The prognosis didn’t look good. Michal Rozsival’s injury, even on first sight, didn’t look good. On replays, it even looked worse.
It looked unlikely that Rozsival would play again this season. On Friday, that bad news was confirmed.
Blackhawks physician Dr. Michael Terry announced in a statement that Rozsival suffered a fractured left ankle that will require surgery. The defenseman is done for the rest of this postseason.
Rozsival went down awkwardly early in the second period of the Blackhawks’ 4-3 victory over the Wild. He couldn’t put any weight on his left leg as teammates helped him off the ice.
It’s a tough blow for the Blackhawks, whose defensive depth was thin as it was. Now they’ll be without a veteran who played well through the second round.
Fellow defensemen are prepared to soak up minutes if need be.
“Whatever happens, happens,” said Duncan Keith, who has averaged more than 30 minutes a game this postseason. “I’ve played with different guys the whole year and over the last few years. We’re all in good shape, obviously. We’ve just got to be smart.”
Coach Joel Quenneville will have to figure some things out on defense but he’ll have time to do so; the Blackhawks, who completed their four-game sweep over the Wild on Thursday, may not start the Western Conference Finals for another week. David Rundblad, Kyle Cumiskey and Michael Paliotta are immediately available.
“We’ve got a number of players that can step up and fill that role depending on how Mike’s doing,” Patrick Sharp said. “We’ll figure that out down the road but depth has been a strength of this team at all positions so we’ll see what happens.”