It’s almost comical to look at Power Rankings though, as most writers have dropped the Hawks as low as 10th in their weekly rankings – as always I ponder if those making them even know what the “Power Rankings” are really even about. Power Rankings are pretty simple, there is only one rule or one classification system and that’s whether the team in question could win a seven game series, should would begin at that very moment. Could a team match-up against the other for five or six or even seven games straight and win four times? No matter the opponent chosen – the Hawks are confident that answer is yes.
”We need some momentum… but we’re calm, cool and collected… we’re confident too.”- Corey Crawford to NHL Tonight on Hawks’ current state of mind.
The Chicago Blackhawks seem to be the most accurately rated, yet underrated club in the league right now – especially when such a talented power play isn’t consistently smooth as butter. Their defense is continually questioned, most due to the dealing of Nick Leddy to the Islanders late in the offseason and the early injury to Trevor VanRiemsdyk – yet they’ve given up fewer goals than most in the league.
Corey Crawford continues, even after winning a Stanley Cup, to receive little credit as an elite goaltender. But when you stumble out of a concert and consequently put the best season of your career in jeopardy… you’ll lose a bit of support in this town, at least for a little while. But as we all know, standing on his head, going 4-0-1 in his last five, with an average save percentage near .952% while keeping opponents to 2 goals or less in four of those five… that support and confidence will quickly return. Thus it has.
The Chicago Blackhawks are no strangers to adversity, whether dealing with the line juggling, injuries, or the supposed slumps the media and fans decide to put them in – it’ll always work itself out, it always has. As it stands the Hawks have some questions to answer on both Defense and Offense. While the D-Corps keeps their head above water most nights, there still doesn’t seem to be a reliable third pairing – as time drags on, the answer still isn’t clear. Cumiskey doesn’t look bad, but maybe it’s just that he’s a fresh face. It’s still a wonder as to whether they’ll continue to shuffle the blue-liners around or even go out and find a solid d-man before the deadline.
That problem solving for the forwards will be up to Coach Quenneville and he hasn’t disappointed yet. It was a bit of a shock to see Tuevo Teravainen head down to Rockford, but it does seem to make some sense. With talks and rumors circling Chicago and a possible bottom six forward trade, it may stand that the Hawks are looking at whether they have that forward already inside the organization. And while they make that inquiry, into young Ryan Hartman as it appears to be, they’d prefer Tuevo playing until they’ve made their decision or even acquisition. Even if it is in the AHL.
So while we sit back and ponder the thought process in sending Tuevo down, or finally sitting Rundblad in the press box for a night – the Hawks are out getting points and continuing to find ways to keep the train rolling – even with the wheels bouncing all over the tracks.
So label the Hawks underdogs if you must, send them on the road for the first two games of every series this post season – I wouldn’t mind and they don’t seem to either. As history seems to remind, these men on Madison prefer to win series’ in six games and they’re due to hoist the Cup in the Madhouse. That happens best after splitting the first two on the road before returning home. It will be a lot of fun to see how it all shakes out. Less than two months left…
Regardless, as long as the Hawks make the post-season, they’re going to be the best bet to return the Cup to Chicago.
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