Rookies Jokiharju and Kahun are getting more comfortable with each game
ST. LOUIS – While Henri Jokiharju and Dominik Kahun haven’t played like rookies early in this Blackhawks season, it’s important to remember they still are raw.
Neither ever has played an 82-game season and at some point both are likely to hit awall.
“You just have to keep an eye on how they’re doing and recognize when they look like they’re starting to slide a little,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
It hasn’t come close to happening yet, thoughKahunadmitted he isn’t quite used to playing so many games. In Germany, where the 23-year-old forward spent the last four seasons in his home country’s top pro league, they only played games on Fridays and Sundays. The Hawks are currently in a stretch in which they are playing seven games in 11 days.
“That’s something different here but it’s more fun,” said Kahun, who has a goal and six assists. “Games are better than practice.”
Jokiharju, who has six assists but still is searching for his first career goal despite leadingHawks defensemen with 28 shots on net, said his biggest eye opener has been howgood every team is.
“You can win or lose to everyone,” the 19-year-old from Finland said. “That’s the biggestone. There are no easy games, no days off over here.”
Playing with likely Hall of Famers has made the experience a bit surreal — Jokiharju is on a defensive pairing with Duncan Keith, andKahunhas been playing on a line with Jonathan Toews — but normalcy is starting to take over.
“I really feel like I’m here,” Kahun said. “It’smy team.”
One-timers: Defenseman Connor Murphy is not ready to begin skating as he recuperates from a back injury. “He’s starting to work out in the gym a little bit more,” Quenneville said. … Nicolas Beaudin, the Hawks’ second firstround pick this year, is out indefinitely after suffering a wrist injury while playing for Drummondville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Beaudin, a 19year-old defenseman, has a goal and eight assists in nine games this season.