Welcome to Week Eleven 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, and analyze their contribution to the team. 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 took a 3-1 record home from Week 11, winning soundly against Philadelphia and Dallas, before falling 7-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Blackhawks got back on the winning trail the next night, shutting down the Los Angeles Kings for a 3-1 victory.
Third Star: Niklas Hjalmarsson
Niklas Hjalmarsson didn’t lead the Blackhawks’ defencemen in points this week (that title goes to Duncan Keith), but he coupled his offensive production with shut-out play in his own end all week long. Hjalmarsson recorded an assist in two games this week, bringing his point total to 15, already eclipsing last year’s mark of 10, in 1o fewer games. Hjalmarsson was a big part of Chicago’s 7-2 win over Philadelphia, letting his defensive side do the talking, and was rewarded with a +3 rating on the night. Hjalmarsson also played great under pressure, and was a big part of the Chicago defense in their win over L.A., playing 21:04.