‘Hawks rocking into form in 2016

Going into the 2015-2016 NHL season, there were many questions, the least of which was the status of star winger, Patrick Kane. Factor in the loss of key players such as Johnny Oduya, Patrick Sharp, and Brandon Saad, and some experts weren’t sure if the ‘Hawks would make it back into the playoffs. At this point in the season, I think we can put all those concerns to rest.

Patrick Kane has be as focused as he has ever been. He has had some hot starts in years passed, but I’m not sure he has sustained them as long as he has this time. Barring injury, he is on track to hit the 50 goal mark, and top 100 points for the first time in his illustrious career. I hope he can continue this torrid stretch deep into the playoffs, and beyond.

The Blackhawks were somewhat taken by surprise when Brandon Saad suddenly  went back on his promise of a “hometown discount”. Just a day before the deadline for players to receive offer sheets, he was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Artem Anisimov, Marko Dano, Jeremy Morin and Corey Trop. A move that puzzled more than a few experts and fans a like. We later found out that Saad left negotiations strictly up to his agent. Guess he forgot the part about taking a discount. A shame because Saad fit in pretty well.

As the ‘Hawks moved to get under the salary cap, they had to part ways with vital members of their cup winning seasons, including: Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya, and Brad Richards. Richards was figured to only play one season, but it would have been nice to keep the veteran.

Not only have they put the past behind them, the ‘Hawks are on quite a roll. Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin have combined for 31 goals and 37 assists (27 by Panarin himself). Corey Crawford is having his best year between the pipes, and is surely motivated by being an All-Star snub. Fine with me. I’d rather see him hoisting another Stanley Cup.

We can’t predict where the team will end up, but currently they are on a franchise record 12-game winning streak. If they rock into the playoffs, they will probably be favored to take home another Stanley Cup.

 

 

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2 Responses to ‘Hawks rocking into form in 2016

  1. Bugboy says:

    Surely you’re not discounting the Caps so easily now, are you Bard?

    Oh, wait a minute. That’s right. Of course you are. It’s the Caps. =) As a Devil fan who goes back to the old Patrick Division days, I’ve watched that stupid franchise, then as now, be the NHL’s official “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride” team. Still and all, if ever is going to be their year, it’s this year. They are just two points better than the ‘hawks, but their goal dif. is +51 to the ‘hawks’ +26. Only two other teams are even over 30, Fla. and Dallas, and no one else is over 40.

    The Caps do seem to have remade themselves, with the two biggest things being Ovechkin finally calming the F down and playing a more mature game, and, of course, the blossoming of Kuznetsov. Oh, and their amazing defense. And possibly their goalie having the best season in the league this year.

    Still and all, this is the Caps we’re talking about, so I’m writing off none of the challengers, the main ones of which look like will be the ‘hawks, Panthers, and Stars (yes, Florida is in first place. I agree: Hell has likely frozen over). And Kane, of course, is just playing on another level than anyone else in the league this year. It’s a joy to watch. If we were back in the good old days when there were 20 or 30 100-point scorers a year, Kane might now be challenging Gretzky’s single-season records. The salary cap, she is a bitch, but ‘hawks look great anyway, agreed. Go Kane, go ‘hawks.

    • oxxo910 says:

      Great comment! I don’t really pay attention to the rest of the NHL. I did record the All-Star game. I knew a lot more about the players when I played console hockey games. I know Dallas might be tough in the playoffs, but I also know once the playoffs start anyfin can happen! Just look at the Lightning last year. No one saw that coming.

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