Blackhawks looking for another deep postseason run


Tessa Martyn, Staff writer

As the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs prepare to get under way (with our beloved Chicago Blackhawks kicking off postseason action Thursday, April 13 against the Nashville Predators), here’s a look back at the last two months of the regular season for the league’s modern-day dynasty.
The Blackhawks ended February with a four-game winning streak and pushed it to a seven-game winning streak by the time it ended in early March. Early in the month of March, several Blackhawks reached some personal and franchise milestones, as well.
Jonathan Toews began the milestones, scoring his 267th career goal against the St. Louis Blues on February 26th, tying Jeremy Roenick for 8th in Blackhawks history on the all-time goal scoring list. Also, the same night, Duncan Keith recorded his 500th career point. On March 1st, the same night the Blackhawks extended their win streak to five games with a win of 4-1 against the Penguins, Patrick “Hat Trick” Kane recorded three goals for the second time in a three-game span for the first time since Brian Noonan did in 1991.
On March 3, Toews played in his 700th career game against the Islanders, and then the next night, he scored his 268th goal against the Nashville Predators, tying him with Tony Amonte for 7th in Blackhawks history on the goal scoring list. Also, on March 4, Brent Seabrook recorded his 400th career point from his two assists.
The Blackhawks have recently set a new franchise record with eight consecutive road wins. The Blackhawks were the first team in NHL history to record five straight seasons with road win streaks of at least six-plus wins.
The Blackhawks recently signed a two-year entry level deal with John Hayden on Sunday, March 12. Hayden, who recently was the captain on Yale University’s hockey team, scored his 1st NHL career goal in a short span of two games at the National Hockey League level. He scored his first goal on March 18th, when the Blackhawks faced the Toronto Maple Leafs. He became the seventh Blackhawks player this season to record their first career NHL goal, joining Gustav Forsling, Ryan Hartman, Vinnie Hinostroza, Michal Kempny, Tyler Motte and Nick Schmaltz. It’s also the first time the Blackhawks have had multiple Illinois-born players (Hayden and Hinostroza) score in the same season since 1998-99 (Eddie Olczyk and Chris Chelios.)
The Blackhawks then clinched a spot in the playoffs for the ninth straight year and hold the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, winning the Central Division for the second time in four years and third time in the last eight years.
On, March 21, Richard Panik became the sixth Blackhawks player to hit the 20-goal mark this season with Ryan Hartman not far behind with a total of 17 goals this season. This has been the first time since the 2009-10 season that the Chicago Blackhawks have had six 20-goal scorers. On March 29th, Marian Hossa tied Bryan Trottier for 34th all-time with 524 career goals. Also on March 29th, Joel Quenneville reached his 850th career victory and the Blackhawks earned their 24th road win of the 2016-17 season to match their single-season franchise record from 2014-2015. Kane also became the 4th player in Blackhawks history with 50+ assists in 4 seasons, joining Stan Mikita, Denis Savard, and Roenick. On March 31st, Artemi Panarin became the 2nd European-born player to record multiple 70-point seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, with the other player being Stan Mikita.
Finally, on April 1st, the Blackhawks reached their 50th win for the second time in franchise history.
The Blackhawks and the fans are gearing up for hopefully another long playoff run and what could turn out to be their fourth Stanley Cup title in the last eight years and seventh in the franchise’s history.