Technically, Patrick Kane is having himself a down year after his incredible 2015-16 season, but few would argue that the Chicago Blackhawks star has really slowed down all that much. His goal Sunday night more than makes that case.
Despite being well off of a 106-point pace, which would be enough to match last season’s production, Kane is still more than a point per game player this season, is pacing the Blackhawks in scoring and, if that’s not enough, he could very well have scored the goal of the year and we’re not even through November yet.
After Chicago captain Jonathan Toews stripped Montreal captain Max Pacioretty of the puck in the Canadiens’ zone, the puck ended up on Kane’s tape, and the shifty winger did the rest. Stepping to the middle of the ice, Kane used the reach-in by Montreal’s Jeff Petry as a way to step around the defenseman, and as Pacioretty got back into the play, he hauled down Kane, who released a shot while falling and found daylight over the glove of Canadiens netminder Al Montoya.
It was as spectacular as it sounds. Take a look:
"I just tried to make a play and go around the defenseman," Kane said post-game. "Kind of got tripped up, and at that point you're just kind of throwing it at the net and hoping something happens. Got lucky there. It was nice to see it go in.”
Given Kane’s reaction post-goal, he might be under-selling just how “nice” it was to score on the play.
However, the goal — which would stand as the game winner — didn’t come without some controversy.
As Ed Olcyzk, WGN’s color commentator, points out after Kane’s goal, the puck hit the netting following Brent Seabrook’s shot roughly one minute earlier. Montoya’s save directed the puck up and out of play, but it was held in by the netting and play continued while the puck sat in the corner. Following what should have been a dead play, the Blackhawks earned a rush attempt that was stopped by Montoya, but the result of the rush was Pacioretty scooping up the puck which led to the turnover and, subsequently, Kane’s goal.
Kane now has six goals and 18 points in 16 games this season, putting him on pace for 31 goals and 93 points for the campaign.
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