That boooiiiii did it AGAIN. Every time, every night, every game Patrick Kane comes through. He has absolutely dragged this team to the playoff picture by sheer force of will. People make a big deal about this current point streak because it is absurd.
Over 2 points per game in his last 19 games. No wonder the Blackhawks are flying up the standings. Patrick Kane won’t let them lose. When the streak started on January 3rd the Blackhawks were 29th in the standings…now:
Tied with the Avalanche for that final wild card spot and it doesn’t happen without Patrick Kane being the best player in the world. And guess what…before this 19 game scoring streak started, Patrick Kane had another 10 game scoring streak. Points in 29 of his last 30 games. By my count he’s only been held off of the score sheet 7 times the entire year. Patrick Kane has never been better and that means he is also the best player in the NHL and should the Blackhawks make the playoffs he should absolutely win the Hart Trophy for MVP. Kucherov is an unbelievable player, but he’s also playing for the unquestioned best team in the NHL and maybe the best team since the 2013 Blackhawks. If you remove Kucherov from the Lightning they’re definitely in the playoffs, and maybe even one of the better teams in the East. If you take Patrick Kane off of the Blackhawks they are without a doubt, the WORST team in the NHL. That makes him the most VALUABLE player. Kucherov has 7 more points on the season as of now, but Patrick Kane on the Blackhawks is worth probably 40 points in the standings over the course of a season. This recent stretch has felt like the glory days in a sense. Where no matter what you believed the Blackhawks would find a way to win because they were just so much better than everyone. That feeling that the Blackhawks will find a way is back, but instead of knowing that talent will win-out the feeling is “Patrick Kane will do something. He won’t let us lose”. And then he does. He’s made us believe, he’s made it fun, and he’s brought the Blackhawks back from the dead. And that isn’t an MVP then I don’t know what it.
And if he is the MVP this year, then it’s time to crown him as the greatest American-born player ever. Better than Modano, Hull, Roenick, and even Chelios. His resume would stack up. Three Cups, two Hart Trophies, A Conn Smythe, and he’s now well over a point per game for his career. He’s been the best player on the best teams, he’s been the MVP on one of the worst teams, he’s done everything. He is Captain America.
- –I don’t want to overlook what Jonathan Toews has meant this year either. He is ALL the way back. People had him dead and buried. NHL Network didn’t have him in their top 20 centers. Not top 20 players in the league…centers. FUCK you. Toews is having his best year too and is on a point per game pace. The game winning goal by Kane was actually set up by Toews. He beat a defender, took the puck hard to the net, and NEVER stopped. He won a loose puck from two Red Wings, found Gustafsson jumping in, put the puck on his tape and a second later the game was over. That’s the type of Jonathan Toews play that built a dynasty. Relentless and competitive all over the ice. You can tell 19 and 88 are having fun playing together and leading this team. It’s great to see.
- –Alex Debrincat is a FREAK of nature. Born to score. He reminds me so much of Brett Hull. They shoot the puck way differently and Hull obviously had the bigger shot, but they score from the same areas. They’re great at reading plays and finding the dead areas on the ice. The puck finds him because he knows where to be and when it finds Debrincat, he wires it home with the slickest release I’ve ever seen and it’s in the back of the net before the goalie knows he even had it. He scored his 33rd goal last night. This tweet made me do the blinking guy meme in real time
Pretty decent guys to be looking down at as a 21 year-old. Better set aside some money for the kid. And his friend, Dylan Strome
- –Dylan Strome has been UNBELIEVABLE. He’s just about a point per game guy since the trade. 36 points in 37 games. He’s pumped up the PP as much as anyone and given the Blackhawks a true #2 center behind Jonathan Toews for the first time since…ever. I had given up on Nick Schmaltz. I was happy to get ANYTHING for him. I just didn’t want Stan to give him an extension worth $6M AAV because I didn’t think Schmaltz was a guy to build around. He’s not a core piece. Strome is. He loves hockey. He competes. He wants to score, win, and get better and that’s the type of guy you want to ensure is on your team for the long haul. That’s why he was the 3rd overall pick. He’s still only 21 years old. If he gets a half-step faster and a tick stronger, then watch out. Have him live with Kane this coming summer and watch him make the All-Star team next year.
