Happy Victory Sunday, Blackhawks fans! And the Bears don’t play today to ruin our good vibe, so feel free to get outside and celebrate. The Blackhawks are taking the day off, too, with the end of their three-game road trip now a W in the rear view mirror and five days off until the home opener on Friday.
- With the Sharks honoring Blackhawks legend Doug Wilson before the game, the Sharks came out wearing Wilson jerseys for warm-ups. So did the Blackhawks, which was a terrific move by the Hawks and Sharks to work together to pay tribute to a man who has meant a lot to both franchises.
- Yes, it absolutely appears Jonathan Toews is back.
- After a pedestrian first period, the Blackhawks exploded for five straight goals. And there were a few guys who had strong nights. Tyler Johnson had two assists, Taylor Raddysh had a goal and an assist and Jason Dickinson stole the show with two short-handed assists (both to Sam Lafferty) and a goal for a three-point night. Lafferty also had three points.
- Petr Mrazek had a nice bounce-back game. Of course the Sharks suck and the Avs are the defending champs, so it’s kind of comparing apples to raisins… but Mrazek was solid.
- The more I watch MacKenzie Entwistle the more I like his game. As a reminder, the Blackhawks got him in the trade that sent Marian Hossa’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes (who were definitely not circumventing the cap because the league wants there to be a team in Arizona for some reason). He was originally a third-round pick (No. 69 — nice) by the Coyotes in the 2017 NHL Draft and turned 23 in July.
- After seeing action in 55 games with the Hawks last year and producing 12 points (five goals, seven assists), Entwistle might have felt like an odd man out with all of the veterans who came in over the summer and some other young players getting more attention (see Reichel, Lukas). But he has consistently shown value and a willingness to accept a role and play hard whenever and wherever asked.
- The Blackhawks put five goals on the board and got zero points from Patrick Kane. Go figure.
- San Jose remains winless, meaning the Blackhawks move out of the cellar in the NHL and jump behind the Sharks in the line for Connor Bedard’s autograph.
- On the prospect circuit, the Rockford IceHogs opened their season with a crazy, ridiculous comeback that ended with a 5-4 overtime victory. And this game was the Reichel and Philp Show… well, in more ways than you might expect.
- Rockford was down 3-0 heading to the third period but came all the way back, only to have a shot bounce off Adam Clendening in to give Manitoba a 4-3 lead. Lukas Reichel and Luke Philp had three points each in the third period alone, including a late, game-tying goal for Philp. Brett Seney then won it in overtime.
- Here’s Lukas Reichel’s breakaway goal that tied the game at three.
- Philp had two goals and Lukas Reichel had one. But this was the “Reichel and Philp Show” because Kristian Reichel, Lukas’ cousin, scored a goal for Manitoba and fought Philp. Good times all around!
- Defenseman Ethan Del Mastro has been on a tear to start the season as the captain of Mississauga. He posted a goal and an assist on Saturday and was named the game’s No. 1 star. The Steelheads have won four straight. Here’s a look at his goal:
- Paul Ludwinski got the start for Kingston and made it count. He scored once and added two assists in a 6-1 win. Here’s the Ludwinski goal from last night:
- Dominic Basse got the start in Madison against the Badgers on Saturday and stopped 19 of 20 to earn No. 3 star honors as St. Cloud State kept rolling.
Around the NHL
- Bad news in Toronto, where they were already likely working with a 1A-1B goalie situation. The Leafs announced Saturday that Matt Murray has been placed on LTIR and will miss at least four weeks. Maybe we can interest them in a gently used Petr Mrazek? (I’m kidding but seriously if they want him back let me know.)
- The NHL announced on Saturday that it had concluded its investigation into the sexual assault allegations that were levied against defenseman Ian Cole earlier this week on social media. The league said they were unable to connect with the accusing individual and, as such, could not substantiate the claims. Cole is returning to the Lightning. The NHLPA issued the following statement in the wake of the investigation ending:
- Finally, let’s talk about some Cubs prospects for a few minutes, shall we?