3. Late season penalty kill success. The Blackhawk penalty kill was struggling going into the end of this season. But the return of Marcus Kruger to the lineup helped bring some success in this area of special teams. Since Marcus Kruger’s return, the Hawks were 0 for 20 on the penalty kill. They did give up a power play goal to the Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime of the very last game, so they will have to start working on a new streak in the playoffs. Either way, this should give them some confidence on the penalty kill going forward.
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2. Panarin gets paid. The Breadman scored his 30th goal of the season Saturday night, as well as having a three-point game. He finished 9th in the league, with 77 points. He needed to finish in the top 10 in the league in order to get a performance bonus of $1.725 million. Now this will come out of the Chicago Blackhawks salary cap next season, and many think this could mean there won’t be enough money to re-sign Andrew Shaw. But for right now, it’s great to see that Panarin did so well in his rookie year with the NHL. He is also still the front-runner for the Calder Trophy for rookie of the year.
1. Kane wins the Art Ross Trophy. Patrick Kane also had a three-point game on Saturday night. He finished the season with 46 goals and 60 assists (both career highs) for 106 points. He ran away with the Art Ross Ross Trophy for most points scored in the league for the season. He is the first American-born player to earn this honor.
Kane’s 106 points included his 26 game point streak, as well as 2 hat tricks. Before this season, he had never earned a hat trick in the regular season.
So there you have it, folks. All in all, I think the Chicago Blackhawks have a lot to be proud of. They accomplished many things in the 2015-16 regular season, the most important of which is another trip to the playoffs. Now the focus is on one thing only, and that’s to hoist another Stanley Cup!