Analysis

5 Thoughts: Chicago Blackhawks defeat Dallas Stars 6-1 in final home game

By Stephen Yatsushiro
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 05: The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate defeating the Dallas Stars 6-1 at the United Center on April 5, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 05: The Chicago Blackhawks celebrate defeating the Dallas Stars 6-1 at the United Center on April 5, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 05: Chicago Blackhawks left wing Chris Kunitz (14) celebrates his goal with teammates on the bench during a game between the Dallas Stars and the Chicago Blackhawks on April 5, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 05: Chicago Blackhawks left wing Chris Kunitz (14) celebrates his goal with teammates on the bench during a game between the Dallas Stars and the Chicago Blackhawks on April 5, 2019, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

4 – Chris Kunitz had a fun night.

Chris Kunitz and the Chicago Blackhawks organization will both agree that he did not have the season that was expected from him.  The veteran forward had been the perfect complimentary linemate for Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh for many seasons.  In his one season with the ‘Hawks, Kunitz struggled early on to be that complimentary player on any line, or even be in the line up consistently.  But as the season wore on, he actually settled into his role as a grinder on the fourth line.  He elevated his play over this final month of the regular season and was a noticeable contributor regularly with some hard-nosed play.

It was only fitting that he scored a goal in what was probably his final home game with the ‘Hawks and possibly for his career.  But his presence on the ‘Hawks has been a positive one as a leader, and the team’s love for him showed when his goal was validated after a video review.  See the joy that his teammates felt as they swarmed him on the bench after the good-goal announcement.

We thank Chris Kunitz for his veteran leadership and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

5 – Fan Appreciation Night.

The final home game for your 2018-19 Chicago Blackhawks was Fan Appreciation Night.  In a night of fan giveaways, the team delivered an entertaining game with goals from Kane (2), Dominik Kahun, Kunitz, Dylan Strome, and Slater Koekkoek.  The defensive effort was there with forwards chipping in and the defensemen playing well overall.  The often-criticized Erik Gustafsson and often-healthy-scratched Koekkoek actually had solid defensive games.

The Blackhawks fans have stuck with their team through two consecutive disappointing seasons.  The shared hope is that this team makes some significant moves this offseason to shore up the defense to compliment a pretty potent offense.  That would be greatly appreciated.

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The Chicago Blackhawks close out their season tonight against the Nashville Predators in another Central Division matchup.  It will be difficult to imagine yet another April and May without Blackhawks hockey.  So to the front office, we say, “Let’s Go, ‘Hawks.”

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