NBCSN's Jones: Hawks are the team to beat in the NHL
Wed, 6 Mar 2013|
NBC Sports Network analyst Keith Jones says the Blackhawks are "special" and they are the team to beat in the NHL - 3/6
-- is this a special Blackhawks team. Is this a really hot Blackhawks and how would you characterize it from a national perspective. I would say is special and I think if you look at the first ten games -- say -- they got off to a terrific start at their hot team. I would put special on the right -- the forefront right now because every team -- their plan on every night. Is trying to beat them now they are the team to be -- Nassau likely be LA kings won the cup last year but the Chicago Blackhawks. Are the one team that everyone's geared up for. A national attention every night that they step on the ice. And you have an opportunity as an opposing player to come up with a big game and finally and this streak every guy's trying to do that but the Hawks keep current. Finding ways to continuing. And on the winning streak it's been an amazing thing to fall. Keith were all wondering here in Chicago which teams in the west can compete with the Hawks. What really kings doing well right now there's there seems sort of scares me if I'm Chicago -- -- is their last ten. How you compare the kings of last year to this team the Sox have right now. Bad that the kings of this year are similar to the kings of last year in the way that they started the season. I still like their size and -- -- guys talking about the toughness factor of the LA kings have that they have a certain swagger that they brought to the ranger in the playoffs again and he's huge run. A lot of it had to do with them crash in and bang and and provided huge energy -- big hits and some goals in the tough areas. That'll be a challenge for Chicago when the LA kings should they meet in the playoffs it would be one heck of a playoff series. I still give the edge to the LA kings based upon what I saw last year and the fact they showed the ability to step it up but the biggest moments. I'd be looking forward to that series so that is the one team in the west I'd be worried about a -- as the Blackhawks. Hey keep it said Tim McKee quick question. We are expected -- those guys to come out of the gate pretty hot Toews Kane. Duncan -- those guys. Who on this roster actually surprises you who do you think may be benefiting really from from good matchups all the way down through the million -- the bottom line. Played all the one thing stands on as a goaltender that's that is coming in the season I would have never guessed that the golds and it would be is outstanding -- it's -- for the Chicago black Sox. I think a lot of the credit has to -- their defense and it's not just Duncan Keith and Brent Seaver and I love the way nick -- he has played like the way Michael rules of all -- played. Other show on that they've got some real ability to step in and provide some big minutes for Joel Quenneville and the third line has been really impressive and I give the head coach a lot of credit for mix in a match in the lineup I'm not all the stars are sitting together is got Brandon -- plan on the top line is mixed guys in. But the player Brian Vick gold Victor stalled berg. I'm Andrew Shaw has really stood out to -- of. Big reason why this team is continuing to find ways to win. They gave its chasing got you know it's hard question for me to ask you right now on a team has scored at least one point their first 23 games but. If you're looking ahead you mentioned the kings are a concern for the Blackhawks but. What part of this hockey team possibly concerns you going for that maybe if we talk in a month or so. It wouldn't surprise you if that part maybe was struggling a little bit. There is a lot. Mine and I -- effective leadership and I've got a great captain maybe the best captain the national hockey they are random right up there is already won a Stanley -- all. You know if there's any little parts of their game negative -- creep in you know Jonathan Toews is gonna address it right away. They're not demonstrating any forms of weakness of scoring late in games. Top players like Patrick Kane have that ability to step up when this team needs them the most he's scored some huge third period goals. He looks like a different player than he did last season and that's great news I don't see any holes than that that's the one reason why I think the Chicago Blackhawks. Are going to be very difficult to be on any given night during the regular season and even bigger challenge come playoff time. Kings out east were not getting to see the Eastern Conference teams because of the lockout shortened schedule is their team over there are two -- it. Boston is that Pittsburgh is or somebody you look at you don't know what they met Chicago that would be a really tough that. It's Boston in my mind just because they defend well. They play with a lead and they've done not an awful lot this season they quietly gone about their business goaltending is not an issue there Tuukka Rask has been very good. Size is a major advantage for them with Chara and teach in the lineup. They can really play a defensively strong game with Claude Julien and they've wanted to. The Stanley Cup in recent over the last few years. I think that makes them the favorite in the east in the probably the most difficult challenge for any of the Western Conference teams are out there catching some -- tickets. Yeah you got it right at the Little League right all the -- they -- ticket -- Boris city heights.