Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Predators Game 3: No late push

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Predators Game 3: No late push

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Well, that all ended poorly, didn’t it? For the Blackhawks, anyway. The Predators have given the Blackhawks several opportunities to see they mean business this postseason, that they’re not going away quietly, even if they’re trailing in a game. The Blackhawks haven’t heeded those lessons, and now they’re on the brink of elimination.

We hate to bring the dark clouds but let’s face it, the situation calls for them. Anyway, while we ponder whether to mix the Jack Daniels we got in the media gift bags or drink it straight, let’s look at the notables from the Predators’ 3-2 overtime victory over the Blackhawks.

What worked: Corey Crawford. We’ll say this for the Blackhawks: they blocked 30 shots in front of their goaltender, a very nice number, indeed. But Crawford was nevertheless busy, stopping 46 of 49 shots. His stop on Kevin Fiala in overtime kept the Blackhawks in it. Unfortunately, they weren’t doing much on the other end. It was a great performance wasted.

What Didn’t Work: The Blackhawks’ third period. They finally got goals, finally got a lead, and then they went into the prevent defense. We all know this never works, regardless of sport. Patrick Kane cited it as the reason the Blackhawks didn’t win this one. Tough to argue. Sure, the Predators’ goals were wonky, maybe you could kind of/sort of argue the second one – although even coach Joel Quenneville made it sound like he challenged just to see what would happen. But the Blackhawks’ inability to keep pushing the pace was costly.

Star of the game: Kevin Fiala. We could’ve thrown Crawford in here but since we touched on him above, let’s go with Fiala. The forward actually had three chances to end this one in overtime. His first attempt, off a Blackhawks turnover, sailed high. His second was thwarted by a great Crawford stop. He didn’t miss on the third. Give the guy credit: he didn’t freeze after two failures and was rewarded.

He Said It: “It’s pretty disappointing to give up three games the way we have. But we’ll have to take the good from this game and improve upon it and be even better in the next one. Obviously there’s still life. We’ve said this a lot already — we’ve been here before in the past, being down three games to none to make it all the way back to Game 7 and lose in overtime [against Vancouver]. We know it’s possible. Like we were saying going into tonight, we just gotta win the next one. Obviously every game you got to ratchet it up. You gotta find a way to find a new level. That’s what we have to focus on for the next one.” Jonathan Toews after the Blackhawks fell to 0-3 in this series.

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By the Numbers:

10:55 – Amount of time the Blackhawks went without a shot in the first period (Marcus Kruger at 8:09 and then Artemi Panarin at 19:04).

177:45 – Time, in minutes and seconds, of the Blackhawks’ postseason scoreless streak. Dennis Rasmussen ended it with his first career postseason goal, at 1:05 of the second period.

141:05 – Pekka Rinne’s shutout streak in this series, which ended with Rasmussen’s goal.

50 – Career postseason goals for Patrick Kane, who recorded his in the second period (power-play goal) on Monday. It was also Kane’s first postseason goal since Game 5 against the St. Louis Blues last spring.

30 – Shots blocked by the Blackhawks on Monday. Brian Campbell led with six.

9 – Shots on goal for Patrick Kane, the most of anyone in Game 3.

Why the Stanley Cup was late to Blackhawks' 2015 Game 6 win over Lightning

Why the Stanley Cup was late to Blackhawks' 2015 Game 6 win over Lightning

Out of tradition and superstition, the Stanley Cup is never in the building until after puck drop during a Stanley Cup Final game in which it could be won, unless it's a Game 7 when both teams have a shot.

On June 15 in 2015, when the Blackhawks won their sixth Stanley Cup in franchise history, old Stanley was a little late to his own party at the United Center.

As the Keeper of the Cup Philip Pritchard tells host Pat Boyle on the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, fans were already celebrating the Hawks Cup-clinching win over the Lightning outside the UC as the trophy was pulling in.

Broadcasters 'Doc' Emrick and Eddie Olczyk were filling time waiting for the Cup to arrive, which was still absent during the handshake line.

According to Pritchard, the Cup left the hotel around puck drop and it was the stormy weather that made the Keeper and the best trophy in sports tardy for the celebration.

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"People that weren't (at the game yet) were in traffic and just leaving their cars and walking and the roads were flooded, the highways were flooded, the bypass was like a lake. And as we were coming out towards the arena, we realized then that we were going to need some help, not just Mother Nature help, but we're going to need security help with it as well," Pritchard said.

"As we pulled into the arena — obviously the game had finished and the Blackhawks won — the home team's going nuts, the hometown fans are going crazy. So we presented (the Conn Smythe) to Duncan Keith and then we brought the Stanley Cup out and I remember on the ice talking to Jonathan Toews and he said, 'That was so cool that it took so long and the fans were loving it.' And I was telling him what went on and he goes, 'Really? I just thought it was part of the effect.'"

Report: NHL 2020 training camp, hub city report, playoff start dates emerge

Report: NHL 2020 training camp, hub city report, playoff start dates emerge

Friday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reported some key dates being targeted for the NHL's Return To Play plan, including the start of the 24-team playoff format.

McKenzie said the new slated date for team training camps (Phase 3) is July 13. Teams would report to the hub cities (reportedly Edmonton and Toronto) on July 26 with games and Phase 4 beginning on August 1. 

Bob also shed some light on when Phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery and the conclusion of the playoffs may pan out.

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"The second phase of the NHL draft lottery will occur immediately following the best-of-five, play-in qualifying series, so around Aug. 10-12 if all were to go well. Stanley Cup final would wrap up in early October. NHL draft would happen soon after that," he tweeted Friday.

Related: Report: Edmonton expected to host Stanley Cup Final

In Phase 1, the No. 1 overall pick for the 2020 NHL Draft went to a placeholder team. Each of the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the postseason format will have a 12.5 percent chance of getting the top pick in Phase 2. 

Related: What if Blackhawks get No. 1 pick and select Alexis LaFreniere?