Kane scored zero goals in six playoff games, and the Blackhawks were eliminated by the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round last season. He said recently his play last season should carry some of the blame for their demise.
A year later, Kane has gone another first-round playoff series without a goal, but this time around he nor anyone else is pointing any fingers at his production. Instead of scoring goals, Kane was setting them up. He had a team-high five assists to help the Blackhawks top the Minnesota Wild in five games in the Western Conference quarterfinal series.
"I know everyone wants to score in the playoffs," said Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp, who is Kane's line mate. "It's tough to do that. It's tough to get to the net. It's tough to beat the goaltender. Kaner brings so much more to the team than goal-scoring. To me, he's the best passer, if not the one of them, in the league. Seen his two-way play this year, he's had a great regular season, a great first round.
"People make a big deal out of goals. He set up five that wouldn't have gone in without him. People need to remember that, too."
Goal-scoring trumps all for Kane, but he realizes his job is to create chances. He's knows he's accomplished that whether the end product is him or his teammates putting the puck in the net.
What the first round called for was creating those chances for his teammates.
"You always want to score goals," said Kane, who had 23 regular-season goals. "It's an important part of the game. For me, I've always tried to tell myself try to make the right play. If it's a pass, it's a pass. If it's a shot, then you want to make a shot, too."
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville certainly isn't complaining.
"Point production for him, he's usually pretty consistent in that area," Quenneville said. "Whether he's scoring the goal or setting it up, I think he's involved with the puck. I think he's involved with the offense. I thought he had a decent first round.
"I think he had an excellent season this year. I think he's had the puck a lot more than he's had it in the past. I'm not particularly crazy on who scores the goal or not as long as we're getting some production and being consistent on both sides of the puck. [That's] what we're asking. We're getting that, so we're happy with him."
Yet, Kane would like more goals come the second round against the Detroit Red Wings. He doesn't need reminding that he's scored once in the playoffs since delivering the game-winner to clinch the Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks in 2010.
Kane said the key now is being patient from game to game.
"I was thinking about it yesterday, I probably could have had a goal in every game last series," Kane said. "I had some chances. I just got to realize the chances are going to come. Just got to stay focused and bear down when they do. I don't think it's so much what other teams do. It's what I do or what the team does in that matter."