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Hawks visit the Oil City

Posted By Trent Kondo On Jan 26 2010 @ 6:32 pm In Chicago Blackhawks | 2 Comments

First off I would like to thank Kevin Lee for giving me the opportunity to write Chicago Blackhawk articles on sportstalkbuzz.com. I definitely look forward to the writing and interaction with readers and fans of the Blackhawks and fans of every team.
With this being my first article here I should inform readers a bit of my background. I have been a hockey fan since the first game I ever watched on my parents 12″ black and white television, of course at that age I had no clue which team was which so I decided to pick the best jersey's and roll with that team. Alas, it was the Chicago Blackhawks and ever since that day I have supported this great franchise through thick and thin.
Growing up in Edmonton it was tough to follow the Hawks especially dealing with all of the Oiler fans around me but that definitely did not make me sway from my beloved team.

Anyways, enough about me and let's talk about the Hawks. It has been a most interesting year with the Dale Tallon demotion, and Stan Bowman promotion along with Patrick Kane's off season incident, Marian Hossa contract and pre-season injury, the controversial goaltending situation and salary cap space issues just to name a few. To this date I feel the Hawks have done an excellent job keeping everything under control and proved to the many critics that all of the aforementioned issues were taken care of and up until now the Chicago Blackhawks are one of the best teams in the entire NHL.

Game Day: Chicago Blackhawks vs Edmonton Oilers

In the midst of a tough 8 game road swing that takes the Hawks from coast to coast they have managed to obtain a record of 3 wins and 2 losses. With a win tonight the Hawks can guarantee themselves no less then .500 on this road trip which Joel Quennville noted prior to the trip he would be happy with. However, starting 2 and 0 with wins over Columbus and Detroit respectively coach Q figured the team was looking at double digits for this road trip. Easier said then done, with a lack luster performance in Ottawa then playing a somewhat strong game against the Flames the Hawks moved on to Vancouver. Though having many opportunities on Mr.Luongo he shut the door on us and then having multiple breakdowns in our defensive coverage led to 3 goal mouth scramble goals to put the Hawks down big which they could never recover from.

On to Edmonton, the Oilers yes they are one of the worst teams in the NHL at the moment but they can not be overlooked nor should any opponent on any given night. Being from Edmonton I have seen quite a few of the games and lately they have been playing quite well and arguably outplayed the last 2 opponents only to have a collapse near the end of the game to give them yet another loss. As of right now they are 0 for the year of 2010 so expect them to play hard.

The Hawks need to bring the puck possession game and perhaps be more physical when the opposing team enters our zone, Seabrook is the only true physical defenseman on the team leading with 134 hits this year and the next is Cam Barker who has missed games and undoubtedly has been playing with an injury has 56 hits. Brent Sopel has been a warhorse this year but is really taking a beating every game especially with his shot blocking, I am curious to see if he will be in the lineup tonight and perhaps Hendry coming in and giving him a rest. Sopel did have the day off of practice yesterday so hopefully that helped.

The hawks scoring has somewhat diminished in the last few games scoring 5 goals in 3 games and one of those being a Duncan Keith empty netter to seal the deal in Calgary. Tonight against a collapsing oilers defense the hawks should be able to get some good chances and hopefully rough up which ever rookie goaltender starts for the Oilers tonight.

Christobal Huet gets the nod tonight and looked good in his 2 periods of action against the Canucks, he was positioned much better then in his previous games and made some pretty big saves throughout the rest of that game. Let's hope he brings his “A” game tonight so the hawks can have a chance to get on to the winning side of things again.

Thankyou for reading,

Trent

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