Patrick Kane‘s best year was 2013. Unfortunately, 2014 hasn’t been going very well for the Chicago Blackhawks superstar. With only two goals in the entire month, Kane may need a little help getting his scoring touch back. The timing of it has been especially bad, what with the Hawks’ struggles in the month of January and just over a week until he’s set to represent Team USA at the Sochi Olympics. What’s wrong? It’s hard to tell, but what is for certain is that Kane needs to find his offensive groove again.
Perhaps a factor in his lack of production was his continued line-sharing with Michal Handzus at center. The problem is, Handzus is too old and slow for Kane, and Kane did not score a point with Handzus at center. However, when working with Jonathan Toews, Kane was able to score his first goal of the year… albeit with just seconds left in a desperation play against the Minnesota Wild to prevent a shutout.
Because of this, Kane has (at least temporarily) dropped out of the race for the top scorer in the league. However, he is now hoping to find the dominance that always makes him a threat. But he’s been shuffled around on several lines, trying to find a good pair of linemates. Head coach Joel Quenneville seemed hopeful however, when he said that the line of Kris Versteeg, Brandon Pirri and Kane was “dangerous”. Perhaps he might be on to something there. Pirri’s speed and energy combined with Versteeg and Kane could make a big threat. But it wasn’t until he was paired up with Jonathan Toews that Kane got hot during the playoffs, eventually winning the Conn Smythe Trophy.
But if Kane wakes up and finds his offensive groove again, the Blackhawks’ offense should wake up with him. In fact, it’s possible that his slump correlates with the Blackhawks’ struggles in January (however, it should be mentioned that correlation does not equal causation. Several factors aside from his struggles have resulted in the Hawk’ struggles). Kane needs to work on his game again, like all great players do, and get out of this offensive funk before the Olympics.