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Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Takeaways From Last Week’s Games

By Gail Kauchak
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Mar 17, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) reacts after scoring a goal against the New York Islanders during the third period at United Center. The Chicago Blackhawks defeat the New York Islanders 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

2.  Top 2 Lines are Fine. Well, with the exception of Brad Richards scoring the lone goal to win the Ranger game, no one else has been able to score for the last 2 games.  But never fear, the top 2 lines are trending upwards and getting a lot of scoring chances.  During the Islanders game on Tuesday night, Jonathan Toews tallied 2 goals and 2 assists.  Marian Hossa scored 2 goals, and Patrick Sharp contributed with 2 assists.

Although he had nothing to show for it, Hossa had a team high 7 shots on goal on Saturday versus the Stars.  Toews has had 10 points in 9 games since Kane’s injury.  He is also one point away from 500 in his career.  I predict he hits that milestone tonight.

Moving on to the second line, Brandon Saad has had 10 shots on goal in these last three games.  It could be argued that he could be moved up to the first line again to replace Sharp.  Either way, these two are both an offensive weapon on the left wing.

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Teuvo Teravainen keeps plugging away.  But he better generate something soon or he could be in trouble.  Antoine Vermette actually took some shifts on the fourth line on Saturday night.  But I’ll bet this was just Coach Q’s way of lighting a fire under him to play even better.  I would argue to keep this second line intact and let them continue to build their chemistry.

1.  Don’t let your foot off the gas now! Chicago Sun Times beat writer Mark Lazerus mentioned on Twitter that the Blackhawks morning skate in Dallas was the loosest practice he had seen in some time.  He said everyone was relaxed and joking around.  Um…no more of that!  This is no time to let your foot off the gas.

The Hawks had a great opportunity to gain some ground in the standings on Saturday, as St. Louis had lost to the Minnesota Wild earlier in the day.  On Sunday, they dropped another contest in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings (although still gaining a point).

Instead, the Hawks let one slip away to a hungrier team that’s probably out of playoff contention.  Well, to take words out of Marian Hossa’s mouth, we should just put this one in the garbage can.

Let’s remember that the Chicago Blackhawks have gone 6-1-1 in their last 8 games.  The month of March has mostly been good for them.  They take on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at 6 pm.  Joel Quenneville is only one win away from 750 career victories.  Let’s hope the Hawks can help him reach this milestone tonight.  Do it for the mustache!

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