Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Patrick Kane: a first period to build on

Patrick Kane had a phenomenal first period in game 3; particularly the last 12 minutes of that frame. Kane's first period saw him produce only 2 failed puck-possession events, while completing 24 successful events. His EVEN-STRENGTH ratio of 8.00 successful plays for every 1 failed play was well above the 1.95 average ratio produced by NHL wingers.





Kane's ratio dropped to 4 successful plays for every 1 failed play during the second period. His event total also fell from 26 to only 10. In the third period, Kane's ratio fell to 3, but his event total increased to 32. It's important to note that Kane had 11 shifts in both the first and third periods, but only 7 in the second. Breaking his event totals down by even-strength ice-time, Kane averaged 4.67 events per-minute played in the first period, only 2.23 per-minute in the second, and 3.9 in the third.

Kane's his most helpful to the Blackhawks when he's driving possession up-ice. Events used in calculating a player's ability to drive possession include defensive-zone outlet passes, stretch passes, controlled exits, redline carries, neutral-zone east/west passes, neutral-zone north-bound passes, and controlled entries.

In the first period of game 3 Kane contributed 10 possession-driving plays. That total fell to only 3 in the second, but increased to 11 in the third.





If we break Kane's possession-driving plays down by games in this series, he had 27 in game 1, 22 in game 2, and 24 in game 3.

Four of those game 3 possession-driving plays in the first period of game 3 were line-carries, with only 1 controlled entry. He had no line-carries in the second period, while producing 7 line-carries in the third. This tells us that 40% of his possession-driving plays in period 1 were produced with his feet (line-carries), while 70% were produced with his feet in period 3. Line-carries however, are not the most efficient way to drive possession; passing would be the most efficient and productive way to drive possession.

Kane contributed only 2 controlled entries during the entire third game of the series, with both of those entries producing a shot attempt. All told, Kane had five even-strength shot-attempts in the game; Three in the first, none in the second and 2 in the third.

Kane also has the ability to beat players 1 on 1. He was successful with each of his 4 attempts to beat opposition players 1on1 (deke) in game 3. All four were in open ice, but only 2 occurred in the offensive-zone. Not surprisingly, the two offensive-zone dekes were in the first period.

As I mentioned in this post, Chicago had struggled getting pucks to the slot in this series. Going into game 3 Kane had been responsible for 2 of the Blackhawks 4 successful passes to the slot. Game 3 saw the Hawks increase that total to 13, as they were successful with 9 passes to the slot in that game; 7 of which occurred in the third period alone. Kane however, wasn't among the players with a successful pass to the slot in game 3.

CHICAGO PASSES TO THE SLOT IN GAME 3 (green=successful/red=failed)

For Kane to help the Blackhawks produce offense, he generally needs to have possession of the puck in the offensive-zone. For number 88 to have possession of the puck in the offensive-zone, he either has to produce more controlled entries, recover more loose-pucks or rely on his linemates to get him the puck. Kane had 5 offensive-zone loose-puck recoveries in game 3, matching his game 2 total. As previously mentioned, he produced only 2 controlled entries in game 1, with 5 in game 2. Game 1 saw him produce 9 offensive-zone LPR's, with 7 controlled entries.

If Kane can recreate his first period performance in game 3 for a substantial length of time in game 4, the Hawks' chances of evening up this series will improve dramatically.