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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Marcus Kruger

The long and the short of it is that Krugs needs to work on his discipline.  For the last three games in a row, Kruger has committed a penalty and sat in the box for two minutes instead of helping to kill the penalty.  Krugs is one of the best penalty killers on the team.  He needs to be killing penalties, not committing them.

Interestingly, Kruger only played 8:48 against Winnipeg last Tuesday.  This is very low ice time for him.  In Vancouver on Saturday, the usual center didn’t take any draws.  Something just doesn’t seem right here.  Is Krugs nursing an injury?  Either way, he’s not contributing as he should right now.

Jordin Tootoo

Many people don’t understand why Tootoo is even a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, and why he has actually played in 17 of their 20 games.  When he plays, he usually has minimal ice time, and this negates the ability to roll four lines with relatively balanced ice time.

But Tootoo also has managed to do the most he can with his limited time on the ice.  He has only been on the ice for one goal against this entire season, and he’s usually able to generate numerous shots on goal, keeping his possession numbers high.  Is this enough to continue to give him a roster spot?

More from Blackhawk Up

Well, for those of you who don’t think so, you may be on to something.  Tootoo has been a healthy scratch for the last two games.  With rookies such as Schmaltz, Vinnie Hinostroza, Ryan Hartman and Tyler Motte finding their way, we may not see much of Tootoo in the foreseeable future.

Gustav Forsling

Forsling has looked good at times, but more often than not he’s stood out in a bad way, especially recently.  He is constantly on the ice for goals against, and the goal usually has something to do with him.  And he appears to be bringing down his usual defensive partner, Niklas Hjalmarsson.  Forsling was a healthy scratch last Saturday in Vancouver.

It takes defensemen longer to develop than forwards, and Forsling needs to play and learn from his mistakes in order to get better.  But Trevor van Riemsdyk is on the verge of coming back from an injury, and Michal Rozsival is chomping at the bit to get back in the lineup.  If Forsling wants to stay in the lineup, he better pick things up.

Next: NHL Power Rankings

The remainder of the Circus Trip looms large, with the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the San Jose Sharks tonight, the Anaheim Ducks on Friday and the L.A. Kings Saturday.  Who will stand out as hot, and who will struggle with not in this next week?

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