It’s not often you hear a guy feel bad about scoring a goal.
Dennis Rasmussen was feeling that way on Sunday, a few minutes after pushing Bryan Bickell’s shot across the goal line. It probably would’ve gone in on its own but Rasmussen’s instincts told him to give it a nudge.
“I just wanted to make sure it was in,” he said. “I wished I’d just let that puck go so Bicksie could have scored.”
Rasmussen may have felt bad, but his instinct was right. And his instincts and play overall thus far have made him a nice fit on the Blackhawks. The most recent call-up from the Rockford IceHogs, Rasmussen has two goals and an assist in his first five NHL games. He was brought up to add offense but the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Rasmussen also brings much-needed size. While they didn’t have their most noticeable game on Tuesday against Colorado – few in a Blackhawks jersey did – that third line of Bickell he and Andrew Shaw has looked better.
“Obviously you like his presence, his size. He’s a big guy, he’s strong and nice to see him score a couple goals,” general manager Stan Bowman said. “As a young guy coming in, sometimes you’re just trying to get through the game and you can be a reliable player for the coaches and it’s maybe hard to get on the score sheet right away. But he’s been able to do that and hopefully it gives him some confidence and he can keep doing what he’s been doing. He’s played a pretty simple game. He’s played a direct, straight-ahead game and he’s strong and gives us some added size.”
Bickell, who was also on a line with Rasmussen during his November stint in Rockford, said Rasmussen has fit in quickly.
“Me and Shawzy have been talking to him as much as possible on what [Coach Joel Quenneville] likes. I think he’s adapted well,” Bickell said. “The ice time he’s had, he’s made the most of it. I know what the coaching staff likes what it sees.”
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Rasmussen’s had a nice NHL debut with the Blackhawks. He may have felt bad about getting that goal but his instincts are serving him well. Who knows how long the third-line trio stays together – lines usually change after a loss – but Rasmussen is feeling good about his first few games here and credits his line mates for making it easier.
“Yeah, at least I feel real comfortable playing with them. We play a similar style and we’re talking on and off the ice. They’re really trying to help me play well,” Rasmussen said. “I feel they want me to play good and I feel the same with them. I think we started pretty good here.”
Shaw will not receive supplementary discipline for his hit on Colorado defenseman Francois Beauchemin on Tuesday night, according to a source. Shaw was assessed a charging penalty for the hit, which caught Beauchemin high, 12:31 into the third period last night.