Six games into the 2013-2014 season for the Chicago Blackhawks, and there are virtually no signs of a Stanley Cup hangover. While we didn’t have the spectacular record breaking start of last year, we are still at 4-1-1, with some new faces on the ice and a new banner hanging in the UC. As if anyone is surprised, we’ve already witness two shoot outs this season, and fully anticipating many more OT nights.
First up, #42, Joakim Nordstrom (JOH-keem).
Twenty-one year old Swed, center, who we actually acquired back in the 2010 draft, but played in the Swedish League until 2013, and played on the Rockford Icehogs in the 2012-2013 season. Strong penalty killer (replacing the loss of Michal Frolik). Scored his first NHL goal Oct 11, 2013 versus the Islanders. I wouldn’t expect to see big numbers from Nordstrom, but, according to Q, his ability to play both center and wing is a plus. He’s a newbie to the NHL, let’s give him some time to adjust to the big leagues, before analyzing his ability and play.
Second up is #6, Michael Kostka.
Twenty-seven year old defenseman from Ontario, CA. He played in the AHL until 2012 and then played one year with the Maple Leafs. According to Coach Q, he has some speed and can play solid both offensively and defensively. Personally, not too impressed with Kostka, but again, maybe I should give him more time. He’s only played one game this season, replacing Rozsival. Additionally, he was hit by Red Wings Teemu Pulkkinen in an exhibition game and was unable to return to the game.
There are also some new NHL rules as of the 2013-2014 season. Most significant changes include:
- Goalie pads have been reduced in size.
- Shallower nets (more room for play behind the net, speculation about this resulting in more wrap around goals.)
- Additional two minute penalty if player removes own helmet during fight. The loop hole here, players can remove each others helmets in a fight, avoiding the extra penalty. (Punching a helmet just isn’t as effective, apparently.)
- Hybrid Icing. Put in place to avoid collisions into the end walls when racing for the puck. According to NHL.com, the League has used the “touch-icing” system since 1937. Whoa.
Blackhawks vs Blues tonight 7pm CST. Blues won at home for the first match up 3-2, so looking to bring it back at home.
Saturday is against the Maple Leafs with Mr. Davey Bolland. Leafs are off to a fantastic 6-1-0 start, so it may not be the easy match up we’re used to.
Lastly, I will leave you with this. If you haven’t seen this, you are in for a treat. Luongo and the Canucks played Montreal on Oct 12, where the Canadians eventually won the game 4-1. But that’s not even the best part. See below. The more I watch it, the better it gets. Cheers.