The Hawks of my childhood were a strong, strong team. Maybe like Colorado now (or over the last 10 seasons). They had Tony Esposito in goal, a quality blueline led by Magnuson, Pat Stapleton and Bill White and a forward group that was among the best in the league–Stan Mikita, Bobby Hull, Jim Pappin, Dennis Hull and many others.
They were a terrific team and one of the “group of 4″ from the late 60s/early 70s who had a chance to win every season (Habs & Bruins, Rangers & Hawks).
These days they’re a team on the rise and currently with a brand new coach in Joel Quenneville. The firing of Denis Savard has received a lot of play but it’s my opinion that Chicago upgraded with a coach who ranks among the 10 best in the business.
Chicago’s arrows are all pointed in the right direction. My guess is an L for the Oildrop in Chi-town tonight.
Why? Despite the quality kids and the increased number of NHL veterans on this year’s Oilers team, my guess is that they are not an elite team. 4-0 teams who are not elite level wander back to the median.