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
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
seabrook and Keith
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Hawk Talk.
Thanks again for reading.