Patrick Kane is close to returning and excited about Red Wings' second half

Patrick Kane is close to returning.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Although he hasn't been able to contribute, star forward Patrick Kane has been impressed with the play of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit is on a heater of late, going 7-2-1 over their past ten and 9-2-1 in January, which helps ease the pain of a horrible month of December. Prior to the injury, Kane had been one of the better Red Wings night in and night out. He's regularly displayed elite vision and playmaking abilities. He's totaled seven goals and 16 points in 19 games.

Kane returned to practice late last week after nursing a lower-body injury suffered in Toronto on January 14th. Kane was injured on his first shift of the game. He was rocked hard by Pontus Holmberg, and moments later, he tripped while back-checking and slammed awkwardly into the end boards as he tried to break up a pass intended for Holmberg. The good news was that the injury had nothing to do with Kane's hip.

On Tuesday, Kane mentioned his hip feels pretty good and has held up well since joining the Detroit Red Wings. “The hip feels really good,” Kane said. “At the same time, it’s frustrating when the hip is feeling good, and it’s something else that comes up. But you try to find the positives in every situation. It gives me a few weeks to let everything settle down. I played 19 games in a pretty short amount of time. Get some rest, and should be good to go after that.”

“I was starting to feel pretty good when I got injured, so that’s frustrating,” Kane said. “But pretty happy with the way everything has gone so far, at least with the first 19 games, being off six months and coming back and not only play at a pretty good level but feel good doing it.”

Detroit Red Wings forward Patrick Kane is expected back following the All-Star break.

Kane is also impressed with Detroit's depth. The three-time Stanley Cup Winner noted that those championship teams in Chicago had tremendous depth, not just one player generating 50% of the teams' points. That comment reminded me of those '97, '98, '02 and '08 teams. Yes, the 2002 team was bought and loaded, the others were clearly stocked with talent but a bit more balanced and had a ton of role players that excelled in specific fields whether it's penalty killing, faceoffs, forechecking or working the wall, etc.

“I think we’re kind of playing predictable. It seems like everyone understands what the next play is out there,” Kane said. “Don’t really see too many big mistakes. I think that’s a big thing in this league if you can make your opponent work for everything they get. As an offensive guy, you always like when you can get turnovers, and things come a little easier, and you can create that way. I think we’re playing pretty stingy defensively and a lot of depth-scoring. A lot of guys have been chipping in. (Dylan) Larkin has been playing great and he’s been on fire but a lot of contributions across the board.”

Kane will not be in Detroit's lineup on Wednesday night when the Red Wings square off against the Ottawa Senators but is expected back in Detroit's lineup following the break on Feb. 10th against the Vancouver Canucks. It's the final game before Detroit's eight-day All-Star break, and whenever Ottawa and Detroit are on the same ice, it's must-see TV. This has swiftly become an intriguing rivalry. Brady Tkachuk loves to mix it up, and don't forget a year ago when he challenged the entire Detroit Red Wings bench and failed to find a dance partner. And I mean, there is the whole Dylan Larkin situation from earlier this season. It will be interesting to see if there are any fireworks or repercussions from the Red Wings.

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