Another loss means the end of the season for the Chicago Blackhawks. The team has seemingly run into a buzz saw in the form of the Los Angeles Kings, and on-ice issues are running rampant. Perhaps chief among them all has been the disappearance of Patrick Kane.
Kane has one point in the series, an assist on a Bryan Bickell goal in the third period of Game 4. More concerning than the lack of points, however, has been the lack of opportunities; it’s not just that Kane isn’t scoring, it’s that he’s hardly even threatening to.
With the Blackhawks on the brink of elimination against the Kings, there is no time left for Kane to keep slumping. He no longer has the (valid) excuse of being saddled with Michal Handzus at even strength due to Joel Quenneville’s stubbornness.
This isn’t the first time of these playoffs that Kane has been stuck in the offensive doldrums. He went through an identical stretch against the Minnesota Wild in the second round, notching just one assist over a four game period. In typical Kane fashion, he ended the slump with a series-winning overtime goal in a game the Blackhawks had no business winning.
Every goal the Blackhawks score from now until the end of the season will be enormous. These are the situations in which Kane has always shined. If the Blackhawks recover from the 3-1 deficit to win this series, the comeback will almost surely be punctuated with several memorable Kane moments.
The time is now for No. 88.