Patrick Kane’s stats for the first 18 games of the 2013-14 season. Photoshop by Joe Kremel of BlackhawkUp.com
Kane is off to a similar start with 10 goals and 7 assists in the first 18 games. Kane once again leads the offense with his 17 points. The main difference in his game this time around is that he is shooting the puck a bit more. He has shot the puck 17 more times for a total of 59 shots. His conversion rate is at 17%, a bit more sustainable for the long season. Kane is one of the most important pieces on the power play, and it’s been more apparent this season than last. Kane already has 4 power play goals; he is already halfway to where he was at the end of last season where he finished with 8. Shooting more is a good thing and is a key improvement over last season. With Kane shooting a bit more, he has lowered his giveaways to 7 in these 18 games.
Defensively, Kane has stepped up his physical game. He has 3 hits and 4 blocked shots so far. This may be a small improvement, but it shows that Kane is already more engaged defensively. The team two-way play is still very alive, and Kane is once again in the top three in takeaways with 17. Saad and Hossa are the guys ahead of him, which means Kane is out playing Toews in that department! He has made some huge hustle plays in key situations that only further show Kaner’s growth.
First I would like to point out that I am ecstatic that all the Kane for Ryan Miller rumors were false. The team’s patience paid off, and Kane has shed the stigma that left many questioning his place in the NHL. Now that I got that out of the way, I can get back to choosing my preferred Kaner. I would have to choose the 2013-14 Kane. The Hawks already have a ton of players that love to pass the puck, and it doesn’t hurt to have a shooter outside of Patrick Sharp. This is even more important on the power play. The power play now has both Kane and Sharp for opposing teams to worry about, instead of just keeping an eye on Sharpy going backdoor. Kane’s slightly upgraded defense only compliments the team’s style even more. The assists from last year’s Kane would be a plus, but, in true Blackhawk fashion, the team isn’t hurting offensively.
Which season’s Kane do you like better? Let us know in the comments below, or chime in on twitter by following @blackhawk_up