Dach Returns, Remembering McNab, Boston's Debacle Gets Worse, Who's the Best Defensive Defenseman? And Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Dach Returns, Remembering McNab, Boston’s Debacle Gets Worse, Who’s the Best Defensive Defenseman? And Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks didn’t practice yesterday and won’t be on the ice today, either. After a long, tough stretch of games, the coaches are giving everyone a couple maintenance days to get their bodies right before jumping back into the mix in LA on Thursday night. So while the attention of the city was on an impressive Bears game yesterday, let’s catch up with some puck chatter from the weekend.

  • Good news for Colton Dach. He returned to the Kelowna lineup after a long layoff because of a concussion and picked up an assist on Saturday night. I still have high hopes for Colton to establish himself as a power forward with a strong future in Chicago. Hopefully he can stay on the ice the rest of the season.
  • How about a short-handed helper from Ethan Del Mastro? The Mississauga captain continued his strong season with this assist while killing a penalty. Del Mastro is at 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in 12 games this season.
  • The NHL lost a legend this weekend. Peter McNab played 954 games in the NHL, scoring 363 goals for the Bruins, Canucks and Devils between the 1973-74 and 1986-87 seasons. Later, he moved on to become the voice of the Colorado Avalanche from the time the team arrived in Denver. He was in a battle and, sadly, lost this weekend. He was a tremendous man and every story you hear about him paints him as a wonderful, warm ambassador for the game.
  • On Sunday night, the Boston Bruins cut ties with Mitchell Miller. Monday morning, Cam Neely answered questions from the media and appeared to be legitimately pissed off that this had become such a debacle for a team that’s been rolling to start the year. The fact they didn’t talk to the victim’s family in the first place was embarrassing. The fact their veteran players stood up in front of microphones and blasted the front office for doing it is a terrible look. I honestly wonder if a general manager who built a first place (best in the NHL team) survives this move because it’s that bad in Boston right now.
  • The Daily Faceoff crew broke out some new statistical rankings this weekend I really like them. There isn’t a Blackhawk in their top 20 (shouldn’t be a surprise) but these metrics do a great job of quantifying how good defensemen are defensively.
  • Frank Seravalli has been banging the drum for an award for defensive defensemen for a while now — an award that Niklas Hjalmarsson likely would have won a few times while skating for the Blackhawks. I’m on board with it.
  • This looks like a lot of fun. Of course at my age this looks like a groin pull and blown knees (plural) waiting to happen, but tennis on ice could be a great one to watch, too.
  • Finally, let’s continue enjoying the arrival of a legit quarterback in Chicago. Justin Fields’ season has turned from a nightmare into an eye-opening, record-breaking performance. They might not be winning games, but Fields is gaining respect.

Author: Tab Bamford

Tab is the Lead Blackhawks voice for BN. He is the author of two books about the Blackhawks, most recently "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter at @The1Tab