There’s something about Patrick Kane turning a puck over in the offensive zone and ferociously tracking his perpetrator down behind the Hawks icing line that gives me chills. It’s this type of effort that is contagious from a star that we all knew had talent but a star with questionable motives.
It’s been pretty evident since the usurping of the young talent pool the world had to offer proceeding the dark days the Hawks suffered, that the Hawks were a team with a bright future. Well, I hope everyone bought his or her expensive Ray-Bans because the immense amount of talent that Dale Tallon & Co. put together was remarkable.
Acquiring Versteeg and Sharp while drafting homeruns Kane and Toews. The latter needed a little less consulting, however signing Marian Hossa and letting Martin Havlat go possibly ruffled some suit and tie feathers.
While the league (not just Hawks fans) have witnessed Keith and Seabrook emerge as an elite defense pairing in the NHL and Dustin Byfuglien body checking his way into your soul.
This skill has been a luxury that a lot of fans have taken for granted:
- “Where’s the 2nd line centre?”
- “Our 6th d-man is the worst!”
- “We miss Denis Savard behind the bench”
Here lay the echoes of a fan suffering from short-term memory loss, a bandwagoner or someone who refuses to accept that the past… well it SUCKED. Let’s be honest, the A-B-C line was once the Blackhawks #1 line. If you don’t know who was on this line, shame on you!
The facts are glaring to me in 2013, the Hawks are beating teams with their WILL. A certain commitment that shows dedication to a 2nd overall Penalty Killing unit (87%) that has been absent since they were 4th (85.3%) in their 2009-10 Stanley Cup winning regular season.
The Blackhawks had a nice win against a baby brother Eddie Oiltown. He’s a good guy and will soon be able to beat up his big bro. The Oilers had the Hawks number last year but both are different teams in ’13 and oddly enough for the better. Edmonton had the Hawks on their heels more than any other team this year and are going to be one scary unit very soon. Them taking the next step, depends on the moves they make in the next 6-12 months; serious pieces of their young core could create a championship winning environment overnight, you know it and I know it!
Watching the 1-0 victory last week over the Blue Jackets calls for a history lesson. The last time this happened in the regular season:
1-0: November 22nd, 2009 vs. VAN (Niemi with SO, Bickell with GWG)
1-0: April 5th, 2009 vs. CBJ (Khabibulin with SO in OT and Versteeg with GWG)
After witnessing this, it allows me to be a little more optimistic on the team’s commitment because it’s inspiring to see, day in and day out the overall hunger to succeed!
The skill has always been there, but it’s the WILL that has been more impressive. All my hockey peers from the outside have commented on how “sick” or “dirty” the Hawks look in direct reference to their skill. I know there is serious skill there, but the team support all over ice and relentless back-check shows me that their WILL is way more SICKER”!
Ty Cam Out!
About the Author: I am a rare Chicago Blackhawks fan from Canada, one might describe me as a hockey connoisseur and a solid checking line centre to your local rec hockey team. I once lived in a town of 500 people and now work in the hockey mecca that is Toronto. I work in the wonderful world of Advertising and these opinions are one of my own and not of my company - don't get it twisted.