Tkachuk the OT Hero (Again), Campbell's Front Office Role, Future All-Stars, CHL Clinch Games, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Tkachuk the OT Hero (Again), Campbell’s Front Office Role, Future All-Stars, CHL Clinch Games, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL

Thus far we’ve had three games between the two conference final series, and all three have gone to overtime. So will Game 2 of the Western Conference Final stay true to form? The exciting news: this game starts early — at 2 PM CT. So even if this one goes three or four overtimes we’ll still get to be at a reasonable hour.

  • The Panthers and Canes did not get to bed at a reasonable hour after Game 1 of their series lasted until almost 1 AM local time. So when Game 2 of the series saw 60 minutes come and go without a decisive goal, you could sense there was a “how long can this one go?” feel in the arena. Well, Matthew Tkachuk answered that question less than two minutes into the first overtime — his second consecutive OT GWG. And the Panthers now have a 2-0 lead in the series as they go home.
  • Sasha Barkov scored a ridiculous goal in the middle of the second period, the only goal the Panther scored in regulation. He faked the between-the-legs move and came back to his backhand, beating former Blackhawks netminder Antti Raanta. It impressed me. And it also impressed the GOAT.
  • Ben Pope at the Chicago Sun-Times wrote a really nice feature on how Brian Campbell has gone from a star defenseman to a trusted front office advisor for the Blackhawks. We’ve seen and heard Campbell around the edges of a lot of the front office conversations, and lots of the prospects I’ve talked to have brought his name up as someone they speak with on behalf of the organization.

“I have a big voice in [the front office],” Campbell said. “My opinion is asked at all times, and I give my opinion and Kyle can make the decisions from there. Obviously, I want to keep growing, keep getting better, and then maybe more responsibilities [will] come my way at some point. But I’m comfortable with where I’m at and what my job is.”

  • So I was having a conversation about respective all-star games with a couple guys last night in a lovely little location right on the water at Lake Geneva and one of them asked me how the NHL does their all-star game player selections. Which, after a couple adult beverages, was fun to try to make sense out of for them. But then one of them jumped in and asked “Okay, so if Seth Jones was the Blackhawks’ obligatory representative in the All-Star Game this past year because they had to have someone in the game, how long until they’re good enough to have multiple all-stars?” Which got me to thinking… if there’s any fan vote influence on the players involved in the game, one would have to assume Connor Bedard would be the favorite to represent the Blackhawks for the foreseeable future. But who would be a second option when Chicago is good enough to warrant multiple players? That’s a great question.
  • We already know the Seattle Thunderbirds have won the WHL title and will compete in the Memorial Cup. Other than the host Kamloops Blazers, which other teams will join them? On Sunday, the London Knights and Peterborough Petes will play Game 6 in the OHL championship series. Also Sunday, the Halifax Mooseheads will host the Quebec Remparts in Game 6 of the QMJHL championship series. The Petes and Remparts can clinch their spots in the Memorial Cup on Sunday.
  • Finally, we love us some prospects here and so do our Cubs brothers and sisters. But there isn’t much hockey on right now with the Blackhawks specifically and the Cubs had a rough night on Saturday night so… prospects. Talk about the prospects.

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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