Brandon Saad, Blackhawks Blast Red Wings

The Blackhawks returned to the United Center ice on Thursday night.

As a team, it was great for fans to see the team back on the ice. But even during warm-ups it felt right to see Brandon Saad wearing #20 in red and Patrick Sharp back in #10 with the Indian head on his chest.

And the two returning favorites didn’t disappoint.

Saad had an OK night.

Sharp, coming off season-ending hip surgery, skated 13:36 with two assists, two hits, two shots on goal and one takeaway. He started the night on a line with Artem Anisimov and Ryan Hartman that looked good.

One of the areas of particular interest to more than just Blackhawks fans was how the new look line of Alex DeBrincat, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane looked together. In game action for the first time, many wondered how Schmaltz would look at center with two snipers on his wings.

The line clicked early, showing some great passing between the younger forwards and Kane. And eventually it got on the board when DeBrincat scored against NHL competition for the first time.

Richard Panik was credited with three assists on the top line with Saad and David Kampf, skating in place of an ill Jonathan Toews. Even without the captain, the combination of Panik and Saad looked good.

Brent Seabrook added the eventual game-winning goal early in the second period. Newcomer Connor Murphy skated primarily with Duncan Keith and was credited with three shots on net and two hits in 21:02 on the night.

Jordan Oesterle looked solid in his first action with the Blackhawks. Unfortunately, Luc Snuggerud left the game because of injury.

Corey Crawford played two periods, stopping 30 of 31. Collin Delia stopped all eight shots he faced in one period of action.

41 thoughts on “Brandon Saad, Blackhawks Blast Red Wings

  1. It’s often the little things that special players do that separates them from the herd. On DeBrincat’s goal, be quickly moves from the edge of the left circle into an open space in between the circles which gave him enough time and space to catch the pass and pick and hit his spot – GOAL! He has that instinct to go where he needs to be. Very nice.

  2. Reggie-good PU- on DCat 2nd star… my first thought was McD– selling the Program/next jersey!!! ONE GOAL

    I like 82 also-

    Hope Snuggy not hurt too bad… really saw his potential skating… and firing shots on net- thru traffic… kid is gonna be good

    Sveddy- balls… Like him behind or net on boards… scares me when he tries to skate the puck though…

    Schmaltz- looks like a monster so far… only issue- he got rocked one time… in Pre-season … keep your head up kid!!! Hawks need you!

    Kampf- seemed to win lots of FO’s — at least in first 2 periods– didn’t check 3rd

  3. Cap gurus… question- would there be a good Cap benefit/savings (for TDL)…

    If Hawks – IR – Toews- 2-3 months and skate Kampf???

    Kampf- potential -is a bigger/faster Kruger- with better scoring/set up skills…
    Kruger- was way better at Mucking/freezing puck on boards for long periods…

    But- so far- I think Kampf has potential- to play 1-4 lines… O and D center… and is a great FA sign… just has to learn the NHL Officiating

  4. Wall, “IR – Toews- 2-3 months and skate Kampf???” — REALLY?!?! I like what I’ve seen of Kampf so far, especially if he can win faceoffs. But, that IR Toews thing is ridiculous (unless an serious injury dictates).

    Also, I think Oesterle deserves a legitimate opportunity (Q).

  5. @EBONYRAPTOR absolutely nailed it. Instincts pure and simple, cant be taught!

    It was fun to see the Hawks at home. It was nice to see Saad back, he absolutely NEVER should have been moved. I thought Conner Murphy looked ok out there too, he was physical and can skate however he made a few bad passes from his own end.

    Tootoo needs to go; Next! glad they moved on from a few of those PTO vets. Good signing by Detroit on David Booth. I’d much rather have him then Sharp who in my opinion is done. I don’t know if it was because it was the preseason but MAN he looked slow and old out there. He had a shot in tight and looked like a beer league guy: bad!

    I will NEVER understand the love this guy gets. If you made a venn diagram of idiot Hawks fans, Cubs fans and Bears fan you’d have the Patrick Sharp fan club smack dab in the middle! Urgh

  6. Kampf had 2 penalties and lookd very lost at times. His D was also kind of meh. Especially considering they were facing the B- team from detroit.

    You play who you play and the hawks dominated a bunch of AHL guys which they should have done.

