No Blackhawks and no Bears this Sunday. Bulls do take on the Clippers late tonight. But a day to relax and maybe cuddle under a blanket on this cold, overcast day. Ok, so maybe I listened to a little bit of Taylor Swift recently, so what?
The Blackhawks are off today from practice as they take a four-day break between games before heading on a four-game road trip to the West Coast, starting in Seattle on Wednesday night.
• Over the weekend, through postgame and post practice media availability, Blackhawks players have all but said that the locker room dynamic between Jeremy Colliton and Derek King is night and day, and with King behind the bench, the players have found a new motivation.
Blackhawks Rally Behind Interim Coach Derek King: “We want to play our hearts out for him”https://t.co/4P2qzjdkMj
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) November 13, 2021
• The popularity for King extends fan beyond the locker room in his first few weeks as interim head coach. His demeanor, honesty, and humor have already started to win-over the fan base. Winning games helps, too.
Derek King on his popularity with the fanbase: "It's always a bonus, right? It's not somebody throwing beer at me and telling me I should pack it in and quit coaching. So that must be positive." #Blackhawks
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 13, 2021
• Chicago is 3-0-0 in three games under King and have yet to trail in a game. Granted, the teams they beat were not top of the league contenders. But a win is a win at this point in the season for Chicago.
• One player still looking to get his game going, and when he does it will mean even that much more to the Blackhawks, is Captain Jonathan Toews. He has yet to score a goal this season, 15 games and counting makes it his longest drought of his career. Including the end of the 2019-20 regular season, Toews hasn’t scored in 18 regular season games. And it’s starting to show.
Derek King on Jonathan Toews saying he wants to improve: "He puts a lot of pressure on himself. He has high standards. There's a reason why he's won those Cups and he's been on Team Canadas and World Juniors and he's the captain of your team. He's a very focused guy." #Blackhawks
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 13, 2021
• We’ve talked about it before, how Toews is doing everything else right, but at some point for a $10.5M player, the goals need to come along with all the secondary tasks.
Jonathan Toews’ career-long goal drought to begin this season has overshadowed his strong play in many other areas. He’s 7th in the NHL in faceoff win %, for example.
“He’s doing all those little things we ask all our players to do.”
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 14, 2021
• I thought his drought would end against the Coyotes on Friday night. But, alas, it was not to be. Now I will predict his goal-drought ends on Wednesday in the Blackhawks’ first game against the Seattle Kraken in franchise history.
• The United Center sellout streak for the Blackhawks ended quite unceremoniously earlier this season. The losses, the off-ice issues, and continuing to deal with COVID led to a stark decrease in attendance. Since the coaching change and the fallout from the Jenner and Block investigation findings becoming public, some fans are starting to come back to the UC.
Updated Blackhawks attendance graph for this season: pic.twitter.com/Ih6nPQ52W7
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 13, 2021
• It’s progress.
• Speaking of progress, I think, the legal process between the Blackhawks and the Kyle Beach and John Doe 2 continues as both sides work towards a settlement and making sure that Beach and JD2 get the help they need. Even if the Blackhawks are going to drag their feet and fight against doing the right thing as much as possible.
The Blackhawks have offered to pay the full cost of a mediator with Kyle Beach and John Doe 2, and have stressed it would be a mutually agreed-upon mediator with Susan Loggans' input.
The Wirtzes have also asked to meet with Beach to apologize, either now or after a settlement.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) November 13, 2021
• God, I’m glad I never thought to be a lawyer.
• In minor-league news, the Rockford IceHogs have made a trade:
— Rockford IceHogs (@goicehogs) November 13, 2021
• Poor “future considerations.” They never can stick with a team. (lol)
• Speaking of the AHL, history was made last night as Kirsten Welsh, who became the first female official in the OHL this week, also became the first female official in the AHL.
Kirsten Welsh, the first female linesperson in the American Hockey League 👏 pic.twitter.com/TdOBFSxEIz
— American Hockey League (@TheAHL) November 14, 2021
• Also in AHL news from last night, Anaheim Ducks prospect Jacob Perreault, son of Blackhawks development coach Yanic Perreault, pulled off “the Michigan” move last night for the San Diego Gulls!
— San Diego Gulls (@SDGullsAHL) November 14, 2021
• Goalies hate it. Highlight reels love it. A goal is a goal at the end of the day. *shrug*
• More minor-league news, Blackhawks 2021 second-round draft pick Colton Dach has been having a great start to his season with the Kelowna Rockets. He held a seven-game point-streak heading into last night’s game (it was snapped) and is playing top-line center with the Rockets. He’s earning it too with a team-leading 55.6% face-off win-percentage.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) November 14, 2021
• Maybe Colton could give his older brother Kirby, who has a Blackhawks-low 31.8% win-percentage from the dot, a few pointers about winning faceoffs. If Kirby is going to continue to play between Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane, he’s going to have to win draws and hold possession of the puck so that those two can continue to power the Chicago offense.
• Someone who won a fair share of faceoffs for the Blackhawks was David Kämpf. He’s with the Toronto Maple Leafs now, and it appears he’s getting a decent amount of puck luck.
David Kampf 🚨
Blooper reel tally pic.twitter.com/FlPSx44PUF
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 14, 2021
• The most David Kämpf-iest goal he could score.
• Tomorrow, Marian Hossa is officially inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Tonight, he will play in the Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic. It will be then first time that Hossa, whose career was “cut short” due to a debilitating skin condition, is in uniform playing hockey.
Marian Hossa will play a hockey game for the first time in four years when he participates in the adidas Hockey Hall of Fame Legends Classic. The 42-year-old former NHL forward will go into the Hall of Fame on Monday. https://t.co/QXgJXElaM8
— NHL.com (@NHLdotcom) November 13, 2021
• Five bucks says he plays like he could still be in the Blackhawks lineup and play 18 good minutes a night.
• Leaving you today with this image of Chicago, the best city in the world, from Chicago photographer Barry Butler.
— Barry Butler Photography (@barrybutler9) November 14, 2021
• I love it. I miss it.
• That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Sunday!