Ice-time Issues, the Nearly Perfect Play, Boqvist's Progress, Five-Goal Games, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Ice-time Issues, the Nearly Perfect Play, Boqvist’s Progress, Five-Goal Games, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

The last time the Chicago Blackhawks started a season with three-straight regulation losses was in 1997-98. The team was coached by Craig Hartsburg, captained by Chris Chelios, led in scoring by Tony Amonte, and finished 18th out of 26 teams in the league. That 1997-98 team, in fact, started the season with seven-straight regulation losses and still avoided the very bottom of the league. So for the 2021 Chicago Blackhawks, it’s not as bad as it historically could be.

I’m trying my best here, folks

•   The Blackhawks dropped their third-straight regulation loss to start the 2021 season last night against the Florida Panthers. It was also their third-straight game giving up five goals against in a game.

•   The Blackhawks are starting to look like a broken record, too: Good start, bad second period, can’t respond, more goals in the third period, loss.

•   It’s hard to point to any aspect of the Blackhawks right now and say, “That’s what they do well.” Maybe the power-play, scoring three times on ten chances through the first three games.

•   Yes, the defense around the net here was not great:

https://twitter.com/HeresYourReplay/status/1350976196549480449?s=20

•   Speaking of this clown car play defensively, Adam Boqvist is making me nervous he’s going to be a bust. Yes, he is only 20 years old and defensemen need more time to develop on average. But from where he was at the start of last year, to the postseason bubble in Edmonton, to the start of this season, his development has been minimal. He still isn’t making the plays you’d expect from an eighth-overall pick who has already played the equivalent of a full professional season.

•  It’s too easy to play against him physically for opponents. He was taken off the powerplay and the Blackhawks ended up scoring on that same opportunity. He’s going to either have to be sheltered in his minutes to try and limit mistakes and build his confidence, or he’ll be scratched and possibly sent to the Rockford IceHogs once the AHL season begins in February. Either way, not the path the Blackhawks want to see from him.

•   On the flip side, Ian Mitchell continues to have decent showings in his first three NHL games, so at least that’s a positive.

•   As had Pius Suter, who eventually tallied his first NHL point last night. But what could have been his first NHL point didn’t count, because Patrick Kane was offsides on this amazing spin-pass:

•   That goal could have changed the entire trajectory of last night’s game had it counted. Instead of going into the first intermission scoreless and then allowing the Panthers to get the first goal of the game 12 seconds into the second period, the Blackhawks could have had their first lead of the season and a bit more confidence in their game. But it wasn’t to be.

•   Nearly perfect.

•   What was not perfect from head coach Jeremy Colliton’s perspective last night were the time on ice calculations:

•   I guess that’s one way to deflect not answering why a 30-goal scorer like Dominik Kubalík isn’t playing on the powerplay.

•   Another positive note to break up the doom fest that has been this season so far: Philipp Kurashev has looked up to par in his first two NHL games. Still looking for his first point, he has created some chances and nearly potted his first NHL goal last night:

•   Chicago is back at it on Tuesday night.

•   Let’s hope.

•   Hey, they won SOMETHING this year!

https://twitter.com/NHLonNBCSports/status/1350929837247094793?s=20

•   Can’t argue with that fan-voting result.

•   Can they just draft Owen Power so I can be happy, please?

•   Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the NHL has games going on all day as an honor. It also marks the day that Willie O’Ree made his NHL debut and became the first Black player in the NHL.

https://twitter.com/PR_NHL/status/1351175036913246209?s=20

•   The Blackhawks wore O’Ree commemorative decals on their helmets in last night’s game in his honor as well:

•   Today is also Ian Mitchell’s 22nd Birthday and Ryan Carpenter’s 30th Birthday!

•   The Rockford IceHogs season as mentioned before begins on February 5 and the ice at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford is getting ready for the return!

https://twitter.com/goicehogs/status/1350875044029878278?s=20

•   Speaking of the IceHogs, Nick Seeler cleared unconditional waivers and his contract with the Blackhawks was terminated. He reportedly refused his AHL assignment to Rockford so the Blackhawks decided to be done with him. What will be your favorite memory of the Nick Seeler era in Chicago? ___ Me too!

•   Finally, Dustin Brown’s kids are harsh:

 

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Author: Mario Tirabassi

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