Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Takeaways From Last Week’s Games

By Gail Kauchak
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Mar 21, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza (90) celebrates his goal as Chicago Blackhawks center Joakim Nordstrom (42) skates off the ice during the third period at the American Airlines Center. The Stars shut out the Blackhawks 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

4.  Nordstrom needs to find his way. Joakim Nordstrom has been back playing on the fourth line since he returned from a 2 game suspension for his illegal hit to Arizona Coyote Oliver Ekman-Larsson. ESPN Chicago’s Scott Powers did a nice write-up about how Nordstrom has learned from his suspension, but is still trying to find a balance for his aggressive, physical style of play.

Nordy also needs to find his way offensively.  He has found his niche on Chicago’s fourth line, and with the help of fellow line-mates Marcus Kruger and Andrew Shaw, he has found himself in a position to contribute offensively many times in recent games.  The only problem is that whenever he has a scoring chance, he never seems to know what to do with himself.  Every time he has the puck, I find myself cringing, and yelling for him to stop hesitating and shot the puck!

If Nordstrom could score or get an assist just once, I think it could go a long way towards helping his confidence.  This line was the best line on the ice during the first period of the Dallas Stars game.  They seem to be right on the verge of breaking out and contributing with some goals.  Again, this is the depth that will be needed for a deep run in the playoffs.

3.  Rozsival or Rundblad? Defenseman Michal Rozsival played for both the Islanders and the Stars games.  David Rundblad took his place for the Rangers contest.  These two have been rotating in and out of the lineup for most of the season.  The question seems to be which one of them is the better option.

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Well the answer is neither, but unfortunately that is not a choice right now.  Coach Q always seems to dance around the question when he is pressed to say that either one of these guys isn’t very good.  He simply doesn’t have any other options.  Trevor van Riemsdyk probably won’t be up to speed for the playoffs, and even if he is, he’s still a rookie and that’s a lot of pressure to put on a young player.

Rozsival is old and slow and has a hard time keeping up with the fast pace of the game, especially with young and fast teams.  Rundblad is young and inexperienced and finds himself out of position or losing battles along the boards much too often.

I’m not sure why Quenneville chose to play Rozy for the Dallas tilt, as they are a very fast team.  He was on the ice simply watching the play unfold for 2 of the Stars 4 goals, and was out of position countless other times where Corey Crawford bailed him out.

There’s not an easy answer to this one.  I would expect to see Rundblad playing against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.  And then we will all be complaining about how he didn’t play well and should be replaced by Rozsival.  And on and on we go.

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