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Blackhawks Fri Apr 26 2013

Revisting Preseason Blackhawks Predictions

Thumbnail image for GB blackhawks icon.pngWith two games left, it is safe to say the Chicago Blackhawks have had a stellar season. Most people who follow the team did not know what to make of the team before the lockout-shortened season started. It's been one hell of a ride thus far.

A record setting points streak; two goaltenders in the top ten in most statistical categories, and several players and their coach are in line for postseason awards. They couldn't do much better, and they recently clinched the President's trophy for having the most points in the National Hockey League.

Let's look back on the predictions I made before the season started.

'For the team to capture another Stanley Cup,Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith must have bounce-back seasons.' They've done just that. Kane is in contention of the Hart Trophy (League MVP). Hossa, despite injuries, has continued to be a main cog in the team's offense. Keith has been a defensive stalwart, and has also helped the team improve on the power play which was awful last season.

'For the team to capture another Stanley Cup, Viktor Stalberg, Corey Crawford, Bryan Bickell, Michael Frolik and Nick Leddy need to put together a full season of consistency.'
Stalberg continues to be one of the reasons the teams scores so many goals as his puck possession leads to multiple scoring opportunities. Crawford has been solid all year long.T he glove save he made in the Edmonton game says it all. Bickell, Frolik and Leddy have been key contributors who have provided depth and the re-signing of Johnny Oduya allowed Leddy to play on the third line, where he has flourished.

'For the team to capture another Stanley Cup, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Brent Seabrook and Dave Bolland must keep doing what they usually do.' Toews is also a Hart trophy candidate who is among the league leaders in faceoff percentage and plus/minus, Sharp has been a key contributor even though he missed some games, and Seabrook has been steady as always. Even though Bolland continues to frustrate opponents, he has struggled as the second line center. The team brought in Michal Handzus to take some pressure off of him.

My last prediction was wildly underestimated even though it has not happened yet:
'If all or most of these things fall into place, the Hawks should make some noise in the Western Conference.'

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