NHL

Blackhawks’ Top 5 Moments of 2022-23

0


It was a chaotic season for the Chicago Blackhawks. The first full campaign under general manager Kyle Davidson and head coach Luke Richardson saw everything from numerous loss streaks to more controversy surrounding the team’s public image to franchise icons bidding farewell. The “teardown” portion of the rebuild seems mostly complete and now comes the hard part: building the next great core.

Related: Blackhawks Making Most out of Adversity Filled Season

Though it was a forgettable season, in terms of the on-ice results, the Blackhawks still provided many great moments for their fans. As the team gears up for the offseason and potentially a franchise-altering draft, here’s a look back at some of the biggest bright spots from the 2022-23 regular season.

5. Reichel Scores First NHL Goal (Jan. 8 vs. Calgary Flames)

After starting his season with the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Rockford IceHogs, top forward prospect Lukas Reichel made his 2022-23 Blackhawks debut on Dec. 6, against the New Jersey Devils. He was once again recalled nearly a month later, and in the second outing of a three-game stint, he delivered. Fewer than three minutes into the game, Reichel took a pass from Seth Jones and skated right past Calgary Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov for a between-the-legs rebound goal.

Lukas Reichel Chicago Blackhawks
Lukas Reichel, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Melissa Tamez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Not only did Reichel score his first NHL goal, but the 20-year-old also had his first multi-point outing. He finished the evening with three points (one goal, two assists) in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 overtime win against the Flames, including the primary assist on Max Domi’s game-winner.

The 17th overall pick of the 2020 Draft, Reichel ended the season with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists) through 23 games, which would put him on pace for 53 points over a full 82-game slate. That’s rather impressive given the lack of talent he often had around him, and it’ll be exciting to see how he builds off this momentum in 2023-24.

4. Kane’s Near Buzzer-Beater (Feb. 21 vs. Vegas Golden Knights)

Patrick Kane went out with a bang in his final Blackhawks home game. For the most part, that is.

Down 2-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights, Kane delivered the primary assist on Tyler Johnson’s game-tying goal with less than a minute left in regulation. That would’ve been nice enough, but what Kane did next was unreal. He fired a slapshot past Golden Knights goaltender Laurent Brossoit on a breakaway just as time expired in overtime. However, it was called off after video review.

The Blackhawks won the game 3-2 in the shootout, with Johnson scoring the game-winning goal. But Kane was the story of the night, and it was awesome for him to have one last dramatic moment. All things considered, it was still an epic way to go out, despite not being reflected on the scoresheet.

3. Raddysh Shines Against NHL’s Best (March 14 vs. Boston Bruins)

The Blackhawks went 1-3-1 through their first five games after the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline, shortly after the team said goodbye to Kane, Domi, and others. Given their lack of star power, a contest against the eventual Presidents’ Trophy champions would seem like a mismatch. However, the Blackhawks showed their resilience, pulling off arguably their biggest upset win all season in a 6-3 defeat of the Boston Bruins.

The game’s highlight was Taylor Raddysh scoring his first NHL hat trick. He did it all in the final 20 minutes, helping the Blackhawks come back from a 3-2 deficit. It was also fitting it came four days before his first anniversary of coming to the organization. The 25-year-old ended the season with 37 points (20 goals, 17 assists) through 78 games.

Taylor Raddysh Chicago Blackhawks
Taylor Raddysh, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

While Raddysh led the way, it was a great team effort win for Chicago. The team’s depth was on display; forward Boris Katchouk had a three-point outing (one goal, two assists), while Jujhar Khaira (two assists) and deadline addition Joey Anderson (one goal, one assist) made significant contributions. Before leaving the game due to a groin injury, goaltender Petr Mrázek also stopped 16 of 16 shots.

2. Kane’s Final Blackhawks’ Hat Trick (Feb. 19 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs)

Two nights before his disallowed buzzer-beater, Kane had a throwback game. In front of 20,979, the Blackhawks’ second-largest crowd of the season only behind Marián Hossa night, Kane scored a hat trick while adding an assist for a four-point outing in a 5-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Related: Kane Is Already the Greatest American-Born NHL Player of All-Time


Latest News & Highlights


Marking his ninth NHL regular-season hat trick, it was the closest thing Kane had looked like all season to his old self. It was just as great to see him do it in front of a capacity crowd against an Original Six opponent. Kane opened the scoring midway through the first period before breaking a 1-1 tie about eight minutes into the second. He then recorded the hat trick fewer than three minutes later off assists from Connor Murphy and Domi.

While his near buzzer-beater was incredible, this felt even more special. Through his first 50 games, Kane scored just nine goals. He then had a two-goal night in the team’s 4-3 overtime win on Feb. 17 against the Ottawa Senators before putting on a show on the United Center ice. Kane went on a tear in his final four games as a Blackhawk, recording 10 points (seven goals, three assists).

1. Toews’ Farewell (April 13 vs. Philadelphia Flyers)

When Jonathan Toews announced he’d be out indefinitely in mid-February due to health concerns, it would’ve been reasonable to assume he had played his final game in a Blackhawks sweater. That was far from the case. Toews returned on April 1, after more than a two-month-long absence, skating in six games while recording two assists. The team then released a statement that said they do not intend on re-signing him this offseason, which meant the Blackhawks’ regular-season finale against the Philadelphia Flyers would mark his final time donning the black and red. And man, was it fun.

Toews scored his 372nd regular-season and final goal as a Blackhawk in the second period, coming on the power play on an assist from Andreas Athanasiou and Jones. With the game tied at four heading into overtime, Toews then came close to scoring the game-winning goal on a breakaway. While Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov ultimately scored the game-winner for Philadelphia, that barely spoiled the evening.

With chants of “Jonny, Jonny,” the Blackhawks showed a video tribute before Toews addressed the crowd, expressing nothing but gratitude. He told reporters he had no hard feelings about the team deciding to let him go. Going down as arguably the greatest captain in team history, Toews ends his Blackhawks career skating in 1,204 games (regular season and postseason), recording a combined 1,002 points (417 goals, 585 assists).

What made this moment so special is Toews got a proper send-off. Not all players from the Blackhawks’ “core seven” of their dynasty era got that treatment. As great as Kane’s final two home games were, he hadn’t yet publicly requested to waive his no-movement clause, and it was all speculation until he was gone. For Toews, there was a sense of clarity beforehand, giving fans a proper chance to say goodbye.

With Toews leaving and Kane likely not to re-sign, two of the biggest questions the Blackhawks faced entering the season have now been settled. However, they still have an important offseason ahead. They have 11 picks in this year’s draft, including eight in the first three rounds, and will need to hit the cap floor with more than $37 million committed to next season’s group. That said, some fun stories came out of this season, and fans can reminisce on them before the next great era of Blackhawks hockey begins.


Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.

The Hockey Writers HockeyPedia 800x120





Source link

Updated IPL 2023 Points Table, Orange Cap, And Purple Cap After SRH vs KKR

Previous article

Is Anthony Davis playing tonight? Latest update for Suns at Lakers

Next article

You may also like

More in NHL