Sidney Brown provides dispatches from the front lines of Blackhawks fandom every week during the hockey season.
After a slip up at San Jose to start their recent six game road trip, the Chicago Blackhawks restored order as far as being a top contender in the Western Conference, reeling off five straight wins and keeping themselves within shouting distance of division leader and current chief rival Minnesota.
Helping their case in letting those Wild know that they’re a team to be reckoned with was the team’s thrilling 4-3 overtime win up in the Twin Cities last Wednesday. Chicago followed that statement win up with wins on back-to-back nights on Friday and Saturday at Winnipeg and Edmonton. The Hawks are in the middle of a mandatory bye week that concludes this Saturday at home against the Oilers.
What did we learn on this road trip you may ask?
— Hawks defeated division rivals Minnesota, Dallas and Winnipeg, improving their division record to 13-8-1
— Hawks improved their overall road record to 17-10-1
— Key veterans are finally stepping up in crucial moments and on the score sheet
Road Trip Statistics
Power Play: 6 for 15
Penalty Kill: 15 for 18
Goals Scored: 24
Goals Against: 15
The month of January saw key veterans struggling to score goals on a consistent basis. During the current five-game win streak, the prime time players for Chicago have made their presence felt. Let’s take a look at some of the main players’ numbers.
Jonathan Toews: 2 goals, 5 assists
Patrick Kane: 4 goals, 5 assists
Marian Hossa: 2 goals, 2 assists
Artem Anisimov: 2 goals, 4 assists
Duncan Keith: Goal, 6 assists
We all know by now that the Hawks have a new core of young players that are expected to pick up the slack for the veterans. A few have stepped up and are making a name for themselves on the ice.
Artemi Panarin: 2 goals, 5 assists
Richard Panik: 3 goals, 2 assists
Ryan Hartman: 3 goals
Goaltending as been the backbone for this team all season and this road trip proved that point once again that Corey Crawford is an elite net minder in the NHL and Scott Darling establishing his role as a valuable backup.
Corey Crawford: 4-0 record; 2.72 Goals Against Average, .915 Save Percentage
Scott Darling: 1-0 record; 1.00 Goals Against Average, .968 Save Percentage
To Marian Hossa for scoring his 20th goal of the season in last Friday’s win at Winnipeg, achieving the feat of scoring 20+ goals for the 15th time in his career.
To Patrick Kane for scoring career goal No. 269 in last Friday’s win at Winnipeg, becoming the Hawks’ franchise leader in goals scored by an American born player.
Goals Against Average: 2.6 (9th in NHL)
Goals Per Game: 2.9 (8th in NHL)
Power Play Percentage: 19.6 (16th in NHL)
Penalty Kill Percentage: 76.8 (28th in NHL)
Points: Patrick Kane (58); Goals: Artem Anisimov (20); Assists: Kane (39); Penalty Minutes: Ryan Hartman (36); Goals Against Average: Scott Darling (2.24)
The Road Ahead (Thru 2/26)
Saturday vs. Edmonton Oilers @ 7:30 pm
Sunday at Buffalo Sabres @ 5 pm
2/21 at Minnesota Wild @ 7 pm
2/23 vs. Arizona Coyotes @ 7:30 pm
2/26 vs. St. Louis Blues @ 6:30 pm
*All times central
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