Chicago Blackhawks: The bright spots half way through the season
By Mike Murdock
Even though the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t a playoff team yet, they’ve had some bright spots halfway through the season.
What’s good for the Chicago Blackhawks is the 10-day break this team is currently getting. They’re currently in the middle of this break. They’ll get time to rest up and reflect on what’s happened so far this season.
Patrick Kane: At 31 years old, Patrick Kane became the 10th American Born player to hit 1,000 points. Kane is also the fourth Blackhawk to score 1,000 NHL points. He currently leads the team in points, goals, and assists.
Kane is ninth in the NHL with 25 goals. He is eight in the NHL in assists. Kane was the only Blackhawks’ player in the All-Star game. So, if the Hawks have any shot at getting into the playoffs, he is going to need to continue his success on the ice.
Dominik Kubalik: Dominik Kubalik leads all NHL rookies with 21 goals. Kubalik has been one of the best goal scorers, especially at full strength.
Take a look at this goal he scored against the Toronto Maple Leafs where he receives Jonathan Toews pass and jams the puck home all in one motion:
Robin Lehner: Sporting a record of 15-8-4 with ave percentage of .922, Robin Lehner, has been a star this season. He has single-handedly kept the Hawks in games, ones they’ve had no business being in. While he is not the official “starter” by the title, he most definitely performs that way in each game that he plays.
Corey Crawford: Corey Crawford is the midst of a resurgent this season. Part of it can be due to the success of Lehner. Whether this is his last year wearing an Indian-head sweater remains to be seen. He has still played some good hockey in 2019-20. Hopefully, he can keep it up during this next stretch of the season.
Brandon Saad: Despite a month-long absence with an ankle injury, Brandon Saad returned to the lineup on January 18th, against the Maple Leafs. He picked up right where he left off by scoring goals in two of the next three games. He is currently fourth on the team with 13 goals. Saad is arguably the best two-way forwards on the roster. Like Kane, he will play a major role in determining the Hawks success in the second half of the year.
Jonathan Toews: After a sluggish if not downright painful start to the season, Jonathan Toews has surged. He is now third on the team with 14 goals and second with 30 assists. As usual, he leads the team in faceoff win percentage. He’s now on pace to tally at least 70 points.
Penalty Kill: After a slow start to the season the penalty kill has been absolute lights out as of late and is now ranked fourth in the NHL. Since December 12th, the Hawks have the best penalty kill in the league.
Youth Movement: Adam Boqvist, Kirby Dach, Alex DeBrincat, and Dylan Strome have played well, when healthy this season. While the verdict is still out on Strome, as a long-term piece of the franchise, it’s safe to say the other three are pieces to build around for the future.
As it stands right now the Hawks are only three points out of the final wild-card spot in the western conference. They have shined on the road this season compiling a 12-9-3 record.12 of the next 14 games will be on the road for the Blackhawks. They’ll need to win around 10 of those games to stay alive. We will see how it goes during the next few games.