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Evander Kane

(Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Can We Just Be Honest? Evander Kane Is GOOD At Hockey!

Evander Kane
Can we just have an honest conversation? Evander Kane is good at hockey and it’s time for everyone else to admit it. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Can We Just Be Honest? Evander Kane Is GOOD At Hockey!

Love him, hate him, does it really matter? We get it. Evander Kane has been accused of a lot of crazy shit. I’m sure some of it’s true. Who knows. We can sit here and talk about the skeletons in any player’s closet. Many of which have probably done worse than Kane.

This isn’t about that. You can hate the guy all you want. As long as we finally start to acknowledge that Evander Kane is really GOOD at hockey. Frankly, I’m tired of being the only one who’s willing to recognize the talent the Oilers’ winger has. Kane has turned Edmonton’s entire season around and deserves credit for doing so. Bottom line.

Prior to the coaching change to Jay Woodcroft, Edmonton looked like dead dogs walking. Since Woodcroft took over, the Oilers went on a 26-9-3 run to finish the season. Don’t get me wrong, Woodcroft has done some great things. Let’s just also cut right to the chase; nobody deserves more credit for Edmonton’s resurgence than Kane does.

Kane, 30, has had an unreal season for the Oilers after being picked up mid-season. He’s been the hero that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have needed. In 43 games, Kane notched 39 points including 22 goals. Again, say whatever you want about Kane. What needs to be said is the fact that this guy is an ELITE goal scorer.

Once upon a time, Gavin wrote a post detailing all of the awful contracts in the NHL. Kane’s name was mentioned on that list but it was really more so of a shot at the Sharks organization. I think it’s time we just get two things out of the way:

A: Kane deserved his $7 million AAV. Sure, it’s a lot of money but it’s no longer fair to question his ability. Whatever headache we think the guy is, his talent overshadows it. It’s not that different from how we should view Tony DeAngelo. Guess what? DeAngelo should be paid handsomely too.

B: We’re seeing just how good Kane is now that he’s skating with premier talent around him. No offense to San Jose, but they suck right now. Kane was far and away the Sharks’ best player last year which is something I already went over.

I get it. Truly, I understand why the haters don’t like the guy. Even the analytics community is down on Kane for the way he takes penalties. I’m just telling you right now if my job is to win hockey games, I’m not doing my job if I don’t try to acquire this guy for my team. #backtobackfantasychamps.

Kane also posted a 52.6 CF% this year. Can’t possibly complain that. More than anything, use your eyeballs. Understand what you’re watching. There is NOBODY better in the NHL at creating offense than Connor McDavid. NOBODY. The bottom line is, McDavid needs help. He can’t pass the puck to himself and score one vs. five every night and have sustained success. Kane’s emergence has unmasked all the prior flaws with the Oilers.

If the Oilers want to have a lengthy playoff run, Kane has to be the centerpiece of it. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins isn’t good enough. Sorry, not sorry, it’s just true. Jesse Puljujärvi isn’t good enough. It’s just the damn truth. Call Evander Kane every name in the book. It doesn’t matter. What can’t be denied is that Kane puts the puck in the net all the god damn time and it deserves the proper recognition.

Scoring at the NHL level has gone through the roof. You need guys who can light the lamp at a consistent level to win. You can’t have enough sharp shooters that can score. Kane already has seven goals against the Kings in the first round of the postseason and Edmonton would likely be dead without him. It’s just a fact.

Additionally, Kane has scored at least 20 goals in seven consecutive seasons. Kane is just one of seven active players who have accomplished the feat. Keep in mind, the top line left winger kept the streak alive despite playing only in 39 games this year. He also carries a career high 14.5% shooting percentage. Playing with real talent probably has something to do with that.

I’m sorry, I’m just not going to pretend this guy sucks. I’m not doing it. Evander Kane is good at hockey. If everyone else wants to pretend otherwise, be my guest. I will take him in fantasy every year. The Edmonton Oilers will win Game 7 to keep their season alive. Just remember, they would have been home already just like every other year if Kane wasn’t on the roster. Evander Kane deserves his respect for being a good hockey player and it’s time for the rest of you to finally admit it.

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