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All Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks took part in an NHL tele-conference today.

Q. Just wondering if you had been to any outside rinks to acclimatize yourself for January 1st at Wrigley.

PATRICK KANE:  No, I haven’t seen any rinks around here, but you know, that day, it’s just throw it up in the air what the weather is going to be like.  You don’t really know.  You don’t really know what you want as a player, either.
I guess you want it to be a little cold so the ice is better and all of the ice complications are worked out.  But at the same time, you don’t want it to be too windy where the wind is blowing in your face the whole game.

I’m sure it will be a cold day, but a fun day overall, so looking forward to it.

Q.  Could you speak a little bit about playing on the same line with Troy Brouwer and Patrick Sharp?

PATRICK KANE:  I mean, so far, the chemistry has been pretty good.  Brouwer has been playing great ever since he’s been called up.  You feel good for the kid.  He’s been working real hard to get in the NHL for a while and finally seems like he’s made it so I’m happy with him.

Sharpy, he’s a great goal scorer, always finds ways to get open.  If I have the puck and I think a place is going to be open, he’s usually standing there.  We have a good time shooting together, too.

Q.  Who do you think is the most underappreciated teammate?

PATRICK KANE:  I would probably have to say Patrick Sharp.  With the Blackhawks, you mention names, you always hear about Kane and Toews, Campbell.  Duncan Keith name goes unnoticed.  He is probably one of the biggest underdogs on the team, too.  Sharpy, too.  They never seem to get enough recognition, them two.

It’s a shame they were not on the All-Star ballot.  Duncan made it last year and Sharpy had 36 goals last year and he has 17 already.  He’s a great goal scorer and definitely an All-Star in this league.  Definitely those two guys are underappreciated.

Q.  I wonder, January 1, you’re going to meet Detroit, of course a lot of Swedes, but who would you say is the best Swede that you ever met?

PATRICK KANE:  I played against Bäckström in the World Juniors.  He was unbelievable in the world juniors.  He had the puck the whole game and made so many good plays.  He was really fun to watch, being opponent the other side.

Obviously you know, you watch Sweden and you see guys like Zetterberg, Sundin, Alfredsson, Naslund, them guys, they are all fun to watch.  They are all great players, so skilled and they definitely make the league better.

Q.  You always score a lot of points, but who would you say is the best defenseman in the league, or the hardest, for you?

PATRICK KANE:  For me I would probably is have to say Lidstrom.  I remember a couple of times last year I tried to dump the puck in the zone and he’ll bat it out of the air.  He’s pretty good at that and playing five-on-threes against him is like playing a five-on-four; he’s so good with his stick.  He’s definitely up there.

I think you go down the list, I think Regehr is pretty tough to play against from Calgary.  He always gives me a tough game.

Probably Lidstrom.  Can’t go wrong with that answer I guess.

Q.  Who would you say is the best goaltender in the league right now, and why?

PATRICK KANE:  I don’t know.  I think you look at the Blackhawks, we have some pretty good goaltenders in Khabibulin and Huet.  I think Khabibulin is one of the top five goaltenders in our league and he’s fun to shoot on in practice.  Best goalie I played against in the Blackhawks up there, never seem to get much by him.  He’s pretty good in there.

We are fortunate to have two in Khabibulin and Huet with the Blackhawks.  I think that makes life pretty easy right now in the goaltending situation.

Q.  Prior to the Winter Classic game, Detroit is playing Chicago on the 30th.  How do you think you guys are going to view that game?  Will you use it as a springboard heading into the Winter Classic?

PATRICK KANE:  Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that.  You don’t really know if it’s going to be a totally different game or if players are going to be overlooking that game for the January 1st game.

Every time the Blackhawks and Red Wings meet, it seems to be a great game.  This year it seems to be really high-scoring and real close games.  Both games have gone to a shootout, one was 6-5, another 5-4.

I think the game is going to be perfect for January 1st.  That’s what the fans want to see.  They want to see a lot of goals and a lot of up-tempo, a lot of skill in the game and two fast teams.

So, should be good for the league.  I think the game before will probably be more of the same, high-scoring, and a lot of goals, real fast-paced, just like every other game is.  Every game against the Red Wings is important, especially when we are trying to chase them right now.  We are five points back but we are pretty close, but probably in their rearview mirror, and if we can take those two from them, it’s a big game for us.

