Chicago Blackhawks rout Penguins: 3 takeaways

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

Antti Niemi tripped on the bench before taking the ice, and then the Pittsburgh Penguins fell flat on their face against a seemingly rejuvenated Chicago Blackhawks squad.

At one point in Thursday’s win, the Chicago Blackhawks were on pace to win 19-0. The fact that they won by a final score of 10-1 doesn’t seem any less ridiculous.

In a game where everything seemed to go the Hawks way, here are three takeaways from the  historic opening night win.

The Brandon Saad trade just may work out

Artemi who? Remember when Stan Bowman traded away a 30-goal scorer? After Thursday night, it may not matter.

In his first official game back, Brandon Saad joined Bobby Hull as the only Blackhawk to record a hat trick in a season opener. Known for being a two-way player, Saad’s offense stole the show.

Abiding by the old hockey cliche, Saad went to the front of the net and even took it with him to seal the hat trick.

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Nick Schmaltz has the look of a star

Take away Saad’s offensive outburst and the talk of the game would have been Nick Schmaltz. Looking almost Panarin-esque next to Patrick Kane, the 21-year old tallied two goals and an assist.

If not for an injury toward the end of the game Schmaltz may have had a hat-trick of his own. Throw in the addition of Ryan Hartman and this line has the potential to be one of the better combos in the NHL.

Schmaltz addressed the media Friday and looks to be good to go for tonight’s game in Columbus.

Corey Crawford was solid in net

It would be easy to point out a player like Patrick Kane but let’s not overlook the solid work of Corey Crawford. Other than a power play goal from Phil Kessel, Crawford was perfect stopping 28 shots. Does it help when you are staked to a five-goal lead at the end of the first period? Sure, but when saves had to made Crawford was up to the task.

Next: Chicago Blackhawks must improve to become champions in 2017-2018 season

What’s Next

The Blackhawks stay at home to welcome in the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Game Time: 7:30
Radio: WGN Radio 720 AM