May 21, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) during the first period of game two of the Western Conference Final of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Summer Assignment 2014: Patrick Kane
Games Played: 69
Blocked Shots: 15
Blocked Shots: 7
Games Played: 6
Contract Status: 1 Year remaining on 5-year deal with a cap hit of $6.3 million per season
2013 Over/Under Number: 24 goals, 21 assists
Season Review: Patrick Kane had a great start to the season – about as smart and productive as he has ever played, and giving other NHL darlings like Sidney Crosby a run for their money in the points leaderboard. November and December were especially good months if you’re a fan of #88: he went on a 12-game and 14-game point streak respectively, separated by a lone game with no goals or assists.
Then came the mid-season slump – not just for Kane, but the rest of the team as well. Then insults were added to injuries (both figurative and literal): his production slowed down once he was put on a line with the recently-departed Michal Handzus; he lost his grandfather (who was also his best friend) right before going to the Olympics in Sochi; he arrived Sochi carrying the weight of a country’s expectations on his shoulders only to come up short and return empty-handed; he suffered a lower-body injury, having to sit out the final games of the regular season.
That’s enough to keep anyone down. Thankfully, Patrick Kane is not just “anyone.”
And despite the fact that SuperKaner couldn’t rescue the Hawks in OT during Game 7 of the Western Conference Final, he continued to demonstrate in the early rounds of the playoffs why he is truly one of the clutch players on the team. Along with Jonathan Toews, Kane more often than not scored the critical goals (or at least made the plays that lead to the goals) that lifted the Hawks over the St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild.
Given some of the extreme highs and lows of this roller-coaster season, Kane deserves overall high marks for resilience in the face of adversity, and continuing to leave fans and commentators alike wondering whether he really did make some Faustian deal to be as good as he is.
What is your grade for Kane?