Category Archives: Chicago Blackhawks Gear

Dylan Strome Jersey

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Patrick Kane had a four-point night and the Blackhawks won 4-1 against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

Keeping with the theme, here are four takeaways:

1. Kane singlehandedly led the team to a win

Kane dominated the game in Winnipeg. He played a key role in setting up three Hawks’ goals and executed one himself to grab his 44th point (19 goals, 25 assists) of the season.

Kane, double shifting in the third period, made a play to keep a puck in the offensive zone and spring Dominik Kubalik on a mini breakaway to score 39 seconds into the final frame, making it 2-0 Hawks for his second assist of the game.

He later skated the puck to open ice near the slot and passed it to Erik Gustaffson for a power-play goal, putting the Hawks up 3-1 at 10:58 of the third.

Kane scored stick side from the left circle at 16:39 of the third, making it 4-1 for the final score.

“Thought we had a great start,” Kane said. “Kind of identified the way we want to play. They had a push in the second, obviously we didn’t have a great period, but Robin made some great saves, we hung in there, in a good position 1-0 going into the third. Obviously we get a quick goal and score on the power play, get an insurance marker after that. It’s a good feeling in here.”

2. The Hawks came out strong in the first period

Alex Nylander kicked things off by scoring 59 seconds into the game. Dylan Strome chipped the puck off the boards from the defensive zone, finding Patrick Kane who fed the puck to Nylander to go up 1-0.

The Hawks dominated the first half of the opening frame, dictating the pace and controlling the puck, mostly in the Jets’ zone. Chicago was able to withstand a push from Winnipeg in the second half of the first period with Robin Lehner making some clutch, high-quality saves. Lehner finished the first stopping all 16 Jets’ shots he faced.

3. Hawks were able to weather the storm

The Hawks were outshot 11-0 in the first 10 minutes of the second period and didn’t get a shot on net until 12:32 in. Shots were 14-3 in favor of the Jets at the end of the second, with Chicago still able to hold a 1-0 lead.

4. Another tough injury hurts the Hawks

Brandon Saad left the game with a right ankle injury after taking a hit from Luca Sbisa at 11:38 of the second and needed help getting off the ice. Saad has 19 points (11 goals, eight assists) this season.

The Hawks have had a tough go with injuries lately. Andrew Shaw and Drake Caggiula are still in concussion protocol and today the team announced Brent Seabrook didn’t travel to Winnipeg to undergo “further medical evaluation”. Duncan Keith played his second game back Thursday after missing nine with a groin injury. Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton expects Saad to be out a couple of weeks.

“It’s a little bit of adversity,” Kane said of Saad’s injury. “He’s been great for us all year pretty much. He’s a guy that can push the pace, make a lot of plays by himself, he’s a really good skater obviously, a powerful skater where he can beat defense.”

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The Blackhawks have recalled forward John Quenneville from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, the team announced Sunday. No corresponding transaction was made because a roster spot opened Saturday after Brandon Saad was placed on injured reserve with a right ankle injury, retroactive to Dec. 19.

The move gives the Blackhawks an extra forward going into Monday’s game against the New Jersey Devils before the NHL’s three-day Christmas break. Saad is eligible to return on Dec. 27, but he’s not expected to return until the new year.

Quenneville has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 19 games with the IceHogs this season. His eight goals are tied for third on the team and he’s currently riding a four-game point streak. The 23-year-old forward has appeared in 33 career NHL games across three seasons but has yet to appear in one this season.

Quenneville was drafted by the Devils in the first round (No. 30 overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft and was traded to Chicago last June for forward John Hayden. Quenneville’s season debut could come against his former team on Monday. He is the cousin of former Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville.

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.

Alexander Nylander Jersey

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Did the Henri Jokiharju for Alexander Nylander trade help or hurt the Chicago Blackhawks?

Now that both the Chicago Blackhawks and Buffalo Sabres have played 30+ games each this season, I think now would be a good time to re-visit and evaluate the controversial Henri Jokiharju-Alexander Nylander trade that happened back on July 9th, 2019.

