AROUND THE LEAGUE PLAYOFFS WEEK SIX

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.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • 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.

 

  • madjam, I have not traveled to many NHL cities, but the places I have traveled to all look better than Edmonton. Yes, Edmonton has a nice river valley, but White Ave looks greasy, there is a web of unappealing overhead lines throughout the city, and much of what I’ve seen of it looks dirty and industrial. I’m not saying that Calgary is head-and-shoulders above it, but I do think Calgary looks better, and the other dozen or however many medium/large cities I’ve been to are significantly more aesthetically appealing.

    @TigerUnderGlass:
    Lower taxes, yes. Less violent crime? In 2008 (most recent year I could pull up without much effort) Edmonton had a higher violent crime severity index than Vancouver; Calgary’s is lower, but this discussion is focusing on Edmonton (I pulled Calgary into it partially so Edmontonians wouldn’t see me as just bashing their hometown). Investment opportunities? Again, we’re talking guys who make seven figures; they don’t need to invest. There are certainly some advantages (Calgary being built on the most excellent grid system, which I am in love with, is one of the cleanest cities in the world, etc), but the perceived disadvantages tend to outweigh the advantages.

    And just to clarify my position, I personally love Calgary, and I think Edmonton is alright. But put yourself in an outsider’s shoes – these two cities, probably Edmonton moreso than Calgary, lack a lot of the flashiness that can draw someone to the other areas (again, things like great weather, high culture, abundant good food).

  • Just how valuable are Hall/Seguin ? If Chicago was to offer Toews or Kane for our first pick should we take it ? Would you turn it down ? Maybe not such a bad idea considering Hawks cap situation going into next year .

    Take some of the others some of you have mentioned Hall/Seguin being as good as over the last few drafts . How many of those names would you turn down straight up , if any ?

    I wonder what sorts of offers we are getting from other clubs for Hall/Seguin worth contemplating . What sort of value others put in to obtain our pick is probably a good indicator of their value .

        • You have taken serious offence to a small bit of terminology. I dont understand the reason for your ire. Perhaps what you deem Phenom I would call Prodigy, but either way, you’ve spent a lot of space arguing semantics. Settle down.

          All of Crash’s points are reasonable, and yet you respond with ridicule. You are the only one unable to let go of your single, and completely arbitrary, point.

          I obviously touched a nerve when I suggested that Hall and Seguin are the clear cut best players in the draft. If that ISNT what your panties are in a knot about then I suggest you take a minute and reflect about why you’re wasting so much time.

          • What ire. I don’t take offense, I’m amusing myself. See, no reflection needed. Besides, I’m not wasting that much time, it only takes a minute or two to respond.

            He annoyed me by jumping in with an idiotic reply to what should have been a short conversation about how you define the word phenom.

            Why wouldn’t I agree that they are the best players in the draft? They clearly are. If that is how you define phenom then you have answered my question.

            Now all that being said, you are one of the last people with the right to tell someone not to waste time arguing an arbitrary point, and you certainly know how annoying it is to be told to settle down when all you are doing is arguing with someone.

            In fact, until just now I had considered you one of the few people on here who doesn’t take a simple argument personally. What does arguing have to do with “ire” or “settling down”? It’s just conversation.

            If crash has had enough with the conversation he simply has to either stop or say he doesn’t want to proceed. I’m just having some fun between working on files.

            I apologize if my boredom offended you.

          • I’ll argue Hall vs Seguin to death, or whether Eberle should or should not be in the AHL next year for pages. You were going off over the word ‘Phenom’. I would consider that a pretty big difference.

            I like to argue as well, but each time you were asked to support your stance you turned it back to me. You were bored enough to complain about the word phenom but not enough to give a reason why?

          • I did explain why, but I wasn’t trying to turn anything on you, I really just wanted an explanation of what you though makes a kid going into the draft a “phenom”, because based on how I saw the word typically used I though you were being slightly hyperbolic.

            I think I flat out asked you to define it 2 or 3 times. How does that qualify as turning it on you?

            In other words, I wasn’t arguing the semantics with you, I was asking you your definition specifically to avoid an argument on semantics, but then crash jumped in.

  • You guys are getting all bent out of shape about the term “phenom”. My definition would be something along the lines of “Exceptionally gifted so as to be remarkable.”

    Here’s a somewhat arbitrary list of modern sports phenoms – http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/george-ofman-thats-all-she-wrote/2010/02/post.html

    Hall and Seguin are certainly good, but not in the “phenom” category like Tiger woods or Wayne Gretzky. Anybody who thinks otherwise is spending a bit too much time in front of the ‘puter reading ~legendary~ sites like Hockeybuzz and HF boards.

    But at the end of the day, it depends on how rigid your definition of the word is. I’m not sure if you could present an acceptable criteria for the word that would include either player.

  • Eddie Shore

    blah blah blah blah. Really? All this debate over what each person considers to be a phenom? Who gives a sh*t. Tyler Seguin is better than Taylor Hall(there, that should start a different debate).