Reporting Connor McKnight
Lately, the Blackhawks score when Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa are on the ice. Other than that, not so much.
Let’s deal with Kane first. With two goals plus an assist in Monday night’s 5-4 shootout win against the Predators, Kane continues to prove the genius of his own game and those who moved him over to center.
Kane’s overall pace–about 30 goals and 50 assists–isn’t exactly breakneck. In fact, it’d be right about on par with his career average. But consider this; Kane was held off the score sheet for three consecutive games earlier this season. While it’s too small a small sample size to go ahead and project out, Kane and Hossa lead the team in assists and goals, respectively.
Now for Hossa. It’s tough to say that he’s simply benefiting from Kane’s creativity and ability at center. After all, Hossa’s a guy who’s good for 40 goals if he plays all 812 games. Still, it’s hard to ignore the quality and craftiness that Kane and Hossa play with on a regular basis. There’s a jaw-dropping quality about chances between the two. Really, they’re fun to watch.
–Duncan Keith is day-to-day after blocking a shot with his hand. Keith did not return to Monday night’s game but is expected to at least make the trip with the team.
–The Hawks power play continues to come up empty. While the PP is 0-for-its-last-7, it’s tough to say it looks ugly. Patrick Kane had some frighteningly good puck possession and, overall, the specialty unit generated a number of solid chances only to be turned aside by Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.
–Monday night’s game could be the best performance by a goal while giving up five goals that I’ve ever seen. Rinne was brilliant at times and stubborn throughout. It’s not everyday you get Kane saying things like this; “He might have been the best player on the ice tonight. He made numerous saves. You’re not going to face that good of a goaltender every night. He played unbelievable.”