Borgström's Big Day, Losing Your Cool, Racist Gestures...Again, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Borgström’s Big Day, Losing Your Cool, Racist Gestures…Again, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

While last night was a better effort from the Blackhawks than on Friday night, it still wasn’t what you would hope to see from a team trying to climb their way into the Stanley Cup Playoff chase. After blowing leads of 2-0 and 3-2, Chicago fell in overtime to the Wild. They take one of four points in their back-to-back set of games against Minnesota, a team that is definitely going to be playing in the postseason. We are at the mid-way point of the year, somehow just the mid-way point, but it’s clear with 57 days until the NHL Trade Deadline, this Blackhawks team needs a refresh. A refresh in the front office, a refresh in coaching, a refresh on the roster. Nearly everyone should be up for the highest bidder.

•   One of those players is Henrik Borgström. He’s had a roller-coaster of a season with the Blackhawks after being acquired at the trade deadline last year while he was playing in Finland. Going from the middle of the lineup, to the top-line, to the fourth-line, and then out of the lineup, Borgström has yet to find a rhythm this season. Getting back in to the lineup last night sure seemed to help…

•   Just his second multi-goal game in his NHL career, Borgström twice gave the Blackhawks the lead with his third and fourth goals of the season.

•   Get that trade value up!

•   Speaking of trade value…err…hopefully not, Alex DeBrincat continues to lead the Blackhawks in goal-scoring and is flirting with the 50-goal marker this season. He scored his 24th goal last night, on-pace for 48 this season, which would be a career-high.

•   I’ll say it again, guys who can score at or near a 50-goal pace, multiple times, and are under-25 do not grow on trees. The Blackhawks should/need to invest in DeBrincat as part of the future of the organization.

•   Where things went wrong last night for the Blackhawks was multi-fold. First, go check out the recent timeline of Wally Maz from last night’s game to see a lot of borderline play from the Wild last night that went uncalled. It was getting ridiculous late in the game and came to a head when Jonathan Toews was called for a soft hooking call in the third period. Toews obviously disagreed with the call and took out his frustrations with the call on the penalty box door. That earned him an extra two-minute penalty. Sure enough, that extra two minutes of powerplay time allowed for the Wild to find the 2-2 game-tying goal, erasing Chicago’s 2-0 lead from the first period. It was a turning-point in the game, even with the Blackhawks getting the 3-2 goal from Borgström shortly after.

•   Chicago capitalized on their one powerplay on the night, but the Wild were able to net two goals on their five powerplay opportunities. It was a bit unjustly lopsided if you ask me.

•   Kevin Lankinen did all he could to keep the Blackhawks in it last night, stopping 40-of-44 shots faced in his first start since December 18. Over his past two appearances for Chicago this weekend, he stopped 56-of-61 shots against the Wild. He has a 2-5-4 record and a .889 save-percentage this season, but is getting just 2.15 goals per 60-minutes in support.

•   The next stretch of games don’t get any easier for the Blackhawks. They’ll face the Western Conference-leading Avalanche twice, with a game again the postseason-hunting Detroit Red Wings.

•   Woof.

•   In prospect news, 2020 second-round pick and soon-to-be U.S. Olympian Drew Commesso recorded his first-ever NCAA shutout last night for Boston University!

•   Commesso has really stepped-up for Boston after a shaky start to the year. He’s 10-8-1 this season with a .914 save-percentage and a 2.43 GAA. He was also recently named to the Mike Richter Award Watchlist for the top NCAA Div.1 goaltender.

•   In the AHL for the IceHogs, Michal Teply has drastically improved his game in recent weeks. Scoring his fourth and fifth goals of the season, as well as tallying a goal in the shootout, Teply powered the IceHogs to a 3-2 shootout win last night over the Texas Stars!

•   Teply has five points in his last three games played, and all nine of his points this season have come over his last ten games played for Rockford. Not to be overlooked, Lukas Reichel tallied an assist for his 14th point of the season. He leads the team in goals and points through 23 appearances this year and is tied for fifth in points in the AHL among active rookies. You can find the full highlights from last night’s win in Rockford here…

•   Rookie goaltender Arvid Soderblöm picked up his sixth win of the season for Rockford last night, making 20-of-22 saves. He is 6-6-0 in 12 appearances for Rockford with a .914 save-percentage.

•   Ugliness in the ECHL last night between the South Carolina Stingrays and the Jacksonville Icemen. Jacob Panetta and Jordan Subban, brother of Malcolm and P.K., got into a heated altercation that ended up in a near-benches clearing brawl. It turns out, the fight was started after Panetta made a racial gesture towards Subban…

•   Another instance of racism on the ice, Jordan’s brother P.K. shared the video of the incident, where you can see Panetta make the “monkey gestures” as Jordan called them, around the 19-second mark of the video. P.K. went on to call out the ECHL and Panetta for the incident in this thread:

•   The Stingrays released this statement of support for Subban this morning.

•   In response, the ECHL has suspended Panetta indefinitely, pending a hearing.

•   This is, once again, the deep-rooted problems within the culture of the sport of hockey. Diversity in the game has rarely been encouraged until the past few years. Racial incidents like this happen at all levels and have kept many talented players away from the game. It’s not an NHL issue, it’s a hockey issue.

•   This happened less than 24 hours after the news of the racial incident between Boko Imama and Krystof Hrabik in the AHL, which landed Hrabik a 30-game suspension. It’s clear that these things will keep happening until the rest of the sport, mainly the prominent white voices of the game, speak out against these actions and actually act upon it. Dealing with incidents like these should not be the norm for BIPOC players at any level.

•   Speaking of inclusion in the game, the New Jersey Devils donned these awesome sweaters in warmups for their Pride Night game last night.

•   I know it probably would have been a nightmare for the broadcast team to see the numbers on these sweaters on the ice, but the NHL should take a page out of the AHL/ECHL and wear these kinds of specialty sweaters for the actual games, not just in warmups.

•   Here it is, your moment of zen…

•   I can’t say anything more about Aaron Rodgers and the Packers that hasn’t already been said on social media in the past 12 hours.

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



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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