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Is Toews, Kane the best big-game duo in hockey?

May 14, 2014, 9:48 AM EDT

Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews AP

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews aren’t the only talented young duo in the NHL, but more than any other recent pair, they get results when it matters most. The two have combined for seven of Chicago’s eight game-winning goals so far in the 2014 postseason.

In other words, they combined for as many game-winners as Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby had total playoff goals in 2014. You can make the same comparison with Anaheim’s Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf as that duo has also scored a combined seven markers.

After Toews picked up the winner in Game 5 of Chicago’s second round series against Minnesota, he “kind of winked at me tonight and said maybe that was my time,” Kane said, according to ESPN Chicago. Given what’s happened so far, he probably wasn’t shocked that his words proved to be prophetic, but Kane likely exceeded even his expectations with his series-clinching overtime winner last night:

That was Kane’s fourth career overtime goal in the playoffs. He’s just 25 years old and yet only three players in the history of the NHL have ever netted more postseason overtime winners than him, per the Elias Sports Bureau. They are a trio of Hall of Famers in Glenn Anderson (five), Maurice Richard (six), and Joe Sakic (eight). Those three also have 16 Stanley Cup championships between them.

Kane and Toews are gunning for their third championship. If they succeed, a byproduct of that will be potentially ending the tie between the two in the Conn Smythe Trophy race. Only five players (Patrick Roy, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, and Bernie Parent) have ever won the award twice.

There’s still a lot of hockey left to play and all of the five other teams remaining are all more than capable of winning it all. But right now, Kane and Toews are both looking like serious contenders to join that exclusive list of multiple Conn Smythe winners. They just need to maintain what they’ve been doing throughout their career.

  1. no - May 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM


    • joey4id - May 14, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      no, yes? You sure about that?

      • gnashty - May 14, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        I just lol’d

    • purpleguy - May 14, 2014 at 11:16 AM

      As a Wild fan, all I have to say about this is GAAHHHHHH!!

  2. snipedanglecelly13 - May 14, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Chicago has a trio…Kane, toews, and hossa

    • pudgalvin - May 14, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      Man, Hossa is so underrated. He’s taken some heat in the past for not being great in the playoffs, but to me, this looks like the healthiest he’s been in the postseason in years. He just has a giddyup to his step right now. I thought he played a huge part last night in sort of getting Chicago out of that funk when it looked like they were on the penalty kill for about 25 straight minutes. He’s just so good at possesing the puck in the zone and creating movement for the Hawks.

      • ineedmorehossa - May 14, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        I need more Hossa

      • tone360 - May 14, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        Get this guy More Hossa. H.O.F? I THINK SO.

      • chicagobtech - May 14, 2014 at 1:39 PM

        We all do, buddy. We all do.

    • 2difshoe - May 14, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Agree…three players not 1 team would ever want to see on the in ice at home or on the road in an a elimination game in OT !

  3. earpaniac - May 14, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    Kinda scary than Hossa might be the Hawks 3rd best forward, and maybe 4th best player if you include Keith.

    • stepanup - May 14, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      Or that Sharp is their 6th (putting Seabrook at 5)

      • hawksfan30 - May 14, 2014 at 11:34 PM

        I’d put Hjalmarsson ahead of Seabrook. He’s not as physical, but he doesn’t make as many mistakes. The guy just shuts things down.

  4. earpaniac - May 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM

    Good point.

  5. jpat2424 - May 14, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Most def

  6. live4hockey - May 14, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Someone asked me the other day how I would feel if a trade of Malkin&Crosby for Toews&Kane happened. As a Pens fan, I would think I might be okay if that went down. That’s a tough one…I bet not a single Blackhawk fan would like that though. At least I wouldn’t have to deal with Crosby’s behavior on the ice. Can’t stand that about him. Why the hell the Pens drafted Jordan Staal over Toews and Backstrom, I’ll never understand. Hated the pick then, hate it more now. Oh well…

    • steelpenbucs87 - May 14, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      Well let’s remember that even if they had drafted Toews they likely still don’t have him now – the salary demands would have been the same if not bigger. Also seeing as whoever they picked would still be a 3rd line center, I would rather have either of them than Backstrom.

      I love Kane and Toews, and to answer the question the article is asking, “yes” they are the best big game duo in the NHL today (with apologies to baldy and the dick out in Anaheim), but I don’t think I would make a trade straight up for the two of them. I still believe Crosby is the best player in that deal, and more importantly I like that they are both natural Centers. I think the best teams are built strong up the middle, so if all else is equal I would still want Malkin and Crosby.

      • pudgalvin - May 14, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Yeah, as great as Kane is, he’s still a reasonably one dimensional player. That one dimension is freaking great, but if you had to pick between an excellent two way center and an excellent wing scorer, you go with the center. I put Crosby and Toews at about a wash, Crosby is more skilled, Toews is probably a little ahead in his all around game. That’s taking the situation completely in a vacuum though, obviously there’s a lot more that goes into it.

