Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL Three Stars Of The Week: End Of 2016

By Sean Fitzgerald
Nov 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Kempny (6) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Kempny (6) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Flipping to a new calendar year, we’re going to take one more look back at some stars from the end of 2016 coming into 2017

The Chicago Blackhawks are currently mired in a slump, losing five of their last six games. The ’Hawks also lost their fourth of five outdoor games on Monday. Despite the losing streak, there are three stars that have shined during this tough stretch.

And, of course, there’s plenty of other hockey going on around the league surrounding the Blackhawks. So let’s look at three stars from the East and West as well.

Chicago Blackhawks’ 3 Stars

Third star: Michal Kempny. Kempny has taken some time to gain favor with the Blackhawks’ coaching staff. He has appeared in 26 of the 40 games this season and averaged 15:22 minutes of ice time. In his last two games, he has averaged 16:56 minutes of ice time per game.

On Dec. 30, Kempny scored his first NHL goal and recorded his fifth NHL assist. It was the first two-point game of his NHL career.

In the dreaded Winter Classic, Kempny scored the only goal for the Blackhawks against the Blues. Three points in two games earns Kempny the Blackhawks’ third star of the week.

Second star: Jonathan Toews. There were questions about Toews’ lack of scoring. Toews have answered the questions of late.

In his last eight games, Toews has two goals and four assists. Before his last eight games, Toews had not recorded a point in the six previous games. Toews went from Nov. 13 to Dec. 15 before scoring again. On the season, he has 6 goals and 12 assists for 18 points.

While Wayne Gretzky has put Toews and Patrick Kane in the Hall of Fame, Toews’ work is far from done. He needs to continue to keep scoring for his Hall of Fame career and the Blackhawks’ success.

First star: Artemi Panarin. Panarin has been on fire this past week. He recently signed a two-year contract extension to stay with the Blackhawks, which is a great move for both parties.

On the ice, Panarin has continued to build on his Calder Trophy campaign. In his last five games, Panarin has racked up four assists. On the season, he has 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points. Another impressive stat is that Panarin has appeared in all 40 games this season.

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