Back then, the Blackhawks thought having Jokiharju around was a luxury. I’m not exactly sure why they thought he was expendable, especially when you consider the state of the defense at that time.

I don’t think Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Erik Gustafsson, Connor Murphy, Henri Jokiharju, Carl Dahlstrom, and Slater Koekkoek sound like much of an NHL caliber defensive unit. Regardless of what I and many Chicago Blackhawks’ fans thought, Stan Bowman felt differently.
More from Blackhawk Up

2010’s a Decade to Remember for the Chicago Blackhawks
Blackhawks: Kane is the Best Chicago Athlete of All-Time
Chicago Blackhawks: Duncan Keith Has Had Enough and So Have I
Erik Gustafsson: An Asset With Volatile Trade Value
Chicago Blackhawks: The Alexis Lafreniere Sweepstakes

When you look at the Blackhawks’ recent trades, trading for a struggling former 1st round pick has sort of become Bowman’s M.O. His recent acquisitions include Dylan Strome, Brendan Perlini, Slater Koekkoek, Olli Maatta, and now, Alexander Nylander.
Alexander Nylander

While Nylander was a standout prospect and has dormant potential, he hasn’t done much since becoming a professional hockey player back in 2016-17. The Sabres’ former 8th overall pick has accumulated an underwhelming 86 points (30G, 56A) in 165 games at the AHL level and now has 17 points (7G, 10A) in 50 games at the NHL level.

This production results in a .52 PPG rate in the AHL and a .34 PPG rate in the NHL. Not exactly the type of numbers you’d expect from a former top-10 draft pick, who also had a solid junior hockey career.

Stan Bowman was hoping to get a Strome-like career resurgence out of Nylander, but it doesn’t look like Stan will strike gold twice in the past two seasons. Here is a closer look at Nylander’s career stats, including the 2019-20 season.

This season, Nylander hasn’t taken advantage of the numerous opportunities he has been given with the Chicago Blackhawks. Jeremy Colliton has slotted him in as the LW on the 1st line more often than not.

According to Dobber’s Frozen Tools, Nylander has lined up alongside Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad 58.8% of the time in 2019-20 and only has 3 points to show for it. Nylander has also been given power-play time on both the PP1 and PP2 units where he has tallied just 2 points (2A).
NHL Standard career statistics Scoring Goals Assists Shots Ice Time
Season Age Tm Lg GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH S S% TSA TOI ATOI FOW FOL FO% BLK HIT TK GV Awards
2016-17 18 BUF NHL 4 0 1 1 -2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 4 0.0 8 49 12:20 0 2 0.0 2 1 3 3
2017-18 19 BUF NHL 3 1 0 1 -3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 50.0 4 39 12:52 0 0 0 0 0 2
2018-19 20 BUF NHL 12 2 2 4 -4 4 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 16 12.5 30 146 12:12 2 1 66.7 1 1 1 4
2019-20 21 CHI NHL 31 4 7 11 -9 8 4 0 0 1 5 2 0 50 8.0 80 395 12:44 2 7 22.2 7 13 15 6
3 yrs BUF NHL 19 3 3 6 -9 4 2 1 0 0 3 0 0 22 13.6 42 234 12:20 2 3 40.0 3 2 4 9
1 yr CHI NHL 31 4 7 11 -9 8 4 0 0 1 5 2 0 50 8.0 80 395 12:44 2 7 22.2 7 13 15 6
Career 4 yrs NHL 50 7 10 17 -18 12 6 1 0 1 8 2 0 72 9.7 122 629 12:35 4 10 28.6 10 15 19 15
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/14/2019.
Henri Jokiharju

