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Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: Centermen And A Day With The Cup

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Apr 8, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) in the third period of the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Kings won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 8, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) in the third period of the game against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Kings won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Gail Kauchak

Question 1: Marcus Kruger. While he might not be the guy you want on the ice to score a goal, when it comes to winning a faceoff, he’s the guy that can get it done. Krugs boasts a 50.4 career faceoff percentage, second only to Toews (56.8).

Coach Q has been known to use Kruger for the faceoff, and then immediately switch him out for a more offensive-minded player. The sad news is that Kruger might not be a Chicago Blackhawk for much longer. He is rumored to be one of the top players to be exposed in the expansion draft to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Question 2: Ah, the possibilities! It goes without saying that I would have a parade in my hometown, and take the Cup to the rink where I played when I grew up. Going to a hospital or a charity would be the thing to do as well.

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But you also have to do something unique and cool. I’m envious of when Marian Hossa took the Cup in a helicopter. Or when Brent Seabrook visited the top of a mountain. Hey, I wonder how many bottles of wine you could fit in the Cup.

Colin Likas

Question 1: Someday, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to say Nick Schmaltz for this. But he’s nowhere near ready for this sort of responsibility yet, so I’m going with Artem Anisimov.

While Marcus Kruger is a higher-percentage guy at the dot, I think it works better to have Anisimov out there at a critical juncture in the offensive zone. He might not be the greatest at winning draws, but he can certainly tie guys up using his size, giving the likes of Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin the chance to swoop in, capture the puck and set up possession.

I just think, in a desperate offensive situation, you have to have what you consider your A team out there from the get-go. If Toews can’t be part of that, you go with the next-best option and get things rolling ASAP.

Question 2: I’d take the Cup on a parade through the streets surrounding Scottrade Center in St. Louis. No explanation needed.

Jake Martin

Question 1: I can’t think of an obvious answer. Isn’t that alarming? On paper, the Blackhawks simply are not a good faceoff time. I would have said previously without any hesitation Marcus Kruger, but I don’t feel that way any longer. I think his reliable days have come and gone.

I’m going to go with Artem Anisimov, purely for his percentage being closer to 50 than the rest, and his defensive responsibility.

Next: Defenseman Jan Rutta A Free Agent Target

Question 2: I’m from the South Side, so I would probably take it to one of the rinks I grew up playing the game at. The rest of the day would be spent with a tight-knit crowd of family and friends who helped me get there from Day 1.

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