Q.  So you think on the 30th, the coaches and team are not going to hold anything back?  They are not going to try to hide anything; right?

PATRICK KANE:  No, I don’t think so.  Every game in the NHL is important.  It’s just like another game.  I think you take it for what it is.  It’s another game in the NHL and trying not to look too much forward to the game January 1.  Both games should be fun.
Like I said, every time you play the Red Wings, it’s usually a fun game.  If you can’t get up to play against the Red Wings, there’s a problem.  Should be a good one.

Q.  What impressed you most about Detroit’s run last year?

PATRICK KANE:  You know what, I think they say you look at teams in the past, the way they win, their best players are their best players in the playoffs.  You look at the Red Wings, it was no different.  Just watching guys like Zetterberg, Datsyuk; they are so fun to watch.  You have a guy like Franzen who is scoring all these goals.  He was fun to watch in the playoffs.

It was fun to see a team with so much skill win where in the past it’s been teams like the Ducks who were kind of real physical and had a couple big lines that dominated down low.

For me as a skill player and a player like that, it’s fun to see a team like the wings win with so much skill and that that can be done in the league.

Q.  How much outdoor hockey did you play growing up?

PATRICK KANE
:  Being from Buffalo, you would think I would play more but I didn’t play that much growing up.  There was a downtown rink that myself and my dad and maybe a couple buddies, we would go to and fool around the rink down there, pass the puck, shoot the puck, things like that.

To be honest with you, the first game, the first organized outdoor game for me will be January 1st. I’ve never played a game outdoors, so coming from Buffalo with the weather there and how cold it is and how much people love hockey, but yeah, that’s going to be my first organized game.

Q.  Brian Campbell, having played in that game last year with Buffalo, what kind of advice did he give you guys about playing on an outdoor rink?

PATRICK KANE:  You know what, I think it’s probably going to be a little frustrating out there.  The ice is going to be a little different.  They are going to have to fix it up a little bit more than you do in a regular game.  The game is going to be longer.  Sometimes you get cold out there and you’ve got to deal with that, too.

I think the biggest thing he said is just enjoy it.  It’s just an unbelievable experience and it’s just such a fun game to play in and be a part of.  I think watching that game last year was pretty much made for TV, but talking to my parents and buddies and things like that, the one thing that they really noticed about the game was no one left the game.  No matter how cold it was, everyone stayed until the final shootout there and I’m sure it will be more of the same this year.

Fans want to see the game and they want to be there for the action.  It’s made for TV and it’s going to be a great experience.  You mention the Winter Classic, you have two original teams in the Red Wings and the Blackhawks and it doesn’t really get much more classic than that.

Q.  You talked about skill winning and how great it was to see Detroit, the way they threw the puck around last year much how much fun is it, A, for you to be on a young team like this, you hinted at it last year but it’s coming to full flower this year, where you guys are absolutely wonderful to watch; and to be part of a renaissance in a town like Chicago, being an old guy, I remember going to the old Chicago stadium and watching hockey games when it really turned on.  Can you talk about those two issues, please?

PATRICK KANE:  I think last year coming in, you’re just so happy to be in the NHL.  Started playing a couple games and you realize the building is empty and you want to do something to try to fill it up.  I think that was important to guys like myself and Jonathan, other players on this team, obviously just to come back and try to fill up the rink.  It’s amazing how quickly it’s happened.  It’s awesome to be a part of.

Like you said, we are a fun team to watch and we score a lot of goals.  We have been high-scoring this year so far, and we’ve got a lot of young players that are going to be good players in this league for a long time.

At the same time, you know, you look at the team, it’s pretty much been a total 180 from where we were at the beginning of last year.  It’s unbelievable.  Obviously the credit goes to the players, the management, Dale Tallon, Denis Savard obviously, Joel Quenneville, John McDonough, Rocky Wirtz, guys like that that have really helped turn us around and just fun to be a Blackhawk read now.  We are getting a lot of press and we are winning games.  Fans are back and we have the Winter Classic.

I think it’s evident that the hockey is back in Chicago that the NHL is going to give us a game like this.  It’s just fun to be a Blackhawk.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+kane, winter+classic

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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