First Star: Brandon Pirri
Last season, the Chicago Blackhawks’ had a team full of players that could easily contribute on any given night. This season looks to be no different, and to prove that point, Brandon Pirri had his biggest week since being called up after the start of the season. Pirri wasn’t alongside his usual wingers for all three games, as Marian Hossa went down with an injury and missed Sunday night’s game, but he found instant chemistry with Kris Versteeg, assisting on each others goals. Pirri’s four points on the week tied the 22-year old for the team lead in that span, and Pirri did it while averaging substantially more ice time than he has been accustomed to this season. His 17:22 of TOI against Nashville was the highest of his young career, and he was easily the best Blackhawk that night, going +2 with a goal despite the 7-2 outcome. Pirri was a force at both ends of the ice, and won 63.6% of his faceoffs against Phoenix on Thursday, the highest single-game mark of his career. Pirri’s development has been far ahead of schedule so far, and that leaves the Blackhawks with a great situation down the middle, usually not the case. With Michal Handzus still a while away from returning, Pirri looks to continue to make his case to stay with the club, in Week 8.
The Blackhawks clash with new Central Division rival Colorado Avalanche for the first time this season on Tuesday, before heading back to Winnipeg to face the Jets on Thursday. The ‘Hawks close out their week with a road meeting against the Vancouver Canucks, their first match-up of the year also.
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