Analysis

Chicago Blackhawks’ Kane, Toews Show Both Sides Of Linemate Debate

By Colin Likas
Mar 2, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) receives congratulations from right wing Patrick Kane (88) and center Jonathan Toews (19) after scoring in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Artemi Panarin (72) receives congratulations from right wing Patrick Kane (88) and center Jonathan Toews (19) after scoring in the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Looking at the stars’ linemates

Kane is coming off a season in which he led the league in points with a career-best 106. That garnered him Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award recognition.

Toews is coming off a campaign in which he posted his lowest point total (58) in a full season since 2011-12, just four points better than his rookie season of 2007-08. But he also finished fourth in Selke Trophy voting and was the league leader in faceoff percentage (58.6) among those whose job it is to consistently take draws.

A frequent argument is that Kane is paid to find the net and help his teammates find the net multiple times a game, while Toews scoring is a bonus in addition to his various other duties, in the defensive zone and as team captain.

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But you’re not paying someone more than $10 million a season to play good defense and win faceoffs, especially when that same player has nearly touched 80 points in a season. I’m sure Toews would say as much.

So that brings us to the linemate discussion. Kane last season was frequently paired with newcomers Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov, leading to Kane’s breakout year and Panarin winning the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Toews was paired with Marian Hossa and … a lot of other teammates. The top line was far from being a top line as far as offensive output.

Let’s take a look at the guys Kane and Toews have contributed on goals with over the last three regular seasons. This is tracking all forwards Kane and Toews were on the ice with for a Blackhawks goal since the 2013 lockout season, and it’s only counting regular-season goals.

Kane’s goal-scoring linemates

Kane’s 2013-14 regular-season stats: 69 games, 29 goals, 40 assists (69 points), 12.8 shooting percentage, 55.6 percent Corsi-for

Kane’s 2013-14 regular-season linemates on goals for: Patrick Sharp (20), Jonathan Toews (14), Andrew Shaw (12), Kris Versteeg (8), Brandon Saad (8), Marian Hossa (5), Michal Handzus (5), Brandon Pirri (3), Ben Smith (2), Bryan Bickell (2), Jeremy Morin (1), Joakim Nordstrom (1), Marcus Kruger (1), Brandon Bollig (1)

Kane’s 2014-15 regular-season stats: 61 games, 27 goals, 37 assists (64 points), 14.5 shooting percentage, 54.7 percent Corsi-for

Kane’s 2014-15 regular-season linemates on goals for: Sharp (20), Toews (15), Brad Richards (13), Kris Versteeg (13), Bickell (7), Hossa (5), Saad (5), Shaw (3), Smith (3), Kruger (2)

Kane’s 2015-16 regular-season stats: 82 games, 46 goals, 60 assists (106 points), 16.0 shooting percentage, 53.1 percent Corsi-for

Kane’s 2015-16 regular-season linemates on goals for: Artemi Panarin (56), Artem Anisimov (23), Toews (13), Teuvo Teravainen (7), Shaw (5), Hossa (3), Andrew Ladd (2), Kruger (1), Dennis Rasmussen (1)

Toews’ goal-scoring linemates

Toews’ 2013-14 regular-season stats: 76 games, 28 goals, 40 assists (68 points), 14.5 shooting percentage, 59.8 percent Corsi-for

Toews’ 2013-14 regular-season linemates on goals for: Sharp (37), Hossa (23), Kane (14), Saad (5), Shaw (2), Smith (2), Versteeg (1)

Toews’ 2014-15 regular-season stats: 81 games, 28 goals, 38 assists (66 points), 14.6 shooting percentage, 56.8 percent Corsi-for

Toews’ 2014-15 regular-season linemates on goals for: Hossa (29), Saad (16), Kane (15), Sharp (9), Shaw (4), Versteeg (4), Richards (3), Smith (1)

Toews’ 2015-16 regular-season stats: 80 games, 28 goals, 30 assists (58 points), 15.6 shooting percentage, 52.2 percent Corsi-for

Toews’ 2015-16 regular-season linemates on goals for: Hossa (17), Kane (13), Shaw (12), Teravainen (8), Ladd (7), Panarin (5), Ryan Garbutt (4), Andrew Desjardins (2), Anisimov (2)

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