Hawk Talk: The Chicago Blackhawks' Strengths and Weaknesses

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Hawk Talk: The Chicago Blackhawks' Strengths and Weaknesses

This is the second edition of the Chicago Blackhawks round table "Hawk Talk" in which Brandon Rudics and Michael Wager discuss the Chicago Blackhawks. In this weeks edition Brandon and I discuss the Blackhawks strengths and weaknesses, our line combinations and our bold predictions for first line winger Patrick Sharp. Enjoy.

MW: Hello my fellow Hawk Fans, the Hawk Docs are back with their second edition of Hawk Talk. I am Michael Wagner and my partner in crime is Brandon Rudics. Got anything for your fans Brandon?

 

BR: I do indeed, I have 2 things, I would like to say one now, and one at the end of the show

 

MW: Go for it

 

BR: first off...Mats Sundin... retire already...your holding up the whole NHL... either pick a team, or retire, but do it in the next 3days.... he's the sad excuse for a hockey player... your turn wags

 

MW: Yeah this Sundin thing has gone on long enough. Joe Sakic made a decision the other day, Sundin should follow suit

 

BR: very true

 

MW: Well let’s get onto the Blackhawks news and notes that have occurred since the last time we were together 16 days ago

 

MW: The biggest news in my opinion was the signing of prospect Akim Aliu. I don't know how much you know about this kid Brandon but he is going to be something special

 

MW: The kid has great size, good scoring touch and a ton of upside

 

BR: I have done some research.... I know I like his hair. I'm excited to see this kid in a hawks uniform

 

MW: I'm fairly certain he won't be making the team, unless he completely destroys Jack Skille in camp

 

MW: Which I doubt...

BR: he stands no chance for Jacky boy

 

MW: Jack has pro experience and Akim doesn't. Either he or Beach will be on a line with Toews and Kane eventually

 

MW: and how exciting it will be!!

 

MW: Now for some other news, the Blackhawks signed Tim Brent to a one-year deal, Brent was acquired for Danny Richmond a month or so ago. Purely an AHL depth move. Don't look for Brent to make a major impact at the NHL level. Also it has been announced that the Blackhawks will be holding a Training Camp Festival for the first day of camp on September 20th.

 

BR: there you go Chicago, get out there for that

 

MW: I am a frequenter of the Chicago Blackhawks Message Boards (HawkShot 19) and it seems like a ton of them will be showing up for the festival.

 

BR: sounds like a good time

 

MW: Yeah if only we were in Chicago for September 20th...lol

 

MW: Now to get on with the real show

 

MW: Our first topic on the show today will be, what do you think is the Blackhawk's biggest strength coming into this season?

 

BR: Youthful vigor

 

BR: That’s all I can say, they have youth on the team that will carry them far into the playoffs.... the speed, and the scoring, and the smarts.... and the hawks have 2 guys for that. Kane and toews.... so youthful vigor is the biggest strength

 

MW: I agree that the youth and depth of this team is a major strength but I'm going to go with the defense

 

MW: With the Blackhawks you have 3 strong pairings with: Keith/Seabrook, Campbell/Sopel, Barker/Wisniwski/Walker/Hlamajrson. This team has been built from the blue line and I think that will be the Blackhawks biggest strength this season

 

BR: The defense this year will be impenetrable

 

MW: Seabrook needs to play better this season...He took a step back from the previous season

 

BR: My boy Brent is going to be tops this year

 

MW: I think he will have a good year since the offense will be better and the net minding should be better

 

BR: for sure

 

MW: Moving on now we will address the Blackhawks biggest weakness. I will take the first crack at this one

 

MW: The biggest weakness for the Blackhawks will be their ability to put the puck in the net. The addition of Campbell will help but I think this team will still have trouble scoring past the Kane/Sharp/Toews line

 

BR: Secondary scoring will be an issue for sure...but mines a bit different

 

BR: It’s the fan base, simply said. The Hawks need more hardcore fans

 

MW: Hmmm.interesting

 

BR: And I hope some will come this season and get behind the team, you need fans

 

BR: I hope this year will be a big fan base

 

MW: I agree to an extent. Chicago got behind this team late in the year and I could see a lot of them leaving if the Blackhawks struggle out of the gate. Through the Bleacher Report I am trying to bring back some of the Blackhawks fan base. We will see though

 

BR: Your doing a good job so far.... just tell people that the hawks are going to win the cup this year...

 

MW: The truth is what I am doing is trying to get a new generation of Hawk fans. Hopefully it’s working...ha-ha. Maybe we should get on with the show

 

MW: My question to you Hawk Doc Rudics, what do you envision the Blackhawks lines looking like this season, Offense and Defense

 

BR: Of course we have the toews/sharp/kane line.... then I envision, byfuglien/havlat/lang, then ladd/skille/eager, then the 4th liners, berti/adams and whoever else I don’t care

 

BR: Defense:

seabrook and Keith

barker/sopel

campbell/wisnewski

 

MW: Very interesting, we do have different lines

 

MW: Offense for me: Sharp/Toews/Kane, Byfuglien/Lang/Havlat, Ladd/Bolland/Skille, Eager/Burish/Adams

 

MW: Now for the D: Keith and Seabrook ,Campbell and Sopel, Barker and Walker (Wiz when he is healthy)

 

BR: We’re pretty close

 

MW: Yeah, fairly similar. Our 3 and 4th lines are a little different and our D pairs flip Barker and Campbell

 

BR: Indeed

 

MW: Ok the last scheduled topic for the show is our "Bold Prediction" This week’s player for a "Bold Prediction" is Patrick Sharp.

 

MW: Thoughts on Sharp’s production this year Brandon?

 

BR: Same as last year...except more points...and a ring on a finger

 

MW: lol

 

BR: He's going get a lot more assists

 

MW: I'm predicting 80 points for Sharp, 37 goals and 43 assists

 

MW: So Brandon what do you have to wrap up the show with?

BR: Do you read the magazine the hockey news?

 

MW: Not on a regular basis

 

BR: Well this weeks feature is on Patrick Kane... I am currently writing an article on this weeks issue.... I think that the newest issue of the hockey news should be burned, and that this company should be disgusted with themselves and very ashamed!!!!!! The hockey news magazine, is a pile of dirt!!!!, well this week anyways

 

MW: Really that bad?

 

BR: Read my article on bleacher report about it. I am disgusted with the magazine

 

MW: Ok, check it out Hawks fans and read Brandon's article afterwards

 

MW: Ok I need to make a plug

 

MW: I would love it if everyone would check out my recent Blackhawks articles: "Chicago Blackhawks Training Camp Preview" and "Chris Chelios coming back to Chicago?"

 

MW: I also am in the process of writing a Dustin Byfuglien article, it should be up in a day or so

 

BR: I’m looking forward to it

 

MW: All right, got anything else to add Brandon

 

BR: I do not

 

MW: All right, I would like to thank the all the people that read the first edition, nearly 100 reads. I am hoping this edition will get double that. Well I am Michael Wagner

 

BR: and I’m Brandon Rudics

 

MW: Thanks for reading everyone.

 

If you have any question that you would like to have addressed in the next show post a note on my profile (Michael Wagner) or email me at mw1023@westminstercollege.edu with the subject line Hawk Talk.

Thanks again for reading.

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