Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Predators: Jordin Tootoo provides early spark

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Predators: Jordin Tootoo provides early spark

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Blackhawks will likely welcome this break more than they did their bye week. They’re still winning, certainly, their 5-3 decision over the Nashville Predators their 12th victory in their last 13 games. But they’re banged up right now.

So four days off is looking like a beautiful thing. Coach Joel Quenneville said these four days will be used wisely.

“Some [players] will get a couple more days off than the rest,” he said. “It’ll be good for us to try and recapture, stay focused, keep pushing forward. It’s been a good stretch for us, fun, but enjoy some time off for some guys here and let’s come back energized for the last stretch. Because we’re busy.”

We’ll get back to busy later. Now, onto the notables.

What Worked: Jordin Tootoo-Cody McLeod fight. Not sure if McLeod challenged Tootoo or vice-versa, but this was a good thing nevertheless for the Blackhawks. It didn’t matter who won the fracas. Up to that point the Predators were dominating the Blackhawks with zone time and shots on goal (10-1). The Blackhawks responded post fight, outshooting the Predators 10-4 the rest of the period and getting Patrick Kane’s power-play goal for the 1-0 lead after one.

What Didn’t Work: The Blackhawks’ response after second-period goals. Tootoo gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead 11 minutes into the second period. A little more than a minute later the Predators cut that edge to one thanks to Viktor Arvidsson. The one that stung the most came in the final minute, however. Just 14 seconds after Jonathan Toews gave the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead, Calle Jarnkrok cut it to 3-2. The Blackhawks have responded well following their goals over the last few weeks but not so much in the second period on Saturday. 

Star of the game: We’re going with Tootoo for this one. He had the aforementioned momentum-shifting fight, drew a penalty that resulted in a Blackhawks power-play goal and scored his first of the season. Tootoo hasn’t played much this season. But against his former team, he had his best game of the season. 

He Said It: It’s looking like it’s 3-3 and you’re going to overtime, and maybe getting the extra point there and all of a sudden it’s 4-3 and they have to defend their empty net. I thought it was a great play overall that last goal. But I think just the last couple games, [it’s] just having that belief to the end, no matter what happens throughout the game, stay patient and hang in there and have that belief.” — Kane on the Blackhawks’ finding ways to win.

By the Numbers:

400 – Career points for Brent Seabrook, whose two assists on Saturday night helped him reach that milestone.

8 – Consecutive road victories for the Blackhawks, a new franchise record. Their previous seven-game road record was established Dec. 9-29, 1964.

268 – Career goals for Toews, thanks to his second-period goal. Toews is now tied with Tony Amonte for seventh all-time in Blackhawks history.

9 – Goals, in his last five games, for Kane. That includes two goals on Saturday against the Predators and hat tricks against Arizona and Pittsburgh.

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?