There is always a lot to be taken out of any hockey game. Coaches break down tapes, players study plays, and fans love to pick apart every aspect of the game. The Blackhawks battled through the distraction of the banner raising and with that they showed their maturity. The game was a bit sloppy, but that could be said about any of the games that were played so far. Ignoring the rust factor as much as possible, I tried to really think about what I saw in that game. Overall, I have to say I am happy with what I saw.
Growing Kanes: Kane was heavily criticized and chastised in the previous few summers. His off-ice escapades drew the ire of hockey fans everywhere. Most of it might have been hearsay and speculation, but that stemmed from photos of Kane partying it up. But that is a topic for another time. Kane came back from the Swiss league with a mission: to maximize his play. He did exactly that and in the process quieted his critics. It’s only the first game of the year and Kane looks to be playing with focus and confidence. The breakaway attempt that Holtby denied was a nice example of a star player taking advantage of his particular skill set. Kane is becoming an extremely difficult player to predict. Which leads me to another play that really showcased the strength that Kane lends to the Blackhawks’ offense. Kane’s goal was an amazing snap shot. Not only was it perfectly placed, but the release that was most impressive. Goalies could cheat a bit since Kane usually chose to pass the puck, which he is very good at doing, but Kane is forcing goalies to play him very carefully. I have both plays attached as GIFs if you missed it or need a refresher.