Blackhawks: Patrick Kane 'focused' on hockey


Blackhawks: Patrick Kane 'focused' on hockey

There have been plenty of bizarre twists and turns in the Patrick Kane investigation the past few days, but the Blackhawks right wing said his mind remains on hockey.

“Especially after the past couple of days, right now, I’m just trying to focus on the game tonight, coming out in practice today and trying to get better, focus on that. But I don’t really have anything to say about what transpired over the past, whatever it’s been, 72 hours,” said Kane, who will play Saturday night when the Blackhawks host the St. Louis Blues. “My focus is here on the game tonight and I guess I’ll also congratulate the Chicago Cubs on clinching a playoff spot.”

In early August a young woman accused Kane of raping her at his Hamburg, N.Y., home. Kane has not been charged with any crime. Since Wednesday there have been several press conferences on the investigation: the woman’s then-attorney claimed an evidence bag was tampered with and found at the accuser’s mother’s home on Wednesday, then withdrew from the case on Thursday when he wasn’t comfortable with the story of how that bag got to the mother’s house. On Friday, Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita said the bag was part of an “elaborate hoax.”

Kane’s attorney, Paul Cambria, maintained Kane’s innocence. Kane said the same in his opening statement last week at the University of Notre Dame. Asked on Saturday if he was still confident he would be exonerated, Kane said, “that’s all speculation and assumptions. Obviously, I believe what I said, and I think that’s been reiterated many times by not only myself, but my lawyer, as well. But what’s going to actually happen is just speculation, so I don’t know. I don’t know what comes next.”

[RELATED: Erie County DA - Evidence kit in Patrick Kane case 'not tampered with']

As for support, Kane said he’s had plenty.

“The fans have been great. I obviously appreciate that. My family’s been awesome, my girlfriend’s been great,” he said. “I think everyone’s [been], especially the Blackhawks organization, as well. Everyone’s kind of stuck with me through the whole thing. It’s good to have that support. Support’s been huge throughout this past couple of months.”


- Corey Crawford is expected to play the whole game against the St. Louis Blues.

- Artemi Panarin (upper body) is expected to be back on the ice on Monday. Coach Joel Quenneville said he hopes the young forward plays in the team’s final two preseason games, but will have a better idea once Panarin skates.

- Michal Rozsival (ankle) has started to skate again. Quenneville said the defenseman has been rehabbing that injury “to a different level where it wouldn’t be an issue before he starts skating hard.” Quenneville said Rozsival is questionable to doubtful to play in the regular-season opener.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: