Blackhawks

Wayne Gretzky: Patrick Kane 'absolutely' can break point streak record

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Wayne Gretzky: Patrick Kane 'absolutely' can break point streak record

Wayne Gretzky has set numerous amounts of records during his 21-year NHL career, including most consecutive games with a point (51).

Patrick Kane is almost halfway there, entering Thursday, at 23 games. But Gretzky said he can see the Blackhawks star breaking his record. 

"He can get there, absolutely," Gretzky told Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. "What does it take to get there? It's a combination of things. First of all, you have to be good and you have to get a little bit lucky. I was a little bit lucky during the streak, whether it was a (secondary) assist late in the game or an empty-net point. You have to stay healthy and you have to be surrounded by really good teammates. He has all the intangibles he needs."

"My goodness, it's exceptional what he has done so far and the sky is the limit for him."

[MORE: Blackhawks: Patrick Kane point streak tracker]

What's even more impressive is that Kane continues to put up stellar numbers during a scoring drought period.

When Gretzky registered a 51-game point streak in 1983-84, the league average for goals per game was 3.94. This season, it's 2.65, which is on pace to be the lowest average in more than a decade.

Sidney Crosby, next on Kane's list, had a 25-game point streak in 2010-11, when the league average was 2.79.

[SHOP BLACKHAWKS: Get a Patrick Kane jersey right here]

"It's a different game today, let's be honest," Gretzky said. "It's harder to score because the goaltenders are better athletes in general and the equipment for the goaltenders is obviously a little bit bigger. The defensive play and the size of the players make it a different game. It's really hard for Patrick to do and accomplish what he has accomplished.

"It would be hard to compare. It probably is harder for him to do what he has done but I know in my mind and my heart that to get to 51 games is pretty darn hard."

Still, even The Great One is appreciating the run Kane is on and said he will be in attendance if Kane's streak reaches the 51st game.

“Records are made to be broken," Gretzky said. "I'm going to watch him and if he breaks the record I'll be the first guy to shake his hand."

 

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

Capitals' Devante Smith-Pelly speaks out about 'racially charged chanting' at United Center

After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.

Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.

"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.

"What was said this time around crossed the line."

The Capitals released a statement about the incident:

"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."

The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.

Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.

"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."

The Capitals released the full interview.

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

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AP

Blackhawks release statement following incident that happened during game vs. Capitals

Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.

Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.

Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:

After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:

Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: