BY DAN GARCIA
With less than a minute left in regulation, Patrick Kane gained a game tying assist to force overtime between his Chicago Blackhawks and the Anaheim Ducks last night. Not only did his assist help his team to a 3-2 victory, but it extended his current point streak to 18, tied for the largest point streak ever by an American-born player in the NHL.
In the past 18 games, Kaner has 10 goals, 19 assists and an impressive total of 29 points.
Today, the 2015 Stanley Cup champs face the Los Angeles Kings (winners of the cup in 2014), giving Kane the chance to extend his point streak even further, and make him the sole holder of the American points streak record.
As Kane has the chance to make history tonight, it raises the question of whether or not, the 27-year-old Kane is already the best American born hockey player in the history of the NHL?
If all goes Kane’s way tonight, his point streak will not be the only accolade to support his greatness. The Hawks’ forward has already won 3 Stanley Cups and is only one of four American born players to win the Conn Smythe trophy, awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And while Patrick Kane only took home the Conn Smythe one of three years which the Hawk’s won the cup in recent history, he has played big roles in all three wins, as #88 is one of the best players in the playoffs.
In his 116 playoff games played, Kane has put up an amazing 114 points.
While three other Americans have been dubbed the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs in the past, no American has ever been named the regular season’s MVP, the Hart Memorial Trophy. While that may sound surprising, you’d also be surprised to hear that no American born player has ever led the league in points at the regular season’s end either, the Art Ross Trophy. Kane was on this track last year, until he suffered an injury in the second half of the season/
If things continue at their current pace, Kane just make take home both. Currently Kane leads the league in points and assists at 35 and 22 respectively. Kane also is 2nd in the league in total goals. Just weeks ago on his 27th birthday, Patrick Kane led the NHL in points, goals, assists and plus/minus. While the reigning Stanley Cup Champions have struggled at times this season, and despite a rape investigation, which has now been dropped but trickled into the regular season, Kane has been on fire.
Kane is playing the best hockey of his career and if things ended today, the Blackhawks’ star forward would take home the Art Ross and likely the Hart Memorial.
It’s hard to imagine having the discussion of “the best ever” for any category, when the player still has a couple seasons until they turn 30, but the numbers don’t lie. Kane has already achieved what only a microscopic group of Americans have done before him and he is easily on pace to do a number of things that no one from the U.S. has ever done.
If he isn’t already the best American to ever do it, talk to me in a year!