Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Kane Is Able

For those of you hoping for two Evander Kane stories in consecutive days, you're out of luck. This is a story about another Kane - Mr. Patrick Kane. Patrick Kane suited up for his first game with Swiss-based EHC Biel Bienne and went out and outscored Evander Kane. Needless to say, the horror of Evander Kane's first few games in the KHL will continue to haunt him. So while it may be Halloween, we're not going to speak about Halloween jerseys or masks or anything. Instead, I do want to show a Patrick Kane highlight.

If the Blackhawks were playing, Kane might look right at home already. Check out the hands, and the sweet lateral move he uses to deke past Zug goaltender Simon Rytz.
Kane's first Swiss-league goal put EHC Biel Bienne up 2-1, and he went out and added an assist in the second period to give him two points in his debut. The only downside? Henrik Zetterberg put up four points in leading EV Zug back from a 3-1 deficit to win the game by a 7-4 score.

So while Evander Kane struggles in the KHL, Patrick Kane is making the game look easy in the Swiss league. Evander Kane has now played nine KHL games and has just a single goal to show for his efforts. Of course, you can add on the 45 PIMs and the -6 rating, and then you just have to wonder if he was worth a $31.5 million extension if he's playing this poorly in the KHL.

Of course, he could break out of this funk he's in and start popping goals like they were going out of style, but he's miles behind the leaders in the KHL scoring race. At this point, Alexander Radulov leads the league with 29 points, and Evgeni Malkin is right on his heels with 27 points. Not too far back is Ilya Kovalchuk with 24 points. Needless to say, the stars of the NHL are hunting down Radulov and his hold on the KHL scoring title.

The Swiss National-A League actually has a ton of NHL players leading their teams in scoring. Geneve Servette has San Jose's Logan Couture leading them with 19 points. Former NHLer Glen Metropolit is leading the Lugano scoring stats with 23 points - not too shabby for a checking centerman in the NHL! Jason Spezza of Rapperswil-Jona and John Tavares of Bern both have 13 points and sit second on their teams in scoring. Tyler Seguin leads Biel with 17 points.

What's scary for hockey fans in North America is what you don't know. EV Zug, who sit tied for seventh in the league of twelve teams, have the most potent line in the circuit. Damien Brunner, a Red Wings signing this past off-season, has 26 points in 15 games, and has been boosted by the arrival of teammate and potential linemate Henrik Zetterberg. Zetterberg has 11 points in 5 games, and he's made another former NHL player look like the player the Oilers thought they were getting: Linus Omark has 25 points in 17 games!

If Zetterberg and Brunner come back to North America with the chemistry they have now, the bad memories of the lockout may be erased quickly in Motown. These two have been lights-out since they were paired together in Zug.

As Patrick Kane found out, no lead is safe when playing against Henrik Zetterberg. It doesn't matter if Kane is with Chicago or in Switzerland, Zetterberg seems to haunt Kane.

One a night like Halloween, you'd have to expect some sort of haunting, right?

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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