Saturday, July 25, 2015

Who Was The Blackhawk MVP For The 2015 Season?

The Chicago Blackhawks capped off yet another Stanley Cup run In 2015.  This season was filled with surprising performances from key contributors.

Trevor Van Riemsdyk started the season by making the Opening Night roster and played well for the first 18 games of the season before going down with an injury.  He then didn't return for the next  7 months until he played a pivotal role in the Finals.

We saw the rise of local star, Scott Darling, win the backup goalie job half way through the season and provide the Blackhawks with a phenomenal playoffs when they and Corey Crawford needed him most.  His record-breaking relief appearance in Game 1 against the Nashville Predators, 42 saves in 67+ minutes with no goals allowed, was one for the ages.  Coach Quenneville said "...that was one of the greatest relief performances you're going to see."  Did I mention that was Darling's NHL debut in the playoffs?

Although everyone on the team had highlights throughout the season, there are 4 players that should be considered for the honor of Team MVP for the entire 2014-2015 season.

Patrick Kane was among the top scoring leaders and was in discussions of being League MVP before he went down in early February with a broken clavicle.  That injury kept Kane out for the remainder of the regular season and was thought to keep him out until possibly the Conference Finals, if the Blackhawks could get that far.  Kane came back five weeks early to begin the playoffs.  He didn't skip a beat as he played a major role in the playoffs as he finished tied for most points in the NHL playoffs with 23 (11G, 12A).

Duncan Keith, the reigning Norris Trophy winner in 2014, had a great year in 2015 tallying 10 goals and 35 assists for 45 points, finishing 5th on the team.  His performance in the NHL Finals was near brilliance, averaging 31+ minutes, 3 game-winning goals, +16, and 21 points (3G 18A).  His efforts earned him the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.  Considering the off-ice problems that surfaced after the season ended, his performance this year was truly amazing.

Jonathan Toews, lived up to the "C" on his sweater as he lead the team in scoring in the regular season with 66 points (28G 38A).  During the last two weeks of the regular season, when goals were hard to come by for the Blackhawks, Toews had 6 goals in the remaining 10 regular season games.  4 of those goals were game-winners.  The Blackhawks made the playoffs this year by 3 points.  In the playoffs, Toews had 21 points (10G 11A) and won 56.1% of his faceoffs.

Corey Crawford had arguably his best season as a professional in 2014-15.  He had 32 wins, a GAA of 2.27, and a SV% of 0.924.  He shared in winning his second William M. Jennings Trophy.  After a forgettable start to the 2015 playoffs against Nashville, 2-1, 4.66 GAA, 0.850 SV%, he was lights out the remainder of the playoffs going 11-5, 2.06 GAA, and a 0.932 SV%.  He also had 2 shutouts, including one in the Stanley Cup clinching Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, 2-0.

It's hard to pick a single person out of this group considering the crucial roles that all of these players had throughout the entire season.  There are no losers in this debate.  Only winners.  Stanley Cup Winners!!!



  1. Tough question, but I gotta go with Crawford, with Keith a really close second, but the entire team was really good.

  2. Yeah, it's really hard to say anyone is wrong here. I'd probably still have to go Keith, but after that, it is hard to say if Crawford or Toews comes next. Both played very well leading up to the playoffs. We wouldn't have been in them if it wasn't for either of them.