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Kane sees big skill in Gaudreau

Patrick Kane spoke glowingly about Johnny Gaudreau's game ahead of Tuesday's match-up

by Torie Peterson @ToriePeterson / CalgaryFlames.com

CHICAGO, IL -- Throughout his career, Johnny Gaudreau has been compared to one player more often than any other: Chicago Blackhawks' winger Patrick Kane.

A fair side-by-side as there are plenty of similarities between the two.

In their first two years in the league, they both surpassed the 140-point mark. Gaudreau netted 55 goals and 143 points ahead of his third season in the league. Kane scored 46 goals and 142 points in his opening 162 games with the Blackhawks.

They both are smaller in size, with Gaudreau listed at 5-foot-9 and 157-pounds and Kane standing at 5-foot-11 and weighing in at 177 pounds.

And both possess a level of skill that outpaces many of their peers in the NHL.

When asked about Gaudreau's game, Kane offered up a glowing review.

"He does some things better than me, for sure," Kane said after the Blackhawks morning skate on Tuesday. "He's unbelievable on his edges. He's one of those guys that you never really see get hit or get taken advantage of because of his size. I think that's a credit to him, that he's never really had to worry about that so far in his career. 

"He's so good on his edges, he can turn on a dime, spin away from checks. He sees the ice very well. 

"He's smaller in stature so I guess you can see where people want to pick out the similarities. We're both lefties. He's had a great career and I think Calgary's probably fortunate they locked him up for awhile."

Gaudreau currently leads the Flames in scoring with two goals and seven points through 10 games but hasn't been able to capitalize on numerous chances this season.

Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan spoke of Gaudreau having some "frustration" in his game early on this season and the coaching staff have been working with him to get him playing at the level he knews he's capable of reaching.

"I talked to him about that this morning," Gulutzan said. "Frustration is the enemy. We went through some of the numbers and some other things ... some video, some numbers that we looked at for him, to try to get him refocused and take away some of that frustration.

"There's a lot of variables with him. He (came) in late, he's got a new coach. He wants to make a difference - you can tell he's a guy who wants to make a difference every night. 

"Just to alleviate some of that frustration for him, I had a little chat with him this morning. Hopefully it frees him up to make his plays. I don't want him squeezing his stick. That's the last thing you want from your best players, is for them to feel like they're squeezing. We had a chat and went through some things that hopefully alleviate that."

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