Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/15/13 at 06:59 AM ET
The Chicago Blackhawks put up 101 points last season, good enough to be one of 10 teams in the NHL to crack the century mark. It didn't matter because, for the second straight season since winning the Stanley Cup, they were knocked off in the first round of the playoffs. The good thing for the Blackhawks is unlike in 2010-11, the season after a summer of being crushed by salary-cap constraints, they feel they know exactly what went wrong last season.
1. Will the goaltending duo of Corey Crawford and Ray Emery be good enough?
Crawford won 30 games last season, but it was a struggle as he allowed three or more goals in 27 of his 57 appearances in the regular season and in five of his six appearances in the playoffs. Instead of building on a strong finish to the 2010-11 season, he went backward with a 2.72 goals-against average, .903 save percentage and zero shutouts in 57 appearances.
Emery wasn't any better with a 2.81 GAA and .900 save percentage in 34 appearances. Crawford was supposed to cement himself as the clear-cut No. 1 in Chicago, but he hasn't done that yet. It appears he'll be given another chance this season to become that guy.
2. Is Patrick Kane going to mature and have a bounce-back season?
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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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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