    So far my thoughts

    ADB- great movement and vision but his passes were not very crisp and he was not ready for the puck a few times. To be fair that happens to everyone when they first start playing with Kane
    Snug – sorry he got hurt, he was playing fairly well and might do very well after some seasoning.
    Schmaltz- He DEFINITELY took another step. The first being after his Rockford stint last year. But he looks REALLY good right now.
    Sved – meh
    Panik- Last year was not a fluke IMO.
    Sharp- Looked fine, no slowing IMO
    Saad – Man-no-longer-a-child
    Everyone else – As expected

  7. I know this isn’t important, but I don’t like the collars on the new sweaters. There is too much white in the collar.

  8. Reg, I like what I am seeing and reading here from the seasoned guys/for the most part.

    Johnny Upton said the collars, they re fucking embarrassing. Thank God you cant see them from the normal tv distance. Ten once they have a close up, I cringe. If they at least got rid of the nhl logo in the front part it would be better then that. Still how can they allow that to go through art quality control. It looks like catholic priests or soccer pinnies. I hope these are practice jerseys.

  9. Regardless of what this year brings one real positive is a farm team in Rockford that will be the Saturday Night live cast of not quite ready for prime time players rather than the Twilight Zone of late down there.

  10. I have no idea what Musketeers or altar boys have to do with anything in this blog … must have missed something.

    The game against Columbus on Saturday is a home game which usually means more of the regulars play, plus with all the cuts there are less of the “non-regulars” left on the roster, so here’s the lineup I hope Q uses for the game, assuming Toews is good to go.

    Saad-Toews-Panik
    DeBrincat-Schmaltz-Kane
    Fortin-Kero-Hayden
    Hinostroza-Dauphin-Jurco

    Keith-Murphy
    Oesterle-Seabrook
    Kempny-Rutta

    Crawford
    Forsberg

  11. Scott Powers tweeted Bill Daly’s comments regarding Hossa’s LTIR situation, saying they hope to be in a position to make a ruling once they receive the results from the recently completed independent medical examination. That would be the same Bill Daly, Deputy Commissioner of the NHL, who stated over 2 months ago that the medical examination conducted by the Hawks was sufficient in granting Hossa’s LTIR. Now, less than 2 weeks before the start of the season, the NHL determined an independent medical examination was warranted before they can decide Hossa’s LTIR eligibility.

    Can anyone dispute that the NHL is not the most poorly run organization in all of professional sports, and by a large margin?

  12. Wirtz- I commented – on 82 (Oesterle… I liked him- ) only one viewing…

    seems more than capable on the O side- moves puck, joins rush, need to see more in the D zone… But- both games- Hawks D has done a great Job of- NOT getting hemmed in– Moved puck out and up… albeit- Playing versus mostly B teams/Prospects- so far

  13. I commented awhile ago that I thought Oesyerle could be the 6 or 7th because he gived Q versatility in playing right or leftside also.

  14. After one viewing I like what I saw with Oesterle. Granted it was against Detroit’s “B” squad but you could see he moves well and certainly isn’t shy about jumping into the offensive play. Plus it’s nice that he can play both sides.

  15. According to the lineup sheet for Columbus, they’re not playing all their starters, most notably Bob isn’t playing. Should still be a stiffer test than Detroit put up on Tuesday.

  16. My surprise was Rutta. For never playing on the small ice he made a outstanding bank pass off the boards to the front of net. It banked off goalie’s skate and in. Looks like better than average speed and not shy of contact. Do not get the great hit that most have with Kamph, but small sample size for me. I also don’t see much in Jurco, he had a good amount of time last year, and did next to nothing. I realize it is tough on a new team early, but I think Hayden has much higher ceiling and is light years ahead now. E.R. no Hartman?

  17. JAX, Certainly Hartman will be in the opening day lineup and I would want that, but someone has to take the game off to let a couple of the prospects or borderline players get in there. I’d like to see the top-6 as 20-19-14 and 12-8-88 play tonight to (1) get a first look at 20-19-14 and (2) to give more game time to 12-8-88 to continue the assessment of 12 in general and 8 at 2C. So I would sit the whole 3rd line tonight to open up spots to give Fortin his first game and mix and match some of the other guys we need to see more.

