GLENDALE, Ariz. — Droughts happen, even to a scorer as electric as Blackhawks star Patrick Kane.
Kane’s MVP-caliber season slowed down at the worst possible time as the Blackhawks fight to stay in the playoff race, and he had just two goals in his last 13 games heading into a late puck drop against the Coyotes on Tuesday.
Kane has been through ruts before, including two goals in a stretch of 18 games in the first half of this season, and is staying patient as he tries to get rolling again.
“You’re just kind of looking for answers,” he said. “At least chances are starting to come the past couple games, so that’s usually a sign of breaking through. Hopefully I can get one and break through.
“I think we’re struggling to score goals a little bit lately, and I can definitely help in that department. Kind of disappointing lately, so hopefully I’ll turn it around here . . . and play well and try to help this team get in the playoffs.”
The Hawks had nine goals over their last five games before arriving in Arizona, going 2-2-1.
Kane isn’t the only Hawks star coming up empty. All three of their top weapons players — the highest-scoring trio in the NHL two weeks ago — quieted down recently. Entering Tuesday, Jonathan Toews had four goals in his last 15 games, and Alex DeBrincat had two in the last 11.
Kane’s rough patch coincides with the Hawks’ power-play attack dropping from being the most dangerous in the NHL to going 4-for-35 leading up to the Coyotes game.
The upside for the Hawks is that they’ve gotten decent contributions from the rest of their lines, which is more important than ever now that coach Jeremy Colliton has stacked the top line with Kane, Toews and DeBrincat.
Previously little-used winger Brendan Perlini had eight of the Hawks’ 33 goals over their 11 games going into Tuesday, and defenseman Erik Gustafsson had four. If the Hawks get their big three scoring again, it could be a flood of goals.
“I think it’s only a matter of time,” Colliton said of Kane, Toews and DeBrincat. “They’re getting opportunities. I think it’s, ‘Get one, get a good feeling.’ That’s all they need.”
Kane went on the longest point streak in the NHL with 17 goals and 26 assists over a 20-game run starting in early January, and the Hawks went 11-6-3 as he battled Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov for the NHL scoring lead.
Kucherov had the points title nearly wrapped up at 121 going into Tuesday, followed by Connor McDavid at 108 and Kane at 102 — four short of his career high. Kane was also fourth with 41 goals.
He called it “a weird year” because he has been so hot and cold, and the last few weeks have been especially frustrating. But he’s optimistic he’s on the verge of a scoring outburst.
“It’d be nice to get it going right now,” Kane said. “No better time.”