Fleury Thinking Postseason, DeBrincat Not "Untouchable," Quick Maths, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Fleury Thinking Postseason, DeBrincat Not “Untouchable,” Quick Maths, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Things start to get silly enough break between games the Blackhawks have a long en (edit: so silly that my sentence makes no sense). Trade rumors begin to swirl, especially for a team on the outside-looking-in at the Stanley Cup Playoff picture. But hey, at least no one is getting “pissy,” eh?

•   Trade rumors, you say? Marc-André Fleury has no time for those…right now.

•   We’ll talk about the playoffs in a bit, but Fleury sticking to his commitment to the Blackhawks this season while frustrating because he is arguably their most significant trade piece is refreshing to see.

•   Chicago needs to figure out what they are doing in their front office soon. According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, their GM search might not go that far.

•   There’s been nothing that Davidson has done so far that disqualifies him from consideration in my eyes. But if he’s at the helm for the NHL Trade Deadline, which he will be by all accounts, then that will likely dictate how much longer beyond that he gets to oversee the team.

•   Seravalli was busy yesterday on “Halford and Brough,” talking about the Blackhawks’ front office and who he felt was “untouchable” for Chicago. Notably, he believes Alex Debrincat may be fair game in trade talks.

•   Look, 50-goal scorers don’t just fall into your lap every day in the NHL. It would be beyond baffling to me if the Blackhawks dealt DeBrincat, rather than invest in him as a cornerstone of the future.

•   There’s a ton more happening around the Blackhawks right now, and you can find some of the more pressing rumors and rumblings here…

•   So yeah, about those playoffs. The Blackhawks believe they can get into the postseason chase. But what do you expect them to say? They’ve been streaky since the beginning of the new year, losing four-in-a-row to begin 2022 and then winning four-in-a-row following that before losing in the shootout in their last outing against the Seattle Kraken.

•   Winning streaks are never bad, but Chicago’s latest streak was nothing too spectacular. Beating Vegas was a big deal but wins over Anaheim (2-7-1 in their last ten games), Columbus (4-6-0 in their previous ten games), and needing overtime against Montreal (last-place in the NHL) don’t spark too much enthusiasm or optimism. Arizona, Montreal, and Seattle are three of the league’s bottom four teams, and Chicago recently has gone 1-1-1 against those three. Of their next 13 games, nine come against teams squarely in the Stanley Cup Playoff chase. This is the stretch of the schedule that will likely dictate the rest of the season.

•   Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times got some flack online for his question to Marc-André Fleury regarding Chicago’s mathematical chances of reaching the postseason. You can see in the video Ben posted the question, and response was way more light-hearted than the words. But here’s the mathematics the Blackhawks are facing regarding the postseason chase…

•   Minnesota, Calgary, San Jose, and Winnipeg are the top four teams chasing the two Western Conference wildcard spots. Chicago will likely fall very short of those four teams based on their current 2021-22 season point-paces.

•   Even if the Blackhawks continued playing on their 82-game pace of 97.1 points for the 70 games this season, not coached by Jeremy Colliton, they would have 82 points. Add in the four points they earned in the 12 games under Colliton, and that’s 86 points. Still on the outside of the postseason picture.

•   Seth Jones is not headed to the NHL All-Star game, but he’s still going to be involved in the event’s promotion.

•   He’s not a great actor, nor a good bartender. Good thing he’s good at hockey.

•   Speaking of bartenders, a Happy Blackhawks Birthday to Kirby Dach! He is now legal to drink in the U.S. hopefully; he’ll be able to do so out of the Stanley Cup at some point in his career…with the Blackhawks, of course.

•   A good birthday present for Kirby and the Blackhawks is that he is out of COVID protocol, along with Brett Connolly, leaving Chicago without any current players in COVID protocol.

•   Dach is expected back in the lineup tonight against the Minnesota Wild.

•   Some prospect news for the Blackhawks as both of their NCAA goaltending prospects have been named to the Mike Richter Award (Top NCAA Div. 1 Goalie) watchlist!

•   Speaking of goalies, the Oilers…what a dumpster fire.

•   They lost 6-0 to the Florida Panthers last night in a game where the score looked way worse than the game actually did.

•   Edmonton was thought to be Stanley Cup contenders this season, as they should have been with the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draistail in their lineup. But they have just three wins in their last 16 games and have free-fallen down the standings.

•   The trade rumors of Marc-André Fleury going to Edmonton are looking less and less likely the more the Oilers fall out of a contending spot.

•   Check out these Star Wars-themed sweaters that the U.S. Development Team will be wearing tonight!

•   Lu would be proud.

•   Ryan Reaves just needs your Super Bowl prediction…

•   If you’re dangling your phone over the edge of the railing in Boston, it’s fair game to Brad Marchand.

•   Pretty sure that fan isn’t mad about it, though!

•   That will do it for today. I hope you all enjoy your Friday.

•   We will see you later tonight for Blackhawks-Wild (Part one) 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.