There are no subjects off limits during the Stanley Cup Final, not even Patrick Kane’s reputation as a guy who loves a good party.
“I think he’s always been a little bit misunderstood in some ways,” said Blackhawks teammate Duncan Keith. “Every guy likes to go out and have fun, especially when you’re a young guy.
“He’s no different. Sometimes it just kind of got caught on camera, pictures, things like that. Maybe one incident sticks out in people’s heads.”
That would be the taxi driver altercation in Buffalo.
“To me, he’s always been a good guy, a good teammate,” Keith said. “I think now he’s got a girlfriend. You can tell he’s 24, turning 25; he’s not 18 or 19 anymore.
“It’s kind of fun seeing him and (Jonathan) Toews get a little bit older, have girlfriends. They’re starting to stay in on a Friday night, watch a movie instead.”
All right, maybe Keith is taking it a little too far there, but Kane has been more focused on hockey this season.
“I think a lot of us that were here in 2010, we consider we’re better players now,” Kane said. “Myself, I feel that I’m a well-rounded player, got a lot better defensively and without the puck as time has gone on.
“I feel like I’m more focused about hockey now. I’m a player that wants the puck, and I’m a better player when I have it. I think whether it was teammates, coaches, coaches from the past, my parents, just saying that, you’ve got to want the puck.”
Hjalmarsson makes cut:
The orientation-camp roster is out for the Swedish national team for the Sochi Olympics in 2014, and Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson is on it.
“I think it was 35 players, something like that,” Hjalmarsson said. “It’s obviously fun to see that they’re at least thinking about you, but I know we have a lot of special defensemen in this league right now. I don’t think Sweden ever had this many top defensemen in the league.”
But how many have won two Stanley Cups, which is what Hjalmarsson would have if the Hawks win this series?
“It’s going to be tough to get a spot there, that’s for sure,” he said.
Bruins first-line winger Nathan Horton was able to play Saturday after leaving Game 1 with a shoulder injury.
“I’m going to be ready,” Horton said after the morning skate. “I think I’m in, ready to go. I’m not in any pain. I feel good.”
The Hawks were ready either way for Horton or Tyler Seguin, who would have moved up to the top line.
“Horton is a big part of that top line, but they have a lot of depth,” Patrick Kane said. “Look at the pass he made to (Milan) Lucic on their first goal the other night, where he just kind of touched it back to him. Most players can’t make that play.”
Horton was expecting to be targeted by the Hawks.
“It’s the playoffs and everyone’s playing physical,” he said. “Everyone is playing strong. That’s the way the game is out there.”
While everyone is talking about Duncan Keith’s minutes after he played 48:40 in Game 1, Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg wasn’t far behind at 48:36. That was a full three minutes more than teammate Zdeno Chara played.
“He’s another guy you can’t tire out,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “He’s in great shape. Some guys are really good at handling those kinds of minutes. They never seem to tire out. He’s definitely one of them.
“Over the years, even in past playoffs, arguably he’s been our best defenseman. He’s able to take those minutes, handle them well from start to finish.”
Close, but …:
Brandon Saad finished third in the voting by writers for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau won the Calder, and Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher was second.
Duncan Keith was sixth in the voting for the Norris Trophy, won by Montreal’s P.K. Subban.
So why was Jaromir Jagr missing from the Bruins’ morning skate Saturday?
“He’s 41,” coach Claude Julien said.
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