Through the quarter pole, the names being muttered are Torey Krug (6G, 6A), Sean Monahan (8G, 6A) and Tomas Hertl (12G, 6 A).
These 3 are quite deserving of the nods. However, the Blackhawks have a rookie, who didn't make the initial roster that I believe will end up being a Calder Cup finalist by the years end.
Brandon Pirri has played 16games. (6G, 5A) and is centering the 2nd line right now. With the injury to Marian Hossa, the 2nd line now consists of Versteeg-Saad-Kane. Yet, Pirri is still knocking pucks in the net. He played a 3rd/4th line combo : Bickell-Pirri-Brookbank. He also played: Versteeg-Pirri-Kane(back on the 2nd line). Quenneville also had Versteeg-Pirri-Saad.
Changing lines and playmates is not new for Quenneville, but this rookie has consistently done well.
I look for Pirri to continue this trend and be a strong competitor by the half-way mark.
Hawks play in Colorado tonight and face an very hungry Colorado Avalanche team that's lost 3 in a row and slid from 1st to 8th in the Western Conference standings. Hawks will be without Marian Hossa a 3rd straight game. However, the Av's will be without their best player in Matt Duchene. (let's call this even).
The Circus Road Trip starts tonight at 8pm CST. See you there.