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Kane makes solid debut at center

Lost in the injury news regarding Ben Smith and Viktor Stalberg were fine performances by both Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa in their preseason debuts.

Kane was more than adequate in his first game at center under Joel Quenneville.

“Overall our line played pretty good,” Kane said. “We had the puck a lot. That’s what I was hoping for.”

Kane’s right. His line with Hossa and Andrew Brunette played mostly in the offensive end, which was good, but it didn’t allow for much evaluation of Kane on defense.

“I know its preseason, we didn’t play against a great lineup but we’ll take it for what it is,” Kane said. “It’s nice to be out there playing hockey again.”

Joel Quenneville was asked if there was any part of the experiment he didn’t like.

“No, we liked it,” he simply stated.

There wasn’t much not to like. Kane even won 67 percent of his faceoffs prompting Jonathan Toews to hold back before making any assessments.

“Before that I have to check the percentage and make sure I was above him,” Toews joked.

He was, barely. Toews won 69 percent of his draws.

Kane has had a jump to his step every time he’s taken the ice in training camp and his first preseason game was no different. It’s one game but if the Hawks want to continue the experiment, nothing that took place Wednesday should stop them.

Slappers

  • Detroit head coach Mike Babcock apparently wasn’t thrilled with who played for the Hawks. “I saw the lineup they dressed, I didn’t know it was Opening Night, but I thought we did a lot of really good things,” he stated.

  • The Hawks scored three power play goals. Their top unit consisted of Toews, Kane, Andrew Brunette, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

  • Keith had three assists, while Kane led the Hawks with five shots.

  • The attendance was 20,078, the second largest ever for a preseason game.