Kane shows he’s 100% with Howe hat trick


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If there was any doubt Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane is back to full health and fully engaged, Kane laid it to rest Thursday night at the MTS Centre with one of his more memorable nights in a Jets uniform.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/11/2014 (3125 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

If there was any doubt Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane is back to full health and fully engaged, Kane laid it to rest Thursday night at the MTS Centre with one of his more memorable nights in a Jets uniform.

First, Kane dropped his gloves — and his helmet — and proceeded to absolutely pummel Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Simon Despres, afterward rubbing salt in the wound by raising his arms in triumph as he made his way to the penalty box.

Then, with his club trailing 3-1 late in the second and the Pens seemingly in control, Kane helped spark the Jets’ comeback, setting up defenceman Jacob Trouba on a one-timer that got the Jets within a goal at 3-2 heading into the second intermission.

Evander Kane

Kane capped his night with the game-tying goal early in the third period, busting in on a breakaway and beating Marc-André Fleury for the goal that sent the game to overtime in what was ultimately a 4-3 loss for the Jets in a shootout.

At the end of the night Kane had recorded the increasingly rare Gordie Howe hat trick — a goal, an assist and a fight.

With fighting in hockey on the wane, you don’t see those much anymore.

But Kane says there’s still room — in his game and in the game generally — for a hard-nosed style of play pioneered after one of the game’s all-time greats.

“A Gordie Howe (hat trick) doesn’t happen too, too often,” said Kane, “but he obviously made it popular for a reason. It’s definitely fun to play in those type of games with the emotion and intensity and physical play…

“I think you’re more in the game any time the emotions are high. And when you play top teams, you obviously want to show you can play with those guys and you can compete, and you can beat them. I think there were quite a few guys in the room who had that mind-set (Thursday) and it worked well for us.”

Thursday’s goal was the first of the season for Kane, who sustained a knee injury in a freak collision with teammate Mark Scheifele during Winnipeg’s season opener Oct. 9. The injury cost Kane eight games.

But he’s back now — and with a vengeance, judging by Thursday’s performance.

“He can fight. He’s done a good job in his career. You’ve seen how he has held his own against guys,” said teammate Blake Wheeler. “And that fires him up. He loves that stuff. He loves playing hard, he loves being physical and dropping the gloves once in awhile.

“And I think it got him going. You saw him get going after that fight. He was just a different player.”


Passion plays

Jets coach Paul Maurice was asked for his opinion of Dustin Byfuglien’s late hit on Pittsburgh’s Steve Downie, after Downie scored his team’s third goal.

Because Downie retaliated on the hit, a big skirmish ensued and, fortunately for the Jets, Byfuglien and Downie evened out at one minor penalty apiece.

“He got all of (Downie),” Maurice said of Byfuglien. “You want to play that clean, disciplined game and you don’t want to lose any of your edge doing it. But every once in awhile you may cross that line. Sometimes you have to live with that and sometimes you have to pull it back. But it’s a whole lot easier to pull it back than it is to get it going. If there’s enough passion in the rest of your game, then you can understand when it boils over.”

— with files from Tim Campbell


Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Paul Wiecek

Paul Wiecek
Reporter (retired)

Paul Wiecek was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End and delivered the Free Press -- 53 papers, Machray Avenue, between Main and Salter Streets -- long before he was first hired as a Free Press reporter in 1989.

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