What Chicago Blackhawks Should Do to Avoid a Post-Olympics Hangover

February 15th, 2014 by Steve Silverman Leave a reply »

The Chicago Blackhawks are among the most respected teams in the NHL, and that much is evidenced by their importance in the Olympics. Ten players who regularly pull on the revered Blackhawk colors are participating in these Olympics, and that's bound to have an impact once they return.

Head coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman can't just expect Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson to return in top form and to step on the gas pedal as if they were returning from a vacation on the Mexican coast.

That may be just what the non-Olympic participants are doing during the Olympic break, but the stars who return are likely to be drained.

That's why the Blackhawks' performance before the Olympic break was so vital. While they gave some points away with overtime and shootout losses as well as a no-show game in Phoenix, the Blackhawks showed who they were when they defeated the Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks on the road.

If there was any doubt that the Blackhawks were not the same team that won the Stanley Cup a year ago, it disappeared with those three ...

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