Blackhawks

Kane ready to go, but plans to take it slow

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Kane ready to go, but plans to take it slow

Friday, Sept. 16, 2011
Posted: 1:21 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com Blackhawks InsiderFollow @TraMyersCSN
Patrick Kane could play tomorrow if he needed to do so. And with his left wrist fully healed, he would love to do just that: practice and play full board, no holding back at all. Because Kane wants to take the next step in his already strong career and he wants to do it now.

Everyones been saying that to me, All right, youve done well first four years. Now take the next step, he said. Thats what I want to do.

For that hell need optimum health; hes pretty close to it. So as Kanes ready to steamroll into another season, those around him are making sure he doesnt do too much, too soon.

Kane was still sporting the splint on that wrist when he talked to the media on Friday, but its purely for precautionary purposes and improving his range of motion. Hes participated in pre-camp drills and hes taking shots again. Hell be skating in two-a-day sessions when training camp begins Saturday at the United Center.

But hell err on the side of caution with contact.

Right now its just getting (the wrist) stronger, getting range of motion back. I was happy with what the doctors said. They always saw a lot of progress, Kane said. If it was the middle of the season right now and I wanted to play, I could play.

But its not the middle of the season. We know Kane is big on preseason, big on getting that jump-start to the season. We know he loves to get in those preseason games to fine-tune things. But general manager Stan Bowman made that clear to Kane in their Thursday night talk that theres no preseason rush.

He wants to go full tilt right away, Bowman said. His injurys healed very well but were going to play it cautiously. He wants to do it all right away. Hes on a mission to have a really great season this year and hes looking forward to showing us what he can do.

Kane will have his time for greatness in the regular season. Hell be well served taking it slowly in the preseason.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Blackhawks can't match Oilers' intensity as Connor McDavid leads way in Game 2

Blackhawks can't match Oilers' intensity as Connor McDavid leads way in Game 2

Let's be honest: The Blackhawks dominated the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1. The final score was 6-4, but there was never a doubt as to which team was in the driver’s seat from start to finish.

So going into Game 2, the Blackhawks knew the Oilers would come out desperate.

"We’d be naïve," head coach Jeremy Colliton said before the game, "if we don’t think they’re going to throw everything they have at us."

And that's what the Oilers did. To be more exact: That's what Connor McDavid did.

After scoring 2:34 into Game 1, the two-time Art Ross Trophy winner scored 19 seconds into Game 2 and then again 3:46 later to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead before the Blackhawks even knew what hit them. He completed the hat trick in the second period, giving him four goals through two games so far.

It was clear from the first shift Game 2 would have a different feeling than Game 1. The Oilers, this time, were in control and they followed No. 97's lead.

"They were much better as a team than they were in Game 1, so give them credit there," Jonathan Toews said following a 6-3 loss on Monday. "And to add to the fact, I don't think we made things as hard on them as we did in the first game. So everything we did in that first game, we've got to step all that team game up a notch.

"McDavid's obviously a focus for me, and when we're not making things hard enough for them offensively, then we get ourselves in spots where we end up taking penalties, and you know what happens on the power play, a guy like McDavid's going to make you play. A couple times early in the game, we give him grade A chances and he's not making any mistakes. You know what we're going to get out of him every game, so we've got to be better on him."

You just knew McDavid wouldn’t let his team fall behind 2-0 in a series that easily, especially as the No. 5 seed in their own building. He certainly looked extra motivated to be a factor at even strength after being shut down in Game 1 — all three of his points came on the power play.

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This was a virtual must-win for the Oilers. Only one team in NHL history has overcome a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-five series: New York Islanders in 1985 after losing Games 1 and 2 in overtime to the Washington Capitals then rallying to win the next three.

"Connor led the way," Oilers forward Tyler Ennis said. "He set the tone for us and gave us a spark. That's exactly what we needed, and everybody followed."

Credit the Blackhawks for clawing back and showing the kind of resiliency that helped them win Game 1. They fell behind 2-0 and tied it up at 3-3 before McDavid's hat trick put the Oilers back in front 4-3.

The game got away from the Blackhawks in the third period, where they were out-chanced 10-1. But that what was bound to happen for a team that was playing catch-up all game.

In the end, the Blackhawks won't sugarcoat their overall performance. It was no secret the Oilers would come out hungry, and the Blackhawks simply didn't match their intensity.

"Ultimately, we didn’t play to the level we need to to beat this team," Colliton said. "We knew going into this series it would be a challenge. ... It’s a 1-1 series, I’m sure no one picked us to sweep them. They won a game, now we have to find a way to be better on Wednesday, and we will."

Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner kneels with Ryan Reaves during National Anthem

Former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner kneels with Ryan Reaves during National Anthem

On Monday, former Blackhawks goalie Robin Lehner, currently with the Vegas Golden Knights, knelt during the National Anthem with teammate Ryan Reaves before Vegas' round-robin game against the Dallas Stars.

Stars forwards Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson joined Lehner and Reaves in taking a knee.

The Associated Press' Stephen Whyno reported Reaves approached Seguin during pregame warmups to inform him that the Golden Knights teammates intended to kneel during the National Anthem. Seguin told his teammates on Dallas in the locker room and Dickinson wanted to join.

"I made a mistake once, putting a Trump sticker on my mask. That is something I regret now... At the end of the day it's about human rights, not politics," Lehner told the media following the game.

The Golden Knights won the contest 5-3 with Lehner as the starting goalie.

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