As the Stanley Cup Finals wind down, I wonder if Patrick Kane is the most under-rated player in the NHL; or at least from the Canadian media and fans. Jonathon Toews gets more accolades than Kane, and despite his 22 points, to Toews 27; Kane hasn’t been mentioned as even a possibility for the Conn Smyth.
Why I wonder?
Toews is clearly a better ambassador off the ice.
He hasn’t been involved in any dust ups with taxi drivers, doesn’t have a cool nickname like 20 cent, and he wasn’t shirtless in a limo with young Vancouver ladies. The only flak Kane should have received over the limo pics was his choice of companions. Who cares if a 21-year-old male is partying in a limo with girls?
But if you focus on his on-ice play it is hard to overlook what he has accomplished.
In his first three seasons he has 76 goals and 230 points in 244 games. Toews has 83 goals, 191 points in 222 games. Toews is the captain and one hell of a leader, and has shown an ability to step up his game in the playoffs and Olympics.
But so has Kane.
Toews has 40 career playoff points to Kane’s 36. It’s not a comparison between who is better, (I’d take Toews’ overall game) because their games are different, but I sense Kane doesn’t get the respect his game deserves. He might be the best player in the game at controlling the play high in the offensive zone. He has the ability to circle between the top of the circles and the blueline and make teams look lost. He has great vision, and for my money is one of the best passers in the game.
I also like his flair/cockiness. He makes the game fun. Some have laughed at his playoff Mullet, but it doesn’t faze him. And you can’t discount his ability to produce in the clutch. Kane needs one chance and he can finish. If Patrick Kane was Canadian would he be talked about more?
ICE WOMEN OF THE WEEK
The playoffs could be over by next Thursday, so let’s honour the entire BlackHawks Ice Crew. With such a wide array of beauties it is hard to pick a favourite, but, for me, something about Yanina separates her from the rest of the crew.
- Can anyone tell me who picked up the puck after game one of the Penguins/Red Wings series last year? Didn’t think so, because we shouldn’t care. Not sure why The Human Rake’s decision to pick up the puck annoyed so many people. That’s why he did it. To piss people off. Rake 1- hockey people 0.
- If you are planning on going to the NHL draft in LA you can get tickets starting Saturday. Here’s a blurb from the Kings website. “Tickets for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft will be available to the general public beginning this Saturday, June 5, at 10 a.m.~ A limited number of tickets, which are free of charge, can be downloaded and printed (note a service charge of $1.25 per ticket will be charged) by visiting LAKings.com/nhldraft.~ Ticket limit is 4 (four) and each ticket is good for both days.”
- The Hawks haven’t missed Andrew Ladd that much in the finals. He is an RFA this summer, and with his size should make him attractive trade bait if Stan Bowman elects to move him.
- How much will RFA D-man, Niklas Hjarlmarsson be worth this summer? The 22-year-old Swede has been very solid for the Hawks. What Bowman does with his backend this summer will be intriguing to watch. Brian Campbell has played the 5th most minutes in the Cup final out of the blueliners, but his contract makes him untradeable I’d think.
- Would Darryl Sutter buy-out the final two years of Ales Kotalik’s contract? They could buy him out for $4 million and split that up over four years.
- Why doesn’t baseball have instant replay? Detroit pitcher, Armando Galarraga was robbed of a perfect game last night when first-base umpire, Jim Joyce ruled Jason Donald safe at first. Replays clearly showed Donald was safe. Commissioner Bud Selig should wake up and allow teams to one or two challenge flags every game. I do credit Joyce for admitting after the game he screwed up, and Galarraga was incredibly classy after the game. He did get a surprise gift today though for his efforts.
- Kelly Buchberger and Wayne Fleming have yet to receive contract extensions. Their contracts are up June 30th, so we could see some changes behind the bench this summer. No position in the organization is safe at this point, and that’s how it should be when you’ve missed the playoffs four years consecutively.