May 9, 2014; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Michal Handzus (26) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Minnesota Wild in game four of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Blackhawks are up 1-0 and are heading to Game #2 of the Western Conference Finals and they have basically been led by their leaders in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. Except for the first two games in St. Louis when it was nothing but defenseman scoring, the scoring has been led by Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Both Kane and Toews have 6 goals which matches the team lead with playoff stud Bryan Bickell who has 6 as well. So which three Hawks are ready for an offensive breakout.
3. Kris Versteeg– Sure some don’t think he should even be on the ice, but let’s be honest for some reason Joel Quenneville trusts him and at least back in the day he was known for scoring some big goals. Versteeg has looked better but still frustrates with his turnovers, dumping the puck everytime or trying to hard to be Kane. Versteeg seems to have more pep in his step so look for a possible breakout by #23 which most fans have been looking for since his trade back to the Blackhawks from the Florida Panthers.
2. Ben Smith– Smith isn’t an offensive juggernaut but his numbers have dipped during the playoffs even though the effort is there as alwasys on every shift. The best thing that happened for Smith was getting reunited with Marcus Kruger and Brandon Bollig. These three have a knack for getting the puck in opponent’s zone and eating up time and their energy. Smith when with his normal linemates seems to always be setting up shop behind the goal line and good things happen so look for more good things happening for Smith starting tonight.
1. Patrick Sharp– Sharp is the one guy that everyone that cheers for the Blackhawks is waiting for a breakout. Sharp is a super streaky scorer who only needs to see one go in and the floodgates could open up. It’s not like Sharp hasn’t been shooting the puck he has 41 shots on goal which is second only to Marian Hossa who could be on this list but he leads the team in points. If Sharp keeps shooting one will go in then another then another.
Who do you think is ready for an offensive breakout?
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