CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane felt he had something to prove this regular season, and he went out and did it by leading the Blackhawks with 55 points.
Now that the Stanley Cup playoffs have arrived, Kane is out to prove something again.
Kane has scored just one goal in 13 playoff games in the past two seasons. His lack of playoff production came after two seasons in which he dominated in the playoffs. He had nine goals and five assists in 16 games in 2009 and 10 goals and 18 assists in 22 games in 2010.
Kane is aware of how he’s performed in the playoffs, and he said Monday he’s driven to succeed in the playoffs when the Blackhawks open with the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
“You always want to play good in the playoffs,” Kane said after Monday’s practice at the United Center. “The first two years I was in the playoffs I thought I played really well. The last couple of years I could have probably played better. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we didn’t make it out of the first round.
“I’m excited about another challenge here and starting up the playoffs again. I’m trying to get back to the form I had in my first two playoffs, which I thought I played pretty well.”
What Kane does have him going for him heading into this playoffs is energy from the shortened season and confidence in his play. Kane had recently been down on his game, but he picked it up in recent weeks and finished the regular season with nine points in his last six games.
Kane was fifth in the NHL with 55 points, tied for fifth with 23 goals and tied for 14th with 32 assists during the regular season.
“I feel better about my game now than I did maybe Game 30, 40,” Kane said. “I’m happy where it is. I think I’m playing pretty well. I’ve had a lot of chances the past few games. It obviously revs up a little bit in the playoffs, and everyone knows that, so it’s definitely an exciting time of year. I’m excited to work hard and try my best for this team and hopefully have some good results.”