#400 Fallout, March Madness, Scoreboard Watching, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

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#400 Fallout, March Madness, Scoreboard Watching, and Other Blackhawks Bullets

Chicago Blackhawks

You’re going to see a theme here on Bleacher Nation Blackhawks today: Patrick Kane.

And rightfully so. The Mayor of Dangle City scored his 400th career goal last night in the Blackhawks’ 7-2 thumping of the Red Wings, which made him the 100th player in NHL history (and just the fourth Blackhawk in franchise history) to reach that mark.

And it was a good one.

•   You know, in case you missed it.

•   Kane joins Bobby Hull (604), Stan Mikita (541), and Steve Larmer (406) as the only players to reach 400 goals in Blackhawks franchise history. The only active Blackhawks player nearing 400 goals now is Jonathan Toews (345), whose return to the ice remains uncertain.

•   It all started back on October 9, 2007…

•   Quick cameo by baby Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews at the end there.

•   A couple different faces greeted Kane after netting No. 400.

https://twitter.com/BoqvistAdam/status/1366221052913811456?s=20

•   It was fitting this season that the primary assist on No. 400 came from Alex DeBrincat.

https://twitter.com/Brinksy97/status/1366226398629814274?s=20

 

•   A proud 400-goal scorer.

https://twitter.com/NHLBlackhawks/status/1366223069048672257?s=20

•   After the win, Kane spoke about his 400th goal and what it means to him and his outlook on his career moving forward. Needless to say, I’m ready to run through a wall.

•   Hearing a player who just scored his 400th goal talk about getting to his next milestone and being energized playing this season, which was looking like it was going to outright suck heading in, is encouraging for what Kane has in store in the years to come. He does not look like he is slowing down anytime soon.

•   Kane is the ninth U.S.-born NHL player to reach 400 goals, and the fifth-youngest to do so. He is the seventh to reach 400 goals in under 1,000 games played.

•   The past two seasons have been/will be wonky by their end. Kane has remained consistent in his goal production and it makes you think how much faster he might have reached 400 without having half or partial seasons for a myriad of reasons.

•   Another breakdown of Kane’s 400 career goals from NCBSCH Christopher Kamka shows just how regularly Kane gets goals no matter the condition. This is wild.

•   Kane had two assists to go along with his 400th career goal last night, putting him into second in the NHL in scoring this season. If he keeps up this pace, and the Blackhawks reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I have no idea how you don’t give him the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP this season.

•   If you have the time and want to go down memory lane, Scott Powers of The Athletic broke down every Patrick Kane goal in his career and ranked them in a Top 20. I highly recommend checking it out, I enjoyed every bit of it.

•   Now, for other bits from last night, not to be forgotten. Well, one more from Patrick Kane first:

•   Adorable. Who says “new Dad strength” isn’t real?

•   Kevin Lankinen was a big factor in the win last night, stopping an NHL career-high 44 shots. The Finnish rookie moved his record on the year to 9-3-3 with a .924 save percentage and a 2.55 GAA.

•   Lankinen is tied for the lead in wins this season (9) and leads in save percentage (.924) among rookie goalies who have played six or more games. He ranks top-ten in the NHL among 37 goalies who have played at least 500 minutes in save percentage, goals saved above average, high-danger shots against, high-danger save-percentage, and leads the NHL in shots faced (516).

•   Pius Suter snapped a seven-game goalless stretch last night, netting his rookie-leading seventh goal of the season. Suter ranks in a three-way tie for second in the NHL among rookies with 12 points, trailing Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov with 17 points.

•   After dropping a stinker against the Red Wings on Saturday, the Blackhawks needed a big win last night. Fortunately, they got it and held firmly onto their playoff positioning in the Central Division. Through 23 games this season, Chicago ranks third in the Division based on points (28) and fourth based on points percentage (.609). They have a healthy cushion above the Dallas Stars (.500) in fifth-place based on points percentage, with Dallas having played the fewest games (16) in the Division.

•   The Blackhawks are in a three-way tie for the third-most points in the NHL this season with the Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals. They trail only two Central Division foes (Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers) and the league-leading Toronto Maple Leafs.

•   The Blackhawks have benefitted from not having to play the Lightning and Panthers since the opening week of the season, yes. But even still, their results against teams like the Carolina Hurricanes and the Dallas Stars have been encouraging. They are taking care of business against the teams they are supposed to beat and competing with the ones who are supposed to be better than them. Which, let’s be honest, heading into this season was supposed to be every team in the Central Division not from Detroit.

•   Chicago now heads into the month of March, where they will play the Lightning five times, the Panthers four times, the Stars and Predators twice each, and throw in a game against the Hurricanes on the 30th to end the month. This will be the month that will separate a lot of the Division, the Blackhawks included. We talked about the opening week of the season being a measuring stick of how far away the Blackhawks were from one of the top teams in the league. They were VERY far away. This month will show what real growth we have seen from this team, and what has potentially been false hope.

•  Either way, caring about games in March with playoff positioning in the conversation is much more fun and exciting than where I expected to be at this point of this season.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.