May 6, 2014; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coachJoel Quenneville
talks to his team during the third period against the Minnesota Wild in game three of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Blackhawks 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
This upcoming season, our beloved Chicago Blackhawks will be looking to add upon their legendary status, and as we all know, legends are the territory of dragons.
From an archetypical standpoint, dragons represent the psychological obstacles in the way of the hero reaching his or her full glory and destiny. With that in mind, the Blackhawks have a few dragons of their own, both real and imagined, internal and external, potentially in the way of them realizing their full glory of re-acquiring the sacred chalice that is the Stanley Cup in 2015:
Mar 12, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks centerAndrew Shaw
(65) shoots the puck against Colorado Avalanche goalieSemyon Varlamov
(1) in the second period at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
3.) Semyon Varlamov
By and large, the Blackhawks have come up against a good amount of formidable goaltenders before and have figured out ways to beat them. However, once in a while, they come across a hot goalie that gives them fits. Mike Smith was one such netminder. This past season however, Semyon Varlamov emerged as the lone goaltender the Hawks just couldn’t figure out how to get past. If the Hawks want to return to the Stanley Cup Finals, they need to figure out how to win against the Colorado Avalanche with Varlamov in net for multiple reasons. First and foremost, the Avs are in the same division as the Hawks (more on this later). Second, it’ll boost team morale given how deep Varlamov burrowed under their skin last year. Most importantly though, it’ll help the Hawks keep their composure in the face of a tough keeper. One of the downfalls of the Blackhawks is that when their potent offensive talent is hampered by a hot goalie, they become too obsessed with scoring and make sloppy mistakes and turnovers that end up costing them goals and/or games. There’s no telling if Varlamov will have as strong a season as last year, but if he does and the Hawks can learn how to maintain a balanced attack to beat him, it’ll pay big dividends.
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