It’s October! NHL hockey is just days away, and so it’s time to bring back one of our traditional favorites over/under. We predict the Blackhawks players stats and you tell us if you think they will go over or under those stats! It’s a fun way to preview the season and we look forward to your comments! Is It October 9th in Dallas yet?
Today, we preview the upcoming season for one of the Blackhawks’ biggest offensive weapons; if he does well, the team likely will too. If he struggles, it will be an uphill battle. We are talking about #88, Patrick Kane.
Approaching his 26th birthday, Kane still has much of the upside he has carried with him throughout his years in the Blackhawks organization. Despite all of the success in the past several seasons, there seems to be room for improvement, with TSN recently ranking Kane as the 10th best player league-wide (Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews was #2). For two players that have been inseparable since they first came to Chicago, it is time for Kane to finally join the argument as the NHL’s best player.
Playing in 69 games last season, Kane ranked second on the Blackhawks (behind Patrick Sharp) in points, with 69. His point-per-game pace was the highest on the team, and he also lead Chicago in points while on the road, with 39. Aside from prospect Matt Carey (who had one goal in two games for a .50% average), Kane also had the highest goals-per-game total of any Blackhawk, tying with Marian Hossa at a .42% pace.
No matter if it’s Brad Richards centering Kane on the second line, or the Andrew Shaw – Brandon Saad combination that brought the Blackhawks a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal in last night’s preseason game against the New York Rangers, #88 will elevate the play of those around him, no questions asked. The only catch for Kane is the Blackhawks’ power-play, which has been inconsistent over the past few seasons, and will look to rely on the Buffalo, NY native to lead the charge.
2014-2015 over/under– With the support around him, it is likely we see a career year from Patrick Kane. We predict he will play in 80 games, scoring 42 goals and adding 40 assists for 82 points. If Kane, and his line-mates, can stay healthy, look for him to break out of the shell that Michal Handzus formerly held him in, and lead the Blackhawks’ offense with a dynamite season.
Mark your calendars, folks. October 9th marks the start of a new chapter for Patrick Kane, and thus, with the Chicago Blackhawks. Fasten your seatbelts.
Thanks for reading! For more Blackhawks conversation, like us on Facebook: Blackhawk Up, and follow us on Twitter: @Blackhawk_Up.