Usually it’s pointless to write about the Blackhawks until April, but what they’re doing currently is worth noting. The Blackhawks after having played mediocre hockey by their standards for most of the year have again started to assert themselves as the dynasty that will not die in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks tonight will go for their 13th win in a row which will extend their franchise best streak while in addition becoming the longest winning streak this year in the NHL. The Blackhawks are currently tied with who of all teams but the Florida Panthers who had their own 12 game winning streak snapped just a few weeks ago.
The Blackhawks will face their Stanley Cup Final foe of last year the Tampa Bay Lightning down in St. Petersburg with their record now at 32-13-4 (68Pts). The Hawks have a five point lead over the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues in their division, and an even wider margin against their stiffest challenge for a Stanley Cup in the Los Angeles Kings who’re currently 29-13-3 (61Pts). The Kings do however have four games in hand on the Hawks, but to make those all wins is tough to project so as of right now the Hawks are currently the best team in hockey.
The Hawks may have three trophy winners on their team currently in Corey Crawford for the Vezina, Patrick Kane for the Hart, and Artemi Panarin for the Calder. The play of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have again been phenomenal and of course Jonathan Toews remains the best all-around forward in the world. Patrick Kane leads the league in goals with 30 (his previous career high for a season) and assists with 41 while holding a comfortable 15 point lead over Jamie Benn of the Stars. Patrick Kane seems to be a lock for the Hart Trophy and there’s still two and a half months left in the season. Kane will most likely become the first player since Sidney Crosby to surpass the 100-point threshold doing it last two seasons ago. Kane has never had a hundred point season, but it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he’ll hit that milestone.
The early part of the season may have a been a little lackluster because of how much turnover the Hawks had in terms of personnel change, but now they’re back to where they’re expected to be and the timing is just right. As they continue their quest for their fourth championship, they’ll be looking to continue their lead over the rest of the Western Conference for home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, while hoping to overtake the Capitals for the President’s Trophy race which would assure them home-ice in the finals. That’s of course assuming that the Capitals would get there; and with the way the Eastern Conference is, any team could get hot at the right time and make a deep run into the Finals. The Hawks have an NHL best 20 home wins in 26 games played at the United Center.