Kane Concern: Are The Hawks In Trouble?

With news that Patrick Kane’s ankle/knee injury could end his regular season, the concern becomes how well Kane will bounce back from the injury.

Kane hurt STL

Kane has dealt with an ankle issue before, suffering a similar injury on Dec. 30, 2008 in Detroit. Of course, Kane came back and skated 17:51 against the Wings at Wrigley Field in the Winter Classic two days later, but would then be sidelined for one week.

How did Kane perform when he returned from that ankle injury?

When he returned on Jan. 8, Kane had an assist and skated 17:41 in a 2-1 loss in Denver. Kane’s next point came seven games later, a power play goal in Anaheim. Kane had only five points in the his first 16 games following the ankle injury in 2008-09, but those were different days for the player and the organization.

The Hawks were chasing a playoff spot with legitimate hope of qualifying for the first time in a decade in 2009, whereas five years later Kane has two rings at home and the team has been in the playoffs since that 2008-09 campaign.

There isn’t a desperate need to rush Kane – or Brandon Saad for that matter – back into the lineup. With 12 games left in the regular season, the Hawks are 13 points ahead of the Wild, who currently sit in fourth in the Central Division. The reality is that the Hawks will play the Avs in the first round of the playoffs, with the first game being in either Chicago or Denver.

Whether or not the Kane injury opens up both cap space and a roster spot for Teuvo Teräväinen is another conversation; the Hawks are clearly excited by the prospect of having him skate with the NHL team at some point in the not-too-distant future. But the Hawks are comfortably in the postseason, and can battle the Avs for home ice in the first round while Kane fully recovers.

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29 Responses to Kane Concern: Are The Hawks In Trouble?

  1. Tim G says:

    “But the Hawks are comfortably in the postseason, and can battle the Avs for home ice in the first round while Kane fully recovers.” – This is exactly why I think TT should get a cup of coffee in the NHL.

    If he hits the ground running, then he can help us… If he doesn’t then we are comfortably locked in ahead of the Wild and we can send him to Rockford to gain experience for Next Year and go with what we got.
    If Saad comes back sooner vs Later… this is the roster i want to see until Kane is back.
    10/19/65
    20/TT/81
    29/28/23 (88 when he gets back)
    52/16/12,26 (23 when Kaner is back)

    If Saad is out as long as 88
    23/19/65
    10/TT/81
    29/28/12
    52/16/26 (I would like to see Morin here over Zus/Regin, but i dont think we can fit TT and Morin cap wise.)

    When Kane comes back, I think it was Wall who said we will have 3 Legit #2 or Better lines. (if it was someone else i apoligize)… But that will be VERY hard to beat (even for COL).

  2. ebonyraptor says:

    Are the Hawks in trouble? No. Is there cause for concern? Sure, but it’s not about the last 12 games of the regular season, it’s about Kane being 100% in time for the opening round of the playoffs. Barring a monumental colapse, the Hawks will finish in the one of the top-3 spots in the division. Having home ice would be a good thing but having a healthy Kane for the first round of the playoffs is the top priority, even if it means holding him out a little longer at the possible expense of losing home ice to the Avs.

    Optimistically thinking, the combination of playing so well against the Blues last night and losing Kane could serve to coalesce the team into an everyone step up mindset and be a blessing in disguise. I know that’s pollyanna’ish – but I’m looking hard for that silver lining.

  3. ebonyraptor says:

    Regarding TT and the Cap situation. It becomes a non-issue if Kane is put on LTIR which would free enough cap space to fit TT, Morin and a few other players. The key is whether the prognosis is a definite 3 week recovery period or if there’s a possibility it could be less than 3 weeks. If it’s going to be 3+ weeks, there is no downside to puting Kane on LTIR, making him eligible after 24 days which would be right when the playoffs start. However, if there is the possibility that he will be ready to return in less than 3 weeks, I doubt they put their superstar player on the shelf for longer than necessary just to play with their new shiny object (TT) – that wouldn’t sit well with Kane, or with his teammates. Nor should it sit well with Hawks fans.

