Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Observations From Five-Point Third Week

By Gail Kauchak
Oct 28, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) makes a save during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 28, 2016; Newark, NJ, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) skates with the puck while being defended by New Jersey Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy (12) during the first period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

‘Hawks vs. Los Angeles Kings: Win, 3-0

We would be remiss to not mention the ceremony before the game to honor Marian Hossa’s 500 career goals.  Well, actually, his youngest daughter stole the show.

Hossa played on the second line with Anisimov and birthday boy Artemi Panarin.  They looked great together, having many strong shifts and combining for a beautiful goal in the second period.

There has been some concern about whether the second line could still be strong if Patrick Kane left and moved up to the first line with Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik.  But after this game, that doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore.

Speaking of Toews, he picked up his first goal of the season in this game, and also contributed with the assist for Hossa’s empty-net goal toward the end of the game.

More from Blackhawk Up

The Chicago Blackhawks went 51 percent on the dot in this one.  They scored two powerplay goals and killed off two powerplay attempts by the Kings.  That’s right: For the first time this season, the ‘Hawks were perfect on the penalty kill!

The ‘Hawks played solidly throughout all three periods, and all four lines contributed in maintaining possession and dominating the game.  Coach Q called this the most complete games they have had all season.  Now they just need to build on this.

Finally, let’s talk about the ongoing theme from all three of these games: Crawford.  Crow made 32 stops Sunday for his 20th career shutout.  According to The Athletic’s Scott Powers, he now has made 159 saves on 163 shots for a .975 save percentage in 5-on-5 play.  He was appropriately named the first star of the game.  Might as well just make that the first star of the season so far.

Next: Who Sits When Desjardins Returns?

Things are looking good for the Chicago Blackhawks.  They have a busy week coming up, with a rematch against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.  Let’s get some revenge on that earlier loss and make it three wins in a row, shall we?

On Thursday, they play the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center before heading to Dallas to take on the Stars on Saturday.  And then both teams head back to the United Center to do it all over again on Sunday.  Stringing together some wins off of this successful third week could go a long way towards building confidence for the Chicago Blackhawks.

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