Blackhawks Fall To Penguins In Preseason Opener

The Blackhawks lost 2-0 to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center on Wednesday night. Chris Kunitz had both goals for the Pens.

Some thoughts from the Hawks’ preseason opener:

Scott Darling looked good between the pipes. The first goal he allowed was a nasty redirect and the second he made a good initial save without any help to prevent a rebound. He made 33 saves against 35 shots, which is a busy night. When you consider he only faced three shots in the first period, he had a strong evening.

On the blue line, it was good to see Brian Campbell back. He will obviously help this year, but was surrounded by kids on Wednesday night. One miscommunication led to Pittsburgh’s second goal of the night.

Gustav Forsling was the most noticeable player on the ice for Chicago. He’s a good skater with a big shot, and he unleashed it on a few occasions. Forsling skated 21:50 with three shots on net, two blocked shots and one takeaway.

Michal Kempny also has a good shot but wasn’t as fluid as Forsling. He skated 22:27 with four hits and three blocked shots.

The only defenseman to skate under 20 minutes in the game was Viktor Svedberg, who spent six minutes in the penalty box. While it’s easy to become fascinated with the potential of his size and reach, he just isn’t good enough to be a regular NHL defenseman – especially if the team has championship aspirations.

The top forward line of the night was Nick Schmaltz (skating at left wing) with Vince Hinostroza and Richard Panik, and they looked terrific together. Schmaltz and Hinostroza flew up and down the ice and created some really good scoring chances, but the puck never seemed to find them cleanly. If this line stuck together as the Hawks’ third line on opening night I wouldn’t be angry.

Newly signed forward Alexandre Fortin had a really good first period, but he disappeared in the second and third. He skated 12:29 with one takeaway and one shot on net.

Tyler Motte was called for two penalties in the game (both while killing a Svedberg penalty already) but he looked good. He was credited with three blocked shots, two hits and two shots on net in 13:33 on the ice.

Luke Johnson only skated 9:20 but he won eight of 12 faceoffs and had two shots on net.

Wednesday night was the first appearance at the United Center for Mark McNeill. The former first round pick skated only 11:29 with two hits and no shots on net.

Jordin Tootoo got in a fight.

12 thoughts on “Blackhawks Fall To Penguins In Preseason Opener

  1. Viktor Svedberg! Put him on waiver right now… he’s slow … He’s a AHLer …. he’ll never be a NHL regular and block other young def of big ice time

  2. Although yesterday’s lineup as a lot of NHL potential and AHL regulars I enjoyed the game. On the plus side; Hino continues to look like an NHL player. Schmaltz did ok he had several nice plays. Forsling is really going to push management to make a decision on him soon. He is very fluid he skates well, moves the puck, and has some nice touch. Kempny is very active. I’m sure Q will have him focus on positioning and tightening up his game. Good potential there!

    Vokka is not a good skater. He is a plodding defenseman. A few times the Pens pressured him he made poor decisions. McNeil is a nobody on the 4th line. Fortin looked good at times but I was expecting more (fair or not). Saw Hartmans name on the lineup card never noticed him on the ice.

    Keep Svedberg on the roster and make him eligible for the expansion draft.

  3. Svedberg has a decent stick. He can’t skate and he won’t hit.

    Schmaltz, not sure if it was the number but he skates like Leddy. He looks bigger than he sounds.

    Panik, How many whiffs?

    Motte ehh

    Hartman and McNeil….invisible

    Kempny got lucky Panik saw he was pinching once. Little too aggressive both in the offensive zone and d-zone.

    Forsling has a helluva shot. Quick release

  4. “The only defenseman to skate under 20 minutes in the game was Viktor Svedberg, who spent six minutes in the penalty box. While it’s easy to become fascinated with the potential of his size and reach, he just isn’t good enough to be a regular NHL defenseman – especially if the team has championship aspirations.” Hello!!! I can’t believe more wasn’t said about this last year. I still don’t see why he played at all last year.

    For all those that put Q on the “don’t question a coach that has three cups” pedestal, we can all see this about Svedberg. Why did Q keep playing him instead of others last year? If he makes the opening night roster this year, I will be pissing all you guys off bitching about Q’s judgment.

    Beyond that, it was the first game…

  5. Nothing against anybody, only way these guys as much as they did, we wernt as deep on defense (same as 11 and 12 when Leds played before he prob would have) until we got 27. Then we were deep again until 16 (same thing as before).

    It was after we couldn’t keep 51 we weren’t deep for a yr and same thing after 16 when we couldn’t keep 27. When wehave had a deep defense 8 and 32 were 3rd pair. Now we have that again with 6/57 and 32.

    So these guys people are thinking about were not going to have to because the trickle effect.

    We did the same thing before 13. Get the defense deep and have young/upside FW and deadline add to get 4 quality lines with a really good back end.

    “No human can withstand that many hits”

  6. Comparing Svedberg to John Scott is a little ridiculous. Svedberg according to hockey fights has been in 5 fights. Scott is out there as a detourrant. That’s not Svedberg at all.

    Remember Scott going after Kessel? Nobody is afraid of Svedberg.

  7. The Fortin (forteen or fortan?) Is a hit of 685k. 635,710,710. For some reason I thought the NHL/CHL transfer agreement applied only to drafted players.

  8. I’m with Ernie. I’d assume Q would rather have gone with Hedman, alas, he was not on the roster.

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