F (OT)

Players to Watch 2nd half

Published February 7, 2022 at 9:24

The Chicago Blackhawks most likely will be feeling the Mondays. The second half of the season is here, after a fun filled All Star Game Weekend. It's that time of the year, where teams will need to put the pedal to the medal. It's time to make a run for the playoffs. It's time to bolster a lineup with a new addition. Its time to get serious.
For the Blackhawks, it is not all of that. It is going to be a long second half, where the back office issues are just as much of a problem as the Wins and Points' dilemma.

The Hawks will most likely be sellers at the trade deadline (Monday March 21st). They wont look to add, but rather they will be doing some house cleaning in many areas, ranging from the players to the PR related issues. There have been many fans who are dropping their allegiance, selling season tickets, and vowing not to cheer on their team, until things change.

So, what players should be focused on, as we go down the stretch?

1) Kirby Dach. This is only his third year with the Hawks, but his numbers this year are sub par for sure. In 43 games, he only has 6 goals and 9 assists. Many Hawks fans expected more from him. He's a larger player (six foot four) who shouldn't mind mucking it up in the corners. That really hasn't been the case this year. The potential is there, but his consistency and ghosting it seems in games, need to be addressed.

2) Marc Andre Fleury. Imagine life without Fleury. The Hawks would have to deal with the likes of Kevin Lankinen (who cant buy a win this season), and maybe Malcom Subban (who also has a hard time getting the W when he was a Hawk).
The Hawks would be in discussion with teams this year like Montreal, Phoenix and Buffalo. Oh wait, there are in discussions with those teams.
Marc Andre Fleury has done his best, and often has been brilliant in his starts. His numbers don't lie, as he is 14-16-3 in 29 games. His goals against is on the heavy side, especially for him, at 2.93. However, a stat that shows how well he plays is the save percentage. This is more of a goalie stat versus the goals allowed which is more of a team oriented statistic. It is currently at .908. What was his save percentage career wise before coming to the Hawks? .913. Not too far off really. Talk about consistency. He also has 3 shutouts this year. One of them coming in Montreal, where even the crowd has cheered on his accomplishments. Fleury won his 500th game that evening. Even a depressed Montreal crowd couldn't help but cheer him on for the win. It at least gave them something to cheer about.
It will be interesting to see if he end up on a contender. His 7 Million dollar contract could be a COG that would be hard to swallow though.
Teams like Washington and Colorado have been in the rumor mill.

3. Dylan Strome. He only has 7 goals with 11 assists. Playing often with talented players, one would think he would have numbers closer to Alex Debrincat. He does not. The issues, supposedly, with Jeremy Colliton should be gone. But he continues to struggle, and has been in trade discussions. Lately, he has picked it up a little bit with 4 goals in 11 games. So, we shall see if he can continue and resemble the player the Hawks picked up from Arizona.

What players do you think we will need to focus on?
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