Patrick Kane ready to focus on hockey after point streak ends


Patrick Kane ready to focus on hockey after point streak ends

Patrick Kane is human after all.

After a remarkable 26-game point streak, the Blackhawks forward was held pointless — as was the rest of the team — in a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.

It was only the third time this season Kane was held off the scoresheet, and he's ready to turn the attention back to winning hockey games.

"It was a good run," Kane said after the game. "Didn't have it tonight. Now I can just focus on playing hockey. It'll be nice not to talk about it anymore. When you have to talk about it every day, it gets a little taxing.

"I'm excited just to play hockey now," he reiterated.

[MORE: Patrick Kane's point streak ends as Blackhawks blanked by Avs]

During the run, Kane had 16 goals and 24 assists, including a seven-game goal-scoring streak and 10 multi-point games.

He set a new record for longest point streak by an American-born player — which was previously 18 games by Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk — and also broke the franchise record, passing Bobby Hull's 21-game point streak in a 3-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 6.

Before Tuesday, the last time Kane failed to record a point in a game was Oct. 15 in a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

That was 61 days ago.

"Amazing, amazing streak," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Commend him on the consistency and preparation. I’m sure it was challenging with the stress and trying to sustain it late in games. And then all of a sudden the attention he’s getting from the opponents and then making sure that he touches it when we’re in the offensive zone. So there’s a lot of things that were going on, but the fact that he was able to sustain it for this strength or this length of time was amazing.

"It was pretty spectacular in today’s game to be on the board for 26 games. ... I've maybe been around some different situations, but I've never been around a streak like that. It was fun."

Kane currently leads the NHL in points with 46, in large part because of his consistency to accumulate points on a nightly basis.

Wayne Gretzky called Kane's streak "exceptional." Mike Modano said he'd been following Kane and his streak, even if it meant catching highlights on YouTube when he couldn't catch it live.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The 21,473 fans at the United Center on Tuesday were hoping Kane could scrape out a point in any form toward the final minutes of the game like he had recently done in the past.

But the magic ran out.

"It was a fun run," Kane said, reflecting one last time on the streak. "You never know what's going to happen with the streak. There were a lot of games where it seemed like I was down and out and you end up getting something at the end or whatever it may be. It was fun breaking the American record, I was happy with that, and to break the franchise record, too, that was pretty special as well so it was definitely fun while it lasted."

Kane's 26-game point streak is the longest since Mats Sundin's 30-game point streak in 1992-93. Is it possible for Kane — or any other player, for that matter — to go on another run like that?

"You never know," Quenneville smiled and said half-jokingly. "But the attention that top guys get, it's tough to do it game in, game out."

Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule


Blackhawks release 2018-19 schedule

Uncap those markers and start circling your calendars, Blackhawks fans. The 2018-19 season is officially out.

The Blackhawks will kick off their 91st campaign in franchise history with a road contest against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The home opener is set for Oct. 7, with an Original Six matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 6 p.m.

The Blackhawks have 14 back-to-back games, and the longest road trip of the season is three, which takes place five times over the course of the season; the longest homestand is four games, from Dec. 12-18.

The biggest highlight of the season will be the Original Six Winter Classic Showdown between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Jan. 1 at Notre Dame Stadium. It will be the sixth outdoor appearance for Chicago, and fourth in the Winter Classic.

The Blackhawks will also square off with the defending champion Washington Capitals on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m., and welcome them to Chicago on Jan. 20, set for NBC's Game of the Week at 11:30 a.m.

Here's a look at the full schedule:

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman: 'We expect Corey to be back'

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said that the team expects goalie Corey Crawford to be back next season around training camp. Bowman also mentioned that Crawford might speak about his status himself during the Blackhawks Convention.

“What I said at the end of the year was still the case now, which is we expect Corey to be back,” Bowman said in a Thursday afternoon conference call. “We don’t have any reason to think that’s not going to happen.”

According to Bowman, Blackhawks players, including Crawford, already have their eyes set on next season.

“At this point in the summer, all the players are preparing for next season,” Bowman said. “Corey’s in that same preparation mode.”

Crawford is nursing what has been labeled an upper-body injury by the team. The two-time Stanley Cup winner was put on the shelf for the rest of the season back in late December, and he has not seen the ice since he skated in a February practice.

“Nothing has changed,” Bowman said. “We expect him to be back and ready to go in training camp.”

The Blackhawks have chosen to keep any groundbreaking news with Crawford under wraps, which the organization has done with other player injuries in the past. Bowman spoke about his vagueness in this situation.

“We’ve never gone into specifics about injuries,” Bowman said. “I realize this probably gets more attention because he’s our starting goalie and he won the Stanley Cup.”

Fans will have to take a wait-and-see approach, because it is unlikely that there will be a significant update regarding Crawford’s health before the season gets closer to its start.

Last season, Crawford only appeared in 28 games, posting a record of 16-9 with 782 saves before going down for the rest of the year.