The regular season has come to a close for the Chicago Blackhawks on a 5-4 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin and one thing is for sure: the Blackhawks would not be in the position they are without the season that Patrick Kane had. Kane has finished at the top of the NHL in scoring this season after posting career-highs for both goals and assists on his way to a 106-point season, and becomes the first American-born player to win the award in NHL history.
Kane leading the Blackhawks all season
If Kane were to have had a usual ‘Kane season,’ the Blackhawks may not have been able to finish in the top three of the Central Division or have the 103-point season they were able to put together. Prior to this year, and factoring in the strike-shortened 2013 season, Kane has averaged playing in 72 games per season, tallying an average of 69 points per season.
So with health being the same for Kane this year, playing in 82 games he could have scored his average season total of 78 points (0.953 Pts/G). Where would Chicago be with a less than 80-point season from Kane? Certainly not as comfortable as they are now heading into the playoffs.
Look at the 26-game point-streak Kane amassed this season and how that propelled Chicago to the top of the Western Conference at the season’s mid-point.
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- From October 17 to December 13, Kane had 40 points in 26-straight games and the Blackhawks went 15-7-4.
After the points-streak ended, Chicago would go on a 12-game winning streak from December 29 to January 19, where Kane would rack-up 21 points. During a bumpy month of March for the team, with a record of 5-6-2, Kane would only factor to score nine points in those 13 games, with five points coming in two games against the Red Wings on March 2, and Jets on March 18.
All this being said, Kane’s success has translated greatly to the success of the Chicago Blackhawks this season. If Kane was not scoring on the pace he had this season (1.29 Pts/G), Chicago could very well have been staring at a wildcard playoff spot or have been fighting for their playoff lives late into the year.
Next: Panarin Effect