Editorials

5 Chicago Blackhawks Questions For Second Half Of 2017-18

By Keith Schultz
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 12: The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after defeating the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 at the United Center on January 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 12: The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after defeating the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 at the United Center on January 12, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ONTARIO – OCTOBER 9: Frederik Andersen
TORONTO, ONTARIO – OCTOBER 9: Frederik Andersen /

4. Will Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad respond?

This is a huge question for me if the Chicago Blackhawks hope to be in the running for a Stanley Cup Playoffs spot in a couple of months.

Brandon Saad just hasn’t been what we expected this season after picking up a hat trick on opening night. Saad only has 23 points in the first 45 games with 13 goals and 10 assists.  The entire point of the Saad for Artemi Panarin trade was to jumpstart Jonathan Toews after a very disappointing season last year.

The thing is Toews has been very pedestrian as well with only 14 goals and 17 assists. Like the rest of the team, the top-line scoring has been very inconsistent.

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The addition of Vinnie Hinostroza to the top line has given these two some life in the last week and a half before the bye week.

Does this mean they will have a huge second half and build on the success, or will it be the same kind of effort they gave after the first two games when the ‘Hawks scored 15 goals and then went into a scoring funk?

No matter what happens to the rest of the lineup, one thing is certain: When the top line is dominating the puck, possession and scoring chances, the ‘Hawks are a tough team to beat. So, if Saad and Toews have a huge second half, there isn’t much to worry about. But if they continue to be inconsistent, it could be a very long second half of the season!

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