Saturday Bloopers, Getting to Know the Boys, an Update to Fighting, and Other Blackhawks Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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Saturday Bloopers, Getting to Know the Boys, an Update to Fighting, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Good Saturday morning, Blackhawks fans. As you sit down with your coffee, or tea, or cereal, or pastries, or full plate of bacon, let me remind you that the opening of the 2021 NHL season is just four days away! The Blackhawks open the season on Wednesday, taking on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa.

If you’ll think back to five and a half years ago, it was this matchup between the Lightning and Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final that served as a glimpse into two franchises about to head in two very different directions.

•   Ever since, and including, that 2014-2015 Cup Final run by the Lightning, they have been perennial Stanley Cup favorites. Tampa has the most regular season wins (297) by any NHL franchise and ranks second in points (632) over the last six seasons. They have also scored the most goals (1,565) of any team over that same span (almost identical ranks to the Blackhawks over a six season timeframe from 2009-10 to 2014-15). In that span, Chicago ranked second in wins (271) and first in both goals scored (1,385) and points (596). Oh, and they won three Stanley Cups. The difference between the two organizations now, after separate six-year dominances, is that the Blackhawks fell off a cliff and the Lightning are poised to stay at the top of the NHL mountain. I think it’s a Chicago thing.

•   News breaking this morning regarding the Lightning as well:

•   A change in course for games held in Tampa, good on them.

•   And while we’re on the subject:

•   This is the world we’re still operating in, folks.

•   Add the Penguins to the list of teams that have had to shutdown operation or cancel practice or hold players out due to COVID concerns. Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Dallas all have been affected in just the last few days and they won’t be the last teams affected.

•   This has served as a reminder for the Blackhawks:

•   Ok, let’s get back to some fun weekend stuff.

•   When you’re not going anywhere and don’t have to see anyone, you let the hair grow. For the Blackhawks, it was almost as if it was a team-building exercise.

•   What’s a good weekend post without some bloopers right?

•   Lankinen will want that one back.

•   And if you’re like, “who’s Lankinen?” Well fear not!

•   We’ve got you covered heading into the 2021 season with our ‘Getting to know the Blackhawks’ series! So far we have covered the forwards and the defensive groups. On Monday, we’ll finish up with the goaltenders.

•   Lastly, we know this will be a difficult season. Lots of things are changing and lots of things will be new to some hockey fans. But one thing that will be new and, to me at least, will be entertaining is a new penalty signal for the referees:

•   Wes McCauley was truly ahead of his time.