Chicago Blackhawks Are Showing Their Depth with Early Success

Eric JohnsonContributor INovember 2, 2009

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 26: Brian Campbell #51, Niklas Hjalmarsson #4, Andrew Ladd #16, Dave Bolland #36 and Kris Versteeg #32 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrate Bolland's goal against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center on October 26, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For the first time since the 1991-92 season, the Chicago Blackhawks are in first place at the end of October.

But if you take a look at the injury list, you have to wonder how that is possible. Dave Bolland, Adam Burish, Ben Eager, Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, and Brent Seabrook have all missed time this season due to injuries.

Bolland has only missed one game, but he has been battling a back problem all year long. He missed pretty much all of training camp.

Prized free agent Hossa has not even played in one game yet due to shoulder surgery.

And just recently you have Toews out with a concussion, and there is no still no word on when he will return.

In past years, if one or two of the top players were lost due to injury, the Hawks were pretty much done. Even last year, when Duncan Keith missed some time, the Hawks had a very bad stretch of games with him not in the lineup.

This year however, with six top players missing time, the Hawks are not missing a beat.

With a record of 8-4-1 through the month of October, the Hawks are sitting atop the Norris Division with 17 points.

Even with the injuries, the Hawks are still able to send out four quality lines that are giving their opponents many problems. It doesn't matter who is out there, as the Hawks are winning games with their defense or by lighting the lamp.

It's just finally nice to know that when a key player is lost for some time, there is enough depth on this team to stay afloat until the skilled guys can return.

With the Olympics coming up in February, the NHL is taking a two week break so the top players in the league can go represent their countries. With the time off in February, the schedule is condensed with many back-to-back games.

But with that said, the Hawks currently have a long stretch off, which is very surprising. Five days off to be exact between games. But this time off is coming at a prefect time with all the injuries piling up.

Let's just hope for some speedy recoveries, as a tough stretch of games are approaching in the month of November