The Chicago Blackhawks have been on a bit of a run this season. Most of us pegged them to be right there with the Detroit Red Wings at the bottom of the division. It makes sense as Jonathan Toews and Kirby Dach are both out and the goaltending was awful on paper. Then, the season started and they were bad, like 0-3-1 bad. Now, after a weekend against the Columbus Blue Jackets, it is clear that they could be for real.
On Thursday, they played a very entertaining game. The Hawks lost in regulation by a final score of 6-5. It was a stunning late third-period goal that sunk the Hawks in that one but there was a lot of good. The normal offensive threats along with the young players played a big part in making it close but they fell just short. After the game, we knew that Saturday’s matchup might be a bit of a different story.
Of course, it was as Chicago won the game by a final score of 3-2 in overtime. Five total goals are a lot different than 11 as the game before which is probably appreciated by all of the coaches. The Hawks needed a bit of a comeback to win as they were down 2-1 going into the third period but they did get it done. Alex DeBrincat stays hot as he scored the overtime game-winning goal, again. This kid is on fire which is great to see after his down year last year.
After the past few games, it is clear that Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane should be in the MVP conversation.
In that first Columbus game on Thursday, Patrick Kane had one goal and two assists for three points. In the Saturday night win, Kane had two assists. The five points in two games brought his total on the season to 22 (seven goals and 15 assists). Now, he is tied with Toronto Maple Leafs star, Mitchell Marner, for third in the league. He only trails Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers who are probably the two best offensive players in the league right now.
Because of the way he has played this year, he has to be in the conversation now for the Hart Trophy which goes to the league’s most valuable player. The NHL words the award as the player who is decided to be the most valuable to his team. Well, as good as some of the youngsters have been in Chicago, there is no doubt who leads the way.
There are other phenomenal players in the National Hockey League. There is a lot of hockey to be played still but Kane is fully in the MVP conversation now. He makes it where Chicago has a chance to win every game. We know how important the goaltending has been as well which is important but Kane is the guy here. He impacts the game in a positive way every single night.
A lot of the conversation could come down to the playoff picture. It shouldn’t, but it does. The Tampa Bay Lightning lead the division with 21 points. Chicago is tied with the Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Carolina Hurricanes for second with 18. Florida and Carolina have played four fewer games because of COVID-19 protocol so you can expect them to elevate themselves. However, the Hawks are in the conversation for that last spot and if they make it Kane will the biggest reason why.
Kane has played the second-most minutes of any forward so far this season. The only forward who has played more is Connor McDavid who is the best player in the world by far and much younger. Kane still has a lot to give to a hockey team and could end up being an MVP nominee if he keeps this level of production. He and his teammates are back in action on Monday night when they take on the Detroit Red Wings.