Hull: Blackhawks can be Cup contenders

Former Chicago Blackhawks great Bobby Hull said he believes the Blackhawks have what it takes to compete for another Stanley Cup this season.

“I think from what they’ve shown in the beginning they have as good a team as any in the NHL,” Hull said in a phone interview on Friday night. “They’re playing a lot like they did in the 09-10 season [when they won the Stanley Cup.]”

The Blackhawks began the season on a franchise-best six-game winning streak and have lost only twice this season, both in shootouts. They’re currently second in the Western Conference with 14 points in eight games.

Hull thought goaltender Corey Crawford’s play was the key to how far the Blackhawks go this season. Crawford is 5-0-2 with a 1.66 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.

“As long as he keeps playing like he has, the Blackhawks have a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” said Hull, who works for the team as an ambassador.

Crawford isn’t Hull’s favorite player to watch, though. That honors goes to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

“There is one player who I enjoy watching who goes by the name Toews,” Hull said. “I love watching Jonathan. When him, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa are bringing it, they’re tough to stop.”

Hull is happy about the Blackhawks’ start, but he’s also pleased their fans have returned in force to watch them, which he expected.

“I’m not surprised,” Hull said. “I know a lot of people said they were going to boycott this and boycott that during the lockout. But I knew, they knew, everyone knew they’d come rushing back to the sport they love. Hockey fans are great sports fans.”