— Before the blinding TV lights, before the waiting ears of an army of microphones, Patrick Kane
"To be honest with you, I had a funeral to go back to in Chicago," the 20-year-old Blackhawks superstar told a gathered horde of reporters on Tuesday afternoon at Calgary's Pengrowth Saddledome.
"The goldfish that I had since I was 10 years old died. So I had to go back and, you know, say my prayers and flush him down the toilet."
Ba-dump-bump. He'll be here all week. Try the veal, and remember to tip your waitresses.
But seriously, folks, Chicago's diminutive right-winger says he missed Game 3 of this Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Calgary Flames
because he was laid up with the flu.
The former Calder Trophy winner was unable to answer the bell, and watched from his Calgary hotel room as the Flames barged their way back into this best-of-7 series with a 4-2 victory.
Game 4 gets underway Wednesday night at the Saddledome (10 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN) before Calgary’s famous "C" of Red, with Chicago leading two games to one, and Kane says he hopes to be ready to go.
"It was one of those things. I just didn't feel that great yesterday, and it got to the point at midday where I didn’t think I could help contribute to the team, so I decided to take the day off," Kane said.
"I was a little tired out there today (during Chicago's afternoon practice), just trying to get the legs under me. Just trying to get myself better for Game 4. I'm definitely going to try to play."
Kane, who notched 25 goals and 70 points this regular season, represents the heart of the 'Hawks' dynamic, creative young offense, alongside fellow sophomore forward Jonathan Toews
In his absence Monday, rookie forward Colin Fraser
cracked the lineup, while Troy Brouwer
joined Toews and Patrick Sharp
on Chicago’s top line.
Kane's teammates were thrilled at the prospect of his return.
"He's always an offensive factor for us," said Toews, who leads the 'Hawks with five points in the series. "We’re looking forward to having him back. Everybody knows what he brings to our team, what he means to our team.
"We're looking forward to having him help us out."
Added left-winger Andrew Ladd
: "It’ll be great getting him back. His vision on the power play, in particular, is incredible."
There had been some speculation that Kane was nursing an injury, possibly a concussion, after he was slammed to the boards and the ice by former teammate Rene Bourque
in Game 1. Not so, said the native of Buffalo, N.Y.
"I don’t think it had anything to do with the hits," he said. “I came back in Game 2 and played, so that would kind of close off the (speculation) for that. And I don’t think I’d be back for Game 4 if it was a concussion.
"(The Flames) are a physical team, and that is kind of their game plan against us — we're a fast, young, skilled team.
"I actually thought we played pretty good (Monday night). Watching a guy like Patrick Sharp
out there," added Kane as Sharp sauntered past the media scrum, eliciting a smile from his teammate, "you really see a superstar in the making.
"Overall, though, any time you’re watching a game and you’re not out there, it definitely stings."
"I was a little tired out there today (during Chicago's afternoon practice), just trying to get the legs under me. Just trying to get myself better for Game 4. I’m definitely going to try to play." -- Patrick Kane
Is there another goldfish in the future of the Kane abode?
"Actually," he smirked, "I just ordered a turtle."