Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Streaking/Slumping: Hayes a force early
By Jesse Rogers
Jimmy Hayes scored key goals in two straight games while Patrick Kane has been a minus player in four of the past seven games.
1. Jimmy Hayes, Forward: Since being called up on Dec. 29, Hayes has been a force on the ice in limited minutes. He scored key goals in back-to-back games against Edmonton and Philadelphia though the Hawks went on to lose both. But it didn’t diminish his effectiveness. He has 12 shots on net in five games -- not bad for a guy that’s only played double digit minutes in two of them and most of the time it’s been from the fourth line. He’s simply been noticeable in a positive way, especially with the puck. A positive start to his career.
2. Brent Seabrook, Defense: On a slumping team it's hard to find many streakers, but Seabrook scored key goals in two of the past five games. He helped beat the Red Wings with a blast from the middle of the ice on Dec. 30 then tallied a third-period score against Philadelphia before the Hawks gave the game back late. He’s been a minus player just once in his last 13 games and that’s with knowing the Hawks have dropped four in a row. If Seabrook could get his shot off even more he could find himself in the streaking category more often. It's that good.
1. Patrick Kane, Forward: It’s been well documented Kane has just three goals in his past 23 games. He does have 13 assists in that same span and some helped win games, but it's not enough. He’s been a minus player in four of the past seven games and hasn’t had a “plus” next to his name in the box score since Dec. 21. Not scoring and giving up goals on the other end is a recipe for a slump and Kane is in one.
2. Viktor Stalberg, Forward: His slump has been overshadowed by some bigger names (see above) but it's been quiet on the offensive end for Stalberg since before the New Year. He’s gone six straight games without a point though he has been getting shots on net. His issue once again is finishing. He might be better suited on the third or fourth line where he can blow by third defensive pairs, but Stalberg is back with Jonathan Toews and Kane so the chances will come again. He just needs to complete them. Easier said than done for No. 25.