Monday, Jan. 31, 2011
Posted 3:49 p.m. Updated 7:56 p.m.
By Tracey Myers
VacationAll-Star break time is over. The Chicago Blackhawks have to get back to work.
And considering how few games remain and how tight the standings are, they have to hit the ground running.
The Blackhawks will be tested often in this stretch run, and they embark on a six-game road trip beginning with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. With so many teams fighting for a playoff spot, theres little room for error.
And theres no time to waste.
WATCH: Blackhawks know time is now
"The rest of (this schedule) is such a big part of our season. We have to make up some ground here, defenseman Brent Seabrook said. Its going to be a huge battle for us but we have to be ready for every game. Weve got to have that killer instinct, and weve got to play that way every game.
The Blackhawks certainly cant say theyre tired or unhealthy any more. Theyve played just three games in the last 15 days, so theyre rested. Now they have to bring the energy level up, and fast.
Weve got to be ready, and it starts (Tuesday), defenseman Brian Campbell said. Everythings magnified and the games are harder now. There are so many teams battling and were going to be one of them, obviously.
Entering February, the Blackhawks are seventh in the Western Conference. Just four points separate them from the fourth-place Predators. Theyre playing above .500 on the road, and theyll get plenty of chances to improve upon that mark with nine of their next 13 away from home.
The restful January is over. The Blackhawks have a lot of work to do in a short amount of time, and most of their opponents are in the same boat.
Every games going to be almost like a playoff game, right wing Marian Hossa said. We need to get up in the standings beginning (Tuesday). Every games going to be important to us.
Marian Hossa said he suffered from vertigo last Tuesday, when he missed the Blackhawks game against the Minnesota Wild. The right wing practiced on Monday and was feeling better.
Basically it just hit me the night before. Everything starts spinning around you, said Hossa, who added it was the first time he experienced it. Its not comfortable. But Im back to normal.
Marty Turco will be in net on Tuesday against Columbus. It will be his first start since Jan. 16, when he stopped 20 shots in the Blackhawks 6-3 victory over Nashville.
Corey Crawford started the Blackhawks previous three games heading into the All-Star break, winning in Detroit but suffering losses to Philadelphia and Minnesota.
We want to play (Marty), coach Joel Quenneville said. We need both guys and its a chance for him to play.
Brian Campbell got engaged this weekend, popping the question to his girlfriend during their vacation in Colorado. The defenseman was mum on how he proposed. Ill keep that between myself, her and the families, he said.
WATCH: Campbell explains engagement
Ryan Johnson missed practice on Monday with a lower-body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville said Johnson is day-to-day and the injury isnt serious.
Defenseman Nick Leddy was recalled from Rockford on Monday.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.