April Fool’s Day pranks get way less amusing as you get older. Maybe I’m a grump in my advanced age, I don’t know, but I’ve grown to despise the day of pranks and jokes. What I can appreciate is the sheer irony that the Chicago Blackhawks are presenting us with on this particular April 1st in 2021. I can see the headlines now: “April Fooled” they’ll say, if the Blackhawks don’t end up taking advantage of a favorable schedule in the month of April and/or make a move leading up to the trade deadline that falls flat on its face and ends up costing the organization more than just a player or pick.
Chicago is in a spot they did not expect to be at the beginning of this season: tied for a playoff position and controlling their own destiny in the playoff race at the beginning of April. Now, with 10 of their next 11 games against the teams in the Central Division playoff chase, all the Blackhawks have to do is get past the Carolina Hurricanes tonight with at least a point, preferably two, and hold onto at least a share of the driver seat as we head toward the postseason.
• In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, I asked for some Blackhawks-themed pranks. Ya’ll didn’t disappoint!
Patrick Kane has been traded to Buffalo. Blackhawks' receive all of Buffalo's roster.
— Andrew J. Kistner (@a_kistner) April 1, 2021
• HARD PASS.
Stan Bowman resigns
— Jon Iaccino (@ji711) April 1, 2021
• This was a common theme…
John Quenneville on the first line for a playoff game.
— Dave Melton (@_DaveMelton) April 1, 2021
• Too soon, Dave.
The top line for the hawks tonite is Teuvo kaner and bread man
— VUCEVIC SZN (@andrewc14117408) April 1, 2021
• I mean, yes, that’s the dream. But who plays center?
— Hockeyfan (@hawkstalk53) April 1, 2021
• Michal Rozsival gets a bad wrap. I harped on him too back in the day, but had I known what was coming after him defensively, I would have appreciated him more.
Cristobal Huet is in the Blackhawks starters' crease.
Just kidding, it's Lankinen.
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) April 1, 2021
• LOL, Ben.
• Chicago closes a six-game homestand tonight against the Hurricanes, having gone 3-2-0 in the previous five games. If they can come out on top tonight, and with some help from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars, could potentially regain their cushion in the Central Division playoff race.
Colliton on tomorrow vs. Canes: "We want to try to get more off our breakout…we think there's more out there for us. We've got to execute a little bit, win a few more races, but what we want to capture is the compete level and how hard we defended and kept them to the outside."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) March 31, 2021
• A win tonight would be a nice way to jump into their next ten-game stretch of the schedule after tonight, where they only play teams that they are even with or above in the standings. Four games against the Predators and two games each against the Stars, Blue Jackets, and Red Wings.
• One player who could help the Blackhawks get back into the driver seat for good is Alex DeBrincat. After an uncharacteristic 2019-20 season, DeBrincat is back to his old form but actually a better version of his old self. Becoming the new side-kick to Patrick Kane has worked wonders for DeBrincat’s resurgence this season and the one-two punch could be enough to get the Blackhawks into the postseason.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) March 31, 2021
• In case you missed it yesterday, Chicago Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman was named the General Manager of the 2022 Team USA Men’s Hockey Team for the Beijing Winter Olympics. He and Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin will head-up the Team USA management group as they prepare for the 2022 Winter Olympics, assuming there is an agreement reached between the NHL, IIHF, and IOC to allow NHL players to play in the Olympics again. Which we expect to happen, it just hasn’t yet.
• This is not an April Fool’s joke: The Buffalo Sabres won last night.
<̶i̶n̶s̶e̶r̶t̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶a̶l̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶B̶u̶f̶f̶a̶l̶o̶>̶
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) April 1, 2021
• With the dominant win over the Flyers, Buffalo snapped an 18-game winless streak. This was their first win since February 23rd. Good for Buffalo.
• You know who did look foolish last night? Nathan MacKinnon.
Nathan MacKinnon got a 10-min misconduct for tossing Conor Garland's helmet at him. 🤭 pic.twitter.com/HdQHogvSut
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 1, 2021
• The only thing that makes this better is if Connor Garland had said to MacKinnon, “Who throws a shoe?!” in his best Austin Powers voice. Is that something people still do? Or am I dating myself?
• On a non-Hockey note, today is also opening day in Major League Baseball. So good luck to our baseball friends on the North and South sides!
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) April 1, 2021
• One final reminder on this April Fool’s Day: Read the Twitter handles and look for the blue checkmarks before smashing that retweet button on that too good to be true breaking news or trade.
• Have yourselves a great Thursday! We’ll see you tonight for Blackhawks-Hurricanes at 7:00 p.m. CT.