Patrick Kane’s point streak has been something to watch these last few weeks, and the Blackhawks forward ran his streak to a career-best 19 games, also a new record for a U.S.-born player, in the Blackhawks’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Kane and his current scoring surge is also a big topic in our inaugural Blackhawks mailbag. As a disclaimer, I don’t know why it took me so long to start one of these. But this one came about thanks to a 3 1/2-hour flight. You never know where inspiration strikes.
— Krista (@lechatsavant) November 29, 2015
I say he gets to 22, eclipsing Bobby Hull’s franchise mark.
@TramyersCSN do you think Patrick Kane will win the art Ross trophy
— Kelly Maude (@Nwesterncats) November 29, 2015
It’s early but Kane is certainly getting off to a good start in possibly claiming that at the end of this season. He was on his way to being a candidate for it last season if not for suffering a fractured clavicle in late February. We’ll see how that all shakes out.
@TramyersCSN If Kane retired today how do you think his hall of fame chances would be?
— Riley Mackey (@Rileyrsm) November 29, 2015
Well, he isn’t retiring now so we don’t have to worry about it. Kane’s got a lot of years left, but there’s no doubt, at the rate he’s going, he’ll be a shoo-in.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Now, onto other questions, starting with another one that’s a big topic of interest:
@TramyersCSN Do you see Bickell being called up and maybe given another shot with Toews?
— Kelly Cunningham (@Kcprof926) November 29, 2015
I’ll be honest, I would’ve bet my paycheck he was going to come back during the Circus Trip. That’s when he was scoring a lot of points for the Rockford IceHogs. But coach Joel Quenneville said bringing back Bickell wasn’t in the plans at the time. General manager Stan Bowman, when asked last week if there was a timeline for Bickell’s return, said, “we don’t preordain that. We’ll just assess as we go. The better he plays down there, the better chance he has to come back and help us.”
— Mike Solarte (@MikeSolarte) November 29, 2015
I think he’s used the blender fairly well. Earlier this season I thought he should keep some lines together a little longer to see if some chemistry could develop, and it looks like he’s done that with some of them, including that current top line (Andrew Shaw, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Garbutt). This was going to take time, and I think he’s done as good a job as possible. I think we’re all a little surprised at how Toews and Marian Hossa couldn’t find a left wing with whom to click earlier.
— Johndo (@Jjarosik14) November 29, 2015
Finding four rotating lines. We’re used to seeing the Blackhawks at their best when they’ve got that going. Even finding three that he could rotate regularly would be good.
— Emelie (@okquiche) November 29, 2015
Hmmm, here’s what I would do right now:
Teravainen-Toews-Hossa (give him another shot)
Panarin-Anisimov-Kane (yeah, I’m cheating here)
Of course, like Quenneville, I reserve the right to change my mind before the end of this mailbag.
@TramyersCSN Who is the team "missing more" right now? Saad or Sharp?
— D H (@HalloweenHalpin) November 29, 2015
I’m going to go with Saad. No offense to Sharp, but he had a bad 2014-15 and the Blackhawks miss Saad for a few reasons: he filled that top-line left-wing role, he put up points and he added to the penalty kill.
@TramyersCSN How is Duncs' knee holding up? Does he seem totally up to speed to you?
— Tanya (@PlayDagger4Me) November 29, 2015
If Keith is still ailing, he’s fooling the heck out of me. I did think he looked shaky with his puck handling against the Ducks, but yet there he was, scoring the game-tying goal at the end of regulation. He’s gone right back to playing his normal minutes and putting up points, so right now, I think he looks great.
— Ava Haegele (@AvaHaegele) November 29, 2015
This question was so much easier to answer when Nick Leddy was here. I’d probably put Garbutt atop the list right now. You’ve seen on some of those penalty kills how fast he can be. Kane and Duncan Keith are certainly up there, and same with Panarin.
— Greedy McDonuts (@michaelweaselo) November 29, 2015
OK, for this one and anyone else who asked about the possibilities of trading Bickell, I doubt it’ll happen. Maybe in a package, but I still doubt it. The Blackhawks have tried already, and the interest clearly isn’t there.
As for this particular scenario, I think it’s a bad idea. I would not get rid of Teravainen under any circumstance. Stan Bowman said the same thing a few years ago. Yes, he said the same thing about Brandon Saad at that time, too, but that was before Sadd priced himself out of town.
— bailey (@nachoSEABre) November 29, 2015
Again, this is another question that a few of you asked in various ways. I’ll just address Daley in one shot.
I know Daley’s name has been bandied about as a trade possibility. I honestly don’t know if they’d get rid of him. I personally think he’s been playing better since he was paired with Michal Rozsival. I know it’s not a dream tandem but it’s a 5-6 tandem.
— Trisha Zanzinger (@luvflipflops2) November 29, 2015
I guess there’s always a chance, but it seems others have passed Mr. McNeill on the depth chart.
— Matt Mosconi (@mosconml) November 29, 2015
First, Dano is not in the doghouse. He was scratched a game. And let’s be honest: he hasn’t exactly been doing anything great in recent games. Second, we’re comparing apples to oranges here. There’s no doubt coach Joel Quenneville likes to have a big guy in the lineup, someone who can land a few hits. That would be Bryan Bickell if he were here, but he’s not. Dano is 20, he has plenty to learn and folks need to stop thinking he’s getting denied something. He’s not; he’s just not playing very well. He’ll get better. Again, can’t compare Dano and Mashinter: two different players with two different games.
@TramyersCSN how do we fix our defense and hold onto our leads?
— Johnny-_utah (@bears_blackhawk) November 29, 2015
Guessing a lot of this is bred from the Blackhawks’ loss to Los Angeles on Saturday night. Besides that game and the home game vs. St. Louis a few weeks ago, I think the Blackhawks have held leads fairly well. As always, it’s a team mentality with the defense. Their last two games against the Ducks and Kings, they allowed too many odd-man rushes, too many golden opportunities. They have to be careful with passes,clears, etc.
— Brendan (@ChiBDM) November 29, 2015
I’ve always been a Steelers fan, for obvious logistical reasons. I was a Colts fan, too, when they were in Baltimore, because I was born there. They lost me when they moved out in the middle of the night. And, of course, I’m a longtime Cubs fan. They made baseball fun for me to watch again this season.
@TramyersCSN Here is a question...What is the reason between the team scoring goals while you are in an elevator and can you control it?
— Chris (@coolbearcjs) November 29, 2015
Chris, if I had that kind of power, I’d be using it for lottery numbers. I really don’t know why someone always seems to score a goal when I head to the elevator. If I were a better planner I’d just head to the elevator when they show Kiss-Cam, so I would guarantee I wouldn’t miss anything.
Thanks for your questions, everyone. My apologies if I didn’t get to them all. See you again for the next one, which I hope to write before another Circus Trip.