Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Takeaways From The Weekend Games

By Gail Kauchak
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Dec 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger (16) skates past Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

2.  On the kill.  I already talked about the power play above, and now it’s time to praise the other side of special teams play, the penalty kill.  In Friday’s tilt, the penalty kill unit held the Jets to only one shot in five power play attempts.

On Sunday, the Hawks were able to kill off three more power play attempts by the Canucks.  That’s not a small task when you’re up against the Sedin brothers.

As a matter of fact, in the last five games the Hawks have only given up one power play goal in thirteen opportunities by their opponent.  They are currently 10th in the league on the penalty kill.

1. A new look on Defense.  These past two games the top pairings on defense have looked a little different.  Instead of Niklas Hjalmarsson playing alongside Keith, Trevor van Riemsdyk has played there instead.  Hammer has in turn slotted in with Brent Seabrook instead of TVR.  So the two have essentially been swapped, although Hammer played on the right side with Keith, and the left side with Seabs.    Perhaps Coach Q feels Keith can better cover some of TVR’s inefficiencies.  Or perhaps it’s a matter of getting Seabs back on the right side, and Hammer back on the left.

Either way, it appears to be working for now.  We’ll have to see how this plays out moving forward.

The Chicago Blackhawks have a bit of a cushy schedule this week with two home games on Tuesday and Thursday.  They host the Colorado Avalanche and then the Edmonton Oilers.  Both these teams aren’t doing so hot this year, so the Hawks should be able to come away with some more wins.  I say “should” because the Hawks seem to have this annoying habit of playing down to their competition when it comes to lesser opponents.

Here’s hoping they can avoid that trap, and keep up the momentum they have going from this weekend.  Never a dull moment!  Is it Tuesday yet?

Next: Crawford Earns Star Of The Week

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