With the season now finished, I’ll be reviewing the individual performances of Chicago Blackhawks players and giving out grades based on their play during the 2013-14 season. In this article I’ll take a look at Patrick Kane.
The first half of Kane’s regular season was incredible. In a lengthy stretch from early November to late December, he recorded at least a point in 27 of 28 games and was tied for the league lead in points with Sidney Crosby. The torrid scoring would not last, however; a combination of simple regression to the mean as well as the difficulties inherent with being centered by Michal Handzus saw Kane’s production slow down significantly after December. His regular season ended when he suffered a leg injury against the St. Louis Blues.
As usual, No. 88 was great in the playoffs and provided his typical assortment of memorable plays. He, along with Corey Crawford, more or less won the series-deciding Game 6 against the Minnesota Wild all on their own. He also showed up in force when the Blackhawks were on the ropes against the Los Angeles Kings, putting up nine points in Games 5, 6 and 7. Had Chicago gotten a lucky bounce in overtime instead of Los Angeles, Kane would have been the Blackhawks’ primary Conn Smythe candidate heading into the Stanley Cup Final.
As a whole, Kane met or exceeded expectations in every facet. He is thus the first Blackhawk in this series of performance reviews to get an A for his contributions in 2013-14.