We've given our grades for the Chicago Blackhawks' goaltenders and defensemen, now it is time to hand out some grades to the forwards. Due to their being several forwards on the roster, we will be breaking them up into different parts. At this time, we will look at the Blackhawks' top line consisting of Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp.
Let's take a look at the forwards in part one:
Jonathan Toews (19 G, 36 A, 55 P)
Plain and simple, Jonathan Toews is the best all-around player in the NHL. He excels in the face off circle, he plays on the power play, he plays on the penalty kill, he can set up teammates all over the ice, he's strong on his stick, and he's an automatic 20 goal scorer. "Captain Serious" has done a fantastic job running the Blackhawks' top line, which is a big reason why the team is once again amongst the best in the Western Conference. He continues to positively influence his teammates, as well as contribute in basically every aspect of the game.
Marian Hossa (24 G, 26 A, 50 P)
Despite being 35 years old, Hossa is on pace to have one of his best seasons in the last seven years. Hossa is a two-way forward that excels on both ends of the ice. He provides a strong scoring presence on the top line and does a nice job positioning himself on the power play. He has also stayed relatively healthy this year, playing a total of 55 games.
Patrick Sharp (28 G, 30 A, 58 P)
After a slow start to the season which saw him only score one goal in his first 11 games, Sharp has responded in a big way. Sharp is well on pace to surpass his career highs in goals (36), assists (41) and points (69). He has surpassed all expectations this year and has been one of the team's most consistent players throughout the course of the season. He ranks tied for sixth in goals and ninth in points in the NHL. His 231 shots rank second in the league. He provides a huge scoring boost on the top line and has been spectacular playing the point on the power play. Not only has Sharp been sensational on the offensive end, but he has had played well defensively. He's done a nice job backchecking his year, which has been a big asset to the Blackhawks.
Here is a video of one of the plays of the year. The score is already 4-0 Blackhawks with Sharp having a hat trick in the game. He chases down Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, who is one of the fastest players in the league, to steal the puck and then he finds Toews down the ice for what turns out to be an incredible goal by Toews.
Part two of the forward grades will be coming shortly.
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