Not only did the Chicago Blackhawks get steamrolled by the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night by a score of 7-4, but defenseman Adam Boqvist also suffered a broken wrist, putting an end to his 2021 campaign. Boqvist, the Hawks first-round pick (No. 8 overall) in 2018, recorded 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in 35 games during his sophomore season in the NHL. Fortunately, Boqvist’s broken wrist will not require surgery, Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed on Wednesday.
Adam Boqvist has a broken wrist. Done for the season.
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) April 28, 2021
“I don’t know what the timeline is, but [Boqvist] has a broken wrist,” Colliton said after the game. “Certainly, he’s not coming back for this year.”
Boqvist’s Bounce-Back Year Cut Short
Even before the broken wrist, 2021 had been a difficult year for the 20-year-old defenseman. Boqvist was out of the lineup for nearly a month in February after being placed on the COVID-19 list along with house-mate Alex DeBrincat, and he also missed additional time just a few weeks ago in concussion protocol.
However, aside from the injuries, Boqvist has made significant strides in his game this season. On defense, Boqvist certainly appeared to be more comfortable in his own zone than he was as a rookie, and he broke up numerous 2-on-1 chances for the opposition with Brent Seabrook-like heroics.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) March 14, 2021
Offensively, Boqvist established himself as a gifted puck-mover and took over as the lone defenseman on the Hawks’ top power-play unit. While Boqvist’s goals and shots on goal did take a dip this season (certainly an area to improve upon), his all-around offensive game seems to be heading in the right direction.
“It’s been unfortunate that his momentum has been stopped a few times by having him miss time when he’s been rolling and playing well,” Colliton said. “But that’s part of his development as well into a pro, finding a way to be a bit more durable and play more games. He’s improved away from the puck, his confidence on the puck, and I like the direction he’s headed. Just unfortunate he’s going to miss some games here.”
Playoff Hopes Officially Toast
After picking up just two out of a possible six points in the three-game series last week against the Nashville Predators, the Blackhawks 2021 postseason hopes and dreams were essentially over right there and then. Last night’s performance, however, put the cherry on top. From start to finish, the Hawks did not put together a strong enough effort (especially on defense) to take down the reigning champs, which was certainly disappointing coming off a three-day hiatus in the schedule. Last night, the Blackhawks played like a team that already knew their season was over.
“I think everyone in the dressing room knew what we needed to do,” Brandon Hagel said. “We needed to win. Came out tonight and I didn’t think we were 100 percent for the full 60 minutes. At times, we were good, [and] at times we weren’t and they made us pay.”
At the moment, the Blackhawks sit five points back of the Dallas Stars and seven behind the Predators for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Discover NHL Central Division. However, with only seven games left in the season, the Hawks would likely need to win out in order to even have a chance for the postseason. AKA, it was a good run for Chicago, but now it is time to start thinking about how this team will shape up in 2021-22.