The Blackhawks opened up the season with four games against Eastern Conference competition, all in six days, playing the first two at home. The first eight games the Blackhawks played were against teams who had made the playoffs the season before, including the defending champions and the defending runner-ups. Their season-opener was to be against the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Then, the ‘Hawks would see a familiar face in Artemi Panarin when they faced the Blue Jackets. They would face the Maple Leafs and the Canadiens up in Canada. They would then go on to finally play against Western Conference teams, playing against the Wild, the Predators, the Blues, and the Oilers. Today, however, we will just be looking at the first game, when the Blackhawks hosted Pittsburgh on October 5.
The Chicago Blackhawks had high hopes entering the 2017-18 season; they hade brought back Brandon Saad in a trade after shipping him off to Columbus just two offseasons earlier. He was to be reunited with center Jonathan Toews, who had been struggling since Saad left his side. Patrick Sharp was returning after playing two seasons in Dallas, signing a cheap contract to take a veteran leadership and depth role in the Windy City.
After St. Louis traded veteran Paul Stastny to the division-rival Jets last season, it looked as if they were going to start a mini-rebuild. Continue reading