Saturday, October 8, 2016
Young forwards could be key for Chicago Blackhawks
There are a lot of nice pieces, starting with NHL MVP Patrick Kane, star center Jonathan Toews and Calder Trophy winner Artemi Panarin.
How they fit together is the big question for coach Joel Quenneville Chicago.
The Blackhawks changed Teuvo Andrew Shaw and Andrew Ladd Teräväinen and lost in free agency during the summer, leaving three large holes. Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann also left in free agency, and Marian Hossa, long one of the most consistent strikers in Chicago, comes from a bad year.
The result is an unstable situation of the Blackhawks Jersey' Quenneville four lines that might need some time to resolve.
'' That unpredictability can sometimes be healthy in many ways, knowing that the guys are pushing and decisions - when we have difficult decisions - we feel we are a better team and a better organization when it comes to this type of situation, '' Quenneville said on Tuesday.
Kane, Panarin and Artem Anisimov center combined for one of the most productive lines in the NHL last season. Kane was the top scorer in the league with 106 points, and Panarin Jersey had 30 goals and 47 assists in a season impressive rookie. Anisimov finished with 20 goals and 22 assists in his first year in Chicago.
But Kane and Panarin are best plays of the Blackhawks' and Quenneville could break your second line to create a better balance. Hossa, who turns 38 in January, could play any of the three main lines of Chicago depending on how it shakes out.
'' Although I'm playing with, it's up to me to make sure I'm trying to train those other two guys to be the best it can be so, '' Toews said.
The game of the best prospects within Chicago also affect the appearance of lines Blackhawks'. Tyler Motte, former star of the University of Michigan, and quick Vincent Hinostroza, a native of the Chicago area who played hockey at the University of Notre Dame, each looked good in the field. Nick Schmaltz, a first-round draft pick in 2014, is also in the mix.
The Blackhawks are quite settled on defense. Brian Campbell, who led defenses NHL with a rating of plus-minus-31 over the last week with the Florida season, signed a one-year contract in July, returning to Chicago after helping the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010 .
The addition of Campbell gives the Blackhawks one of the best defensive lineups in the league, crowned by two-time Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson. Michal Kempny, who signed with Chicago on May 24 and played for the Czech Republic in the World Cup, is also an intriguing possibility for the third match.
'' This is probably the group d-corps deepest we've had since I've been in this organization, '' Hjalmarsson, who made his NHL debut with the Blackhawks in 2008 he said.
Here are a couple of other things to do as Chicago trying for their fourth Stanley Cup title since 2010:
Sweet, sweet rest
The Blackhawks lost to St. Louis in seven games in the first round of the playoffs in April. It was his shortest stay in the postseason since losing Coyotes in the first round in 2012.
The amount of high-level games, including the Olympic Games, there were stacked for some of the biggest stars in Chicago, and the longer break than usual this year could help.
'' Sometimes when you go along and deep into the playoffs are still mentally tired and not as excited to tie the skates every morning, '' Hjalmarsson said. '' But that's not a problem at all now. So I think everyone is excited to get the season going. ''
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford is coming off one of his best seasons in the NHL. He established career highs with 35 wins, 58 starts and NHL-best seven shutouts.
Crawford tuned for this year, helping Canada win the World Cup. With an improved defense in front of him, the 31-year-old Crawford could contend for the Vezina Trophy awarded to the top NHL goalie after finishing fifth last season in the vote. Kane Jersey.
Center Marcus Kruger agreed to a contract extension $ 9.25 million three-year lock in March penalty versatile murderer to the 2018-19 season. But Kruger had no goals and four assists in 41 games last season, and the Blackhawks need increased production of Swedish forward their losses, especially if you play on the third line.