|Print article||This entry was posted by Tim Currell on January 2, 2012 at 6:01 am, and is filed under 2011-12 Game Previews, 2011-12 Regular Season, Blackhawks, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Edmonton Oilers. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Nice preview. However, I'd question why you'd say the Kane experiment at center has an ugly head when, IMO, it has for the most part worked better than anyone expected. Additionally, I also question why you, Brandon, and no doubt others are concerned that "Scoring is clustered at the top of the lineup, with Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Marian Hossa providing more than half of the Blackhawks goals scored to date." The top two lines should score more than half of the goals and it's not surprising that those four, being healthy for most of the season thus far, are potting 53% of the goals. That is not a bad thing. In fact, I think we'd be wondering why the stars are getting paid so much if they were contributing less. Hossa and Sharp are on pace for career years. That's a good thing. If one of those guys gets hurt someone will move into that role and pick up more goals but I don't think we'd be better off with those guys scoring fewer. The Hawks are 4th in total goals scored. It's not as though those four guys are scoring and the rest of the team is not contributing.
Well, the Kane experiment is a love-it/hate-it thing, I happen to hate it. I firmly believe that talented players like that shouldn't be f*cked with: leave them where they are most comfortable, and let them do their job. I don't think Kaner could sustain his numbers from the first 15 games for the entire year, and I think he would be doing better now had he been at wing all season. As for the scoring situation, it's not that anyone wants our top guys to be scoring *fewer* goals -- nobody is wishing for that. What's needed is for the role players to be scoring *more*. And as we've seen in the past, this is absolutely a liability. One flu bug puts two of our top four guys out of commission, even for just a week, and next thing you know we've lost home-ice advantage and are desperately hanging on to a playoff spot. Having our top four scoring at career-year pace is great. Having everyone else sitting back and letting them handle the load is definitely not.