KALAMAZOO, MI - Lots of eyes were on Connor Bedard through Chicago's first two games, but two other Hawks decided to steal the show.
Going into this season there were questions about which goaltenders were gonna make the opening night roster. Drew Commeso, one of Chicago's goalie prospects, played excellent in the pre-season stopping 26/28 shots in two games with a 1-1 record. After his play in the pre-season, the question became which goaltenders will make the opening night roster?
Chicago's head coach Luke Richardson decided to run it back with his goalie tandem from last year in Mrazek and Soderblom and send the 21 year old Commeso to the Rockford Icehogs.
Petr Mrazek had a near perfect game in the season opener against Pittsburgh. Stopping 39 of 41 shots, Mrazek earned the second star of the game and was a huge factor in Chicago's 4-2 win against the Penguins.
Mrazek was also the first goalie since Caw Ward in 2018 to win the season opener for the Blackhawks.
In the 3-2 loss in Montreal on Oct. 14th, Mrazek stopped 33 of 36 shots which included multiple breakaways and odd-man rushes. Montreal outshot Chicago in the first 2 periods 27 to 14 and led the Hawks 3-0 going into the third.
Although the Hawks fell short of a comeback after Tyler Johnson potted two 3rd period goals, Mrazek was a big help in keeping the game alive and in reach for Chicago.
Mrazek manned the net again on Oct.19th for Chicago in Colorado's home opener. It was tough task for Chicago and Mrazek as they had to face stars Nathan Mackinnon, Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen, and their goaltender Alexander Georgiev who's gotten off to a hot start on the year.
After a first period onslaught by Colorado that ended in the shots favoring the Avs 22-8, Mrazek kept his team in the game by only giving up 2 goals on the 22 shots he faced. A short handed breakaway goal and a powerplay goal were the only two shots that would get past him in the first period
While Mrazek would stand on his head the rest of this game stopping 37 of 41 shots, the Avalanche would come out victorious with a 4-0 shutout victory against the Hawks.
Although Arvid Soderblom took the loss in the game against the Boston Bruins, he was stellar in his season debut. He stopped 30 of 32 in the 3-1 loss and had multiple spectacular saves in tight and at the top of his crease.
A deflection by Trent Frederic and a 2-on-1 snipe by David Pastrnak were the only shots to get by Soderblom but looking past those he was brilliant in the Blackhawk net on Wednesday.
Soderblom would take the crease again against the Maple Leafs on Oct. 16th. Soderblom stole the show in Toronto as he stopped 35 of 36 shots faced as he brought the Hawks to a 4-1 victory over the red hot Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Some of Soderblom's best stops came in the final minute as Toronto sent a flurry of shots his way. One notable save came against John Tavares in the dying minutes as the puck came to Tavares in tight and as he tried to tuck it in on his backhand, Soderblom kicked out his left pad and denied Tavares of his second goal of the game.
To start the season, Mrazek and Soderblom have a combined .935 sv% and a 2.4 GAA which has resulted in the Hawks having the 10th best goals against average in the league through the first week and a half of games.
If these two can continue their impressive run and Chicago decides to sell at this year's trade deadline, Mrazek and Soderblom would be juicy trade pieces for teams looking for a goaltender which would in turn give Chicago more 1st or 2nd draft picks for the upcoming drafts.