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Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks: Tracking Season Opener Success

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - OCTOBER 04: Alexander Nylander #92 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after scoring against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first period during the NHL Global Series Challenge 2019 match at O2 Arena on October 4, 2019 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images)
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - OCTOBER 04: Alexander Nylander #92 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after scoring against the Philadelphia Flyers in the first period during the NHL Global Series Challenge 2019 match at O2 Arena on October 4, 2019 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 09: Richard Panik #14 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates in the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on March 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 09: Richard Panik #14 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates in the third period against the Anaheim Ducks at the United Center on March 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. The Anaheim Ducks defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /

2016-17 – Vs. St. Louis Blues, lose 5-2

Following a first-round exit to the St. Louis Blues in 2015-16, the Blackhawks lost the first game of the season in 2016-17 to the St. Louis Blues by a score of 5-2. Richard Panik opened the scoring for the Chicago Blackhawks that night.

Panik was the biggest takeaway from the season opener against St. Louis in 2016-17. Panik would go on to register 44 points. He played on the top line with Jonathan Toews throughout most of the season, and fans saw him as a future top-line player.

It is hard to imagine Panik would go on to score 44 points, if it was not for the goal he scored in the first game of the season. It kickstarted a very good run for Panik and earned him the spot on the top line. However, the loss to St. Louis showcased some missing pieces in the Blackhawks’ lineup.

Although the team would go on to top the Central Division, and the Western Conference that season, they also failed to win a playoff game.

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