Blackhawks' Kane looks to step up his game
The Blackhawks' Patrick Kane is unable to score on Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in Game 1. Kane has on 2 goals in 15 playoff games this year.
LOS ANGELES — Patrick Kane spent time recently with his dad watching tape of every playoff goal he has ever scored.
Kane has only 2 goals in 15 playoff games for the Blackhawks and was mostly invisible in Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Kings at Staples Center in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
"You look at a lot of tape," Kane said Wednesday. "It's cool to watch those things. It gives you a little confidence. You're looking for anything. The way they defend, the way I play.
"I think last night was a big example where our team didn't play that great, but it's a game I can step up and get a big goal or a big pass, whatever may be. That's a game where that I feel I need to do something to help us win."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville admitted he was looking for a little more from his star winger.
"It's tight for the top guys," Quenneville said. "You can go back in all three rounds and the top guys finding a way to score and be productive has been challenging.
"You look at contributing in other ways is something you can maybe hang your hat on. That's what we're looking for, and hopefully there's some production along with it. They're playing against top defense; they get a lot of attention on both sides of the puck."
Kane, not the biggest guy around at 5-feet-11 and 181 pounds, said he needed to find the will to create space for himself.
"I think you can create room in different ways," he said. "I've always been not the biggest guy and I've used different ways to help myself get that space. Whether it's supporting the puck or using your linemates to your advantage or being sneaky and quick, there are certain things to look at to free yourself up.
"It's not all of a sudden that I'm a bad player. It just doesn't happen like that. I'm still a good player in this league and can make plays."
Kane believes it's a combination of what the Kings are doing to stop him and what he's not doing to get open ice.
"You've got to give them credit for the way they played defensively, but at the same time I feel I can do more to score," Kane said. "It's never fun going through a slump.
"As an offensive player you always want to score and be there for your team, especially when that's what you're counted on to do.
"It's a little frustrating, but sometimes you've got to put it in the past and move on and try to play your best in the next game. I just have to have the will to do it and stop thinking maybe this is going to be the game or the next game is going to be the game.
"When it's your job to score goals it's going to affect you mentally," Kane added. "You can ask any player that and they'd be lying to you if they said it's not frustrating.
"You can watch clips of yourself doing good in the past, but for me it's all about willpower and getting the puck and going to do it and have that mindset that you're going to do it."
Quenneville wants to see Kane hound the puck more.
"When he has more speed in his game he seems to have the puck a lot more," Quenneville said. "When he's playing his best hockey he has the puck and he's dangerous with it, be it off the rush or in-zone coming out of our end.
"When he has the puck not many players in the league can do what he does."
"We all want the puck," Kane said. "We all want to make plays, but sometimes you get guilty of waiting for it and standing around a little bit.
"That's where I want to improve — be patient, but when the opportunity is there, go and get it."
•Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.
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