As a team that is struggling to live up to expectations, the Chicago Blackhawks could use a “W” this Saturday when they head to Nashville to take on last year’s playoff rival. The Predators, who are 2-1-3 on home ice this season, are not worried about the standings or performance on the ice as they are looking at a 6-5-3 start to the season. After all, if the Predators are off to a slow start, they pick up come midseason and become realistic playoff contenders. This begs the question; can the Blackhawks find what it takes to propel themselves down the road of victory?
Marty Turco is who the Chicago Blackhawks have been dependent on this season. The fact is, Marty Turco is not what he used to be. Turco has not had a GAA under 1.9 since 2002. He currently is 7-5-1 with a 2.73 GAA. If you think it couldn’t be worse for the Hawks, let’s take a look at the other guy. Corey Crawford, who had a promising season in the AHL with the Rockford Ice Hogs, is 1-4 this season with the Hawks and has a 2.82 GAA. Antti Niemi ended the regular season last year 26-7-4 with 7 shutouts and 2.25 GAA. Now, one may look at Niemi’s numbers and think well, that’s not so hot, but 7 shutouts in 37 games, that’s impressive. Turco really doesn’t have that big of skates to fill, but with games depending on him, Marty is coming up short. I personally would feel more comfortable if Turco played the puck less.
Goalies are not the only problem the Hawks face, let’s be honest, their offensive game is almost embarrassing. Of all the Blackhawks losses this year, 7 of them have been one point games. “One Goal” is the famous Blackhawk motto. Last year’s goal was to win the cup, this year I think that motto has a whole new meaning. One goal, that’s all it takes to get to OT and get one point. They have what it takes to win, they just aren’t finishing. One big thing the Hawks need to focus on is their playmaking and passing. After countless chances this season, the Hawks haven’t been able to connect because of missed passes and misread plays. Once the Hawks find a groove, I think they will be a force to be reckoned with. And what better place to find it then in Nashville?!
We all have a feeling right now that a repeat may be out of the question, but a winning season really isn’t that far out of reach. With the right adjustments, I think the Hawks can look at an easy 90 point season. At this point last season, the Hawks had 24 points and started an 8 game win streak. Currently the Hawks have 17 points and are looking to end their 2 game losing streak. While matching last year’s performance seems impossible, I think it’s definitely doable. Getting a victory Saturday could lead to a confidence booster to help the Hawks take on teams like the Ducks, Stars, Canucks, Oilers and Flames. To me, these are teams that the Blackhawks should be able to beat. LET’S GO HAWKS!
About the Author
Written by Kristin Dingman
My name is Kristin Dingman. I am 21 years old. I was born in and still remain in a small town in Illinois called Rock Falls, its about 200 miles East of Chicago. I now work as a bookkeeper full time in Sterling, IL. I am also attending college online. I absolutely love sports. I am a fan of everything Chicago, except for the White Sox. Thats one Chi-town team I could do with out.. I am a hockey girl at heart. I am studying sports management and looking forward to a career in sports.