Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: 5 Takeaways From The Weekend Games

By Gail Kauchak
Mar 18, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) watches the play during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Chicago Blackhawks win 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) watches the play during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Chicago Blackhawks win 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 27, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk (57) checks Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins (20) during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 27, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk (57) checks Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins (20) during the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports /

4.  TVR Time?  We’ve all been wondering why some players get put in the doghouse for minor infractions, while Trevor van Riemsdyk can be out of position and make glaring mistakes, yet still play night in and night out.  I don’t have an answer for this, but it’s pretty obvious that Coach Q has committed to van Riemsdyk, and he is here to stay (albeit on the third defensive pairing) for the playoffs.

For example, on Saturday against the Flames, every time I turned around TVR and Michal Rozsival were out on the ice.  This is your third defensive pairing, so you wouldn’t think this would be the case.  TVR had the third highest time-on-ice on the team, with 20:16 minutes.  Brent Seabrook had 19:16 minutes on the second pairing.  Now, it being Calgary and the end of the year, Q might be giving Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Seabs a bit of a breather before heavy playoff minutes.  But still, all this time for TVR is a bit baffling, especially when the fourth D-man position is still up in the air.

Well, things finally paid off on the scoresheet for TVR on Sunday against the Canucks.  After going all of March with no points, he had 2 primary assists on goals from Tomas Fleischmann and Teuvo Teravainen.  Primary assists, people!  Which means he’s joining the rush.  Keep it coming, buddy.

3.  Kruger update.  This is the first two games that Marcus Kruger has been back, so let’s take a look at how he’s doing, shall we?  In the faceoff circle, Krugs only took 4 draws on Saturday night, winning 2 and losing 2.  On Sunday, he participated in 11 faceoffs, winning 6 and losing 5.  More draws (mostly in the defensive zone) and more wins; this is all good.

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In regards to the penalty kill, the Chicago Blackhawks are perfect on the kill since Kruger is back (there’s been 4 of them).  Now of course that’s not all because of Krugs.  But during the Calgary game, there was a pivotal 5-on-3 where he adeptly cleared the puck and kept the Hawks out of danger.  And last night, the Hawks had to kill a four-minute high-sticking penalty committed by Jonathan Toews.  With Toews being a member of the penalty kill unit, it was nice that the Hawks were able to have Kruger around to help kill that one off.

As Coach Q put it, “Krugs takes a lot of pride in being in that situation (penalty kill).  Nice to see him back; he loves that niche”.

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