Patrick Kane, welcome to the Hart Trophy race

Patrick Kane, welcome to the Hart Trophy race

Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks currently has what they call the hotness: 11 points in his last seven games, including two goals and assist in a 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.

Hey, would you look at that: Kane sits second in the NHL in points at 56 (in 49 games), having closed the gap with Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers (58 points in 50 games).

Kane is having his best offensive season, save for the 48-game post-lockout campaign. He’s scoring at a 1.14 points per game clip, and a 0.51 goals per game average. He leads the Blackhawks in points by 14 over Jonathan Toews (42) and in goals by 10 (Toews and Brandon Saad both have 15). He’s also skating at a plus-13, and has just two penalty minutes (for all you Lady Byng watchers).

Most of all, however, the Blackhawks are entrenched in the playoffs, which gives Kane an advantage over many of the other Art Ross candidates: Voracek, Tyler Seguin (53) and Claude Giroux (52) could all finish out of the playoffs, which kills their candidacy. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, meanwhile, share the wealth for voters.

If there's a counter-argument to be made here, it's the fact that Kane's doing all of this while the Toews line sees much tougher competition. Although that has something to do with Toews being both one of the best offensive centers and shutdown centers in the game. He's also not exactly been a possession driver; luckily, the Hart is the glamor stats beauty pageant and the Selke's for fancy stats.

Kane has an opportunity here to become the top skater up for the Hart, along with Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators on the goalie front.

More to the point, he has an opportunity to do something no American has ever done, which is win the Hart Trophy.

OK, Brett Hull had the dual citizenship thing in 1990-91 when he won the Hart, but Kane would be the first solely American player to win it since they started handing out the hardware in 1923.

And if you don’t think that means something to Kane, then you don’t know Kane.