I can’t get too excited about preseason games. At the end of the day, they don’t really count, so I just shrug afterward. But I know some people would like to know how the Blackhawks are doing so far in these games, so here’s a roundup of the first three games of the preseason.
September 20, 2011
Blackhawks lose to the Edmonton Oilers 4-2.
This game wasn’t much to write home about. Probably the most exciting part of the entire game was that the Toews brothers played together on the same team for the first time since they were children. Rostislav Olesz and Jamal Mayers both scored for the Blackhawks. The three 2011 draft picks playing in this game — Phillip Danault, Mark McNeill, and Brandon Saad — showed a lot of grit and heart, which bodes well for the future of the Blackhawks. Ray Emery started the game, with Alexander Salak coming in halfway through. Both goalies impressed in their Blackhawks debuts, and the race for backup goalie was about even after this game.
September 22, 2011
Blackhawks lose to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1.
A good majority of the Rockford IceHogs took on most of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in this game. The score does not reflect how slow-moving this game actually was.
While both teams were both skating AHL-caliber talent, the Penguins have a much deeper farm system (the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins had the best overall record in the AHL last year). That, combined with Jordan Staal’s two goals, helped them take this game. Michael Frolik scored the only goal for the Blackhawks. Alexander Salak started the game, while Ray Emery came in halfway through. Emery would then give up four goals. However, blame must be placed mostly on the defense, who forgot to play in front of him. Gee, that sounds familiar.
Pittsburgh native Brandon Saad (the only junior player left on the team, as Danault and McNeill were both sent down before this game) got to play in front of his family. All together now: “Aww!”
September 23, 2011
Blackhawks win over the Washington Capitals 3-2.
I wasn’t able to get to this game. It wasn’t on TV or the radio, so I’m going to give you what I remember from people live-tweeting the game…
- Viktor Stalberg had a lot of speed, but not a lot of finish for a good part of the game. He was being mocked as the second coming of Jack Skille when he then decided to score. Twice.
- Brandon Saad had an amazing game and scored to break the 2-2 tie in the third. This just makes it that much harder to send him back to his junior team at this point.
- There was a live band in the United Center. By all accounts, it was pretty terrible.