The fresh-faced kid who exploded on the Chicago and national sports scenes as a teenager with a quick grin and jaw-dropping hockey skills is 25.

Patrick Kane, who began his Blackhawks career as a precocious 18-year-old, celebrated his 25th birthday doing what he does best and what he most wants to do: play hockey. It wasn't the happiest of games for Kane as he and his teammates lost to the Avalanche 5-1 Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center. Nevertheless, the winger set off on another segment of his life that he can only hope will rival the first one.

"It feels like (25 is) a landmark and you almost start another part of your life right now," Kane said before the Hawks' opened their seven-game trip. "Twenty-five. And then you think of what can happen in the next 25 years of your life and what you can accomplish there.

"I'm just happy to be here right now. It's exciting to be part of this team. I still feel like I'm pretty young. It seems like these years are going by faster and faster. It's pretty crazy to say I'm 25 now."

It's pretty crazy to envision what Kane can do as he enters the prime of his career already having captured two Stanley Cups, Calder and Conn Smythe trophies as rookie of the year and postseason MVP, respectively, and an Olympic silver medal. After having accomplished so much in the first quarter-century of his life, what will the next quarter bring?

"Who knows? You always hope things can get better," Kane said. "We have a great group here that you can accomplish some things with. You start looking ahead to what you can do in the future but the best way to do that is to just kind of live in the now and live in the age of being 25 and enjoy it and have fun with the road ahead."