The Chicago Blackhawks are a bad hockey team.
That was evident last night after another disappointing loss to the New Jersey Devils. Like most games this season, the Blackhawks weren’t ready to play, except for one player: Patrick Kane.
At age 30, Kane may be having the best season of his career and that’s saying something. He has already matched his goal total for last season (27) in 35 fewer games. He is on pace to finish with 107 points this season, one more than his 2016 season in which he won the Hart Trophy.
I want to also point out that Kane is doing this all without a skilled player like Artemi Panarin next to him. Yet, Kane’s season is being overlooked by many people in and surrounding the NHL because the Blackhawks are, well…not very good.
Pat Boyle of NBCSports Chicago pointed this out on Twitter.
Hey @DavidAmber Patrick Kane is on pace for 107 pts, 1 point better than his 2016 Hart trophy campaign… and he’s not playing w/ a top 10 scorer like he did that season #JustSaying https://t.co/qVxP1z2sNB
— Pat Boyle (@BoyleNBCS) January 15, 2019
Kane has always been a streaky player, but when he gets hot, no one is better. He has scored 10 goals in his last 9 games. He also currently has a 6 game point streak. All while playing for a team that’s in the bottom half of the Western Conference (it pains me to say that).
The Blackhawks are playing Kane more than ever as well, another indication of how good he has been and how bad the Hawks’ roster is. Last night in New Jersey, Kane had a career-high 28.50 minutes of ice-time.
He is on pace to average the highest amount of ice-time of his career. He is averaging 22:01 minutes per game. That’s the most since the 2016-17 season where Kane averaged 21:24 minutes of ice-time.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 15, 2019
Jeremy Colliton is doing his best to help Kane be the best player he can be. He’s hungry for more, which is saying something coming from a player who has already won three Stanley Cups. It’s just a shame that the Hawks continue to waste the prime of one of the greatest players of this generation.
Players like Kane are rare and don’t come around often. That’s what makes missing the playoffs so frustrating. General manager Stan Bowman is building for the future, and that’s great, but it doesn’t help players like Kane, Toews, and Keith, who still can produce at a high-level.
When the Hawks young talent does finally make it to the NHL, hopefully, players like Kane and Toews can still produce. The fact is you can have as many good, young players as you want, but when the real season starts in April (the playoffs), there’s no telling what those players will be.
Kane is already proven in those moments, hence the three Stanley Cup rings. Yet, Bowman has wasted another season of Kane’s greatness. Think about it, it’s like Tom Brady and Bill Belichick missing the playoffs. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginóbili not qualifying for the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers missing the playoffs in consecutive years.
They are things that can’t happen.
With the amount of cap space the Hawks have and can create, they should be able to get Kane a weapon or two this offseason. One thing is for sure – he deserves it. I’m not so worried about Kane’s future either. He’s a player that can get better with age given his style of play. Similar to what Marian Hossa was able to do.
Still, this year the Hawks are wasting an MVP-type season from perhaps the greatest player the organization has ever had.
Follow Nick on Twitter @PetroTLS