Remember when the Blackhawks’ offense was too quiet? Yeah, those days are gone. Here are five takeaways from the Blackhawks’ 7-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.
1. Cat with the hat. Alex DeBrincat was doing well even when he wasn’t scoring goals. But when he does, he’s stellar. DeBrincat recorded his first NHL hat trick on Monday night, Patrick Kane feeding him for the power-play goal early in the second period to complete the trick. DeBrincat has played mainly right wing this season – he played on the left his final two years in Erie. The switch hasn’t hurt him. DeBrincat has scored nine of his 10 goals in November.
2. Patrick Sharp’s drought ends. Sharp hadn’t recorded a goal (make that a point of any kind) since Oct. 14. His skid ended on Monday night as his third goal of the season gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead in the first period. Sharp took the feed from Ryan Hartman, another Blackhawks forward who needed, and had, a strong game.
3. Nick Schmaltz gets going again, too. Schmaltz has had assists here or there but he hadn’t scored a goal since Oct. 28 against the Colorado Avalanche. Patrick Kane’s deft pass to him on the doorstep gave Schmaltz his fourth goal of the season to go with two assists.
4. Avoiding letdowns. The Blackhawks had a couple in this one, just gaffes that let the Ducks have some breathing room. The Ducks had back-to-back power plays to start the third – Chris Wagner got his second goal of the night on the first power play before the Blackhawks killed off the second. Again, the Ducks never really threatened, but the Blackhawks want to stay away from some of those hiccups.
5. The offense is back. From late October to early November, the Blackhawks fought, scratched and scraped for every goal. They’ve regained their scoring touch, seemingly one line at a time. Since Nov. 11, when they came back for a 4-3 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, the Blackhawks have scored 30 goals in their last seven games. In seven games prior to that they had just 12 goals.
On this episode of the Blackhawks Talk Pat Boyle is joined by Jamal Mayers and Brian Campbell. The guys discuss which Blackhawks are on the top of their game. Patrick Kane is certainly on the list after he scored two goals against the Wild, and Corey Crawford has been lights out since his return from injury.
Plus, If Erik Karlsson is on the trade block, how aggressive should Hawks be in acquiring him?
Listen to the full episode of the podcast at this link or in the embedded player below:
Patrick Kane's career to this point has already cemented him as one of the best Blackhawks ever, but former Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick thinks Kane will stand alone in Blackhawk history by the time he hangs up the skates.
Roenick made a guest appearance on Intermission Live during the first intermission of Sunday's 4-1 Blackhawks win against the Wild, a game in which Kane scored two goals to bring his career total to 299 and move into fifth place in Blackhawks history in goal scored. During the interview, Roenick had plenty of praise for No. 88.
Host Pat Boyle told Roenick that Denis Savard thinks Kane will be the best Blackhawk ever and Roenick agreed.
"I say 100 percent of that," Roenick said. "I say that only because you look at the dynamics of the way this guy plays, you see the way he scares the bejeezes out of other defensemen on other teams, three Stanley Cups, the points that he's putting up, he's going to go down as the best American with Mike Modano."
Kane scored a goal in each of the first two periods on Sunday to give the Blackhawks a fifth straight win. He has 14 goals and 20 assists this season to lead the Blackhawks in both categories. The milestones are falling and more are approaching. Not only is Kane one goal away from 300 for his career, but he is approaching 500 career assists (currently at 487) and 800 career points (currently at 786). He's 29 and showing no sign of slowing down so the milestones should continue to fall, thus making Roenick's argument that he could finish his career as the best ever.
Roenick's predictions didn't stop there. He continued to say Kane and Toews will be honored in another way.
"He's going to have a statue, along with Jonathan Toews, out there on Madison Avenue at one point in their careers, in their lives," Roenick said. "It's well deserved because they really took this organization that was sputtering and have turned it into the best organization in all of sports. They deserve a lot of credit and they will go down as one of the best Hawks ever."
See the video above to watch Roenick's comments.