Musick: Kane shoots and scores (for Oilers)
CHICAGO – Patrick Kane’s teammates razzed him during the second intermission Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers.
Congratulations, they told Kane. You’ve got a goal and two assists tonight.
Well, technically, Kane had a goal for the Oilers and two assists for the Blackhawks.
“It’s funny,” Kane said with a smile. “You try to score for your team, you end up putting one in the net for the other team. It’s pretty crazy how that happens.”
It almost never happens.
And it’s safe to laugh at Kane’s bad fortune because the Hawks bounced back for a 5-3 win against the Oilers. The Hawks became the fourth team in the NHL to win 30 games this season as they continue to push for back-to-back championships.
Imagine how good the Hawks could be if they didn’t score the other team’s goals.
Watch enough hockey and you’ll see some fluky own-goals, but none quite like this. From about 200 feet away, by a team on the power play, in the middle of the game.
“You see that maybe once every five years,” Hawks forward Andrew Shaw said.
“That type of thing, it’s really rare to see,” said Hawks forward Marian Hossa, a 16-year veteran. “I’ve been in the league for a long time, and I don’t think I was part of [something like that] until now.”
Here’s how it happened.
The Hawks already were on the man advantage when a referee spotted Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk slash Shaw in front of the net. It was a vicious whack, the kind that screamed “GET OFF MY LAWN!” to the ever-pesky Shaw.
Because the Hawks possessed the puck, the penalty against Dubnyk was delayed, and the Hawks wisely pulled goaltender Antti Raanta for an extra attacker.
After all, what possibly could go wrong? The moment an Oilers player touched the puck, a whistle would stop play, and the Hawks could reinsert Raanta into the game.
Then came The Blunder.
From the right corner behind the Oilers net, Kane reached for the puck and whacked it against the sideboards back toward the blue line.
Theoretically, a Hawks teammate would be standing in that spot.
Theoretically, this was a routine play, not an episode of “Punk’d On Ice.”
But on the frozen surface of reality, no Hawks player was around to corral Kane’s ricochet pass. The prankster puck surely grinned to itself as it scooted first past the blue line, and then past center ice, as it took aim for the net.
Ever so slowly, the puck trickled closer…
From center ice 100 feet away, Hawks defenseman Nick Leddy took a sharp angle and frantically chased after the puck. Leddy doggedly closed the gap, but he ultimately ran out of time and space as the puck crawled across the goal line.
Then came a chorus of 21,424 moans.
Then came the scorekeeper’s task: Operation Rewind. By rule, somebody on the Oilers needed to be credited with the goal.
Congratulations, Boyd Gordon. You were the last Oilers player to touch the puck before Kane accidentally shipped it into his own net. Come on down to collect your prize: your eighth goal of the season and the 47th of your career.
Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith smiled and shook his head at the series of events.
“It’s one of those things,” Keith said. “I don’t know, for whatever reason, it was kind of funny. What can you do about it?”
You can win anyway.
You can laugh about it afterward.
You can razz Kane all season for scoring into the wrong net.
• Northwest Herald sports columnist Tom Musick can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @tcmusick.