  18. Dave- I don’t want 19 on IR… But Toews- did not play like Toews last year… Lost a lot of board battles, didn’t compete as hard (imo)… saw him quit on back checks several times…

    Some have reported Back issues last year…

    I am suggesting/asking- that IF he needs more rest/therapy/ or minor surgery… what are the Cap Implications??? (key word IF)

    I heard Toews- was man-handled in Preds series??? I really didn’t watch much of that series…

    If I were GM… I WOULD have been a seller at TDL last year…
    Key word(s) ( “I would”… not SB Will be a seller)…

  19. Good call Dave. Seems like a lot more positives than negatives to me. Interested to see how Debrincat responds, will say alot about his maturity.

  20. Hawks send Fortin to Rockford. I think it’s a good call. You can see he has great potential but he was forcing things tonight and will benefit from getting experience playing the pro game in Rockford. I’m still very high on his potential.

  21. well- another meaningless Pre season tilt…

    I watched 1st/2nd… missed 3rd

    Toews -skated more like Handzus versus early 20’s Toews… I really hope he is “coasting” until season begins… I really do hope that’s the case

    19 fell down – twice on his own… no help…

  22. Franson is not listed on the roster on the Blackhawks’ website. Is that because he’s on a PTO and not officially signed? I haven’t read about him being released from his PTO, even though he only played the one preseason game thus far. I wonder if he’s still in the mix?

  23. I think we know three of the defensemen but who are the remaining three? Forsling, Kempny, Rutta? Is Oesterle in there? What about Franson? Opinions?

    Nick, if you’re offended by the term “snowflake”, it applies to you. Now you know.

  24. The Hawks have moved training camp to Notre Dame and they had a red/black scrimage today with these lines:

    Blackhawks Black Team lines:
    Sharp-Schmaltz-Kane
    Wingels-Dauphin-Tootoo
    Bouma-Kero-Hayden

    Blackhawks Red Team lines:
    Saad-Toews-Panik
    DeBrincat-Anisimov-Hartman
    Jurco-Kampf-Hinostroza

    Interesting that Sharp and DeBrincat have switched positions, and I’m really not that disappointed with that because Sharp has been playing very well. I’m OK either way with DeBrincat starting with the Hawks or with Rockford. He has shown enough to know he will be a very good NHL player whether that’s now or later.

  25. I would keep Franson at 1-1.5 millions and i hope that Stan will not give him over 2 millions …i think Oesterle should be with the Hawks ..but what do i know about Hockey ?.

  26. Absolutely love what I am seeing from Ruuta. He is not overwhelmed by NHL hockey. Moves the puck quickly, uses his long stick to his advantage, keeps the puck carrier at a good distance from the net. He did not look out of place next to Keith last night.

  27. My prediction is everybody who waiver exempt except Schmaltz gets reassigned and Pokka, Delia and Berube waived and go to Ahl if clearing. Franson status quo until ltir straightened out

  28. Good point. Plus there are not a lot of waiver claims at the end of camp.

    Most teams set their 23 man roster and optimism sets in. It’s not like a team would claim Pokka, for example and put him in their top six, because that would mean that team would have to cut one of their defenseman after that player technically made their team.
    Case in point Mark McNeill on waivers last year went unclaimed after not making the Hawks. He cleared and was sent to Rockford.
    Bottom line, there are very few “gems” out there this time of year, more so the stigma that – he (insert player here) could not make a certain team’s 23 man roster.

  29. I gave my first two pre-season game tickets away since I was busy/tired. I will attend the Bruins game next Saturday and see what this team is starting to look like just before games start to count. One thing really noticeable, at least from a TV perspective is the new lighting at the UC looks much sharper than what we had become accustomed to. Upgrade there. New sweater design is to my eyes terrible with these collars just standing out as horribly designed. Why not put some bow ties on there to fill out the look… Big downgrade there. Regulars that have played look fine. Schmaltz looks confident and a shade meatier/stronger than last year. Happy to see Sharpy skating well. Saad I don’t worry about in any way shape or form. Forsberg in net looks like a decent backup given small sample size. I will watch Boston game tonight as the pre-season kid fest draws closer to the end.

    Let’s all hope Eddie O gets through this cancer mess in good shape!

    Lets Go Hawks!

  30. TOEWS has no legs!!!! Not sure how he trains in the off season but he should look into contacting GARY ROBERTS!!!

    Still would love to trade HOSSA , DE BRINCAT, POKKA, and HAYDEN for EVANDER KANE!!!!
    Let’s just dream about a line of KANE SCHMALTZ KANE!

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