Blackhawks win first preseason game 2-1 in OT over Red Wings

Alright it is only preseason but it’s good to see the Hawks back on the ice where they belong. Even though pre-season games are just that there are several things that can be noted particularly since this is an audition for many of the younger players.

The Lines for the most part were Sharp-Toews-Hossa; Saad-Richards-Kane; Carey-Rasmussen-Morin & Mashinter-Danault-Bass. The Defensive pairing were Keith-Seabrook; Hjalmarsson-Dahlbeck & Rozsival-Cumisky.

Of the young forwards, Phillip Danault really stood out. He is very defensively responsible and was a faceoff monster at 67% which tied with the Captain for the highest percentage. Not too shabby. He also had two blocked shots. Danault played a lot on the PK and was solid in his work along the boards

Matt Carey was all over the ice and has a sneaky wrister. Cody Bass lived up to his reputation when he got into a tussle with Wings’ Aaron Rome.

On the defensive side Klas Dahlbeck and Kyle Cumisky both held up their end. Klas Dahlbeck always seems to just quietly go about his business and never seems out of place even with the big club. He makes intelligent decisions and you never worry with him on the back end. Kyle Cumisky can really skate. He is a very smooth skater.

Scott Darling came in for the second half of the game and stonewalled the Red Wings. Corey Crawford played the first half of the game and Darling came in relief. He was solid in the Hawks nets and he was tested on several occasions but stood tall. The goal that got past Crawford was a wicked redirect that really was not his fault.

Observations on the established Hawks players; well Patrick Kane is Patrick Kane. He scored on a beauty of a breakaway and just looks like he is in mid season form.

That breakaway was from a sweet pass from Duncan Keith to Brad Richards and it should be noted Brad Richards has very good passing skills and good on ice vision.

Duncan Keith looks like he’s picked up where he left off last season with all those assists as he assisted on both Blackhawk goals.

The other goal came in OT of course from the Captain. You should know if Kane scores Jonathan Toews has to score. Some things never change. Toews must have redirected a Duncan Keith blast from the point.

The first line at times looked like beasts. There was a point where it seemed liked they had the puck in the Detroit zone forever and were just bombarding the goalie. Marian Hossa can just flat out make defenders look silly.

Toews, Danault & Richards all had way over 50% at the face off dot which is good news for a puck possession team. This was an area that the Hawks could have had improvement in over last year. If Richards can improve this will be huge and there is no reason to think he won’t. Over the course of his career Richards has always been good at faceoffs.

Special teams were ok for a team that has not practiced. The penalty kill looked good but the power play lacked flow which is to be expected without practice and with time off.

The Hawks will face the Red Wings again this time in Detroit and the game will not be televised but can be caught on radio at AM 720 WGN or FM 87.7 The Game. The next televised broadcast game will be on Friday against the New York Rangers on CSN+.

Looking forward to the rest of the preseason games for how the young players do. It will be interesting to see the battles for the blue line and possibly there is one open forward position. Who steps forward will make this interesting and what each player brings to the table and how they distinguish themselves. It is great to have hockey and the Blackhawks back!

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