CHICAGO -- It might just be "a little bit" of time, but the next couple of weeks without star forward Patrick Kane
could seem a lot longer for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Kane was injured just 23 seconds into Sunday's 4-2 home win against Calgary, and is expected to be out "upwards of three weeks," according to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville, who met with reporters after Tuesday's practice at the United Center.
"We're hoping that's the maximum," said Quenneville, who declined to specify what part of Kane's lower body was hurt. "We're going to leave it as a 'lower body,' and you can speculate on where it is, but certainly that's the extent of it and he's progressing right now."
Kane, who injured his right ankle last season, appeared to injure his left leg Sunday as he spun to avoid a check near the boards by Flames defenseman Cory Sarich. Kane's left skate slammed into the base of the boards near the blue line as he fell to the ice, where he stayed until members of the Hawks' training staff helped him limp to the locker room.
As for the Hawks, who went on to win beat the Flames without Kane, the impact of losing their second-leading scorer could be large just a week after Marian Hossa
went down last week with a leg injury. He isn't expected to start skating again until the end of the week, at the earliest.
That could put a crimp in the Blackhawks' quest to defend the Stanley Cup. Quenneville said before playing Calgary he believed it would take 95 points just to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. The Hawks currently are fifth in the West with 32 points, putting them on pace for just 90. Last season, Colorado was eighth in the West with 95 points.
It will be difficult to hit that 95-point number without two of their top scorers, but the quest resumes Wednesday when the Dallas Stars come to the United Center. The Stars lead the Pacific Division and are second to the Red Wings in the Western Conference.
"Home games in particular, we want to make sure we value the two points and the importance of where we're at," Quenneville said. "Our conference is stacking up and everybody is in the mix, and it's going to make for a great run right to the end. So, we want to make sure no matter who's in the lineup, we take care of business and value the two points. Certainly you're missing some key pieces that play quality ice time, but at the same time we know that checking is going to be at a priority."
Author: Brian Hedger | NHL.com Correspondent