The Chicago Blackhawks, as they reach roughly 25 games into the season, have been good this year despite their drastically different team from last year. Due to salary cap constraints, the Hawks unfortunately had to let go of stars and fan-favorites, Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad, and many others. Therefore, the Blackhawks began their season on what seemed like a brand new group of players, yet continue to play their high quality style of hockey. New editions to the team such as Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov have a combined 17 goals thus far and have truly had a great impact to the Blackhawks. They play on the same line as Patrick Kane who is having a career year setting an NHL record for an American born player to have 19 straight games with either a goal or an assist. Meanwhile, other players such as Marian Hossa just recently came alive posting 6 points in 8 games after a sluggish start. The Blackhawk’s talent and depth extends within all four forward lines and the three defensive pairings and will surely make a run for the fourth Stanley Cup in recent years as The Blackhawks have a young team, great talent, an excellent minor league system, and incredible coaching; this dynasty will continue for a long time.
With the new season underway, the NHL decided to make a rule change: Overtime will consist of a five minute 3 on 3 period followed by a shootout (As opposed to last year’s 4 on 4 overtime). Due to Chicago’s talent, this new rule has greatly helped the Hawks in overtime allowing for more space on the ice and greater opportunities for their skilled players. Therefore, they only have 3 overtime losses this year. In my opinion, I was not a fan of the shootout, and I really enjoy the new 3 on 3 period. There is a lot more scoring with this rule than with the 4 on 4, meaning less shootouts. Viewers can see players’ skill and speed and is just more interesting to watch than the old overtime style. I just hope they keep this rule in future seasons.
Matt Bonistalli, Rock-A-Thon Director
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