Along the Boards: Blackhawks shutout Blues 4–0 in exhibition warm up


The Chicago Blackhawks looked to use their lone tune-up game against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night to prepare for what could be a one and done playoff appearance this season against the Edmonton Oilers. This was the first time the Blackhawks would play a team other than themselves since March 11.

Corey Crawford, who had Covid-19, got the start in the exhibition game despite potentially needing to take it slow ahead of Saturday against the Oilers. The defense, which was always to be desired, looked sloppy early as the Blackhawks clearly were shaking the rust off. Adam Boqvist, especially, looked lost out there and had trouble passing the puck. Hopefully, the Blackhawks were just attempting to not exert themselves in a “meaningless” game, but some aggressiveness would be welcomed.

The Blackhawks had a couple of good looks early on including a power play, five minutes into play, when Jonathan Toews shoveled a pass to Dominik Kubalik on the left side of Jordan Binnington. A quick shoulder save kept the Blackhawks off the board in the first.

Some positives in the period, however, were the Blackhawks prevented the Blues from a shot on goal over two power plays. A scoreless first period to start the game.

The Blackhawks looked more like a cohesive unit in the second period. Dominik Kubalik gave Jonathan Toews a reverse pass along the boards and Toews came from behind the goal to flip the puck to Brandon Saad giving the Blackhawks the first goal of the night.

Less than two minutes later, the Blackhawks scored again off another turnover by the Blues. Dylan Strome prevented the Blues from clearing the puck and he redirected the stolen puck to Patrick Kane.  While two Blue’s players focused on Kane, Strome slid in front of the net for the 2–0 lead.

Crawford started the second period but did not finish it as Malcolm Subban took over for Crawford at the mid-way point in a move that will surely be praised over most social media. If Crawford is going to be a big factor in the play-in series, then it was smart to give him some time in front of competition but there was no need to have him out there longer than needed. He saved 11 of 11 shots and was as good as the team could have hoped for. He played a little over 30 minutes and left with a lead. That is about all you could hope for in a tune-up game.

The Blackhawks took a 2–0 lead into the final period of the game. Jake Allen would start the third period for the Blue’s, but the goalie change provided the same results. Allen had 2.15 goals against average in 24 games for St. Louis and that was the second best mark in the league. Unfortunately for him, the Blackhawks would hit that number on the head. Well, one Blackhawk in particular.

Following some four on four play, the Blackhawks had 75 seconds with a man advantage, but they would need only 17 seconds of that to get their point across. Patrick Kane dished the puck to Kirby Dach, who had the wherewithal to spot Kubalik in front of the net for the power play goal.

The Blackhawks were up 3–0, and went back to the Kubalik well for one more wish. Following a Zach Sanford penalty, Kubalik took a feed off a Blues turnover from Toews that the Calder trophy finalist put in the back of the net for his second power play goal of the night. Nothing new from the man who scored 30 goals in the shortened regular season. A welcome sight for the Blackhawks as they finish the Blues 4–0.

Overall, the Blackhawks played good enough to win but if they want to make a push to the impossible, they will need the team to be a lot quicker and a lot smarter with the puck against an Oilers team that rightfully earned a playoff spot.

The puck drops at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Rogers Place in Edmonton in front of an empty crowd. Hockey in August, we will take what we can get.

Center Ice Forums Along the Boards: Blackhawks shutout Blues 4-0 in exhibition warm up

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    Lenny Arquilla

    The Chicago Blackhawks looked to use their lone tune-up game against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday night to prepare for what could be a one and done p
    [To continue reading full article, click here: Along the Boards: Blackhawks shutout Blues 4-0 in exhibition warm up]

    Mister Ricochet

    I think a fan has to like a lot of what the Hawks showed vs the champs.  The big bugaboos weren’t there. No running around in their own zone, got pucks out without much problem, few if any high danger chances against. Add they hemmed the Blues in often, PK was very good, PP scored and had possession, 5 on 5 had possession and didn’t allow the Blues to come thru the neutral zone with speed, Crawford looked like Crawford, Subban was efficient and showed solid positioning. 4th line did what you want 4th lines to do, keep the puck in the Ozone.

    De Haan showed no ill effects of a bad shoulder and paired with Murphy are the closest thing the Hawks have had to a shut down pair in a long long time.

    Did not look at the fancies but I have to look hard at things not to like and this from a fan who hopes the Hawks lose in 5.  ……… I saw a rare Hawks club that came in prepared and executed. Major weaknesses of being a fire drill in their zone, didn’t allow entry with speed and high danger shots against non-existent. They had possession at 5 on 5 along with being able to exit their own zone creating speed thru the neutral zone.

    I do agree that if Boqvist looks anything like he did vs EDM the Hawks are in trouble.

    paul allen

    I think the core players will have benefitted from the time off.  Toews looked energized.  Overall, I am optimistic.

    Under Qs moustache

    the cutouts played for the Blues. They looked disinterested, slow and lacked any urgency. Hats off to the Hawks for taking advantage of STL when they were down. A good game for the Hawks to win, as they will need momentum going into the series vs EDM.

    Watching EDM take Calgary apart in the first 20 minutes of their game, the Hawks better stay out of the box. Their PP is a work of art as it took McDavid only a few seconds to score. McD had 2 goals and 3 points for the night.

    I’d love to see game 5 overtime!

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