~ BREAKING: I thought Claude Noel would be the first coach fired but Dale Tallon has just let go Kevin Dineen and staff this morning. Other’s should follow shortly. Brian Rolston’s brother, I’m looking at you!
~ Patrick Kane is pure magic: his work against the Jets, stickhandling through them like butter was a sight to see. If he keeps racking up those highlight reels, he’ll find himself inching closer to the best in the game in that category, Pavel Datsyuk.
~ Hawks are sorry: the Blackhawks PR team worked a little overtime on Wednesday after a fan took Adam Pardy’s helmet off his head and put it on his own inebriated one. That was funny. The classy, classy lady who poured beer on him was not. It was also a waste of beer. Courtesy of the NHL – here’s the video.
~ Nikolai Khabibulin still adjusting to puck possession Hawks: Khabby will most likely get a start on the road in Dallas this weekend. This is a huge game for him to show that he still belongs on this team. A thought I had when analyzing Khabby’s poor play is that he may not be accustom to the type of style the current Hawks play. In his first stint with the Hawks he faced 28 shots/game and in Edmonton in the last 4 years, he was up to 30 shots/game. Keep in mind it’s only a small sample (with one game he was pulled) but he’s looking at 22 shots/game in 2013. Moving forward , he will continue to be sheltered by a great Hawks’ defence though. He just needs to come up with a couple big saves and stay solid in their, that’s a new scene for the Russian tender these days. This would be hard for a goalie that used to getting peppered with shots and always trying to keep his team alive. Then again, maybe I’m just searching for excuses.
~ Jeremy Morin searching for closure on benching: Morin was a healthy scratch on Wednesday’s 4-1 win vs. the Jets. I know Q is a big Brookbank fan and wants to get him, Rozy and Kostka (when he returns) as much ice time as possible. I personally thought Morin was fitting in nicely on that third line. He’s bound to have his ups and downs.
~ Hit Parade: the Blackhawks through 16 games are 20th overall in hits. It doesn’t sound impressive but when looking at an average per game they’re up 18%. They found themselves dead last in 2012-13 which isn’t surprising based on their style. It is nice to see some more physicality however. This is due in part to the youngsters attempting to impress and earn an everyday roster spot. Andrew Shaw and Brandon Bollig are leading the way with 47 and 42 respectively.
~ Marcus Kruger finally looking more efficient at the dot: he’s up to 51% and climbing. He’s 56% successful short-handed so maybe those exatra hours with former faceoff specialist Yanic Perreault are paying off. One thing though, he is still getting kicked out of too many draws from the get-go
~ Brandon Bollig sighting on the PK: he had some PK responsibility in his time in Rockford. Although not the most ideal candidate, he just another notch in Q’s versatility belt. He is by far the most improved Hawks player in my opinion. His work along the boards, protecting the puck is his best asset on the forecheck right now.
The Hawks are in Dallas on Saturday and home to Edmonton on Sunday. Let’s see if they can build off that momentum from Wednesday’s win or if they regress to a non-60 minute effort squad.
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.