Much has been made about Patrick Kane and Steven Stamkos struggling to score goals in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. As of this writing, only one of those players ended his frustrations in Game 6.
(Again, there’s some time though.)
For the first time in this remarkably tight series, a team managed more than a one-goal lead after Kane scored an emphatic 2-0 tally:
Kane had a great assist on Duncan Keith’s 1-0 goal, too, so it’s been a great game for No. 88. Again, we’ll see if the lead holds.
If the Chicago Blackhawks win the 2015 Stanley Cup, it’s widely believed that Duncan Keith will grab the Conn Smythe.
He greatly improved the odds of both by scoring the first goal of Game 6:
That’s a great individual effort by Keith, although Patrick Kane deserves kudos for a fantastic pass as well. Keith also hit a significant (if specific) milestone, as he became just the fourth skater to log more than 700 minutes of ice time in a single postseason:
Also, his 21st point represents a very nice mark in itself.
We’ll find out soon enough if Chicago can make its 1-0 lead hold.
That goal ended up being the game-winner as Chicago won its third title in six seasons. Note this interesting tidbit:
With one more assist, Duncan Keith would tie Bobby Orr for the fourth highest total for assists in one playoff by an NHL defenseman, which means he’s among elite company.
The 31-year-old Keith has 18 helpers in these playoffs for the Chicago Blackhawks, who find themselves in a 2-2 series tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Stanley Cup.
According to the NHL, there are only four defenseman in league history with more assists in one playoff than Keith. That list includes Paul Coffey (25 in 1985); Al MacInnis (24 in 1989); Brian Leetch (23 in 1994); and Orr (19 in 1972).
With a maximum of three games remaining in this series, it may be too much for Keith to break Coffey’s record, set 30 years ago.
But the post-season Keith — already a two-time Stanley Cup champ and two-time Olympic gold medalist — has put together puts him into the conversation for the Conn Smythe Trophy.
It could be that Keith joins Orr for fourth all-time on the aforementioned list, and perhaps even passes him Saturday when the Blackhawks face the Lightning in Game 5.
Of course, Keith would probably prefer a win for his team.