9.29.2008

Another Pre-season Loss

Chicago's looking strong, and they proved that against Dallas last night with a 4-3 win. Brian Campbell especially proved that he can produce, with 4 assists.

On the Stars' side of things, Matt Niskanen, Joel Lundqvist, and Loui Eriksson scored for the team. It's encouraging to see Lundqvist producing offense, as Dallas will be relying on him to do all season long. Eriksson will be expected to improve on last season's career high numbers of 14 goals and 31 points, whereas the Stars would be pleased if Niskanen at least repeats his rookie numbers of 7 goals and 26 points from the blue-line.

Jack Skille scored a smooth backhander for the eventual game-winning goal, as he continues to solidify his position as a third or fourth-line right winger. Patrick Sharp scored his fourth pre-season goal in only 3 games, which has Hawks faithful believing he can repeat last season's 62 points and team-leading 36 goals while playing on a line with young stars Jonathan Toews, who had two power-play goals, and Patrick Kane.

The Hawks recently placed Nikolai "The Bulin Wall" Khabibulin on waivers, suggesting that the back-up job will go to either AHL powerhouse goalie Corey Crawford (29-19-0 in 55 games) or Finnish netminding sensation (a common NHL phrase) Antti Niemi, who won last night's game for Chicago. Crawford is the sensible choice, as the Hawks have already let him sit and perform incredibly in the QMJHL and AHL while they sort out the rest of their prospects, but Niemi has the common story of the undrafted Euro who's big year (26-14 in 49 games) drew plenty of free agent offers.

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