With a roster that looked more like the Rockford IceHogs than the Chicago Blackhawks, the Hawks were able to knock off the Washington Capitals and their MVP Alex Ovechkin. Jonathan Toews hit the ice for the first time since training came began. A hip flexor has made him a spectator so far, but he didn't looked to be feeling any side effects from it tonight. Besides Toews, the only other "regular" Blackhawks who made the trip were Marcus Kruger, Brandon Bollig and Nick Leddy.
The Hawks got goals from Dylan Olsen (yes that Dylan Olsen!), Jeremy Morin, Brad Winchester, and Bollig. Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, Eric Fehr and Ovechkin did the scoring for Washington. Toews was the only player to light the lamp during shootout as Antti Raanta stopped all three shooters he saw. Raanta made 26 saves for the victory tonight.
The Blackhawks will be at the Joe Louis Arena on Sunday to take on the Red Wings.
* How is Stan Bowman going to afford extensions for Toews and Patrick Kane with all the money he is going to have to shell out for Brandon Bollig?? In all seriousness, as I stated last night his hard work is starting to pay off. During last night's broadcast, Troy Murray said Bollig had a very underrated wrist shot. In fact, he said it was the third best on the team! His wrist shot certainly looked pretty good on his goal. Hopefully Kyle Beach is watching Bollig's progress and is taking notes.
* Jimmy Hayes has stood out in the preseason so far. He looks to be slimmed down a bit and he is skating much better than what we are used to seeing. He is also making a habit of getting to the front of the net, something that will keep him in the NHL.
* It was nice to see Dylan Olsen contribute tonight. This is a kid who has fallen way down on the organizational depth chart. Olsen went from suiting up for the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2012 to playing in the rookie tournament just a couple of weeks ago. Word out of Rockford was that he biggest problem last year was his confidence. Hopefully scoring a goal and playing a good overall game will work wonders in that department.
* I hope the Blackhawks took some notes while the Capitals where on the power play. They were more concerned with shooting the puck rather than cycling it, which seems to be the main objective of the Hawks power play unit.
* Don't be surprised to see Brad Winchester get 8-12 games during the season. He is a steady and reliable veteran who will be an adequate 4th line filler, for a game or two, when an injury occurs during the year.