Kaner is the First Star of the Week, Johnson and Murphy Enter Concussion Protocol, Ignoring the Noise, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Kaner is the First Star of the Week, Johnson and Murphy Enter Concussion Protocol, Ignoring the Noise, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Good morning, it’s a Blackhawks game day! The Blackhawks are back at the United Center for a quick one-game stop in Chicago against the Boston Bruins before heading to Minnesota for a Saturday afternoon matchup with the Wild. If you were immersed by the NFL and MLB free agency action on Monday, or maybe just spent the day soaking up spring training clips on Twitter, you might have missed some Blackhawks news, so let’s dive into it!

•   The NHL has recognized Patrick Kane’s historical week with its top weekly honor:

•   Kane started the week by scoring a career-high six points (1G, 5A) against the Anaheim Ducks. He ended it with a three-point night against Ottawa that included his 1,154th career point, moving him past Bobby Hull for second all-time on the Chicago Blackhawks’ scoring list.

•   Kane’s big week sparked the question for Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times; what will Patrick Kane look like in three to five years when the Blackhawks are competitive again? Pope does a great job of comparing Patrick Kane’s career trajectory to players with similar scoring production, most of whom were productive until into and beyond their late thirties.

•   Pope also ran a couple of polls on Twitter related to the story to gauge where the fans stand on whether they would like to see Kane traded now to help the rebuild or not and whether they believe he will be good on the other side of the rebuild.

•   With a few hours yet remaining in the polls, they’re all but decided with the “keep him” and “yes” options, both winning in a landslide (roughly 75 percent for at the time of publishing). I’ve been pretty clear about the fact that I think that Patrick Kane will not only be in Chicago for the remainder of his career (so long as that is his wish), but he will remain a productive top-line forward well into the other side of this rebuild. The majority of Blackhawks fans seem to agree with that line of thinking.

•   Connor Murphy and Tyler Johnson flew back to Chicago after their injuries in Saturday night’s first period in Ottawa. Still, they were absent from practice as both were placed in concussion protocol and will miss some time. Jake McCabe spoke on the scary scene on Saturday when Connor Murphy was drilled headfirst into the boards, leaving him lying on the ice until he was eventually stabilized and stretchered off the ice. McCabe called it “scary” and said that they’ve “seen too many stretchers this year.”

•   Ottawa’s Parker Kelly (who was on the delivering end of that hit on Murphy) told the media on Monday that he had reached out to Murphy to apologize. Kelly says that Murphy accepted his apology and that “we’ll leave it at that.”

•   Jake McCabe also spoke to the media about the trade deadline, as did MacKenzie Entwistle (and others), and the common theme is that they’re just blocking out the outside noise leading up to next Monday’s trade deadline. Phil Thompson put together a notebook featuring those thoughts:

•   Newly appointed Associate GM Norm Maciver took in practice with Brian Campbell on Monday morning:

•   With Tyler Johnson and Connor Murphy in concussion protocol, Derek King’s lines will look slightly different when the Blackhawks host the Bruins tonight. Monday’s practice featured the same top lines we saw last week, with MacKenzie Entwistle joining Borgström and Kurashev on the fourth line. Dominik Kubalík, Ryan Carpenter, and Sam Lafferty made up the third line in practice.

•   Maples Leafs’ forward Auston Matthews was suspended two games by the NHL for his cross-check on Sabres’ defenseman Rasmus Dahlin:

•   Although, I’m not sure what the referee was watching before Matthews delivered a retaliatory cross-check to Dahlin, who drove Matthews into the goal post twice before Matthews struck back.

•   Lawson Crouse netted his first career hat trick for the Coyotes on Monday night:


•   Old friend alert 🚨:


•   Former Blackhawks forward Vinnie Hinostroza scored three points for the Buffalo Sabres in Sunday’s Heritage Classic in Toronto:


•   The Bulls dropped a game they should have (probably needed to) won last night in Sacramento, and they’re now staring down matchups with Utah and Phoenix the rest of the week.

•   But how about Alex Caruso, man!


•   The Bears got in on the NFL free agency frenzy yesterday by inking Larry Ogunjobi to a three-year deal:

•   That’s it for today!

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.