Tag: Patrick Kane

Saginaw Spirit v London Knights

Mitch Marner picked a great time to be an undersized prospect


CHICAGO — Mitch Marner is not a big guy. That much was obvious when he walked into the United Center with the rest of the top prospects today.


If you hadn’t guessed, that’s him in the back there.

No wonder the London Knights’ star forward is such a big Patrick Kane fan.

“He’s the guy I’ve always looked up to,” Marner said of Kane, who starred for the Knights before being drafted first overall in 2007.

“He’s a guy that I’ve wanted to image my game after. He’s a special player. What he does away from the puck, what he does with the puck. How he tricks defensemen.

“He can change his speed real fast without defensemen knowing. When he has the puck, defensemen respect him so much, they back up. When they back up into their own zone, that gives Kane the right to do whatever he wants to do with that puck.

“I know, personally, when a defenseman does that to me, it feels a lot better. You have time, you have space. You make the play that you want.”

Though not big, Marner insists he’s not as small as he’s been made out to be. At the combine, he says his measurements came in at “just under” six feet and 160 pounds. And he’s hopeful that he’s still growing. He says his brother, now six-foot-2, didn’t stop growing until he was 22.

Besides, the NHL is different than it used to be. Look at what Kane does for the Blackhawks. Look at Tyler Johnson and Johnny Gaudreau. All undersized, and all starring in a league that once demanded top draft picks be big and strong and able to fight through the obstruction.

“The NHL has changed,” said Marner. “It’s not about height. It’s not about cross-checking as hard as you can. It’s not about hooking. All those get you a penalty nowadays. It’s a speed game now. It’s about thinking. If you have the brain to play in the NHL, no matter how tall you are, you can play. If you can dodge hits, you can play.”

Related: Hanifin feels he has NHL ‘mindset,’ but won’t be ‘mad’ if he goes back to college

Quenneville hints at splitting up Toews-Kane line

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game One

Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville put Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on a line together and it worked out nicely towards the end of the Western Conference Final. However, Tampa Bay has done a much better job of silencing Kane and Toews as they haven’t found the back of the net yet and Kane wasn’t able to get a shot on goal in Game 2.

As a result, it sounds like Quenneville is leaning towards rolling out more balanced lines in Game 3 on Monday.

“They didn’t have the production they did in the last couple games of the Anaheim series,” Quenneville said of the top line during Sunday’s press conference. “Certainly they’ve had some zone time, they’ve had some rush chances. They’ve made them defend. We split them up a little bit in the third, saw how that worked out.

“But, you know, their team defense is aggressive. There’s not a lot of room and time. I think that maybe changing those two guys on different lines will get us a little bit more depth and a little bit more balance, see how they can defend it.”

Quenneville also stated that Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell is healthy and if he is available for Game 3 then that might also bolster their depth. Teuvo Teravainen has impressed his bench boss though, so Quenneville has no shortage of significant decisions to make regarding the roster going into Game 3 on Monday.

WATCH LIVE: Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final – Blackhawks at Lightning

Patrick Kane

For many hockey fans, it’s something of a dream series. Whether you lean toward the proven Chicago Blackhawks or the promising Tampa Bay Lightning, you’re unlikely to lament a lack of speed or skill in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

Really, it feels like puckheads are getting spoiled here. On one side, you have Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and a bevvy of other talented Blackhawks. Few would dismiss the Lightning’s chances, however, as they boast Steven Stamkos, “The Triplets” and Victor Hedman. Ben Bishop vs. Corey Crawford also makes for an intriguing goalie matchup.

The buildup might have been agonizing for some, but the plus side is that the two teams couldn’t be much more rested this deep into the postseason. Game 1 kicks off in Tampa Bay, so you can soak up the electric atmosphere on NBC and also via NBC Sports Live Extra. Coverage before and after the contest takes place on NBCSN, but you can stream also stream that footage via the links below.

Pre-game stream (NBCSN)

Game 1 stream (NBC)

Post-game stream