Here are 5 thoughts about the Chicago Blackhawks’ loss in Prague.
Boy, does it feel good to watch some Chicago Blackhawks hockey and not have to hear one person say anything about the Blues or how they won the Cup.
Frankly, I was tired of it and I assume you were too. Anyway, while the Blackhawks did lose in their season opener to the Philadelphia (spelt it right the first time without spell check!) Flyers 4-3 on Friday afternoon.
There are many things to talk about, which gave me the idea to start my new series, 5 thoughts after a Chicago Blackhawks’ game.
It’s a working title so bear with me. If you have any ideas for a title, please @ me on Twitter, @NikoFromTheTO. Let’s get into it.
New Season, Same ‘Hawks?
I don’t want to be that guy, but the performance out of the defense and the turnovers that ended up in the back of the net eerily reminded me of how bad the start of last season was.
"“You don’t have your structure,” head coach Jeremy Colliton said. “That couple seconds right after, if you misplay the puck or they steal it or whatever, it’s tough to defend. We put ourselves in bad spots repeatedly.”"
Those words were spoken in the post-game interview, as Colliton timidly answered questions about his team’s loss.
Maybe it was all the new toys the Blackhawks got during the offseason that made me really believe in the hype that was supposed to be this team.
I get it, it is game 1 of 82 and I should relax. I JUST think when your coach says, “You don’t have your structure”, after the first game, it doesn’t seem all that RELAXING.
I want to be optimistic about this team and I should be, as I talk myself off the ledge. There were a lot of things that reminded me of the beginning of last season’s team and having a start like that won’t get you in the playoffs.
Good thing Jonathan Toews is the Captain though, because I needed positivity like this after that game.
"“You’re excited and you want to come out and start the season off with a bang, but the good news is there’s 81 more,” Toews mentioned after the game."
Also, here is a pretty good video from the last “Euro-Trip” the ‘Hawks went on in which Patrick Sharp recorded everything with a Cam-Corder! (It’s been 10 years!) Some A+ Toews Content right here:
I got a drinking game for you at home. Go watch the Blackhawks’ extended replay of the Friday’s game and take a shot after every turnover. I bet you will be drunk at about 3 minutes in.
I know it is the first game, you’re playing overseas, and half of your defense is different personnel.
It is kind of like going to do your job at a different office. You know what to do, but everything kind of seems different.
Now, with that said, the people at this office must have been using the fridge for the printer with how many turnovers happened in every zone of this game. Two of the turnovers led directly to Flyers’ goals.
From rookie, Dennis Gilbert’s pass whiff to the many neutral zone passes that the Flyers gobbled up.
It’s a scary moment when Duncan Keith gets walked by Travis Konecny. It’s equally as scary watching his backhand go over Crawford’s glove side for the Flyers’ 3rd goal goal of the game.
It was an all-around messy game for a Chicago Blackhawks team that went out and supposedly cleaned all of these problems up.
I am still not sure how having Olli Maatta and Brent Seabrook as a pairing helps, but they were split up during the latter half of the game, so we will see if that pairing continues. It would definitely match spooky season with how frighteningly bad it was though.
Patrick Kane’s New Nickname
Patty Kane’s new nickname is Mr.Worldwide (sorry, Pitbull).
With 1 goal and 2 assists, Patrick Kane has now scored in 4 different countries while wearing a Chicago Blackhawks’ uniform!
If you’re wondering how he scored 2 goals in Finland, Kane actually asked to play in the Finnish Elite League for one game wearing all Blackhawks’ gear. Surprisingly, Gary Bettman said it was ok.
That’s also how he got into a fight with a cab driver, because the cabbie didn’t want to take him from Chicago to Helsinki. Crazy times for that #88, I swear.
In all seriousness, Kane scoring 3 points in this game was honestly the only bright spot. He carried the offense and was stellar in the moments he and Alex Debrincat teamed up.
With this start of the season, there is not one reason why “Showtime” can’t get back to 100 points. Plus, when he’s sniping like this, who can stop him?
By the way, Kane is on pace for 246 points.
Big Hoss is Still the BOSS
Unless your head was inside a hole, and you only watched highlights of the game, you may not have noticed how much everybody loves Marian Hossa.
Since the team was in Prague, about 4 hours away from Hossa’s hometown of Trencin, Slovakia, Hoss made his way down for not only some practices, but also for the game too.
Everyone on the broadcasting team from Pat Foley to Adam Burish were gushing about how great of a player Hossa was and how the ‘Hawks could sure use a player like him, not only on the ice, but for his off-ice leadership as well.
Talking with the Chicago Tribune, Hossa was reminded of his Cup days. He fondly spoke of how he won his first Cup against the Flyers almost ten years ago..
"“It’s Philadelphia, there are a few memories. Because against Philly I scored my 500th goal, against Philly I won my first Stanley Cup.”"
He also got to catch up with some of his former teammates on those Cup teams mentioning,
"“It’s tough to win one (let alone) three Cups. So definitely with those guys, we had lots of bonding.“We went through rough times and great times, the trainers, the staff around the team. It’s always great memories to be around the team.”"
It is always great to see Marian Hossa with the Chicago Blackhawks hanging around with him and seeing them give such respect to the legend that is Hossa.
He also mentioned he would not be making a comeback with his skin condition. With that said, you would have to think that he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, when he is eligible in the next couple of years. 3 Cups, over 500 goals, and 1000+ games.
The Blackhawks should do a yearly segment where they follow Marian Hossa around his town, asking him anything. Any Hossa content is great content.
What Do We Think of Alexander Nylander?
Nylander was pretty decent out there, huh? I personally thought he was going to suck and I would have continued my complaints about trading my sweet angel, Henri Jokiharju, over the summer.
All Nylander did was get himself his first goal as a Blackhawk, play 18 shifts, and he wasn’t bad on the defensive side of the puck in the limited opportunities that were put before him.
While that is all fine and dandy, he did only take one shot (which was the goal) and was otherwise covered. Now, the whole team was outshot 38-31, and even though he was on the first line for parts of the game, Nylander only ended up with barely over 15 minutes of ice time (15:07 to be exact).
The Blackhawks, as a whole, could not really get a foothold on the offensive for long periods of time, so we will have to wait and see just what Nylander can fully bring.
More from Blackhawk Up
- Blackhawks: Three Noticeable Improvements in Comeback Win vs Blues
- Blackhawks: Key Takeaways from 3-2 win over the Blues
- Blackhawks: Grading Connor Murphy and a position comparison
- Blackhawks: Shuffling the lines to try and spark offense at 5 on 5
- These Lineup Changes could Solve the Blackhawks’ Scoring Problem
A goal in his first game does help him against his detractors (me) who just couldn’t understand why GM Stan Bowman traded for this player to begin with.
I will be watching him closely as the season goes on, just to see if maybe he can capture some of that magic that saw him go 8th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft.
I want him to succeed, I really do, but it was just hard to see a young Blue Chip prospect defenseman get traded for a player who has yet to prove himself at the professional level.
The Chicago Blackhawks have a full week off until their home opener on the 10th, so there is lots to think about and dissect until then.