Apr 3, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Jeremy Morin (11) skates with the puck during the second period against the Minnesota Wild at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Winning the trust, of Chicago Blackhawks’ head coach, Joel Quenneville, isn’t an easy thing to do. Who are we to doubt the man with over 700 career wins, and two Stanley Cup Championships, as a coach?
With the absences of both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, due to injuries, Quenneville has been forced to rely on the depth of the Hawks’ organization, to make it to the end of the season, and he may have stumbled upon a blessing in disguise.
A blessing that may have been in front of him, all season long.
The often up and down frequenter of the drive between Rockford and Chicago, Jeremy Morin, finally looks like he can rest easy, in the Windy City.
Let’s take a look at how Morin has played, since his most recent call-up, to the NHL.
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Morin has been an absolute force, since his most recent call-up, and is a huge reason as to why the Hawks have been able to win games, without Kane and Toews.
3 points, in his last 6 games is solid, but not spectacular, but Morin doesn’t need to be spectacular, even though he was, in the Hawks’ most recent victory, over the St. Louis Blues.
In that game, Morin put up an outstanding Corsi For Percentage of 84.2%. For those who aren’t familiar, Corsi For is a measure of positive puck possession versus negative puck possession. 84.2% is ridiculously great.
Not only did he help keep the puck out of the Hawks zone, and off of the Blues’ sticks, he showed off his skill potential, by scoring 2 points, in the game. Morin created a beautiful set-up, for Patrick Sharp’s goal. The goal, that Morin scored was a dirty goal, scored off of a rebound.
Sunday’s game, against the Blues perfectly illustrates what Morin brings to the Hawks. However, it would be foolish to expect a performance like that, game in and game out. What they we can expect, from Morin, is high-energy, chippy/physical play, puck-possession skill, as well as a big shot. Morin’s skill is spread across several areas, and while he isn’t particularly elite in any, his category, his puck possession skill suits the Blackhawks’ style perfectly, and he makes the players around him better.
As long as Morin is on the ice, he is usually driving puck possession, for the Hawks, which is thus propelling the Hawks’ elite offensive unit, even without Toews and Kane. A little bit of everything, is brought to the team, when Morin plays, which is more that can be said, for other players, on the roster.
All due respect, for Brandon Bollig, as the Hawks could do much worse, when it comes to 4th line players, but he doesn’t come close to contributing to the team, like Morin does. Bollig fights, can play physical hockey, occasionally shows off a solid shot, and takes bad penalties, often. Morin does everything Bollig does, but with way more hockey skill and smarts. When playoff time is here, very shortly, there is no logical excuse that can be used to prove why Bollig should be in the lineup, over Morin.
With Kane and Toews out, Coach Q was forced to trust in Morin, and it has payed off, big time. Once Kane and Toews are healthy again, for the playoffs, Morin should slot, on the 2nd or 3rd line, for the Hawks, as he could very well serve as the X-factor, and a huge boost, for the Hawks during the post-season.
With Jeremy Morin playing on a healthy Blackhawks roster, Hawks fans have plenty of reasons to be excited about the playoffs. Much like Coach Q did, Hawks fans should put their trust in Morin, especially on a healthy Hawks roster, and they will be rewarded for doing so.