For the first time in history, the Chicago Blackhawks will take on the Seattle Kraken tonight at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. For the Blackhawks, they take a three-game winning streak into the contest and are trending in the right direction under interim head coach Derek King. The Kraken on the other hand, have lost four-straight and are one point below Chicago in the league standings. Not exactly experiencing the same expansion franchise magic that the Vegas Golden Knights did four years ago.
• Quick, name this album!
West coast Tazer 📍 pic.twitter.com/dGyKYWxJ4m
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) November 17, 2021
• I went with “Road Trip (Jonathan’s Version)” because I’m clever and topical and hip with the times.
• As mentioned before, the Blackhawks are riding a three-game heater as they head out on a four-game West Coast road trip. A lot of attention over the last three games has gone to interim head coach Derek King, but it’s actually the goaltending that has been the catalyst to Chicago’s recent success.
While Derek King has garnered a lot of attention over the Blackhawks’ three-game winning streak, almost all of the credit should go to the goaltenders. https://t.co/NB0akyx2sS
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) November 17, 2021
• Marc-André Fleury playing like the Marc-André Fleury that won the 2021 Vezina was what Blackhawks fans had hoped for when he came to the team. Up until these past two appearances for Fleury, he had been anything but that. Good to see that, even in a small sample size, Fleury is back in form.
• Chicago’s third game on the four-game road trip is a stop in Vancouver against the Canucks, a team that is not too dissimilar from the Blackhawks. They both had high expectations for this season and both have flopped to this point. If the Blackhawks continue their recent string of success in Vancouver, they might end up costing Jim Benning his job.
Something tells me patience lasts for 3 home games, through Sunday against Chicago. https://t.co/1stQmYWz5p
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) November 16, 2021
• Has anyone in the NHL held a job longer with fewer results than Benning?
• Speaking of jobs, the Blackhawks are hiring…
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) November 16, 2021
• Can’t say that I’ll be dusting off the résumé for that one.
• Today is a historic day for the Blackhawks franchise as they played their first-ever game 95 years ago.
The game took place in front of over 7,000 people at the Chicago Coliseum on S. Wabash, due west of Soldier Field. pic.twitter.com/bJdQbbfG3y
— Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk) November 17, 2021
• If the team had not made a coaching change and/or won their last three games, we might have seen attendance drop back to 7,000 for games at the United Center again.
• Last night was a memorable one for Kevin Hayes and his family. The younger brother of Jimmy Hayes, who passed away prior to the season starting, scored his first goal of the season last night and honored his late-brother in celebration.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 17, 2021
• After the game, Hayes said that the puck would be going to his nephew.
Kevin Hayes: "It was a big goal. The trainers got the puck for me. I'm going to give it to Jimmy's kid, Jimmy son Beau. It'll be one I'll remember forever." https://t.co/RFM46FEtIs
— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) November 17, 2021
• Another memorable night was had in the league last night as Anaheim Ducks Captain Ryan Getzlaf tallied his 1,000th career point.
With an assist tonight…
Ryan Getzlaf reaches 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ career points! 🍎👑 pic.twitter.com/LcCPvI1ZaY
— NHL (@NHL) November 17, 2021
• Getzlaf has scored 34 of his 1,000 career points against the Blackhawks in 46 career games.
• In off-ice news, the legal team for Kyle Beach had requested that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman act as mediator in the settlement proceedings between them and the Blackhawks. That request, as you could imagine, was denied by the league.
Update: A colleague of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has responded to Kyle Beach's attorney to say Bettman won't get involved as a mediator in settlement talks between Beach and the Chicago Blackhawks.
"We respectfully decline your request to participate in the mediation."
— Rick Westhead (@rwesthead) November 17, 2021
• With the off-ice events surrounding the Blackhawks, many called for the team to be sold. That isn’t happening. But it appears another team is up for sale as the Pittsburgh Penguins might soon be under new ownership.
Report: Boston Red Sox Ownership Group Looking to Buy Pittsburgh Penguinshttps://t.co/bmDy1L2T3n
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) November 16, 2021
• Multiple reports indicate that Fenway Sports Group could be looking to continue to build their portfolio in the sports ownership realm beyond the English Premier League, NASCAR, and the Red Sox. But if the sale of the Penguins falls through, Boston’s ownership group might be consoled by landing former Cubs shortstop Javy Báez…
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) November 16, 2021
• Chicago takes on the Kraken in Seattle tonight and although the Kraken haven’t been terrible this season, their league-worst goaltending has sunk them to begin the year.
The Kraken are 4-10-1 and losers of 4 straight entering tonight's first-ever game against the Blackhawks.
But their awful goaltending (Grubauer's .880 sv%) is hiding some quietly stellar defense (fewest even-strength SCA in the league).
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) November 17, 2021
• With the Blackhawks goaltending situation seemingly headed back in the right direction, tonight could be a huge opportunity for Chicago’s winning streak to hit four games in-a-row. It could also lend an opportunity for Dominik Kubalík to get his offensive game going as well.
Dominik Kubalik on his five-hole tendencies: “Even my friend called me like: ‘It’s enough.’ … I can say you guys are not going to see the five-hole for a long time now.”
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) November 16, 2021
• The third-year forward is off to a slow goal-scoring start this season with just three in his first 15 games, none over his last nine games, and just one of the three coming at even-strength.
• Kubalík’s seven points this season rank him fifth on the team, one point behind Jonathan Toews, who also could benefit from Seattle’s poor goaltending and get his first goal of the season tonight.
• That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Wednesday and I recommend getting in an afternoon nap to help stay up for tonight’s Blackhawks-Kraken game with a 9:00 p.m. CT puck drop.