2008/09 Detroit Red Wings Season Preview
2008/09 Chicago Blackhawks Season Preview
2. Chicago Blackhawks
A young exciting team that took big strides last year. Their forward group took a bit of a hit losing both Robert Lang and the best faceoff man in the NHL Yannic Perreault, but they still have a young, fast and skilled group. Of course Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are the bright spots but they also have some other talented forwards such as Dave Bolland, Jack Skille, Andrew Ladd and Patrick Sharp. Martin Havlat could very well push Toews and Kane as Chicago’s best forward if he can ever stay healthy.
Defence is really where this team flourishes. The newly acquired Brian Campbell fits in perfectly with the core of Cam Barker, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith. Brent Sopel brings some good veteran leadership and James Wisniewski adds the sandpaper. Dustin Byfuglien is a bit of a wild card as they’re possibly trying him out as a forward but I personally still consider him a defeceman.
Right now their goaltending looks very solid with Cristobal Huet and Nikolai Khabibulin, but it seems like Khabby is all but gone from Chi Town. Huet has proven in both Montreal and Washington that he’s a very capable #1 and Corey Crawford or Antti Niemi will be fine as the backup once the Bulin Wall leaves town.
If the young forwards continue to improve and Huet provides solid goaltending there’s no reason why this team shouldn’t make the playoffs.