Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa skates, then held out another game
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter November 19, 2013 10:06PM
Updated: November 20, 2013 12:04AM
DENVER — Marian Hossa returned to the ice Tuesday morning at the Pepsi Center but shortly afterward was ruled out for the game against the Colorado Avalanche later in the evening. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Hossa is ‘‘close’’ to returning from the lower-body injury that has kept him out of three straight games and was hopeful Hossa will return Thursday in Winnipeg.
In Hossa’s absence, Brandon Saad again played top-line right wing, while Kris Versteeg played second-line left wing and defenseman Sheldon Brookbank played third-line right wing.
Fire on ice
Quenneville was an assistant coach under Bob Hartley when current Avalanches coach Patrick Roy backstopped the team to the 2001 Stanley Cup.
‘‘Joel was an intense coach, and if there’s something I appreciated about him, it’s that,’’ Roy said. ‘‘He had it in his blood to become a head coach. Was I surprised to see the success that he had? The answer is no.’’
Quenneville isn’t surprised that Roy is faring so well in his first coaching stint, either.
‘‘As a coach, you always knew [he] had a different level of how he saw the game,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘He brings a lot of different elements to what coaching’s all about — he’s a competitive guy, understands the game, understands people, understands what it takes to win. He’s got the ingredients that you look for. It’ll be fun to go against him.’’
Quenneville smiled when told the notoriously fiery Roy praised him for his intensity.
‘‘Really?’’ Quenneville asked. ‘‘I like his intensity more.’’
The Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon, the top pick in the June draft, trained with Hart Trophy finalists Sidney Crosby and John Tavares over the summer. But Hawks captain Jonathan Toews always has been one of his favorite players, and he expected some nerves going up against him.
‘‘I loved Toews growing up,’’ MacKinnon said. ‘‘I might be looking at him for the first shift, maybe, but hopefully that gets over with pretty quickly. . . . I don’t think I’m nearly at the Toews level yet, but hopefully I can be that type of player one day — good at both ends.’’