There were a few updates from the Blackhawks’ practice on Tuesday, most notably that Patrick Kane‘s status for Thursday night against the Avalanche is still TBD. Colorado hosted the Florida Panthers and almost overcame a four-goal deficit in the third period but came up just short, losing 5-4. They’re still getting healthy and figuring things out, so tomorrow night will be a very interesting game. Especially when you keep in mind the Avs have been linked to both Kane and Jonathan Toews in trade rumors pretty much all season.
- Kane spoke with NBC SportsNet yesterday and the hypothetical scenario presented earlier in the week by Elliotte Friedman (Kane shutting down for the rest of the season) was brought up. He told Charlie Roumeliotis that he doesn’t plan on that — right now. And he spoke about how he’s doing and missing the last seven periods of Blackhawks action.
“It’s good,” Kane said. “I probably shouldn’t have played that game against Tampa. It just didn’t feel right, and then you’re on the ice and then you’re thinking about the injury instead of just playing the game, so I probably should’ve taken that one off.
“The last two games, I think I probably could’ve played, it’s just we knew we had these three days in between, so it’s just better to be cautious with it and had some treatment coming in, so just trying to be smart with it right now. But hopefully I’ll be back soon.”
- Yesterday we shared some clips of Blackhawks players taking shots with a soccer ball against Chelsea legend Petr Čech on Monday. Yesterday, Čech was at Blackhawks practice in gear and took some shots on the ice. Čech, who is good friends with Petr Mrazek, has been playing hockey since retiring from soccer. And he’s a big guy (6-5) who fills the net pretty well. But taking shots from NHL players is a different experience than the league he plays in.
- Because Alex Stalock was out sick (non-COVID) yesterday, the Blackhawks were joined by Scott Foster (everyone’s favorite EBUG legend) for practice yesterday.
- Nolan Allan and Kevin Korchinski were rolling again with Seattle last night. Allan, who’s known more as a defensive-defenseman, scored a pretty goal on the rush last night.
- Our buddy Colby Cohen was on the ESPN panel that discussed the college season to date this morning and made their picks for the Hobey Baker Award, the Frozen Four and a few other items of note. While is isn’t a surprise that Colby had his alma mater, Boston University, in the Frozen Four (a smart pick whether he went there or not), one name that came up for the Hobey Baker a couple times was interesting.
- Ryan McAllister, a 21-year-old undrafted freshman at Western Michigan, was mentioned a few times for the college player of the year award. He isn’t a big guy (5-10, 184), his numbers are eye-popping. After putting up 139 points (including 57 goals) in 60 games for Brooks in the AJHL last year, he’s posted 38 points in 22 games at Western Michigan this season. He could be an intriguing college free agent when his season ends.
- Nobody asked me, but if I was picking my Frozen Four today it would be Michigan, Boston University, Denver and St. Cloud State. Selfishly, that would have a Blackhawks prospect on all four teams (if Frank Nazar can indeed some back before the end of the season, all four would be active). But I also tend to think that while Minnesota is a really good team, there might only be one team from the Big Ten involved and St. Cloud State’s goaltending (including Blackhawks’ prospect Dominic Basse) could be a difference maker.
- The celebrity guest shots at Madison Square Garden can be entertaining (Anthony Rizzo crushed a beer once while Aaron Judge applauded). Last night, actor and potential Ottawa Senators buyer Ryan Reynolds was in the crowd just behind the Rangers’ bench. And when he got on the big screen he made it count, planting a big ol’ kiss on the cheek of legend Henrik Lundqvist. Actor Alexander Skarsgard (aka Tarzan) was on the other side of King Henrik and planted a kiss earlier when he as featured.
- Finally, we heard from a Chicago general manager who has a No. 1 overall pick in 2023 yesterday. The Bears’ Ryan Poles held his season-ending media availability and talked about a lot of interesting stuff. We’ve got you covered.