There are many different things that are beginning to take shape among NHL teams at the beginning of the season.
But, for the Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks, they are not that far off of the position that they were in last year at this point. After 10 games last season, they were at a 6-3-1 mark, which is almost identical to the mark this season at 5-4-1.
But what has been noticeable is the way in which they have gotten to this point. The three players that arguably get the most attention locally and nationally on the Blackhawks are Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith.
Last season these players did amazing things, including winning Olympic medals, win MVP trophies and the best defenseman honors, to name a few. But so far this season, they have not made an immediate impact that some might come to expect from these big name players.
Jonathan Toews, so far, has recorded two goals and five assists to his credit. No one expects this kind of production from the young captain all season, and it is definitely not a call for concern when comparing it to where he was last season.
Through 10 games in the 2009-2010 campaign, Toews only had one goal and four assists. In fact, the first goal that Toews scored was in the eighth game of the season. He would go onto having a remarkable season and a historic postseason, including capturing the Conn Smythe.
Patrick Kane also has seemingly gotten out of the gates at a slow pace this season in the nine games that he has suited up for. Like his teammate, Jonathan Toews, he has gotten two goals and five assists, but has a somewhat disturbing minus-seven plus-minus mark so far.
This is a bit strange as Kane had a great start last season registering nine points in the first 10 games. Perhaps these players are a bit fatigued after the demanding schedule that they were a part of last year.
They did play the most games that they possibly could or will ever play as they played a full 82-game regular season schedule, along with playing the maximum number of games in the Olympics and the Stanley Cup Playoffs, without interruption.
The Blackhawks need them to be key contributors as they are going to be counted upon during the "dog days" of the season.
Offensively, the Blackhawks have gotten astounding play from Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa and Tomas Kopecky. Hossa and Kopecky had some periods of inconsistency on the offensive end of the ice last year, and this sudden breakout has been a welcome sight.
Hossa and Sharp are currently on pace to score more than 50 goals this season.
Though it would be highly unlikely that both players would be able to accomplish the feat (last done by Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr 15 years ago), the sudden output of goals to go along with the talents of Kane and Toews when they regain their top form will be a sight to behold.
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