Patrick Kane’s smooth move to center-ice was part of the reason the Blackhawks got out of the gate quickly.
We can better gauge Kane’s play in the middle, however, after a road-heavy November schedule, when opponents dictate the matchups and the job is more taxing physically.
Here are his numbers for the first two months:
11GP, 4G, 7A, +6
14GP, 3G, 10A, +3
The overall stats are comparable. Where the numbers start to diverge is home vs. road:
11GP, 5G, 9A, +11
14GP, 2G, 8A, -2
After notching a goal and an assist against the Vancouver Canucks, Kane finished the circus trip with two assists the rest of the way.
“I think overall you can probably play better as a person and try to produce a little bit more,” Kane said, when asked about the trip. “I had some good games; had some not so good games. I just have to try and stay consistent.”
It’s a big adjustment for Kane. He has more responsibility and he has to play end-to-end every night.
If the Blackhawks want to come at teams in waves offensively, which also allows them to limit time in their own zone (sound like a Stanley Cup team anybody remembers?), Kane’s line has to recapture its effectiveness, both at home and on the road.