The mood after the Chicago Blackhawks dominated the St. Louis Blues, owners of the best record in the NHL, on Wednesday was dampened after it was revealed that leading scorer Patrick Kane would be lost for three weeks with a lower-body injury that will effectively end his regular season.
Today, the Hawks made that official as they placed Kane on the long-term injured reserve which means he has to sit out a minimum of 24 days, but is expected back for the playoffs where the team will attempt to win their second straight Stanley Cup.
In his absence the Hawks will try to replace his offensive prowess with 2012 first round draft pick Teuvo Teravainen and Jeremy Morin.
Teravainen, 19, was recalled from Jokerit in the Liiga in Finland where the 5-foot-11, 169 pound center/winger finished with 44 regular-season points on nine goals and 35 assists in 49 games. He tied for sixth in league with his 44 points and has been viewed as a player who can be a catalyst to the team who already leads the NHL in goals.
Morin, 22, is more of a familiar face with Hawks after playing 15 games with the team this season, scoring five points in those games. He was with the team’s AHL affiliate in Rockford where he had 47 points in 47 games.
Losing Kane for the rest of the year is undoubtedly a significant loss for the team jockeying for playoff position in the Western Conference, but it can be softened a bit if Teravainen can fulfill some of the promise he exhibited while in Finland.