(Photo: Chicago Blackhawks Facebook)
The 14-9-4 Hawks aren’t terribly different from the 2014 Hawks at this point (18-8-1), especially considering the post-Cup roster changes and Duncan Keith‘s meniscus repair and missed time early on.
Another similarity is Kane’s membership in a hot line during the annual “circus trip,” only this year the line has included Artem Anisimov and rookie Artemi Panarin, who leads first-year NHL-ers in points himself (9 goals, 18 assists).
Kane leads the league with 42 points this season–16 goals and 26 assists. In these 22 consecutive games with at least one point, he’s tallied 36 points. That is more than any other player has for the season, with the Dallas Stars‘ Jamie Benn yielding 35 (18 goals, 17 assists).
Kane squeaked another point Sunday, when he assisted on Panarin’s empty-net goal as the game cloud wound down to earn the franchise record, breaking Hall-of-Famer Bobby Hull‘s 21-game trend.
This came days after breaking the 18-game record set by an American player, previously held as a tie by Eddie Olczyk in 1989-90 with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Phil Kessel in 2008-09 with the Boston Bruins, when Kane scored in an overtime loss against the Los Angeles Kings.
“Anytime you can put your name with Bobby Hull or Denis Savard or Eddie Olcyzk, you’ve got to be doing something right,” Kane said after Sunday’s win. “Support from the team was awesome; I think everyone was excited for me too. Good that it came with a win, too. That’s a huge win for us.
He has had at least one point in every game since October 17 against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
What better way to see 20 of those points than in this animation with OYO figures? (Seriously, click that link.)
Kane was chosen as the NHL’s first star of the month for November after racking up 23 points, giving the Hawks a 7-3-3 record for the month and pushing them into third in the Central Division.
Now, the Hawks are fifth in the Central–one point behind the Nashville Predators, who they’ll be facing at home tonight and in the Music City Thursday.
The Central Division is tight right now, while the Stars have a lofty lead with 42 points, the St. Louis Blues have 34 points, and the Minnesota Wild and Predators are tied with 33 while the Hawks are chasing at 32. The Jets are two wins behind with 28 and the Colorado Avalanche have 25 points.
The Preds beat the Bruins last night, but no doubt they remember their last two games in Chicago–giving up their postseason hopes last year in a dramatic triple-overtime Game 4 loss and a season-sealing Game 6 defeat.
Who to look out for:
- Roman Josi has seven goals and 13 assists this season.
- Ryan Ellis has three goals and six assists versus the Blackhawks–he fares better against them than any other team.
- Shea Weber has 14 career goals against Chicago, again the most scored against another team.
In the last 12 games, the Predators have held opponents to fewer than 20 shots on goal.
Chicago has 2.74 goals per game while the Preds have 2.59, while goals-against are 2.56 for the Hawks and 2.59 for the Preds. The Hawks are 21.6 percent effective to the Preds’ 21.3 percent on the power play, while Chicago also edges on the penalty kill 80.3 percent to 74.7 percent.
For Chicago, Trevor Daley is out following a scary knee-to-head collision in Sunday’s game. He’s listed as day-to-day.
#Blackhawks lines Teravainen-Toews-Hossa Panarin-Anisimov-Kane Bickell-Rasmussen-Shaw Desjardins-Kruger-Garbutt Mashinter, Dano not on lines
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) December 8, 2015
Goalie Corey Crawford will start in net for Chicago.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. CT Tuesday in Chicago and Thursday in Nashville.