As the Chicago Blackhawks look to cruise their way into the postseason to defend the Stanley Cup, there are some notable statistical franchise accomplishments several players can achieve in the last few months of the 2015-16 regular season.
Let's take a look at a few guys:
- Definitely the biggest milestone on tap has the longtime Slovakian stalwart looking to finish his #RoadTo500 and become the 44th player in NHL history to score 500 goals. He needs only six goals and a classic Hossa goal binge may come soon enough. (Hopefully it also happens at home)
- With four more shorthanded goals, Hossa can also move past Denis Savard, Patrick Sharp and Troy Murray for 5th all time in team history with 18.
- Depending on how that goes, he can also settle in around 8th-9th all time in the NHL with only a couple scored, supplanting guys like Bill Barber and Mats Sundin.
- Several guys like Jonathan Toews and Brent Seabrook can jump up to No. 1 all time in Blackhawks history in overtime goals. Hossa himself needs just four to take over from Patrick Sharp for the all time spot with nine.
- Likewise with the shorthanded goals, if Hossa scores three overtime winners, he can take over for Scott Niedermayer, Olli Jokinen, Daniel Sedin and Ilya Kovalchuk to move into a tie for 4th all time in NHL history with 15.
- The star right winger needs just nine points to supplant Dennis Hull for 6th all time in scoring in Hawks history with 641 points.
- He also needs just nine goals to surpass Pit Martin for 10th all time in goals scored with 244.
- Naturally, he only needs four more assists to get to 401, to move past the legendary Pierre Pilote.
- Taking advantage of special teams, he is five from 4th all time in power play goals in team history, advancing past Doug Wilson with 81.
- Six more game winning goals for Kane and he'll also move past Savard with 47.
- Finally, Kane can take home of plenty of awards. He will more than likely be the first Hawk to win the Hart Trophy (MVP) as well as Art Ross (scoring leader) since Stan Mikita in 1968. He can also become the first Chicago player to ever win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard trophy (goals scored) since the award's inception in the 1998-1999 season.
- With two goals, the captain can also surpass Pit Martin for 10th all time in goals scored with 244.
- Toews can jump a cluster of several guys that includes Al Secord, Eric Daze, Sharp and Tony Amonte to move into 6th all time in franchise history in power play goals with 69.
- With 16 assists, the unselfish captain also moves into 14th all time in team history with 315, taking over for Doug Bentley.
- Ever the clutch scorer, as mentioned, if Toews scores just two more overtime game winners, he will be alone in the top spot over Sharp. He can potentially then add to his lead to keep teammates like Seabrook and Hossa at bay.
- If everyone's favorite resident "iron man" records 17 points, he can move into 21st all time in points for the Hawks with 463 to take over for Cliff Koroll.
- With 19 assists, Keith would move past Robert Murray for 4th all time among Hawks defensemen with 383.
- Also among that all time defensemen group, if Keith scores 11 goals, he would supplant Chris Chelios for 2nd all time, with 93 goals.
- With the stellar season he's enjoying at 29 wins, it's possible Crawford can break the single season franchise record with 15 more, which would surpass Ed Belfour's 43 in the 1990-91 season. Crawford's own individual season high in wins is 33, which was set back in the 2010-11 campaign.
- Crawford leads the league with seven shutouts and he can possibly break the Hawks all time season record. With one more shutout, he moves to 8th. With two more, he jumps to 5th. With three shutouts he would get to 3rd. With five, Crawford would take over for 2nd.
- Finally, while highly unlikely, with nine shutouts in the last 28 games, Crawford would have the most single season shutouts by a Hawks goalie ever, which would supplant Tony Esposito's 15 in the 1969-70 season.
- "Fruit and crap," as stated earlier, has six overtime goals and can move into 1st place with three scored depending on the results for his teammates Toews and Hossa.
- Sixteen assists moves Seabrook past Pat Stapleton with 287 all time among Hawks defensemen.
Chicago Blackhawks (Team)
- Currently sitting in first place with 72 points, the Hawks can win the Central Division for just the 3rd time since it was created in the 1994-95 season.
- If by chance they were to go 21-7 in this final stretch and attain 114 points, Chicago would also break its own individual season team record of 112 points set in the 2009-10 season.
- Barring a significant collapse by the Washington Capitals, who lead the NHL with 74 points in just 48 games, Chicago can also win its third Presidents' Trophy. The team last earned the honor with a 36-7-5 record during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
As you noticed, the individual notable milestones mostly feature members of the recent successful core for the Blackhawks with the exception of Niklas Hjalmarsson. Other newcomers may achieve their own notable and successful milestones soon enough. Keep an eye on Teuvo Teravainen and Artemi Panarin in the coming years.
Besides that, on a personal note, the #RoadTo500 better end soon, because I'm getting anxious for Chicago's favorite Slovakian son.
Until then, the individual achievements and celebrations possible here are just gravy to go along with the team accomplishments. Regardless of what happens, the Blackhawks now have the time in these next few months to position themselves well for their Stanley Cup defense.
Robert Zeglinski is a staff writer and contributor for Second City Hockey and No Coast Bias. He is currently the sports editor at Aurora University. You can follow him on Twitter @ZigZags82.