The Chicago Blackhawks’ shorthanded roster looked the part in a 6-3 preseason loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night. With most of the big names out of the lineup following a blowout win in St. Louis on Saturday, the Hawks struggled for most of the preseason matchup at Joe Louis Arena.
The shot totals tell a pretty clear story for this game, as Detroit piled 31 shots on Ivan Nalimov and Lars Johansson while Chicago got just 14 shots on goal. Nalimov gave up three quick goals in the first 10 minutes of the contest, and that was too big a hole for this Hawks team to get out of.
Whenever the Hawks started creeping back, the Red Wings’ bigger names lived up to their billing. After Dennis Rasmussen scored to trim the deficit to 3-2 midway through the second period, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha scored back-to-back goals for Detroit to help put the game away. Larkin and Mantha are considered two of the best young players in the Wings’ organization, and were easily two of the most talented players on the ice Sunday evening.
One of the big highlights for Chicago came late in the first period, when Alexandre Fortin continued turning heads with a breakaway goal on Petr Mrazek. Fortin is a long shot to factor into the Hawks’ NHL plans for the 2016-17 season, but with each passing game, you can see why the team decided to take a flier on the 19-year-old.
The 19-year-old forward converts on a breakaway opportunity with this snazzy move! #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/4HHybwVqOw— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) October 2, 2016
Mrazek might not be an elite NHL goaltender, but he’s got nearly 100 games under his belt with a .920 save percentage. He’s a legit NHLer and Fortin straight up deked him onto his tummy.
The rest of the game wasn’t especially encouraging. The Hawks were obviously playing with a undermanned roster, so there’s not much to glean here for the regular season, but the Hawks got outshot in every period despite trailing. With score effects in mind, that’s pretty ugly, something Coach Q hinted at following the game.
Guys like Larkin, Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou should beat up a lineup with so many fringe players in it, though, so the real surprise would’ve been if Chicago had flipped the script.
Beyond the goals from Fortin and Rasmussen, Brandon Mashinter also got on the scoreboard with a breakaway finish. Richard Panik led the forwards with just over 18 minutes of playing time, although Fortin was right behind at 17:19.
The Hawks now get a day off before returning home to face the Red Wings in another preseason matchup on Tuesday. That game will presumably feature most of the names you’ve come to know and love considering it’s the final preseason tune-up at the United Center.