Quenneville on injured Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp: ‘He should be fine’
BY MARK LAZERUS email@example.com April 14, 2013 9:13PM
Dave Bolland, Roman Polak
Updated: April 14, 2013 11:26PM
ST. LOUIS — Patrick Sharp’s return to the lineup lasted two games.
After missing 14 games with a shoulder injury, Sharp played in victories over Minnesota and Detroit. But he didn’t make the trip to St. Louis for Sunday’s game against the Blues and is doubtful for Monday’s home game against Dallas.
Coach Joel Quenneville demurred when asked if it was the same shoulder that was injured March 6, only saying Sharp was day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Quenneville didn’t think it was a serious injury.
“No, he should be fine,” he said.
Marcus Kruger played left wing on the second line in Sharp’s absence.
Center Dave Bolland was back after missing four games with a lower-leg injury.
He was active on both ends of the ice and took two penalties — cross-checking and roughing — as one of the Hawks’ more physical presences.
“I liked his game,” Quenneville said. “I thought he had some competitiveness. He was strong in the puck area, responsible on both sides of the puck and had a couple of chances to score. I thought he was good.”
No rest for weary
Quenneville said the injury scare to Jonathan Toews in the first period didn’t make him rethink whether he should be sitting out some of his top players with the top seed in the Western Conference all but locked up.
He said keeping his players sharp for the Stanley Cup playoffs was crucial.
“That’s all part of hockey,” he said. “If you start worrying about that stuff, it can affect you. We’ll be proactive in making sure we keep everybody involved and [maybe cut down on] the minutes, but we still want to make sure our team game is reinforced game in, game out.”
Center Drew LeBlanc, who was signed by the Hawks out of St. Cloud State on Friday, the same night he won the Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s top player, has yet to join the team. But Quenneville said he might see some action down the stretch.
“He gets a chance to be on the ice with us, and we’ll get to see him,” Quenneville said.
“He could play some games. Organizationally, they picked him up, and we’re happy to have him, so we’ll see how it goes.
‘‘Our guys get to see him. He’s got some skill, and he’s got some real patience with the puck, and he’s a nice point-producer this year, as well, in the middle.”