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Power To The People: Second City Hockey's Season Preview - Kaner Watch

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I was once told by a member of the Triumvirate, "That Bob LeDonne is a silly bitch." With that compliment in mind, let's take a look at another one of Bob's gems:

What is your position on the role of government in supporting innovation in the field of biotechnology?

Well Bob, I'm glad that you asked that question...

"Uhhh... Actually, I'd like to jump in and take that one Hack, If you don't mind."

Sure Kaner, just do it under your photo, I'm trying to minimize the space I take up before the jump.

............

That was interesting. Maybe now we should move on to the question that will probably come up every September until you reach this milestone. This September, the question comes from HockeyFTW:

Does Kane break 100 points this year?

Before I get into Kane's case, let's take a quick look at the post-lockout 100+ point club.

  • 2010-2011 - D. Sedin (104)
  • 2009-2010 - H. Sedin (112), Crosby (109), Ovechkin (109), Backstrom (101)
  • 2008-2009 - Malkin (113), Ovechkin (110), Crosby (103)
  • 2007-2008 - Ovechkin (112), Malkin (106)
  • 2006-2007 - Crosby (120), Thornton (114), Lecavalier (108), Heatley (105), St. Louis (102), Hossa (100), Sakic (100)
  • 2005-2006 - Thornton (125), Jagr (123), Ovechkin (106), Heatley (103), Alfredsson (103), Crosby (102), E. Staal (100)

As you can see by both the number of 100 point producers and by the Art Ross winning point totals, scoring is trending down. League wide goal totals from the same time frame confirm this general trend:

  • ‘10-‘11 – 6721 goals
  • ’09-’10 – 6803
  • ’08-’09 – 7006
  • ’07-’08 – 6691
  • ’06-’07 – 7082
  • ’05-’06 – 7443

In the two seasons preceding the 2007 draft, the league produced 7 three figure scorers per season. It was natural that in the summer of 2007, many assumed that Patrick Kane would be one of the next crop of the league's future elite to reach this milestone. In the four years since, it has become increasingly difficult to be a 100 point producer in the NHL.

Many of Kane’s detractors view the 100 point level as one that he needs to reach in order to make up for his lack of defensive prowess/effort/awareness and/or his lack of physical play (not lumping HockeyFTW in with this group). Not only is this metric somewhat arbitrary, it’s undoubtedly short-sighted. Of the 15 players to score 100 points in one of the last six seasons, only three have met or exceeded Kane’s career high playoff point total of 28 in 22 games within those same six playoff seasons. (E. Staal - 28 in 25 gp, Crosby - 31 in 24, and Malkin - 36 in 24). In a trait that is atypical for players viewed as one-dimensional offensive threats, Kane has shown a killer instinct during tight checking springtime hockey.

With all that being said, I suppose I should answer the actual question.

No, I don’t believe that Patrick Kane breaks the 100 point mark this season.

Kane is most likely going to "get his" on the powerplay, hopefully to the tune of about 30-40 points, but I don’t see 60-70 even strength points in the cards for the upcoming season. /Willie Mitchell'd

If you told me that Kane is going to spend the bulk of his even strength ice time skating on a line with Toews and Sharp, then I might have to change my prediction. The domino that is the 2nd line center position has already been discussed, and it’s impact on Patrick Kane’s season is obvious. If Kane can produce 60+ even strength points on a line with Toews and Brunette or Sharp and (insert left winger here), then he’ll have made improvements in his game that are outside of my prognosticative capability. If you'd like an arbitrary prediction to tie me to, well here it is: 32 goals and 60 assists, with 34 of those (career high) 92 points coming on the powerplay.

As my guy Tom Waddle says, "For you-know-whats and giggles" let’s throw out a poll of any number of things that might have to happen in order for Kane to ‘get dat hundred.’ And for my own sanity, let’s take health out of the equation.