Sep 23, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Coaching. Even with very little line consistency, most of the players are trending upwards. There are now established defensive pairings, where all the players seem to be able to utilize their strengths. The Chicago Blackhawks have a record of 13-8-3, which is good for third place in the Western Conference.
But you still have to wonder at some of the decisions Coach Q and company make. Why is Hossa playing on the third line right now? Should Shaw and/or Garbutt really be playing on the first line? And why do they keep swapping from left to right sides? Why is Dano in and out of the lineup? Should Mashinter be playing? Should Bryan Bickell be called back up from the AHL?
These are all very good questions. And I’m sure we don’t know the half of what goes into making these decisions. Perhaps as the season progresses, some of these things will make more sense. In the meantime, I certainly hope the coaches know what they’re doing.
Intangibles. The best example of this would have to be the Chicago Blackhawk’s most recent win against the Anaheim Ducks this past Friday night. The Hawks were losing by 2 goals late in the third period. But nobody panicked, and the veterans calmly did what they seem to always do. They drew from their vast experience, and pulled out a win. Hossa, Keith, Seabrook, and Kane all contributed. Oh, and a newcomer named Anisimov. Why? Because they have a winning mentality. Sun Times’ Mark Lazerus recently wrote an excellent article about this championship mindset.
Well, two months are in the books for the Chicago Blackhawks. The month of December brings 15 games! That’s right; there’s a lot of hockey to be watched while we’re wrapping our presents. There are only two games this week, but the next two weeks feature four games each week! Let’s hope the Hawks can provide some wins to help with our holiday cheer!
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