A Long Night at the Office, Protecting Bedard, Who’s Scouting Where? Baby Chelios, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Last night was rough. And it was really emblematic of the entire Blackhawks’ season, wasn’t it? The Hawks played their butts off and, frankly, out-played the Avalanche for 18 minutes. They really did. But every little miscue this team makes ends up in the back of their net. I can’t remember a Blackhawks team that has a smaller margin for error than this year’s edition. And then the door opens for the opponent — especially a good one like Colorado — the rain comes pouring in. After that first goal, the boat race was on and the Blackhawks never got off the mat.

There was a lot of frustration on the ice and the bench from the Blackhawks last night. Losing as much as they are is really taking a toll on the players, and it’s starting to show. They’re in a bad spot right now because they simply don’t have the horses to beat teams like Colorado, and when every mistake ends up a goal against it makes you play tight. Hopefully they can go off in a potential get-right game against a banged up Columbus team on Saturday night but this team really needs a win in any way right now.

  • I’ve got a bit of an issue here. Once the Avalanche got a lead, Josh Manson started picking on Connor Bedard. He got away with this obvious — dangerous — slash across the hands. After the game, we asked Jarred Tinordi, Reese Johnson and Luke Richardson about it. None of them saw it. You know who should have? The other four Blackhawks on the ice. I saw Seth Jones react to it; he paused as he was moving toward the bench for a change. Nobody on the Blackhawks engaged Manson a single time last night, even though the abuse continued for almost two full periods. That cannot happen to the best player on the team. Yeah, he needs to get used to it because he’s gonna get it his entire career. But somebody has to make Manson think twice about a play like this. Hopefully when the Hawks get another shot at the Avs in Denver on Monday night there’s money on the board with Manson’s name next to it.
  • A couple housekeeping items as we continue inching closer to the NHL trade deadline (March 8 at 2 PM CT). We now have a trade deadline tracker that Matt and I will do our best to keep updated as the moves start flying. Anything involving the Blackhawks will get more love than just getting tossed into the list, but we’re gonna try to keep this updated as a resource for y’all to see what the entire league is doing.
  • I also have a list of the first-round picks in the 2024 NHL Draft that have been traded on the site.
  • This is pretty awesome. I’m a big fan of fans getting a little glimpse behind the curtain and seeing how the voices you’re listening to on the radio or television are physically reacting to the game in front of them. Miguel Esparza does a magnificent job doing the Spanish language broadcast of Blackhawks games (he’s also an incredible Elvis impersonator). He shared his call and reaction in the booth to Patrick Kane’s game-winner over the weekend. Super cool stuff from a great guy.
  • Some intriguing names on the list at the United Center last night to watch the Blackhawks and Avs. I will note that the Blackhawks do play a home-and-home with both San Jose and Anaheim in the middle of March. However, there were three (3) head pro scout/director of pro scouting and one AHL general manager on the list last night. Which is… interesting.
  • https://twitter.com/The1Tab/status/1763350330442498211?s=20

  • Which, when you consider the Blackhawks had someone in Boston to watch the Bruins and Golden Knights, is… something. The Blackhawks reportedly sent head pro scout Alex Brooks to watch Columbus and Carolina, but that makes sense with the Hawks hosting the Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
  • When I wrote about how much I love Nick Foligno in the room on Thursday, there were a couple comments in different places on social media channels about giving him the C immediately. Those were usually followed up with a response from another fan reminding that person that, at some point, Bedard is going to be the captain in Chicago. Both of those realities can happen; I wouldn’t be shocked if Foligno was named the captain for the two years of his new contract before they handed it to a more seasoned Bedard. But with that in mind, this story from Ben Pope was perfectly timed.
  • For what it’s worth, this is another reason to love Foligno.
  • Can we take a second to wonder what kinda water they drink in Bedard’s family, though? His cousin, Gavin McKenna, won’t be eligible for the NHL Draft until 2026, but he’s putting up stupid numbers already in the WHL. Circle that name because he looks like he’s the next “one.” But let’s all cross our fingers and hope the Blackhawks are nowhere close to making the first pick in the draft by then.
  • https://twitter.com/br_openice/status/1763267400919556307?s=51&t=ESwYjOKcGL_TWWx-NV4tsw

  • Congrats to the Chelios family — again! Caley shared a picture of her and her husband with their adorable baby girl, Sofia Vitale, on social media on Thursday.
  • The Blackhawks didn’t score last night but one of their prospects did! So… baby steps?
  • Finally, some clear thoughts about what the Bears should do with the first pick in this year’s draft.
  • written by

    Tab Bamford has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks for almost two decades. He joined Bleacher Nation as the lead Blackhawks writer in May 2022. Tab is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and is the author of two books about the Blackhawks: "100 Things Blackhawks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" (Triumph Books) and "Chicago Blackhawks: An Illustrated Timeline" (Reedy Press, 2021). Find him on Twitter/X/Instagram/Threads at @The1Tab

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