Henri Jokiharju certainly had an interesting rookie season. From the start, former Chicago Blackhawks’ head coach, Joel Quenneville, liked what he saw in Jokiharju. Through the first 15 games under Quenneville, Jokiharju played no less than 18:22 TOI per game and slotted in on the 1st defensive pairing alongside Duncan Keith.
Regular Season Table Scoring Goals Assists
Rk Date G Age Tm Opp G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH S S% SHFT TOI HIT BLK FOW FOL FO%
1 2018-10-04 1 19-109 CHI @ OTT W 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.0 31 19:16 3 0 0 0
2 2018-10-06 2 19-111 CHI @ STL W 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0.0 27 19:30 2 0 0 0
3 2018-10-07 3 19-112 CHI TOR L-OT 0 3 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 5 0.0 27 20:10 2 2 0 0
4 2018-10-11 4 19-116 CHI @ MIN L-OT 0 0 0 -2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.0 30 22:44 1 0 0 0
5 2018-10-13 5 19-118 CHI STL W 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.0 28 24:04 1 1 0 0
6 2018-10-18 6 19-123 CHI ARI L 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.0 26 22:06 0 0 0 0
7 2018-10-20 7 19-125 CHI @ CBJ W 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0 31 20:57 1 1 0 0
8 2018-10-21 8 19-126 CHI TBL L 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.0 23 19:31 2 1 0 0
9 2018-10-23 9 19-128 CHI ANA W 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0 23 18:22 3 1 0 0
10 2018-10-25 10 19-130 CHI NYR W 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3 0.0 26 20:24 1 2 0 0
11 2018-10-27 11 19-132 CHI @ STL L 0 1 1 -1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0.0 35 22:34 2 0 0 0
12 2018-10-28 12 19-133 CHI EDM L-OT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0.0 27 24:14 2 1 0 0
13 2018-10-31 13 19-136 CHI @ VAN L 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 30 22:51 0 5 0 0
14 2018-11-01 14 19-137 CHI @ EDM L 0 0 0 -1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.0 28 21:17 1 0 0 0
15 2018-11-03 15 19-139 CHI @ CGY L 0 1 1 -2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0.0 35 25:29 0 0 0 0
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/14/2019.

During that time, he also racked up 8 points (8A) with a 1 ± rating in 15 games, which is good for a 19-year-old rookie defenseman. The upside was apparent with Henri Jokiharju. The Blackhawks had a defenseman with top-4 upside, which is what they desperately needed for the past couple of seasons and still need now. The best part is that he was homegrown talent too.

From here on out, things began to unravel for Henri Jokiharju. He was allowed to play for Team Finland in the 2018 World Junior Championship, where he was named an alternate captain and led Finland to a gold medal.

In the tournament, Jokiharju racked up an impressive 5 points (2G, 3A) with a 6 ± rating in 7 games. He returned to play an additional 6 games with the Blackhawks before being assigned to the Rockford IceHogs.

Henri Jokiharju has had a strong 2019-20 campaign with the Buffalo Sabres while playing in a steady top-6 role alongside Marco Scandella. Jokiharju has 10 points (3G, 7A) with a 5 ± rating in 33 games. Jokiharju has also gotten some ice time on the power play where he recorded one goal.
NHL Standard career statistics Scoring Goals Assists Shots Ice Time
Season Age Tm Lg GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV PP SH S S% TSA TOI ATOI FOW FOL FO% BLK HIT TK GV Awards
2018-19 19 CHI NHL 38 0 12 12 -7 16 0 0 0 0 11 1 0 62 0.0 138 721 18:59 0 0 37 48 7 26
2019-20 20 BUF NHL 33 3 7 10 5 22 2 1 0 0 7 0 0 41 7.3 76 548 16:36 0 0 28 28 3 17
1 yr CHI NHL 38 0 12 12 -7 16 0 0 0 0 11 1 0 62 0.0 138 721 18:59 0 0 37 48 7 26
1 yr BUF NHL 33 3 7 10 5 22 2 1 0 0 7 0 0 41 7.3 76 548 16:36 0 0 28 28 3 17
Career 2 yrs NHL 71 3 19 22 -2 38 2 1 0 0 18 1 0 103 2.9 214 1269 17:53 0 0 65 76 10 43
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/14/2019.
Is There a Clear-Cut Winner In This Trade?

