Photo: USA Today Sports
What about a shutout against the St. Louis Blues could have Blackhawks fans and brass alike crying themselves to sleep and pinching themselves in the morning–hoping it was just a dream?
It was Coach Joel Quenneville’s 700th win, player Michal Handzus’ 1,000th game, and the big win brought the Hawks solely into second place in the Central Division while also stopping the Blues from clenching a playoff berth.
However, about midway through the second period in the 4-0 Chicago victory, Sheldon Brookbank checked the Blues’ Brendan Morrow, who fell backwards onto Patrick Kane’s leg, twisting it awkwardly. Kane stayed down for a moment that surely seemed like a lifetime for teammates, the Blackhawks organization, his parents in the stands, and the Patrick Kane Fan Club, before a wobbly skate off the ice.
He winced and swore (assumed from lip-reading) on the bench for a few minutes before heading back to the locker room. Eventually news spread to the NBC crew through Kane’s agent (quite the unique event from the usually tight-lipped Chicago organization) that Kane’s lower body injury would mean at least two weeks without play.
Without Kane, the rest of the team stepped up, continued to play hard, and fought out the win. Duncan Keith, Andrew Shaw, Marcus Kruger, and Ben Smith all scored in the game. The latter three goals came after Kane’s injury. Several players periodically fell to small pains, but managed to bounce back and battle it out. This is something they’ll need to do for a while if they want to continue into the playoff race.
Quenneville reported after the game that it’s more likely he’ll be out for three, which would take them to the post-season.
“He’s a special player and we’ll have to work our way through it knowing what he brings to our team,” Quenneville said. “It’s definitely a huge loss for us. We’ve been fortunate as far as not getting hit too hard (with injuries), but you’re going to get tested at some point.”
In late 2010, when Kane was out with an ankle injury, the Blackhawks went 5-2-1.
The Sporting News reported that Teuvo Teravainen has been released from the Finnish Federation and is on his way to Chicago. The Blackhawks have not said when he’ll be joining the team.