2010-2011 Player Reviews: Humpty Hump

Few players generate the debate that Crazy 88 does. And on such a variety of topics. The one thing we can say for Patrick Kane is he makes our job easier, as there's always a wealth of subject matter to discuss with him. While I fear what this may descend into, based upon previous experience trying to get a handle on all the things Kaner is, the time for a clear-eyed discussion is upon us. If the term "clear-eyed" can ever be applied to Kane, that is. And...here...we...go....

Patrick Kane

#88 / Right Wing / Chicago Blackhawks



Nov 19, 1988

2010 - Patrick Kane 73 27 46 73 7 28 5 0 2 216

Contract Status: Signed for four more years at a cap hit of $6.3 million.

Positives: Ok, this is where the fun begins. Positives? Well, it's hard to argue with a fourth consecutive 70+ point season, partially done while hobbling on a bad ankle. There was that stretch at the end of February and the beginning of March, when Patrick Sharp was promoted to the top line, where Kaner freaked the fuck off to the tune of 22 points in 17 games, carrying the team in some spots. After a horrific defensive beginning, where he and Sharp treated the defensive zone like a couple of frat boys in the Ladies room, Kaner did manage to get himself to be a plus player by the end of the year. When he was floating around -11, that didn't seem possible.

Negatives: Buckle up. Where to start? How about those five power play goals? That's a career-low, and for someone as gifted as Kane with the shot that he has and refuses to use, it's simply far too low. The 216 shots are he lowest in three years, and though he missed 9 games it's still by a wide margin. Kane wasn't as likely to get to the areas where he'd have to shoot, preferring to defer to someone else. Again, with the lethal shot he does possess, the Hawks need more aggressiveness from him. Kane should never be under 30 goals, and probably hanging around the 35 mark. We've talked about the defensive lapses that we're all too common. Here's a telling stat, I think: According to Behind The Net, in 09-10 Kaner's 1st Assist per 60 minutes was .97 and his 2nd assist per 60 was .58. This past year? Those numbers reverse to .59 and .75. One could interpret that to mean that Kane wasn't making as many plays as he did last year, while still putting up decent numbers. But you don't need the stats do you when you have the eye test. If you watched most Hawks games, you saw far too many where Kane was content to float to the outside, where he was huffing and puffing by the 3rd period, where he didn't do his due diligence in the Hawks zone, and where he passed off too many scoring opportunities. Kaner the two years previous would fight you off on the boards, curl to the middle, and either slice your heart out with a pass for a scoring chance that a teammate couldn't miss or bury it top corner himself. How many times did you see that this year? Did he ever go to the net? Or was he far too content for his Gretzky-curl right inside the blue line?

And I won't duck the Deadspin crap, despite however much of a tonking we got for it. Whatever you choose to believe, Kaner was a bigger story off the ice than he was on it, and I don't know how anyone could find that acceptable.

Defining Moment: Couldn't find video of it, but for me it would be Kaner pwning only Henrik Zetterberg along the boards, leading to the penalty that Hossa would cash in on in OT. A classic demonstration of what Kane can do, and infuriating that it didn't happen more often.

Outlook: However, none of this means I've joined The Nation of Meatball and am calling for the trade of Kaner. This kind of lunacy is what leads people to believe Sarah Palin is attractive. I can't even fathom how anyone could come to either of those conclusions. Patrick Kane is the most gifted Hawk I've ever seen, and that includes Savard. No one can dominate a game offensively like he can. He's the only Hawks capable of putting up multiple 100 point seasons. While he clearly has some issues, when he's on point there's very few players like him, if any at all. You simply don't give away that kind of talent because he had a slightly goofy year where he was trading in on his name a little too much. Especially at 22. Look at his play right after the Deadspin controversy. When the little fucker has something to prove, he can't be stopped.

Grade: C+. It's the best I can do, though that feels odd to say for yet another 70+ points. But we know there's much more from Kaner. Kane's play actually resembled my academic career a lot. Good enough to look good while exerting nowhere near enough effort, but falling short of the stellar results that we were both so easily capable of (though a 2.8 GPA probably isn't equivalent to Kaner's year, but whatever. Fuck you). However, with a section of fandom starting to turn on Patty, and a captain whispering in his ear, I fully expect an out-to-prove-a-point Patrick Kane to give the Hawks their first 90+ point player since....god, who knows?