It might be a little early to know for sure, but as of now, I’d have to say the Buffalo Sabres are winning the Alexander Nylander-Henri Jokiharju trade. The Chicago Blackhawks’ defense has been decimated by injuries and disappointing as a whole.

I would prefer to have another defenseman with top-4 upside, in Jokiharju, over another top-9 forward, in Alexander Nylander. The Blackhawks defense likely won’t improve until next season when other defensive prospects such as Ian Mitchell, Nicolas Beaudin, Alec Regula, Alex Vlasic and more have another year under their belts and try to crack the NHL roster.

Connor Murphy Jersey

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Connor Murphy is making one part of coach Jeremy Colliton’s job — creating and maintaining the Blackhawks’ defensive pairs — very easy.

No matter whom Colliton puts with Murphy, the broad-shouldered, wide-smiled defenseman magically transforms the pairing into a consistent, reliable shutdown duo.

Olli Maatta is the latest beneficiary.

After the Hawks’ 3-0 victory Tuesday against the Stars — a shutout thanks in part to Murphy and Maatta locking down Dallas’ explosive first line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Joe Pavelski — Colliton gave the duo a great review.

“They took the [toughest] matchup, for the most part, and they were good,” Colliton said. “They were clean with the puck when they needed to be. You can’t just defend — you get the puck back, then we’ve got to get out.

“They’re two big bodies, and they’re playing against big bodies, and they did a really good job.”

In the last two games, Murphy-Maatta had shot, shot-on-goal and scoring-chance ratios all above 50 percent despite consistently playing against the Stars’ best forwards.

Thanks to the pairing’s effectiveness, the Hawks allowed only one goal in the home-and-home set against the Stars, who had won 12 of their last 14 games.

Murphy alone equaled that scoring total with his 180-foot empty-net goal, sealing the win Tuesday. It might not have required as much offensive instinct as his first goal of the season (last week against the Hurricanes), but it was certainly well deserved, giving Murphy a little dose of good luck and a box-score reward in exchange for suffering through two groin injuries already this season.

“I have to tip the rink guys for funneling the ice,” he joked afterward. “I think they’ve been digging out a trench for that one.”

When he has been healthy, Murphy has developed nothing less than a Midas touch when it comes to making the Hawks’ haphazard pairings turn golden.

Last season, he made his pairing with Carl Dahlstrom seem like a legitimate shutdown duo for a while — yet Dahlstrom is now nothing more than a healthy scratch for the Jets.

Earlier this season, he made Duncan Keith look like he was back in his prime, forming a dominant No. 1 pairing with the 36-year-old.

Now he has revived Maatta, whose early success alongside Brent Seabrook had long faded.

Murphy’s defensive statistics have become miles better than anyone else in the Hawks’ defensive core. He’s allowing only 51.6 shots per 60 minutes — everyone else is between 56 and 70. He’s allowing only 24.0 scoring chances per 60 minutes — everyone else is between 28 and 34. Same for shots on goal, expected goals and so forth.

With that constant supply of stifling defense, it’s no wonder Murphy provides such a stabilizing effect on the unit overall.

But Maatta merits some credit, too. The former Penguin boasts the second-lowest scoring-chance-against rate on the team and has been excellent since his return to Pittsburgh on Nov. 9 with a 50.7 Corsi rating in the nine games since after limping to a 42.2 rating before then.

Together, the Ohio native and Finland native are growing into a responsible defensive duo that Colliton can rely on. They clearly showed that Tuesday.

“Exiting [the defensive zone], we were skating a lot to try to move it back to the [neutral zone], and that helped us from having too long a shift in our own end,” Murphy said. “We were making more confident plays with the puck. When you skate and talk and use outlets, I think it makes your life a lot easier.”

Dominik Kubalik Jersey

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Dominik Kubalik is a logical fit on the wing with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. He’s an accurate, shoot-first finisher who can bury the chances that Toews and Saad, two elite puck-movers, regularly create but so often can’t translate into goals themselves.

So the fact that Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton waited two months — stubbornly forcing a square peg, Alex Nylander, into a round hole even after Nylander’s early chemistry had long since evaporated — before trying Kubalik in that role was perplexing.

On Sunday against the Coyotes, Colliton finally did so — and the early results were promising.

“They just told me to be open, because both of them like to play with the puck, and especially in the corners,” Kubalik said Monday. “I’m just trying to be in the slot or in front of the net to give them the opportunity to shoot [or pass] it.

“I was just trying to fit in, and I think it was right.”

The switch resulted in the best night the Hawks’ official first line has experienced in weeks. The Toews-Saad-Kubalik line accounted for both of the Hawks’ five-on-five goals in an eventual 4-3 shootout loss — the first a goal by Toews off a feed by defenseman Calvin de Haan, the second a tip-in by Kubalik of a shot by defenseman Connor Murphy after Toews won a faceoff in the offensive zone. The first line also dominated possession throughout the night, finishing with a lopsided 11-5 advantage in scoring chances.

For Kubalik, who began his rookie season brilliantly alongside Saad and David Kampf but endured a rocky November, a game like that had been a long time coming.

“I’m trying to do my best, but I know that during this season [there have] already been a couple up-and-downs, when I didn’t play the right way,” he said. “Especially without the puck, I’ve got to still work on it. So [I’m] really happy I get the opportunity to play with those two guys.”

Colliton has been hard on Kubalik for his defensive work ethic and his consistency from shift to shift, and although he admitted after practice Monday that Kubalik was “really skating and making confident plays” against the Coyotes, he implied he still hasn’t seen the 24-year-old Czech winger reach the desired level of consistency.

Kubalik will likely never be a defensive specialist, but improved off-puck play could nonetheless give him more opportunities to showcase his skills with the puck.

“I’m trying to use my strength, and that’s my speed and my shot,” he said. “But you need to have the puck to use it, so I’m just trying to be the quickest possible to get the puck on my tape again.”

Even before Kubalik reaches his peak potential, he already seems like a good option for the first-line wing. Since the start of training camp, that final top-six spot has been a hole in this lineup; Kane, Toews, Alex DeBrincat, Dylan Strome and Saad are all clear top-six scorers, but there’s no obvious sixth guy on the roster. Colliton tried Nylander, Andrew Shaw and Kirby Dach, but none stuck.

Kubalik could buck that trend. His skills, combined with Toews’ and Saad’s, cover all the bases.

And even if Colliton isn’t fully convinced yet, his lineup decisions Sunday showed he’s open to the idea.

“Different guys are going to get the opportunity [to fill that spot] based on how they’re playing, and that’s just part of the process we’re going through,” Colliton said. “We have a lot of young players who have the potential to break through and do that for us. It’s just a race to try to make that happen.”

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The Blackhawks will be without veteran defenseman Duncan Keith against the Avalanche on Saturday in Denver.

Keith did not travel with the team after injuring his groin in Friday’s 5-2 loss to Colorado in Chicago. He’ll miss his first game since April 6, 2017, ending a 189-game streak. The severity of the injury is still unknown, but with two integral pieces of the Blackhawks’ lineup missing in Keith and Dylan Strome, the Blackhawks’ depth will be tested.

After Friday’s defeat, the Blackhawks recalled defenseman Ian McCoshen and reassigned Matthew Highmore to the AHL. Winger Anton Wedin, who was called up earlier this week, is expected to make his regular season debut and defenseman Slater Koekkoek will likely draw back into the lineup.

Chicago dropped the first game of the home-and-home, but Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 14 games with a goal. It’s the fourth time that Kane has reached the 14 game mark in his illustrious career.

Kane is ninth in the NHL with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists). However, he’s the only Chicago skater with more than 20 points as Alex DeBrincat sits at 19 and Strome, who is still in concussion protocol, has 17.

Avalanche blog, Mile High Hockey

Robin Lehner is slated to start for Chicago after Corey Crawford made 18 saves on 23 shots in Friday’s loss. Lehner leads the league in save-percentage at .938 and is third in goals saved above average at 13.5. He’s lost his last two starts, but only gave up four goals on 73 shots.

