Blackhawks banner raising night spoiled by Rangers


Blackhawks banner raising night spoiled by Rangers

Coach Joel Quenneville talked of how the Blackhawks had to respond once that Stanley Cup banner was lifted into the United Center rafters. They had to flip the switch immediately.

They didn’t, and first-period miscues ended up being costly.

Artemi Panarin scored his first career NHL goal and Teuvo Teravainen recorded his first of the season, but the Blackhawks fell to the New York Rangers 3-2 in the regular-season opener for both on Wednesday night.

The Blackhawks have had a few so-so games following banner-raising ceremonies, and this one was no different. Integrating new players and new pairings after a summer of change, the Blackhawks struggled out of the gate. The opportunistic Rangers pounced on Blackhawks miscues, taking a 3-1 lead after the first 20 minutes.

“The first period, we had a little delay in our switch, either with or without the puck, going to people rather slowly,” Quenneville said. “We got better as the game went on, did some good things, but we gave them a couple of goals late in the first that were definitely preventable.”

[WATCH: Artemi Panarin locks in first goal of 2015-16 season]

There were some bright spots, starting with Panarin. Despite playing just one preseason game after missing nearly two weeks with an upper-body injury, Panarin looked comfortable. He, Artem Anisimov and Patrick Kane showed the chemistry the three started forming in the preseason finale, with Kane setting up Panarin’s goal late in the first period.

“He’s a special player. He’s electric,” Kane said of Panarin. “He hangs onto the puck, makes good plays and it’s nice to see him get his first goal. I thought we had a pretty good first night.”

Quenneville said they call the Blackhawks’ newest forward, “the Bread Man.”

“He was fun to watch tonight,” Quenneville said of Panarin. “It looked like he had the puck all night and that line was effective and dangerous. So I think it was a good start for him.”

Teravainen, who played most of the preseason at center before moving to top-line left wing with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, cut the Rangers’ lead to 3-2 late in the second period.

“Today I think wasn’t our best game. We have to talk more and keep thinking positive,” Teravainen said of the line. “There were some good things, of course, but I think we can do a better job.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The Blackhawks thought they’d tied the game late in regulation when Kane stuffed the puck through Henrik Lundqvist’s pads. But it was called no goal on the ice — the official closest to the net told the NHL’s Situation Room that he was in the process of blowing the whistle when the puck was under Lundqvist’s pad. Upon further review, the no-goal call was upheld, citing Rule 78.5:

“Apparent goals shall be disallowed when the referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle.”

Asked of what he thought of the goal/non-goal call at the end, Quenneville said, “quick.”

Kane wasn’t that phased by it.

“I mean, it’s one of those plays that could go either way, whether the ref blows the whistle or not. It seemed like [the puck] was stuck under his pad,” Kane said. “It did seem like it was pretty quick but at the same time, refs are trying to protect the goalies and different things like that. Not going to complain about it. We had a chance to tie it up; it didn’t go our way.”

The Blackhawks started the night off celebrating another Cup victory. Whether it was the ceremony, the changes or just an off night, the Blackhawks didn’t get the desired game start.

“My patience is rather short as far as watching us give up leads or goals like that, that are all preventable by every single guy on the ice. But we’ll talk about it tomorrow,” Quenneville said of the sluggish start. “Let’s get excited. The [New York] Islanders are excited about starting in their building, so we have another tough test already.”

Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27


Blackhawks add another defenseman to pipeline, draft Nicolas Beaudin at No. 27

DALLAS — Despite taking Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, the Blackhawks took a second defenseman at No. 27 with the selection of Nicolas Beaudin.

Beaudin is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound defenseman who's known to be a puck-mover. He's a left-handed shot, which is something the Blackhawks could use more of in the organization along their blue line.

The 18-year-old registered 69 points (12 goals, 57 assists) in 68 games with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, and added three goals and eight assists in 10 postseason contests.

Beaudin is the third defenseman the Blackhawks have taken in the first round the last two years, with Henri Jokiharju and Boqvist being the other two.

Blackhawks select Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick

Blackhawks select Adam Boqvist with the No. 8 overall pick

DALLAS — For the first time since drafting Patrick Kane first overall in 2007, the Blackhawks owned a top-10 pick in the NHL Draft. There was speculation that Stan Bowman might get aggressive and trade the No. 8 selection for immediate help if a deal made sense.

Instead, the draft couldn't have unfolded more favorably for the Blackhawks, who elected to keep the pick and drafted defenseman Adam Boqvist.

“You can never have enough D," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said on the NBCSN broadcast. "He moves the puck, he’s very active in the play, very dynamic in a lot of ways. He can help our power play down the road, I am looking forward to seeing how he does in the summer and going into camp."

"There’s opportunity here on the back end with our team, and it’s going to be competitive along the way, but certainly you got a guy that can move the puck and get involved offensively, those guys are hard to find.”

Boqvist is a 5-foot-11, 168-pound right-handed shot blue-liner who's drawn comparisons to Erik Karlsson, given his offensive ability.

"I know they have lots of Swedish defensemen," Boqvist said of the Blackhawks. "They played pretty well as a team and like to have the puck, you know, [Patrick] Kane. Yeah, I like it."

He compiled 24 points (14 goals, 10 assists) in 25 games for the Brynas J20 squad in the SuperElit league, and added three goals and two assists in three playoff games. But his production dropped off when he moved up to the Swedish Hockey League, where he registered only one assist in 15 games.

As we mentioned in our NHL Draft Profile this week, there are a few concerns about Boqvist.

He's only 17 years old and his defensive work needs improvement, meaning the Blackhawks must be patient with his development. He's also sustained a couple head injuries over the course of his young career, which adds some risk to the equation.

But there's clearly major upside if you're being compared to Karlsson.

"I think I need to improve my defensive play and need to be bigger and stronger," Boqvist said. "Of course, my offense can be better, too, so almost everything."

Boqvist joins Henri Jokiharju and Ian Mitchell as the team's top three defensive prospects, all of whom have right-handed shots.