Hoping to Get Back on Track
The Chicago Blackhawks had a great start to the season sitting atop their division and conference for the first 40 games or so.
The Central Division has been a dogfight for the top spot for most of the season with four out of the five team having over 62 points. It will probably come down to the last few games to see who actually wins the division and solidify home ice for the playoffs.
Though the team has had a good first half, they have been very inconsistent and sloppy in their own end. The Hawks only have a +18 goal difference. They have given up a total of 144 goals so far; only three other teams in the conference have given up more.
Their ability to outscore opponents has been a big reason why they have been winning, but come playoffs that will only get a team a quick first round exit.
They also need to add some new players to the mix. With the trade deadline on February 27th, management will be looking to add a top four defensemen and a center. Getting a head start on the trade action is general manger, Stan Bowman. Friday night he traded prospect AHL D-man Brian Connelly for Calgary Flames center Brendan Morrison.
While this is a good pick up for the Hawks, a legitimate defensemen is what they really need. Bowman surely is not done trying to make deals, and fans will have to wait it out to see whom else he adds to the team.
As stated earlier, scoring goals is not an issue for this team. With players like Toews, Kane, Hossa and Sharp, offense will never really be a problem. They have scored 162 goals only the Boston Bruins have scored more.
After the All-Star games conclude this weekend and the NHL action continues, the Hawks will embark on an nine game road trip spanning over two and half weeks. This road trip will be a huge test for this team, who are 10-9-2 on the road. They will need to pile up the wins on this trip to keep pace with Detroit and St. Louis for the division lead.
On the trip, Toews, who will hopefully be back from injury by Tuesday’s game, and company will travel to Western Canada and face rivals Vancouver Canucks. The grueling trip ends in Columbus on February 18th before coming back home to face the Blues on the 19th.
If the Hawks could tighten up on the defensive and goaltending end, add some more solid additions, and most importantly stay healthy, this will be a team to reckon with come playoff time.
They are proven winners with world class players and nothing short of bring home the Cup is acceptable in Chicago.
Visit the Chicago Blackhawk’s Bleacher Report page for insight on who the Hawks should trade for and ESPN for more information on the newest Blackhawk, Brendan Morrison.