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Pre-Season Game Recap: Blackhawks Fall to Rangers 4-1

By Ericka McFee
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Sep 26, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Dennis Rasmussen (70) shoots as he’s defended by New York Rangers defenseman Conor Allen (37) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Pre-Season Game Recap: Blackhawks Fall to Rangers 4-1

Pre-season games are often viewed by fans as a glorified warm-up for the star players on a team, and a chance for the up-and-coming players to show that they deserve a roster spot. But they can also show early signs of where a team’s weak spot(s) may be, in hopes that those weaknesses can be addressed and lessened (if not eliminated entirely) during the regular season.

Splitting the recent games against the Red Wings with a win and a loss, the Blackhawks returned to Chicago to face last season’s Stanley Cup runners up – the New York Rangers.

Things fell apart early in to Friday night’s game, with the first goal for the Rangers taking place less than a minute into the game. A couple minutes later, Cody Bass (a forward currently under a 1-year contract with the Hawks) essentially auditioned for Bollig’s vacant spot and “fought” (if you could call it that) Nick Tarnasky. The Rangers scored their second goal roughly halfway through the first period, and managed to keep the Hawks from registering a single shot on goal for over twelve minutes.

The second period seemed to be about the only one where the Hawks really showed up, at least as a team. They caught up and even surpassed the Rangers in shots on goal, but Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist held the home team at bay. About halfway through, rookie Dennis Rasmussen tallied Chicago’s only point in the game, with an assist from fellow rookie Phillip Danault. Also, more fighting – this time involving newcomer Pierre-Cedric Labrie.

There seemed to be some hope in the third period, whether the Hawks had several chances but just couldn’t find the back of the net. Jeremy Morin was looking great, of course, but whether Coach Quenneville will actually throw him a bone and give him a chance to stay in Chicago – instead of the usual bouncing back and forth between here and Rockford – is anyone’s guess at this point.

The Rangers scored twice more in the third period to add insult to injury. Overall, it seems like the Hawks defeated themselves almost as much as their visitors did, through sloppy passing, multiple turnovers, and inconsistency in net. Goalie Corey Crawford did make a number of great saves, but overall stopped only 25 of 29 for a .862 SV%.

Let’s just remind ourselves that this is still preseason, and everyone at all levels of the organization are taking long hard looks at areas to improve upon, as well as figuring out the roster while still having to address that pesky issue of the salary cap.

But let’s also hope that they can get stuff figured out relatively soon. October 9 is less than two weeks away now; the best scenario would be starting out on the right foot instead of struggling early and having to fight for a playoff spot later on. This is especially the case as other Central Division foes become more and more formidable each year.

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