The Energy Line
No, it isn’t a single player nominated in this case, but this line has been the most consistent line throughout the entire year. Tommy Wingels, Lance Bouma and John Hayden have great chemistry. When an opposing team scores a goal, coach Joel Quenneville throws that line out to try and grab momentum back.
Night in and night out, this line will create a scoring chance, land a big hit or get involved into a fight. Whatever it is, it is something that will get this team motivated and change momentum. And there have been games where this line has been the only line that seems to be motivated.
For a fourth line to have 14 goals halfway through the season and be such an important piece for momentum swings, it would be embraced by any team in this league. That’s not saying much for the other three lines, hence the candidacy for midseason MVP. Of the four short-handed goals the Blackhawks have scored this year, Wingels (2) and Hayden (1) account for three of them.
It will be interesting to see what happens to this line now that Hayden has been demoted to the AHL, which occurred Monday.
Unfortunately, everyone else on this team falls under the “other” category for midseason MVP. The Blackhawks are looking up at a lot of teams in the Western Conference right now that are getting points on a consistent basis. If the Blackhawks plan on making the playoffs, certain players (Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad, Duncan Keith) need to step up their game. Let’s hope for more names to discuss for the MVP for the second half of the season.