Chicago Blackhawks, Source: Sports Illustrated

Blackhawks December Report Card: B+

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all staying warm and dry in ChiBeria! I can’t think of a better way to spend a blizzard/frigid temps than reading about the Hawks. With the Bears’ season officially over, healing D Rose hurt again, purchase the Blackhawks are about all we have going for us right now in Chicago. Luckily for us, viagra sale they’re pretty hot.

The Hawks played 14 games in December, going a respectable 8-3-3.. The boys are sitting at the top of the Western Conference, with the Blues lurking a couple of games behind. Let’s take a look at how the Hawks fared in the month of December.

 The Good:

There are a lot of things working in the Hawks favor right now. Corey Crawford is back from his groin injury, and Antti Raanta looked solid as the back up netminder. Raanta was named co-rookie of the month for December by the NHL. He went 8-2-0 and posted a 1.29 goals against average (including his first NHL shutout). The Hawks found ways to win without Crawford in net, helped largely by the Patrick’s; Kane and “Hat-trick” Sharp.

The Bad:

There’s not much to complain about with the Hawks. They’re division leaders, have some bonafide super stars and are defending Stanley Cup champs. However special teams seem to be the only problem area. Our penalty kill is looking MUCH betterthan earlier in the season, the Hawks haven’t allowed multiple power play goals since December 14 against Toronto. The Hawks, especially Kane, have struggled on the shootouts this season. This is puzzling for such an offensive powerhouse, but we’re really just nitpicking at this point.

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Overall Assessment:

The Hawks are without a doubt one of the top, if not the top, team in the NHL. With that being said, we’ve got to grade them a little harshly. I’m going to give the Hawks a B+ for December. There’s still room for improvement, guys like Nick Leddy and Bryan Bickell have struggled at times. Jonathan Toews has been quiet on the score sheet, but the man is still a rock on the top line. A little more offensive production from the stars couldn’t hurt, especially with a tough January schedule.

December MVP:

I’ve been saying this all season, but Patrick Kane is on fire. He’s having a special kind of season and the rest of the NHL is taking notice. Kaner was named the NHL’s First star of the month for December, his second month in a row. He was also the only member of the Hawks to make the US Olympic Team – and he could likely be named a captain.  He put up 16 assists, 23 points and an impressive +14 rating.

Kane is second to Sidney Crosby in the NHL points race with 54, Crosby has 63. Kane went on his second 10+ point game of the season, the first player to do so since Jaromir Jagr in 05-06, according to the Hawks website.

What to Watch For In January:

We’ll see some familiar foes in January! On 1/19 the Boston Bruins will return to the United Center. We’ll also see the former-division rival Detroit Red Wings on 1/22. Both games are sure to be great match-ups.  I’d personally love to see Bryan Bickell and Jonathan Toews make their way onto the score sheet a little more frequently in January.

Things look like they’ll continue rolling for the Hawks in January, but there will be some tough matches. FIND BEST DEALS on tickets HERE. Either way, the Hawks are all we really have right now guys, so in order for me to make it through this brutal Chicago winter I’d like to see some more solid hockey in January.

About the author: Rachel Musnicki hails from the Chicago suburbs. A die-hard Chicago sports fan, she is known for her obsession with the Blackhawks. Rachel is finishing up her senior year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she is working towards a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She previously interned with Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Rachel still dreams of being an Olympian, though is starting to realize she may never make it as a beach volleyball star. One of her favorite sports memories is going to a Stanley Cup Final Game in 2010 and watching the Blackhawks defeat the Flyers. You can follow Rachel on Twitter at @RachelMusnicki

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