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Winnipeg Jets’ Evander Kane Has Star Quality: Fan’s Take
There's a rumor about Evander Kane going around Winnipeg and it's spreading with each passing Jets game. And this rumor can be substantiated.
Kane netted two goals and a pair of assists for a career-high four points on Thursday, March 1 as the Jets routed the Florida Panthers, 7-0, at the MTS Centre. Kane batted down an ill-advised clearing pass in Florida's zone, skated in and beat goalie Jose Theodore to open the scoring in the first period. In the third frame, he again showcased his skills, going to the back-hand to bury the Panthers and his team-leading 26th goal of the season. In the process, he extended his career-high point streak to eight games and has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in that stretch.
Since Kane was selected fourth overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2009, his immense potential never has been doubted. Earlier this season, however, his character was called into questions when rumors about off-the-ice transgressions spread like wildfire on social media. None of the allegations ever were substantiated, so I'm not going to give them any credit. But if he did show some poor judgment off the ice, he wouldn't be the first 20-year-old athlete to do so.
Back in early January, I made a case for Kane as the Winnipeg's first-half most valuable player. No disrespect to Ondrej Pavelec, who this season has been a true No. 1 goalkeeper, but I logically concluded that the offensively-challenged Jets couldn't do without Kane, who this summer will be a restricted free agent. To my point, the team is 16-3 when Kane scores at least one goal.
Naturally, the day I wrote my article, Kane drew the ire of Jets head coach Claude Noel for not being prepared to play against the Boston Bruins. The talented winger was benched for a couple of shifts and the Jets lost, 5-3. To his credit, Kane didn't sulk, didn't complain. He kept it moving.
In the last eight games, Kane has shown why Noel and others have such high expectations for him. He is capable of carrying the team for stretches—when he puts his mind to it, of course—and has helped keep the playoffs on the radar screen for the Jets. Yes, Kane is a star in the making.
Spread the word.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter and supporter of all Winnipeg sports teams. He no longer dreads Winnipeg winters now that the Jets have returned to town. Follow Adam and the Jets on Twitter: @PegCitySports
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