Happy Birthday Stromer, Vasilevskiy’s Incredible Night, Borgström’s Uncertain Future, Back in Black? and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Hey, remember when it was 65 and sunny just, uh, *checks notes* two days ago? Good times, good times. That pleasant taste of spring weather came and went as fast as the Blackhawks’ chance to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday evening.

•   It was an excellent start for the Blackhawks against the defending champs on Sunday. Dylan Strome continued his strong weekend by putting the Blackhawks on top of the Lightning early in the first period with some help in the form of a gorgeous pass from Patrick Kane. Strome has five points in his last three games (3G, 2A) after a five-game pointless streak leading up to Thursday night’s win over Edmonton. Strome being able to work his way through a mini-slump like that and it’s just more evidence of the confidence that Derek King has in him these days.

•   By the way, Happy Birthday to Dylan Strome, who turned 25 today!

•   Dylan Strome skated his 200th game in a Blackhawks sweater on Sunday evening, and while he (and his playing time) has been wildly inconsistent during those 200 games, Strome does have 50 goals and 82 assists. As our old friend Mario pointed out on Twitter last night, Strome’s 132 points break down to an 82-game average of 20 goals and 53.7 points.

•   Patrick Kane’s assist on Strome’s goal and a second-period goal of his own gave him his 17th multi-point contest of the season and 11 points in his last six games as his connection with Dylan Strome on that top-line continues to thrive.

•   Patrick Kane’s second-period snipe on Andrei Vasilevskiy put the Blackhawks back on top 2-1, and it seemed like they might be able to pull off an upset against the two-time defending champs about halfway through the game. And then the wheels came off the bus in every direction, with Tampa Bay scoring five unanswered goals in about seven minutes, with two coming late in the second and three coming in 32 seconds early in the third period.

•   Couple the offensive surge for the Lightning with the absolute show that Andrei Vasilevskiy put on, and you have an up-close and personal reminder why Tampa Bay has won back-t0-back Stanley Cups. Vasilevskiy was so good on Sunday, especially after the first period. He was able to shut down a barrage of prime looks for the Blackhawks just before Tampa Bay went on their scoring frenzy, and that was the turning point in this one. Then there was this save against a Grade-A for Patrick Kane, and quite frankly, it might be the best save I’ve seen all season.

•   That sequence went from possibly one of the best goals we’ve seen this season to one of the best saved. The needle-threading pass from DeBrincat just out of the reach of both Vasilevskiy and the blade of the diving Lightning skater to Kane’s flip-shot, it was beautiful, topped by only the save.

•   Alex DeBrincat scored a goal in the third period giving him a multi-point effort and his third goal in as many games.

•   Henrik Borgström was a healthy scratch for the third consecutive game on Sunday evening. He was in a bad way before the benching, scoring just two points in his last 20 games played. According to Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Blackhawks will be working towards trading Borgström before the March 21 trade deadline.

•   The NHL is going with a new logo for this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, the first change to the logo since 2013.

•   Sean Shapiro of The Athletic reported this morning that Addidas and the NHL are bringing back the reverse retro jerseys for teams next season. This has been rumored for months, but now it’s confirmed by Shapiro.

•   With news that the Blackhawks will be getting a third jersey next season, I have one message that I want to get out there; do the right thing, Addidas …

•   Check out this beauty of a game-winner by Blackhawks first-rounder Nolan Allan in the WHL last night:

•   NFL free agency is right around the corner, and the Bears could have a very different look next season!

•   The Bulls are having a rough time lately, and a meeting with the 76ers tonight looms.

•   That’s it for today!

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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