When postmortem on Patrick Kane’s hockey career is written, the 2022-23 season will probably be omitted to focus on the games from seasons that actually mattered.
For one night, though, the Chicago Blackhawks star reminded everyone what’s he capable of, netting a hat trick as part of a four-point night during a 5-3 win over the alleged Stanley Cup-contending Toronto Maple Leafs.
Kane scored the game’s first goal near the midpoint of the first period, finding enough space to snipe one past Toronto goalie Ilya Samsonov:
Patrick Kane opens the scoring for his 3rd goal in 4 periods. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/bTYulJsWKH— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 19, 2023
John Tavares added a power-play tally two minutes later to tie the game at one and that’s how the first period ended. The Patrick Kane Show resumed in the second period. His second goal of the game came at the 7:57 mark of the middle frame:
Patrick Kane scores his 4th goal in 2 games after having only 9 goals in his previous 50.— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 20, 2023
Showtime is heating up. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/AjDHTMA8vD
He completed the hat trick three minutes later on a goal that was initially ruled no goal until a video review correctly awarded the goal to him:
Patrick Kane records a hat trick for his 5th goal in 2 games. Officially on fire. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/7KYoQ9YnDU— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 20, 2023
The United Center crowd responded appropriately:
Patrick Kane. Hat Trick. United Center showered with hats. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/lBYeQZd16X— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) February 20, 2023
Noel Acciari made it a 3-2 lead for Kane over the Leafs with a goal in the dying minutes of the second and Mitch Marner then tied the game 7:38 into the third period off of this nifty play started by Morgan Rielly that caught Jack Johnson napping:
unreal play from Rielly to Marner pic.twitter.com/pyaNKWv77T— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) February 20, 2023
The game-winner came four minutes later off the stick of Cole Guttman, who scored his first NHL goal with this absolute snipe during a 2-on-1:
That first goal feeling with Cole Guttman.— NHL (@NHL) February 20, 2023
Guttman nets his first with the @NHLBlackhawks in his third NHL game.
NHL Next Gen Rookies presented by @BioSteelSports. pic.twitter.com/E4bIFgg3qb
Also, as several beat reporters mentioned during the game and then asked Guttman about afterwards, the first player to greet Guttman after that goal was Ian Mitchell, a college teammate of Guttman’s at Denver.
Max Domi added an empty-netter with Kane picking up the assist to complete the four-point night and seal the Blackhawks win.
May not have too many more of these Ws to discuss, so let’s get to it!
- Usually not one to toot my own horn but: BEEP FUCKING BEEP (check the date on the quoted tweet, too). Also, from the last game recap:
He may not turn the clock back to 2013 but it does feel like people who are tripping over themselves to make this pronounce his career dead are doing so prematurely.
Kane has been the ultimate “gamer” in his career, one who always seemed to find another gear with the highest of stakes on the line. From that shootout goal against Dominik Hasek in the second game of his career to damn near winning the 2014 Western Conference Finals solely with his unstoppable second line to scoring the clinching goal in Game 6 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals to ... we could be here a while, couldn’t we? There’s a mountain of evidence in Kane’s corner here and one subpar season on a team that’s been designed to lose is not enough evidence to overturn the court’s ruling, Your Honor.
- It’s going to be hilarious when the Trade Market Champions™ get bounced in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning again.
- Guttman absolutely deserved that goal with how well he’s played this weekend. Too soon to draw a verdict on whether or not he’s a long-term piece but if Toews is going to be sidelined for a while still, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to take a longer look at Guttman, who turns 24 on April 6.
- Speaking of young players who’ve afforded themselves quite well in limited samples, Jaxson Stauber continues to fare well in the Blackhawks net. Again, not gonna pencil him in as the starter for next season but there’s no such thing as “too many good goalies.” The Blackhawks were outshot 35-28 and on the wrong site of just about every statistic in the shot/possession/chance category but Stauber did enough to keep the Hawks ahead.
- Interesting nugget from Ben Pope of the Sun-Times regarding coach Luke Richardson’s deployment of Sam Lafferty in this game:
Richardson tested Sam Lafferty by matching him up against Matthews tonight. The Leafs did have a 64.3% xG edge in that matchup, but they didn't score.— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 20, 2023
"Lafferty did a great job. He was physical on him. He skated tight to him."
A coach using the benefit of the last change to get one of his more defensive-minded players out against one of the opponent’s top scoring threats? Ya love to see it.
- To hell with draft lottery odds for a night — that game ruled.
#NHL GameScore Impact Card for Chicago Blackhawks on 2023-02-19:#Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/ju4UAvEEYt— HockeyStatCards (@hockeystatcards) February 20, 2023
- Duh. Patrick Kane (CHI) — 3 goals, 1 assist
- Max Domi (CHI) — 1 goal, 3 assists
- Cole Guttman (CHI) — First NHL goal
The Blackhawks return to the United Center on Tuesday night to face the Vegas Golden Knights at 7:30 p.m.