Speaking of Blackhawks highlights, Patrick Kane played in his 1,000th NHL game this week.
A night that began with a special message from Jonathan Toews ended with a lopsided six to one loss to the Dallas Stars. As BlackhawkUp’s own Jimmy Lynch explained, Kane crossed the 1,000 game mark as a player who looks like he is just getting started. He continues to shine. To this point, Kane has amassed 1,063 points in just 1,002 hockey games.
Over a point per game production, three Stanley Cups, and a league MVP should ensure that he is in the conversation of who is the best American-born hockey player of all time. Congratulations Patrick Kane.
The surprise this year has been in the play of the rookies and youngsters. For me, the big surprise has been Brandon Hagel. He has added much needed jump to the Hawks third and fourth lines, and now he has started to produce. On Thursday, Hagel added an assist and on Saturday night, he added a goal. Working with him, Dominik Kubalik added a goal last game and an assist Saturday night. The two are building chemistry and could be a dominant force on the bottom six.
Adam Boqvist notched two assists on Thursday versus Dallas and scored one goal versus Florida on Saturday. He now has 13 points in his 18 games on the season. More importantly, Boqvist has put up ten points since he returned to the lineup on February 17th. He was struggling at that point and many thought he would do better in Rockford refining his skills. Apparently, Boqvist got the message- he has been sensational on both ends of the ice since his return.
Pius Suter and Philip Kurashev have been outstanding so far in this fairly young season. For most of the week they were quiet; however, both scored in the game vs Tampa Bay last Sunday. They most definitely figure into the future of the Hawks and are playing on the expected trajectory of young players. When you play eight rookies, and 12 players 25 and under, this is what you expect- nights of greatness and other nights where you scratch your head. Welcome to the rebuild.
This week is a week of reminders. We are reminded of the greatness that is Patrick Kane, the greatness that is Jonathan Toews. We are reminded that life is fragile and so is greatness. And, we are reminded that we are in the midst of a rebuild. Patience friends…..patience.