Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Hot And Not: Offensive Sparks And Defensive Woes

By Gail Kauchak
Nov 29, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Richard Panik (14) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the first period against the Florida Panthers at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Richard Panik (14) is congratulated for scoring a goal during the first period against the Florida Panthers at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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While we wait for the Chicago Blackhawks’ bye week to come to an end, let’s look at who’s been hot and who hasn’t been so hot in recent games

It certainly has been a long week, hasn’t it Blackhawks fans?! This bye week stuff is for the birds! The good news is that it’s halfway over. The Chicago Blackhawks will take to the ice again this coming Saturday, against the Edmonton Oilers.

I know, I know, that’s still three days away. Thank goodness it’s time for our weekly feature, who’s hot and who’s not. With the ’Hawks winning their last five games, and all on the road, there’s more good to talk about than bad. Let’s discuss a few of these things while we wait for the action to get started again.

Who’s Hot: Richard Panik

Panik appears to be on another streak, just like he was at the beginning of the season. Remember when he scored six goals with two assists (including a hat trick) in the first six games to lead the team?

Well, he’s on the right track again, having tallied three goals and two assists (five points) in the last three games. He now has 14 goals and 13 assists for 27 points. This by far usurps his career highs in all three areas.

It seems like a new system has done a world of good for Panik. He originally came to the Chicago Blackhawks in January 2016, having been traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jeremy Morin. At the time, he was playing for the Toronto Marlies in the AHL.

Panik seems to have recently found his niche playing alongside Jonathan Toews and Nick Schmaltz on the first line. He is willing to crash the net, and he seems to be building chemistry with his linemates. Only time will tell if this line will continue, but for now it’s paying huge dividends for Panik and for the Chicago Blackhawks.

chicago blackhawks
Nov 21, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks forward Vinnie Hinostroza (48) skates against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

Who’s Not: Vinnie Hinostroza

After being scratched against Arizona and Dallas at the beginning of February, Hinostroza has suited up for the last three games.  He’s been playing on the “kid line,” the fourth line that is comprised of himself, Tanner Kero and Ryan Hartman.

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But besides an impressive assist on Hartman’s goal in in Minnesota, Hinne doesn’t have much to show for his ice time.  He’s only recorded two shots on goal in said three games.

His speed is definitely an asset, but he needs to find ways to use that to his advantage.  Hinne has to work on his consistency and his production, or else the youngster could easily once again find himself the odd man out to veterans such as Andrew Desjardins or Jordin Tootoo.

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