It has been a tough season for the Chicago Blackhawks up to this point.
They are currently the fourth worst team in the league, they fired their head coach Joel Quenneville, they’ve lost their starting goaltender, Corey Crawford for who knows how long, and for the second straight season, it looks like they are going to miss the playoffs. Cleary, it has not been sunshine and rainbows for this hockey club this season.
With that said, there has been one player for this team who has had an excellent season. He’s been this way his whole career so it really should not come as surprise.
I am of course talking about the team’s leading scorer Patrick Kane. Kane, 30, has been dominant offensively this season despite the fact that the team as a whole has been dreadful.
Kane has 31 goals and 45 assists for 76 points in 52 games. With the way he is playing right now, do not be surprised if he cracks 100 points.
Kane is clearly the team’s best and most valuable player. Without him playing the way he is the season, the team’s offense would not be ranked 9th in the league in goals scored.
Speaking of scoring goals, Kane has been a machine this season. For the most part, Kane has been an assist man his entire, as evidenced by the fact that he has 561 career helpers as of this writing, but this season, the puck seems to be finding the back of the net for Kane with relative ease.
Kane certainly has not been a terrible goal scorer in his career. This is the fourth time in his career that he has at least 30 goals and for whatever reason, no one seems to talk about him as a goal scorer.
When it comes to putting the puck in the net, Kane can do it in a variety of ways. He has a terrific wrist shot, is great at deflecting pucks, can score from strange angles, and is not afraid to go to the front of the net to bang in rebounds.
Kane is also an assist-machine. He currently has 45 on the season and with the way he sets up teammates, don’t be surprised if that number goes over 60.
Kane is one of the best passers in the league. He can always find the open seam, is very smart with the puck, seems to always know where his linemates are on the ice, and is not afraid to make difficult plays with the puck to create scoring chances.
Speaking of making plays, Kane is unbelievable on the power play. He currently has 24 points with the man advantage with eight goals and 16 assists.
As a whole, the team is currently ranked 16th in the league. While that may not look great, it could actually be worse if not for Kane’s prowess on the power play.
At just 30 years of age and as someone who has been healthy most of his career, Kane has a lot of hockey left in him. This also means that he has a lot of time to continue ranking up points because of this writing, he already has 904 points in 874 games played.
While the team may be awful this season, Kane has been far from that all season long.
*Photo: Chicago Tribune