Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Stock Watch: Hossa picking up play
By Scott Powers
Marian Hossa has picked up some of the scoring while Patrick Kane slumps.
Marian Hossa, forward: Hossa has been on a tear as of late. He has five goals and two assists over the last five games. His puck possession has been especially noticeable the last two weeks. He’s also been averaging nearly four shots on goal per game in January. He was closer to three per game last month. He may have just turned 35, but he doesn’t appear to be slowing down in any way.
Corey Crawford, goaltender: Crawford may not see it, but he’s been a more consistent goaltender since returning from injury in early January. He was especially sharp in the Blackhawks’ wins over the Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins over the weekend. Both went down as quality starts as he held the Ducks to two goals on 21 shots and the Bruins to two goals on 36 shots. His season save percentage is up to .912.
Niklas Hjalmarsson, defenseman: Hjalmarsson continues to get involved in the offense, and it continues to pay off for him. He had three assists in the Blackhawks’ wins over the Ducks and Bruins. He had a previous career-high of 17 points, and he’s already smashed that with 22 points this season. He has four goals and 18 assists this season. He and Johnny Oduya have also often received the assignment of the opponent’s top line. Hjalmarsson has a plus-12 rating this season.
Andrew Shaw, forward: Shaw has benefitted from moving to the second line. He’s had two goals, one assist and a plus-five rating since making the switch. Prior to that, he had zero points and a minus-two rating for the month. He appears to be the solution at second-line center for now.
Patrick Kane, forward: Kane is suffering through the third longest scoring drought of his career. He hasn’t scored a goal in the last 10 games. His last goal came against the St. Louis Blues on Dec. 28. His longest scoreless streak was 13 games during his rookie 2007-08 season, and the second longest was 12 games during his second season. He has three points in nine games in January after compiling 23 points in 14 games in December.
2. Patrick Sharp, forward: Like Kane, Sharp has gone through a bit of a goal slump. He’s gone without a goal in the last seven games and has scored in one game in the last 10 games. It’s his longest drought of the season. He is still producing points. He has nine assists in January. The shots have also been mostly there for Sharp. He had zero on net against the Bruins, but he combined for 20 in the previous three games.