Chicago Blackhawk Patrick Kane is in the midst of a very impressive scoring streak that, as of this writing, has reached 23 games. In an era when goals and assists are difficult to come by, how is it that players like Kane find their way onto the score sheet every night?
Here are 5 keys that hockey players can take from this future Hall of Famer's historic scoring streak:
Anticipation. This is an intangible that can't really be taught, but sooner or later the good players develop the anticipation needed to know where to be on the ice, and when to be there at the right time. Players with great anticipation see the play before it happens and go to where the puck is going to be, rather than where the puck is.
Team Player. December 6 against the Jets, the Blackhawks were trying especially hard to get Kane a point so he could set the franchise record for a point in consecutive games (breaking Bobby Hull’s record). Great players have a good supporting cast, recognize this, and earn the respect of their teammates by being a great team player. On this night Kane’s teammates made sure he had every opportunity to break the record, and he did.
Knack For The Net. Kane quite simply has an uncanny ability to find the back of the net, and to also set up his linemates to bury the puck. Not only can he shoot with accuracy, but he passes with precision and the combination around the net is lethal for opposing goalies.
Speed. The great players have another gear that the shift into when then need it. Kane is no different and several of his points on the scoring streak have been a direct result of having that extra gear that enables him to split the defense of simply win the race to the puck.
Stickhandling. We've seen the videos of Kane putting on his stickhandling clinics. The only way to develop the skill of stickhandling and the hand-eye coordination needed to dangle like he can is to practice, practice, practice. And then when you are tired of practicing, practice some more.
The all-time record for the consecutive point scoring streak 51 by, who else, Wayne Gretzky. Will Kane get there? Probably not, but it sure is a lot of fun witnessing his climb up history’s ladder and learning from his amazing hockey skills every game!