Blackhawks

Five Things: Patrick Kane's point streak continues

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Five Things: Patrick Kane's point streak continues

Entering this weekend, the Blackhawks were looking for some consistency and a few victories.

It wasn’t going to be easy, facing the Blues in St. Louis and a Calgary team that’s played better as of late. But after getting Duncan Keith and Michal Rozsival back and finding some lines that seem to be working, the Blackhawks are feeling better about their situation. They capped a back-to-back weekend with a victory, a 4-1 decision over the Flames, and they’ll hit the road having won three of their last four.

Ah, yes, the Circus Trip is just about here. So before we pack our bags and head out for a while, let’s look at Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over the Flames.

1. The point streak continues. With his goal and an assist on Sunday, Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 13 consecutive games. He’s one shy of his career best (14 games from Nov. 30 to Dec. 28, 2013), and he’ll get a chance to tie that Wednesday in Edmonton. Kane’s always been a strong starter each season, but as coach Joel Quenneville said, “This year (he) started at the top level and keeps going every night.”

2. Marian Hossa can exhale. After having a month’s worth of great scoring opportunities, including a few breakaways, Hossa broke his scoring drought on an end-over-end shot that seemed to handcuff Flames goaltender Karri Ramo. Hossa’s been strong on the defensive side throughout his scoring slump, but getting that goal — and setting up Jonathan Toews’ empty-net goal at the end — were results for a player who’s put in the work.

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3. Brent Seabrook takes his lumps. The defenseman needed a few stitches to close up a gash on his forehead after Michael Frolik’s shot caught him there at the end of the second period. Outside of that pain, it was another strong night for Seabrook, who logged 22 minutes, 25 seconds, added his ninth assist of the season and led the Blackhawks (along with Trevor van Riemsdyk) with four blocked shots.

4. Scott Darling rebounds. Much like Corey Crawford, who’s had his tough outings as of late, Darling was looking for a chance to forget a bad last start. He had to wait a little more than two weeks for his next start, but he made the most of it, stopping 25 of 26 shots in his second victory of the season.

5. Is this more like it? OK, the second liners are still doing a bulk of the scoring, but the Blackhawks are getting a few more guys chipping in on offense. Their Keith-and-Rozsival-reinforced defense got stronger this weekend, allowing three goals in the two games. Quenneville said he “just felt better around the team” going into this game. They’re starting to find some chemistry outside of their second line. The Blackhawks will get plenty of tests on the Circus Trip, but this weekend couldn’t have turned out better.

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

Blackhawks emergency goaltender Scott Foster made his return at the NHL Awards to present the Vezina Trophy, and it was perfect

After staying out of the public eye since his historic emergency relief appearance, Scott Foster emerged in Vegas at the NHL Awards and it was perfect. 

The 36-year-old accountant fittingly presented the Vezina Trophy award for the league's top goaltender and joked that he needed to speed it up because he had to get back to work.

Check him out on stage:

What a moment. And well done, NHL. 

Foster stopped all seven shots he faced in 14:01 of action in the Blackhawks' 6-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 30.

Nashville Predators netminder Pekke Rinne took home the award, but you can't argue against Foster's 1.000 career save percentage.

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

NHL Draft Profile: D Noah Dobson

From June 17-21, Charlie Roumeliotis will profile two prospects per day — 10 total (five forwards, five defensemen) — leading up to the NHL Draft.​

Noah Dobson

Position: Defenseman
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds
Shoots: Right

Scouting report:

"A very effective two-way defenseman with good puck distribution and a strong shot from the points on the power play. He is a point-producer with size, who defends and utilizes strong positioning and a good stick in the defensive zone."

NHL player comparable: Brent Burns

Fit for Blackhawks:

The Blackhawks lacked defensemen that generated offense last year. They also lacked defenders than can ... defend. Dobson is a player who can do both, and if he slips past Vancouver at No. 7, the Blackhawks may have a difficult decision on their hands.

Dobson could solve some of those defensive issues, but it likely wouldn't be in time for the 2018-19 season. He needs time to develop properly.

The Blackhawks like to evaluate prospects based on what their ceiling is and where they're at in their development curve, and if they see major upside here, they'll go for it. It just depends if there's somebody available that they like better.