Patrick Kane

Patrick Kane feeling optimistic about returning from surgery on time

Patrick Kane’s surgically repaired left wrist might be the one compelling thing left for Blackhawks fans this summer. After getting his wrist operated on earlier this summer, time is ticking away until he’s due to be back in action and ready to go. With training camp starting up soon, all eyes are on Kane to see when he’ll be joining the rest of the team back on the ice for full activities.

Right now, Kane is busy doing a lot of the little things, but he tells CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers that he’s not fully ready to start doing everything a highly skilled scorer can do when handling the stick and the puck. He’s still got a splint on his hand but that will go away soon… Just not yet.

“Right now when I’m on the ice, I’m taking backhands here or there, but I’m not pushing it too much,” he said. “I haven’t tried (shooting). They told me not to shoot pucks, just stick handling. I’m sure once this is off I can shoot.”

Kane said he’s currently taking the splint off five times a day to exercise the wrist. It’s getting limber again as he keeps trying to get the range of motion back. If he can play four preseason games like he did last September, great. That’s his goal.

“It’s three weeks (from the start of camp) until home opener. That should be enough time to get back into shape with the left arm and shooting pucks,” he said. “I definitely want to use training camp to my advantage.”

Three weeks time for a guy that’s a well-oiled machine of a player should be enough time for him to be ready to go at 100% for the season opener. Getting some action in during preseason will help that all along, but only that real game action will show just how ready his wrist is. Shooting pucks and stickhandling in practice will only show off so much and going up against opposing defenders will show how much rust, if any, he’s got in his game.

With how the Blackhawks are built for this year, Kane’s offensive production will be necessary all year long. While the team is a lot tougher now, losing any big scorer like Kane for an extended amount of time will force Chicago to tighten their game up more to keep opponents off the board and help keep goalie Corey Crawford sane. Kane taking care of his business should allow Chicago to not have to worry about that just yet.

Video: The Stars had six skaters on the ice and still didn’t cover Tarasenko on breakaway goal

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Vladimir Tarasenko can be elusive to the opposition at five-on-five. Apparently that also applies to when the opposition has six skaters on the ice and their goalie still in the crease.

Tarasenko opened the scoring for the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 on Thursday, sneaking in behind the Stars defense for a breakaway goal on Kari Lehtonen. The Stars, by the way, had six skaters on the ice as the puck was turned over in the St. Louis zone.

Despite Dallas clearly having too many skaters, the play wasn’t blown down and Tarasenko found himself in the one-on-one situation. He made no mistake.

(Here’s a screen grab of the turnover inside the St. Louis end, leading to the breakaway. Six Dallas skaters.)

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WATCH LIVE: Sharks at Predators – Game 4

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) and center Colin Wilson, right, celebrate after Weber scored a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinal playoff series Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau is at left. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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The Nashville Predators have a chance before the home crowd to even up their second-round series with the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. You can catch Game 4 between these teams on CNBC (9 p.m. ET) or the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for this game:

Ribeiro likely scratched, again, as Preds look to even series with Sharks

Predators smash Sharks to get back in series

 

 

Gerard Gallant, Lindy Ruff and Barry Trotz named finalists for Jack Adams Award

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The list of finalists for the Jack Adams Award has been released. Gerard Gallant (Florida Panthers), Lindy Ruff (Dallas Stars) and Barry Trotz (Washington Capitals) are the three nominees for the award, which goes to the head coach that “contributed the most to his team’s success.”

The winners will be announced June 22 during the 2016 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Gallant was behind the bench for a Panthers team that included an interesting blend of youth (Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck and Aleksander Barkov) and experience (Jaromir Jagr and Roberto Luongo), locked into a franchise-record 12-game winning streak and took the Atlantic Division with a 47-26-9 record — another new standard for the franchise. The Panthers’ season ended with an opening-round playoff loss to the New York Islanders.

After missing the playoffs last season, Ruff coached the Stars to top spot in the Western Conference standings with a 50-23-9 record and a team that includes top-end talent from the likes of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and John Klingberg, playing a game of speed and skill. The Stars led the league in goals for (265) and goals-for per game (3.23).

Trotz, in his second season in Washington, helped the Capitals to a Presidents’ Trophy for the 2015-16 regular season, besting the second-best team, the Stars, by 11 points. The Capitals finished the season with a record of 56-18-8, setting them up as Stanley Cup contenders when the playoffs began last month. Armed with 50-goal scorer Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals also finished second in the league in goals for (248).

This is Gallant’s first nomination for the award. Ruff and Trotz are each three-time award finalists, with Ruff winning in 2006, as per NHL.com.

Last season’s winner, Bob Hartley, was fired by the Calgary Flames earlier this week. He’s not the first Jack Adams Award winner to be dismissed from his job the following year.

WATCH LIVE: Stars at Blues – Game 4

St. Louis Blues center Kyle Brodziak, right, fights with Dallas Stars left wing Curtis McKenzie in the first period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinals against the Dallas Stars, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in St. Louis. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)  EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
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The St. Louis Blues can move to within one win of the Western Conference final with a victory on home ice at Scottrade Center tonight. The Dallas Stars will be hoping to send this series back to Texas all even. You can catch Game 4 between these teams on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for this game:

‘Just worried about safety of friends and family’: NHL donates $100K to Fort McMurray fire relief effort

If the Stars don’t get some better goaltending, their GM will have some explaining to do

Fights, hits and a blown kiss: Stars and Blues get nasty