Blackhawks Birthday Memories, Thoughts on the Islanders Loss, Talking Prospects, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Blackhawks Birthday Memories, Thoughts on the Islanders Loss, Talking Prospects, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

Quick personal story for y’all. Pull up a chair and pour a beverage. On Dec. 5, 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Calgary Flames 4-2. Bryan Bickell, Dave Bolland, and Jonathan Toews accounted for the scoring; Bolland scored Chicago’s second and fourth goals. Brent Seabrook picked up three assists, and Corey Crawford stopped 24 of 26. There were 21,112 people in attendance at the United Center that night. I was not among them.

Earlier that day, my wife’s water broke, and we made our way to Loyola Hospital to go through the whole having-a-baby process. This was our second time, and we had a fairly decent idea that this might end up being a C-section birth. As we waited for things to happen on the baby front, which was not moving quickly, my wife requested that the nurse put the Blackhawks game on the television. I watched the win, and as soon as the final horn sounded my wife was on the horn telling them she was ready for the doctors to “come get this boy outta here.”

My middle son, Bobby, turns 12 today. His first Blackhawks jersey was Seabrook because Seabs had three assists the night he was born. His second was Toews because the captain scored the game-winner the night he was born. I’ll never forget that night for many reasons, the least of which was the outcome of an early December game between the Flames and Blackhawks. Happy birthday, Bobby!

  • Almost three minutes after the play in question, the NHL’s situation room called into the rink and told the on-ice officials they needed to review what was eventually ruled a good goal for Matt Martin. The goal gave the Islanders the first goal of the game — and it help up as the game-winner. But the review itself took almost five minutes in real time and took the wind out of the Blackhawks. Not ideal.
  • The Blackhawks had a solid night at the dot across the board last night, which was a good thing to see. Too often recently, the Hawks have relied heavily on Jonathan Toews to win a massive portion of the faceoffs in games; it makes sense, considering he’s the best in the NHL. But when the Blackhawks were winning/playing better in October, a few guys were doing well at the dot. On Sunday night, Toews won 10 of 18; Max Domi won 9 of 13, Jason Dickinson won 7 of 13, and MacKenzie Entwistle won 4 of 6.
  • The only line for the Blackhawks that saw all three forwards credited with a shot on net was the third line of Dickinson, Jujhar Khaira, and Colin Blackwell. At the end of last week, I wrote about the Blackhawks needing the bottom six to contribute more offensively, and it seems like the lines have started to settle in a little.
  • Arvid Söderblom is going to see a lot of the net for the Blackhawks coming up, with Petr Mrazek expected to miss at least another week with the groin issue that took him out of the Rangers game on Saturday night after two periods. After Sunday night’s loss, Luke Richardson was still very complimentary of the young netminder.

“He was great,” Richardson said after Sunday’s game. “He made some big saves, matched (Semyon) Varlamov. Really good goaltending duel, and then unfortunately that one slipped in (during the second period), and then we didn’t support him as well, but he hung in there. He made some great reads and big saves and stood tall right to the end. He’s been great in every appearance he’s been in. We have to give him a little bit better goal support and a little better structure in front of him, so he doesn’t have to be exerting himself on big saves too much.”

  • This three-game road trip is an absolute beast for so many reasons. But one that will be striking on Tuesday night when they play the Devils in Jersey will be how different the styles of play are from the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils this season. The Blackhawks beat a Rangers team that’s a mess right now. The Islanders are a heavy, structure-driven team that didn’t lose their core approach the entire night. The Devils are a high-octane team that will turn the game into a track meet. For a quick three games in four nights trip, this is just going to get increasingly harder for the Blackhawks.
  • Before yesterday’s game, Andreas Athanasiou was still angry about the hit he received from Jacob Trouba. It led to Toews dropping the gloves with him, the second straight game/day that Trouba fought his opponents’ captain. AA had some strong comments about Trouba as a player.

“That guy is known for hitting high, not really worrying about the puck out there and almost trying to hurt people,” Athanasiou said. “That’s his game; that’s what he does. He’s an $8 million man with zero goals, so he has to figure out how to do something when making that much. If you can’t help the team, I guess you try to hurt guys on the other team.”

  • I updated our rankings of the Blackhawks’ top prospects this morning as we begin December. There was a lot of movement from our early-November update, so be sure to check it out. One guy who didn’t crack my top 20 but might get some run this season up front in Chicago is Cole Guttman, who’s been hot for the IceHogs. Once the Blackhawks start moving bodies and there’s room on the NHL roster he might be one of the early call-ups among the forwards.
  • Finally, baseball’s Winter Meetings kick off this week and the Cubs are big game hunting. Will they land a premier player in free agency soon? That would be nice!

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