Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE
A fast start from Patrick Kane will go a long ways in the shortened 48 game season.
Patrick Kane returned home from his field trip, with his mother, to Switzerland and skated with his team mates at Johnny's yesterday. Kane was sporting five stitches above his upper lip from taking an elbow to face in his final game in Europe. Kaner played in 20 games for HC Biel and racked up 23 points (13 G, 10 A).
Some have expressed concern over Kane being a -7 but I don't think that is much to be worried about. #88 has never been a defensive dynamo to begin with. Also, the defense and goaltending in the Swiss can not be compared to the level of each in NHL. The best part about Patrick's venture to land of chocolate and watches is that he is in great playing shape. He should have a step on the majority of players the Blackhawks will face in the first couple weeks of the season. The chemistry between Kane and Jonathan Toews is not something that just went away with the lockout. I am positive the will be on the same page from the get go.
When Kane met with the media after yesterday's informal practice and said all the right things. The usual "I've grown up" "I'm a different guy" bullshit. I personally don't care if Kane likes to drink and nail hot chicks in their 20's. He's 24 for God's sake! I did a lot of stupid stuff when I was 24. Hell, I'm 33 and still do a ton of stupid stuff. I can't imagine the trouble I would have gotten into, in my early 20's, if I had millions of dollars in disposable income. Sure, Kaner has been an idiot with his off ice escapades but I will not throw him under the bus unless he does something that hurts the team. He didn't pull an Andrei Kostitsyn and Alexander Radulov move where he got shitfaced the night before a pivotal game of a playoff series. Good thing there weren't camera phones during career's of Bobby Hull and Chris Chelios.
The bottom line is Kane needs to take the next step and become the elite player he has been hyped up to be. Kane shows extended flashes of being one of the top stars in league but then has his streaks when he looks like he just doesn't care. 48 games should not be enough time to lose interest. This needs to be the year when Patrick Kane cuts the bullshit and delivers on his words. This needs to be the year when #88 wears his big boys pants for a whole season and he becomes the superstar I still think he can be.