The Blackhawks are returning from the Olympic break and it will be nice to get the boys back together and focus on the true prize, the Stanley cup. With that in mind, I felt taking a look at some of the more impressive goals would be a nice way to ease back into the remainder of the NHL season.
The Olympics were a bit of a disappointment for Patrick Kane, but that shouldn’t distract from the season he is having. Kane came out of the gates focused and it showed immediately. Defenders and goalies alike had to deal with a man that didn’t just look to pass, but was more than willing to rip one top shelf. Kane has been forcing teams to play him tightly which helped open the ice for others. This goal in particular shows Kane’s penchant for scoring and more importantly, how even giving him a little space is a mistake.
Brandon Saad is being called mini-Hossa and I can understand the reasoning behind it. Saad has had some extremely dominant stretches of hockey before the Olympics. This goal was impressive in particular for the visuals of it, but also for Saad’s willingness to just cut through the ice and get the job done. Saad plays much bigger than he is, and I’m sure that he doesn’t waste his talents only banging against the boards. His aggressive play can be seen everywhere on the ice. He isn’t the sniper that Hossa was when he was younger, but he is on a path to be a very dominant forward.
This year has been rough for Corey Crawford. Between the injury at the start of the season to the Olympic snub he has had a bit of a rough ride. His stats are looking fairly average, especially when compared to last season. The numbers don’t tell the whole truth of Crawford. The save here is a perfect example of Crow’s confidence and how it has made him a bit more fun to watch. For those that play the goalie position you already know the horrible feeling that comes when playing without a stick, but for those who don’t know the feeling… it feels like you lost ALL of your gear. Crow works with what he has and makes an amazing stop, that can only comes with confidence.
The other play that’s a prime example of Crawfords growth. He knows he has the support so he comes way out to cut off the angle. He reads this play perfectly and makes a huge stop. Crow may not be in the top five of goalies in the NHL, but he has shown the ability to grow into the upper tier.
With the Olympics ending and the players coming back, I personally can’t wait to see those Indian head sweaters back on the ice.