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Hurting Hossa iffy for Coyotes

Updated: November 19, 2011 8:53AM

Joel Quenneville is hopeful Marian Hossa will play Tuesday against the Phoenix Coyotes after the right winger missed practice Monday with an upper body injury.

Hossa, 32, did not play Saturday against the Boston Bruins after not practicing Friday.

Jonathan Toews said it’s tough when Hossa isn’t in the lineup, but the Hawks can’t use his absence as an excuse.

“It’s never easy to play without one of your top players,” Toews said. “If it’s one guy or [another] you adjust to what’s going on and someone else steps up and assumes more responsibility and I don’t think there’s too many guys in this locker room that have a problem with that.”

Kruger on the mark

Quenneville likes what he has seen from Marcus Kruger in the two games since he was recalled from Rockford.

“He seems quicker, seems a little bit more confident, I don’t think he’s pressing like he did in camp,” Quenneville said. “He’s very useful in a lot of ways.”

The Hawks are high on Kruger’s versatility and see him as being able to fit in on a number of lines and players.

“He’s winning draws and he’s playing smart in our own zone,” Toews said. “He definitely seems to be himself again out there and he’s playing a little bit better.”

Smith sent to Rockford

The Hawks assigned right winger Ben Smith to Rockford on Monday.

Smith had missed the first four games of the season because of a concussion suffered Sept. 28 on a hit by the Detroit Red Wings’ Brendan Smith.

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