Patrick Kane has put up points at an impressive rate even for his standards. Marian Hossa is off to one of the statistically least productive starts of his accomplished career.
On Sunday, Kane continued his tear and Hossa’s offensive game showed more signs of emerging in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 win over the lowly Calgary Flames on Sunday night.
Kane had a goal and an assist to extend his point streak to 13 games. His score at the 6:37 mark of the second tied the game at 1-1 and gave him at least one goal in seven straight contests, continuing a stretch that’s seen him jump to the top of the NHL with 28 points and 13 goals.
“He’s had some great runs. Last year he had a great run for me from basically start to finish. He was as good as anybody in the league,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “This year, he started at that top level and he keeps going every night.”
Hossa’s been at that level for most of his career but the goals hadn’t arrived this season. Despite his all-around game staying strong, his scoring had dried up before he gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead with 12:20 left in the second.
The goal was his second of the season and first since Oct. 17, and he also assisted on Jonathan Toews’ late empty-netter.
“You look at his past couple games (Hossa) had a bunch of chances, a bunch of shots on net,” Kane said. “I think it’s a matter of time for goal scorers when you start getting those chances.”
That lack of goals didn’t bother Kane too much. He’s seen Hossa for too long to be concerned, and knows that one goal could lead to two or three or more.
“He’s closing in on a pretty special number of goals here so I don’t think we’re worried about him,” Kane said of Hossa, who’s 12 away from 500 career goals. “Even when he’s not scoring or doesn’t have the production maybe that he would like he’s still such an effective player on both ends of the ice.”
As a team, the Hawks were pretty effective and had little trouble with the Flames, who fell to 6-12-1. The Hawks trailed 1-0 after David Jones’ goal 3:41 into the second but scored three times over 1:55 in the middle period and were hardly threatened.
Artemi Panarin scored his sixth goal and Scott Darling stopped 25 shots to give the Hawks their second win in two nights and send them off on a six-game road trip 10-7-1 and in the middle of the ultra-competitive Central Division.
“But I certainly think your team gets a lot closer and with the number of new guys we have, I think that’ll be a good experience for some,” Quenneville said of the trip. “I think the best thing about it (is) it’ll be a good test to find out how we can play consistently on the road in some real tough buildings.”
Kane’s run will make that a bit easier, as would more goals from Hossa.
“It’s not like (Hossa) hasn’t been playing well. He’s been playing very well (on) both sides of the puck, it’s just a little bit of bad puck luck” Kane said. “Good to see that go in.”