Chicago Blackhawks – Slapping destiny and raising the stakes


Chicago, IL – The Chicago Blackhawks had a tough week last week when they lost arguably the league’s MVP – Patrick Kane. This reminded me of Humphrey Bogart’s character Rick Blaine in the cinema masterpiece Casablanca. A turn of events that was out of everyone’s control has Blaine stating “It seems destiny has taken a hand” 1

I’ve always said when destiny takes a hand slap it back with your free hand by taking control of the things that you can. That is exactly what the Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman did prior to the trade deadline.

The good thing is if there is one, is the timing of the Kane injury. Had Kane been injured a week later Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks would have been destiny’s victims rather than being in a position to take control and make statements.

As the trade deadline approached it was the LA Kings that actually set the market with their pickup of Carolina Hurricane’s Dman Sekera for a 1st round pick and a prospect.

Stan Bowman and the Blackhawks were supposedly in on Sekera yet listening to Bowman’s interview with the Chicago media he seemed almost giddy and sort of like the cat that ate all the cream which, is so unStan Bowman like it had me wondering what exactly was up his sleeves. You can see this interview on BHTV – http://video.blackhawks.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=764316

Now I am a poker player. I fully appreciate the art of the bluff, gamesmanship, slow rolling, check raising and controlled aggressive play. In poker you try to sell your opponents a story, whether it is true or false it is in how you sell the story that makes or breaks winning a hand and negotiations is much like this.

Stan Bowman pulled up a chair and first stepped up to the poker table with a slow roll and check raise when he snagged seemingly out of nowhere Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen. Is it a gamble to bet on a 39 year old with previous health issues? Maybe, but if Timonen can stay healthy this maybe the biggest coo of the trade deadline. As I said I’m a poker player so I love a gamble and controlled aggressive play.

If you don’t know what slow rolling or check raising is watch the below YouTube final hand scene from the 1998 movie Rounders that illustrates this tactic when Matt Damon slow rolls and check raises John Malkovich’s character Russian mafia king Teddy KGB for all the nuts including Damon’s character’s life.

 

It has been said that this deal with the Flyers has been in the works for weeks before the trade deadline. Bravo Stan for slow rolling my respect for you which was always there just increased even more. Now I don’t know for certain that’s what Stan did but if so the man is brill.  The Blackhawks pick up a proven defenseman who is not only solid but hungry which is what the Hawks need. Kudos go to Stan Bowman for not only filling a roster spot, but bringing in a respected, intelligent player who just may spark the teams hunger as well.

Timonen only came back to the NHL to try and win a Stanley Cup and everyone should be pulling for him to get that dream realized.

Stan Bowman was not done however, 24 hours or so later he snagged the big fish of this deadline Arizone Coyotes’ Antoine Vermette. Like Timonen, Vermette should fit in with the Hawks pretty well and give them a solid center which you can never have enough of come playoff time. Both Arizona and the Hawks got what they wanted with the Coyotes getting Klas Dahlbeck and a first round draft pick.

It seems the Boston Bruins were in on Vermette but did not want to give up as much which is similar to a re-raise in poker which the Bruins were not willing to call. So Vermette is now a Hawk.

For those worried about the draft picks given up there is something in the summer called free agency and more trades are likely where the Hawks can recoup some of these picks so settle down folks.

Most importantly these moves illustrate the Chicago Blackhawks demise is far from reality even with the loss of Patrick Kane. Stan Bowman showed to his team, coaches, fan base and the league in a matter of 48 hours that the Chicago Blackhawks are indeed trying to win another Stanley Cup and will go down swinging.

If the team stays focused, garners points and puts all the distractions aside they have an opportunity now to really make a good playoff run. If they can make it until Patrick Kane can come back, which I believe they can,  there is no question that they will be a better team than before the Kane injury barring destiny taking a hand again.

 

1. 1942 film Casablanca release through Warner Brothers Studios based on the 1940s play Everyone comes to Rick’s written by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison

2. 1998 film Rounders released through Miramax studios written by David Levien and Brian Koppelman

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Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane – playing with Hart


Chicago, IL — In a year of ups and downs and inconsistencies the one thing that has been consistent is the player that is sporting the number 88 Indian head jersey. Patrick Kane is having himself a personal best year and is leading his team in points and hovering around the league lead as well.

