Snakebit Kane can't believe Niemi's save


Snakebit Kane can't believe Niemi's save

Patrick Kane just looked to the heavens with a big grin on his face. It was more of a got-to-be-kidding-me grin than a happy one, as Kane was stymied on a tremendous scoring chance by a more tremendous stop by Antti Niemi.

I dont know if I wanted to smile or cry, said Kane, who has just one goal in his last 13 games. That was a nice one.

Kane is working through his scoring drought frustrations but certainly didnt go down without a fight in the Blackhawks 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

The Blackhawks right wing was part of a successful top-line trio on Sunday night, and he came away with an assist in the teams 4-3 victory over San Jose.

Kane was playing a more patient game on Sunday. And while it didnt pay off in goal production he was happy with what he and fellow top liners Jonathan Toews and Viktor Stalberg did.

Its fun playing with those two, fun playing with patience. Thats when Im at my best, Kane said. I just try to make plays and goals and points will come, hopefully. I can look at tonight and say I couldve had four or five points in the first period. Its a little frustrating but at the same time were playing good as a line so Ill take it for what it is.

Kane will get his scoring touch back. If anyone but Niemis in goal, he probably gets one or two Sunday night. But hes happy with the patient side of his game, and hell keep plugging away.

I just want to hold onto the puck a little more instead of trying to get rid of it and trying to go to the net. Just different things, he said.

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?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: