Blackhawks

For starters, big difference for Blackhawks

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For starters, big difference for Blackhawks

Defenseman Brent Seabrook summed it up as well as anyone on Friday night.

A big two points (Thursday night), travel, came out and got one (Friday) night; three out of four points on a road trip isnt bad, he said.

A simple breakdown of the back-to-back, but its accurate nonetheless. Even better, considering the team was missing No. 1 defenseman Duncan Keith in both games. And Seabrooks assessment is also somewhat of a microcosm of the first month of the Blackhawks season: not bad at all.

The Blackhawks are reversing two trends that hurt them early last season. Theyre getting points out of those close games and, in turn, theyre off to a better start. Make that a much better start; first place in the Western Conference better.

Lets take a quick comparison, shall we? At this point last season the Blackhawks had played 15 games and were 7-7-1, for 15 points. This season the Blackhawks have played 13 games in the same time span and are 8-2-3, good for 19 points.

Four more points, despite playing two fewer games. Not a bad tradeoff.

We feel good about our game, Viktor Stalberg said. We get one out of it (Friday) and good to get that one point at least. Last year we lost those points a few times.

Yes, those squandered late points were a particular point of frustration for the Blackhawks and coach Joel Quenneville last year. In the always tight Western Conference all of those missed late opportunities added up, and the Blackhawks were still fighting for a playoff spot in the final game of the season.

The phrase we left a lot of meat on that bone became a steady part of Quennevilles vernacular. Well this season, the Blackhawks are just about picking the bones clean.

Yes, kids, I know: theyre going to overtime and shootouts quite a bit already. Last year they werent in the early going; they were just losing those games in regulation. Points are points, and the Blackhawks are finding every way they can to grab them.

And they probably havent even hit their true potential yet. That power play has been skittish. The top line has had its moments, but hasnt broken out yet. Captain Jonathan Toews recognizes the Blackhawks are getting there.

This was a good little road trip but there are a lot of little things we could do better. But were getting closer to being the team we want to be, he said.

Not quite there on the ice, but still there at the top of the conference standings.

Not bad at all.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Reacting to Round 1 of NHL Draft

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Round 1 of the 2018 NHL Draft.

They discuss the pair of puck-carrying defensemen that the Blackhawks selected on Friday, Adam Boqvist and Nicolas Beaudin. When can we expect to see these first-round picks play in the NHL?

Boyle also goes 1-on-1 with Boqvist and Beaudin. The guys spoke with Stan Bowman and Joel Quenneville on Friday.

The guys also share their biggest takeaways from those interviews, which includes your daily Corey Crawford update and Quenneville appeared excited that the team has plenty of cap space to spend in free agency.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

DALLAS — Despite taking Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks took a second defenseman at No. 27 with the selection of Nicolas Beaudin.

Beaudin is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound defenseman who prides himself on playing strong at both ends of the ice and tries modeling his game after Torey Krug of the Boston Bruins.

"I’m a two-way defenseman," Beaudin said. "I can provide offense, too. I’ve got a great IQ. I think in my zone I’m just getting better and better."

Beaudin is also a left-handed shot, which is something the Blackhawks could use more of in the organization along the blue line when it comes to impact-type players.

"Nicolas is a very efficient defender," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "He’s got a really nice skill set. He makes the game look pretty easy. He’s a smooth player, not a lot of panic to his game. He’s a good skater so when he has to turn back and get to the puck he can get there first. Usually he just gets his setup and makes the simple play.

"You watch him play and he makes it look really easy. He’s not a guy that’s getting run over a lot. He’s not a real big player, but he uses his brain really well and he had over a point a game, too. He’s got a good feel for making plays and scoring points."

The 18-year-old registered 69 points (12 goals, 57 assists) in 68 games with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, and added three goals and eight assists in 10 postseason contests.

Beaudin is the third defenseman the Blackhawks have taken in the first round the last two years, with Henri Jokiharju and Boqvist being the other two.

"It’s a winning culture in Chicago," Beaudin said. "They won a lot. I know they’ve got some young guys coming in. For sure in the next few years I want to earn my place and I want to try to learn a lot from a guy like Duncan Keith."