Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp out 3-4 weeks; Marian Hossa back
By MARK LAZERUS email@example.com March 8, 2013 2:46PM
Avs goalie Semyon Varlamov stops a shot by Patrick Sharp in the second period of the Chicago Blackhawks-Colorado Avalanche NHL game Wednesday March 6, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
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Updated: March 12, 2013 2:17PM
Patrick Sharp will miss three to four weeks with the upper-body injury he suffered Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville confirmed Friday. Sharp, who was sandwiched along the boards by Ryan O’Byrne and left the ice clutching his left shoulder, will not need surgery, Quenneville said.
The rest of the injury news was good for the Hawks: Marian Hossa, Andrew Shaw and Michael Frolik all will play tonight in the rematch against Colorado at the Pepsi Center.
Hossa was a last-minute scratch Wednesday night. He said Friday that he was neither sick nor dealing with any after-effects from last April’s concussion or last month’s hit to the head from Vancouver’s Jannik Hansen.
“This is something different,” he said. “Nothing at all with what happened last time.”
Shaw took an elbow to the jaw from Colorado’s Paul Stastny on Wednesday. He said he was held out of the third period as a “precautionary” measure, and that he’s “perfectly fine.” He wasn’t bothered that the NHL decided not to punish Stastny for the hit.
“It’s the league’s decision,” he said. “They’ve been doing a pretty good job with it. They have their protocol and they look at video pretty in-depth. I think they made the right decision.”
Frolik missed the last two games with the flu, and even flew to Denver commercial to keep him away from the rest of the team as much as possible. But he skated Friday morning and said he’s good to go. He said he’ll try to keep his shifts short since he hasn’t been on the ice for a few days.
“I think I feel good now,” he said. “I hope the flu is away. I wasn’t feeling great, but right now it’s good and I’m glad I can be back.”
In Sharp’s absence, Bryan Bickell will be moved up from the third line to the second line alongside Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane. Quenneville was pleased with how Bickell played in that spot after Sharp was hurt in the third period. And while the third line of Bickell, Shaw and Viktor Stalberg has been very effective lately, Quenneville said, “Somebody’s got to move there.”
Kane said he liked the idea of having Bickell bring a “physical element” alongside himself and Dave Bolland, but there’s no denying losing Sharp -- and the chemistry they had together -- was a big blow.
“For sure,” Kane said. “You’ve played with the same linemates for 24 games now, half the season, and you really get used to playing with someone. I think it’ll be a little bit of an adjustment, we’ll see what happens. Sometimes it’s good to play with new players, but obviously we’re going to miss Sharpie -- he’s been a big part of our lineup for a long time here, and he plays a lot of minutes. Someone’s going to have to step up and fill that void, which won’t be that easy, I guess.”
Daniel Carcillo likely will move from the fourth line up to Bickell’s spot on the third line.
“We adapt,” Shaw said. “We’re a great team. Everyone can play with everyone. Guys are going to try to fill that role. Obviously, Sharpie’s a great player and it’s going to be tough to fill that role, but everyone’s going to do their best and work a little extra harder.”
Corey Crawford will get the start in goal for the Hawks.