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Three 'Hawks Hits': Despite the loss, plenty of bright spots in Blackhawks preseason opener

Mario Tirabassi Avatar
September 28, 2022

It was a preseason game, for everyone, when the Blackhawks hosted the Blues to unofficially open the 2022-23 season. A season that is likely to be full of less-than-favorable results for the Blackhawks got off to a promising start in the preseason with a number of young players standing out when and where you wanted them to and a few key contributors making sure they were noticeable in a preseason tilt.

Up to the mid-way point of the third period, the Blackhawks were looking like the better team. They held all the momentum in a 1-1 game up to that point, until the air was taken from their sails with a St. Louis powerplay tally just about nine minutes into the final frame and they never recovered. Despite the 4-1 loss, the Blackhawks provided enough to build upon as the preseason continues along.

Kevin Korchinski is making Kyle Davidson look smart

One of the most promising young players the Blackhawks have in their farm system is 2022 seventh-overall selection Kevin Korchinski. When Korchinski was picked as the first draft pick in the Kyle Davidson era, our CHGO crew met it with a collective, “meh.” But very quickly, Korchinski has shown why he was the seventh player off the board in the 2022 Draft Class. As has been evident all summer, his speed was on display against a half NHL-worthy Blues squad. Korchinski finished the night with 19:02 minutes of ice-time, was instrumental in a few offensive chances for Chicago and continues to show the tool kit to have a long, fruitful NHL career ahead of him.

Korchinski on adjusting to the NHL pace: “Just have to pick your spots at the right time. Each period just get used to it, shift by shift, and read off the top players because it’s the NHL”

Samuel Savoie comparisons to Andrew Shaw are not far off

Ok, so ragging on Jay’s love affair with Samuel Savoie is no longer a bit. Savoie is very quickly becoming a favorite of the Chicago media and Blackhawks fans alike. Comparisons to former feisty Blackhawk Andrew Shaw have been levied on a number of players in the past few years and most of the time, if you squinted hard enough, those comparisons made some sense. I’m confident in the case for Savoie, that no squinting will be necessary by the time he is gunning for an NHL roster spot.

Savoie had limited ice-time, playing 12:21 minutes, but he made the most of it. In due time, I’m confident Savoie will make his way to the NHL because he possesses that ability to get underneath an opponent’s skin. A skill you cannot teach.

Andreas Athanasiou’s speed is for real

This is not news. But, this was the first time we’ve had a chance to see the in-game speed of Andreas Athanasiou. For a few years, the only time we as Blackhawks observers got to see Athanasiou’s speed was when Detroit was in town. He may not have gotten his name on the scoresheet, but playing alongside Max Domi and Patrick Kane opened up the offensive ice to allow his speed to create a number of decent scoring chances. Eventually with enough of those chances, some will begin to fall. For the first time that those three were playing together in a game, you got exactly what you wanted from a very offensive-minded group. Athanasiou and Domi are likely not here for a long time, so if they both can hit the ground running early in the season, the better-off everyone will be.

The Blackhawks are back in action tomorrow night against the Detroit Red Wings. Puck drop is at 6:30 p.m. ET and the game can be found on ESPN+, subject to local restrictions (sorry, I don’t make the rules). Most of the lineup for tomorrow night’s game will be the “Group B” group from training camp, which includes Lukas Reichel, with a few players from tonight’s lineup mixed-in.

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