The Chicago Blackhawks opened their training camp for the 2017-18 season on Friday, and invited thousands of fans into the United Center for the annual Training Camp Festival on Saturday. The scrimmage was our first glimpse at the team that’ll be taking the ice in October looking to win another Stanley Cup.
In one notable development, second-year forward Nick Schmaltz spent a whole lot of time on the same line as Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp. It seems possible Schmaltz could earn the No. 2 center gig out of the gate, bumping Artem Anisimov to the third line. Plays like this would help make it happen:
There were lots of other great moments during the scrimmage. For one, Sharp stripped the puck from new defenseman Connor Murphy in the neutral zone, then finished off the breakaway with a nifty shot. It’s an ugly play by Murphy, who should’ve better protected the puck but committed a backbreaking turnover.
Patrick Sharp takes the puck from Connor Murphy and skates in for an easy goal. pic.twitter.com/83XxOecMwu— Blackhawks Breakdown (@HawksBreakdown) September 16, 2017
Jeff Glass may be the fourth goaltender on the Blackhawks’ depth chart right now, but he made a super sweet save on Ryan Hartman at the doorstep.
Near the end of the scrimmage, former stars Steve Larmer and Denis Savard took the ice to join the current Hawks.
And then came the overtime winner from Tomas Jurco, who scored exactly one goal in 29 games last season.
Hopefully that’s not the last time we see him score this year.
There will be a lot to talk about with training camp, from Schmaltz’s potential emergence in the top six to how the defensive pairings will come together. So far, it appears the team is off to a good start. The blend of old generation and the new generation should be a lot of fun.