Jan 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) during the first period against the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The All-Star break is about to end and the Chicago Blackhawks are about to begin their 2nd biggest annual road trip of the year and the question is who is going to carry the team, who will have a great 2nd half, who will slump, and who is poised to excel after the All-Star break. I of course could pick anybody on the team but I chose these three for 3 specific reasons.
3. Andrew Shaw- Shaw is suffering from the one of the worst starts to the season in his young career. He’s taken dumb penalties and basically been kept off the scoresheet for long periods of time during the 1st half of the Chicago Blackhawks season. Shaw’s benching did provide a wake up call and he came out flying in the Phoenix Coyotes game with 2 goals.
I’m not saying Shaw is going to score 20 in the 2nd half, but look for a re-focused Shaw after the All-Star Break to make a big run at his second straight 20 goal season. Shaw is an annoyance that Quenneville likes so it had to be a real eye opener to get benched and maybe just the perfect punishment for a big 2nd half of the season.
2. Teuvo Teravainen- Yes I know he didn’t see the ice for very long in the third period at Pittsburgh, but Teuvo has had his growing pains, but it is apparent that he is very skillful with the puck and a fantastic passer. I look for Teuvo to play and look entirely way more comfortable than he was in his first few games of the year and really settle in for the 2nd half of the season.
1. Patrick Kane- Yes you can go ahead and say that I really reached for my #1 selection but let me argue my point. Kane is on pace to crush all of his single season high water marks and he has to be on the short list of Hart Trophy Hopefuls. Kane has been very hot since the circus trip and will look to continue to keep his scoring momentum going no matter what.
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The last time Kane set career high marks was 2009-2010 which was the only 82 game season in the past 50 years that the Blackhawks have hoisted the Stanley Cup after the season, so I’m all for Kane breaking those records.
What do you think? Who’s your top 3 picks to excel?
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