Kane's Milestone, Domi's Heater, Mrazek's Hurt (Again), Richardson's Head Shot, Rolling Rockford, Boeser Trade Rumors, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Kane’s Milestone, Domi’s Heater, Mrazek’s Hurt (Again), Richardson’s Head Shot, Rolling Rockford, Boeser Trade Rumors, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks ended their eight-game losing streak last night at the expense of the New York Rangers. They scored the first goal of the game for the first time in almost a full calendar month, scored three times on the power play and sunk the Rangers to a new low on their ugly season.

  • I want to start with one more note of recognition for Patrick Kane reaching 1,200 points last night. He’s the 50th player in NHL history to reach the benchmark and just the fifth American-born player to get there. He’s now tied with (gag reflex) Dino Ciccarelli for 49th in league history and finds himself 16 points behind Jeremy Roenick for fourth in US-born history. The three-point night for 88 also adds some positive vibes to start December after he — like everyone else on the Blackhawks’ roster — struggled so much in November.
  • Kane talked after the game about not blowing a lead for once, and how the team rallied together when the Rangers started to ramp up the physicality in the game.
  • Max Domi is hot like Hansel right now. He posted his second straight two-goal game last night and starts December with a three-point night. He had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 13 games in November — one of very few Blackhawks who had some level of positivity offensively in the month (even if two of his three goals came in the finale of the month). He’s up to 19 points in 23 games, which is a 67-point pace. If Domi can do that, his $3M deal looks like highway robbery.
  • We learned after the game on Saturday night why the Blackhawks made a change in net before the start of the third period: Petr Mrazek suffered another groin injury. This isn’t great; he’s already missed time because of that issue this season and it popping back up this soon after he returned isn’t a great sign for a guy who has another year at $3.8M on his contract.
  • Jeff Veilette sums up my thoughts on Jacob Trouba perfectly here. He’s a dirty player who doesn’t always break the rules. He’s a head hunter who has no problem putting a guy in the hospital. By rule, the hit he had on Andreas Athanasiou is legal. That doesn’t make it clean. It’s entirely possible to separate a player from the puck hard without sending him into Tuesday afternoon; Trouba prefers to try to end an opponents’ night.
  • I also present this with limited additional comment:
  • Luke Richardson dusted off the ol’ playing hurt card on Saturday night. During the first period he needed a few stitches to the side of his head after getting hit with an errant clearing attempt. Hopefully he’s alright to go on Sunday night. He was back on the bench soon after disappearing for repairs and stayed on the rest of the night.
  • The Rockford IceHogs might have to send a goaltender to New York for tonight’s game against the Islanders, but they’re on fire right now. The Hogs have won five of their last six, including a 3-2 win over the Wolfpack last night. Lukas Reichel is up to ten goals in 19 games for the IceHogs this season.
  • We heard a lot from the new front office that they wanted young players in the organization to play good hockey and significant minutes in the minors before they got called-up for good. They also wanted the players to play meaningful hockey; 20 minutes per night in a dismal season without good chances of winning doesn’t help development. So Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson went out and signed veterans like Buddy Robinson, Brett Seney, Luke Philp and Dylan Sikura to insulate younger players like Reichel from the need to carry the IceHogs. The Hogs also added AHL players like David Gust to the mix as well. It’s working; Reichel is having a good offensive season and the AHL veterans are putting up really good numbers, too.
  • Last night we got another of our regular reminders that John Tortorella is a national treasure and should be protected at all costs.
  • Boeser is the kind of player I would absolutely love to have in Chicago. If the Blackhawks weren’t stacking picks to draft/develop the next generation of players, I would be really interested in the price tag on this player. And, he’s young enough and has two more years of term on his contract so there’s a chance he could be a veteran leader as more prospects matriculate to the NHL level. But I can’t see a scenario where the Canucks move him and it isn’t the first move of a potential burn-it-down scenario that includes pending UFA Bo Horvat also eventually leaving Vancouver. If that’s the case, the Canucks would likely be asking for picks and not players, which is counter to what the Blackhawks want to be doing right now.
  • Finally, it’s becoming clear that whatever the Chicago Cubs ultimately do this offseason isn’t going to win over every fan.

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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