One of my favorite teams in today’s NHL, there’s not much to hate about the Blackhawks, unless you’re a Red Wings fan, of course. Jonathan Toews, Pat Kane and Duncan Keith are three of the most dynamic young players in the league, and there’s no arguing they’re one of the most exciting teams in the league to watch on a nightly basis. Young goalie Corey Crawford looks like the real deal, and there aren’t very many holes on a team that has bonafide talent all over the ice. Depth might be a bit of an issue, as the salary cap has made it difficult to keep everyone they’d like to, but that’s something every team has to deal with. John Schultz from Blackhawk Up obviously agrees with me.
Ah, to bring Jeremy Roenick to tears again.
Make no doubt about it, that’s the mission this year. After suffering through the worst post-Stanley Cup cap crunch of any team since the lockout, the Chicago Blackhawks have re-emerged with most of that core still intact and retooled for what we hope is another deep run in 2012.
Looking at the names on the roster, one can’t help but get giddy with anticipation. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Dave Bolland, Duncan Keith, and Brent Seabrook; is there a better core group in the NHL? The simple answer is “No.” Aside from solid years from the departed Brian Campbell and rookies Corey Crawford (.917 Sv%, 2.30 GAA) andBrian Bickell (17 G, 37 Pts), these guys for the most part dragged around a group of has-beens and never-should-have-been-yets, and still came within an overtime goal of taking down the Presidents’ Trophy winners and hated rivals, the Vancouver Canucks. With a long summer to recharge and another year’s experience under their belts, this still young crew will have a much better – and much deeper – supporting cast this season.
To keep reading, check out the rest of John’s preview here.