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A Slice Of Bread, Moral Victories, Young Dach, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Last night we watched as Artemiy Panarin and the New York Rangers proved why they are one of the best teams in the NHL. They controlled most of the game and through Panarin, the offense surged at the right times and they were able to get away from a Blackhawks squad that, while not as talented, is playing with a purpose right now. Panarin’s three-point night propelled the Rangers to a 3-2 win and was a reminder of the good times we used to share.

•   Like, remember having these two on the same side of the ice?

•   Or how about on the same line? Those were good times.

•   Although Patrick Kane is finding another partner to pair with Alex DeBrincat lately as Brandon Hagel has emerged as a forward who can step in with the stars and hold his own.

•   If only one of them could play center, a Kane-DeBrincat-Hagel line would be very intriguing.

•   But of course, the eventual game-winning goal would come last night from the Breadman himself, registering his third point of the night (including two primary assists) and putting the game out of reach for Chicago.

•   My research tells me this is the first leg-kick from Panarin this season. Good to see that’s back for the Rangers, too.

•   Panarin, Teuvo, now Ryan Hartman apparently…the growing list of the ones that got away is starting to really sting. If it didn’t already.

•   He throws things at Brad Marchand and apologizes for destroying his former team, hard to not like this guy, right?

•   If you played last night’s game on paper, instead of on ice, the Blackhawks probably come away with a close win.

•   Games, of course, are not played on paper. There are good things to take away from last night’s game for the Blackhawks, staying competitive with a team that is two points out of the top spot in the league is one thing, but limiting mistakes is another. Under Jeremy Colliton, the mistakes made by Chicago would seemingly always snowball into way, way worse situations. Under Derek King, the snowballing has subsided and the response from the team after costly mistakes gives you hope that they can figure out how to eventually play mistake-free. Or as close to it as possible.

•   For now, a moral victory against a top opponent is alright. But if we are considering that the Blackhawks need to either be in the bottom-two positions of the league or in the playoffs to make this season worth it, moral victories aren’t going to cut it.

•   Seth Jones played 29:43 last night, five seconds more than Thursday night in a game that went into overtime. Jones has five points in his last four games for Chicago. With Connor Murphy and Jake McCabe out last night, and possibly for tonight, Jones is showing exactly why he was brought in to be a legitimate No. 1 defenseman for this team.

•   Jones is leading all Blackhawks defensemen in points, goals, and assists. In fact, Jones’ 21 points is still eight more than every other defenseman combined on the Blackhawks this season. He’s tied for the team-lead pinpoints with Patrick Kane and is in a three-way tie with Cale Makar and Roman Josi for third in the NHL among defensemen for points. Only Victor Hedman, John Carlson, Aaron Ekblad, and Adam Fox have more this season.

•   Jones is also fifth in the NHL among defensemen for time on ice per game this season at 26:04 minutes. Only Darnell Nurse, Zach Werenski, Brent Burns, and Thomas Chabot are playing more minutes for their teams this season. That will likely continue for Jones, at least for a few games, as Connor Murphy currently is out dealing with concussion protocols.

•   Some positive injury news on the blue-line for Chicago, Riley Stillman has been activated off of injured reserve.

•   In prospect news, Colton Dach scored twice last night, helping the Kelowna Rockets get a win over the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL.

•   The younger Dach brother has a team-leading 11 goals this season, which already matches his WHL career-high in a season. He has 18 points in 18 games for the Rockets and goals in three-straight contests.

•   Something you don’t want to see, former Blackhawks goaltender Malcolm Subban made his debut for the Sabres last night and not only allowed six goals, but also left the game with a leg injury.

•   A rough night for Subban. Hopefully what injury he has isn’t too serious.

•   Other goaltending news concerning the Blackhawks, NCAA prospect Dominic Basse recorded his first shutout of his college career, making all 17 saves on the way to a 4-0 upset win over 10th-ranked Nebraska-Omaha.

•   Maybe Drew Commesso isn’t the only goaltending prospect for the Blackhawks to consider for their future plans…

•   In league news, Alex Ovechkin scored his 750th career goal last night.

•   Ovechkin is really, really good at scoring goals. Always has been, always will be.

•   He is now 17 goals from surpassing Jaromir Jagr for third all-time in league history for goal-scoring.

•   Good news for the Montreal Canadiens, who could really use good news, it appears Carey Price is continuing to progress in his return to the club.

•   While not expecting him to return this month usually wouldn’t be considered “good news,” Price is showing players that they can take their time and take care of themselves when needing time to recover from injury or other reasons. Something that the hockey world is not really used to accepting, but things change.

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Sunday full of Bears in the afternoon and Blackhawks in the evening.

•   We’ll see you later tonight for Blackhawks and Islanders at 6:30 p.m. CT!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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