Back on December 27th the Chicago Blackhawks were sitting in the middle of the Central Division after a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
This is the last time the Blackhawks have had to endure the sour taste of defeat.
Joel Quenneville’s club has rocketed to the top of the Western Conference thanks to a 12-game winning streak and here are the top moments from this incredible run.
4.) Rookie Artemi Panarin’s game-winning goal in overtime
The Blackhawks streak almost came to an end in Pittsburgh as the team squandered a two goal lead, but Panarin came through in the clutch by beating Marc-Andre Fleury.
3.) Corey Crawford takes over league lead in shutouts
Crawford started off 2016 much like he ended by 2015, in dominating fashion. Crawford earned his sixth shutout of the season with a 3-0 victory over the Senators.
2.) Patrick Kane records his first career regular season hat trick
While it might seem a bit ridiculous, Patrick Kane hadn’t recorded a regular season hat trick until he buried three goals against the Maple Leafs to extend Chicago’s winning streak to 10 games.
1.) Quenneville passes Al Arbour for second place in NHL victories
Jonathan Toews and Ryan Garbutt scored a pair of first period goals that gave Crawford the cushion he needed as the Blackhawks defeated the Canadiens 2-1.
A day after a very poorly received Chicago Blackhawks press conference, things went a lot better for Patrick Kane & Co. at training camp on Friday.
The crowd of about 4,000 people reacted warmly to Kane’s presence at Compton Ice Arena at Notre Dame, according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.
“That’s a pretty cool reaction, especially given the circumstances,” Kane said . “You didn’t really know what to expect. I thought it was one of those things when you’re going on the ice you don’t know what’s going to happen. To hear that reaction from the crowd definitely gave me chills. It was an exciting moment.”
Harrington posted this Vine, so see for yourself:
On Thursday, Kane didn’t really answer many questions while Chicago denied claims that they’ve handled the situation in a “tone-deaf” way.
Puck Daddy shares more reactions from Blackhawks fans.
Patrick Kane‘s longer term future is still unclear, but it sounds like he will attend Chicago Blackhawks training camp.
Darren Dreger said as much during the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading on Monday, noting that Kane hasn’t been charged with a crime and that there’s no “logistical” reason for him to be withheld from training camp.
That said, Dreger also stated that we should know for sure in the next 24-48 hours.
It’s unclear when there will be a resolution regarding Kane’s alleged rape investigation, although a postponed grand jury process is expected to resume “soon.”
Naturally, nothing is official at this point:
After spending parts of six seasons with the Boston Bruins, Daniel Paille has accepted a professional tryout offer from the Chicago Blackhawks, according to hockey insider Darren Dreger.
The 31-year-old scored six goals and 13 points while averaging 11:31 of time on ice in 71 games last season.
Paille becomes the second player to be offered a PTO by the Chicago Blackhawks joining defenseman Jan Hejda.
Given the Blackhawks’ current salary cap situation – they have $930,000 of room, according to Generalfanager.com – it’s hard to see Paille earning a contract out of camp.
Originally a first-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres (20th overall in 2002), Paille scored 50 goals and 95 points in 375 games with the Bruins winning a Stanley Cup in 2011.
Related: Capitals invite Roy to camp on PTO
The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, but there’s one aspect of their game that the Calgary Flames don’t want to emulate.
During the 2015 playoffs, Chicago leaned heavily on defensemen Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Johnny Oduya. In early May Michal Rozsival suffered an ankle injury and that led to the Blackhawks using their top-four defensemen even more extensively as no other blueliners averaged more than 10 minutes per contest.
That worked out, but it was also a big burden on those four players. Calgary had a group that, when healthy, could similarly carry that kind of load in T.J. Brodie, Mark Giordano, Dennis Wideman, and Kris Russell, but after acquiring Dougie Hamilton over the summer, Calgary won’t have to resort to that. The Flames should be able to use all three pairings with confidence, which has the potential to pay off as the campaign progresses.
“When we throw a defenseman on the ice, he will be 100% rested because part of our style is go, go, go,” Flames coach Bob Hartley told the Calgary Sun.
The main question now is what the Flames’ defensive pairings will look like as Hamilton potentially throws a wrench in their old setup. It’s a good problem for Hartley to have and he’ll deal with it by trying a lot of different combinations over the preseason.