Patrick Kane has always been noticeable on the ice but now it seems he never leaves the ice and is always involved in the play. Kane can also be spotted back checking and providing defensive support as well which, may not have always been a part of Patrick Kane’s game but it speaks to his maturity as a player on the ice and an understanding of position and how quick turnover and regaining possession leads to his teams offense.

Kane will always be an offensive virtuoso but adding this dimension to his game is putting him in the talks for the Hart Memorial Trophy. This is awarded to the player judged as most valuable to his team. What makes Patrick Kane so valuable besides his obvious talents is his competitive spirit and his desire to always be improving even with how skilled he already is.

Today for example the Blackhawks held an optional skate for the team and he was there. Why because Patrick Kane needs practice?  Because Patrick Kane has matured and realizes that in order to be great you have to constantly work at it and that attitude will make Patrick Kane one of the all time greats if he keeps at this pace. Kane   There is no question this year he has led the Blackhawks in every way that a player can. He is leading by example and constantly looking to improve and hone his craft and it shows on the ice and in his overall hockey IQ. Recently he was at the NHL All Star game in Columbus, Oh and the media and some players, his captain Nick Foligno of the Columbus Blue Jackets were astounded by the fact that Kane knew each and every opponent if they were right or left shooting.

Now this does not surprise me because Kane is a student of the game. He loves hockey and lives and breaths it so it is not surprising to me that he would study that and know it.

Again this just illustrates Kane’s overall understanding of the game and how one needs every advantage one can get against other quality players. If he brings this type of insights to his all star team who knows how much information and insights he brings to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Patrick Kane is a kaleidoscope of talents, a rich tapestry of hockey skills and intelligence and he is only just now entering his prime playing years. What is more remarkable is that he already has accomplished almost everything a hockey player can yet he is still striving to improve and be better. He understands there is no such thing as perfection yet it should be our goals to try at least to achieve it.

Yes Patrick Kane is still learning, but he is also teaching as well. He is teaching to never be satisfied with your accomplishments or talents. He is teaching don’t believe your hype you can still be even better. Perhaps what he is teaching us all is that legacy still matters even to a young man with all the accolades and achievements and that is what in the end truly matters.

Patrick Kane may not win the Hart Trophy this year but, when all is said and done in his NHL career his legacy and impact on generations of children and fans maybe even more valuable to the game of hockey than he even knew.

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Chicago Blackhawks – fighting apathy


Chicago, IL — The Chicago Blackhawks have definitely hit a wall in the season. Unfortunately they do not have that luxury in the division and the conference that they reside in. Other divisional foes are distancing themselves from the Hawks in what looks to be shaping up as a tight Western Conference. The question is for fans should we be concerned?

There are a couple of films that I always look to that I feel encompass most things we faces in life. One of my all time favorite films is George Lucas’ Star Wars series and in particular  episode V- the Empire Strikes back. You know the “I am your father” one. That is not the part of the film however, that I think applies here. It is Yoda, the Jedi Master’s assessment and evaluation of Luke Skywalker and whether or not he is focused and committed enough to become a Jedi.

 

Am I worried about the Hawks? No because of the leadership in the locker room and behind the bench. I think the Hawks just need to focus a little more on the details and maybe most importantly have some fun. Lately it has looked like work on the ice for a Blackhawks team that usually has fun.

Just as Yoda tells Luke that he has always looked to the future and his mind somewhere else so are the Hawks, they are looking ahead to the playoffs and yearning for that instead of making sure that they do in fact get there and working on their weaknesses now, say like the power play and clearing out their own crease and keeping their net minders clean. The Blackhawks know what it takes to be a champion and focus and as coach Q says purpose is essential.

We all are in the post holiday blues period before spring, but Blackhawks please I’m looking to you to help me get through this slow period. I’m being selfish, entertain me please.

Now what the Hawks can use I’m not sure to get out of the doldrums, other than focusing on the areas they have been lacking and listening to your coaches. Every game just about they all say they want more net front presence and to make life difficult on the opposing goalies and yet the Hawks for the most part are staying to the perimeter. Listen to your coaches they are right and my eye test can see there is not enough drive to the opposition net.

Somehow the Hawks need to work on clearing out your own crease either with more active sticks and just putting a body on people. I would save the blocking shots til playoffs if possible we don’t want injuries that is the last thing the Hawks need now.  Try lifting sticks and plugging up lanes and just flat old without crosschecking people just push people out from in front of your goalie. I know easier said then done, but to compete against the big boy teams like the Ducks, Kings and Jets this will be necessary. May as well try this now before the playoffs.

