Chicago Blackhawks Hot And Not: Nick Schmaltz, Patrick Kane Impress

By Juliana Nikac
Mar 4, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates with right wing Patrick Kane (88) after a power play goal during the second period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2017; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrates with right wing Patrick Kane (88) after a power play goal during the second period against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) reacts with teammate Scott Darling (33) after defeating the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) reacts with teammate Scott Darling (33) after defeating the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /

Who’s Hot: Scott Darling & Corey Crawford

Let’s take out last night’s game against the Canucks, and sort of pretend it didn’t happen. Part of the reason the Blackhawks are on a six-game point streak is because of this dynamic duo.

Crawford and Darling, together, have averaged a .944 save percentage before the game against the Canucks. That’s off the charts, and it’s no wonder the ’Hawks are the leading team in the Western Conference now.

It wasn’t his best performance, but Darling collected a 6-3 win over the league’s worst team on Sunday. But in the game before that against Ottawa, he stopped 33 of 34 shots to secure the 2-1 win. In three of his last five appearances, he’s had to stop over 30 shots. Darling has also won fix of his last six decisions.

Chicago Blackhawks

Say what you want, but Crawford has been pretty decent this season. OK, more than decent. I’d even go as for to say good. In the games against the Wild and Canadiens, he stopped 44 and 42 shots, respectively, to lead to Blackhawks to wins. In three of his last five games, he’s had a save percentage above .950.

All of these numbers are fantastic. And if the Blackhawks are going to make a deep run in the playoffs (which it’s looking more and more likely), these two are going to have to be the backbone of the team.

Who’s Not: Brian Campbell

I don’t want to be too harsh on the guy. But for someone who was signed to help out offensively (especially on the back end of the powerplay), Campbell is just not doing what he needs to do for the Blackhawks.

Since January 1, he has seven assists, and that’s it. Along with not producing in the points category, Campbell’s defense has been lackluster, at best. Sometimes it’s brain farts, and sometimes he tosses the puck away from his stick like it’s on fire.

What’s said about defensemen is if you don’t notice them, then they played well. And Campbell has been very noticeable lately. He needs to be more effective if he wants to stay in the lineup.

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