Kane hoping to celebrate his birthday with win
November, 19, 2010
By Jesse Rogers
CALGARY, Alberta -- A young veteran at 22, Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks will take on the Calgary Flames for the second consecutive year on Kane's birthday.
Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty ImagesPatrick Kane has played well on his birthday in the past, and the Hawks are hoping for more of the same in Calgary.
"[Playing hockey] is something you love, so it's always fun to do something you love on your birthday," Kane said after practice Friday morning. "Same thing last year. I turned 21 up in Calgary, played on my birthday, and I think we won like 7-1, and [I] had a couple of points, so it was a good day overall."
The Hawks beat the Flames badly on that night. It was one of four wins over Calgary as the Hawks swept the season series by a combined goal differential of 20-8.
"Normally he plays well on his birthday," teammate Patrick Sharp said. "He had a goal and an assist last year and that was for his 21st birthday. Hopefully he took care of himself for his 22nd and he can go out and have two goals and two assists."
Sharp says he's seen Kane mature since coming into the league as the No.1 overall pick at 18 years old but still doesn't let him forget he remains the youngest on the team.
"Well, he's still coloring on his stick so that tells me he's still a young kid," Sharp joked. "He's still the youngest on the team so I can still mess with him. He doesn't wear his Abercrombie & Fitch shirts to the rink anymore. He actually wears dress shirts and ties. His style has gotten a little bit better."
Kane didn't dismiss the notion that he's still a kid, especially when it comes to his family.
"It was pretty funny last night," he said. "It was like 10:01 p.m. [midnight in Buffalo] and my mom was already wishing me a happy birthday. She wanted to be the first one."
Sharp wasn't surprised.
"He had the phone on extra ring waiting for that phone call," Sharp said. "I'm surprised she's not on the road trip to make him a birthday cake for after the game."
All kidding aside, playing the Flames on Kane's birthday is a gift in itself. He led the Hawks with four goals and four assists against them last season. For his career he has 14 points in 11 games making his 1.27 per game average against them second best -- Dallas is No. 1 at 1.30 per game -- against any opponent in the conference.
"He's played in so many big games he handles himself like an old veteran, so it's nice to see," Sharp said in a moment of seriousness. "We expect a big game from him."