Well, consider this a preview of the upcoming NHL season, or something like it. Normally I would’ve just predicted the standings, but with the new divisions and the wild cards, that’ll be more complicated to do. So I’m just going to talk about the Hawks for a while and we’ll see what happens with the rest of it.
Before we talk about the Hawks, here’s this:
After a season, albeit a shortened season, that the Blackhawks had last year, what happens next? How do you top yourselves? Well, realistically, all that can be expected is another Cup Win, but it’s not something that’s that easy to predict. I can sit here and predict things all I want, but who knows what will happen in the end. Last year I predicted the Rangers over the Wild in the finals, and we can see how that went. In fact, we got an infinitely better outcome.
I’m not going to sit here and just blindly say the Hawks are going to repeat just because they won last year. Then again, I don’t see any team that got drastically better over the offseason. So, can they win it again? Yes, yes they can. But, the real question is will they?
Coming off of a season like that, I’m sure everyone is going to expect the same kind of performance out of the gate. These are the kind of people who, after the Hawks won the Cup in 2010, chanted “We want the Cup” at the first preseason game at home the following season, after the Hawks’ roster from the previous season had been decimated. And, I mean, John Scott. I’m hoping these kinds of fans have learned not to do this kind of bullshit again after having two first round exits following the Cup Win, showing it’s not exactly an easy thing to do to win the Cup. It’s the hardest trophy to win in all of sports for a reason. There hasn’t been a repeat champion since Detroit from ’97 and ’98.
So, don’t just go sitting and expecting another Stanley Cup as if it’s some easy thing to do, please, fans. And try not to jump off the bandwagon if they don’t go 38-0-3 to start the season. If you think they’re going to go half the season without a loss again, wake up now. Expecting something like that is ridiculous. Don’t jump off the bandwagon when it doesn’t happen.
So, here are my hopes for the season myself that aren’t too out of the realm of possibility.
1) Win the division. This shouldn’t be too far off. The Hawks did lose several players over the offseason, the biggest of which would probably be backup goaltender Ray Emery, but the losses of Bolland and Frolik shouldn’t be too difficult to replace. Hopefully Khabibulin can be a solid enough backup for a season. (Corey Crawford haters can fuck right off. Proven #1, thanks.) The biggest competition in the division should still be St. Louis, but they will never get to where they want until they realize offense is also important. I’m expecting Dallas to be somewhat improved, but the rest of the division to stay where they are. Welcome to the division, Dallas, Colorado, and Winnipeg. Good luck. Ideally I’d like Winnipeg to also make the playoffs, but I don’t think that will happen. If I had to guess, Chicago, St. Louis, and Minnesota will come out of the division. Wild card potential: Dallas, maybe Winnipeg.
2) Improved power play. Well, I can hope, but we’ll see. The fact remains that the Hawks’ power play has sucked for years. What the Hawks truly need to work on is getting the puck into the zone without dumping it in, and also winning faceoffs.
3) Bryan Bickell needs to have a big season to warrant his contract. I’m aware he did great in the playoffs, but he needs to do the same in the regular season now.
4) As far as playoffs are concerned, I’m hoping for at least Western Conference Finals.
Predicted teams to come out of each division:
Central: Chicago, St. Louis, Minnesota (WC Potential: Dallas, Winnipeg)
Pacific: Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Jose (WC Potential: Anaheim)
Atlantic: Boston, Detroit, 3rd: Montreal/Ottawa/Toronto/Tampa Bay (No idea. Rest are potential wild cards.)
Metropolitan: Pittsburgh, Washington, NY Rangers (WC Potential: Columbus)
The new rules starting this season I’m not very fond of. I don’t mind the smaller nets, but the smaller pads slightly bother me. It seems the NHL is going for higher scoring games which is bullshit. The best hockey games are the ones with the least scoring. Goals should matter. Every goal should be important. This isn’t basketball where everything’s made up and the baskets barely matter because there’s a hundred of them a game. No excitement. To the people watching a hockey game with very little scoring calling it boring, leave, we don’t need you. Grow an attention span, learn what good hockey is, and enjoy it. 10 goals in a game means a team sucks or a goalie sucks or something like that. If you’re a fan of sports, you know what I say is true. I’m not watching to see 389439438 goals a game – those games are amusing, yes, especially when your team is on the winning side of it, but they aren’t exciting. If I wanted to watch a game where points were easy to get, again, I’d watch basketball. I enjoy games that involve skill.
The jersey tuck rule is stupid. And not taking off your own helmet in a fight. Hybrid icing I’m not a fan of either. Either keep it the same or just have automatic icing.
Oh, San Jose, you and your Raffi Torres. Oops, guess he mistook his knee for someone’s head and injured himself.
I want to make a John Scott was an NHL defenseman until he took a Phil Kessel slash to the knee, but that would imply John Scott was an NHL defenseman.
Anyways, I guess that’s going to be all.
#LaterMarks #ButImNotWrong #BelieveInTheShield #StraightEdgeMeansImBetterThanYou #FollowTheBuzzards #ImTheEaterOfWorlds #IsItOctoberYet?