Despite the Chicago Blackhawks recent struggles, Saturday night’s game against the Minnesota Wild was going to be interesting for one reason. Carl Dahlstrom was going to be playing in his first ever NHL game since being in drafted in 2013.
The 23-year-old defenseman actually missed “the call” because he was at the movies.
“I couldn’t answer,” Dahlstrom said, who was seeing “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” with some of his teammates. Though, Dahlstrom figured that he would be getting his chance in the NHL sooner rather than later.
“I suspected something like this was about to happen.”
At 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds, Dahlstrom has the athletic build to be a successful NHL player, but like everyone else, he will have to earn his time on the ice. He is known for his skill on offense, which is odd for a defenseman, on the Hawks anyway.
Dahlstrom has had a solid year in Rockford. He has three goals and 20 assists in 40 games, but there are still nerves that come with playing in your first NHL game.
“I think any guy would be for his first call-up, first game,” he said. “That’s natural. You’d be stupid if you weren’t nervous. It’s good to admit it too.”
Unfortunately, the kid’s presence didn’t help much on Saturday night. After a first period where the Hawks outshot the Wild 17-5 they found themselves down by two goals. If that doesn’t resemble their season, I don’t know what does. It’s been a very frustrating couple months, to say the least.
You have to wonder where this team would be if Corey Crawford had never gotten injured. He is going to return sooner rather than later.
“We’re hopeful that it’s next week or soon, right after,” said head coach Joel Quenneville.
Will Crawford’s return be enough for the Hawks to make the playoffs? It doesn’t look good, but the Hawks are still excited to get him back in the starting lineup. He will join the team in Arizona. It will be the first time on the ice with his teammates since December 23rd.
After going down 3-0 after the second period, the Hawks could have used Crawford against the Wild. The frustrating part about the Hawks is they played well enough to win against the Wild. They just ran into a hot goalie in Devan Dubnyk. That’s hockey.
Another quiet third period led to the Hawks’ fifth straight loss. They are now ten points out of the second wild-card spot in what seems like rock bottom for a team used to having so much success in May and June. Both players and coaches are running out of words to describe this season.
“It’s definitely put us in a terrible spot,” Quenneville said.
“Running out of words to say,” said the captain Jonathan Toews.
It might be a good time to start checking out this year’s draft class.