Jan 21, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) and center Jonathan Toews (19) celebrate after both players scored goal in the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Blackhawks won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL regular season is on break this week, and tonight Jonathan Toews will draft his time for Sunday’s NHL All-Star Game in Columbus. But just because the regular season is on break, it doesn’t mean the numbers are on break.
The Blackhawks leading point man would be none other than Showtime himself, Patrick Kane. Kane’s 51 points (22 goals and 29 assists) are good enough for 3rd best in the entire National Hockey League. Five of those 22 goals are game-winners, six are power play goals not mentioning any of the shootout goals that Kane has had this season. Kane is 18 points and seven goals from matching those respective numbers from last season, looking to add more to his career numbers. Kane has the chance to get close to his career high in points at 88. It would take a very impressive streak in the 2nd half, but if anybody has it in them it is Kaner.
Brandon Saad has become an absolute force for this Chicago team. Dubbed as the younger version of Marian Hossa in his rookie season, Saad seems to be embracing that characterization and has evolved into a star for this squad. His 15 goals are second on the team. Better than the likes of Hossa, Toews and Patrick Sharp. Saad has been bounced around lines over the past two seasons (who hasn’t), but has found a home once again on the first line with Toews and Hossa causing opponents chaos from the moment the puck drops. Having Saad play at this level come playoff time only elevates the Hawks game and gives other teams another threat to worry about.
This group of Hawks find themselves looking up at the division leaders in Nashville, training by only three points. The Predators have two games in hand on the Hawks, meaning two opportunities to make the lead even wider. Being three points behind may spark the Hawks to want to make a push for the division crown and home-ice advantage, something they didn’t have in the first round last year.
This break will be good for both the team and the fans. A chance to relax, regroup and recharge for the second half of the season. Be sure to watch Toews, Kane and the other Blackhawks take over Columbus for the All-Star festivities this weekend.