Tag Archives: Patrick Kane

Blackhawks Down

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Since 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks have been the gold standard in the National Hockey League as their three Stanley Cup Championships over that period are more than any other team in the league. And even in those years where the Blackhawks have been unable to win, they’ve still been one of the top teams in the NHL. This season was no different for Chicago as they would finish with the best record in the Western Conference which ensured them of having home-ice advantage throughout the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But that home-ice advantage wouldn’t do the Blackhawks any good as they were swept in the first round by the Nashville Predators which is hands down the biggest shocker so far of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In the Blackhawks playoff series versus the Predators, they were outscored 13-3 which included being shutout in both games at the United Center in Chicago. The combination of center Jonathan Toews and right winger Patrick Kane who’ve been at the forefront of Chicago’s success since 2010 were limited to a pair of goals during the series against Nashville. And aside from a brief lead during Game 3, Chicago was always trailing for the rest of the series.

Joel Quenneville

After the Blackhawks secured the top spot in the Western Conference, head coach Joel Quenneville decided to rest his key players which backfired as this team lost its continuity, and more importantly its edge. The Blackhawks would lose their last four regular season games and once you factor in how things went down in the playoffs, they finished the season an eight-game losing streak. Blackhawks vice president/general manager Stan Bowman has vowed to make changes, but that doesn’t mean that this team needs to be totally dissected. The Blackhawks have already parted ways with assistant coach Mike Kitchen and you have to wonder what else that Bowman has in store?

Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews

The Blackhawks core players such as Toews, Kane, defenseman Duncan Keith and goalie Corey Crawford are all locked up for the next few years and Chicago might have a little bit of wiggle room under the National Hockey League’s salary cap in order to keep this team together. But the biggest thing for the Blackhawks is that they played their worst hockey of the season at the wrong time. During the regular season Chicago was ninth in the NHL in goals scored per game at 2.93, while they were 11th in goals allowed at 2.59. Kane has contributed to a very potent offense as he has combined to score 80 goals over the last two seasons which included him winning the Hart Memorial Trophy last year as the league’s MVP. However Chicago’s power play was 19th in the NHL this season, while their penalty kill was 24th. The Blackhawks penalty kill was solid during the postseason as it was 87.5%, but they only managed to score a pair of power play goals which helped to lead to their demise.

It has already been made public knowledge that Quenneville will be returning for his 10th season as the Blackhawks head coach. However after the Blackhawks second consecutive first-round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, this will be a very interesting summer in Chicago, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Cubs.

Source: Hockey-reference.com

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Putting Distractions In The Rear-View Mirror

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Typically a summer away from the National Hockey League is a time for players to relax and put a grueling season behind them. But that wasn’t the case for Chicago Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane. Fresh off of helping the Blackhawks win their third Stanley Cup Championship since 2010, Kane appeared to be riding high as he was prepared to be the cover boy for Electronic Arts Sports latest version of their NHL video game (NHL 16). But everything came to a screeching halt for Kane last August when a woman accused the NHL star of raping her at his Buffalo mansion.

The case would be investigated by authorities in Erie County, New York which would put a dark cloud over Kane’s career. EA Sports removed Kane from the cover of their game, while the Blackhawks didn’t know if they were going to have the services of their star forward. In the end, Erie County authorities didn’t find enough substantial evidence to charge Kane which marked the end of the three-month investigation. But regardless of what happened in Buffalo last summer, Kane took a beating in the court of public opinion.

When Kane faced the media at the start of Blackhawks training camp, there were minimal hockey related questions as mostly everything revolved around his personal life. And at road arenas, Kane has arguably been heckled more than any other player in the National Hockey League this season. But Kane has received support from the Blackhawks organization when he returned to the team and it didn’t take him that long to return the favor to them.

Ever since the puck dropped to begin the 2015-2016 National Hockey League season, Kane has been playing like a man possessed. And whereas Kane was quiet over the summer as the legal process took place, he has now let his hockey stick and skates do the talking.

This season Kane leads the National Hockey League in goals (30), assists (42), and points (72) while making it look easy in the process. Earlier this season Kane had a 26-game point streak and his scoring ability is a big reason why the Blackhawks currently have the best record in the Western Conference as they’re once again in contention to win the Stanley Cup.

There are some folks that have put Kane’s alleged incident from last summer behind them as he was voted by the fans to appear in his eighth National Hockey League All-Star Game later this month which shows that they are some people out there that never gave up on him.

Kane is back to doing what he excels at and loves which is to play hockey. And at times when you’re going through personal struggles, doing something that you truly enjoy can provide you with the solace that you need.

