The significance of Kirby Dach's first NHL fight in the moment failed to generate momentum as Dillon Dube scored 18 seconds later during the subsequent shift but the fight means a lot more in the grand scheme of things. In essence, the fight shows that Dach does have some snarl.
Yes, Dach has offensive skills. Yes, he also has a defensive conscience. And yes, he brings intangibles to the ice like leadership. But one thing that some have questioned about him was whether he had enough pushback to his game to be a difference maker physically.
While one fight doesn't instantly make him Ryan Getzlaf 2.0, it does show that he is willing to stick up for teammates and throw down if needed whether that's literally throwing down the gloves for fisticuffs or figuratively throwing down to flex his muscles and protect his team.
Even with this fight under his belt, a Geztlaf comparable for Dach is very much a stretch. The more realistic comparable may be Blake Wheeler but perhaps a notch lower as far as offensive output. In the long run, though, Dach could prove to be more valuable as a three-zone center.
DeBrincat - Dach - Kane
Hagel - Toews - Strome
Hardman - Borgstrom - Kubalik
Khaira - Carpenter - R Johnson
de Haan - S Jones
McCabe - Murphy
C Jones - Gustafsson
Gaudette, Kurashev, Kalynuk
1st Goal (0-1): Dube (Andersson, Hanifin)
2nd Goal (1-1): Hagel (Carpenter, R Johnson)
3rd Goal (1-2): Lucic (Richardson)
4th Goal (2-2): R Johnson (unassisted)
5th Goal (2-3): Tkachuk (Andersson, Lindholm)
6th Goal (2-4): Lewis (unassisted) EN
7th Goal (2-5): Gaudreau (Lindholm) EN
SOG For/Against: 21/39
Faceoffs Won: 46%
* Letting in Dube's opening strike was very uncustomary of the vintage Marc-Andre Fleury who has been lights out ever since Derek King became interim head coach but was instead scarily reminiscent of the Jeremy Colliton-era Fleury who was swiss cheese.
* If giving up inside positioning to the opponent is an Achilles' heel of the Blackhawks defense, another weakness is poor clearing attempts as evidenced by the second goal allowed when Connor Murphy failed to clear the puck despite a fairly easy outlet out of the zone.
* All teams get lucky bounces and the Flames cashed in on one to score the game winner as Matthew Tkachuk's pass ricocheted off of Seth Jones and into the net.
* The Hawks continued to show a bad habit of electing to make homerun passes rather than rattling off successive singles with short passes to advance the puck zone to zone.
* Another bad habit that persists is not finding the safest outlet especially in their own end such as passing to a forward who is already covered rather than their partner who may be in the defensive zone still but away from pressure.
* To their credit, the Hawks had a few exemplary backchecks by Jake McCabe during the first half of the game and another by Calvin de Haan during the second half.
* On McCabe's backcheck, he made an ill-advised pass in the offensive zone that started a breakout the other direction where Murphy was outnumbered but McCabe got back quickly to rescue his partner.
* Then on de Haan's backcheck, Tkachuk had a clear path down the right flank as he breached his offensive zone but de Haan swooped in from behind to prevent a dangerous scoring chance.
* McCabe had a solid defensive game overall with 4 blocked shots and excellent hustle to maintain coverage, get his stick on pucks, and neutralize plays.
* Not only does Brandon Hagel have an ultra compete level but he also exhibits tremendous strength for a smaller forward by plowing through checks to get to pucks and make plays up and down the ice.
* Patrick Kane was held without a point for a third straight game.
Goal by Brandon Hagel
Goal by Reese Johnson
See you on the boards!