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Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Takeaways From This Weekend’s Games

By Gail Kauchak
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Mar 29, 2015; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets goalie

Ondrej Pavelec

(31) is scored on by Chicago Blackhawks forward

Andrew Shaw

(65) during the first period at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

3.  Let’s hear it for Shawzy! Andrew Shaw was doing what he does best on Friday night, agitating.  He had good net front presence all night, and even got in a bit of a scuffle in the second period.  The long and the short of it was that he was playing hard and with effort.

He took up right where he left off against the Jets.  It was Shawzy who drew a penalty against Dustin Byfuglien at the end of the first period.  One the ensuing power play, Brandon Saad took a shot, and Shaw was there to clean up the rebound.  1-0 good guys!

Shaw even went so far as to call over to Byfuglien and thank him after he scored.  That’s right, Shawzy, you just keep on agitating, and keep parking your annoying self in front of the net!

2.  Clean it up on special teams. This is killing the Blackhawks right now.  Let’s take a look at Friday’s game against Columbus.  They went 0-for-5 on the power play, and gave up a short- handed goal.  At least the penalty kill held, although they only had to kill one penalty.

Fast forward to last night against Winnipeg.  The Hawks gave up 2 power play goals and another short-handed goal.  They did kill two more Winnipeg PP chances, and these were both in the third period.  They also scored on 1 of their 3 power play chances.  Things are trending upward, right?

I know the Hawks are taking chances right now in an effort to get the power play going.  But these short-handed goals are unacceptable!  I’d rather see strong power plays with nothing to show for it than another shorty (remind me of that when the Hawks don’t convert on the power play for the next couple of games).

1.  The Offense will come. I know it will, I just know it will!  The Hawks have too many star players for them to remain stagnant for much longer!  Case in point, Jonathan Toews has been pretty quiet lately, but he’s scored twice in these last 2 games.

Marian Hossa is another one that just can’t seem to light the lamp lately.  But he’s had some real good quality chances recently.  It’s gotta pay off soon.

Antoine Vermette has only had 3 assists since becoming a Blackhawk.   I think it’s safe to say that everyone, including Vermette himself, expected more than this.   He notched his third assist last night, which is a step in the right direction.  His desire to contribute more to the team could be great motivation for him going forward.

Then there’s Teuvo Teravainen.  He keeps plugging away and looking good, with nothing to show for it.  I wish Coach Q would let him stay on the second line and be done with it!  But regardless, he’s due for something real soon.

And don’t forget about Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.  With the playoffs nearing, they will be paired together more and more.  Give them some time to gel, and they can both huge weapons on the back end.

Just in case you’re not glued to the standings, I’m here to tell you that the Chicago Blackhawks are rightfully back in third place in the Central Division, with 96 points.  The Minnesota Wild have 95 points, but they’ve also played one more game.  The St. Louis Blues are in second place with 99 points, and the Nashville Predators are still in first place with 102 points.

Oh, and by the way, there’s another HUGE game against the LA Kings tonight at 7:30 pm.  Get the Tums ready!

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