Kirby Dach returns to Chicago
Right off the bat, there’s no way to decide who won or lost the Kirby Dach trade from draft night. Yes, in the moment, Dach is having a great season with the Canadiens. But the Blackhawks have two promising draft picks from that trade in Frank Nazar and Gavin Hayes. Time will have to tell whether or not there actually is a winner in that deal.
Dach was put into a no-win situation the moment he was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2019. He was forced to begin his career in the NHL and was forced to be the next great dynamic two-way center. He wasn’t ready to be either.
Now, playing on the wing and with two dynamic young players in Montreal (Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki), Dach is finding his game as a 21-year-old offensive-minded player. He has a role and Martin St. Louis’ style in Montreal is working to his benefit. Good for him.
All that said, Kirby Dach returned to the United Center today against his former team and put his middle finger right in the face of Blackhawks organization and fan base (figuratively, of course). He played 18:47 minutes and registered just one shot on goal during regulation and overtime, but it was his moment in the shootout that likely provided him with some closure to his time in Chicago.
Booing Kirby Dach for being traded when he didn’t want to be traded because he wasn’t able to be a superstar when he was facing an uphill battle in his development path is quite the choice by Blackhawks fans in attendance today. Look, far be it from me to tell you all how to be fans, but that wasn’t the look we should be going for.
Dach got his moment and I’m sure he and the Habs faithful will enjoy it for years to come.
We’re Going Streaking! (Not in a good way)
You cannot say that these Blackhawks are not giving their all on a nightly basis. While the results have not been there in the win column, on almost every night, there are things you take away from their play as positives. Tonight was no different.
They fought back from being down 1-0 and 2-1, but they were once again not rewarded for their efforts and resiliency. With the loss, the Blackhawks have now dropped eight of their last nine games and ride a six-game losing streak. From a tank perspective, that’s just fine. But from the perspective of head coach Luke Richardson and the players in the locker room, they just need to win one.
This isn’t a Blackhawks squad that will be able to dominate any team for a full 60 minutes to get a win, so they need these kinds of efforts to muster-up W’s. Continued losses like these will wear on the players and make Richardson’s task of keeping his locker room engaged night after night that much harder.
For the 16th time this season, 16 out of 20 games, the Blackhawks started on their heels. Just over three minutes into the game today, Joel Edmunson netted his first goal of the season to continue the dubious trend the Blackhawks have established this season.
It has been seven-straight games for the Blackhawks allowing the game’s opening goal.
After the game, head coach Luke Richardson said that the energy-level for the Blackhawks was lacking to start, but picked up as the game went on. Blame it on the afternoon puck drop, or the amount of games and practices in the past few days, or on how much turkey and stuffing everyone had yesterday, the bottom line comes down to the players need to be ready to go right away. Not even when the puck is dropped, they need to be ready once the step foot into the arena. If they aren’t, I’d say it would be a good idea to place some bets on Draft Kings for the Blackhawks’ opponents to score the game’s first goal until Chicago proves they can do otherwise.