Blackhawks

New heights for Patrick Kane in November

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USA TODAY

New heights for Patrick Kane in November

Another month in the books, and while November had a promising start (6-1-2 in first 9 games), the Blackhawks finished a somewhat less inspiring 7-5-3, which wasn’t terrible and certainly better than their 3-6-2 October.

That being said, the story of the month was Patrick Kane, who celebrated another birthday (On November 19 - his 31st), but showed no signs at all of slowing down. With 11 goals and 13 assists, his 24 points in November were twice as many as any other Blackhawks player (Toews & DeBrincat tied for second-most with 12). Kane scored or assisted on nearly half of all Blackhawks goals this month – 24 of 49.

Most impressively, Kane’s 24 points set a new high for any month in his NHL career. In addition to being a personal best, Kane’s two dozen points were the most by any Blackhawk in a single month since Jeremy Roenick posted 24 points of his own in March 1994.

Kane was held pointless in his last game of October (Oct 29 at Nashville). That’s the last time he played a game and was held without a tally. He played 15 games this past month and had a point in all of them (he was also perfect in November 2015 – a point in all 13 games in the middle of his career-long 26 game streak). It’s his third career point streak of at least 15+ games; his sixth of at least 10+ games. Kane is the ONLY active player with at least three career point streaks of 15+ games (Sidney Crosby & Evgeni Malkin are the only others with at least two), and Kane joins only Denis Savard (who had four) among Blackhawks with at least three career point streaks of 15+ games.

Kane’s six career double-digit point streaks total 98 games – that’s over ten percent (10.55%) of his 929-game NHL career!

Also this month, Kane went from 103rd (947 points) to 95th (971 points) on the NHL career points list passing seven players, including three Hall of Famers - Chris Chelios (948)*, Vincent Lecavalier (949), Rick Tocchet (952), Larry Robinson (958)*, Kirk Muller (959), Henrik Zetterberg (960) & Maurice “Rocket” Richard (966)*. The spotlight will remain on Kane, as he will pass Shane Doan (972) & Andy Bathgate (973)* within his next few games as he skates towards 1,000 points. Plus while the month has ended, the point streak continues. There should be plenty of Showtime to come in the final month of the year.  

 *- Hall of Famer

(Thanks to the folks at the NHL for research assistance)

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Anthem singer Wayne Messmer talks 1991 NHL All-Star Game rendition

Anthem singer Wayne Messmer talks 1991 NHL All-Star Game rendition

Wayne Messmer, the National Anthem singer from the 1991 NHL All-Star Game, chatted with NBC Sports Chicago on the Blackhawks Talk podcast about one of the most iconic moments in Chicago sports history.

On Jan. 19, 1991 the NHL All-Star Game was held at Chicago Stadium. The celebration of the league's best players commenced just two days after Operation Desert Storm began the Gulf War. 

Messmer has sung the National Anthem around Chicago for 30 years and was the Blackhawks anthem singer for 13. He notes the tradition of Hawks fans cheering the anthem began ahead of a 1985 playoff contest, with Chicago down 2-0 in the series to the Edmonton Oilers.

"It had been a little noisy when Hawks had played Vancouver," Messmer said. "Perhaps the year before or even in '83, but it was really games 3 and 4 of that series, the conference finals against Gretzky and the gang from Edmonton, where it began."

Messmer believes the '91 All-Star anthem was the hockey universe's introduction to Chicago's way of enjoying the Star Spangled Banner.

"Yeah, for sure," he said. "Because it was a few weeks earlier there was a game on that was televised nationally from the stadium and the decision was, 'Do not carry the anthem.' There was kind of a pushback, especially from the fans. 

"So when they announced NBC was going to cover both anthems, it was like a challenge to the fans, 'Let's show them how it's done here.' And the signs and the flares and the sparklers and all of that, it was Twilight Zone surreal. You had to pinch yourself because it was really happening.

"And trying to get through that as a vocalist isn't easy because you got a huge, emotional lump in your throat. You want to be a part of that, but you're the guy that's got to light the wick."

The singer was able to take in the moment despite his monumental duty that day.

"I was certainly soaking it in," Messmer said. "I've always, as I will describe it, 'lived life with my eyes open.' But, I will tell you, it took enormous concentration. And I'm not saying, 'Hey, how swell I am,' but it's a technique of concentrating on technique, on breathing, on supporting and not shouting, not screaming and not trying to get louder because the crowd is getting louder." 

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Patrick Kane views booing in St. Louis as 'a sign of respect'

Patrick Kane views booing in St. Louis as 'a sign of respect'

ST. LOUIS — Of the 11 NHL All-Stars from the Central Division this season, four of them are Blues: Jordan Binnington, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo. And deservedly so.

The other seven were all booed by Blues fans on Friday, but none were louder than the ones Patrick Kane drew.

Kane steps on the ice for warmups? Boos.

Kane’s name announced as a Central Division representative? Boos.

Kane touches the puck for one of the skills challenges? Boos.

Heck, even during Thursday’s media session, when seven other skaters were talking at the same time as Kane, he was interrupted by boos.

So when the nine-time Blackhawks All-Star won the Shooting Stars challenge at the Skills Competition on Friday, Blues fans weren’t afraid to show how they felt about it. It didn’t help that it was the final event of the night, either.

After the competition, Kane was asked about the crowd reception in St. Louis. And he responded in terrific fashion.

"The boys were asking me why I was getting booed," Kane said. "And I said I shouldn't have scored those overtime playoff goals against them and maybe they wouldn't have booed me."

Over the last decade, Kane helped lead the Blackhawks to nine consecutive playoff appearances, five Conference Finals and three Stanley Cup runs. He was a thorn in the side of every Central Division team over that span, including the Blues.

In 64 career games against the Blues, Kane has 25 goals and 38 assists for 63 points. He also has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 13 postseasons contests, with two of those goals being game winners.

As they say, fans don’t boo nobodies.

"I remember me and my dad, we went to watch the Flyers and Sabres fans were booing [Eric] Lindros the whole game," Kane recalled. "I think he got kicked out with like 10 minutes left in the game or something, and then the game was no fun anymore because there was no one left to boo or watch. 

“You kind of view it as, obviously it’s somewhat a sign of hatred, but somewhat a sign of respect too. It’s fun when you play in Nashville or Winnipeg or places like that, and you hold onto the puck and they’re booing you and you want to hold onto it longer. [Duncan Keith] get booed in Vancouver, which is always pretty funny to see him up his game a little bit and hold onto the puck as well. It’s somewhat a sign of respect.”

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