Thanks to Greg from Second City Hockey for his answers. Stop by their site, say hi, and politely remind them that despite just winning the Stanley Cup the Blackhawks suck.
Because they do.
1. Who do you think has been your best player through your first three games? Small sample size, I know.
Brandon Saad has been a beast so far. With Bryan Bickell playing on the top line, Saad has been moved to the 3rd line where he is becoming a bum slayer extraordinaire. Getting away from the opponent's top line every night will only make Saad even more dangerous. The Manchild has a Corsi number of 9 through two games and he is even making Andrew Shaw look much better than he really is. The best part of Saad's game is what he does when he doesn't have the puck. His fore checking and back checking is right up there with the likes of Marian Hossa. Patrick Kane is also off to a good start but he plays on a different level than the rest of the league.
2. What caused the OTL against the Tampa Bay Lightning? Was it a fluke, a fixable thing, or a possible symptom of an issue?
Ben Bishop happened. The kid played out of his mind and stole a game for the Lightning. The penalty kill has been an issue but it is not panic time after two games considering the Capitals and Lightning have very dangerous power plays.
3. Do you feel that the Blackhawks are primed for a run like the one they had last season, or will it be harder to keep up a torrid pace like that over 82 games?
There is no way the Hawks can keep up the point pace they had last year through 82 games, and they don't have to. This year they can use the full schedule to rest some veterans and experiment with some line combinations that you couldn't do in the shorten schedule a year ago. The main objective for the Blackhawks is to be healthy come playoff time. I would much rather have them equal the post season run from last year than the run to stat the season.