Kurashev Concern, NCAA Tourney Continues, Blackwell’s Season Ends, and Other Blackhawks Bullets
Opening up this morning’s bullets, I really hope Philipp Kurashev is okay after taking a shoulder to the head from Tom Wilson last night. He was instantly stunned on the ice and did not return. The Blackhawks only gave him a qualifying offer last summer and they’ve asked him to do a lot of different things this season, starting with being a third line role player and, now, serving as the team’s top-line center. He’s earned an extension, but here’s hoping he can finish the season healthy.
- Tyler Johnson, a veteran who competes every night even when the points aren’t coming, wasn’t happy after a second straight ugly loss last night. It’s good to see veterans speaking up when the effort isn’t there. All season we’ve known that the skill might not be there to win many games, but the effort has been good. The last couple games weren’t good ones. Yeah, there are injuries impacting the lineup but the next man up needs to grab his opportunity.
- Yeah, the effort wasn’t great. And Khudobin assured himself of a trip to free agency this summer. But the loss serves a purpose, right?
- As a reminder, the Blackhawks have three prospects playing in the NCAA tournament today:
- Jake Wise and Ohio State face Harvard at 1 PM CT (ESPNU)
- Slava Demin and Merrimack face Quinnipac at 4:30 PM CT (ESPN News)
- Frank Nazar and Michigan face Colgate at 7:30 PM CT (ESPNU)
- Boston University — with Blackhawks prospects Drew Commesso and Ryan Greene — took the ice against Western Michigan in the first game of the NCAA tournament on Thursday. Commesso was marvelous, stopping 24 of 25. Greene played a solid all-around game as well. BU won 5-1 and advances to play Cornell on Saturday afternoon.
- Cornell advanced by virtue of a 2-0 shutout of Aidan Thompson and the defending champs from Denver. DU was never able to get on track offensively in large part because they spent 15 of the first 35 minutes of the game in the penalty box. Thompson is one of the Blackhawks’ four prospects to not advance from Thursday games, because…
- The second game of the afternoon on the clock was St. Cloud State against Minnesota State. Blackhawks goaltending prospect Dominic Basse was in a reserve role the Huskies.
- After the Blackhawks’ morning skate in Washington on Thursday, the obvious questions were asked about the organization’s decision to not wear Pride night jerseys on Sunday. As he did earlier in March, Connor Murphy spoke eloquently on the matter:
“I can understand [why people are upset] when things are announced one way and then changed,” Murphy said. “But I hope that people understand we all support them.
“Whether it’s someone in the gay community or someone in any other community…we hope that everyone feels welcome in our arenas and watching us and even a part of the game and wanting to play. That’s the big message we hope can stay true.”
- I tweeted as much earlier this week, but this is another example of why I would put the C on Murphy if the Blackhawks decided to name a new captain whenever Jonathan Toews decides to call it a career. Not only is he now the longest tenured player in the organization, but he also consistently shows leadership like this.
- The Chicago Gay Hockey Association also released a statement in the wake of the news. In it, the organization supports the various initiatives of the Blackhawks organization in the community.
- Somewhat quietly, the Blackhawks announced Colin Blackwell‘s season is over. He signed a two-year deal with the Blackhawks that some felt was a sneaky-good deal. Unfortunately, he never got on track and then physical limitations impacted his game. He finishes his first year in Chicago on IR with 10 points in 53 games.
- We’ve reached the part of the season when the fine folks over at The Athletic are giving us goal song power rankings. It’s based on fan voting, so all of may or may not agree with how they stack up. Not surprisingly, the Blackhawks’ use of “Chelsea Dagger” continues to poll well. Clearly Roberto Luongo was not consulted by the voters…
- Finally, I’m going to accept fans getting hyped about Hayden Wesneski. The kid touched 97 yesterday and his stuff continues to be filthy. The fact that the Cubs got this guy from the Yankees for Scott Effross? I can’t stop laughing…