Our long, long wait (sort of) ended on Tuesday night: the Chicago Blackhawks played a game! Against someone else!
In their preseason opener, the Blackhawks fell 4-1 on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The scoring started quickly, with Alexandre Fortin taking a drop pass from Dominik Kahun and firing a wrist shot through the legs of old friend Jean-Francois Berube.
That was one of the few Chicago highlights in the game, so let’s take another look at it:
That was the lone highlight for the Blackhawks, who sent a very limited roster to Columbus for this game. The Blue Jackets took over with goals from Zac Dalpe, Alexander Wennberg, Cam Atkinson and Liam Foudy to earn the victory.
The best news? No injures. To the thoughts!
Dominik Kahun is so. so. fast.
There were a few instances where Kahun corralled the puck in his own end and skated it through the neutral zone to start an attack and the German forward’s speed just jumps off the screen. It’s a relatively smooth stride but it escorts No. 24 across the ice noticeably faster than anyone else. If Kahun’s hands and vision can keep up with that velocity — like it did when Kahun set up Fortin for that goal — he’s going to give opposing defenders fits in his rookie season.
Adam Boqvist played like an 18-year-old in his first NHL action
Some good and some bad from the Blackhawks first top-ten pick in a decade. One shift in the first period felt like the perfect summary of how his night went: he made a good read of the play to step up on a Columbus player who was flat-footed at the Chicago blue line, resulting in a takeaway for Boqvist. But as he retreated down the boards with the puck, Boqvist waited too long to move the puck and a forecheck from Columbus’ Boone Jenner resulted in the puck being turned over right back to the Blue Jackets.
Boqvist played 17:39 in the game, sporting a team-low 31.82 CF%. It was likely his only preseason game this year, considering the London Knights — Boqvist’s OHL team — get started this weekend. Nothing to be worried about.
Erik Gustafsson with a strong debut
Paired with Brandon Davidson, Gustafsson skated 16:52 and had a team-high 78.57 CF%. It should be noted that Gustafsson and Davidson started in the offensive on 76.92% of their faceoffs, but controlling over three-quarters of the Corsi events during that much ice time bodes very well for the upcoming regular season.