Hot and not
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Kane led the way in a 7-2 rout of the Maple Leafs, netting his 34th goal of the season and adding three assists to push him past the 80-point plateau for the second time in his career.
James Reimer, Toronto Maple Leafs
Reimer was one of many Maple Leafs who had a rough night against the Hawks, allowing all seven goals on 32 shots. He has now lost three of his past four starts, allowing 16 goals in that span.
What does the Evander Kane situation mean for him and the Sabres?
@ESPN_Burnside: I ran into Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane during training camp, chatting about possible NHL expansion as Kane waited for his car outside a Buffalo hotel so he could go for a drive and explore his new city. He looked to be in great shape and sounded hopeful of his role with his new team. Kane won’t be joining his teammates Tuesday night in Ottawa, though, because he appears to have over-partied at the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto on Sunday and couldn’t make it to work Monday. Kane was suspended by the Sabres for Tuesday’s game, which has to be more than a little discouraging for general manager Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma, who are trying to erase the culture of losing that has defined the team in recent years. But Kane’s antics suggest that he does not yet comprehend the notion of responsibility and accountability, nor does he seem to understand his importance to the Sabres. Murray gave up a ton to bring the discontented Kane over from the Winnipeg Jets, and he is being counted on — along with the likes of Ryan O’Reilly, Josh Gorges and Brian Gionta — to lead both on the ice and in the dressing room, to set an example for young stars Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart and Rasmus Ristolainen. I wonder what those kids think of Kane today? If you’re Bylsma and/or Murray, what do you do now with Kane, and what kind of impact does this incident have on Kane’s future with the Sabres?
@Real_ESPNLeBrun: It’s been quite the season for players getting disciplined by coaches, eh? It started with Alex Ovechkin sitting out the second game of the season because he was late for a morning skate that day in Washington. Last week, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma were late for practice the day after the Super Bowl, and Calgary coach Bob Hartley left them in the press box for the next game. Now we’ve got Kane. Hey, I have no problem with guys doing whatever they want on their own time. That Kane went to Toronto and had fun is no issue for me. But, dude, be a pro. You can’t miss practice the next day. It’s your job and your duty to be there. Somewhere in Winnipeg, where he was such a polarizing figure, the naysayers are coming out in full force. As you said, Scotty, the guy who feels the worst in this situation has to be Murray. How Kane conducts himself from here on will be huge. There’s no leeway left, and he’s on notice.
@CraigCustance: I’ve always been a bit of a Kane defender. He’s a young guy who played in a market where there was a lot of scrutiny. When he would post a picture on social media of him partying, it would just remind me I was glad all that didn’t exist when I was in my early 20s. But you’re right, Pierre. He’s getting to the point where it’s time to accept the responsibilities that come with being a pro. He’s 24 years old, has over 400 games of experience and is a player of influence in a young locker room. I don’t think this is the example Bylsma and Murray want him setting for Eichel and the rest of the young players on the roster. To his credit, Kane sounded contrite. He phoned both Murray and Bylsma in the morning, but all that contrition becomes worthless if he does it again.
@ESPNJoeyMac: I’m glad the Sabres responded they way they did and suspended Kane for being unprofessional. I’m all for having a good time and enjoying life, but when an organization has taken a chance on a player, especially after there were issues with his former team, he owes it to himself and the team to clean up his act. Barring injury, Kane owes it to himself, the team, his teammates and the fans to be on the ice every day. He’s already under scrutiny, and he’s not helping his cause by missing practice and being suspended. You want your veteran players to set an example for the younger guys on the team, and it was smart for the Sabres to suspend Kane in this instance. Most coaches in the league have one rule above all others: Don’t be late. It’s not that hard to live by.
Around the league
Arizona Coyotes emergency goalie Nathan Schoenfeld, a 31-year-old banker, received a call to action barely an hour before Tuesday’s game while bathing his twin 5-week-old boys. Schoenfeld made it to the arena in time, and he was named the Coyotes’ player of the game without getting on the ice.