The Blackhawks are on a 12-game winning streak thanks in part to Patrick Kane, who is running away with the NHL’s scoring title with 71 points in 49 games.
Below is a look at his numbers in the context of his era, the pace he’s on and the history he could make.
Better than Gretzky?
Hockey-reference.com has developed a formula to adjust player production across eras, adapting for schedule length, roster size and the different scoring environments. If you were to take Kane’s current 30 goals and 41 assists and drop it into the formula for goals and assists adjustments, his totals would adjust to 58 goals and 79 assists for 137 points -– and there’s still 33 games remaining in the season.
Put it this way: No player has reached 137 points in a full season since Mario Lemieux (161 points) and Jaromir Jagr (149 points) in 1995-96.
If you were to take these adjusted totals and extrapolate over an 82-game season, Kane would project to 97 goals and 132 assists for 229 points.
Those totals would:
• Surpass Wayne Gretzky’s single-season record of 92 goals in 1981-82.
• Rank third in single-season assists, trailing Gretzky’s 163 in 1985-86 and Gretzky’s 135 in 1984-85.
• Surpass Gretzky’s single-season points record of 215 set in 1985-86.
A remarkable season regardless
But forget about adjustments. Just look at how Kane's raw numbers would project over an 82-game season.
Kane is on pace to score 50 goals. No Blackhawks player has reached that feat since Jeremy Roenick scored 50 in 1992-93.
Kane is on pace for 118 points. Since the start of the 2005-06 season (the first year after the 2004-05 lockout), three players have reached that point total. All three did it in the first two seasons after the lockout, when rules were implemented to help increase scoring.
Kane chasing history
Kane, born in Buffalo, New York, could become the first U.S.-born player to win an NHL points-scoring title.
In addition to his 50 goals, he’s on pace to finish with 118 points. Those marks have been reached by two U.S.-born players: Pat LaFontaine (53 goals, 148 points in 1992-93 for the Sabres) and Kevin Stevens (54 goals, 123 points in 1991-92 for the Penguins). Those were offense-fueled seasons with a combined 30 instances of a player reaching 100 points. Kane is the only player projected to have a 100-point season in 2015-16.
Kane is 29 points away from becoming the first U.S.-born player to score 100 points in a season since Doug Weight tallied 104 for the Oilers in 1995-96.
The last U.S.-born player to score 100 points in one season for a team based in the U.S. was Roenick, who scored 107 for the Blackhawks in 1993-94.