CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane said Tuesday that the Chicago Blackhawks' points streak has been good for hockey and he enjoys the extra attention they are receiving -- including comparisons to the streaking Miami Heat.
"It's huge," Kane said of the publicity. "I think for me, personally, I'm a guy who has watched ESPN ever since I've been growing up. You turn it on, and it's one of the first stories -- the Blackhawks and hockey, which you don't really see on that station. That's cool to see.
"I know hockey is growing in the U.S., and it's becoming more popular, but anything to get the game out there and see how we view it. We view it as the best game in the world. Hopefully, other people will start to, too."
The Blackhawks take an NHL-record 22-game points streak to start the season into their game Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild. They are also on a 28-game points streak dating to last season, tied with the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens for the second-longest points streak. They are seven games behind the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers, who went 35 consecutive games with a point.
Kane, who leads the Blackhawks with 26 points, said he even enjoyed seeing ESPN NHL analyst Barry Melrose and ESPNNewYork.com's Stephen A. Smith debate whether the Blackhawks' points streak or the Heat's 15-game winning streak is more impressive.
"I thought Melrose would kind of get in there a little bit more and battle with him, but Stephen A.'s a tough customer," Kane said. "But it's cool. I'm a big fan of LeBron (James) and the Heat even though they're rivals of the Bulls.
"I've been a fan of LeBron ever since he's been criticized heavily. He's come back to prove all of his critics wrong. It's cool to be compared to those guys. But they're obviously in a different league as far as popularity."
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was surrounded by about 25 media members and a row of television cameras Tuesday, and he said he's noticed the media growth in the recent weeks.
"It's maybe multiplied by two, but it's been a fun start to our season," Quenneville said. "I think the guys have been approaching each and every game as a new challenge, and I think our opponents every game (have) been excited about playing us as well.
"It's a fun situation to be in. I think it's good for our sport. The games are on the line. I think everyone is having a little fun with it right now."