    The good news is that a player can be retroactively put on LTIR, so the Hawks don’t have to make that decision right away. My guess is they will take a week or so to assess how Kane is doing and then make the decision whether to place him on LTIR. That timing would also work well for when to bring on TT, because if they LTIR Kane in a week or so, that leaves just the right amount of games for TT to play without getting to the magic “10″.

  4. Mike says:

    I am taking a optomistic view and I think Q and SB will too. The Hawks do have a legit chance to be the second or third seed in the West. The Hawks, Blues and ANA have the easiest schedules the top 5. Teams jockeying for position playiong top 5 WC teams looks like this

    Avs, SJ and ANA all have 4 or 5 games against each other. If there are not too many 3 point games, Hawks have an opening to creep up. The Hawks only have 1 game left among the top 5. Not to say that the Hawks have a cakewalk, but if these teams all split, the Hawks can slide past.

    I think the Hawks would love to be a third seed (or second seed) and will not experiment too much until the are out of 2nd or 3d seed contention.

  5. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Are the Hawks in trouble? Yes. But they were in trouble before Kane got hurt. One impressive game versus mighty St. Louis is NOT going to wash away for the me the troubling aspects of this team’s play since the beginning of January. Sorry, but I’m not going to drink the kool-aid yet. I’m surprised frankly that so many of you are wetting your pants over one substantial and impressive victory in light of what you have seen since January.

    I want to be positive. I want to be hopeful. I want another Cup. But I don’t see it this season, and losing Kane is most definitely significant.

  6. Jax says:

    Since becoming disabled a few months back I find myself more time to read stuff on the computer on different sites. As I am sure you will be able to tell I am new to this so bear with the spelling and grammer. Of all the sites this one has interested me the most. I am old school,big time hockey fan that loves all the little complexities that seem to be only be noticed by certain people that really love hockey. There are a lot of those type commenting on this site as I have noticed the past couple months. I don’t always agree with the comments, but that’s half the fun. I thought I would be the only person to see the possible bright side of Kane’s injury but after reading ebonyrapter’s post I decided to finally try my hand at this. I could not agree more about the aspect of this being the time for some other players to step up and try to fill the void that comes with loosing your top point getter. It was nice to see more effort out of Patrick Sharp.I think the last two games were the best Bickell has played this year. I don’t know shit about the salary cap but this appears to be a great time to see how TT. plays with NHL talent. Who better to school you than 19,81, and the hawks staff? I hope and pray for the health of Kane and Saad, as well as the reallatively good luck this team has had with injuries. Sorry this is so long, won’t happen again.

  7. AJ says:

    Rufus look at the February and March results from the team that won it in 2010. That team that was “stronger” or “grittier” or “deeper” or “Andrew Ladder” got absolutely smoked after the Olympics and let in a crap ton of goals and only won one game in regulation in February, which is pretty abysmal. This years team is similar if not better comparatively speaking with a “weaker roster”

    This team is losing 1 goal games for the most part and they have a pretty light schedule to close out the year.

    They should easily be able to end on a high note, weather the Kane loss and be ready to go in the playoffs. Looking at how they have dealt with these types of doldrums in the past should ease any concern.

    Colorado closes out against a lot of strong teams so they will drop points, the Ducks are dropping points and have been awful the last month and a half.

    The Hawks have a legitimate shot to finish 2nd in the conference or 3rd even if they play kind of meh to close out the year.

  8. Mike says:

    RTF, I agree that getting to the Cup Finals this year is going to be an big uphill battle. It will not be shocking if we bow out in the first or second round, but all of us are hoping for more. This is why I think the Hawks brass will stay the course and not make any drastic line up changes. If the Hawks can get 16 or 18 points out of these last 12 games there is a chance they can slip into 3d (I think the 2 seed will be winners of the Pacific). It would be HUGE not to face the Avs in round 1. I would much rather face the Kings or the Wild

  9. morrison says:

    If 4 teams from each division… Do the overall 1 and 2 seeds play their division 4 seeds or does the 1 seed in conference play the lower 4 seed.

    Is it only that case when there are 5 from a division and 3 from the other…

  10. JS says:

    The Hawks also haven’t scored a goal in 20 periods of overtime this season. That’s weird and almost statistically impossible, especially for a team that has dominated at it for the past 5 seasons. If they won half of their OTL’s since January, their record would look a whole lot better (hell, if they won HALF of their OT games this year they would be ahead of StL). Outside of the loss to Philly on Tuesday, the Hawks have dominated almost every team they played, they just haven’t won. Sometimes when I flop a full boat, someone gets a lucky straight flush on the river.

