Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks Talking About the Winning Streak

The Chicago Blackhawks are attempting to make history tonight as they take on the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center. They are attempting to draw even with Anaheim Ducks of 2006-07 for the best start in history - 16 games without a regulation loss.

I have watched the Hawks a number of times and I am impressed with the confidence and dominance they exhibit. They are skating and showing great skill, and yet are winning the dirty battles on the boards and in front of the net. The Hawks will score beautiful tic-tac-toe goals and then also jam the front of the net and push the puck across the line.

Chicago has been winning in so many different ways. They win by having great starts and finishing off their opponent, hanging on to a lead, and by coming back from behind. The Hawks captain, Jonathan Toews, talked about why everything seems to be going their way:
A lot of people want to look at this streak and think that we're just incredibly hot right now and that everything is going our way, but really we're playing a simple game, we're playing smart and we're getting good starts to games. ... Everyone is contributing and when you have that lack of satisfaction and that hunger every single night, it doesn't matter who you're playing.
— Chicago captain Jonathan Toews after the Blackhawks' 3-2 win over the Kings on Sunday, nhl.com, February 18, 2013
The Hawks have great momentum that seems to be carrying over from game to game. They come out the gates fast and really push the other team on their heels. With all of this being written, I thought Anaheim played Chicago straight up last week, and Vancouver won their only match-up with the Hawks this season.  So, while everything seems to breaking the Hawks way, which is not all luck but more based on the effort, confidence, and simplistic style of hockey they are playing, they will need to be ready for a Canucks team that would like to stop the streak.

Starting out of the gates like Chicago does not equate to a Stanley Cup championship. The West is far too deep and competitive for the Hawks to think it will be an easy run based on the start of the season. Tough times are coming and the way the Hawks handle those tough times will tell us a lot about their chances in the playoffs. Nonetheless, if they continue to play the way Toews is talking about, simple, smart, prepared, with hunger, they just may lift Lord Stanley's Cup later this year.

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