That power play, just shoot the damn puck and get to the net maybe send two people to the net. Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews are taking a beating there a little help can never hurt. The zone entries sometimes need help which this critique feels is stuck on repeat.

Lately, the passing in general has not been crisp which forces readjustments which slows down the team. For this team supposedly built on possession and speed this is a bad thing.

The fourth line needs to somehow find a way to contribute offensively. Right now this team is so top heavy they are easy to defend and as a goalie easy to stop. I want more, more, more from the 3rd and 4th lines but in particular the 4th line. If nothing else start crshing the net even if you don’t score it will give goalies and defenses something to think about.

Be more prudent in your own zone with the puck. There have been way too many turn overs by Hawks in their own zone, would you leave your house with the door unlocked? Pay more attention in your own end.

The game in Minnesota even on twitter Wild fans were tweeting that the Hawks looked disengaged and bored. Now that is bad if they can tell and they don’t even watch this team all the time.

I know as fans we forget how young this team is since they have been through so much but you don’t want to fall into bad habits that are hard to get out of. Even when losing try to learn from it, it will come in handy later.

We all have days that we are not our best but the Hawks need to remember they are living their dreams and have, so keep that it mind you could be stuck in some ho hum job. There are two games against major division foes in the Jets and the Blues if you can not get motivated for these games I would suggest that maybe the playoffs will be a short excursion if you make them at all.

“So many people are responsible for your success but only you are responsible for your failure” – unknown

 

1) taken from George Lucas 1980 film the Empire Strikes Back produced by Lucasfilm  released by 20th Century Fox

2) Quote taken from addicted2success.com website.

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NHL – Outdoorsy,Worldly,Techie and Young


Chicago, IL — Yesterday a media press conference was held and for those who have NHLNetwork or could stream on NHL.com were also lucky enough to hear Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and players — Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks, Anze Kopitar, LA Kings & Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins make the several announcements impacting the league for years to come.

The Commissioner started with the announcement of the outdoor games for 2016 which, we all knew ahead of time thanks to the power of social media. If you missed it the Winter Classic will be between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadians at Gillette Stadium near Boston. Then there is two Stadium series games one to be held on 2/21/16 in Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium between the Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks and finally a third game on 2/27/16 at Coors Field between the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings.

Ironically it was a beat writer from the Chicago media that asked the Commissioner about being concerned with overkill with the Chicago Blackhawks being in so many outdoor games and unfairness to other teams in the league. Luckily Commissioner Bettman is a smart man and knows when to ride a winning hand. I have to give the Commissioner his due on how he addressed the insanely unintelligent question he was posed.

To that reporter I would say, sports is not about local media, it is about the players and the fans not you, and who said life is fair anyway. First off the players love playing outdoors and you have a great team in the Chicago Blackhawks that are easily marketed and a great fan base that wants to attend these events and will travel and pump life into other economies. The league has done it’s research and all the fan polls I’ve seen people love these outdoor games.

Now, Minnesota may not need the Chicago Blackhawks money but towns like St. Louis and Nashville and yes Arizona could use it so there is that. Let us not forget as well Chicago Blackhawks fans will buy, buy, buy which puts more money in the NHL coffers which is a huge financial consideration and then there is the broadcasting draw. Let’s face it Chicago brings in more viewers than sorry Dallas, St. Louis and Nashville which is simply the truth.

The NHL is a business that is trying to make money and get as much fan interest as possible a game between the Wild and the Hawks let’s face it, is far more entertaining due to the recent playoff history of these two clubs, than say the Wild vs the Blues or Predators or Stars for that matter. Sometimes I wonder if reporters even watch NHL games other than the team they are covering but I digress.

The trek from Chicago to Minnesota is not that far and lets face it tons of Blackhawks fans will go and that is a consideration for the league as well. Now there were some Blackhawks fans objects on twitter to those fans I would say don’t go, don’t watch and don’t buy if you really object that much to the Blackhawks constantly being in these outdoor games. Keep in mind however if you are a fan of this team, the players want to play and the organization as a whole as the Commissioner pointed out wants to be involved. I also suspect those fans complaining the most will be the first to buy a ticket to this event and get some jerseys as well.

