Hawks Insider

10 observations: Hawks beat Wings for first win of preseason


The Blackhawks knocked off the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 at Little Caesars Arena on Wednesday in their second preseason game.

Here are 10 observations from the win:

1. Here's what the line combinations and pairings were for this game after playing their big horses on Tuesday:

  • Line 1: Jujhar Khaira - Sam Lafferty - Dylan Sikura
  • Line 2: Boris Katchouk - Lukas Reichel - Philipp Kurashev
  • Line 3: Luke Philp - MacKenzie Entwistle - Gavin Hayes
  • Line 4: Samuel Savoie - Reese Johnson - David Gust
  • Pairing 1: Kevin Korchinski - Riley Stillman
  • Pairing 2: Isaak Phillips - Alec Regula
  • Pairing 3: Filip Roos - Nolan Allan

2. The highlight of the night was when Chicago's first-round picks Korchinski and Reichel teamed up for a goal in the first period. Just a ridiculous pass from Korchinski and a great puck reception on his backhand and finish by Reichel, who scored his first unofficial NHL goal. Future of the Blackhawks right there?

3. It took Sikura 44 games to score his first career NHL goal in his first go-around with the Blackhawks. It took 11 seconds into his first preseason game in his second stint with the Blackhawks to find the back of the net. Go figure, right? He recently said: "Hopefully I can find that scoring touch that I was missing here." So far, so good.

4. Special moment for the Soderblom family with brothers Arvid and Elmer squaring off against each other. Elmer is a 6-foot-8, 218-pound forward prospect for the Red Wings while Arvid is two years older and one of Chicago's top goaltending prospects. Elmer recorded an assist on one of Detroit's goals, but Arvid picked up the win. 

5. A separate bullet point for Arvid Soderblom's performance: I thought he looked really good. He stopped 30 of 32 shots for a save percentage of .938. The organization thinks very highly of him, but don't expect to see much of him at the NHL level this season. They want him to continue developing in Rockford, which has deep playoff aspirations. 

6. After going 0-for-3 on the penalty kill in Tuesday's preseason opener, the Blackhawks responded by going 3-for-3 on the penalty kill against Detroit. They allowed only one scoring chance during those six combined minutes and actually generated a shorthanded chance of their own.

7. The Blackhawks kept Detroit's big line of Dylan Larkin, David Perron and Lucas Raymond in check. It was the second line of Adam Erne, Elvis Soderblom and Pius Suter that gave them fits, leading 9-3 in shot attempts and 2-0 in the goal column when the three of them were on the ice together at even strength, per Natural Stat Trick.

8. Sam Lafferty played center in college and the AHL but hasn't played there much in the NHL. Expect him to do more of that this season. He had an empty-net goal, an assist, four shot attempts (three on goal) and two takeaways in this game while centering the first line. The one area that obviously is going to be a work in progress is the faceoff department. He won only five of 13 draws.

9. Jujhar Khaira had himself a nice night. He had a goal, primary assist, five shot attempts (three on goal), three blocked shots and went 2-for-2 at the faceoff circle in 18:55 of ice time, which ranked No. 1 among team forwards. He also wore an "A" on his sweater. Good to see him back on the ice after a scary injury-riddled season for him last year.

10. Head coach Luke Richardson said before the game that he doesn't expect the team to make a wave of cuts after only two contests, but he's going to chat with GM Kyle Davidson after to talk things over: "We probably have time more on the plane coming home tonight. Tomorrow is a scheduled day off on the ice. That'll give the guys a little chance to get a break and us to have a chance to talk and communicate throughout the organization what the next step is."

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