Sidney Brown provides dispatches from the front lines of Blackhawks fandom every week during the hockey season.
With a playoff spot officially clinched for 2017 for the Men in Red, I would like to turn the focus of Chicago Blackhawks fandom towards the NHL’s MVP race.
Top names on the MVP watch should include usual names such as Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and the rising young star Connor McDavid. However, there are a couple of other names that should be on that list that Chicago fans should have no problem speaking up for — Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
Kane won the league’s highest honor a year ago, in what was a top personal accomplishment for the Hawks’ most dynamic player, but his impact on the ice this season has been arguably just as important or more so than a year ago.
Consider this, Patrick is playing with new line mate in rookie Nick Schmaltz due to the injury of Artem Anisimov while also playing with second-year sensation Artemi Panarin. For the month of March, Kane has scored a total of 9 goals and 7 assists including 2 goals and 4 assists in his last five games. Kane’s numbers no doubt has had a huge impact on the Hawks success.
Kane in 2016-17
In Wins: 29 goals and 40 assists
In Losses: 4 goals and 8 assists
Factoid: Kane is currently tied for second in the NHL in scoring with Sidney Crosby, only trailing Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (87).
After overcoming back issues from early in the season, captain Jonathan Toews has been on fire since the all-star break. For the month of March, Toews has tallied a total of 9 points (4 goals, 5 assists) including a two-goal performance in last Sunday’s comeback win over Colorado.
Toews has a total of 20 goals and 35 assists for the season, his impact on and off the ice cannot go unnoticed although the popularly named “Captain Serious” can be understated. For that reason, Toews’ numbers can often be overlooked, but in terms of the success for Chicago his contribution can be measured next to Kane’s as well.
Toews in 2016-17
In Wins: 18 goals and 28 assist
In Losses: 2 goals and 7 assists
Toews may not have the numbers to compete with the likes of Crosby and Ovechkin, but his presence with the Hawks is as important as anyone’s. Look for a major late season push from both superstars with less than two weeks left in the regular season.
To Marian Hossa for playing in his 1300th career game in last Thursday’s win at Ottawa.
Hossa Career Games Played By Team (Regular Season)
Red Wings: 74
To the Blackhawks organization for honoring former goalie Ed Belfour before Thursday’s game against Dallas with their “One Last Shift” tribute.
Goals Against Average: 2.5 (7th in NHL)
Goals Per Game: 3.0 (7th in NHL)
Power Play Percentage: 19.2 (15th in NHL)
Penalty Kill Percentage: 78.1 (25th in NHL)
Points: Patrick Kane (81); Goals: Kane (33); Assists: Kane (48); Penalty Minutes: Ryan Hartman (64); Goals Against Average: Scott Darling (2.13)
The Road Ahead (Thru 3/23)
Saturday at Florida Panthers @ 6 pm
Monday at Tampa Bay Lightning @ 6:30 pm
Wednesday at Pittsburgh Penguins @ 7 pm
Friday vs. Columbus Blue Jackets @ 7:30 pm
*All times central
Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio; Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and Sidney Brown @sidkid80