Bowman believes Blackhawks can go all the way

Bowman believes Blackhawks can go all the way
February 5, 2013, 10:45 pm
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SAN JOSE, Calif. – The Chicago Blackhawks got off to as good a start as general manager Stan Bowman could’ve hoped. And while there are always variables that come into play, as this team stands right now, Bowman believes this team could go all the way.

Bowman, talking before the Blackhawks’ game against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, said depth and a balanced lineup have been key to the team’s 7-0-2 mark.

“We've got all the elements there. I think a lot will change as the year goes on in terms of how players progress, or the health of your team and things like that. But I certainly like the balance we have,” he said. “We’re not relying on two or thee players to get it done. And that’s really what you need to have down the stretch is balance to weather the storm.”

Right now, all has gone very well for the Blackhawks, who have weathered a busy schedule coupled with copious amounts of far-flung travel. Players were in good shape, they meshed quickly because they all knew each other, and their best players have been, well, their best.

“Looking at the shortened training camp, you’re not quite sure what you're going to get because some guys haven't played. So when you add it all up, the fact that we've gotten off to a good start and put ourselves in a good position heading into the month of February is important,” Bowman said. “It hasn't been easy. The travel, I think we saw that in Calgary, we certainly didn't play a strong game there. (Ray) Emery was incredible, and you need that sometimes to get you through those efforts where it just isn't working for you. And I think that's a sign of a good team, when you can get contributions from everybody.”

Bowman liked the team’s balance and depth entering this season, and both have paid dividends early. Brandon Saad has filled in just fine in Daniel Carcillo’s absence, and Bowman said Carcillo may start skating again some time this week. And there are several players in Rockford – Jimmy Hayes, Brandon Pirri and Jeremy Morin up front and Ryan Stanton, Adam Clendening and Dylan Olsen on defense -- that have garnered notice and could be call-up candidates if needed.

“We only got a brief look at them at that one scrimmage we had during camp but those are players who kind of caught our eye,” Bowman said. “We’ve watched them play a lot over the first few months and we know what they can do. Some of those guys have played games here in the past. It wouldn't be like an intimidating situation for them to come up and play.”

The Blackhawks have started just about as well as they could’ve this season. With the lockout, the trade deadline isn’t until April 3rd this season. Bowman’s happy with what the Blackhawks have right now, confident they can go far with it. But if something pops up, if someone gets hurt, if there’s a need, he’ll address it.

“At this point there haven't been any glaring weaknesses,” he said. “Goaltenders have been strong throughout and special teams have been strong as well. If you have the goaltending and special teams you're going to be in the games. Whether you win them or not I guess is a different story. There hasn't been anything that's emerged as a big concern. We'll just monitor it as we go here. Every team across the board there's things they want to upgrade on, but nothing jumps out as this point.”