Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is rolling along with his team, resulting in first-star status from the NHL on Monday
It must be old hat to Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, winning weekly/monthly awards from the NHL. But as fans, we certainly don’t mind seeing Kane and others receive additional mention. After all, that probably means the team is faring well.
That is the case this week, as Kane is the NHL’s first star of the week and the Blackhawks are on a five-game winning streak. Kane was recognized Monday alongside Philadelphia goaltender Brian Elliott and New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey.
Kane tallied five points last week, including four goals. Two of his tallies were game-winners, against Florida in overtime and against Minnesota. Kane netted one goal apiece against the Panthers and Winnipeg Jets before potting two last night versus the Wild.
An honorable mention should go to Nick Schmaltz, who wired some killer passes to Kane for a couple of those goals. The two are working well together, and you know coach Joel Quenneville has been waiting for a meshing like this amid his line jumbling.
Blackhawks heating up
With Kane’s success, though, we should talk about the team’s at large. After Chicago’s three victories over really bad teams, you didn’t sense so many positive vibes despite the results.
The Blackhawks had barely escaped against three rough squads, and they had to run right into Central Division play for the next three games. It seemed entirely possible a course correction could take place.
And yet, the Blackhawks thumped both the Jets and Wild, the latter in even more dominant fashion. Against Winnipeg, Chicago just used a massive first period to roll. Against Minnesota, the Blackhawks were firing on all cylinders the entire night.
Naturally, the Blackhawks get an obnoxious break now to drain all their momentum. They won’t play against until Thursday against Dallas. I’m sure the team doesn’t mind getting some down time, but when you’re hot, it’s always good to keep playing.
Regardless, the Blackhawks need to keep this train chugging ahead. They’re just barely in a playoff spot after the latest win, so the mission is far from accomplished. The Blackhawks are suddenly knocking on the Central Division’s third-place door, just four points behind the Jets with a game in hand.