angryjay93 Posted March 18, 2011 Report Share Posted March 18, 2011 Chicago Blackhawks Team Overview: It has been said that playing as Chicago is like logging in as invincible. The truth doesn’t stray far from that, due in large part to the cover boy of NHL ’94, Jeremy Roenick. Ed Belfour and Chris Chelios also play vital roles in supporting JR which help propel the Hawks into being one of the powerhouses of the league. A lack of depth though does provide a chink in the armor for which a skilled opponent can exploit. Forwards: Any forward corps with Roenick is a dangerous one, with that said though; the Hawks don’t have the most dangerous line combination in the league. Steve Larmer is a nice support piece, but he isn’t exactly what Ciccarelli is to Yzerman or Ronning is to Bure. After that though, the forward talent takes a swift nose dive to where a bevy of candidates can fill the 3rd forward role. JR and his Jr.’s: Murphy-Roenick-Larmer Joe Murphy: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/3 shot, 3 sth, 4 pass, 4/3 aware, Shoots: L Here we have candidate #1 for the coveted 3rd forward spot, Murphy’s skill set would seem to lend him a major helping hand in locking the spot down. Alas, Murphy isn’t quite as good as advertised. Ideally, someone riding shotgun with Roenick would either be a speedy mucker who could carry the puck and create or a cold blooded sniper, Murphy provides little of either. On occasion though Murphy does put it together and he can show flashes of brilliance that tantalize, but he never seems to keep it together over long stretches. It’s probably safe to say Roenick’s puck hogging tendencies has a lot to do with this, but the fact remains that Murphy just isn’t a perfect match. Jeremy Roenick: 4 weight, 5/5 skating, 5/5 shot, 5 sth & 5 pass, 4/4 aware, Shoots: R JR is the biggest, baddist, bully in the ’94 schoolyard. Let’s just go down the list here. Speed to burn? Check. A blistering top tier shot? Check. Gobs of dekeing and passing skills? Check. Dome splitting checking ability? Double check. If you’re looking for a weakness in JR’s game, just give up, it can’t be found. He is the defacto #1 all around player. To quantify his skills a bit more, Roenick is capable of consistently taking a C check from any one in open ice. Not even Theo Fleury can knock him on his keyster over and over again. Blessed with Yzerman’s speed, Sandstrom’s shot, Hawerchuk's creativity and Bradley’s resiliency. Roenick merely just takes the top talent of every player in the league and calls it his own. It really is the perfect package, there is no reason he shouldn’t be taken #1 overall in the GDL draft, he turns any team in any user’s hands into a legitimate weapon that needs to be respected. Steve Larmer: 7 weight, 4/4 speed, 4/4 shot, 4 sth & 4 pass, 4/6 aware, Shoots: L Despite his overall rating of 86, Larmer simply isn’t a top forward in the game because he lacks a stand out skill. Larmer still has his uses though, he provides a respectable second option due to his ability to provide a dangerous slap shot from the wing and he is capable of finishing one-timer opportunities created by Roenick. Larmer is a rare forward in that he has 99 defensive awareness every game, because of this he doesn’t set up as well in the offensive zone, but he’s very adept at staying on the defensive side of the puck and being a pain in the ass of the other teams forwards. While not an incredible C Checker, his positioning and skating should give a good head start in his defensive efforts. Each player on this line is fairly dangerous in their own right; they just don’t complement each other extremely well. But if all else fails, going one on five with Roenick can still be a recipe for success. JR and another Jr.: Ruuttu-Roenick-Larmer Christian Ruuttu: 8 weight, 4/4 skating, 3/2 shot, 4 sth & pass, 3/ 4 aware, Shoots: L At first look, Ruuttu seems like a worse fit on the left then Murphy does, but there is something with Ruuttu that leads to more chemistry with Roenick. Despite a pretty iffy shot rating, Ruuttu is a pretty opportunistic scorer who can get on some pretty substantial hot streaks. Also, Ruuttu seems to have a more natural feel to him when it comes to playmaking, and playmaking into a Roenick one-timer is always a very dangerous thing. Lastly, even though a middleweight, Ruuttu is a fairly effective defender, he tends to shade more towards the defensive side of the ice and he can really aid the Hawks in clamping down the opposition in a very effective manner. Like all lines, JR really shoulders the burden here to provide most of the offense. But the line does seem to provide a little more chemistry and defensive tenacity, which is never a bad thing. Are you out of your mind?: Roenick-Goulet-Larmer Michel Goulet: 8 weight, 4/3 speed, 2/5 shot, 3 sth, 1 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: L I tend to think Hawerchuk is a very maligned player, but Goulet really takes it to another level, but this time, it is for good reason. But if there is any one place that Goulet could succeed, this is the spot, so it is still worth mentioning. Ignore the horrid passing and the mediocre skating skills and let’s just focus on that pristine shot accuracy. isn’t it beautiful? Man that Goulet is a nice player. In all seriousness this can be an intriguing line, Roenick and Larmer now have the ability to unload rockets from the wings all day long if the defense sags to protect the net. If the defense overplays Roenick or Larmer, then Goulet comes gliding in to pound home some slam dunks from the slot, pretty simple. Yeah, the defense gets a little worse since Goulet is manning the middle, but taking Roenick and going on some rampages doesn’t compromise the team quite as much now. Other Options: As noted before Chicago isn’t blessed with a ton of depth, the guys below should be 10-12th round fodder in the GDL