Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane says he’s not rushing anything, hopes to be ready for season opener

Yesterday we had positive words from Chicago GM Stan Bowman about how Patrick Kane was doing in his recovery from surgery on his left wrist. Kane injured his wrist this summer and the recovery time after surgery was set to be 6-8 weeks before getting back into action. With that surgery happening in mid-July, that put Kane’s comeback window somewhere around mid-September, just in time for training camp.

Kane spoke with Fan 590 in Toronto and talked about how he’s doing and his self-prognosis for when he’ll get back on the ice is a bit longer than what Bowman may have been hoping for. Tracey Myers from CSNChicago.com provides us with the update.

“I’m not going to rush anything,” he told Sportsnet Radio FAN 590. “My goal is to be ready for the opening regular-season game (against the Dallas Stars on Oct. 7).”

Kane said he’s feeling good and the wrist is healing as it should. But so far he’s only been able to skate on his own instead of his usual habit of skating with some Buffalo Sabres at this time of the summer.

“All I’ve been able to do is skate by myself,” he told 590. “But you still have to skate. That’s part of our job in the summer is to get ready any way we can. That’s what I’m doing right now.”

Being ready for training camp is all well and good and helps guys get ready for the regular season, but being 100% for the regular season is a bit more important. It’s good that Kane is skating and keeping himself in shape, but not having him available to do all the drills and being able to handle a stick is disappointing for the Hawks.

Kane is an obviously important player for the team and having him ready to go on opening night would be better than having him rush back too soon and potentially get re-injured. After all, the season is a long haul, not a sprint out of the gates. Having Kane ready whenever he’s ready to go is most important. Staying conditioned will be key for him as being rusty in the first couple games will eventually go away. If he couldn’t keep up with the rest of the team, that’d be a bigger problem.

Capitals accuse Letang of leaving his feet, hitting Johansson in head

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Get this: the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins seem divided on the legality of Kris Letang‘s hit on Marcus Johansson.

(Take a moment to gather your thoughts amid this shocking revelation.)

You can watch the hit over and over in the video above. This post features some takes on that check, which the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly reviewing.

Generally speaking, the three things people discuss regarding the check is how late it might be, if Letang used his feet and if Johansson’s head was the principal point of contact.

Letang told his side of the story:

The Capitals disagree:

While Barry Trotz pleads the Fifth after his previous comments about Brooks Orpik‘s suspension:

No doubt about it, Letang’s status is the top story to follow in this series between Games 3 and 4. We’ll find out soon enough how it all shakes out.

Penguins ride Murray’s masterpiece to 2-1 series lead vs. Capitals

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If Marc-Andre Fleury suiting up bothers Matt Murray, then the rookie goalie channeled those feelings into a masterful performance on Monday.

The Washington Capitals absolutely dominated Game 3, but Murray was even better, stopping 47 shots as the Penguins stole one 3-2 to take a 2-1 series lead.

(Capitals fans might see some parallels to Washington’s Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers; they fell 2-0 despite a 44-11 shots on goal edge thanks to Michal Neuvirth‘s heroics.)

Murray stopped chance after chance before Alex Ovechkin finally broke through for his first goal of this series. Justin Williams then brought the Penguins’ lead down to 3-2 to make for a hold-your-breath final minute.

A driven Ovechkin and strong overall play from the Capitals (despite this defeat) aren’t the only reasons why Game 4 might present some twists.

First things first: Kris Letang might get suspended for Game 4 (if not for more than one game) thanks to this controversial check on Marcus Johansson.

Beyond that, there could be some bumps and bruises from this contest.

Bryan Rust left during the first period and didn’t return to the game after blocking a shot. Brian Dumoulin seemed shaken up after an Alex Ovechkin hit in the third period. The Capitals might have a player or two to look at, as well.

In other words, the Penguins could really lack for quality defensemen with Letang possibly suspended and possible injury absences for Dumoulin and Olli Maatta.

This series is living up to the hype … and really building up the hate.

Yes, NHL is reportedly looking at Letang’s hit on Johansson

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It remains to be seen if Kris Letang will get suspended for his hit on Marcus Johansson … and if he does, for how long.

(You can read initial reactions and some analysis about the specifics of the check vs. the one that got Brooks Orpik suspended here.)

There are a few things we do know already.

For one thing, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reportedly looking into it.

Another factor that could help Letang avoid a suspension or limit the duration of supplemental discipline: Marcus Johansson returned during the second period.

In fact, Johansson delivered some hits on Letang.

There have been some nasty moments in Game 3, and more might be coming. The Penguins lead 2-0 with a few minutes remaining in the middle frame.

Kris Letang may face suspension for hit on Marcus Johansson

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Update: Reports indicate that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is indeed looking into the hit.

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As thrilling as this Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals series has been, it seems like every game presents another controversial hit.

Game 3’s most noteworthy entry (so far?) came when Kris Letang was whistled for interference on Marcus Johansson.

Penguins fans griped that Brooks Orpik didn’t get a major penalty for his hit on Olli Maatta … now Capitals fans likely feel the same about the check Letang delivered.

Watch it in the video above. Also, Stefanie “My Regular Face” has it in GIF form:

Things could get ugly in Game 3:

One factor in a suspension happening – or at least the duration of the suspension – would be what the point of contact was:

Also, lateness of the check:

The Penguins ended the first period up 2-0 against the Capitals, even though Washington played one of its best 20 minutes of the series. Expect more drama.

Update: The Penguins won the game 3-2.

Read reactions to the check here.