Chicago Blackhawks’ Awards For The 1st Half Of The 2014-15 Season | Bleacher Report

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Chicago Blackhawks Playing Down to Their Competition is Troubling Trend | Bleacher Report

Team MVP: Patrick Kane Paul Vernon/Associated Press When it comes to all-around play, responsibility and leadership, there’s little doubt that Jonathan Toews is the most important player to the Blackhawks. It has been that way since he was a rookie in the 2007-08 season. While Toews is Mr. Steady, Patrick Kane has long been Mr. Spectacular. His remarkable skill level allows him to stick-handle the puck in the tightest situations, accelerate into open spots and score the biggest goals. Teams like the Flyers , Kings , Bruins and Wild have all felt his wrath in key playoff situations. Kane has always carried his share of the load during the regular season as well, but there’s something different about his contributions this year. He has displayed increased maturity in recent seasons, and it seems he is able to make game-changing plays on a near nightly basis. Kane is leading the way for the Blackhawks in scoring. He has already scored 20 goals and 27 assists in 43 games, and he has six power-play goals to go along with five game-winners. He has a plus-nine rating this season along with an impressive 14.6 percent success mark on his shots on goal. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2330057-chicago-blackhawks-awards-for-the-1st-half-of-the-2014-15-season

The only one-goal loss was their hard-luck 3-2 decision to the Capitals in the Winter Classic, when former Blackhawk Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 13 seconds remaining in the third period. In addition to struggling against teams that they would normally beat with ease, the Blackhawks had problems with their even-strength play and their inability to get off to good starts. They were outscored 19-13 in even-strength situations, and that’s normally an area where the Blackhawks dominate. According to NHL.com, Chicago is scoring 1.27 goals for every goal their opponents score in five-on-five situations, ranking fifth in the league. However, during that cold spell, they were scoring just 0.68 goals to each goal their opponents scored when both teams were at full strength. High-level teams like the Blackhawks can normally overcome the occasional slow start because they have so much firepower with superstars such as Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith in the lineup. However, even the best teams have problems when they get outscored consistently in the first period. Andy Devlin/Getty Images The Blackhawks were outscored 16-7 in the first periods during that eight-game stretch, and it explains why they had so much trouble against the likes of the Avs and Oilers. Those teams are used to falling behind, and when they face deficits in the second and third periods, it’s difficult for them to maintain a winning attitude and compete for 60 minutes. However, when the Oilers came out of the first period in their Jan. 9 meeting with a 2-1 lead over the Hawks, despite giving up the first goal, they came out for the second period with renewed vigor and a confidence that they have rarely shown. When they retained a one-goal lead (3-2) at the start of the third period, the Oilers competed as if they were in a playoff game in the final 20 minutes and added two more goals to close out a 5-2 victory. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2330395-chicago-blackhawks-playing-down-to-their-competition-is-troubling-trend

Midseason Grades for Each Line on the Chicago Blackhawks | Bleacher Report

Head coach Joel Quenneville loves to switch his lines on a regular basis. Not only will he do it from game to game, he will make changes within games. However, for the purposes of this feature, we will hand out grades for the four lines based on these combinations. No. 1 Line: Brandon Saad, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa USA TODAY Sports When Quenneville calls on his top line of center Jonathan Toews surrounded by right wing Marian Hossa and left wing Brandon Saad, he knows the house is going to be protected. He knows that Toews and Hossa are two of the most responsible and effective three-zone players on the teamif not the leagueand Saad has the speed and diligence to stay with opposing forwards or catch up to them when the opponents have possession of the puck and are attacking. However, the Blackhawks usually have possession of the frozen disc and are creating scoring opportunities when Toews, Hossa and Saad are on the ice. Toews has been consistent since the start of the season, and he is the Blackhawks’ second-leading scorer with 13 goals and 25 assists in the team’s first 43 games. He has a team-best plus-15 rating, and his on-ice Corsi percentage is plus-18.80, according to BehindTheNet.ca . Both Hossa and Saad got off to slow starts in the goal-scoring department, but that appeared to be the result of poor puck luck since both men were skating hard and creating opportunities. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2328156-midseason-grades-for-each-line-on-the-chicago-blackhawks

 

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