draft, which isn’t saying a whole lot. Dirk Graham: 8 weight, 4/3 skating, 3/2 shot, 3 sth & pass, 3/5 aware, Shoots: R A real meat and potatoes guy, Graham won’t be showing up on a highlight reel anytime soon. What we get is another solid, defensively minded guy who might be able to chip in offensively because he isn’t a disaster with the puck. Brent Sutter: 6 weight, 3/2 skating, 3/3 shot, 4 sth & 3 pass, 4/5 aware, Shoots: L Another forward with a higher defensive awareness than offensive? It’s no wonder all the Hawks did in the early 90’s was defend when Roenick wasn’t on the ice. Again, Sutter should be filling out that 6th forward slot on your GDL depth chart. He’s got some average shooting and puck ratings to go with some crippling skating, but look at that hockey IQ! OMGA! Brian Noonan: 7 weight, 3/3 skating, 4/3 shot, 4 sth & 3 pass, 3/3 aware, Shoots: R Might be worth a look at left wing because of his slapper and non fatness. Also, he isn’t Troy Murray, who by the way has a higher D. aware than O. aware, just in case you cared. JR is really good. In the time it took you to read that sentence, JR just cross checked Pavel Bure into the glass and turned Kirk McLean inside out with some sort of disgusting one-timer, slap deke, floating pass-shot deal. The rest of the forwards are pretty solid for the most part, but they aren’t JR. Forwards: 9.5 (Roenick’s a 13, the rest are a 6) Defense: Chris Chelios is the obvious #1 option, after that though the Hawks are presented with the most classic dilemma in ’94. Take the skilled fatso (Steve Smith) or the human fire hydrant that hits like a Mack truck (Cam Russell). Either way, the Hawks are still going to have a very legitimate defense to help slow down forwards so Roenick can clean up the trash. Chelios-Smith Chris Chelios: 7 weight, 4/4 skating, 5/1 shot, 5 sth & 4 pass, 4/6 aware, Shoots: R When guys are as skilled as Chelios, it doesn’t really matter what side of the ice they play on, so I tend to lean towards playing him on his off side so he can unleash his booming slapper with greater ease. Chelios could very well be the #3 defenseman in the entire league settling in nicely behind Don Sweeney and Petr Svoboda. He is a very swift skater who is able to lead a charge from the back end by weaving through the defense and then releasing a soft pass to an open forward or beating the goalie on his own. Sure, we can nitpick and say Chelios isn’t a bone crushing d-man, but he does his job very effectively, and he is a great find on any blue line. Steve Smith: 11 weight, 4/4 skating, 4/1 shot, 4 sth & 4 pass, 3/ 4 aware, Shoots: L Smith is quite the unique package; he is quite the behemoth out there and is always a target of an onrushing forward. But his skating ability does allow him some ability to get out of some rough situations, but it’s best not to get too brave with him. Because of his weight it is best to use Smith as a steadying force on the backline by pushing attackers to the outside and using the poke check or the occasional C check along the boards. Despite our best efforts though, Smith isn’t always liable to cooperate. He does his fair share of wandering into the offensive zone when the puck is being rushed against his own net which can make him a frustrating player to put out there. But when the puck is on his stick, Smith is very capable of sparking the attack, which makes him so enticing. Chelios is the obvious anchor here; he can really provide Chicago with a different angle of attack and still be a very solid defensive performer. If Smith can stay home, then Chelios gets a longer leash which makes the Hawks a very dangerous team. Chelios-Russell Cam Russell: 5 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 3 sth & 2 pass, 1/3 aware, Shoots: L Russell has a very marginal skill set with passable skating, but what makes him a player is his light weight and checking ability. His checking ability in the right matchup has the ability to change the course of a game or a series. Aside from that though, there isn’t a whole lot to say about Russell, he isn’t a weapon on offense and he isn’t going to make too many pretty plays. Ideally, when he gets the puck, he gets rid of it quickly to the nearest player to help limit his turnovers. This can be a pretty intimidating duo to go up against, as the opponent now has to worry about running into Russell from the front and Roenick in the back. Trading the extra puck mover for an extra checker is one I tend to lean towards with the way Chicago is built. Other options: Brian Marchment: 8 weight, 3/3 skating, 2/1 shot, 2 sth & 1 pass, 2/4 aware, Shoots: L If Marchment is anything more than the 4th defender on a GDL team, then something is wrong. All Marchment is a middleweight with average skating and below average puck skills, use with caution. Defense: 8/10 Goalie Zone: Just like at forward and defense, the Hawks have a top option available to them in net with Ed Belfour. While more and more users are leaning towards taking Patrick Roy first in the GDL draft, Belfour is still a very solid goalie who can steal games. Ed Belfour: 6 Weight, 6/4 skating, 6/6 aware, 5 puck control, 6/6/5/5 save, Catches: L Belfour is a pretty sweet blend of mobility and sturdiness in net due to his ability to withstand the ram tactic. His stick side has the perfect ratings and his glove isn’t too shabby either. His overall is slightly inflated though due to perfect awareness ratings. Goalie: 9/5/10 Bottom Line: JR makes Chicago dangerous in anyone’s hands; because of this whoever has Chicago in classic is almost always a legitimate contender because if JR goes off and Belfour plays up to his ability, then Chicago is a tough out. But, if JR is contained, Chicago could get into some battles that it doesn’t have the depth to win. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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