The Hawks played another fine game last night and beat the Predators 3-1. Cristobal Huet was also fine, which is the way to describe his winning efforts so far. Actually everything is more than fine concerning the Blackhawks. Sometimes we may not realize when things are really good.
Although the Hawks have played just seven games and may have only skated against two clubs which will qualify for post season play the results have been much better than fine. Blackhawk loyalist should take a deep breath and appreciate the fact their favorite team looks very good so far.
The Hawks are among NHL leaders in goals scored and goal differential. They are at the top of the heap in shots taken per game and shot differential. They are also the least penalized team in the league. Chicago fans despise the Red Wings but Hawk management always wanted to emulate the best hockey franchise around.
By the looks of things the 2009-2010 Blackhawks may be the NHL’s new Detroit Red Wings.
The Hawks are leading the league in shots on goal and dominating teams with puck possession, all the while spending little time in the penalty box. Certainly Adam Burish and Ben Eager being out of the lineup have push down the penalty totals….But who would have thought the Hawks would be so rule abiding?
The other shared trait with Red Wings of the past is questionable goal keeping. The Wings often won without having one of the league’s top net minders between the pipes. Their goalies would be able to handle about 20 shots per game and come up with a big stop when needed. Once the playoffs started Chris Osgood or Dominik Hasek rose to the occasion.
Many Hawk fans won’t want to admit it, but maybe the Blackhawks have become their hated rival. If the results are the same fans should embrace the comparison.
Cristobel Huet made a good save early and seemed more in control last night. The Predators didn’t crash and bang in the crease area and that helps Huet. Just as in Antti Niemi’s wins, the Hawks were very responsible and limited the scoring chances for their opponent.
I still don’t know what to expect from Niemi and in the same regard Huet hasn’t done enough to erase doubts about him.
Maybe neither goalie has to be a great…..just not being bad may be good enough to win a lot of games. Opponents can’t score if they don’t have the puck.
In recent years Nashville has been able to stay in the playoff hunt without any true superstar goal scorers. They could be in trouble this season and may need a high draft pick or a free agent or two to add some offense.
It has taken me a couple of weeks to comment on NHL officiating…..more to come on that topic. But I have to bring up a big screw up which fortunately didn’t change the score of a contest.
Last night the Canadiens pulled their goal keeper while trying to tie the score against the Av’s. They just didn’t add one extra skater, but had seven men on the ice at once.
Every official, including linesmen can whistle a too many men on the ice penalty. All four missed the call last night and Montreal was held scoreless.
I wonder if the screw –up would have been reviewable if Montreal had tied the score….I would hope so.
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