Preseason Gameday, Dach Stands Out in Scrimmage, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Preseason Gameday, Dach Stands Out in Scrimmage, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

It’s finally here: A Blackhawks game with at least some stakes to it. The Blackhawks take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight in their first preseason game as the 2021-22 season inches closer. Chicago will face the Red Wings twice this preseason, along with two games against the Minnesota Wild and two against the St. Louis Blues. Hitting all the rivals this preseason, are we?

•   I’m so happy.

•   It feels like the summer offseason flew by, but at the same time, was a struggle to get through to this point where the Blackhawks will be back on the ice against actual opponents, and not just against themselves.

•   Yesterday, the team played a split-squad scrimmage as training camp continued prior to the start of preseason games.

•   One of the standout players from yesterday’s scrimmage was Kirby Dach, who had a primary assist and the scrimmage-winning goal in overtime.

•   After missing his rookie season training camp due to injury and then two-thirds of last season due to a broken/surgically repaired wrist, this is the first time since Dach was drafted by Chicago that he has had a proper training camp with the Blackhawks. So far, it’s showing.

•   The Blackhawks are expecting a lot from Dach as he enters his third NHL season fully healthy. As it stands so far through the first week of the preseason, Dach looks like he’ll be slotted in the third-line center spot with a spot also on the second powerplay unit. Again, this is still after just the first week of training camp.

•   Kirby’s younger brother Colton, who is also in Blackhawks training camp currently, asked for a trade from his WHL club earlier this week. On Tuesday, he was traded to the Kelowna Rockets.

•   This has no bearing on his status with the Blackhawks, he’s still a Chicago prospect but will just be playing his WHL season with a new team. So fret not.

•   For more on the scrimmage yesterday, Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus of The Athletic touched on all the players involved:

•   One of the other highlights from the scrimmage was rookie Lukas Reichel’s performance being paired with Brandon Hagel and Jonathan Toews. Quite the introduction to the team for the 2020 first-round pick.

•   Being a teenager in the NHL is hard, but Reichel is putting in the work to match the strength needed to excel at the next level. If his speed and his mind can move at the rate they’ll need to in the NHL, Reichel could make some noise with the Blackhawks in his first North American season.

•   So far in camp, Reichel has skated nearly every day with the “main” group of players, all of which are likely in the mix for an NHL roster spot this season.

•   Another new guy to get excited about for the Blackhawks is defenseman Seth Jones. He’s already getting time as one of the new faces of the team:

•   You also got to see Jake McCabe alongside Toews, Kane, and DeBrincat as the team started to film what I’m assuming is either their pregame hype videos or their descent into the Dark Side of the force.

•   Speaking of new guys, new guy headshots are here!

•   Good looking group.

•   You know what is not a good look? The entire scenario playing-out in the Ukraine after the racist incident involving Andriy Deniskin and Jalen Smereck. Yesterday, Smereck said he would be taking a leave of absence until Deniskin was “suspended and removed” from the UHL.

•   On Wednesday morning, we got our answer to what discipline Deniskin would face and it was an absolute joke.

•   Deniskin faces a “13-game” suspension, which will actually end up being a three-game suspension and a fine equivalent to $1,880. Needless to say, the entire hockey community called out the UHL for their soft as baby sh- punishment for Deniskin. Smereck’s club, HC Donbass, expressed their disgust at the decision on social media following the announcement.

•   The hockey world continues to show its ass with these kinds of decisions. The IIHF still has the opportunity to levied further discipline against Deniskin and even the UHL for the incident. I hope we see more handed down because Smereck is being hung-out to dry by the league he plays for and the sport for this absolutely awful and not isolated incident.

•   Something to celebrate last night in Chicago, the Chicago Sky got a double-overtime win over the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA Playoff semi-finals behind the second-ever triple-double in WNBA postseason history as Courtney Vandersloot dropped 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 18 assists!

•   Also going on late last night, the Chicago Bears signed the purchase agreement for the Arlington Park land.

•   I’m no realty expert, but signing something called a “purchase agreement” when it comes to property sounds pretty official. We’ll see how this plays out in the short and long-term, but it seems like the Bears are going to be leaving Soldier Field.

•   So that would mean that Solider Field would need some more events to put on their yearly schedule. I think I could come up with some good ones.

•   I mean, really, who says no to a once-a-year Blackhawks outdoor game at Soldier Field? That would be awesome.

•   Did I mention the Blackhawks have a game tonight?

•   Preseason hockey at its finest! I’m excited.

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all have a great Wednesday and we’ll see you tonight!

Author: Mario Tirabassi

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