- Scott Powers, ESPN Staff Writer
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The NHL’s top offensive players often measure their success by their points-per-game average.
They strive for a point a game. Reaching that mark puts them in the league’s elite tier. No more than 22 players and as few as nine players have met that bar in a given season over the past five years.
The list is normally made up of a lot of the same names. It often includes Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Martin St. Louis, Ryan Getzlaf, Steven Stamkos, Henrik Zetterberg, Evgeni Malkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Joe Thornton and Phil Kessel.
Kane has achieved that feat three times in his career, and Toews did it for the first time last season. They are both headed in that direction again this year. They are currently among 22 players averaging a point per game this season.
Kane has 24 points in 23 games and is tied for 14th in the NHL (minimum 10 games) with a 1.04 point-per-game average. He’s recorded points in 17 games and has had seven multi-point games. He’s on a nine-game points streak heading into Saturday’s game with the Vancouver Canucks.
Toews has 23 points in 23 games and is tied for 17th with a 1.00 point-per-game average. He’s registered points in 13 games and has had six multi-point games. He’s coming off a four-point performance against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
Last season was the first time Kane and Toews met a point-a-game average in the same season. Kane had 55 points in 47 games and ranked fifth with a 1.17 average. Toews had 48 points in 47 games and ranked 17th with a 1.02 average. A total of 21 players averaged a point per game last season.
Kane previously averaged a point a game when he had 88 points in 82 games in the 2009-10 season and 73 points in 73 games in the 2010-11 season. He has 448 points in 469 career regular-season games.
Kane said recently he's always aware of where his average stands.
“I think it’s important to try to be at that level or even better than that,” Kane said. “When you find yourself below that, you find you got to pick it up a little bit. In the last year, I was a little bit above a point of a game. It’s always nice to have that, too. Especially being an offensive player, you’re counted on to produce and create opportunities and score points for your team. It’s definitely something you pride yourself on.”
Right now, Kane and Toews can both be proud.