5 Thoughts: Chicago Blackhawks vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Published October 11, 2023 at 3:35 PM
The Blackhawks beat the Penguins, 4-2.

1. Connor Bedard - Connor Bedard, after being drafted 1st overall, played in his first NHL game at just 18 years old. He started off his NHL career hot, tallying an assist and scoring his first NHL point ever with a behind the back pass to Taylor Hall and saw Ryan Donato finish the job in front of the net. Bedard had 21 minutes of ice time and tallied 11 shot attempts and had 5 of them go on goal. Not a bad first game for the prospect.

2. Petr Mrazek - Petr Mrazek played a phenomenal game. It could be argued that he is the sole reason Chicago stayed in the game, as he made 38 saves and had multiple sliding and cross-crease saves. After being injury prone last year and not having the best stats, Petr really needed this as a confidence booster. The only two goals he let up was a tip by Bryan Rust and a shot by Sidney Crosby that was beautifully placed, splitting Vlasic and Mrazek. The Crosby goal was challenged by Luke Richardson and company, but the goal counted and the Hawks went right on the penalty kill, which they stopped. All in all, Mrazek had some really nice saves and was even given the chain in the locker room after the game by Connor Murphy.

3. The Young Guns - The Hawks saw multiple young kids play last night: Connor Bedard, Kevin Korchinski, Lukas Reichel, Cole Guttman, Wyatt Kaiser, and a couple more. They all looked pretty good. Cole Guttman was doing great until shoulder surgery cut his season short, but he picked up right where he left off and scored a goal. Korchinski played great for his first NHL game. He didn't look lost and showed a lot of potential on the power play. Everyone said our future was bright, but now that we're seeing it, it proved it.

4. The Second Line - This is a topic that needs to be addressed. We need Andreas Athanasiou back on the second line. Reichel has so much speed and Tyler Johnson and Taylor Raddysh was late to the party on pretty much everything. Athanasiou on that second line matches Reichel's speed and worked last year, so why are we changing it now? Reichel was projected to be starting RW, but Bedard seems to have some chemistry with Hall and Donato, so they're probably going to keep it. The second line should be Athanasiou at LW, Reichel at center, and Raddysh at RW.

5. The First Goal of the Year - The first goal of the year was scored on our first line, by Ryan Donato, and was assisted by none other than Connor Bedard and Alex Vlasic. Bedard was working the puck around the boards when he came out and did a behind the back pass to Vlasic. Vlasic then stepped up, found some space and whipped it at the net. The puck somehow found its way through the traffic in front and Jarry was forced to make a pad save. However, the rebound control wasn't there and the puck bounced right to Donato. Donato then did a quick backhand and tucked it in off the rebound.

October 11   |   84 answers
5 Thoughts: Chicago Blackhawks vs Pittsburgh Penguins

Will the Blackhawks win their second game of the year tonight?

Yes4553.6 %
No3946.4 %
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