“First Game at Little Caesars Arena”
As we inch closer to the regular season, we saw a nice win for the Blackhawks in the preseason. In their second to last game of the preseason, we saw them play a young Detroit team missing many of their big-name players. The Blackhawks were also missing key players like Kane, Saad, Seabrook, Keith, and Crawford. In their first appearance at Little Caesars Arena the Red Wings new facility, the ‘Hawks won 4-2.
The first period started a little slow and with some sloppy plays, but things would start to get better pretty quick. At 4:54 we saw the first of 10 penalties in the game when Red Wing Robbie Russo slashed Gustav Forsling. The power play was just ok early on but got better in the later periods of the game. Shortly after at 8:23 we would see the first of the Blackhawks penalty kill unit because of a Laurent Dauphin tripping penalty. On the PP, the Red Wings had what looked like a sure goal when Ben Street shot at a sprawling Anton Forsberg. With a wide-open net, the shot went high and hit the crossbar. Later, The Blackhawks would go on the penalty kill 2 more times after a David Kampf interference call and a Tomas Jurco slashing call.
The second period started with the Red Wings on the power play, where they scored the first goal of the game. Justin Abdelkader had the puck down down low, and passed to Niklas Kronwall at the blue line. Kronwall would let a shot go that Red Wings rookie Michael Rasmussen nicely redirected past Anton Forsberg. The period went on seeing a couple good shifts from the makeshift second line of Artem Anisimov, John Hayden, and Vinnie Hinostroza. We saw Anisimov put the puck through a defenders legs to a stuff attempt, and John Hayden have a good shot attempt which resulted in Artem Anisimov getting robbed on the rebound, with a wide-open net. No scoring would come till late in the period.
At 13:50 Richard Panik got the Blackhawks on the board and tied the game. Alex DeBrincat held the puck at the line and tapped it to an open Jonathan Toews, who would make a great cross-ice pass to a wide open Richard Panik. Panik sent a one-timer past Petr Mrazek. The Wings would take the lead back about two minutes later when Libor Sulak put a shot past a sliding Connor Murphy to the glove side of Forsberg.
The third period is where the Blackhawks hit their stride. At the 1:41 mark of the third period, Tanner Kero chipped a pass to a streaking Vince Hinostroza, who weaved through two defenders. Hinostroza then sent a slick backhand pass to Tommy Wingels on the back door, who put a well placed one-timer past Petr Mrazek. Next, the highly anticipated Alex DeBrincat would score his second preseason goal on the power play, as the Wings’ Sulak was given a two-minute minor for hooking against Laurent Dauphin. After taking a pass from Gustav Forsling, DeBrincat then made a nice backhanded pass to defenseman Cody Franson. Franson looked to pass the puck to Jonathan Toews but the pass went all the way through the crease to back to DeBrincat, who let go a nice wrist shot over Mrazek. The Red Wings would challenge the goal for offsides but failed resulting in the ‘Hawks going on another power play. For those unaware, new this year, a failed off-sides challenge results in a two-minute minor for delay of game, instead of just losing a time-out. The final goal of the game would come at 18:35 when Laurent Dauphin made a nice steal at center ice and backhand the puck into the empty net.
- Alex DeBrincat- The kid is looking more confident with the puck and is usually in the right position at the right time. While still getting pushed around a bit, it seems DeBrincat is learning how to win his battles. Two points on the night
- Artem Anisimov – While not finding the score sheet Anisimov proved his worth with a few good shot attempts and his line created some good chances.
- The Penalty Kill – The ‘Hawks would go five for six on the PK. They seem more aggressive and have better cycling better than we saw last season, so far.
- John Hayden – Hayden very well may play himself into a roster spot. While not scoring in this game, he would end up with three hits and 2 shots on net. The more Hayden plays, the more he shows his skill, speed, and physicality. He also seems to cause a little disruption when he is on the ice, almost starting another fight in front of the goal.
- Vinnie Hinostroza – While I don’t know if he will make the opening night roster, watching Vinnie was fun tonight. As we know Hinostroza is fast, he is really starting to show the offensive upside. He is starting to make more smart plays and is also seeing the plays much better.
- Anton Forsberg – Forsberg would have another good night in goal, saving 32 of 34 shots. As of now expect Forsberg to be the backup.
- Power Play – Not horrible but the ‘Hawks went one for four on the power play. Seeing a couple more shots and some more zone time would be nice, but they were also missing some major pieces on the power play.
- Tomas Jurco – Yet again another game where he was invisible. Other than occasionally touching the puck Jurco had zero shots on goal, one hit, and a giveaway. Can we please get rid of this failed experiment.