Appearing on ESPN 1000 Chicago’s “The Waddle & Silvy Show” Wednesday, NHL on NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick suggested the struggling Blackhawks should consider trading All-Star forward Patrick Kane.
“Everybody knows I am a huge Patrick Kane fan, but when you’re talking something of this nature, is Patrick Kane dealable? As much as I don’t want to say it, they can afford to get rid of Patrick Kane,” said Roenick, one of only three Blackhawks to ever score 50 goals in a single season. “They can afford to — with the season he’s having — maybe with his off-ice reputation, maybe with the skill they have on their team — it’s doable.”
This is the second time this week Kane’s been floated as a potential trade chip. On Monday, Sportsnet’s Hockey Central analyst Nick Kypreos discussed a potential Kane-for-Ryan Miller swap in an effort to cure Chicago’s goaltending woes. The ‘Hawks have lost nine straight with goaltenders Corey Crawford and Ray Emery struggling throughout.
On Wednesday Roenick added to Kypreos’ train of thought, saying that if the ‘Hawks want to get a quality netminder, they’ll have to give.
“Do I like it? No, because I love Patrick Kane,” Roenick said. “He is one of the most talented and one of the best players in the NHL. But if you really want a top-end goaltender you’re going to have to give up somebody.”
That said, Roenick made it clear there’s one person the organization shouldn’t give up on — head coach Joel Quenneville.
“If you let Coach Q go it would be the biggest mistake that that franchise has made since they traded me in 1996,” he said (Roenick was shipped to Phoenix after eight seasons in Chicago). “I truly believe that Coach Quenneville is one of the best coaches in the NHL.”
By just about any measure, Monday’s been lousy to Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.
He was pulled with a few minutes remaining in the first period after Chicago Blackhawks built a 3-1 lead, scoring those three goals on just eight shots on net.
You could summarize Vasilevskiy’s awful start by those numbers, or by how rare the 3-1 goal was for the scorer.
Tomas Jurco failed to score a goal or an assist in 16 games with the Red Wings, then went pointless in nine more games with Chicago before finally scoring his first goal of the season on Monday.
Now, Jon Cooper didn’t pull Vasilevskiy because Jurco scored that tally. Still, it rubs a little extra salt in his wounds all things considered.
Here’s the Jurco goal:
Patrick Kane‘s 2-1 goal might have hurt the most, actually, as it quickly dissolved a tying tally by Ondrej Palat:
Update: The Lightning decided to put Vasilevskiy back in net to begin the second period. Interesting.
The bad news is that Artem Anisimov seems likely to miss all – or at least most – of the regular season for the Chicago Blackhawks with his lower-body injury.
The good? Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville believes that Anisimov will be ready once the playoffs swing into motion, as the Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Lazerus reports.
Anisimov was hurt when he got tangled up with Canadiens forward Alex Radulov on March 14:
The Blackhawks have been filling Anisimov’s typical spot alongside Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin with Ryan Hartman and Nick Schmaltz lately. There have been flashes of brilliance with Schmaltz, but Chicago would probably feel most confident with Anisimov back in his familiar place.
Chicago’s Central lead is pretty secure over the Minnesota Wild at the moment, which likely reduces motivation to rush Anisimov back before he’s truly ready. The Blackhawks close out their regular season on April 8, so there’s still time for him to heal up.
The Anaheim Ducks are flying high – er, waddling with some swagger? – right now thanks to Jonathan Bernier‘s somewhat shocking turnaround, but the pending return of John Gibson is promising.
(Especially since the Ducks will likely want him to shake off some rust before the playoffs begin.)
While it’s not clear if he’s exactly 100 percent healthy just yet, the Ducks sending Jhonas Enroth back to the AHL is a strong sign that Gibson is close.
Enroth actually never got a shot to start for the Ducks, as his last NHL appearance came on Nov. 30, closing off his ill-fated run with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Considering that Enroth was once a fairly hot commodity as at least a promising backup, it will be interesting to see how his 2017-18 season pans out. Will he get more or less of a chance than he received this season?
Bernier, meanwhile, is richly rewarding the Ducks for sticking with him.
He’s provided them with a Vezina-caliber March: 9-1-1, 1.71 GAA and .943 save percentage with one shutout. You almost wonder if there’s at least some potential for a goalie controversy if Gibson stumbles whenever he gets back into action … but hey, having two good goalies to choose from is better than none.
(Which was the scenario that must have scared the Ducks when Gibson got hurt in the first place.)
The Tampa Bay Lightning almost certainly haven’t faced the Chicago Blackhawks in a game this important since the two teams were vying for a Stanley Cup.
While the Blackhawks have already punched their ticket to the postseason and are merely trying to pad their lead in the Central Division, the Bolts are fighting for their playoff lives. At the moment, they rank three points behind the Boston Bruins for the final spot in the East. With a game in hand, they can make up a lot of ground tonight.
With all of that in mind, it should be an entertaining contest. You can check it out on NBCSN, watch online or via the NBC Sports App.
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