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Blackhawks all-2010s lineup challenge: Special teams

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How would you assemble Chicago’s power play and penalty kill units?

Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

The fourth installment of Second City Hockey’s all-2010s lineup challenge focuses on special teams, with each writer selecting two power play and penalty kill units.

Brandon

Power Play 1

Dustin ByfuglienJonathan ToewsPatrick Kane

Artemiy Panarin — Brian Campbell

The top unit seems like a no-brainer. You have Kane and Panarin together (why would you split them up?), Byfuglien up front, Toews doing Toews things and Campbell running the point.

Power Play 2

Patrick SharpArtem AnisimovMarian Hossa

Duncan KeithBrandon Saad

Anisimov, like Byfuglien, can provide a net-front presence while Keith runs the point and Hossa, Saad and Sharp are able to set things up. Keith’s fake-shot-slap pass lands him on the power play over Brent Seabrook’s booming shot.

Penalty Kill 1

Hossa — Toews

Saad — Keith

This unit has three strong forwards that can hold onto the puck and defend along with the team’s best defender that can skate from my lineup. It’s about as close as one could get to an effective four forward power kill. The other team can’t score if they don’t have the puck.

Penalty Kill 2

Dave Bolland — Antoine Vermette

Johnny OduyaNiklas Hjalmarsson

The two forwards ability to win faceoffs — more of Vermette’s department — combined with the defensemen’s ability to shutdown opponents make this an easy choice.

Dave

PP1

Byfgulien — Toews — Kane

Panarin — Campbell

Campbell running the point, Kane and Panarin on opposite faceoff dots for passes and one-timers, Toews running things behind the net (if necessary) and Byfuglien wreaking havoc in the crease. Good luck with that one.

PP2

Sharp — Anisimov — Hossa

Seabrook — Bolland

Know which Blackhawk had the team’s second highest GF/60 rate while on the power play during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Dave freaking Bolland. Put him on the point (as he did in his days with the OHL’s London Knights) with Brent Seabrook’s booming shot as another weapon. Position Hossa and Sharp in opposite face of circles and park Anisimov in front of the net, where he was effective during his Chicago tenure.

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

PK1

Hossa — Toews

Keith — Seabrook

It was good enough to win three Stanley Cup championships. Do not fix what is not broken.

PK2

Bolland — Vermette

Oduya — Hjalmarsson

A PK stalwart from Chicago’s first two Cups this past decade paired with another responsible, two-way forward from the third up top. Vermette’s faceoff skills would also be handy here. And the Blackhawks are still looking for a shutdown pair as good as Hjalmarsson and Oduya.

Matt

PP1

Byfuglien — Toews — Kane

Keith — Sharp

I went back and forth between having Byfuglien on the top unit or Hossa, but opted to go with the former because he would create screens, tip opportunities and goals off rebounds with his strong 6-foot-5 frame. Add in a sharpshooter on the point with Keith and let Toews and Kane attack the net with give-and-go plays or cross slot passes. Here’s one of my favorite goals from this power play unit:

PP2

Teravainen — Anisimov — Hossa

Panarin — Seabrook

Like the first power play unit, Anisimov would park himself in front of the net for tips and rebounds like he did on many of his 21 power-play goals with the Blackhawks. Then, add in three dangerous playmakers in Hossa, Panarin and Teravainen, as well as a powerful one timer from Seabrook.

PK1

Hossa — Toews

Keith — Seabrook

Chicago’s penalty kill has been at its best when it’s more aggressive. Toews and Hossa leading the charge up front with lots of potential to force a turnover or create a scoring chance off pure skill. Keith and Seabrook could join the rush, but also provide tons of stability in the defensive zone. Whether that be blocking shots, clearing bodies and pucks from in front of the crease or taking a hit to get the puck off the glass and out, you could always count on them.

PK2

Saad — Bolland

Hjalmarsson — Roszival

Saad must have 20 short-handed breakaways in his career, so he could continue the more aggressive approach on the penalty kill along with Bolland, who had eight short-handed goals, including three in the playoffs, with the Blackhawks. Hjalmarsson and Roszival would soak up shots and reduce the number of scoring chances making it to the net.

Shepard

PP1

Panarin — Toews — Kane

Leddy — Hossa

The four best forwards on the dream team combine with the best single quarterback (as opposed to a duo) to make the ideal power play for the decade.

PP2

Sharp — Vermette — Teravainen

Keith — Seabrook

The line was excellent at even strength and has the collective play-making ability to thrive on the man advantage. Keith and Seabrook were the best power-play pairing but I’d rather have the four-one strategy up top.

PK1

Marcus KrugerMichael Frolik

Hjalmarsson — Oduya

The whole reason I put a line with both of them on the team was for this penalty-kill unit. The European quartet would represent the Blackhawks’ best chance at duo of the decade on any team.

PK2

Saad — Hossa

Keith — Seabrook

The Blackhawks best two-way wings of the 2010s combine to make a dynamic forward penalty-killing unit which can move the puck quickly from their own end onto the attack is something most-reminiscent of the power kill strategy.