Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: Bye Weeks And Stretch Running

By Colin Likas
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Feb 10, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) skates around prior to the game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Chicago Blackhawks at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports /

Aaron Goldschmidt

Question 1: Yes, the bye week is a good idea. Due to a compressed schedule, this was probably the only compromise the NHL and NHLPA could agree on that made up for the lost time from the World Cup.

It’s just unfortunate the ’Hawks go into it red hot, winning five of their last six. Let’s hope the guys get a few days off then start preparing for the home stretch.

Question 2: Corey Crawford probably needs to perform the best. Scott Darling played great in his absence, which is always in the back of coach Joel Quenneville‘s mind.

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  • Crow’s games versus Minnesota and Winnipeg were great. Minnesota might have been a goalie game. I’d say right now that the confidence and success of the Blackhawks goes as Crawford goes.

    Gail Kauchak

    Question 1: The whole idea of the bye week is for the players to have a chance to rest for an extended period in the middle of the busiest time of the season. For the Chicago Blackhawks, they can relax their bodies in anticipation of a long playoff push.

    But the schedule was already condensed because of the World Cup of Hockey in September. So this means all the teams are going to have to make up for this time off by having a very busy schedule at another time. If you ask me, this kind of defeats the purpose.

    But I’m also not a player. They negotiated this, so apparently it means something to them. I will say that as a fan, it’s going to be a long week!

    Question 2: I honestly don’t think it’s a matter of any one player stepping up. Hockey is a true team sport, which is what makes it so great. Sometimes you have more of a chance to contribute than others.

    For example, last Wednesday night in Minnesota, the Jonathan Toews line had its turn. Each member of that line, Toews, Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik, scored a goal.

    On Friday in Winnipeg, every member of the second line scored (Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov).

    In Edmonton on Saturday, it was a combination of many different players, including defense.  Sometimes you just need your goaltender to stand on his head.

    The idea is for everyone to be on top of their game, and to be ready to take advantage of every opportunity that is given to them. Everyone has a role to play to help the team win, and no one knows this better than coach Joel Quenneville. Don’t count this team out yet, my friends.

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