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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blackhawks are 6-0. So What?

I remember when growing up in Chicago the "homers" that would come out and claim titles before they would happen was on every street corner. Then again, growing up in Chicago I remember the people who were "petrified" of mentioning titles before they were won because of the lack of titles won by one of the greatest sports cities in the world.  I was the latter. I always carried a little pessimism before dawning on the victory cap. Superstitions,......yep, carried those too. The Sox and Cubs and Blackhawks hadn't won a championship in my lifetime,...and the Bears won,...but, it was far from a dynasty. The only dynastic team in Chicago, were the Michael Jordan driven Bulls. So,....why am I bringing all of this up?

Ah,...(hangs head), I often go to to check out all the twitter feeds on my favorite search "Blackhawks",...and the amount of people riding the jock of this team to 48-0 are astounding. Dream a little dream with me..........pfffff. Wake up folks! Now, let's go over this team as un-biased as I can be (remember, I am a Hawks homer too,....just love keeping my cup half empty,...that's all).

Coach Quenneville admittedly was surprised at how "fit" the team was when they came into camp. Give some credit to Captain Serious for making sure his team was motivated to stay fit during the off season/lay-off. He did a marvelous job of holding ice time for his teammates and former teammates. He is growing into one helluva leader.

 I wondered how Coach Q was going to handle Pirri vs. Kruger. In my opinion, I still believe that Brandon Pirri is the better player. However, Kruge's has played "OUT HIS ASS" from the very start. Okay,......he still cannot win a face-off to save his life, but his 2 way play has been splendid.

Daniel Carcillo had an unfortunate lower body injury in the first game. His line mates were loving his well as the fans. He was quick, he wasn't throwing unnecessary blows at people. Very controlled. He will most likely return the end of February. The Hawks will need him in order to make that push. He's a true grit player. I am just hoping he stays this focused. I like Danny a lot.

I was a bit worried about Michael Frolik. But, he has come into this season with a different level of intensity as well. Scored a goal in the first game, and the last game against Detroit, he was killing the penalties with Kruger and had many leads up the ice for a chance of scoring. Keep it up Fro'!!!

To me, the ones that got off the "Slowest" to speak, were Seabrook and Sharp. Both are playing well,...don't get me wrong,...however, .............please, cut down the number of turnovers, eh?!!! Just way too many for my liking.

Nick Leddy...Wow! Welcome to the upper class of defencemen boy!!! He has been playing extremely well. 5 points (1G 4A) including his first OT winner against Detroit yesterday.

Viktor Stalberg is in a contract year and he played in Russia during the lockout. So, his inspired play definitely has purpose. (2G,1A).

Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith are playing at their true All-Star Elite status. I was worried mostly about Duncan Keith. He can sometimes play so darn uninspired. Not so far.

Patrick Kane, having the best start to any season he has ever had. He is not afraid of driving to the net. He knows that if he isn't going to score,...he will most likely have a trailer to finish. Such was the case with Dave Bolland and Jonathan Toews picking up his rebounds to stuff them in the net. He keeps this up, he'll end up over 65 points for the shortened season.

You notice a name on here........or a name "lack-therof" that has not been mentioned? Yep, nailed it. Bryan Bickell. He actually is playing well. He is paired with Stalberg and Shaw. I wasn't sure how that was going to work's working fine. I thought that was an odd pairing at first. In fact, I thought Stalberg was going to work the first line and Carcillo would be on the 3rd line.....Not the case.

The two signees: Sheldon Brookbank and Michal Rozsival have been a solid alternating two-some with Nick Leddy. In fact, I actually like Rozsival's play. I like it better than Steve Montador's (at present),...hopefully that continues as well.

The goaltending. Nothing special until the last game against Detroit. SO much so, that Corey Crawford actually earned the #1 Star of the game for his splendid netminding.  Early on there was some soft goals being let in by Crawford. He was driving fans nuts with his rebound-itis disease. But, lately he has been controlling the rebounds and not allowing second and third chances per initial shot.

Overall, the Hawks have been doing quite well. Dahhhh, (no kidding right? ) 6-0 would back that statement up. Best start to a Hawks season surpassing the 1971-72 season where they went 5-0-0. the record to start a season would be 11-0. 10-0-0 was done 2x .......11-0-0 is about 5% for them to get to for they are going into some crazy difficult barns with the next 6 games all on the road. Yikes!!!!!.

Okay, about the dreaded powerplay? It has been magnificent. I used to dread the damned thing last year.  Rank 8th so far.......not bad at all. And their PK? #2 overall. Awesome. Their special teams along with their inspired TEAM play from their bench players is the reason the Hawks are at the top.

2012-2013 - Regular Season - Skater - Summary - Power Play %
TeamGPWLOTPP%G/GGA/G5-5 F/APP%PK%S/GSA/GSc 1%Tr 1st%Ld 1%Ld 2%OS%OSB%FO%
1-30 of 30 results.
1SAN JOSE5500101.0004.601.603.3337.578.333.028.81.0001.0001.0001.0001.0001.00058.9
2ST LOUIS651010.8333.832.172.0033.375.
4TAMPA BAY54108.8004.802.602.1428.084.628.634.21.000.5001.0001.0001.000.66752.3

TeamGPWLOTPP%G/GGA/G5-5 F/APP%PK%S/GSA/GSc 1%Tr 1st%Ld 1%Ld 2%OS%OSB%FO%
1-30 of 30 results.
3NY ISLANDERS52215.5003.603.600.8122.294.129.631.8.500.333.0001.0001.000.25048.0
4NEW JERSEY43017.8752.751.751.5015.887.028.525.81.000.0001.0001.0001.000.00052.2
9TAMPA BAY54108.8004.802.602.1428.084.628.634.21.000.5001.0001.0001.000.66752.3

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