Fear of Patrick Kane — likely opponent of Edmonton Oilers in first round — drove change to playoff format

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Friedman said he also heard somewhat similar talk out of the West. “I did hear that the Western teams – and now it’s going to be Edmonton – they were like, ‘two out of three with Patrick Kane? I mean come on.’ But it (the anxiety) wasn’t at the same level as Price.”

On Twitter, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal added one scary fact for the Edmonton Oilers about Kane: “Only sure thing about Hawks playing Oilers is Edm won’t be able to handle Kane. He has 44 pts in last 25 games vs Oilers.”

Kane is now 31. In 127 career playoff games, he has 123 points. In his last 11 playoff games, he’s got 9 points.

At the Da Windy City blog, writer Vincent Parise noted of the Blackhawks: ” hey so clearly don’t deserve to be a playoff team but in this scenario of them trying to come back amidst the pandemic, Kane could make a huge difference. He might even be able to make an impact against a team like Edmonton who relies heavily on two players named Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. If Kane was able to have a good series while the rest of the team contained those two stars, they might have a chance.”