Always Thank Your Goalposts, Fleury On The Market? Comeback Cats, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

The last time the Blackhawks had gone to Washington D.C. and won a game against the Capitals, I turned 16-year-old. I do not remember exactly what I did for my “Sweet 16” birthday, but I can probably guess it was pretty high school cringe-worthy shenanigans. Much of how this Blackhawks season started was cringe-worthy, but since making the change at head coach on November 7, Chicago is 7-3-0 and hold wins over the St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals in their last three games. They still have a long way to go before thinking about the coaching change completely turning the ship around, but they have at least put the rudder back on and have a direction forward.

•   Before last night’s contest, ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reported on “The Point” that the Blackhawks are undecided about what to do with Marc-André Fleury the rest of the season.

•   Fleury was brought to Chicago to put the team over the hump and into Stanley Cup Playoff contention. Everything around Fleury to begin the season did nothing to help him while backstopping the Blackhawks. But over his last seven appearances, he’s 5-2-0 with a .947 save-percentage and a 1.69 GAA. He’s currently the biggest reason that Chicago has had a chance to turn things around. Getting Fleury to come to Chicago this summer took convincing. He moved his family here under the impression he wouldn’t be traded this season. It will be interesting to see what happens if the team continues to move up the standings with Fleury playing well. If Chicago holds onto Fleury all season, it will have to be worth it in a potential playoff push, if they even get close to that.

•   But Fleury made the start last night for Chicago against the Capitals, a team he is very familiar with in his career from his days with the Penguins and the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. But making his first appearance against the Capitals in his career, making his first NHL appearance in his career, was Blackhawks rookie Josiah Slavin.

•   Slavin, the younger brother of Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin, was a seventh-round pick by the Blackhawks in the 2018 NHL Draft, but quickly proved to be one of the more reliable, two-way forwards in the Blackhawks’ farm system.

•   While Slavin was settling in to his first game, the Chicago duo of Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat were continuing to drive the team’s offense this season. Not their first rodeo, as they say.

•   DeBrincat continues to have a breakout season as a superstar in the league, not just in Chicago. While he leads the team in goal-scoring this season, he also was helping get Dominik Kubalík out of his own scoring-slump.

•   Kubalík’s fourth of the season gave the Blackhawks the 2-1 lead in the second period, but the Capitals would score two unanswered goals to re-take the lead in the third period. That’s when Slavin had his chance to get his first NHL point with Seth Jones burying a wrister from the slot.

•   Jones’ goal would setup the game to head to overtime, where both teams had ample chances to win in the extra five minutes. Just imagine if there was another five minutes of three-on-three overtime? Even better, right?

•   Ultimately they would head to the shootout. After the Capitals did their own double-doink by hitting two goalposts in the shootout, Patrick Kane made them pay for their missed opportunities and Marc-André Fleury shut the door on Alex Ovechkin.

•   Washington hit six(!) goalposts in the game in total, leading them to be the second and third stars of the game.

•   Always tip your waiters and always thank your goalposts.

•   The shootout win snapped an eight-game losing streak for Chicago in the Nation’s Capitol.

•   Last night was another game where, against an out-matched opponent, the Blackhawks could have very well crumbled under the pressure of playing one of the top offenses in the NHL. But unlike at the beginning of the season, Chicago responded to the challenge and dug-out a win.

•   Chicago has the eighth-best points-percentage (.700) in the NHL since November 7. They are 7-3-0 but are scoring just 2.10 goals per game, 28th in the league. Of their seven wins, four have come in either overtime or the shootout. So wins are good, but they are going to need to find wins in regulation to really make believers out of most fans.

•   Maybe Derek King is on to something here.

•   He should consult with Ron Burgundy on his suit style for the rest of the season.

•   Chicago, after having a three-day mini-break, continue their East Coast road trip with three games in a four-day span tomorrow as they take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It will be nice to see Artemiy Panarin again. Hopefully he doesn’t light-up the Blackhawks too much.

•   This is a section I’d like to call “What are former Blackhawks up to?” Behold:

•   The win by former Blackhawks and IceHogs goaltender Anton Forsberg is why the sport of hockey is beautiful and stupid and I cannot believe people bet actual real dollars on the sport.

•   Speaking of former Blackhawks and the ridiculousness of hockey, Lucas Carlsson scored his first goal of his NHL Career last night as part of the Florida Panthers’ incredible comeback.

•   In back-to-back games, the Panthers trailed 4-1. In back-to-back games, the Panthers came back to win those games.

•   Is 4-1 the most dangerous lead in hockey now? Apparently when you face the Panthers it is.

•   News from the Blackhawks lawsuit front. The team continues to try to get the lawsuits against them dismissed. It’s typical “lawyering” but my god does it look awful for the organization.

•   Saying that Beach did not report the sexual assault against him by Brad Aldrich within the statute of limitations may be technically correct, but neither did John McDonough, or Stan Bowman, or Al MacIsaac, or Joel Quenneville, or James Gary.

•   Ending today with a laugh. Here’s a look at the 2022 Stadium Series sweaters for the Nashville Predators and Tampa Bay Lightning.

•   Has there ever been a bigger gap in sweater design in the NHL than these two? Tampa Bay looks like they could cycle this sweater into their rotation and everyone would love it and Nashville…well they just look terrible.

•   Why is it “SMAsHVILLE?” What happened to that second “s?” I need answers.

•   Uh, yikes. That’s a big loss.

