After 'up and down' season, Blackhawks' Strome scores in finale
After sitting four of the previous nine games as a healthy scratch, forward Dylan Strome re-entered the lineup for the Blackhawks' season finale against the Stars at the United Center on Monday.
It's been an uneven, frustrating season for Strome, who signed a two-year, $6 million contract on January 3.
Strome scored 4 goals in the first 11 games, but then managed just 1 assist in the next eight and went into concussion protocol for Games 20-30. In his last 20 appearances going into Monday, Strome had 4 goals, 3 assists and played fewer than 15 minutes 12 times.
Coach Jeremy Colliton scratched Strome for two key games against Nashville on April 21 and 23, put him back in for five games and then sat him again at Carolina last Thursday and against Dallas on Sunday.
"Up and down," said coach Jeremy Colliton when asked how he felt Strome performed in the recent five-game stretch. "He's had some good moments where he's made some plays and impacted the game. And then obviously we're still looking for a bit more without the puck and winning puck battles and trying to get our team out of D-zone and playing in the offensive zone."
To Colliton's point, Strome looked good in his first game back, then assisted on Adam Gaudette's first-period goal against Florida two nights later. There were rough moments, though, including early against Carolina on May 4 when Strome turned the puck over and took a tripping penalty. He was a minus-5 in that 6-3 loss in 13 minutes of ice time.
"He's a great kid and he's open to feedback" Colliton said. "Of course, just like everyone else, (he's) trying to earn a bigger role and have more individual success. As a team, we're asking for more from a lot of guys."
Strome made his presence felt against the Stars, assisting on Pius Suter's goal that gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead just 1:22 into the contest and then scoring late in the second to make it 3-1.
Shaw up for award:
Andrew Shaw was nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by the Chicago chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The award is given to the player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."
Shaw announced his retirement April 26 after a 10-year career in which he scored 116 goals and helped the Hawks to win the 2013 and '15 Stanley Cups.
The Blackhawks lead the NHL with 42 goals by rookies this season. MacKenzie Entwistle became the team's eighth first-year skater to record their first goal in the Hawks' 4-2 win over Dallas on Sunday. ... The Hawks played 10 rookies Sunday, the most in franchise history (not counting the team's inaugural campaign when every player was a rookie).