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Connor Bedard, Patrick Kane, and the Parallels in Sunday’s Showdown



CHICAGO – Everyone knew Patrick Kane was going to ice the game. Heck, it was the way it always went when he played for the Chicago Blackhawks. It also served as a lesson for Connor Bedard that when his time comes, it’ll be his goals and clutch moments that will do for the Blackhawks what Kane did so much for them in the past.

So nothing like a game-winning goal in overtime on a night where the legendary Kane was honored with a tribute video.

With the opposing team–the rival Red Wings to boot.

But it gives a glimpse of what Bedard can and–likely will mean to this city someday, too.

But it’s not like he can’t already know. Just like when Kane skated into town as the top overall pick, Bedard has been the talk of the city, electrifying the fan base and keeping attention on a team that has just 15 wins in 59 games.

It was just short of 17 years ago that a babyfaced Kane and Jonathan Toews started their journey together, one that resulted in three Stanley Cups and a ton of moments that Hawks fans still talk about today.

Now, though, Toews took a year off, Kane is helping Detroit to what looks like its first playoff appearance in eight years and Bedard is starting where both of them were nearly two decades ago.

But the parallels between Kane and Bedard were never more apparent than they were on Sunday night.

Kane on Connor Bedard: ‘He’s a Great Player’

So what did Kane see in his first game on the ice with Bedard? Exactly what you’d expect.

“He’s a great player, very creative,” Kane said.  “Got a little physical on me in the corner there. He’s lucky he had the bubble on or I was going after him.”

What’s funny is when that moment happened, the crowd roared its approval, an almost symbolic gesture of the past and future colliding. What made it more interesting was it utilized a part of the game that neither is known for.

But in the end, it was Kane who would get the final say, burying the overtime chance and then reminding the fans–and perhaps maybe the Chicago front office, that he is Showtime for a reason.

Could there have been a more fitting way for Kane to end things in his first game back?

“I guess maybe you can think of some things, but that one’s pretty good,” Kane said.  “Gotta be happy with the way that one ended.”

Bedard had a terrific shift right before it after his stick frustratingly snapped. He played physically again, hounding the puck and harassing the Red Wings as they tried to finish things earlier. Once there was a break, he grabbed a new twig and headed down the ice, setting Seth Jones up for a great chance. It wouldn’t go, and neither would things the rest of the way for the Hawks.

But the parallel is there again–Bedard and Kane both active in extra time, doing what they do. And while it didn’t work out in Bedard’s favor, there will come a time where it will.

One more? The same business like attitude that Bedard walks around with is what Kane answered with when asked about the tribute. He’s human, of course. But in the end, just like Bedard, the 35-year-old veteran said it all basically came back to down to hockey.

“Obviously you’re trying to stay focused on a game, didn’t really feel like I was into it to start,” Kane said.  “Once the tribute happened, it was nice to get that out of the way and start just focusing on hockey. I think I found my game in the second. Just a lot of emotions right now, scoring that goal, being back here, being on a different team.”

The emotions certainly flowed on both sides of the rivalry Sunday night. So, too, did the comparisons between Patrick Kane and Connor Bedard, which will likely continue on for some time in Chicago.

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