'Day-to-day' Kane skates
Injured forward shows flashes of top form
Steve Ewen, The Province
Published: Friday, November 21, 2008
Evander Kane might be closing in on a return to the Vancouver Giants lineup. Don Hay is willing to say his name again.
Hay, the Giants coach, is so adamant about avoiding distractions and excuses for his club that he pointedly avoids mentioning players missing due to injury or things like national junior team commitments. That goes for speaking with media and even the rest of his squad, sometimes.
Kane, the WHL's leading scorer, was a conversation-stopper for Hay Wednesday, when a bruised foot kept the winger out of Vancouver's 4-1 win over the Chilliwack Bruins. He was back on the topic table Thursday, though, and he later practised with team, albeit for an abbreviated 40 minutes.
Evander Kane, preparing to make a move in a game last season, may play tonight against the Kamloops Blazers.
Wayne Leidenfrost, The Province
Kane will be re-evaluated today and Hay listed him as "day-to-day," heading into this evening's visit from the Kamloops Blazers (7:30 p.m., CISL 650).
"I tried not to say his name last night," said Hay, who took the same tack last year when Milan Lucic made the Boston Bruins and Michal Repik missed 20 games with a head injury. "We didn't talk about him. We couldn't talk about him, because he wasn't there.
"We feel the strength of our group is our team and that it's not an individual. We don't focus on that guy. We just move on."
Kane, 17, didn't need to use crutches coming into the rink Thursday, a contrast from Tuesday, when he didn't skate.
He did leave the ice early, heading to the dressing room just before the team started contact drills and missing the final 40 minutes of the session. At some points he seemed to be labouring, but there were also flashes, particularly when he was driving to the net and shooting the puck, where he had his usual form.
Kane was injured in the late stages of Friday's 5-3 win over the Kelowna Rockets, but came back to finish that game and also played in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Portland Winter Hawks, extending his scoring streak to 21 games with his 15th goal and 37th point of the campaign.
If he can't go tonight, look for Hay to stick with Craig Cunningham and Mike Piluso flanking Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Kane's usual centre. Also look for Hay to give more prime-time minutes to the line featuring James Wright between Garry Nunn and Andrej Kudrna, since they've been a surging trio.
When it comes to listening, don't be expecting many Kane references from anyone from the Giants.
"We feel bad for him and we're obviously sympathetic, but we have to move on," Wright said when asked about talking about players out of the lineup.
"To approach the game the correct way, we need to not be thinking about that [injury]. We need to be thinking about the guys in the line-up."
© The Vancouver Province 2008