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all have a good Friday ahead of you!

written by

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

more blackhawks news

Buffalo Sabres Hire Lindy Ruff as Head Coach… Again

Did somebody throw a couple bucks in the juke box and hit the theme song from "Welcome Back, Kotter"? Because Lindy Ruff is the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres -- again. https://twitter.com/BuffaloSabres/status/1782517265956573577 Ruff, 64, was the head coach of...

Calder Cup Playoffs, IceHogs Debuts, Goalies, College Prospects, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Hey, you know what's fun? Playoff hockey. And you know who's playing playoff hockey this week? The Rockford IceHogs! They played their final game of the 2023-24 regular season last night and won it in fabulously dramatic fashion on a...

Who Are Some Potential Free Agent “Identity” Forward Targets for the Blackhawks??

The 2023-24 regular season is in the books. The Blackhawks are coming off a historically bad season that was filled with significant injuries to players who had high hopes coming into the season. When general manager Kyle Davidson spoke with...

Let’s Watch All Four of the Blackhawks’ First Career Goals From This Season

Six players made their NHL debut for the Chicago Blackhawks this past season: Connor Bedard, Kevin Korchinski, Louis Crevier, Landon Slaggert, Ethan Del Mastro and Frank Nazar. Four of those six rookies found the back of the net for the...

Turning the Corner to Competitive Hockey, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

"Previous to this year, we finished third last. This year, we finished second last. That can't happen again. We need to start moving up and onward." -- Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson. The Chicago Blackhawks cleaned out their lockers on...

Playoffs Begin, Locker Clean Out, Summer Thoughts, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin today. It's the most exciting time of year for 16 cities in the NHL because every one of them -- yes, even the Islanders and Capitals -- have a chance to win it all....

2024 NHL Mock Draft: Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin! Two Full Rounds!

Okay, hockey fans! The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us. The crazy ride to the end of the regular season had us on the edge of our seats until the final days of the regular season, but now we...

Stanley Cup Playoffs: First Round Picks & Predictions

It's time for the best postseason in all of professional sports - the Stanley Cup Playoffs! With first-round matchups set to get started this weekend, our esteemed panel (Tab and Matt) decided to take a stab at a few predictions...

NHL Notes: Utah Gets Their Team, Stanley Cup Playoff Schedule, Kucherov Makes History, More

The NHL regular season is in the books! That means it's time for the best postseason in all of professional sports - the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Before those get underway this weekend, let's go around the NHL one more time...

Bold Accountability: How Did I Do with My Preseason Blackhawks Predictions?

The Chicago Blackhawks season is over. Finished. We can walk away, wash our hands, take a long nap and come back to it in a few days. But there's one thing I always like to do once the season comes...

Latest News

Mariners vs. Rangers: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

In a series opener on Tuesday, Caleb Raleigh and the Seattle Mariners (11-11) face Marcus Semien and the Texas Rangers (12-11), with first pitch scheduled for 8:05 PM ET at Globe Life Field.Find out how to watch the Seattle-Texas matchup...

How to Watch Astros vs. Cubs: Live Stream or on TV

J.P. France takes the ball for the Houston Astros (7-16) when they visit starter Jordan Wicks and the Chicago Cubs (13-9) at 7:40 PM ET on Tuesday.The article below will provide you with everything you need to know to watch...

Braves vs. Marlins: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Atlanta Braves (14-6), with Max Fried on the mound, host the Miami Marlins (6-17) who will start Trevor Rogers, at 7:20 PM ET on Tuesday in a series opener.The article below will provide you with everything you need to...

Blue Jays vs. Royals: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Tuesday, Kevin Gausman will start for the Toronto Blue Jays (12-10) versus Michael Wacha and the Kansas City Royals (13-9), with first pitch scheduled for 7:40 PM ET at Kauffman Stadium.Keep reading to find out how to watch the...

Twins vs. White Sox: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Minnesota Twins (7-13), who will give the start to Pablo Lopez, host the Chicago White Sox (3-18) with Erick Fedde on the mound, Tuesday at 7:40 PM ET.Keep reading to find out all the details on how to watch...

Yankees vs. Athletics: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Tuesday at 7:05 PM ET, Juan Soto and the New York Yankees (15-8) face Abraham Toro and the Oakland Athletics (9-14) at Yankee Stadium.Keep reading to find out all the details on how to watch New York play Oakland...

Phillies vs. Reds: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Cristopher Sanchez will take the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies (14-8) when they visit starter Andrew Abbott and the Cincinnati Reds (12-9) on Tuesday, with first pitch at 6:40 PM ET.Keep scrolling to find out all the details on how...

Brewers vs. Pirates: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

The Milwaukee Brewers (14-6), led by William Contreras, visit Connor Joe and the Pittsburgh Pirates (11-11) on Tuesday at 6:40 PM ET.Keep reading to find out how to watch the Milwaukee-Pittsburgh matchup in the article below.When is Brewers vs. Pirates...

Dodgers vs. Nationals: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

On Tuesday, in a series opener at Nationals Park, James Paxton starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers (13-11) versus Patrick Corbin and the Washington Nationals (10-11), with first pitch scheduled for 6:45 PM ET.Keep reading to find out all the...

How to Watch Rays vs. Tigers: Live Stream or on TV

On Tuesday, in a series opener at Tropicana Field, Ryan Pepiot takes the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays (12-11) against Kenta Maeda and the Detroit Tigers (12-10), with first pitch scheduled for 6:50 PM ET.Keep reading to see how...

more blackhawks news