It’s big news whenever a forward plays more than a defenseman.
It’s bigger news whenever anybody gets more ice time than Duncan Keith.
“You don’t see that too often,” said Kane, who did both in Wednesday’s loss at Anaheim.
Kane was double shifted by coach Joel Quenneville, getting 32 shifts and 25:21 of ice time in the Blackhawks’ 4-2 loss to the Ducks while Keith took 30 shifts and skated 24:51.
Kane, a minus-4 on the night, was gassed after the game, but Quenneville refused to blame fatigue for the poor performance from his right winger, especially in the last six minutes when Anaheim scored 3 goals to wipe out a 2-1 Hawks lead.
“Not at all, no,” Quenneville said Friday. “We made some mental mistakes in that game. I think Kaner played a good game. We’re not looking to point fingers at his situation.
“Whether it was a couple of changes that led to the goals; it was all our own undoing. Maybe on the one goal (by Bobby Ryan that tied it), his coverage might have been off a little bit, but I think we made some plays prior to that that put us in that position.”
Kane never will turn down the opportunity to play whenever he is asked to double shift.
“We all want to play a lot and get as much ice time as possible,” Kane said. “You’ll never turn down the ice time, obviously. I like the challenge. I like being out there a lot. I like playing that much. I probably made a couple mistakes there at the end due to whatever it was.”
Kane was pressed into double duty by the shoulder injury suffered Monday at Colorado by Marian Hossa. With Patrick Sharp also sidelined by a shoulder problem, Quenneville has felt the best way for the Hawks to win was to use Kane as much as possible.
With Kane having an MVP-type season, it’s hard to fault that thinking.
“Yeah, it’s a lot of ice time for a forward,” Kane said. “I’m sure he doesn’t want me to play that much or see my minutes that high, but it was just a couple games without a couple forwards. Hopefully we can get some guys back and I won’t have to play that much.”
Quenneville said Friday that Hossa was unlikely to play Monday against Los Angeles at the United Center and that Sharp wasn’t any closer to returning despite that he is skating on his own.
So Kane can probably expect to play a lot again.
“At least you can go through that in games, maybe see how the game is going,” Quenneville said. “It’s a great option to have, but I think maybe we’ll put somebody up there (on the first line) to start.”
One possibility is to use Daniel Carcillo more than the 3 shifts he got at Anaheim. Carcillo has admitted he is finding it tough to come back, conditioning-wise, after missing more than a year with two separate knee injuries.
“I talked to Danny and he wants to play,” Quenneville said. “But going into it we kind of went with the same group and the same way it went (at Colorado). He did have some shifts, but he didn’t get enough of them.
“He hasn’t played much hockey in the last little while, but I think getting him up to speed, quickness, and playing the team game is something we want to make sure he’s firing and contributing. That’s what we’re going to work for and work to and get him going.”
Ÿ Follow Tim’s hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at dailyherald.com.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.