Monday, January 21, 2013
Why the Blackhawks are so dangerous
By Luke Lapinski
The Chicago Blackhawks aren't all that far removed from winning the Stanley Cup with a young nucleus of talented players. So it's not as if they're going to sneak up on anybody this year. Still, after bowing out in the first round of the last two playoffs, they're looking to deliver a strong bounceback effort.
As it turns out, they might be poised to do just that. Sure, there are still some unanswered questions in goal. But they'll likely have plenty of offense to lean on most nights -- a theory that was reinforced over the weekend when the 'Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 start with 11 goals. And which netminders did they put those 11 pucks behind? Jonathan Quick and Mike Smith, two of the top goalies in the sport.
To be fair, some of that could be a result of somewhat sloppy play as players and teams try to get on the same page coming out of the prolonged break and accelerated training camp. But the guys scoring for Chicago are established talents. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp each have a pair of points, Patrick Kane has a goal and three assists as he looks to respond after a relatively "down" year and Marian Hossa has shot out of the gate with four goals and a helper. Those aren't unknown players having a good game or two; they're some of the top weapons in the league. And Hossa's start, in particular, is a great sign for fans in the Windy City as he spent most of the offseason recovering from a concussion.