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Blue line finding consistency with Murphy and Dahlstrom

Blue line finding consistency with Murphy and Dahlstrom
Published On: Fri, Jan 11
Mar 8, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Ryan Murphy (7) skates with the puck against the Ottawa Senators at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Hearing a pair of young defensemen say they a€œtake pride in defending harda€ and a€œbeing reliable defensivelya€ must be music to the ears of Jeremy Colliton.

But it strikes a much nicer chord when the play of those defensemen on the ice matches the words coming out of their mouths.

Those words came from Connor Murphy and Carl Dalhstrom, the Blackhawks most consistent defensive pairing of late.

a€œHim and Murphy have done a great job playing hard minutes against really good players,a€ said Colliton. a€œI view it as a huge positive - the progression theya€™ve shown. I think theya€™re a big part of why wea€™ve been getting a lot more points lately.a€

Murphy returned early in December after missing an extended period of time due to a back injury, while Dahlstrom missed making the team out of camp and later was recalled from Rockford. Theya€™ve been paired together since Dahlstrom made his season debut on December 12th against the Penguins and there is no doubt that their consistency has paid dividends on the Blackhawks blue line.

a€œConnor is a great guy and an even better player. I really like playing with him,a€ said Dahlstrom. a€œI think both of our type of games really suit each other, really trying to break up plays early.a€

As a team, the Blackhawks allowed 3.7 goals per game in their first 30 contests of the season. Since Murphya€™s return, they have allowed 3.44 goals per game as a team. A lot of it has to do with better defensive play all around, as the team gets settled in with Collitona€™s new systems. But Murphy and Dahlstrom have played a big part. In 16 games, Murphy has a +8 rating while Dahlstrom owns a +5 in his 14 games.

Read the complete news article here...


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