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Chicago Blackhawks: Top 6 Surprises of 2014

By Tim Lively
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Dec 29, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) reacts after scoring a goal during the third period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) reacts after scoring a goal during the third period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2014 portion of the 2014-2015 season has come to a close for our beloved Chicago Blackhawks, and while there is still a long road ahead, given how they’ve finished out the year, 2015 looks to be very promising for our boys in red, white, and black.

Going into the season, the Blackhawks certainly had their share of question marks, and like a champion-caliber team, the Hawks answered them in spades. Here are the biggest surprises of the 2014 half of the season:

#6 – Circus Trip Catapult

The way the Blackhawks started the 2014-2015 campaign is a distant, almost repressed memory at this point. Given their recent success, it’s hard to remember when they weren’t firing on anything but all cylinders this season. Before the Circus Trip, poor-quality shots, the line blender, and inconsistency stymied the Hawks. After their six game hiatus from the Madhouse on Madison in November however, the Blackhawks got their groove back, and went on an unprecedented eight game win streak. The Circus Trip made the Blackhawks, and Chicago for that matter, remember what this squad is truly capable of, and that’s great accomplishments. That being said, the Hawks notching a 3-0 come-from-behind victory against the Nashville Predators the other night was a downright fitting finish for 2014, and all signs indicate there is plenty more to come in the New Year.

#5 – Brad Richards

As the biggest acquisition of the 2014 offseason, Brad Richards, the proclaimed solution to Hawks’ chronic second line center problem, was walking a fine line between hope and hype the moment he arrived in Chicago. Many were wondering if the 34-year-old veteran had anything left in the tank, but after nestling between Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg on the second line, Richards showed Hawks Nation he’s still got it. While he may not have the same spring in his step from when he won the Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Richards has more than demonstrated he’s capable of using his veteran vision and seasoned know-how to set up and finish plays with his speedier line-mates. It also wouldn’t be an outrageous claim that Richards’ proven leadership qualities have added another degree of discipline to an already very disciplined team. Bottom line, 2014 demonstrated Brad Richards was the right move at the right time for the Blackhawks.

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