Look at all that joy. Pure joy. It’s like you can physically see him exhale and all negative tweets, all the bad thoughts, and all the doubt leave his body. Officially on the scoreboard and playing good hockey. And that is the thing I love about Sikura. He was a STAR his last two years in college. He played the full four years at Northeastern. He was one of the leading scorers in all of college hockey, a Hobey Baker Finalist, and…a free agent if he wanted to be. Instead of finding a situation that was going to be tailor-made and opportunity rich for him, Sikura kept his word to the Blackhawks and signed. He didn’t pout when he didn’t make the team out of camp last year. He just went to the AHL and worked on his game. And then he went home in the summer and worked his bag off. When he didn’t make the team again to start this season you didn’t hear a peep out of him. You didn’t hear him ask for a trade like Saarella did. You didn’t see him mope around in Rockford. You didn’t see him tweet about how Alex Nylander sucks and doesn’t work hard and is only getting a million chances with the Hawks because Stan Bowman NEEDS that trade to work out or because his last name is Nylander. No. None of that. Even though it would’ve been unstandable. Instead he just waited for his chance and now that he has finally gotten it he is playing the right way and good things happen when you play the right way. You get rewarded with ice time with a certain Patrick Kane, the greatest right winger in the game. And you get rewarded by the hockey gods on the score sheet. That’s the kind of guy you want on the team. You could see how happy the guys were for him. Gustafsson lifting him up off the ice. Kaner patting him on the head on the bench with the biggest smile on his face. A goal well earned and a long time coming. Congrats to Dylan Sikura
The best part of all of this is that the Hawks have a competent wingers to slot somewhere in the top 9. Sikura, if he continues to find his game and is given more opportunities can hopefully drive some more offense. If you look at the Blackhawks lineup there’s a TON of AHL names in there. The only one of the guys on that bus from Rockford with bonafide NHL skill is Sikura. If he can keep this up while the Hawks wait for reinforcements off of IR like Saad, Caggiula, and Shaw, then the Hawks might be in a pretty good spot down the stretch here. It’s crazy to say because this season, by all accounts, has been a mess and a disappointment. But…here they are. 5 points out and they started a stretch last night against Detroit of 7 straight games against teams who are currently no better than the 2nd wild card spot in the standings. That one team is Calgary who the Hawks are playing at home. A team they need to take full points from. A team they looked pretty good against on New Years Eve. I am…starting to squint my eyes, look at standings, strength of schedule, and then just think long and hard about how if Patrick Kane finishes with 110 points and Debrincat gets it going and Lehner and Crawford keep it up and Boqvist keeps getting better…
You do all of those things and maybe just maybe we are where we want to be in April
And if they fall short, well, I think Stan Bowman gets fired and maybe John too and then we can truly get back on track. It’s a win-win situation. Either outcome is acceptable. When you realize that then the games become fun and we can all just sit back and enjoy Kane every night and the moments of joy from guys like Sikura.