We have made it to the Stanley Cup playoffs eve and the best present possible will be there for Chicago Blackhawks fans when the team takes to the ice at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for Game #1 and that present wears #88 and goes by the name Patrick Kane.
As all Chicago Blackhawks fans know, Patrick Kane has been on the mend since he broke his clavicle against the Florida Panthers and his Hart and Ross Trophy dreams went crashing into the boards at the United Center. The good news is that for the 2nd straight season Kane will begin Game #1 in a Chicago Blackhawks jersey after finishing the season injured and watching from the pressbox.
Kane is back means that the Chicago Blackhawks offense should return, but more importantly for a team that isn’t built to be a big hitting team with Kane in the lineup the team’s possession and advanced stats will get back to it’s normal high ranking. The Blackhawks went from near the top in the NHL in possession numbers to smack dab in the middle of the pack at 15 which just shows how much have #88 in the lineup matters for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Patrick Kane and the playoffs go hand in hand from his Game #6 2010 Stanley Cup heroics to his only 2 hat tricks which have come in close out games during the playoffs, to winning the Conn Smythe trophy for the Playoffs MVP in 2013.
Kane’s playoff stats are 5th all-time in Chicago Blackhawks playoff history.
Game Winning Goals-7
To have Patrick Kane in the lineup means that the offense should come a bit easier for the rest of the team with the opposing teams having to pick their poison on which line they will try to shut down instead of just focusing on Jonathan Toews like teams have since Kane’s injury.
Kane being back is the happiest news we have heard in sometime from Chicago.
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Now, the bad news is the Joel Quenneville is shuffling his lineup with Antoine Vermette on the outside looking in while Andrew Shaw is back manning his old Center position. I have a hard time believing Q doesn’t just play his favorites instead of the best lineup possible with this move. Vermette is a true 2nd line center that has yet been able to play with 2nd line talent and now that Patrick Kane is back Quenneville has him out of the lineup. This is pretty crazy even for Q!
Kane is back though.. Celebrate!!!
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