Daily Archives: February 2, 2011

NHLPA Player opinion poll on franchises, coaches, rule changes and peers

Less than half of current NHL players recently participated in a voluntary poll presented by the National Hockey League Player’s Association and the CBC television network in Canada.  Of the 318 players who did return surveys, 11% identified the Chicago Blackhawks as the team they’d most-like to play for.  And 7% choose the United Center as their favorite arena to play in.

Duncan Keith, the reigning Norris Trophy award winner, finished 5th in the category of toughest defenseman to play against.  Keith received three percent of the votes in that query.  Patrick Sharp ranked 3rd in the most-underrated player category, tied with New Jersey center Travis Zajac with each receiving 3.5% of votes.  That’s something of an arbitrary category.  Frans Nielsen, who got the 2nd most votes for most-underrated, is a sneaky-skilled player but he’s not in the league of Sharp or Dallas Stars winger Loui Eriksson, who led the voting by a slim margin over Nielsen (5 goals, 16 assists, 43gp).

In Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks have the league’s 5th most desired coach, according to players polled.  Quenneville received 6% of votes tallied, behind Guy Boucher (8%), Dave Tippett (8%), Mike Babcock (18%) and Dan Bylsma (21%).  Bylsma was obviously aided by how well he came off in the HBO 24/7 series.

Here’s the entire list of questions and top vote getters: Read more »

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Lindbloom: Now Make It Mellow

Tighten Up

By Rich Lindbloom

[Author’s note: Before attempting to read the following article, you must Google two songs. First the “Tighten Up” by Archie Bell and the Drells and then “Emma,” by the Sisters of Mercy.]

There is a new buzz word circling amongst the “woe is us” naysayers who are attempting to define and label this year’s enigmatic Blackhawks. For those who have had front row seats to their disasters, the word is becoming as firmly entrenched as an inscription on a gravestone. The Hawks have been unofficially christened with the word “inconsistent.” As usual, I beg to differ.

First off, there is the illusion that being consistent is better than being inconsistent. Bernard Berenson once said “consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.” In my whimsical mind, this year’s Hawks would more aptly be described by the word – persistence.

Following the Blackhawks this year has not been for the faint of heart. It is the classical example of Sisyphus rolling the boulder up the hill, only to see it come tumbling down again. While pondering our persistent frustrations with the Blackhawks this year, I heard a song on the radio played that could hold the key to our success as we head down the stretch. Read more »

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