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Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Takeaways From The Weekend Games

By Gail Kauchak
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Dec 11, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates with the bench after scoring a goal during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

4.  Hey, we have a Power play!  In the game against the Jets on Friday, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane both scored on the power play.  On Sunday versus the Canucks, it was Duncan Keith that tallied a power play goal.  I’m not going to say I told you so, but I predicted earlier in the season that the Hawks power play was going to be strong this year.  They just have too much fire power to be contained on the man advantage.

An area that used to be a sore spot with the Chicago Blackhawks has now become a source of strength.   They are currently fifth in the league on the power play, having converted 22.8% of the time.  Patrick Kane said, “There’s definitely a focus on it this year.  We want to make sure we’re doing the right things on the power play to try and create chances and score goals, and not lose the momentum”.

3.  Third line plays big!  Bryan Bickell, Dennis Rasmussen, and Andrew Shaw currently compose the third line for the Chicago Blackhawks.  They appear to have found their groove in the last couple of games.  They were a threat on Friday night, especially in the third where they generated some chances.  But it was on Sunday night that they really broke out.

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In the third period, a great pass by Shaw caught up with Bickell and Rasmussen crashing the net.  Both players touched the puck, but it was Rasmussen that was the one to tap it in and make sure the goal counted.   Later in the period, Shaw scored an empty net goal.

At the very end of the game, fourth liner Brandon Mashinter scored his first goal of the season.  Rasmussen was on the ice at the time, and contributed with the secondary assist. That gives Rasmussen his first multi-point game in the NHL.  He’s played in four games so far, scoring in his very first game, and now with another goal and helper last night.  Not bad.

It’s this kind of secondary scoring that takes the burden off the top two lines, and helps the Chicago Blackhawks win games.