The puck drops tonight for the Blackhawks

If you heard any recent news of the Blackhawks throughout the summer, it’s been that the Stanley Cup champion team is disintegrating. Everyone is beginning to believe they will never be what they were last year, but I say don’t give up hope yet.

The roster has had many changes including various trades to Atlanta and letting go of some players due to restrictions. Despite this, the team will still have strong forward lines and the core is still intact. Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Marian Hossa always bring offense to the table and will be great to watch.  The third line of offense will have our new acquisitions, Viktor Stalberg who signed as a free agent and Fernando Pisani, acquired from Toronto. When healthy, they both can post up strong numbers offensively as third liners. The offense will not lack goal scoring, so it should be entertaining to watch all season.

Defensively, the Hawks still have their Norris Trophy winning Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, and five other returning players from the team of last year. They all are very strong, blocking shots and reducing offense for the other team as much as possible. The Blackhawks led the league in least shots against, which is not a coincidence which helps the goalies out. A player to pay attention to this year is John Scott. This big brawler, signed as a free agent is the team’s new fighter. He led his previous team (Minnesota Wild) in penalty minutes and will always be ready to drop the mitts for a scrap.  This should be icing to the cake for the defense.

For the man between the pipes, the new goaltender is Marty Turco from Dallas. Antti Niemi, theprevious goalie, was too expensive for the Hawks to fit on the roster so they grabbed Turco for a one year contract. He is a very aggressive goalie that likes to play the puck and move it up which is new for Chicago. Christobal Huet was released and Corey Crawford will be the back-up, he recently was playing in the Hawks farm team, the Rockford Icehogs in the AHL for a few seasons. Overall, they will be solid throughout the season and post up very good numbers this year.

This team should be solid and be fun to watch all throughout the season. They have the capability to make the playoffs this season, but may not be able to capture the division. The Detriot Red Wings pose a huge threat and will be very dangerous this year if they can stay healthy. Other than that, playoffs should be interesting with this new mix of players and I can see them getting very deep into the playoffs again this year.

The Blackhawks play their first game tonight in Colorado at 9 P.M. central on Versus, don’t miss it!