The Blackhawks may have seen their win streak snapped at seven by the Bruins last night, but Boston wasn’t able to stop Patrick Kane. The speedy winger has now pushed his point streak to 15 straight games since January 3rd, reviving a Chicago team that looked set to compete for lottery odds not too long ago. They are now in the thick of the wild card race, sitting just four points away from a playoff spot.
During that span, Kane leads the league in points with 32, five more than anyone else. His 11 powerplay points are also top in the NHL, tied with Nikita Kucherov. He’s always up there on our offensive zone possession time leaderboard, but since January 3rd, he’s reached another level of dominance.
Kane handles the puck on offense over 20 seconds more than anyone in the NHL not named Barzal. That’s a massive gap to the rest of the field, and he’s putting that time to good use. Just take this play against the Sabres for example.
At one point, there are only two Blackhawks players in the zone (Kane and Jonathan Toews) against four Sabres. When Kane receives the puck, three of the four defenders converge towards him. With most of the defensive attention on him, he’s still able to hold and protect the puck and wait for help to arrive. When Connor Murphy gets in the zone, Kane slides the puck under Conor Sheary’s stick and finds Murphy wide open and with momentum, who scores moments later. Kane commands a lot of respect from the defense every time he touches the puck and it’s hard to blame them.
Kane has already surpassed his goals and points totals from a season ago and tied his assists tally, even with 25 games still left on the calendar. Now, he likely won’t score over two points a game for the remainder of the season, but his recent play has him within striking distance in the Art Ross race, trailing Kucherov by six points. Even at half the pace of his point streak, he would easily clear the 100-point mark and slide himself in the Hart discussion. Just another year at the office for Patty Kane.