4. Bottom two lines are looking strong. Depth is definitely important when it comes to winning championships, and the Chicago Blackhawks appear to be headed in the right direction here.
It was the fourth line that got the game-winning goal against the Canadiens last Thursday night (Ryan Garbutt with the goal and Panik with an assist). Panik also provided the first goal last night.
This fourth line (also consisting of Dennis Rasmussen, all played over 9 minutes last night, and averaged about 8 minutes of time against Toronto on Friday. In Montreal last Thursday, they all were above the 10 minute mark. More time on the ice gives the top lines a bit of a breather so they can come out stronger when they are on the ice.
Meanwhile, the third line of Andrew Desjardins, Phillip Danault, and Teuvo Teravainen has been averaging about 15 minutes of ice time in the past 3 games. They have been quiet on the scoring front (TT had an assist on an empty netter), but they have been a threat and can be trusted by Coach Q to play a solid game.
3. First line is working. Andrew Shaw was put on the top line 11 games ago (coinciding with the Hawks win streak). Jonathan Toews has 8 goals and 6 assists in this time span. Meanwhile, Marian Hossa has tallied 3 goals and 5 assists, and Shaw himself has 2 goals and 6 assists.
Shaw certainly doesn’t want to give up his spot on the first line, and he is keeping it simple and making it work. His job is to provide a net front presence and to get to the dirty areas. So far, so good.