After being one of the worst teams in the league for a good chunk of the season, it appears that the Chicago Blackhawks have found their game and look like a team that could actually make the playoffs this season.
That’s right folks. The Blackhawks are on fire right now and are clicking on all cylinders.
As of this writing, the team finds themselves just two points out of the second Wild Card spot. After getting off to a really slow start, the team is now 22-24-9 and are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games.
There are several reasons why this team is playing so well. The first one is that Patrick Kane is on a mission.
Kane, 30, currently has 79 points on 32 goals and 47 assists. He is playing with a ton of confidence right now and is perhaps the main reason why this team’s offense is incredibly hot right now.
Speaking of putting up points, team captain Jonathan Toews is also on fire for this hockey club. He currently has 54 points (24 goals and 30 assists), including seven points (three goals and four assists) in his last five games.
Toews, 30, has surpassed last season’s point total (52) and has his team believing that they can get into the postseason when it seemed like that notion was far from reality just a few short months ago. Toews is one of the game’s best captains and right now, he is leading this team in all facets of the game.
The team’s goaltending has also improved. While it would obviously be better to have a healthy Corey Crawford between the pipes, the two goaltenders they have now are playing well enough to help this team win hockey games.
Colin Delia, 24, has been outstanding lately. On the season, he is currently 6-2-3 with a 2.98 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.
Yes, that goals-against is a bit high, but we have to remember that he is playing behind a weak defensive hockey team. He faces a ton of shots every night so the fact that he has stopped 92 percent of them is quite impressive.
The team’s back-up goaltender, Cam Ward, has also played well as of late. He has won his last three starts and in those starts, he has allowed a combined 7 goals on 106 shots.
Ward’s stats on the season may be awful (10-8-4 with a 3.75 goals-against average and a .891 save percentage), but that does not matter right now. All that matters is that Ward supports Delia and does his job whenever he gets the call to be between the pipes.
What also needs to be mentioned is that 34-year-old head coach Jeremy Colliton has done a great job in getting this team back on track and playing meaningful games. Yes, there is no doubt that no one was a real fan of former head coach Joel Quenneville getting fired, but nevertheless, the new bench boss has done his job and has this team winning hockey games.
With the team approaching mid-February, games are only going to get tougher from here on out. If the Blackhawks can continue to play the way they are now and stay afloat, this team has a chance of sneaking into the playoffs, something they missed out on last season.
For the Blackhawks and their fans, it’s time to get the job done and show the league that despite the struggles they have gone through the season, that they are good enough to surprise people and win hockey games when it matters most.