No Practice No Problem, Lankinen On Calder Watch, Kurashev and Kane Chemistry, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Social Navigation

No Practice No Problem, Lankinen On Calder Watch, Kurashev and Kane Chemistry, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

I don’t know what everyone was worried about? The Chicago Blackhawks are totally fine with all their injuries and illnesses and players in COVID protocol. It’s not a big deal. Who was worried….

It looks bad, but somehow the Blackhawks were able to overcome a very weird weekend and cap off a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last night. Patrick Kane, Mattias Janmark, and Philipp Kurashev were paired on a line together and each tallied two points on the night. Kevin Lankinen was stellar again in net and another rookie got on the scoresheet with a goal from Pius Suter. It’s all fine and sustainable, right?

•   First and foremost, Kevin Lankinen is the Blackhawks starter. Full stop. He’s the guy. He’s made six starts in their last seven games and has come away with at least a point in five of those six starts with a 3-1-2 record. He hasn’t allowed more than two goals against him in his last five starts. has a .937 save percentage, and a 1.97 GAA.

•   While he might not judge by numbers, I still will.

•   Lankinen ranks, among goalies with at least four starts, second in save percentage (.937) and third in GAA (1.97). He also leads all rookie goaltenders in those categories as well.

•   I know he’s not at the top of the list, but you have to think ten games into this NHL season, Lankinen has to start getting some recognition as a top rookie right now and could find himself in the hunt for the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year if he keeps it up.

•   Another few rookies making impacts for Chicago are Philipp Kurashev and Pius Suter. Both got on the scorehseet last night, incouding Suter’s rookie-leading fourth goal of the season.

•   Kurashev found himself playing the top center position on the first line with Patrick Kane and Mattias Janmark. The three of them had as good a first game together as one could hope for with each scoring two points on the night. Janmark looks like a real steal for the Blackhawks and could potentially play his way into stay with the Blackhawks and not becoming a trade piece.

•   I expected Kurashev to become a reliable NHL player, I didn’t see him getting off to this kind of start. Unfortunate that this opportunity is being afforded to him because of injuries and players on the COVID list, but he is making the most of it.

•   Reese Johnson made his NHL debut last night, adding to the handful of players who have made their NHL debuts with the Blackhawks this season. He didn’t do too bad either. With the aforementioned injuries and illnesses, Johnson likely won’t be a one and done rookie this season.

•   We’re still getting used to the empty United Center. It’s just not the same.

•   Even for the visitors, too.

•   Last night around the NHL saw some ridiculousness. First, Joel Farabee notched a hat-trick for the Flyers which earned him a Gritty hat toss:

•   Not to be out-done, Michael Raffl decided to try on the hat and give it back to Gritty.

•   Great stuff.

•   I don’t have the time to get all the highlights, but Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid were absolutely unstoppable last night.

•   McDavaid and Draisaitl combined for 11 points on the night in an 8-5 win over the Senators. They are first and second in the NHL in points with McDavid’s 22 points leading Draisaitl’s 21. The Oilers are 5-6-0 this season…

Author: Mario Tirabassi

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