Patrick Kane is on fire. I already wrote about his point streak last week, when it was up to 15 games, and he is now up to 18 straight. Impressive, but he still has ways to go to even tie his own 26-game record. He is, however, inching closer to a different milestone. With assists in each of his last 17 games, Kane just tied Paul Coffey for the third-longest such streak in NHL history and he is now within striking distance of Adam Oates (18 games) and The Great One (23 games). Any type of streak this long will be reliant on getting a few lucky bounces here and there, but Kane is making sure to stack the odds on his side.
Kane has been the league’s most active passer and best puck handler since the start of his point streak. Only eight players are averaging at least a minute of offensive zone possession per game since January 6th and Mat Barzal is second with 1:16, the only player other than Kane to clear 1:10. Barzal is still 14 seconds shy of Kane, whose patience with the puck was on full display during last night’s crazy 8-7 win over the Senators. On two separate plays, Kane receives the puck at the blueline on the man advantage with no Ottawa defenders in sight. That’s a bold strategy by the Senators, let’s see if it pays off for them.
Both plays look nearly identical. With all the time in the world, Kane holds on to the puck until he sees the perfect passing lane, initiating a beautiful passing sequence that led to a goal each time, giving him 26 assists in his last 17 games. Kane also recorded 15 controlled entries yesterday, his most in a game this season and tied for the 5th-highest single-game mark, league-wide. Probabilities tell us that this streak will end sooner than later, but he’s failed to record an assist only 16 times this season and failed to get on the scoresheet just nine times. In 59 games. With Chicago now just one point off a playoff spot after hovering around last place for most of the year, expect his MVP calibre form to continue.