Young Blackhawks Ready to Shine

With Baseball Done, Blackhawks Take Center Stage

A funny thing happened on our way to covering an All-Chicago World Series.  Instead of waking up this morning trying to figure out who would be headed where for the NLCS and ALCS, the NBC-5 Sports Team found themselves asking if this the year the Blackhawks return to the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After fighting into the final week a season ago, the Blackhawks will try and return to the post-season for the first time since 2002. And with baseball's premature end in the Windy City, they'll have the spotlight to themselves when they open the season this Friday against the Rangers in New York.

"Everyone's gotten to know each other."  2007 Rookie of the Year Patrick Kane said.  "I don't think we're really worried about the expectations.  It should be fun to get the season underway."

Blackhawks fans will get their first look at the 2008 roster when they open their home schedule Monday against division-rival Nashville.  The Indian Sweater will also get national attention on New Year's Day when the Blackhawks host the hated Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field for this year's NHL Winter Classic on NBC.

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