If you haven’t noticed, the Blackhawks are 2-2-1 and not looking like the team that won the Stanley Cup last season. There have been problems at the goaltender position, where the Hawks are switching both Marty Turco and Corey Crawford around to see which one gives them the best chance to win. Coach Joel Quenneville says that it appears as if Turco is going to be their long term starter. We will see how long he sticks with Turco in the net.
We must remember that this team lost a lot of talent from last year’s squad. Some of the key players that are no longer around are Kris Versteeg, Dustin Byfuglein and Antti Niemi. These guys helped the Blackhawks reach the Stanley Cup final and win and are now just a memory. Does Chicago have enough talent on the roster to replace what was lost? Will it take time to put things together with all the new faces in new places?
The answer to the first question is yes, the Blackhawks do have enough talent on their roster to replace what was lost. They have added key players this season in almost every area and will eventually get good production out of them. It takes time to develop a team (and a cohesive unit) so the Blackhawks will go through some of these early growing pains but eventually they should come out on top.
Cohesion needs to happen on the new lines that the Blackhawks have had to create as a result of all moving around. A line in hockey is like an offensive line in football. The more the guys play together the better they will become. They will learn each other’s tendencies and understand how the others play in time, but it will take time.
Another issue that the Blackhawks have had to deal with in this young season is what to do about the goalie. They have two good goalies in Marty Turco and Corey Crawford and Turco was thought to be the guy that would be the best starting option for them in the net. They did switch them up a little bit,but as mentioned, Quenneville has stated that Turco was going to be their guy from here on out. Let’s just hope that he performs well in the net and can help the Blackhawks get back to respectability.
Still another thing that can be analyzed is how much playing time these guys are getting in the line combinations that they are in. Much like he did against the Flyers in the Stanley Cup last season, Quenneville has been mixing things up with his lines, trying to find the best combination. It worked well in the Stanley Cup finals with experienced Blackhawk players that had been playing with one another for a while. This time, some of these guys have never played with one another so there is a learning curve. It will take time but they will eventually get it right.
The Blackhawks will work hard to try to iron out these issues and get back on a winning track early in this season. Keep in mind that this is still a new season and that the Blackhawks aren’t the only team that is having problems starting the season. It will happen to almost everyone before the season really gets going and everyone gets comfortable.
It’s still going to be an exciting Hawks season, you can count on that.