both solid choices, but i'd go with crawford. if he has a good year, the hawks can do some damage. even if he was at .910 and 2.50 it would be a solid improvement, but he's capable of being better than that.
the D needs to play a lot better too. and leddy can have a big impact if he continues to mature
Who is the guy we will have to keep an eye on? A guy that players better than last year and could turn out to make an impact.
I think I would go with Leddy or Crawford
Several players come to mind. If we’re looking for the players the team needs the most to improve and excel, it would be Crawford and Keith first ... with Leddy not far behind.
However, the player that comes to mind for me is Andrew Shaw. The fact that he has hit the weight room to add the muscle he needs, is further indication that he is hungry and determined. Carcillo would be my 2nd choice. He looked pretty good alongside Kane early last season and his versatility is an asset. I still hold hope for Jayes as a garbageman type and hope Q gives him a fair shake to make this team.
Stalberg, contract year, hasn't made much money. I think he's got a good chance at getting 25 goals.
Agreed, Stalberg is a guy who could have a breakout year. I don't think its crazy to think he could have a 25/50 year next year.
Also I want to watch Andrew Shaw. He was great but it was in limited games. He was on pace for a 50+ point season last year. If he and Stalberg can both give you 50 points, the Hawks are going to be in for a big year.
There are so many players we EXPECT better performance from...MAYBE they do not all have better years but considering we still got 101 pts last year with so many disappointments -IF several--not all of these --have significantly better years -then we should easily get alot morre points and be better in the playoffs;
LEDDY --- improvement would be greater points (say from 37 last year to 47 this year) and better +/- (say from -12 to EVEN) --maybe that gets us 3-4 more wins if he does both those improvements..
KEITH -he rebounded somewhat last year to +15 but this is a far cry from the +30's of the 07/08 and 08/09 seasons when he was so good defensively....IF he can improve another +16 (he was -1 the year before) to get to +31 -that should get us another 5 more wins...
SO if these 2 d-men can get us a total ES improvement of +28 combined over last year--that would be HUGE even if Seabrook ,Hammer and Oduya only stay the same...
BROOKBANK was +11 last year for ANAHEIM-- just repeating that is so much better than O'Donnel Lepisto and Scott gave us..
CRAWFORD ---even a return to good enough mediocrity (.910-.915 save %) helps us win more games...if he could raise his game to elite level (.920 or better) we'd have a lock on th Cup..
KANE--- even getting back to "just" a PPG guy (from 66 to 82 pts ) will help us win 5 more games but if he could jack it up 10 or more above that --again that helps us win another 3 games... He has a lot to prove this year...
SAAD -assuning we do not sign Doan--SAAD will get his big chance in the top six.. 25-30 goals 55-60 pts and +13 would be great --IF he is fully ready to impact...
(those would be the projected totals for 82GP ---adjust down if season start is delayed by lockout)..
Crawford's going to be the player I've got my eye on the most. We've seen him give us a solid season of work and a season of meh work, so let's see which one is the real him. If he's bad, we're in for a world of hurt this time around. If he returns to more like he was in 2010-11, then I think that a lot of the issues that the team does have will be partially covered up and give us a leg up enough to potentially even win the Central (though I'd still rank St. Louis as the favorites right now).
And, of course, hopefully our core all plays to their near limits as deserving of their paychecks.
The season hinges on our goalies. I'll be watching them the closest.
That said, I would love to see Kruger leap forward in his development, if only to watch what happens around here.
Saad and Leddy are other obvious answers, but I would really like to see Ben Smith come up and stick this year. He's a good plug-in player almost anywhere in the lineup, and he's a fantastic person off the ice. It'd be great to see him succeed with the big club.
Lastly, I want to see if Joe Lavin gets called up, or if they're putting him on the fast track for Rockford's #1 defenseman who can never quite crack the Hawks roster, like Connelly and Stanton before him.