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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Instant reaction to the Blackhawks loss in Prague with Eddie Olczyk

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Instant reaction to the Blackhawks loss in Prague with Eddie Olczyk

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Eddie Olczyk joins the podcast along with David Kaplan to talk about the team's uneven performance in Prague against the Flyers. What did Edzo think about Corey Crawford's performance and what does he think the Hawks can hang their hat on? Plus, Pat Boyle and Slavko Bekovic discuss where the Blackhawks go from here. Could we see Patrick Kane join Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome and who will get the start between the pipes for the home opener back in Chicago.

0:32 - Are these the same old Blackhawks?

3:23 - Blackhawks lacking depth on the blue line

6:09 - What line should Patrick Kane be on?

8:20 - The Kane-DeBrincat connection

12:26 - Would Kirby Dach be on the fit on that 3rd line?

14:32 - Evaluating Corey Crawford's performance

16:45 - Who starts between the pipes for the home opener?

19:38 - Eddie Olczyk joins the podcast

20:05 - An uneven performance by the Blackhawks

21:39 - Flyers deserve credit for limiting Hawks' forwards

22:53 - How long will it take for the Hawks to mesh?

24:01 - Edzo on how he would handle the goalie workload

25:20 - The Blackhawks are never out of a game

26:36 - DeBrincat's ceiling and what Edzo sees as his contract

28:31 - Was Eddie Olczyk a selfish player - in a good way?

Listen here or in the embedded player below. 

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Four takeaways: Blackhawks dig too big of a hole in season-opening loss to Flyers

Four takeaways: Blackhawks dig too big of a hole in season-opening loss to Flyers

PRAGUE — Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-3 season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at O2 Arena on Friday as part of the 2019 NHL Global Series:

1. Leaky defense reminiscent of 2018-19

The Blackhawks gave up the second-most goals in the league last season and had the 31st-ranked penalty kill. Something they're putting a heavy emphasis on this season is to survive on defense when they're not at their best, particularly limiting the high volume and high quality of shots.

But, as Friday indicated, it's still a work in progress.

The Blackhawks allowed 38 shots on goal, 31 scoring chances at 5-on-5 and 12 high-danger chances, according to Natural Stat Trick. It felt a lot like last season where opponents took full advantage of self-inflicted wounds.

"Ultimately we just didn't manage the puck well," coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We turned way too many pucks over and that's where we exposed ourselves defensively. There's going to be times in the game where it's not going your way. I don't think we made many plays, especially in the second period.

"We had our moments in the first where we were good and then I think we had our moments in the third. You ideally kind of ride it out when things aren't going your way and then you can win the game when you're good again. Ultimately, when we were good again, we were trying to dig out of a two-goal hole. So that's, to me, the tale of it."

2. A tough ending to fun trip

The Blackhawks spent nine days in Europe and it served as a great bonding experience for a roster that's added a lot of new faces in the offseason. But they also came here to start off the season on the right foot and that's with two points.

That didn't happen. 

The Blackhawks will return to Chicago empty-handed but are looking forward to the opportunity that lies ahead with seven consecutive games at the United Center.

"It's been a good trip," Jonathan Toews said. "We've spent a lot of time together, getting to know each other, a lot of new guys. So, disappointed with the fact that we couldn't find a way to win today, got ourselves behind a little bit, maybe lagging in the second period a little bit ended up hurting us, but we're seeing a lot of positives, a lot of things we can build on. We'll be excited to get home and take advantage of the home ice coming up here."

3. Patrick Kane honest about three-point night

After recording a career-high 110 points last season, Kane picked up right where he left off to open the 2019-20 campaign. He scored a goal and added two assists in 21:28 of ice time, and tied former teammate Dustin Byfuglien for most points (seven) in NHL history in games played in Europe.

But Kane is also his biggest critic. He was on the ice for six scoring chances for and 19 against at 5-on-5 and didn't feel like he played his best even though he turned in a three-point outing. He was honest about that, although that's what makes Kane great: even when he's not at his best, he seemingly still fills up the scoresheet.

"I think there's always things to improve upon," Kane said. "Preseason [and] regular season's always a little bit different, and for some reason every year it takes me a little bit to get into the game so whatever the numbers were tonight I still feel like I could give more to the team and can create more and have the puck a little bit more out there too, so just keep building here."

4. One game at a time mentality

While they're disappointed about not bringing a win back to Chicago, the Blackhawks are trying not to sulk too much on the losses and get too high on the wins. Especially the season opener, which can feel like a tone-setter.

"You get jacked up for that first one and you're excited and you want to come out and start the season off with a bang, but good news is there's 81 more," Toews said. "We're going to keep building and really focus on taking this season one game at a time."

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Instant reaction: Blackhawks drop season opener to Flyers in Prague

Instant reaction: Blackhawks drop season opener to Flyers in Prague

FINAL SCORE:

Flyers 4, Blackhawks 3

Snap judgments:

— The first period was fairly even between the two teams. The second period is where the Blackhawks dug themselves in a hole when they were outshot 16-7 and allowed 20 scoring chances, according to Natural Stat Trick, and they couldn't recover.

— The Blackhawks were near the bottom of the league last season in both shots against and high-quality shots against. They want to get better in both areas and they weren't able to do it in their season opener. They allowed 38 shots on goal, 31 scoring chances and 12 high-danger chances at 5-on-5.

Three stars:

1. Flyers C Travis Konecny, — Two goals, three shots on goal and two takeaways in 16:41 of ice time

2. Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane — One goal, two assists and two shots on goal in 21:28 of ice time

3. Flyers LW Michael Raffl — Game-winning goal in the third period

Must-see highlights:

— Konecny's second-period goal:

— Kane's late goal in the third period:

What's next:

The Blackhawks return to Chicago, where they will host the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, Oct. 10 in their home opener at 7:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.