Sep 26, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks centerJonathan Toews
(19) and New York Rangers goalieCedrick Desjardins
(40) go for the puck during the third period at the United Center. The New York Rangers defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
It’s hard to believe that after all that wait during the summer that in the span of 6 days the Blackhawks have played 4 preseason games basically splitting the squad and getting mixed results while Joel Quenneville and his staff take a long look at all the players. The Hawks have gone 2-2 and have two more games left before their October 9th date with the Dallas Stars so here is 5 quick takes about the first week of preseason.
5. Stan Bowman is Very Very Patient
I’m not sure if Bowman is in the cat bird seat or not, but with all the injuries someone has to be calling soon. Either way the Hawks with 10 days left in the offseason are still over 2 million dollars over the cap and need to trade someone whether it’s Johnny Oduya, Nick Leddy, or Michal Rozsival. When and Where and How it’s almost like a game of Clue Blackhawks edition.
4. Phillip Danault will be ready next year
Danault may have been the most impressive player since the Blackhawks kicked off the rookie tournament until he was sent to Rockford late Saturday night. Danault proved that he’s worth the title next Marcus Kruger even if his ceiling appears to be higher. Danault bulked up during the offseason and after struggling at times during his first full pro season in Rockford looks ready to dominate the AHL and be ready for a 2015-2016 appearance in Chicago.
3. Darling leaves his mark
Sure the Blackhawks scored 5 times in Saskatoon Sunday but it was Scott Darling that left people talking after the game. Darling pitched a shutout and Quenneville already likes him which should make for a nice little battle in the last week of the preseason. In my opinion Antti Raanta needs more game action which is found in Rockford not Chicago because we all know that Quenneville will ride Corey Crawford for weeks during the regular season.
2. Kris Versteeg, Is He Back or Trade Bait
Everyone that covers the Blackhawks swears that Versteeg looks faster and better which also included the coach after he scored Sunday night. The question is, are the Blackhawks hyping Versteeg for a trade or is he really close to getting back to 2010 form? If he is back to 2010 form than the Blackhawks third line will be a fun one to watch without Twitter being full of GD Versteeg comments nightly!
1. Teuvo Teuvo Teuvo
Teuvo Teravainen is one of the most naturally gifted Blackhawks on the ice already. I don’t care about his size or that all it took was one Cam Barker hit to knock him out for a week. The point of the team is to have the best 12 forwards on the ice nightly and Teuvo is far and away one of those 12 on the current roster and having him waste away in Rockford will be a disservice to the Blackhawks, their fans and the NHL. Teuvo should be playing opening night in Chicago not in the AHL.
The enforcer contest between Mashinter, Bass, and Labrie is so pathetic there should be no real reason any of these three are playing anywhere but the AHL except for the fact that Quenneville wants a tough guy on the roster which means rolling 4 lines is a pipe dream!!
What is your take on the first week of the preseason?
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