First Star: Patrick Kane
Coming in to the 2013-14 season, Patrick Kane had one thing on his mind: show the NHL there was more where that came from.
‘That’, of course, was Kane’s Conn Smythe-earning performance in the 2013 Playoffs, where Kane undoubtedly became a member of the league’s elite group of forwards. Kane not only showed speed and slick hands during that period, but composure, confidence, and a killer instinct. Kane wasn’t trying anything radical and new in the two games played so far: He knows what works, and he is sticking to it. That means good positioning will give him the puck, and his skill will put it in the net. His first goal of the season was partly due to poor defensive coverage by the hapless Capitals, but Kane gave himself the opportunity, by being patient and skating the puck into a shooting lane instead of firing instantly. A routine skate around the back of the net into a coverage position turned into treasure when #88 buried the Blackhawks’ first goal of the game on Saturday, giving him the team lead in that category. Kane is on the verge of blowing up, and this season might be the one where NHL fans witness his true potential.
Brent Seabrook: Great defensive instinct is why #7 is a fixture on the Blackhawks’ blue-line, but jumping into the play to generate offense worked well in the Playoffs last season, and he has already been rewarded with a goal this year.
Blackhawks’ Power-Play: Even in a season where the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, they knew they were looking for a little more out of their man-advantage. Scoring two goals (realistically three, Bollig’s goal against Washington came with Eric Fehr out of the play still) out of 9 opportunities leaves room for improvement, but it is a beacon of hope for sure.
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