Mar 27, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (left) with Chicago Blackhawks right wingPatrick Kane
(center) and Blackhawks centerPatrick Sharp
(right) before the game between the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat at the United Center. The Bulls beat the Heat 101-97. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
There are plenty of rumors and rumor of rumors out there but one thing is for sure the Hawks lineup will be improved within the next week or two even if the Hawks don’t add a piece with the like of Mike Ribeiro or Derek Roy. Mark Lazerus of the Sun-Times has had this theory also, but I wanted to put my spin on the topic.
1. Marian Hossa could be back by Friday night’s game against Anaheim or at least Detroit on Sunday. Getting one of the best two-way players in the NHL is a pretty good addition at the right time. Hossa hasn’t missed a lot of games but not having his presence in the lineup against the LA Kings and their constant forechecking was noticeable. Hossa has all the stats 13 goals 10 assists a plus rating of 11, but what the stats don’t say is the time of possession that Hossa eats up with the puck and his ability to get back to break up opponent rushes. Hossa even in an aging veteran body is still a monster and the Hawks are going to need him to be healthy the entire Stanley Cup playoff run. Adding a healthy Hossa will do wonders for the lineup just look what it did for the first 24 games of the season.
2. Patrick Sharp should be back in the lineup right around the April 3rd deadline. Sharp was not off to one of his best starts when he did suffer the shoulder injury but one thing is certain, Sharp always gets on a hot streak goal scoring wise and this streak has not happened yet in the shortened season. Sharp, even though he’s missed 8 games already, still sits 5th on the team in scoring with 5 goals and 13 assists. Getting Sharp back will be a lift for the second line, getting a hot streak goal scorer in the lineup for the playoffs will be a lift for the entire organization, imagine if the Hawks were adding a player with 200 career goals..well that’s exactly what they get with Sharps return.
It hasn’t been all bad with Hossa and Sharp out of the lineup either even though the record may not show it. First off Jimmy Hayes has been able to play on the second line and play like he belongs. Hayes hasn’t tore up the scoresheet but neither did Brandon Saad when he first was inserted on the top line, but Hayes like Saad looks more comfortable each game and the points should start adding up pretty soon with the added experience of playing on the same line with Patrick Kane. The other benefit of the injury was the putting Michael Frolik on the top line which has improved his slumping play. He scored two goals against the LA Kings on a three point line and when Hossa does come back the new Frolik could have options for the organization. Frolik could be trade bait for Stan Bowman or the new confidence could carry over to the bottom line when he regains his spot with Marcus Kruger. Frolik has been solid on the penalty kill but getting him back to thinking offensively could be a great added benefit come playoff time.
The Hawks could still make a trade for a center which they could use, but getting Sharp and Hossa back in and around the deadline and ready for the playoffs will be better acquisition than almost any other team outside of Pittsburgh will be able to brag about.
What do you think do the Hawks need to make a move or is the roster ready for a Stanley Cup run?
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