Kane happy to finally score No. 100
Tuesday, 03.15.2011 / 4:04 PM CT / News
By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent
CHICAGO -- It wasn't exactly how Patrick Kane hoped to score his 100th NHL goal, but it still was memorable for the 22-year-old Chicago Blackhawks star forward.
Kane capped the scoring in a big 6-3 Chicago win against the visiting San Jose Sharks Monday by firing a one-timer from the slot past goalie Antero Niittymaki -- which not only got him to the century mark in goals, but also made him the third-fastest in the Original Six franchise's storied history to do it.
Only Jeremy Roenick and Bobby Hull scored 100 in less time with the Hawks than Kane, whom Chicago selected with the first pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
"It's pretty special," Kane said. "It would've been nice to get it in Washington (this past Sunday). My family was there, my three sisters and my mom and dad, but none of them (were here). They were just watching it on TV. But it's nice to get it and get it over with."
Kane also got the puck, courtesy of Hawks captain Jonathan Toews, who retrieved it for him despite Kane forgetting to get the puck after Toews' 100th goal.
"I know he's been thinking about it for a couple of games," Toews said. "I could see him kind of looking over there a little bit, so figured I had to go get it for him."
Before getting the keepsake, however, Kane said his other linemate -- Patrick Sharp -- told him not to sweat it.
"Sharpie was saying on the bench, 'Don't worry about that one,'" Kane said. "He said, 'You'll get a bunch more that are more important than 100,' but it was nice Toews went and got it for me. I don't know what I'm going to do with it. I'm sure somebody in my family would like to have it -- maybe my grandpa or something.”
Not the Hockey Hall of Fame, as somebody asked?
"No, I don't think they're worried about a 100th goal," Kane said. "Hopefully there's bigger ones down the road."
There were plenty of big ones scored Monday beyond Kane's. His most recent career accomplishment became lumped in with a slew of notable achievements by the Hawks -- all of which happened in a season-high, five-goal second period.
Toews scored a goal and assisted on Kane's, which gave him 30 goals and 41 assists for a new career high of 71 points. As expected, Toews heaped the bulk of the post-game praise on his linemates, Sharp and Kane.
The trio has produced about 4 points a game as a line since being put together in early February, and contributed a combined 8 points Monday.
"It's always nice to see improvement in your play and it's one of those things that's easy to measure," Toews said of his milestone. "It's about time to start getting on track that way, but … I wouldn't be able to do it without the help of my two linemates. We've all been playing really well together. The good thing about our line right now is when we get going, we never get satisfied."
Sharp, meanwhile, tied a franchise record with his 4 assists in that second-period outburst. Like Toews, Sharp also set a new career high in points for a season with 68. He also didn't miss a chance to chide Toews and Kane when asked about all those assists.
"I know my strength and that's shooting the puck," Sharp said. "It would be nice if Patrick or Jonathan would mix in an assist one of these days."
Hossa also reached a career achievement by scoring a pair of goals in the second to give him 21 for the season. He now has reached the 20-goal mark in 11 straight seasons; only seven active players have more 20-goal seasons on their career resumes.
Hossa also has 9 goals in the past 11 games.
The main reasons for his hot stretch? Getting his timing back and also getting a shipment of new sticks right around the time he started heating up.
"My right sticks came and it was nice to see them again," Hossa said. "The new ones came about three weeks ago."
That’s also around the time the Blackhawks got hot as a team and used an eight-game winning streak to climb the Western Conference standings. Amid all the accomplishments Monday, Sharp said there only was one that mattered in the short-term.
"You look around the locker room and there's a lot of guys who had big games stats-wise, but this time of year that doesn't really matter," he said. "We're focusing on those two (standings) points and it feels good to get the win."
Author: Brian Hedger | NHL.com Correspondent