You knew last night was going to be a difficult game to watch between the Blackhawks and Avalanche. But to Chicago’s credit, the first 20 minutes looked like a promising night was in-store for the underdog Blackhawks. That was, at least, until the next 20 minutes of hockey, when the Avalanche shifted into a gear the Blackhawks don’t have and the game was eventually put out of reach. Some night, you just get beat by a better team. Last night was one of those nights for Chicago.
• Remember when the Blackhawks used to do that to other teams?
With their speed, skill and depth, the Avs look a lot like the Blackhawks did in the glory years.
"Looks like a fun way to play, right?" said Patrick Kane.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 25, 2022
• Speed, skill, bit of physical play, rolling four lines, it’s a winning recipe that right now, Chicago can’t replicate.
Patrick Kane on Colorado: "[It] looks like a fun way to play, huh? Maybe back in the day, you took that for granted a little bit."
"I watch them quite a bit, and they’re a fun team to watch… Their D are pinching down the wall, and all 4 lines skate really well."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 25, 2022
• They tried to go blow-for-blow with the Avalanche last night, but a few missed opportunities to score, untimely penalties, and a defensive breakdown and that’s all she wrote. A performance like the Blackhawks gave last night, against half of the league, would have likely turned in favor of Chicago. But there’s a reason why the Avalanche are not in that half of the NHL.
Derek King on Blackhawks' performance: "Just couple mistakes, and when you’re playing against…a great team, two mistakes will cost you."
Said they "played well" overall and got their opportunities, just didn't have enough net-front presence.
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 25, 2022
• Win or lose, we still get pizza.
Chicago players are eating pizza on the way out of the arena, so who are the real winners here?
— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) January 25, 2022
• I miss that about little league.
• Last night was the third time this season that the Blackhawks have been shut-out. It’s the tenth time this season that they have scored one or no goals in a game. Forget needing to get supplemental scoring, the Blackhawks cannot even get primary scoring this season.
Kane, Toews, Kubalik, Dach & Strome have combined for 32 goals in 42 games #Blackhawks
— Chris Boden (@BodenTweets) January 25, 2022
• While Chicago has committed to and had some success playing a more low-event, defensively-sound game, you can’t expect to win a lot of the time when you are averaging just 2.29 goals per game. Imagine where Chicago would be without the play of Marc-André Fleury this season? We’d be talking about Shane Wright a LOT more.
• Under Derek King, the “new” style of play has worked to some extent for Chicago. Being 14-11-5 sounds like a better trajectory of play than 1-9-2. The Blackhawks have given King the leash to play-out the rest t of the season as interim head coach, but has he done enough to remove the interim tag and stay in his position beyond this year? The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus has more on that question…
Based on the Blackhawks' play since Nov. 7, Derek King at least deserves to be in the conversation as head coach moving forward.
Based on the comments to this column, well…https://t.co/96WyM7gpZR
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) January 25, 2022
• With their head coaching and GM search “ongoing,” Chicago is not showing the sense of urgency to get people in place that other teams who have fired their coaches/GMs have this season. Leaving the options for both positions a little sparse. Maybe King and interim GM Kyle Davidson just stay in their roles for another season?
• One position the Blackhawks are going to fill is a President of Hockey Operations. It’s anyone’s guess which direction they go, especially since there is a sense they will go “outside of the box” with the hire. I’m going to beat this drum until the day they hire someone for the position, but I want Kevin Weekes in that role. Weekes spoke on the recent racial issues that have come up in the hockey world yesterday on NHL Network…
“Hockey is for everyone” must be actualized into Hockey is for ANYONE.
When people win by being treated properly, the game WINS. Racism, misogyny etc are bad business. When these evil forces are eradicated, this sport will soar. @NHL @espn @NHLNetwork #HockeyTwitter
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) January 25, 2022
• Obviously his credentials go beyond being able to speak on the racial issues within the game. But for a Chicago team looking to hire from outside of the organization, Weekes’ perspective on the game and the direction the sport is going would be critical to putting the Blackhawks on a new path forward after the way the “One Goal” era of the team came to an end.
• Speaking of GM and coaching searches…
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 25, 2022
• Not a very inspiring list to say the least.
• But back in the NHL, a historic hire from the Vancouver Canucks as they made Émilie Castonguay the first-ever female Assistant General Manager in the team’s history.
Canucks President, Hockey Operations and Interim General Manager Jim Rutherford announced today that Émilie Castonguay has been named Assistant General Manager.
Castonguay becomes the first female Assistant General Manager in team history.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) January 24, 2022
• Crazy that it has taken this long with so many talented women around the game of hockey, but that’s hockey for you. Congratulations to Castonguay, who adds her new front office role to her extensive résumé which already included a successful NCAA career and being the first female player-agent certified by the NHLPA, representing the likes of Canadian Women’s star Marie-Philip Poulin and 2020 NHL Draft first-overall pick Alexis Lafrenière.
• Speaking of the stars of the Women’s hockey world, awesome news yesterday as Kendall Coyne-Schofield was named Captain of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Hockey team headed to Beijing!
Kendall Coyne-Schofield Named Captain of U.S. Women’s Olympic Teamhttps://t.co/XZdcCV426H
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 24, 2022
• This is the first time that Coyne-Schofield will be Captain of Team USA at the Olympics and the third time in her playing career that she will have worn the “C” for the U.S. She and the rest of Team USA begin their defense of the 2018 Gold Medal on February 3 in their first Olympic game against Finland.
— Kendall Coyne Schofield (@KendallCoyne) January 25, 2022
• And speaking of Kendall Coyne-Schofield, three years ago today at the NHL All-Star game, she made history…
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 25, 2022
• Crazy that this was already three years ago. Now, the Palos Heights-native is a development coach in the NHL with the Blackhawks and is headed to her third Olympics in her career.
• Now on the Men’s side of the Olympic Hockey tournament, Team Canada has named their roster officially.
Meet Team Canada! 🇨🇦
25 men have been selected to represent 🇨🇦 at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) January 25, 2022
• Former Indy Fuel and Rockford IceHogs goaltender Matt Tomkins will be with Team Canada headed to Beijing.
• Last night, NHL history was matched as Keith Yandle skated in his 964th-straight game, tying the “Ironman” record set by Doug Jarvis.
4,687 total days
Parts of 14 seasons
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 25, 2022
• Unfortunately for Yandle and the Flyers, they dropped a 3-1 game to the Stars, their 12th-straight loss (0-9-3). Yandle can set the record with his 965th game played tonight when the Flyers take on the New York Islanders.
• Someone who knows a lot about playing a ton of NHL games is former Blackhawks Captain and Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios. A veteran of 1,651 regular season and 266 postseason games, Chelios is turning 60 today!
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 25, 2022
• Hopefully his birthday toast goes a bit better than this one did on New Year’s Eve.
• Ending today with an awesome story of Quinton Byfield and his biggest fan, Quinton Byfield…
This is really cute pic.twitter.com/7uvr25lmlt
— Tom Urtz Jr. (@TomUrtzJr) January 25, 2022
This young Kings fan is named Quinton Byfield and he got a puck and a fist bump from the Kings' Quinton Byfield 🥺 pic.twitter.com/A9DhZACJsY
— 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐍𝐞𝐰𝐬 (@sportingnews) January 25, 2022
• You love to see it.
• Our friends at Obvious Shirts have some new gear for Chicago-native, Illini-Alum, and Chicago Bull rookie AYO DOSUNMU!
— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) January 25, 2022
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) January 25, 2022
• That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your Tuesday ahead of you.