As Canadian Thanksgiving wraps up for us Canucks, I thought it would be fitting to carve out a blog that covers what I'm thankful for 3 games into the Blackhawks season.
There is a lot not to like about this team, but the reality is this team is 2-0-1, securing five out of a possible six points to start the season.
If the Hawks can continue to show this resilient, do-anything-to-win type attitude until guys like Crawford, Forsling and Murphy return, there could be hope for this season.
So, what am I thankful for? Let me tell you:
* I'm loving having a productive captain back. Jonathan Toews has been fun to watch so far after 3 games. It's not just his league-leading five goals, but the way he's playing. Captain Serious is looking like he's having fun quieting the critics and I don't blame him.
* I'm digging Patrick Kane being so clutch. He hasn't looked amazing in every shift in every game, but the guy sure knows when to step it up. Like Kane, this team has been sloppy at times but they sure have been entertaining.
* I'm thankful for the Finnish hockey Gods for bringing the Hawks a confident and mature Henri Jokiharju. The 19-year old looks strong so far with 5 assists and a +5 (leads the Hawks). His ice time is only going to go up and his arrival could be a key factor in the Hawks success this year. He's already top 4 and appears to have top pairing skill.
* I'm excited that the Hawks powerplay only has one way to go from here. They are 0-10 to start the year but are not the only ones sitting at 0%. There are 8 other teams: Nashville, LA, Vegas, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Florida, Minnesota, Arizona.
* I'm grateful that Chicago knows how to score… a lot. Their 15 goals for leads the league (who cares they have a league worse 14 GA).
* I'm happy that there are reports that Corey Crawford could potentially be ready by October 18th vs. Arizona. After 3 games in 4 nights, the Hawks have a VERY light schedule playing MIN (Oct 11th), STL (Oct 13th) and then that ARI game. That means there is a possibility that we may only see Cam Ward once or twice before "Crow" returns. Crawford at 75% may be just as good as a 100% Ward.
* After watching Jokiharju's path, I'm excited for the future of the Blackhawks defence. There are some gems coming up:
~ Adam Boqvist (London Knights, OHL) – 4 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 20 SOG
~ Nicolas Beaudin (Drummondville Voltigeurs, QMJHL – 4 GP, 1 G, 3 A, +4
~ Ian Mitchell (University of Denver, NCAA) – season begins October 12th
As mentioned above, the Hawks don't play until Thursday this week vs. the Wild.
I will have updates this week along the way.
The Rockford IceHogs started their season with 2 losses to the Cleveland Monsters (CBJ farm team). They will try their luck again this weekend (Oct 13th and 14th) vs. Texas, then Hershey.
Canadian or not, what are you thankful/optimistic for after 3 games and a 2-0-1 record for the Hawks?
See ya out there,