Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Who’s Hot, Who’s Not: It’s Marian Hossa Again

By Gail Kauchak
Nov 18, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) on ice against Calgary Flames defenseman TJ Brodie (7) at Scotiabank Saddledome. Blackhawks won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 18, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa (81) on ice against Calgary Flames defenseman TJ Brodie (7) at Scotiabank Saddledome. Blackhawks won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports /
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Marian Hossa

For those of you that are diehard Blackhawk Up fans, you may recall that Hossa has been featured as a hot player for the last two weeks.  Well, I don’t care; he deserves it for a third week!

It was Hossa who provided the game-winning goal Friday, and the game-winning goal Saturday.  The latter also marked his 81st career game winning goal.  Just think, if Hossa doesn’t score these two goals, the Hawks could easily be 0-4 on the Circus Trip.

The 37-year-old everyone thought was declining now has 11 goals for the year, and its only November!  To give you some perspective, during the entirety of last season, he scored 13 goals.  What a success story.  Keep it rolling, Hossa!  This man has every Chicago Blackhawks fan (both female and male) in love with him right now.

Nick Schmaltz

Schmaltz has been given another go as the left wing on the top line for the last two games.  It’s not easy to keep up with the likes of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, but Schmaltz has not looked out of place.

First off, his speed allowed him to keep up, and he’s been able to complement Toews on the defensive end with some very aggressive backchecking.

Schmaltz has been criticized for being too hesitant, and not shooting the puck.  But during the Edmonton game Monday, he looked a lot more confident and registered two shots on goal.  If he can continue to be strong both offensively and defensively, this could lead to positive things for a struggling first line.

Brent Seabrook

While forwards are usually judged for their scoring ability, with defensemen we look at their ability to break up the opponent’s offensive play.  Seabs has been very consistent of late in this area.  He’s made some very smart and timely defensive plays, using his stick well, blocking shots and providing that physical element that can be so important for the Chicago Blackhawks.

While the other two defensive pairings are struggling and seem to be in a state of flux, Seabrook and partner Michal Kempny have found a chemistry that has allowed them to be very solid and reliable.

And let’s not forget that Seabs provided a ripper of a shot for a powerplay goal against Calgary on Friday.  It was only his second goal of the season, but that’s not from a lack of trying.  He loves to unload the puck from the point.  I’m sure it’s the second of many more to come.

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