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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


Neno

I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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    Chicago Blackhawks

    jedi17
    jedi17
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      Chicago Blackhawks  Empty Chicago Blackhawks

    Post by jedi17 Fri 24 Mar 2017, 8:38 pm

    Playoff picture(s) emerging
    March 24, 2017, 8:54 AM ET [135 Comments]
    John Jaeckel
    Chicago Blackhawks Blogger • RSS • Archive • CONTACT




    With 8 games left in the regular season, the playoffs are close at hand, and with that, we are starting to get some sense of where the Blackhawks will stand going in.

    First place in the Central Division and the Western Conference—and with that home ice advantage through the first three rounds (assuming the Hawks go that far)—looks likely. Minnesota lost again at home last night.

    First round opponent? One of Nashville, St. Louis or Calgary. So some clarity there, but not much.

    As far as the team itself, there was a lineup wrinkle yesterday, preceding the Hawks 3-2 OT win over Dallas, that may signal more than just "let's try something."

    Ryan Hartman and Nick Schmaltz essentially flopped—with Hartman going from 3LW to 2C, and Schmaltz vice versa.

    And that caught a lot of people off guard. Hartman has played some center in his junior career. Schmaltz was doing sort of OK, filling in for the injured Artem Anisimov. One gripe about Schmaltz has been he loses a lot of face-offs, but so does Anisimov. Hartman went 43% last night.

    Centering Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin, Hartman's line was sort of middling on possession. Schmaltz played with Marcus Kruger and Marian Hossa, and their line was underwater—but this on a night when the Hawks as a team were outshot 44-26 (thank you, Corey Crawford, who had a huge game), and Schmaltz' line had more defensive matchup responsibility.

    So, all that said, too early to judge on this switch. Hartman at times flashed some nice chemistry with Kane and Panarin. Schmaltz has a two-way game that could complement Kruger and Hossa. In fact, that trio clicked nicely on Hossa's 24th goal of the season last night.

    Putting Hartman between Kane and Panarin reminds me of 2014, when Joel Quenneville put Andrew Shaw between Kane and Brandon Saad for what became the Hawks' most effective line in those playoffs. Like Shaw, Hartman is willing to go to war down low, unlike Shaw, he's more of a natural playmaker and scorer. It could work.

    And I am wondering this morning if it may have to. I haven't heard anything, but the move made me ask yesterday if the injury to Anisimov may be worse than has been disclosed thus far.

    Just something to watch.

    The Hawks take a swing through Florida the next few days (excellent timing, NHL schedule makers). I will have a Florida Panthers preview tomorrow.

      Current date/time is Mon 24 Jun 2024, 10:14 pm