In the month of November, Patrick Kane was lights out. He registered at least one point in every game, finishing with 11 goals and 13 assists over that 15-game span. Unsurprisingly, his stellar performance resulted in NHL Third Star of the Month honors. It’s great to see Showtime receive that type of recognition, but as he’ll tell you, winning is more important than any personal accolades.
Sure, the Blackhawks had a nice four-game winning streak from November 10th through 17th. Outside of that stretch, last month was mostly a tale of one step forward, two steps back. In order for this team to win games on a more consistent basis, other star players need to start finding the back of the net more frequently. I’m looking at you, Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat.
Last season, both Toews and DeBrincat touted career-high campaigns in both goals and points. After three seasons of point totals in the 50s, Toews exploded for 35 goals and 81 points. DeBrincat seemed to solidify himself as a sniper when he potted 41 goals as part of his 76-point sophomore season. So far this season, Toews has just four goals, while DeBrincat is only one better.
Yes, both of these players rank in the top-four among Blackhawks skaters in the assist department (DeBrincat has 14, Toews has 10). However, depth scoring isn’t coming at a consistent clip from elsewhere on the roster. With injuries to Dylan Strome, Andrew Shaw, and Drake Caggiula in the forward corps, it’s even more imperative that both the Captain and the Cat start lighting the lamp to help Patrick Kane carry the load.
As discussed on the Thanksgiving Week Wrap Up episode of Blackhawks On Tap, we simply need to see more from the star players who are making the big bucks. Last season, the Blackhawks fell short of the playoffs even with career seasons from Kane, Toews, and DeBrincat. After a bit of a slow start, Kane has been doing his part and more lately. Jonathan Toews and Alex DeBrincat need to start picking up the slack immediately if the Blackhawks are going to be a competitive team in a grueling Western Conference.
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