Rising Star: Bedard’s Unforgettable NHL Debut – Overcoming 2-0 Deficit Against Penguins!
In an unexpected turn of events, the draft lottery-winning Blackhawks mounted a thrilling comeback against the veteran Penguins, overcoming a 2-0 deficit with the help of four different scorers. All eyes were on Bedard as he made his smooth transition to the NHL, facing his childhood idol, Crosby, a three-time Stanley Cup champion, in a quintessential “welcome-to-the-NHL” moment. Although the outcome didn’t favor Bedard, he didn’t let the early loss affect his confidence.
Bedard’s on-ice performance showcased why he is considered a generational talent. He played for an impressive 21 minutes and 29 seconds, leading all forwards, took five shots on goal, attempted 11 shots (the second most in an NHL debut since 2009-10), and even contributed with one assist. Bedard became the youngest player to earn a point in a season opener since Aleksander Barkov in 2013 and the second-youngest player in Blackhawks history (after Eddie Olczyk in 1984) to secure a debut point.
The only area where Bedard faced some challenges was at the faceoff dot, with a 2-for-13 record. However, this minor setback didn’t overshadow the significance of his first NHL game, which he described as a moment he had dreamed about his whole life.
Fortunately, the memories from that night will last a lifetime. Bedard’s impressive pedigree didn’t exempt him from participating in typical NHL rookie traditions, such as an amusing pregame moment when he frantically searched for his missing stick before finally locating one on the equipment rack.
Bedard and fellow rookie Kevin Korchinski took to the ice for a minute of solo laps before their teammates joined, not wearing helmets as a nod to a tradition where rookies get to experience one helmetless lap.
Korchinski encouraged Bedard to be patient with himself and remember that he’s still learning and improving at just 18 years old. Bedard indeed embraced this perspective, making the most of his ample ice time during the game, both at 5-on-5 and on the power play.
Bedard’s strong presence on the Blackhawks’ first power-play unit, along with his determined efforts, played a crucial role in keeping the puck in Pittsburgh’s zone for over 90 seconds. Despite a powerful one-timer that was denied by Pittsburgh’s netminder Tristan Jarry, Bedard’s performance continued to impress.
While Bedard was a focal point for both the Blackhawks and the Penguins, it was truly a collective effort that allowed Chicago to overcome a 2-0 deficit. They mounted a comeback with goals from Cole Guttman and Jason Dickinson, securing a game-winner late in the third period. Nick Foligno added an insurance empty-net goal, and Petr Mrazek’s exceptional 38-save performance gave the Blackhawks every opportunity to rally back.
Bedard expressed his joy at the victory, which marked the start of an exciting new chapter for Chicago hockey. Despite the initial challenges, the team’s determination to win and the thrilling comeback made Bedard’s debut a memorable and promising moment for Chicago. Winning, Bedard emphasized, left a much sweeter taste in his mouth.