Out of the many videos produced to celebrate and honor Patrick Kane’s 1,000th NHL game, the hour-long meditative track the Blackhawks released Monday night of Kane slowly counting to 1,000 as a sleep aid was the most unexpected.
“You’re looking at it at first like ‘What am I doing here? and ‘How’s this going to turn out?’” Kane said Tuesday, chuckling.
Kane could say roughly the same thing about the Hawks’ team performance Tuesday in a 6-1 loss against the Stars.
It was easily one of the Hawks’ worst efforts of the year.
The Stars maintained far more energy and urgency, controlling the game wire-to-wire both on the scoreboard and stat sheet. The Stars led 2-0 and held a 9-2 scoring-chance advantage after the first period, then led 5-1 and held a 26-9 scoring-chance advantage after the second period.
Making the Hawks’ lackluster night all the more perplexing was that coach Jeremy Colliton had warned them their opponent would play exactly the way they did.
“I’m sure [the Stars are] approaching it like this is their chance to pull us back and get within striking distance,” Colliton said after morning skate. “We have to match the desperation they’re going to have.”
Malcolm Subban’s rebound control issues — the main weakness in his otherwise solid play up to this point — were the first to turn south, including an ugly second chance on which Dallas scored its second goal. The goaltender’s mechanics and positioning eventually followed.
The team in front of him was no better. The Hawks regularly missed checks, miscommunicated in coverage, trailed halfheartedly behind the play and even bungled a few line changes. Brandon Hagel, Adam Boqvist and Duncan Keith all made poor plays before the Stars’ first goal, setting the tone.
Even the return of veteran defenseman Calvin de Haan, giving rookie Ian Mitchell a night off to regroup, made no difference.
Kane was robbed by Stars goalie Anton Khudobin late in the second period and finished without a point in about 21 minutes of ice time. He’ll remember the milestone warmly, but the game that accompanied it should leave nothing but a bitter aftertaste.