Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Takeaways From Last Week’s Games

By Gail Kauchak
Feb 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88), celebrates with defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4), defenseman Erik Gustafsson (52), and center Artem Anisimov (15) after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 6, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88), celebrates with defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4), defenseman Erik Gustafsson (52), and center Artem Anisimov (15) after scoring a goal against the Dallas Stars during the second period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Chicago Blackhawks took to the road to start the final stretch of the regular season.   They competed in three games this past week after the All-Star Break.  They have continued their winning ways, coming up victorious against the Colorado Avalanche, the Arizona Coyotes, and the Dallas Stars!  The Hawks have started the month of February outscoring their opponents 12-6.

If you ask me, these tilts have become progressively better as they have gone along.  Against Colorado, the game was a bit of a snoozer, but a 2-1 win nonetheless.  The contest against Arizona was an exciting back and forth affair, with the Hawks coming out ahead in overtime by a score of 5-4.  Even so, giving up 4 goals is never ideal.  But the Dallas game was a statement.  The Hawks scored 5 goals and only gave up 1!  And this was against the Dallas Stars, a team that is known for their high power offense, and are currently in second place in the Central Division.  The Hawks are on a roll, and the sky is the limit right now!  Let’s take a look at our 5 takeaways from last week’s games.

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5.  Defensive Deeds.  Don’t look now, but the underdogs all actually making some contributions on defense.  Everyone is concerned that the Hawks don’t have to depth they may need on defense, but in these last three games that hasn’t been an issue.

In Colorado, Viktor Svedberg filled in for an ailing Michal Rozsival, and he earned himself an assist.  He helped to start the scoring with a shot on goal that found its way to Andrew Shaw, who in turn got it to Richard Panik for the goal.

In Arizona, Rozsival himself scored a goal.  He read the play beautifully and got to the front of the net so Artem Anisimov could feed him for the score.  It was a classic veteran move by Rozy; I’m not sure a new guy in the league would have the presence of mind to do that.

Then in Dallas, another third pairing defenseman got on the board!  Trevor van Riemsdyk put himself in position to knock in a rebound off a shot by Artemi Panarin.

Pair this with a power play goal by Brent Seabrook on Saturday, the consistency of Duncan Keith, the strong defensive play by Niklas Hjalmarsson, and the surprisingly good effort by the newcomer in Erik Gustafsson.  I’d say the defense looks pretty darn good right now.

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