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Chicago Blackhawks 2014/15 Team Preview

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1 Chicago Blackhawks 2014/15 Team Preview on Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:13 am

Division: Central
General Manager: Viran Walker
Head Coach: Joel Quenneville

Last Year: A fantastic season with a disappointing end as the Blackhawks established themselves as one of the major powers in the revamped EEHL last season. Led by Jonathan Toews up front and Ryan McDonagh on the back end, the Hawks dominated through the regular season and the playoffs before being stopped by the Red Wings in the finals.

This Year: The addition of Rinne in net looks to bring the goaltending situation in line with the excellence playing in front of him. Fans were irate with the performance of Schneider in the Cup finals which led to the change. Toews and Eberle once again look to pace the team offensively while the D group, already deep, will get even better as the younger members of the group progress. Watch for Johanssen to challenge for the second line center spot before the year is over.

Projected Depth Chart
Oshie - Toews - Eberle
Nyquist - Stepan - Taresenko
Abdelkator - Johanssen - Kruger
Tangradi - O'Brien - Thompson

Staal - McDonagh
Smith – Ekman-Larsson
McNabb - Petry

Rinne – Mason

Prospect Watch
Dawson Leedahl (18): An undersized winger (5'11, 156lbs), Leedahl relies on quickness and being able to get in and out of tight spaces to get his shot off. Has the potential to be a middle 6 scoring winger.

Ivan Telegin (22): Patience is finally about to pay off for the Hawks as Telegin is nearly ready to make the next jump. A heavy and accurate shooter, he can keep up with the speed of the pro game and won't lose ground in the corners. Decent in his own end, he's a better trigger man than playmaker and is really dangerous when given time to line things up.

Alex Broadhurst (21): A solid shooter and skater, Broadhurst is also decent on the dot. He'll be in tough against bigger body centers as he's still quite undersized (5'11, 163 lbs) and that's by far his biggest drawback right now. Needs to use this year to add muscle to his frame to prepare himself for a shot at an elevated role.

The Upside: The dominant top two lines for this team looks to be relied upon less than last year as the bottom six and third pairing D mature and look to earn more ice time. This was already a Stanley Cup favorite and they've gotten even stronger since their last game.

The Downside: A change in net could always end up backfiring though we suspect that won’t be the case here. An injury to Toews would leave an enormous hole on this team, but there aren’t many teams that could survive losing their #1 player.

Our Prediction: 1st in the Central, 1st in the West

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2 Re: Chicago Blackhawks 2014/15 Team Preview on Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:14 am

Check back tomorrow for part 3 of our 7 preview sneak peak looking at teams around the league.

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