Kane a motivated All-Star
By Adam L. Jahns email@example.com
Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane knows his numbers and production can be better. And he also knows there is some surprise that he’s headed to the All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C., on Jan. 30.
So he’s looking at his All-Star selection as motivation.
‘‘It has been an up-and-down season between not starting off real great and the injury,’’ said Kane, who missed eight games after hurting his left ankle. ‘‘The last couple games I’m beginning to feel back like myself. I’ve proved before I can be an All-Star-caliber player, and that was probably why I got selected.’’
‘‘For whatever reason that I am [in the All-Star Game], it is something that can push me forward and prove that I do belong to go to that game.
‘‘When you get that call, for me it was really exciting to hear your name that you’re going to be going with the best players in the world, especially for the kind of year I’ve had so far. It hasn’t been the greatest start in the world, but it’s still exciting and it means a lot to get selected in.’’
Kane, who had another strong game Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche with an assist and five shots, said his ankle won’t keep him from playing in the All-Star Game. Next week the Hawks have a five-day break between games, which will help.
‘‘Not only for me, but for a lot of people in here,’’ Kane said. ‘‘Sometimes it’s nice to have that little break.
“It’s during the middle of the season, and sometimes it will throw you off a little bit. . . . [But] you see guys miss practice being sick or different things like that. It would be nice to get everyone back in full form.’’
Rookie defenseman Nick Leddy said there isn’t much difference between this stint with the Hawks compared with his first stay at the start of the season.
‘‘Not a ton,” he said. “I just feel more prepared.’’
But coach Joel Quenneville said he has seen a difference in the 19-year-old Leddy, who has had success with Jordan Hendry as the third defensive pairing.
‘‘Physically, he looks a little bigger [and] stronger,’’ Quenneville said.
‘‘I like his patience, his plays with the puck and his reads of the game. He just looks like he understands his positioning. I didn’t mind it then [in October]. He just adds to it day-by-day.
‘‘He should continue to get his positioning exactly where we want it to be. You just appreciate his reads and his poise out there for a young kid.’’
Ryan Johnson and John Scott were healthy scratches against the Avalanche. Nick Boynton was a scratch for the sixth game in row after missing the morning skate Wednesday and practice Tuesday with the flu.