Last looks, injury concerns as Blackhawks end preseason

The Chicago Blackhawks ended their preseason schedule last night with a 1-0 victory against the Boston Bruins.  Corey Crawford backstopped the Hawks, turning in a solid performance, repelling all 38 shots he faced last night.  The game went scoreless for the first two frames, until Patrick Sharp broke the goalless tie with a power play tally 11:13 into the third, a forehander that ended up top shelf past Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin.

Some final thoughts:

Injury bug making an early visit?

Connor Murphy left the game with 4:40 left in the third.  Team captain Jonathan Toews, who took a puck on the back of his leg, was not present as the Hawks closed the deal on the Bruins last night.  “We’ll know more tomorrow”, head coach Joel Quenneville said in his presser after the game.  Hopefully both are alright and ready to do battle come Opening Night.

Another good night for Rutta

Jan Rutta turned in another solid performance in last night’s game.  He was on the third pairing with fellow Czech Michal Kempny, and both acquitted themselves well on the ice.  Rutta had a total of 16:29 of ice time, and was utilized in penalty kill.

DeBrincat on Opening Night?

Alex DeBrincat skated on the third line last night with Ryan Hartman and Artem Anisimov.  The trio looked good on the ice, creating rushes and scoring chances whenever they could, including an excellent one on the waning seconds of the first frame, where Hartman almost buried a pass from DeBrincat, if it werent from an equally impressive save from Khudobin.

“He has the ability to make plays,” Quenneville said of the 19 year old top prospect.  “His finish is what we like as well. It just seems like every time he’s around the puck, something good happens.”

“But we certainly liked his camp, and we know he can play with anybody. That’s a good trait.”

DeBrincat has made his mark in basically all the preseason games he has played.  He played on the top line with Toews and Richard Panik Thursday night versus the Detroit Red Wings and scored the game winning goal, along with a beautiful wrister that was disallowed earlier in the game due to goalie interference by Panik.  He has shown that he can acquit himself well regardless of whose line he is playing with.  In my opinion, he has definitely earned a spot on the Blackhawks’ Opening Night roster.

Now that the preseason is officially over, all thats left is for the club to make it’s final cuts, and will most likely release a Opening Night roster Wednesday, which will include Marian Hossa.  Then, they will more likely place him on long term injured reserve that day as well, and release a final Opening Night roster for Thursday’s tilt against the defending champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Here it is, folks.  The next game will be for keeps.  “Hawkey” is finally back! 

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