Sights and Sounds: Day Three of Blackhawks Training Camp

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Sights and Sounds: Day Three of Blackhawks Training Camp

Chicago Blackhawks

Three days up, three days down. The Chicago Blackhawks have gone through their first few days of training camp to open the 2021-22 season, and while a few players have had to miss time from COVID protocols and some injuries, the biggest name to be on the ice all three days so far is Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews. In his return to the ice, we didn’t really know what his energy level would be day-to-day, or know what his workload would look like to start training camp. After three days of practice, things seem to be going as well as they could for his return.

Although, Marc-André Fleury isn’t just going to give him one.

I know it’s one thing to say that Toews is going against the Blackhawks in practice, a group of players who finished 29th in the NHL last season in face-off percentage, but seeing Toews still be able to dominate at a skill that only he seems to possess on the team is a refreshing sight.

What Chicago needs is someone not named Toews step up and win some damn face-offs this season.

So far, Tyler Johnson is getting ice-time between Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat on the top-line for the Blackhawks. We’ll see if that remains the case as camp continues, or if Toews or Kirby Dach may be given a chance to play with the two top scorers from last season on their wing.

While the Blackhawks have a new-look defensive group that has a more defense-first feel to it, that doesn’t mean that Seth Jones and the like can’t be active in the offensive zone. Foot speed had been a problem for the Blackhawks blue-line in recent years, but the Blackhawks seem to have a more mobile group of defensemen this season.

Speaking of foot speed, rookie Lukas Reichel  was moved from the ‘A’ group today to the ‘B’ group. He was part of an multi-player switch that also saw Adam Gaudette, Alex Nylander, and Henrik Borgström play with the ‘A’ group today. Reichel finds himself in a group that is fighting for an NHL spot, likely in the middle-six forwards group.

Also in that “on the fence” group is Dylan Strome. Following the 2018-19 season, it would have been crazy to think that Dylan Strome wasn’t going to be a part of the future in Chicago. But now heading into the 2021-22 season, Strome is facing a make or break year with the Blackhawks.

He’ll need to have a strong showing in camp to not only secure a spot in the lineup as more than just “insurance” for Jonathan Toews, but as a regular contributor.

Chicago will have an off day on Sunday and will be back at it on Monday.

Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.