Patrick Kane finished just five points behind Martin St. Louis in the scoring race last season, posting 23 goals and 32 assists in just 47 games. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville believes his star right wing is a strong candidate to bring home the Art Ross Trophy this time around.
Assuming the Blackhawks can snap out of their baffling, two-year power play slump, that is.
“Yes, he is,” Quenneville said. “Perennially, he’s up there at the top of the league. If you look back the last couple years, our power play hasn’t been as good as it could be — or should be, or is going to be. So let’s hope that it’s great this year. If our power play is great, he’ll be a big part of that. I think his numbers would be reflected near the top.”
Kane said the scoring title isn’t high on his list of priorities. At least, not on Day 1 of the regular season.
“I don’t know if you think about it right now,” Kane said. “I think it’s something that obviously you would love to do, and it would be pretty special to do. But I think right now you’re focused on getting yourself off to a good start in the season and see where it goes from there. I think everyone would love to win a scoring title.”
Kane got a chance to see one of his primary competitors for the Ross, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, on Tuesday night, but said he doesn’t concern himself with what the other league’s stars are up to, even when they’re on the ice together.
“I don’t know if you measure yourself against them,” Kane said. “I think they’re fun to watch. If there’s a chance where on an off night, you can watch guys like [Pavel] Datsyuk or [Evgeni] Malkin, and [Sidney] Crosby’s always fun. Those are the guys I tend to watch a little bit more and that excite me, because maybe they’re left-handed, they’re similar players to myself, and [they’re] guys I can always look up to and take tips from.”