J-F Berube struggles as Blackhawks dominate, but lose to Columbus

Joel Quenneville didn’t want to anoint Anton Forsberg the backup goalie after his terrific performance against the Blue Jackets’ regulars Tuesday. But after J-F Berube’s rough outing against the Jackets’ B team in Saturday’s 3-2 loss, the point might be moot.

Berube, who played 21 games with the Islanders over the last two seasons, struggled early on in his first Blackhawks appearance, as the Hawks lost despite dominating the Blue Jackets by a 54-21 shots margin. Berube got a piece of all three Columbus goals — Ryan Murray’s goal hit Berube in the shoulder before going in, Lukas Sedlak banked one in from behind the goal and Oliver Bjorkstrand snuck one underneath Berube just 28 seconds later.

Quenneville put a positive spin on it, though.

“I liked how he responded after a couple of tough ones there,” Quenneville said. “It’s never easy when your first game is like that.”

Brandon Saad is upended by Columbus' Jacob Graves during Saturday's game. (Getty Images)

It was a mixed bag for Alex DeBrincat, too. The highly touted prospect, who scored Thursday in his preseason debut, had a failed clear in the first period that led directly to Murray’s goal. He also took a slashing penalty but had five shots on goal.

“We all make mistakes,” Quenne­ville said. “You’ve got to be safe in certain areas and learn from that.”
Artem Anisimov and Jonathan Toews scored for the Hawks. Patrick Sharp had two assists for the second straight game.

Crackdown report

There were only three slashing calls in the game, and no faceoff violations, as the league reportedly backed off a bit on its mandated officiating crackdown.

“Tonight, they gave us a little more leeway, probably, than in previous games,” Toews said. “We’ll see how it goes. Obviously, you’ve got to try to walk the line between not getting thrown out or taking penalties, but not giving up too much of an edge and losing draws.”

South Bend-bound

The Hawks will spend the next five days at Notre Dame. They opened camp in South Bend from 2013-15, but skipped it last year because of the World Cup of Hockey. This year’s stint will be a little different, since it’s in the middle of camp, and many cuts already have been made. It’ll be more of a team-bonding experience, complete with a golf outing.
“Smaller group, get some bonding in, play golf together — a nice outing — couple of road games and a nice campus,” Quenneville said.

Roster report

Defenseman prospect Luc Snuggerud, who was having a strong camp, will be out “around” three weeks with an upper-body injury suffered in Thursday’s preseason game against Detroit. Forward Kyle Baun and goaltender Jeff Glass cleared waivers and were sent to Rockford. Forward Alexandre Fortin also was assigned to Rockford.

Follow me on Twitter
@MarkLazerus.
Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com

RELATED STORIES: Connor Murphy excited to finally play some high-stakes hockey

NHL has yet to determine if Marian Hossa is eligible for LTIR