      • chicagobtech - May 14, 2014 at 1:41 PM

        pudgalvin, I’m not sure if Kane is as one dimensional as he was in years past. During the lockout he spent time in Europe, worked hard on his two-way game. He’s nowhere near the top in the League in that regard, but he is much better than he was in years past.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 14, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      The draft is a total crapshoot. Only in hindsight does brilliance become evident. 1969: NHL teams with brilliant scouts and GMs took Don Tannahill, Frank Spring, Bob Currier, Tony Featherstone, Ernie Moser, Dennis O’Brien, Rick Kessell and Dale Hoganson ahead of the 17th pick, Bobby Clarke. And the 51st pick was Butch Goring, future Byng, Masterton and Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

  7. McFaddensPulledHammy - May 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM


  8. credible316 - May 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    For sale:

    framed autographed 3′ x 4′ picture of Patrick Kane raising the cup in 2010.
    I received it as a gift, took it down at the start of the series and can’t even look at it now.

    • tone360 - May 14, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      I’LL TAKE IT!!! How much?

  9. jaybaileys - May 14, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    I don’t think there is any doubt about it, they are the best right now.

  10. girouxsalem89 - May 14, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Toews may not be the better offensively gifted player, but my god hes 10x the Captain and Leader that Crosby will ever be.

  11. thesportsjudge - May 14, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    It is not close, they are hands down the best big game duo in hockey today.

  12. getadealdonealready - May 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Not sure how this fits into the argument, but they don’t get that chance if Crawford wasn’t magnificent last night. I felt that the Wild dominated the game in almost every aspect, except finding a way to get pucks past CC.

    • comeonnowguys - May 14, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      I agree that the Wild owned most of the game, from 8 minutes in until perhaps the last 5. Not even close. Sloppy play by the Hawk’s backend, nothing-to-lose Minnesota on their end.

      However, from that point on–save for the first 2 of overtime–the Hawks turned it around and were dictating the game.

      It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Just ask Liverpool in their penultimate game that all but cost them the title.

  13. wjarvis - May 14, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    I’m a huge Hawks fan, and don’t think I’d trade Toews and Kane for the other great duo’s in the league, but I’m still not sure they’re actually the best. When compared to Crosby/Malkin, or Getzlaf/Perry, it’s hard to actually just compare individuals in a vacuum for big games. Hawks have the edge in goal with Crawford, have the best defenseman in Keith and probably also have the best top 4 on defense. In general I guess what I’m saying is that because of the rest of the talent on the Hawks, Toews and Kane have more chances to play in big games, and of course they capitalize in them.

    I’m still not sure that I’d give Toews or Kane the Conn Smythe over Crawford though at this point.

  14. comeonnowguys - May 14, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    If I’m starting a team, Toews is my #1 choice. I think Kane has actually improved his backchecking and defense (which is what made his lapses this series even more frustrating to watch).

    Of course I’m biased, but yes.

    The fact that Marian Hossa mentioned third most times tells you all you need to know.

    • cfos00 - May 14, 2014 at 12:47 PM

      That’s a huge point most people miss with Kane because he did loaf on defense when he was younger and isn’t a hitter. Over the past two seasons, he has gotten much, much better about coming back, and is great at picking people’s pockets or at least making them work to hold the puck.

      The funny thing is I would actually put Playoff Bickell into the top 4 forwards right now on the Hawks too. He’s so much better than Regular Season Bickell. He’s been a beast again in the postseason.

  15. steelcity333 - May 14, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    As a Penguins fan after the last couple of years Crosby and Malkin are clearly out of the running for this, so yes these two are easily the best big game duo in the league. It’s not even close.

  16. djshnooks - May 14, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    As a Sabres fan…you ask me who I want?

    It’s Kane-Toews in a heartbeat and I don’t even have to think about it twice.

    That’s exactly who I want Tim Murray to build the Sabres like…which is why I truly believe Patty Kane comes home next summer to join two top draft picks and a lot of young talent, maybe Callahan.

    The thing that sucks? Ted Black being from Pittsburgh, wanting to build like them.

    I’ve never disliked an athlete like I do Sidney Crosby (besides Lebron)…I think he’s a self-entitled cry-baby, and overrated.

    Patrick Kane is the best player in the NHL.

    • nelkow - May 14, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Damn. I accidentally disliked that lol my apologies. I approve of what you’re saying

    • edmonddantes21 - May 14, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      Sorry buddy kaner isn’t leaving chi-town. You can dream though. But the hawks are also 14-0 in games 5 and 6 in series that are tied at 2 since Kane and Teows have joined the team. Yes they are the best duo but they are also incredibly clutch. They are entering MJ 23 clutch territory if they keep it up.

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