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Blackhawks Postgame Chatter: ‘When He’s On, He’s Really On’

A little of bit of everything heard postgame following the Blackhawks’ 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers.

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CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks didn’t let up nor did they wilt following the onslaught of Florida Panthers chances. Instead, they stood tall, buried some big goals, and enjoyed a 38-save performance from Petr Mrazek in the 5-2 win Saturday night. Taylor Hall tipped his cap to the veteran netminder.

“He reads plays so well as a goalie,” Hall said. “Seems to think like a shooter and passer.  He plays very intstinctive, and when he’s on, he’s really on.”

In fact, Mrazek has been on since the puck dropped in Pittsburgh back on October 10th. The story heading into the game was Connor Bedard’s first NHL game, but the story leaving Pittsburgh was the mettle and performance from the 31-year-old year old goalie who has a .923 save percentage following the game. Of the Blackhawks (4-6) four wins, Mrazek has backstopped three of them.

For sure, there’s an injury bug that has bitten in the past and head coach Luke Richardson will rest him tomorrow for the matchup against New Jersey.

But so far, so very good for Petr Mrazek.

“I’ve been feeling good,” Mrazek said.  “Things that we’ve been working on with [Blackhawks goalie coach] Jimmy [Waite]–they’re paying off and just have to continue doing what’s there.”

A Goal and a Big Block–and Likely Bruise, for Bedard

After scoring a goal earlier in the game, Connor Bedard blocked a shot and lay on the ice for a few seconds as the pain resonated. He hobbled back to the bench, but didn’t miss a shift.

Welcome to the league, rook.

“I think he was in that awkward spot, like 10 feet away, where it’s going to hurt a little more,” Richardson said.  “But you know what? Did all the right things, stayed in the lane. That really lifted our bench, like to see a young guy do that. Just kind of solidified a solid game by him. Scoring a real nice to give us a little extra cushion going into the third, but also being in the right spot in the D-zone to do that.”

But the good news from Richardson?

“I didn’t see him after the game with an ice bag,”  he added. “So hopefully he’s good.”

Hall Returns With a Goal

Taylor Hall figured today would be the day he’d be back on the ice. He managed to check a few boxes off when he was back on the ice as he expected, too.

“It’s been a little bit of an unfortunate start to my season, just individually, getting rhythms,” Hall said.  “So it’s nice to see a goal go in and check that box off. The win more importantly was, to get a 3-0 lead and to play the way we wanted to.”

That they did. The Blackhawks raced out to a 4-0 lead before Florida started scratching and clawing away at the four goal deficit. Chicago didn’t waver, and while there were some close calls, they never relinquished the lead.

“This league, it can really spiral and it can go on you pretty quickly if you don’t nip things in the bud,” Hall said.  “We’ve done a pretty good job of that so far this year. Now it’s about turning the tide the other way and getting on winning streaks and playing consecutive games where we play well–win or lose–we feel good about our game.”

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