Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/07/13 at 09:08 PM ET
from Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal,
Through their first 24 games of this truncated NHL season—a stretch during which they have not lost in regulation—the Chicago Blackhawks have shown they can win a game in just about any manner they want.
No team in the National Hockey League gives up fewer goals per game, and only three have scored more often. When hockey people talk about Chicago, their voices take on a quiet, tremulous tone—as if they're describing a voodoo hex.
But the black magic of the Blackhawks' streak lies not merely in what they've accomplished but in how they've accomplished it. Through the makeup of their roster and their style of play, they've thumbed their nose at the trendiest idea in the NHL: that a team's success is based primarily on its toughness—on its players' willingness to block shots and deliver bone-rattling body checks. By comparison, the Blackhawks might as well play their games in sequins with a panel of fur-clad judges looking on and Tchaikovsky blasting in the background.
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