There’s No Way That Happens II: Blackhawks Predictions

Blackhawks pre-game

In January 2013 when the lockout was lifted, I constructed this masterpiece called “There’s No Way That Happens

Serving as a prediction piece, I’m back for round 2. Before I jump into this years predictions, which were pretty… pretty… pretty bang on last year (sarcasm intended), I want to comment on the roster and training camp happenings.

First, it’s unfortunate for Pirri and Morin to be sent down but I don’t think they are far from getting a call back up. Pirri was a victim of his own skillset. He’s not really a bottom six player and the bad news for him is there may not be a top six opening for a while in Chicago. Jeremy Morin was beat out Jimmy Hayes. You have to hand it to Hayes, he came in with a purposes and in great shape. Morin played well by all accounts but Hayes was better, end of story. Ben Smith was making the roster unless he completely played himself back onto a team bus, mostly due to his one-way contract as well as his experience.

Joakim Nordstrom is a different story. He’s made this team because he fits a role that no one above would fit. Sure, Morin could maybe be forced into that, but he should continue his path to become an offensive threat. Nordstrom will definitely be a name that many opposing teams will have to take a second glance at due to his unfamiliarity, however, he could prove to be a very important piece to the puzzle this year.

After the final cuts, here’s what I believe the lines will be on opening day:

Bickell – Toews – Kane ← these 3 will continue to dominate

Sharp – Handzus – Hossa ← that is if Hossa is healthy. Zues won’t be there all year.

Saad – Shaw – Hayes ← Hayes and Smith will battle for this 3rd line RW role.

Bollig/Smith – Kruger – Nordstrom ← Bollig looks better than ever and Q loves the Swede tandem.

Keith – Seabrook ← nuff said.

Oduya – Hjalmarsson ← nuff said

Leddy – Rozsival ← #8 looks to grow more offensively and will get plenty of PP time

Brookbank/Kostka ← teams would kill to have a 7/8 defensive depth like this.

Now, once again, the moment you’ve been waiting for… my “Top 5 No Way That Happens… Predictions” for your 2013-14 Chicago Blackhawks:

5) There’s no way Coach Q can keep Marcus Kruger off the 2nd line as they pivot. He is more confident and Michel Handzus is a flopping bandaid in the wind.

4) There’s no way Brandon Saad doesn’t convince everyone that he is a manchild years ahead of his age. He will have an ok offensive year, but there’s no way you aren’t convinced that he’s just as effective defensively with an expanded PK role.

3) There’s no way the Blackhawks Powerplay reaches top 10 this year.

2) There’s no way Jonathan Toews doesn’t win the Hart Trophy this year.

1) There’s no way Chicago Blackhawks win the President’s Trophy again this year, but there’s no way they don’t win the Stanley Cup again this year. The first repeat since the 1997-98 Red Wings is in store.

* bonus * There’s no way 3-5 Hawks won’t be coming home with a gold medal to Canada. What! What!

Let’s hear your predictions on the message board!


Ty’s Tidbits

~ The Hawks look rested and ready to start the season on Tuesday vs. the Capitals. People will comment on the “Cup Hangover” but keep in mind that all Hayes, Smith, and Nordstrom did in the off-season was work like crazy to make this team. Couple that along Kostka and Khabibulin having an early off-season, the Hawks should have some jump still to start the season. Will it be like the start of last season? Don’t count on it but with the returning depth on defence as well as the potent offense, they will be extremely dangerous again!

~ Hawks’ fans have to get prepared to have multiple let downs for the rest of Marian Hossa’s career. He will be in and out of the lineup more frequently as the passes his 35th year on this beautiful earth. His status for game #1 of the regular season it… ummm… “optimistic” which will be a regular occurrence.

~ Corey Crawford… I believe. If you read the link above or any of my previous work, I was one of the ones constantly questioning #50’s capabilities. Not only do I think he and Khabibulin will be an elite tandem, I think he has a strong possibility to make Team Canada this year and find himself in Sochi. It would help to have the familiarity of Keith, Seabrook, Toews and possibly Sharp on the same team.

Ty Cam out!

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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.

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  1. E.K. says:

    Hawks vs. Wings cup final. Hawks win it in 7.

    • I like where your heads at Eli.

      You think the Wings have upgraded enough in the off-season? I still don’t like their D, but do think they’ll have an easier time in the East.

      I would love to write a piece in the next few weeks on how the Ice Hogs are looking this year after you’ve seen them a couple of times. Can I pick your hockey brain again for that?

      • E.K. says:

        Indeed. You can always pick my brain on that one.

        As for the Wings, I think they have improved enough. Also, look at what Babcock got out of that team in the playoffs last season. They almost took the Hawks out in the second round.

        You can’t count the Wings out. Just sayin’.

  2. … also a thing to note – that great Kyle Beach is off to play for HV71 in the Swedish league. His days in the NHL appear to be numbered.

    • E.K. says:

      It’s more like his days in the Hawks organization are numbered.

      That silly hit to the knees on Tom Wilson and the sissy move he pulled in the fight right after it really sealed his fate with the organization, in my opinion.

      Supposedly this is supposed to be a short term loan (3 weeks) to HV71. We’ll see how that works out. My guess is that the crap he pulls in Rockford will get him run out of Sweden.

      My guess is that he ends up back in the States and finishes contract out with some independent AA team.

  3. Walton says:

    Are we starting early with the bad talk abut Zeus…tisk tiskkk, he was a rock in the playoffs last year you need to learn a little respect.

    I see someone is on the edge of hoping on the Crawford bandwagon, can’t be happier that Emery is out of town he’s a bum that cant move side to side. Crawford and Price need to be Canada’s goalies and send Broduer as #3 please no 7uongo.

    Hawks have a cakewalk division and I have a feeling Towes scores 40 this year and Kane takes a run at the Art Ross. He’s healthy and probably cares a little more about personal success than most.
    I HATE that bolland went to the leafs that one stings no doubt and I was also always a Frolik fan so saying goodbye is never easy.

    The Worst Hawks this year – Sheldon Brookbank -hes just awful

    • Ty Cam says:

      Ha… not hating on big Zeus. He was fantastic down the stretch for the Hawks. Just sayin’ the tred on the tires are about as bald as my ’96 Sunfire.

      I admit, Crawford’s game won me over. Good on you for helping me admit that I was wrong!

      I can’t argue with your Brookbank pick. Gotta love that righty shot though. ha.

  4. Steven says:

    Ty,

    My bold predictions:

    1.)The Hammer will average 2 shots per game up from last season’s a shot a game.
    2.)Antti Raanta will have more starts in net then the Bullin Wall for the Hawks.
    3.)Brookbank will become Hawk fans new whipping boy.

    Steven

    • Ty Cam says:

      Always like your predictions Steven.

      I almost put in your #2. I just feel like Khabby is one injury away from a smirnoff coma.

      Poor poor Brookbank… ha. I say that not only because he will become the whipping boy, but he will probably only see 10 games or so barring major injuries. Kostka is much better IMO.

    • E.K. says:

      The only stat that Khabby will have over Raanta will be number of shots of Vodka consumed.