We Have a Game Seven, Crosby Joins McDavid and Ovechkin, Franson an All-Star, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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We Have a Game Seven, Crosby Joins McDavid and Ovechkin, Franson an All-Star, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s easily the most exciting time of the year in the Stanley Cup Playoffs…a Gave Seven. That’s what we will be treated to in the Minnesota-Vegas series after the Wild held off elimination last night with a convincing win in Game Six at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota. Along with the Wild and Golden Knights destined for a Game Seven, we also saw two series’ come to a close yesterday with a chance for two more to come to a close tonight. It’s all very exciting.

•   The Wild and Golden Knights have put on some hard to watch games at times in this series, but at least they will make up for some of those dozing-off late night games with a Game Seven on Saturday.

•   Minnesota made certain that the Golden Knights wouldn’t have much to say in Game Six, dominating to a 3-0 win thanks in part to former Blackhawk Ryan Hartman.

•   Hartman is one of those players that, it’s still a steal of a trade that the Blackhawks made a few years back to send him to Nashville and end up turning it into Philipp Kurashev and Nicolas Beaudin, but he could also still have a place in Chicago.

•   The winner of Game Seven between the Wild and Golden Knights will face a well-rested Avalanche team that just swept the St. Louis Blues, but the winner will also have recent history on their side.

•   I love weird stats like that.

•   A series that came to a close last night was the Battle of Florida as the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning closed out the Florida Panthers with a dominating 4-0 win in Game Six at home.

•   For as good as you think Brayden Point is, he’s better than that. One of the most underrated players in the NHL today.

•   Not underrated in the league is Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy. A favorite for the Vezina this season, Vasilevskiy continues to anchor the Lightning in net, having faced the most shots of any goaltender in the first round of the playoffs entering Thursday night.

•   We also saw the New York Islanders complete an emphatic comeback against the Pittsburgh Penguins and win the opening round series with a 5-3 victory in Game Six at Nassau Coliseum.

•   Long Island loves its Hockey, man.

•   The Penguins were not out-play in many aspects in the series by the Islanders. They were, in fact, out-goalies by their own netminder. Tristan Jarry put in a historically bad effort in the six-game series. And with that, these Stanley Cup Playoffs will continue on without the likes of Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, and Sidney Crosby. Hockey continues to be one of the truest team sports in the world.

•   From historically bad to historically good, the Islanders have been helped by rookie goalie Ilya Sorokin as they move on the face the Boston Bruins. Remember that 18-minute span when the Blackhawks had traded for Sorokin? That was fun.

•   Speaking of the upcoming Islander-Bruins series, while Boston might be favored, history is on the side of the Islanders in a BIG way.

•   Hard to argue with history. Also hard to argue against a team led by Barry Trotz.

•   Moving to tonight’s action, the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs each have a chance to close their opening round matchups tonight.

•   Carolina heads to Nashville with a 3-2 series lead over the Predators and are looking to advance to the second-round. The last four times that the Hurricanes have won their first-round series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they have reached the Conference Finals round and twice went on to the Stanley Cup Final.

•   The Maple Leafs will look to close their series against the Montreal Canadiens in Game Five tonight in Toronto. They will look to do so without Captain John Tavares as he continues to recover from the nasty hit he took in Game One. But in a surprising development, Tavares is already back on the ice skating today.

•   While he is not likely to come back against the Canadiens in the opening round series, with Tavares already skating, there could be a chance he returns to the Maple Leafs lineup in the second round. If they get there, still.

•   Speaking of returning from injury, Blackhawks defenseman Adam Boqvist’s season was ended early after breaking his wrist in the final week of the regular season. Yesterday, Boqvist posted to his Instagram story showing off his offseason workout routine adorned with a cast on his broken wrist.

•   Great to see Boqvist is able to keep active during his recovery and that he will not need surgery to repair the broken wrist. He’s on track to be ready to go for the start of training camp in the Fall.

•   A Happy Birthday today to former Blackhawks centerman and two-time Stanley Cup Champion Marcus Kruger!

•   Also celebrating a Birthday today is Blackhawks prospect Michal Teply as he turns 20-years-old!

•   Talking about the IceHogs, in case you missed it yesterday, the AHL announced their All-Stars for each Division in the league. The IceHogs got one all-star this season in defenseman Cody Franson. Franson was named Rockford’s Defenseman of the Year and Team MVP for the 2021 season.

•   In international action, still no official update on Blackhawks prospect Lukas Reichel from the IIHF World Championships after Reichel took a high hit yesterday in Germany’s 3-2 loss to Kazakhstan. In the meantime, take some time to read this profile on Reichel and his cousin Kristian from The Athletic’s newest Dad for a second time, Scott Powers.

•   Speaking of the IIHF World Championships, two Blackhawks in action today as Philipp Kurashev played for Switzerland and Dominik Kubalík skates with the Czech Republic.

•   Kurasve and the Swiss took it to Slovakia in the early game already this morning, getting an 8-1 win following a 7-0 loss in their previous game against Sweden. In the win, Kurashev tallied two points including his first goal of the tournament.

•   It’s been enjoyable seeing the young players from the Blackhawks get to showcase some of their talents in the IIHF World Championships with Kurashev and Reichel taking center stage so far in the preliminary round.

•   Speaking of young players, it appears that this summer’s NHL Draft and Seattle Expansion Draft will be broadcast on ESPN.

•   Speaking of the NHL Draft, if you missed it yesterday in our first “Wishlist Wednesday” of the offseason, take a read on NHL Draft prospect Mason McTavish and why he would fit very well into Chicago’s future plans.

•   That will do it for today. Have yourselves a good Thursday!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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