Blackhawks Fall in OT, IceHogs Get Shutout Win, Wearing White at Home, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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Blackhawks Fall in OT, IceHogs Get Shutout Win, Wearing White at Home, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

There were not one, but TWO games between the Blackhawks and Wild organizations last night. In the NHL, the Blackhawks fell to the Wild, 3-2 in overtime, while over in the AHL, the IceHogs shut out the Iowa Wild in their first action of the preseason. Training camp continues today for the Blackhawks, who turn around and play the Wild again on Saturday in their preseason finale. While in the AHL, the IceHogs and Iowa Wild turn around and play each other again to close the AHL preseason. Regular season hockey that matters is just days away.

•   With that in mind, the Blackhawks still need to make significant cuts and roster moves to get closer to the 23-player limit. Final rosters for opening night of the 2021-22 NHL season are due to the league on Monday. Chicago has some difficult decisions to make.

•   One of those players who was not in last night’s lineup and looks to be headed to a waiver move is forward Alex Nylander. With just one more preseason game to play for the Blackhawks, Nylander looks like he is on the wrong side of the NHL/AHL fence to begin the season. But that’s to be somewhat expected for a player coming off of missing a full season and having knee surgery.

•   Also, good to see that Nylander is still a polarizing figure with Chicago. My comments yesterday sure did garner a split response.

•   Another topic I thought we could all agree on, but apparently not, would be wearing white sweaters at home for NHL teams.

•   Hey, it’s good enough for the Bulls.

•   I love the look of both the home and road sweaters for the Blackhawks, but something about wearing a crisp, clean white sweater on your home ice just feels right. But to each their own.

•   On the ice last night, wearing their road whites, the Blackhawks had to play catch-up to the Wild after allowing the game’s opening goal in the first period. While on the powerplay in the second period, the Blackhawks found the equalizer thanks to the connection of Kirby Dach and Dylan Strome.

•   We’ve talked a lot recently about players on the NHL-bubble. Strome has been one of them, but he likely has been on the NHL side of the fence all preseason. This was a goal he needed to score.

•   Didn’t hurt to see Kirby Dach making a great play to find Strome at the net-front, too. A lot of people, myself included, figure this season will be a breakout year for the former third-overall pick by Chicago.

•   He’s looked healthy and ready to go through the preseason and my hopes continue to be high for the elder Dach.

•   The Blackhawks ultimately had no business getting to overtime against the Wild last night. The game could have easily been a route in favor of the Wild, if not for the play of Kevin Lankinen in goal.

•   After his first appearance of the preseason saw him fighting the puck and not looking smooth in net, last night’s performance was the opposite. If only he could have been rewarded with a win.

•   Making 28 saves on 31 shots, Lankinen likely secured his spot behind Marc-André Fleury with his performance last night. Although it probably wasn’t in that much jeopardy.

•   Along with Lankinen’s work in goal, Brandon Hagel converted on a penalty shot that tied the game in the third period, helping the Blackhawks force overtime.

•   A move like that should increase Hagel’s puck handling skills on NHL 22. Also, a clean-shaven Brandon Hagel didn’t look right to me. He needs to keep the beard to match his game. Take it from me, someone with a beard, beards are cool.

•   Another player looking to stick with the Blackhawks through the next round of cuts is defenseman Jakub Galvas. Tallying an assist on the Strome goal, Galvas has been an under-the-radar standout on Chicago’s blue-line this preseason.

•   Hard to argue that Galvas doesn’t belong on the NHL ice right now. Feels like it will come down to the final preseason game tomorrow to decide the final final roster spots.

•   The Brothers Dach have both looked good in the preseason for the Blackhawks. While Kirby is attempting to have a breakout NHL year, Colton is looking to stay with the Blackhawks for a least another day or two before he will likely be returning to Juniors. Only with a new WHL club, the Kelowna Rockets.

•   Sharp dressed kids. Much like the Jones brothers with Seth and Caleb, the Dach brothers are playing on the same team for the first time in their careers. A pretty cool setting to do it in at such as young age, while both are establishing their careers.

•   Every now and then I’m reminded at just how young these players are. What was I doing when I was 19 and 20? You know what, don’t try to answer that.

•   While the Blackhawks fell in overtime, their AHL affiliate Rockford IceHogs had no problems with the Minnesota affiliate Iowa Wild. Behind a 23-save performance, Arvid Söderblom picked up the shutout win with Michal Teply, Andrei Altybarmakian, and Kale Howarth tallying the goals.

•   Notable in the lineup for the IceHogs was rookie Lukas Reichel playing in the top-line center position. Reichel looked impressive in his time with the Blackhawks in training camp, but ultimately the team decided to start him this season in the AHL.

•   That is not a bad move. With the numbers game going on in Chicago with their forwards group, there would be no reason to rush Reichel or force him into the lineup if he wasn’t 100% undoubtedly ready. He tallied an assist on the Teply goal in the third period.

•   A Happy 31st Birthday to former Blackhawks defenseman and 2015 Stanley Cup Champion David Rundblad!

•   Also, a Happy Birthday to my lovely wife!

•   Around the league last night, a power outage in New Jersey cut the Devils’ preseason one game short, forcing the cancellation of last night’s game between the Devils and Islanders.

•   Someone who knows something about power, looks like the Seattle Kraken have Shaq on their bandwagon now!

•   We came this close to having a goalie goal last night, but Edmonton’s Mike Smith was just off the mark.

•   It’s the preseason for everyone, players, coaches, writers, and the social media staff. But this is some mid-season form content coming from the Dallas Stars. I love this kind of stuff!

•   And I’ll leave you with this from the Lightning and Panthers game last night, presented without comment or context…

•   That will do it for today. Hope you all enjoy your TGIF Friday!



Author: Mario Tirabassi

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