Nathan MacKinnon, who collected four points Friday, paces the Avalanche with 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists). Rookie defenseman and Calder Trophy favorite Cale Makar is next in line with 26 points (8 goals, 18 assists). He showcased his wicked shot with a top shelf power-play goal and his dynamic speed Friday.

MacKinnon is expected to get Mikko Rantanen back on his right wing after the Finnish sniper missed 16 games with a lower-body injury.

Philipp Grubauer, the Avalanche’s No. 1 goaltender, should start in net. He’s 8-5-2 with a .912 save-percentage on the season.
Tale of the Tape

Blackhawks — Statistic — Avalanche

47.8% (24th) — Corsi For — 48.9% (22nd)

49.1% (21st) — Faceoffs — 47.4% (28th)

2.80 (t-20th) — Goals per game — 3.60 (3rd)

2.68 (10th) — Goals against per game — 2.80 (12th)

13.5% (27th) — Power play — 19.2% (13th)

80.8% (19th) — Penalty kill — 78.1% (21st)
Lineups

Blackhawks

Saad — Toews — Shaw

DeBrincat — Carpenter— Kane

Smith — Dach— Nylander

Kubalik — Kampf— Wedin

Maatta — Murphy

de Haan — Seabrook

Gustafsson — Koekkoek

Lehner

Crawford

Avalanche

Donskoi — MacKinnon — Rantanen

Nichushkin — Kadri — Compher

Nieto — Bellemare — O’Connor

Kamenev — Jost— Tynan

Graves — Makar

Girard — Zadorov

Rosen — Cole

Grubauer

Francouz
How to watch

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Pepsi Center, Denver

TV: NBC Sports Chicago

Live stream: NBC Sports app

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DENVER — After a lopsided home loss Wednesday to the Avalanche, defenseman Duncan Keith called for the Blackhawks to start playing ‘‘pissed off’’ hockey.

In the two games since, with a vintage Keith at the forefront, the Hawks have followed his lead.

The Hawks roared back with four third-period goals Saturday to stun the Avalanche 5-3, a drastic reversal from the three blowout losses they had suffered against them since Nov. 29.

‘‘That’s what it’s going to take to turn it around,’’ Keith said. ‘‘It’s not going to be anything else other than the guys in the room. And I thought we had a good game from start to finish.’’

The Hawks controlled the second period and produced a whopping 16 scoring chances in those 20 minutes, but they trailed 3-1. Despite the Hawks’ strong work ethic in the wake of their equally determined road performance Thursday in Winnipeg, being swept in the season series seemed inevitable.

But that wasn’t the feeling in the locker room.

‘‘We came here in the intermission and just knew we were going to come back,’’ said goalie Robin Lehner, who finished with 28 saves. ‘‘We came out patient, we didn’t take any unnecessary risks, we stuck with it, we got a goal to gain momentum and here we go.’’

It was a goal by Patrick Kane with 8:38 left that provided that momentum; a goal by rookie Kirby Dach — his first in 17 games — 28 seconds later that tied the score; a snipe by Dominik Kubalik off a brilliant setup by Kane that gave the Hawks a late lead; and another 180-foot empty-netter by Connor Murphy that sealed the result.

Keith, meanwhile, was the rock through it all, handling his 26 minutes, 24 seconds like a 10-years-younger man and controlling play on every shift.

None of those things is particularly surprising, given the flashes of potential the Hawks have demonstrated this season.

But the fact they came all together is something new and encouraging. The Hawks’ light, which appearing to be on its final flame a few days ago, now has some new life.

‘‘We do have a lot of character in our group, and we have shown that we’re not going to quit,’’ coach Jeremy Colliton said. ‘‘But the next step for us is to bring it all the time, not just when our backs are completely against the wall. That’s how we’re going to finally break through.’’

