Blackhawks Win Preseason Opener

Skating mostly the JV roster in Columbus on Tuesday night, the Blackhawks emerged with an impressive 5-2 victory against many of the Blue Jackets’ regular skaters.

Chicago’s goals started with defenseman Cody Franson during an extended power play in the first period. The Hawks got four in the second period, with Laurent Dauphin, Jan Rutta, Nick Schmaltz and Vinnie Hinostroza scoring their first goal each. Seth Jones’ two goals both came in the third period.

Anton Forsberg had a terrific night, stopping 38 of 40.

Artemi Panarin allegedly skated in the game, but wasn’t noticed much the entire night.

Some reactions and notes from the game:

Nick Schmaltz looked tentative early, looking to pass too much. But his goal was a snipe. He skated 18:03 in the game to lead Blackhawks forwards.

John Hayden had four hits and four penalty minutes in 15:15 on the ice. During power plays he effectively parked his big body in front of the net, something the coaches undoubtedly noted. His size is desperately needed.

Laurent Dauphin is trying to win a fourth line role and took a good first step on Tuesday night. He skated 13:26 in the game, 6:05 of which was short-handed. He added a team-leading three blocked shots to his goal.

Tomas Jurco and Graham Knott had two assists each. Matthew Highmore also had an assist.

Cody Franson had one goal and one assist in 20:51. All four of his shots on goal came during the Hawks’ extended advantage time in the first period.

Jan Rutta looked very comfortable in his first action on North American ice. He led all Blackhawks skaters with 23:52 on the ice, and saw significant time on both special teams units. He added two blocked shots to his goal.

Here are coach Joel Quenneville’s postgame comments:

34 thoughts on “Blackhawks Win Preseason Opener

  1. JURCO can play in the NHL!!! He needs the same opportunity PANIK had last year, a second look. He can skate, has size and a good IQ…. Knott is a big body who can also skate and has offensive skill as well. SCHMALTZ is our 2nd line centre period. give him that job. ANISIMOV is a perfect 3 rd line centre!!! FRANSON looks a little slow and not very intense. NO NEED FOR DEBRINKAT!!!!!!!

    SHARP TOEWS PANIK
    SAAD SCHMALTZ KANE
    JURCO ANISIMOV HARTMAN
    KNOTT DAUPHIN HINOSTROZA
    (HAYDEN)

    And TRADE forward DEBRINKAT for Dman SHEA THEODORE (shoots left, great skater and puck handler)

    Then you can reunite KEITH with SEABROOKE and have THEODORE with MURPHY!!!

    SEND KERO to AHL or ECHL……

  2. A nice win and a positive step toward finding Darling’s replacement.

    A few of the new guys showed very well tonight – Forsberg, Rutta, Kampf, Dauphin, and even Franson played pretty well.

    A few of the young guys from last season looked to be playing like they belong on the team – Schmaltz, Hayden and Hinostroza.

    All in all a pretty good game.

  3. Sharp is not going to the 1st line. And his name is spelled DeBrincat, not Debrinkat. He wants DeBrincat traded already? And for a defenseman? Oh have mercy.

  4. A good effort by guys who mostly be playing elsewhere this Season. I was especially pleased with Forsberg and Rutta.

  5. Say what you want about Totti — and for good reason — but in this instance he is on the right track w/ his proposed lines — no Bouma, Wingels, Tootoo or any other dead weight like included w/in them. Point being, look at the Penguins the last two years, instead of signing and playing retreads, they gave numerous young forwards a chance, played them regularly, and it paid off handsomely two years in a row.

    The Hawks have a gazillion young forwards, there is enough talent (and speed) within that group to solidify the bottom six and allow Q to competitively roll four lines all season, and most importantly in the playoffs. Particularly a year removed for Schmaltz, Hayden and Hinostroza.

    Placing players like Bouma, Wingels and/or Tootoo on the roster is a recipe for disaster (i.e. early playoff elimination deja vu) in the long run. You can’t give a coach like Q access to players like this, we have all seen how he runs the operation behind the bench.

  6. Iceman, you’re right about the Pens playing the “kids” but those kids were not just out of juniors or college – they had honed their craft in the AHL for a year or two.

