Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Streaking/Slumping: Emery on a roll
By Jesse Rogers
Ray Emery has helped the Hawks earn at least a point in his last seven appearances, while Bryan Bickell has gone three games without a point.
1. Patrick Sharp, Forward: A weekly candidate for this category, he’s a slam dunk this time around as he’s on an NHL season-high and personal best nine-game point streak. He’s amassed seven goals and six assists during the streak while his plus/minus rating has skyrocketed (plus-16). Sharp is at the top of his game at both ends of the ice, finishing scoring chances or keeping plays alive, earning both primary and secondary assists along the way. He’s as hot as he’s ever been in his career.
2. Ray Emery, Goalie: There are plenty of other offensive candidates but Emery’s recent run in goal deserves attention. He’s helped the Hawks earn at least a point in his last seven appearances, including winning his last six starts. In fact, the Hawks have only played one game in which Emery has started but the team didn’t come away with something in the standings. During the current five-game win streak he’s stopped 139 of 149 shots good for giving up just an average of two per game.
1. Bryan Bickell, forward: After being a healthy scratch for five straight games, Bickell is still point-less over his last three though his team scored 12 goals. His last point came on Oct. 31. He’s been better since returning to the lineup, but until he hits the score sheet he’s considered in a slump for a squad at the top of the league in scoring. He’s been more noticeable playing the body which should lead to some offensive chances or at least being able to keep play alive for his teammates. A heavy fore-check could be the key to Bickell’s slump ending.
2. Patrick Kane, forward: It’s a slump when Kane only has one point over his last four games and just two goals in over a month. He’s fallen behind three others for the team lead in scoring and admits he has to pick it up. Kane is a point producer, and when he’s under a point per game average he’s simply not playing his best. He’s had the puck less since moving back to wing but that shouldn’t stop him from getting it just as much. He needs to find it and make things happen as he did many times playing center during the first six weeks.