Get ready, Hawk fans. The season has come.
Many questions are yet to be answered though. As a die-hard Hawks fan myself, I'm very nervous for this upcoming season. I have no idea what to expect.
Let me break down what has gone down since last season.
Former GM Dale Tallon was fired and reassigned to a new job after the fallout with Marty Havlat. Havlat was never re-signed, and he eventually signed with the Minnesota Wild. Even after all the times Havlat said he wanted to stay in Chicago, the Hawks couldn't get it done.
The Hawks signed Marian Hossa from the evil empire (Detroit Red Wings) to a long contract to try to fill the Marty Havlat void. As of Sept. 29, Marian Hossa is out until mid to late November because he had offseason shoulder surgery.
Winger Adam Burrish is out at least six months with ACL surgery.
Also, Nikolai Khabibulin was never re-signed. As of Sept. 29, Cristobal Huet and Corey Crawford are going to split time at goalie.
Now, what can we expect for this season?
The young Blackhawks team will find a lot of success in their goal scoring. The team is still young. Even though they did lose Havlat, who scored 29 goals last season, the Hawks will be able to rebound with the help of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, who had 34 and 25 goals respectively.
The big area of question is their goaltending. Last year, Huet got killed during the winter classic. He was taken out during the third period with five goals against.
Huet from the waist down is one of the best goalies in the game—from the waist up, one of the worst. You never know which Huet you will get: the Huet who can shut teams out or the one who will give up five goals.
By the end of the first month, the Hawks should be in okay position. The Hawks have eight out of 13 games at home this month. Two of the games are against playoff teams from last year, the Red Wings on the eighth of October and the Canucks on the 21st.
I don't expect the Blackhawks to win every game this month. I don't expect them to lose every game either. I think the Hawks will end up with a pretty decent 8-5 record to start the season off.
The matchups to watch will be the Hawks-Red Wings game on the eighth at Joe Louis Arena and against the Canucks at home on the 21st. If the Hawks keep it close against the Wings, this will be a good year. If they get blown out, we may have problems. Same thing for the game against the Canucks.
This will be a very fun team to watch once again. Although they did lose a couple of players, they filled the voids very well. Watch out for the young and quick Blackhawks to make some noise again in 2009-2010.