The lockout brought Balckhawks fans a lot of disappointment when it was first announced, but they were rewarded in more ways than one. Marian Hossa came back fully recovered, the team was 5mentally rejuvenated, and most importantly Patrick Kane was ready to reinvent himself. The team of course set record after record on their road to winning the Stanley Cup. It was Patrick Kane leading the offense through it all with the team high 55 points in 47 games. Not only was his offense back on track, (he had 66 points in 82 games the previous year) but he also showed some improvement defensively. Kane had a confidence with the puck that seemed to spread to his line mates. I started wondering, which years Kane is the better player, this season’s or last?
Kane had 9 goals and 13 assists 18 games into the season. His 22 points were extremely impressive, a confirmation that this was a rejuvenated, focused Patrick Kane. As I stated earlier, Kane had a lot of confidence with the puck which shined as he was collecting a lot of assists. The one negative, if you can even call it that, was that he wasn’t shooting the puck very much. Like a lot of the Hawks’ issues in general, Kane sometimes tried to be a little too unselfish and forced passes. He was only shooting 2.33 shots per game. That fact was masked by his insane 21% accuracy rate. If you were going to complain about anything else about his offensive stats, it would have to be the number of giveaways. He was averaging 1 giveaway every other game, which isn’t too bad considering how often he dishes out the puck.
On the other side of the puck, Kane was very noticeable with his takeaways. He had 14 in those first 18 games. That was good enough for third on the team after Toews and Hossa. His defensive efforts really improved when it came to stealing the puck, but his physical play remained his main weakness. That is understandable due to his size and weight, so it’s hard to criticize too much. He still picked up 1 hit and 3 blocked shots.