April 21, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) in game five of the 2012 Western Conference quarterfinals at Jobing.com Arena. The Blackhawks beat the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Here is a look around the NHL websites to see where the Chicago Blackhawks rank and what they are saying about the Hawks a week before the season starts.
TSN.com has the Blackhawks power ranking at #6. They like the minor pickups on defense with the re-signing of Johnny Oduya. There only question and you will see a pattern here is what Corey Crawford will show up for the shortened season. For the TSN.com power ranking click here.
ESPN.com power rankings has the Hawks further down at #9 well behind the St Louis Blues which are ranked at #7 in their pre-season ranking. For more salt in the wound they have to mention Mike Smith outplaying Crawford in the Coyote series. They are right about the offense having to carry the Hawks through the shortened series. For the ESPN.com power rankings click here.
Fansided’s TooManyMenOnTheSite did a top 10 power ranking and like ESPN.com they had the St Louis Blues ranked ahead of the Blackhawks while ranking them #7 overall, they also made mention that the play of Crawford has no where but up to go this season. Their ranking can be found here.
Lastly, we have the bleacher report power rankings. They like Fansided have the Blackhawks ranked at #7 with questions of Corey Crawford and some Patrick Kane mockery which makes abosolutly no sense to address in a power rankings. There power ranking slide show is here.
Looks like there are two themes in the power rankings by the sites, the Hawks could be a huge factor in the Stanley Cup chase but only if Corey Crawford returns to his rookie season form and not his Phoenix Coyotes form.
What do you think? Are the Blackhawks falling between #6 and #9 justified?