CHICAGO – There are going to be growing pains with the Blackhawks, and they’ll probably last well beyond the preseason and perhaps beyond the 2022-2023 season.
But as issues come up throughout the year, first year head coach Luke Richardson will have to address them with his rebuilding team, and one thing has already in the exhibition season.
The Blackhawks haven’t been putting the puck in the net very much in their five preseason games. Outside of their four-goal performance in their only win over Detroit on September 28th, the team has failed to score over a goal in the other four contests.
They got to just one score in their preseason opener against the Blues on September 27th and were then shutout by the Red Wings on October 1st then the Wild the next night in Milwaukee.
On Thursday, defenseman Jack Johnson got the team on the board for the first time in a week with a second period goal in a 4-1 defeat.
Just getting chances on goal has been a challenge on some nights for the team so far in the preseason, especially the shutout loss against the Wild at Fiserv Forum.
September 27th vs Blues – 32 Shots
September 28th at Red Wings – 22 Shots
October 1st vs Red Wings- 21 Shots
Sunday vs Milwaukee (Milwaukee) – 12 Shots
Thursday at Wild – 26 Shots
Perhaps this is to be expected since four of the five leading scorers from the Blackhawks’ 2021-2022 season are no longer with the team (Alex DeBrincat – 41, Dylan Strome – 22, Brandon Hagel – 21, Dominik Kubalik – 15).
Patrick Kane is the only one to return in the top five in goal scoring last season to return to the lineup for this season.
There’s one more game for Richardson to get a look at his roster and possible lines in the preseason finale Saturday against the Blues. The regular season opener is next Wednesday against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Avalanche, when the journey to building a new team and finding a consistent scoring attack really begins.