World Cup returns

In September of 2016 for 9/17 to approx 10/1 the NHL World Cup is returning with eight teams involved. There is the usual six teams of the US, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Russia and the Czech Republic but the other two teams will be a European team comprised mainly of NHL players that would not fall within the other six teams. What I found really intriguing is the final team which will be a team of players under age 23 from the US and Canada.

This under 23 team will have the likes of Brandon Saad, Nathan McKinnon, Seth Jones, Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel on it potentially to name a few. As Patrick Kane said this is a young man’s game so what they lack in experience they may make up in speed. The only concern here is that team USA maybe hurt the most by this but as the Commissioner stated this is a work in progress. It is also a way to showcase the young talent in the league or that will be coming into the league.

Let’s face it, taking Brandon Saad as an example on a team like the Blackhawks he may get overshadowed nationally with the Kanes, Toews ect on the team. Chicago knows how good this kid is and what he brings but this is also a chance for him and the other young guys to hone their leadership skills and shine on a big stage.

Personally I’m all in favor of more international events for the NHL and hockey in general. One of the unique characeristics of the NHL is it’s international flavor why not capitalize on that and bring in new fans from overseas. Look how a small country like Latvia got behind thier NHL player Zemgus Girgensons in the All Star Game voting, so international interest in the NHL is there. If the NHL ever wants to expand into Europe this is a good way to test that ground now the time differentials that’s another thing but maybe one day we will have 24/7 hockey games that’s fine with me.

If the Olympics prove anything, international competition brings in the casual hockey viewer and once you get them in it might be easy to hook them if they happen to like a certain player they may end up following that players team.

Getting High Tech

The NHL also introduced two new partnerships that could forever change how we look at hockey and sports broadcasting. The first is a camera called the GOPRO Hero 4 that they had mounted on the helmets of certain players and goalies if you have not seen the video of this it is sick. I highly urge you to check it out either on the NHL’s site or YouTube.

It lets fans truley experience what it is the players see when stopping pucks, stick handling, skating ect.. never have fans been closer or literally right in the middle of the action. This I believe will draw in the younger audiences and the extreme sports crowds. Let’s face it of all the major sports, hockey is more closely connected to extreme sports due to it’s speed and inherent danger levels with pucks flying at you. Hockey is just flat out cool because of the speed of the game and the skill of the players. Don’t believe men watch the Skills Competition of any All Star game.

What I found totally intriguing was the NHL’s partnership with Sportsvision and how this new technology that will embed chips in the pucks and into the players clothing that will be tracked in the rink with infrared scans to capture all kinds of new data digitally. It may one day be possible to know who had the puck for how long and who matches up better against each other ect.

For example maybe Patrick Kane matches up better against Drew Doughty of the LA Kings than Jonathan Toews does but maybe Toews matches up better against Bruins’ Zedano Chara. Can you imagine what coaches would do with this kind of information, not to mention all the analytics geeks? The information and tracking is unparalleled and really a bold step into a new world for the NHL. The below link will take you to the NHL’s website to explain this new technology.

http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=734437&catid=49

To me this makes Corsi, Fenwick and PDO completely obsolete and brings us into a new revolutionary element to the game of hockey and the gaming industry as well. Personally I am very excited about this. I want to know is Patrick Kane better scoring from the left or the right or the slot and where the majority of his goals do come from. Is it easier to beat Corey Crawford, glove side, stick side or five hole or there is no difference.

The NHL loves their rivalries now they can sell, promote get advertisers on board with individual rivalries within each game. All in all announcing all these changes in the future whilst having your best talents on display at the All Stars Game made perfect sense and really for fans brings curiosity, excitement and hopefully wanting more.

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Chicago Blackhawks – more than a hockey team


Chicago, IL — This past week the Chicago Blackhawks in their “Whats your Goal” campaign moved many Blackhawks fans to tears including myself. I was so moved by that fact that the Blackhawks organization just gets it. Everything in life is about people and assisting others in any small ways that one can.

All professional sports teams give to their selected charities but what is maybe more compelling about the #WhatsYourGoal campaign is that the Blackhawks realize and appreciate their fans and in their own way and ways they can show thanks, demonstrates to me that this truly is a class organization that just understands what life is really all about.

For those who have not seen the latest What’s Your Goal video with the lovely young lady Christina go to their web site or click on link below, I have to warn you to have a box of tissues ready.

