The Chicago Blackhawks skated into Texas on Wednesday to take on the Dallas Stars after a roller coaster of a game on Tuesday that saw Patrick Kane win the game only to have the goal disallowed by the officials in Toronto. The Blackhawks won in a shootout 3–2 in overtime over the Vegas Golden Knights securing the teams third straight victory. Wednesday’s 4–3 victory over the Stars gives Chicago four straight victories as we approach the trade deadline.
General Manager Kyle Davidson also acquired veteran Nikita Zaitsev, a 2023 second-round pick and a 2026 fourth-rounder from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for future considerations prior to puck drop. Zaitsev had Chicago on his limited no-trade list of approved teams and Davidson took the advantage to snag another early draft pick. Chicago now has 13 picks in the first three rounds of the upcoming two drafts.
- This team does not quit under Luke Richardson. Richardson has done an excellent job getting his team prepared and playing the style of hockey he wishes. The record does not reflect the job he is doing because of the lack of overall NHL talent on this team, but the Blackhawks showed no quit again tonight after falling behind the pesky Stars 3–0 and firing back with four straight goals.
- Kane and Max Domi both found the back of the net twice tonight. Domi’s goals gave him 17 on the season and Kane’s pair gives him 16, in what has been an excruciating season for Kane. The on-going storyline of whether the future Hall of Fame winger will wave his no-trade clause has become nauseating. With that being said, Domi and Kane are definitely two players Davidson could get a nice return for at the deadline.
- Speaking of Kane, whatever ailment he was working through before the all-star break clearly is in the rearview mirror. Kane can still take over games and an interested Kane is a great Kane. If a team needs a playmaker, he can still drive an offense. At most trade deadlines, playoff teams are looking for scoring depth and/or depth on the blue line; Kane gives a team a top-line threat when playing alongside talent. Do not be fooled by some that show you chart graphics; you are looking at a bored, banged up Kane. Also, a Kane in April, May and June is a different type of Kane. I would not bet against him.
- Dallas entered Wednesday’s contest first in the Central Division and one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for top points in the Western Conference. You read that correctly fans. Vegas and Dallas are the top two teams in the conference and Chicago beat both on back-to-back nights. With that being said, the Stanley Cup should go through the Eastern Conference this season, as one could make an argument that six or seven teams in the East would outplay Dallas and Vegas in a seven-game series.
- Goaltender Jaxson Stauber gave a solid effort behind a team that played a game that went into overtime last night and finished in a shootout and found themselves getting in to Dallas at 3:30 a.m. last night. With Wednesday’s victory, Stauber now has five wins in six starts and continues to battle each night and is a joy to watch in net as a 23-year-old netminder finding his way in the NHL. Talent will always be the most important part in the crease in the NHL—you cannot fake that—but Stauber brings a calm and fight that you do not see much with such a young goaltender.
- Chicago found some karma for Tuesday night’s Kane disallowed goal in overtime. Dallas appeared to squeak a puck behind Stauber late in the third, but after another long review, there was “insufficient evidence” that the puck crossed the line. The one replay angle showed the puck on edge and the puck could have reasonably trickled over the line, but Stauber’s sweater blocked the view. Not to be outdone, the Hawks avoided disaster again at the horn, as Tyler Seguin appeared to score for Dallas before the goal was waved off for coming after time expired.
Chicago heads out west for a road trip starting with a contest against the inept San Jose Sharks on Saturday with puck drop scheduled for 9 p.m. CST.