After stumbling with two straight regulation losses to end the Blackhawks incredible run, the team has bounced back, with 3 straight wins. Nothing has changed, as the team is back to their old form, and they seem rejuvinated after the 3-day break following last Sunday’s game against the Oilers. They bounced back and played a solid 65 minutes in Columbus, flexed their offensive muscles in Dallas, and showed dominating two-way play in Colorado. Here are the Hawks’ Three Stars for the week.
#3: Brent Seabrook
Brent Seabrook is always a solid contributor for the Chicago Blackhawks. He wears an ‘A,’ and his leadership and defensive play have always been on-point. He is a guy that the team needs to play his best every game, and he has done so for the better part of 3 years now. What he has done different this week is add great offensive production along with his airtight defense. When he is on the blue-line in the offensive zone, he is always a pass option for the Hawks forwards. He can sneak in down low, and find open ice when the rest of the play is on the other side of the rink. Brent is starting to shine in the spotlight a little more, with great assists, huge hits, and even a fight (both of which were on Dallas Stars winger Antoine Roussel) He has a cannon of a shot, which he is utilizing more this year than ever, and it shows, as he has 3 points in the last 2 games, 2 of which came Monday night, in a game where he only played 14 minutes, a season low. Thanks to the other pairings on defense, we don’t have to rely on Seabrook and Keith to get it done defensively, but it is great to see a veteran player stepping up and really contributing, and that is why he earns this week’s Third Star.
#2: Jonathan Toews.
Jonathan Toews is still sitting in the shadow of the Hawks #88, but he is contributing more and more every day. He capped off an impressive week with an unnasissted beauty on the penalty kill, and that brought his totals to 7 points (4G, 3A) in 3 games. His defensive play is also earning Selke Trophy chatter, and with the way he is playing now it would be well-deserved. He is impressive at all places on the ice, with offensive zone takeaways, great backchecking, and unreal speed through the neutral zone. His leadership has been exceptionally good lately, as the team has recovered from their two-straight losses and went 3-1 after that. He was an integral part of the Blackhawks’ performance against the Stars, where they dominated offensively. Toews’ special team play has also greatly improved from last year, as he is winning defensive zone faceoffs on the PK, or setting up well in the offensive zone on the powerplay. Toews is playing like a captain of a 24-3-3 team should be. He would be an easy #1 on any other team in the league, but Jonathan Toews isn’t the only superstar on the team…
#1: Patrick Kane
…That other superstar is Patrick Kane. As impressive as the Captain’s play is, Kane’s is just as good, if not better. Be on the lookout for a 3 Stars of The Week mention from the NHL, because Kaner has been on fire. Since the last Blackhawk Up 3 Stars were handed out, (4 games) he has gathered 8 points, 6 of which are assists. This shows that Kane can dish the puck just as well as he can shoot it, (which is really good if you’ve never noticed.) He topped off his week with an amazing, Highlight Of The Night (on TSN) spinneramma backhand shot that went top cheese on Richard Bachman from the Dallas Stars. That shot should no doubt be a play of the year, but it might not thanks to the umpteen other great dangles, snipes, and passes he has made this year. One thing he has done since the start of the year is play good fundamental hockey in the offensive zone. He looks for a play, and if there is no pass, he does not force one, then he dangles through a defender or three and finally sends the puck to an open teammate. No defense has been able to completely shut this kid down. He is on a 5-game point streak, (11) and he is now fifth in league scoring. Well earned, St. Patrick, well earned.
Duncan Keith: Brent Seabrook would not get a star if it wasn’t for the help of the other man in his pairing, a Norris Candidate even. Great play in both ends of the ice.
Nick Leddy: Capped off a solid week on Wednesday with a goal on his 22nd birthday.
The Blackhawks return home for 4 days of rest before they challenge the L.A. Kings in the final meeting between these two this season. You can catch the game at 7PM CT on CSN.
Let’s Go Hawks!!
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