Kubalík Ready to Lead, How Adam Gets His Groove Back, Connor McNasty, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Kubalík Ready to Lead, How Adam Gets His Groove Back, Connor McNasty, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s a New Day, yes it is!

Hopefully with that new day, the Blackhawks can put a better effort together tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Game two of the opening two-game series for the 2021 season provides the Blackhawks a reset to the beginning of the season, a 5-1 loss to Tampa on Wednesday night. There is a lot that the Blackhawks can improve upon from Game One’s effort.

•   First off, everyone was bad on Wednesday night. It was just to which degree did they play poorly. For Dominik Kubalík, his performance wasn’t up to par with head coach Jeremy Colliton’s expectations for the second-year forward. Hence, having the second-lowest amount of ice-time on Wednesday. Kubalík will no doubt get another chance to be a go-to-guy tonight for Chicago, and he seems to understand his role and is up for the task:

•   Another Blackhawk looking to bounce back from a poor performance on Wednesday night is another second-year player in Adam Boqvist. Watching him in the first game against the Lightning, he looked exactly the same as he had last season, which wasn’t good. I’m hoping it was rust. But Boqvist addressed that he needs to be better and he needs to find his confidence in his game to get there:

•   While the defense in front of Chicago’s goaltenders will need to be much, much better than it has been in the past two seasons, plus Wednesday night, I kind of really like how Jeremy Colliton has his defensive pairings put together. Putting Connor Murphy on the top pair allows Duncan Keith to do his thing without having to babysit a player like Boqvist. Same goes for having Calvin de Haan play with rookie Ian Mitchell, who is more inclined to jump into the offensive zone. The Zadorov-Boqvist pairing can work, as long as both can stay disciplined in their positioning.

•   Which leads me to my next point: If/When Brent Seabrook comes back, what do the Blackhawks do with him?

•   I honestly can’t think of a reason, outside of injury, why Seabrook would take ice away from any one of the Blackhawks’ top-six defensemen right now. But I want him to get to full health and at least see where he is physically after shoulder and double-hip surgery.

•   In the non-Blackhawks world, even the non-NHL world, the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) will be holding their 2021 season and postseason in a bubble in Lake Placid, New York this year. The season begins on January 23, and the league announced their schedule yesterday:

https://twitter.com/NWHL/status/1349804472302784512?s=20

•   The NHL season started on Wednesday night, but last night gave us a ton to digest, starting with Connor Mc-OH MY GOD

•   He is so freaking good. It’s inhuman to be able to get to HIS top speed and then slam the brakes like that. So glad the Blackhawks won’t see him all year.

•   New Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone reminded us that this is weird not having fans in the stands…

•   Well, some of us don’t have fans in the stands…

•   It is refreshing and also weird and also concerning to see the Coyotes playing with limited fans in the building. But at least we can still make attendance jokes…

•   Even when you’re only allowed a 25 percent capacity, they still only fill 65 percent of it. *sigh* Just give Canada another team.

•   Final few random bullets before we get ready for Blackhawks and Lightning tonight at 6 p.m. CT.

•   Hockey sweaters aren’t cheap. Who has this kind of cash?

https://twitter.com/NHL/status/1349810157010747394?s=20

•   If I had that kind of money laying around, I might just take a page out of Gritty’s playbook and make myself a grand entrance to the next Blackhawks game.

•   Ending on a positive note, it was shocking and sad to see former New York Rangers and Washington Capitals goaltender Henrik Lundqvist have to abruptly opt-out of the 2021 season due to a heart condition. The future Hall of Famer had to have open-heart surgery and was welcomed home by his family. This is just great to see for a guy who is universally loved by the hockey community.

https://twitter.com/hlundqvist35/status/1350093642267058178?s=20



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.