OK so the Blackhawks lost again last night yada yada. We’re looking for this team to take some baby steps at this point after skating mixed rosters for the first four preseason games and we saw some good signs last night. They got the puck on net, they actually scored a goal, and they played physical. Minnesota is going to be a really good team, so a loss is a loss but we need to look beyond the final score.
- Again, there was a lot to like about Colton Dach‘s performance last night. He drove action, played physical and fast and pissed off Wild players (enough that Matthew Dumba took a dumb penalty late in the game). He showed flashes of potential offensively that you love to see from a prospect in his first NHL action (even if it’s the preseason).
- A somewhat fun nugget (pun intended) from Ben Pope after the game last night about Alex Vlasic working this summer to… put on weight. I, too, have eaten 2,200 calories in a day. Sadly, I wasn’t told to do so by my employer and/or done it in a way that’s productive. He definitely looks stronger on his skates thus far in the preseason.
- Sean McIndoe at The Athletic made a case for how the ten worst teams in the NHL could make the playoffs. It’s a fun exercise for some of the teams; futile for others. And his assessment of the Blackhawks’ playoff hopes is that it would be the worst-case scenario for a franchise that needs good karma/a bad team this year.
- The funniest part of what he has to say about the Blackhawks’ 2 percent change of getting into the playoffs is “Why they’re probably right: Because Kyle Davidson sure wants them to be.”
- Happy #CawlidgeHawkey Day to those who celebrate! Lots of programs kick off their seasons this weekend, so get ready for a regular dose of prospect content in this area from myself and Patrick this season.
- There’s a HUGE college game tonight that Blackhawks fans should be watching. Landon Slaggert, Ryder Rolston and No. 9 Notre Dame visit Aidan Thompson and No. 1 Denver. Earlier this week I talked to Slaggs about his summer with the Blackhawks and USA Hockey and what playing at Notre Dame means to him. Give my piece a read before the game tonight!
- Best goalie setup on college hockey? or Best goalie setup anywhere? This is really impressive.
- College Hockey News posted a great look at the season that’s coming at the University of Michigan (cough, Frank Nazar, cough, Adam Fantilli). That team is loaded with future NHL talent, but there was a lot of drama in Ann Arbor since the end of last season. How will a young Wolverines team transition to a new coach?
- Finally, since we’re going to be focused on a draft lottery all year for the Blackhawks why not talk about the Cubs’ odds of landing the top pick now that baseball has a lottery, too?