Patience Is a Virtue: Chicago Blackhawks Starting to Look Promising

Mikal ElyseCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2011

Corey Crawford congratulated by teammates after back to back shutouts
Corey Crawford congratulated by teammates after back to back shutoutsJonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There has not been one disheartened face on the ice or the stands in the United Center as of late. The Chicago Blackhawks finally look like they have got their game and chemistry in sync.

Corey Crawford has proven numerous people wrong on being one of the most dominate goaltenders this season, going 4-1 in his last five games, ranked third in GAA and now posting back-to-back shutouts against the Colorado Avalanche and New York Islanders. Crawford is looking like the number one starter the Blackhawks have been looking for since June 9 of 2010.

The core of forwards, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa were key contributors early on in the season. At the moment, the Blackhawks are receiving team efforts from the third and forth lines as well as a surplus of efforts from Dave Bolland (three points, +2 in the past five games).

It is always great to see a team start coming together as one to win games at home and on the road. Their chemistry seems to be rubbing off quickly on to all of their players and building throughout the team.

Currently the Blackhawks forwards and goaltending seem to be in sync there is still one issue.

The Defense.

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook is the heart of the Blackhawks defense for years to come. So far, they have been bringing fans of the Blackhawks in circles of being outstanding to completely terrifying to watch. For the past five games, Keith and Seabrook have both been pluses (Keith +3, Seabrook +2). 

As the Keith being the reigning Norris Trophy holder hockey fans anticipated the same performance as last season. Regrettably, the Blackhawks and their fans have still been waiting for the “old” Keith to appear at the United Center. 

The past five games have shown that the real Keith is still out there along with his partner: Seabrook. Seabrook has shown to be a part of the core for the Blackhawks, yet he has shown struggles all season long.

Taking into consideration the top two defensemen are now coming along to help the wins come Chicago’s way... it has seemed that two defensemen are quietly controlling the ice.

Brian Campbell and Niklas Hjalmarsson have been more than extraordinary this season for the Blackhawks.

Both defensemen are a +6 in their past five games together, overall Campbell is a +19, while Hjalmarsson has picked himself up to a +4 for the season after being at a low of -9.

They are once again defensive partners and nothing has seemed to change except getting closer to flawlessness.  

Jordan Hendry and Nick Leddy have only been labeled as the third pairing of defensemen for the Blackhawks for a short while. So far they have shown they are a match made in hockey heaven.

Nothing over the top impressive from these two young men, but they have shown they work well and hard to win by being where they need to be and not letting the puck past them.

It ultimately seems the Blackhawks are nearing prominence once again and beginning an incredible win streak, one can only trust it maintains.

Playing the Nashville Predators back to back this weekend will be a big test as always from the Predators. Shea Weber and the Predators play a game that is not a typical sight for the Blackhawks.  Most judge this team is an easy win against, but they convinced countless people that they were wrong when they were close to knocking out the Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs last season.

As far as I see, the Blackhawks will still have their typical ups and downs; just eager that there are more ups in the future to bring the Blackhawks back to the Stanley Cup Finals.