Chicago Blackhawks at the Halfway Point: Mid-Season Winners (and No Real Losers)
This was supposed to be one of those long recap things where we look back at the Chicago Blackhawks’ first 24 games. Obviously, the problem is that after a while the story gets redundant and draws comparisons to a skipping record. Instead, this is going to be one of those awards lists that tells you who was the best in different categories. Unfortunately, I can only think of two important ones. So, without any further ado, here are my picks for the best of the Blackhawks’ half-season.
I chose two games because they each have special significance to the Blackhawks. The first, of course, is the game which put them firmly in the annals of NHL history. With their win over the Sharks, they became the team with the most consecutive points at the start of a season, and they’re still going. What the team is doing is mathematically improbable, and it’s caught everyone’s attention.
The second game is important because it was Marian Hossa’s 1000th game. He’s one of the few and the proud to reach this milestone, and the team gave it their all in his honor. The game would’ve been a bust without Patrick Kane’s tying goal and shootout stunner, making things more special simply by winning. Kane may have been the hero of the game, but the day belonged to Hossa.
Most Valuable Player: the Chicago Blackhawks
Kane’s been whispered as an early contender for the Hart Trophy, and many have named him team MVP for the way he’s stepped up his game this season, but the entire team should be recognized for what they’ve done. You can’t point to just one player who’s played the best because it’s too hard to choose. From goaltending to adapting to line changes, they’ve made a huge change from where they’ve been the past two seasons. The Blackhawks are proving that individual effort is good, but a collective endeavor is what makes the team great.
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