Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks, NHL 3 Stars: Little To Be Happy For In Chicago

By Colin Likas
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Chicago Blackhawks’ 3 Stars

Third star: Duncan Keith. Interesting two games for Keith, as he led the team with two goals but also posted an ugly minus-3 rating. Keith has been getting burned a little more often this season than in many previous, leading some to believe he’s either conserving energy or struggling with the knee that had an offseason procedure performed on it.

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Regardless, Keith had the second goal against Tampa Bay and the Blackhawks’ first goal, on the powerplay, against Winnipeg. He was also on the wrong end of a power move by Brian Boyle, along with Niklas Hjalmarsson, that allowed the Lightning forward to tie Tuesday’s game at 1.

Second star: Jonathan Toews. Things have gotten better for the captain of late in the scoring department. He managed a goal and an assist over the last two games, though both of those points came against Tampa Bay. He also won 55.6 percent of his faceoffs, a nice perk from last week’s dot struggles.

Again, though, he was another star who posted a negative rating, Toews checking in at minus-2. Sure, he’s not playing on a line that you’d conclude is in its final form, and few guys on the defense behind him are playing up to snuff right now. But from a two-way forward like Toews, you typically expect better.

First star: Tanner Kero. He might’ve had just a goal across the two games — while taking all of one shot on goal in the process — but Kero had a solid little stretch while many of his teammates seemed lost or ready for the All-Star break.

Kero posted a plus-1 rating, won 56.3 percent of his faceoffs and scored what would’ve been the game-winning goal against Winnipeg if the Blackhawks hadn’t had the bottom fall out late in the third period. He did take a minor penalty right after that goal, but nothing came of it for the Jets.

Kero has been trusted more in different situations, which is good considering he’s been playing well enough to get time across different situations. Some stability is welcome in Chicago.

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