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Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Takeaways From This Weekend

By Gail Kauchak
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Dec 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks celebrate a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the end of their NHL game at United Center. Blackhawks won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

2.  New look on second line, same results. Let’s move on to Sunday night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Brad Richards was pronounced out for the game with an upper body injury.  This gave Patrick Sharp a chance to move up to the second line at left wing, with Kris Versteeg moving to center, and Patrick Kane staying on right wing.

It took no time at all for this line to show their stuff.  Sharp recorded 3 helpers, and was also able to provide the screen for the goal by David Rundblad.  Kris Versteeg scored a goal on a great play where he had to kick the puck with his stick to get it under control. He was then able to shoot it past goalie James Reimer’s left shoulder for the score.  Patrick Kane came away with a goal and 2 assists on the night.

1.  A win for Clint Reif. It is very, very sad news to hear that assistant equipment manager Clint Reif died in his home early Sunday morning.  The Chicago Blackhawks organization and broadcasters honored him throughout the night.  And the players were able to pay their own tribute to him by winning a shutout game on this very emotional day.

When Patrick Kane scored in the third period, he pointed a finger and looked upward, just like he did after his grandfather died.   Then Jonathan Toews came up with a huge burst of energy, and his hustle and magic led to the fourth and final goal.

I almost felt sorry for the Toronto Maple Leafs, because the Blackhawks had a special purpose on this night.  Coach Q said in his press conference that the players were able to channel their emotions properly, and it was good to see.  Yes, it was very good to see.

The Chicago Blackhawks have one more game against the Winnipeg Jets this Tuesday before they head into the Christmas break.  Let’s hope they can stay focused enough to come away with 2 points, and head into this break on a positive note.  In the meantime, Merry Christmas everybody!

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