It’s no secret that Patrick Kane is one of the best forwards in the world and has broken Bobby Hull’s franchise record for consecutive games with a point at 21-games. Kane’s streak was extended last night during the Hawks 5-1 loss in Nashville to 24-games which is the record for a U.S. born player as well. He broke that five games ago in LA. The NHL record’s 51-games done by the “Great One” back in 83-84. If Kane were to tie or break Gretzky’s record he would have to keep the streak going until February. Stay Tuned!
If you’re able to put Kane’s incredible streak behind you and focus on the teams success, the average Hawks fan can’t be too pleased with the way the team’s been playing as of recent. The Hawks in their last ten games are 4-3-3 and just one point ahead of Minnesota for the last playoff spot in the conference despite having three games in hand on the Wild. Minnesota has a pretty respectable record with twice as many wins as regulation losses which puts them in phenomenal position to move up the Central Division. Chicago’s bolstered by the fact that after Minnesota there is a steep drop-off amongst teams in the Western Conference competing for playoff spots.
The Blackhawks right now are just a very middle of the road team and they’ve been that way for most of the season. They’ve had their successes and they’ve had their failures. Chicago’s integrating a lot of new faces and had a big injury to their Conn Smythe winning defenseman in Duncan Keith for a while. This is of course leaving out the fact that they had to jettison two big names in the offseason that drastically changed their forward lines. Artemi Pannarin has been good this year, but if you look at players like Toews, Shaw, Terravainen and Hossa there leaves a lot to be desired in terms of production.
After Kane’s 44 points which leads the NHL by five, the Hawks next best player in terms of scoring is Pannarin who has 28 points in 29 games. Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Teuvo Terravainen and Andrew Shaw are all averaging less than half a point a game or just around it in the case of Toews. Artem Anisimov who was supposed to be the centerpiece of the Brandon Saad deal has just 18 points which is more than Toews and that should never be the case.
In gaol Corey Crawford’s save percentage is another thing that’s not good to look at. I understand Crawford’s won two Stanley Cups in the last three years, but a .918% isn’t good. Scott Darling hasn’t been very good in relief posting a losing record to go along with a 2.78GAA. There’s a lot of time left in the season and Chicago’s in no way in jeopardy of losing their playoff position, however from the looks of it the team needs to start gelling a little bit quicker or there’s gonna be some barking from the heads of the team. This is the three time champion Hawks we’re talking about so there should be little to complain about, but when you’re being amazed by Kane’s streak, be sure to realize that there’s another thing that’s more important than him and that’s wins and losses at the end of sixty minutes.