The Pavelski Show Not Enough, Rockford’s Big Night, Draft Lottery Time Change, and Other Blackhawks Bullets
Joe Pavelski returned after his scary injury in the first round of the playoffs to have an enormous night for the Stars, scoring four times against the Kraken. Unfortunately, his four goals weren’t enough; Seattle won the game 5-4 in overtime on an unassisted Yanni Gourde goal. In the early game, the Florida Panthers stayed hot and dominated the Maple Leafs for most of the night, earning a 4-2 win in the first game of their series. Matthew Tkachuk picked up three assists for the Panthers.
Here’s the schedule for Wednesday night’s Game 1s around the playoffs:
- The bright spot for Toronto last night was Matthew Knies scoring his first career NHL goal. He signed his first pro contract after leading Minnesota to the NCAA championship game. Not bad, kid. Not bad at all.
- My predictions for the second round went live yesterday over at The Fourth Period. Feel free to judge me. Former NHL goaltender Eddie Lack opted to not make a pick in one series because of personal reasons. Aaron Ward did not opt out.
- It’s also important to note the Rockford IceHogs will look to extend their postseason another game tonight in Texas. They lost both games on home ice to open their best-of-5 second-round series and need to bounce back big time tonight.
- On Tuesday, the AHL announced the team winners of their Man of the Year Award. For Rockford, Garrett Mitchell earned the honor. This is the second time Mitchell has been named a team winner. Each team’s winner is “selected by their respective clubs for their outstanding contributions to the local community and charitable organizations during the 2022-23 season.”
- The Seattle Thunderbirds lost for the first time in their quest for a WHL title last night. Kamloops picked up a 4-1 victory, scoring the final three goals of the game. Defenseman Nolan Allan had the only goal for Seattle.
- The NHL announced on Tuesday that the 2023 NHL Draft Lottery will now take place at 7 PM CT on Monday, May 8. Same date, same television (ESPN), new time. Plan your social lives accordingly.
- Lots of rumors swirling about former Blackhawks employees coming back to the NHL. There was buzz around Joel Quenneville being a candidate to coach the Rangers next year during their first-round loss to the Devils, and that might get hotter with their loss. There is also increasing talk that Stan Bowman could be back in a front office — in Pittsburgh.
- Some divisional news, the Wild locked up a forward for two more years. Minnesota gave up a third-round pick in 2024 to land Marcus Johansson at the deadline and he finished the season with 18 points in 20 regular season games. He also scored twice in Minnesota’s first-round playoff series (a loss).
- This week as the second round of the playoffs begin, the NHL is announcing finalists for individual awards. On Tuesday, the league announced the finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy and the Lady Byng Trophy.
- It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Boston’s Patrice Bergeron is a finalist for the Selke; it’s his 12th consecutive year being a finalist for the award and he’s won it more than anyone in history. He’ll be joined by a couple youngsters this year: Toronto’s Mitchell Marner and New Jersey’s Nico Hischier.
- The Devils also have a finalist for the Lady Byng. Jack Hughes is joined by Kings center Anze Kopitar and Tampa’s Brayden Point.
- Finally, we care so much about the Blackhawks’ fate in the draft lottery because the Hawks need a savior. They need the superstar to lead the next generation in Chicago back to prominence. The Cubs, on the other hand… not so much. They just need to put the right players in the right spots so the team — and individuals — can succeed. Good stuff here from Brett this morning.
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