Blackhawks

Hawks escape Detroit with a point

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Hawks escape Detroit with a point

Some days youre just grateful you get a point and get out of town. The Blackhawks were probably feeling that a little on Saturday afternoon.

Jonathan Toews tied the game with less than a minute remaining in regulation, but Todd Bertuzzi scored his second of the game in overtime as the Detroit Red Wings beat the Blackhawks 3-2 at Joe Louis Arena.

The Blackhawks remained atop the Central Division one point ahead of Detroit and second in the Western Conference. It was the fourth consecutive game the Blackhawks mustered at least a point.

That the Blackhawks even got to overtime was impressive, considering their forgettable start. The Wings, who won their 14th consecutive game at home, came out buzzing. Detroit had 10 shots on goal before the Blackhawks had one Michael Frolik ended the drought about seven and a half minutes in and outshot them 21-4 for the period for a 2-0 lead.

Terrible start to the game, coach Joel Quenneville said. (There was) too much standing around watching them. Nobody had any movement. Well definitely take a point and move along.

If not for the work of Corey Crawford, who stopped 40 of 43 for the game, it couldve been worse.

Its tough to say why (we started bad), said Marian Hossa, who assisted on Toews game-tying goal. It seems like they controlled the game at the beginning. They were skating, we were standing. The good thing is, we get one point.

The Blackhawks finally woke up later in the second, when a goofy puck bounce off the back boards led to Andrew Shaws third goal of the season. They took that momentum into the third period, where they outshot the Red Wings 11-0 in the first six-plus minutes. But when Drew Miller went for a double-minor high-stick, the Blackhawks seemed to lose momentum instead of capitalize on the ensuing power plays.

They got it back when Toews deflected Hossas shot with 52 seconds remaining in regulation. But the Blackhawks overtime looked much like their first period, as the Wings outshot them 9-0 with Bertuzzi winning it.

It (Valtteri Filppulas shot) went up in the air and I just lost it for a second. I think (Bertuzzi) one-timed it as soon as it hit the ice and it just squeaked through, Crawford said. It was just another tough, tough game against them. But we were able to battle back and bring it into overtime.

Yes, that start left a lot to be desired. The end nearly made up for it. Sometimes, you just take the point and get out of town.

Were not going to beat ourselves up about it, Toews said. When you work your way back, you feel that extra point is yours. It is a little disappointing. We have to learn from it and be better next time we play these guys.

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.

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

NHL Draft Profile: D Quinn Hughes

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

Quinn Hughes

Position: Defenseman
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"He's got the puck skills, is a good skater, and is a guy with some high-end offensive talent. He wants to get right in there and play where it's hard and where you get rewarded. When he gets that puck on his stick, he wants to bury it."

NHL player comparable: Torey Krug/Kris Letang

Fit for Blackhawks:

It's no secret the Blackhawks are looking to restock their pipeline with some high-end defensemen. Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell are on the way. But the former isn't a lock to be a full-time NHLer this season and the latter will continue playing in college for the 2018-19 season.

Hughes, who shined at Michigan and the IIHF World Championship with Team USA, would have the best chance of the three to crack the Blackhawks lineup first. The problem is, he likely won't be available at No. 8, so if Hughes is the guy they're locked in on, they'd need to trade up to grab him. 

If they did that, Hughes would give the Blackhawks a third blue line prospect they can get excited about. He's a left-handed shot, which evens out the balance in the system, and he would become a prime candidate to eventually replace Duncan Keith as the team's No. 1 defenseman.