The writers here at the FanSided Sports Network are now on day six of our NHL season preview. I’d like you to skate over to each of our sites daily and see what our talented hockey writers have to say about their teams’ upcoming season. Remember, we’re all fans and we have high expectations for our team, and previews are what they are…..previews. It will be interesting to see what the gang here has to say about their respective clubs. Will the Washington Capitals finally challenge for the Cup, what will happen to the Boston Bruins as they try to defend their championship, and can the Vancouver Canucks survive the “heartbreak” of losing in the Finals without tearing up their city….again.
The “blurb” from me about today’s preview for the Chicago Blackhawks might be a little bit biased. I grew up there, was a season ticket holder for many years, and honestly they still are my favourite team. After winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, last season was a frustrating one as it appeared the term “hangover” was a prime reason for their 8th place finish in the Western Conference. Although they did take the dreaded Vancouver Canucks to a game seven after being down three games to none, last year’s Blackhawks just weren’t the same compared to the previous year, and for obvious reasons. Salary cap issues forced numerous trades as well as players not being resigned, and the makeup of the team was additionally void of one important factor. Physicality.
Advance to this summer, and a full off season where everyone can rest, get healthy and prepare, the other 29 teams in the league should be on notice. Chicago is hungry for another Cup run. The team with the best goal song, the best national anthem, the best sweaters, and the best captain is ready. John Schultz our lead writer for Blackhawk Up had this to say about the expectations:
Looking at the names on the roster, one can’t help but get giddy with anticipation. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook; is there a better core group in the NHL? The simple answer is “No.” Aside from solid years from the departed Brian Campbell and rookies Corey Crawford (.917 Sv%, 2.30 GAA) and Brian Bickell (17 G, 37 Pts), these guys for the most part dragged around a group of has-beens and never-should-have-been-yets, and still came within an overtime goal of taking down the Presidents’ Trophy winners and hated rivals, the Vancouver Canucks. With a long summer to recharge and another year’s experience under their belts, this still young crew will have a much better – and much deeper – supporting cast this season.
With a roster that has added the much needed toughness that I referred to earlier with Jamal Mayers and Dan Carcillo, the maturation of Corey Crawford in goal, and the solid core that John alludes to in his preview, this team has all the parts to make a serious run for a championship. It’s going to be a very exciting season in Chicago. And hopefully Hawks fas see more of this, and this.
Tomorrow is Colorado’s turn, as they look to get back to the post season after missing out last year.
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