Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 1/3/14
Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane is all smiles after being named the NHL’s First Star for the second consecutive month. (photo courtesy of the Bleacher Report)   Chalk up another two honors for the Chicago Blackhawks. Forward Patrick Kane, second in the league in scoring, was named the NHL’s No. 1 star for the month of December, while goaltender Antti Raanta was selected the league’s co-Rookie of the Month. For Kane, it’s the second consecutive time he’s been named the league’s top player. In 14 games in December, the 25-year old USA Olympian scored 16 goals and 7 assists with a plus-minus rating of +14. He recorded points in all but one game during the month. The reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner (MVP of the Stanley Cup Final) has 23 goals and 30 assists for 53 points, six behind the league’s second star of the month, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby. Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller was named third star. Raanta shares the Rookie of the Month honors with Los Angeles Kings goalie Martin Jones. The 24-year old native of Finland was called upon to fill in for Corey Crawford, who went down during November with a groin injury. Raanta did more than just hold down the net in Crawford’s absence, he thrived. In 15 appearances since being called up from Rockford, Raanta is 10-1-3 with a goals against average of 2.21 and a save percentage of 2.21, including one shutout. Jones was nearly perfect in December, going 8-3-0 with three shutouts, a 1.41 GAA and a .950 save percentage. However, Jones has struggled of late, allowing four goals to Dallas in a 5-2 loss and 2 goals in 31 minutes before being pulled in a 5-0 loss to St. Louis. Kane’s teammate, Antti Raanta, is also pretty happy these days after being named the league’s co-Rookie of the Month for December. (photo courtesy of AP)   31 total views, 31 views today
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