Blackhawks

Myers: Blackhawks need to play entire 60

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Myers: Blackhawks need to play entire 60

Monday, April 18, 2011Posted: 4:01 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

The first three games of this latest Blackhawks-Canucks playoff series are in the books. Any cobwebs Brent Seabrook may have had in his head after Raffi Torres rammed his shoulder into it sounds like theyre gone.

As mad as the Blackhawks are that Torres escaped suspension, they now have to face another enemy: their own inability to play a complete game, a problem thats plagued them throughout the year. And if they fail to do it again tomorrow they wont get another chance until October.

The Blackhawks are in full backs-against-the-wall, going-for-broke mode entering tomorrow nights potential elimination game against Vancouver. Theres no need to tell them whats at stake especially that half of the group that went all the way last season and would love nothing more than another extended run. Its time for the Blackhawks to empty the tanks and see if they can send the series back to Vancouver.

Theyre a beatable team, Jonathan Toews said. But we havent done that in three games. We havent been able to prove we can be a better team on one single night.

Canucks right wing Jannik Hansen said every team is beatable. And if the Blackhawks are healthy, deep and not suffering from inconsistency all season and within games then this series is closer. But they arent and its not.

The Blackhawks had their best chance to dent Vancouvers armor on Sunday night. The home crowd was with them, the start was strong and the Canucks played what Henrik Sedin called our worst game of the series. But one icky final period later, it was another loss.

I dont know if after the second we think were in a good position and start playing different to force and get another goal or what, Patrick Kane said. If we play like we did in the first period all night we should be successful.

Can the Blackhawks come back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Canucks? Anything is possible. The Philadelphia Flyers came back from being down 3-0 in the series and even down 3-0 in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins in last springs Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Theres always a chance. But before they get to thinking about a potential seven games, they need a defining and triumphant 60 minutes.

Well see what battle level (we have) and how hard we can compete to keep it going, defenseman Duncan Keith said. We worked hard all season long and were facing an important game and our season could be over. That says it all right there.

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

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

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

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

NHL Draft Profile: F Jesperi Kotkaniemi

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

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Position: Center
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 189 pounds
Shoots: Left

Scouting report:

"Kotkaniemi has been a top-six forward for his league team in Finland all season and had a very solid U18 season relative to his historical peers in the league. He has very good hands that are high-end, if not flashing elite. He can make very skilled plays off an entry, but what impresses me is how well he can control the puck and keep plays alive."

NHL player comparable:

Fit for Blackhawks:

There isn't a player that has climbed the rankings in such a short amount of time than Kotkaniemi, who was initially projected to go outside the top 10 but could go as high as No. 3 overall. It's likely because there aren't many high-end centers in this draft, and he's the top one.

If Kotkaniemi happens to slip to No. 8, it may be hard for the Blackhawks to pass up on him. He's versatile, too, which is always a bonus, especially when playing under Joel Quenneville. But if they view him as a center, here's how the Blackhawks would look down the middle: Jonathan Toews, Nick Schmaltz, Kotkaniemi and Artem Anisimov.

Um, yeah. That'll work.