Welcome to week five of Blackhawk Up’s 2013-14 Three Stars of the Week. As the title says, we will count down the top three performers in the Chicago Blackhawks’ lineup over the past seven days, as well as give some honorable mentions. These players don’t have to be the guys with the most points, or ice time, but the players that really stepped up their game, and made a positive impact.
The Blackhawks bounced back from a so-so week #4, to take 7 of a possible 8 points. The ‘Hawks took high-scoring wins in Minnesota, Ottawa, and Winnipeg, before falling in overtime to the Calgary Flames in a shocking outcome. The Blackhawks’ offense came alive during the last 7 days, with 18 goals in the last 4 games.
Third Star: Niklas Hjalmarsson
Niklas Hjalmarsson stepped up in a big way in the last four games, easily earning his first appearance on the Three Stars. Hjalmarsson paired his solid defense with a little offensive touch, scoring once and adding an assist for a two-point week. Where Hjalmarsson was really effective in his own zone, making the right choices on checking when he was without the puck, and making quick passes out of the defensive zone. His hustle was evident many times in the last seven days, when he would instantly become part of the offense, wasting no time getting into the attacking zone. The stats did nothing but prove this point, as Hjalmarsson was +3. His chemistry with Johnny Oduya was great as always, and the two were the start of many great rushes. Although Hjalmarsson only played in excess of 22 minutes once, he made those shifts count, earning this week’s Third Star.