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Chicago Blackhawks Roundtable: Left Wings And Difficult Opponents

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CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 07: Ryan Hartman
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 07: Ryan Hartman /
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Kirk Bennett

Question 1: I can see a good case for either, but I say Hartman for now. He has done well there, to put it mildly, and there is no need to rush Cat.

I like the looks of the third line. The trio needs to find chemistry, but that generally doesn’t happen overnight. Being away from Kane for the time being also keeps DeBrincat somewhat out of the limelight.

When Schmaltz went down to injury Saturday, Q did experiment a bit and 88/12 found themselves together a couple of times. They weren’t clicking. There will be plenty of time for Cat and Kane to be together, but if it happens now, they may be a liability without the puck.

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  • Question 2: Good question. My first instinct is to say Edmonton. This could be their year, and Blues seem to be playing good hockey right out of the gate. There should be plenty of incentive against Preds (like with the Pens in the opener), and Minnesota always plays the ’Hawks tough.

    But I’m going to say Toronto. Mike Babcock will have his team ready against rival Quenneville. It’ll be the ’Hawks’ first away game, and they will not be facing a team coming off a game the night before, as was the case in the first two game.

    And Leafs are sky-high right now. It’s an Eastern team, hence the importance isn’t quite the same. Frederik Andersen will be looking for a bounce back in the Leafs net after letting in five goals against Rangers.

    PS: I hope I’m wrong. I grew up in and still live in the GTA, but haven’t been a Leaf fan since I didn’t know any better.

    Jeffrey Franklin

    Question 1: Right now, you have to stick with Ryan Hartman. Why change something that’s working?

    Through two games, Hartman has six points and seems to be a perfect fit for that line. If something changes and he stops producing, then we can talk about flipping him with Alex DeBrincat if DeBrincat shows his scoring potential on the third line.

    Question 2: This one’s close between Edmonton and Toronto, but I’m going to give the edge to Edmonton. The team that used to be the laughingstock of the NHL with all of its No. 1 picks and nothing to show for them is now a legitimate threat to win the West this year.

    They are fast and move the puck really well, and you cannot ignore the sheer and insane talent of Connor McDavid he truly is one of the most incredible players I have ever seen. Speed killed the Blackhawks in their playoff series last spring, so keeping up with the Oilers would be a good step.

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