Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane finalist for Lady Byng Trophy
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org May 16, 2013 9:22PM
At Hawks 4
Red Wings 1
at Hawks, Ch. 5
6:30 p.m. Monday
at Detroit, NBCSN
7 p.m. Thursday
at Detroit, NBCSN
GAME 5 if necessary
TBD May 25
GAME 6 if necessary
TBD May 27
GAME 7 if necessary
TBD May 29
Updated: May 17, 2013 12:14AM
The announcement that Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane is a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy elicited some expected snickers — and some pretty funny tweets — from the NHL’s peanut gallery.
But let the record show that Kane, who is still years away from living down his reputation as a hard-partying wild child, is a more-than-deserving candidate for the on-ice award, which honors sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. If anything, Kane’s candidacy is tacit acknowledgment that his maturation off the ice proved beneficial to his 2012-13 performance.
Kane finished fifth in the NHL in scoring with 55 points, and his eight penalty minutes were fewer than any player among the top 20 in scoring.
‘‘It’s an honor, for sure,’’ Kane said. ‘‘It kind of speaks volumes of where my game has gone since my rookie season [72 points, 52 penalty minutes in 2007-08]. I used to take a lot of penalties that were kind of unnecessary, and I got that out of my game a little bit.’’
Tampa Bay Lightning winger Martin St. Louis (60 points, 14 penalty minutes) and New York Islanders winger Matt Moulson (44 points, four penalty minutes) are the other finalists.
Coach Joel Quenneville denied reports he benched winger Viktor Stalberg after Stalberg complained about his lack of ice time on the power play. Stalberg had one shift on the power play in the Hawks’ first-round playoff series against the Minnesota Wild.
‘‘That story is 100 percent inaccurate,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘Viktor didn’t play. He knows the reasons why. It had nothing to do with anything about our conversation. That situation wasn’t even addressed.’’
Quenneville wouldn’t say whether Stalberg will play in Game 2 against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday at the United Center.
‘‘We’ll see,’’ he said.
‘Long way to go’
The Hawks looked like the better team in Game 1, but they know better than to think that — or at least say that — after their 4-1 victory Wednesday.
‘‘As long as I’ve been a Blackhawk, the Red Wings have been the measuring stick for our team, and that hasn’t changed,’’ captain Jonathan Toews said. ‘‘We’re off to a good start, but we’ve got a long way to go. We know that’s a team that’s never going to give up. We’ve got some momentum, so we’ve got to keep that going in Game 2.’’