If there is one team that is surprising me greatly in the early going of the National Hockey League season, it is the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago has won their first four games, including rallying from a 2-0 deficit on Thursday to beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in overtime. I’m not sure how long Chicago can keep this up, but it is an impressive beginning to the year.
The Blackhawks have already beaten two divisional winners from last season, along with the defending Stanley Cup champions. There will be tough games along the way but with the full 48-game schedule all in the Western Conference, it appears Chicago has the inside track early on. I understand it is just four games but with the shortened season, there have been nearly 10% of the games already played. Chicago won’t win every game on their schedule, but starting 4-0 gives the Blackhawks at least a solid chance to make the playoffs and be a high seed.
Marian Hossa scored his fifth goal of the early season with the overtime winner, and the Chicago power play accounted for all three goals in the win which should be scary to the other teams in the league. A solid power play that can score on a fairly regular basis will cause teams to be even less aggressive which will allow for even more scoring chances for Hossa, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp. The Blackhawks look like the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2010 so far, and we have to wait to see if they can keep up their hot start the rest of the year.