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Patrick Kane looking for shootout answers

1/2/2014

CHICAGO -- If Patrick Kane wasn’t Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville would have likely removed Kane from the team’s shootout rotation already.

“We talked about it,” Quenneville said of replacing Kane on Wednesday. “‘At what point do we maybe change it up? He’s got three points in the game.’ It’s like, ‘Okay, it’s going to happen.’ The due factor is part of it as well.”

Kane has been lighting it up during games this season. He’s second in the league with 53 points, which includes 23 goals. Yet when it’s come to the shootout, he’s been among the league’s worst. He’s goal-less on nine shootout opportunities and is the league’s only player who hasn’t scored after having seven or more shootout chances.

Kane was worried his drought was beginning to affect him psychologically.

“It’s probably in my head a little bit now after you miss a few,” Kane said. “It’s frustrating because I feel it’s something I’ve been pretty good at before and the past. This year, not so much. It’s something you try to figure out.

“You obviously got to be thankful for the coaches still having trust in me to put you in that situation to try to be successful. I think it hurts even more when you’re in position to either win the game or extend the shootout and it doesn’t go in. It kind of throws you off a little bit. Hopefully we get it under wraps and get better at it.”

Kane has traditionally had success in shootouts. He led the league with six shootout goals last season. Prior to this season, he had scored 23 shootout goals on 54 opportunities.



Quenneville has been perplexed by Kane’s shootout struggles because of his past success in it and his play this season.

“He’s got it going, so I don’t know,” Quenneville said. “It’s one of those things. He’s had some good looks, too. Just not going in for him. He’s playing great. I’ll look at the positive side of things in his play.

“His numbers in the history of it are excellent. This has been a tough year for him, and the shootout has been a little bit down. I think we got a lot of confidence in him that situation as well.”

Kane often turned to his slowdown shootout move last season, but he’s kept away from it this season. He said he’s tried a bit of everything to fix the problem.

“You try to switch it up every now and then,” Kane said. “You think a move you’ve been successful with, whether it’s been in practice or in a game on a breakaway or something. You try that. For whatever reason, nothing has really worked for me. Keep trying to find solutions.”