With the entire starting corps sitting out of this game, the Chicago Blackhawks looked to their young guns to provide some offense ... and provide they did! After scoring the first goal of the game in the first period, the Hawks rattled off four consecutive goals in the second, led by the newly signed free agent Cody Franson.
The feeling when you're not required to skate or body check the puck into the net to score goals. pic.twitter.com/CbkZaJHguH— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) September 19, 2017
Familiar faces Nick Schmaltz and Vinnie Hinostroza found pay dirt in the second period as well, as the Blackhawks scored five times on 27 shots on goal. Tomas Jurco contributed two assists in the offensive effort, with returning defenseman Gustav Forsling tallying an assist to boot. Overall, the offense looked great and the defense held tough with the help of some good goaltending by Anton Forsberg.
Other Blackhawk newcomers contributed offensively in the second period, including Laurent Dauphin (goal), Jan Rutta (goal), and Graham Knott (two assists).
Remember, this is just a preseason game. However, a team that had to trade away some talent in the offseason seems to have found a few solid additions to the lineup. The play of Franson, Dauphin, Rutta, and Knott was VERY reassuring in this contest, and they’re guys you should keep your eyes on as the preseason progresses.
CHI GOALS: Franson (1), Dauphin (1), Rutta (1), Schmaltz (1), Hinostroza (1)
CBJ GOALS: Jones (1), Jones (2)
Cody Franson showed his value
As we talked about a few weeks ago, Cody Franson could be a much needed addition to the third line defense this season. Franson tallied the first goal of the game, followed by an assist in the second period. He’s not much of a skater, but he can shoot the heck out of the puck.
Anton Forsberg looks like a good acquisition
With the absence of Scott Darling as a backup goaltender to Corey Crawford, the Blackhawks needed to find a backup that’s capable of starting 20-25 games this season. While we’ve only seen Forsberg play in one preseason game, his performance against Columbus was very reassuring. He stopped 38 of the 40 shots he saw.
There are a few rule modifications we need to be aware of
In total, there were 16 penalties called in this game. Columbus fell victim to two faceoff violations, and Chicago fell victim to the new slashing rules after being whistled for five slashing penalties. Teams will need to adapt to the newly modified rules during the six game preseason before the season starts in early October.
- Cody Franson (CHI): 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 SOG
- Nick Schmaltz (CHI): 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 SOG
- Anton Forsberg (CHI): 38 saves