Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews deserve a lot of credit

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks were a competitive team until the very end despite having a roster that shouldn’t be competitive and it’s because of 88 and 19.

A rather ugly season for the Chicago Blackhawks has finally come to an end. They finished the season with a mediocre record of 36-34-12, good enough for 84 points. When I say that it was an ugly season, it is because of the fact that they wouldn’t have been close to that good if it wasn’t for the play of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Their two superstars had career years, which is hard to believe because of how legendary their careers have been so far.

Patrick Kane finished the season with 44 goals and 66 assists for 110 points. That was good for third in the entire National Hockey League in scoring. Only Nikita Kucherov and Connor McDavid had more points than Kane. It was an excellent year for him. Kane might have won the Hart Trophy as the MVP of the league had the Blackhawks qualified for the playoffs. Not making it to the tournament is often held against guys.

Jonathan Toews had an incredible bounce-back year. After a few subpar seasons by his standards, he came out flying this season and set his own personal best in points as well. The captain had 35 goals and 46 assists for 81 points. A career year after people were starting to doubt his ability to be a go-to offensive player anymore. Toews definitely silenced a lot of haters with his play in 2018-19.

These two players deserve a lot of credit. They have both won the multiple Stanley Cups, Olympic medals, and have multiple personal trophies won between the both of them. There isn’t much left to win for either, yet they continue to put this franchise on their back. The team was changed forever when these two were drafted. There is a real conversation to be had about them possibly being the two best players in franchise history.

They didn’t just roll over and let the season die when it looked bleak. They could have and nobody would have cared because of their history, but they still gave it their all. They deserve a lot of credit for that. They have to know deep down inside that the overall roster stinks and there have been some questionable decisions over the years. Yet they continued to put on their game face and tried so hard to get this team into the playoffs. They knew they probably wouldn’t be able to beat Nashville or Calgary in the first round but they were up for the challenge.

In the end, the team just ran out of gas and they fell off. It was a putrid start after the coaching change but they found it in the second half of the year as a team, but it wasn’t enough. If Toews and Kane play like this again next season with a completely healthy Corey Crawford, some help on the back end and some depth scoring added they can be a playoff team a year from now. One thing is for sure, 19 and 88 will try their best no matter what happens this summer.

Should fans be mad that Toews and Kane had this great of seasons and the team still stunk? Absolutely they should. It isn’t quite the same level as the Edmonton Oilers having two 100-point scorers and still not going to the playoffs, but it still isn’t great. Fans should be upset, the Blackhawks aren’t really in a great spot right now. They aren’t going to rebuild with these contracts on their roster but they also have made some questionable decisions in trying to keep them afloat. It hasn’t been good enough since 2015.

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Players like this don’t usually come around often, especially at the same time. The Blackhawks need to figure out a way to maximize the second half of their prime. Generations can go by without having two players like this play for your franchise, especially in the prime of their careers. Regardless, Toews and Kane deserve a lot of credit for sticking to it and doing everything they could in 2018-19.