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Hawks get ‘reality check' after penalty kill goes 0-for-3


Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson implemented some systemic changes to the penalty kill that preaches more aggressiveness, and it should benefit the team in the long run. But it got off to a tough start in Tuesday's preseason opener.

The Blackhawks went 0-for-3 on the penalty kill and allowed the St. Louis Blues to score 42, 32 and 17 seconds into each one, respectively. They couldn't get any clears, and let's just say that's not how Richardson envisioned things would go.

"No, but I’ve seen that before and sometimes that gives you a reality check, a team that’s good pretty good on the power play over the last few years," Richardson said following a 4-1 loss at the United Center. "They have some of those guys out there, they strike quick when you’re not prepared and you don’t execute out there.

"I thought we didn’t really get the puck out of our zone once to try our forecheck, which we want to be more aggressive on this year, which I think will help with less time in the D-zone. And definitely that's going to be a good strategy going forward."

[MORE: 10 observations: Blackhawks fall to Blues in preseason opener]

The good news? Richardson, a former defenseman who played more than 1,400 career NHL games, seems committed to spending as much time working on the penalty kill as the power play at practice.

"That's something where we always seem to practice the power play more than the penalty kill," Richardson said. "I've always been frustrated with that over the years. So that's something that definitely will change. And I think obviously, tonight brought that to light to make sure that we do do that."

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