Chicago Blackhawks: Patrick Kane’s Top Five Career Moments
Kaner's Top Five Moments
October 13 would have been the season opener for the Chicago Blackhawks as well as their home opener. Like every year, the team rolls out the red carpet so the players can walk the gauntlet of fans, much like a movie premiere.
This year would’ve started off in a special way for Patrick Kane. That first game, with the Columbus Blue Jackets as opponents, would’ve been the 400th game of his NHL career. No doubt the Blackhawks would’ve kicked the celebration up a few notches for that.
Instead, he and the rest of his teammates wait to see if and when a new CBA will be forged. The first two weeks of the regular season have already been canceled. If there’s no movement from either side, more games will meet that fate.
Kane has had plenty of memories on the ice – his first point, his 100th point, his first hat trick. I wanted to narrow it down to the five most important. It was hard at first, because many of them are particularly significant to Blackhawks fans. For myself, the biggest highlight was watching his shootout goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 20, 2011. That made me sit up and take notice of the Blackhawks and Kane in particular. You could say he made the drama of the Atlanta Thrashers’ relocation a little less painful (only a little).
So sit back and enjoy the five biggest moments of a young career. I think you’ll agree with the choices. I know that Kaner would, too.
5. Shootout in Minnesota
Date: December 14, 2011
Score: 4-3 Chicago (SO)
For fans watching Versus (now NBC Sports Network), it was a special night: the series NHL 36 debuted and featured Kane as he spent 36 hours before, during and after the Blackhawks’ December 5 game against the Phoenix Coyotes. The show was followed by the Blackhawks’ game against the Minnesota Wild, which went back and forth and came to a stalemate in overtime.
With everything down to a shootout and two Wild players turned away by Ray Emery while Jonathan Toews went five-hole on Niklas Backstrom, Kane did something he later admitted to practicing: he slowed down to a crawl right in front of Backstrom, deked the puck about a dozen times and faked out the goalie to plant the puck squarely into the net. The words “dirty” and “filthy” are still used to describe that goal, and it’s still an amazing display of puckhandling from Kane.
4. The Debut of SuperKane
Date: January 28, 2012
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
In his third All-Star Game appearance, Kane participated in the SuperSkills competition’s Breakaway Challenge. Because the very creative Alex Ovechkin wasn’t there to defend his win from 2011, the field was wide open.
With the help of Blackhawks teammate and fellow All-Star Marian Hossa, Kane was transformed from mild-mannered hockey player into SuperKane, complete with cape and black-rimmed fake glasses. He “flew” down the ice, sneaking the puck past goalie Brian Elliott. He followed that performance with the old “exploding puck” trick, which just gilded the lily of his win in the challenge.
3. First Hometown NHL Game
Date: December 15, 2007
Score: 3-1 Buffalo Sabres
As a child, Kane would go to Sabres games at the old Memorial Auditorium with his dad. Now an NHL star, Kane hit the ice in Buffalo for the first time against the team he used to watch from behind the glass. Even though the Blackhawks lost, he had about 500 friends and family in the crowd that night, and his dad and grandfather were there for the ceremonial puck drop. A holding penalty got him a rousing ovation as he went to the penalty box. The best part of the game: the lone goal for the Blackhawks was scored by Kane himself.
2. Olympic Dreams Come True
Date: February 2010
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Kane’s Olympic debut almost didn’t happen – an incident in Buffalo with a cab driver in the summer of 2009 might’ve ended his dream had he been banned from attending the U.S. team’s orientation camp. But he got past it and made his way to Vancouver, where he scored 3 goals and 5 points in 6 games, including the gold medal game against Team Canada. Yes, his Blackhawks teammates Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith won gold while he got silver, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t try his best and immediately set his sights on the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
1. 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6
Date: June 9, 2010
Opponent: Philadelphia Flyers
Score: 4-3 Blackhawks in overtime
It was the shot not immediately heard ‘round the world. After a little head fake and a little deke, Kane slipped along the boards and sank the puck past Michael Leighton at an impossible angle. It wedged itself into the net padding, and for a few moments only Kane and Patrick Sharp knew what had happened. But once the uncertainty disappeared and the goal was called, Kane became the youngest player to ever sink a Stanley Cup-winning goal in overtime and ended Chicago’s 49-year wait for the Cup.
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