Blackhawks 1, Stars 4 — Three Stars, Key Takeaways
With Jujhar Khaira out of the lineup because of an illness, the Blackhawks opted to roll with seven defensemen and 11 forwards on Tuesday night. Ian Mitchell got back into the swing of things and took his first shift as… a wing. He was back as a defenseman on the second shift but it was a grab bag early figuring who was where for Chicago.
Star 1: Kyle Davidson
You’ll read my thoughts on the performances of a couple promising young players in our other two stars of the game, but when they are two of the more noticeable players on the roster — and Wyatt Kaiser shows well again, including his first career assist — it bodes well for the organization being ready to take a step forward in the rebuild. At this point, Davidson is looking for bright spots on film to circle for his roster construction next season and he got a few from young players tonight in a game that could have cured insomnia.
Star 2: Alex Vlasic
Vlasic skated 7:22 in the first period, the highest total among the Blackhawks’ seven dressed defensemen, and he had half of the team’s shots on net. After two periods he was still the only Chicago skater with more than one shot on net and only Caleb Jones had more ice time on the blue line. Vlasic also had a team-leading three takeaways in the first two periods. As a young player to get called up this late in the season and come in looking comfortable and confident is a great thing.
Star 3: Lukas Reichel
He put the Blackhawks’ first shot on net of the game, so he gets to be a star for the night. Yeah, it was one of those nights. But more than that, every night there are moments from Reichel that make you sit back and imagine what he might be able to do with some better players around him.
- An interesting story emerging in the final few minutes of the game was Alex Stalock. He got trucked by Luke Glendening seven minutes into the third period as Glendening scored a short-handed goal. He then took an unsportsmanlike penalty five minutes later and he was later ejected with under four minutes left in regulation. Given the concussion issues he’s dealt with this season it’s worth watching to make sure he’s okay in the coming days after a tough hit by Glendening that didn’t get a call.
- It took the Blackhawks 13:49 to put a shot on net. After 20 minutes, the Stars had two goals on the board. The Blackhawks were up to four shots on net — two from Vlasic.
- It took the Blackhawks another 16 minutes or so to put their second shot on net in the second period. They then went on a heater (relatively speaking) and put five shots on net in the final four minutes of the middle period. After 40 minutes of hockey the Blackhawks had 10 total shots on net to Dallas’ 23.
- Andreas Athanasiou continues to impress and take small steps forward as a center. Head coach Luke Richardson mentioned that he got a few pointers from Jonathan Toews at the morning skate, and those apparently paid dividends already. He won six of his nine faceoffs in the opening 40 minutes; Jason Dickinson also won six of nine in the first two periods.
- Shoutout to Tom and Maggie, who got married on the ice around 4 PM this afternoon. They were at the game and participated in shoot the puck during the second intermission.
- Kaiser’s first assist of his NHL career came on Tyler Johnson‘s first goal since February 27.