For several members of the Chicago Blackhawks, their minds are likely racing with the trade deadline looming. I am sure it cannot be easy hitting the ice Saturday afternoon knowing you could be told to pack your bags Saturday night.
The Blackhawks fell to division foe Minnesota Wild 3–1 Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis. For those who like low-scoring games, this was the one for you. It was not until 16:47 in the third period that Ryan Hartman buried the go-ahead goal to put the Wild up 2–1.
For those keeping score at home, the Blackhawks have not played well against the Wild this season. They have been outscored 8–1 in their last two meetings.
The Wild struck first, as Frederick Gaudreau netted his ninth of the season. The Wild dominated the majority of the shot categories going into the first intermission.
#Blackhawks trail Wild 1-0 at the end of Period 1.
Shot attempts: 25-14 MIN
Shots on goal: 11-7 MIN
5-on-5 scoring chances: 4-3 MIN
5-on-5 high danger chances: 1-0 CHI pic.twitter.com/T1DBL3GlYh
— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) March 19, 2022
A scoreless second period meant we had a hockey game on our hands. The Blackhawks did not just fold up knowing half the lineup could be on a plane out of town soon.
Nevertheless, Seth Jones scored for the Blackhawks in the third period, tying the game up at 1–1. For Jones, it ended a 35-game goal drought.
TIE GAME A LA SETH JONES 🚨 pic.twitter.com/wHnimYyuGM
— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) March 19, 2022
The Wild would close out the game near the end of regulation like they have multiple times this season. The Blackhawks have now lost three of four and their losing ways may continue if veterans are traded.
The rebuild has begun and it is not the “rebuild” that the previous hockey operations group tried to sell fans on. Kyle Davidson is tearing down the team with the hope of building it back up to fight to get your name etched in history on the Stanley Cup. On Saturday, we got a glimpse of what is to come. Three new, young Blackhawks were put in the lineup: Boris Katchouk, Taylor Raddysh and Alex Vlasic. Vlasic, the Blackhawks’ second-round pick in 2019, is another young defenseman to join the already loaded group of young blueliners. As for Katchouk and Raddysh, both were acquired in the Brandon Hagel trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning. I am expecting more young prospects to join these three in the lineup in the coming weeks knowing the veterans who could be dealt by Monday’s deadline.
Not sure where this will go, but hearing CHI & MIN have had conversations about Marc-Andre Fleury. Something to keep an eye on.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 19, 2022
Mark Giordano and Calvin de Haan are on the clock. The next top D available in the rental market. Lots of activity today, obviously.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) March 19, 2022
If I were to say what two Blackhawks could be on the move next, it is these two. Marc Andre-Fleury is still playing at an elite level. He has been a joy to watch. But the Blackhawks are doing no good keeping him around with the team sinking further and further. I know it is a sticky situation with Fleury given he took some time to even decide if he wanted to join the Blackhawks. But if all goes well, the Blackhawks will have more draft capital and Fleury gets a chance to compete for the crown.
Calvin de Haan is a guy you want on your hockey team. His shot blocks rank among the best in the NHL over the past few seasons. He may not fill the stat sheet, but he will for sure help your team win. We are seeing contenders paying steep prices to get who they want. Davidson did a good job getting the most for Hagel and the Blackhawks will benefit because of it.