Blackhawks hopeful Marian Hossa plays Sunday vs. Oilers


Blackhawks hopeful Marian Hossa plays Sunday vs. Oilers

NEWARK, N.J. – Ryan Garbutt will play despite not skating this morning and Corey Crawford will start when the Blackhawks face the New Jersey Devils Friday night.

Garbutt was just taking the morning off. Marian Hossa, meanwhile, did not make the trip. Coach Joel Quenneville is hopeful Hossa plays Sunday, when the Blackhawks host the Edmonton Oilers. Quenneville added that Hossa, who has been out with a lower-body injury sustained against Minnesota last week, skated on Thursday.

The Blackhawks are coming off a somewhat frustrating 6-5 overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues; they had a 5-2 lead at the end of the first period of that game. The Devils are coming off a 2-1 loss to the New York Islanders. Cory Schneider is expected to start for New Jersey.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

“I like the way they play,” Quenneville said of the Devils. “They play a fast game, strong and are positionally aware; not a lot of time and space. They keep themselves in games. They’re playing the right way both sides of the puck. We expect things are going to happen quickly.”

With Ryan Hartman reassigned to Rockford on Thursday, Viktor Tikhonov skated at right wing on the third line with Marko Dano and Tanner Kero.

Meanwhile, defenseman Michal Rozsival (left ankle) also skated with the Blackhawks on Friday. Quenneville said it’s possible Rozsival could play on Thursday, when the Blackhawks host the Devils at the United Center.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: