Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Streaking/Slumping: Kane amping game
By Jesse Rogers
1. Patrick Kane, Forward: He’s baaaaack. After a series of quiet nights Kane has woke up since Jonathan Toews went down with an injury 11 games ago. There were some off performances in the four losses over that time but in the other seven games Kane has been the motor. He has three goals and two assists in his last five games and has been flying with the puck. And don’t forget his shootout move to beat St. Louis on Tuesday night. He’s back at center and even summoned his inner Toews, playing a grittier game against the Blues than he normally shows. That’s the Kane that’s needed for the postseason.
2. Marian Hossa, Forward: It’s a not a surprise as Kane goes so does Hossa. Or is it the other way around? Yes, he admitted to a clunker of a performance in St. Louis last week but he’s racking up the helpers, now up to 42 after earning five in the last three games. If he gets really hot he might come close to the 57 assists he earned as a career high in 2006-2007. Kane and Hossa have shown chemistry when together at different times this season. Joel Quenneville will most likely ride that combo until it goes stale. For now, they’ve been the dynamic duo of late.
1. Jimmy Hayes, Forward: Hayes has been quiet since earning a goal and assist against Detroit on Feb. 21. He’s played 10 games since with no production to show for it. His minutes have decreased to a season low 3:01 on Tuesday. Quenneville said it was just the situation since Brandon Bollig was out for a 10-minute misconduct and the Hawks reduced their rotation. But if Hayes was producing he’d be finding the minutes. He hasn’t been crashing the net as he did early on. A return to form in that manner will help put his name on the scoresheet soon enough.
2. Duncan Keith, Defense: His game on offense is to rack up the helpers either via the power play or 5-on-5. He has no points in his last six games and just one in his last 10. Having said that he put 10 shots toward the net on Tuesday against the Blues, six got to the goalie while four missed the net entirely. On defense, he’s minus-2 over his past three games as he was in the middle of both goals scored on the Hawks when they hosted the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. Still, he’s playing huge minutes and is bound to be in the middle of a lot that goes right and wrong for Chicago. Over the last few games it’s been a few more wrong than right.