Kane hopes to return to action Friday

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Kane hopes to return to action Friday

Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010
12:16 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Patrick Kane looked like he hasnt missed much of a beat as he skated this morning at the United Center. And while the Chicago Blackhawks wing wont play tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, he could be back Friday.

Kane, who went down with what appeared to be a left ankle injury against Calgary on Dec. 5, is hoping to play Friday when the Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings.

(Friday) is a possibility, he said after participating in this mornings pregame skate. Ive really got to see how I am in practice and (Friday) pregame skate and make a decision then. Personally, Id love to be playing tonight but its not realistic. Friday, well see.

Kanes been sidelined about 10 days, but for a player whos not used to missing any time, its seemed longer.

It feels like its been a month or two, said Kane. I think theres a lot more time on your hands than you realize, especially when the boys left town, no one to hang out with. It was a long weekend, so Im glad to see them back.

Meanwhile, Dave Bolland (upper body) was skating again this morning and will play tonight. Corey Crawford, who came in relief against Colorado on Monday, will start tonight.

Rebounding

The Blackhawks defense didnt have a great night on Monday. Brent Seabrook, who was a minus-4 in that 7-5 loss to Colorado, said he and the rest of the defensemen will find their niche again.

We gave them a lot of chances and they capitalized. We got off our game. Myself, I felt like I played awful with giveaways, turnovers. Seabrook said. We played well over last 10-12 games, so theres no reason why we wont bounce back tonight.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Mondays game was about the group of defensemen, not just Seabrook and Duncan Keith.

We need to be better in that area, he said. (Scoring) five goals puts us in position to win a hockey game. As a group the defense can be better. We should all absorb some responsibility. The six of them have to be more focused.
Other injuries

Marian Hossa did not skate today, although Quenneville said he has been out there the past few days. He will not play tonight.

Well get him back on the ice and get a better idea (of when he plays), Quenneville said.

Fernando Pisani, who suffered an upper-body injury against Anaheim on Nov. 26, did skate this morning but said he will not play tonight.

Its just an injury that takes time, he said. Im just focusing on getting better every day right now and its coming along pretty good.

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

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss the latest slump and how much does Artem Anisimov's injury play a role in their struggles?

Konroyd tells us he was surprised by Ryan Hartman's benching in Tampa.

The guys play the game, playoff minutes or press box minutes?  They run through the players who are on the bubble when it comes to postseason play.

They also discuss the Hawks chances of overtaking Washington for the President's trophy.

Plus, Konroyd breaks down possible first round opponents: St Louis, Calgary and Nashville.

Tanner Kero latest to try and fill Artem Anisimov's skates

Tanner Kero latest to try and fill Artem Anisimov's skates

PITTSBURGH – Tanner Kero's been thrown into a lot of different situations in his time with the Blackhawks, be it third- or fourth-line center or penalty kill.

But with Artem Anisimov out, the second-line center spot has become new top-line, left-wing spot: The Blackhawks will keep trying guys out until they find one that works. Kero's the latest to get that opportunity, and since it worked well on Monday, he'll be there again on Wednesday.

Kero will center Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane again when the Blackhawks host the Pittsburgh Penguins. The line had a good start to Monday's game against the Lightning in Tampa, scoring the team's first two goals — Kero assisted on Panarin's opener.

Coach Joel Quenneville liked Kero's first go-around there.

"Defensively he's in a good spot — he's usually in a reliable spot in his own end — he made a couple of nice plays offensively and didn't change his game too much," Quenneville said. "It's not easy playing with guys at that next level. It's certainly a great challenge and a great opportunity, so I thought he did a great job, took advantage of it. We'll see how he does going forward but we'll keep him in there for [Wednesday's] game and that gives us some more options."

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Learning on the fly can be part of a rookie season, especially when injuries arise. Jonathan Toews said Kero's handled everything well this season.

"Come to think of it, it's one of those little things that maybe goes over my head but he's definitely one of those versatile players who's as consistent as ever," Toews said. "He has, for his age, an incredible level of maturity and he carries that with him wherever he goes. You're seeing offensive improvement, too. He was making some good plays with Bread Man and Kaner. He's showing he can do it all and I think his work ethic and attitude's a source of that success."

Earlier this season Kero was with guys like Ryan Hartman and Vinnie Hinostroza. They were all familiar with each other from their Rockford days, and that showed. Playing with two guys you don't know so well? It's a bit of a challenge, and one the three talk out. But ultimately, Kero said you have to rely on your instincts. 

"You go over things before the game and on the bench, get a feel for what you might want to do. But then you just have to play hockey," Kero said. "You have to trust your game, make plays. You know they're going to make plays with the puck so you try to use your speed and get open and try to go to the net, create space for them and a little traffic in front and try to capitalize on opportunities."

Anisimov will be out another 1-2 weeks. Asked if Anisimov has started skating back in Chicago yet, Quenneville said, "I don't think so but I'm not positive. But he's progressing." Filling Anisimov's skates isn't easy, as evidenced by the Blackhawks' search for his temporary replacement. Kero is the third guy to get that shot, and he took advantage of his first showing.

"Obviously it's a great opportunity to play with two great players," Kero said. "You just try to do everything you can and do the little things right."

Briefly

- Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith didn't practice on Tuesday but both are expected to play against the Penguins.

- Corey Crawford gets the start against Pittsburgh.

- Hartman, scratched after a rough game against the Florida Panthers, is probably back in against the Penguins.