With two assists on Thursday, Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 14 games, which is equal to the career-high he set in 2013. He’s been dominating the league thanks to that hot streak as he now has 13 goals and 30 points in just 19 contests. Even with how good Kane has done thus far, I would sooner predict that Tyler Seguin or Jamie Benn will win the Art Ross Trophy, but there’s no question that Kane is a serious contender too as he could realistically finish in the 80-90 point range. One consideration with Kane though is his health as he has missed meaningful chunks of time in each of the last two seasons.
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Artemi Panarin continues to get regular minutes with Kane and that’s part of the reason for the rookie’s success. The 24-year-old already has seven goals and 21 points in 19 contests. Don’t get me wrong, Panarin is a talented forward in his own right and he doesn’t necessarily need Kane on his line to produce, but it certainly has helped.
As long as we’re on the subject of Kane, let me use it as a flimsy transition to discuss Buffalo’s Evander Kane. He is likely, although at the time of writing not guaranteed, to return from a knee injury on Thursday and if he does it will likely be on a line with Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. Kane had previously played alongside Eichel, but he doesn’t have too much experience with Reinhart. There’s a lot of potential between that trio and they should be a lot of fun to watch.
Who knows, maybe it will spark Eichel, who has most recently played alongside Johan Larsson and Tyler Ennis. Eichel has six goals and nine points in 18 contests this season, which is more than respectable for a 19-year-old rookie, but those numbers aren’t quiet in line with the level of hype he received coming into the season. Eichel did have a great run from Oct. 30 through Nov. 10 (three goals and six points in five contests), but he’s gone cold again with no points and a minus-three rating in his last three games.
It’s still early, but could the Edmonton Oilers seriously get another first overall pick? They’re looking more and more like a lottery team after dropping five of their last six contests to fall to 6-12-1 this season. Now they have had some close games against tough opponents and Connor McDavid is hurt, but this team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006 and has been gifted with four first round selects in the last six years, not to mention the fact that they’ve drafted in the top-10 for seven consecutive years. So they’re way past the point of receiving the benefit of trying to justify their poor record.
Even with that said though, I can’t ignore that there are silver linings there, at least on the individual level. Leon Draisaitl for example has been a great addition since making his season debut on Oct. 29. He’s only been held off the scoresheet twice in nine games and has six goals and 14 points over that span.
Taylor Hall has been superb too (21 points in 19 contests) and Jordan Eberle is healthy after missing roughly the first month of the season. While there’s no doubt that losing McDavid hurts, the reality of the Oilers’ situation is that they’re not losing due to a lack of healthy skilled forwards.
The pressure of becoming the all-time leader in goals among Russian players seems to be impacting Alex Ovechkin as he hasn’t recorded a point in four straight games. Capitals coach Barry Trotz has taken note of that pressure as well, but it’s just a matter of time until Ovechkin breaks his current tie with Sergei Fedorov and we go back to business as normal with him. In the grand scheme of things, this shouldn’t significantly impact the season Ovechkin has.
Milestones can be rough on players in general, which is likely why Patrick Marleau expressed an interest in getting his “over and done with” so he can move on. He’s just one point away from becoming the 83rd member of the 1,000-point club. He’ll get an opportunity to reach that mark tonight against Philadelphia.
Circling back to Ovechkin, after Marleau, he could become the next player to reach the 1,000-point mark. Vincent Lecavalier is the next closest with 932 points, but Philadelphia uses him very sparingly nowadays. That still leaves Henrik Sedin with 930 points to Ovechkin’s 911 and is certainly wouldn’t be shocking to see Sedin get there first. The Canucks forward is off to a good start after all with 15 points in 20 contests, although at the age of 35, we’ll have to see if he slows down enough for Ovechkin to catch him. Despite being held off the scoresheet for four straight games, Ovechkin has 16 points in 16 games this season.