Kivi, Stanley Cup In The House, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Kivi, Stanley Cup In The House, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Sometimes you are reminded how precious life is. Just gut-wrenching news to wake up to this morning.

•   Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Matiss Kivlenieks passed away last night after suffering a head injury, the team announced this morning.

•   According to a police report, Kivlenieks was with friends in a hot tub at a Fourth of July party. There was a fireworks accident and as he exited the hot tub to avoid the fireworks, Kivlenieks fell and hit his head on the concrete. He was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries. He was 24-years-old.

•   Kivlenieks had recently played in the IIHF World Championships with Latvia, nearly getting the host country of this year’s tournament into the elimination round. He had split his time between the NHL and AHL over the past few seasons with the Blue Jackets organization.

•   His sudden passing was a shock to the hockey community and the outpouring of support to his family and friends from around the community is a testament to how much impact someone can have.

•   Just truly heartbreaking.

•   There’s no easy way to transition from that to the Stanley Cup Final Game Four tonight.

•   The Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens resume the Final series after two days off between games. Lightning holding a 3-0 series lead have a chance to sweep Montreal and repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

•   The Canadiens have nothing to lose in tonight’s game and being down 0-3 in the series, there’s really no better time to try something new. It appears there will be lineup changes ahead of Game Four tonight for Montreal.

•   Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme explaining the changes…


•   While the Canadiens are going to do all they can to extend the series to a Game Five back in Tampa, the Lightning have a chance to sweep the Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Having a 3-0 series lead in the Stanley Cup Final is pretty much all but a lock to come away with the Cup in your hands. To do it in a sweep fashion would be a testament to just how damn good the Lightning are. But if you ask the Mayor of Tampa, Jane Castor, she thinks she has a better idea for the Lightning…

•   I mean…could she have just put the ultimate jinx on the Lightning and the Habs are going to come back with four-straight wins?!

•   No, probably not. Likely not. Definitely not.

•   Game Four hits the ice tonight at 7:00 p.m. CT from the Bell Centre with the Stanley Cup in the house.

•   A Happy 64th Birthday to former Blackhawks defenseman and Hockey Hall of Famer Doug Wilson!

•   We will also end on a good note today. Former Blackhawks defenseman Stephen Johns has hit the coast on his #MentalMiles rollerblading journey!

•   An incredible message to cap off his three-week journey.

•   I hope you all had a good Fourth of July weekend, and I hope you enjoy your Monday.

•   A reminder that due to the Fourth of July holiday, the Bleacher Nation post office is closed today. We will be opening the #BNHawksMailbag tomorrow when normal business hours resume. So luckily for you, there is an extra day to submit your Blackhawks or any other hockey topical questions to us for tomorrow’s post! Use the hashtag #BNHawksMailbag on Twitter to get your questions answered.

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Author: Mario Tirabassi

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