when the pressure point of having to be compliant with the cap.

The Blackhawks could be one of those teams looking to make a tweak or two before Opening Night, but don't expect anything significant.

Do you think Nylander makes the team this year or does he spend another season in the AHL? If he does makes the team, who do you see him fitting on a line with?

Alex Nylander is going to be given a fair shot to make the Blackhawks out of training camp, and it would be a disappointment if he didn’t. He was taken No. 8 overall in 2016 and simply hasn’t taken that next step in his development yet.

Perhaps the situation in Buffalo played a role in that, but it will truly be up to Nylander whether he does unlock his true potential in Chicago. There isn’t a reason for him not to. It’s a much healthier situation and the spotlight isn’t on him.

If Nylander does make the team, expect him to play with offensively-gifted players — guys who can help bring out the best in his abilities and think the game at the same level. But playing with those types of players also means you're drawing top competition on a nightly basis, so he will have to earn it.

Do you think all the additions this summer may be a strategic move to help prepare the Hawks for the expansion draft? (Keeping the prospects off the team till midseason or something so they remain draft protected/ineligible?)

Good question. The summer of 2020 is going to be a fascinating one for the Blackhawks because that's when teams are going to start making some moves ahead of the 2021 expansion draft. And as of right now, the Blackhawks are going to expose a really good player, whether they pick the seven forwards and three defensemen option or the eight skater one.

Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews all have no-movement clauses, so they must be protected (unless the player approves of being exposed, which is highly unlikely). Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome are two others who must be protected, so that's six right there. Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw are two others who are eligible. Same with Calvin de Haan, Olli Maatta and Connor Murphy. And if Erik Gustafsson signs an extension, he must be protected also.

Again, the list is deep. But to answer your original question, the primary focus this summer was to fill needs across the roster (physicality and defensive-minded players) and doing so through trades was the best possible option because they were able to get guys with term and a reasonable cap hit. Free agency is where the overpayment happens. The goalie situation for the Blackhawks is one to watch ahead of the 2021 expansion draft. 

As far as prospects go, Adam Boqvist and Kirby Dach will not be eligible for the expansion draft no matter how many games they play in this season and next because the draft happens before the 2021-22 calendar season. So that will not play a role in the organization's decision regarding when they play in the NHL.

What are your expectations for the goaltending tandem in Rockford? Delia appears to be the current starter, but Lankinen was really impressive this summer for Finland. Small-ish sample size, but he was phenomenal. Do you think it will end up being an even split at some point?

Collin Delia may have signed a three-year extension with the Blackhawks, but that doesn’t mean the organization doesn’t want to give Kevin Lankinen a strong look also. Delia has earned the right to be the starter, but the split between he and Lankinen will likely be closer to 50-50 if both goalies are performing.

Lankinen was sensational between the pipes for Finland at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, helping lead his country to a gold medal. But Delia is also taking significant steps in his development and doing so at a rapid pace. It should be a healthy competition in Rockford.

With so much prospect talk focused on Dach, Boqvist, & Delia (and rightfully so) is there a dark horse prospect (I'm talking about that under the radar grinder) fans should keep their eyes on & where are they expected to be playing this year so we can follow?

Two prospects come to mind when discussing potential dark horses: MacKenzie Entwistle and Philipp Kurashev. Both of them will be playing in Rockford this season.

Entwistle and Kurashev took significant steps in their development this past season, with Entwistle playing a key role in the Guelph Storm winning the OHL championship and Kurashev leading the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championships in scoring with six goals in seven games.

Entwistle is a player who knows exactly what his role will be in the NHL and has already embraced it: a bottom-six forward, reliable penalty killer and a leader on and off the ice. And that’s something the Blackhawks value about him.

Kurashev is more offensively skilled and has some sneaky upside to be a potential breakout player as a fourth-round pick. Keep an eye on him.

Is it October yet?

This really has felt like a long summer, hasn’t it? We’re almost there, Zane. 

A few checkpoints are coming up on the schedule though that may help speed up the process: Traverse City prospects tournament from Sept. 6-11, training camp festival on Sept. 15 and the first preseason game on Sept. 16. We're getting closer.

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