    The Hawks are one of the most dominant teams in the NHL and that’s with Quenville completely nuetering one of the best scorers in the league in Patrick Kane.

    As AJ said, Hawks schedule is pretty easy down the stretch. Colorado’s is awful. Not to mention Coach of the Year Patrick Roy seems to think it’s a good idea to start JS Giguere and Reto “wall would rather have him than Crawford” Bera over the woman beating Varlomov.

    Jax- Keep posting! But watch out for Rufus, he bites.

  11. morrison says:

    If that’s the case, then STL is going to have to play PHX in first round. Unless MIN takes a bunch of hits. or maybe LOS if they take enough hits and PHX is higher.

  12. morrison says:

    Jax, get your shots.

  13. Tab Bamford says:

    re: playoff brackets

    Playoffs are set by division for the top 6 seeds. the 2nd place team plays the third place team.

    the #1 overall seed plays the #8 overall seed. In the current standings, St. Louis would play Phoenix. Phoenix would then be slotted into the Central Division of the playoffs; if the Coyotes upset the Blues, they would play the winner of Chicago-Colorado.

    the #2 overall seed plays the #7 overall seed. In the current standings, Anaheim would play Minnesota. The Wild would be slotted into the Pacific, and would play the winner of LA-SJ if they upset the Ducks.

    If the Hawks are 2nd or 3rd in the Central, the earliest they would face a Pacific team is the 2nd round.

  14. JS says:

    Mo- “The seeding of the wild-card teams within each divisional playoff will be determined on the basis of regular-season points. The division winner with the most points in the conference will be matched against the wild-card team with the fewest points; the division winner with the second-most points in the conference will play the wild-card team with the second fewest points.”

    I’d really like to see St. Louis play Dallas, now that I think about it. Roussel alone would probably make the Blues implode.

  15. Travis says:

    jax – have fun! looking forward to reading your observations.

    morrison – playoff brackets broken down like only Sean McIndoe can do. See the last section of the following article:

    http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-weekend-in-hockey-comeback-canadiens/

    and keep reading his site, Down Goes Brown. It’s often hilarious.

  16. ebonyraptor says:

    Welcome Jax.

    Regarding playoff matchups – the 2nd and 3rd place teams in each division play each other so the only way the Hawks face some team other than the Avs is if the Blues falter down the stretch and either the Hawks or Avs win the division. There really isn’t conference seeding – it’s the top 3 teams in each division and the next two teams with the best records in the conference become the wildcards. For the Hawks to play the Kings, they would need to finish first in the central and the Kings to fall out of the top-3 teams in the Pacific and be one of the wildcard teams.

  17. Sr. Brad says:

    Since the new year, the Hawks are now 9-0-2 when they roll 4 lines…with Kane out of the lineup, Q has fewer opportunities to shorten the bench and stifle our 4 line system…by default Q is going to have to “trust” all of his players which can only mean more success for the Hawks…I really see this as a good thing for Chicago…the players should rally around one another with Kane out, and get back to our KISS game…keep it simple stupid…I can see us going on a nice run now, winning a lot of those 2-1, 3-2 hockey games…

    As a player and a coach, I was always taught never to get upset by injuries, they are simply an opportunity for someone else to shine…and you know that’s going to happen with the Hawks, so who is it going to be? I think if the Hawks bring up Morin, he is going to do very well.

    JS, as to the OT anomaly, you are right, this is statistically almost impossible to occur…going into last night’s game, CHI was 8 points behind STL and the difference between CHI and STL in OT losses was 8 (15-7)…and Hawks have played in, I think, around 30 OT games, meaning that VERY easily the Hawks could be even with STL or a little ahead…its just a bizarre stat that MUST even itself out…

  18. Fan since 2010 says:

    Definitely should have dealt Kaner at the deadline. Then we wouldn’t be in this predicament.

  19. morrison says:

    Yea, I knew about the conference 1 seed playing lower 5 seed, but didn’t know that was the case even when theres 4 from each division. Thanks. That does make it way better then I thought.

