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Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Takeaways From The First Two 2015 Games

By Gail Kauchak
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Jan 4, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) with the puck during the first period against the Dallas Stars at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

2.  Sharpie! Patrick Sharp had 10 shots on goal in the Washington game, and scored ANOTHER power play goal (his 6th of the season).  He was rewarded for this by being moved up from the third line to the second line for the Dallas game, playing alongside Brad Richards and Patrick Kane.

In the contest against the Stars, Sharp had the team high 6 shots on goal, and came away with a goal and an assist.  His helper was a beauty of a pass to Kaner for the goal.  And of course his goal was the OT game winner, earning him first star of the night.

Sharp now has 8 goals and 12 assists, for 20 points on the season.  He’s had 3 goals and 2 assists in the last 4 games.  I have a feeling he’s just getting started.

1.  Line Blender. It’s understandable that the Hawks had a hard time winning this most recent tilt against the Dallas Stars.  Every time I turned around the lines were different.  In the first period, Marcus Kruger spent some time on the second line with Kane and Sharp.  Richards was therefore on the third line with Shaw and Bicks.  As I mentioned earlier, Teuvo ended up moving from the fourth line to the third line from about the second period on.  At one point I believe he was on the second line with Kane and Sharp.

In the third period, Kruger was back to the fourth line with Smith and Nordstrom.  Then Teuvo was on a shift with Hossa and Sharp.  Oh, now it’s Toews, Kane, Saad on the first line for the end of the game push.  Now Bicks, Shaw, and Kruger (third line).  Wait, now it’s Sharp, Richards, Hossa on the second line.  And a goal by Richards!  What are the lines again?!

While some people might be frustrated with this craziness, I’m afraid it’s all part of the process, especially with Coach Q.  We’re all going to pull our hair out while our favorite mustache man tinkers and tries to get the best match ups, and plays around with where the new man fits in.  We’ll call for him to just stop already and let the boys build chemistry and have some consistency.  And then all of a sudden something will click and it will all make sense.  And then Versteeg will come back and the process will start all over again.  Take heart, it’s all part of being a Blackhawks fan.

The Chicago Blackhawks have a busy schedule coming up, playing 4 games in the next 7 days.  So expect Raanta to play one or two, and the lines to be crazy.  Buckle up everybody, here we go!

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