The Chicago Blackhawks are playing like the Chicago Blackhawks should.
With a so-so start to the new year behind them, the ‘Hawks went 2-0-1 in Week 16, dropping an overtime decision to the Colorado Avalanche before picking up wins against the NHL-best Anaheim Ducks and last year’s Finals opponent, the Boston Bruins.
Third Star: Niklas Hjalmarsson
Niklas Hjalmarsson was on the good end of a refined team game in the past week, and ended up with one of his best offensive totals this season. Hjalmarsson put up two assists in the Blackhawks’ win over Anaheim, and added one more against the Bruins, finishing with three points in the week. Hjalmarsson showed up big in key games, playing over 25 minutes against Boston, in a shutdown role against the B’s powerful offense. Hjalmarsson’s two-way play has been underrated with the likes of Duncan Keith‘s game, but he is essential to the ‘Hawks success each night.