Marian Hossa likely to return vs. Red Wings
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media March 15, 2014 9:02PM
Updated: April 17, 2014 6:50AM
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is again blending the lines. And for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings, it looks as if forward Marian Hossa will be an available ingredient.
Hossa has missed the last five games with an upper-body injury. After skating Friday but not playing against the Nashville Predators, he was on the ice Saturday with Kris Versteeg and Jonathan Toews. Both Hossa and Quenneville said Hossa is likely to come back.
‘‘Today was a good practice, good drills. It was a great pace for me,’’ Hossa said. “I felt pretty good.”
If Hossa indeed returns Sunday, he might be playing in a remodeled lineup. Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane were on the wings for Michal Handzus, while Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad were with Andrew Shaw.
“I like the balance,” Quenneville said. “I like the offense, and I like the reliability as well.”
Time for battle
Quenneville put the Hawks through about a 30-minute skate Saturday. Most of it was spent doing what he called a ‘‘battle drill,’’ where two players tangle in a small space for the puck and chances to shoot on goal.
The drill is meant to instill some of what the Hawks have been missing recently.
‘‘You address it all kinds of ways,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘We did a drill today that is kind of the way you have to win hockey games.”
Defensemen Duncan Keith and Niklas Hjalmarsson didn’t skate. Quenneville said they were resting and will play Sunday.