Let's Talk About Patrick Kane & the Hart Trophy

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Is there a player more deserving of the hardware for Most Valuable Player than Patrick Kane? You'd be hard-pressed to find one.

As we near the turn of the calendar to 2014 portion of the '13-'14 campaign, the Chicago Blackhawks have a pair of players currently in the mix for major awards by the time the season comes to a close, if they keep up at their current rate. One of those players is Duncan Keith, who is playing at a Norris Trophy level once again, while the other is Patrick Kane, playing what has been quite possibly the best hockey of his career.

The transformation of Patrick Kane with the Blackhawks over the course of the last few years has been something to behold. The narrative basically says that he went from frustrating party boy to serious hockey player, almost overnight, after a number of wakeup calls and stern talking-to's from the organization. The real story isn't too far off, as Kane has matured, mentally and physically, in becoming the best American born player in the game today.

To date, Kane's 2013-14 season has featured two separate 12-game point streaks, one of which is ongoing. Those streaks are separated by just one game, meaning he's notched at least a point in 24 of his last 25 tilts. He's on pace to obliterate his previous career marks, both for points and for goals. He's already found the back of the net 22 times this season, leaving him on pace for 45. His career high is 30.

Kane's currently sitting in second in the league in points, behind only Sidney Crosby, with 49 in 39 games. His 22 goals have him currently in third, with his nine power play goals coming in second. Six of his goals have been of the game-winning variety, trailing Corey Perry by only one. He's at a plus-8 on the year and rising.

The thing about what Patrick Kane has done is that we're witnessing his progression all over the board. While Joel Quenneville is unlikely to trot him out on the penalty kill regularly anytime soon, he's shown progress as a two-way player in the last couple of years and has shown more of a willingness to take the body on his way to the net. He's not trying to do too much. He's recognizing plays and setting up his teammates, while finding the back of the net plenty on his own.

This is the highest level at which we've seen Patrick Kane at any point in his career, all things considered. His ability to take over a game has been realized on a nightly basis this season. That willingness to go to the middle and not simply hang out on the wing in order to avoid contact has helped transform him into even more of a threat and have the Blackhawks easily leading the league in offensive output per game.

It's going to be tough for Kane to pry the Hart away from the likes of Crosby or Alex Ovechkin, especially considering the latter's absurd ability to put the puck in the net this year. But this buzz that Patrick Kane has received for the Hart is real, even if a bit overplayed at this point. He's one of the top three players in the league at this point, and should garner some significant attention to take home the hardware at season's end.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Second City Hockey

You must be a member of Second City Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Second City Hockey. You should read them.

Join Second City Hockey

You must be a member of Second City Hockey to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Second City Hockey. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker