Toronto Tears, Drama in Vegas, Chicago Draft Impact, Thinking Free Agency, and Other Blackhawks Bullets
Man, we FINALLY had two incredible games last night. After a second round that had seen mostly blowouts, Friday night did not disappoint. In the first game, Florida grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period in Toronto. But the Leafs climbed all the way back to tie it late in the third period. Unfortunately for Canada, the Panthers won it in overtime and the Leafs are headed to the golf courses for the summer. Another disappointing playoff exit could mean big changes in Toronto.
The late game last night was crazy, and the final two minutes of the contest were ridiculous. Edmonton took a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period, but the Golden Knights scored three goals in 90 seconds in the second period to stun the Oilers and take a 4-2 lead to the third period. That third period started with Vegas needing to kill over four minutes of a major penalty against the best power play in NHL history, though. Edmonton scored only once in the five-minute advantage and Vegas hung on to win the game 4-3 and take a 3-2 lead in the series.
Here’s the schedule for tonight:
- With the Panthers winning last night and Toronto’s season now officially over, the Blackhawks now own picks No. 1 and 19 overall in the first round. Love to see it.
- No. 19 you say? Rings a bell… I threw an idea out there for a way the Blackhawks could pass the torch from the dynasty generation to the Bedard Era at the draft. What do you think?
- As a reminder, we’re not only thinking about Connor Bedard this summer. Chicago has a whole lot of draft picks to use, and a boatload of money to spend. Yesterday, Matt and I considered those realities a little. GMKD was on 670 The Score and talked about how Bedard does — or doesn’t — impact his approach to free agency this summer.
- And Matt took a look at some free agents on the market who might fit where the Blackhawks.
- If you’re watching the Stars tonight, it’s worth keeping an eye on our old friend Max Domi. We’ve talked a lot about how much fans (and media) fell in love with him during his brief time as a member of the Blackhawks this season, and many have considered a reunion when he hits unrestricted free agency this summer. When I wrote about that idea back in March, we didn’t know Connor Bedard will be here in the fall. Does that impact the idea of Domi returning?
- When Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus at The Athletic considered some potential linemates — internal and external — to possibly skate with Bedard in his rookie season, Domi’s name came up. And I like their rationale:
Domi, like Athanasiou, was an instant fit in the Blackhawks dressing room, and Richardson was a big fan. Domi is comfortable at both center and on the wing, so he could take faceoffs if Bedard struggles in that facet early on. He also brings a little bit of feistiness and a protective element that Reichel and Bedard likely would need, if paired together.
- The Seattle Thunderbirds lost their first game of the WHL Championship last night to the host Winnipeg ice by a final of 3-2. Kevin Korchinski scored Seattle’s second goal in the final two minutes of regulation to make things interesting, but they couldn’t find a third goal to tie the game in time. Game 2 of the series is in Winnipeg tonight.
- Even though the Oilers had their hearts broken by Vegas last night in a stunning game, not everything was a loss for Connor McDavid. Predictably, he was named one of the three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s MVP. And he’ll win it, likely unanimously. The runners-up: Boston’s David Pastrnak and Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk.
- Remember back in 2014 when the Blackhawks brought in veteran center Brad Richards to help them win a third Stanley Cup championship? Yeah, the good times… back in the day… Anyways, for some reason Richards has hanging out with Lord Stanley this week and Eli Manning got to experience the greatest celebration in sports.
- Finally, because Toronto fans are going to complain about the officiating for the next 20 years or so, a moment of sobriety from the refs/officials/umpires in another sport. Last night, a guy got tossed for clapping in the dugout. Seriously. And yeah, it’s that ridiculous. You’ve gotta see this.