Tuesday, September 19, 2017

PreSeason: Blackhawks at Columbus - 5-2 Win Recap

"Youth Gone Wild"

by Gatekeeper

Do you hear that faint sizzle in the background? That is the Blackhawks buzz getting warmed up. Tonight the Blackhawks officially kicked off game action with their first preseason tilt, in Columbus. If you looked at the roster they sent, you might be asking yourselves one important question:

Alas, there is still hockey, and it involves players wearing Blackhawks uniforms. That's about the best I can say about it. I'm not sure why they risked Joel Quenneville having an aneurysm with this lineup, but they rolled the dice.

Forget the period by period rehash. It's the preseason:

The Good
  • The first Blackhawks goal was on a 2 man power-play by Cody Franson, and he later added an assist. I really like what Franson brings to this team. He's big, intimidating, confident, and experienced. He has a cannon for a shot and isn't shy about unleashing it. You can't say that I didn't warn you all about Franson when he's signed to an NHL deal and plays 70 games.
  • Laurent Dauphin was the second Blackhawks player to get a goal, when Tomas Jurco was able to spring the puck loose from behind the net to Dauphin, who was completely wide open. Dauphin beat Korpisalo with a kind of feeble little backhand, but it was a goal. Not only did Dauphin score, but his prowess on the penalty kill was very noticeable, blocking several shots with no regard for his safety.
  • Another impressive Blackhawks debut was from defenseman Jan Rutta. He looked comfortable and composed. He snuck in and activated on an early powerplay, and scored the third goal of the game. It wasn't a pretty goal at all, but it all looks the same on the scoreboard, I guess.
  • Nick Schmaltz was the fourth Blackhawks goal scorer, just 38 seconds after Rutta's goal. I'm not sure what Korpisalo was doing, but Schmaltz beat him cleanly with a sneaky little snipe. This kid finally grew a set of coconuts this summer and came in with a swagger that he can actually backup.
  • Vince Hinostroza threw his hat in the ring, and scored a 5th Hawks goal that actually stayed on the board. He took some silly penalties too, but with 17 total, who didn't?
  • A guy who will never get a fair shot is Matthew Highmore, but he had a pretty good prospect camp,
    tournament and was noticeable in this game, as well. He could be a very useful mammal in Rockford, this year. He tied for the team lead with 3 shots on net.
  • Anton Forsberg's composure and smooth movement really impressed me. He held the Jackets scoreless through the first two periods, until the Blackhawks lost interest. My first impressions are that he should be able to easily handle NHL talent. Thirty eight saves in your debut, on the road, is commendable. Preseason or not. We'll see what Glass and Berube show in coming games.
The Bad
  • The enforcement of of rules that already existed, but are finally being called made for a total mess of a first period. There were 7 penalties in the first period alone, and one resulted in a Blackhawks powerplay goal. there were SEVENTEEN penalties called in this game. That is WAY too much.
  • It took the Jackets until the third period to break the shutout, but they eventually did. Forsberg was late tracking a shot that went off the end boards and right to the stick of Seth Jones,
    and Jones beat him.
  • I know it's really being picky, but getting out shot 40-26 is a little much.
The Ugly
  • Lance Bouma ran his own goalie in his second shift of 2017-18. It's going to be a long season.
  • The stupid goaltender inference rule came into play again when it looked like the Hawks had scored their fourth goal of the second period. Graham Knott definitely made contact with the Columbus goalie, but it really had nothing to do with the goal. Call it a pity, makeup call.
  • Lumbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo was pretty brutal, giving up four second period goals, which should have been five. I'm not sure why they didn't replace him in the second, but it worked out in the Hawks favor. You think CBJ fans were looking to have Anton Forsberg back?
The Lineblender
Left Wing - Center - Right Wing
Dauphin - Schmaltz - Jurco
Miller - Kampf - Hayden
Bouma - Mitchell - Baun
Highmore - Knott - Hinostroza

Jokiharju - Stuart
Kempny - Rutta
Forsling - Franson


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