Analysis

Five Thoughts on Chicago Blackhawks’ Win Over Minnesota

By Juliana Nikac
Feb 21, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews (19) looks on from the bench in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 21, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews (19) looks on from the bench in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
2 of 3

3. Dominance in the second period. Surprisingly, the Hawks dominated the second period of the game. They outshot Minnesota 13-5 in the second, but only outscored them 2-1. It was still a good period for Chicago. Most of their time was spent in the offensive zone. The Schmaltz-Toews-Panik line was especially firing on all cylinders, but more on that later. Niklas Hjalmarsson was blocking shots left and right. Corey Crawford was barely tested during this period, but did come up with a couple of good saves to keep the Hawks ahead. Hopefully, they can build on the ability to dominate, like they did all throughout the Buffalo game on Sunday.

2. The Schmaltz-Toews-Panik line. Pretty sure Coach Q has finally found some wingers for Jonathan Toews. This line accounted for every single goal in the game, tallying 10 points and 10 shots on goal. All three players were a +5. Throughout the game, they skated circles around the Wild. Nick Schmaltz made a terrific pass to Toews for the captain’s second goal, and fourth point of the game. Richard Panik tipped a shot from Toews to pick up his 16th goal of the season. And Toews got the hat trick, along with two assists, for five points on the night.

All around, they’ve been very impressive recently. But this game showed that everything is finally coming together for the top line. If those three can keep up the pace, and everybody on the team can help out with production, the Hawks will be near unstoppable.

facebooktwitterreddit