  7. Jan Rutta was the find of the game IMO. He and Kempny played first line minutes and kept getting the puck out of the zone and up the ice. If they end up being the 3rd pair, I’d be very happy.

    Franson as the 7th defensemen would be ok but a regular dose might make me nauseous.

    Forsling looks the same as last year (unlike Schmaltz who is light years better — stronger, faster, more confident). Forsling is too easily pinned against the boards and wanders away from guys at the net. Haven’t seen the skill that so many people are high on.

    Don’t see a #4 d-man on this roster (although Jokiharju will be someday, the guy can skate)

  8. ” You can’t give a coach like Q access to players like this, we have all seen how he runs the operation behind the bench.” (Iceman) — “finger-on-the-pulse”.

    It *sounds* like Franson is on the team (possibly the #4 dman in Q’s mind) – why should he stand (literally, we’ve seen him skate) in the way of Rutta, Kempny, Forsling, (or possibly even Oesterle, Snuggerud)?

  9. Good post Iceman. There are lots of Hawks blogs out there, and if this one requires too much babysitting, people will just gravitate somewhere else.

    The result of this game really surprised me as I was not expecting this Hawks lineup to win. Schmaltz is a really key player for the Hawks this year and this was a good start. It’s always hard to tell because preseason is a different animal than regular season hockey, but one thing is certain, if a guy can’t cut it in preseason, things would only get worse once the puck drops for real.

    Kempny and Forsberg were two other bright lights. Kempny needs to take a step forward and secure a role as a regular dependable defenseman on this roster. That would go a long way towards stabilizing things.

  10. Agree Totti on Franson. Doubt if he will make team. Like your lines. Don’t understand the negativity concerning D-Cat. Do like the thought of trading him for a top notch defenseman. Remember, defense wins championships. Iceman look forward to your insight on this site, and you to Wall.

  11. Was very pleased with the play of Ruttu and Forsberg. Saad needs to be on the 1st line with Toews. If you want a bii-80g body on the 2nd with Schmaltz and Kane I would give Hayden a shot. Don’t see Hinostra as a starter speed is great but you have to play some defense. Like the future of Jokiharju.

  12. I like Hayden for the 4rth line but not the second. He would have a tough time keeping up with Kane and Schmaltz. Kane and Schmaltz need a highly skilled finisher with them to maximize their passing skills.

  13. I would think Quenneville and his staff settle on the following to start the season…

    Saad-Toews-Panik
    Hayden (net front presence)-Schmaltz-Kane
    Sharp-Anisimov-Hartman
    Jurco/Bouma-Kero-Wingels

    Dauphin developing and waiting in the wings at Rockford to take over for Kero. Hinostroza at Rockford. Tootoo press box work Jurco or Bouma on most nights.

    Keith-Murphy
    Franson-Seabrook
    Rutta-Kempny

    Forsling to Rockford. Rosival to the press box most nights.

  14. 100% agree with Iceman on playing younger players. I was pleasantly surprised by this first preseason game and part of the reason they played so well was the energy and drive they all had because they’re competing for spots. When you play young players they’re going all out– they have something to prove. You need a mix of talent and this drive/energy to win cups. The hawks had the talent, not enough energy and drive. They lacked the will power to see it through, likely because a lot of them have already won 3 cups. At least, this was my opinion while I sat on the couch drinking beer.

  15. 1st round exit and the offseason were way too long so it’s good to talk Hawks games again. Good game boys can’t wait to see the A team play.

  16. I watched the game and was very happy with the result, but not the way Foley tried to dress down Steve Konroyd. Steve tried to explain how good the Hawks looked, even though it was a pre-season game. The Hawks needed to look sharp and play well. Foley would have none of Konroyd’s comments and pretty much lit him up.

    To be honest, I am tired of looking for the “positives” from games in which the Hawks lose. The younger, faster, more skilled Hawks beat up a team that had 5 players skating who are proven NHL players and Foley had to preach about how it’s “just a pre-season” game.

    I like it when the color analyst is honest and observant. The last time I looked Konroyd played in the NHL for quite a few years. Let the guy speak the truth, Pat.

