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What Is Going On With Patrick Kane?

Chicago Blackhawks

At 13-18-5 heading into Thursday night’s contest against the Montreal Canadiens, the Chicago Blackhawks are far behind their expectations for the season. And part of the problem, of course, has been their total lack of offense.

Chicago currently ranks 29th in the NHL in goals per game with a 2.33 marker, their lowest per game total since the 2003-04 season (2.29). Meanwhile, the Blackhawks have only one player with double-digit goals 36 games into the season (Alex DeBrincat, 23). Behind him is Brandon Hagel with eight goals and behind him is Patrick Kane with … seven goals.

Kane is having, what he calls, “one of the more frustrating years” for him in his career.

Prior to this season, we learned that Kane has been dealing with an undisclosed injury that has been “nagging” him for some time. While we don’t know what the injury exactly is, we do know that Kane has not pursued surgery of any kind to fix it. He’s called the injury “something that happens as you play hockey,” but that could be anything.

Whatever it is, whether he wants to admit it or not, it’s causing a problem.

With seven goals in 32 games this season, Kane is on a 17-goal pace over an 82-game season, which would be his lowest goal-marker in a full season since his rookie year in 2007-08 when he scored 21. Even in the shortened season in 2013, Kane scored 23 goals. Including last season, Kane has just 22 goals over his last 88 games played and is shooting at the two lowest percentages of his career to date.

Although he is playing at a point-per-game pace this season with 32 points in 32 games and has 98 points over his last 88 games in the past two seasons, the Blackhawks need him to be scoring goals if they want to be considered anywhere near a Stanley Cup Playoffs contender. It may not be too late for Kane to figure out what is stopping him from scoring this season and go on a goal-scoring run to help get the Blackhawks into a playoff chase, but I wouldn’t count on it if history tells us anything.



Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.