For the first time this year, the week’s 3 Stars will be chosen from games where the team came out with no points! The run was unreal, and something I might not even see in my lifetime again. Out of the 3 games, there were lots of bad things that the ‘Hawks will need to work on, but there were some bright spots as well. Here are the top 3:
#3: Dave Bolland
“The Rat” makes his first Three Star appearance of the year, thanks to a 2-point game last night, as well as some solid two-way play, despite the Blackhawks losing 2 out of 3 games this week. Bolland has been playing better hockey as of late, especially in the last 2 games, where he really stepped up and was noticed due to the absence of Patrick Sharp. Bolland has been more aggresive on the puck, and it is starting to pay off, as the Blackhawks get set up in the zone and there are lots of opportunities for a goal. If Bolland goes back to the player he was in the 2010 playoffs, (particuarily the San Jose series) he can be yet another reason why the ‘Hawks are cup contenders. Blackhawks fans hope that there is more to come from Bolland, as Sharp is expected to miss quite some time due to injury.
#2: Patrick Kane
The Blackhawks’ top gun has done it again. Despite going 1-2, Kane still delivered, with goals, assists, and smart plays. He was a key part in the Blackhawks’ near-comeback on Sunday, scoring 2 goals and adding an assist for a 3-point night. Against Colorado on Friday, he went -2, but his effort was still remarkable. When his line didn’t make a safe play, (could be due to the transition of Bryan Bickell) he was always giving it 100% on the backcheck. Kane needs to join the Blackhawks in an offensive display of power on Thursday, and he looks ready to do it judging by his performance last night.
#1: Jonathan Toews
Jonathan Toews continues to show us why he is among the league’s best players. He always sticks to the fundamentals, even when others don’t; stops and starts, not losing the puck in between the blue lines, patience in the offensive zone, (especially on the power play) and so on. When you stick to this game plan, you will win games. Unfortunately, the team as a whole could not do this, but some individuals could, and Tazer was one of them. He is marvelous on the rush; if you notice, when he has the primary assist, it is usually a defenceman with the secondary if there is one. This shows you that he not only has good vision, but speed, hands, and puck control. Another reason Toews gets the #2 spot is because of his leadership. We all know that he is the best captain in the league, because he is able to get the team going in the right direction. After a brutal first period last night, the Hawks calmed down, and almost clawed their way back into the game. I’m sure Toews was on his teammates during that intermission, and they came out a different club in the second. In three games, Toews had 3 points and was a +1 despite the losses.
Bryan Bickell: Another solid week, great to see his play continue.
Brent Seabrook: Really stepping his offensive game up, tighten the screws defensively and he could be a MVP in the coming weeks.
The Blackhawks enjoy a 3-day break, before they head to Columbus on Thursday night. Puck drop is at 6 PM Central time.
Here’s to a solid second half! LETS GO HAWKS!!