Contemplative Captain, Bad For Bedard Home Stretch, Boston Makes History, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Contemplative Captain, Bad For Bedard Home Stretch, Boston Makes History, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

There are three more games on the NHL regular season schedule for the Chicago Blackhawks, and two of them are at the United Center — beginning tonight against the Minnesota Wild. These could be the final two home games in the career of captain Jonathan Toews. ‘‘For myself, I’m taking it as if these are my last games in Chicago,’’ Toews told Ben Pope in Seattle on Saturday night. While he has not yet completely ruled out a return next season — in Chicago or elsewhere — the finality of this week is very real for the longest tenured captain in Blackhawks’ history and the fans who have cheered for him for almost two full decades. Here’s hoping the United Center is back at a standing room only level to say thank you tonight and on Thursday.

  • The Anaheim Ducks suffered another ridiculous third period collapse last night… but still took the Colorado Avalanche to overtime (where the Ducks lost). That’s two straight overtime losses for the Ducks inside the final week of the regular season. Which means Anaheim has handed the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks a two-point cushion with three games remaining for the top two spots in the Bad for Bedard Sweepstakes (aka 2023 NHL Draft Lottery). And, again, as a reminder: the Blackhawks are not tied for the worst record in the league. They’re in second position. The tiebreaker is regulation wins, and Chicago has two more than Columbus.
  • On Monday morning, goaltender Alex Stalock was named the Blackhawks’ nominee for the Masterton Trophy. The award is presented annually to “the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.” Each local chapter of the PHWA selected a team nominee, and then the writers vote for the overall winner.
  • On the opposite end of the standings from the Bad for Bedard Sweepstakes, the Boston Bruins won their 63rd game of the season on Sunday. Yes, I said 63. Sixty-three! Let that sink in for a moment because no team in NHL history has won that many regular season games.
  • After the disappointment of Minnesota’s national championship game loss, two of their superstar players signed their entry-level contracts on Sunday. Forward Matthew Knies signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Brock Faber. It will be fun to see how the two perform in the playoffs for their new rosters after making it all the way to the NCAA championship game. Will Faber make his NHL debut in Chicago tonight?
  • The CHL playoffs continue with some big games tonight. Our favorite Firebird showed up in Flint’s graphic getting their fans ready for a Monday night Game Seven against Saginaw. Good luck to Gavin Hayes and the boys tonight!
  • Finally, the other tenant at the United Center get to participate in the NBA playoffs — sort of. The Bulls will face the Toronto Raptors in the play-in portion to hopefully advance to the traditional playoffs. Which begs the question: what the heck is the play-in and how does it work? Don’t worry. We’ve got you.

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