Between the Circles
Patrick Kane on Thursday was announced as one of the three finalists for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy given to the player who has exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.
Kane was named along with Matt Moulson of the Islanders and Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay.
Kane ranked fifth in the NHL with 55 points while generating only 8 penalty minutes – the lowest total among the league’s top 20 scorers.
“Anytime you’re up for an award it’s exciting,” Kane said. “I thought maybe I had a chance for this one. It kind of speaks volumes of where my game has gone since my rookie season. I remember I used to take a lot of penalties that were kind of unnecessary. I kind of got that out of my game.”
After getting snubbed in voting for the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player, Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews on Wednesday was named one of the three finalists for the Selke Trophy, which goes to the league’s top defensive forward.
Toews was voted one of the three finalists by the Professional Hockey Writers Association along with Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron.
“It’s a good feeling for sure,” Toews said. “For a while it was Kaner (Patrick Kane) and I being mentioned in the Hart conversation and I don’t think you get to the point without great teammates and a great team behind you, and the same goes for this.
The Blackhawks will play the Detroit Red Wings in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, sending their long-time rivalry out with a bang.
Seventh-seeded Detroit advanced with a 3-2 win over No. 2 seed Anaheim on Sunday night in Game 7 of that first-round series.
This will be the first playoff meeting between the Hawks and Red Wings since the 2009 Western Conference finals.
The best-of-seven series will start Wednesday night at the United Center with Game 2 on Saturday night. Games 3 and 4 are tentatively set for Monday and Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings are leaving the Western Conference next season for the East.
Apparently Jonathan Toews’ monster season wasn’t good enough for some media voters.
Toews was not among the three finalists announced Friday for the Hart Trophy, which is awarded to the NHL’s most valuable player.
Instead, Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby, Washington right wing Alex Ovechkin and Islanders center John Tavares got the majority of votes from members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Although he missed the final 12 games of the regular season due to a broken jaw, Crosby still finished fourth in scoring with 56 points. He was plus-26.
Dave Bolland was to miss his fifth straight playoff game Thursday with a groin injury, but the veteran center vowed to be ready for the second round if the Blackhawks advance.
“For sure, I’m working at it to make sure it gets better,” Bolland said.
Bolland said there was a 50-50 chance he would play Thursday if the series with Minnesota wasn’t 3-1 for the Hawks.
“It eats at you a lot, it’s pretty painful, actually,” Bolland said of watching. “It’s not fun being out and spending all your time in the training room and workout room while the other guys are on the ice playing.”
Duncan Keith is the proud father of a baby boy.
The Blackhawks defenseman flew back to Chicago on Monday night for the birth and was expected to return in time to play in Game 4 on Tuesday.
It’s the first child for Keith and his wife, Kelly Rae.
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said it was a no-brainer to allow Keith to leave the team to attend the birth.
“It’s a good day for the Keiths,” Quenneville said. “It sounds like everything went well and we’re happy by the whole situation. We’re encouraged that he’ll be here today. It’s good news all the way around.
“I think family comes first in a situation like that. We’d want him to be there for his first child born. It was an easy decision. I’m very happy he was there in time and it all worked out.”
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Blackhawks rookie left winger Brandon Saad on Monday was named a finalist for the Calder Trophy, which goes annually to the NHL’s top rookie.
Saad, Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher and Florida forward Jonathan Huberdeau were named the three finalists. The award winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup Finals.
The 20-year-old Saad had 27 points on 10 goals and 17 assists in 46 games playing on the first line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.
He led all rookies in plus-minus (plus-17), ranked third in assists and was fifth in points. He shared fifth in goals.
It’s the third time in the last six years that a member of the Hawks has been nominated for the award. Toews and Patrick Kane were finalists in 2007-08 and Kris Versteeg in 2008-09.
Niklas Backstrom took part in the morning skate for the Minnesota Wild on Friday, but it will be Josh Harding starting Game 2.
How does that affect the Blackhawks' scouting report?
"One's a righty and one's a lefty," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said jokingly. “That’s the differential. They’re both capable and have played meaningful games.”
Harding, who catches with his right hand, made 35 saves in Game 1 after learning only minutes before faceoff that he would start because Backstrom had been injured in warmup.
“For him there were a lot of positives to take out of the game,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “I think as much as anything else it’s the confidence of going out and playing well in a game like that. It’s not like he hasn’t played good hockey before.
Center Dave Bolland and goalie Ray Emery, both of whom have been battling groin injuries, are expected to travel to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4.
Emery skated before practice on Thursday but Bolland did not.
"We're going to rule them out for (Game 2)," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Ray was out there today and Bolly didn't skate, but he's getting real close. Ray felt good so there was good progress. They're likely coming (to Minnesota)."
There are no lineup changes expected for the Hawks for Friday's Game 2 at the United Center.
Patrick Kane’s playoff mullet is back.
And he persuaded Blackhawks rookie teammate Brandon Saad to get one too.
“We got them yesterday,” Kane said. “It was one of those things I didn’t know if I was going to do, but I think when push came to shove it was kind of something fun to do for playoffs. I think a lot of my friends and people around the organization wanted me to do it for the playoffs. It’s something fun to do.”
Kane and Saad each have the razor cuts on the side.
“Saad’s is looking good too,” Kane said. “Hopefully we’ll have some time to let it grow.”
Saad said he had a mullet a couple years ago in juniors for the playoffs.