Showtime is Kane's time

  • Article by: BLAKE SCHUSTER , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 4, 2014 - 1:58 AM

The Chicago star again showed a flair for the dramatic in the third period of Game 1.

Blackhawks star Patrick Kane began the celebration after his highlight-reel goal swung momentum in Game 1.


CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– As Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane finished juking four Minnesota defenders by lifting a sweet backhander over Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov’s left shoulder — barely a minute after the Wild tied the score 2-2 the third period Friday — the forward turned to the crowd and screamed, “Showtime!”

Perhaps that wasn’t a statement so much as a command. And as requested, the Blackhawks followed through with two more goals in the final minutes of regulation, knocking off the Wild 5-2 in Game 1. Neither of them compared with Kane’s initial magic.

“That’s a beautiful goal and would be a highlight of probably any one of our careers, but Kaner’s done that probably 10 times,” Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook said. “It’s old hat for him.”

Common, yes, but the goal wasn’t anything ordinary. In fact, nothing about Kane’s performance in the playoffs has been.

Going back to last postseason, Kane has registered 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists), and has eight points through seven games in these playoffs while pacing the league in goals with five.

The seven-year veteran’s scoring is as consistent as it is timely. Each of Kane’s past four game-winning goals in the postseason has come in multi-goal performances — including Game 1 against the Wild this year.

“It’s not something that’s that surprising, but at the end of a big game, aside from the goal being a nice one, it was a big goal for us,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “It changed the game and for him to score a goal like that at that time was pretty huge.”

As much as the Wild would like to take away Kane’s time and space with the puck, the beauty of his game comes from an ability to negate those situations. Instead of dishing off a pass to teammate, or dumping the puck into the zone, Kane finds lanes that don’t seem open until he breaks his way through.

Kane showed that off most notably during overtime of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 when he used his body to shield a defender and slid the puck past Flyers’ goalie Michael Leighton to give the Blackhawks their first championship in 49 years.

Even without the puck, Kane’s vision enables him to sneak away from the play and find an opening for a one-timer. That was the case for much of Game 1, as Kane positioned himself behind the play, and fanned on multiple opportunities to rip a shot into an otherwise empty net.

By not finishing those chances, Kane seemed invisible for the first 45 minutes of regulation.

“He’s always making plays like that,” Toews said. “Plays that you don’t see unless you’re watching the game that don’t come out because it doesn’t go in.”

The law of averages finally caught up with him as Kane sneaked in behind Wild defenseman Nate Prosser during the third period, and put away an easy tap-in off a feed from Blackhawks winger Ben Smith at the point for his second goal in eight minutes.

Wild winger Nino Niederreiter said slowing down Kane requires a similar effort to the way they treated Colorado forward Nathan MacKinnon in the first round — although he also danced his way around four Minnesota defenders before beating Bryz- galov’s blocker in that series.

Still, Wild coach Mike Yeo doesn’t want his team to get distracted by No. 88 in red.

“We talked about this many times in the last series as well when you’re playing against players like that,” Yeo said. “Where you have to be careful is that you don’t start to focus completely on them. We have a way that we’re supposed to play, and we have a way that we believe will be effective and successful if we go out and play it as long as we’re able to stay with it for 60 minutes.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Does a Stadium Series outdoor Wild game get you excited?

Weekly Question