Not only are they committing to excellence on the ice but they have individuals throughout the organization that are committing to a greater excellence  – that to humanity.

I am so proud of this team, the players, coaches and the orgainization as whole that I feel as a Blackhawks fan, if they can do these things in the ways that they can shouldn’t we try to in the ways that we can as well do things for humanity?

Coinsidentally, a techie friend of mine sent me an e-mail with this application that is available called Be my Eyes to assist blind and visually impaired people. The application is currently only for Iphone 4S users or IOS7. Android applications are not currently available but in development and should be available shortly.

Below is a YouTube video which explains the applications functions:

Be My Eyes…:

Below is a more complete article on this application that was developed by a man named Hans Jorgen Wiberg who is visually impaired. Thanks to Hans from us all for coming up with this application. I can not think of an easier way to assist someone that truly needs.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2913704/The-app-helps-blind-people-Eyes-lets-sighted-users-read-signs-direct-visually-impaired-live-video-chats.html

If there is interest there are all kinds of charities as well:

BLIND & VISUALLY IMPAIRED
Glaucoma Foundation
Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
Helen Keller International/Childsight
National Federation of the Blind
ORBIS International/Project ORBIS International
Prevent Blindness America/National Society to Prevent Blindness

 

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Blackhawks future on display in IIHF World Junior Championships


Chicago, IL — Ok Blackhawks fans it is getting to be that time of the year again, when the NHL’s future is on display in an international competition. This year the Chicago Blackhawks have four prospects that will be honored enough to wear the Team USA jersey. The roster was announced for Team USA back on December 12th.

schmaltz getting to bench

 

All four of the Blackhawks prospects are from the college ranks. This year also there will be no Blackhawks prospects on Team Canada or Finland. There is also two Hawks prospects on that will be manning Team Sweden’s blue line.

Team USA Hawks prospects are all forwards and one most Hawks fans are familiar with if you attended the Hawks prospect camps or watched the Team USA evaluation camp during the summer that was held in Lake Placid, NY.

The additional bonus this  year for those of us who follow the IIHF WJC is that the time zone will be palatable as the games will be held in either Toronto or Quebec which is a heck of a lot better than having to watch hockey games at 4 or 6 AM.

If you are interested at all about the future talents of the NHL and Blackhawks I would strongly suggest tuning in, besides who is not interested in healthy international competition and feeling a healthy dose of some national pride.

So representing the Hawks will be Nick Schmaltz, Anthony Louis, Tyler Motte and John Hayden for team USA. For Team Sweden both Hawks representatives will be defensemen Carl Dahlstrom and Robin Norell.

schmaltz

For those that did not see the evaluation camp games Tyler Motte was the overall points leader having been put on the top line with Alan Tuck ( MN Wild prospect) and the highly touted 2015 draft pick Jack Eichel.

John Hayden also had a very good showing and ended up with five points in six games. He established a physical net front presence that the Hawks will be thrilled to have.

Nick Schmaltz and Anthony Louis were paired together and have great chemistry together. So far this year their college records as of a week ago are as follows:

 

** Player                                 College/University         Games         Points

 

Nick Schmaltz                      Univ of N. Dakota          13                  14 (2/12)

Anthony Louis                      Miami University            16                  14 (3/11)

Tyler Motte                           Univ of Michigan            14                  14 (5/9)

John Hayden                        Yale University              10                  10 (3/7)

 

Below is the tournament schedule for Team USA

 

*2015 U.S. Game Schedule

Date Opponent Location Time (ET)
Fri., Dec. 26 Finland Bell Centre, Montreal 3:00 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 28 Germany Bell Centre, Montreal 8:00 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 29 Slovakia Bell Centre, Montreal 4:00 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 31 Canada Bell Centre, Montreal 4:00 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 2 Quarterfinals (TBD) Montreal or Toronto TBD
Sun., Jan. 4 Semifinals (TBD) Air Canada Centre, Toronto TBD
Mon., Jan. 5 Finals (TBD) Air Canada Centre, Toronto TBD

 

It is very hard to get information on the Swedish players but having seen them in prospect camp don’t forget to check out both Robin Norell and Carl Dahlstorm on Team Sweden. They are both solid defenseman.

