The Blackhawks have a lot of assests the Flames will have to be cognizant of: Khabibulin, Kane, Campbell, Toews, Versteeg, Sharp and the monstrous Dustin Byfuglien.
But the scariest of them all is Martin Havlat.
Prior to this season, Havlat was an injury prone dangler who was dangerous when he was healthy or on the power play. He was always a bit of an after thought and his contract looked like a boat anchor for awhile.
This season, the former Senator joined the ranks of the elite (as seems to happen to players that are cast aside by that organization). Havlat lead the Blackhawks in scoring with 29 goals and 77 points. He was also +29.
Very good, if not spectacular counting stats, right? What makes these results “elite” is the fact that he spent almost the entire year with Andrew Ladd and Dave Bolland shutting down other teams top lines. Havlat played away from the club’s most potent offensive young stars, with relatively lackluster linemates against the best the opposition had to offer – and was a leader in terms of ES scoring, plus/minus and corsi (+15.8/60) anyways. In addition, while his on-ice percentages are good (.912, 10.6, PDO 101.8), they aren’t astronomical, so we can’t dismiss his season as a result of good fortune.
No, Havlat’s the real deal. He’s fast, agile, an excellent puck handler and, apparently, a legitimate Selke trophy nominee. Expect Iginla to see a lot of Havlat during this series, especially since the Blackhawks have home ice advantage. Given Iginla’s so-so season, I’m not so sure it’s a match-up he can win…