Patrick Kane hasn’t started a season like this since the Chicago Blackhawks won the 2013 Stanley Cup when he had 9 goals and 10 assists in his first 12 games. Kane is currently second in the NHL in total points with 18 (11 goals, 7 assists) through 12 games and trails only Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanan, who has 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists) in just 12 games.
“He looks faster. I think he enhanced his quickness.” Head coach Joel Quenneville said after Wednesday’s morning practice. “Every year he seems to find a way to improve a little bit of his game and I think he looks a little quicker whether it’s on his edges or in tight areas. I think he wants the puck and I think he’s getting the chance to get his shot away.”
Even during Kane’s 2015 MVP season, the all-star forward only totaled 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists) in his first 12 games. Despite Kane’s fast start, the Blackhawks are currently in just sixth place in the western conference after starting 6-3-3 but they only trail the first place Nashville Predators by three points in the standings.
“Throughout seasons you always have some type of spurt or some type of streak where you can get hot.” Kane told the media on Tuesday. “I think the biggest thing is trying to keep that going as long as possible.”
Unfortunately, Kane’s hot stick was out of the lineup on Wednesday night after he sat out this morning’s practice with an illness. If Kane doesn’t play, the other lines will have to pick up the slack against the Edmonton Oilers if the Blackhawks want to keep moving up the ladder in the Western Conference.
Kane should return in time for Thursday’s road game at Edmonton.