All-Star Flaws, Prospects Galore, O-VER RA-TED *clap clap-clap clap clap* and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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All-Star Flaws, Prospects Galore, O-VER RA-TED *clap clap-clap clap clap* and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s been bit of a snow globe out there today in the Chicagoland area, hope you’re all enjoying this Saturday winter weather. I know this portion of winter, post-holidays and pre-St. Patrick’s Day, can be a drag. It never helps when The Blackhawks Are doing poorly too. But over their past three games, the Blackhawks have three wins. So it’s a positive feeling right now. Also, Lukas Reichel made his NHL debut and didn’t look half-bad. He’ll get his second NHL start tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.

•   Folks, are the Blackhawks overrated?

•   Is Seth Jones’ contract extension inflated to his actual value? Yeah, probably very much so. Is he bad? No. Is Patrick Kane still an elite forward in the NHL? Yes. Is he worth his contract value? Yeah, I would say so. Imagine living in a world where you think Kane, Jones, and Marc-André Fleury were all the top three most overrated players at their positions in the entire NHL. Must be a difficult reality.

•   Kane’s value to the Blackhawks continues to be imperative to the team’s success, even if he is scoring at a career-low pace for goals this season. Is he injured? Is he unlucky? Have NHL goaltenders figured him out? Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times tells us, it’s a little bit of everything this season.

•   He broke his 13-game goal-drought on Thursday night, so maybe the floodgates open and he gets another one or three tonight?

•   Oh, and if Seth Jones is so overrated, why does he have a shot at being an NHL All-Star then? Jones is the Blackhawks’ representative for the “Last Man In” vote.

•   Every one of these players could/should be considered All-Stars and some of the players that are already on All-Star teams in the four NHL divisions, probably shouldn’t be on those teams ahead of these guys. Just my two cents.

•   Also, look at this list of players who were not named All-Stars and also not on the “Last Man In” list…this is insanity…

•   The NHL loves nothing more than to get things wrong. Marketing the biggest stars in your game, STARS, at the All-STAR game makes the most sense and would draw the most eyes to the events over the weekend as possible. Who moves the NHL needle more and is deserving of being in the All-Star game: Drake Batherson or Artemiy Panarin? Nick Suzuki or Sidney Crosby? Clayton Keller or Patrick Kane?

•   Honestly, Nathan MacKinnon is right when he says the selection process for the NHL is silly. It’s an All-Star game, not a  participation game.

•   Chicago’s lone representative will be Alex DeBrincat, making his first NHL All-Star appearance. He definitely deserves it and he knows he’s not the only one on the team who should be going to Las Vegas.

•   In Blackhawks prospect news, Landon Slaggert had quite a night in his return to the Notre Dame lineup after playing with Team USA at the canceled/postponed World Junior Championships. He recorded a goal and two assists in a 3-2 overtime win over Ohio State.

•   Slaggert’s goal also tallied an assist for fellow Blackhawks prospect Ryder Rolston. You can read about both of them and many, many more in the Chicago farm system here:

•   2,001 words about the future of the Blackhawks and how shallow the prospect talent pool really is.

•   The top prospect in the system is with the Blackhawks right now, though, as Lukas Reichel continues his first taste of the NHL. Today at morning skate, he got a lesson in faceoffs from the Master…

•   Reichel was 0-for-3 at the dot on Thursday night. He’ll be centering a line with Brandon Hagel and Patrick Kane again tonight, so hopefully today’s lesson helps get him a couple of faceoff wins tonight.

•   Another good sign in the progression from neck surgery for Tyler Johnson…

•   Still no timetable for his return, but if Jack Eichel is any indicator (they both had the same procedure about three weeks apart), Johnson could be returning to the Blackhawks sometime in late-February.

•   Ian Mitchell was recalled from the IceHogs today and Brett Connolly was added to the COVID protocol list for Chicago. He joins two staff members, along with Kirby Dach, Dylan Strome, Seth Jones, and Jake McCabe on the Blackhawks’ list.

•   That’s a lot of minutes to replace in the lineup. But hey, they’ve won their last three in-a-row heading into tonight, maybe they make it four?

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Saturday!

•   We will see you later tonight for Blackhawks-Ducks at 7:30 p.m. CT!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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