Hawks Insider

10 observations: Blackhawks wrap up preseason with win

/ by Charlie Roumeliotis
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
Hawks Insider
Henrik Borgstrom

The Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild 5-1 on Saturday at the United Center to put a bow on the preseason.

Here are 10 observations from the win:

1. The Blackhawks gave up 17 shots on goal, 15 scoring chances and nine high-danger chances in the first period, according to Natural Stat Trick. They had only nine shots on goal, seven scoring chances and three high-danger chances of their own. It was a tough start despite going into the intermission with a 2-1 lead.

2. The script completely flipped in the second period, where the Blackhawks led in shot attempts (22-11), shots on goal (12-4), scoring chances (14-2) and high-danger chances (3-1). They had 10 even-strength scoring chances to the Wild's zero. A much better effort.

3. Jonathan Toews scored two goals in this game to wrap up the preseason with two goals and four assists in four games. He also had eight shot attempts (seven on goal), four takeaways, and won 51 of 74 faceoffs for a win percentage of 68.9. He plans to play in the season-opener in Colorado on Wednesday.

4. Marc-Andre Fleury looked to be in regular-season form in this game. After giving up a goal on his second shot, he stopped 24 shots in a row and finished with 25 saves on 26 shots for a save percentage of .962.

5. Alex DeBrincat, Seth Jones and Patrick Kane each had multi-point outings. DeBrincat had one goal and two assists, Jones had three secondary assists and Kane two assists. The three of them teamed up for a beautiful goal in the second period:

 

6. The Blackhawks scratched Brandon Hagel to give a bubble player like Henrik Borgstrom or Philipp Kurashev one last opportunity to make an impression. And each of them did. Borgstrom scored his second preseason goal following a great pass by Dylan Strome and Kurashev recorded a primary assist on Ryan Carpenter's shorthanded goal. They both strengthened their cases to be included on the main roster.

7. MacKenzie Entwistle is also one of those guys battling for a roster spot. The Blackhawks probably weren't expecting him to stick around this long in camp, but he's earned it. He centered the fourth line between Carpenter and Jujhar Khaira and was solid. He won six of 10 faceoffs (60 percent) and logged 11:19 of ice time. 

8. It would not surprise me if the Blackhawks finish in the Top 10 in power-play percentage. They generated eight shot attempts, six shots on goal and four scoring chances on their three chances and converted on two of them. 

9. With injuries to Caleb Jones (wrist) and Wyatt Kalynuk (ankle), Ian Mitchell served as the sixth defenseman and I would expect him to do the same in the season opener. He and Riley Stillman were paired together.

10. Opening Night rosters are due by Monday at 4 p.m. CT, which means it's going to be a busy waiver wire across the league on Sunday. Expect to see some names from the Blackhawks.

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