Sikura benched quickly

Forward Dylan Sikura re-entered the Hawks’ lineup for the first time in six games, spent the first period on the top line with Kubalik and captain Jonathan Toews, then was thrust back into Colliton’s doghouse.

Kane was inserted into Sikura’s spot — which had been Brandon Saad’s spot in recent weeks until his ankle injury Thursday — at the start of the second period, and Sikura took only three more shifts the rest of the game.

Injury updates

The Hawks put Saad on injured reserve. Colliton said the two-week timeline given immediately after the injury occurred Thursday against the Jets is ‘‘still relatively the same,’’ but he’s not counting on him returning exactly then because ‘‘it’s just so far away.’’

Defenseman Calvin de Haan is thought to be seeking multiple medical opinions on his options for fixing his right shoulder. But a surgery similar to the one he had in May with the Hurricanes seems likely, and that would require a four- to six-month recovery.

Patrick Kane Jersey

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Chicago has been home to many legendary athletes. Where does Patrick Kane rank?

Over the last decade, the Chicago Blackhawks have been one of the most dominant teams in the NHL. As 2019 is nearing the end, many people are talking about who the best athlete in Chicago is.

For the better part of the 2010s, the Chicago Blackhawks have been the best team in Chicago. Long gone are the days of Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls. The 2010s were all about the Blackhawks and Patrick Kane.

Kane is currently 31 years old and hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down. His team, of course, has slowed down a bit with aging veterans riding out their last few seasons. Kane just hasn’t.
More from Blackhawk Up

2010’s a Decade to Remember for the Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks: Duncan Keith Has Had Enough and So Have I
Erik Gustafsson: An Asset With Volatile Trade Value
Chicago Blackhawks: The Alexis Lafreniere Sweepstakes
Blackhawks: Re-visiting the Nylander-Jokiharju Trade

Patrick Kane will head into 2020 less than 20 points from his 1,000th NHL career point, sitting at 982 right now. Chances are he will hit that before the All-Star break.

The one stat not many people have focused on is this. Kane leads the NHL in points since the start of the 2010s. That is something to be proud of.

Kane is also tied with a few other players for most Stanley Cups this decade. He has had two 100 point seasons, won the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP), and even added a Conn Smythe Trophy to his name in 2013. Chicago really does run on Kane.

Wonder who has the most points in the NHL for the decade?

Patrick Kane has the lead with 791 (so far). pic.twitter.com/u75uBWy8pa

— Blackhawks Talk (@NBCSBlackhawks) December 19, 2019

Those who have debated who the best player of the decade is and haven’t said, “Patrick Kane”, are wrong. It’s the easiest choice Chicago fans will make.

Now, there are arguments for other players during one season. Having a great one or two seasons is amazing but having a great decade is hard to accomplish.

The Chicago Blackhawks are currently last in the Central Division, and haven’t been great during the last three years, but Kane has remained an elite player. He is a franchise-changing player, and arguably, the best American-born hockey player ever.

The Blackhawks have had many legends throughout the years — too many to count in this one article — but Kane ranks up there with the best. Like the rest of them, he could play in any era and be successful. The fact that he has stayed successful and relevant for many years now shows how much of an impact he had on the city of Chicago.

In the 80s, the city of Chicago was all about the Bears. The 90s were about the Bulls. The 2000s were all about the Bears again. The 2010s were all about the Blackhawks. Kane and teammate Jonathan Toews helped bring relevance to hockey in the Windy City again.

If scoring the game-winning goal to bring the first Stanley Cup back to Chicago in 49-years isn’t enough, winning three Cups in six years should do the trick. The most impressive feat, stat wise, is leading the NHL in points during the last 10 seasons.

Next time you answer the question, the answer is Kane. Any other answer is wrong, because it’s not even close. Other players have been great, but there hasn’t been a player that’s been here for all 10 years and been so dominant. There’s just no other choice.

Corey Crawford Jersey

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Corey Crawford captured a coveted goalie milestone with another solid performance in a 2-1 shootout victory for the Blackhawks on Friday in New Jersey. The Hawks (12-12-5) beat the Atlantic division-leading Bruins 4-3 in overtime in Boston with Robin Lehner in net on Thursday before playing the Devils, last in the Metropolitan, Friday with Crawford starting.

