3 Takeaways From Red Wings’ Preseason Loss to Blackhawks

The Hockey Writers

After coming out victorious on Oct. 1 against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings traveled to Chicago to take on the Blackhawks on Oct. 3, but with a different outcome. The Blackhawks lineup consisted of mostly veteran and NHL players and helped lead them to a 4-2 victory over the Red Wings.

Mixed Bag From Red Wings Defensemen

The first preseason game for both defensemen Ben Chiarot and offseason acquisition Justin Holl was not the most successful. The two players had difficulties numerous times in the defensive zone, whether it be advancing the puck for a breakout or turning the puck over and giving the Blackhawks more offensive scoring chances. Both also looked to be a step behind on rushes and unable to handle pressure very well throughout the game. With the additions on the back end this offseason mixed in with how he performed last season, Chiarot could be on the outside looking in by opening night if he is not able to put up a solid preseason in the final three games going forward, albeit heading into the second year of a four-year deal that he signed last offseason with the Red Wings. On the positive side, both players did get on the scoresheet with an assist a piece.

On the flip side, there were a few young defensive players in the lineup that had good games. William Wallinder and Albert Johansson both stood out on defense, playing a solid game in the defensive zone while also showing the offensive side to their games. Jared McIsaac also played solid defensively in his first preseason action.

Veleno and Berggren Stand Out

Both Joe Veleno and Jonatan Berggren are entering important seasons to determine their futures with the organization and both stood out during the game.

Joe Veleno Detroit Red Wings
Joe Veleno, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Veleno’s performance against the Blackhawks was probably the best he has looked throughout the preseason to date. He played a strong game in the offensive zone, creating numerous scoring chances, and on a line with Klim Kostin and Berggren, the three moved the puck around very smoothly. The chemistry between himself and Berggren was particularly noticeable as well. He got rewarded for his play with both goals for the Red Wings, after getting himself into the slot for solid scoring chances and showed off his accuracy and quick release on his shot.

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Berggren is one of a few players that could be fighting for a spot on the Red Wings roster heading into the regular season and like Veleno, had probably his best performance of the preseason. He made his presence known in the offensive zone throughout the game and was also rewarded with an assist on Veleno’s first goal of the night after a slick pass from Berggren for a one-time shot.

Hutchinson and Husso Solid In Net

Both goaltenders that played in the game for the Red Wings looked solid. Ville Husso played the first half and made numerous stops to keep his team in the game, stopping five shots within the first five minutes. The lone goal that he gave up came off a rush by the Blackhawks, resulting in a questionable play where a player seemed to interfere with Husso before Corey Perry scored the game’s opening goal. Overall, Husso stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced.

Professional tryout (PTO) signee Michael Hutchinson played the second half of the game for the Red Wings and also looked solid in between the pipes, stopping a total of 17 of the 19 shots he faced in just over 27 minutes of game time. Like Husso, Hutchinson was able to make a few big saves throughout the game, most notably on Connor Bedard in the third period to keep the Red Wings within a goal of tying the game. The two goals allowed by him came off a faceoff loss that led to a shot from the point by defenseman Connor Murphy through a screen by Michael Rasmussen, and then on a Chicago powerplay that resulted from good puck movement, leading to Perry being wide-open at the side of the net and burying his second goal of the game.

Other Game Notes

  • Offseason acquisition Klim Kostin made his presence felt physically, mixing it up with Blackhawks veteran forward Nick Foligno and showing a willingness to get into the dirty areas of the ice.
  • The Red Wings’ penalty kill stayed hot once again outside of the Perry powerplay goal and an empty net goal by Bedard at the tail end of the game. They killed two of the four penalties they had in the game.
  • On the flip side, the powerplay got shut out by the Blackhawks, going scoreless in three opportunities.
  • Rookie Nate Danielson played in his fourth preseason game, playing yet again a solid all-around game and being involved heavily in the powerplay and penalty kill for the Red Wings as well.

Next Up for the Red Wings

The Red Wings travel to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins on Oct. 4 before playing again on Oct. 5 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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