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Kane, Byfuglien only worried about Hawks
By Mike Spellman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 11/13/2009 12:02 AM

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Blackhawks game day

Toronto Maple Leafs at the United Center, 7:30 p.m.

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Radio: WGN 720-AM

What to watch: This is the only meeting of the season between the two Original Six franchises. Before losing to Minnesota on Tuesday, the Leafs were in the midst of their best run yet (3-0-4). They will be without one of their top two defensemen in Mike Komisarek (torn quad) when they take on the Hawks, who are 8-2-1 at the UC.

Next: San Jose Sharks at the United Center, 6 p.m. Sunday

Reminded that tonight's game at the United Center will be against a Toronto team whose coach, Ron Wilson, will be behind the bench for Team USA in the Vancouver Olympics, a light went off in Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane's head.

"That's the first time I've thought about it," Kane said with a laugh. "Right now I'm worried about the Blackhawks. The Olympics, if I make it, obviously that would be a fun experience.

"I got to know (Wilson) at the Olympic orientation camp. We had some fun together. Him and (Leafs GM) Brian Burke, they kind of feed off each other and when they're together it's pretty comical."

Kane, along with Dustin Byfuglien, are among the final candidates to make the team, which will be announced during the broadcast of the Winter Classic on New Year's Day.

Neither player has heard how they stand with Burke and Wilson, but Kane figures to be all but a lock to make the team.

"I haven't heard anything," Byfuglien said. "Guys are just trying to play their best to make sure they make the team. Making the Olympic team is an honor, and I take pride in it.

"My family will say every now and then, 'What do hear?' I tell them nothing. I'm just playing and enjoying my time playing with the guys right now."

Not even thinking about putting on a good show tonight for your potential future coach?

"Oh, not at all," Byfuglien said. "It's going to be another game."

That's music to the ears of Hawks coach Joel Quenneville.

"I think there's always incentive for these guys; they're always being watched on a game-to-game basis. That goes for the Canadian players as well," Quenneville said. "But you can't worry about that.

"Playing hockey is what the motivation and the goal is. You can't have that in the back of your mind. It could be distracting."

Kane, who scored his fifth goal of the season in Wednesday's 3-2 victory over Colorado, said his coach has nothing to worry about tonight.

"It'll be good to play against (Wilson)," he said, "but I guarantee when I'm on the ice I won't even be thinking about that."