Kukla's Korner Hockey
via Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
It was a great road trip for the Blackhawks despite Saturday night’s 2-1 loss to the Kings in a shootout, which followed Friday’s 3-0 loss at Anaheim.
The Hawks took 9 out of a possible 12 points and come back home still in first place in the Central Division.
“I thought it was a real good road trip,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “You get 9 out of 12 points in six tough buildings. At the beginning of it you would have taken that.”
from Rick Morrissey of the Chicago Tribune,
My suggestion is to enjoy the ride and assume it’s going to get even better as the season goes along. Why shouldn’t it?
When the Hawks skated all over the Sharks in a 7-2 road victory Wednesday, you could hear the rest of the league letting out an involuntary “whoa—what is that?” The Sharks have the best record in the NHL, and the Blackhawks made them look like a junior team from Saskatoon.
The game featured the long-awaited debut of Marian Hossa, and he scored two goals as if it were the most natural thing to do after spending four months rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder.
Before the victory over the Sharks, the Hawks had put together a seven-game winning streak. Now with Hossa in the lineup in San Jose, here came an epiphany like a rush up the ice: Why not this season?
I thought the Hawks were another year away from being a serious threat to win the Stanley Cup, that the Red Wings or the Penguins or the Sharks still would rule, but what we’re seeing now changes everything. Why not this season indeed?
A variation of their Winter Classic sweater.
from Jason Kay of The Hockey News,
He has answered the call every time Slovakia has called, but has never scaled the podium. When Slovakia experienced its greatest achievements on the world stage – silver, gold and bronze medals at World Championships in 2000, 2002 and 2003 respectively – Hossa was engaged in the NHL playoffs for the chronically underachieving Ottawa Senators.
And, of course, we all know what happened the past couple years in the NHL with Pittsburgh and Detroit.
So, if you’re a Hawks fan, should this worry you? Is every team on which Hossa plays doomed?
It’s not rational, but who knows how the hockey gods work? For the superstitious Chicago supporter, here’s something to cling to: the last time Hossa did win anything of consequence, at the Memorial Cup, he was wearing the Hawks’ logo. Until he got hurt.
from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
It’s time to start thinking differently about the Blackhawks.
Defenseman Duncan Keith was asked following Wednesday’s 7-2 rout of the Sharks, who still have the best record in the NHL, if beating San Jose meant the Hawks had passed some sort of test.
It should be the other way around. Playing the Hawks now is a test for other clubs. The Hawks are the best team in the Western Conference at the moment, not San Jose. The Hawks went farther than the Sharks in the playoffs last spring and have beaten them twice in two games this season.
If it weren’t for Pittsburgh, the Hawks would be the best team in the NHL. The Penguins still rule because they have the Stanley Cup and are 16-8-0.
from Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune,
The Marian Hossa era has officially begun. And by the looks of things, it could be something special for the Blackhawks.
The veteran winger made his debut with the Hawks on Wednesday night and helped them thoroughly dismantle the San Jose Sharks 7-2 in front of a crowd of 17,562 at HP Pavilion….
“It was a bonus to score two goals,” said Hossa, who played his first game after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. “I was looking to try to get into game shape and try to make good plays, keep it simple. Who would say we’d beat them 7-2? We played a great game overall. It’s huge.”
more on the game…
from Spector of Spector’s Hockey,
It appears there are conflicting reports regarding potential talks between the Blackhawks and Maple Leafs. Both teams however seem keen to make a move, if not with each other then with other clubs so their respective situations will continue to attract attention
more and my question is- Why would any team be willing to help Chicago get out of their salary cap situation? Unless the deal is too good to pass up and I don’t think what is being tossed around is good enough. then teams should wait.
from Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times,
Hossa knows his way around. This is his fourth NHL team in three seasons. He started with the Ottawa Senators, then was with the Atlanta Thrashers before his failed championship bids with the Penguins and Red Wings. He also played for Slovakia in two Winter Olympics. So the Hawks won’t be his first contender, but they might turn out to be the best team he has played on.
‘‘I’ve been on quite a few, and this one is right there,’’ he said. ‘‘The advantage of this team is it’s mostly young guys who are just getting better and stronger in their understanding of the game.’‘
Last year he played for an old team in Detroit. The Hawks are the exact opposite.
‘‘This is the youngest group of guys I’ve ever played with,’’ Hossa said. ‘‘It’s been fun in the dressing room. It’s a different crowd than in Detroit. They were a little more mature there.’‘
via Ben Kuzma of The White Towel,
“Obviously, there’s a rivalry,” understated (Alex) Burrows. “I know a lot of guys in this lockerroom don’t really like their players and we’re not big fans of them. But at the same time we’ve got to play smart.”
Puck drops just after 10:00pm ET tonight, Chicago vs. Vancouver, I’ll be watching, need a hockey fix quick…
from John MacKinnon of the Edmonton Journal,
Chicago ran the streak to 6-1-3 with a 5-2 victory and left Alberta 2-0 for the trip. Again.
When a team can blow out the opposition like that, the temptation is to pigeonhole the Hawks as a squadron of gunners, what with Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglien and others able to light it up.
It gets worse for NHL opponents, presumably, considering the fact that free-agent sniper Marian Hossa is set to make his Blackhawks debut next week after recovering from off-season surgery.
But the young Hawks aren’t one-way offensive divas; far from it. They’re defensively responsible, ranked third in the NHL in goals against and second overall on the penalty kill.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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