In the last seven days, the Chicago Blackhawks continued their assault on their own and the NHL’s record books. The Blackhawks organization has surpassed several milestones this season, and the last week was certainly part of that. The seven-day stretch of milestones began with Phillip Danault.
On January 8, Danault scored his first NHL goal against the Buffalo Sabres. It was the game winner in a 3-1 victory. Danault was also the sixth Blackhawks player this season to score his first NHL goal. The list consists of Artemi Panarin, Tanner Kero, Viktor Svedberg, Dennis Rasmussen, Brandon Mashinter and Danault.
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On January 10, Duncan Keith set another record in his career. Keith appeared in his 800th regular season game. In the current state of the NHL where players get hurt often, Keith has been extremely durable. Before this season, Keith had not missed significant time. Despite having meniscus surgery, Keith only missed 10 games this season, which will probably feature Keith’s lowest games played total in his NHL career. For his career, Keith has 801 games played, 82 goals and 359 assists for 441 points.
On January 12, with the Blackhawks’ 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators, coach Joel Quenneville tied Al Arbour for second all-time in NHL coaching wins. Quenneville currently sits at 782 wins and could pass him with a victory on today against the Montreal Canadiens. Quenneville has coached three teams in his career — the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks. With the Blackhawks, Quenneville’s regular season record is 344-168 in 581 games. In the playoffs, he is 73-44 with three Stanley Cup championships. Quenneville is 462 victories behind Blackhawks consultant and former NHL coach Scotty Bowman.
The Danault goal, Keith’s 800 games and Quenneville tying Al Arbour are just some of the milestones that have been set this season. There are still more goals that can be reached. Patrick Kane is viewed by many a favorite to win the Hart Trophy. Kane would be the first Hart Trophy winner for the Blackhawks since the great Stan Mikita won in 1967-68. Kane would also be the first American to do so. In case people forgot, Kane also set the Blackhawks and American consecutive games with a point record at 26 games earlier this season.
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Some other milestones that can be reached this season are 300 assists for Jonathan Toews and 500 goals for Marian Hossa. Toews is two assists away from 300 career assists, while Marian Hossa is seven goals away from 500 goals. Hossa would join Alex Ovechkin as the second player to reach 500 goals this season. Jarome Iginla reached 600 career goals, and Jaromir Jagr continues to add to his career total of 737.
After 15 years of darkness in Chicago, the Blackhawks organization and their fans deserve some time in the sun.