Last night I had a dream about the modern-day Blackhawks signing three free agents. They signed Mike Modano, Jeremy Roenick, and Brian Leetch. But they were all the ages they were in their final NHL seasons. I don’t know what it means, but honestly, those three at those ages could still probably provide an improvement to this Blackhawks roster. And no, I wasn’t playing NHL 2002 last night before bed either.
• In reality, the lineup construction for the Blackhawks has been all over the place this season. One player that had trouble finding a home was Henrik Borgström. Over the past few games, Borgström has been the top center with Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat on his wings, and it’s worked.
Henrik Borgstrom endured as many illnesses this fall as his point total (3), lost the GM who'd gambled on his NHL potential and bounced all around the Blackhawks' lineup.
A more stable winter could give the Hawks a better idea of what he can bring. Story: https://t.co/o1QqALc4Bb
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 4, 2022
• So naturally today, the lines are changed. Something needs to change after being outscored 11-2 over the weekend.
New #Blackhawks lines at morning skate:
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) January 4, 2022
• That fourth line has to be one of the worst combinations the Blackhawks could ice. Grinder-Skill-Fighter. Woof.
• Kyle Davidson has a difficult job ahead of him as the Blackhawks’ glimmer of hope to get back into a potential postseason push has faded during this current four-game losing streak. As the trade deadline gets closer and time runs out on getting back to contention, Chicago is going to be selling (more on this later today!).
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) January 3, 2022
• Marc-André Fleury, Dylan Strome, Dominik Kubalík and a bunch more could be and should be on the block.
• One team that could use a goaltender is the Edmonton Oilers…
If the Oilers need a goalie… pic.twitter.com/Ya1f90lPbi
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) January 4, 2022
• After a 4-1 loss to the Rangers last night, Edmonton is now 3-8-2 since December 1 and are allowing 3.69 goals per game, 23rd in the league since that date.
Quality > quantity for the Rangers tonight, but the Oilers did drive 90% of the xG share in the third period alone at 5v5.
Goaltending was the difference. Georgiev saved 1.43 goals above expected in all situations, Koskinen conceded 1.77 more than expected (@NaturalStatTrick) pic.twitter.com/sSlHzj0TOX
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) January 4, 2022
• I know seeing Edmonton in the winter is hard, but maybe Marc-André Fleury could really put the Oilers back on track.
• The caption says it all, eh?
The beautiful game pic.twitter.com/Tv27JsoeM7
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 4, 2022
• Another reason the Blackhawks could and should sell out at the trade deadline is because they are no longer selling out at the United Center.
Blackhawks attendance last night was 17,454. Seems generous https://t.co/zs5Zypxk5U
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 3, 2022
• What do you have to lose when it comes to attendance if you make a real, actual commitment to building back up from the bottom?
• If you’re not at the United Center tonight, you’ll need ESPN+ or Hulu to watch tonight’s game against Colorado.
#Blackhawks PSA: Game Tuesday vs. Avalanche is on ESPN+ & Hulu. No local TV.
Pat Foley returns Thursday vs. Coyotes.
— Jeff Agrest (@jeffreya22) January 3, 2022
• And no, it will not be Pat Foley on the call tonight.
• Good news in the AHL, the Rockford IceHogs are back to health and full strength on their roster.
All Rockford IceHogs Have Been Removed from COVID Protocolshttps://t.co/JFBTgwfcie
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 3, 2022
• They have also rescheduled three of their four postponed games from the past week…
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) January 4, 2022
• It’s great to see the IceHogs get back on the ice as they are in a postseason hunt, sitting in fifth-place based on points-percentage (.500) in a tightly contested Central Division.
• Speaking of getting back on the ice, Daily Faceoff’s Chris Peters says the likelihood of the Men’s World Junior Championships getting rescheduled and back on the ice is less than 50%:
— Daily Faceoff (@DailyFaceoff) January 4, 2022
• With the World Junior Championships possibly going to the Summer, maybe that’s also the time the Olympics should hold the Hockey tournament? It’s not unheard-of…
The great summer sport of hockeyhttps://t.co/WWxUM14Hf9
— Yahoo Sports NHL (@YahooSportsNHL) January 3, 2022
• Honestly, I’d rather leave the Olympics in the Winter Games, but make them amateurs and non-NHL players. Make the “Best vs. Best” tournament every two years in the summer before the season with the World Cup of Hockey. The NHL can control it with their rules and venues, cutting out the need for the IOC or IIHF.
• The best men’s hockey players in the world won’t be at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, but the best of the women’s game will be. Anne Tokarski of The Ice Garden has a full breakdown of the roster, including six Illinois-natives.
For a complete breakdown of Team USA: https://t.co/SgWflQW3sC
— The Ice Garden (@TheIceGarden) January 3, 2022
• The U.S. will be looking to defend their 2018 Olympic Gold Medals, with 15 players returning this year from that team in Pyeongchang.
• Potentially returning this week to the Bears, in a meaningless game, is Justin Fields.
An ankle injury has kept Justin Fields out of action for the last two weeks, but Matt Nagy is planning to start the rookie in the season finale. If he is healthy.https://t.co/6Ofw1LyEkZ
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 4, 2022
• It would be nice to see what Fields can do in the final game of the season, maybe getting some confidence and putting some good play on tape to end the year. I keep forgetting the NFL has 17 games this season. Anyone else?
• Talk about dedication…
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 4, 2022
• That’s what separates the good from the great, and DeMar DeRozan has been exceptionally great for the Bulls.
• Ending today going from the fundamentals in basketball to the flashy in hockey, how about a “Michigan” in Minnesota?
sooo… Kirill did "The Michigan" at outdoor practice…
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) January 4, 2022
• If only he could have pulled it off I the game.
• That will do it for today, hope you all enjoy your Tuesday!
• We will see you tonight for Blackhawks-Avalanche at 7:30 p.m. CT. Remember, it will be on Hulu and ESPN+ only.