When a player joins a new team it usually takes a little time to adjust. There are new teammates and usually new systems. You don’t fall into place easily.
Tomas Fleischmann did, however. The forward, who the Blackhawks got from the Montreal Canadiens before the trade deadline, looked like he needed no adjustment time whatsoever. Part of the Blackhawks’ third line with Andrew Desjardins and Teuvo Teravainen, Fleischmann was noticeable right away and scored his first goal with the Blackhawks against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
Fleischmann said the Blackhawks made his transition easy.
“Actually I could say I felt pretty comfortable from the beginning because I felt guys on the team and every trainer and everyone was welcoming me,” he said following Saturday’s practice. “I felt, right away, part of the family. So that makes things easier.”
Coach Joel Quenneville said Fleischmann adjusted immediately to his new linemates.
“I thought quickly he fit in with Teuvo on that line. He seems very useful in a lot of ways: positionally aware, he’s strong on the puck, sees plays, makes plays and good patience with it,” Quenneville said. “We used him on the penalty killing right off the bat. Looks good, so we have another penalty killer we can use, so he’s versatile in a lot of ways, can play all three forwards as well. We’re very happy with his contribution.”
That third line has looked much improved since Teravainen was moved to center. For Fleischmann, Teravainen’s good hockey sense was noticeable when he first teamed with the young Finn.
“He’s really good and a smart center man who can shoot and move the puck pretty well,” Fleischmann said. “So it’s easier for a winger, like myself, to play with him.”
Fleischmann has made a few moves already in his career — this is the sixth NHL team with which he’s played. Perhaps that makes transitions easier when you’ve been through them previously. Whatever the reason Fleischmann has made an immediate impact with the Blackhawks.
“He’s one of those players who plays tenacious. He’s really good with the puck he has that sense with the puck: he makes really good plays but he’s also simple and smart,” Desjardins said. “He’s just an all-around player, really responsible defensively as well, which is good.”
- Marian Hossa skated after the Blackhawks ended practice. Quenneville said Hossa is out for Sunday but could play Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues.
- Marcus Kruger (wrist) also skated after practice. Regarding when Kruger could return, Quenneville said, “we expect him to be playing some games” before the end of the regular season.
- Corey Crawford will start vs. the Detroit Red Wings.
- Brandon Mashinter did not practice on Saturday due to illness.