Goalies Getting Healthy, Tinordi's Role, Depth Scoring Boost, Scary Moment in Tampa, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Goalies Getting Healthy, Tinordi’s Role, Depth Scoring Boost, Scary Moment in Tampa, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Welcome to Day Four without Blackhawks hockey. For a Blackhawks team that had a long, tough stretch of games to open their home calendar, the layoff was needed. The break has allowed the team to get away from the rink for a couple days and get some bodies closer to returning. A team that’s dealt with a number of significant injuries getting back to full strength should help them moving forward.

  • On Tuesday, goaltender Dylan Wells cleared waivers and was assigned to Rockford. This is a good sign. Petr Mrazek was already activated off IR and head coach Luke Richardson told us yesterday that Arvid Söderblom was dealing with some dehydration issues during the game on Saturday which led to his removal from the game. Richardson said they haven’t decided who starts which game in California this week yet but it appears Söderblom and Mrazek will each get a game (at least that’s the plan right now).
  • Alex Stalock continued his work back from concussion protocol. He was on the ice before practice on Tuesday. It still looks like he’s a little bit of a ways away from returning, but it’s good to see him back on the ice.
  • Forward Tyler Johnson was also on the ice on Tuesday before practice. He’s working his way back from a high ankle sprain. He was moving fairly well from what I saw so hopefully he can return when the Blackhawks are back at home next week.
  • The Blackhawks spent some extra time working on their power play at practice on Tuesday. Chicago ranks 12th in the NHL in power play percentage (24.3) but rank 25th in power play time on ice per game (5:01). Richardson noted how the Blackhawks aren’t doing a good enough job drawing penalties and wants them to work on doing more when they have the advantage, but also noted having a power play more frequently would help.
  • Scott Powers wrote about how Jarred Tinordi has been a good fit on the Blackhawks’ blue line. The Hawks got him off waivers from the Rangers just before the regular season began. He’s a second generation NHL player who knows his role and has excelled in it in Chicago. Richardson has really liked what Tinordi has been on the ice — tough, physical and calm.
  • ESPN’s Emily Kaplan included some comments about the state of the Blackhawks’ rebuild in her league buzz column on Tuesday. Obviously the “tanking” Blackhawks roster either didn’t get the memo that they’re supposed to be bad or just don’t give a damn what we all think (it’s the latter in case you haven’t noticed). Here’s a quote from GM Kyle Davidson on the winning Blackhawks right now and how it impacts his plans to continue building:

“It’s funny because it goes against what some people thought we were going to be,” Davidson says. “Everyone is focused on the draft, right? But we’re trying to do the best thing for the team and organization every night, and that’s putting a hardworking effort on the ice. Every night we show up, we want to win. We’re not putting a team on the ice that we expect to lose. Wherever we end up in the standings, it’s our job and our scouting staff’s job to find talent from that point.”

  • Travis Yost at TSN did some digging about how much depth players are impacting the increase in overall scoring in the NHL this season. One of the forwards who made his list of most productive bottom-six forwards is Jason Dickinson (who, remember, the Blackhawks got with a second-round pick in a salary dump deal with Vancouver). Dickinson, Sam Lafferty and Philipp Kurashev all have multiple goals this season which has helped the Blackhawks’ immensely.
  • Last night there was an incredibly scary moment in the game between the Lightning and Oilers in Tampa. Bolts forward Pat Maroon stepped on Evander Kane and cut his arm badly. It was immediately clear that Kane was in a bad spot; there was a lot of blood on the ice and he went straight to the room. I’m not going to directly share the video here for those who don’t like the sight of blood, but you can see it here.
  • Kane was taken care of by a group of first responders and taken to a local hospital where he had surgery on his left wrist last night. This could have been awful for Kane, so it’s good that he was able to get help from some great folks in Tampa. Kudos to the first responders who were able to provide him with the assistance he needed. How long he’s out is TBD but thankfully this didn’t end in a worse situation.
  • If you want to read a terrific, feel-good story about a guy working his way into a position in the NHL, here’s your story for today. Logan Thompson was never drafted. He played four years of junior before going to college. He fought for a chance, got it, and hasn’t looked back. And now he’s grabbed the net for a Vegas team that’s in first place in the entire Western Conference. This quote from Thompson resonated with me:

“Pro hockey wasn’t even on my mind,” Thompson told The Athletic. “I was just a kid having fun. I had school on Monday and Tuesday. I would go home and play video games, drink beer and just be a college student. I was thinking I needed some extra bucks, so maybe I’ll work for Uber Eats, but my car couldn’t make it.”

  • Finally, Bear Down! Justin Fields is your NFC Offensive Player of the Week, y’all! The Bears just might have themselves a quarterback (finally).

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