Kane a Byng finalist; more Stalberg
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.”
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville remembers benching Kane because he was taking too many penalties.
“I thought Kaner really progressed in his game this year,” Quenneville said. “Offensively he had the puck more than he ever did and had more speed and pace to his game.
“I think each and every year Kaner has gotten better as a player and has grown up as well.”
Previous Hawks to win the Lady Byng Trophy include: Doc Romnes (1936), Max Bentley (1943), Clint Smith (1944), Bill Mosienko (1945), Ken Wharram (1964), Bobby Hull (1965) and Stan Mikita (1967, 1968).
Meanwhile, Quenneville called reports that Viktor Stalberg was benched for Game 1 against Detroit because of a run-in with the coaching staff on the bench in Game 5 of the Minnesota series over his lack of power-play time, 100 percent inaccurate.
“First of all that story is 100 percent inaccurate,” Quenneville said Thursday morning. “Viktor didn’t play and he knows the reasons why. It has nothing to do with anything about our conversation – nothing to do with that at all. It wasn’t even addressed.
“Somebody had to come out. You look at every situation and you’ve got a good argument for a number of guys. I don’t want to get in any arguments, but there were some strong considerations.”
Does Quenneville expect Stalberg to sit out Game 2 on Saturday?
“We’ll see,” the coach said.