What we learned from Blackhawks’ season-opening 5-game road trip

What we learned from Blackhawks’ season-opening 5-game road trip

originally appeared on

NBC Sports Chicago

Chicago Blackhawks

have officially concluded their season-opening five-game road trip, accumulating a total of 3,684 air miles. Their home opener against Vegas will be held on Saturday and can be watched on NBC Sports Chicago.

The Blackhawks finished the trip with a 2-3-0 record and a goal differential of -2, which is not too shabby considering everything.

Here’s what we learned from this challenging trip:

  • Connor Bedard is That Guy. Although he’s generated numerous scoring chances, he has only scored one goal. However, don’t be surprised if more goals start pouring in soon.

  • When Bedard’s line is on the ice, the Blackhawks create chances. When they’re not, things get difficult. This may be a recurring theme throughout the season.

  • Goaltending hasn’t been a concern for the team. Petr Mrazek and Arvid Söderblom have been exceptional as the primary goalies, with the Blackhawks ranking 8th in team save percentage at .930.

  • Alex Vlasic started training camp on the third pairing but was promoted to the top pairing with Seth Jones towards the end. He may have been the team’s best defenseman during the trip, showcasing growth in his game.

  • The Blackhawks currently have the worst faceoff win percentage in the league at 35.9. They could potentially challenge the record set by the 1997-98 Tampa Bay Lightning for the lowest faceoff win percentage in a single season at 44.1.

  • Despite having 22 power plays in five games, the Blackhawks have only scored one goal and allowed two. Their power play performance hasn’t been ideal, but there’s still hope for improvement given their potential.

  • On the flip side, the Blackhawks’ penalty kill has been strong, with a success rate of 92.3 percent (12-for-13). Goaltending has played a significant role in this success.

  • Lukas Reichel is yet to be on the ice for a 5-on-5 goal in five games. However, his line has gradually improved as the games have progressed, indicating positive development.

  • Kevin Korchinski sometimes appears like a rookie defenseman, but he has also shown moments where he fits right in. Overall, the trip was a success for him, although it’s uncertain if he’ll spend the entire season in the NHL.

  • Corey Perry leads the Blackhawks with four points (one goal, three assists), demonstrating impressive performance.

  • Tyler Johnson has scored three goals, the most among Blackhawks players. His current pace is promising, especially considering his career-high of 29 goals in a season.

  • Andreas Athanasiou has been averaging 13:18 of ice time, which should be increased as he has the potential to contribute more. It might be worth pairing him with Reichel.

  • Wyatt Kaiser had a remarkable training camp and preseason, although he hasn’t reached that level in the regular season yet. However, his exceptional skating abilities provide optimism for his future performance.

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