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Michal Handzus back in lineup after getting game off vs. Flames

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nate Guen(5) Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus battle front goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere during first period an NHL

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Nate Guenin (5) and Chicago Blackhawks center Michal Handzus battle in front of goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Updated: March 3, 2014 4:34PM

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Among the topics of conversation during the Hawks’ road trip leading up to the Olympics will be how coach Joel Quenneville manages the minutes of the players headed to Sochi, Russia.

That’s particularly important for older players such as 36-year-old Michal Handzus, who will represent Slovakia in the Winter Games.

Handzus was a healthy scratch Tuesday against the Calgary Flames, getting a day to rest, but Quenneville said he would play Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks.

‘‘He knows his body well,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘He’s a pro. He’s been around. Last year down the stretch he gave us a big lift, and his experience was important. . . . There are a lot
of offensive guys on our team, and he brings that responsibility defensively that can help our team.’’

Short-handed showman

A short-handed goal late in the second period Tuesday against the Flames was winger Marian Hossa’s team-leading third of the season. Hossa leads all active players with 29 short-handed goals in his career.

50-point plateau

With an assist Tuesday against the Flames, captain Jonathan Toews reached 50 points for the sixth time in his seven seasons. The only time he failed to do so was during the lockout-shortened schedule last season, when he had 48 points.


Twitter: @SethGruen

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