Streaking/Slumping: Shaw shooting star
March, 27, 2012
By Jesse Rogers
1. Andrew Shaw, Forward: He’s been on fire lighting up the scoresheet in each of the past five games. He has four goals and four assists over that timeframe and even when most were quiet in a 6-1 loss on Sunday against Nashville, he managed a helper on the lone goal. His best work has simply come standing in front of the net. Pucks have bounced off him or he’s even jumped over them providing screens and producing goals. His 18.6 percent shooting percentage would rank sixth in the league if he qualified for the category. It’s the best on the Hawks. He has 11 goals in 31 games while averaging just 1.9 shots per game.
2. Viktor Stalberg, Forward: OK, he’s not exactly pulling a Shaw and scoring every game but he has two goals and a helper over his past four contests and only the assist came against Columbus, the team he’s scored the most against. Stalberg is getting his chances once again, he had 13 shots on net over those four games and many were good looks. He’s just one score away from his first 20-goal campaign and unless he gets it on the power play all 20 will have come even strength. In fact, his 39 points are the most in the NHL for a player without earning a single point on special teams. That’s impressive.
1. Niklas Hjalmarsson, Defense: Slowed by an injury he has yet to record a point since returning to the lineup while registering just six shots on net in eight games. He was paired with Brent Seabrook for Duncan Keith’s first game under suspension and the duo were each minus-2 in the 6-1 loss to Nashville on Sunday. Overall, Hjalmarsson is minus-3 over his past six games and will need to pick up his play while Keith sits out the rest of his punishment. With the mostly solid play of Johnny Oduya and Nick Leddy, Hjalmarsson could find himself back on the third defensive pair when Keith returns.
2. Jamal Mayers, Forward: Not in the lineup for his point production, Mayers still needs to contribute when he can. He’s gone nine games without a point and more important it’s been 14 games since he’s been a “plus” player. In that time frame he’s been a “minus” five times, including a minus-2 on Sunday against Nashville. Overall, he’s minus-7 in those fourteen games. Of course, the minuses are never one player’s fault but for a mostly fourth line guy minus-7 stands out. He has been steady in the face-off circle where he took some draws for Patrick Kane on the top line last game.
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