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.”
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.”
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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.”