Up and Down, Down and Up, Blackhawks now winners of three straight

If we learned anything from this weekend, it was that a human stomach cavity is pretty easy to rip open for a zombie and if the Hawks ever get Steve Montador and Niklas Hjalmarsson healthy, they will have one excellent defensive corps.

Sure, the Hawks were probably quite fortunate to escape with two points out of the Joe on Sunday but after a 9 game losing streak saw nearly every bounce go against them, it was nice to see things go their way.  The Wings hit three posts during the game and none were of the fluke variety.  They were all big point blank shots that beat Ray Emery clean but were just a bit outside.  The Hawks made the most of their opportunities and it meant another enormous two points for them.

The big story from the weekend slate of games, though, has to be Johnny Oduya.  Joel Quennevillle seems to be a coach that is all about first impressions and Oduya’s Blackhawk career could not have started better for himself.  After a shaky first period against Toronto, Oduya has settled down and in 2 and 2/3 games has become the solid number three defensemen the Hawks have longed for.  Here is where I mention the extremely small sample size, but it’s equally important to remember that Quenneville’s rope for Oduya becomes longer with each passing game.

And that is probably the biggest obstacle Oduya will have to overcome.  Steve Montador has spent the majority of this season trying to wipe Joel Quenneville’s memory of his subpar pre-season to no avail.  These three games (and each passing good game Oduya strings together) will serve as Quenneville’s base-line for Oduya.  It’s going to take a hellacious fall to Earth for Quenneville to lose that confidence in Oduya now.

The defensive pairing’s minutes in Sunday’s game are, however, not a blueprint for success.  Sami Lepisto and Dylan Olsen combined for 10 minutes of ice time as neither saw more than a shift in the third period.  Other than Jonathan Toews’ health, the biggest if for the Hawks has to be one of either Hjalmarsson or Montador (or both if we really want to get greedy) returning from their concussions.  With those solid five defensemen, the Hawks will have a defensive pairing that will be able to match up against any of the top Western Conference teams top 3 lines without sacrificing Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith to the gods for 30 minutes a night.

–I’m convinced with each passing day that Patrick Kane will become this generation’s Scottie Pippen.  Pippen was often criticized for not being Michael Jordan by the media and fans.  Of course, he was also one of the top 50 players of all time and perhaps the greatest defender of his era.  Patrick Kane is often criticized for not being Jonathan Toews and is perhaps on his way to being one of the best American-born players of all-time.

Kane came off a game in Ottawa where he easily could have put up a Sam Gagner if Corey Crawford was the opposing goalie.  He was again very solid in Detroit scoring his third goal in four games.  I wonder what old, overpaid goof Hawk fans can fantasize about acquiring next year when Kane struggles.

 

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5 Responses to Up and Down, Down and Up, Blackhawks now winners of three straight

  1. CT says:

    ” I wonder what old, overpaid goof Hawk fans can fantasize about acquiring next year when Kane struggles”

    I’m gonna go with a package of Eric Cole and Chris Campoli.

  2. Otter says:

    In 2010 at the Olympics, I thought Kane was the only American player who would have made Team Canada (not counting goalies since Miller and Thomas make that team). Are people disappointed that Kane isn’t in the running for the scoring title? Or they disappointed in his play? I’ve never been bummed out by his play. It’s it sort of annoying that Kane hasn’t taken that next step on the score sheet? Yeah… but nothing to get mad or trade the guy away about.

  3. rich says:

    I never thought I’d say this, but if the situation presents itself, I wouldn’t be opposed to an A appearing on Kanes sweater. Talk about stepping up.

    i like Oduya a lot, but thought he appeared to be a bit skittish at imes yesterday. Just at times, for most of the game he was a solid as the Chevy’s that Toews and Kane don’t drive.

    And remember, a shot that hits the pipes is not on net. Seeemed like the Wings were just on the perimeter, or into Razor’s stomach yesterday.

    I thought Seabs should have been a star. Yeah he turned it over a few times, but he was a hitting, kick ass machine yesterday. Loved the play where he knocked Zetterbeg down and then poked the puck away from him.

    McClure once wrote an article on Toews being the worst possible teamate for Kane – it was a great piece and pointed out how chicago fans love the Grabowski, lunch pail efforts. I say we give him one more week to prove his worth.

  4. Bradley says:

    Great analogy on the Pippen to Kane thought. Some people just don’t understand what Kane brings to the team with his on ice vision and at least top 10 in the NHL play making ability. All they focus on is his lack of physical play and few defensive miscues. They obviously don’t get that his playing style is due to his size and need for survival. It’s like they want him to play like Backes even though he’s smaller than the average beer leaguer. At 23 he already has 356 career points and a Sanley Cup GWG on his resume; there aren’t many players in the league that can top those achievements. It’s obvious that the “trade Kane” folk drinking the hater-aid, aren’t true hockey fans.

    “could of put up a Sam Gagner” line… That’s good stuff.

  5. BobbyJet says:

    JO’s acquisition eats some quality ice time that will help out Keith especially, however, the concern about our soft dmen and forwards remains. That said the team did show a refreshing feisty side at times on the weekend and some signs that they are playing for one another again. The Blues game will be a good litmus test in that regard as there will far less ice available to make the pretty finesse plays. Our players will need to go to the dirty areas and play blue collar hockey when needed to win a game.
    The other obvious and large concern is our lack of face-off prowess that becomes oh so glaring when Toews doesn’t dress. That needs to improve drastically with a very difficult schedule coming up. We are not in the playoffs yet!

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