Call this one a bit of a reach for now, but is it possible that Patrick Kane is suffering from a post-Stanley Cup hangover on the ice? Al Cimaglia of Hockey Independent took notice of a few things during the Blackhawks 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings last night that point towards the possibility of Patrick Kane being in head coach Joel Quenneville’s chateau bow-wow.
Kane was fumbling the puck in the Hawks zone near the side boards. He wasn’t able to clear the puck and the Hawks got hemmed in their zone. All that was needed was a determined effort and a simple play and there would have been no pressure by the Kings.
As Kane came off the ice Quenneville directed a vocal burst in his direction.
Q. put Kane right back on the ice with his usual mates and didn’t bench the young Hawks’ star. Quenneville seldom chews out one player in particular from behind the bench. But he gets his point across and isn’t afraid to make his feeling known to star players.
My view is Kane needs to play differently soon, or he will not play as much. Quenneville nudged Kane by placing him on the checking line…Now Q. will push harder. Plus/minus can be a somewhat misleading stat, but there are reasons why Kane is a -6 on the season.
More than likely this is just a coach doing his job coaching his team, but it’s a curious kind of motivation for Kane to have him play with the checking line. It’s not as if Kane is playing poorly this season. He’s got two goals and six assists this year, good for third on Chicago in scoring. One area that he could use work is defensively as that -6 isn’t going to win him favors. Helping him out there is defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson also being a -6 so he’s not alone.
That said, Kane’s job is to score and he’s doing that just fine, a coach trying to get a little bit more out of a player is nothing new and is expected.
As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.
In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.
And then Stamkos took the warmup.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.
EDINA, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise has been rehabilitating his back injury without surgery, putting him on track to be at full strength by September.
Parise said Thursday he’s “happy with the way everything’s going.” He said he’s been able to work out as he normally does during the summer, despite missing the playoffs because of the injury.
Parise said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey tournament.
Parise joined teammates Erik Haula, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker at an autograph signing to raise money for people affected by the wildfires in Alberta. The parents of Spurgeon’s wife, Danielle, lost their home to a fire in the Edmonton area.