Nov 23, 2014; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks forwardKris Versteeg
(23) celebrates with forwardPatrick Kane
(88) for his goal against Vancouver Canucks goaltenderRyan Miller
(30) (not pictured) during the second period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks might have the best team in the NHL on paper, but their play has not reflected their talent. Here are my five thoughts on the first quarter of the season. (please read that sentence in Lovie’ Smith’s voice).
1. The Blackhawks offensive talent has not met expectation: With talented players such as Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp on offense, they should be ranked higher than 7th. The Blackhawks only got to 7th because of their recently goals explosion against Dallas, Calgary, and Edmonton. People might think 7th is not bad on offense, but look at their recent history. In 2013-14, they finished 1st and they lost in the Western Conference Finals, 2012-13 they finished 2nd and they won the Stanley Cup. In 2011-12 They finished 6th on offense and they were bounced by the Phoenix Coyotes in the Quarter finals. The Blackhawks need to be in the top three on offense.
- Corey Crawford is having a good year: Corey Crawford might be most scrutinized Stanley Cup Champion goalie since Chris Osgood. Crawford is having a really great season. His win loss record is low because of his lack of offensive support. Crawford through 15 games is 9-5-1 with a .926 save percentage and 1.98 goals against average. For his career he is 124-64 with a ,915 save percentage and 2.33 goals against average. The Blackhawks rank 4th in goals against according to Hockey reference.com
- The Blackhawks have been effected by injuries: The Blackhawks have suffered many injuries early on in the season. Corey Crawford, Andrew Shaw, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Daniel Carcillo, and Patrick Sharp have been injured this season. Sharp could be returning in not the so distance future, while TVR will be out three to four months. TVR was playing well and Sharp was one of the top goal scorers for the Blackhawks. The offense is suffering a little bit with Sharp because other players have to fill his void. The Blackhawks had to recall Adam Clendening to replace TVR.
- Kris Versteeg might be back: Kris Versteeg had a rough year last season. He was not productive on the offensive side of the ice. He seemed unwilling to shoot at times. Now Did Versteeg come back from an injury too soon?? The answer is probably yes. Now that is healthy again the offensive production has returned. Versteeg has 7 goals and 7 assists this season.
- Jeremy Morin will never get a chance in Chicago: With the injury to Patrick Sharp, Jeremy Morin could have stepped into the lineup and filled some of the offensive void. Instead Morin’s playing time has gone down. He has only appeared in 15 games and averaged 7:44 per game. He last appeared against Calgary on 11/20/14. Morin has no goals and no assists. Morin has been benched in favor of Caricllo and Phillip Danault.
Those are five thoughts on the Blackhawks: what are yours?
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