Chicago Blackhawks hockey is here, at last! The last time fans saw them take the ice, they were flushed around with a tidal wave, carrying worrisome thoughts and speculations, which drove us all insane. However, with three games of the preseason behind us, we can see bits and pieces of where the Blackhawks stand as of right now.
The Chicago Blackhawks have been shaping up their roster throughout the past week, cutting the team to 33 players and looking between the seams to predict who will be a difference-maker this season and who will ultimately fit best.
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Although the Blackhawks are 1-2-0 this pre-season, there are certain players who are making this upcoming endeavor look promising. With their recent 5-2 come-from-behind win versus the Ottawa Senators Friday night, those once dim lights of worry became brighter visions of hope.
Newer and younger faces on the roster are currently making impacts and deeming themselves worthy by making more daring efforts than fruitless ones. Here’s how:
Henri Jokiharju Proves Worthy:
Henri Jokiharju, the formidable savior of all that is holy, is most certainly going to crack the opening roster. This is probably the boldest, and most important move the ‘Hawks have made thus far.
Jokiharju is by far the biggest player joining the Blackhawks this year, and his defensive role is more important than anything we could ever imagine, based on the ailments which have plagued our defense over the years.
New Faces Making Noise
The Blackhawks have been prepping their younger players for quite sometime, and it’s been working for them. Youngsters such as Luke Johnson and Dominik Kahun have been making a ton of noise, as both of them scored in the five goal extravaganza Friday night in Ottawa.
However, it’s not only the young guys who’re prosperous, but the older gentleman as well. Chris Kunitz, an unfamiliar face to the team, has been placed on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Alex Debrincat, which has been dominant thus far. Kunitz looks comfortable and clean, which is perfect for a veteran on the team.
Goaltending Doesn’t Seem To Be That Bad
Coming into the year, knowing Corey Crawford’s status, things have seemed bleak. Almost as if no matter how well put our offense or defense is, they’ll still drop in the standings because of the absence of Crawford.
However, this preseason has defied that thought and completely regained our confidence in the Blackhawks’ depth.
Yes, they’re 1-3-0, but it’s a team game, and we practically have a new team. Head coach Joel Quenneville had nothing but praise for backup goaltender Coli Delia after Friday night’s win, which is a rare sight for Blackhawk fans.
Also, Cam Ward, our starting goaltender until Crawford is clear tor return, has also been giving the team a run for their money. The 14 year veteran looks comfortable, sleek, and in near mint condition in his new jersey.
All together, the team doesn’t look all that bad. Speculations will always come up, and doubts will rise to the occasion, but at the end of the day, we have a newer Blackhawks team fighting to regain their winning spirit. With a mix of newer guys and gray bearded veterans, we’re in fighting shape.
I’d say, the team is on pace for at least 90 points right now, based on how things are cleaning up within the roster.