If the Chicago Blackhawks are going to exceed expectations this season they are going to need some big performances from some new faces. They got one of those performances on Sunday from Pius Suter.
The 24-year-old winger recorded a hat trick in the Blackhawks 6-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings, giving him the first three goals of his career.
The win helps the Blackhawks complete a two-game weekend sweep of the Red Wings, and also helps to erase the sour taste of their 0-3-1 start.
The story of this game though was Suter. He was one of the Blackhawks’ many moves over the offseason, signing him to a one-year, entry-level contract. Prior to joining the Blackhawks he was a star in the Swiss League and won the league’s MVP award during the 2019-20 season. Following that performance he utilized an out-clause in his contract to try and make it in the NHL, resulting in his deal with Chicago.
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After a quiet start to the season that saw him record just a single point (an assist) in his first five games he had his breakout performance on Sunday.
Suter opened the scoring for the Blackhawks by scoring a pair of early goals in the first period to help them jump out to an early 2-0 lead. He completed the hat trick late in the third period on a two-on-one rush when he ripped a rocket of a shot to beat Red Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier.
Connor Murphy, Mattias Janmark, and Philipp Kurashev also scored goals for Chicago in the win, while Kevin Lankinen stopped 25 out of 27 shots to record the win. Lankinen was in net for both Blackhawks wins this weekend, stopping 55 out of 58 shots.
Even with these two wins this is still probably going to be a tough year for Chicago. The talent base and the depth is just not there. The important thing is going to be seeing which young players can establish themselves to be a part of the future and perhaps the next contending team in Chicago. Those plans got sidetracked a little with the injury to Kirby Dach, but seeing players like Suter, Kurashev, and Lankinen make an impact has to be a positive sign.
Now they just some of those performances to come against team that is another rebuilding club in Detroit.
Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.