December 6, 2010

Blackhawks' Depth Take a(nother) Major Hit with Injury to Kane

Yes, the Chicago Blackhawks still won 4-2 on Sunday, despite star Patrick Kane getting injured in the first minute of play. And, yes, the Hawks are in fifth place in the Western conference, despite everyone counting them out this off-season after they were forced into trading away about a third of their Stanley Cup-winning line-up.

Still, there's little denying the fact that Kane, not including Sunday's game, is one of two point-per-game players (Patrick Sharp) on the team and arguably their most valuable, that he was in the midst of his hottest streak of the season, scoring 12 points in the last nine games, and that the Hawks were thriving as a whole during that stretch, going 6-3.

And, oh, yeah, there's also the fact that they were playing Calgary, hardly much of a challenge even if they had to play two men down. I mean, yeah, the Flames did account for one of Chicago's three losses in those last nine games, winning 7-2, but those were not the Flames we've come to know and pity... those were the Flames that had just gotten rid of, coincidentally, Patrick Kane-impersonator Brett Sutter, and had just had the benefit of getting a load of tremendous proportions off their collective back with something to prove. Needless to say, a much different team now that the reality of the situation, that cabbie-suckerpunching Sutter's no cabbie-suckerpunching Kane, has sunk in and that losing him doesn't really alter the make-up of the team all that much... they're still a bunch of gross underachievers that wouldn't win consistently even if their opponents were to be handicapped for an entire game... which is what they proved yesterday.

In any case, now that Kane is out, the Hawks need to realize that they won't have the benefit of playing the Flames every game. Admittedly, head-coach Joel Quenneville said that it's nothing really serious, but he preceded that by saying: "Kaner will probably be out a bit. We'll know more [Monday]." So what to gather from that is that hockey nicknames are so ridiculously stupid that players sometime even add a syllable for no apparent reason, and that it could very well be serious. No one really knows yet.

For the record, when the team was without Marian Hossa for five games in late October, early November, the team went 2-3, with losses against the Edmonton Oilers and the New Jersey Devils. Ouch. As such, no injury on any team should be taken lightly, especially seeing as Brett Sutter is currently in the AHL.

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