Chicago Blackhawks Expect Patrick Kane To Suit Up In Postseason

Posted: Apr 13 2015, 9:24pm CDT | by , in Latest Sports News


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Chicago Blackhawks Expect Patrick Kane To Suit Up In Postseason
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  • The Chicago Blackhawks expect Patrick Kane to suit up in the postseason.
  • He injured his left shoulder on Feb. 24 and missed the next seven weeks.

The Chicago Blackhawks expect Patrick Kane, who fractured his left clavicle seven weeks ago, to suit up for the first round of the NHL playoffs against the Nashville Predators.

The Chicago Blackhawks expect Patrick Kane to suit up for the first round of the NHL playoffs against the Nashville Predators.

According to Chris Kuc of The Chicago Tribune, Kane's physicians cleared him for full participation on Monday. This means he can play in Game 1 of the Western Conference first-round series against the Nashville Predators.

Game 1 is set for Wednesday, April 15, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

Kuc obtained a statement regarding Kane's clean bill of health from Chicago Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry:

"Patrick has been working extremely diligently with his rehabilitation and has recently returned to full-contact practice without any difficulty. After discussions with Patrick and the team, and examining Patrick (on Monday), we collectively feel it is appropriate, with minimal risk, for him to return to full participation."

The Chicago Tribune update points out the initial timetable for Kane's return after he fractured his left clavicle on Feb. 24 was 10 to 12 weeks. He takes the ice once again after just seven weeks.

When Kuc asked Kane if his early return came as a surprise, the latter said it didn't:

"Not really. We have great doctors and great trainers here. First and foremost, they did an unbelievable job with the surgery. After that, I was pretty much full-range of motion within the first week.

"It seemed to be going along pretty fast. By no means am I out of the woods yet. I still want to make sure if you take a hit or something happens on the ice when you fall down, you're in a good situation when you're not going to re-injure it.

"I've done a lot to to try to get myself...healed as fast as possible. I'm pretty happy with the progress.

"I have to feel like I can play and feel good out there. I have to feel safe, too. That's probably one of the most important things right now."

Kane also told The Chicago Tribune on Monday he's now worried about the Predators possibly trying to go after his left shoulder during their playoff series:

"It's not something I'm not worried about. Obviously, you've got to be cautious about where you're being hit. You don't want to get run over the first shift or two. But you're going to take hits in a hockey game.

"It's just bound to happen. It's (something) I've faced since I (was) seven or eight years old...I'm used to it."

For his part, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers on April 13 he will use Tuesday's practice as a gauge for Kane's readiness:

"We'll see how he does again [in practice on Tuesday]. I thought he had real good progress today. He got cleared for contact and handled everything pretty well. I thought [his] line looked good as well. We'll see how he is [Tuesday], and we're encouraged by today."

Kuc says Kane "zipped up and down on the ice on line rushes and one-timers and slap shots with no limitations." He skated on the same line as Kris Verteeg and Brad Richards while trying to get in rhythm with passes from Blackhawks assistant coach Kevin Dineen.

Richards told Powers on April 13 he likes what he's been seeing from Kane:

"He's been good. I've been skating with him the last few days. He just looks like Patrick to me. It's how he feels and everything that goes on with doctors. I don't have enough education to give you anything there.

"Whenever he comes back, he's going to be ready to play, and that's a good thing. No one knows when that is. He might not even know. That's up to them and the medical staff. He's not going to be out there unless he knows he can help the team."

Powers stresses the Blackhawks placed Kane on long-term injury reserve after he was injured. That allowed the team to sign forward Antoine Vermette and defenseman Kimmo Timonen to take up Kane's salary-cap space.

The salary cap does not apply in the postseason, per ESPN Chicago.

Kane has missed just "one playoff game out of a possible 94 games" during his Blackhawks career. During that stretch, he has amassed 37 goals and 54 assists for 91 points. At the time of his left shoulder injury, he led the NHL in points with 61 on 27 goals and 34 assists, per Powers.

According to ESPN, Chicago sported a 12-8-1 record without Kane this season.

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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