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updated: 2/19/2013 11:33 PM

Kane hitting all the high notes for Hawks

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  • The Hawks tied an NHL record Tuesday night and Patrick Kane again played a prominent role, like a country singer captivating his audience.

      The Hawks tied an NHL record Tuesday night and Patrick Kane again played a prominent role, like a country singer captivating his audience.
    Associated Press

 
 

Kaner! Kaner! Kaner!

There's no cheering in the press box, but Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane has been making it awfully tempting.

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Kane is like an unpredictable music concert waiting to happen every shift on the ice. You just never know what the show might offer next.

The Hawks remain without a regulation loss after 16 games and Friday night can set the NHL record for the start of a season.

Meanwhile, Kane remains one of the NHL's scoring leaders, and he played a prominent role again in Tuesday night's 4-3 shootout victory over Vancouver.

Kane has been all over the ice nearly all of the time all season and this game was no exception.

How about that subtle little pass to set up Patrick Sharp's goal?

How about Kane forcing a Vancouver penalty in front of the Canucks' net and Marian Hoss scoring on the ensuing power play?

Finally, how about Kane slipping the puck through Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider to give the Hawks a lead in the shootout?

Despite all those highlights, the one that really made the 21,423 fans rise from their United Center seats didn't amount to anything but gasps.

Kane took the puck down the right side and the anticipation in the building was thick until the Canucks interrupted the charge.

Still, that's how Kane has been playing since the delayed season began. When he's focused like this, he's more than one of the league's best players … he's one of the most entertaining.

This came to mind while switching back and forth from the Grammys to the Hawks game at Nashville on Feb. 10.

Kane capped a victory with a goal from an improbable angle, and I was thinking that he's like a musician who commands the stage with showmanship.

The puck is on Kane's stick and the audience in his hand. He's one of those performers you can't take your eyes off when he's maneuvering around the ice.

So what musical genre would Kane be in? I'm thinking country crazy, not only for his lyrical style on the ice but that occasional honky-tonk streak off it.

Jonathan Toews, still the Hawks' best player, is like Justin Timberlake doing his thing at the Grammys in a tuxedo.

Kane is more like Tim McGraw in a cowboy hat and periodically a black one at that.

Through one-third of this shortened schedule, Kane has been spectacular enough to forgive, if not forget, his previous social transgressions.

As the cover of a Blackhawks Magazine said below a photo of Kane, "More to Prove," meaning inside and outside the rink.

The best part of Kane so far isn't his scoring; it's his apparent growing maturity on and off the ice.

Patrick Kane has been all hockey lately, and that is enough to mesmerize the sport like Toby Keith singing about the good ol' U.S. of A.

With Derrick Rose still rehabbing a knee, it's difficult to imagine a current Chicago athlete as electric at what he does as Kane is at what he does.

Every time Kane has the puck -- especially charging up ice or cruising in the offensive zone -- there's no telling what will happen.

Kane might sneak a shot past the goalie. He might set up a linemate with an uncanny pass. Or he might just play keep away with the puck.

Oh, what the heck. The press box is almost empty and the crowd has cleared out of the UC.

"Kaner! Kaner! Kaner!"

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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