Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL 3 Stars: Hartman Finding His Game

By Gregory Bradshaw
Jan 8, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Ryan Hartman (38) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the third period against the Nashville Predators at the United Center. Chicago won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 8, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Ryan Hartman (38) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the third period against the Nashville Predators at the United Center. Chicago won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Chicago Blackhawks
NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Chicago Blackhawks /

Chicago Blackhawks’ 3 Stars

Third star: Tanner Kero

Since Kero’s promotion from the Rockford IceHogs, the 24-year-old has made his presence known.

Although Kero isn’t the flashiest player by any means, he has stayed rather consistent in the Blackhawks’ bottom six, and has certainly earned some trust from coach Joel Quenneville. We all know that’s easier said than done, so he must be doing something right.

Kero grabs the third star this week due to his recent emergence on the scoring list. Kero had a helper in the 5-2 victory over Nashville along with his first goal of the year (second in his NHL career) in a win over Detroit this week.

What makes Kero’s success so valuable is that he is such a small cap hit for the ‘Hawks. Chicago will be scavenging for cheap contributions once again as salary cap continues to be troublesome for the Blackhawks. We shall see if his recent emergence is only a sample of what is to come.

Second star: Patrick Kane

It’s a continuous scenario seeing the reigning MVP Patrick Kane on this list. Although Kaner isn’t scoring at as high of a level as the previous season, the ‘Hawks superstar is in a three-way tie for second place in points scored league-wide.

With 45 points (12 goals 33 assists), Kane continues to impress with his playmaking abilities.

Kaner failed to light the lamp this week but still managed to add four assists to his point total. What would truly be impressive is Kane repeating as the Hart Trophy recipient. It’s certainly not out of the question as he continues to produce at a high level.

First star: Ryan Hartman

At the beginning of the year, it was assumed that Ryan Hartman would be taking place of the departed Andrew Shaw for the Chicago Blackhawks’ new agitator. What we’ve got instead is an absolute upgrade at a fraction of the price!

Hartman recorded his first-ever hat trick against the Predators in quite a strange fashion with two goals being empty-netters. Regardless, the young forward stole first-star honors this week with three goals and two assists to help extend what was a four-game win streak at the time.

We can only hope Hartzy can continue his current stride of success as the ‘Hawks are striving for their fourth cup in eight years.

 

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