Another Chicago Blackhawks win, and yet, another game without a Patrick Kane goal.
It’s another chapter in the this season’s novel in which the $6.3 million-a-year 23-year-old is viewed by many as not contributing as often as he should be offensively.
Is the notion valid? Should Patrick Kane be further along than just 10 goals in 46 games?
Patrick Sharp is out for about four weeks with an upper-body injury. So, they do need the goals to come from more than just Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, and an assortment of rising talent (Andrew Shaw, Viktor Staleburg, Marcus Kruger).
Kane is feeling the pressure, but not because he’s been hounded on it by the media, but because hitting his strides is important to himself.
He’s even sat down recently with his old man to watch some game footage, and analyze what’s going on, and how to fix it.
So far, nothing.
Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings was a bitter pill in which the Blackhawks just needed a little bump. And they barely squeezed past the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.
Kane had some very good looks in a first period shift, but fell short via a brilliant Anti Niemi save.
Dave Bolland scored his 13th and Viktor Stalberg scored his 14th to help pick up the slack, and an early lead. Meanwhile Jonathan Toews was good for his 24th and the 20-year-old Andrew Shaw had a leaping goal with a tap-in for his fourth.
Bolland makes just under $3.4 million while the 25-year-old Stalberg is making $875,000 a year. Bringing out contract numbers may seem like throwing players like Kane under the bus, but the numbers do not lie.
The Chicago Tribune recently reported he’s on pace for a career low 18 goals at this rate.
On the other side of the coin, Kane has always been primarily an assist man, and a goal scorer second, even in the Ontario Hockey League with the London Knights. But, honestly, he steamrolled the competition in his one-year in the junior league when he put up 62 goals.
Here’s his career numbers:
In his rookie year with the Blackhawks, he scored 21 goals. Not bad for a rookie. But he’s on pace to drop below that, which, in all honesty, is a bit concerning. After all, Kane did give Chicago “the goal” that won the 2010 Stanley Cup.
Given the current injuries the Blackhawks are facing and that Kane is dropping to a career low, he should be getting chirped a bit. But as long as Chicago is still on top of the Central Division, he’s got a bit of room to get away with the low production.
Your call: Is that too easy of a rationale? Please feel free to comment your thoughts and concerns with Kane? When does he score his next goal? I’m going with Wednesday when his home town team, the Buffalo Sabres, come to the Madhouse on Madison.