  20. ZebraGreg says:

    Fan since 2010… That has to be a tongue in cheek comment…you are trying to be humorous I assume?
    If you’re serious please stay away…

  21. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    The Hawks are in trouble. That’s my persistent and growing assessment. I don’t really care what are playoff seed is on a certain level. What I am much more concerned with is how this team gets out or a probable round two series in a 7 game series.

    I think for the Hawks to have a chance this year then Crawford is going to have to be very special in the playoffs. I really do.

  22. RedTopParking says:

    JS, that was an epic post….’the woman beating Varlamov’!!
    If we go as gritty against COL and with as much traffic in front of the net as we had last night we will score a bundle on that Russian, that’s how you beat him. And it is really something to have quantified in print what we’ve all inherently known all season – we have absolutely sucked in OT. But I submit the extra juice in the skates come playoff time will make all the difference in the world in the upcoming postseason. I’ll put my $$ on the Hawks in OT next month (and beyond) regardless of that statistically impossible occurrence this year – they are the boys of Spring. We were huge OT winners last playoffs and will be again, it’s really in the Blackhawks DNA in this current era. They have that extra intangible when the chips are down, they will flat out refuse to lose. That’s what really carried us last year, ask Detroit and Boston. And it was a real pleasure to pay those teams back for years past. Though extremely unlikely, my little dream is a Hawks v. Montreal final. I will not rest until we avenge 1971. And then Toronto, too (1967, we had one of the very best teams in franchise/league history)…but that’s when hell freezes over, I know

  23. RedTopParking says:

    Welcome, Jax. Here’s to old school

  24. RedTopParking says:

    Also meant to praise Ben Smith. Now here’s a guy who is stepping up. Way to go, Ben, there’s a great post season ahead for you, kid!

  25. RyanDale says:

    88: Its NHL hockey, guys go down and guys step in. We can win without 88 just like TB won w/out StStam. Teams overcome more often than not. Its just part of the compete level in hockey that makes it the best game in town.

    Playoffs: not scared of Avs or anybody else, first round or last. If anyone thinks we are not the fave to win it all, you’re misguided or just ignorant to the character of this team.
    I never thought we were done when Det was up 3games to 1. Anyone who did, should have learned something last year.

  26. Dave says:

    Welcome, Jax! I love old school!

  27. Phil says:

    So we are dealing with an upper ankle with Kaner not a knee? Does anyone really know? I got into a disagreement with a fellow fan last night about the nature of the injury with me saying ankle, and he said no way it’s a knee. I’m staying with the upper ankle, which can actually be a longer to heal situation than a knee. Next. Is Bickell dealing with a wrist injury? Same guy mentioned this like it was public knowledge. I haven’t heard it, but that doesn’t mean much. Just askin.

    Yes, welcome to the show Jax. Keep your left up, and keep posting.

    Went to the HS state champ show at UC yesterday afternoon/last night as if going to 3 nights in a row down there isn’t enough with the Hawks back again tonight to battle the Canes. Fun to watch the kids play, especially knowing a few through being good friends with their parents. What struck me was these new sticks allow everyone to really bring some rockets to the net. Speaking of old school, I believe baseball should be played by kids with wood bats, and in hockey wood sticks. Kid skills are better developed IMO, and better habits learned. Never mind the cost of these new sticks. Yikes!

    Lineups will be fun to watch with the Hawks down the stretch. The win Wednesday I believe should inject some enthusiasm back into a Hawks team that might have been a bit down after dropping a tough one in Philly. Hawks have too many players that know what it takes to win big games. This is why I believe they can prosper in the playoffs. They have that confidence intangible which is not so easily acquired. Do we see Raanta against Preds?

    Travis, thanks for the link. That ESPN table is cool.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  28. michael petan says:

    No Trouble really and where we finish mean nothing but how. Adding Teuvo will surprise a few people PLUS i think our power play may get better without KANE where now we will be forced to move the puck not skate with it. Kane does draw a defense out so technically he will be missed a lot, he adds another element to the Hawks game sort of like keeping an eye on MAgic Johnson on a fast break, but Hawks will not skip a beat here. too deep . . . .it is only how we finish not where. Bring it on!

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