Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks 5 Thoughts: Change Is Good!

By Gail Kauchak
Feb 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) warms up prior to the first period against the Washington Capitals at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) warms up prior to the first period against the Washington Capitals at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Feb 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) warms up prior to the first period against the Washington Capitals at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) warms up prior to the first period against the Washington Capitals at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Blackhawks only played two games last week.  But I think it’s pretty safe to say that this past week was far from boring.  Numerous trades and moves have really spiced things up.  It’s also changed the entire dynamic of this team.  The Hawk’s two tilts were only three days apart.  But it seems like a completely different team that lost to the Nashville Predators 3-1 on Thursday, than the one that beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Sunday.

It’s pretty clear from management on down to the players that this team is very serious about obtaining back-to-back Stanley Cups.  It’s an exciting time, as we head into the home stretch of the regular season.   So many things have changed in a few short days!  And most of this change, at least for the immediate future, is looking pretty good.  Here are my five thoughts about all this transition.

1. Andrew Ladd is back!  I’d say this is the biggest splash that was recently made by Stan Bowman.  It was announced at the beginning of the Preds game on Thursday that Andrew Ladd, who won a Stanley Cup with the Hawks in 2010, would again don the red, white, and black.

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Ladd was a third liner in 2010, but he has since moved on to play for the top line with the Winnipeg Jets.  He was also the captain of their team, so he brings a lot of leadership to the table.  Ladd is a left winger, and it’s assumed that he will be the answer to the void left by Brandon Saad on the Chicago Blackhawks top line.  He is slated to play alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, both of whom were his teammates in 2010.  Coach Quenneville was also the coach at the time, so it seems that Ladd’s transition will be pretty seamless.

Sure enough, Ladd played on the top line with Toews and Andrew Shaw on Sunday against the Capitals.  He recorded 14:10 minutes of ice time, 2:41 minutes of that being on the power play.  He earned a secondary assist on Toew’s power play goal late in the second period.

This is a pretty decent start for Ladd.  He didn’t set the world on fire, but he still needs to work on his timing, and chemistry with his new teammates.  Remember, he’s never played with Shaw before.  He’s under a lot of pressure, but he’s also a veteran.  It will be interesting to watch him this coming month as he finds his groove.

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