Rangers Blow Out Bolts, Dach’s Next Deal, Buffalo Bands Together, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

After watching the track meet in Denver on Tuesday night, the assumption from many — including me — was that the first game of the Eastern Conference Final between the Lightning and Rangers would be lower scoring. It was… but the Rangers still put six on the board! Tonight we get the second round of the heavyweight fight between the Avs and Oilers. The game begins at 7 PM CT on TNT.

•   We’ll start with the first NHL Award of the year being announced during the first intermission last night. Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar was named the winner of the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

•   On the ice last night, we expected great goaltending from both teams. Igor Shesterkin showed up for the Rangers, but Andre Vasilevskiy left a lot to be desired. Shesterkin tied a number of goaltenders — including former Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford — with his seventh straight postseason victory on home ice.

•   Rangers defenseman Adam Fox, who won the Norris Trophy last year, continues making history this postseason. While we’ve all (rightfully) been focused on the astronomical numbers being put up by Connor McDavid and Co. in Edmonton, Fox has been terrific on the blue line for the Blue Shirts.

•   This morning Scott Powers at The Athletic discussed what the next contract could look like for center Kirby Dach. Is he a center? And, if so, what could he cost the Blackhawks this coming season? It’s a fascinating conversation because the organization hasn’t done the player any favors in his development, but they’re clearly — heavily — invested in the former No. 3 overall pick.

•   Today we profiled a second potential head coach candidate for the Blackhawks, Maple Leafs assistant Spencer Carbery. What do you think of him as a candidate?

•   Stick tap to the Buffalo Sabres, Bandits and Bills for making an impact in a community that has continued to struggle to understand the awful violence that took place a couple weeks ago. Buffalo fans have a history of rallying around their teams, and the Sabres announced a great investment from their fans on Wednesday.

•   If Blackhawks fans are worried about which star players won’t be around next year, it’s been a rough few weeks for the blood pressure of Bulls fans. Will Zach stay or will he go?

written by

Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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