Question 1: The best test for the ’Hawks on this trip will be the L.A. Kings. They don’t score a lot, but they dominate the puck most nights, which will be the biggest test for the young ’Hawks on the road. Will the third-period magic continue when they face teams that control puck possession, or can they play their game for 60 minutes?
Question 2: My favorite player growing up was Al Secord, so watching him take one more shift would be great. Granted, he wouldn’t be able to start a fight on that last shift, but he could do it all, and seeing him skate around and wear that No. 20 one more time would be fantastic.
Question 1: Of the upcoming teams on the Blackhawks’ remaining road trip, I would say that the San Jose Sharks are the biggest threat for both the short and long terms.
It’s hard to hold down a Stanley Cup Final team and the Sharks are still one of the more dangerous teams in the Western Conference. They may have started off a bit slow, but the season is a marathon, not a sprint.
I feel that the Oilers, although being carried by Connor McDavid, will fall back into what the Oilers are and leave an opening for the Sharks to be a top-three Pacific Division team. San Jose is aging, and one more Cup run is the goal this season.
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Question 2: I LOVE the One More Shift initiative that the organization has come up with. It’s a great way for the Blackhawks to honor the greats of the past and give those players the proper recognition they deserve.
Denis Savard was a no-brainer to start the lineup of greats to honor, and we will for sure see the likes of Tony Esposito, Jeremy Roenick and Bobby Hull in the future. The player I want to see Chicago honor is Steve Larmer.
One of the fringe Hall of Fame players out there, Larmer was a staple of the success of the Blackhawks in the 1980s and early 1990s. While he was never the big point producer for Chicago, he averaged over a point per game in his time with the Blackhawks, scoring 923 points in 891 games with Chicago, as well as 1,012 points in 1,006 career games.
Two-time All-Star and 1982-83 Calder Memorial Trophy winner as NHL Rookie of the Year are solid honors to his name in Chicago, and he was the definition of an iron man in that era of the NHL. His number should be in the rafters at the United Center, and giving Larmer “One More Shift” would be a great first step to properly honoring him as a Chicago great.