Will the third man for the shootout please stand up??

The Chicago Blackhawks can do no wrong these days.

Best record in the NHL. League leader in points standings,etc,etc. 

Someone has to be the guy to point out the glaring weakness: The quest for the third man in the shootout period.

One can argue that the third shooter dilemma has been the team’s toughest opponent thus far. It has gotten to the point when fans and even people who claim (I use that term loosely) to know the game can figure out that the team is better off winning a game in regulation.

After Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, it’s been slim pickings for coach Joel Quenneville. Marion Hossa, Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, who needs to start contributing offensively, and Viktor Stalberg have all taken a crack at the third shooter position. According to NHL.com, the top shooters on the team are of follows: Toews, Kane, Saad,Nick Leddy and Sharp. Toews checks in at ninth overall. Two of the goals he has scored were road game-deciding goals. The next Blackhawks player to check in was Kane at number 54. Last Monday’s opponent, The Anaheim Ducks has three players in the top 30 in the same category. Corey Perry is number one overall in the NHL in shootouts.

Something has got be done soon because there will be close game ahead where two points are needed not one.  Saad has to step up in the category. But then again, playing on the first line with the faces of the franchise (Toews and Kane) might be more than enough to put on a young player’s plate.

Even though the Hawks have gotten at least one point in the every game, this has to eat at the coaching staff. While everyone seems to be flying high, the coach Quenneville knows the third shooter dilemma is a problem. Next time, coach Quenneville will most likely throw out one of the aforementioned players and hope for the best.

Follow me on Twitter @evanFmoore and make sure to "like" The Checking Line on Facebook and on Twitter (@TheCheckingLine) to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news and notes.

Feel free to shoot me an email: evnmoore@yahoo.com.


Matt Cefalu's picture

Nice piece! I definitely agree that the Hawks could be better in shoot out especially if you take last season into account, but at the end of the day, when it comes to the Hawks, shootouts are probably going to be irrelevant this year, if they continue to win enough games to make the playoffs *knocks on wood* Cuz once you get to the playoffs, shootouts wont matter. This is my hope, anyway

Evan F. Moore's picture

Thanks for reading! I'm not too worried about it but I would like not to worry about it.

George Prax's picture

Interesting topic and great first article. Welcome to the team Evan!

Evan F. Moore's picture