By Joshua M. Hicks
The Chicago Blackhawks have been on fire recently, winning 13 of their last 15 games, which included a franchise record 12 game win-streak. Right wing Patrick Kane has led the way for the Blackhawks, making history within the franchise and the entire NHL. Kane holds the new franchise point streak at 26 games and is also the first American-born player ever to record 20 goals within his first nine seasons in the league.
Kane’s aggressive play and leadership has been huge, which is one of the many reasons why the Blackhawks has been very successful thus far, according to Roosevelt senior Carolina Rodriguez.
“[Kane] hasn’t only just scored goals, but he’s setting up his teammates to score as well as making them productive players as well,” Rodriguez said. “He brings out the best in the Hawks new players.”
Blackhawks fan and senior, Olivia Dunaway, echoes Rodriguez’s sentiment.
“[Kane] is the focal point for this team to succeed,” Dunaway said. “His historic records gave the team motivation to play their A game.”
Demonze Spruiel, Co-Founder/Co-Host of the D & Davis Show, a local sports talk radio program, discussed the importance of Coach Joel Quenneville and his bond with his players.
“[The Hawks success] has to go to one guy, Coach Quenneville,” Spruiel said. “Coach is a leader of men. He changed the culture of the team, along with accomplished a resume that recently awarded him a three-year contract extension. Without Coach Q, I don’t think you would have seen three Stanley Cup parades here in Chicago.”
Rodriguez agrees with Spruiel’s sentiment, attributing much of the team’s success to their coach.
“Coach Quenneville is the second most winning coach, and the way he brings teams together is proof of that,” Rodriguez said. “Their recent success contributes to how in tune the players are with him.”
Dunaway believes that the Blackhawks will be winning their fourth championship in seven years this season, but it won’t be an easy trip to the heavy metal.
“As a die-hard fan, I would love to see the Blackhawks win the championship,” Dunaway said. “However, teams have really stepped up this season. Our defense and third line really need to step up in order for our Stanley Cup dreams to become a reality again.”
Spruiel also fantasizes about another major Blackhawks win, hoping to see another parade coming through Chicago soon.
“The Blackhawks can go all the way,” Spruiel said. “[Kane] is leading the NHL in points, [Crawford] is playing great goalie right now and Toews and Quenneville will keep the team in a winning mindset. The Blackhawks should make it back to the Western Conference Finals with a real shot of winning another Stanley Cup.”