Chicago Blackhawks: ‘Hawks Thoughts Week 3

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 08: Brandon Saad #20 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates a third period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during Game Three of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 08: Brandon Saad #20 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates a third period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during Game Three of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Every week, I will be going over the previous week in Chicago Blackhawks News.

Each weekly article will include 5 Points including Chicago Blackhawks GOAL of the week and a question for you, the READER! Please leave a comment below on if I missed anything or @ me on Twitter, @NikofromtheTo.

That was an interesting week, right? Last time we talked, the Chicago Blackhawks were going into a game against a Winnipeg Jets team that looked primed for us to take advantage of. Turns out the ‘Hawks had a different plan and lost that in Overtime 3-2.

However, the Blackhawks did redeem themselves by beating the LEAGUE LEADING EDMONTON OILERS — never thought I would say that in my lifetime — 3-1 on Monday. Side note, I was at that game on Monday supporting the Oilers for Canadian Thanksgiving, so take what you will from that.

I did not escape unscathed though, as Chicago Blackhawks fans can be ruthless.

Or this…

ULTIMATELY, the Oilers lost and I got dunked on.

You’re welcome ‘Hawks fans, I was the SOLE reason why they won on Monday. Maybe I will wear my Rick Nash jersey to the game on Friday. Anyway, let us get into the 5 points of this week’s post!

Alex Nylander on Being Healthy Scratched & My Thoughts

While it wasn’t the first time in his career he has been a healthy scratch, this scratching might have stung a little more. After starting on the first line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane and scoring his first goal as a Blackhawk, Nylander quickly found himself skating on the 3rd line.

He would eventually be scratched for Brendan Perlini on Saturday vs the Jets. It has been quite the roller-coaster ride to start his ‘Hawks career.

Alex Nylander spoke with NBC Sports Chicago’s, Charlie Roumeliotis, about being out of the lineup and the positives he took away from it.

"“Of course you always want to be in the lineup but that could’ve been good for me to watch the game and learn from that game and take what I learned from that game into my game.”"

More from Blackhawk Up

You may or may not know this, but I am not the biggest Alex Nylander fan. I know he is just saying the right things, so the team will be happy with the response, but I mean come on.

He knows the expectations are on him to succeed and he hasn’t been up to snuff so far. Lackluster defensive play plus his ability to disappear mid-game is what led to him being scratched.

Then, when he got added back to the lineup against Edmonton he played a team-low 8:20 of ice time, but scored the second goal of the game. This goal, of course, turned out to be the game-winner.

Unless you saw the goal, you know he still did not play very well, or didn’t stick out, I suppose. We will see if he draws into the lineup against the Blue Jackets with Zach Smith taking some days off we may a line of Perlini-Carpenter-Nylander.

Here is Nylander’s goal if you were interested.

Corey Crawford: Surprising Start, Great Finish

I could not have been the only one thinking this going into Monday’s game against the Oilers.

I was literally appalled that head coach Jeremy Colliton (Coach J? JC? HCJC? We will find a nickname.) started Crow against the NHL-leading Oilers. I was not only scared, but also a little mad that he would put Corey in that situation after what seemed like a shaky start —a shaky start that led to some people looking to trade him— but like the ELITE goalie he is, Crawford proved us all wrong by having an amazing game. A game in which Connor McDavid, who you might have heard of, was buzzing.

It looked like McDavid broke the shutout, but it did not count due to him being too fast and skating into Crawford. Corey ended up saving 27 of 28 shots against and was the 1st star of the night. Also, that night was the 500th consecutive sellout for Blackhawks in the United Center and Crawford had some words for the Chicago Blackhawks’ faithful!

Kirby Dach Starts his Professional Hockey Career

No, it wasn’t with the Chicago Blackhawks. Kirby Dach drafted 3rd overall last summer, hit the ice for the Blackhawks’ AHL affiliate, Rockford IceHogs, and got his first taste of pro hockey.

If you’re wondering how Dach ended up going to Rockford, instead of the WHL because of his rookie status, this might clear things up for you. (Also, pro-tip on how to anger a hockey writer.)

In saying that, Kirby Dach has the opportunity to play 3 more games in the AHL, having played two already. While I did not watch any of his play in the minors, here are some tweets and notes by guys I trust and you should too.

The following quotes are from Scott Powers’ article in The Athletic. I won’t spoil all of it, so go read his scouting report on Kirby Dach’s first Pro-Game.