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Another Year At The Office For The Blackhawks

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In their first 81 years of existence as a National Hockey League Franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks were only able to hoist the Stanley Cup Trophy three times. But since 2010, winning the Stanley Cup Championship has become a regular habit for the Blackhawks. Last night the Blackhawks finished off the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games for their third Stanley Cup Title in six years. And in the process the Blackhawks have jumped ahead of the Los Angeles Kings as far as being the team of the decade. But one of the things that made this title run so special for the Blackhawks is that they were able to clinch on their home ice at the United Center as the folks in Chicago were able to see their favorite team take it in the Windy City for the first time since 1938.

Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has taken the lessons that he received from his Hockey Hall of Fame father in Scotty Bowman and built a winner in Chicago. Under Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville, Chicago has a core of players consisting of right winger Patrick Kane, center Jonathan Toews, goalie Corey Crawford, defenseman Duncan Keith, defenseman Brent Seabrook, left winger Patrick Sharp and right winger Marian Hossa that along with defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and center Marcus Kruger have been around for all three of the team’s Stanley Cup Championships this decade. And in the current era of the NHL where the salary cap and parity are reigning supreme, the Blackhawks have found a way to overcome the system that is in place to sway consistency.

Duncan Keith, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane

After losing last season to the Kings in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals on their home ice, the Blackhawks never sulked and they came back to work for the 2014-2015 National Hockey League season. The Blackhawks finished the regular season with a record of 48-28-6 which was good for fourth place in the Western Conference and third place in the Central Division. But once the playoffs began you had the feeling that all of the Blackhawks previous playoff experience would come in to play. That experience and resolve allowed the Blackhawks to get past the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six games. The Blackhawks would sweep the Minnesota Wild in the second round to set up a date with the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Finals. The Ducks were the top team in the Western Conference this season and they felt that they had the right formula to win the Stanley Cup.

But the Blackhawks resolve and determination would be on display in Game 2 when they would defeat the Ducks in triple overtime and again in Game 4 where they would be victorious in double overtime. With the series tied at 2-2 entering Game 5, the Blackhawks found themselves trailing 3-0 early on. But Chicago would rally to cut their deficit to just one goal before the Ducks scored late in the third period. Undaunted, the Blackhawks would score a pair of late goals in regulation to force overtime. And although the Blackhawks would go on to lose Game 5, they had renewed confidence when they took the ice for Game 6 in Chicago. The Blackhawks would defeat the Ducks in Game 6 by the score of 5-2 to force a decisive Game 7 in Anaheim.

In Game 7, the Blackhawks played like they expected to win while the Ducks played as if they hoped to win which was the deciding factor. Two goals by Toews in the first period gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 advantage that they never relinquished as they went to defeat the Ducks 5-3.

And in the Stanley Cup Final, the Blackhawks would face a Lightning squad that was looking to make history as they were seeking to defeat an Original Six team of each round of the postseason.

After winning Game 1 in Tampa, the Blackhawks would lose the next two and they were faced with a must-win scenario in Game 4. The Blackhawks would be up for that challenge with a 2-1 triumph before defeating the Lightning in Tampa in Game 5 by the same margin. And when the Blackhawks took to the ice in Chicago last night for Game 6, they sensed their victory and unfortunately for the Lightning, they did as well.

After a scoreless first period that was highlighted by missed opportunities for the Blackhawks, they got it going in the second period when Keith scored on a rebound. And in the third period, Kane would clinch the Stanley Cup Championship with his 11th goal of the postseason. But in the Stanley Cup Final, you cannot forget the effort of Crawford between the pipes.

Corey Crawford

At one point during the playoffs, Quenneville benched Crawford in favor of backup goalie Scott Darling. And like a true pro, Crawford responded when he came back to the starting lineup which was highlighted by him giving up just two goals over the last three games of the Stanley Final to a Lightning team that can score with the best of them.

Chicago prides itself as being “The City of Broad Shoulders” and all of those broad shoulders will have no problem in carrying their favorite hockey team around town for the immediate future. Bowman has built a team of stars and their core will remain intact. The Blackhawks have a head coach in Quenneville that preaches winning, and more importantly he never loses his cool. Like most winning organizations, the Blackhawks don’t point fingers, they pick each other up, and they have a locker room full of guys that hate to lose more than they enjoy winning. And now that hatred for losing has allowed the Blackhawks the chance to bask in all that winning has to offer as they’ve now spoiled the hockey fans in Chicago by making their June party a regular thing.

Source: Hockey-reference.com

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