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Patrick Kane’s 12 shots on goal against the Wild was an NHL rarity

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You don’t see one player take that many shots on goal in a game very often.

Minneosta Wild v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Patrick Kane was all over the place on Sunday night. The winger couldn’t do enough to prevent the Chicago Blackhawks’ 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild, but he was a one-man, double-shifting wrecking crew. With 12 shots on goal and both of the Blackhawks’ tallies, this was one of the most impressive performances of Kane’s career.

The two goals aren’t anything special for Kane, but the volume at which he fired shots at Devan Dubnyk was. The dozen shots on goal is career-high, and it’s also the highest SOG total by any NHL player in a single game since Alex Ovechkin on Nov. 11, 2015. That’s over a year since the last time one guy made a goalie work as much as Kane did Sunday.

Here are the most 10 to do so, according to Hockey-Reference’s Play Index:

Player Date Matchup Shots
Player Date Matchup Shots
Patrick Kane 1/15/2017 CHI-MIN 12
Alex Ovechkin 11/10/2015 WAS-DET 15
Patric Hornqvist 10/18/2014 PIT-NYI 12
Steven Stamkos 10/13/2014 TB-MTL 12
Jeff Skinner 3/13/2014 CAR-BUF 13
Sean Bergenheim 3/7/2014 FLA-BUF 12
Alex Ovechkin 12/29/2013 WAS-BUF 12
Alexander Edler 11/2/2013 VAN-TOR 12
Tyler Seguin 4/2/2013 BOS-OTT 12
Rick Nash 2/28/2013 NYR-TB 12

This is something Ovechkin in particular has been amazing at. The Capitals superstar has recorded 12-plus shots on goal 12 times in his career, including five times during the 2008-09 season, when he won a second straight Hart Trophy.

Among active players, the only others to do it more than once are Evgeni Malkin (three times), Patric Hornqvist (three times), and Jaromir Jagr (two times). The most recent Blackhawk to do it before Kane was Patrick Sharp against the Blue Jackets on Oct. 15, 2010.

The most shots in a single game by any NHL player since the Play Index starting recording in 1987-88 is Ray Bourque with 19 shots in a 3-3 tie between the Bruins and Nordiques in 1991. Next up after him is, you guessed it, Marian Hossa with 16 shots in a 5-2 Thrashers loss to the Hurricanes in 2006.

So you can see that this was a pretty unusual performance by Kane, and another example of how he’s one of the league’s most dynamic players. The Blackhawks needed him to put the offense on his shoulders with a shorthanded team against a division rival, so that’s exactly what he did, even if it wasn’t enough to get a win. That certainly wasn’t his fault.

We should also note that Kane has been trending upwards in terms of shot production over the past few weeks. Over the last 15 games, he’s averaged 4.2 shots on goal per game, which is way up from 3.1 shots on goal per game over the first 31 contests of the season. If he can keep up a per-game rate closer to 4.2 than 3.1 going forward, expect that goal total to start climbing.