With less than a week until the start of the NHL playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks got a welcomed sight at practice on Wednesday morning as second-leading scorer Patrick Kane returned to the ice with his teammates for the first time since suffering a knee injury on March 19.
Kane, who has missed the last nine games with the injury, will still miss the final three games of the season as both he and his head coach Joel Quenneville work on getting him back to 100% in time for the Blackhawks to begin their defense of the Stanley Cup.
Kane told the Chicago Sun-Times that he is determined and confident that he will be able to come back and help his team make a run back to the cup this spring. He also tried to take an optimistic approach on missing the largest stretch of games in his young NHL career.
You never want to be out of the lineup,” he said. “I think we all love to play the game, love to play hockey and love to be out there with your teammates and support them any way you can. At the same time, some people think it might be beneficial in the long run to maybe take a little break, especially with the year we had last year, and going deep in the playoffs, and the Olympics, and a lot of different things we’ve been doing around here the last year and a half. It’s something you never want to happen, but you try to think of it in a positive way, I guess.
The Blackhawks have games remaining against Montreal, Washington and Nashville before starting the postseason next week.