Oilers and Leafs Advance, Game 7 Sunday, Rockford's Game 2, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Oilers and Leafs Advance, Game 7 Sunday, Rockford’s Game 2, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL

There were three potential elimination games last night. Two were in the Eastern Conference before the nightcap in Los Angeles. We’ll talk about the one series in the east the did end last night in a moment, but the New York Rangers came out and blasted the Devils to force a Game 7 on Monday night. Igor Shesterkin was marvelous for the Blue Shirts. In the late game, the Oilers sent the Kings packing with a 5-4 win.

  • Only two games on the Sunday schedule but they’re both Game 7s. Can the Florida Panthers come all the say back and upset arguably the best regular season team in NHL history? And can the upstart Kraken — in their second season existing — upset the defending Stanley Cup champions in Denver? Love me some drama, and Game 7 provides it all. Get the handshakes ready.
  • It needed overtime to be decided, but the Toronto Maple Leafs finally ended the franchise’s 19-year drought and advanced to the second round with a stunning win last night. What does it mean for the Blackhawks? How about a second pick in the top 20 overall this summer?
  • With the Oilers eliminating the Kings last night, we’ll get a postseason matchup of the top two overall picks from the 2015 NHL Draft: Connor McDavid vs. Jack Eichel. Of course Eichel has left the organization that drafted him (Buffalo), but if you don’t think this has some extra meaning for Eichel you’re nuts. He’s been listening to “he isn’t McDavid” since the Sabres lost the lottery.
  • Colton Dach picked up an assist on this lovely goal for Seattle in their first game of the WHL’s Western Conference Championship series. Seattle won the game 5-1.
  • After losing in less-than-spectacular fashion and getting called out by their veteran head coach more than once, it really feels like a summer implosion is coming in Winnipeg. They’re an aging roster that hasn’t been consistent at anything other than… being inconsistent. We’ll see if ownership and the front office opt to roll with the players who haven’t worked or the coach who called them out. Or… none of them.
  • As teams get eliminated and we start reading post-mortems of their seasons and playoffs, we’ll start reading more and more names who “should be moved” or “have played their last game” with said team. Ben Pope noted one player/contract who could make a lot of sense for the Blackhawks. As a reminder: the Blackhawks don’t want long-term commitments on their books still but need to get to the salary floor somehow.
  • The Rockford IceHogs host Game Two of their best-of-five series against Texas this afternoon at 4 PM. They lost Game One at home 5-3 and the game got chippy quickly. We’ll see if there are any cheap whacks by either team early this afternoon. The IceHogs will also hope to see a more impactful effort from Lukas Reichel, who was called out by his head coach for being inconsistent in the first game of the series.
  • Finally, our football team did an incredible job over the past three days covering everything around the 2023 NFL Draft. The Bears were active, as were the other teams in the division and around the rest of the NFL. So sticktaps to Luis and Patrick and Matt for their awesome hard work.

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