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Patrick Kane still ‘happy to play hockey’ despite Blackhawks struggling

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In training camp and the first few weeks of the season, Patrick Kane raved about how happy and healthy the Blackhawks’ collective mood was compared to last season.

That was when the Hawks were winning. Since that 4-2-0 start, they’ve gone 2-8-3 for him, a five-game losing streak, including a horrific meltdown against the Stars on Wednesday.

How is Kane feeling now?

“It’s always good when you win. There’s no doubt about it,” he said Wednesday.

“We’re in the middle of a season with a lot of games right now. I still spend a lot of time with the team, especially when traveling, but we don’t have a lot of fixed days for that. did a lot at the beginning of the season, which is good for the new group and we’re in the middle of it now.”

In other words, he’s not as chipper as he was earlier this fall, but he’s also not as miserable.

He certainly doesn’t look like the guy eager to fly out of Chicago, which is noteworthy with the NHL’s March 3 trade deadline slowly approaching. His no-move clause is still in place and he still keeps all his cards.

“I’m happy to play hockey,” he said. “That is what I want to do.

Kane leads the Hawks with 15 assists against the Stars — Max Domi is second with 14 points and Jonathan Towes is third with 13 — but that’s still relatively low by Kane’s career standards. Indicates a slow start. He is on pace to see him finish with 65 points from his 92 points last season.

He talked about looking for more puck touches and possessions this month. Kane revealed Wednesday that he intends to do so by verbally “claiming” the puck more often and pivoting lower in the neutral and defensive zones to make it easier for teammates to pick up the puck. Did.

He had 10 shooting in the Hawks’ last four games, up from a 1.6 average from Games 5 to 15 (he also had 10 in the first four games of the season). Drought Sunday vs. Penguins.

Coach Luke Richardson said, “I’m sure he’ll feel better on the roll. “He still gets his chances every game — guys like him do — and they’re consistent. Knowing he’s on the board multiple times a game and a week, not just for himself, but for the rest of the team, is breathtaking. It will be easy.”

One of Kane’s positives is that his body has improved a lot this season. He’s battled nagging injuries over the last few years, but it doesn’t seem like much of an issue these days.

As the season progresses, it may eventually help increase the scoring pace.

“Of course I want to be a little more productive, but honestly I feel better this year than I did last year,” he said. “Learning different things [over time] About your body and what is going on and how to maintain it. [With] Little injuries here and there, how to care for them. I am happy with how far my body has come this year. “


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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