“It’s important to try to climb back up in the standings,” Crawford said following the game. “We had a few tough games, it seems like it’s been pretty streaky the first quarter of the season, but when we’re playing well I think we’re pretty tough to beat. We just got to try to find that game as much as possible.

“But that was obviously a big win to start it and against one of the best teams in the league (the Bruins) and having a big lead too, going late into the third period, and then a team that’s a little bit lower in the standings (the Devils), but you still have to come out hard and play, no games are easy. It was pretty competitive out there but it’s nice to find a way to win.”

The two-time Stanley Cup champ saved 29 of 30 shots through overtime, including a Miles Wood breakaway with 11 seconds remaining in the second period and the game tied 1-1. He also stopped three of five New Jersey Devils shooters including Taylor Hall and 2019 No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes in the shootout.

Crawford became the 59th goalie in NHL history to record 250 wins. The 34-year-old is one of 13 active NHL goalies and just the third Hawks netminder to reach the milestone (Glen Hall: 276, Tony Esposito: 418).

Crawford is 250-149-52 in 464 games with the Blackhawks and has 26 shutouts.

Martin Havlat Jersey

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Martin Havlat helped the Chicago Blackhawks back to the postseason in 2009, and on Wednesday he announced his retirement from hockey

Chicago Blackhawks alumnus Martin Havlat called in a career on Wednesday. Havlat was the 26th overall pick of 1999 NHL Draft by the Ottawa Senators.

In his first year with the Senators, he was a finalist for the Calder Trophy and was given the nickname “Mach 9” because of the number he wore. Havlat would stay with the Senators until 2006-07.

He was traded to the Blackhawks along with Bryan Smolinski in a three-team deal that saw the San Jose Sharks get Mark Bell, Tom Preissing and Josh Hennessy. In his five years with Ottawa, Havlat appeared in 298 games, recording 105 goals and 130 assists.
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Upon joining the Blackhawks, Havlat signed a three-yea, $18 million contract. He would score two goals in his ’Hawks debut.

His first year was productive with 25 goals and 32 assists for 57 points. His second year would be limited to 35 games because of injuries. He would score 10 goals and record 17 assists.

His third year was 2008-09, when the ’Hawks made a surprise run to the Western Conference finals. Havlat had his best NHL season, registering 77 points during the regular season. In the playoffs, Havlat would once again lead the team in points with 15, one ahead of Patrick Kane.

After that season, Havlat engaged in intense negotiations with then general manager Dale Tallon. Tallon and Havlat would not come to an agreement, and Havlat would tweet his feelings after the negotiations with the Blackhawks failed.

He appeared in 172 games with the ’Hawks, scoring 64 goals with 97 assists for 161 points. The Blackhawks would shift gears and end up signing Marian Hossa to replace Havlat. Hossa was the better signing for the Blackhawks in hindsight, three Stanley Cup championships later.
Minnesota Wild and beyond

In 2009-10, Havlat would find a new home in Minnesota with the Wild. He signed a six-year, $30 million contract with the Wild.

Havlat’s time in Minnesota was a disaster. Havlat would spend two seasons in Minnesota before being shipped to San Jose for Dany Heatley. In Minnesota, Havlat appeared in 151 games, recording 40 goals and 76 assists.

In San Jose, Havlat was injury-riddled. He spent three seasons (2011-14) there before being bought out due to poor play and poor health. He the first player in San Jose Sharks history to be bought out. He played in 127 games, notching 27 goals and 40 assists.
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After San Jose, Havlat landed in New Jersey for a season in 2014-15. He appeared in 40 games, scoring five goals with nine assists. He would not be tendered a contract after his one-year stint in New Jersey. He would make a cameo with the Blues in 2015-16. He appeared in two games before being placed on unconditional waivers.

Havlat finishes his NHL career with 790 games played, 242 goals and 353 assists.