- –Dylan Strome talk naturally brings us to a Stan Bowman review because of tweets like this
Stan deserves a TON of credit for pulling off the Strome trade. Bought low, bought himself time because Strome has another year before he needs to get paid where Schmaltz needed a new deal summer of 2019. It could end going down as one of the most lopsided trades of this era. The Manning for Caggiula trade is a win for Stan as well(even though he is the one who signed Manning and needed a guy who got fired like 72 hours to take Manning and bail him out). Koekkoek for Rutta is a wash unless they use the money freed up at the deadline to add to this team. I have no problem giving credit where credit is due.
But yeah…he still deserves to get fired. Anyone who has watched the last two games or really any games this entire season knows what is up. The Blackhawks are seriously flawed. Stan Bowman has strapped a team that has a BUNCH of AHL players to a jet pack named Patrick Kane and is riding it to the playoffs. We all know that this team is seriously flawed. Forsling, Dahlstrom, Manning, Rutta, Koekkoek, Brandon Davidson are all AHL dmen, essentially, and they’ve all played at least 10 games for this team. Gustafsson is a stud with the puck on his stick, but in his own end he struggles. He’s a 6th dman on a good team. The roster Stan has surrounded his best players who are playing their absolute best is NOT good enough. Toews being a point per game guy and Kane on track for the Hart should translate into a Cup team. That’s not what we have. The Hawks are fighting tooth and nail to get it. It’s fun, but it’s not good. If Blackhawks don’t get out of the first round it’ll be the 4th straight year that has happened. Toews and Kane in their prime and the GM has wasted 4 years. That is a fireable offense. It is. There aren’t excuses for that because the team’s deficiencies are self-made, Stan-made. If you don’t realize that then you haven’t been paying attention. So the official position is this: 10/10 and a standing ovation for the Strome trade, good job cleaning up your Manning and Rutta mess, you’re fired. They had cap space and assets in the summer and Stan chose to punt. Imagine this team with Jeff Skinner. He was there for them to go get. The cap space was there. They had assets similar to what Buffalo gave Carolina and Stan elected to do nothing except sign Kunitz. Not good enough. And that’s on top of all the other missteps. Fun season, poor performance by Stan. Gotta just hold two thoughts in your head at the same time.
- –I do think Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews have forced Stan Bowman’s hand. I think Bowman wanted to trade Keith and Seabrook if he could, possibly Cam Ward and Kunitz, and was going to push to give away Anisimov. Now, if he does trade Anisimov…even if it’s a good move for next summer and beyond, he will have to answer at least one question about trading away a good depth center in the middle of a playoff chase. That’s a difficult place to be.
- –I’ve been saying they should be buyers at the deadline. I have been banging the table for one of the big three for a while as long as Duchene/Stone/Panarin can be extended. I am backing off of that a bit. I want to make sure there is enough money for Debrincat and Strome. I really talked myself into Ryan Murray yesterday. If your defense next year includes Keith, Jokiharju, Murphy, Seabrook, Gustafsson, Mitchell, Murray. and maybe Boqvist then that’s a pretty good and dynamic group. Young and there will be growing pains breaking in a handful of rookies but it’d be an upgrade over the group from this year.
And lastly…we have a pep rally at Declans on TOMORROW night
Upstairs, $30 for open bar(domestic beer and well liquor) for the entire duration of the game. We are going to WAR with the Avalanche. It’s time to bury them. This is a statement game. The Hawks are going to win, you are going to get drunk, and the #JoinOrDie crew will be partying deep into the night after the Hawks are in the wild card spot by themselves. 630 puck drop and 630 shots. Let’s. GOOOOOOOOOO