For a guy who has 233 regular-season goals and 48 more playoff goals, isn’t it surprising that Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane now has just three hat tricks in his entire eight-plus-season career? Sure, he hasn’t repeatedly had seasons like the one he’s currently experiencing — in which he’s recorded a league-high 28 goals and a league-best 39 assists for a league-leading 67 points — but just three games with three goals? It’s a little surprising.
What was especially surprising to many Blackhawks and general hockey fans, I’d believe, is that Kane recorded his first career regular-season hat trick Friday at Toronto. He struck three times, including into an empty net in the game’s waning moments, as the Blackhawks rolled 4-1 for their 10th straight victory.
Many of Kane’s goals are of the impressive or flashy nature, so it’s always fun to relive them. In this post, we’re simply going to relive the nine goals involved in his three career hat tricks — two in the postseason and one in the regular season.
2009, vs. Vancouver Canucks, Western Conference semifinals, Game 6
As impressive as some of Kane’s goals are and can be, two of the three he potted in this game were pretty ordinary. But they counted just the same. The first came with less than seven minutes to play in the opening period, with the Blackhawks trailing 1-0. Kane brought the puck up along the board to goaltender Roberto Luongo‘s left, and with Luongo having to respect the likes of Jonathan Toews and Troy Brouwer available for a pass, Kane simply sniped the puck over Luongo’s left shoulder and just under the crossbar for the first of eight playings of Chelsea Dagger that night (one for each of the seven goals, and one for the win).
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The second tally saw a good bit of luck for the Blackhawks and Kane, who had just watched Vancouver take a 5-4 lead with less than eight minutes to go in regulation. Brouwer won a board battle and tried to throw it behind the net to Kane. Sami Salo and Willie Mitchell both missed the puck, and it went right to Kane, who simply tucked it between the post to Luongo’s left and the goaltender himself to tie the game again. The puck bouncing over someone’s stick couldn’t have happened to better guy than Mitchell.
Kane didn’t wait long to score his first career NHL hat trick, and his final goal of the night was certainly his most skillful. With Vancouver’s defensemen chipping in on the offensive end down a goal late, Matt Walker managed to clear the puck from the Blackhawks zone to Kane, who only had Shane O’Brien to beat. He didn’t necessarily beat him, but he did the next best thing. He took the puck to his backhand and shot it through O’Brien and past Luongo. A tidal wave of hats hit the ice at a United Center that had probably never been louder with the Blackhawks in the building, up to that point. The final goal of this hat trick is the most memorable, as is how much it played into the psyche of the Canucks regarding defeating the Blackhawks in the postseason.
2013, vs. Los Angeles Kings, Western Conference finals, Game 5
Fitting that both of Kane’s postseason hat tricks helped the Blackhawks close the door on an opposing team’s season. Also, if you want to remember what a useful, effective Bryan Bickell looks like, watch the above video.
All three of Kane’s goals here were products of his teammates’ hard work, and Kane just finished the job each time. On the first marker, not even six minutes into the game, Bickell won a race to the puck after miscommunication between Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick and some of his teammates. The puck eventually slipped to Toews in front, and then it slipped to Kane a little further out. With Quick down and sprawling, Kane showed great patience and got himself in position to fire into a pretty much empty net, putting Chicago ahead 2-0.
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On the next one, which came late in the third period with the game tied at 2, Bickell won a board battle/tripped Justin Williams behind the net. The end result, however, was Bickell feeding a rolling puck out in front to Kane, who one-timed it over Quick and into the twine while the Kings begged for a penalty. It looked as though Kane had put the game and series away for the Blackhawks with a two-goal game. Of course, Mike Richards scored with less than 10 seconds to play in regulation, so Kane got a shot at No. 3.
Midway through the second overtime, Toews picked off a pass intended for Williams in the Blackhawks zone and went off with Kane on a 2-on-1. This was simply elementary for these two — Toews waited until the last possible moment, to lull Quick into a false sense that he might shoot, before throwing the puck to Kane, who responded by smashing it past a diving Quick to end the game and series. This game probably went a long way toward Kane winning the Conn Smythe a little later down the road.
2016, at Toronto Maple Leafs, regular season game No. 47
There’s never a bad time for a first regular-season hat trick, and on the back end of a back-to-back against a team the Blackhawks didn’t really want to get up for seems like a pretty decent spot. Again, Kane’s teammates really helped him to the trick, and he used his finishing ability to make it pay off.
He started his three-goal night with help from Artemi Panarin and Duncan Keith. While on the very end a second-period powerplay, Panarin fired the puck at Leafs goaltender James Reimer from right below the circle to his right. Keith was among the traffic in front on the shot, tracked the loose puck and just slid it through the blue paint to a wide-open Kane on the opposite side of Reimer. Kane might’ve been able to blow the puck into the net if he wanted.
The second tally actually counted as a powerplay marker, and it was more fine work between Panarin and Kane. With the puck below the circles, Panarin at Reimer’s right threw a hot pass all the way across to Kane at the opposite doorstep. Kane had time to settle the puck and fire it through a sprawling Reimer for his second goal of the period and evening.
Like he did at times with his 26-game point streak earlier this season, Kane padded this night with an empty-netter. Nice stick checking by Teuvo Teravainen led to him grabbing a loose puck near the Blackhawks blue line. He fed it right up the middle to a streaking Kane, who tapped the puck into the empty net to make a little history.
So, which of Kane’s three career hat tricks is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section.