"“Dach played 20 shifts and around 18 minutes of ice time. He got to taste a little bit of everything over that space. He started in every zone and on the fly. He was on a power-play unit. He was on the ice late in the game in a six-on-five situation as the IceHogs tried to make up a deficit. He centered his line and took faceoffs.”“Overall, his debut went about as well as the Blackhawks could have expected. There were moments in which you saw his high-end skill. On his first shift, he forced a turnover with his long reach. On his second shift, he held on to the puck behind the net, moved right to left, skated to the front of the net and put a shot on goal. He got knocked down and got up again. He absorbed contact and held on to the puck.”"

Also, we have some footage of Dach doing Dach things to AHL players. Pretty sick moves.

All in all, it seems our future star center is off to a pretty decent start. Albeit, in the AHL. One more interesting note is that Dach was named to ‘Team WHL’ for the 2019 Canada-Russia Series on November 13 and 14 in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.  It will be interesting to see if he plays there following his hopeful debut for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Brandon Saad Is Back

It was a cold winter night in 2018. I was watching the Blackhawks game under 2 blankets, because it was -10° outside and the cold still seeped inside the walls of my home. As I sipped my too hot, hot chocolate I watched Brandon Saad go into the neutral zone with the puck, fall, and turn it over which led to the other team scoring. That night, he had already been on the ice for 4 goals against and that was the final straw for me.

I got up in anger and yelled, but in doing so, I spilled my too hot, hot chocolate over my chest leading to another scream that could’ve been heard from space. It wasn’t the Artemi Panarin trade or the 3rd line play of a $6 million dollar player. It was at this moment during that chilly night when I knew I hated Brandon Saad.

Fast forward to 2019 and I am still not 100% on the Brandon Saad train, but I can admit that he has impressed me so far this season. This season, we have seen a Brandon Saad that I haven’t seen since his days of being called the “Man-Child”.

I haven’t seen this kind of play from Saad in a while. Yes, I know he had 23 goals last season and was okay for the most part. I know it’s still early, but he has been the best most consistent Blackhawk this season. Some might even say the best Blackhawks player through these first four games. According to Charting Hockey’s Sean Tierney, Saad has been the best hockey player on the Chicago Blackhawks by a longshot. (I can’t seem to get the Sean Couturier stat page out of here, but that Flyers grouping looks like the exact opposite of the Blackhawks.)

It is nice to see Saad play up to his contract. While people will still say the Saad for Panarin trade is the worst trade in hockey history, he does have 2 Stanley Cups and has played pretty well in 2019-20. Not Panarin level well, but apparently, good enough to get him on the Chicago Blackhawks all-decade team.

Also here was his first goal of the season in the loss to the Jets’ last Saturday.

Chicago Blackhawks Goal of the Week (Week 3 Edition)

This week, the Blackhawks went 1-0-1 scoring 5 goals. Only one of those goals will be crowned King of Week 3. Which one? First, here are the two runner-ups.

Of course, I had to give Brent Seabrook a spot on this week’s Top Goals of the Week. The veteran blueliner got some powerplay time on Saturday vs the Jets, making them pay with this very powerful (sarcasm) wrister that made its way through a maze of bodies. This wrister gave the ‘Hawks a two-goal lead.

It also led me to tweet my favorite gif of “Seabs”, which is very appropriate considering his level of play the past couple of seasons.

The second goal of the week has to go to Brandon Saad’s empty-net goal against the Oilers on Monday. After hitting the post about 100 times during this game, Saad finally gets his goal. This gave the Chicago Blackhawks the insurance goal to their first win of the season. Also, the effort to get that final goal is worth the watch.

You came here for the goal of the week and here it is. Patrick Kane (I expect him to be here a lot going forward) sniping Mike Smith from the faceoff dot giving the Blackhawks their first goal of the night.

Only the most elite players can shoot it like Kane.

There it is! The top 5 moments of this week in Chicago Blackhawks news! This next week should be good with 4 games on tap, starting off with the Blue Jackets on Friday! Plus, the ‘Hawks are going begin their 10-year anniversary festivities on Friday. They are kicking it off by giving Dave Bolland “One More Shift”. Make sure to watch out for that!

As always, if I missed anything or you want to add to this piece, comment BELOW or @ me on Twitter, @NikofromtheTo. I am always looking to connect with Chicago Blackhawks fans, so give me a follow and I will follow you back! Thanks for reading.