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Silverman: Demanding Pre-Olympic Road Journey Will Test Blackhawks

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    . Signal Up By Steve Silverman(CBS) The Chicago Blackhawks
    have to be feeling excellent about themselves following a weekend in which they
    defeated the substantial-flying Anaheim Ducks and their Stanley Cup opponents Jacques
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    , the Boston Bruins.Both games featured the Blackhawks at their
    best. Not only had been they placing their velocity and offensive creativity on
    show, but both games featured Corey Crawford on prime of his game and displaying
    the form that backstopped the Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup last 12
    months.That’s a enormous issue for the Blackhawks. Crawford’s ambitions-towards
    common and save percentage are pretty middle of the pack this yr �?2.44 and .912
    �?but coming up huge against two of the greatest teams in the league was pretty
    large. There has been a lot of criticism of Crawford this 12 months and most of
    it has been of the knee-jerk variety from followers who believe Crawford need to
    be ideal.He is not and he by no means will be. But he is virtually always on
    leading of his game towards the very best opponents, and he does one thing
    better than any other goalie in the league. Crawford puts a poor goal behind him
    better than anybody else. That was licensed in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final,
    when he gave up five targets to the Bruins, and they were all to the glove side
    that the Bruins had targeted.Brent Seabrook bailed him out of that game when he
    scored an overtime goal to win the game and tie the series, and then Crawford
    gave up 3 goals more than the next two video games as the Blackhawks won the
    series. It would have been challenging for any other goalie to put a negative
    game behind him the way Crawford did, and come back in such an impressive manner
    when all the income was on the table.Getting Crawford at his greatest correct
    now is essential for the Blackhawks. They encounter nine video games prior to
    the Olympic break, and eight of them are on the street. The Blackhawks have to
    engage in a sprint at this stage in the season. The initial portion of the
    sprint is the easier part, as the Blackhawks will engage the Detroit Red Wings,
    Minnesota Wild, Winnipeg Jets, and Calgary Flames. They will host the Jets and
    the other 3 are away from home. It would not be surprising to see them go
    three--one or four- in individuals video games.However, the final 5 games will
    be brutal. They will play the hated Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Los
    Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks, and Phoenix Coyotes prior to the break. They will
    get challenged hard in each and every of these games. The Kings and the Ducks
    figure to be at their very best, and individuals two games figure to be the
    toughest on the trip. If they are going to finish in the top spot in the Western
    Conference, the Blackhawks would be effectively-recommended to go no worse than
    7-two- throughout this testing road trip.Once the Olympic competitors is
    finished, the Blackhawks and every other team will begin a new season. It will
    be reminiscent of the schedule the NHL had last yr right after the lockout
    ended. Teams played really demanding schedules as soon as the doors have been
    last but not least opened, enjoying 3 or four games each and every week.The
    identical scenario exists this 12 months as the Blackhawks will perform 3 or 4
    games in every single of the season’s ultimate five weeks of the year.That’s the
    kind of demanding workload that will expose a team’s weaknesses. Chicago is
    likely to be in much better form than the competition, considering that they
    have far more talent than their opponents.However, that second-half schedule
    will test their limits and expose any troubles that head coach Joel Quenneville
    and common manager Stan Bowman have on their roster.The Blackhawks have played
    as effectively as could have been fairly anticipated to this stage in the year.
    Even so, this pre-Olympic road trip will supply a important check.Bowman
    virtually certainly has the variety of roster to get via this exam with no much
    of a issue
    Nevertheless, if there are any concerns exposed, he need to be ready to act
    prior to the March five trade deadline if the Blackhawks are going to make a
    legitimate run at their third title in 5 seasons.