  17. DCat and Kampf need to be in these line-ups… Yet- might not be space for both…

    Hawks – if they give/infuse some of these Utes – into line up…. gonna be closest to that 2013 team- that could skate/forecheck/ pursue the Puck with IQ…

    really like the prospects … example) Knott – Not even the best of them… and he is light years ahead of McNeil at this stage/age… as a comparison…

  18. with plenty of gratitude and respect for what Q has delivered to date, he like the rest of the team can improve in critical areas: 3 cups doesn’t make you perfect. some would argue that he should have won 5 with the talent he has had here.

    first and foremost: NFP NFP NFP & did I mention NFP?

    you can’t do it all year cause the players’ bodies would disintegrate, but you must do it on the PP and in the CUP or you may as well make early tee times.

    buff in 10, bick in 13, shaw and committee in 15: in the other years that we were bounced? no NFP in playoffs: what a coincidence. watch all the goals in the cup last year and nothing is more glaring than how gritty dirty NFP goals win cup games and cups. watch our PP since 2010: when we have relentless NFP, we have a great PP, when we don’t, our PP % plummets. pretty simple stuff really.

    vs nash last spring, we had one goal where anisimov screened for a kane goal. that was it and that was why we only scored 4 goals in 4 games. why did scotty bowman send his old wings coach out to run the power play at practice in 2011 before Q got to the rink?

    NFP NFP NFP (recall holmstrom anyone? made a career of it). now check how many rings scotty has and how many Q has. even a great coach, which Q is, can change and learn and grow.

    secondly, get rid of your aging mistake prone vets who are going league minimum speed limit leaving countless mistakes in their wake….rosival etc.

    third, why you crush the confidence of young talent (as well as some veterans) is beyond me: GET RID OF YOUR DOGHOUSE which has wasted so much excellent talent that the bowmans have provided you!

    leddy would look pretty good in the indian head top 2 or 4 right now: he was road kill to you and top two 30M$/over 5 years in the open market in the nhl. he wasn’t traded for cap reasons. he was traded cause he was forever in and out of your dog house leaving him very tentative every shift even tho he is one of the 3 or 4 best skaters in the nhl.

    you did a number on TT also. you also jacked vermette around after he and TT won you game 1 in TB in 15 when hawks were completely outplayed for 55 minutes. their reward? not dressed for game 3 in chi which we predictably lost. I think their spots in the lineup were taken by rosival and the one man band that is chris versteeg.

    vermette was our best face off center in the ’15 cup run. we would not have won the cup without him in ’15. he would be our best face-off center now , even better than toews in his prime, but he wouldn’t even consider signing and playing for Q twice since winning the cup here. signed with AZ, got bought out and then signed with ducks for a deal much cheaper than anisimov. even after hoisting a cup with chicago at home, he wouldn’t consider signing here cause Q treated him like a junkyard dog rookie.

    fourth, this game is now speed and youth and severe cap constraints, so play y0ur speed and youth! keith and seabs and toews and kane and hammer all made many mistakes when they were 1st and second year, but they developed into world class players cause you let them play thru that. lather rinse repeat…agree with the post pointing out how pens did it the last two years. let the kids play!

    I hope this team improves a lot this year and I hope it starts with the coach.

    go hawks!

  19. G044 you remind alot of somebody who last summer said anybody who thinks Q will play 4 rookies last season has lost it. So why do you think he won’t again.
    First they have to get below cap for opening day. 23 man setup so if Berube sent down and no. 7 dman $650, ooo salry kept that is done. Next after season starts before 1st game do ltir of Hossa snd possibly Rozival and recall replacement salaries to max it. Probably 40 and 42 and sign Franson to a contract.
    Opening night lineup 20 19 14/ 10 8 88 /40 15 38/ 13 67 57 extra 22 and 17
    2 Murphy 42 7 6 11 extra 47 or 56 or 82
    Then you have 3 or 4 fringe forwards who can be exposed to waivers without an issue if needed to make room for youngsters deserving a shot.

  20. hey ian,

    great points and you know way more cap than I: I would be better off trying to relearn latin than understand the cap.

