Blackhawks' Player Of The Week

That time again:

Mark It 8, Dude

Jonathan Toews - Would have gotten this just for his performance against Detroit, where he basically had his way in impolite fashion with legend Nicklas Lidstrom all game. Toews led by example, as he always does. Simply and inspiration.

Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook - Rounding into form. The Hawks top pair have been playing like it for a while now, which is a good thing because their other main checking players haven't been (more on that later). But Keith and Seabrook have kept the other scorers quiet, which is saying something because they've been pinned in by them. The Hawks need these guys to dominate, and thankfully they have been.

Over The Line, Mark It Zero

The Special Teams - The Hawks have too much talent to have middle of the pack special teams, but they do. The power play is a mess. It has people out of position in unfamiliar roles. It tries to be too pretty. It is far too predictable. It doesn't want to score ugly goals, which is how power play goals are scored. Right now, the coaches are trying to prove how smart they are, and it's costing the Hawks goals and games, such as last night.

The penalty kill showed brief life, but took a step back last night basically from wonky goaltending. Still, it's on a better arc than the power play.

Dave Bolland And Mates - The Hawks depend on their checking line to actually produce some scoring, and nullify the threat of the other teams' top lines partially by making them play defense. It's not doing any of it. Maybe it's Frolik's and Bickell's struggles, or maybe those are a result of Dave Bolland getting over injury and usual midseason malaise. Whatever it is, the Hawks 3rd line spends far too much time being pinned in their own end, and only bad things happen. Only Keith's and Seabrook's excellent recent form has kept these things somewhat hidden. Whatever it is, it has to be fixed.

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