Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks are in Nashville on Thursday night, where he’ll have a chance to extend his point scoring streak to 23 games.
He owns the franchise record and the record for American-born NHL players. He remains rather far from breaking the all-time League record set by Wayne Gretzky (who else?) in 1983-84 at 51 games with the Edmonton Oilers.
Given the rigors of the season and the vast improvements in defense and goaltending in the last 30 years, no one really thinks he’s going to break that record.
Well, almost no one. There’s one guy that does: Wayne Gretzky.
"He can get there, absolutely," Gretzky told Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune. "What does it take to get there? It's a combination of things. First of all, you have to be good and you have to get a little bit lucky. I was a little bit lucky during the streak, whether it was a (secondary) assist late in the game or an empty-net point. You have to stay healthy and you have to be surrounded by really good teammates. He has all the intangibles he needs."
Kane’s had some of that “little bit lucky” going for him in the last two games of the streak, with an empty-net assist against the Winnipeg Jets and an empty net goal against the Preds.
Gretzky said that the Blackhawks are going to be as responsible as Kane, in some ways, in keeping the streak alive.
"Even though it's an individual record it becomes a team-oriented record when the players start thinking about it and trying to be part of it,” he told the Tribune. "There are going to be scenarios and situations probably when (Kane) might not have been on the ice in the past and Joel [Quenneville] is going to give him that opportunity as [Glen] Sather gave to me. You have to run with it and so far he has."
So there you go: Wayne Gretzky is totally cool with Patrick Kane breaking one of his NHL records, which is something you might expect to hear from someone that still owns 60 of them despite retiring 16 years ago.
“Records are made to be broken. I'm going to watch him and if he breaks the record I'll be the first guy to shake his hand,” he said.
Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.