    I hope you are right, but under pressure Q reverts to his crafty slow veterans virtually every time. so it isn’t just having youth and speed on the roster, it is playing them in critical situations so they can learn and gain confidence for the vastly more important cup games.

    remember when he handed the game to sutter in 2012 western final by playing 2 lines to sutter’s 4 lines late in the game and in OT? our two lines of veterans were understandably exhausted and coughed up the game winner as a result.

    if he rolled four lines as he did in 2010, and we won vs kings, we would have torched NYR as the Kings did. that is exactly what I am talking about and probably cost us a 4th cup at least.

    best

    G44

  21. G44- good post… I will add to your NFP… Puck Pursuit… the Kids/young guys are 2013/ like Kruger/Shaw/Saad/Frolik… agile skaters who could swarm/skate… I am seeing a lot of these guys in current Prospects…

    ex.)
    Knott- Not saying he is star… but + skater, long forecheck reach, and Goes to the net every rush… good things r gonna happen when you go to the net… his poke check led to Hino goal… and had one goal taken off the board – goalie int….
    M-Cup played strong all around game… led team to title… plays the right way…
    Didn’t like the pick… but the more i watch him…. the more I understand/see what hawk scouts liked

    Another kid/Hawk put up average #’s in Jrs… few years ago… Excelled in M-cup…
    Andrew Shaw

  22. Thx ICEMAN & PLAYBALL. Boys, not negative on the CAT… Just feel we do not need him this year and he may be very good trade bait for a quality prospect like SHEA THEODORE!!! This would be a very good hockey trade that the HAWKS can truly gain from. I have no personal issue with the CAT…Nice kid…just not the right draft pick from Mr.BOWMAN. We have a glaring weekness after KEITH on the left side…Forsling is extremely thin and plays shy along the boards. Media and Bowman way too much hype this year for the CAT. Send him to the AHL….Wait a year or two or trade him while the hype is high.

    10 19 14
    20 8 88
    13 15 38
    37 27 48

  23. a relentless heart beats effort and talent almost every time and shaw is a great example: he isn’t worth 3.9M$, but I am glad he got it. if the usual suspects on the hawks played with shaw’s relentless heart since 2010, we would have a couple more cups. that is why andrew, despite some social and over the top gamesmanship mistakes here and in MTL, will always be beloved in chicago.

    luc robitalle, can’t skate but 600 plus goals in the show? all heart and grit and NFP!
    larmer, same, should be HOF and number retired

    best
    G44

  24. Wow – hammerin Q for only winning 3 cups not 5 – that’s an interesting take that requires a response. Let’s start with Nick Leddy, a very nice player but have you watched him closely in the playoffs? He doesn’t do real well in heavy games. You wax on about Vermette who played a big role in the last cup but then you say the game is about speed and youth – that ain’t Vermette. I am on the west coast and saw him a lot with the Ducks and in The immortal words of Rufus – “he’s another guy”. TT was a bit of an enigma but if he doesn’t produce this year in Carolina he is gone. Has Q made mistakes? Of course he has but for the most part the guys that were in the doghouse haven’t set the world on fire.

    I agree with Wall on Knott and Kampf. Knott was way more noticeable than McNeil ever was and Kampf has intriguing size and speed. They will both be in Rockford but hopefully they have NHL potential. Jurco made some very nice plays last night, if he can bring some consistency he will be a solid 4th liner.

  25. Totti,
    Sharp will not be on the first line. Saad will. Fact. Saad was brought here specifically to play with 19.
    Sharp likely will start year on third line. He will move up and down the lineup in different rolls throughout the year, but he won’t be starting on the top line.
    ADB isn’t going anywhere. And if he goes, it won’t be for a guy like Theodore. Come on, man.

  26. Mox I agree that Debrincat will be in the lineup at some point this year how long remains to be seen. He has yet to be tested against the bigger faster nhl dmen so I’m of the belief he might need some time in Rockford to adapt his game. But I do believe we will see him with Blackhawks.

  27. Jurco- I compare to a wimpier version of Kopecky… plays/skates hard and better than average…. But something -to me is missing with Jurco… I read- that back injury put him back (pun intended)… and forced/or caused him to lose weight-
    so for me- he just doesn’t finish the job (like Kopecky)… but effort and “playing the right way” – not an issue…

    I think he is a place holder- until mid-season… when One of Prospects in Rock come up…. Kampf? Knott? Highmore? etc. etc.

    I also- agree on Forsling w/ some here… I see some offense upside/and still young… but based on my short prospect/pre-season viewing… I all ready like Snuggy better!!! and Forsling could make excellent trade bait as well

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