Blackhawks: Patrick Kane not satisfied with game despite point streak


Blackhawks: Patrick Kane not satisfied with game despite point streak

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Patrick Kane had just added to his point streak, running it to a career-best 16 games, but he wasn’t happy.

Sure, the loss to the Vancouver Canucks the Blackhawks suffered in that game was one reason. But it was Kane’s individual game, despite the continued point streak, that also left him disappointed.

“I don’t know if I’m extremely happy with my game right now,” he said on Saturday night. “I want to improve a little bit here, especially going into the California trip, create more scoring chances out there. Hopefully a couple of days off and I’ll feel good going into California.”

[MORE: Blackhawks searching for consistency, prep for sizzling Sharks]

He’ll soon find out.

The points are certainly welcome, and Kane and linemates Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov have been supplying most of them for the Blackhawks. But Kane said he wants to get more out of his game starting on Wednesday night when the team faces the San Jose Sharks.

“I think it’s just more controlling the puck, creating more scoring chances and then when you’re doing that, it’s important for me when I’m on the ice to take control a little more, have the puck on my stick more and demand it,” he said following Tuesday’s practice. “That’s what I’m looking forward to do the next three games, which I didn’t think I did as well the past three.”

Coach Joel Quenneville understands what Kane meant regarding his game.

“Their line probably didn't have the puck as much as they did throughout the big part of that stretch. But he’s still dangerous every time he touches it,” Queneville said. “I still think they had some good looks. They didn’t have the quality or the quantity they had [in previous games], but they usually don’t need that many to be productive. That line wasn’t as dynamic as it’s been for most part of the season.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Kane is two games shy of tying the longest point streak set by an American-born player – Eddie Olczyk and Phil Kessel share that honor with their respective 18-game point streaks. Bobby Hull, who had a 21-game point streak from December 1971 to January 1972, has the Blackhawks’ franchise mark. Again, the point streaks are nice and all. But Kane said the point streaks may be too much on his mind; his overall game has to be a priority.

“The past few days I might have been thinking about it a little too much. So I kind of want to get that out of my head and play hockey, not worry about wherever the streak is at,” he said. “Just play and worry about my game and the next game up, whether I get points or I don’t. Just try to play the same way every game.”

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'


Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?