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Time To Spoil Another Teams Hope For Playoffs Hawks vs Islanders

April 2, 2024, 7:07 PM ET [236 Comments]
Zach Jarom
Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Saturday night in Philadelphia, the Hawks had the chance to play spoiler and hand the Flyers a tough blow in their battle for a playoff spot. Coming off a lackluster performance against the Senators, this was a game the Hawks needed to show up for, and luckily they did just that as they took out the Flyers 5-1. It was a good bounce-back game and saw a few players get much-needed morale boosts, which hopefully will help get these guys through the last eight games this year.

Game Takeaways

Lukas Reichel is gaining confidence.
It has been a less than ideal season for the young forward, who, I'm sure, like a lot of us, was hoping for a breakout season. He opened up the scoring in this one, picking up his own rebound, and was able to get the monkey off his back. That goal snapped a 26-game goal drought dating back to December 19th. He would go on to add an assistant as well in this one, and it's great to see him get 2 points and give fans a reminder of what potential he has.

Connor Bedard plays wing.
The rookie continues to add to his Calder Trophy-winning season as he picked up another assist on a beautiful pass to Kurashev. If there was one part of his game that needed to be addressed, it was his face-off skills. Richardson moved Bedsy over to the wing with Dickinson as his center, and while that line seemed to click and he looked good playing wing, don’t expect Bedard to be the next best winger in the league. He is going to be 1C for this team for a long time; taking faceoffs is an art form, and he is going to learn and improve, but if you want to let him play wing to wrap the year off so you can let the kid loose, I am all for it.

Kurashev's amazing season continues with a fantastic month.
Philipp Kurashev has always been that player in the organization that you could see potential in, but you were not sure what you really had with him. Now that you have the chance to play with Connor Bedard, you are seeing him reach a whole other level of confidence as he adds on to his career-best season. He picked up 2 points in this one, making it the 6th time this month he recorded a multi-point game, and saw him finish the month with 17 points (7-10) in 14 games. It will be exciting to see if he is able to build off of this next season or if this is a case of him going as far as Bedard takes him. Time will tell.

Next up
The Hawks wrap up their three-game road trip tonight with a visit to the island to take on Matt Barzel and the New York Islanders. Just like Saturday's game against the Flyers, the Hawks will be looking to deliver a devastating blow to the Islanders playoff hopes. With 8 games to go, they currently sit 3 points out of that last wild card spot, and with the way they have been playing as of late, they are desperately going to need two points against the Hawks. They have a 3-6-1 record over their last 10 games and are coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Flyers last night. It’s a shame that nothing could have been done to help this team leading up to their playoff push, like, I don't know, maybe making a trade or two before the deadline to add some extra firepower to the lineup. However, that is not Lou Lamoriello style, as he went yet another deadline, making zero moves. If this team fails to reach the playoffs, you have to ask yourself: How much longer does this guy have a job?

Projected Lineup
As of writing, I do not have updated lines for tonight’s game. What we do know is that Connor Bedard will be staying on the wing with Dickinson at center. Also, expect Mrazek to get the call-in net in this one.

Frozen Four
This past weekend, we found out which four teams will be battling out next weekend for the chance to be NCAA National Champions. Now that I know I only talked about three of the Hawks prospects in the previous post, I completely forgot about two other prospects the team had in the tournament. The Hawks will have three players representing the team in the Frozen Four: Ryan Greene from BU, Aidan Thompson from Denver, and, of course, Frank Nazar from Michigan. Speaking of Nazar, what an incredible pass to pick up an assist against MSU! If you aren’t excited for this kid and the future of the Hawks, I don’t know what else to tell you.

Michigan will take on number one Boston College, and number two BU will take on number three Denver. Both games and the championship should all be on either ESPN or ESPN2 and will be well worth watching.

That’s going to be it from me. The puck drop is set for 6:30 p.m. Central. As always, let's go Hawks!

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