Blackhawks: Patrick Kane not satisfied with game despite point streak


Blackhawks: Patrick Kane not satisfied with game despite point streak

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.”

[MORE: Blackhawks searching for consistency, prep for sizzling Sharks]

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.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

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.”

Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning


Four takeaways: Blackhawks on wrong side of history in loss to Lightning

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the United Center on Sunday:

1. Blackhawks on wrong side of history 

Earlier this year the Blackhawks made history by appearing in five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team in NBA, NFL, NHL or MLB history has ever done.

But Sunday they found themselves on the wrong side of it after allowing 33 shots on goal in the second period alone. It tied a franchise high for most given up in a single period — March 4, 1941 vs. Boston — and is the most an NHL team has allowed since 1997-98 when shots by period became an official stat.

"It's pretty rare to be seeing that much work in a period," said Cam Ward, who had a season-high 49 saves. "But oh man, I don't even know what to say to be honest. It's tough. We know that we need to be better especially in our home building, too. And play with some pride and passion. Unfortunately, it seemed like it was lacking at times tonight. The old cliche you lose as a team and overall as a team we weren't good enough tonight."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was a tough, tough period in all aspects. I don’t think we touched the puck at all and that was the part that was disturbing, against a good hockey team."

2. Alexandre Fortin is on the board

After thinking he scored his first career NHL goal in Columbus only to realize his shot went off Marcus Kruger's shin-pad, Fortin made up for it one night later and knows there wasn't any question about this one.

The 21-year-old undrafted forward, playing in his his fifth career game, sprung loose for a breakaway early in the first period and received a terrific stretch pass by Jan Rutta from his own goal line to Fortin, who slid it underneath Louis Domingue for his first in the big leagues. It's his second straight game appearing on the scoresheet after recording an assist against the Blue Jackets on Saturday.

"It's fun," Fortin said. "I think it would be a little bit more fun to get your first goal [while getting] two points for your team, but I think we ... just have to [turn the page to the] next chapter and just play and be ready for next game."

3. Brandon Saad's most noticeable game?

There weren't many positives to take away from this game, but Saad was certainly one of them. He had arguably his best game of the season, recording seven shot attempts (three on goal) with two of them hitting the post (one while the Blackhawks were shorthanded).

He was on the ice for 11 shot attempts for and five against at 5-on-5, which was by far the best on his team.

"He started OK and got way better," Quenneville said of Saad. "Had the puck way more, took it to the net a couple of times, shorthanded."

4. Special teams still a work in progress

The Blackhawks entered Sunday with the 29th-ranked power play and 25th-ranked penalty kill, and are still working to get out from the bottom of the league in both departments. In an effort to change up their fortunes with the man advantage, the Blackhawks split up their two units for more balance.

They had four power-play opportunities against Tampa Bay and cashed in on one of them, but it didn't matter as it was too little, too late in the third period — although they did become the first team to score a power-play goal against the Lightning this season (29 chances).

"Whether we're looking for balance or we're just looking for one to get hot, I think our power play has been ordinary so far," Quenneville said before the game. "We need it to be more of a threat."

Four more minor penalties were committed by the Blackhawks, giving them eight in the past two games. That's one way they can shore up the penalty kill, by cutting back on taking them.

Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period


Blackhawks tie franchise record for shots on goal allowed in one period

Well, things could be going better for the Blackhawks during Sunday's game against the Lightning.

In the second period Sunday, the Blackhawks surrendered 33 shots on goal, tying a franchise record for most in a single period. The previous instance occurred March 4, 1941 against the Boston Bruins, a game that the Blackhawks lost 3-2.

While the Blackhawks tied a franchise record for shots on goal allowed, they actually set an NHL record at the same time. The NHL did not begin recording shots on goal as an "official" statistic until the 1997-98 season.

Consequentially, Sunday's 33 shots on goal allowed in the second period is the "official" record, even though the Blackhawks accomplished the "feat" nearly 80 years ago. Confusing, huh? 

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they also surrendered three goals and scored zero in addition to the plethora of shots on goal allowed. They recorded just six shots on goal in the second period themselves, trailing 4-1 by the time the third period started.