Bad news on Friday as Duncan Keith was suspended for the remaining 5 games of the 2015-16 regular season and 1 playoff game. The Hawks shrugged it off, nudging Winnipeg 5-4, and undressing Boston 6-4. During that time the Kane line decided to go nuclear.
Artemi Panarin scored his 28th goal and picked up 3 assists, Artem Anisimov scored a goal and 2 helpers, and Patrick Kane decided to notch a hat trick in just 2 periods of play. Kane now has 43 goals on the season, which is a career high. The trio as a unit have piled up 91 goals, and 123 assists in their first season together. With 3 games to go, they are heating up at the right time.
The Duncan Keith suspension is actually a blessing in disguise. This gives the team something to focus and rally around, and playing time for someone to step up in Keith’s absence. It also gives Keith a chance to rest his legs going into the playoffs without having to rehab an injury.
This team has showed amazing resilience over the years, and the 2015-16 season is no exception. The Blackhawks are poised to make a strong run in the playoffs and should get healthy when Keith returns and hopefully Crawford gets past his current injury.