Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane and 5 Hawks Who Will Break out in 2012

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Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane and 5 Hawks Who Will Break out in 2012
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Patrick Kane is on the brink of the prime of his NHL career.

The Chicago Blackhawks were one goal away from eliminating the Vancouver Canucks from the 2011 NHL playoffs for the third consecutive year.

The 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, who sneaked into postseason action on the last day of the regular season, played seven hard-fought Western Conference quarterfinals games against Vancouver before being eliminated on an Alex Burrows overtime goal.

The Hawks were outplayed by the Canucks in five of the seven games that the two teams faced off in. However, Chicago had the opportunities to send Vancouver home packing, yet again.

There were some positives from some Blackhawks that helped them get to OT of Game 7, and there was some level of underachieving from certain Blackhawks that prevented them from eliminating Vancouver.

Patrick Kane was one Blackhawks player who did not play the significant role the team planned on him to fulfill, and his work ethic in the offseason shows that he's ready to move on from those failures and prove all of his critics wrong.

Kane is not the only player that is going to improve this coming season. Here is a list of five Blackhawks who are going to take the next step in their careers, and will play a significant role in the team's quest for a second Stanley Cup in three years.

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