Having won seven of their last eight games, and playing very well of late, it was pretty much expected that the Chicago Blackhawks would beat an Arizona team that ranks at the bottom of the league.
That’s exactly what happened, as the Hawks trounced the Coyotes by a score of 6-3. Patrick Kane scored a hat trick, the first line looked sharp, and the Hawks skated away with another two points. But what else did we learn from this matchup? Here are some observations to tide us over until the second-place Chicago Blackhawks take on the third-place St. Louis Blues this Sunday.
The Chicago Blackhawks know how to score goals. Jonathan Toews had a hat trick on Tuesday against the Wild, and Patrick Kane tallied another hat trick against Arizona. The Hawks have scored five goals or more six times in their last eight games.
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The Hawks have depth. Ryan Hartman’s goal made him the seventh Blackhawk to score 15 or more goals this season. They only had four players to reach this milestone last season.
The first line picked up right where they left off. Nick Schmaltz scored the first goal of the game just 37 seconds in. He now has a point in six of the last seven games, and last night was his 21st birthday. In that same time, Toews has scored four goals and nine assists, and Panik has five goals and five assists.
Niklas Hjalmarsson is a pretty important player for the Chicago Blackhawks. Hjammer only played 3:02 minutes and five shifts in the first period before he left the game. The Hawks lost one of their best defensemen for most of the game, and it showed. They gave up 37 shots and three goals to one of the worst teams in the league.
It’s now been determined that Hjammer has an upper body injury. His status will be updated later today. He’s been a +7 in his last nine games, and any extended absence will definitely be felt.
The Chicago Blackhawks improve to 38-18-5 on the season. The still hold the second-place spot in the Central Division, with 81 points. They are three points behind the first-place Minnesota Wild, and they face the third-place St. Louis Blues on Sunday. The Blues currently have 67 points.
Things are definitely trending upwards for the Chicago Blackhawks. They now head into a tough stretch of games in the month of March. Can they continue to be successful and strive for a first-place spot in the Central Division? We shall see.