Chicago Blackhawks: Handzus Needs A Day Off

By Keith Schultz

Jun 17, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus (26) chases for the puck between Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37)and defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) during the second period in game three of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The last time I stated the Hawks should sit Michal Handzus he went on to score a huge Game #6 goal against the Detroit Red Wings.  Handzus has been more than effective for most of the playoffs having scored 2 goals and 8 assists.

Handzus was brought in to solve the Hawks faceoff problems and during the playoffs he’s been Ok.  He’s taken 289 faceoffs 134-155 for a 42% win rate.  Since the double overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings in Game #5 Handzus has looked slow and looks like he’s a 36 year old NHL veteran.  The triple OT in Game #1 surely didn’t help freshen his legs and the proof is in the stats with a huge 0 wins at faceoffs last night in 10 faceoffs.

Handzus needs a day off more like weeks off. Handzus is skating like he’s got absolutely nothing left in the tank.  The problem with putting Handzus in the skybox is who replaces him especially with Marian Hossa possibly not playing.

I have two suggestions on both sides of the spectrum.

1. Jamal Mayers- Mayers shot his way into the news when he was fined for shooting on Jimmy Howard.  Mayers has been a player coach for the playoffs and now he could come in to save the day.  Mayers is tough hard-nosed and has to have fresh legs for a Game #4 win.

2. Activate Brandon Pirri- Pirri played great all season in Rockford and made a big impression in his one appearance in the regular season against the St. Louis Blues. Both suggestions are borderline desperate but either one would be better than watching Handzus running out of gas getting beat repeatedly at the faceoff dot among other things.

What do you think? Should Handzus sit for Game #4

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