The Chicago Blackhawks only had two games in Week 6 of the NHL schedule, and they were polar opposites. The effort seemingly disappeared in a game against the Detroit Red Wings, as the ‘Hawks fell 4-1, but as they took to the ice against the Dallas Stars, an offensive explosion was soon to take place. Chicago finished their week with a 6-2 thumping of their division rival. Through the ups and downs of the past week, these three players shone, and earned a spot in the Three Stars of The Week.
#3: Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nov 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) tries to block a shot during the second period against the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Niklas Hjalmarsson did Niklas Hjalmarsson things in week 6, and his steady play in the Blackhawks’ end of the ice earned him a spot in the three stars. Hjalmarsson was a +3 in the Blackhawks’ win over the Stars, thanks to great poise in the defensive zone to get the Blackhawks’ forwards the puck in the other end of the ice. Blackhawks fans don’t expect Hjalmarsson to be an offensive presence on the blue-line, but when he chips in, he’s likely to be one of the best players on the ice. With a solid start to the season for Hjalmarsson, it’s safe to say he’s earning his new 5-year contract that begun this year.
#2: Brad Richards
Nov 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks Vice President and General Manager Stan Bowman (left) presents a silver stick to center Brad Richards (center) commemorating his 1,000th game with Richards
Appearing in the Three Stars for the third consecutive week, Brad Richards celebrated a milestone in a big way on Sunday night, and continues to be one of the ‘Hawks biggest offensive contributors, now 1000 games into his NHL career. Richards chipped in 2 assists on his big night, shooting his offensive totals to 11 points In 18 games. In his last five games, he has five points, and hasn’t had a negative plus/minus rating in that time.
Even with so much behind him, at this rate, it seems the best is yet to come for this 35-year old.
#1: Patrick Kane
Nov 16, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the third period against the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Chicago won 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks have been waiting for Patrick Kane to break out offensively, and that time seems to be underway. With another outburst against the stars, who Kane has been lights-out against in the past, his three-point night, along with the Blackhawks’ only goal in their loss to the Red Wings, brought his year’s totals to 14 points in 18 games. After a slower-than-usual start, this is the Patrick Kane that Blackhawks fans can get used to. The best part is; Kane is only the tip of the Blackhawks’ offensive iceberg. Not bad for a 26th birthday present!