What You Can Expect This Season
There is already a lot of skepticism around this Hawks team being a playoff calibre crew this year.
While I'm disappointed myself that Stan didn't go do more this offseason, I'm going to remain cautiously numb to how this team will actually look when it hits the ice tomorrow.
A lot of last season, especially near the end, revealed to me that the older players didn't have enough in them – whether that was motivation or out of lack of pure exhaustion from the miles put on in this league – the "want" and spark really flickered on most nights.
That motivation led by the unaware younger players on this team should lift the Hawks core up (not that they should need it). It showed from the hard work that Toews, Kane, Saad, Keith and Seabrook put in this summer, that getting back to playing "Blackhawks hockey" that they have been accustomed too.
It will be a big feat obviously as the talent overall as a team has dropped over the years, but there do appear to still be some great pieces left and coming up in Chicago. This is why the Hawks need to play smarter.
Adam Jahns (Chicago Sun-Times) had a great article yesterday about Joel Quenneville, his time in Chicago and how he plans to restore them to greatness.
This will be either Quenneville's swan song or greatest accomplishment of his career. How much has he prepped this summer to climatize his system to his current roster? That will be the true test.
What else can we expect in 2018-19?
Well, it's going to be a bumpy road folks, but as per my article on Monday, there are some positives that can come to the surface in the coming months.
Heck, with the leaders in that room, this team could surprise most and get themselves into a groove. This could be done by rallying behind a healthy Corey Crawford who could see his first game action since December 2017, this month! A very promising sign.
Off the ice, and specifically with yours truly, I will always be here for a shoulder to cry on or (hopefully) to revel with you in the underdog success this Hawks team embraces all year.
If you're familiar with my writing, I'm going to maintain that unique POV vs. only game preview/recaps. I'm going to be good for 3-4 blogs a week and constant interaction with you all on the message boards.
I try to offer a different voice in the Blackhawks media and blogosphere that already has the greats like Scott Powers and The Athletic, John Jaeckel and The-Rink crew and others that spend a lot of time helping us enjoy the game it should be in 2018 – with copious amounts of content.
I will continue sharing information I receive from my contacts "in-the-know" and add my insight to rumours that circulate throughout the year.
I will have a big focus on the Rockford IceHogs, who look to build off of their great playoff run last year. As well as the Hawks prospects in the junior ranks. I live close to 6-7 OHL teams, so I will be able to give plenty of live updates on Boqvist and Entwhistle.
There will also be a little more advance stats and hockey analytics in your life (like it or not) as I will incorporate those into more articles.
New to the blog, I will be introducing a monthly mailbag-type blog, so we can get out all of the questions/rage/excitement we are all feeling.
I have also been saving a couple player and hockey expert interviews that I will be rolling out throughout the season.
I will also be incorporating more of my HockeyBuzz friends to chime in with their opinions on their respective teams.
It's going to be an interesting year, and if all else, it's a place where we can all congregate and kill some time when we should be working and/or listening to our spouses.
I will be back with a couple notes on tomorrow's game.
See ya out there,