Hey, there’s a Blackhawks winner! The Red Wings commentary team said it a few times tonight, and I couldn’t agree more: this group of kids played with great energy tonight and went into Detroit and outplayed the Red Wings.
Here are my takeaways from tonight’s 4-2 victory over the Red Wings.
- Kevin Korchinski, Lukas Reichel Tease the Future
It’s a shame that we didn’t have a home broadcast tonight, because 1) Detroit’s broadcast had the vibes of a funeral service, and 2) It sure would have been nice to hear Chris Vosters call the first of what we hope to be many goals between Korchinski and Reichel.
Just six and a half minutes into tonight’s action in Detroit, we got a glimpse into the future when Korchinski hit Reichel with a stretch pass to put the Blackhawks back on top 2-1 at the time.
Reichel did a terrific job of receiving the long pass from Korchinski, settling down the bounce before beating Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic fairly easily.
Korchinski and Reichel are undoubtedly the two top prospects in the Blackhawks system despite their ETA to being full-time NHL players being significantly different. Still, if things work out the way Kyle Davidson and the Blackhawks want, Korchinski to Reichel will be a regular occurrence in a few years.
- In the Battle of the Söderbloms, Arvid Prevails
Blackhawks goaltender Arvid Söderblom bested his younger brother, Elmer, in Detroit. Elmer had a good game, registering an assist, three shots on goal, and three hits in 16:46 of ice time, but Arvid’s victorious effort in the Blackhawks net was more impressive.
Arvid stopped 31-of-33 shots tonight, including four-of-four on the penalty kill, and made some fantastic saves down the stretch against the likes of Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond, and his kid brother Elmer.
Arvid Söderblom still showed some issues with rebound control like he did last season during his time in Chicago, but he managed to limit the damage in front of him and helped the Blackhawks notch their first exhibition victory of the year.
- Samuel Savoie Already Earning a Reputation
“And there goes that agitator, Savoie,” said the Red Wings PBP man after Savoie delivered a hit to Lucas Raymond that left him dazed and confused. I love that Savoie is already earning his reputation against other teams. While he probably needs to add some speed to his game and harness his chippy-ness a tad bit in the long-term, he came to Chicago to make a strong first impression, and he’s done just that.
- Penalty(s) Killed
A trio of power-play goals allowed to the St. Louis Blues did the Blackhawks in on Tuesday night, and Luke Richardson said that was a point of emphasis at today’s practice. Message received, apparently, as the Blackhawks (albeit a different group of skaters) were a perfect 3-for-3 on the penalty kill against the Red Wings on Wednesday night.
The Red Wings only drew three penalties on the night, with the Blackhawks kids playing a clean game, but they drew a huge power play with 4:15 left in the game, a power play that came on the heels of some prime scoring chances for Detroit that were denied by Arvid Soderblom, but it looked like they were buzzing at that point.
The Blackhawks did a great job of keeping the puck out of their zone for much of the power play and only allowed one solid chance to the Red Wings late in the penalty.
The Blackhawks only allowed the Red Wings four shots on their trio of power plays tonight, and Arvid Soderblom was perfect on those chances.
- Solid Night for Alec Regula
Alec Regula had a strong night for the Blackhawks, stuffing the stat sheet with an assist, three shots on goal, three hits, and three takeaways in 23:12 minutes of ice time, the most TOI for any Blackhawks player.
Regula acknowledged this afternoon that this is a big year for him with the Blackhawks and said that while he feels like he spent his first two pro seasons just trying to get his legs under him, he insists that he’s ready to take a step forward in his development this season.
“I think that my first two years I was just kind of trying to find my way in pro hockey, and now I think I’m ready to kind of take a step and try to solidify myself in this league … This is definitely a big year for me, and I’m really excited.”
Regula showed just that in his first action this preseason. The 22-year-old defenseman knows that there are a bunch of young defensemen on his tail, like Korchinski. Still, Regula isn’t worried about the added competition.
“I think [that] one of the biggest things I’ve learned since being a pro is just that the biggest competition that I have is myself. If I can play to the best of my abilities, I’ll be where I want to be, so I just kind of control what I can control and focus on the stuff that I can focus on, so it doesn’t put that much pressure on me.”