NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Chicago Blackhawks

Video: Chicago gets off to a quick, Montreal-like start


One could forgive a hockey fan for a deja vu feeling between Game 5 starts on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In Tuesday’s Game 5, the Montreal Canadiens drew a penalty close to 30 seconds into the first period with their season on the line at home. They managed an early 1-0 lead against the New York Rangers when one of their best defenseman fired a shot from the point:

In Wednesday’s Game 5, the Chicago Blackhawks drew a penalty close to 30 seconds into the first period with their season on the line at home. They managed an early 1-0 lead against the Los Angeles Kings when one of their best defenseman fired a shot from the point:

In that case, it was Brent Seabrook scoring instead of P.K. Subban, but it was difficult to shake the resemblance.

That’s only continued early on, although not note-for-note like that first tally. Yes, the Kings scored a potential momentum-swinging goal, but it only made Chicago’s lead smaller (as opposed to tying the game like Derek Stepan did for the Rangers). Still, the plot seems similar so far; the Blackhawks answered what could have been a crushing goal with yet another tally to make it 3-1, which is where it stands at this very early point.

In the process of putting this post together, Marian Gaborik made it 3-2. Is it possible that this Game 5 could end up even wilder?

Ignoring the odd parallels, the best sign is that Patrick Kane seems to be getting things going. He collected an assist on all three of Chicago’s goals so far in Game 5.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.

Fabbri primed to make Blues in significant role

Jason Demers, Robby Fabbri
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With the start of the regular season just around the corner, it looks like Robby Fabbri will not only make his NHL debut on Thursday, but also get meaningful minutes.

During Sunday’s practice the 19-year-old forward played alongside Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. Nothing is set in stone, but that combination did gel.

“I think we want to look at what the combinations look like now rather than do it at the start of the season,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re looking at a hard match line and we’re also looking at taking advantage of speed and skill off the rush.

“I really liked what I saw today. I really liked Lehtera’s line, they looked very dynamic off the rush.”

The top line of Alexander Steen, Paul Stastny, and Vladimir Tarasenko seems like a good bet to play together for the time being. Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz will stick together on the second line while Dmitrij Jaskin and David Backes can expect to be regular partners on the third unit. The X-factors will be Fabbri and Troy Brouwer as Hitchcock has left the door open to alternating between the two of them on the second and third line depending on the opponent.

Fabbri was taken with the 21st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and is looking to make the leap after a brief stint in the AHL last season. At the OHL level, he’s been a dominate force with the Guelph Storm, scoring 25 goals and 51 points in 30 games in 2014-15.