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Chicago Blackhawks Forwards Analysis After Early Postseason Exit

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Mar 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (second from left) celebrates after he scored a goal with Chicago Blackhawks left wing Richard Panik (14), Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) during the first period of their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 31, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (second from left) celebrates after he scored a goal with Chicago Blackhawks left wing Richard Panik (14), Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) and Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (2) during the first period of their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Dennis Rasmussen (70) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Dennis Rasmussen (70) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Blackhawks defeat the Stars 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Looking at the lower-line guys

Dennis Rasmussen.  Yep, it was Rasmussen who scored one of the three goals in the playoffs.  He’s a consistent offensive player and excellent on the penalty kill.  But poor Rasmussen had a hard time staying in the lineup.

Why?  I’m not really sure.  But if he had been in the lineup more regularly, I think he would have had even more to offer in the playoffs.  Unfortunately, he found himself competing for a spot with veterans and rookies alike.  Make a decision and stick with it!  Hey, he can also play center.  I vote for him to be a cheap and viable third- or fourth-liner next season.

Tomas Jurco.  I’m cheating a little bit here, as I’m going to copy a few tweets I saved from @HawksBreakdown.  Ready?

"“Tomas Jurco had a really good season with CHI. Not in terms of scoring, but CHI dominated possession when he was on the ice. Every player performed better playing with Jurco than without. When Jurco was on the ice, opponents didn’t get to the slot. That shots Jurco took weren’t bad. He was getting to the dangerous areas. Will probably score a little more next season. Good bottom-6 guy.”"

Need I say more?  Re-sign him.

Andrew DesjardinsDesi was a huge asset in 2015 when he was part of the shutdown line with Krugs and Andrew Shaw to help win the Cup.  Since then, he simply hasn’t brought that same spark.

Yet Coach Q kept going to the well with him, instead of giving a chance to the younger, more talented kids.  It’s time to stop that practice, and let Desi go.  This would be a good place for the Chicago Blackhawks to stop living in the past.

Jordin TootooTootoo’s average TOI this season was 6:45.  That’s right, I double-checked. What’s the point?!  I believe this whole practice of leaning on the veterans is just shooting the ’Hawks in the foot.  It inhibits the ability to roll four lines, as well as the much-needed development of the younger players.

I’ve been a huge fan of Tootoo as a person ever since he came to the Chicago Blackhawks, and I would highly recommend reading his book, “All the Way: My Life on Ice.”  But as a player, Tootoo is not helping the ’Hawks to be a better team.

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