Monday, December 2, 2013
Stock Watch: Keith keeps rolling
By Scott Powers
Young Blackhawks Antti Raanta (left) and Brandon Pirri are on opposite trajectories this season.
Duncan Keith, defenseman: Keith is playing some of the best hockey of his career. He accumulated a point in each of the seven games on the road trip and had nine total points during that span. He’s tied for third in the NHL with 23 assists. He was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week on Monday.
Penalty kill: The Blackhawks had one of their better weeks on the penalty kill. The Blackhawks killed off 9-of-10 power plays and improved their penalty-kill percentage to 74.7 for the season. They also move up a spot and now rank 28th in the league.
Antti Raanta, goaltender: Raanta has given the Blackhawks some stability in their backup goaltender role. He picked up two wins and stopped 52-of-56 shots in his first two NHL starts during the road trip. He had 30 saves on 32 shots in their 5-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.
Patrick Kane, forward: Kane had a month to remember. He had nine goals and 10 assists and recorded points in 13 of 15 games in November. The only better month of his career was when he had 20 points in November of 2009. He’s third in the league with 16 goals and is tied for fifth with 30 points.
Patrick Sharp, forward: Sharp also had one of the best months of his career. He matched a career-best 15 points in November. He’s had four months of 15 points in his career. He had eight goals and seven assists this past November.
Brandon Pirri, forward: Pirri had the worst trip among the Blackhawks. He didn’t record a point over all seven games and saw his minutes decrease every game. He started the road trip playing 15:46 in the first game and ended it playing 7:07 in the final game.