To put Patrick Kane’s current 26-game point streak into perspective, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has never put together a streak of more than 13 games.
Tonight in Chicago, Kane will try to keep it going when the Blackhawks take on goaltender Semyon Varlamov and the Colorado Avalanche at United Center.
“It’s impressive,” said Ovechkin, whose 13-game point streak came in the 2006-07 season when he piled up eight goals and 12 assists. “I hope he’s going to continue to do what he’s doing right now.
“Me and Kuzy (Evgeny Kuznetsov) were looking at the stats when Gretzky had 51 games. He had almost 200 points.”
Gretzky’s 51-game point streak during the 1983-84 season is widely considered one of the NHL’s unbreakable records. Gretzky netted an astounding 61 goals and 92 assists during his streak.
“You can see the difference right now,” Ovechkin said. “Hockey has changed. Everybody gets faster. Goalies get bigger and faster. System-wise, power play, penalty kill. Every year you see young guys come in and they’re just flying out there. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them. That’s why t’s impressive what he’s doing right now and I hope he’s going to do it much (longer).”
During his 26-game streak, which began on Oct. 17 in the Hawks’ sixth game of the season, Kane has 16 goals and 24 assists for 40 points.
“Tip your cap,” Caps right wing Justin Williams said. “It’s impressive what he’s done it. Twenty-six and going, good for him.
“He’s just very deceptive. He’s kind of like their Nick Backstrom. You’re not sure what he’s going to do with the puck. Every play he makes it’s usually the right one. The way he can think a couple steps ahead of everyone is what makes his special.”
As is his nature, Williams wouldn’t let it go at that, though.
“We’ll shut him down next time we play them,” he chirped.
That would be on Feb. 28 when the Caps visit Chicago. By then, Kane’s streak would be at an NHL record 59 games. No one is about to go out on that limb.
Caps coach Barry Trotz said even half that is quite an accomplishment.
“It’s not like (Kane) is not getting any (defensive) matchups most nights,” Troitz said. “Just the way the game is played now, it’s a workman’s league. If you’re unwilling to work, skill gets eaten up by will. So to be able to produce game in and game out for that long is pretty impressive.
“You won’t see that too often, plus the goaltenders are so good. Even if you’re a terrific talent like Patrick it’s hard to beat some of those goalies.”