Welcome to the inaugural edition of 3 Stars of the Week, where as the name suggests, we count down and analyze the play of the Hawks’ biggest difference makers in the last 7 days.
#3: Jonathan Toews
Jan. 20, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks centerJonathan Toews
(19) looks on during the first period against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathan Toews, so far, has delivered solid two-way play, and good leadership in the 5 games that have been played in the last 7 days. With 5 points, (3G, 2A) that ranks him 4th on the squad. He has gotten into the hair of the opposite defense, forcing plays, and keeping them on the ice and tiring them out. His vision is good as ever, and he exhibits good positional play on the rush, driving to the net of waiting up if the opportunity isn’t there. He is a force to be reckoned with (once again)This is the kind of play the Blackhawks and their fans need to expect from the Captain, and he should be ready to deliver for the rest of the season.
#2: Marian Hossa
Jan 24, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wingMarian Hossa
(81) warms up before the game against the Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
We knew he would be good, but not this good. High hopes for Hossa developed after he was cleared to return, and he was one of the biggest questions heading into the season, behind the Hawks’goaltending. Big Hoss has blown everyone away, this has the potential to be his best season ever. He has demonstrated impressive offensive power, being in the right place in the right time, and making those shots that aren’t too easy, and is still clutch at 34 years of age. In the first 5 games, he amassed 5G and 2A, on the way to his 2nd best start ever (2007, where he has a 100 point season.) If Marian can stay healthy, he will be one of the league’s marquee players this season.
#1: Patrick Kane
Jan 24, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) and right wingPatrick Kane
(88) celebrate Hossa game winning goal against the Dallas Stars during the overtime period at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Stars 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick Kane has been lights out good this far into the season for the Chicago Blackhawks. He has made the rest of the league and it’s fans look and watch, and then hate him even more then they did before. As long as being the envy of the league isn’t a problem for Kaner, there should be no problem for him to continue making a fool out of his opponent’s defense. This year he has already used his buttery hands to slip past defenders and deliver sweet back-door passes, his speed to force turnovers in the defensive zone that lead to 3-on-0’s, and his wicked shot to blast pucks past goaltenders. In the opening 5 matches, he has put up 2 goals, and 7 assists. His 9 points are 1st on the ‘Hawks and 3rd around the NHL. If this level of play continues he can elevate the Blackhawks post-season chances.
Who were your three stars of the week for the Blackhawks? For more Hawks conversation join us on Facebook (Blackhawk Up) or follow us on Twitter @Blackhawk_UP.