Well, ladies and gentlemen, another Chicago Blackhawks season has come to an end. This one was particularly filled with ups and downs, as the first few games of the season made the team look better than it was, and the rest of the season showed how terrible the Hawks were going to be. The Blackhawks traded away a franchise icon in Patrick Kane, along with other players at the deadline, in an attempt to restock enough draft picks and prospects to speed this rebuild up.
This team wound up in a literal race to the bottom in the final weeks, as the Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets were all waiting to see who would wind up with the least amount of points and the best odds for getting the first overall pick in the upcoming 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
Jonathan Toews would be playing in his final game in a Chicago uniform, and possibly his final game as a professional hockey player, as he has been contemplating retirement after this season since dealing with the lingering effects of long COVID. His goodbye was one of the few highlights of the season, as it was good to see him get back on the ice, and at the very least, leave Chicago on a celebratory note.
— The Flyers came out firing on all cylinders, as Travis Konecny would get the first two goals of the game, one in the first 26 seconds of the game, and the next one at the 6:28 mark of the period. The Blackhawks would strike back, though, with a Jujhar Khaira backhander and an Anders Bjork tap-in tallying two for the Blackhawks before the period would end.
— The second period would start much the same, with the Flyers coming out first and getting two very quickly. Owen Tippett took a giveaway from Seth Jones and buried it past Alex Stalock. Then, a few minutes later, the Flyers struck on the power play, with Noah Cates burying a shot from in between the circles, giving the Flyers a 4–2 lead. The Blackhawks would get one back, on a Toews redirection off of an Andreas Athanasiou shot to get the Blackhawks back to within one at 4–3. Toews celebrated in style, with an old-school one-kneed fist pump that Toews made iconic after numerous big goals earlier in his career.
— The Blackhawks would continue to generate chances in the third period, trying their best to compete for Toews’ final game and play well for him. It would take until the final few minutes of the period for them to make good on that. With an empty net, Athanasiou would tuck a pass from Tyler Johnson into the Philly net, tying things up at 4–4.
— In overtime, it looked as though Toews would get a complete storybook ending, as he got a breakaway chance that trickled inches wide of the post. On the ensuing rush toward the Blackhawks net, Ivan Provorov worked his way through the Blackhawks’ defense, putting a backhander into the net and winning the game for the Flyers 5–4.
Although this was a disappointing end to a disappointing season, we at The Rink would like to thank you for joining us for it. Without your readership, it would not be nearly as enjoyable to write, watch and cover this Blackhawks team. Thank you for making this worth it! Now, all eyes turn to the draft lottery on May 8 and later June 28, as one of the pillars of the next era of Blackhawks hockey will put on the Indiana head for the first time.
And, of course, thank you, Tazer.