Kane has practical explanation for clutch backhand


As the Blackhawks dropped their fourth-straight game to start the 2020-21 season in Florida on Tuesday with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Panthers, one of the positives was Patrick Kane continuing to show his offensive brilliance.

The truth is, at 32 Kane continues to score in ways that other elite NHL forwards can't, specifically with his backhand. In Chicago, we've gotten used to the three-time Stanley Cup champ's ability to score off his backhand, taking for granted how difficult it is, especially from the angles Kane makes the shot from.

On Tuesday, the 2016 Hart Trophy winner picked up his second goal of the season when he tied the game 3-3 with under 50 seconds remaining in the second period, going coast to coast and roof with a backhand, something Hawks fans have seen time and time again.

Not only is a backhanded shot more difficult, but where Kane often places the puck there's only a small opening in the corner of the net over the goalie's left shoulder, next to his mask and under the crossbar. 

During a panel moderated by Blackhawks team historian Bob Verdi at the 2019 Blackhawks Convention, Kane shared why he believes he's so clutch with his backhand after Verdi asked him about scoring a notable backhanded goal in Jan. of 2019 against the Calgary Flames from below the goal line, almost an impossible angle to score from.

"The point where I actually learned that shot, I broke my wrist when I was like 10 years old," Kane said at the convention. "They put a cast on me, and my dad's like, 'Alright, we're still going to play with the cast.' I couldn't shoot forehand with the cast on, so I really had to learn how to use my backhand, so that's how I scored a lot of goals. Those next three-four weeks was shooting it with my backhand and picking that top corner. 

"Funny story actually, we go back to the doctor, I get my cast off all excited thinking I can go back out, play hockey and the doctor says, 'Okay, we have to let the wrist heal now with the cast off and you're going to have to take about two-three weeks off.' My dad said, 'Give me the cast back.' So, put the cast on, and I would tape it up before every game for the next couple weeks and just continue working on my backhand."

Kane has two goals and one assist in his first four games of the year. The Blackhawks will play their first home game of the season on Friday at the United Center.

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