When we last left the storied Blackhawks-Blues rivalry, it was back in April. At that time, the Blues had just bounced the Blackhawks from the Stanley Cup playoffs with prejudice, marking the beginning of a very long summer. This time, it was only a preseason game featuring guys who probably won’t be in the regular lineups, but it felt good to get some measure of revenge.
Unlike the last two games, this one had some familiar faces: Patrick Kane, Artem Anisimov, Artemi Panarin, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marcus Kruger played in their first game since returning from the World Cup of Hockey. With the addition of those players, fans hoped that there would be at least one goal scored. Well, they got their wish, but only one of the goals scored was from one of those familiar faces.
After a scoreless first period and the separation of Kane and Panarin, they connected in the second period for the first Blackhawks goal, one from Panarin via Kane’s pass. From there, it was the new guys who took over: Michal Kempny scored the second goal, then Tyler Motte, who’s looking like a lock for a roster spot at this point, scored the last two goals, one of which was shorthanded.
Of course, what a Blackhawks-Blues game would be without some bad blood? Jordin Tootoo fought with Joel Edmundson in the second period, and a line brawl broke out after Hjalmarsson hit Ty Rattie late in the third. For that hit – one that looked like Hjalmarsson’s shoulder hit Rattie’s head, Hjalmarsson received a match penalty and an automatic one game suspension. The match penalty wasn’t all in terms of punishment – Edmundson was ejected for sucker punching Ryan Hartman while the two were being separated by two referees. You read that correctly.
In other news:
- Graham Knott and Alex DeBrincat were released from the Blackhawks on Saturday. They’ll report to their respective OHL teams.
- The Rockford IceHogs rosters is filling out, with the Blackhawks releasing Kyle Baun, Dillon Fournier, Carl Dahlstrom and Nolan Valleau. FYI, the IceHogs begin their season on October 14 against the Cleveland Monsters.
- Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford and Marian Hossa, fresh from the World Cup final, will be back on Blackhawks ice either Tuesday or Wednesday.
- Hjalmarsson will have a phone hearing for the hit on Rattie. Till then, he’ll have that mandatory match penalty suspension.
The Blackhawks meet the Red Wings in one of their last games at the old Joe Louis Arena. After Saturday’s performance, look for the youngsters to see more ice time.
(Translation for the Russian in the picture: “You must choose: cake or death”)