Hurricanes Bury Predators, Welcome Back Canada, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Hurricanes Bury Predators, Welcome Back Canada, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Listen, I personally know a number of good people involved with the Nashville Predators organization. I used to cover their AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals. I like those people. But the Predators deserve every bit of trolling (in good nature) they get today.

The Catfish is stupid. The chants make no sense. Their banner policy is laughable, as is their ticket sales policy. Oh, and you reap what you sow when you get involved with those guys.

•   Also, anyone booking Creed in the year 2021…take your L.

•   Last night’s overtime win for the Hurricanes almost didn’t come about. The Predators were playing their patented defensive stronghold style, while also at the same time having one of their better offensive games of the series.

•   Nashville held a 3-2 lead heading into the third period, but then the game flipped on its head and the Hurricanes dominated the final 20 minutes. Nashville had less than four minutes of ice-time in their offensive zone in the final period of regulation.

•   The Hurricanes tied it late in the third period thanks to a slick saucer-pass from Jaccob Slavin, former Chicago Steel defenseman and older brother of Blackhawks prospect Josiah Slavin, to pending free agent this summer Dougie Hamilton.

•   Hey, you never know right?

•   We’d head to overtime for the fourth-straight game in the series, but we wouldn’t have to wait long for the game-winner and the series-winner.

•   It was Slavin involved again on the game-winning goal, but it was Sebastian Aho getting a tip on the puck that made the difference in the game, giving the Hurricanes the 4-3 win and the 4-2 series victory.

•   The Hurricanes now move on to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Central Division Final. Is that what we are calling it? Whatever you want to call it, it’s going to be a hell of a series.

•   I know I’ve said it before, but the Blackhawks can and should learn a lot from watching how the Hurricanes operate as an organization. This is the kind of culture in a locker room that teams that have success, buy-in, and are united have.

•   Where else are you going to get a group of professional hockey players, just coming off an intense overtime win in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, to sing Happy Birthday to their coach’s Dad? Come on. That’s incredible stuff.

•   Also, incredible stuff coming from the Hurricanes social media accounts following the win. I don’t know what this mural is or why it’s significant in Nashville, but if you’ve ever had a friend, sister, significant other, whoever they are go to Nashville, this mural is on their Instagram post about the trip.

•   And then they decided to bring the shovels out and bury the Predators…

•   Quite the…banner night…for Carolina.

•   Also treating us to late-game drama and more overtime hockey, the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs faced off with a chance for the Maple Leafs to close the series at home. It looked grim for Toronto though, as they trailed the Canadiens 3-0 at one point in the second period. But Zach Hyman opened the scoring for Toronto and defenseman Jake Muzzin tallied his first two goals of the series to tie the game in the third period.

•   Not to be overshadowed, but the revenge tour of Alex Galchenyuk against Montreal in this series has been quite the storyline.

•   With both goals, Muzzin not only tied the game 3-3 and sent it to overtime, but also did something that the Maple Leafs have not seen in nearly 90 years.

•   It almost felt like this was fate for the Leafs to finally have a comeback effort go their way for once and to do it with injured Captain John Tavares no longer joining the team via FaceTime, but in the stands.

•   But alas, these are still the Toronto Maple Leafs, so nothing is going to come easily for them.

•   Just like the Hurricanes game-winner, the Canadiens game-winner didn’t take too long to find in the extra frame.

•   The kids are alright, eh Montreal? 2019 first-round pick Cole Caufield and 21-year-old Nick Suzuki combined on the 2-0 breakaway to give the Canadiens the 4-3 overtime win and cut Toronto’s series lead to 3-2 heading to Game Six back in Montreal.

•   That Game Six at the Bell Centre will be the first event in Canada that will have spectators in the arena since the COVID-19 Pandemic shutdown started in March of 2020.

•   The only thing is that if you’re going to the game…you’re going to have to fork over a hefty sum of Loonies.

•   Watching from the comfort and cost at home, it will be great to finally see and hear the energy of the Canadian crowd in the building for Game Six.

•   Happening in Blackhawks-land today, just one game at the IIHF World Championships with Blackhawks players and prospects in action as Canada and Kazakhstan square-off in early morning action.

•   Brandon Pirri, Brandon Hagel, and Nicolas Beaudin are looking to get a win over upset-minded Kazakhstan in a game that Canada is in a position where the must win in regulation to keep their hopes alive to make it out of the Group Stage of the tournament. Not a position many expected them to be in at this tournament.

•   The USHL is holding their entry draft this week and the Clark Cup Champion Chicago Steel have made some interesting picks.

•   In the 22nd round of the Phase II draft, the Steel picked Camden Bowman, the son of Blackhawks President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Stan Bowman. Camden is a 15-year-old forward playing for the Chicago Mission at the Triple-A level.

•   In the 11th round of the Phase II draft, the Steel drafted Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs in the OHL. That would be Shane Wright, 2022 NHL Draft top-overall prospect Shane Wright. It’s a move USHL teams make to, just in case, lock up talented players’ rights in the scenario where they might leave their current junior program or decommit from the college programs. In all likelihood, Wright will never play for the Steel. Still fun though.

•   Game. Seven. Tonight. I’m hyped.

•   Gimme the Golden Knights at home.

•   That will do it for today. TGIF Friday right?!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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