NHL

Blackhawks Blog: Nick Leddy Has Been Traded To The Islanders

Today, the Hawks traded Nick Leddy and AHL goalie Kent Simpson to the Islanders for defensemen Ville Pokka and TJ Brennan and goalie Anders Nilsson. Nilsson’s in the KHL right now and Brennan’s likely headed to Rockford. Pokka could be worth watching, though. He’s only 20 and has some real potential. It will be interesting to see how he fares in America after playing the last four years in the Liiga in Finland.

While, at face value, this package may not seem all that great in exchange for Leddy, this was a move that needed to be made. The Hawks were over the cap, and my guess was that it was either going to be Leddy or Versteeg that got traded in order for the Hawks to get under the cap. Since Versteeg had such a good camp, it’s not surprising to see Leddy get traded, especially with so many promising defensemen in the system.

Go Hawks! (Only 5 more days)

Follow me on Twitter @KSchroeder2325.

Blackhawks vs. Wild Game 6 Preview

(Photo: Bill Smith/NHL/Getty Images)

 

After 2 abysmal games in Minnesota, the Blackhawks rebounded and took game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals 2-1 on Sunday night in Chicago. Looking ahead to tonight’s game 6 in Minnesota, here’s what I think the Hawks need to do to put this series away:

1. Get shots on net.

Honestly, it really doesn’t matter where the shots are coming from. Don’t be afraid to take a bad shot; even if the puck doesn’t go in, a rebound that the Wild have to chase is a good thing. The Wild have played great defense the last few games and are dangerous when they’re able to get set in their lanes and make passes difficult. While Bryzgalov has gotten a little better with his rebound control as the series has gone on, he’s still far from great. So shoot the puck and make the Wild leave their lanes to chase the rebound. Make the most of those second-chance opportunities. Make Bryzgalov beat you and stop letting the Wild hide him.

2. Get to the net.

Look, I’m not a huge fan of Andrew Shaw. He takes a lot of really stupid penalties and those can kill you in the playoffs. However, this is where the Hawks really miss Shaw. His net-front presence is the best on the team. They really miss him on the power play. This is where Bickell needs to step up. He got to the front of the net on the first goal in game 5 and needs to keep that up in game 6. Can’t let Bryzgalov get comfortable.

3. Step it up on defense.

Look, even the most die-hard Crawford defenders have to admit that he was not good in games 3 and 4. The defense needs to step up and limit Minnesota’s opportunities.

My lines:

29-19-88

10-28-81

20-12-23

11-26-16

I’d load up the front line. Put Toews and Kane together with Bickell at the net setting screens. After the way Regin played in game 5, I’d keep him in the lineup in Minnesota. Also, onĀ  defense, I’d go with Roszival and Brookbank as the 3rd pairing. I like the way Brookbank’s played in this series. Both Leddy and Roszival have struggled in recent games, but I’m giving Roszival the nod.

Go Hawks!

Follow me on Twitter @KSchroeder2325.