The Scouting Report: Chicago Blackhawks

Thursday, 25.04.2013 / 11:09 PM
Aaron Vickers  - CalgaryFlames.com (@aavickers)

CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames will close out their 2013 National Hockey League campaign against the best.

Clinching the President's Trophy -- awarded to the team that finishes with the most points in the regular season -- after beating the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks are already officially the top team in hockey this year.

They're getting set to gear up for another playoff push, too. Claiming Lord Stanley's Cup in 2010, the Blackhawks are hungry for another opportunity to hoist hockey's biggest prize.

SEASON SERIES

Flames Season Series Record: 0-0-1

Pushing to be the first team this season to hand the Blackhawks a loss after an incredible start, a goal by Patrick Kane forced overtime after scoring with 2.3 seconds remaining and added the shootout winner to compliment Ray Emery's 45-save effort in a 3-2 win on February 2nd. Calgary couldn't exact revenge on March 26th after Emery turned in another incredible performance in shutting out the Flames 2-0.

WHO'S HOT

PATRICK KANE

Though he was held without a point against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, Kane has been the hottest Chicago player over the team's past five games. The 5-foot-11 forward has two points and eight games during that stretch and is coming off a three-point effort at the expense of the Edmonton Oilers.

WHO'S NOT

DAVE BOLLAND

Scoring 19 goals a season ago, Bolland has been well off that pace this season and has just 14 points in 35 games. The 26-year-old has failed to register on the scoresheet in his past seven and has not been a plus player in any of those contests. Returning a week ago after missing four games with a lower body injury, Bolland is questionable to play against the Flames after suffering a groin injury against the Oilers.

THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH

BRANDAN SAAD

In his first season in the NHL, Saad has been everything the Blackhawks can ask of the 20-year-old. In 45 games this season, Saad has 10 goals and 26 points and sits fifth on the team in scoring. The Stanley Cup playoffs will be a big test for the youngster who starred for Team USA at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

JONATHAN TOEWS

Set to lead Chicago into playoff battle, Toews will put a wrap to a strong regular season against the Flames. The Blackhawks captain has found the back of the net 22 times this season and has 47 points in 46 games. The former Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP, Toews is no stranger to strong playoff performances.

MARIAN HOSSA

Though he's seen his production slip somewhat in a season where he's missed seven games, Hossa still remains as danger as ever. The 34-year-old Slovakia product scored 17 goals and 30 points in 39 games, third on the team in both stats, while his plus-19 rating is second-best on Chicago.

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