Blackhawks Confidential

Kane will have Blackhawks first 100-point season since Roenick in '94

kanefinland.jpgPatrick Kane is on pace for a 164-point season. Not too bad, and every reason to take a limo wherever he goes, even if it's to the 7-11 for a slurpee.

Of course, he may get better since we are only two games into the season. In which case his current 2 points a game won't be enough to contain him and the Chicago record book might be set ablaze before it's over.

Denis Savard holds the Blackhawks record with 131 points in 1987-88. He scored 44 goals and chipped in 87 assists.

That milestone could be under assault if Kane can sustain another rocketman start to his year and not encounter a prolonged slump as the winter grinds on. The older he gets, the more you suspect the precocious Kane will scale heights that the Hawks haven't seen from anybody in years.

Savard turned 27 years of age in February, 1988, on his way to his best scoring year ever that '87-88 season. Kane will celebrate his 21st birthday Nov. 19. Savard's first 100-point effort was in 1981-82 when he turned 21 in Feb. I look for Kane to reach triple digits, too, at 21.

He might not be ready yet for 131 points. But he'll sneak into the low 100s somehow and I'll make my case for that argument a little later.

To be as good as he is in the NHL as young as he is makes Kane a freak of nature and there seems no limit right now to what he might produce over the years as he matures. As long as his mental perspective on life keeps pace with his raging hormones, he'll be considered a Chicago treasure for the ages and let's enjoy watching this puppy become top dog.

Kane seems to react best when challenged in any way. That's a great trait to have for any athlete and his summertime brush with the law might be the best thing to happen to him if Kane uses that as one of the constant motivations to prove himself.

Savard obviously was a center whose job was to pass around the puck. Winger Kane could be more of a shooter and a 50-goal season seems within his reach during his career if he is less inclined to pass when goal opportunities present themselves.

In 58 games in the Ontario Hockey League, Kane ran up 145 points. He scored 58 goals and 62 assists for the 2006-07 London Knights.

His first two years with the Blackhawks were almost mirror images. In 2007-08, he opened up with 72 points (21 goals) in 82 games. Last season, he totalled 70 points (25 goals) in two fewer games.

This seems likely to be his jump-out season. Does that necessarily mean a 100-point season? I think it does.

Does it mean 50 goals this season? No, not yet.

I personally predict that Kane will score 45 goals with 55 assists to reach the 100 level. Maybe he'll get to 103, 104 points. But I'm picking 100 to round it off.

That's a jump of 20 goals, 10 assists from last year. Those increases are very doable.

Let's use Jeremy Roenick as a comparison. When Roenick turned 20 in January, 1990, he was on his way to scoring 26 goals, 40 assists in 1990-91. The next year, he leaped to 41 goals, 53 assists for 94 points and then the season after that hit 103 points (53 goals).

Kane will make the same rapid progression. He may rise faster and higher than Roenick, which is why I like him not to just stop with 90-some points, but surge all the way to 100 with a much more dynamic all-around team offense than Roenick played with.

Savard had five seasons in excess of 100 points. Roenick had three, Bobby Hull one and Steve Larmer one. Troy Murray, color analyst for Hawks games on WGN radio, just missed with 99 points in 1985-86, so he can give Kane a few pointers to get him to 100.

The 100-point club in Chicago is rarefied. If Kane doesn't reach it this season, there's no question it's only a matter of time until he does.

Before too long, the question will be whether Kane has a chance to match Savard's five times above 100.

Hull, Roenick and Al Secord are the only Blackhawks to score 50 or more goals. Savard's best was 47, Larmer had 46 and Murray 45 in his 99-point season.

Roenick hit or exceeded 50 two consecutive seasons in 1991-92 and 1992-93. He slipped to 46 in 1993-94, then trended downward.

But Kane isn't the hitter that Roenick was, so his body shouldn't absorb the same toll and Kane should have a chance to crack 50 several times.

Kane's next game is Thursday night in Detroit. The Red Wings wrapped him up pretty well in the Western Conference finals and blunted his offense.

I hope Kane remembers that. I hope he's insulted. I hope he's hopping mad. I hope he scores 3 points at Joe Louis, just to up the pace toward his 100-point season.

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7 Comments

Forklift said:

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Kane will be a Top 5 scorer this season, but I think Toews might hit 50 before Kane does.

FearlessFreep said:

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I hate looking too far ahead, but I am curious as to how Q will juggle the lines once Hossa is back, as well as how good this offense might be.

Mike Kiley said:

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Guessing is seldom a strong point with me, but I guess Hossa would join Toews, Kane stay with Bolland if everything is working as well then as now and Sharp and Versteeg would be floaters to mix with whomever. Lots of interesting maybes make for a great season.

FearlessFreep said:

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FearlessFreep said:

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Any chance that Sharp and Versteeg are still Blackhawks at playoff time? Hawks are blessed with a lot of talent at forward, and like Mark said in an earlier blog, I'd hate to break with either of them. That said, do you go with the youth and potential of Steeger or with the dependability and leadership of Sharp? Tough decisions on the horizon for the front office, eh?

Mike Kiley said:

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All depends on how they are playing at the time. Winning this year supercedes everything else, even next year's problems. Hard to guess where the Hawks will be, but I think they'll be playing well enough the cap won't be a burning issue at that time.

Dave Morris said:

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Hey Mike, the secret of P-Kane's current success can finally be revealed.

John 'Popeye' Madden brought some of that Secret Spinach with him from Joisey, and young Pat's been snarfing up a storm of the mean green.

Expect Kane to start answering "I yam what I yam and dat's all what I yam" in response to reporters' questions as he racks up the pointeroonies this year.

Now people might snicker, but the harvest of Hopatcong contains special enzymes that allow hockey players consuming this very rare spinach, to be more responsible defensively while scoring timely goals.

I also checked with Madame Zara, our favorite gypsy fortune teller and advisor to hockey honchos, and Zara confirms your prediction of Kane's 100 point season as being on the money.

She also told me you can book it with Lucky Laszlo in Vegas, and that you're always good for complimentary martinis with your steak dinner at the Bellagio. Mr. Wynn sends regards, by the way.

I just wanna know--and you no doubt have the inside track on this scuttlebutt--if Rocky will make McD wear the headdress when they pose with the Stanley Vegetable Steamer next June.

Cheers.

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