If anybody figured to take a "maintenance day" Monday, it was Patrick Kane, the Chicago Blackhawks' only representative at the NHL All-Star Game.
That wasn't the case, though, as Kane joined all of his teammates at MB Ice Arena for practice ahead of their tough Central Division tilt against Nashville on Tuesday.
Kane, who fell to 0-3 in the 3-on-3 version of the All-Star Game when the Pacific prevailed 5-2 Sunday in Tampa Bay, said he wasn't exactly taxed during his time away.
"I feel like you're just sitting around all weekend -- waiting for a lot of things," he said. "You get to the game early, you've got to do interviews. …
"You do one thing in the skills competition, and I only played one game, obviously. I played like six minutes or something. I thought it was good to get out here and get the body going a little bit."
Although it appears players are going about half-speed and often trying for the fancy plays, Kane said the intensity during the All-Star Games is still far better than in the past.
"It's been a good change for the game," he said.
At practice, coach Joel Quenneville kept Brandon Saad with Kane and Nick Schmaltz. Saad doesn't have a point in eight straight games and has just 23 points on the season.
"If we get around the net and get some greasier goals that can help (improve) your team game," Quenneville said. "And I think if you're not scoring, find a way to get there and you might get some ugly goals."
Saad, Kane and Schmaltz played the last two games together. Jonathan Toews has been skating with Alex DeBrincat and Anthony Duclair, and Artem Anisimov has been with Ryan Hartman and Tommy Wingels.
Hot, hot, hot?
Boston hasn't lost a game in regulation in 18 straight games. The Avs just went on a 10-game winning streak. Nashville is 7-1-2 over its last 10 games. Winnipeg is 11-3-3 over its last 17.
These are just four examples of teams that have put themselves in good positions with big-time hot streaks this season.
The Hawks desperately need one of these runs if they're going to qualify for the playoffs, but do they have one in them?
So far, the Hawks' best stretches have been a five-game winning streak in December and a 5-1-1 run in mid-November.
"We're capable of it," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "You've seen almost every team in the league have a pretty big run this year. … We've been looking like we're close to getting something going, but we need some completion."
It won't be easy in the near future because six of the Hawks' next eight games are on the road, where they are just 11-9-4.
With 33 games remaining for the Hawks, Patrick Kane is tied for 19th in points (48) and 20th in goals (20). … Among rookies, Alex DeBrincat is tied for second in goals (17) with Tampa Bay's Yanni Gourde. Vancouver's Brock Boeser, who was the All-Star Game MVP, leads with 24. … No player has taken more shots on goal and not scored than Duncan Keith (116). Vancouver's Ben Hutton is next with 75.