Marian Hossa scratched with upper-body injury
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t think Marian Hossa’s upper-body injury is serious, but it was serious enough to keep him out of Wednesday’s highly anticipated game against the Anaheim Ducks.
Hossa was hurt on a hit along the boards by Colorado’s Ryan O’Byrne in the first period Monday night. Quenneville said he’s “day to day.”
To help fill the void, Quenneville expected to continue double-shifting Patrick Kane a bit, giving him some extra shifts on the right wing alongside Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. Kane played 22 minutes and 30 seconds — his season-high for a regulation game — against Colorado, and had a goal and two assists, his third three-point game in the last four contests.
“We did a nice job last game,” Quenneville said. “[With] Kaner filling in that spot, it gives us the same type of threat, offensively. Kaner handled it well, double-shifitng him. … We have some options there.”
Quenneville said the fact that the Hawks have four days off following the Anaheim game didn’t factor into Hossa’s status.
“I don’t think it has anything to do with the time away,” Quenneville said. “Last game, someone asked me the same question, if the score wasn’t like that, would Hossa have been out there. He wasn’t ready to come back and he’s not ready tonight.”
With Hossa out of the lineup, Daniel Carcillo, who struggled for a few games before being a healthy scratch the first three games on this road trip, returned to the lineup against the Ducks. He gave Quenneville another option on the top line in Hossa’s spot; Carcillo began the season on the left wing there before suffering a leg injury in the season opener.
“We’ve had some tough decisions [about] guys not playing — a lot of guys deserve to be playing every night,” Quenneville said. “I think that gives us some depth as a team, and it’s helped us along the way here. Keep yourself ready to play.”
Lack of stars
The Hawks weren’t the only team without a key player, as Anaheim’s Corey Perry — who just signed an eight-year contract extension identical to the one Ryan Getzlaf signed recently — missed the game as he sat out the fourth and final game of a suspension. Perry, the Ducks’ second-leading scorer with nine goals and 15 assists, was banned for delivering a late hit to the head of Minnesota’s Jason Zucker last week.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said each team is deep enough and confident enough to handle their stars’ absence.
“Both teams have won without their best players playing,” he said. “I don’t think it bothers either team that that’s going to be happening.”
Winger Jimmy Hayes, called up to take Patrick Sharp’s spot on the second line when Sharp was injured on March 6, scored his first goal of the season in his third game Monday night at Colorado, scoring on a nice feed from Kane.
Quenneville has been pleased with the big forward’s progress.
“Technically, he’s gotten better in his first couple games,” he said. “His awareness on both sides of the puck has been in place.”
Hayes, who scored five goals in 31 games with the Hawks last season, said it was a “good feeling and a relief” to score. He said he’s feeling more comfortable in his role each game.
“I’m just trying to be a big guy who goes to the net hard and does the simple things well,” he said. “That’s how I’m going to be effective.”