Clearly, Kane was trying to temper any expectations that he could beat the 12-week timeline that was originally set for his return from a broken clavicle.
“You wish you could be out there tomorrow with the guys, and start playing right away,” Kane said. “But it’s not realistic. It’s not possible. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you start thinking of certain dates when you can come back. The only thing I can really control is trying to heal as fast as I can, trying to get myself in the best shape as possible. And if it’s seven weeks, great. If it’s five weeks, great. If it’s six weeks, great. Who knows what it’s going to be in the end? I think the timetable’s still at the 12-week mark.”
It’s been a tough go for Blackhawks winger Kris Versteeg, ever since Patrick Kane fractured his clavicle and was lost for the remainder of the regular season.
Versteeg has played 14 games since that fateful night versus Florida. He has just two assists, despite skating with the likes of Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.
“Obviously, me and Kane had a good thing going on,” Versteeg said, per the Chicago Sun-Times. “And since I haven’t played with him in a while, it hasn’t been going my way.”
The prevailing theory (supported by numbers) is that Versteeg is a more effective scorer with a creative, unpredictable play-maker like Kane, as opposed to the more straightforward styles of Toews and Hossa.
But with Kane out until at least the playoffs, Versteeg knows he has to adapt.
And really, there are worse linemates to be stuck with than Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa, two of the best all-around forwards in the game.
“Whether it’s a role you have to dump it in, or a role you have to check, or a role you have to score,” said Versteeg. “I just want to help this team.”
A taste of revenge? Blackhawks deal blow to Kings’ playoff hopes
It remains to be seen if the Los Angeles Kings can claw their way into the 2015 postseason. It seems like the Chicago Blackhawks are getting their shots in now, just in case that doesn’t happen.
Chicago ran away with Monday’s game, handing Los Angeles a 4-1 beating.
That score is probably a fair depiction of what happened tonight, too, as the Blackhawks carried most of the play. This stats is outdated at this point, yet it also captures how much the Kings struggled to contain Chicago’s attack:
The Kings are the best shot-suppression team in the league, allowing 27.0 per game. The #Blackhawks have 25 through 26 minutes so far.
Patrick Kane might return from his broken clavicle far earlier than expected, but note that nothing is official.
(Yeah, chances are we just got Chicago Blackhawks hopes up anyway right there. Sorry about that.)
Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville didn’t outright say that Kane is ahead of schedule, but it was hard not to read some serious optimism in his comments to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“There’s been some excellent progress,” Quenneville said. “It could be good news. We’ll see.”
The original outlook had the 26-year-old’s absence pegged until about halfway through May, but perhaps it will be quite a bit shorter. He’s now five weeks into his rehab, spending quite a few days skating (including some time in full equipment).
Quenneville said it ultimately comes down to getting the doctor’s OK.
“You watch him today, he does everything you’d want him to do, or that he wants to do,” Quenneville said. “So I guess now we’ll just listen [for him to be] medically cleared. I would feel he’d be ready to go soon as he gets clearance. That’s what we’re waiting for.”
There are about two weeks remaining in the regular season, so there’s plenty of time for good news to come (or not). Naturally, the Blackhawks still have some work to do without Kane, including tonight’s NBCSN contest vs. the Los Angeles Kings.