Camps and pretournament games are getting set to take place. Camps open from 12/16-19 and there will be some pre-tournament games. Tuesday the 16th Team USA will take on Team Canada. If you want to watch the games check out Fast Hockey***. Fast Hockey carries Team USA and Team Canada. The games are online in standard definition but you do get to watch and check out the boys.

Good Luck to all the Blackhawks prospects may you each have the tournaments of your life. Sorry Team Sweden I must cheer overall as team for Team USA so let the games begin and GO USA!!

 

*taken from http://worldjuniors.usahockey.com/ web site.

** taken from USCHO.com/Stats web site

*** FastHockey.com

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Chicago Blackhawks – recall Phillip Danault and add passion ardente


Chicago, IL — The Hawks recalled Phillip Danault from the Rockford IceHogs late this week with Andrew Shaw being injured and Patrick Sharp finally put on LTIR there was a spot that opened up for a forward and Phillip Danault got the call.

I have to admit I am a little partial to Danault. The first time I saw Danault on the ice was back in July of 2012 at the Blackhawks prospect camp. From the moment Danault skated onto the ice the kid had a smile on his face that just would not leave. Immediately you could sense his amour de la vie (love of life) and his passion pour le jeu as the French would say or his love of the game. His enthusiasm and passion made those watching put a smile on their face just witnessing his pure joy of playing the game. That was my first and constant impression of Phillip Danault.

Danaultallsmiles

To hear him describe himself to reporters and BHTV as being able to bring his energy and passion pretty much sums up the intangibles of Danault’s game and what separates him from other hockey players. This fire and hunger to play maybe the missing ingredient the Blackhawks have been lacking.

Don’t get me wrong I love all the Hawks but this year they have looked a little stale and bored with playing in some of the games which is only natural when you have 82 games and some not so thrilling opponents to get through. We all know the regular season is a grind but you have to get through this to make the playoffs. Danault brings life, energy, fire, that je ne sais quoi   the Hawks have been missing.

PhillipDanault

 

There is a relentlessness to Danault’s game and intensity that is unyielding and a passion that is contagious which, maybe just what the Blackhawks need right now. It’s perfect that he is joining the team on the circus trip with more time to bond with the boys and hopefully they will catch some of Danault’s fire.

The tangibles and hockey skills that Danault will bring are also what the Hawks have failed to demonstrate on a consistent basis. He brings a commitment to the small details of the game and a responsible two way game. Let’s face it other than Jonathan Toews and Marcus Kruger at the center position the Hawks could use this at the center position.

Danault when he was with the Hawks in preseason this year I believe consistently was over the 70% mark in face offs won. For a team that likes and wants the puck this alone makes Danault a valuable addition. Even if Danault is put on the wing he can always come in to take face offs when/where need be and isn’t that nice to know as a coaching staff you have someone to relay on who more times than not will get you the puck.

Danaultonethemove

Danault is also an excellent skater with great balance and we all know how much the Hawks love their fast skaters so there should be no problem with Danault fitting in and keeping up with any line he is on. His fore-check skills and patience with the puck is also top notch. His intensity along the boards is something you notice right away. Phillip Danault, never repeat never, gives up on a play or the puck in any of the zones. If in the rare instance he loses the puck he battles to get it back- ala Marian Hossa.

DanaultSaadHinostroza

Danault is getting the opportunity because he has played well for the Rockford IceHogs this year. In 14 games he has 10 points (3G/7A) but more importantly he is a +6. Yes he is an excellent penalty killer which would be nice if the Hawks could rotate him in with Kruger, Smith, Toews & Hossa to give them a rest especially Hossa. The Hawks need to keep him as fresh as they can for a long run into the playoffs and Danault would be a perfect reliever on the PK.

Even though Danault is primarily known for his defensive skills and work ethic he is also an excellent passer and puck distributor. Late last year in Rockford he and Ryan Hartman were burning up the opposition. This year, his line with Mark McNeill and Garrett Ross has been doing the same thing with the IceHogs. Danault is not afraid to go to the net which is definitely something most teams can use and especially the Hawks.

Danaultonegoal

Danault will make his debut with the Hawks tonight against a young, skilled Edmonton Oilers team that should make for an interesting game with all the speed and youthful energy and skill out on the ice. I can’t think of a better team for Danault to be making his NHL debut against.

Show them what you got kid, play your game with that Phillip Danault flare and everything will be fine. Go live your dream kid.

Oh and Allons-y Hawks!!!

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