Last week Duncan Keith was named NHL's 3rd star and today Patrick Kane was named the NHL's 1st star for the month of November.
These honors are very nice to see for the Hawks, but what is nice is this team is finding it's own little niche, their own little personality that differs from the past two championship teams. Their are many things that go into a championship quality team.
1) Great players: Well the Hawks certainly have that. One of the deepest rosters in the entire league.
2) Players willing to fill a role: Their are players that are 3rd and 4th line guys that could easily get more minutes for other teams.
3) Selflessness play: The camaraderie on this team is starting to click. At the beginning of the season, the Hawks were trying to 'find themselves'...You can see the team gelling very nicely now.
4) Limit Injuries: The Hawks have had key injuries to important players, but this well oiled machine simply moves on while these players heal.
5) Chemistry: This may be the single most important thing of all. Without chemistry, you don't have squat!. You can literally have the single best players in the league, and if they are selfish, dislike each other, and are unwilling to play for each other, the team goes NOWHERE,....fast. With the addition of Kris Versteeg, the team gelled and they quickly moved up to the top of the league in points. This has been said by many people, but it needs to be said again. The addition of Kris Versteeg was a genius move. This will be more prevalent during the year and into the playoffs.
6) Resting players: This year, unlike years in the past, REST is going to be vital. They are not only playing a full schedule, but they came off of a partial season and this year they add the Olympic season in the mix. It is important to have a strong bench and a players from the AHL that can come in and fill roles. (Nordstrom, Morin, Hayes (since moved to Florida), Raanta, Mills). By the end of the year, I wouldn't be surprised if that list of Rockford players grows to 10.
Hawks are at home tonight to play an angry Dallas Stars team that took the Hawks to the limit to only see themselves lose again to the Hawks. Here's to hoping that December was as successful as November.